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The last time anyone seen Roderick Strong, he gave William Regal a gold envelope with what some people thought was his resignation from NXT. Since then he has been off of TV and has been quiet on social media as well.

A man attacks Kushida in the ring and beats him down. The man reveals himself and it’s Roderick Strong. Tyler Rust watches from the apron, along with Hideki Suzuki. Malcolm Bivens enters the ring and brings Kushida’s NXT Cruiserweight Title belt in, showing it to Strong and then laying it over Kushida. Bivens says this is The Diamond Mine. Fans boo as The Diamond Mine stands together over Kushida, staring down at him. NXT goes off the air.

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WWE NXT Digitals | WWE NXT Video Captures

We see footage from earlier today with another therapy session featuring The Undisputed Era, including Kyle O’Reilly in disguise. Roderick Strong is still haunted by Dexter Lumis and the trunk of that car. Strong has been working on his thoughts and today he thinks he can conquer that fear. He thinks he can do it. The Undisputed Era hypes Strong up and O’Reilly reveals himself. They all go outside to face the car trunk. Strong gets in and NXT Champion Adam Cole shuts the trunk on him. They’re celebrating. They open the trunk again and Strong has conquered his fear of the trunk. Cole reveals Strong will face Lumis tonight and he’s not so sure. They all walk off and Strong shuts the trunk again, hyping himself up for tonight’s match.

Dexter Lumis vs. Roderick Strong

Back from a break and out comes Dexter Lumis to the ring. The Undisputed Era is out next – Roderick Strong with Bobby Fish, no sign of Kyle O’Reilly and NXT Champion Adam Cole. Strong hesitates to come out but Fish encourages him to go to the ring. Lumis looks on.

The bell rings and Strong is scared. He hops out of the ring and says he’s not ready. Fish tells him he can do this. Strong comes back in as Lumis stares him down. Strong can’t make eye contact or get close enough to do anything to Lumis. He goes back to the floor and says he’s not ready. Fish says he was born ready. The referee counts. Strong comes back in but jumps right back to the floor.

Lumis goes to the floor now, stalking Strong at ringside. Strong falls and pleads with Lumis. He tries to escape but runs into the Plexiglas barrier. Strong retreats to the back now, running away while the referee counts. Strong is counted out while Fish rants at ringside.

Winner by Count Out: Dexter Lumis

Video can be found HERE

If you didn’t know Imperium, or were only familiar with them from their sporadic appearances on Raw, SmackDown and NXT, consider yourself educated. The elite, European squad led by NXT UK Champion WALTER managed to outwit, outlast and outwrestle The Undisputed ERA, despite a ruthless maneuver that left Imperium down a man at the start of the match.

Alexander Wolfe was the downed Superstar, taken out by a brutal double-team from Undisputed ERA just minutes into the contest. But despite the nominal advantage, NXT’s resident gold-plated faction seemed to be underdogs the entire time. Imperium employed the same pitch-perfect teamwork UE has made their calling card — theirs was just a degree more savage and it only increased as time went on. Cannily, Undisputed ERA took out the biggest dog in the yard when Roderick Strong — who’d gone chop-for-chop with WALTER seconds before — hoisted the massive Austrian onto his shoulders and dropped him through the commentary table with an Olympic Slam.

That left Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel to stand alone, and NXT Champion Adam Cole, who’d been seeing ghosts all night, stepped in to finish the job. But the inevitable return of Der Ring General turned the tide in Imperium’s favor: WALTER dished out blistering chops to anything that moved and, following a high-risk maneuver by Aichner that took out everyone at ringside, sealed the bout with a thundering, stacked-up powerbomb to Bobby Fish. In terms of a statement, it’s difficult to top that. What started as an evening of friendly, if heated, competition ended up a brutal statement on behalf of one group who walked in the door and remade the night — and the sport — in their image.

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1. World’s Collide Captures(Uploaded tomorrow)

NXT TakeOver XXV Digitals | NXT TakeOver XXV Video Captures

A true brawl of the mighty launched the 25th edition of NXT TakeOver, and given the sterling wrecking crews involved, there was no better way to crack the pavement.

In a painful blitz between pure strength and spine-tingling backbreakers, Matt Riddle and Roderick Strong slugged it out in a perilous back-and-forth contest. It was a physical trade-off from the get-go, with Riddle flinging his opponent across the canvas with a deadlift trifecta of gut-wrench suplexes. Not one to be outdone, The Messiah of the Backbreaker delivered a visual composite of his namesake by dropping Riddle into the ring apron with a vertebrae-shattering backdrop.

