NXT's final stop before New Year's Evil takes place tonight.
Tonight's show will feature a contract signing for one of the three title matches that's been confirmed for next Tuesday's New Year's Evil event. NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes and NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong will make their title unification match official.
NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bron Breakker and NXT Women's Champion Mandy Rose vs. Raquel Gonzalez vs. Cora Jade are also set for New Year's Evil.
Ahead of next week's title match, Gonzalez & Jade will team up against Rose's Toxic Attraction stablemates Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne tonight.
Raw star Riddle will make an appearance as MSK call out NXT Tag Team Champions Imperium tonight. Brian Kendrick will return to the ring against Harland, Tiffany Stratton will make her NXT in-ring debut, and WWE will follow up on Grayson Waller's appearance on Monday's Raw. Waller will kick off tonight's show after continuing his feud with AJ Styles on Raw.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Grayson Wallers opens the show with an in-ring monologue. He talks about being at Monday Night Raw last night, saying he bought tickets as a Christmas present to himself. Waller throws to a recap from Raw, with Waller confronting AJ Styles.
Waller continues to cut a promo on Styles. He buries Styles's theme song. Waller insults the fans for cheering Styles. Waller says there is no brighter star than himself.
Waller changes the subject to his match tonight on NXT. Waller was supposed to wrestle Dexter Lumis, but he is supposedly not cleared to compete. Waller mocks him for being injured, and Waller goes on to say there is a replacement. Waller insists whoever it is will find out about the "Grayson Waller Effect."
Out comes Odyssey Jones as the replacement. Jones cuts a short promo on Waller, and Jones calls him a "bitch."
Grayson Waller defeated Odyssey Jones
Waller pins Jones after Jones hit an exposed turnbuckle. Waller won by using a stunner as his finisher. AJ Styles announces after the match that he faces Waller in a match at New Year's Evil.
Jones was looking dominate as the show cut to a commercial break. Tide turns during the break, and Waller is in control as the show comes back from commercial. Jones soon begins to fight back, but Waller cuts him off.
While trying to block a powerbomb, Waller pulls off a pad off that was covering the turnbuckle. Waller still takes the powerbomb, but the a turnbuckle is now exposed in a corner. Jones missing a splash, and he smashes into the exposed turnbuckle. Waller then flips into the ring, and Waller delivers a Stone Cold Stunner. Waller covers Jones for a three count to win the match.
AJ Styles appears on the video screen after the match. Styles tells Waller he will see him at New Year's Evil.
McKenzie Mitchell is backstage interviewing Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade. They have a match later against Toxic Attraction. Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray enter the scene the argue about who should be the challengers at New Year's Evil. They are all bickering among themselves when NXT Champion Mandy Rose appears on a monitor.
Rose takes it upon herself to book a tag match between the bickering challengers. Winners of the tag match are the two that will challenge Rose in a triple threat match at New Year's Evil. Rose says she is champion so she can make calls like that. Anyway, this was silly. Yet it does set a tag match for later tonight.
Waller is mad backstage, and he bumps into MSK.
A hype video highlights Tiffany Stratton ahead of her debut later in the show.
Xyon Quinn in a pre-tape promo gives Elektra Lopez an ultimatum. She must pick between him or Santos Escobar.
Cameos by WALTER and Matt Riddle during Imperium-MSK confrontation
MSK comes to the ring for a promo. Matt Riddle was supposed to be with them this week, but Riddle appears on the video screen to say "plans change." He is with them in spirit. There were some weed jokes. Riddle tells them to challenge Imperium for the NXT Tag Team Championship.
Out comes Imperium to confront MSK. Imperium dismiss MSK, and say they will remain champions. MSK wants a title match right here tonight. WALER interrupts by appearing on the video screen. WALTER cuts a great promo putting over Imperium as the champs.
Riddle dials back in and he appears in a split screen with WALTER. Riddle challenges WALTER to a six-man tag match next Tuesday at New Years's Evil. WALTER accepts the challenge, and a trios match is set for next week.
Harland was supposed to wrestle Brian Kendrick, but Kendrick did not come out for his match. Why advertise a match before a commercial break, and then not deliver it minutes later. Bait and switch, much?
Harland (with Joe Gacy) defeated Andre Chase.
Harland wins after a referee stoppage.
Andre Chase enters the ring to confront Joe Gacy and Harland. Chase bickers with Gacy until Gacy reveals that Chase is Kendrick's replacement. Harland mauls Chase in a complete squash. Harland is squashing Chase when the ref stops the match, awarding the bout to Harland.
A student from Chase University runs in to check on Chase. Harland pulls the students out of the ring, throws him over his shoulder, and Harland basically kidnaps the long haired student.
Tiffany Stratton defeated Fallon Henley
Stratton pins Henley after a flatliner. Not a good match. Stratton has potential, but the act is not ready for national television. She also seems miscast.
Her theme song even calls her a "daddy's girl," so safe to say this Olympian is now a stereotypical rich girl. This gimmick might work if WWE still referred the female roster as Divas. The gimmick is very outdated, and very one dimensional.
Tony D'Angelo narrates a video recapping his beating of Pete Dunne. D'Angelo beat up Dunne with a crowbar. D'Angelo warned Dunne not to return, or the next beating will be more severe. Basic mob story from every mob TV show you have ever seen.
