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WWE NXT live results: Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai, Kushida returns

Preview by Joseph Currier

After Dakota Kai's betrayal at TakeOver, Rhea Ripley will be out for revenge on tonight's NXT.

Ripley vs. Kai is set for tonight's episode. It will be the second week in a row that Kai has faced a member of the team she turned against at TakeOver. Last Wednesday, Kai got disqualified against Candice LeRae after using Tegan Nox's knee brace as a weapon.

Ripley made the save for LeRae after that match. Ripley also appeared later in the show and set her sights on Shayna Baszler's NXT Women's Championship.

Tonight's NXT will also feature Kushida's return from a wrist injury. The last time he was in action was against WALTER in October.

Damian Priest vs. Killian Dain was originally announced for tonight, but WWE is claiming that Priest is still recovering from a rib injury that he suffered at TakeOver.

Plus, tonight's show will follow up on Finn Balor defeating Tommaso Ciampa in last week's main event. Balor won after interference by Adam Cole, but the show then ended with Balor laying Cole out.

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

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The show opens with good news because Mauro Ranallo is back. His introduction is interrupted by Killian Dain storming into the ring demanding a fight. Cue "The Bruiserweight", and the fight is on.

Killian Dain defeated Pete Dunne

Dain pinned Dunne after both were knocked out doing a spot off the ropes. Dunne's knee was bandaged, which would play into the match as Dain targeted the leg in the second half of the match.

Dunne showed fire at the start with strikes and joint locks. Dain cut off Dunne with a crossbody block, and then he began working him over. Dain stretched Dunne for a while -- until Dunne made a fiery comeback. Dunne executed a German suplex for a two count.

Dunne landed on his feet attempting a moonsault, but sold like his injured knee gave out. Dain then wiped him out with a tope. From there the show went to a commercial break with spilt screens.

Dain worked the leg through the commercial break. He applied a half crab, but Dunne got a rope break. Dunne was really selling his knee as he was putting no weight on it. Dain continued to maul him.

Dain went for a high risk move, and Dunne tripped him up. Dunne then superplexed him as the show returned from break. Tornado DDT and double stomp on Dain's hand. A kick and a cover netted a two count.

After twice teasing it earlier on, Dunne finally landed his Asai moonsault. Dain was still able to recover, and he dropped Dunne into the side of the ring. Dain with a senton and a cannonball that sandwiched Dunne between the ring steps.

Dain went for a Vader bomb, but Dunne caught him in a triangle. Dain deadlifted Dunne into a powerbomb. Dunne countered another attempted Vader bomb, and climbed on the turnbuckles with Dain. 

With both perched on the ropes, Dunne applied a sleeper on Dain. Fading into unconsciousness, Dain fell backwards with Dunne on his back. They crashed to the mat and both were out, but Dain was covering Dunne so the referee counted to three.

Cathy Kelley interviwed Dakota Kai. She said Tegan Nox was not worth her time any more. Kai then vowed to take out Rhea Ripley in their match later tonight just like she did that "hood rat Mia Yim." Harsh words from Kai.

The next TakeOver was announced for February 16 in Portland.

Undisputed Era came to the ring for a promo. NXT Champion Adam Cole was flanked by NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong and NXT Tag Team Champion Kyle O'Reilly. Co-holder of the tag titles -- Bobby Fish -- was not with them, but he was mentioned.

Cole was cutting a heated promo on Keith Lee when the crowd showered him with "bask in his glory" chants. Cole then addressed Finn Balor. Cole wanted answers for why Balor attacked him last week, and he said Undisputed Era was not leaving the ring until they get answers.

Keith Lee entered the scene to cofront Undisputed Era. O'Reilly taunted Lee and called him a loser. Lee responded by mentioning he turned Cole into a viral GIF for the pounce into the crowd from last week.

Lee admired the title belts that the heels were holding, and Cole began to call him out. Lee struck first when he attacked them and cleared the ring. Cole was outside the ring when Tomasso Ciampa ran down to boot him from behind. Ciampa rolled Cole back into the rings.

Lee went to powerbomb Cole, but O'Reilly and Strong rescued him from the crasp of Lee. In the melee, Cole had dropped his title belt. Ciampa picked up Goldie and taunted Cole with it.

Xia Lee cut a promo ahead of her match.

A short video documented Kushida's injury and recovery. He was shown with his family, and Kushida said he does this not for himself, but for his family. This was great.

NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler defeated Xia Lee in a non-title match

Baszler submitted Lee in short match where Lee showed a lot of fire, but the champion still managed to trap her in a submission.

Lee showed fire from the start as she countered Baszler, and then Lee dropped Baszler with a kick. Baszler answered back by snapping Lee's arm on a rope.

Baszler worked an arm, but Lee fired up with kicks. Baszler was backpedaling, but she set up a trap. Lee escaped the trap to give Baszler a sunset powerbomb.

Lee went to follow up with her tornado kick finisher, but she missed. Baszler then caught Lee in the Kirifuda Clutch for the submission.

Kassius Ohno in a pre-tape called himself a "wrestling genius" that is having a career renaissance. He is back in the United States ahead of the upcoming When Worlds Collide supercard, and he threw out a challenge to anyone in NXT to face him in a preview match.

Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake w/ Jaxson Ryker) defeated Leon Ruff & Adrian Atlantis

Blake pinned Atlantis to end a complete squash. Cutler with a buckle bomb disptached Ruff. The Sons then double-teamed Atlantis with their stomp/slop drop combo finisher.

