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WWE NXT live results: Number one contender's match

Preview by Joseph Currier

Adam Cole's next challenger will be decided on tonight's episode of NXT.

Top contenders Keith Lee, Tommaso Ciampa, and Finn Balor will face off in a number one contender's match tonight. The winner will advance to challenge for Cole's NXT Championship next week.

Next week's NXT will also feature a Women's Championship match, with Shayna Baszler set to defend her title against Rhea Ripley. With the help of Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke, Baszler choked out Ripley last week. WWE will continue building to their title match tonight.

The Cruiserweight Championship will be on the line tonight as Lio Rush defends his title against Angel Garza. Mia Yim vs. Dakota Kai is also set for the show. Kai was supposed to face Ripley last week, but Ripley brought out Yim instead. Yim brawled to the back with Kai after Kai had attacked her at NXT TakeOver: WarGames.

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

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The show opened with Adam Cole in front of production monitors like he was Gene Oklerund doing an old school Update segment, Cole cut a promo on the three contenders in the triple threat match later on. Cole called the match the stupidest thing he has ever heard, and none of them have earned the right. 

Cole claimed he is the greatest NXT champion that has ever lived, and he is on the run of a lifetime. He might have a point. Cole went on to say that run is far from being over. 

Angel Garza defeated Lio Rush to win the NXT Cruiserweight Championship

Garza submitted Rush in the climatic moments of a tremendous match. This was fantastic.

Garza had lipstick on his cheek. He said something that angered Rush so much that Rush attacked Garza before the bell. A slugfest ensued and the fight spilled outside. Garza tripped up Rush and he smacked into the apron.

Garza went for the spot where he rips off his pants, but Rush cut him off. Rush evaded Garza and went for his finisher, but Garza caught him with a dropkick. Garza propped Rush in a corner and slapped him repeatedly. Then he superkicked him. and then taunted Rush. Garza catapulted Rush into a hot spot on the top rope. From there the show went to commercial.

Garza worked over Rush and dashed a few hope spots during the break. Rush made a comeback after the break with a tilt-a-whirl head scissors. They did a Frankensteiner spot over the top rope, and Rush followed with a slingshot into a springboard moonsault.

The fight continued as they slugged it out. Rush countered a reverse slingshot suplex, and then he climbed the turnbuckles. Garza cut him off, and they set up a Spanish Fly spot for a close near fall. 

A great fighting spirit exchange led to a double down, and the crowd went wild.

Rush used Garza's own Wing Clipper finisher on him for a two count. Garza got Rush in an electric chair, and Rush flipped off his shoulders to hit Garza with the Come Up. Garza kicked out at two and half.

Rush with a giant frog splash, and he was dragging Garza to the center of the ring -- but Garza's pants come off as Garza powdered. 

Rush went for a frog splash on the floor, but Garza got his feet up. Garza delivered the Wing Clipper, but Rush kicked out. Garza then applied a reverse full nelson, and Rush tapped out.

A featurette profiled Shayna Baszler. She was shown taking care of her Mustang. She compared herself with a muscle car as opposed to the rest of the roster trying to be a fancy Tesla. She is not there to win over a bunch of fans. She is there to get to job done and keep her title.

Baszler scoffed at the notion of Rhea Ripley having momentum. Baszler then ran down her accomplishments and the people she has defeated during her reign. Ripley will be like the rest as Baszler vowed to "tap, nap, and snap."

A great pre-tape promo with Finn Balor addressed his opponents. Balor was upset at the notion he had to prove himself in a triple threat match to get a title match. Balor noted his previous run with the title. Balor again said his future will be his past as he wins the NXT Championship next week against Adam Cole.

In an OMG moment -- and truly an emotional scene -- Angel Garza proposed to his girlfriend during a commercial break and she said yes! 

Raul Mendoza defeated Cameron Grimes

Mendoza pinned Grimes in a short match to gain revenge. This match was setup after Grimes attacked Mendoza last week before a match with Kushida.

Mendoza rushed Grimes at the bell, and Mendoza was a house of fire. He springboarded into a tornillo splash. Grimes caught him with a running Spanish Fly, and Kushida came down to ringside. Mendoza then cradled Grimes with a Huranrana for the pinfall.

Kushida after the match put on Grimes's top hat and mocked him. 

Cathy Kelley interviewed Mia Yim about her match tonight against Dakota Kai. Yim said this goes beyond revenge, and it will not be a wrestling match. Yim vowed it will be a fight, and Yim also vowed to seriously hurt Kai.

Travis Banks defeated Jazson Ryker (w/ The Forgotten Sons) 

Banks upset Ryker in a David vs. Goliath battle that was billed as a preview for When Worlds Collide. Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake were in Ryker's corner, but they did not really factor into the match.

Banks tried to fly, but Ryker shut him down. Ryker mauled him until Banks made a comeback with a flurry. Ryker again cut him off, but Banks fought back to deliver a missile dropkick. Banks then springboarded into the Slice of Heaven to score the pinfall.

Dakota Kai defeated Mia Yim

Kai pinned Yim with a schoolgirl after utilizing an exposed turnbuckle. They did a stunt off the stage after the match as this feud looks to continue.

