– Tonight’s WWE NXT episode opens up from the Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, FL. We’re live on the USA Network with Vic Joseph welcoming us. He’s joined at ringside by Wade Barrett, and remotely by WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix. Leon Ruff and Kushida are already in the ring.
Leon Ruff and Kushida vs. Austin Theory and Johnny Gargano
Leon Ruff and Kushida pose in the ring until the music hits and out comes The Way – NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory with Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell. Indi is carrying Candice’s trophy that she received from her husband last week.
Gargano starts off but backs out and tags in Theory before anything happens. Kushida and Theory go at it, going to the mat. Kushida with the upperhand and showing off some. Theory tries to mount offense but Kushida hits an inverted Atomic Drop and more offense to dominate Theory. Ruff tags in and takes over, beating Theory down and going for his arm. Theory and Ruff go at it now with Theory getting some shots in. They tangle in the corner and Ruff nails a dropkick. Ruff is distracted by Gargano, which allows Theory to deck him and turn it back around. Gargano tags in and beats Ruff down, then taunts Kushida.
Ruff counters Gargano and drops him with a kick for a pin attempt. Ruff beats Gargano around now. Gargano fights out of the opposite corner. Gargano plants Ruff face-first. Gargano takes Ruff to their corner and tags Theory back in. Theory with a big chop to the chest, then a big Irish Whip. Gargano tags back in as Theory drives Ruff into his boots. Theory tags back in for a double suplex but Kushida runs interference. A double dropkick takes The Way out, they end up on the floor. Kushida also flies out. Ruff runs and leaps up in the corner to fly out, but he slips and falls, botching the dive for the most part. Theory gets right on Ruff and takes control, bringing it back in. Ruff immediately catches him with a DDT for a 2 count.
Ruff and Theory tangle. Gargano tags in but Ruff knocks him off the apron. Theory dropkicks Ruff and he lands into a big missile Spear from Gargano from the apron. Fans boo Theory and Gargano as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and fans chant “NXT!” while Theory has Ruff grounded in the middle of the ring. Ruff fights up and out, nailing a big clothesline. Theory falls into a tag to Gargano. Ruff nails an enziguri and tags in Kushida, who springboards in and decks Gargano, then takes him down. Kushida fights off Theory as he runs in, taking him out with a flying back elbow. Kushida takes Gargano back down with a hip toss and then dropkicks him while he’s down. Theory attacks from behind but Kushida drops him with an arm bar takedown. Gargano ends up rolling Kushida but it’s countered and he gets kicked in the arm. They tangle and counter. Gargano with a big enziguri.
Ruff tags in and hits a missile dropkick from the top. Ruff and Kushida with double enziguris to Gargano in the corner. Ruff rolls Gargano for a 2 count. Gargano clotheslines Ruff and tags in Theory. Theory goes for a powerbomb but Ruff fights out into the top turnbuckle. Theory rocks him and hits the spinning sitout powerbomb int he middle of the ring for a close 2 count.
Gargano comes in and knocks Kushida off the apron. Ruff fights both opponents off but they double team him, launching him into a double superkick. Gargano covers for the pin but Kushida runs in to break it up. Theory and Kushida brawl now. Kushida rocks him. Gargano superkicks Kushida to the floor. Theory tosses Kushida into the barrier as Gargano barks orders. Ruff rolls Gargano but he rolls through. Gargano gets superkicked into the corner. Theory tags in but Ruff kicks him from the corner, then nails a flying back Cutter to Gargano. Ruff backslides Gargano but doesn’t realize Theory is legal. Theory kicks Ruff in the head and hits This Is The Way to Ruff for the pin to win.
Winners: The Way
– After the match, The Way stands tall as their music hits. We go to replays.
– We see Dexter Lumis under a spotlight on a platform in the arena. He has some sort of drawing setup. Lumis just stares straight ahead.
– We get a video package with Toni Storm talking about her feud with Rhea Ripley and tonight’s Grudge Match. She goes on and says she only cares about Toni Time, and tonight she ends this feud on her terms.
