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WWE NXT results: EC3 vs. Lars Sullivan

Images: WWE

A loaded show made for arguably one of the best overall televised wrestling episodes of the year. From start to finish, episode #471 of NXT as a whole flowed and played out better than almost any other singular episodes.

From the pacing to the format, the show was excellently edited and produced. Engaging vignettes also hyped upcoming matches to remind the audience of ongoing storylines. Likewise, the trend of fantastic matches continued as Tony Nese from 205 Live faced Johnny Gargano. Instead of closing the show in the main event position, the match began a half hour in.

The main event itself was a different kind of match -- but just as good on many levels. EC3 collided with Lar Sullivan in a clash of titans. Their grudge developed after splintering off from the continuing storyline revolving around the mysterious attack on Aleister Black. That angle relates to several ongoing story arcs.

The show opened with Nikki Cross pacing around talking about her upcoming match against Bianca Belair. She appeared generally unhinged as she ranted and raved. An announcement later in the show noted that the rematch between Cross and Belair airs in two weeks. Their last encounter turned into a brawl that ended in a double countout.

Cross concluded her promo by repeating the phrase “I know” as she sneered and grimaced directly into the camera. The implication is she may know who attacked Aleister Black. Cue the Law & Order canned intro.

Lacey Evans defeated Candice LeRae

Evans pinned LeRae after hitting her with the Woman’s Right. LeRae let her temper cost her the match similar to how her husband suffered recent high-profile losses. Moreover, an insult from Evans about LeRae’s husband led to her anger boiling over.

They grappled early on with Evans cutting off LeRae to set up the heat spot. Evans did a headscissors takeover, and then she held the headscissors while doing push-ups. Evans grounded LeRae with a Cobra Clutch. Out of sight from the referee, Evans pulled LeRae’s hair. Moments later, LeRae rolled out of the way as Evans missed a slingshot elbow. LeRae fired up into a flurry of offense. She got a near fall after a flying faceplant.

Evans countered an Unprettier. She then insulted LeRae’s husband. LeRae exploded into a fit of rage -- only to walk into a knockout punch from Evans for the pinfall.

A vignette hyped the upcoming triple threat match for the North American Championship. Interviews with Adam Cole, Pete Dunne, and the champion -- Ricochet -- were mixed with a narration telling the backstory.

NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa cut a promo on his cell phone. His focus was on cautioning Velveteen Dream. On a previous episode, Dream insinuated that Ciampa was responsible for the attack on Aleister Black. Ciampa said that Dream’s name is fitting because he is living a dream.

“Stay out of the champ’s spotlight,” Ciampa said.

Ciampa warned he would expose the mystique of Dream. Ciampa concluded by saying he would turn “the dream into a nightmare.”

The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler, Wesley Blake & Jaxson Ryker) defeated Vinny Mixon, Torry Kirsh & Cesar Rise

Ryker pinned Kirsh in a trios squash match. Cutler wore a face shield to protect a broken nose. This was a methodical enhancement match akin to an old school studio wrestling show. Ryker used a slingshot powerbomb on Kirsh to finish the massacre. On commentary, Nigel McGuinness called the match an “absolute demolition” won by a group that Mauro Ranallo referred to as “soldiers of fortune.”

A great vignette focusing on Shayna Baszler combined a sit-down interview with a training montage. The story is Baszler heads into a fight camp leading up to her title rematch trying to regain the NXT Women’s Championship from Kairi Sane. That match takes place at WWE Evolution.

Cathy Kelley interviewed Bianca Belair. She demanded that Kelley refer to her as “Ms. Belair.” Belair cut a promo on Nikki Cross where she said Cross has scraggly hair. Belair reminded everyone several times that she is still undefeated.

Johnny Gargano defeated Tony Nese

Gargano submitted Nese with the Gargano Escape in a fantastic match. Gargano winning seemingly helps rehabilitate his credibility after suffering losses recently. His trend of having amazing matches continues. Nese also more than held his own.

Early rapid fire exchanges led to Gargano hitting a tope suicida. Gargano played to the fans -- only to get caught by Nese coming back into the ring. Gargano soon was able to retaliate with a slingshot spear. They traded strikes. Gargano went for his submission finisher -- but Nese was able to escape.

Nese flew over the ropes with a Fosbury Flop to the outside. He followed that with a 450 splash for a close near fall. A hope spot for Gargano was dashed when Nese gave him a wicked German suplex into a corner. Somehow, Gargano fired up to deliver a superkick -- and then a lariat. After being trapped in the Gargano Escape, Nese tapped out for Gargano to win via submission.

Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan detailed their recent trials and tribulations in another great vignette.

Lars Sullivan defeated EC3

Sullivan pinned EC3 after a diving headbutt that looked like King Kong falling off a building. The only thing this match was missing might be Jim Ross calling it a slobberknocker -- because it sure was indeed a slobberknocker. The backstory was Sullivan had previously attacked EC3 because EC3 tried to insinuate Sullivan had attacked Aleister Black.

EC3 tried to gain an early advantage by attacking Sullivan before the bell. EC3 rammed Sullivan into the ring steps several times. The monster teetered before falling.

Back in the ring, they traded strikes. EC3 delivered a leaping elbow drop for a two count. The monster awakened to rally. Sullivan gave EC3 a giant biel throw -- then he followed by splashing EC3 in a corner. EC3 fought back to hit a dropkick for a two count. Sullivan countered by mowing down EC3 with a lariat.

Sullivan began to manhandle EC3. Nevertheless, EC3 countered his way into executing a German suplex on the monster. A Stinger splash led to a flying crossbody by EC3 for a near fall.

The monster awakened again. Sullivan went for the Freak Accident, but EC3 escaped. A Cactus Jack clothesline by EC3 sent both out of the ring. The fight continued on the floor as Sullivan dispatched EC3 with a Freak Accident on the apron. Sullivan followed by climbing the turnbuckles for a diving headbutt to score the pin.

On the next episode of NXT, Keith Lee faces Kona Reeves.