But that was just a sample of the full force these two locksmiths unloaded on each other, as Strong catapulted Riddle across the ring with a highlight reel superplex. Failing to secure a pin-count, Strong unloaded on his rival with a flurry of forearms before connecting with a belly-to-back facebuster that Riddle once again escaped. The Original Bro struck back and sent a shock to Strong’s system by sneaking out of a grueling Boston Crab submission hold to pull out an amazing execution of the Bromission. Despite powering out of the hold, Strong soon learned that his perseverance further fueled the brutal side of Riddle. After Strong slithered out of the move, Riddle responded with his own flurry of forearm attacks before taking a page out of his opponent’s playbook with a spine-stinging driver to secure the win.

NXT Live Digitals | Video Captures

Once again operating at full strength following the return of Bobby Fish, Undisputed ERA opened this week’s NXT by bragging that they embody the black-and-yellow brand. Adam Cole portrayed Roderick Strong & Kyle O’Reilly’s controversial NXT Tag Team Title defense against The War Raiders last week as a one-sided drubbing in the ERA’s favor (which most onlookers would be hard-pressed to agree with) and then alluded to himself once again challenging Ricochet for the NXT North American Championship.

That last part ruffled the feathers of EC3, who entered the arena and, after declaring that Cole didn’t deserve another title opportunity, accepted Cole’s challenge to a match on the spot. Despite the presence of Fish, Strong & O’Reilly at ringside, EC3 maintained a steady focus on Cole as he bounced The Panama City Playboy around the ring like a pinball. The other Undisputed ERA members interjected late in the contest, but EC3 summarily disposed of them. Cole hoped to capitalize on the distraction by going for the Last Shot, but The Top One Percent dodged the move and surprised Cole with a roll-up for the pin.

Though EC3 won the battle, the fight was just getting started. Furious over the outcome of the match, Undisputed ERA ambushed EC3 in a savage four-on-one barrage that culminated with Fish using a steel chair to bash EC3’s leg as it was draped over the edge of the entrance stage.

NXT Digitals | Video Captures

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Undisputed ERA’s Tag Team Championship reign lives on, thanks to a few shocks to the system. After evading The War Raiders’ crosshair for weeks, Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong had nowhere to run when it came time to defend their NXT Tag Team Titles. Of course, Hanson & Rowe had no problem relishing the moment. Over the course of 20 minutes, this contentious battle saw The War Raiders overpower their opponents with tandem attacks – including one instance where they flung Strong into O’Reilly via a ring-shaking back body drop. Yet, the matchup was far from one-sided as O’Reilly and Strong used their razor sharp in-ring IQ to challenge to Hanson & Rowe’s brute strength.

Midway through, the despicable pair zeroed in on Rowe’s left knee, exposing a weakness that was then tenderized with a series of punishing strikes and calculated submission holds. Still, the technical maneuvers weren’t enough to prevent the modern-day Vikings from steamrolling the rhythm of Strong & O’Reilly. Hanson nearly decapitated Strong with a clothesline, which prompted Adam Cole to appear, only to get tossed to the outside by Hanson.

Just The War Raiders seemed to be closing in on the titles after downing O’Reilly with the Fallout, a steel chair-wielding Bobby Fish arrived for the save, blasting Hanson & Rowe to drive the match into a disqualification. And just like that, Undisputed ERA are back at full force, much to the detriment of Hanson & Rowe.

Digitals | Video Captures

NXT’s first-ever Champion vs. Champion Match between NXT North American titleholder Ricochet and WWE U.K. titleholder Pete Dunne lived up to its historic billing and then some, resulting in one of the most unbelievable matches ever contested at Full Sail Live. The only thing missing was a winner, a grave injustice for which the NXT Universe has Undisputed ERA to blame.

For more than 20 minutes, The One and Only and The BruiserWeight fought tooth and nail in the goal of becoming a dual champion. The mesmerizing bout moved from the mat (where Dunne would be expected to have the edge) to the air (Ricochet’s domain), but neither Superstar gave an inch. The one-time tag team partners showed no mercy as they exchanged vicious strikes throughout the match, whether it was Dunne clobbering Ricochet with forearm smashes or Ricochet raining down an axe kick on the U.K. Champion’s head.

