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WWE NXT #442 (4.4.18) Play-by-Play and Review



You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. Tonight, the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will take place to determine not only this year’s winners, but also who faces the Undisputed Era for the tag team championship at TakeOver. Also, Lars Sullivan faces Killian Dain.

Earlier Today: Terry Taylor, Dustin Rhodes, and Michael Hayes are backstage to see the finals of the tournament. Also, Bobby Fish’s injury is unfortunately confirmed and he will not be able to compete at TakeOver. We’re told more updates are coming soon.

Match #1: Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Authors of Pain (w/ Paul Ellering) v. Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne

Akam and Strong start out and Strong is quickly tossed across the ring. Rezar comes in and Strong backs off to tag in Dunne. The Bruiserweight is the most over guy in the match by far. After a quick commercial, Akam is back in the ring and in control over Dunne. Dunne continues trying to fight back, but Akam cuts him off each time and keeps beating him down.

The Authors continue alternating in and out of the ring and crush Dunne with the side slam / stomp double team move. Dunne kicks out at two. Akam gets careless and Dunne ends up planting him on his face. He gets the hot tag to Strong, who goes to work on Rezar. A high knee sends Akam to the floor and a step-up enzuigiri stuns Rezar. Strong nails Rezar with 4 running forearms and a high drop kick, but Rezar still isn’t down. Strong takes Akam back down on the floor with a wrecking ball drop kick, and then races across the ring to hit Rezar with a high knee in the corner. 

Strong delivers the Angle Slam, but Rezar kicks out. Dunne tags in and nails a running step-up enzuigiri on Rezar in the corner followed by a double stomp to the back off the top rope, but Rezar kicks out again. Dunne goes for a triangle, but Rezar deadlifts him and backs up to his corner to tag Akam. The Authors then deliver a neckbreaker / powerbomb double team, but Strong breaks up the pin. Strong low bridges Rezar to the floor. Strong lifts up Akam and hands him to Dunne for a double team Bitter End, but Rezar gets in there to break it up.

A pair of double team high knees / step-up enzuigiris take each Author down. It’s short lived, though, as the Authors level them and now everyone is down for a reset and big crowd pop. Out of nowhere, Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly hit the ring and attack everyone. The referee calls for a double disqualification. William Regal isn’t going to let it stand, though. Apparently, since Bobby Fish is hurt, the Undisputed Era thought that if there were no winners tonight, there would be no title match at TakeOver. Regal says that’s not the case. He says at TakeOver, it’ll now be a Triple Threat match. The winner of that match will not only win the tag team titles, but also the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. 

Winners: Draw via Double Disqualification

Thoughts: The Undisputed Era interference made sense when Regal showed up to call them out. It wasn’t officially announced, but it looks like Adam Cole is going to have to wrestle twice at TakeOver – in a ladder match and in the tag team triple threat. Overall, the Authors and Strong/Dunne were putting together a surprisingly good match. It should be pretty good at TakeOver.

Match #2: Kairi Sane v. Vanessa Borne

Right at the bell, Borne slams Sane on her face and mocks her. Sane comes back with a few pin attempts, but Borne kicks out. Borne catches Sane coming off the ropes with a flapjack. Borne drives Sane’s face into the bottom buckle with a kick for a near fall. 

Sane nails Borne with a huge spear and then a sliding forearm in the corner. Sane delivers an elbow to the face off the top rope, but Borne kicks out. Borne fights back and tries a superplex, but she falls into a Tree of Woe and eats a double stomp from Sane. Sane nails the Insane Elbow and gets the win.

Winner: Kairi Sane via pinfall

Thoughts: Decent TV match to give Sane a televised win. The announcers hint that she’s likely the #1 contender to the women’s champion after TakeOver. 

Backstage: Lacey Evans is backstage and says Regal keeps allowing societal trash to walk around in NXT. She appears to be referring to Nikki Cross, whom she calls a psycho. She says Ember Moon is also weak. She talks some trash about Kairi Sane and Dakota Kai as well because why not?

Backstage: Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly catch up with Regal and scream at him. Cole says it’s not fair that he has to wrestle twice. Regal says they have 3 options: Cole can compete in 2 matches, O’Reilly can compete by himself in the tag match, or Cole can step out of the North American title match and only compete in the tag team match. They aren’t pleased. 

Backstage: Ember Moon says she’s going to finish this deal with Shayna Baszler.

Match #3/Main Event: Lars Sullivan v. Killian Dain

The two big men trade tie-ups and strikes with no clear winner. Dain nails a bicycle kick that sends Sullivan to the floor. Sullivan pulls Dain out and slams his back into the ring apron as they go to commercial. Back from break, Sullivan is still in control. Sullivan can’t connect with the Freak Accident, so Dain lifts him for a fireman’s carry slam and a running senton. Sullivan gets his knees up on the Vader Bomb attempt and then levels Dain with a clothesline. 

Sullivan heads to the top rope, but he gets caught. Dain climbs up and delivers a head butt that knocks Sullivan to the floor. Velveteen Dream hits the ring and so does Adam Cole. They face off and then EC3 joins them in the ring. In the meantime, Dain and Sullivan return to the ring. Before anything can happen, Ricochet’s music hits and he runs to the ring. Everyone faces off as the show closes.

Winner: No Contest

Thoughts: NXT sure has been having a lot of non-finishes lately. They all have a purpose, but I’m starting to get that main roster WWE feel sometimes and that’s not always a good thing. On the plus side, they resisted the urge to have all 6 guys get all their spots in during some go-home show brawl. They saved it all for TakeOver. 


  • Undisputed Era caused a double DQ in the Authors of Pain versus Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne match in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
  • Bobby Fish is injured and will not compete at TakeOver
  • Undisputed Era (Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly), Authors of Pain, and Roderick Strong / Pete Dunne will be in a Tag Team Championship Triple Threat. The winners also win the Dusty Classic
  • Kairi Sane beat Vanessa Borne
  • Killian Dain and Lars Sullivan went to a no contest as all 6 men in the ladder match had a face-off

Advertised for Next Week

  • Kairi Sane v. Lacey Evans

Final NXT TakeOver New Orleans Card

  • NXT Championship:Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas © v. Aleister Black
  • NXT Women’s Championship:Ember Moon © v. Shayna Baszler
  • NXT Tag Team Championship/Dusty Rhodes Classic Final:Undisputed Era © v. Authors of Pain v. Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne
  • Unsanctioned Match:Tommaso Ciampa v. Johnny Gargano
  • NXT North American Championship Ladder Match:EC3 v. Adam Cole v. Velveteen Dream v. Lars Sullivan v. Killian Dain v. Ricochet