– We see Kyle O’Reilly backstage warming up with Adam Cole and Roderick Strong. We also see Pete Dunne backstage with the NXT Tag Team Champions hyping him up for tonight’s main event. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a video package that shows Legado del Fantasma (NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar, Raul Mendoza, Joaquin Wilde) sitting down together. The Progressive-sponsored video shows Escobar praising his partners while highlights play.
– McKenzie Mitchell is backstage with Shotzi Blackheart. She’s proud of her team at WarGames and they gave Team Candice LeRae a beating. But now Candice wants to walk around with her little trophy and while WarGames is over, her war with LeRae is far from over. She broke Candice’s arm at Takeover and tonight she’s going to break Candice’s best friend. Shotzi howls and walks off. Indi Hartwell had her neck brace off earlier and is apparently coming for Shotzi.
Tyler Rust vs. Tommaso Ciampa
We go back to the ring and recent WWE Performance Center recruit Tyler Rust is in the ring for his in-ring debut. Out next comes Tommaso Ciampa as Rust stares him down.
Ciampa grabs a steel chair at ringside and sets it up, facing the ring. He then grabs a Timothy Thatcher t-shirt and places it over the chair, an apparent invitation for Thatcher to come out. Ciampa taunts Rust, pointing at the chair. The bell rings and they lock up. Ciampa takes it to the corner and the referee counts for the break. They lock back up and tangle. Rust takes Ciampa down by the arm but Ciampa turns it around on the mat with a scissors.
More back and forth on the mat now. They trade more counters and holds with Ciampa taking Rust back down and grounding him. Thatcher comes down to the bottom of the ramp as some fans boo. Thatcher stands next to the chair that Ciampa set up for him.
Ciampa takes Rust to the corner but Rust rocks him and gets free. They trade shots on their feet and Ciampa chops Rust down. Ciampa with more offense, then tosses Rust to the floor in front of Thatcher. Ciampa follows and works Rust over in front of Thatcher, taunting him. Rust ends up sending Ciampa into Thatcher, then going for a boot to Ciampa but Ciampa moves and Thatcher gets hit. Rust returns to the ring as Ciampa gets in Thatcher’s face. Thatcher and Ciampa argue as referees get in between them. Rust takes advantage of thee distraction and rocks Ciampa with a forearm on the apron. Rust then slams Ciampa by his arm, sending him down into the apron. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Rust has Ciampa in an abdominal stretch in the middle of the ring. Rust dominated during the break, according to Phoenix. Ciampa overpowers and slams Rust for a pop. Fans rally but Rust kicks Ciampa in the arm. Ciampa chops him. Rust keeps focusing on the arm. Ciampa with another chop and a clothesline. Ciampa with three more clotheslines, then a flying clothesline. Ciampa yells out for a big pop.
Ciampa with a clothesline in the corner. Ciampa with White Noise for a 2 count. Ciampa with more chops now. Rust blocks a shot, kicks Ciampa in the gut, then drops him with an axe kick to the back for a close 2 count. Rust goes right into a submission but Ciampa resists for a 2 count. Ciampa blocks a kick and swings but Rust counters and drives him into the mat. Ciampa fights off another submission. More back and forth now as the brawl continues. Ciampa with a knee to the jaw, putting Rust down on his face.
Ciampa goes for the Fairy Tale Ending but Rust fights and nails a big boot to the face. Rust with a big modified twisting neckbreaker for a close 2 count in the middle of the ring. Rust goes for another submission on the mat but Ciampa resists. Rust locks a hold in and pulls back on both arms, making Ciampa scream out. Ciampa gets his boot on the bottom rope to break it. Rust takes advantage of the 5 count but Ciampa is hurting as they break. Rust with kicks while Ciampa is on his knees now. Ciampa catches a kick, nails big strikes while Rust has his leg stuck on the middle rope. Ciampa unloads with chops. Ciampa with a pump kick. Ciampa charges in with a big knee while Rust is still on the ropes.. Ciampa then hits the Willow’s Bell draping DDT for the pin to win.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
– After the match, Ciampa stands tall as his music hits. Ciampa exits the ring and picks up the Thatcher t-shirt. He walks to the stage and Thatcher runs out but referees stop him before he can reach Ciampa. Ciampa stares at Thatcher and taunts him before heading to the back.
