The NXT North American Championship headlined the brand’s first major USA Network broadcast Wednesday as Velveteen Dream defended against Roderick Strong in the night’s main event.
That match, which saw Strong vie to add the final championship to Undisputed Era’s collection, headlined a two-part broadcast that started on cable television and wrapped up on WWE Network.
Was Strong victorious in his quest to pad his stable’s championship resume, or did Dream spoil the group’s goal of holding all the gold?
Find out the answer to that question and more with this recap of the much-hyped start of the wrestling war of 2019.

A Fatal 4-Way match to determine the No. 1 contender to the NXT Women’s Championship kicked off the show as Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, Candice LeRae and Mia Yim battled for the right to challenge Shayna Baszler.
The combatants wasted little time taking the fight to each other, Shirai and Yim pairing off while Belair overpowered LeRae. The EST of NXT delivered a standing moonsault to Candice Wrestling and then reversed out of a guillotine by Yim with a Northern Lights Suplex.
Shirai delivered a 619 and executed a picture-perfect springboard dropkick to Belair for a near-fall as the lightning-quick pace continued. LeRae fired up, dropping Yim and Shirai before eating an overhead suplex by Belair on the arena floor.
Yim followed with a tope suicida and Shirai delivered a phenomenal moonsault to the floor as the show headed to break.
Back from the break, the four-woman war continued. Belair dropped LeRae with the K.O.D., Yim blasted the EST with Protect Ya Neck and Shirai sent her to the floor with a dropkick. The Genius of the Sky delivered a running double knee to the chest of LeRae and scaled the ropes. Yim knocked her off and onto Belair but was herself halted by LeRae.
Yim escaped and put LeRae in the electric chair. Candice Wrestling delivered a reverse rana and finished off Yim with a springboard moonsault for the monumental victory.
Baszler made her presence felt after the match, a not-so-subtle reminder to LeRae and the rest of the division that she remains the most dominant champion in NXT.
LeRae defeated Yim, Shirai and Belair to become the No. 1 contender
This was nonstop action that served as a spectacular showcase for the women’s division of NXT.
Belair got to display her raw athleticism and Yim was her solid self, but this was really all about LeRae and Shirai. After months of feuding, LeRae not only overcame her rival but also picked up the biggest win of her career. The best part? The conclusion was not so definitive as to suggest LeRae got the best of Shirai, keeping that program open-ended for a potential rekindling after the babyface gets her championship opportunity.
As the first taste of what fans can expect from the Black and Gold, this was perfect.

Former Cruiserweight Classic competitor Sean Maluta’s return to NXT was a short-lived one as he squared off with Breakout Tournament finalist Cameron Grimes.
Grimes caught a charging Maluta with a leaping double stomp and scored the pinfall victory three seconds later to win one of the quickest matches in NXT history.
Grimes defeated Maluta
It is impossible to grade a match that lasted as long as it took the official to count to three.
With that said, if the intention was to put Grimes over strong in his first opportunity to leave an impression on the masses, this worked to perfection.
Grimes is a talented competitor, formerly of Impact Wrestling, who never really got the opportunity to showcase his full abilities with that promotion. Thus far in NXT, he has had great success and would have had a championship opportunity at his disposal had he not lost to Jordan Myles in the finals of the aforementioned tournament.
If this was any indication, Grimes may have greater long-term success with the brand than Myles.

