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WWE NXT live results: WALTER vs. Kushida, Drew Gulak vs. Lio Rush

Preview by Joseph Currier

Week two of the "Wednesday Night War" takes place tonight, with three matches announced in advance for NXT.

Two of those are non-title matches involving champions. WWE United Kingdom Champion WALTER will take on Kushida, and NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong will face Isaiah "Swerve" Scott.

One championship will be on the line tonight as Lio Rush challenges for Drew Gulak's Cruiserweight title. Rush became the number one contender by defeating Oney Lorcan three weeks ago.

NXT will follow up on two former champions making their returns last week. After Adam Cole retained his NXT Championship against Matt Riddle, Finn Balor confronted Cole and declared that he's back in NXT.

Nearly seven months after undergoing neck surgery, Tommaso Ciampa also returned last Wednesday. He confronted Cole after Undisputed Era's Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish retained their NXT Tag Team titles against The Street Profits in the main event.

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

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A title match kicked off the show.

Lio Rush defeated Drew Gulak to win the NXT Cruiserweight Championship

Rush pinned Gulak after a frog splash. This was good. My only complaint was Rush's best comeback came during a commercial break. Other than that, great way to open the show.

Rush started on fire, but Gulak soon cut him off using his catch-as-catch-can style. Rush fought back but lost a chop exchange. Rush was perched on the top turnbuckle when Gulak kicked him off the ropes. Rush fell on some ringside attendant plants, and they caught him before a commerical break. The split screen is back this week.

During the break, Gulak dashed some hope spots and generally worked over Rush. Suddenly, Rush made a comeback while the commercials were still playing. He used a tilt-a-whirl into a tornado DDT for a near fall. 

Back from commercial, Gulak turned Rush for a flip and mowed him down with a lariat to turn the tide again. Rush answered back with a roll up for a two count. Gulak then trapped Rush in a Dragon sleeper. Rush reversed the hold, but Gulak soon picked him for a Cyclone Crash. Rush got his foot on the bottom rope to break the count. The crowd chanted "Lio" in support.

Rush executed a frog splash, and Mauro Ranallo noted it was Eddie Guerrero's birthday. He would have been 52 years old today. We miss you, Eddie.

Springboarding off a rope, Rush caught Gulak with a stunner. Rush climbed the turnbuckles to deliver an Art Barr frog splash to score the pinfall and win the title.

Gulak personally presented Rush with the belt after the match as if he was passing the torch in a show of respect. 

Next up was a Finn Balor vignette. This was very well done, as per usual with WWE. They put out some great video packages. That was more evident with the next vignette.

Another video package hyped the return of Tegan Nox, and then she was announced for next week's NXT show.

Rhea Ripley defeated Aliyah (w/ Vanessa Borne)

Ripley mauled Aliyah in a short squash match. Ripley no sold any offense, and she looked like a killer. She applied a standing scorpion leglock, and then she spun around with a giant swing while still applying the hold. She dropped down into a sit-out facebuster with the hold still locked in, and Aliyah soon tapped out.

Ripley got the house microphone and called out NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler. She warned Baszler that she was coming for her and the championship.

The announce team -- Mauro, Beth Phoenix and Nigel McGuinness -- plugged the WWE press conference in Las Vegas. Yada yada yada.

The next entrance at first gave me flashbacks to the Destruction Crew in the AWA, but this turned out to be much different. It was Breezango doing a construction gimmick. They even had safety vests and hard hats. 

Jaxon Ryker interrupted the fun as he carried out the team of Ever-Rise. Thet were beaten up and laid out. They were supposed to be the opponents for Breezango, but the Forgotten Sons stole their match after beating them up. That would normally be assault, but in NXT that is apparently an opportunity.

The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake w/ Jaxon Ryker) defeated Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango)

Cutler pinned Fandango after Memory Remains. They had a WWE style tag condensed down to mere minutes.

The Sons got heat on Breeze before a hot tag to Fandango. He ran wild and executed a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Later he did a sunset bomb for another near fall.

Ryker interfered and posted Breeze. Fandango wiped him out with a tope con giro. Distracted with Ryker, Fandango fell victim to a tope from Blake.

The Forgotten Sons used their Memory Remains finisher on Fandango and Cutler covered him for the pinfalll.

An excellent vignette hyped Keith Lee vs. Donovan Dijak for another match in their rivalry next week on NXT. The video package was great as their previous one, and the match should be as well.

Cameron Grimes defeated Boa

Grimes won another match in seconds with a double foot stomp. The three count took longer than the match itself.

Killian Dain ran in after the match, and Grimes quickly bailed out of the ring. He hightailed out of there, and Dain turned his attention to Boa.

Dain pummeled Boa, and then he delivered some Vader bombs. Dain dumped Boa on the announce desk, glared at the commentators, and then he left the scene.

Damien Priest narrated a video package talking about why he laid out Pete Dunne last week on NXT. Priest wants to make his name live forever at the expense of Dunne's name. Sounded a lot better when he said it than it reads.

A hot match is headlining the top of the hour.

NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong defeated Isaiah "Swerve" Scott in a non-title match

Strong submitted Scott after a distraction by Undisputed Era. The story was Strong was overconfident and taking Scott lightly. He paid for that as Scott got to shine throughout the match.

They started the match with grappling. Strong started talking trash, and Scott made him eat his words with a side kick out of nowhere. Scott then did a cartwheel into a quebrada. Strong tried to cut him off, and Scott fought back with a headscissors and a shotgun dropkick. Scott had Strong reeling.

Strong struck down Scott with hard chops, and then Strong targeted the back. Strong dashed a flipping hope spot, and he dropped Scott into a backbreaker. Strong would dash another hope spot moments later.

They fought through a commercial break with Roddy in control. He worked over Scott. 

After the break, Scott made a comeback. He ran wild and leapt into a flying uppercut. Scott hit a superkick followed by a draping DDT for a near fall.

Strong's stablemates came out to help as the rest of Undisputed Era made their way to ringside. About that time, Scott springed into action with a flatliner and a superkick for a two count. With Strong hanging from the ropes. Scott did a slingshot double foot stomp to the outside.

Undisputed Era distracted Scott, which allowed Strong to strike with a jumping knee. He followed with a psycho knee and End of Heartache. Strong then applied a Boston crab, and Scott tapped out.

NXT Champion Adam Cole started cutting a promo when he was interrupted by Velveteen Dream. He was on a podium high above the Full Sail Arena. He tried to mock Strong with a naked photo of Strong doing the Shawn Michaels gimmick with the title belt covering his private parts. Dream made a penis joke, and he showed a photoshopped picture to make fun of Strong. Not very funny, but they tried. 

Tommaso Ciampa saved a dying segment as he stalked to the ring to confront Undisputed Era. They begged off and backpedaled. "Goldie, daddy's home," Ciampa said. That was his nickname for the NXT Championship belt. 

Angel Garza was backstage flirting with Cathy Kelley trying to get her to interview him. She tried to ignore him in search of Ciampa. She wanted to interview Ciampa after the confrontation in the ring. She found him, but Garza interrupted them. So Ciampa beat up Garza, and then he strolled off. 

Bianca Belair defeated Dakota Kai

Belair pinned Kai after hitting KOD.

Kai had Belair reeling at the outset until Belair cut her off. Belair showed her fire and she also toyed with Kai. There was a commercial break in this match, but no split screen.

Wouldn't you know, Kai started her comeback during the break. Too bad we did not get to see it. She was running wild when the show returned.

Kai got some near falls in the closing moments. Belair put a stop to that with a chicken wing facebuster. A standing shooting star netted Belair another two count.

Kai countered some moves for a few last second near falls. Belair dodged a kick, and she executed KOD for the pinfall.

Belair after the match cut a promo on Rhea Ripley. She is standing in the way of anyone wanting to face Baszler. She herself wants another match with the champ.

The announcers again plugged the press conference in Las Vegas. After that came a Donovan Dijak promo on Keith Lee. This further hyped their match for next week.

Another Finn Balor vignette profiled his return to NXT.

Pete Dunne cut a promo on Damian Priest. Dunne vs. Priest was announced for next week on NXT.

NXT UK Champion WALTER defeated KUSHIDA in a non-title match

WALTER pinned Kushida after delivering a Rainmaker. This was great. Walter still looked like a monster, but Kushida got to shine plenty as he more than hung with him in the macth. This was probably Kushida's best television match since debuting in NXT.

They really played up the side difference at the start. Walter was bullying Kushida, but Kushida was able to out-wrestle him. That angered Walter. He pitched a fit before a commercial break. No split screen again, and this was the main event. That in-set gimmick is so random when they do it.

Kushida was making a comeback as the show returned from break. Kushida slipped on the ropes doing an attempted springboard. Walter then mowed him down with a big boot to the face.

Walter proceeded to get heat on Kushida. He clubbed him with chops and strikes. Kushida in a counter dropped Walter with a DDT. 

In the middle of his comeback, Kushida did a flying tomahawk like he was Tatanka. Kushida did his signature cartwheel into a dropkick.

Walter teased taking a sunset bomb on the floor, but he just stomped Kushida instead. However, Walter posted himself moments later on the apron. Kushida leapt up to hook Walter in a DDT on a floor.

They teased a count out. Kushida tried applying the Hoverboard Lock, but he could only get a simplier armlock. Walter powered out, and he caught Kushida in a sleeper hold.

Kushida with an O'Connor roll, and Walter countered with a sleeper. Kushida rolled out, and he went for a cross armbreaker. Walter blocked the hold, but Kushida used a small package to get a two count.

They traded strikes and holds down the stretch. Walter gave him a suplex and a pumphandle German suplex for a near fall. Kushida kicked out at the last moment.

Perched on the top rope, they fell into the ring doing an avalanche spot into a Hoverboard Lock. Walter got a foot on the rope to break the hold. Kuhida went for the submission again, but Walter countered with a shotgun dropkick. 

Walter powerbombed Kushida, but he kicked out of a pinning attempt. Walter then delivered a Rainmaker to finish the match.

Before the show closed, Cathy Kelley announced Roderick Strong vs. Velveteen Dream for the NXT North American Champiobship in two weeks time.