NXT starts the New Year with an EPIC night!
Hosted by Dexter Lumis, NXT presents New Year’s Evil! Will Kyle O’Reilly take the title from Finn Balor in this rematch from TakeOver 31?
- Damian Priest VS Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux; Kross wins.
- NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar w/ El Legado del Fantasma VS Gran Metalik w/ Lince Dorado; Escobar wins and retains the title.
- Xia Li w/ Boa and “Her” VS Katrina Cortez; Li wins.
- Last Woman Standing: Rhea Ripley VS Raquel Gonzalez; Gonzalez wins.
- Mixed Tag Match: Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae w/ The Way VS KUSHIDA & Shotzi Blackheart; Kushida & Shotzi win.
- NXT Championship: Finn Balor VS Kyle O’Reilly; Balor wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Dexter Lumis is here.
And he looks out at the Capitol Wrestling Center as he walks up stairs to a control center. The Tortured Artist is in full control as tonight’s master of ceremonies. He tests the lights, and then sees a master switch. Lumis flips the switch, and the CWC transforms into New Year’s Evil! Even his suit changes!
Damian Priest VS Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux!
The Archer of Infamy wants to #LiveForever, but that will only happen if he can survive the apocalypse! Will Priest defeat Mr. Doomsday in this COMMERCIAL FREE opening match?!
The bell rings and the two go right at each other! They tie up, go around, on the ropes and in corners, but Kross puts Priest through ropes! Priest brings Kross out with him, pushes him into boards, but Kross laughs as he pushes Priest back! Priest pushes Kross, Kross pushes Priest back onto the apron, but the ref calls for a ropebreak. Priest gets away and Kross gets in. They bob ‘n’ weave and test the waters with kicks. Priest gets a grazing blow and Kross is furious! Kross runs in but gets fast hands from Priest! PRiest dodges to ROCK Kross, fire off clubbing forearms, but Kross blocks the kick! Kross lifts Priest, Priest fights but Kross SLAMS him down!
Priest staggers away to a corner, Kross is after him with forearms and haymakers! Scarlett tells Kross to hit harder and Kross BOOTS Priest! Kross whips corner to corner, hits a corner clothesline, then whips back the other way for another clothesline! EXPLODER! Cover, ONE!! Kross keeps on Priest and grabs at the arms. Priest resists but Kross still pulls him back in a motorcycle stretch. Priest endures, fights up, but Kross knees low. Kross clotheslines Priest back out, pursues, and RAMS Priest into steel steps! Fans rally but Kross pulls steel steps apart! Priest BOOTS first! Kross knees back and puts Priest in the ring, then takes his time getting back in himself.
Kross drags Priest up by his hair, throws body shots to torture the ribs, but Priest talks trash. Priest guards against the haymakers, taunts Kross more, but Kross keeps hitting! “Is that all you got?!” Kross keeps hitting, Priest stays up but Kross kicks low. Kross whips, Priest kicks back and then ROCKS Kross with a right! Kross staggers, fans fire up and Priest comes back to counter punch over and over! Priest throws more hands, dodges Kross to bell clap! LIFTING COMPLETE SHOT! Fans fire up more as Kross is dazed! Kross gets up, Priest runs corner to corner and hits the leaping back elbow!
Priest drags Kross out to suplex but the ribs hold him back! Priest fires off strikes, ROCKS Kross again, then dodges to LARIAT! Kross is down!! Fans fire up as Priest gets Kross up for the BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Priest keeps his focus as fans rally up. Kross rises but Priest spins from the corner. Kross ducks the kick but Priest fights off the saido. Kross shoves, Priest dodges and Kross only gets buckles! Priest runs in to BOOT, kick away on the arms, then wrench to knee after knee! ARMBREAKER DDT! Priest gets the arm, rolls Kross over and has an omoplata full nelson! Kross endures, Scarlett is frustrated, but Kross fights up! Kross makes it a cover, ONE!
Kross is free and he hammers away on Priest with elbows! Fans taunt Kross with “You Still Suck!” Priest slowly gets up, Kross storms over, but Priest ROCKS him with a right! Kross comes back to ROCK Priest! Priest BOOTS Kross, Kross BOOTS back! Priest fires off fast hands and kicks, Kross gives them back! Priest kicks away on the arm, then runs to springboard SENTON! Direct hit and fans fire up! Kross staggers to a corner, but he dodges Priest’s elbow to run and LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Kross grows frustrated. Kross stomps Priest’s hand, then his legs, then drags him up for a scoop. Kross puts Priest in the Tree of Woe!
Kross stomps Priest over and over but lets off as the ref counts. Kross brings his kneepads down, runs in and KNEES Priest in the ribs! Fans boo but Kross soaks up the heat as he drags Priest back up. Kross sits Priest up, climbs up behind him, and tells Priest to say goodnight. Priest resists the super back suplex for dear life! Priest elbows Kross over and over and bumps him off buckles! Priest adjusts to headbutt Kross, and KICK him! Priest gets behind Kross, has the crucifix, and manages the RAZOR’S EDGE!! But his own ribs are hurting and he can’t make the cover! Priest crawls, Scarlett shouts, TWO!! Kross lives and Scarlett laughs triumphantly!