Roderick Strong sought to dethrone the charismatic North American champion Velveteen Dream and add the last piece of NXT gold to The Undisputed Era’s collection in the main event of the USA Network portion of this week’s show.
The back-and-forth action of the opening minutes continued into and out of the commercial break. An ax handle from the top rope to the back of Strong on the floor had the champion building momentum until the challenger sent Dream hip-first into the barricade.
A smart, calculated worker, Strong worked over the back and midsection of Dream, forcing him to expend energy in an attempt to fight his way back into the match. A brutal backbreaker cut off an attempt at a comeback. A uranage into a backbreaker continued the challenger’s roll.
Dream tried to counter into a Sharpshooter at one point, but Strong fought out and sent his opponent to the floor. Dream cut him off, though, sending The Messiah of the Backbreaker into the steel steps as the show entered another break.
Back from the commercial, Strong set up Dream for a superplex, but the eccentric competitor fought out and delivered another double ax handle. A big superkick only earned him a two-count, though, as Strong shot his shoulder off the mat at the last second.
A schoolboy roll-up earned another two, and a Dream-DT resulted in a third near-fall.
Dream teased the Purple Rainmaker, but Strong rolled out of the ring. The champion chased but ate a big knee to the face, stunning him and leaving him draped across the middle rope. Strong trapped his opponent in the ropes and unloaded, relentlessly punishing him.
He delivered a butterfly powerbomb and segued into the Stronghold, looking for a submission victory.
Dream, though, fought through the tremendous pain and made it to the ropes to force the break.
Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish made their presence felt, surrounding the ring just in time for Dream to accidentally wipe out the official. The champion recovered, delivered the Dream Valley Driver and tried to fight off Undisputed Era.
Strong delivered End of Heartache in what looked like the finish, but Dream kicked out at two, bringing the fans to their feet. Another Dream Valley Driver led to Cole seizing an opening, blasting Dream and setting up Strong’s championship victory.
Undisputed Era celebrated the victory, holding all the gold in NXT to close out the broadcast.
Strong defeated Dream to win the North American Championship
This was a TakeOver-worthy match that introduced those unfamiliar with the NXT product to the type of in-ring action they can expect while confirming why those ardent fans are so passionate about it.
Dream looked like a worldbeater, a babyface who fought through adversity before the numbers game proved too much for him to overcome. He loses nothing in defeat, Undisputed Era looks even more dastardly and dominant, and the brand has a heel act it can continue to build around.
For Strong personally, this is the culmination of an underrated run that has produced some of NXT’s finest matches. He is as consistently great a Superstar as there is across any brand, so it is refreshing to see his hard work pay off in such a prime spot.
The last time fans saw Arturo Ruas, he was scoring a big victory on the Evolve special that aired on WWE Network. Pete Dunne, on the other hand, last competed in NXT just a week ago, when he defeated Angel Garza.
Ruas started hot, taking the fight right to the former United Kingdom champion. Showing no fear, he tussled with The Bruiserweight as the battle spilled to the floor. Dunne, though, capitalized on his opponent’s lack of footwear and stomped on his feet. A big lariat clothesline followed.
Ruas halted the fight, grounded Dunne and pounded away at him, but the Brit smartly stomped the feet again. Ruas recovered and answered with a German suplex, but it was not enough to slow the ferocity of Dunne, who used his trademark joint manipulation to force a submission.
Dunne defeated Ruas
Dunne has been a staple of NXT television for two years now, but this was equally about Ruas as it was the celebrated badass from across the pond.
The creative team allowed Ruas to build credibility for himself by working alongside someone as respected and acclaimed as Dunne. He hung with the Brit and absorbed his hard-hitting offense. It was only when Dunne started bending fingers unnaturally that Ruas tapped out, opting to fight another day.
Ruas was impressive in his Evolve match with Anthony Henry and made the most out of his opportunity Wednesday night. He is a Superstar who bears watching in this new era of NXT.

Xia Li and Aliyah squared off next in a battle of inconsistently utilized performers.
Li started the match hot, but a big dropkick from her opponent turned the tide in the favor of the heel. Aliyah maintained control of the bout while tag team partner Vanessa Borne encouraged her from ringside.
Li fired off a series of kicks, though, that sparked her comeback.
A lightning-quick tornado kick earned Li the victory.
Li defeated Aliyah
This was not exactly a great match for Li, but her potential is obvious. She has a great striking offense but needs to shore up some of her timing to really excel between the ropes.
Aliyah is one of the more underutilized performers, and her team with Borne is strong enough to be a force in the women’s division, but she has never really enjoyed much of a push or consistent television time to realize her potential.
As an introduction to the talent involved, this was OK enough. As anything more, it was a questionable addition to the broadcast.

