WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Highlights and Reaction from September 19
It was a night of gold in NXT Wednesday night as North American champion Ricochet battled United Kingdom titleholder Pete Dunne in a star-studded main event that was weeks in the making.
The Bruiserweight and The One and Only have engaged in several testy, intense staredowns in recent weeks while simultaneously battling The Undisputed Era's Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong.
With ego fueling them, and recognition as the greatest champion on the roster at stake, which surging Superstar would emerge victorious?
Or would Cole and Co. have something to say about it?
The Forgotten Sons' Jaxson Ryker made his in-ring debut and women's tag team action rounded out the rest of an explosive edition of NXT television.
Dakota Kai and Deonna Purrazzo vs. Lacey Evans and Aliyah
The team of fan favorites Deonna Purrazzo and Dakota Kai teamed up Wednesday night to battle the untested tandem of Lacey Evans and Aliyah in the opening bout of this week's WWE Network presentation.
Purrazzo and Kai frustrated the heels early, but Evans and Aliyah seized control, isolating the former from her partner.
Evans and Aliyah worked over the left arm of her opponent. They frustrated Kai, taunting her and drawing her into the ring, which allowed the heels to pull Purrazzo back to their half of the squared circle.
The NXT newcomer finally made the hot tag, and Kai exploded into the ring, taking the fight to Aliyah with her quick-strike offense. Evans made a blind tag and broke up a rollup attempt with her Women's Right finisher for the win.
Evans and Aliyah defeated Purrazzo and Kai
This was a solid tag team match with a great finish. The question is whether it leads to anything between the two teams or if it was a one-off for the sake of having a match.
Purrazzo did not get the chance to do much here, unfortunately, but the heels jelled well as a team and Kai was on fire late before falling prey to that wicked right from Evans.
A fun bout that may, or may not, mean anything in the long run.
Jaxson Ryker vs. Humberto Carrillo
The Forgotten Sons' Jaxson Ryker debuted Wednesday, squaring off with Humberto Carrillo.
The vicious, unforgiving newcomer pummeled Carrillo right off the bat, laying into him with a flurry of boots in the corner.
A nasty knee to the face stunned him, but Carrillo recovered and delivered a quick strike to the face. He tried for a springboard, but Ryker caught him with a double ax handle to the face.
A slingshot powerbomb finished Carrillo as Ryker scored his first NXT TV win.
Ryker defeated Carrillo
This did what it intended to, presenting Ryker as a ruthless and intense newcomer whose no-nonsense in-ring style spells trouble for anyone he shares the ring with.
Carrillo stood no chance as Ryker rolled to victory.
A suitable and convincing introduction to the artist formerly known as Gunner in Impact Wrestling.
North American Champion Ricochet vs. United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne
The main event of Wednesday's show was an epic encounter between North American champion Ricochet and United Kingdom champion Pete Dunne in which both titles were on the line.
Neither man was able to gain a sustained advantage, with their opponent either countering or reversing out of a hold or combination.
At one point, The Bruiserweight tried for his Bitter End finisher, but Ricochet delivered a hurricanrana out of it, staving off defeat for the time being.
Up top, he delivered another rana, this time sending Dunne crashing to the mat below. The arena came alive, applauding the action they had seen to that point.
Ricochet, rolling, scaled the ropes once more and came off with a 450 splash but was caught in a triangle. He powered out, but Dunne grabbed hold of his hand and manipulated his fingers, nearly drawing a tapout.
Ricochet escaped and delivered a brainbuster that left both men down.
Chants of NXT filled the arena before The Undisputed Era hit the ring and drew a no-contest finish.
The War Raiders appeared and chased Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong to the back.
Ricochet and Dunne stared each other down to close out the show.
Dunne and Ricochet fought to a no-contest
Much was made of Wednesday's main event and the hype that comes with a title-for-title match, but what we got was even better.
The match was constructed in a way that neither Superstar ever gained control, giving the impression that neither was better than the other. And rightfully so. The finish was indicative of that idea, too, creating the possibility that we see these two Superstars wage war over championship gold again someday.
Undisputed Era interfering made sense within the context of the ongoing feud, and the appearance of The War Raiders, who are eyeing O'Reilly and Strong's tag titles, did as well.
This was a fantastic way to cap off the show while propelling forward the rivalries that have dominated the NXT brand for the last handful of months.