Kross goes to the apron, Priest crawls over and throws forearms. Kross hits back, Priest ROCKS him again! Priest dodges the forearm to ROUNDHOUSE and choke grip! Kross holds on for his own survival, elbows Priest away, but steps into the CYCLONE KICK! Kross stumbles, Priest runs and FLIES! Direct hit and fans are thunderous! Priest puts Kross in fast, climbs up top, and FLYING WINDMILL KICKS! Kross staggers, Priest takes aim, choke grip and SOUTH OF HEAVEN CHOKE SLAM!! Cover, TWO!?!? Kross still lives and Priest can’t believe it! Both men slowly rise, gritting their teeth. Priest roars and clamps on for the dragon sleeper, but Kross NORTHERN LIGHTS free of it!
Kross RAMS into Priest in the corner, brings him out and gut wrenches for a POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives being folded up and now Kross is shocked! Priest rolls out, staggers about, but Kross follows, only to get a CYCLONE KICK! Priest CYCLONE KICKS again! But he jumps into Kross’ arms and Kross RAMS him into the girder! Kross scoops Priest to SLAM onto steel steps! Kross puts Priest in the ring, smirks as he looms over Priest, and watches Priest rise up slowly. Priest stares Kross down, “I’m still standing, bitch!” Kross ROUNDHOUSES and DOOMSDAY SAIDO!! Priest staggers up but Kross says time’s up! BLINDSIDE FOREARM!! Cover, Kross wins!!
Winner: Karrion Kross, by pinfall
Priest put up one hell of a fight, but just like the passing of time, the apocalypse could not be stopped! Will Kross’ return to the title be just as unstoppable?
The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic is shaping up!
Six teams have been determined! The Undisputed Era’s Roderick Strong & Adam Cole BAYBAY! Ever-Rise! Breezango! Curt Stallion & August Grey! Drake Maverick & Killian Dain! Imperium’s Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner! Two more teams will be announced, but the first round begins next week! Who will hold onto a dream and never let go?
Backstage interview with Adam Cole & Roderick Strong!
Big news with the Dusty Cup entry being announced, and we know now that they will be facing Breezango in the opening round! Their thoughts? “Here’s the deal, McKenzie. Every single week is a big week for UE. As a matter of fact, every month, every year, when you look back at everything we’ve accomplished.” Adam Cole is the longest reigning NXT Champion in history! Roddy Strong is a former North American Champion. When the Undisputed Era said they were going to fulfill the golden prophecy, they did it! And they’ll do it again in 2021!
Strong agrees, and next week with Breezango, as entertaining as their entrances are, the UE will not forget that those are two veterans that get the job done. But that’s the thing. Cole and Strong are on another level. When these two go on to win the Dusty Cup, it will be the continuation of the prophecy, as tonight is the first step. Tonight, Kyle O’Reilly fulfills his destiny and becomes the UNDISPUTED NXT Champion! The UE have a lot of confidence in themselves, but will the new year truly bring a new reign?
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar w/ El Legado del Fantasma VS Gran Metalik w/ Lince Dorado!
The Leader of Leader claims he not only defines Lucha Libre, but owns it! But the King of the Ropes and his amigo, the Golden Lynx, want to make him understand the “libre” isn’t just for “freestyle.” Lucha libre doesn’t belong to one man, but that title does! Will Metalik take the gold from Escobar to completely change the Cruiserweight landscape in 2021?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this battle for the spirit of lucha begins!
Metalik and Escobar circle, tie up, and Metalik puts Escobar on ropes. Metalik lets off fast, and they circle again. They tie up, go around, and Escobar puts Metalik in a corner. Escobar lets off but Metalik dodges his sucker punch. Metalik and Escobar circle, tie up, Escobar sweeps but Metalik headscissors back! Escobar sweeps the legs, covers, ONE, and Metalik reverses the roles with a sweep and cover, ONE! Metalik dodges, runs and RANAS! Escobar bails out, Metalik builds speed but fakes him out with a handspring!
Escobar is furious but he gets back in the ring and circles wit Metalik. Escobar kicks low, throws elbows, then whips, but Metalik handsprings! Escobar dodges, blocks the chop to give the CHOP, and then he knuckle locks to go up and up and SPRINGBOARD RANAS! Fans fire up with Metalik as he runs in but Escobar puts him on the apron. Escobar SLAPS Metalik, runs and slides, but Metalik springboards to ASAI MOONSAULT! Lince fans Metalik off and Metalik fetches Escobar into the ring. Metalik springboards again for a SWANTON! Cover, TWO!
Metalik keeps his cool and drags Escobar up to a fireman’s carry, for a Wasteland Slam! Metalik goes to the corner, moonsaults, but has to bail out as Escobar moves. Escobar runs in at the corner but Metalik puts him on the apron! Metalik enziguris, Escobar wobbles, and Metalik goes to the top rope. Metalik walks the tightrope but Escobar blocks the huricanrana! Escobar keeps them both from falling horribly to the floor, to then double clutch and swing Metalik into barriers! Fans are fired up either way as NXT goes picture in picture!
Escobar grins and tells Metalik he’s smarter than him. Escobar kicks Metalik, drags him up, puts him on the apron, then goes up to pull Metalik against the post! The ref counts, Escobar stops at 4 and then gets in the ring. Escobar stomps Metalik in the corner, stands on his ribs, then steps off at 4. To come back with a basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Ghost pin, TWO! Metalik barely escapes but Escobar clubs away! Escobar gets the leg for a deep Half Crab! Metalik endures, drags himself around towards ropes, but Escobar lets go to stomp him down! Escobar drags Metalik up, Metalik throws body shots but Escobar shoves and tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKERS! Cover, TWO!
