NXT has awards to hand out, and some scores to settle!
As 2020 draws to a close, the NXT Year-End Awards return! Who will win the coveted Female Superstar, Male Superstar and Match of the Year trophies? Plus, Johnny Gargano takes on Leon Ruff and the title defense curse in a rematch for the North American Championship!
- Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Bronson Reed; Reed wins.
- Breezango VS Grizzled Young Veterans; Grizzled Young Veterans win.
- Mercedes Martinez VS Valentina Feroz; Martinez wins.
- Pete Dunne VS Roderick Strong; Dunne wins.
- El Legado del Fantasma VS Lucha House Party; Lucha House Party wins.
- NXT North American Championship: Johnny Gargano w/ The Way VS Leon Ruff; Gargano wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE and NXT mourn the loss of Jon Huber, aka Luke Harper.
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott VS Bronson Reed!
The swagger has been turned up to 11, but it might be dropped down to zero after tonight! Will The Colossal crush Swerve’s House under his foot?
The bell rings and Reed ties up with Swerve. Reed headlocks, Swerve works to power out but Reed holds on tight. Reed hits a takeover, Swerve works his way back up, and he uses a leg to get up and around to go after an arm. Reed stays up and dead lifts Swerve back up! Swerve lets go, dodges and drops, but Reed rolls over Swerve and that is painful enough! Swerve scrambles to ropes but Reed clotheslines him out! Reed goes out to then LEAP and BLAST Swerve to the ramp! Fans fire up for Reed as he puts Swerve back in the ring and gets in. Swerve goes to a corner, Reed storms over but the ref keeps him back. Swerve claims he has a bad shoulder, but then he uses it to chop block! HOUSE CALL!
Reed bails out, Swerve goes to the apron and BOOTS Reed! Reed flops against the apron and Swerve says “Suck it!” Swerve drags Reed in, covers, ONE! Swerve keeps his cool and he stomps Reed’s leg. Swerve stands on the leg but Reed hits him back. Swerve stomps Red, goes to the corner and hits the FALLING UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Reed gets up but Swerve brings him up. Reed throws body shots and forearms but Swerve goes after the leg. Swerve gets Reed in a corner but Reed clubs away on Swerve’s back! Reed lifts Swerve but Swerve fights free to get on the corner and flip back! Swerve runs in, blocks the boot and puts it on the ropes to UPPERCUT!
Swerve runs side to side to dropkick the leg! Reed hobbles into the somersault COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO! Swerve seethes but he goes after the leg with a standing kneebar. Reed endures but Swerve stands on him for a cover, ONE! Reed endures, throws a haymaker and he rocks Swerve! Swerve throws haymakers back, but Reed just gets angry! Swerve kicks the bad leg, runs, but Reed choke grips and tosses him! Swerve sunset flips, but Reed SITS on him! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives but he is gasping for air! Reed scowls as Swerve rises, and Reed rallies with big forearms! Reed whips Swerve to ropes, then CLOBBERS him with an elbow!
Swerve flounders to a corner, Reed runs in to corner splash! Reed COLOSSAL CHOKE SLAMS! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives again but Reed keeps his cool. Reed walks off the pain in his leg as he dead lifts Swerve into a waistlock! Swerve scrambles and gets the ropebreak! Swerve sneaks in the headbutt! Reed staggers but he’s just pissed off! Reed CLOBBERS Swerve, then drops the back senton! Reed goes up as fans fire up, and TSUNAMI SPLASH!! Cover, Reed wins!
Winner: Bronson Reed, by pinfall
Swerve’s House just got demolished by Auszilla! Will Reed continue this colossal comeback towards a championship?
NXT GM William Regal presents the first Year-End Award of 2020!
Regal thanks everyone who voted on Breakout Star of the Year. The nominees were Pat McAfee, Damian Priest, Shotzi Blackheart, Cameron Grimes, Dexter Lumis, Timothy Thatcher, Raquel Gonzalez, Santos Escobar, and Ilja Dragunov. The winner is… Shotzi! The wild child howls to the moon and says from the Royal Rumble to hosting Halloween Havoc to leading an army into WarGames, what a wild, fun and absolute dream of a year. Her dad taught her to #TCB, and is sure her dad is very proud of her. But the good times will roll into 2021! Will this Breakout Star find an even bigger opportunity to seize in the new year?
The Way arrives together.
Johnny Gargano is already bragging that the champion is here to stay, but then he, Candice, Indi and Austin all see a black cat down the hall. Will the superstitions get in their head and curse Gargano for good?
Breezango VS Grizzled Young Veterans!
Tyler Breeze & Fandango are back, determined to climb back up towards the NXT Tag Team Championships! But Zack Gibson & James Drake are after those same titles and the two men that hold them. Will Gibson & Drake SOON be recognized as the two men who mauled the #ModelCitizens?
The teams sort out, Prince Pretty starts with Mr. Mayhem. They circle, tie up, and go around. Drake headlocks, hits a takeover, but Breeze fights up and turns it around to a facelock. Breeze wrenches to a wristlock, wrangles Drake down with it, and digs a knee into Drake’s head. Drake gets up, rolls, handsprings, but Breeze wrangles him down again. Breeze twists the wrist and wrenches to tag in Fandango. Fandango takes the hand off and headlocks but Drake powers out. Fandango runs Drake over then keeps moving. Fandango handsprings to arm-drag Drake back to the armlock! Drake moves around, gets up and knees low! Drake wrenches and tags in Gibson.
