Three title matches headline tonight's special New Year's Evil edition of NXT.
The first NXT episode of 2022 will see Tommaso Ciampa defend his NXT Championship against Bron Breakker. They each have a victory over each other heading into the bout. Ciampa retained against Breakker at Halloween Havoc last October, but Breakker got the win for his team at WarGames by pinning Ciampa.
Mandy Rose will put her NXT Women's Championship on the line against Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade in a triple threat match tonight. Plus, the NXT North American Championship and NXT Cruiserweight Championship will be unified as Carmelo Hayes takes on Roderick Strong. The winner will be the NXT North American Champion going forward.
Two main roster stars are also set to appear. Riddle will team with MSK against Imperium's Walter, Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner. And AJ Styles will make another appearance on NXT as he confronts Grayson Waller.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
The show is opening with a title match to unify two championships. This marks the end for the Cruiserweight Championship once created as part of the 205 Live brand, as that title is being folded into the North American Championship.
Slightly different look to the soundstage, mainly because of lighting and video screen graphics. The opening match is already giving the show the feel of a supercard, even if it is taking place on the same soundstage it does every week.
NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes (with Trick Williams) defeated NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong (with Malcolm Bivens and Hachiman) in a unification match
Hayes pins Strong in a great match to unify the titles. Hayes leaves the match with two title belts, and the opener has set the bar every high for the rest of the show.
Action packed from the start, and everything mostly flowed together well. All action until a near fall for Hayes leads into a commercial break. Double down during the break, and Strong gets to his feet and chops down Hayes.
Strong working over the back as the show returns from the break. Hayes comes back with La Mistica transitioned into a crossface. Strong counters and attempts to apply his Boston crab finishing hold, which he calls The Stronghold. Hayes reverses to apply to the Stronghold on Strong. Another counter later, and Strong applies the Stronghold on Hayes. Hayes is able to secure a rope break.
Hayes is getting rocked by strikes when Strong delivers an Olympic Slam for a near fall. They keep trading near falls down the home stretch. Strong gives Hayes an avalanche X-plex off the top rope in the craziest spot of the match. Vic Joseph calls it the X-plex, but it was wacky. Strong delivered the move, yet Hayes covers Strong with one arm for a two count. Right to the finish after that.
Hayes leaps way high into the air to slice Strong with a guillotine legdrop from the heavens. Hayes then covers Strong for a three count. Hayes successfully defends his North American Championship, and Hayes captures the Cruiserweight title en route to unifying the titles.
NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa is in the locker room clutching Goldie, when he is met by AJ Styles. They exchange pleasantries before Styles heads to the ring for his segment.
AJ Styles brawls with Grayson Waller
The live audience gives Styles a superstar reaction, and rightfully so. The crowd chants his name, and Styles gushes about them for a moment. Then Styles gets more serious as he talks about his regrets. Styles remarks about having not gone through NXT before debuting on the main roster. Styles says there is something special about NXT, and the crowd chants "NXT." Styles points to that right there, saying it is the passion.
Styles will not let anyone take the passion from the fans, thus bringing up the name of Grayson Waller. I do not follow the logic there, but Waller come out interrupt regardless. Waller cuts a promo on Styles before as cutting a promo on a fan in the front row. Waller says he knows the reason Styles lost last night on Raw. Waller is implying he himself is a really great wrestler.
Styles informs Waller that Styles has never had a match in NXT. Styles says he already has his gear on, and he challenges Waller to a match. All they need is a ref, says Styles. Waller, who was wearing street clothes, tries to beg off. Styles tells him to "grow a sack" and get into the ring.
Waller takes his shirt off and gets into the ring. Waller circles Styles before stopping to basically say not tonight. Waller challenges Styles to a match next week in the main event of NXT. Styles accepts. Waller tries to cheap shot Styles, but Styles ducks the punch. Styles decks Waller, but Waller baits Styles into a trap.