Escobar drags Metalik up, CHOPS him to a corner, then hoists him up top. Escobar CHOPS again and NXT returns to single picture as he ENZIGURIS! Metalik stays up top, Escobar climbs up and fireman’s carries, but Metalik fights it, only for Escobar to DROP him on the crossbar! Cover, TWO!! Metalik survives the Skyline, but Escobar drags him around by his legs. Escobar hooks the legs up and pulls on the arms for a SURFBOARD! Metalik endures, Escobar makes it a cover, TWO!! Metalik escapes but Escobar CLUBS Metalik on the back! Escobar drags Metalik up, fireman’s carries, but Metalik fights free! Metalik runs and rebounds to SLING-SUNSET! TWO!!
Escobar grins because he admits how close that was. But then he CLOBBERS Metalik for it! Cover, TWO! Escobar grows annoyed with Metalik, and he stomps Metalik to the corner. Fans rally up as Escobar goes corner to corner, runs back in, but Metalik BOOTS him! Metalik staggers but SUPERKICKS and SLING-DOGS! Metalik keeps moving, and he walks the ropes to springboard missile dropkick! Escobar bails out, fans rally and Metalik builds speed to go up and FLY!! Direct hit at the ramp and Lince fans Metalik off again. The ring count climbs, Metalik drags Escobar into the ring, and springboards again, for a SPLASH! Cover, TWO!!
Metalik and Escobar are down but fans fire up. Lince coaches Metalik while Legado is concerned. Metalik brings Escobar up to CHOP him! Metalik whips, Escobar whips but Metalik tumbles out and enziguris back in! Metalik springboards, into a JUMPING KNEE! Escobar steadies himself as Metalik flops out of the ring, and Escobar builds speed, to fire the ARROW FROM HELL!! Direct hit and Metalik hits barriers! Escobar drags Metalik up and into the ring, covers, TWO! Metalik survives but Escobar keeps his focus. Escobar drags Metalik up, kicks away, then reels him in for underhooks. Metalik resists the lift, fights back with body shots, but Escobar ROCKS him with a forearm!
Escobar bumps Metalik off buckles, hoists him back up top, and CHOPS him! Escobar climbs, Metalik fights back, but the mask is coming loose! Metalik has to adjust that first, and Escobar shoves him down! Metalik crashes onto the apron, Escobar climbs up but Metalik CHOPS him! Metalik tries to climb, Legado creeps over but Lince LEAPS and body blocks them both! Metalik goes up to SUPER STEINER Escobar! Cover, TWO!! Escobar survives again but Metalik hurries to get up top again! Metalik calls for the elbow, but Escobar trips him up! Double underhooks, DRAPING LEGADO DRIVER! Fireman’s carry, to PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, Escobar wins!
Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)
Somehow, someway, the “Emperor of Lucha” still reigns! Will Escobar make 2021 El Ano del Fantasma (The Year of the Phantom)?
Mercedes Martinez speaks.
“It feels real good to be back! Io Shirai, Female Competitor of the Year, Overall Competitor of the Year. Too bad you didn’t look like that when I put you through that table. I don’t care about the title of ‘biggest badass.’ The only title I care about is the Women’s Title. Hey, Io, hello mamita. I’m waitin’ on ya.” When will the Evil Genius respond to Mean Miss Martinez’s message?
“She” has come to NXT…
The mysterious master that we’ve seen put Xia Li and Boa through hell sits on stage. Then Boa and Xia appear by her side, and head to the ring. They have become more dangerous than ever before, and Xia shows her skills before entering the ring. Who is about to feel the wrath of this darker, deadlier Xia Li?
Xia Li w/ Boa and “Her” VS Katrina Cortez!
The bell rings and Xia circles with Cortez. Cortez dodges Xia to waistlock, but Xia scowls as she reverses the whip. Cortez ducks a kick but Xia shoves then HEEL KICKS! Xia bows to her master, then goes back to Cortez. Xia drags her up, brings her around for knees and a sobat! Xia strikes a pose and powers up more, but Cortez body shots! Xia just glares! Xia blocks strikes, to JUMPING KNEE! SPINNING ROUNDHOUSE! Fans fire up for this fiery Xia and she covers, Xia wins!
Winner: Xia Li, by pinfall
That was fast and furious, and perhaps even merciless! Will Xia be “her” weapon in the NXT Women’s Division?
William Regal reports that after conferring with medics, Timothy Thatcher suffered an injury that although minor, will keep him from competing tonight. Therefore, the Fight Pit match has been cancelled for tonight, but will be rescheduled for another time. When will the Professor of Pain and Tommaso Ciampa be able to settle the score?
Ringside interview with Bronson Reed!
The Colossal says too bad about Thatcher. But he knows what it is like to sit at home with injuries. All that does is build aggression inside. That aggression, that “inner savage,” is what NXT will see from Reed in 2021! He puts everyone on notice, and says it will be a colossal year. Speaking of aggression, in the Last Woman Standing, his money is on Rhea Ripley! And that match is next!
Last Woman Standing: Rhea Ripley VS Raquel Gonzalez!
