Check out my coverage of NXT’s New Year’s Evil matches!
Main-Event NXT Championship Match
Balor & O’Reilly delivered, these guys were not playing. Kicks by O’Reilly and a double stomp, drop kick in the corner by Finn and then a superplex and brain buster by Kyle as they exchanged blows. The champion kicked out of an arm bar submission that transitioned to the other arm by O’Reilly, the back & forth was good. A submission stretched him while he rear naked choked O’Reilly and Balor won and retained the NXT Title.
Damian Priest vs. Karrion Kross w/Scarlett
Kross was in control of this matchup trading forearms and swift kicks. Priest got the better of Kross with a springboard but then an athletic clothesline by Kross landed. Priest and Kross had a stand-off exchanging blows on the apron.
An overhead toss and a headbutt to the midsection in the corner followed by a power bomb with authority on Priest but Kross in good position. He threw Damian around and power slammed him on the steel steps. The striking ability and suplex by Kross followed by a forearm to the back and Kross defeated Priest.
Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez
Last Woman standing.
Ripley got a kendo stick a was beating Gonzalez. Gonzalez blocked Ripley’s forearm with a steel chair to counter a dropkick by Ripley. Then Raquel sent Ripley into the plexiglass and Rhea slammed Gonzalez’s head and face into a big box of some sort. Their physicality is awesome, Ripley was very aggressive on the attack. Ripley dived on her but then with a flip face first Ripley was thrown into the steel steps by Raquel. A single arm power bomb by Raquel to Rhea crashed her through the stage, what a spot. Gonzalez beat the count and she defeated Ripley.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar vs. Metalik
Metalik is so efficient when using the ring ropes to balance and do all the high-flying type offense he does.
He walked ropes into a frankensteiner. Escobar threw a right hand to Metalik and Metalik back flip landed on Escobar. Up and over the top rope he went with amazing agility. A kick by Escobar and a frankensteiner blocked by Escobar. He caught Metalik and put him against the barricade of glass.
His mask almost came off when Santos grabbed it. Metalik fell off the top rope. A dorado took out Wilde and Mendoza on the outside, and a Frankensteiner by Metalik on Escobar was next. A pin followed but Santos kicked out. Metalik got hit with a phantom driver and Escobar retained the title and defeated Metalik.
The return of Xia Li vs. Katrina Cortez
Li is an evil looking woman who we’ve seen in the vignettes lately and her appearance was something out of a horror movie. She was accompanied by Boa. Li’s martial arts presentation is cool.
Cortez had Li in a waist lock, and then used her quickness but to no avail due to Xia’s throat thrust and smooth-looking kick. Another precise kick by Li before she launched another attack. Several knees by Li, a vicious jumping knee followed by a nice-looking roundhouse kick by Xia. She pinned Cortez to win.
I like this new transformation to her gimmick, she appears to me from my perspective to be viewed as more believable now and more intense and serious. She’s very talented, I’m glad they knew to take her character to the level it needed.
Shotzi Blackheart and Kushida interrupt the Way’s Celebration
Gargano reversed the curse. He’s cursed with being the best and handsome. Candice LeRae says Johnny might be the most powerful person to exist. She did something for him. A plaque with “Curse” on it and the date where he defeated Leon Ruff to win the North American Championship is presented. “A date will live in infamy,” Gargano says, “you know what the most important thing in my life is and she’s a beauty.” Austin Theory said to Gargano, “your like a real life superhero.” Indie Hartwell presented a picture of the Way as the superhero’s The Fantastic Four.
Johnny officially announced that he and Theory will be entering The Dusty Rhodes Tag-Team Classic Tournament. Shotzi Blackheart showed up and interrupted the celebration and told Candice, “did you forget about me?” Austin Theory had a mic walking toward her in the aisle telling Blackheart she’s not going to ruin Johnny’s celebration and disrespect Candice like that. Shotzi shot a ball or some object out of her tank’s canon and it hit Austin in his lower area. Gargano checked on Theory while Blackheart walked to the ring and took out Hartwell.
She and Candice brawled. Shotzi kicked LeRae and Gargano on the ring apron while arguing. Shotzi Kushida grabbed Johnny causing him to land face-first on his apron. Lumis rangs the bell and drew a picture of all the wrestlers that are going to be in the mixed-Tag Team Match.
Kushida & Blackheart vs. Gargano & LeRae
Kudhida slammed Johnny’s arm, there was a chop by Gargano, a a kick by Kushida. Kushida is a skilled technician in the ring as well as an experienced striker. Johnny would chop then and Kushida answered with quick kicks to the legs and a punch. Kudhida was setting up Gargano for a move in the corner when Candice got in front of Kushida stopping him.
Johnny almost took out Candice due to trying to hit Kushida only to take a punch. He signaled for Shotzi to get in the ring. Blackheart punched LeRae. Shotzi and Kushida double-teamed Candice by having Kushida help lift LeRae for Blackheart to slam her on the mat. Kushida punched Gargano again, and arm snap and a kick to the backs of both Garganos. Kushida took flight with a standing flip kick to Johnny’s face. Shotzi dove through the ropes and Kushida and while he was on the ropes took out LeRae on the outside floor.
Indie Hartwell took out Blackheart and Theory shoved Kudhida off the top rope. Kushida dragged Theory back in the ring. Gargano ran to hit Kushida only for Kushida to drop a toe hold on Gargano into Austin’s family jewels. A roll up pin by Kushida on Johnny and Kushida and Shotzi won.
What did you think of the show? Let me know in the comments!