WWE NXT: Oct. 2, 2019

After defeating Matt Riddle in a thrilling battle to retain his title and kick off NXT’s live two-hour premiere on USA Network, NXT Champion Adam Cole felt like he was on top of the world. However, Finn Bálor and Tommaso Ciampa’s shocking returns threw Cole’s reign into question quicker than you can say “boom!” Elsewhere on the black-and-gold brand, The Undisputed ERA cemented their golden prophecy, and Shayna Baszler continued to show why she will be the NXT Women’s Champion for a long time.

NXT Champion Adam Cole def. Matt Riddle

Adam Cole’s precious NXT Championship remains safe around his waist, but he had the spotlight stolen from him by another former champion Wednesday.

Following Cole’s successful title defense against Matt Riddle, former NXT Champion Finn Bálor arrived on the scene and immediately made his intentions clear with only a few words: “As of now, Finn Bálor is NXT.”

An exhausted Cole looked absolutely stunned after a grueling match with Riddle, especially given his far less than peak condition. The leader of The Undisputed ERA fought through a broken right wrist thanks to a Fujiwara Armbar at the hands of Riddle last week. 

Riddle showed off his superior grappling skills early on, taking The Panama City Playboy down repeatedly and seemingly overwhelming the champion. However, Cole proved he was game with comparably astute skills. 

The opponents showed they had each other’s repertoires well scouted, trading a multitude of reversals, highlighted by Riddle’s into a fisherman’s buster and Cole’s into a mid-air backstabber. Full Sail Live almost came unglued after a series that saw Riddle hit a Bro to Sleep, powerbomb, devastating knee strike and a floating bro. 

The Original Bro even locked Cole into both the Bromission and Fujiwara Armbar, from which Cole managed to squirm free before hitting an elbow out of nowhere. That cleared the way for The Last Shot and a pinfall for Cole.

Velveteen Dream addresses Roderick Strong

Roderick Strong fulfilled The Undisputed ERA’s golden prophecy two weeks ago, capturing the NXT North American Championship in a hard-fought — and controversial — victory over Velveteen Dream.

Velveteen Dream arrived at Full Sail in his usual extravagant fashion, with his signature purple couch and eight women accompanying him, to let Strong know he wasn’t finished. Making his appearance about more than just pomp and circumstance, His Purple Highness said he is focused on getting a rematch with Strong and when he does, the North American Title will be his once again.

Io Shirai def. Mia Yim

Io Shirai sought retribution for what she saw as Mia Yim costing her an opportunity at the NXT Women’s Championship, and she achieved it.

Two weeks removed from a Fatal-4-Way No. 1 Contender’s Match that saw Yim disrupt Shirai when she was seemingly moments away from victory, the two tangled in singles competition. Shirai seized the early advantage but also demonstrated some overconfidence that gave Yim an opening to get back into the match.

Yim had Shirai on the ropes with explosive offense, including a devastating series of kicks that momentarily stunned the evil Genius of the Sky. Narrowly, Shirai evaded a pinfall attempt that followed a Code Blue by Yim, and later recovered to hit her patented moonsault en route to victory. 

Not only did Shirai achieve a measure of revenge, but she staked her claim in the pecking order in the NXT Women’s Division, where surely her sights remain on another title opportunity.

Johnny Gargano def. Shane Thorne

Shane Thorne’s never-ending quest for adulation hit a detour, at least for this week.

Thorne interrupted Johnny Gargano’s address to the NXT Universe three weeks ago, and much like that encounter, Gargano got the better of Thorne on Wednesday.

In his first NXT TV action since NXT TakeOver: Toronto, Gargano hardly missed a beat. Though Thorne withstood many of Gargano’s best shots — including a high-impact slingshot spear — and responded with some of his own, Johnny Wrestling proved to be too much to overcome. Gargano secured the win following a superkick that was right on the mark.

NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler def. Candice LeRae

Shayna Baszler isn’t surrendering her mantle as the longest currently reigning champ anytime soon if she has anything to say about it

Baszler closed the deal on another successful NXT Women’s Title defense, this time overcoming the plucky Candice LeRae, who was more than ready for her big chance. 