Friends becoming bitter enemies is perhaps a tale as old as time. What was once RNR was pulled apart by jealousy and contempt, and now it is RVR! Who will survive when these two female titans go until they’ve got nothing left to give?!
The bell rings, and Rhea dropkicks Raquel right away! Rhea RAMS into Raquel over and over in the corner, fires off fast hands, but Raquel shoves back. Rhea returns with a Thesz Press! The two scrap on the mat, roll as they throw hands, but Rhea kicks Raquel away, only for Raquel to CLOBBER her! Raquel scoops for a FALL AWAY SLAM! Raquel drags Rhea back up to scoop and FALL AWAY SLAM again! Fans fire up as Raquel scoops Rhea a third time, for a third FALL AWAY SLAM! Raquel seethes while Rhea writhes and a count starts. Rhea is up at 4, Raquel is on her and throws knees! Raquel grabs the fingers and bends them.
Raquel shows Rhea her own RNR tattoo and says she fooled Rhea by acting like a friend, but Rhea isn’t acting when she SLAPS Raquel! Rhea wrenches, HOOK KICKS, and sweeps the leg! Rhea basement dropkicks Raquel out of the ring! Fans fire up as Rhea goes out and RAMS Raquel into the apron! And again, and again! Rhea shoves Raquel down, fetches a chair and a kendo stick from under the ring, and SMACKS Raquel with the bamboo! And again! And again! Raquel blocks the next strike to ROCK Rhea with a forearm! Raquel puts Rhea in the ring, but Rhea slides back out and runs around the way, to leap off the steel steps, INTO A CHAIRSHOT!
Raquel drags Rhea up before a count, to TOSS Rhea into boards! NOW she lets the ref count. Raquel goes looking for things while Rhea crawls, and Raquel find scuffs! Raquel SMACKS Rhea with the kendo stick more first, but Rhea slaps the cuffs away! Raquel kicks low, Rhea blocks the board shot to throw Raquel into boards! Rhea gets the cuffs and puts them on Raquel! Rhea clubs Raquel down, and cuffs Raquel to the chain link fencing! Raquel is stuck, Rhea blocks a punch and CHOPS away on Raquel’s chest! Raquel is stuck standing up, Rhea has the kendo stick but Raquel BOOTS her down!
Raquel just RIPS the fencing apart?! And uses a scrap to SMACK Rhea on the head, and on the back! Rhea screams in pain but she POSTS Raquel in return! Fans are fired up as Rhea grabs the ring bell hammer! Raquel blocks to BOUNCE Rhea off the bell! The ref starts a count as Rhea is down in a daze. The count is 5, Rhea staggers up at 6, but now Raquel is clearing off the announce desk! Raquel drags Rhea over to BACK DROP Rhea onto the table!! And then Raquel buries Rhea in the wreckage! And with chairs! The ref counts, Rhea fights against the pile of items on top of her, and she’s free at 7, to stand at 9! Raquel puts Rhea in the ring and scowls as NXT goes picture in picture.
Rhea drags herself to a corner, the ref asks if she wants to continue and she does. Raquel storms in, throws what’s left of the cuffs and chain links away to stomp away. Raquel suplexes Rhea high and hard! Rhea writhes, the count starts again, and Raquel glares at Rhea as she flounders at 5. Rhea is up at 7, Raquel scoops her and spins for a POWERSLAM! Raquel STEPS on Rhea just to add insult to injury. The count begins again, Rhea gets up but Raquel KICKS her legs out! Raquel drags Rhea up to bump off buckles, brings her around, but Rhea breaks free, only for Raquel to CLOBBER her!
Raquel CLUBS Rhea on the back, runs in and clotheslines Rhea out hard! Rhea hits the floor and a count begins. Rhea flounders on the New Year’s Evil logo as the count hits 5. Rhea staggers up and stands at 7. Raquel pulls apart steel steps and runs at Rhea, but Rhea kicks the steps into Raquel! Rhea gives Raquel a DDT to the steps!! Raquel flops back but Rhea is down, too! The count is on both of them, Rhea and Raquel both get up at 7! Rhea crawls up the ramp, Raquel goes back to the steps, and NXT returns to single picture as Raquel RAMS Rhea! And RAMS her again! They make their way to the stage and Raquel tells Rhea to stay down.
Rhea stands again, Raquel BOOTS her down! Rhea tumbles all the way off the stage and Raquel stalks her way over. They’re partially backstage as Raquel looms over Rhea. Rhea drags herself up as Raquel says this is HER NXT now. Raquel shoves Rhea into the lockers but Rhea CHOPS back! Raquel stomps Rhea, drags her up and waistlocks, but Rhea elbows free! Rhea SPEARS Raquel through a glass door!! Both women are down and fans are going nuts! The count starts again and we’re at 5 of 10 before Rhea flounders up. Rhea is up at 7, Raquel follows at 8 and this continues! Rhea BOOTS Raquel down the hall! Rhea BUMPS Raquel off doorframe!
Rhea brings Raquel back to the lockers to bounce her off the side. Rhea bumps Raquel off road cases, drags the catering table over, and puts Raquel on it. Rhea makes some room as Raquel is stuck in potato chips, and Rhea CLUBS Raquel over and over. Rhea climbs up a locker, aims at Raquel, and says “SUCK IT!” CANNONBALL through the table!! Both women are down in the wreckage and the count begins again! Rhea is writhing and pushing herself up at 6! Raquel starts to stir at 7, but DAKOTA KAI ATTACKS WITH KENDO STICK SMACKS!! Raquel’s new friend is beating up her old one for her!
