WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 1
With TakeOver: The End right around the corner, the Superstars who will play a key role in that night's proceedings took center stage on the June 1 episode, the spotlight burning brightest on Asuka and Nia Jax as they signed the contract for their upcoming NXT Women's Championship match.
Tag teams dominated the show, with The Revival kicking off the evening's broadcast, only to be interrupted by Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. The opening promo led to a huge main event bout, but that was far from the only in-ring content on Wednesday.
Austin Aries and Tye Dillinger were both in action to round out the night's festivities.
What went down ahead of June 8's monumental and potentially historic TakeOver broadcast? Who stood out, who emerged victorious and what did it mean for the current state of NXT?
Find out with this look back at Wednesday's show, its biggest winners and analysis.
The Revival Promo
Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson kicked off the show by promising to end American Alpha's NXT Tag Team Championship reign.
Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano interrupted, only to have their status on the NXT roster questioned by the former tag champions, who essentially referred to them as jobbers. Ciampa and Gargano responded by challenging The Revival to a match, but that went unanswered.
Gargano and Ciampa called their courage into question, leading to a double dropkick by the babyfaces and the former champions retreating.
A match between the two was announced for later in the show.
This did more for The Revival than any match could have in that it gave them the opportunity to talk. Unfortunately, they are not nearly as confident as one would hope. Add to that some fairly generic mic work from Gargano and Ciampa, and you have a promo segment that probably should have been significantly better than it was.
The only reason it did not grade out worse than it did was for the aforementioned microphone exposure it granted The Revival and the fact it led to the creation of a potentially great main event tag bout.
Tye Dillinger vs. Buddy Murphy
In Buddy Murphy's first opportunity to prove himself as a singles competitor in quite some time, he entered the NXT Arena without Alexa Bliss and Wesley Blake for a showdown with Tye Dillinger.
The Australian competitor stalled early, and he found himself at the mercy of Dillinger when the action finally picked up.
Breaking free of a strong arm bar by The Perfect 10, he wore his opponent down. Dillinger mounted a comeback with a series of chops, followed by a Thesz Press. A big back body drop followed, and the 10 corner punches continued Murphy's suffering.
A fireman's carry neckbreaker followed and Dillinger scored the victory.
Tye Dillinger defeated Buddy Murphy.
Well, Tye Dillinger victories do, in fact, exist.
This was an interesting match in that one would have assumed Murphy would be the spotlighted Superstar as the story of his split from Blake and Bliss took center stage. Instead, perennial enhancement star Dillinger essentially dominated the action and scored the win.
Dillinger is an incredibly talented wrestler but has always been one push away from being a star. With so many of his contemporaries moving onto the main roster, perhaps the door is open for him to finally enjoy a bit of the spotlight.
Austin Aries vs. Elias Samson
On the heels of the announcement he will battle Shinsuke Nakamura at TakeOver: The End, Austin Aries battled "The Drifter" Elias Samson in singles competition.
Samson controlled the middle portion of the match, working his same, tired and generic offense.
Aries battled back, using a series of chops and clotheslines. A diving back elbow from the second turnbuckle and a suicide dive continued Aries' intense comeback. A corner dropkick preceded the Last Chancery, which secured the submission victory for the former Ring of Honor and TNA world heavyweight champion.
Austin Aries defeated Elias Samson.
Austin Aries' confidence in NXT continues to grow. He looked as good as he has to date Wednesday night, an intense comeback leading to a submission win, proving that he has an arsenal of weapons with which to beat his opponent.
The clean and decisive win is exactly what Aries needed just seven days from his match with Nakamura, which could prove to be the most important of his career.
Samson, once an intriguing character, is essentially dead in the water. He has zero momentum but remains over thanks to the complete disdain the audience has for him.
Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano vs. The Revival
The overconfidence of former NXT tag team champions The Revival proved damning for them as they attempted to put Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa away in the main event of the in-ring portion of Wednesday's show.
Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson showed their strong tag team chemistry, working over Ciampa after seizing control off a momentary distraction. The Sicilian Psychopath found himself in trouble, isolated from his partner and in danger of losing the contest for his team.
A hot tag to Gargano, though, energized the babyfaces. The heels cut off the momentum for a moment, a superplex from Dawson to Gargano seemingly turning the tide back in the favor of the heels. As the Superstar hit the mat, Johnny Wrestling stunned Dawson with a small package and scored the upset victory for him and Ciampa.
After the match, the villains made the victors pay, using The Shatter Machine. American Alpha made the save and stood tall.
Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano defeated The Revival.
It would be fun to see what these two teams are capable of with more time, higher stakes and a more energetic crowd. All four wrestlers are talented performers, and that much was on display Wednesday night.
The upset victory gives Ciampa and Gargano a claim to the tag title opportunity, which likely awaits them post-TakeOver. They have been a staple of NXT of late, and for good reason. Could their time at the top of the brand finally be on the horizon?
As for The Revival, they figure to lose their rematch to American Alpha anyway, so the loss likely means nothing. Dash and Dawson are a great tag team and will rebound nicely later.
Women's Championship Contract Signing
Nia Jax and NXT women's champion Asuka met in the center of the ring to sign the contract for their upcoming match at next Wednesday's TakeOver: The End.
General manager William Regal oversaw the proceedings, applauding everything Asuka has achieved in only nine months with the brand. Jax, less impressed, told the champion she is not afraid of her.
After some words in her native tongue, Asuka warned Jax she should be afraid.
The No. 1 contender countered a kick from the champion and planted her with a powerbomb to close out the show.
Sometimes the most effective segments are short.
Neither Asuka nor Nia Jax is a strong talker at this point in her career. So why throw them out to suffer in front of a live audience? What they were asked to do was simple and did more to sell the danger element of each woman than any long, drawn-out segment would have.
Asuka remains one of the more intriguing characters in NXT. Here's hoping the different layers of the Japanese enigma are explored more thoroughly coming out of TakeOver.