Ryker chokeslamed Ruff on the apron after the match was over.

Dakota Kai vs. Rhea Ripley never started

Kai's Titantron entrance video was her heel turn from War Games playing on a loop. Kai was also again carrying Tegan Nox's knee brace. She was proud of the setting up and turning on her allies.

Ripley cut a promo on Kai before the match basically saying this match tonight also was a set up. Mia Yim then stormed to the ring to jump Kai. A brawl ensued.

The brawling spilled outside the ring, and Yim repeatedly threw Kai into the barricades. The brawled to the back, and Ripley stood in the ring beaming at the chaos she created.

Shayna Baszler and the Horsewomen ran in to attack Ripley. Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir first atttacked, and Ripley was fighting them off when Baszler from behind caught Ripley in the Kirifuda Clutch. Ripley tried to power out, but the Horsewomen helped to stop her. Baszler choked out Ripley and left her laying in the ring. Baszler then cut a promo over a prone Ripley.

Baszler announced they would face each other in a women's title match -- which will take place December 18.

In a backstage interview with Cathy Kelley, Tomasso Ciampa and Keith Lee revealed Dominik Dijakovic as their partner in a six-man tag team match against Undisputed Era that is set for tonight's main event.'

A vignette revealed more about the motives of Finn Balor. He is eyeing a title match against Cole, which was the reason for the Pele kick cliffhanger from the previous week.

Another much different -- but equally as good -- vignette hyped Isaiah "Swerve" Scott. The message was this is Swerve's house. 

Matt Riddle defeated Kassius Ohno

Riddle pinned Ohno after a Bro Derek. Riddle fought from underneath to win a really good match.

They grappled to a stalemate until Ohno was able ground Riddle. Riddle esacped a cravat, and he started a comeback with a series of strikes. Riddle hit Ohno with a penalty kick before a commercial break.

Riddle was hitting Ohno with repeated kicks as the show returned from break. Ohno fought back and mowed down Riddle with a kick of his own. Ohno soon went back to the cravat. He held on to the cravat as he spiked him with a Bubba bomb. 

Ohno applied a straightjacket, but Riddle escaped to drop a Bro-ton. Ohno tried to cut him off with joint jocks on Riddle's bare foot. Riddle answered back with strikes.

Riddle delivered the Bro 2 Sleep, a powerbomb, the Final Flash knee strike and then followed with a Floating Bro. Ohno still managed to kick out.

Ohno went back to the cravat, and even used a cravat suplex. Ohno went for a Gotch piledriver, but Riddle countered. Riddle hit a ripcord knee, and then executed the Bro Derek before scoring the pinfall.

Fan voting opens tonight on the WWE website for the year-end NXT awards.

Rhea Ripley vs. Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women's Championship was made official for two weeks time on NXT.

The next match was supposed to be Kushida's return to the ring against Raul Mendoza. Cameron Grimes atttacked Mendoza during his entrance. Grimes then took's Mendoza's place in the match.

Kushida defeated Cameron Grimes

Kushida pinned Grimes using a victory roll in a good -- but short -- match. They spent all that time building up Grimes only for him to lose clean here. Kushida looked good in his return to the ring.

Kushida did a flip dive off the top to the floor. Grimes twice escaped an attempted octopus, but Kushida was able to apply the stretch on a third attempt.

Grimes countered a handspring to give Kushida a German suplex. Kushida made a quick comeback. Grimes went for another German suplex, and Kushida cradled him with a victory roll for the pinfall.

Lio Rush defending the NXT Cruiserweight Championship against Angel Garza was announced for next week on NXT. Also set for next week is Mia Yim against Dakota Kai.

Keith Lee, Tomasso Ciampa & Dominik Dijakovic defeated Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Roderick Strong & Kyle O'Reilly)

Lee pinned Cole in the closing moments of an exciting finish. Finn Balor did a run-in during the match.

The babyface team dominated much of the early portion of the match. Dijakovic got to shine a lot before a commercial break. He continued to run roughshod during the break. Undisputed Era tried ganging up on him, and they eventually overpowered him. They were working him over when the show returned from break.

Strong started taunting Dijakovic, which fired him up. Undisputed Era still used underhanded tactics to maintain control.

Ciampa ran wild after a hot tag. He cleaned house on Undisputed Era. Project Ciampa on O'Reilly led to a near fall. Ciampa went for an Air Raid Crash, but Strong made a blind tag for a save. Ciampa was hit with a high/low combo for a two count.

A great series of exchanges between Ciampa and Strong led into a double down. Lee and Cole then tagged in. Cole ate a lariat, and he powdered. 

Dijakovic did a corkscrew plancha to the outside. As several people were fighting in the ring, Finn Balor ran in to hit Cole with a shotgun dropkick. The referee also went down in a domino effect. 

Balor executed the 1919 on Ciampa. Balor then went to measure Cole, but Lee broke it up. Lee laid out Balor with a Spirit Bomb. Cole then hit Lee with a superkick. 

Cole went for a Last Shot, but Lee countered to deliver a jackhammer. Lee then covered Cole for the pinfall as the crowd counted along as the groggy ref made the three count. Great finish, and it played into a greater story as Lee scored a pin on the champion. 

The finish would also play into a story for the next episode of NXT.

William Regal at the end of the show came out to announce a triple threat number one contender's match for next week. Keith Lee vs. Finn Balor vs. Tomasso Ciampa is set for next Wednesday on NXT.