Pete Dunne def. Roderick Strong

Pete Dunne def. Roderick Strong

With their NXT North American Title Triple Threat Match at TakeOver: Toronto less than two weeks away, Pete Dunne dealt a seismic blow to the egos (and bodies) of champion Velveteen Dream and fellow challenger Roderick Strong.

The BruiserWeight first buoyed his pre-TakeOver momentum with a stirring submission victory over Strong in a gritty main event. Although Strong unleashed a galaxy of backbreaking moves in the hopes of rendering Dunne unable to compete on Aug. 10, The BruiserWeight exhibited the same type of intestinal fortitude that made him the longest reigning U.K. Champion in history. Dunne’s pain threshold was tested late in the match when Strong trapped him in the back-bending Strong Hold, but The BruiserWeight reversed the move, grabbed Strong’s fingers like a wishbone from the Thanksgiving table and wrenched them in opposite directions, forcing the Undisputed ERA member to cry uncle.

The fireworks didn’t end with the bell. As Dunne celebrated the win, Velveteen Dream snuck in from behind and readied to strike the Birmingham slugger with the North American Title, only for Dunne to catch Dream red-handed. Dream quickly slung the title back over his shoulder and a defiant Strong told his TakeOver opponents that he’s taking the championship in Toronto.

Dunne, meanwhile, had one last exclamation point to put on his statement-making performance, and he snapped Dream’s fingers before hitting him with the Bitter End in what could end up being a precursor to TakeOver: Toronto.

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