WWE NXT: Feb. 26, 2020
Charlotte Flair returned to NXT in-ring competition against Bianca Belair, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano came to blows and several Superstars shook up the North American Title picture.
Cameron Grimes def. Dominik Dijakovic
Dominik Dijakovic isn’t done pursuing Keith Lee’s North American Championship, but he’s not the only one with his eyes on the gold.
Thanks to Damian Priest, Cameron Grimes staked his claim as a potential title contender with a win over The Rare Breed.
Dijakovic was seemingly poised to finish The Technical Savage following a second-rope moonsault to the outside, but Priest arrived to strike Dijakovic in the leg with a steel pipe before quickly making himself scarce. The Rare Breed barely beat the count of 10, though he was met with a decisive blow when Grimes hit his vaunted Cave-In as soon Dijakovic got back in the ring.
The Archer of Infamy may have done more than cost his target the match, however, as Dijakovic had to be helped to the back by officials while nursing a possible left knee injury.
Imperium interrupted Finn Bálor
Though Finn Bálor has compiled an impressive list of victories since returning to NXT, he was reminded emphatically this week of a name missing from that list.
Bálor, still basking in the afterglow of his massive victory over Johnny Gargano at TakeOver: Portland earlier this month, was interrupted by Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel of Imperium, who addressed The Prince on behalf of NXT UK Champion WALTER.
But Bálor wasn’t interested in hearing them out, choosing to strike first with a dropkick before hitting a standing Coup de Grace and slingblade on Aichner. Barthel intercepted Finn’s John Woo dropkick attempt, however, and Imperium leveraged the numbers game to leave The Prince down on the mat.
Xia Li def. Mia Yim; Raquel González attacked them both
We still might not understand the new alliance between Dakota Kai and Raquel González, but there’s no questioning the impact they’ve made in short order.
The devious duo interrupted a bout between Mia Yim and Xia Li, grabbing The HBIC’s attention long enough for Li to roll her up for the three-count. Not satisfied with just costing Yimthe bout, González took to the ring to outmuscle Yim as well as Li, who tried to defend her opponent from the assault before also succumbing to González’s wrath.
Kai watched gleefully as her intimidating associate carried out her dirty work, leaving Yim lying after a massive modified chokeslam.
Tommaso Ciampa def. Austin Theory; Johnny Gargano attacked Ciampa
The most storied war in NXT history is fully reignited.
That was clear Wednesday when Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa came to blows following The Blackheart’s victory over Austin Theory, who was looking to gain retribution from his painful run-in with Ciampa a week earlier.
As he has in every previous bout, the 22-year-old blue chipper impressed, with Theory even controlling much of the action against the significantly more experienced Ciampa. The Blackheart regained control by spiking his foe with Willow’s Bell before planting him with the Fairytale Ending for the win.
But Gargano ambushed his former tag partner and bitter enemy after the bell, and he got the better of the exchange after Theory tried to get an extra jab on Ciampa, who momentarily took his eyes off Gargano.
With a #DIY shirt hanging from his front pocket, Gargano made Ciampa look him in the eyes before blasting him with a superkick, then mockingly clapped for himself on the apron a la The Blackheart.
Killian Dain def. Bronson Reed
Chalk up a victory for The Beast of Belfast in a battle between two of NXT’s most fearsome mastodons.
Killian Dain faced off with Bronson Reed in a bout that was as hard-hitting as you’d expect, as evidenced by their simultaneous cross-body blocks in a scene that resembled two semitrucks colliding.
Reed flexed his uncanny agility, unleashing moves like a tope suicida, but Dain prevailed after a superplex, a trio of running sentons and a devastating Vader Bomb.
The Grizzled Young Veterans def. The Forgotten Sons
The Grizzled Young Veterans aren’t endearing themselves to anyone since arriving in NXT, but that hasn’t mattered much in the ring.
Zack Gibson & James Drake prevailed again Wednesday, this time knocking off The Forgotten Sons.
After spending several weeks disparaging the black-and-gold brand’s tag team division and Americans in general — especially the NXT faithful at Full Sail — The Grizzled Young Veterans escalated their war of words on the United States before competing against The Forgotten Sons, who were ready to defend the stars and stripes.
But Gibson & Drake continued their winning ways despite a furious late rally from Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler, dropping Blake with the Ticket to Mayhem.
Charlotte Flair def. Bianca Belair and was confronted by Rhea Ripley
NXT was once again The Queen’s castle for one night, but The Nightmare wasn’t far behind.
Charlotte Flair returned to the black-and-gold brand for her first NXT in-ring action in more than four years, defeating Bianca Belair in a thrilling main event.
The EST, who clearly had a chip on her shoulder entering the biggest test of her young career, went step-for-step with the second-ever NXT Women’s Champion, even overwhelming The Queen at times with her athleticism. But thanks to her veteran in-ring savvy and a few crafty tricks, Flair reigned supreme, pinning Belair after a spear and Natural Selection.
After claiming the win, Charlotte locked Belair in the Figure-Four before NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley, whom she’ll challenge for the NXT Women’s Title at WrestleMania, arrived to chase her out of the ring before she could inflict more damage.