Raquel gets up because the ref stopped counting to reprimand Dakota! Dakota helps Raquel steady herself but Rhea BOOTS Dakota down! Rhea ROUNDHOUSES Raquel, and SMACKS locker doors off Dakota over and over and over! Rhea is roaring and she puts Dakota in a locker! Rhea puts the road case in front of it, Dakota is trapped!! Neener-neener, dork! Rhea leaves Dakota behind but Raquel CHAIRSHOTS Rhea! Raquel sits the chair up upside-down, but Rhea avoids being skewered on the legs! Rhea throws body shots, ROCKS Raquel with a right, and then gets the legs! PRISM TRAP!
Submissions don’t win but this is going to do some damage! Rhea even gets the chair to make it a COLLAR on Raquel’s head!! Raquel fights the chair off, pushes out of the hold and Rhea smacks off the edge of the LED wall! A count begins as both women are down! Rhea and Raquel slowly rise, they’re both up at 7 again! Raquel runs in but Rhea fireman’s carries and DEATH VALLEY DRIVERS Raquel into the TITANTRON! The giant X glitches out as both women crash down again! A count begins, fans are thunderous, and Rhea rises first at 7! Raquel sits up in a daze and stands at 8! Rhea drags Raquel to the steel steps, only for Raquel to trip her! Rhea bounces off steel!
Rhea checks her face as she flounders up, and Raquel scowls as she comes up behind her. They’re both on top of the steps, Raquel drags Rhea up, DESPERADO BOMB through the STAGE!!! Where are they!? The ref still counts and we’re at 5! Rhea, no, Raquel! Raquel is up out of the hole first, and stands at 9! Rhea is down, Raquel wins!!
Winner: Raquel Gonzalez
Holy hell, how did Raquel survive everything she and Rhea put each other through? Well, minor assist to #CobraKai before she got isolated. But in the end, Raquel still found a way to wreck Rhea. Will every other woman in NXT avoid crossing paths with Big Mami Cool?
The Way has a police escort on their way in?!
Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae are celebrating Johnny’s win to retain the NXT North American Championship, and we watch this procession as NXT goes picture in picture. What more will The Way do to celebrate Johnny breaking the curse?
Meanwhile, referees are pulling Rhea out of the wreckage and check on her. She is able to move her arms, but refs help her stand. The Way continues to make their way to the Capitol Wrestling Center as Rhea staggers and stumbles. Rhea insists they let her stand on her own now, but she ends up having to take a seat on the steel steps. A medic finally appears to check on her, but Rhea still insists she move on her own. NXT returns to single picture as The Way finally arrives and as commentary waits on a new desk. The procession finally pulls into the backstage parking lot, with Austin Theory pulling the Chevy in. Austin and Indi help Johnny and Candice out and they all go to the ring!
Indi and Austin fetch mics for Candice and Johnny, and there’s something already set up in the ring for them. “That’s the way you make an entrance, ladies and gentlemen!” Johnny says there was The Curse of the Bambino, The Curse of the Billy Goat, “and the curse of this NXT fan who can’t get a girlfriend. Don’t worry, don’t worry, we’re rooting for you. You’ll get there one day. Keep trying.” But those all pale in comparison to the Johnny Gargano Championship Defense Curse. But just like the Cleveland Browns erased 18 YEARS of no NFL Playoff appearances, shout out to Mayfield, Gargano has reversed his curse! “YO, CANDICE! I DID IT!”
Now, Johnny is only cursed with being the best, being handsome, being a sweet dancer. Candice says Gargano might be the most powerful man to exist! He is! So powerful! Candice says she did something special for Johnny cuz she loves him so much, and got him a plaque! “The Curse” is slashed through because Johnny broke it, and it has the date! NXT TV, 12/30/20, against Leon Ruff! A day that will live in infamy, in a good way, not the fake arrow Daman Priest way. But the most important thing in Gargano’s life, and she’s a beauty…
Austin says Gargano is a real-life superhero! But one thing about heroes is that they’re so giving, but never getting anything in return. That’s not the way they role, though! Nice! So Austin and Indi got him a gift, too! Curtain pull, The Way as comic book superheroes!! Super Candice, Indi Wrestling, Hulk Theory and Iron Johnny with Doggo Gargano by his side! What a great night this is! But Johnny has a way to make things way better! Gargano officially announces that he and “mah boi, Austin,” are entering the DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC! No look high-five~!
But wait, SHOTZI is here! Blackheart and Tank Mk. II ride out on stage, and she howls to the moon! Shotzi tells Candice, “Did you forget about me?” Austin tells “Mike Wazowski” she is not going to ruin Johnny’s night! And she is definitely not gonna disrespect Candice! But Shotzi fires the missile into Austin’s theory! Austin writhes down the ramp and Johnny checks on his boy’s boys, but Shotzi rushes the ring! Shotzi throws Indi out to brawl with Candice! Candice shoves Shotzi away, gets out but Shotzi ROUNDHOUSES Candice down! Johnny is furious, he throws off his jacket, and he gets up on the apron! But then KUSHIDA pulls Johnny down!
