Kyle O’Reilly takes on Pete Dunne to determine who will face Finn Balor at NXT New Year’s Evil. We’ll also see Johnny Gargano team with Austin Theory to face Leon Ruff and Kushida.
Right off the bat we began with action as Kushida and Leon Ruff were already in the ring at the top of the show. Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory made their way to the ring accompanied by Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae. They were announced as The Way.
Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory (The Way) defeated Leon Ruff and Kushida via Pinfall
Kushida and Austin Theory began the match. After Ruff got into the match, he tried to use his quickness to gain the advantage. Unfortunately, after a slight distraction, it took Ruff a bit of time to gain control. Gargano and Theory actually had some pretty wonderful chemistry as a tag team. This chemistry helped keep The Way on the winning path.
After the match, we saw Dexter Lumis on one of the platforms in the crowd. Lumis seemed to have an easel set up and was preparing to draw something.
Then we heard from Toni Storm on her rivalry with Rhea Ripley. Storm insinuated that she ran Ripley out of NXT UK when she defeated her for the NXT UK Women’s Championship. Then Storm said the last time they were in the ring, Storm respected Ripley. Now? Storm doesn’t care about anyone, just about Toni Time.
Before a commercial break, we saw Pete Dunne and Kyle O’Reilly in their preparations.
When we returned from break we saw a Progressive Match Flo about Legado del Fantasma.
After the Match Flo, Shotzi Blackheart was interviewed by McKenzie Mitchell. Blackheart expressed to Mitchell how proud she was of her War Games team. She doesn’t appreciate that Candice LeRae is walking around calling herself a general or Miss War Games. While War Games is over, Blackheart said her war with LeRae is far from over. Blackheart broke LeRae’s arm, tonight she’ll break her best friend. *howling intensifies*
Back at ringside Tyler Rust was awaiting his opponent. Tommaso Ciampa then made his entrance. Before Ciampa entered the ring, he set up a chair at the end of the entrance ramp. He then put a Timothy Thatcher shirt on the chair, almost an invitation for Thatcher to come out.
Tommaso Ciampa defeated Tyler Rust via Pinfall (Willow’s Bell)
Thatcher did eventually take the bait and came out to ringside for the match. After Rust got thrown to the outside, with Ciampa yelling here’s your student, Ciampa got shoved into Thatcher. Ciampa then dodged a big boot from Rust, which wound up hitting Thatcher. Referees then came out to get Thatcher away from ringside.
This distraction allowed for Rust to take over the match. Rust was able to have a decent showing against the former NXT Champion, but it just wasn’t enough. Ciampa was able to battle back and caught Rust with Willow’s Bell.
After the match, Ciampa used the Thatcher shirt as a towel and wiped off his sweat. As Ciampa made his way up the entrance ramp, Thatcher attempted to cause some chaos. In the end, Thatcher was held back and Ciampa just waved at him.
We then got to watch a video from the Grizzled Young Vets. Zack Gibson and James Drake said momentum is important in this job. Then they listed off teams they have beaten. While there are a lot of new faces and teams on the scene, Gibson said they are still the very best tag team you will find and they are soon to be recognized as NXT’s number one.
Kyle O’Reilly and Pete Dunne made their way towards the ring as we went to commercial.
When we returned from break, commentary showed us that Malcom Bivens came out to the ring during break. Bivens gave Rust a pep talk of sorts. He told Rust that he was a star.
Back at Dexter Lumis’ perch, we find out he is drawing the New Year’s Evil logo.
Then we got the entrance of Kyle O’Reilly, who was accompanied by Adam Cole and Roderick Strong. Pete Dunne then made his entrance with Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan.
Before the bell, Burch and Lorcan are attacked from behind by Killian Dain and Drake Maverick. This led to Cole and Strong joining in the chaos. Then out of nowhere, Breezango entered the chaos!
While the tag teams brawled outside the ring, Dunne and O’Reilly just kept in a star down.
Kyle O’Reilly defeated Pete Dunne via Pinfall (Diving Knee)
As expected, O’Reilly and Dunne went to war…again. The two men went hold for hold, reversal after reversal and it was damn fun to watch. Mat wrestling and submission wrestling were at the forefront in this one.
At one point the two competitors were fighting on the outside and just made it back in the ring by the 10 count. Although Dunne put up a hell of a fight, O’Reilly was able to get the three count with the same move he used to win War Games.
After the match, McKenzie Mitchell caught up with Rhea Ripley. Ripley said that Raquel Gonzalez backed down last week. As for Toni Storm? Ripley warned her that she isn’t the same either. She doesn’t care what version of Storm she is stepping in the ring with, Ripley said she would finish this once and for all.
Then we took a commercial break.
As we returned from break, we got an update on Xia Li and Boa. This week, Li was crying like she didn’t want to continue training. On the other hand Boa asked for the torture to stop. Then we found out Li was the one beating up Boa!
Back in the ring, The Way was back.
Shotzi Blackheart defeated Indi Hartwell via DQ
Blackheart looked to have the upper hand in the match and focused on Hartwell’s arm. When it seemed like Hartwell was in need of help, LeRae distracted the referee. This allowed Hartwell to be given the trophy from Gargano. Unfortunately for Hartwell, the referee turned around right when she hit Blackheart with the trophy.
Hartwell wound up breaking the trophy because of how she hit Blackheart. The Way entered the ring after the match and seemed distraught about the trophy. Then LeRae and Hartwell hit Blackheart with Wicked Stepsister.
Then we got a video on Karrion Kross before we went to commercials. Tick Tock.
When we returned from break, we found out Bronson Reed will be back next week.
Karrion Kross defeated Desmond Troy via Submission (Kross Jacket)
In his NXT return, Kross made quick work of Troy. The destruction is back.
After the match, Kross looked into the camera and sent a message to Damian Priest that he would see him at New Year’s Evil.
Backstage, McKenzie Mitchell asked Isaiah Swerve Scott about what happened last week. Swerve said people are blowing the fact that he didn’t shake Jake Atlas’ hand last week out of proportion. He got frustrated losing to Atlas. Swerve said he has been working on his craft harder than Atlas.
In a show of respect to Atlas, Swerve talked to Regal and got a rematch against Atlas for next week.
After Swerve walked away, Ever Rise showed up. According to them, their match last week was a handicap match. They went to corporate and got their loss stricken from the records. Still undefeated apparently! When asked if they were looking for a rematch, they simply said EVER RISE RULES!
Back at ringside, we found out that Dexter Lumis will be the host of NXT New Year’s Evil. Which according to Wade Barrett is odd because he doesn’t talk.
Before going to commercial break, we saw Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm making their way towards ringside.
Returning from break we heard from the NXT Champion, Finn Balor. He took us back to TakeOver 31 where he said Kyle O’Reilly proved he wasn’t an underdog and deserved to be in the main event. Although O’Reilly broke Balor’s jaw in the match, he still lost.
What’s next for O’Reilly? According to Balor he is going to suffer. It won’t be Finn versus Kyle 2, but Finn Balor versus Kyle O’Reilly THE END.
Toni Storm defeated Rhea Ripley via Pinfall (Storm Zero)
The match began with the women countering everything. As Vic Joesph said, it was like they were playing a game of trying to one up the other. The match came to a head when Raquel Gonzalez made her presence known
When the referee’s back was turned, Gonzalez grabbed Ripley and tossed her into the ring post. This allowed Storm to hit Storm Zero and gain the three count.
NXT ended with Raquel Gonzalez staring down a very ticked of Rhea Ripley.