– We get a new promo from The Grizzled Young Veterans. They say they have more momentum than any other tag team heading into 2021. James Drake and Zack Gibson talk about what they did before their recent hiatus, and how NXT has changed since then, but the more things change the more they stay the same and they are still the very best tag team of this generation, and the best we will find anywhere in the world. They go on and say they are soon to be recognized as NXT’s #1 tag team.
– We see The Undisputed Era walking backstage. Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch are also walking through the back. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a video package hyping tonight’s in-ring return of Karrion Kross.
– The announcers show us what happened during the break. Malcolm Bivens came out and repeatedly told Tyler Rust that he’s a star as he recovered from the loss to Tommaso Ciampa in the corner. Bivens told Rust to get up and they seemed to be on the same page as they left together.
– We see Dexter Lumis on his perch again. He’s drawing the logo for NXT New Year’s Evil.
#1 Contender’s Match: Kyle O’Reilly vs. Pete Dunne
We go back to the ring and out comes The Undisputed Era – Kyle O’Reilly with Adam Cole and Roderick Strong. The winner of this match will challenge NXT Champion Finn Balor at New Year’s Evil on January 6. Out next comes Pete Dunne with NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch.
Lorcan and Burch are talking trash from the apron until Killian Dain and Drake Maverick run down to pull them off from behind. A big brawl breaks out as The Undisputed Era also gets involved. Dunne and O’Reilly are staring each other down in the ring. Breezango returns out of nowhere, also getting involved in the big ringside bawl. Officials back the participants to the backstage area. The bell rings as Dunne and O’Reilly start brawling in the ring.
Dunne and O’Reilly go to the mat, still brawling and trading holds. Dunne focuses on O’Reilly’s ankle and keeps him grounded with knees to the back. Dunne bends O’Reilly in a modified submission. O’Reilly turns it around on the mat as they tangle some more. They get up and O’Reilly catches a kick, taking Dunne down but Dunne takes control on the mat. They tangle on the mat some more.
More back and forth on their feet now. Dunne levels O’Reilly with a big clothesline. O’Reilly rolls to the floor for a breather. Dunne leaps out but lands on his feet and misses. They trade counters and Dunne nails a pump kick. O’Reilly counters the X-Plex, jumping on Dunne’s back at ringside. Dunne fights out and goes for the fingers. They trade forearms as the referee counts. They make it back in right before the 10 count at the same time.
The forearms continue between both men in the ring now. O’Reilly with knee strikes. O’Reilly charges and drops Dunne with a knee. O’Reilly with a running kick to the back to knock Dunne off the apron to the floor. We go to a picture-in-picture commercial break.
Back from the break and Dunne has been focusing on the arm. They tangle on the apron and come back in. Dunne drops O’Reilly on his head. O’Reilly counters the Bitter End into a submission, wearing Dunne down to his feet. O’Reilly charges with a knee to the jaw. Dunne comes back and hits the X-Plex in the middle of the ring. Dunne is bleeding from his mouth now.
Dunne puts a knee into the hand and then stomps on the hand of O’Reilly. Dunne grounds O’Reilly, stretching and bending him. Dunne stomps O’Reilly in the ribs. Dunne dropkicks O’Reilly in the face while he’s down. O’Reilly kicks from down on the mat but Dunne keeps control, kicking him in the spine. Dunne goes on and hits a neckbreaker. Dunne grounds O’Reilly with another submission in the middle of the ring. O’Reilly finally gets some offense in after more counters in the corner. Dunne comes right back but O’Reilly lifts him into a kick. O’Reilly with more kicks and knees. O’Reilly sweeps Dunne down.
