NXT's Leon Ruff Retains North American Championship with Assist from Damian Priest

Tonight's NXT kicked off with Leon Ruff attempting to retain his North American Championship against Johnny Gargano, and this match went nothing like anyone expected. Gargano came out not wanting to be too cocky like he was last time, and Ruff wasn't going to give up his new Championship gold without a fight. Both came out swinging early, and every time Gargano seemed to have it won Ruff would avoid falling, displaying some stellar counters, including a sweet bounce off the ropes followed by a devastating clothesline on Gargano that sent him down to the mat. Gargano was able to get the upper hand afterward, but then Damian Priest came into the pciture.

Priest came out to the ring and it seemed the distraction was going to be enough, as Ruff pounced and almost got Gargano with a rollup pin. Gargano was able to get free though, and he sent Ruff reeling. This is when Gargano looked locked in, but Priest had other plans.

Priest pulled Ruff out of the ring and seemed to be giving him a pep talk, but his true plans were soon revealed, as he turned to Ruff and said "sorry kid". He then punched Ruff right in the head and knocked him to the ground, which caused the referee to ring the bell and call the match.

That's right, Priest caused a disqualification, and that means Ruff is still your North American Champion.

Here's the official description for tonight's NXT.

One of the most highly anticipated NXT Women's Title matches in history takes place tonight as Io Shirai defends against former champion Rhea Ripley! Plus, NXT Champion Finn Bálor returns for the first time since NXT TakeOver 31, Johnny Gargano tries to regain the NXT North American Championship from Leon Ruff after last week's shocking upset, and more. Catch it all tonight at 8/7 C on USA Network!

Here's the full card:

Io Shirai vs Rhea Ripley (NXT Women's Championship Match)

Finn Balor Returns

Johnny Gargano vs Leon Ruff (North American Championship Match)

Ember Moon vs Toni Storm vs Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez

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Cameron Grimes vs Dexter Lumis (Blindfold Match Showdown)

What have you thought of NXT thus far? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!