Kushida gets in the ring, stands with Shotzi, and dares The Way to do something! Fans are thunderous, a bell rings, and Dexter Lumix is here! Without words, he is saying this is a match! A MIXED TAG MATCH, Kushida & Shotzi VS Johnny & Candice! How’d he draw that so fast? Did he have that just in case? Will things stop going The Way’s way after the Time Splitter and Wild Child #TCB, Take Care o’ Business?
Mixed Tag Match: Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae w/ The Way VS KUSHIDA & Shotzi Blackheart!
The bell rings so Johnny and Candice have to sort out! Candice and Johnny are in street clothes but Candice gets in the ring to start with Shotzi. Candice knees low, runs but Shotzi dodges to enziguri! Candice ends up on ropes, Shotzi runs in for the CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO! Candice scrambles away and The Way regroups as NXT goes picture in picture!
Johnny checks on Candice and Candice is obviously upset. Candice shouts at Shotzi but Shotzi goes out after her! They brawl, Shotzi clubs Candice into the ring then stalks behind her. Candice gets around to a waistlock, but Shotzi runs to a corner and swings Candice into buckles! Candice staggers, Shotzi knuckle locks and goes up, up, but Candice trips her up to hotshot the arm! Shotzi tumbles down, Candice hurries out to SLAM the arm into barriers! Shotzi staggers away, Candice whips her into the POST! Candice looms over Shotzi, drags her up by her hair and puts her on the apron to SLAM the arm again! Candice goes in, covers, TWO!
Candice is furious and she clubs Shotzi down. Candice drags Shotzi up by her arm, wrenches, but Shotzi throws forearms! Candice DECKS Shotzi in return, covers, TWO! The Way is frustrated but Candice drags Shotzi around to hook the arm as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns, Candice has Shotzi’s arm in a keylock but Shotzi rams her to a corner! Candice holds on, Shotzi rams her in more, and is free! Candice brings Shotzi away but Shotzi throws forearms. Candice sweeps the leg and WRINGS the arm out! Cover, TWO! Candice is annoyed, and apparently Lumis has joined commentary, not that he counts. Candice brings Shotzi up, Shotzi scrambles but Candice keeps her down with a sleeper! Shotzi fights up with Candice as a backpack, and she pries the arm to ELBOW BREAKER! Candice clutches her arm as she and Shotzi are both down! Hot tag to Kushida!
Gargano rushes in but Kushida is already up top, and Kushida leaps for an ax handle! Kushida atomic drops, whips and hip tosses Gargano, to handspring basement dropkick! Fans fire up as Kushida runs but Gargano goes up and over and rolls, but Kushida dodges the kick! Gargano dodges a kick, too, and ROCKS Kushida with a forearm! Gargano whips Kushida, Kushida reverses and hip tosses to the ARMBAR! Gargano clasps hands, rolls Kushida, GargaNO Escape! But Kushida rolls to the ARMBAR! Gargano flails, kicks, reaches, The Way shouts, and Gargano gets the ropebreak!
Kushida lets go and he stalks Gargano to waistlock. Gargano switches, Kushida wrenches, ARMBAR BULLDOG! Kushida scowls, kicks Gargano around, and stands on Gargano’s head and pulls on the arm. Gargano reverses the wrench and CHOPS, but Kushida KICKS the arm! Gargano CHOPS, Kushida KICKS, repeat! FAST BALL from Kushida! Gargano wobbles to a corner, Kushida runs in, but Candice is there! Kushida has to stop because this isn’t co-ed competition. Candice puts her hair up as if it is, though, but Gargano tries to sneak up on Kushida! Kushida ducks, Gargano stops himself from clobbering Candice, FAST BALL!!
Shotzi returns to ROCK Candice, and gets help from Kushida for the SLICED BREAD! Kushida ROCKS Gargano again, and then he and Shotzi give Johnny and Candice STEREO ELBOW BREAKERS! And the same for PENALTY KICKS to the arms! Candice bails out, Gargano is on the apron, Kushida handspring heel kicks him down! The Way regroups but Kushida holds ropes for Shotzi to DIVE! Direct hit and Shotzi takes Candice and herself out! Kushida LEAPS to clobber Johnny! Fans are thunderous, Kushida drags Gargano up and into the ring. Kushida climbs but Shotzi also puts in Candice. Johnny and Candice distract the ref, and Indi and Austin trip up Shotzi and SHOVE Kushida!
The ref sees Austin gloating on the apron and he explains he was just climbing. Kushida TOSSES Austin into the ring! And then drop toeholds Gargano into Austin’s theory! Wheelbarrow takedown and cover, Kushida and Shotzi win!!
Winners: KUSHIDA & Shotzi Blackheart, by pinfall
The Super Junior just pinned the North American Champion! The curse may be broken, but will the reign be ended in the end?
This Valentine’s Day, let your heart TakeOver.
That’s right! The next time NXT takes over is FEBRUARY 14TH! Who shows their love for the brand in just over a month’s time?
Backstage interview with GM William Regal!
He asked for this time because he has an announcement! NXT had a great year in 2020, and 2021 will perhaps be the greatest year yet. Regal is excited because next week starts the Dusty Cup. After a lot of consideration, Regal says we will also have the first ever WOMEN’S Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic!! What pairings will we see from the incredible NXT Women’s Division in this inaugural tournament?
NXT Championship: Finn Balor VS Kyle O’Reilly!