Styles fights back with a Pele kick, and Styles goes for his signature springboard. Waller bails out of the ring and hightails up the ramp. They meet again next week in a match.
A pre-tape skit sets up a another match for next week on NXT. Amari Miller was in the gym with Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter. They are approached by Persia Pirotta and Indi Hartwell. Pirotta accepts a challenge for a trios match. There was some comedy with Wendy Choo (formerly Mei Ying), who is doing a sleeping gimmick. Choo is set to team with the Pirotta and Hartwell against the team of Miller, Catanzaro and Carter.
Matt Riddle & MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter) defeated Imperium (Walter, Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner)
Riddle pins Aichner to win the match. Fun match was was also really good.
Much like the opener, this match had lots of action. Far more wrestlers in this match too, so lots more action. The trios bout went through a commercial break, where the pace eventually slows.
Imperium works over Carter as the show returns from the break. Hot tag to Riddle, and Riddle unloads with a flurry of offense. Riddle cleans house and he runs wild on Walter. Earlier in the match, Walter struck down Riddle. Now it was Riddle's turn for a receipt on Walter.
Triple flying with stereo dives through the ropes by MSK and a springbaord twisting whisper in the wind by Riddle. Imperium collectively fight back, and Walter gets a near fall on Riddle. Double team by Barthel and Aichner on Riddle, and Carter makes a save to break up the pin.
Walter barks orders as Barthel and Aichner go for their finisher. Riddle counters and he tags out to Cater. Lee then tags in, and another quick tag to Riddle. MSK execute their tandem finisher, and Riddle follows with a bro-sault. Riddle then catches Barthel with the RKO, and Riddle covers Barthel for a pinfall.
Joe Gacy announces that he and Harland want to compete as a team in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Sigh... whatever, bro.
NXT Champion Mandy Rose arrives in a helicopter looking like a superstar.
Elektra Lopez says that next week Xyon Quinn gets his answer next week. Quinn meets Santos Escobar in a match next Tuesday on NXT. Lopez goes on to say the winner of that match "leaves with me."
NXT Champion Mandy Rose defeated Cora Jade and Raquel Gonzalez in a no disqualification triple threat match
Rose pinned Jade to retain the title.
The no-DQ stip allowed them to use a kendo stick, which they used during a split screen commercial break. Go figure.
Gonzalez got to look strong with her power moves. Gonzalez tossing Jade out of the match at one point, and then Gonzalez points at Rose. Trying to flee, Rose runs up the ramp. Gonzalez gives chase, and she brings Rose back into the ring. Rose begs off before Gonzalez begins to rain down punishment.
Rose cuts off Gonzalez for a near fall. Gonzalez hulk up to give Rose the powerbomb finisher. Gonzalez goes for a cover, but Jade flies in off the top rope with a senton to break up the pinning attempt.
Gonzalez turns her fury towards Jade, but Jade is able to counter. Jade shoves Gonzalez out of the ring. Jade smirks towards the camera, and Jade goes for a schoolgirl roll-up. Rose with a counter for the roll-up, and Rose cradles Jade for the deciding pinfall.
In what is possibly their first speaking role on television, The Creed Brothers confront MSK. The Creeds cut a promo vowing to win the Dusty Classic.
Von Wagner is no fan of Chase University
Andre Chase comes to the ring for a speech. A bunch of plants that are supposed to be his students cheer him on like a high school pep rally. Chase mentions a student saving him last week. Chase is grateful Harland did not throw the student off the building, as that would hurt enrollment. Chase honors the student with the first-ever full scholarship to Chase University. Chase tells the student to come on down, like he is a contestant on The Price is Right.
No celebration though, as Chase's speech is interrupted by Von Wagner. Sauntering to the ring, Wagner is bleeped when he says "bulls***," and he goes on with is promo. Wagner's voice naturally sounds a lot like his father.