GYV hand off but Fandango escapes the scoop and headlocks. Gibson powers out, drops down and arm-drags Fandango, but Fandango counters to a headlock right away! Fans cheer as Fandango grinds Gibson. Gibson powers up, powers out, but Fandango goes up and over to sunset flip! Cover, TWO! Gibson gets up, Fandango wrenches the arm to a wristlock and yanks on it. Tag to Breeze, Breeze wrenches and whips but Drake saves Gibson from buckles and Gibson CLOBBERS Breeze! Drake tags in and he throws haymakers on Breeze! Drake drags Breeze back up, scoops and slams him down! Cover, ONE!!
Fans rally as Drake drags Breeze back up to a snapmare. Drake digs knees in, wraps on a chinlock, but Breeze endures. Breeze fights up, fans rally and Breeze throws body shots. But Drake rams Breeze into the corner, tags in Gibson, and GYV hit a boosted suplex, only for Breeze to slip out! Hot tag to Fandango and he starts throwing hands on GYV! Atomic drop for Drake, to a LARIAT! Fandango turns into Gibson’s kick and whip, but Fandango sunset flips! Drake helps Gibson stay up but Breeze dropkicks them both down! Cover, TWO! Fandango knees low, suplexes and hangs Gibson out to dry. Tag to Breeze and Breezango makes it rain with double boots!
Breezango hurries to coordinate, and Fandango goes to the apron. Breeze catapults Gibson but Gibson throat chops Fandango down! Drake is there to shove Fandango into a girder! Gibson sits on Breeze for a cover, TWO! Breeze WRECKS GYV with a dropkick! Gibson and Drake flounder, Fandango has gone up the girder and he LEAPS down onto them! Direct hit, but perhaps a bit risky for the Lord of the Dance. Fandango holds his leg as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Drake tags in Gibson. Gibson goes after Fandango and Drake slingshots, PLANCHA BACKBREAKER! Fans boo but GYV soak up the heat as they loom over Fandango. Gibson drags Fandango around by his leg to SLAM the leg into barriers Gibson refreshes the count, puts Fandango in, and then keeps between Fandango and Breeze. Gibson has the leg again but Fandango clubs him away. Fandango elbows Gibson, hops up, and boots, but Gibson blocks to SUPER DRAGON SCREW! Fandango crashes hard, Gibson covers, TWO! Another try, TWO! Another, TWO!
Gibson keeps after Fandango but Fandango slips away. Gibson drags him from Breeze and scoops, to SLAM Fandango into the ropes! Drake tags in as Fandango clutches his legs, and Drake drags Fandango out. Fandango boots Drake into barriers! Gibson hurries to help Drake up and in, then he tags in to go after Fandango! Gibson has the leg, flips Fandango around but Fandango slides under to tag in Breeze! Breeze fires off on GYV, dropkicks Gibson then forearm smashes Drake! Forearm for Gibson, another for Drake! Breeze baits Gibson into the corner, dodges then enziguris! Drake tags in but Breeze dodges to clothesline him out!
Gibson runs in, Breeze throws him out, and then he slingshots! Drake and Gibson get clear to forearm sandwich Breeze! But Fandango leaps and takes Gibson down! Drake gets Breeze in the ring, but runs into a KNEE! Both men are down but Fandango is back on the corner! Gibson yanks him down to deny the tag, then he RAMS Fandango into the steel steps! Drake rolls Breeze up, TWO! Drake ROCKS Breeze, Gibson tags in, but Breeze rallies with more forearms! Gibson blocks the Super Model Kick, feeds to Drake’s gut wrench, TICKET TO MAYHEM! Cover, GYV wins!
Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans, by pinfall
Liverpool’s Number One and Mr. Mayhem get a big win, but will things only get bigger for them in the new year? Wait, Ever-Rise rushes out because they want a piece of GYV! Chase Parker and Matt Marthel don’t like Gibson and Drake, but the referee holding them back has had it with their nonsense! The ref leaves, and now Ever-Rise doesn’t have an excuse as GYV storms up the ramp. Ever-Rise retreats, but will they have to face these Grizzled Young Veterans soon enough?
The new year will bring back a classic NXT tradition, in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic! The tag teams we’re seeing compete tonight, and many of the tag teams in the NXT Tag Division, will have a golden opportunity to not only go down in history, but to go after the tag titles! Whose in and who will win only the sixth ever Dusty Cup? And speaking of tag teams…
William Regal presents the next Year-End Award!
This is for Tag Team of the Year! The nominees: The Undisputed Era, Breezango, Imperium, Gallus, Legado del Fantasma, and Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch. The winners: The Undisputed Era! They stand with Regal, and for the third year in a row, “The Era boys are the baddest on God’s green.” It’s never ending for them. They’ve ran NXT for years with no signs of slowing down. But they should make an announcement. This year, in the Dusty Cup, representing the UE will be Adam Cole Baybay and Roderick Strong! They are ready to go! But to keep that momentum going, they have another tournament to win. And that is Undisputed.
The training is almost complete.
