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WWE NXT #453 (6.13.18) Play-by-Play and Review



You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. Tonight, EC3 faces Kassius Ohno, Pete Dunne defends the UK Championship against Kyle O’Reilly, and Aleister Black is back to address Lars Sullivan ahead of TakeOver: Chicago II.

Match #1: War Raiders (Hanson & Rowe) v. Ricky Martinez & Justin Storm

Hanson shoves Storm across the ring and then beheads him with a lariat. Rowe tags in and levels Storm with a shoulder tackle. Rowe drags Storm to the corner to tag in Martinez. Rowe no-sells a forearm and KO’s Martinez with a discus forearm. Martinez gets destroyed with an avalanche and a knee strike. Rowe slams Hanson into the prone body of Martinez in the corner. Storm makes the mistake of coming back in and gets killed with a knee to the face. War Raiders hit the Fallout on Martinez and that’s all.

Post-match, the War Raiders call out The Mighty (TM61). They then hit a double-team pop-up powerslam that nearly kills poor Justin Storm.

Winners: War Raiders via pinfall

Thoughts: Another brutal squash match for the War Raiders as they bide their time until presumably after TakeOver when they become the new contenders for the tag team titles. 

Match #2: EC3 v. Kassius Ohno

Ohno shoves EC3 down at the bell and then tosses him on his face. Ohno and EC3 head to ringside where Ohno unleashes some chops. The barrage continues in the ring as Ohno runs over EC3, but EC3 gets his knees up when Ohno tries a senton. EC3 hits a leg trip and kicks Ohno down in the corner. The crowd is more invested than they have been in previous EC3 matches. Ohno fires up and knees EC3 in the face.

Ohno delivers some nasty forearms and a Cyclone Kick followed by two sentons. EC3 rolls to the floor, but Ohno delivers a senton on the floor. Back in the ring, EC3 slings Ohno’s neck into the ropes and delivers the 1%/TKO for the win.

Winner: EC3 via pinfall

Thoughts: Well, the crowd was more invested in this than they have been since EC3 debuted. The match seemed really short, though, and not even close to the caliber of match that I’m used to seeing Kassius Ohno involved with. I’m still not sure what to think of EC3. Is he being prepared for a run at Aleister Black? I honestly have no clue.

Match #3: Bianca Belair v. Aliyah

Well, Aliyah is back with a new gimmick. She’s no longer a cat and is now the BFF of Versace – seriously. Belair levels Aliyah with a forearm that knocks off her little bandana. Belair spears Aliyah almost through the corner buckle, but Aliyah floats over a suplex attempt to lock in a guillotine. Belair delivers a snap suplex out of the guillotine. Belair lands a standing frog splash and kips up. Belair does the deadlift press slam and gives Aliyah Snake Eyes in the corner. Belair puts Aliyah in the Torture Rack and turns it into a sit-out face buster for the win. 

Winner: Bianca Belair via pinfall

Thoughts: That was a solid squash match for Belair. I cannot tell if NXT is pushing her as a babyface or not since Aliyah’s new character seems more like a heel. Then again, this is Aliyah, so maybe she doesn’t even know what she’s doing character-wise. Belair is physically impressive as hell, though. 

Backstage: Dakota Kai says she’s proud she stood up to Shayna Baszler. Bianca Belair interrupts and tells Kai to get out of there. OK, so Belair is a heel and Aliyah is just Aliyah. Kai challenges Belair to a match next week and it’s on.

Match #4/Main Event: United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne © v. Kyle O’Reilly

A Canadian is challenging for the UK Championship tonight. O’Reilly is by himself for the time being. After some grappling, Dunne and O’Reilly trade counters and submissions. Dunne starts twisting on O’Reilly’s fingers. O’Reilly runs into a nasty clothesline and eats an X-Plex on the ring apron outside the ring. Back in the ring, Dunne just continues the torture. O’Reilly finally targets Dunne’s taped up leg and lights him up with strikes and kicks. 

O’Reilly delivers a back suplex and transitions into a knee bar. Dunne and O’Reilly trade strikes until Dunne lays him out with an enzuigiri. Dunne unloads with punches and lands on his feet when O’Reilly tries a release German suplex. Dunne lands a head kick and sit-out powerbomb. O’Reilly counters the pin attempt with a Triangle, but Dunne rolls out and goes for a standing Kimura. O’Reilly counters out of that and delivers a brain buster for a near fall.

O’Reilly misses a leg sweep and gets driven across the ring by a forearm. O’Reilly counters the Bitter End into a guillotine. Dunne counters that into a suplex and then into an arm bar. O’Reilly counters that into an ankle lock, but Dunne stands up and head butts O’Reilly. Everyone resets and then trade strikes again. Good lord, this is a crazy sequence. They trade big shots and both men are down again. Dunne fires up with the Bitter End and gets the pinfall!

Post-match, Undisputed Era hits the ring to beat down Pete Dunne. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch come in for the save. Dunne and Adam Cole brawl to the backstage area, which leaves the tag teams to brawl. Lorcan and Burch end up standing tall at the end. 

Winner: Pete Dunne via pinfall to RETAIN the UK Championship

Thoughts: That was a really fun match to watch. As Dunne isn’t on the TakeOver card, this was like his PPV match and both he and O’Reilly delivered. It’s definitely worth going back to watch.

In-Ring Promo: NXT Champion Aleister Black heads to the ring to cut a promo on Lars Sullivan. It doesn’t take long for Sullivan to hit the ring and start brawling. Sullivan ends up leveling Black with a clothesline and a Freak Accident. Sullivan delivers two more Freak Accidents. Sullivan carries Black to the announcer’s table and lays him on top of it. Sullivan stands over him and raises the NXT Championship.


  • War Raiders beat Justin Storm & Ricky Martinez and then called out The Mighty
  • EC3 beat Kassius Ohno
  • Bianca Belair beat Aliyah
  • Pete Dunne beat Kyle O’Reilly to retain the UK Championship
  • Lars Sullivan beat down Aleister Black again

 Advertised for Next Week

  • TakeOver Chicago II fallout
  • Dakota Kai v. Bianca Belair
  • The Mighty v. War Raiders

 NXT TakeOver: Chicago II Card

  • NXT Championship:Aleister Black © v. Lars Sullivan
  • NXT Tag Team Championship:Undisputed Era © v. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
  • NXT Women’s Championship:Shayna Baszler © v. Nikki Cross
  • Chicago Street Fight:Johnny Gargano v. Tommaso Ciampa
  • Ricochet v. Velveteen Dream