The December 16, 2020 episode of WWE NXT aired live on the USA Network from Orlando, Florida at the Capitol Wrestling Center.
- Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory def. Leon Ruff & Kushida
- Tomaso Ciampa def. Tyler Rust
- Kyle O’Reilly def. Pete Dunne to become new #1 contender
- Shotzi Blackheart def. Indi Hartwell via DQ
- Karrion Kross def. Desmond Troy
- Toni Storm def. Rhea Ripley
Here are the takeaways from this week’s show:
Tag Team Match
Leon Ruff and Kushida vs. Austin Theory and NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano took place in a tag team match, which opened the show.
WWE originally announced that Ruff would be teaming with Damian Priest, but that changed when there was an angle where Priest was attacked by the returning Karrion Kross and put through a table on last week’s show. Clearly, Priest is going away from the feud with Ruff and Gargano.
In the match, there was a spot where Ruff wiped out from the top rope to the floor and seemed to twist his ankle in the process. The finish saw Theory catch Ruff with a super kick to the back of the head then hit his finisher for the win.
Ruff has still yet to get a rematch for the North American Title as Gargano beat Ruff and Priest in a Triple Threat Match at the NXT TakeOver: WarGames event. It will be interesting to see if this rematch takes place at New Year’s Evil.
Toni Storm vs. Rhea Ripley
Toni Storm vs. Rhea Ripley was official for this show over the weekend.
Last week’s show saw Ripley save Moon from an attack by Storm on NXT after Gonalez beat Moon in the main event. Thus, it was time for the two stars to meet again in singles competition on Wednesday.
The match was the main event of this show. It was a solid match. The announcers continued to note that NXT had the best women’s division in all of wrestling. Gonzalez came out and distracted Ripley at one point. She later sent Rhea into the ring post then Storm hit her with a hip attack in the corner before hitting Storm Zero for the win.
Storm might have gotten the win, but the big story is the feud between Raquel and Rhea is continuing.
Karrion Kross Back In Action
Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) got back in the ring against Desmond Troy, who wasn’t revealed ahead of time.
The match was quick and a pure squash. Kross crushed the kid. A great showing for the top star. Of course, this was the first match that he’s had in months as he suffered a separated shoulder at NXT TakeOver: XXX when he beat Keith Lee to win the NXT Title. The following episode of NXT TV in August saw him vacate the title.
He made his return last week on NXT when he Damian Priest, which will likely set up a new feud with the former NXT North American Champion. Heading into the show, there had no date as to when this match could take place.
After the match, Kross challenged Priest to a match at New Year’s Evil special on January 6th.
#1 Contender’s Bout
Last week’s show saw a promo segment with Dunne, O’Reilly, and Damian Priest making their case for why they should get a title shot. Balor stated that it wasn’t his job to find opponents. Thus, he left it up to WWE NXT General Manager William Regal. That will happen with Balor defending the strap against the winner at the New Year’s Eve special on January 6th.
This match didn’t serve as the main event of the show. Instead, it started just before the start of the second hour. As expected, it was a hard-hitting affair with Dune getting the majority of the offense because he was the heel. There were some near falls.
O’Reilly hit his finisher for the win and to earn this upcoming title match.