Xia Li and Boa demonstrate their new levels of strength, speed and skill in a flurry of strikes and use of weapons. “She” has Shifu stand by as she stands to adorn her followers with a special mark on their foreheads. Then she breathes a special smoke, and leads them into the light. What does “she” have planned for NXT? We find out, at New Year’s Evil!
Mercedes Martinez VS Valentina Feroz!
The vicious return that decimated the NXT Women’s Champion was a statement to say the least! Will Mercedes run right over the young hopeful in the ring with her?
The bell rings and Mercedes circles with Feroz and kicks her low then ROCKS her with a right! Martinez eggs Feroz on but Feroz dodges in the corner. Feroz whips, Martinez reverses but Feroz rolls and rolls, only for Martinez to ROCK her with a right! Martinez gets Feroz with both hands for a TWO HAND SLAM! Martinez dares Feroz to get up, then she drags her up to DECK her! Feroz goes to a corner, Martinez chokes her on the ropes! The ref counts, and Martinez even claws Feroz’s face, but she lets up at 4. Martinez gives a toying kick, then suplexes Feroz up. Feroz slips out and gets a sleeper hold! Martinez RAMS Feroz into buckles and is free, to then throw elbows!
“Who do you think you are?!” Martinez whips and SPINEBUSTERS Feroz down! Martinez gets in Feroz’s face, then pushes her down. Fans boo but Martinez ROCKS Feroz with an uppercut! Martinez drags Feroz up, hauls her up, but Feroz sunset flips. Martinez stays up, yanks Feroz back up, for an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Martinez stalks Feroz, drags her up and fireman’s carries, for the AIR RAID CRASH! Cover, Martinez wins!
Winner: Mercedes Martinez, by pinfall
That was almost as rough as what she did to Shirai! But will Mean Ms. Martinez cut ahead in line to go after the NXT Women’s Championship in the new year?
Regal presents the next Year-End Awards!
It’s time for the Female Competitor of the Year award! The nominees are Rhea Ripley, Io Shirai, Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Kay Lee Ray, and Tegan Nox! The winner is: Io Shirai! Naturally the current NXT Women’s Champion wins, and the Evil Genius of the Sky says, “Thank you to everyone who voted for me. This Women’s Division is so talented. Thanks for voting me the best of the best. Domo arigato!” Will Shirai continue to dominate a division that is only growing more powerful by the day?
And now, the MALE Competitor of the Year award! The nominees are Finn Balor, Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano, Keith Lee, Walter and Tommaso Ciampa, but the winner is… ADAM COLE BAYBAY! Another golden bell for the UE, but Cole accepts this one on hi sown. Last year he said he’d this award again, and he did. He said he’d be the longest reigning NXT Champion ever, and he did. Truth be told, he couldn’t have done it without his “brothers,” the guys who will fight alongside him to the very end. As much as this golden bell means to him, back-to-back, seeing Kyle O’Reilly win the NXT Championship off Finn Balor will mean even more. That is Undisputed! But that means voting is now open for OVERALL Competitor of the Year! Will Shirai or Cole be the best of the best of the best in 2020?
Pete Dunne VS Roderick Strong!
This grudge between Bruiserweight and Savior of the Backbreaker will not go away until one of them is gone period! With the Dusty Cup returning, will Dunne stop Strong’s run before it even starts as the ultimate revenge? Or will Strong only be stronger for getting past his past?
The bell rings and Strong tackles Dunne right away! Strong rains down rights while trying to get the cover but Dunne resists. Dunne gets away but Strong CHOPS and haymakers, repeat! Strong goes after Dunne on ropes but Dunne kicks back! Dunne kicks more but Strong hits a headlock takeover! Strong throws more right, but Dunne fights up and powers out! Things speed up, Dunne leaps, drops, but Strong hits a leaping lariat! Strong kicks low, throws more haymakers on the ropes, but lets off as the ref counts. Fans rally for Strong but Dunne trips him up to trap an arm. Dunne has a headlock and Strong endures the grind. Strong fights as fans rally, and gets up to power out, and calf kick Dunne down!
Strong stalks Dunne, digs knees into him then rains down more rights! Strong brings Dunne up, CHOPS him again, then CHOPS him again! Dunne goes after an arm, pulls on the fingers, and throws Strong down to headscissor with the wristlock. Strong endures as Dunne tortures the fingers. Dunne sits up to bend the fingers way back, then go to a double wristlock. Strong endures, moves around, but Dunne traps his legs to keep him stuck. Strong keeps fighting, gets up, but Dunne wrenches on the arm more! Dunne body scissors, Strong puts Dunne through ropes to hotshot him! Strong is free and now he stalks Dunne to a corner.
Strong forearms, CHOPS Dunne down, but Dunne kangaroo kicks Strong all the way out of the ring! Dunne goes out, and BOOTS Strong down! Dunne drags Strong up, puts him in the ring, and stalks up to bring him up. Strong throws forearms, blocks a boot and yanks Dunne into a BACKBREAKER! Dunne bails out but Strong runs to WRECK Dunne with a dropkick! Dunne ends up over the barriers but Strong pursues and drags Dunne back up as NXT goes picture in picture.
