Preview by Joseph Currier
Two title matches and the brands fallout from TakeOver: WarGames and Survivor Series are set for tonight's NXT.
NXT Tag Team Champions Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish will defend their titles against Keith Lee & Dominik Dijakovic. The match comes after Team Ciampa (Tommaso Ciampa, Lee, Dijakovic & Kevin Owens) defeated The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, O'Reilly & Fish) in Saturday's WarGames main event.
Lio Rush retained his Cruiserweight Championship in a triple threat match against SmackDown's Kalisto and Raw's Akira Tozawa on the Survivor Series pre-show. Tozawa wasn't pinned in that match, and he'll challenge for Rush's title tonight.
Rush's win was one of NXT's four brand vs. brand vs. brand victories at Survivor Series. NXT won the night, with Shayna Baszler also defeating Bayley and Becky Lynch, Strong defeating Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles, and Team NXT winning the women's elimination tag match.
Rhea Ripley got the win for her team both at WarGames and Survivor Series. Dakota Kai turned heel and attacked Tegan Nox during the WarGames match, and WWE is teasing whether or not Kai will explain her actions tonight.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
On the eve of American Thanksgiving let us be thankful for another night of live pro wrestling.
The show opened with hip hop artist Josiah Williams leading a slew of the NXT roster to the ring with a live rap song. The crowd got involved with call and response as video highlights from TakeOver: War Games were mixed in with the live performance at Full Sail.
Undisputed Era interrupted the concert to scold and malign everyone celebrating. They were not responsible for success, the credit instead goes to Undisputed Era according to NXT Champion Adam Cole. Those celebrating were claiming "we are NXT", when Cole claimed Undisputed Era is the reason for NXT's success.
Tommaso Ciampa stopped Cole's speech. Ciampa was flanked by Keith Lee, Matt Riddle and Dominik Dijakovic. Ciampa cut a promo where he announced that Lee & Dijakovic would be challenging Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish for the NXT Tag Team Championship.
Ciampa then addressed to the NXT Championship as he called it by his pet name.
"Goldie, I told you that you had to wait because daddy was going to war," Ciampa said. "Well, war's over, and daddy won."
Ciampa went on to say no one in Undisputed Era is standing in his way. Ciampa continued issuing a warning to Cole before Finn Balor entered the scene. Balor walked past Undisputed Era and said to Ciampa, "It looks like I'm standing in your way."
Ciampa then challenged Balor to a match tonight, and Balor accepted the challenge. The match is apparently on for later tonight.
Keith Lee then gave Ciampa a vote of confidence before ordering Fish & O'Reilly into the ring for their match because it was "basking season" on NXT.
Cut to a shot of the announcers where Beth Phoenix welcomed viewers to the show. She announced that Mauro Ranallo was not there, but they were looking forward to seeing him next week . He was replaced on commentary by Tom Phillips to join Phoenix alongside Nigel McGuninness.
Undisputed Era (Roderick Strong & Kyle O'Reilly) defeated Keith Lee & Dominik Dijakovic to retain their titles
Strong as a replacement pinned Dijakovic to retain the titles. Bobby Fish started the match, but he was soon replaced by Strong.
Lee press slammed Fish over the ropes outside of the ring on to O'Reilly before a commercial break. Roderick Strong during the break replaced Fish. Strong was wearing street clothes such as jeans and shoes.
Fish was taken out of the match for "medical reasons", and Strong was allowed to replace him because of the Freebird rule. That was the explanation for Fish leaving the match. Nigel on coommentary speculated on a possible knee injury.
The match continued while they figured everything out. Before long Dijakovic was suplexing Lee on top of Strong & O'Reilly. Strong a moment later targeted Dijakovic's knee.
Strong was working the knee was the show went to another commercial break. This time no split screen. The show returned from break with Undisputed Era still working the leg.
Lee eventually cleaned house after a hot tag. He smashed O'Reilly & Strong with splashes and strikes. They tried to double-team him, but Lee tossed them over his shoulder. Lee teased a dive, and Strong clipped his leg. O'Reilly then delivered a flying knee off the apron.
Lee was weakened, but he soon tagged out. Dijakovic ran wild. He went for a chokeslam, but O'Reilly caught him in a triangle. Dijakovic powered out with a deadlift powerbomb while also grabbing Strong for a chokeslam at the same time. This popped the crowd and led to a close near fall.
Dijakovic went for his finisher, but O'Reilly escaped. Lee was again chop blocked at ringside, and Dijakovic made a save with a flip dive to the outside. Dijakovic with a double chokeslam in the ring as Cole tried to run-in. Lee met him with a pounce that sent Cole flying into planted fans sitting at ringside.
Dijakovic was distracted by the run-in, and he fell victim to the high low. Strong covered him to score the pinfall.
Cathy Kelley interviewed Candice LeRae about the actions of Dakota Kai. LeRae was upset that Kai turned on Tegan Nox -- who is like a sister to LeRae. So LeRae issued a warning to Kai ahead of their match later on.
Mansoor defeated Shane Thorne
Mansoor pinned Thorne after a slingshot neckbreaker in the finish of a short match.
Mansoor with the shine early on, but Thorne caught him on an attempted tope. Thorne then suplexed Mansoor on the floor.
Thorne worked over Mansoor, and he also dashed some a hope spot. Mansoor still made a comeback as he this time connected with the tope. Mansoor followed with a slingshot neckbreaker to score the pinfall.
Candice LeRae defeated Dakota Kai via disqualification
Kai hit LeRae with a knee brace for the DQ. Kai before the match had carried Nox's knee brace with her to ring like a trophy.
