A battle royal on tonight's NXT will determine the next challenger for Mandy Rose's Women's Championship.
Twenty women will compete in tonight's number one contender's battle royal. The participants are: Yulisa Leon, Sloane Jacobs, Lash Legend, Tatum Paxley, Tiffany Stratton, Elektra Lopez, Arianna Grace, Valentina Feroz, Kiana James, Sarray, Wendy Choo, Amari Miller, Fallon Henley, Indi Hartwell, Cora Jade, Alba Fyre, Nikkita Lyons, Katana Chance, Kayden Carter, and Ivy Nile.
Rose retained her NXT Women's Championship in last week's main event after Jade turned against Roxanne Perez,
Jade & Perez are still the NXT Women's Tag Team Champions. We'll see if WWE addresses that situation tonight.
Plus, Cameron Grimes takes on JD McDonagh; Pretty Deadly challenge Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen for the NXT UK Tag Team titles; Roderick Strong will go one-on-one with Damon Kemp; Axiom will debut.
We'll see footage of a confrontation between Solo Sikoa and Von Wagner at SmackDown, and Joe Gacy has promised that The Dyad will reveal their true identities.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
The show opens with what happened previously on NXT, when Cora Jade turned heel on Roxanne Perez. The melodramatic storyline recap of the cliffhanger angle is set to music, but it leaves out what may be the most talked about aspect of the turn -- the now infamously gimmicked skateboard.
Kicking off NXT live inside the Performance Center soundstage is a match that has the makings to be really good.
JD McDonagh defeats Cameron Grimes
McDonagh pins Grimes after a strong match. McDonagh injures Grimes knee in the story of the match, which ultimately allows McDonagh to beat him.
During the match, Joe Gacy is spotted watching the match from a perch above the ring. This distracts Grimes for a moment, allowing for McDonagh to capitalize as the show cuts to a commercial break.
Seemingly to get over the newly repackaged McDonagh, he had a lot of flashy offense he got to show off. McDonagh goes on to work a leg. He targets it relentlessly in the second half of the match.
Grimes fights back with an enzuigiri, and he fires up into a flurry of strikes. McDonagh counters, only to eat a knee strike. Double down, and McDonagh rolls out of the ring. Grimes goes for a soccer kick on the apron, but McDonagh escapes the running strike.
McDonagh then shoves Grimes off the apron, and Grimes gets his foot trapped in the ropes. The bottom and middle rope wraps around Grimes' already weakened leg, hanging him upside down in a tree of woe. McDonagh bounces on him like a lion on a wounded gazelle. McDonagh kicks at the knee with it dropped in the ropes.
Back in the ring, McDonagh delivers a finisher when he suplexes Grimes. McDonagh then covers Grimes for a three count.
Nikkita Lyons cuts a promo vowing to win the battle royal. As does Tiffany Stratton in a separate promo after a commercial break.
Cora Jade speaks on her heel turn
Jade enters the soundstage her half of the tag team titles, with the belt resting on her like a proverbial chip on her shoulder. Cora begins her monologue by saying she should had turned on Perez sooner.
For the past year Jade has been "the face of the NXT women's division." She was on the posters, and the fans proclaimed her the next breakout star. Jade says she wants to take her best friend along for the ride, so she got Perez a job.
The fans then pick Perez as the next breakout star over Jade. Then Jade and Perez win the NXT Women's Tag Team Championship. Thirty minutes later Perez challenges for the NXT Women's Championship.
Jade calls Perez a "selfish bitch." Jade then admits to attacking Perez in the parking lot. Jade then brags about attacking Perez again at the end of last week's show.
Jade says the title she holds is a lie. Harkening back to Madusa on Nitro, Jade dumps the title belt a nearby trash can. With that, Jade leaves.
McKenzie Mitchell interviews Xyon Quinn. He cuts a promo on Apollo Crews, saying Crews could not cut it in the big leagues. Quinn and Crews meet next week in a grudge match on NXT.