LeRae rattled The Queen of Spades in the early going, knocking her silly with a thunderous enziguri and a springboard plancha. Baszler found her way back into the match with the same viciousness that has made her such a dominant champion, stomping LeRae’s left elbow against the steel steps. 

Tenacious C fought back with a DDT that spiked Baszler’s head into the apron, followed by three tope suicidas that left Baszler dazed. But when she tried to finish off the champion with a springboard moonsault, The Submission Magician slipped out of the way and locked LeRae into the Kirifuda Clutch. LeRae struggled to get free to no avail and was left with no choice but to eventually tap out. 

The NXT Women’s Division is brimming with worthy challengers, but none so far have shown the mettle needed to dethrone Baszler. With her reign closing in on a year, who will step up next to try to stop her?  

Pete Dunne def. Danny Burch

Another match brought yet another victory for Pete Dunne, but it may have also brought a new adversary.

Dunne took on Danny Burch in a battle of smash-mouth British styles, ultimately overcoming Burch after hitting The Bitter End. 

But The BruiserWeight didn’t have long to celebrate. The lights went dark at Full Sail and when they came back on Damian Priest emerged from beneath the squared circle. The Archer of Infamy floored Dunne with a vicious forearm, then put an exclamation mark on his ambush by hitting The Reckoning.

Since arriving on the scene, Priest has run through his opponents with relative ease, but surely he’s awoken a new level of competition by attacking Dunne — a man who’s never been one to turn down a fight. 

NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed ERA def. The Street Profits

The Undisputed ERA’s golden prophecy remains intact after Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly defeated The Street Profits — but for how much longer with returning challengers circling the group’s leader? 

In the moment after Fish and O’Reilly’s NXT Tag Team Championship defense, Adam Cole made his way to the stage, fresh off a defense of his own earlier in the night against Matt Riddle. However, it wasn’t long before The Panama City Playboy was joined by a foreboding guest. 

Tommaso Ciampa appeared on NXT TV for the first time since undergoing a spinal fusion surgery in March for a neck injury — an injury which forced Ciampa to surrender the same title now held by Cole. The Blackheart walked a deliberate circle around Cole, his eyes locked on to the title he so affectionately refers to as “Goldie.” No words were needed to communicate that Ciampa is fixated on reclaiming his dear championship from Cole — who was confronted earlier in the night by another potential challenger in Finn Bálor.

Moments earlier, The Street Profits brought all of the smoke, but it wasn’t quite enough for them to regain the NXT Tag Team Championship, due in large part to Roderick Strong. 

After electrifying the NXT Universe with an entrance emceed by Grammy-nominated rapper, Wale, The Sultans of Swag went hold for hold with the championship duo of O’Reilly and Fish, forging another storied chapter in what has developed into a fiercely competitive rivalry.

The Undisputed ERA played a keep-away game that left Montez Ford in dire straits and far away from Angelo Dawkins for much of the contest. Finally evading both adversaries, Ford’s late tag saw Dawkins rock the ring with a fiery offensive flurry. 

The match devolved into sheer chaos minutes later, and The Undisputed ERA took advantage. Strong appeared at ringside just in time to trip Ford up as he was perched atop the ropes and ready to perhaps finish the bout. That left Ford a sitting duck for the champions to hit Total Elimination and wrap up the win. 

Undisputed ERA to defend NXT Tag Team Titles against Street Profits

The Street Profits will get a chance to reclaim the NXT Tag Team Championship from The Undisputed ERA tonight, when they challenge Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly for the titles live on USA Network.

Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford have made no bones about the fact that they were coming back for the titles since their defeat on Aug. 28. NXT General Manager William Regal made the rematch official on Twitter last week.

Will The Street Profits bring The Undisputed ERA’s reign with all of NXT’s titles to an abrupt end, or will Fish & O’Reilly show that the future of NXT is indeed undisputed?