Kushida was slated to make his return to the squared circle against Denzel DeJournette in singles competition. Before The Timesplitter could make his presence felt, NXT UK’s Imperium (Alexander Wolfe, Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner) surrounded the ring and beat down DeJournette.
WWE United Kingdom champion Walter arrived to a thunderous ovation.
He said Imperium would restore honor to wrestling and anyone who disrespects the mat will answer to the group.
Kushida interrupted and said it is his time. A brawl with Wolfe, Barthel and Aichner broke out before Walter manhandled the New Japan Pro-Wrestling export. No longer willing to play the numbers game, Kushida backed away from the squared circle as fans chanted him name.
Walter and Imperium are a hell of an addition to an already-stacked NXT roster and one that should make for some compelling television in the weeks and months to come. A rivalry with Kushida is somewhat of a dream program given the reputations The Ring General and Timesplitter, and the wealth of matches that can come of it are equally as intriguing.
Kushida is a superb, charismatic worker whose matches with Aichner, Wolfe and Barthel could elevate them in terms of credibility while setting the stage for a high-profile showdown with Walter, the UK title at stake.
If his performances in the UK are any indication to this point, it is only a matter of time before Walter is dominating NXT as one of the faces of its bright future.

After months spent in uncertainty, Lio Rush returned to WWE television, squaring off with Oney Lorcan for a shot at the cruiserweight title.
Rush started hot, feeding off the positive reaction that greeted him upon his return. He executed three dives that stunned Lorcan early and followed with a roundhouse kick.
Lorcan worked a half Boston crab that targeted the knee of his opponent. When Rush did fight his way back into the match, he soared through the air and came down on it, further tweaking it. Lorcan reapplied the hold, but the resilient Rush fought through the agony to remain in the match.
Lorcan applied an STF, further torturing Rush. The oppressive Lorcan’s control of the match slipped as he began showing frustration. He charged at Rush, looking for a blockbuster, but the suddenly beloved underdog babyface caught him with a Spanish Fly and finished with a frog splash for the surprise upset victory.
Rush defeated Lorcan
From an in-ring work standpoint, this was excellent. Lorcan is a master striker, and Rush played his part as the resilient babyface to perfection. Technically, there was nothing wrong with it.
What was, though, was the total lack of continuity.
Yes, it has been months since we’ve seen Rush on TV as the mouthpiece for Bobby Lashley, but when he was, he was a fairly significant heel on WWE’s flagship show. Yet here, he returns with no warning or preceding hype and is inexplicably babyface.
Throw in the fact that Lorcan has been a mainstay on 205 Live, as have many other Superstars who were absent from this high-stakes match, and you have what feels like an unapologetic attempt to push Rush to the forefront of the cruiserweight division that spits in the face of everything that brand had been establishing the last six or so months.
Hopefully this leads to big things for Rush because he is too talented to be wasted. It is just disappointing that it came from out of nowhere like it did.

The main event of this week’s match saw the continuation of the rivalry between Matt Riddle and Killian Dain as they battled in a Street Fight.
The Superstars wasted little time, not allowing either to get set or ready for the war that was to come. Dain rocked Riddle with a dropkick. Riddle answered with a German suplex. Their brawl headed backstage, where they bumped into Imperium at a nearby table.
Walter applied a choke to Riddle, but The Street Profits and Forgotten Sons interjected. The roster emptied into the arena as a huge brawl ensued. NXT security hit the squared circle, trying desperately to break up the fights that had broken out across Full Sail University.
Riddle dropped one guard with a suplex, and Dain drew chants of disbelief as he executed a dive that wiped out half of the roster. Chants of NXT filled the arena as the show faded to black.
Riddle and Dain fought to a no-contest
This felt lazy.
Not in terms of the effort displayed by the talent but, rather, from a creative standpoint.
Rather than using this huge opportunity to put over the NXT product and one of its bigger stars in Riddle, this was used to spark a huge schmozz of a brawl that led to an indecisive finish and protected both Superstars from enduring a loss.
Yes, management will rely on both Riddle and Dain to be significant parts of the NXT product heading into the USA era, but providing a non-finish to a hugely hyped show is not exactly the best taste to leave in the mouths of an audience that may be discovering NXT for the first time.
This needed to be more, needed to mean more, and the fact that it did not is disappointing for longtime and new fans alike.
The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.
The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.


By Admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat
Get Instant News, Gist, and Gossip
Welcome to Haelden Entertainment.
Your Number one Online News & Entertainment Platform