This was the third match in a row that started with the babyface exploded at the start like a house of fire. That trend made sense in this match with the backstory much like it had in the previous matches on the show.

Yim jumped Kai at the start, and she shined early on. Yim sent Kai crashing to the ring steps, and then Yim followed with a cannonal ball that sandwiched Kai into the steps. That led into a commercial break.

Kai was shutting down Kai after the break when Yim again fired up on her. Yim with an overhead bell-to-belly suplex got a two count. She got another near fall using a Code Blue.

Kai turned the tide with a sit-out powerbomb, but Yim countered with a German suplex for another two count. Yim delivered Protect Ya Neck, but Kai rolled outside the ring to avoid the cover. 

After teasing she would use the Tegan Nox's knee brace she brings to the ring, the referee took the brace from Kai. That was merely a distraction so Kai could untie a turnbuckle pad. Yim hit the exposed buckle, and a Kai rolled her up for the pinfall.

Yim attacked Kai after the match. They brawled around ringside and towards the stage to set up a stunt. Yim executed a German suplex that sent her and Kai off the stage through a table.

Keith Lee in a pre-tape promo hyped the triple threat match later on.

Breezango (Tyker Breeze & Fandango) defeated The Singh Brothers (Sunil & Samir Singh)

Fandango won the match via pinfall with a flying legdrop off the top. The Singhs got heat on Breeze during the match, and the Bollywood Blast netted the Singhs a two count. 

Fandango ran wild off a hot tag, which led into him executing an avalanche Falcon Arrow. Fandango also used a deadlift Falcon Arrow. Fandango then used a powerbomb on the apron.

Breezango did some tandem offense before Fandango climbed the turnbuckles. He was holding his arm as if it was injured. Fandano still leapt off the top rope with the Alabama Jam flying legdrop for the pinfall.

A vignette profiled Rhea Ripley ahead her challenging Shayna Baszler in a title match next week. Ripley talked about wanted to be wrestler since she was 16 years old, and she talked about her journey to NXT. She won the NXT UK Women's Championship. Next she vowed to win the NXT Women's Championship. This was a great piece of business building up the title match next week.

Bianca Belair defeated Kayden Carter

Belair pinned Carter after using her finisher.

Belair rocked Carter at the bell. Carter fought back with an O'Connor Roll and a springboard dropkick. Belair countered a tilt-a-whirl to deliver a couple backbreakers.

Belair applied Jesse Ventura's Body Vice as she continued to punish Carter. Belair taunted Carter, and she looked to fire up on Belair. After Belair executed a slingshot suplex, Carter blocked a standing moonsault. 

Belair ducked a handspring elbow and hit Carter with a spear. Belair then used the DOD to score the pinfall.

Tommaso Ciampa in a pre-tape promo vowed to win the triple threat match and then reclaim Goldie. The pre-tape faded into a live shot of Ciampa as he made his entrance. That was a nice touch.

Finn Balor defeated Keith Lee and Tommaso Ciampa in a triple threat match to become number one contender

Balor pinned Lee to end an exciting match

NXT Champion Adam Cole was scouting from the crow's nest looking down at the ring.

The match started with a melee. Balor played cat-and-mouse with Lee, and Lee caught him. Lee a moment later did a slingshot crossbody to wipe out both Ciampa and Balor. The show from there cut to commercial.

Lee was shining when the show returned from break. Ciampa with a Cactus Jack clothesline sent himself and Lee over the ropes to the floor. Ciampa and Balor fought in the ring, and Ciampa had him reeling as he dominated for a few minutes. Ciampa with a double draping DDT on both Lee and Balor.

Cimapa with an Air Raid Crash dropped Balor on Lee. Ciampa was hitting Lee with strikes when Lee began to answer back. Balor soon returned to the ring to deliver double foot stomps.

Balor measured Lee. but Lee mowed him down with a pounce. Lee with splashed in the corner led to him ragdolling Balor and Ciampa. Lee looked to go high risk -- only for Ciampa and Balor to both execute a double avalanche leg sweep before a commercial break.

Balor was looking dominate on a split-screen during the break. Lee cut off Balor, but Ciampa spiked Lee with a draping DDT on the apron. Balor with a slingblade on the floor took out Ciampa.

The show returned from the break with a Tower of Doom spot. Lee had Ciampa in a electric chair while Ciampa had Balor in an Air Raid Crash. 

Lee missed a moonsault press, but he still used a jackhammer on Ciampa. Lee went for jackhammer on Balor, and Balor countered into a small package for a near fall. 

Balor countered Lee's pop-up finisher with a double stomp. Balor flew over the ropes with a tope con giro. Balor with a dropkicked Ciampa into the barricade, and some plants at ringside went flying backwards.

Balor missed a double stomp off the top, and Lee met him with a pounce. Ciampa with an Air Raid Crash on Lee popped the crowd during a near fall.

Lee with a moonsault press on Ciampa, and Ciampa somehow kicked out. Lee followed with a pop-up powerbomb. Upon impact, Balor leapt off the top rope with his Coup de Grace on Lee, and Balor then covered him for the pinfall.

Balor winning sets up him challening Adam Cole next week on NXT. Balor had a staredown with Cole as the show closed.