WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Highlights and Reaction from July 3
Two of the more understated Superstars in NXT history squared off in the main event of the July 3 episode, as The Undisputed Era's Roderick Strong battled Tyler Breeze in a blockbuster bout.
The Messiah of the Backbreaker and Prince Pretty tore the house down. Before that, the show featured Bianca Belair's and Mia Yim's individual journeys to championship contention, Kushida's latest in-ring exploit and the Breakout Tournament's second match pitting Isaiah Scott against Cameron Grimes.
Find out what went down, which Superstars stood tall and how the outcomes of the in-ring action affect the brand moving forward with this recap of Wednesday's broadcast.
Mia Yim vs. Aliyah
Mia Yim sought to continue her path to the NXT Women's Championship this week, but to do so, she would have to face the challenge of Aliyah, who was accompanied by tag team partner Vanessa Borne.
Borne pulled Aliyah to safety early, leaving Yim to crash and burn following a corner cannonball attempt. From there, Aliyah seized control of the match, grounding her opponent and working her over with a rear chinlock.
Yim fought back, wiped out both Aliyah and Borne with a suicide dive and finished off her opponent back inside the squared circle with a modified version of Eat Defeat.
After the match, the prospective No. 1 contender sent Borne into the steel steps before stopping by the announce position to make crystal clear her intentions to challenge for the women's title.
Yim defeated Aliyah
It is going to take a ruthlessly aggressive challenger to knock off Shayna Baszler, and we saw hints of that from Yim tonight.
She only struggled because of Borne's interference, but besides that, she was a dominant badass who got a measure of revenge on the former Arizona Cardinals cheerleader.
Yim is among the most-gifted in-ring performers on the women's roster. It makes sense that, with Io Shirai's recent heel turn and ensuing rivalry with Candice LeRae, Yim would be next in line to try to conquer The Queen of Spades.
Prior history between the two and unmatched intensity between the ropes makes them appealing opponents.
Kushida vs. Jeff Parker
Kushida squared off with Jeff Parker, one-half of indie tag team 3.0, in the night's second match.
Parker got in exactly one punch. Kushida answered with one of his own and tapped him out to the Hoverboard Lock for the uncontested win.
Kushida defeated Parker
Well, this is a match that happened.
It did nothing to elevate Kushida, hurt Parker before he can ever get started and filled a few minutes on the show that would have better used on a video package or promo.
Isaiah "Swerve" Scott vs. Cameron Grimes
The former Shane Strickland and Trevor Lee squared off in the next match in the NXT Breakout Tournament under their new monikers, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott and Cameron Grimes.
Grimes withstood an early attack and targeted the left arm of his opponent. A big headscissors from Scott turned the tide in his favor. Using the ring as his own personal plaything, he glided, leaped and slid, keeping Grimes guessing as to how he would attack next.
Grimes would slow his opponent's momentum, delivering a roll-through powerbomb for two. Scott answered with a moonsault plancha to the floor. Back inside the squared circle, though, Grimes caught him in midair, answering his cross-body with one of his own.
Grimes finished the stunned Scott with a midair double stomp to advance.
Grimes defeated Scott
For what is essentially an opportunity for NXT officials to introduce new faces to the show in meaningful ways, the tournament has produced two really fun matches out of the gate.
Scott may have lost the match, but he was as impressive as Grimes, if not more, due to his ability to navigate around, over and through the ring. He is like a cat in that he uses every corner of the ring to his advantage and nearly defeated Grimes merely by keeping him off guard.
Grimes sold well, did the little things expertly and scored a win that was convincing despite him not getting in all of his stuff.
Bianca Belair vs. Priscilla Zuniga
Weeks after suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of Mia Yim, Bianca Belair returned to NXT TV, squaring off with Priscilla Zuniga, better known to indie fans as a Diamante of LAX.
Belair was relentless and aggressive from the opening bell, overwhelming Zuniga with strikes and delivering breathtaking shoulders to the midsection in the corner.
She continued her assault. A press slam with a few squats hammered home the one-sidedness of the ordeal. After catching Zuniga in midair, Belair delivered two powerbombs and the Argentine facebuster for the impressive pinfall victory.
Belair defeated Zuniga
One would assume the purpose of this was to reintroduce Belair as a meaner, more aggressive and physically dominant competitor fueled by her recent defeats.
This was as impressive a squash match as we have seen in NXT, and if it is a sign of things to come, Belair is going to be damn fun to watch.
Tyler Breeze vs. Roderick Strong
Roderick Strong relentlessly targeted and assaulted the back of Tyler Breeze early in this week's main event.
Breeze withstood the beating, despite tremendous punishment to his back, and fought back. He caught Strong with a big backstabber for a count of two.
Breeze headed to the top rope but ate an enzuigiri. Strong delivered a big superplex for two. Breeze answered moments later with a superkick for his own near-fall. As Breeze built momentum, Undisputed Era made its presence felt.
Prince Pretty was able to kick Bobby Fish out of the way, but the distraction allowed Strong to recover, deliver End of Heartache and score the hard-fought victory.
Strong defeated Breeze
It should send a message to Vince McMahon and the rest of the management team on the main roster that Breeze is as rejuvenated and reinvigorated as he is in NXT. He is as good now as he has ever been and has put behind him the last year or so of disappointment and professional frustration.
Strong is one of the most gifted wrestlers on the planet, yet he feels like one of the most underrated of his generation. This was a damn fine match that allowed him to pick up a quality victory while further establishing Undisputed Era's stranglehold on the brand.