The championship match from TakeOver 31 was as brutal as they come, and despite breaking The Prince’s jaw, O’Reilly could not take the title! Will the rematch be a different story? Or will Balor deny the Undisputed Era their prophecy once again?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this COMMERCIAL FREE second time around begins!
Kyle and Balor circle, tie up, and Kyle waistlocks. Balor wrenches to a hammerlock but Kyle switches to a hammerlock. Balor switches, Kyle switches and headlocks but Balor powers out. Kyle runs Balor over but Balor is right up and to a corner! Balor checks his jaw because of that injury, but he ties up with Kyle again. They knuckle lock, Kyle wrenches an arm to a hammerlock and throws Balor down. Kyle headscissors and holds tight as Balor tries to pop out. Fans rally, Balor gets out but barely blocks that kick! Balor and Kyle reset and tie up again, and Balor blocks the takedown to hook Kyle’s head with his leg.
Balor shifts to get a chinlock then the headlock, but Kyle powers up. Balor throws Kyle down and blocks the headscissor hold. Kyle endures the grind, rolls Balor to a cover, ONE! Kyle headscissors free this time, Balor struggles to get free again, and Kyle pushes up to put torque on Balor’s head. Balor keeps fighting but has to move around. Balor rolls Kyle, shifts but Kyle gets away and gives another kick! Balor blocks and steadies himself and Kyle uses that to go after an arm! Kyle wrangles Balor down and shifts the armlock but Balor endures. Fans rally up, Balor fights up but Kyle wrenches. Balor rolls, hooks a leg, but Kyle wrangles him back down.
Kyle digs a knee into Balor’s shoulder as he goes after the hand. Balor gets up, but Kyle wrenches to an elbow breaker. Kyle reels Balor into knees, then goes after the arm again. Fans rally and duel, Kyle wrenches again but Balor chinbars to hold off the elbow breaker. Balor wants Kyle’s arm now, and he slips through to complete the cobra twist! But Kyle hip tosses out fast and short-arm scissors! Balor endures, it’s a cover, TWO as Balor sits up. Balor turns Kyle, Kyle turns him back over, and the fans rally harder. Balor moves up and turns Kyle back over, shifts and gets the cobra twist!
Kyle endures, reaches out but Balor turns Kyle away from ropes! Kyle still reaches, and uses his MOUTH to get the ropebreak! Balor lets go to KICK Kyle in the mouth! Balor wants to give Kyle that receipt in the worst way! The ref checks on Kyle as he goes to the corner, and he keeps Balor from adding on. The medic wants to check Kyle’s teeth but Kyle says he’s fine. Kyle stands, Balor snapmares Kyle and throws down elbows. Balor wraps on a chinlock, Kyle endures and fans rally up. Kyle gets up, slips around and brings Balor down to a knee. Kyle hammerlocks the arm and KICKS it!
Kyle still checks his jaw but he goes back to Balor at ropes for a whip. Balor reverses, Kyle stops himself and WRINGS Balor’s arm out! Kyle gets the arm, wrangles Balor down to a hammerlock, and he drops knees into the shoulders. Kyle runs to SLIDING KNEE Balor in the back! Balor goes out, Kyle makes sure his jaw is still in place, and he goes after Balor. Balor forearms but Kyle wrenches and hotshots the arm! Kyle does it again on the second rope! Balor stands but Kyle wants a leg. Balor gets in to pull Kyle against the ropes with a chinlock! The ref counts, Balor stops at 4, just to change positions and pull Kyle against ropes again!
Balor stops to stomp away on Kyle over and over! The ref counts, Balor lets off at 4 to then run and basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Kyle survives but he’s clutching his mouth. Balor paces, headlocks, but Kyle hits a back suplex! But Balor holds on to CROSSFACE! Kyle flails, pries at the hold, moves around, and uses a leg to get the roepbreak! The ref counts, Balor lets go at 4, and Balor seethes as Kyle clutches his jaw. Fans rally up, Balor CHOPS him in the corner then digs his forearms in! The ref counts, Balor lets off at 4 to whip Kyle to ropes and elbow him down! Cover, TWO! Balor is on Kyle with forearms grinding the jaw!
Balor paces, Kyle slowly rises, and Kyle KICKS Balor in the leg! Balor headlocks, resists the back suplex but Kyle powers out. Things speed up, KITCHEN SINK KNEE! Kyle staggers over, clinches and throws knees, then more kicks! Balor ducks the kick but Kyle ducks the chop to wrench the arm and sweep the leg! Fans fire up as Balor is down and Kyle brings him up. Kyle wrenches the arm to another elbow breaker! Hammerlock and another leg sweep! Cover, TWO! Kyle has the arm for a double wristlock! Balor throws knees to get free! Fans rally and duel again as Balor gets up.
Balor is in a corner, Kyle runs in but Balor dodges the knee to CHOP! Balor stalks Kyle to a corner, whips but Kyle blocks to knee low! AX but PELE! Kyle rebounds, dodges a lariat and rolls Balor to a HEEL HOOK! Balor kicks free but Kyle PENALTY KICKS back! Kyle hits so hard, he falls out of the ring! The ref counts and it passes 5 before Kyle sits up! Kyle stands at 8, is in at 9! Balor runs in to throw forearms but Kyle YANKS on the arm! Balor forearms, Kyle yanks, repeat! Kyle wrenches, but Balor fish hooks the mouth! Kyle wrenches through to hammerlock and GUILLOTINE!
