Roderick Strong def. Tyler Breeze

Tyler Breeze vs. Roderick Strong: WWE NXT, July 3, 2019

The NXT OG looks to make a statement against The Undisputed ERA’s Messiah of the Backbreaker. Video courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.

Who deserves credit for making NXT what it is today: The Undisputed ERA, who’ve run roughshod over the brand for nearly two years, or Superstars like Tyler Breeze, a veritable NXT O.G. who laid the groundwork before “TakeOver” had even entered the vernacular?

Undisputed ERA’s Roderick Strong was ready to answer that question on his own, or so appeared to be the case when he arrived for his battle against Prince Pretty without any Undisputed ERA teammates in sight.

With the playing field seemingly level, Breeze and Strong threw down in a thrilling conflict. The Messiah of the Backbreaker carved out an early lead thanks to two particularly brutal variants of his pet move: First, Strong demolished Breeze’s vertebrae with a catch-and-release backbreaker onto the corner of the steel ring steps, then he bent Breeze like a paperclip with a backbreaker onto the guard rail.

Everything Strong did after that point targeted Breeze’s back, but Breeze stayed in the fight through it all, peppering Strong with well-timed strikes and claiming a near fall off a Supermodel Kick.

As fatigue began to set in, the battle devolved into an all-out slugfest. Breeze rattled Strong with an enzuigiri, but before he could take advantage, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish ran to the ring and jumped onto the apron, distracting the referee. Prince Pretty dispatched Fish with a kick, but by the time Breeze turned around, Strong had an enzuigiri waiting for him. The three-count was administered seconds later, after Strong splintered Breeze with the End of Heartache.

The win continues Strong’s wave of momentum, which began when he pinned NXT North American Champion Velveteen Dream’s shoulders to the mat two weeks ago. Whether The Messiah of the Backbreaker deserves full credit for defeating Breeze is another matter entirely.

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