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WWE NXT live results: North American title on the line

Preview by Joseph Currier

A North American Championship match is set to headline tonight's episode of NXT.

After becoming the number one contender to the title two weeks ago, Keith Lee will get his shot against Roderick Strong tonight. Lee defeated Cameron Grimes, Dominik Dijakovic, and Damian Priest in a fatal four-way match to become the number one contender to Strong's title.

Both semifinal matches in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will take place tonight. It will be The Undisputed Era (Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish) vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake) and Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne vs. Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner).

Tonight's episode is the go-home show for Saturday's NXT vs. NXT UK Worlds Collide special. Ahead of challenging for Rhea Ripley's NXT Women's Championship on Saturday, Toni Storm will be in action against Io Shirai tonight.

Storm vs. Shirai is a rematch from the 2018 Mae Young Classic finals.

Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

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This loaded show is opening with a semifinal match in the Dusty Classic. NXT Champion Adam Cole is accompanying the NXT Tag Team Champions -- Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly -- to the ring. Cole walked over to the announce desk so he could shout that they know Imperium is in the building, and Undisputed Era is not scared of anyone.

The Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake) defeated The Undisputed Era (Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish) in a semifinal match in the Dusty Classic

In a very WWE finish, Imperium caused a distraction that allowed Drake to pin O'Reilly. Grizzled Young Veterans advance to the finals of the Dusty Classic. They were heels, so Undisputed Era were kind of defacto babyfaces. Maybe this was shades of gray type stuff. That often makes for a flat match, but they really tried hard. Did not hurt that these teams are really good. 

O'Reilly and Gibson started the match for their respective teams. Drake tagged in, and Fish distracted him so that O'Reilly could wrench his knee with a dragon screw in the ropes. Fish then swept his feet on the apron, and Undisputed Era began to work him over.

The ring was proverbially cut in half until Drake was able to escape their clutches, and he jacked the jaw of O'Reilly. Gibson tagged in and the Grizzled Young Veterans would rally with tandem moves. Undisputed Era was reeling before a commercial break.

The tadem offense continued throughout the break as they targeted O'Reilly. As the show returned from break O'Reilly was firing up. He made a hot tag to Fish, and Fish cleaned house. Gibson tried to cut off Fish, but he got caught in a knee bar. Drake assisted Gibson in grabbing the ropes to break the hold.

Fish missed on a moonsault press, and Grizzled Young Vetrans doubled teamed him for a near fall. Drake spilled over the ropes before falling victim to a flying knee off the apron from O'Reilly. After a blind tag and Chasing the Dragon, O'Reilly got a two count on Gibson.

Everybody was figthing in the ring as a melee ensued in the ring. The smoke cleared and Undisputed Era had Drake in their sights -- when out of nowhere the theme song for Imperium began playing over the house speakers. Fish & O'Reilly diverted their attention.

Imperium appeared in the eagle's nest above the ring. Undisputed Era were all distracted by Imperium and Grizzled Young Veterans capitalized with a Ticket to Mayhem. Drake then covered O'Reilly for the pinfall.

Good match, but a lame finish we have seen a million times. 

Toni Storm defeated Io Shirai via disqualification

Bianca Belair ran in to attack Storm for the DQ. Another lame finish ruins what was an otherwise good match.

Actually I am just assuming it was a DQ, because that is the rules. There really was no official word from a ring announcer. This is why we need Howard Finkel now more than ever.

Belair is the number one contender to the NXT Women's Championship. Rhea Ripley -- the champion -- made the save before the segment ended with dives! The match was just getting going when the DQ happened.

Grappling in the outset gave way to an array of exchanges. Storm fired up on Shirai, and Shirai countered by backflipping into a dropkick. Strom answered back with her own dropkick. Moments later Shirai caught Storm with a high kick to gain the advantage.

Shirai chopped down Storm and grounded her with a chinlock. They exchanged strikes, and Shirai grabbed a headlock to ground Storm. They fought through a commercial break.

Shirai with a double stomp after the show returned from break, but Shirai would eat a boot and take a German suplex from Storm. Shirai countered Strom with an uppercut -- only for a lariat from Storm turned Shirai inside out. 

Storm blocked a Tiger Feint Kick, and dropkicked Shirai off the apron. As Storm was going for a dive, Belair ran in for to attack Storm for the DQ.

Ripley made the save and squared off with Belair. They brawled before Shirai sent them both out out of the ring, and then she springboarded into an Asai moonsault. Storm then flew through the ropes with a tope suicida.  

Cathy Kelley interviewed Undisputed Era. They cut a promo on Imperium. Cole concluded by saying his faction wad draped in gold, and it would stay that way. 

Ilja Dragunov in a vignette had a response to a promo from Finn Balor the previous week. The two meet this Saturday in a match at Worlds Collide.

Finn Balor defeated Joaquin Wilde

Balor was stomping on Wilde and calling out Dragunov -- and anyone else that would listen. Heels in WWE don't do that enough anymore. They also don't squash guys nearly enough these days. Too bad it had to be such a great talent like Wilde. He was a proverbial sacrificial lamb in this match.

Balor measured him for a shotgun dropkick, and then the Coup de Grace double stomp. Balor followed with the 1916 DDT, and he covered Wilde for the easy pinfall. 

Shayna Baszler in a pre-match interview backstage basically said her match up next was the first step towards regaing her title for a third reign.

