Timothy Thatcher used his proficient mat-based arsenal early to ground and pound both opponents, later tagging in Tommaso Ciampa, who complemented his partner’s style with a barrage of crisp strikes. Thatcher & Ciampa were derailed by the presence of Imperium on stage, however, distracting their attention and stopping Thatcher from making a sorely-needed tag. With Oney Lorcan knocking Ciampa out of the equation, he and Danny Burch dropped Thatcher with a combination DDT for the victory.
Afterward, Ciampa was beset by confusion and frustration over Thatcher’s inability to make the tag because of Imperium, questioning what he had seen.
Finn Bálor confronted Roderick Strong
Roderick Strong demanded that former Undisputed ERA ally Adam Cole meet him face to face, but he was instead met by NXT Champion Finn Bálor. The Prince said he knew the only way to lure Adam Cole: with an NXT Title Match next week. But Bálor wasn’t finished, taking issue with Strong blaming him for The Undisputed ERA’s implosion. Bálor responded by deriding Strong’s lack of leadership bonafides, and the two quickly came to blows before being separated by officials.
Austin Theory had a “breakthrough” in therapy with The Way
Thanks to a handful of cash, Johnny Gargano got what he wanted out of therapy for Austin Theory: discord between Theory and his “friend” Dexter Lumis. With Theory eventually moved to tears and storming out when told Lumis said Theory had “mediocre” abs, the not-so-upstanding therapist’s work was done.
Ember Moon w/Shotzi Blackheart def. Aliyah w/Robert Stone and Jessi Kamea
Aliyah impressed against the former NXT Women’s Champion, putting a big smile on the face of Robert Stone at ringside. But Ember Moon battled back, dropping NXT’s Boujee Superstar with a big-time spinebuster. Stone interjected himself, occupying the referee to allow Jessi Kamea to stop Moon from a possible high-flying attack. Shotzi Blackheart’s presence at ringside proved pivotal, as she snuffed out the shenanigans with a double-clothesline to both on the outside, allowing Moon to connect with the Eclipse for the victory.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler def. Raquel González & Dakota Kai
Renewing a rivalry from NXT’s past, Shayna Baszler and Dakota Kai kicked things off in intense fashion. The Queen of Spades looked to execute the same maneuver she used to break Kai’s arm years ago, but Kai evaded and defiantly slapped Baszler. Raquel González’s entry completely upended the match, eventually setting the stage for a showdown between “Big Mami Cool” and Nia Jax — perhaps the two most powerful women in WWE.
The powerhouses battered each other, inadvertently taking out the referee and eventually tumbling over the announce table, leading to a controversial ending. Meanwhile, Baszler trapped Kai in the Kirifuda Clutch, and though González was the legal competitor, Adam Pearce waved in a Raw official, who called for the bell, ruling the decision a technical submission.
Pearce and NXT General Manager William Regal were later seen in a shouting match backstage, and Regal promised a major announcement related to the matter next week.
Cameron Grimes def. Bronson Reed
Prior to the match, Bronson Reed crossed paths with LA Knight, who played a decisive role in this contest. Having seen enough after failing to chop the big man down, Cameron Grimes attempted to high-tail it out of the Capitol Wrestling Center, only for Reed to flatten him with a jaw-dropping dive through the ropes. Reed seemed poised to deliver the Tsunami splash to Grimes, but an altercation with Knight upended Reed and left him a sitting duck for Grimes’ Cave-In, making the win academic for The Technical Savage.
Legado del Fantasma took out Breezango and Ever-Rise
The scheduled match between Breezango and Ever-Rise never started thanks to a savage attack on both by Legado del Fantasma. After losing in a brutal Street Fight against Karrion Kross last week, Santos Escobar seemed intent on reasserting his dominance by leaving both teams lying.
NXT Champion Finn Bálor def. Roderick Strong in a non-title match
Laser-focused on his mission of taking out Adam Cole, Finn Bálor was at the top of his game and grounded Roderick Strong for much of the matchup. Strong was eventually able to quicken the pace and fight back with signature offense, including hard strikes, a bevvy of backbreakers, an olympic slam and a double-underhook powerbomb, after which he nearly pinned the NXT Champion. The full arsenal of two of NXT’s most technically savvy Superstars was on display as Bálor answered with a Slingblade out of nowhere before Strong blocked a flying dropkick and transitioned into the Strong Hold.
The Prince countered Strong’s attempt at the End of Heartache, firing back with a miraculous double-foot stomp out of mid-air. Bálor’s second attempt at his flying dropkick found the mark, setting Strong up for the Coup de Grace and 1916 DDT to secure the victory.
Adam Cole strolled into the Capitol Wrestling Center afterward to lock eyes with Bálor, setting the stage for a mammoth NXT Championship showdown next week.