LeRae started strong in the match and she flew through the ropes with a tope. LeRae with a step-up senton for a two count.
Kai cut off LeRae and posted her. Kai was waylaying LeRae with kicks to the face as the show cut to commercial. Kai missed a charge after the break, and LeRae started a comeback.
As LeRae was firing up, Kai cuaght her with a sit-out powerbomb for two. LeRae went to suplex Kai on the apron, and they both crashed to the floor for a bad landing. There was another awkard spot when LeRae leapt off the top for a tornado DDT.
A double down led into them teasing a sunset bomb. Kai went to use Nox's knee brace, but for some reason she was unable to do so. LeRae just powerbombed her instead for a near fall.
LeRae missed a springboard quebrada, and Kai hit her finisher. LeRae still kicked out at two and a half. LeRae moments later executed La Mistica and turned that into the Gargano Escape.
Kai rolled out of the ring where she retrieved the knee brace she brought to the ring. LeRae was going for a tope when Kai hit her with the brace for the DQ.
Kai continued to attack LeRae after the match. She sent her smashing into the ring steps and the barricade. Kai grabbed a chair and looked to use it when Rhea Ripley ran down to make a save.
Tommaso Ciampa -- during a backstage interview with Cathy Kelley -- cut a promo on Finn Balor.
A great vignette hyped Cameron Grimes.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush defeated Akira Tozawa to retain his title
Rush pinned Tozawa after two frog splashes in a hard-hitting match.
There was some fast paced exchanges to a stalemate at the start. They continued to grapple until Tozawa struck with a senton on the apron before a commercial break.
Rush somehow recovered, and he was back in control after the break. Not for long as Tozawa answered back with a somersault senton off the apron. Tozawa followed with a missile dropkick for a near fall.
There was some cool video game reversals, which led to a double down where they both kicked each other. The fight spilled onto the apron.
Tozawa gave Rush a German suplex to the floor. They teased a double count-out, but both leapt back in the ring to break the count.
There may have been a mishap when Tozawa ate a kick. His mouth guard fell out of his mouth, his knees buckled and he briefly went down to the mat. Rush went for a his springboard cutter, but no one was home. The referee checked on Tozawa, but let the match go.
Tozawa fired up for get a two count with bridging German suplex. Rush got his knees up on an attempted senton by Tozawa.
Rush executed two frog splashes before covering Tozawa for the pinfall.
Finn Balor cut a promo on Ciampa during a backstage interview with Cathy Kelley.
Xia Lee defeated Vanessa Borne
Lee pinned Borne in short match that was the backdrop for a larger story. The backstory heading into the match was Borne wanted revenege for a kayfabe injury suffered by her tag partner Aliyah at the hands of Lee.
The match was just getting underway when NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler and the Horsewomen walked on stage. Lee landed a spin kick and pinned Borne.
Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir rushed into the ring to attack Lee. She was fighting with off when Baszler struck. Lee was simply outnumbered. The Horsewomen held Lee so Baszler could deliver a kick.
Baszler then cut a promo saying everybody was taking credit for NXT's success over the weekend, but no one had a better weekend than her. Baszler put over how she defeated both Smackdown Champion Bayley and Raw Champion Backy Lynch in the same match.
The crowd heckled Baszler with chants for Rhea Ripley. Interrupting Baszler's speech, Ripley then made her way to the ring. Baszler and the Horsewomen powdered.
Ripley said she had something to tell Baszler face-to-face, so Baszler went back to the ring to confront Ripley.
Ripley congratulated Baszler, but reminded Baszler that Ripley beat her. Next time she beat her, Ripley vowed the match would be for the title.
Baszler answered back saying she will tap and nap like the rest of them. Ripley asked, "Then why don't you do it now?"
Baszler walked away as Ripley said of Baszler stepped into the ring that Ripley would drop her.
Announced for next week on NXT is Damian Priest vs. Killian Dain.
Finn Balor defeated Tommaso Ciampa
Balor pinned Ciampa after interference by Adam Cole.
This was billed as the first match between the two. The match was back-and-forth during much of the early portion. That is until Ciampa catapulted Balor into a ring post before a commercial break. The split screen was also back for the main event.
Balor cut off Ciampa during the break, and Ciampa made a comeback when the commercials were done. Balor crashed into the barricade when Ciampa knocked him off the apron with a knee strike. Another knee strike by Ciampa netted him a near fall.
Balor answered back with a sling blade. He sent Ciampa out of the ring, a shotgun dropkick also sent Ciampa into the barricade.
Ciampa delivered an Air Raid Crash on the floor. Balor teased getting counted out, but he made it back into the ring. Project Ciampa led to a near fall, but Balor kicked out at the last second.
Balor with a double stomp and a shotgun dropkick set up Balor climbing the turnbuckles. Ciampa thwarted him to deliver an avalanche Air Raid Crash. Balor still managed to kick out.
Cole ran in to cause a distraction, and Balor with a schoolboy got two. Cole had dropped his championship belt into the ring when he had jumped on the apron. Balor went to use it -- but to no avail as Ciampa countered with a roll-up.
Balor executed a reverse DDT on the belt, but was not DQ'd because the belt being in the ring was apparently ruled accidental. Ciampa kicked out on a cover.
Cole then interfered as he hit Ciampa with a kick, and Balor hooked him to deliver the 1916. Balor covered Ciampa for the pin as Cole looked on with a smirk.
Posing over a prone Ciampa after the match, Cole clutched his championship and flashed the Undisputed Era hand sign. Balor displayed the finger guns as Cole went to pat him on the back. Balor suddenly dropped Cole with a Pele kick out of nowhere. Balor stood alone as the show faded to black.