WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Highlights and Reaction from August 28
The August 28 episode of NXT saw the conclusion of two long-running feuds. The Street Profits defended their tag team championships against Undisputed Era's Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish in a blockbuster main event, and Keith Lee squared off with Dominik Dijakovic in a match that was months in the making.
Those two bouts headlined an episode that also featured the emergence of a new challenger to Shayna Baszler's women's title and Io Shirai's return to the squared circle in singles competition.
Find out who emerged victorious, if any titles changed hands and what it means for the Superstars involved with this recap of Wednesday's WWE Network broadcast.
Cami Fields vs. Io Shirai
Making her first appearance since defeating Candice LeRae at TakeOver: Toronto, Io Shirai battled Cami Fields in the night's first match.
Fields' arrogance proved her downfall early as she celebrated after a failed back body drop. Shirai leveled her with a hard right hand to the face and proceeded to tap her out.
After the match, LeRae attacked Shirai with a kendo stick, ensuring their rivalry will continue into the foreseeable future.
Shirai defeated Fields
This brought about the continuation of the Shirai-LeRae program and gave the villain another dominant victory to build credibility. This accomplished everything asked of it and did so to great effect.
Shirai has been so much better and more convincing as a villain that it is interesting management introduced and positioned her as a babyface in the first place.
Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic
The feud between Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic finally came to a head with their long-awaited rematch on this week's show.
Lee unloaded on Dijakovic, stunning him with a double chop to the chest. Its effects were short-lived, as the heel answered with a kick that took Lee off his feet.
The strike-heavy match continued with Lee delivering a discus back elbow that stunned Dijakovic. He followed up with a slingshot cross-body and a nasty lariat clothesline that turned his opponent inside out. He further punished Dijakovic, driving him spine-first onto the ring apron with a uranage.
Dijakovic answered with a superkick that took Lee off the apron and a Fosbury flop (dubbed as such by Nigel McGuinness on commentary) that wiped him out on the floor. Dijakovic downed Lee back in the ring and delivered a big moonsault, but he could only garner a two-count from the official.
Lee caught his opponent on the top rope and elbowed away at his head. In a stunning spot, he delivered a top-rope Spanish Fly that still only managed to keep Dijakovic down for two. Chants of "NXT" rained down from the stands.
The Superstars returned to the ropes, where Dijakovic dropped to the mat and delivered Feast Your Eyes for the win.
Dijakovic defeated Lee
This was a superb battle of the big men in which the action escalated, each spot becoming bigger and more impactful before the finish. Either man could have emerged victoriously, but it was the relentless Dijakovic who capitalized on one mistake to pick up the win.
The video package on last week's show did such a phenomenal job of putting the match over and building excitement for it that it would have been totally understandable if the bout did not live up to the hype.
This did, giving both competitors that signature match to hang their hats on going forward.
Dijakovic appears poised for bigger and better things, while Lee continues to fill the role of talented big man who finds himself just on the outside. Whether this bout changes things for the latter—and it should—remains to be seen.
Rhea Ripley Interrupts Shayna Baszler
NXT women's champion Shayna Baszler, Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke entered the arena next, fresh off a three-on-one beating of Mia Yim on last week's show.
Before Baszler could address the NXT Universe, Rhea Ripley's music played and the first NXT UK women's champion arrived to a thunderous ovation from the Full Sail University audience.
Ripley yanked the microphone from Baszler and laid down an emphatic challenge to The Queen of Spades.
The stunned champion exited with her backup as the NXT fans continued to cheer on the prospective new No. 1 contender.
There is no more emphatic way to introduce a new competitor to the title picture than NXT accomplished here with Ripley.
She stood toe-to-toe with Baszler, showed zero fear and laid down the gauntlet for the champion to accept. It was perfectly executed, and the fans' genuine excitement for the Aussie competitor's return to NXT TV only enhanced the segment.
This was fantastic and made their impending match that much more intriguing.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: The Street Profits vs. Undisputed Era
The Street Profits may have escaped Toronto with the NXT tag team titles around their waists, but to do so a second time, they would have to win a second straight encounter against the decorated duo of Undisputed Era's Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish.
The challengers grounded Montez Ford early and isolated him from his partner.
The resilient, charismatic babyface made the tag to Angelo Dawkins, who exploded into the match, running over Fish and O'Reilly in search of a successful title defense. The challengers halted his momentum, though, and dropped Dawkins with a brainbuster/kick combo.
Ford saved his partner from a heel hook, and the champions continued their fight. Fish and O'Reilly sent Dawkins shoulder-first into the ring post and then finished off Ford to become the first-ever three-time NXT tag team champions.
Undisputed Era defeated The Street Profits to win the NXT tag team titles
This was not as good as their TakeOver match, but Undisputed Era is seemingly incapable of having a bad match and The Street Profits are red-hot right now, so this was still a damn fun contest.
The Street Profits have been regularly appearing on Raw for well over a month now, so it is no real surprise that they dropped the titles here. That it fuels the narrative of an Undisputed Era stranglehold on the NXT gold only helps matters.
The question now is whether NXT actually has a tag team strong and believable enough to eventually dethrone the new champions. As it stands now, the answer is a resounding 'no.'