Velveteen Dream continued its rise to stardom in WWE with another breathtaking display on the NXT Takeover: War Games II.
The immense 23-year-old talent, the real name Patrick Clark, has established himself as one of the top stars of wrestling in the last 18 months.
His incredible athleticism and undeniable charisma earned him a legion of fans as his body of work continues to stand out not only in the NXT, but in WWE as a whole.
His last performance served only to cement his reputation despite being a losing effort in a NXT Championship game against Tamasso Ciampa.
The two stars combined a stellar effort, but it was the performance of "The Dream" that left many scratching their heads in wonder.
Often known to imitate or honor the superstars of years past, Dream, who is from Capitol Hill, Washington once again donned a set in honor of Hollywood Hulk Hogan for the game against Ciampa.
There is some debate as to whether the star is actually saluting one of his childhood heroes or whether he is actually scouring the WWE Hall of Famer.
He walked into the ring with a typical sullen air, posing for the crowd dressed in a black-and-white Hogan-style feather boa, and wearing a OVA-style t-shirt from the Hogan nWo faction; a reminder once again for all those who note that the Velveteen Dream is very "finished".
The narrative inside the game and its nuances quickly became the hallmark of Dream.
All the while, he would throw Hogan's poses to the audience – and even hit Ciampa with the absurd "no-sell" and Hogan's shaking of the finger.
That was not all, though. The NXT top gold challenger channeled moments from some of WWE's most iconic games: a four figure submission in the ring in Bret Hart's style and Randy Savage's hangman's wing among them – not to mention Hogan's final finisher , the fall of the leg.
What was so fantastic in the game, however, was that these antics only bubbled beneath the surface and increased the occasion, instead of dominating and turning the match into a farce.
When it came time for the crisis, Dream left the fun behind and went about the business.
While we marvel at Velveteen, it would be wrong not to give too much importance to Ciampa, who, in turn, continued in his incredible form.
He is arguably the best villain in WWE right now and has once again played that role with perfection.
In the end, he kept the gold and at this point in the careers of both wrestlers, this was probably the right choice.
That was not until the two of them had the crowded Los Angeles audience standing, anticipating the title changing hands; Dream hit a DDT on the concrete floor and followed with his patented Purple Rain Maker's elbow for what appeared to be a count of three, only for the scourge of the NXT to kick out.
It was Ciampa, after all, who clung to his beloved championship. Dream went to the pit again by his high-risk elbow, but missed and hit hard – Ciampa jumping with a DDT on the diamond steel plate on the side of the ring.
That was enough to put an end to yet another NXT instant classic and consolidate another incredible story in the growing volume of the Velveteen Dream series.