Last week, Shinsuke Nakamura said farewell to the NXT faithful at Full Sail University with a touching speech about his time with WWE’s third brand.
This week, it was Tye Dillinger’s turn to say goodbye, but he did so in a much different fashion, as he ended his tenure in NXT with a hard-fought victory over Eric Young inside of a steel cage.
Wrestling tradition would say that Dillinger should have lost to Young. Dillinger is leaving the territory and moving on to what is seen as greener (or more blue) pastures on Smackdown Live.
Young is staying in NXT and would hypothetically need the victory to enhance his credibility as one of the top villains on the brand.
However, if there was one person that deserved to buck that trend, it was Dillinger.
Dillinger’s character arch in NXT essentially mirrored his career in real life. Dillinger worked hard everyday to get noticed and in some instances it worked, but when it came time to win a big match, Dillinger always came up short.
In real life, Dillinger was in WWE’s developmental system off and on for more than a decade, watching dozens of people leapfrog him to advance their careers on WWE’s main roster.
With Dillinger finally achieving his dream of being on the main roster recently, it was only right that he left NXT with a victory instead of a loss, not only for Dillinger’s character to finally win a big match, but as a thank you to the man behind the character — Ronald Arneill — who helped build up a number of NXT’s marquee names in and out of the ring as a player/coach of sorts.
The match between Dillinger and Young was excellent. There was interference from Young’s running mates in Sanity and Dillinger’s pals — Roderick Strong, Kassisus Ohno and Ruby Riot — which I usually do not care for in steel cage matches.
However, it fit the story and allowed for the great visual of Ohno and Strong hoisting Dillinger upon their shoulders after he won the match.
Again, it was a fitting end for a man that gave so much to NXT on and off the screen.
NXT began on a thrilling note as well with NXT champion Bobby Roode going to the ring and saying how disgusted he was by the big sendoff Nakamura received last week.
Eventually, Hideo Itami walked to the ring and slapped Roode in the face without a saying a word. Roode was obviously taken aback by the slap, but calmly took off his sport coat and readied himself to fight Itami.
But before Roode even got a chance to throw a punch, Itami hoisted him up for the go to sleep and delivered the devastating move that he innovated many years ago in Japan.
As expected the fans at Full Sail went into a state of euphoria at the sight of the GTS.
Here are the full match results:
- Andrade “Cien” Almas def. Danny Burch
- Liv Morgan & Aliyah def. Peyton Royce & Billie Kay
- Steel cage match – Tye Dillinger def. Eric Young