Indi Hartwell in a promo talks about the battle royal later tonight, vowing to win of course.
Roderick Strong defeats Damon Kemp
Strong pins Kemp after a distraction by Tony D'Angelo and his crew. The "family" jumps the Creed Brothers in a backstage angle during the match.
The story of the match itself is Strong looking to teach Kemp a lesson. Strong grounds Kemp on the mat with grappling holds. Kemp eventually fires up for a rally.
Kemp gets a near fall, and Strong counters him moments later. Double down in the ring, and Tony D'Angelo suddenly appears on the video screen.
D'Angelo and his crew are in the act of jumping the Creed Brothers. The heel faction leaves the tag team champions in a heap.
Instead of Strong being distracted by the beatdown, the angle distracts Kemp. Strong hits a distracted Kemp with a jumping knee strike, and Strong pins Kemp. Strong then hustles to the back.
After a commercial break, Strong finds the Creed Brothers backstage. Strong scolds them for losing a fight as if this is a Bill Watts territory. Kemp comes in asking how they are, and Strong scolds Kemp by asking what took him so long to get there. Strong rants and curses. He seems big mad.
NXT UK Tag Team Champions Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen (with Fallon Henley) defeat Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince and Kit Wilson) to retain the titles
Briggs pins Wilson after a high/low finisher. Pretty Deadly try to cheat, but it backfires on them.
Pretty Deadly wore cowboy hats to mock Briggs & Jensen, which is odd since Briggs & Jensen usually do not wear cowboy hats. They are country boys, not cowboys. Regardless, Pretty Deadly also has cowprint attire and pants with fringe, as if this is a Roy Rogers movie.
Prince collides Fallon Henley at ringside when Briggs throws Prince over the top rope. The show cuts to a commercial break with Henley selling her arm. Jensen is in a rag.
When the show returns from the break, Pretty Deadly is working over Jensen. The heel duo keep Jensen on their half of the ring, building anticipation for the eventual hot tag.
The live studio audience comes alive when Briggs finally tags in, and Briggs clean house. On commentary it is called a "country whoopin'" as if Briggs is Hillbilly Jim in '85.
Prince gives Wilson a tag title belt, and Prince then slides the other tag strap in the ring to Briggs. Prince gets the attention of the referee so he can taddle on Briggs. Jensen comes around the ring to boot Prince in the face.
Wilson goes to use the title belt as a weapon on Briggs, but Henley jumps on the apron to stop him. She grabs the belt from Wilson, and Briggs schoolboys him.
High/low finisher where Briggs delivers a lariat while Jensen sweeps the legs, and Briggs covers Wilson for a pinfall.
The Dyad reveal themselves
Joe Gacy reveals The Dyad as the team formerly known as Grizzled Young Veterans. Zack Gibson is now "Rip Fowler," and James Drake is "Jagger Reid" going forward. They also have a new look, but yikes, those names. Bless their hearts.
Wes Lee in a backstage interview addresses his match next week against Grayson Waller. Lee also mentions his current feud with Trick Williams.
NXT Champion Bron Breakker has words with JD McDonagh
The champ comes to the ring for a monologue. Breakker warns JD McDonagh that he pay for the sneak attack. McDonagh interrupts him when McDonagh appears on a video screen.
McDonagh shows on a mannequin how he plans to further injury Breakker's shoulder, which was injured in previous attack by McDonagh in a cliffhanger angle at The Great American Bash.
After McDonagh basically threatens to rip off Breakker's shoulder, Breakker dares him too. Breakker says he will take it back from him and "beat your ass over the head with it."
Von Wagner attacked Solo Sikoa in an angle shot at SmackDown taping on Friday. Wagner jumps Sikoa, and Wagner curses at him. Fare amount of cursing on this show so far. Nothing too over-the-top, but definitely more edgy than PG.
In a backstage interview, Diamond Mine as a group challenges Tony D'Angelo's crew to a fight next week.
Axiom defeats Dante Chen
Axiom pins Chen. This is a showcase match for Axiom's debut in the ring as a new character.