Strong has Dunne by his hair but Dunne pries free to enziguri back! Strong staggers, Dunne comes back to CHOP Strong and put him in the ring. Dunne then brings Strong around and uses a facelock to grind Strong into the apron edge! The ref counts, Dunne stops at 4 and goes back in to stalk Strong to a corner. But Strong BOOTS back, Dunne flounders, and Strong brings Dunne up to KICK him in the ribs! Strong CHOPS Dunne, hoists him up top, and throws haymakers. Strong climbs, Dunne resists the superplex but Strong throws body shots. Strong brings Dunne all the way up but Dunne bends fingers!
Dunne GOURD BUSTERS Strong down, and then leaps to STOMP the hands! BUZZSAW! Strong flounders, Dunne paces, and Dunne uses Strong’s legs to turn him over. Dunne stands on the legs, pulls on one arm, then gets the other. Dunne pulls but Strong resists the surfboard, so Dunne STOMPS the knees! Strong writhes, Dunne grabs at him again but Strong kicks back. Dunne grabs an arm, wraps it around the ropes, then pulls! The ref counts, Dunne kicks Strong down then ROCKS him with a right! Dunne keeps on Strong in the ropes and BOOTS him down! The ref reprimands but Dunne just takes his time stalking Strong. Dunne basement dropkicks Strong out of the ring!
The ref starts a ring count, Strong flounders up at 3 and stands at 4, but Dunne is after him! Strong kicks Dunne away, but Dunne comes back to BOOT him down! Dunne drags Strong up but Strong throws forearms! NXT returns to single picture as Strong whips but Dunne reverses and Strong hits buckles hard! Dunne drags Strong around, hammerlocks one arm and chicken wings the other for a modified crossface! Dunne even twists an ear for added pain! Strong endures, fans rally up and Strong fights out to throw knees. Dunne drops knees onto Strong! Strong writhes, Dunne gives him toying kicks, and fans chant, “You Still Suck!”
Dunne puts Strong in a corner and throws hands, then trips Strong up to dig his boots in! The ref counts, Dunne lets off, and he storms in but Strong kicks back! And CHOPS! Strong forearms, whips, but Dunne goes up and over and keeps moving, but runs into a dropkick! Fans fire up for Strong as he and Dunne are both down! “This is Awesome!” but far from over as both men slowly rise. Dunne throws haymakers but Strong gives them back, it’s a brawl! Dunne bounces off ropes and Strong clips him with one clothesline, to CLOBBER him with the next! Dunne staggers into Strong’s back suplex TOSS! Strong runs into the corner to SHINING WIZARD!
Fans fire up, Strong runs side to side and he unleashes endless forearms on Dunne! Strong brings Dunne in for an OLYMPIC SLAM! Cover, TWO! Dunne survives but Strong keeps his focus. Strong drags Dunne but Dunne kicks him away. Dunne bails out, Strong runs but the dropkick misses and Dunne mule kicks! Dunne whips Strong into steel steps! The ref starts a ring count but Dunne refreshes it. Dunne drags Strong up and pump handles, but Strong slips out of Bitter End to APRON BACKBREAKER! Strong gets Dunne in to cover, TWO! Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” at this point, but it has to end somehow!
Strong drags Dunne up, Dunne rolls him, TWO!! ENZIGURI! Strong BOOTS back, enziguris back, and brings Dunne in for a butterfly, but Dunne counters the lift to a TRIANGLE HOLD! Strong dead lifts for a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Dunne survives abut Strong is too tired to be frustrated. Fans are thunderous as the two rise, and Strong grabs at Dunne first. Strong suplexes but Dunne inside cradles, to DANIELSON STOMP! Dunne drags Strong back into the Triangle Hold, Strong makes it a cover, ONE! Strong rains down fists until Dunne lets go and then still throws hands! Strong tries to turn Dunne but Dunne kicks back from below!
Strong is dazed, Dunne wants the arm again! Strong resists, but the fingers go SNAP! Dunne pump handles for the BITTER END!! Cover, Dunne wins!
Winner: Pete Dunne, by pinfall
A bitter fight until the very end, but in the end, the Bruiserweight breaks the Savior of the Backbreaker! Does this not bode well for the Undisputed Era taking the Dusty Cup?
The next Year-End Award is for Match of the Year!
The nominees: Super Tuesday’s Fatal 4 Way 60 Minute Iron Man Match of Balor, Cole, Ciampa & Gargano; NXT TakeOver 31’s NXT Championship match, Balor VS O’Reilly; the NXT UK Championship match of Walter VS Ilja Dragunov; NXT TakeOver: WarGames’ Undisputed Era VS Kings of NXT; and the NXT TakeOver: In Your House Triple Threat for the NXT Women’s Championship, Charlotte Flair VS Rhea Ripley VS Io Shirai! But the winner is… Balor VS O’Reilly at TakeOver 31!! Balor arrives to tell Regal that he can keep Balor’s golden bell. But Balor will take Kyle’s, so that he can give it to Kyle personally.
Balor walks through the backstage area, and encounters Dunne as he’s on his way back in. Dunne tells Balor he better be ready, because he’ll be coming for that title soon enough. Balor says a lot of people want to face the champion, so Dunne better get in line. With that, Balor goes to the ring! Will he peacefully give Kyle his part of the MOTY prize? We find out after the break!