Late in the match, after Dunne countered a springboard 450 Splash by locking Ricochet into a triangle hold, The One and Only reversed the submission into a ring-shaking powerbomb. Dunne, however, kept hold of Ricochet’s arm and cranked it into a keylock (bending Ricochet’s fingers for added leverage and to inflict further pain). Ricochet again countered, deadlifting Dunne into a brainbuster.

Digitals | Video Captures

With WWE U.K. Champion Pete Dunne already making it clear that Ricochet and Pete Dunne cross paths after Undisputed ERA’s confrontation: WWE.com Exclusive, Aug. 18, 2018, the alliance of The BruiserWeight and The Only and Only seemed to be facing headwinds before the bell even rang for their non-title match against NXT Tag Team Champions Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong. Complicating matters further was Adam Cole’s last-second declaration that he was taking O’Reilly’s spot in the match. (The Panama City Playboy was overheard telling O’Reilly that he wanted to “get a piece of” Ricochet, who bested Cole for the NXT North American Title at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV.)

Despite their uneasy union and Cole’s curveball, Ricochet & Dunne functioned as an effective combination, united by their mutual disdain for Undisputed ERA. Cole & Strong successfully prevented Ricochet from tagging Dunne for much of the bout, but The One and Only couldn’t be contained for long, and once The BruiserWeight was tagged in, the match quickly broke down into an all-out melee.

Late in the contest, Ricochet proved his mettle as a teammate as he took a bullet for Dunne, pushing the U.K. Champion out of the way of Strong’s forearm smash and eating the strike as a result. The BruiserWeight then took out both Cole & Strong with a moonsault to the floor. Ricochet followed with a tope suicida, but Cole & Strong pulled Dunne in the direct line of fire, causing The One and Only to crash into his own partner. Back inside the ring, Cole was quick to exploit the miscommunication, clocking a dazed Dunne with the Last Shot for the pin.

Undisputed ERA continued their attack after the bell, with O’Reilly, Strong & Cole taking turns going after Ricochet. However, their post-match onslaught was cut short by the arrival of The War Raiders. Having made their NXT Tag Team Title ambitions crystal clear, Hanson & Rowe fired into the ring with bad intentions, causing Undisputed ERA to scramble.

Undisputed ERA’s strategy may have resulted in victory tonight, but it remains to be seen if they have a solution for the looming threat of The War Raiders.

NXT Digitals | Video Captures

Moustache Mountain and NXT Tag Team Champions Undisputed ERA will have to wait until Saturday to duke it out over the black-and-yellow brand’s tandem titles, but that didn’t stop Tyler Bate and Roderick Strong from tearing into each other with fervor in a topsy-turvy singles bout on the final stop to TakeOver: Brooklyn 4.

As can now be safely assumed when any combination of these four Superstars are in action, the match was a high-voltage, hard-hitting affair that left the NXT Universe breathless. Bate and Strong’s respective teammates, Trent Seven and Kyle O’Reilly, were seconding their partners at ringside, and O’Reilly made sure Bate knew it, distracting “Textbook” Tyler early in the contest to give Strong the chance to pull ahead.

Bate remained resilient and stayed one step ahead of the Undisputed ERA member as the battle reached a fever pitch, out-reversing the NXT Tag Team Champion and clobbering him with a clothesline before hitting him with a spectacular dive over the top rope in the waning moments.

O’Reilly tried to stall Bate, causing Seven to go after O’Reilly and, subsequently, Strong to nail The Don with a dropkick through the ropes. Strong then decimated Bate with an enzuigiri, but Bate fought back with a rolling capo kick before ending Strong’s night with a Tyler Driver ’97.

Undisputed ERA may enter Brooklyn’s Barclays Center with the NXT Tag Team Titles this Saturday, but following Bate’s victory against Strong, there’s no doubt that Moustache Mountain will have momentum on their side.

NXT Digitals | Video Captures

Though Ricochet was scheduled for action, he never even made it to the ring, due to a vicious behind-the-scenes siege by Undisputed ERA.

The One and Only’s music played, but the ghastly results of Undisputed ERA’s attack soon became all too clear to the NXT fans in Full Sail Live, as the faction dragged Ricochet’s limp body onto the stage.

With his challenger at TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 laying at his feet, Adam Cole stated that he is the one and only NXT North American Champion, and he promised that fact wouldn’t change after he and Ricochet do battle on Aug. 18.

The Panama City Playboy insists that he’s no coward, but when it comes to Ricochet, actions appear to speak louder than words.