WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 11
Hailing from the WWE Performance Center for the first time, the March 11 edition of WWE NXT featured a series of vital matches to the future of the brand on the Road to WrestleMania and NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay.
Keith Lee put his NXT North American Championship on the line against Cameron Grimes. The Technical Savage had earned true hatred from the NXT Universe, and nothing would get more heat than Grimes taking the title away from The Limitless One.
Undisputed Era felt wrong without their NXT Tag Team Championships, so Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish demanded their rematch against The Broserweights. Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne were happy to oblige.
Mia Yim challenged her recent rival, Dakota Kai, for a spot in the WWE Women's Championship No. 1 contender ladder match at TakeOver.
Johnny Gargano promised a definitive statement for Tommaso Ciampa, while Adam Cole needed to respond to The Velveteen Dream's attack in a steel cage.
It was to be an important night that no one would be able to forget, setting the stage for a huge TakeOver.
North American Championship Keith Lee vs. Cameron Grimes
Cameron Grimes tried to use his speed to get an edge on Keith Lee, but the dominant strength of The Limitless One was too much. Even though The Technical Savage got the NXT North American champion off his feet, he could not get a serious pinfall.
Lee blocked the Cave In and hit the Big Bang Catastrophe on Grimes to win. Damian Priest capped The Limitless One in the back of the knee, and Dominik Dijakovic ran The Archer of Infamy off. Lee then hit the Spirit Bomb on Dijakovic.
Lee def. Grimes by pinfall to retain the NXT North American Championship.
This was a solid match that never quite reached the top level both of these men can reach. Grimes felt like a worthy contender but not a true challenger. He was never going to actually defeat Lee. At least the two did not go overboard with finishers.
Priest and Dijakovic have been set up as the challengers to Lee, and a triple threat for the title between these men would make for an incredible opener to TakeOver: Tampa.
Ladder Match Qualifier: Dakota Kai (w/ Raquel Gonzalez) vs. Mia Yim
Mia Yim tried to take a quick win over Dakota Kai, but Raquel Gonzalez caused timely distractions to keep The Captain of Team Kick in the fight. However, one distraction too many caused the referee to miss a big roll up on the Head Baddie in Charge.
When the referee turned back around, Yim hit a Codebreaker for the victory. Afterward, Gonzalez laid out Yim.
Yim def. Kai by pinfall to qualify for the ladder match at TakeOver.
The HBC is great and one of NXT's best, but it was an odd choice to have her qualify for the six-woman ladder match over Kai. The Captain of Team Kick has been on a big run as a heel, and she was the perfect woman to win the ladder match at TakeOver.
The contest was solid but surprisingly short. These two almost have as much heat as Kai and Nox, and they deserve a chance to play on that at some point.
Kushida vs. Raul Mendoza
Raul Mendoza finally got a dream opportunity to fight Kushida, and he made the most of the moment. He moved quickly and seemed to have The Japanese Superstar on the edge. However, he fell to a cross armbreaker and was forced to tap out.
Kushida def. Mendoza by submission.
It is a shame Kushida and Mendoza did not get a chance to go for longer. They are good together and have perfect styles to contend with each other. Mendoza may not be on The Japanese Superstar's level, but he can push the pace with him.
Kushida needs longer matches to at least look like he belongs again. He barely feels relevant to the black-and-gold brand anymore even as the commentators put him over as a man everyone wants to face.
Charlotte Flair Makes a Statement at Rhea Ripley's Expense
Rhea Ripley promised that she was not intimidated by Charlotte Flair. The Queen came out and attacked her. She trapped The Nightmare around the turnbuckle with a figure four leg lock.
Charlotte and Ripley work well off each other, but it works better when they get physical. Charlotte always talks around the feud too much. When the two get to brawling, it is a strong preview of what is coming at WrestleMania.
The Nightmare has to win on the Grandest Stage of Them All, so any opportunity to build up Ripley as an underdog is smart booking.
Ladder Match Qualifier: Tegan Nox vs. Deonna Purrazzo
Tegan Nox was looking to regain her momentum, and she did so in impressive fashion. After an initial burst from Deonna Purrazzo, it was all Nox, who hit the Shiniest Wizard for the win.
Nox def. Purrazzo by pinfall to qualify for the ladder match at TakeOver.
The Girl with The Shiniest Wizard needed a turnaround win like this, and she got it in a complete squash. It is a shame she and Purrazzo couldn't have done more. However, it made sense to rebuild Nox.
Dakota Kai must still be finding a way into the ladder match if her ultimate rival is already in the contest.
NXT Tag Team Champions Broserweights vs. Undisputed Era
The Velveteen Dream interrupted Undisputed Era before the title match, and he made clear he only had eyes for Adam Cole and the NXT Championship.
The Broserweights struggled against the cohesion and desperation of Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish, who wanted their titles back. They isolated Matt Riddle while throwing Pete Dunne into the crowd.
When The Broserweights got rolling again, The Grizzled Young Veterans interfered. However, they could not stop Dunne and Riddle from hitting the tandem knees and retaining.
Broserweights def. Undisputed Era's Fish and O'Reilly by pinfall to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships.
While not quite up to the level of their TakeOver bout, this was another strong action-packed title clash. Undisputed Era bring the best out of everyone, and The Broserweights found shocking in-ring chemistry from the first time they teamed together.
Riddle and Dunne vs. Grizzled Young Veterans should have another great match at TakeOver: Tampa. The two teams have been built for an energized brawl even outshining the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic final.
Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano Brawl in the Performance Center
Tommaso Ciampa headed to the ring to confront Johnny Gargano. Instead, Johnny Wrestling taunted The Blackheart into fighting him in the backstage area of the Performance Center. Officials tried to stop the fighting, but the brawling just got worse.
They destroyed the mirror in the workout room, then fought into the crowd. The two fought to the perch, and Gargano locked in the Gargano Escape, nearly causing Ciampa to pass out. The Blackheart caught Johnny Wrestling gloating and hit the belly-to-back piledriver off the perch through the announce table.
While the energy of this brawl did not always feel like it was main event-level, it was fun watching Gargano and Ciampa destroy the Performance Center to hurt each other. The two destroyed the place that helped bring them together in the first place.
This segment was filled with memorable spots, and the ending was unforgettable. It sold the level of animosity between these two. There's only one question left to answer. How does any of this reach a satisfying end?