NXT returns as Balor has set belt and bell down in the middle of the ring. He picks up the belt and puts it on his shoulder, then gets a mic. “Finn Balor VS Kyle O’Reilly, TakeOver 31, for the NXT Championship. Match of the Year!” Kyle surprised a lot of people that night, but not Balor. Kyle proved to everyone that he belongs in the ring with Balor. The way Balor sees it, Kyle deserves this honor. And before Balor can say more, Kyle heads to the ring! Kyle sees the gold bell, and Balor says he can go ahead and pick it up, because it’s his. Because Balor doesn’t need it when he has the NXT Championship!
Balor doesn’t need a trophy to remind him of that night, he has three steel plates in his jaw that remind him every single day! “The only thing that trophy is good for is gathering dust.” Oh, so it doesn’t mean much to him? Kyle gets that. But it means something to Kyle. To Kyle, it’s proof not only that he belongs in the ring with Balor, but that he belongs at the top of NXT! Kyle puts the bell aside and says he also doesn’t need it, and he certainly isn’t going to carry it around. It’s more a consolation prize, a participation award really. Kyle’s been “participating” for 15 years, and he’s done with it. He wants a REAL prize.
The bell is just a reminder that in the fight of Kyle’s career, he came up short. It is a reminder that Kyle may respect the hell out of Balor, but next week, respect is left at home! “I will do anything and everything to become the NXT Champion! You have what I want! That says you’re the best, that says you’re number one, that says that these last 15 years have been worth a damn! That says that Kyle O’Reilly is worth a damn! And Finn, that comes home with me.” Balor says that’s great and all, but he tells Kyle that he will do everything in his power to make Kyle suffer.
Last time, Kyle broke Balor’s jaw! So this next time, Balor will make Kyle pay by dragging him all over the canvas, and then make Kyle wish that he had stepped on Balor’s throat the first time! This couldn’t possibly be more intense, but then Scarlett Bordeaux interrupts. “What’s in that ring belongs to us.” It is irrelevant who leaves with it, because the champion’s fate is already sealed! Karrion Kross says doomsday is here! Tick-tock. But Damian Priest is right behind Kross!! These two stare down now, and Kross asks if Priest has something to say. “This is how you step like a man.” And then Priest ROCKS Kross with a right! A brawl is on at the top of the ramp!
Priest fires off hands but Kross BOOTS back! Kross throws off his jacket, Priest kicks him back, reels him in, but Kross slips out to ROCK Priest back! Priest BOOTS Kross, Kross staggers down the ramp, and Priest ROCKS him again! Kross picks Priest up to RAM him into the girder! And then runs in, only for them BOTH to go crashing through boards!! Fans are thunderous as Priest and Kross continue to throw hands!! This brawl heads backstage, then back around until Priest throws Kross and the curtains come tumbling down! Priest eggs Kross on and Kross gets up to throw more hands!
Kross puts Priest on a road case to club away on him! Priest rakes Kross’ face, they both climb up the trunks. Priest ROCKS Kross again, then shouts, “Get up, you son of a bitch!” Kross does, for a DOOMSDAY SAIDO through tables!! Both men are down in the wreckage, and Scarlett just admires Kross’ work. But will Kross and Priest even make it to New Year’s Evil?
NXT reminds us what the Fight Pit is all about.
Timothy Thatcher says it is “the ultimate measure of a man. No ring ropes, only steel!” Ciampa knows there’s no doors, no pinfalls, and no escape. The only ways to win are by tap out, or knockout. Ciampa says that sounds like fun. Thatcher says weakness are exposed and toughness is showcased, as the only weapons are your skills and ability to absorb pain. Lose an ear? Keep fighting. Lose some teeth? Keep fighting! Nose smashed? Keep. Fighting!! Ciampa says he had homefield advantage at TakeOver, but he doesn’t mind “playing in a hostile environment.”
Thatcher won the first-ever Fight Pit when he put Matt Riddle to sleep. Next week, New Year’s Evil, Thatcher promises that Ciampa enters his world! Ciampa says he already took Thatcher’s ear, so imagine what he’ll do next. Who doesn’t so much win but survives their jump into the Fight Pit?
NXT takes a closer look at Ripley VS Gonzalez, Last Woman Standing.
Rhea says when she first came to the WWE PC, she felt alone. She and Raquel gravitated towards each other and became great friends. “We sort of just felt like we only had each other. We had each other’s backs when no one else did. And it was that special bond that led us to tagging, led us to going on the road together, led us to pretty much being sisters, which is something that I didn’t have over here.” Every time they were on the road together, they’d get some sort of tattoo, and they have matching “RNR” tattoos, that is how close they are. Or, were. Things change, and people change. “Raquel’s not the same person that I knew back then.”
Rhea admits she doesn’t really let people in. She let Raquel in, and trusted her, relied on her, and maybe even needed her. But the thing with Raquel is, they were there for each other, until Raquel wasn’t there. Raquel’s ego got in the way, she got jealous of Rhea’s success, and left her. Rhea would’ve been there for Raquel, but we’ve heard Raquel say it herself, she thinks Rhea walks around like she owns the place. Raquel has made sure time and again that Rhea doesn’t get the wins she was so close to getting. Raquel says she’s the biggest and the baddest, but Rhea has had enough of it! “I don’t care what we used to be! I don’t care if we were friends, we’re nothing now!”
Raquel says maybe she was playing a game since the first moment they met. All those years of teaming together, working out together, spending time together, rooming together, Raquel’s thrown it all away. They fought at Halloween Havoc but that wasn’t enough. Will it finally be enough when it is Last Woman Standing?