O’Reilly keeps fighting. He nails two double underhook suplexes, and then drops Dunne with a DDT for a close 2 count. O’Reilly looks to capitalize but Dunne fights back. More back and forth between the two. O’Reilly kicks Dunne as he goes to the top. O’Reilly climbs up for the German superplex. Dunne fights back and avoids it. O’Reilly ends up upside down hanging in the corner as Dunne stomps away. They go on and Dunne nails a dropkick to keep control. O’Reilly is face down on the mat now as Dunne is slow to recover. We go to picture-in-picture commercial.
Back from the break and fans chant “NXT!” as we get a tug-of-war with the Superstars yanking each other into the turnbuckle. They go down and get back to their feet now. Dunne with a knee to the jaw. Dunne with a sitdown powerbomb in the middle of the ring for a 2 count. Dunne stomps on O’Reilly’s head while holding his arm, then drops back with the arm bar. O’Reilly breaks an arm submission by getting the bottom rope. Dunne goes for a move but O’Reilly back-drops him and goes for another arm bar in the middle of the ring. Dunne rolls through and applies an ankle lock. O’Reilly counters with an ankle lock of his own. Dunne counters with a Guillotine. O’Reilly applies a hold of his own but Dunne slides out. Dunne drops O’Reilly with a stiff headbutt.
O’Reilly counters a move and drops Dunne with a Brainbuster. They’re both down on their backs in the middle of the ring as a “this is awesome!” chant starts up. Fans chant “fight forever!” as they get up. They trade more big strikes and O’Reilly knocks Dunne into the corner. O’Reilly with a jumping knee in the corner. Dunne’s mouthpiece is on the mat now. O’Reilly with the big suplex from the corner, dropping Dunne on his head. O’Reilly stomps Dunne’s hand as he goes for the mouth guard.
More back and forth now. O’Reilly and Dunne trade more submissions for a few more minutes. Dunne grabs the fingers but O’Reilly beats him down with more strikes. O’Reilly drops Dunne with a kick to the jaw. Dunne leaps up, stomps the fingers and nails a roundhouse kick. O’Reilly charges but gets kicked in the head again. Dunne with more bending of the fingers and strikes on the apron.
O’Reilly blocks a Bitter End on the apron, and nails a suplex from the apron to the floor. O’Reilly immediately brings it back in the ring, with Dunne draped over the bottom rope with his face down in the mat. O’Reilly goes to the top and nails a flying knee drop to Dunne’s head. O’Reilly covers for the pin to win.
Winner and New #1 Contender: Kyle O’Reilly
– After the match, O’Reilly stands tall as the music hits. O’Reilly vs. NXT Champion Finn Balor is confirmed for New Year’s Evil on January 6. We go to replays. O’Reilly looks up at the New Year’s Evil graphic on the big screen and he’s ready for the rematch with Balor.
– McKenzie is backstage with Rhea Ripley. She talks about Raquel Gonzalez backing down last week. She talks more about Raquel and says she is a whole different animal when she’s by herself. McKenzie asks about Toni Storm and tonight’s match. Ripley acknowledges they have a lot of history together. Storm may be right when she says Ripley isn’t the same Rhea Ripley she knew in NXT UK, but Storm is the same piece of trash she was back then, and tonight she will finish this once and for all. We go to commercial.
– We come back to another vignette with Xia Li and Boa continuing their brutal training. The mystery woman and the ShiFu master look on. Li cries as she’s told to strike again. A bloody Boa says no more. The master tells Li to strike again and this time we see she’s beating up Boa. Li continues to cry as she delivers stiff strikes to a bloody Boa. The mystery woman looks on.
Indi Hartwell vs. Shotzi Blackheart
We go back to the ring and The Way is in the ring – Indi Hartwell with Candice LeRae, Austin Theory and NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano. Out next comes Shotzi Blackheart on her new tank.
The bell rings and they go at it. Shotzi with an arm drag. They lock back up and Shotzi goes behind. They tangle and Hartwell slams Shotzi on her face. Indi with another takedown face-first. Shotzi turns it around with a shoulder, then a dropkick. Shotzi focuses on Indi’s arm now as The Way looks on from ringside.
