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Tonight's episode features a David and Goliath type match-up pitting the Pirate Princess Kairi Sane against Queen of Spades Shayna Baszler. We should also see the next steps taken on who will challenge for the NXT Championship now that Johnny Gargano has made his exit from NXT.
WWE (@WWE) February 28, 2018
- The show opens with a look back at last week's NXT Championship match between Almas and Gargano. Almas was eventually the victor thanks in part to Ciampa, and now Gargano must leave NXT for good. They show the final sendoff including Ciampa waving goodbye, crutch in hand.
- Mauro Ranallo introduces his commentating cohorts in similar fashion to the way Michael Cole did on RAW. In another WWE staple, they wish Johnny Gargano the best in his future endeavors. Let's go to the ring for some action.
Velveteen Dream vs. Tyler Bate
Nice reception for both men. Dream slides (literally) out of the way of a hold and reverses into a wrist lock. Bate switches into wrist control for himself. Lots of switches and reverses. Bate rolls him up for a quick one count, but Dream rolls out to collect himself and his frustration. We go to break as he regroups.
We're back and the larger Dream is in control and institutes a couple quick covers. Bate able to stave off any major attack and makes Dream retreat. The more powerful Dream tosses Bate across the ring. He quickly follows up with knees to the back of a seated Bate. Smart follow with a back breaker as well. We're now in trash talk mode as Dream hits a power slam and drops the elbow. Nonchalant cover and short count. Seated chin lock and transitions directly into elbow drops of the back. Dream goes to the second rope and hits an axe handle. Modified camel clutch applied and pulls on Bate's hair for good measure. Bate uses his upper body strength to slip out but a kick to the back resets it once again. After a brief back and forth Bate hits a running knee, slam, and an impressive suplex. Bate takes to the air, and by that I mean an airplane spin. Dream is able to fight out, which is the first time it's been countered to my knowledge. Bate levels Dream for a pin and a two. Bate looks for the Tyler Driver but countered into a back body drop by Dream. Sweet reversal off a whip into a huge spine buster by Dream who covers for a two. Dueling forearms in the middle of the ring. They stand to their feet and Bate lands a series of uppercuts. Dream lands a shot out of nowhere and Bate has to shake off the cobwebs as it appears they headbutted the other. Aerial drop kick that knocks Dream off his top rope perch. Bate looks for a face buster, but Dream pushes him into the ropes which lands right in between Bates' legs. Dream capitalizes immediately with the Purple Rainmaker Elbow for the win.
Winner via Pinfall: Velveteen Dream
- Paul Ellering of Authors of Pain talks about the upcoming Dusty Classic. The guys themselves deliver a few short intimidating lines as they look forward to the tournament.
- Shown video of Gargano signing his termination papers with referee Drake Wuertz apologizing in admission of his error in the match.
- The NXT Champion Andrade "Cien" Almas and his associate Zelina will be live on NXT later tonight.
Cezar Bononi vs. Adam Cole
Solid pop for Cole, who arrives with his tag title wearing buddies, Fish and O'Reilly. Bononi does not seem very enthused by the Undisputed Era's tactics. There is a distinct size advantage for Bononi. Cole takes a mic after the bell and puts Bononi over....to a point. Cole then makes a formal invitation to Bononi to join the Undisputed Era. Whether the invitation was from the heart or not, t-shirt included, Cole attacks as Bononi contemplates. Cezar fiercely attacks as Cole gloats after his successful plan. Michunoku Driver from the big Brazilian. As he thinks about his next move, reDRagon takes to the apron, which allows Cole to line up a super kick. Follows it up with a shining wizard to the back of the neck for the win.
Winner via Pinfall: Adam Cole
- UE continues the attack for a couple moments after the match until they feel they've accomplished their goal.
- A look back at the first meeting between Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler at the MYC and their budding rivalry since being signed to NXT. They'll face off later tonight.
- The Street Profits do a fun little video of them interviewing "people" on who they think will win the Dusty Classic.
Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler
Yoho and away we go. Sane comes out with some fast footwork but Baszler negates that with a single slap. It actually ticks off the smaller Sane who goes to town with right hands. It doesn't last long as Baszler catches a leg and transitions into a side headlock. Sane fights out by taking Baszler in the corner to create space. Slight miscommunication on a double leg and cover by Sane but Baszler plays along for a two. Baszler then lands a shot that nearly caves the chest in of Sane as we go to our first break.
We're back and Baszler firmly in control working over the left arm. Whip in the corner and high knee by the former MMA competitor. Kick to the back for a two. Baszler with a double wrist lock as Sane screeches in pain. She finds a way to roll Shayna up for a two. Sane calls on her fighting spirit to hit some double hand chops. Interceptor spear out of nowhere. Sane walks the plank and winds up for the sliding clothesline in the corner. Backpress for a two count. Sane calls for the end and goes for a slam. Blocked and Baszler goes for a suplex, but also blocked and turns for a swinging back fist. She heads up top for the elbow but gets toppled down. Baszler then hits a nice looking driver which lands directly into a clutch. Sane has no choice but to tap.
Winner via Submission: Shayna Baszler
- After the match, Baszler goes to the commentary desk and says she's calling out Ember Moon. She says the next time they meet she'll either leave with Ember's title or a limb.
- A suit-clad Almas and the always stunning Vega make their entrance. Vega takes the mic and introduces her business associate. She has a new nickname for him: Mr. 4-0. Vega runs down Gargano for bringing his friends and family in just to watch him lose. Instead of respect, she says Almas earns money and championships. And unlike most women's she doesn't feed off her man's success, she creates it. Almas cuts a promo in Spanglish and calls Gargano "Johnny Jobless." But we still call him NXT Champion.
- Authors of Pain takes on TM61 next week.
- Almas and Vega celebrate on the ramp, but Aleister Black's music hits much to their surprise. Black makes his entrance through the side basement, mic in tow. He stares a hole through Almas as the crowd gets behind him. As Black raises the mic, Killian Dain's music hits who also makes a side entrance and joins Black in the ring. They fight over what appears to be the spot to challenge Almas. Black misses on Black Mass but Dain hits The Divide to leave Black laying as Almas and Vega retreat.