(ST. CHARLES, MO) At the WWE NXT event held at Family Arena Saturday night, members of the faction known as Undisputed Era were successful in retaining their respective titles although they were achieved by nefarious methods.
In the evening’s main event, NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong pinned Pete Dunne to hang onto his strap while NXT Tag Team Champions Kyle O’ Reilly and Bobby Fish topped the Street Profits to keep their second reign intact.
The trio, alongside NXT Champion Adam Cole, currently possesses all of the men’s titles in the traveling brand of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Saturday’s stop in St. Charles was the continuation of a four-city Midwestern trek that sees the brand performing Sunday night in the Memphis suburb of Southaven, Mississippi.
1) Keith Lee defeated Ridge Holland at 9:50 via pinfall.
Saturday’s opener saw the extremely-agile Lee, who is north of 320 pounds, display numerous power moves that countered the underhanded tactics of Holland, a former rugby player from the United Kingdom who is making his first national trek with the brand. Holland’s flapjack almost resulted in victory at the 8-minute mark but Lee claimed the duke with a one-handed choke slam.
2) Candice LeRae defeated Taynara Conti at 7:13 via pinfall.
The first of two women’s matches of the evening featured LeRae, the current number one contender for the NXT Women’s Championship, staving off the attack from Conti, a Brazilian jukoda that possesses a black belt. Conti aggressively went after LeRae’s left knee, which included ramming it into the ring post midway. Down the stretch, Conti attempted a savate kick but LeRae dodged the strike and followed through with a roll up to notch the win.
3) Shane Thorne defeated Denzel DeJournette at 7:02 via pinfall.
Prior to the match, a video package featured DeJournette, a NCAA Division 1 Wrestling All-American from Appalachian State, stating that St. Louis was important to him since one of his last competitions as a collegiate wrestler was at the NCAA championships held at Scottrade Center in 2017. This automatically made him the crowd favorite against his surly Australian opponent. There was plenty of even action and both combatants gained plenty of offense as Thorne claimed the win with a shoot bicycle kick.
4) Damian Priest defeated Bronson Reed at 9:50 via pinfall.
In what could be best described as a “hoss fight” between NXT up-and-comers – Priest billed at 6-5 and 250 pounds while Reed checks in at 6-foot and 330 pounds – the duo won over the Family Arena crowd as both pushed each other deep with numerous power moves near conclusion. Priest claimed the duke with his South of Heaven chokeslam. Afterwards, Reed received respectful applause from the crowd due to the effort.
5) Undisputed Era (Kyle O’ Reilly and Bobby Fish) defeated the Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) at 13:20 via pinfall to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship.
In the tag team title tussle, the challengers held the early advantage with the charismatic Ford being a highlight. As the match progressed, the defending champions were able to use their combination of strikes to slow down Ford. A hot tag to Dawkins at the ten-minute mark resulted in the Profits potentially recapturing the titles after Dawkins delivered a T-bone suplex to O’Reilly. In the match’s final sequence, Ford scaled to the top turnbuckle to attempt a frog splash O’Reilly and Fish pushed him off, resulting in Ford whiplashing himself on the top rope. O’Reilly then rolled up the wobbly adversary for the winning pin and the team’s successful title defense.
6) Matt Riddle defeated Dominik Dijakovic at 8:04 via submission.
It seemed that a plethora of youngsters attending Saturday night supported “The Original Bro” as Riddle made his way into battle against Dijakovic, who also owns a dedicated group of followers. Throughout the match, Riddle’s offense of repetitive palm strikes and slaps was equally-countered by Dijakovic’s arsenal of high-impact power moves. Riddle, a mixed-martial artist by trade, claimed the win with an arm bar that made his opponent tap.
7) Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley and Reina Gonzalez defeated Shayna Baszler, Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke via pinfall at 13:10.
The six-woman feature tag saw Baszler, the current NXT Women’s Champion, be on the defense early as Ripley and Belair, two primary contenders for the title, claim advantages. A triple-suplex by Ripley, Belair and Gonzalez on the opposing trio resulted in a high-point. Belair claimed the win for her team following the K.O.D. (Argentine Facebuster) on Shafir.
8) Roderick Strong defeated Pete Dunne via pinfall to retain the NXT North American Championship.
Prior to the match, Strong grabbed the microphone and made pointed insults about the city of St. Charles that immediately ignited the crowd. Dunne, a former WWE NXT United Kingdom Champion, was able to control the match early with joint manipulation that bent the wrist and fingers of Strong which made the audience simultaneously cheer and wince. As the match progressed, Strong delivered his arsenal of strikes and suplexes that resulted in near falls.
Near the 20-minute mark, Dunne hit his signature “Bitter End” finisher (a pump handle, reverse STO) on Strong and almost gained the title. Then in a moment of match impact, both Strong’s Undisputed Era brethren, Fish and O’ Reilly, charged the ring to provide interference. Fish clocked Dunne from behind with an axe handle to stagger the Brit. Strong then followed with the “End of Heartache” finish – a jumping back breaker – to retain the title.
After the match, O’Reilly and Fish joined Strong to conduct a three-on-one attack against Dunne but the Street Profits quickly charged the ring to even the odds. Both Ford and Dawkins quickly dispatched the villains and then addressed the crowd to finish the evening.
WWE NXT’s two-hour live television show can be seen Wednesdays at 7 pm the USA Network.