Shotzi continues working on the arm, taunting The Way. Shotzi grounds Indi by her arm now. Indi fights up and out but Shotzi keeps coming. Shotzi drops Indi with an enziguri. Shotzi flies into the corner with a cannonball but she moves and Shotzi barely hits her. Indi works Shotzi over while she’s down in the corner, covering for a 2 count. Indi drops Shotzi with an elbow for a 2 count. Indi keeps control and hits a Full Nelson slam for another 2 count.
Shotzi fights back out of the corner with a boot to the jaw. Shotzi splashes Indi in the corner and then works her over in the opposite corner. Shotzi with more offense into another corner, leaping onto her back with a senton. Indi goes to the apron for a breather but Shotzi dropkicks her to the floor in front of the announcers. Shotzi brings it back in but here comes Candice. The referee yells at her.
Candice jumps on the apron and talks trash at Shotzi for the distraction. Theory tosses Candice’s trophy into Hartwell while the referee is distracted. Shotzi turns around to a trophy shot to the gut. The referee sees it and calls the match.
Winner by DQ: Shotzi Blackheart
– After the bell, fans boo as Candice and Indi double team Shotzi. Gargano and Theory join them in the ring. Indi holds Shotzi down while Candice hits her with the Wicked Stepsister.
– We get another video package for tonight’s in-ring return of Karrion Kross. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a vignette for “Colossal” Bronson Reed. He will return next week.
Karrion Kross vs. Desmond Troy
We go back to the ring and out comes Karrion Kross with Scarlett for his in-ring return. Desmond Troy is already waiting in the ring.
The bell rings and Kross stares Troy down. They go at it and Kross immediately takes him down, mounts him from behind and unloads with strikes. Kross sends Troy to the corner and charges in, and again in the opposite corner. Kross manhandles Troy in the corner and launches him out with the Doomsday Saito suplex as Scarlett watches.
Kross with a big back kick. Kross with another Doomsday Saito suplex. Kross yells out and applies the Kross Jacket submission on the mat, rolling over to tighten it for the easy win.
Winner: Karrion Kross
– After the match, Scarlett hits the ring as Kross stands tall over Troy. We go to replays as the music plays. We come back and see the NXT power couple posing in the middle of the ring. Kross looks into the camera and sends a warning to Damian Priest for New Year’s Evil on January 6. Kross says this time Priest’s ass will be his. Kross does his “Tik, Tok” taunt to end the segment.
– McKenzie is backstage with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott now. She asks about last week’s loss to Jake Atlas and the post-match show of disrespect from Scott. He asks why everyone is making a big deal out of this and blowing it out of proportion. Scott says he lost and he gets frustrated when he loses, especially to someone like Jake At… no, Atlas is a great athlete and deserves to be in NXT. He goes on and says he’s been working on his own craft for a long time, and it bothers him losing to someone like Atlas. Scott reveals that he just left the office of NXT General Manager William Regal, and he will get his rematch next week but this time the result will be different.
Ever-Rise immediately walks up as Scott leaves. They go on about last week’s fluke and how it has to be stricken from the record because it was really a Handicap Match. She asks if they want a rematch against The Grizzled Young Veterans who won last week’s Triple Threat that also featured Imperium. They say they are still undefeated, joking that they are coming for WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg. Matt Martel and Chase Parker talk more trash and say they aren’t here to complain or talk about matches, they just want their voices to be heard. They go to leave but stop to tell everyone that Ever-Rise rules! Martel and Parker walk off to end the segment.
– We go back to Dexter Lumis drawing the New Year’s Evil logo on his perch in the arena. It’s revealed that he will be the host of the special episode on January 6. Lumis continues staring out.
– Toni Storm is shown walking backstage for tonight’s main event. Rhea Ripley is also shown. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a pre-recorded video from NXT Champion Finn Balor. He says Kyle O’Reilly proved a lot in their “Takeover: 31” main event match, and even broke Balor’s jaw, but despite all of that, O’Reilly still lost. What’s next for O’Reilly? Now he will suffer, says Balor. He goes on and says this won’t be O’Reilly vs. Balor 2, this will be O’Reilly vs. Balor: The End.