Shayna Baszler defeated Shotzi Blackheart

Baszler submitted Blacheart in a match set up last week. Blackheart eliminated Baszler in a battle royal on the previous episode. That played into a spot early on in the match.

Baszler was being a bully and Blackheart fought back. Blackheart did some springboard spots in the ropes, and Baszler then threw her over the top rope like this was a battle royal.

Baszler began to maul Blackheart, but Blackheart countered an attempted Kirifuda Clutch. Blackheart was making a comeback when they briefly got crossed. They recovered as Blackheart continued to rally. They fought on the apron.

Blackheart executed sliced bread on the apron, and she climbed the turnbuckles. Blackheat leapt into a senton, but Baszler with a counter intsead trapped her in the Kirifuda Clutch. Blackheart eventually tapped out, and Baszler briefly refused to break the hold. 

A videp package hyped the grudge match pitting Dakota Kai against Tegan Nox. That match was made official for next week on NXT.

NXT Cruiserweight Champion Angel Garza cut a promo vowing to retain the title at World Collide.

Pete Dunne & Matt Riddle defeated Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) in the semifinals of the Dusty Classic

Dunne pinned Aichner for his team to win the match, and they now advance to the finals of Dusty Classic.

NXT UK Champion WALTER was in the corner of his Imperium charges.

Dunne and Aichner started the match with a quick pace. Imperium with some quick tags that helped to ground Dunne -- but not for long. Dunne caught Aichner with lariat after several drop downs and step overs. 

Riddle tagged in to throw Imperium around with gutwrench suplexes. Barthel blocked a Bro-ton, and Imperium looked to target Riddle. Dunne tagged in to run wild before getting a near fall on a crucifix bomb. Dunne stomped on Aichner's hands, and he moonsaulted off the apron. He delivered an X-plex on the apron.

Dunne squared off with WALTER at ringside, but that was merely a distraction. Dunne was sent crashing into the steps before a commercial break. Dunne was close to making a tag when the show returned from break, but he was then cut off.

There was what looked like a botch, and Dunne sold his left knee. Riddle on a hot tag took over as he ran wild. He and Dunne were doing some double team moves when they had a miscue.

Riddle was posted and hit with a double team strike. Riddle answered back to hit Imperium with a double knee strike, and he tagged out.

Dunne was about to run wild when Imperium hit him with a wheelbarrow/DDT combo for a near fall. Riddle jumped in to break the count.

Dunne countered a suplex to apply a wristlock on Aichner, and Riddle then applied an ankle lock on Barthel. Riddle & Dunne were looking strong.

Riddle with a jackhammer for a two count on Aichner. However, Riddle was soon given a brainbuster. Dunne took a PK. Riddle used a rana to counter a powerbomb, and then he delivered a German suplex out of mid-air. 

Riddle with a series of strikes that set up the finish. Riddle tagged Dunne, and they executed a knee strike/enzuigiri combo on Aichner. Dunne then covered Aichner for the pinfall.

The finals are now set for the Dusty Classic -- Dunne & Riddle vs. Grizzled Young Veterans.

Gibson & Drake came out to stare down Dunne & Riddle. Gibson cut a promo on them. Riddle interrupted them. He got in a marijuana reference, bro. Dunne also cut a promo where he said every time he met the Grizzle Young Veterans in a match they have lost. Dunne vowed he and Riddle would win the tournament trophy.

Keith Lee defeated Roderick Strong to win the NXT North American Championship

Lee pinned Strong to win the title.

Strong's Undisputed Era stablemates were in his corner.

Lee was a monster at the outset as he ragdolled Strong. The show went to commercial with the champion reeling, and Lee was still in control after the break. 

Undisputed Era surrounded Lee at ringside like coyotes nipping at his heels. That served as a distraction for Strong to strike with a wrecking ball dropkick.

Lee sold his ankle as Strong targeted it. He sandwiched Lee's leg in the ring steps and Pillamized the ankle. Strong went on to apply a half crab in the ring.

Strong continued to target the ankle. Lee got a hope spot where he sent O'Reilly sailing over the ropes. Strong a moment later went back to targeting the ankle as he clamped down and would not let go. 

Lee went down selling a kick before another commercial break. Strong kept working the ankle throughout the break. Lee fought back and began a comeback as the show returned from break.

Strong powdered, and Lee went out to throw him back in the match. Bobby Fish interfered by hitting Lee in the injured ankle. That netted Strong a two count.

They traded strikes, and that led to a double down. Lee got up and climbed the ropes. Strong cut him off. That set up an avalanche Olympic slam. Lee still kicked out.

Lee hulked up and delivered a pounce that sent Strong over the ropes. His stablemates caught him as he flew outside.

Lee with a near fall as he kept selling his ankle. Nevertheless, he climbed the ropes again.

Lee missed a moonsault, and Strong grapvined the leg with a submission hold. Lee was able to get a rope break.

Undisputed Era caused a distraction as they jumped on the apron. Lee picked them off one-by-one, but he was left wide open for a jumping knee strike and a dropkick.

Lee still managed to catch Strong in a firerman's carry, and then he powerslammed Strong with a jackhammer for the pinfall. 

The new champion got his moment to shine as he held the belt overhead.

Imperium appeared after Lee exited the scene. They got in the ring to square off with Undisputed Era. A brawl erupted as the show went off the air. The two faction meet Saturday in the main event of World Collide.