Wagner tries to put himself over as a star. Chase tries to tell him this is what teachable moments are for, but Wagner is hearing none of it. Wagner floors Chase with clothesline, and Wagners give him an Olympic Slam.
Wagner was not done fighting, as he starts attacking Chase U students. Wade Barrett gets in an Antonio Brown joke in saying Wagner was crazy. Officials pour out to break up the melee.
Security escorts Wagner out of the building, but in the process Wagner meets up with Diamond Mine. Roderick Strong and Wagner have a short staredown, so there could be a match between in the future.
A video package featuring Cameron Grimes seems to indicate a shift in his character. Grimes in the new year is ditching the green (as in money) gimmick for gold (as in a championship).
Announced for next Tuesday on NXT:
- AJ Styles vs. Grayson Waller
- Xyon Quinn vs. Santos Escobar
- Boa vs. Solo Sikoa
- Wendy Choo, Persia Pirotta & Indi Hartwell vs. Amari Miller, Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter
- Pete Dunne vs. Tony D'Angelo in a crowbar on a pole match
The main event is airing commercial free.
Bron Breakker defeated NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa to win the title
Breakker submits Cimapa to win the title and become the new champion of the NXT brand. Really good match that made Breakker look like a superstar. It helps he has that it factor.
Breakker got a special entrance. He broke through chains like in the mythology of Hercules (the Greek god, not to be confused with the one half of Power & Glory). Breakker breaks down the chains and he proceeds to kick through a giant "X" emblem. Breakker is barks, but his black singlet was the least Steinerized gear he was worn to date. In the ring, Breakker still looks like a Steiner.
Breakker starts like a house of fire, as he manhandles Ciampa with power moves. Ciampa fights dirty to cut off Breakker, yet Breakker answers back. Ciampa is eventually able to cut off Breakker for the time being. Unable to fight back after missing a splash, Breakker is sent outside the ring. Ciampa follows with a flip dive over the ropes to the floor.
Sleeper hold applied by Ciampa is broken up by Breakker. Double down as they both struggle to their feet. They trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Breakker explodes with lariats and a Stinger splash. Breakker then slams Ciampa to the mat.
Breakker sets up for a Super Frankensteiner, but Cimapa crotches him on the turnbuckle. Breakker is trapped in the tree of woe, and Ciampa stomps on him. Nonetheless, Breakker fires up yet again to deliver a spinebuster. Breakker follows that with a standing moonsault. Ciampa kicks out at two and half.
Ciampa cuts off Breakker, and Ciampa shoves him off the turnbuckles. Ciampa hits a series of knee strikes, while blood starts to trickle down his face. Breakker explodes with a spear out of nowhere that rocks Ciampa.
They face off to trade strikes once more. Ciampa backs Breakker into a corner, and Breakker answers back with a Frankensteiner. Things went slightly awry when Ciampa counters a Breakker signature powerslam. Ciampa is able to drape Breakker on a rope, and Ciampa delivers a Willow's Bell. Breakker kicks out.
Ciampa applys a half crab, but Breakker gets a rope break. The fight spills outside where Ciampa has pulled back mats to expose the concrete floor. Breakker gives Ciampa an Alabama slam through the announce desk.
Breakker delivers his powerslam finisher, but Ciampa grabs the bottom rope to break up the subsequent pinning attempt. Ciampa crotches Breakker, and Ciampa knees Breakker in the head several times. After a trifecta of knee strikes, Ciampa connects with The Fairy Tale Ending, but Breakker musters enough will to kick out for the best near fall of the night. Ciampa in disbelief.
They fight while perched on the turnbuckles. Breakker shoves off Ciampa, and Brekker jumps off the middle rope with a Rick Steiner flying bulldog. Breakker pulls down the straps on his singlet, and Breakker applies the Steiner Recliner. Ciampa taps out, and Breakker wins the match to become the new NXT Champion.
Pretty great show all things considered.