El Legado del Fantasma stands in the ring.
Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza stand with Santos Escobar as he has the mic. “Y’know what? Let’s take a moment. Look around. See where we are. Enjoy the moment!” What a year they have had! What a year Escobar has had! The NXT Universe can vote all they want for the Undisputed Era as Tag Team of the Year. “It’s a sham!” Escobar isn’t here to be popular. He is here to dominate! That is exactly what he has done! NXT GM William Regal is out trying to find the next challenger for the Cruiserweight Championship, but no one can touch Escobar! Regal can look all over the world, and the fact is, he can’t and he won’t find anyone, NADA, who belongs in the ring with Escobar.
With Legado, the Leaders of Lucha Libre, their dominance will continue in 2021! And Escobar knows exactly what they’re going to do. Their first order of business- Is Lucha House Party!? Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado from Raw are on NXT! And Lince says it’s nice coming to a place where they’re not having to chase a champion. But they do have a question for Santos Escobarrrr. Does he really think he owns Lucha Libre? He’s buggin’! No one owns Lucha Libre, it’s for everyone! Todo mundo! But Mendoza tells Lince to shut up, and show respect to the leaders of lucha! Oh, well then, guess it’s time to lucha! LHP rushes the ring, Lince tosses Wilde and Metalik dropkicks Mendoza!
Escobar sneaks up, but LHP turns around to see him! Escobar’s 2v1 so he stands down. But a ref comes out, Regal just sent word that we’re getting a tag team match! LHP VS El Legado is about to get #LuchaLit! But then Wilde and Mendoza blindside LHP from behind! They whip Lince but Lince handsprings to DOUBLE GOLDEN REWIND! Metalik runs and gets a boost to double dropkick Legado out of the ring! Then LHP double DIVE! Double Tope takes Legado out at the ramp! Will Lucha House Party bring the fighting fiesta to Legado del Fantasma after the break?
El Legado del Fantasma VS Lucha House Party!
NXT returns and Wilde whips Metalik to speed things up. Wilde dodges the handspring attack but Metalik knuckle locks to CHOP Wilde! Mendoza runs in but into a mule kick, and Metalik goes to the corner to go up and leap to huricanrana Mendoza! Metalik tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKERS Wilde! Cover, TWO! Metalik grows annoyed but he brings Wilde up. Wilde shoves him away, Lince tags in and Metalik boots Wilde. Lince goes in, gets a boost from Metalik on the springboard and he FLYING RANAS Wilde! Wilde hurries and tags Mendoza, but Lince hip tosses and runs to QUEBRADA! Cover, TWO!
Lince stomps Mendoza and clubs him, but Mendoza shoves, only for Lince to CHOP! Lince handsprings but Wilde blocks the Rewind for Mendoza to dropkick Lince down! Mendoza stomps Lince, brings him around to whip into the corner, then fire sup as he runs in to clothesline! Wilde tags in, runs and clotheslines! Mendoza tags in, clotheslines, then tags Wilde. Legado double suplexes Lince, Wilde covers, TWO! Wilde keeps Lince down with a chinbar but Lince fights up. Lince throws body shots, but Wilde puts him in the corner. Lince elbows Mendoza, boots Wilde, then hops up to leap and crossbody! But he bounces off and both men crawl, hot tags to Metalik and Mendoza!
Mendoza rushes in but Metalik springboards over him. Metalik keeps moving, dodges and rolls off Mendoza’s back to then SUPERKICK! SLING-DOG! Metalik goes back to a corner, walks the ropes, and missile dropkicks Mendoza down! Cover, TWO! Escobar is still smug as Metalik drags Mendoza up. Metalik fireman’s carries, but Mendoza slides off and shoves. Lince tags in, Metalik SUPERKICKS Mendoza again, and Lince puts Mendoza up top and CHOPS him! Metalik goes up and SUPER STEINERS Mendoza! Lince hits the FROG SPLASH! Cover, but Wilde breaks it!
Wilde kicks Metalik down, runs at Lince in a corner but Lince puts him on the apron. Lince rocks Wile, then gives Metalik a boost to RANA Wilde off the apron and to the ramp! Lince dodges Mendoza, hits a POISON-RANA, then tags in Metalik! Metalik goes up, he walks the tightrope, and springboards for the ELBOW! Cover, Lucha House Party wins!!
Winners: Lucha House Party, by pinfall
Metalik and Lince have had a big week to end their 2020, and Escobar is furious that his men have failed him! Will the Leader of Leaders go back to the drawing board on his plans for 2021?
The next Year-End Award is Future Star of the Year!
The nominees are Austin Theory, Jake Atlas, Leon Ruff, Kacy Catanzaro, Kayden Carter, Indi Hartwell, Xia Li, A-Kid, Aoife Valkyrie, and Pretty Deadly! The winner is… Austin Theory! And The Way is with him as he accepts his very first golden bell. But he has to share with Indi. Indi greedily snatches the bell and takes the hammer. She rings it, and realizes it’s a real ring bell. Austin says that he has been saying he is the future, and the bell proves it. He has truly found his Way. And now Gargano is going to defend his title and break that curse! Austin, you never mention the curse!