Toni Storm vs. Rhea Ripley
We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event and out first comes Toni Storm. Rhea Ripley is out next as Alicia Taylor does the introductions.
The bell rings and they stare each other down, sizing each other up. They lock up and go to the ropes. Storm backs off and taunts Ripley. Ripley talks some trash back. They lock back up and Ripley takes it to the corner. She backs off and taunts like Storm did before. Fans rally as they lock up and tangle. Storm with a headlock, taking Ripley down to one knee. Ripley fights out with body shots. They collide in the middle of the ring with shoulders. Ripley then drops Storm with a shoulder.
Storm with two pin attempts after they go to the mat. They trade counters on the mat for another pin attempt. Back to their feet now as they run the ropes. They go back down for more counters. They get back up and Ripley kicks Storm in the gut. Ripley has a suplex blocked. Storm rolls her for a 2 count. They trade big strikes to the chest in the middle of the ring now. Storm ducks a slap and nails Ripley in the back, angering her. Ripley uses her anger to chop Storm down. Ripley with two short-arm clotheslines now. Storm resists but Ripley drops her with a crescent kick to the jaw.
Storm ends up sending Ripley through the ropes to the floor. Ripley comes back to the apron but Storm charges and misses. Ripley tries to bring her out but Storm rams her into the ring post. Storm then drops Ripley off the apron to the floor. Storm sits on the apron and regroups while Ripley is down on the outside. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Storm has Ripley grounded in the middle of the ring as the crowd rallies. Ripley fights up and out with shots to the gut. Storm drops her with ease. Storm drops an elbow but misses. More back and forth now. Ripley with a big kick to the mouth but Storm goes to one knee. Ripley with big knee strikes and a takedown. Ripley with a running dropkick for a big pop as she screams out. Ripley with more big offense for another close 2 count.
Ripley goes for the Riptide but Storm fights her off. Ripley with a big boot to the back, then a kick to the head while Storm is down. Storm dodges a big boot now. They both collide with headbutts at the same time. They go down as a “NXT!” chant starts up. They trade strikes from the mat now, working to their feet. The big strikes continue on their feet as fans cheer them on. Ripley runs the ropes but Storm collides with her. Ripley does the same. They runt he ropes again and Ripley side-steps, then nails a dropkick for a close 2 count.
Ripley goes on and applies her inverted Cloverleaf submission in the middle of the ring. Storm screams out and fights out, launching Ripley into the ropes. Storm charges and flies into Ripley while she’s down. Storm with a German suplex and a bridge for 2. Fans rally now as Storm gets up first. Storm talks trash and the referee warns her to stay off Ripley’s hair. Storm launches Ripley across the ring twice by her head and hair. Storm charges but misses in the corner. Ripley lifts her and drops Storm face-first into the top turnbuckle. Storm still kicks out at 2 and Ripley is frustrated, showing frustration to the referee.
Ripley with a big leg drop, and another. Ripley with a third leg drop for a close 2 count. Storm fights the Riptide off and hangs on to the top rope. Raquel Gonzalez runs down and gets on the apron but ends up knocked down as Ripley knocks Storm off the apron into her. Ripley laughs as she goes out to bring Storm back in the ring.
Gonzalez sweeps Ripley’s leg from behind on the apron, catches her on her shoulder when she falls to the floor, and then drives Ripley head-first into the ring post. The referee is distracted by Storm. Storm follows up and attacks Ripley, hitting her with the Storm Zero powerbomb in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
Winner: Toni Storm
– After the match, the music hits as Storm stands tall in the middle of the ring, as her arm is raised. Gonzalez watches from the stage as we go to replays as NXT continues past 10pm. Fans boo as Storm continues her celebration. Ripley pulls herself up and recovers while Gonzalez watches from the ramp now. Gonzalez and Ripley stare each other down as NXT goes off the air.