Contract signing for Unification Match
A table and chairs is set up in the ring. Wade Barrett is assuming host duties. Malcom Bivens, flanked by Diamond Mine, leads the NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong to the ring. Bivens cuts a great promo as usual.
Trick Williams leads NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes to the ring. The two sides bicker back-and-forth. The implied joke is the white dudes had no idea what anyone else was talking about. The segment eventually got serious as Strong and Hayes cut promos on each other, which builds up their unification match. Great talking segment.
The segment was winding down when Biven began to berate Williams. That makes Williams angry, so he gets in Bivens' face. The Creed Brothers grab Williams from behind, and the Creeds put Williams through a table with a spinebuster.
Solo Sikoa defeated Santos Escobar (with Legado del Fantasma)
Sikoa pins Escobar to remain undefeated in NXT. Best match so far on this show.
This bout was set up earlier in the show during a backstage skit. Escobar felt that Sikoa disrespected his faction and Elektra Lopez. Sikoa refused to apologize, and he instead challenged Escobar to a match.
Very much an American style match, with almost no hint of Escobar being a luchador. Somewhat of an old school match with a methodical pace at the start. Might have fit right in on the undercard of a MSG show in late '70s.
Sikoa was looking strong when Legado del Fantasma causes a distraction. Escobar blindsides the distrated Sikoa, and Sikoa is down selling as the show cuts to a commercial break.
Escobar is working over Sikoa as the show returns from the break. Escobar seemingly in total control, until he signals for the Three Amigos. Sikoa counters an attempted suplex, and Sikoa explodes into a comeback.
Sikoa thwarts interference by Legado del Fantasma, but doing so distracted Sikoa. Escobar with a chop block takes out the knee of Sikoa. Escobar follows with a super Frakensteiner. Escobar looked to be bleeding from the nose.
Xyon Quinn enters the ringside area to confront Elektra Lopez. Escobar sees him, and Escobar goes flying through the ropes with a dive on Quinn. Escobar rains down some punches on Quinn. Escobar sternly points a finger at Lopez as he reenters the ring.
Back in the ring, Escobar walks into a superkick from Sikoa. Superfly splash off the tope rope, and Sikoa covers Escobar for a three count.
Harland and Joe Gacy are atop the building with the unnamed student they kidnapped earlier in the show. Harland teases throwing the student off the top of the building, but Harland and Gacy leave instead. They sparred the student, so whatever that means.
Sikoa was doing a backstage interview after winning his match, and Boa out of nowhere attacks Sikoa. Boa with the Meng deathgrib chokes out Sikoa, and Boa also hits a camera operator.
A great video package hypes the NXT title match next week at New Year's Evil. Bron Breakker challenges NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa in a rematch next Tuesday.
Von Wagner defeated Malik Blade
Wagner pins Blade in a glorified squash match. Robert Stone was watching along from a monitor backstage. This comes after Wagner to lost a match to Edris Enofe last week in what was an upset win.
Blade got some offense, but very little. The match was mostly all Wagner. Blade did make a short comeback that included a flying crossbody. Wagner quickly cut him off, yet the go on to tease another upset like last week.
Wagner goes on to execute a twisting double underhook suplex, and Wagner covers Blade for a pinfall.
Wagner went to again attack Blade after the match, but Edris Enofe appears at ringside to pull Blade out to safety.
Raquel Gonzalez & Cora Jade defeated Io Shirai & Kay Lee Ray
The winners go on to the triple threat title match next week against NXT Women's Champion Mandy Rose at New Year's Evil.
Convoluted match with a convoluted storyline, and it fittingly had a convoluted finish. All around it was a convoluted mess.
They match went through a commercial break. Just before the break, Kay Lee Ray leapt off the top rope with a dive to the outside. Shirai follows with an Asai moonsault to the floor. The match peaked here. All downhill from there.
Jade gets worked over for a long while, building to a hot tag to Gonzalez. People seemed out of place at times. Eventually, Gonzalez tags in to run wild on KLR. Counter by KLR, but she still falls victim to a chokeslam by Gonzalez.
Gonzalez fell back into her corner, and Jade makes a bling tag. Gonzalez and Jade begin to bicker over the blind tag. Shirai tries to capitalize with a flying crossbody, but Gonzalez catches her. Gonzalez tosses Shirai out of the ring.
Next came by far the dumbest thing on the show. Jade goes to cover KLR, and Jade's own partner breaks up the pin. Gonzalez then starts yelling at Jade for trying to win the match. Gonzalez is apparently mad that Jade is stealing her pinfall. So dumb, but it gets dumber. First, let me explain:
If Jade had scored the pin, then her and Gonzalez win the match. Thus they go on to the title match next week. Gonzalez apparently knows this, because moments later she helps Jade score a pinfall. Yet, Gonzalez was originally mad that Jade was trying to score a pin. Why?
KLR capitalizes on the bickering by going for an O'Connor Roll. Gonzalez breaks up the pin by pushing Jade into a counter. Jade then cradles KLR to score the deciding pinfall.
Gonzalez and Jade go on to New Year's Evil for a title match against Mandy Rose. Appearing on the video screen after the match, Rose cuts a promo on Gonzalez and Jade. Her promo was almost as convoluted as this main event segment.