Johnny snatches the Gargano Whey from Austin and throws it, but it breaks a mirror!! That’s bad luck! And then Gargano walks under a ladder!! MORE BAD LUCK! But don’t tell Johnny that! Will Gargano have to worry about more than just a title curse after tonight?
And finally, NXT presents the Overall Competitor of the Year Award!
William Regal proudly announces that between Shirai and Cole, the winner is… Io Shirai! The Evil Genius is so honored and thanks the fans for this. With two golden bells and her NXT Women’s Championship, will Shirai make 2021 her year?
NXT North American Championship: Johnny Gargano w/ The Way VS Leon Ruff!
Johnny Wrestling has felt more like Johnny Bad Luck when it comes to first title defenses of his reigns. Will Leon look to make this a rough way to end 2020 for The Way?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see if Gargano can turn his luck around to end the year!
Gargano and Ruff circle, tie up, and Gargano gets the arm. Ruff tries a chinbar but Gargano slips around to a hammerlock. Gargano spins Ruff, hits a headlock takeover, and grinds Ruff down. Ruff goes for a headscissor but Gargano fights that off. Gargano gets up, wrenches to a wristlock, but Ruff rolls and kips up and shows off his agility to then flip back and wring Gargano out! Cover, ONE, but Ruff rolls Gargano up, TWO! Ruff gets Gargano in the victory roll, TWO!! Gargano escapes and bails out to regroup with The Way. Gargano cools off and Candice says he has a 10 count. Theory distracts Ruff, Gargano slingshots, but Ruff avoids the spear to ghost pin! TWO!!
Gargano gets up, Ruff ranas him, then arm-drags him around! Gargano blocks one but Ruff rolls Gargano to kip up and kick! Fans fire up with Ruff and Ruff drags Gargano up. Ruff bumps Gargano off buckles, throws hands then CHOPS! Gargano staggers away but Ruff is on him with big forearms! Fans fire up more, Ruff runs and BOOTS Gargano in a corner! Gargano flounders, Ruff brings him up, but Gargano pushes out of the bulldog. Ruff goes up the corner but Gargano shoves him down! Ruff crashes and burns, and The Way taunts Ruff’s rough landing. Gargano goes out, brings Ruff up and CHOPS him against the apron!
Gargano bumps Ruff off the apron, brings him around and throws him into barriers! Gargano refreshes the count, gloats as he goes over to Ruff, and he brings Ruff up by his hair. Gargano whips Ruff but Ruff goes up the boards! Then he leaps to the steel steps, then back to some boards, and then he mule kicks Gargano away! Ruff leaps and RANAS Gargano down! Fans fire up with Ruff and he gets Gargano in. Ruff watches The Way closely but they say they haven’t done anything. Gargano kicks Ruff in the ropes, and hits a hotshot neckbreaker! Ruff tumbles down, Gargano builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit sends Ruff into boards! Gargano RAMS Ruff into steel steps!
NXT goes picture in picture as Gargano grins and Ruff writhes. Gargano gets the no look high five from Theory before he KICKS Ruff in the ribs! Gargano puts Ruff in the ring and elbows him against the apron! And again! Gargano grabs his The Way shirt and rubs it in Ruff’s face. Gargano goes back in, drags Ruff up against the ropes and has him in a rope camel clutch! The ref counts, Gargano lets go at 4, then mocks the ref with the counting. Gargano drags Ruff back up, and hits a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Gargano keeps his cool as he looms over Ruff and brings him up. Ruff throws body shots and haymakers!
Ruff rocks Gargano, Gargano rolls him for a KICK of his own! Cover, TWO! Gargano grows annoyed, but he wraps Ruff up in a cobra clutch. Ruff endures as Gargano stands over him in the hold and NXT returns to single picture. Fans rally up for Ruff and Ruff fights up. Ruff throws body shots, but Gargano hits a BACKBREAKER out of the clutch! Gargano then steps over to leg hook the hammerlock and pull on the far limbs, for a Bow ‘n’ Arrow SNAP! Ruff writhes and Gargano smirks as he stalks him. Gargano drags Ruff up, turns him again, but Ruff fights the neckbreaker off to a backslide! Gargano slips out but Ruff ducks the buzzsaw to ENZIGURI!
Gargano flounders, Ruff kicks him low! And back kicks, then uppercuts! Ruff throws forearms, Gargano shoves, but Ruff comes back with flying forearms! And more forearms! Ruff fires up, runs corner to corner but Gargauno dodges. Ruff dodges to enziguri! Backbreaker to neckbreaker! Ruff brings Gargano up, but Gargano slips out of the tilt-o-whirl, only for Ruff to get around and GERMAN SUPLEX! Gargano ends up in a corner, fans fire up with Ruff and Ruff runs corner to corner to TORNILLO CANNONBALL!? Cover, TWO!! Fans are loving this as Ruff rises and brings Gargano up. Ruff fireman’s carries but Gargano slips off and CLUBS Ruff!
Gargano throws forearm after forearm and Ruff rebounds, to LARIAT! Ruff grits his teeth as he runs and rebounds again, into a SUPERKICK! Ruff wobbles, Gargano scoops him, to LAWN DART! Gargano aims from the corner, but he fakes Ruff out to SUPERKICK him on the second! Cover, TWO!! Gargano seethes and The Way can’t believe it! Gargano drags Ruff up and over to the ropes. Gargano goes to the apron, aims and slingshots, but no final beat as Ruff slips to the apron and enziguris back! Ruff slingshots now to crucifix, but Gargano blocks to BACKBREAKER, and DISCUS! Gargano drags Ruff up, for a POWERBOMB! High stack cover, TWO!?!
