Three of NXT's championships were defended last week as we saw two shocking returns in the form of Finn Balor and Tommaso Ciampa. Tonight, the Cruiserweight title was on the line, while The North American Champion and the UK Champion showed up for non-title action.
Walter battled the Time Splitter, Kushida, in tonight's main event. The Ring General and the rest of Imperium were stunned by Kushida a few weeks back after attacking his ring opponent for the night. Kushida hoped to send Walter and the rest of his group back to NXT UK where they belonged. It was a brawl of the undefeated tonight.
Roderick Strong stole the North American Championship from the Velveteen Dream on NXT's USA Network debut, thanks to the interference from the Undisputed Era. Tonight, an NXT Breakout Star, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, had a chance to launch himself into title contention with a win over the Messiah of the Backbreaker.
We kicked off tonight's festivities, however, with the Cruiserweight Championship. Drew Gulak has been one of the most dominant Cruiserweight Champions that the company has seen since the revival of the title, putting his name along the likes of Buddy Murphy and Cedric Alexander.
Men like Tony Nese, Humberto Carrillo, and Oney Lorcan have all fallen to the catch as catch can mat wrestler. However, tonight, Lio Rush had an opportunity to prove many people wrong.
Tonight was about second chances for the Man of the Hour. Could he finally achieve success in the WWE, or would the Philadelphia Stretcher put an end to his dream?
NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match: Lio Rush vs Drew Gulak (c)
Gulak rushed in early with a dropkick, but Rush was able to avoid a running dropkick, sending the champion on his spine with a running Spanish Fly. Outside the ring, an Asai Moonsault took Gulak to the ground.
Back inside the ring, Gulak caught Rush leaping over the ropes, tossing him across the ring. In the corner, a running clothesline gave the champion a near fall. Rush attempted to roll-up Gulak only for the Philadelphia Stretcher to roll him over, catching him in an armbar.
Rush broke away but was caught with a mean right hand, setting up for another roll-up from Gulak, who after the breakup continued to target the challenger's arm. Both men traded chops, with the bigger man winning the battle and dropping Rush with a body slam. Gulak took Rush up top, but the Man of the Hour blocked a superplex attempt. However, Gulak leapt back up for a kick to the head, sending Rush crashing down on top of a cameraman on the outside.
Gulak sat in one of the corners as the referee began the ten count. Rush barely made it back in, and turned around into a devastating second rope diving clothesline. Gulak continued to batter the 24-year-old piece of gold, cutting off any and all comebacks with some brutal strikes.
Rush fought out of a rear chin lock and pelted Gulak with a series of punches, then sent him into the corner for a running crossbody. A tilt-a-whirl DDT earned him a two-count. Rush reigned down a series of kicks on the champ's chest, but Gulak was able to block the final one, and though his toss landed Rush on his feet, Gulak nearly decapitated him thanks to a stiff clothesline.
Gulak was rolled up once again, but broke out. As Rush looked for the Come Up Stunner, Gulak caught him and trapped him in the Gu-Lock. Rush escaped and locked in his own version of the Dragon Sleeper, but Gulak was easily able to break away. A Cyclone Crash nearly retained the belt for Gulak, but he failed to hook the correct leg in the pin, allowing Rush to reach the ropes.
Going up top again, Rush forced Gulak down to the mat. The Final Hour Frog Splash connected, and the Come Up left Gulak nearly out cold in the middle of the ring. Another Final Hour finally ended the reign of Gulak, earning Rush his first championship in the WWE.
Results: Lio Rush defeated Drew Gulak via pinfall.
Following the match, William Regal came down to the ring to place the title around Rush's waist. Gulak re-entered the ring, yanking the title away from the NXT General Manager. However, it was only to show the new champion respect, handing it off to him and shaking his hand. Regal then officially crowned Rush champion.