Adrian Neville, NXT champion, faced the most dangerous threat to his health and prosperity Thursday night when he met Rusev in Thursday night's main event.
"The Ravishing Russian" Lana made her NXT return, addressing the fans and introducing Rusev.
Neville dodged a lockup attempt by Rusev but found himself in the grasps of the powerful Bulgarian Brute. Rusev tossed the NXT champion around the squared circle and pounded away with quick strikes. He wore down the champion for a few minutes but found himself stunned by a recovering champion.
Neville grounded Rusev with a dropkick to the legs, then fired off a few kicks about the body. He dodged a charge into the corner and delivered a missile dropkick that grounded the undefeated Superstar.
Tyler Breeze attempted to interfere, but Neville knocked him off the apron.
Neville left Rusev lying following a straight kick to the temple. He tried for Red Arrow, but Breeze shoved him off the apron, drawing the disqualification.
Rusev attacked the champion with a big sidekick, then trapped him in the Accolade. Neville tapped out as the Bulgarian refused to break the hold. Lana entered the squared circle and motioned for him to release Neville from his grasps, but not before damage had already been done.
Rusev stood tall while Breeze watched approvingly from outside the squared circle to close out the broadcast.
Adrian Neville via disqualification
Highlights and Quotes
"Just like all the stars before you, you will burn out. Only you will fall to the greatest hero." -Lana on what she perceives to be Neville's impending defeat at the hands of Rusev
"That's what you get out of Rusev: an absolute dissection." -Alex Riley
"This is the NXT champion, and Rusev has been in complete control since the moment this match began." -Riley
The main event of this week's show may not have been up to the quality of the recent main events involving Sami Zayn and Tyson Kidd, but it did do exactly what it set out to—put the focus on the NXT Championship and the budding rivalry between champion Adrian Neville and No. 1 Contender Tyler Breeze.
It also got Rusev on television, providing NXT with a special guest appearance that may have attracted some more viewers.
Neville looked strong, countering the brute offense of Rusev with a fast-paced, energetic and frenetic offense that looked to catch the main roster star off guard. Strictly from a kayfabe perspective, it appeared as though the champion had every opportunity to bring Rusev's undefeated streak to an end had it not been for the interference from Breeze.
There is no telling when Neville and Breeze will clash for the gold, but if management can craft a strong story for the program, the Superstars will undoubtedly back it up with a tremendous championship bout.