Balor CHOPS free, but is caught into a TRIANGLE HOLD! Balor makes it a cover, TWO, Kyle gets the leg for a HEEL HOOK KNEEBAR!! Balor drags himself around and he BOOTS Kyle in the jaw! Kyle lets go to clutch his mouth and fans are going nuts! Balor grits his teeth, and drops an ax handle on Kyle again and again and again! Balor sits Kyle up to dragon sleeper, ELBOW DROP DDT! Balor drags Kyle up again, BLOODY SUNDAY!! And then the CROSSFACE!! Kyle endures, flails blindly, but Balor cranks back as hard as he can! Kyle uses palm strikes to break the hold! Balor clutches the bad arm as both he and Kyle are down! Fans are thunderous as Kyle and Balor rise!
Balor runs to ROCK Kyle with a right! Kyle blocks the boot to KICK the arm! And KICK and KICK! Kyle runs, Balor SLINGBLADES! Kyle gets up but into a trip, DOUBLE STOMPS! Balor takes aim, runs and SHOTGUN dropkicks Kyle into buckles! Fans are thunderous again as Balor heads up top! But Kyle kicks his legs out! Kyle climbs up, drags Balor up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! But Balor cradle counters, TWO!! Kyle gets Balor up for a BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! TO AN ARMBAR!! Balor clasps hands as best he can but Kyle keeps pulling, then shifts to the other arm! Balor endures, moves around, and gets a ropebreak with a leg! The ref counts, Kyle lets go at 4!
Balor clutches his arm and he has blood from the forehead or eyebrow streaking down his face! Kyle clutches his jaw but he glares at Balor. Kyle storms over, puts the arms on ropes, and gets in Balor’s face. Kyle backs up and runs, into a BOOT! Balor got Kyle in the stomach, was it the liver again?! Kyle staggers, gets a leg, Balor fights it off and they go around, COBRA TWIST! Balor throws elbows into Kyle’s ribs over and over, but Kyle drops down! Kyle reaches out but Balor makes this part CROSSFACE! Kyle TAPS, Balor wins!!
Winner: Finn Balor, by submission (still NXT Champion)
Another time around and it was still brutal as all hell! Balor is still The Prince, having shed blood, sweat, but no tears for what he put Kyle through. The Undisputed Era come out to check on Kyle, but Balor walks over. Balor looks at Kyle as Kyle clutches his jaw, and Balor nods respect. The new year starts just as the old one ended: Finn Balor on top! If this wasn’t enough to end the reign, what will it take to take that title from Finn Balor?
New Year’s Evil was incredible! Almost a TakeOver in itself! The opening bit with Lumis was pretty good, but he isn’t quite the host Shotzi Blackheart was for Halloween Havoc. Priest VS Kross was a great match, probably Kross’ best since coming to NXT, and though Priest gave him the biggest challenge yet, Kross still wins because he’s still the big monster. And we got an EPIC commercial free main event for Balor VS Kyle. Their TakeOver 31 match was Match of the Year winner, this rematch here is already an early contender for the 2021 awards. Balor wins and that blood from his forehead going along the side made for a powerful ending image. Kross wants his title back, I am thinking he and Balor can start a program going into Valentine’s Day TakeOver. Which, how wild is that? A TakeOver on a holiday.
Escobar VS Metalik made for a great Cruiserweight Championship match, and though it went picture in picture, it was basically commercial free, too. I had a feeling Metalik wasn’t going to win, since A) Lucha House Party is still on Raw, and B) Curt Stallion is still promised a match. Stallion is taking part in the Dusty Cup to bide his time, but I’m not sure he and August Grey go that far given the other teams in the tournament. Gargano & Theory are going to be the seventh team, and obviously Grizzled Young Veterans are the eighth. I can’t be sure who wins it, but depending on how the actual bracket is formed, I wouldn’t be surprised by Undisputed Era VS The Way for some classic Cole VS Gargano before UE gets revenge on McAfee’s boys, Lorcan & Burch, in the title match.
And amazing news that we’re getting a WOMEN’S Dusty Cup! Obviously The Way’s Candice & Indi are going to get in on that, to tease The Way completely taking over tag team wrestling. Dakota and Raquel can be another team, as well as Xia Li and “Her” (Karen Q). Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter will be in by default as one of the only other women’s tag teams in NXT, so that’s four teams right there. I’m sure they can throw some other women together into teams if they want to go for eight, such as Rhea and Shotzi, but who knows. Rhea VS Raquel was AWESOME! Asuka VS Nikki Cross was a good first Last Woman Standing but RVR is now the best one. As I predicted, Raquel wins, and this could mean Rhea is on her way out, but who knows.
I like that, with the Fight Pit not happening, we got a Mixed Tag Match surprise as Lumis uses his hosting authority to make a match. Johnny & Candice VS Kushida & Shotzi was a lot of fun, helped preview The Way being in the two Dusty Cups, and gives Kushida his way to the North American Championship at TakeOver: Valentine’s as I don’t think The Way makes the men’s finals. The entire segment leading up to it was hilarious, too, with the gifts and the plaque and Shotzi shooting Theory in the nuts. The Way will definitely have a strong 2021, regardless of titles and accolades.
My Score: 9.5/10