Shinsuke Nakamura def. Austin Aries
The NXT Universe was on its feet as two of NXT’s biggest free-agent signings — Shinsuke Nakamura and Austin Aries — collided for the first time. The two Superstars looked evenly matched, though Nakamura had Aries on his heels, nearly taking his head off with a big kick. Aries, who entered the bout with heavily taped ribs, answered by escaping The King of Strong Style’s clutches and dropkicking him. Nakamura had the NXT Universe firmly in his corner, but may have taken a little too long in playing to them, allowing Aries to recover and target his leg.
“The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” pounced on the attack, working over Nakamura’s leg. Aries drove his knee into his rival’s back, putting Nakamura in a vulnerable position that he hadn’t been seen in since arriving in NXT. Despite the weakened leg, Nakamura battled back to his feet and staggered Aries with three devastating kicks to his injured midsection. Aries survived and sent Nakamura to the arena floor with a huge elbow, where he followed up with a dive through the ropes.
Aries looked to be in control, even locking on Last Chancery in the middle of the ring, but The King of Strong Style wriggled his way out from under Aries and got to the ropes. “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” stayed on Nakamura, driving The King of Strong Style into the ring apron with a Death Valley Driver. Aries tried to put Nakamura away with another dive to the floor, but flew right into the steel guardrail after his opponent moved. Nakamura threw Aries back in the ring, where he clobbered Aries with the Kinshasa to put the exclamation point on a huge victory for The King of Strong Style.