Tonight was the night Drake Maverick's been waiting for, as his matchup against Kushida in the Interim Cruiserweight Championship Tournament was going to decide if he stayed in the tournament and as a result a part of WWE or if he ended up leaving the company and heading home. Maverick came out of the gate strong and focused, dishing out quite a bit of offense on Kushida. Kushida was undeterred though and would bounce back with some impactful offense of his own. The pressure was on for Maverick, something the commentary team didn't let him forget, and after things looked bleak for Maverick, he was able to counter and pin Kushida for the win.
There were several near falls, and Jake Atlas even came out to show some support for Maverick, who had Kushida pinned for 2 and change before Kushida kicked out. Kushida would come back with some big hits and a knee to Maverick and then focused his attack on Maverick's arm.
Maverick would use his other arm to dish out some more punches, but Kushida countered and then went after the arm yet again in several rather painful ways.
Maverick refused to give in when the referee asked if he wanted to end the match, and Kushida would keep targeting the arm, twisting it in several ways and causing Maverick to scream in pain. He refused to end the match though, and went for the ropes, stopping. the onslaught.
Atlas kept cheering Maverick on, and he even managed to turn the tables and get Kushida stunned on the turnbuckle. Kushida countered it though, causing. more pain to the arm.
Maverick got him set up again and took him to the mat, going for the arm submission, but Maverick was able to counter and roll him up for a three count.
After that, a triple threat match featuring Maverick, Kushida, and Atlas was announced for next week, and whoever wins will move forward in the tournament's final match.
You can find the official description of tonight's episode below.
"The Nightmare will return to the ring for the first time since WrestleMania to take on Io Shirai! Elsewhere, Karrion Kross looks to build off his dominant debut with Scarlett, Roderick Strong tries to take care of The Undisputed ERA's Dexter Lumis problem and two bouts close out group competition in the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Title Tournament, tonight at 8/7 C on USA Network!"
Karrion Kross and Scarlett Return
Rhea Ripley vs Io Shirai
Roderick Strong vs Dexter Lumis
NXT Cruiserweight Title Tournament: Kushida vs Drake Maverick
NXT Cruiserweight Title Tournament: El Hijo del Fantasma vs Akira Tozawa
What did you think of the match? Let us know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter !@MattAguilarCB for all things NXT!
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