Welcome to the latest edition of the NXT Inquest. We are a week removed from WrestleMania weekend and, more importantly, NXT TakeOver, and a number of things appear to be on the horizon. The new NXT intro was pretty neat, reminiscent of old Raw is War intros during the Attitude era. Mauro Ranallo runs down the night’s action including an NXT Women’s Championship match between Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane, the stipulation being if Sane loses she will never receive another title opportunity. Based on this past week’s Smackdown Live, we have an inkling how this match plays out. Or at least, that’s our deduction, gumshoes Prepare once again to be hit with just the facts, ma‘am.
NXT North American Championship Match
Velveteen Dream vs. Buddy Murphy
The Velveteen Dream’s music hits and the current NXT North American Champion makes his way to the ring, much to the delight of the NXT faithful. This match came about after Dream was commenting on social media regarding Buddy Murphy’s Cruiserweight championship loss. Murphy then comes out, making his NXT return; by the way, he is now advertised as being part of the Smackdown Live roster. Once in the ring, Murphy has his eyes completely focused on Dream but so does the entire audience. After the introductions are made, these two quickly take the fight to one another. Ranallo reminds fans that a win here would mark the third championship that Murphy has won including his NXT tag team championship with Wesley Blake and the Cruiserweight championship.
The two men lock up and Murphy gets the advantage with a tight headlock on the Dream. Early on both men are trying to control their opponent. A lot of side headlocks are used to wear each other down. From there the match begins to pick up the pace, with both men countering one another and exchanges ending with handsprings to their feet. It has been one counter after the other until Murphy nearly knocks Dream right out with a knee to the face, his own version to Kota Ibushi’s Kama Goye. He had Dream down for a count of two but that was it.
Once the champion is back to his feet both men begin to take it to one another. Murphy caps the back and forth off with a somersault top rope tope suicida! He follows that up with lunging top rope knee strikes but could only get a count of two. Everything Murphy is hitting Dream with is intense. He hits hard and hits often. The Dream manages to get a foot up but Murphy locks in a sleeper hold. How ironic! He then turns that into a rear chin lock. Murphy has been in control for most of this match early on. But right after saying that, the Dream attempts to mount an offense hitting Murphy with a superkick that looked as though it nearly took Buddy’s head off! The Dream continues to fight back and eventually, Murphy is thrown from the ring. He hits a codebreaker but to no avail! Both men go at each other valiantly, hitting strike after strike from every which way. They take the fight to the top rope only to crash and burn to the outside the ring. Murphy’s leaping knee strikes are fierce, Omega-esque.
Just as it appears both men will be counted out, Murphy slides into the ring to break the ten count. But after he rolls Dream into the ring he gets caught with his head between the ropes and is hit with a fame–asser. Dream follows that up with a Dream Valley Drive immediately, climbs the ropes and hits the Purple Rainmaker. He gets the count of three, successfully defending his title after nearly twenty minutes of competition.
Winner: #AndStill NXT North American Champion Velveteen Dream
Dominik Dijakovic is advertised to be coming up next, and later there will be the return of the NEW NXT Champion Johnny Gargano.
Fans are then treated to a Snapchat video of the Street Profits having a ‘special edition.’ They say they are going to knock on William Regal’s office door and ask him a question, but at that point, the War Raiders walk out and say they will see them in the ring next week. It looks like an NXT Tag Team Championship match is happening next week.
Johnny Gargano’s music hits and the new NXT Champion makes his way out to the ring sporting a new shirt titled simply ‘Johnny Champion’. On the back, it reads ‘One life, one dream, one destiny’. The ‘rebel heart’ makes his way to the ring in order to address the NXT fans about an array of things. Fans begin to chant ‘Johnny Champion’. Gargano takes a minute to soak it in and then begins to say that ‘we’ have been waiting a long time for this, in response to which fans began chanting ‘you deserve it’. He says that this is what happens when you refuse to take no for an answer. But as he stands there proudly he is interrupted by Adam Cole. Cole says that he beat him in the middle of the ring, and would be champion if it was any other match. He then goes on to call Gargano an idiot for thinking he won. Gargano makes jabs at Undisputed Era and reminds Cole that he made him tap out not just once but twice and that his win isn’t just definitive but…undisputed. Gargano says that if Cole wants a match he’s willing to take him up on that. But then Roderick Strong attacks from behind. The entire faction charges the ring and beats down on the champion, with Cole finishing him off with a superkick.
Both Baszler and Sane are shown warming up for their match later on while Dominik Dijakovic’s match is coming up next.
After a commercial, KUSHIDA’s arrival is promoted as being in a couple of weeks. A recap of the Superstar Shakeup shows who went to Raw and who went to Smackdown Live from NXT. Except for Nikki Cross…
Aaron Frye vs Dominik Dijakovic
With a slow and menacing walk, Dijakovic comes to the ring and reminds fans to FEAST YOUR EYES, which they all say in unison. Within two seconds he knocked out Frye with a straight boot.
Winner: Dominik Dijakovic
After the match, Dijakovic gets on the mic and shares the story of how his family’s support provided him with opportunity. He makes mention of the NXT North American Championship and gives a warning to the Velveteen Dream.
Cathy Kelly interviews Undisputed Era after their altercation in the ring. Cole begins to address the events but is interrupted by William Regal. Regal says that Gargano definitely wants to face the Undisputed Era, but while Cole thinks it’s him that will challenge for the NXT title, Regal reveals that it is, in fact, Roderick Strong that Johnny Gargano wants to face. Strong vs Gargano is announced next week, which leaves Cole looking none too happy.
The history between Baszler and Sane is recapped, including their wins and losses against one another. Their matchup is after the commercial break. After the break, Vanessa Bourne and Aliyah speak about how they weren’t ready last week for Candice LeRae, but they will be next week. A tag team match? Interesting. Kacy Catanzaro would be a great selection.
NXT Women’s Championship
Shayna Baszler vs. Kairi Sane
Baszler makes her way to the ring accompanied by Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke. Her theme song always gets me pumped. Then Sane’s music hits and she comes out for the match. As it stands there are about 11 minutes remaining before the show’s normal end time. The match stipulations are announced by Kayla Braxton. Once the bell rings Sane takes a very timid approach early on. Baszler backs the challenger into a corner but is hit by a spinning back fist and Sane turns on the gas. She hits an elbow strike from the top rope and follows with a pinfall attempt, but only gets a count of two.
The two women take it to one another time and time again. Baszler is unrelenting, while Sane fights off submission attempts and avoids a knee strike in the corner. She then begins to hit the champion with multiple open hand strikes. She goes for the anchor lock, but Baszler is able to get to the rope for a break. She then hits an InSane elbow onto the back of the queen of spades. But Baszler bounces back and attempts a gut-wrench top rope suplex, only for Sane to escape and intend land a double stomp on to her suspended opponent. Sane misses an elbow outside the ring, and Baszler is like a shark smelling blood, working the injured joint and locking in an elbow-lock submission. However, a rope break buys Sane some time. The referee calls for a doctor as Sane struggles to get back into the ring, and the match. Baszler drags her in and looks to be going for her patented vicious arm stomp, but Io Shirai causes her friend to get disqualified when she attacks in order to prevent the stomp. But she is grabbed Duke and Shafir, and while she is held, Baszler stomps on the elbow of Sane. It looks like Shirai is being set up to be Baszler’s next challenger for the NXT women’s championship.
Winner: Shayna Baszler
Until next week, for the NXT Inquest, this was Marc Madison of Pro Wrestling Post.
To read up on last week’s inaugural edition click here.