Axiom is a like a create-a-wrestler from a video game in terms of being a stereotypical masked high flyer. He even sets up the finish in this match with a high cross off the top rope. After the high cross, Axiom delivers a superkick, and he pins Chen.
Lash Legend in a pre-taped promo vows to win the battle royal.
The Chase U students return from their trip. Giovanni Vinci turns his nose up at them, but the joke is on him. The Chase U bus has Vinci's car blocked in.
NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams is at the barber shop. Great segment with Hayes and Williams talking about their foes. This sets them apart from the other promos on this show.
The Toxic Attraction trio is backstage for a interview with McKenzie Mitchell. Asked about her pick for the battle royal, NXT Women's Champion picks Tatum Paxley. Jacy Jayne mocks Mitchell. Gigi Dolan chimes in to say the winner of the battle royal is only the next loser.
Ivy Nile steps in to interrupt them. Nile warns Rose she will "render you unconscious" and win the title. Kaina James interrupts with statistics. Alba Fyre is next to interrupt, but Fyre quickly leaves because her entrance is up next. She enters the soundstage as the show cuts to a commercial break.
Cameron Grimes is trying to leave the building when a camera crew tries to ask him some questions TMZ-style. Grimes explodes into a rage. He screams at them, and he storms away. Joe Gacy confronts Grimes, but Grimes wants nothing to do with him. Gacy smirks anyway like a creep.
McKenzie Mitchell is backstage interviewing Tony D'Angelo as Elektra Lopez is headed to the ring for the battle royal. D'Angelo says Lopez is ready for tonight. D'Angelo accepts the Diamond Mine's challenge, so a multi-man tag match is set for next week on NXT.
After an entrance by Cora Jade, there is a surprise. Zoey Stark returns to the ring in NXT as the last participants introduced for the battle royal.
Zoey Starks wins a number one contender's twenty women battle royal
Triumphant return for Stark as she wins the battle royal to become the next challenger for the NXT Women's Championship.
Ivy Nile chases Cora Jade as the battle royal kicks off, and Jade runs backstage to get away. The announcers on commentary note Jade is not actually eliminated from the match despite fleeing. Remember that, because it plays into the finish.
Among the eliminations is Fyre and Lash Legend eliminating each other as they continue their feud. They brawl up the ramp as they exit ringside.
In an ode to Kofi Kingston, Wendy Choo does a version of his Royal Rumble gimmick. Choos is thrown over the ropes, but she lands on her pillow, and her feet never touch the floor. She survives to fight on, but she is eliminated later on.
The battle royal goes through a commercial break. Toxic Attraction is seen watching the match from a couch sitting on a stage overlooking the ring.
Tatum Paxley eliminates herself by doing a plancha over the ropes. She leaps on Katana Chance and Kayden Carter. They were already eliminated, and were fighting with Ivy Nile, who was also thrown out. Paxley was supposedly saving Nile, but even Nile sold it like it was a dumb move. It was indeed.
Final four (aside from one accounted for) comes down to Zoey Stark, Nikkita Lyons, Tiffany Stratton and Kiana James. Lyons tosses James out of the ring, but Lyons is then eliminated when Stratton sneaks up behind to throw Lyons out.
Last two remaining (aside from one unaccounted for) are Stratton and Starks. They fight onto the apron, and both tease an elimination. They get back into the ring, where Stark counters Stratton's handspring back elbow, and Stark suplexes Stratton. Starks then (sort of) suplexes Stratton out onto the apron, and Starks knocks Stratton off the apron to eliminate her.
Starks seemingly wins the battle royal ... but not yet? There is still one remaining entrant, and she rushes into the ring. It's Cora Jade. She slides into the ring, and Jade charges towards Stark. With a simple backdrop, Stark quickly eliminates Jade.
Stark is the winner, and she is now the number one contender to the NXT Women's Championship. Starks has a staredown with Toxic Attraction as the show closes.