But the GargaNO Escape is right on!! Ruff endures, reaches around, and gets the ropebreak! Gargano holds on but lets go at 4! Gargano is frustrated and he glares at Ruff. Gargano shoves Ruff out, stalks him to the ramp and drags him back up. Gargano scoops, aims at a girder, but Ruff slips off the Lawn Dart! Ruff dodges Gargano, runs in but is put on the apron. Ruff mule kicks Gargano away! And then FLYING CUTTERS to the floor! Ruff drags Gargano up and into the ring, hurries up to the top rope, and FROG SPLASHES!! Cover, TWO!!! Gargano survives and fans can’t believe it! But Ruff keeps his focus while Gargano flounders to a corner.
Ruff drags Gargano up, puts him on the top rope, and CHOPS him! Ruff climbs up now, throws some haymakers, but Gargano turns this into an ALLEY-OOP SNAKE EYES! Ruff flounders, Gargano is on the apron, ONE FINAL BEAT!! Cover, Gargano wins!
Winner: Johnny Gargano, by pinfall (still NXT North American Champion)
The curse has been broken! Gargano has the belt and The Way has their golden bells, is this just the beginning of them leading NXT into the future?
Dexter Lumis is watching from the rafters!
The host of New Year’s Evil uses his artwork to announce that for New Year’s Evil, it will be Santos Escobar VS Gran Metalik for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship! Will the Leader of Leaders no longer own Lucha Libre after taking on the King of the Ropes? What else will happen on the first NXT of 2021?
A great episode that was one part awards show, one part regular episode and one part go-home to New Year’s Evil! First off, all the winners of the Year End Awards golden bells make sense. Shirai is currently champion after beating two great superstars in Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley, and has been going strong ever since, so of course she is the Female Competitor of 2020. Adam Cole has also been incredibly consistent all year so he’s naturally Male Competitor of 2020, but with Shirai on the way up and Cole somewhat coasting, it makes sense Shirai wins the Overall Competitor of the Year.
Match of the Year being Balor VS O’Reilly at TakeOver 31 worked out as a great way to give us a final promo between Balor and O’Reilly. The rematch they’re going to have is going to be amazing, no doubt. Dunne and Kross making their interests known were also good, and Priest brawling with Kross was really good. Dunne VS Strong was a great match, and it made a lot of sense for Dunne to win since he wants his part in the title chase. Strong and Cole being the combo for the Dusty Cup and therefore another try at the NXT Tag Team Championships was a given, and I can’t wait to see who else is put in the tournament. Though after seeing a great match of GYV VS Breezango and of LHP VS Legado, I think we have half the field right there.
For that matter, I like that Lucha House Party has come back to NXT much like Balor and Ember Moon have. LHP made mention to chasing the 24/7 Champion, and they were honestly stalling out on Raw. Metalik won over Miz but as I said for Raw, it didn’t matter once Miz got his MITB contract back because of a “technicality.” Escobar VS Metalik is going to be a great match, but I feel like Escobar will retain. Escobar’s promo was a bit odd, though. Did he forget Curt Stallion has a title match in his back pocket? Or is he doubling down on thinking that doesn’t matter? Did something happen to Stallion that WWE doesn’t want to say yet? I hope not, Escobar VS Stallion still needs to happen.
Bronson Reed crushing Swerve was a nice crossover of their stories. I almost thought Jake Atlas was going to get a segment where he rubbed the loss in on Swerve, but maybe that’ll be a social media exclusive or something like that. Martinez has a good squash match win and she’s definitely in the mix for the NXT Women’s Championship chase after her attack on Shirai. The “RNR becomes RVR” video for Rhea VS Raquel was almost a Prime Target and it a was great way to give more perspective on their Last Woman Standing match. But with Rhea having done so much already in NXT, you would think Raquel wins this and also moves up in the title chase.
We also got a pretty good Fight Pit vignette, and that match is naturally going to be great stuff. Thatcher won the first one with Matt Riddle to send Riddle to main roster, but this one feels up for grabs. Ciampa surely doesn’t want to leave NXT, but he’s already beaten Thatcher 1v1. Thatcher being undefeated in the Fight Pit would be a great thing for him, and would basically make the match synonymous with him. In a way, it’s a similar situation to Rhea VS Raquel, in that the more accomplished one puts the rising star over to open the door for them.
The Way were great all night with their gags about bad luck piling up on Gargano. And them being able to tie Austin Theory winning Future Star was great, even Indi’s little bit where she found out the golden bell trophies are actual ring bells. Gargano VS Ruff was a great match, and it built upon the previous ones, and naturally “the curse” had to be broken so Gargano could move on. With Gargano still champion and Bronson Reed now back in action, I think what NXT will do, and should do, is revisit the feuding between Gargano and Reed on the build to the NXT North American Championship ladder match from after Keith Lee vacated it. Reed having Candice as a backpack as he super splashed Gargano is a very memorable moment, so maybe Reed can rub that in in their feud.
My Score: 9.1/10