Welcome to the WWE NXT review here on TJRWrestling. It’s the last edition of NXT this year. Next week’s show is a big one. For this review I’m going to do an abbreviated version where I just post the results of the matches and offer a quick comment on what happened. The past week has been incredibly busy for me. I just wanted to watch this show without writing a lot. Sometimes it happens.
Here are the NXT Year-End Award results as voted on by the fans on WWE.com over the last few weeks.
Male Competitor of the Year – Adam Cole
Female Competitor of the Year – Io Shirai
Overall Competitor of the Year – Io Shirai
Match of the Year – Finn Balor vs. Kyle O’Reilly NXT Title Match @ TakeOver 31
Event of the Year – Takeover WarGames
Rivalry of the Year – Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee
Tag Team of the Year – Undisputed Era
Breakout Star of the Year – Shotzi Blackheart
Future Star – Austin Theory
This is episode #437 of WWE NXT. It took place at NXT’s home called the Capitol Wrestling Center at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. Check out my past WWE NXT reviews right here.
Bronson Reed defeated Isiah “Swerve” Scott
Easy win for Reed in about six minutes. I was a bit surprised that they would put Scott in this spot since he recently started being more of a heel and I think they shouldn’t have him in a match that showcases the other guy. Anyway, Reed is a guy to watch as a breakout star in 2021.
Grizzled Young Veterans defeated Breezango
The GYV team has been booked strongly since returning to NXT a few weeks ago, so it’s no surprise that they got the win here. Breezango was a major part of the tag team division earlier in the year and now they’re just not being featured much at all. This went for about 13 minutes and it was around a *** match out of five.
After the match, Ever-Rise showed up as if they were going to challenge Grizzled Young Veterans and then Ever-Rise retreated. That’s what heels do. Both teams are heels in that storyline anyway.
There was another Xia Li/Boa training video. It was something that made it look like they were done their training, so expect Xia Li and Boa back on NXT next week.
Mercedes Martinez defeated Valentina Feroz
A dominant win for Martinez in about two minutes. Martinez recently attacked NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai, so they’re building her up for a title shot.
Pete Dunne defeated Roderick Strong
This was the best match on the show. They got plenty of time around 14 minutes. Dunne has been getting a decent push since coming back to NXT a few months ago while Strong isn’t being used in singles as much, so the win for Dunne makes a lot of sense. It was a hard-hitting battle, Dunne did the spot where he pulls on the fingers to hurt Strong and then the Bitter End got the win for Dunne. They went for about 14 minutes here. I’d go ***1/2 for this match.
There was a promo face-off between NXT Champion Finn Balor and Kyle O’Reilly. They spoke about having respect for eachother after their outstanding match at Takeover 31 in October, but Balor reminded O’Reilly that he came up short in that match. Balor told O’Reilly he’ll make him pay for breaking his jaw. There was an interruption from Karrion Kross and Scarlett, who said that the NXT Title belongs to them. Damian Preist showed up to get into a fight with Kross. They ended up fighting all around the CWC building and then went crashing through a table. Scarlett checked on them while they were down on the table being looked at by officials and she was laughing.
Analysis: This was an effective segment promoting the two big matches on next week’s New Year’s Evil show with Balor facing O’Reilly and Kross facing Priest. It was fine as a way to build up to those matches.
There was a video about Rhea Ripley and Raquel Gonzalez being friends in the past, but things have changed since they have become rivals. They have a match at New Year’s Evil next week as well.
Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) defeated Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza)
It seems pretty random that Lucha House Party was on NXT since they are on Raw, but I guess it’s a case of NXT’s creative team realizing they need some more teams there. I would love this move to be permanent because I think LHP would be booked better on NXT compared to Raw. Anyway, this was a shorter match that went about four minutes with Metalik winning after a top rope elbow drop.
Johnny Gargano defeated Leon Ruff to retain the NXT North American Championship
There was a lot of talk throughout the show about the curse for Gargano where he had never successfully defended a title, so he was trying to do that here. This was more of an even matchup with Ruff coming close to winning a few times, but I don’t think anybody watching this thought that Gargano was going to lose. I really liked the nearfall towards the finish with Ruff hitting a Frog Splash for the two count. Shortly after that, Gargano got the momentum back and hit the One Final Beat DDT for the pinfall win. This went about 14 minutes. I’d go about *** out of five for it. A shorter, more fast-paced match probably would have been better.
The show ended with Dexter Lumis with a painting promoting next week’s New Year’s Evil show because he’s the host.
I’m going to leave out Three Stars since it’s not a full review. I think it was about a 6.5 out of 10 overall. That’s below average for NXT.
This was mostly a show done to promote NXT New Year’s Evil next week while nothing on here stood out that much. I expect a great show next week that will feel like a Takeover and have three or four excellent matches.
Here are some matches for the New Year’s Evil show on January 6.
NXT Championship: Finn Balor (c) vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Last Woman Standing: Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez
Karrion Kross vs. Damian Priest
Fight Pit: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Timothy Thatcher
Dexter Lumis is the host.
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