Tonight's episode of NXT features the fallout from TakeOver: WarGames.
An appearance by NXT Champion Finn Balor will kick off tonight's show. This will be Balor's second in-person appearance since suffering a broken jaw at TakeOver: 31 this October.
Undisputed Era and Team Candice were victorious in their respective WarGames matches on Sunday. Undisputed Era defeated Team McAfee when Kyle O'Reilly pinned Oney Lorcan. Raquel Gonzalez gave Team Candice the win over Team Shotzi by pinning NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai.
A special look at the "Casualties of WarGames" will air on tonight's show. While her team was victorious at TakeOver, Candice LeRae suffered a possible broken arm in the process.
Leon Ruff's unlikely title reign came to an end as Johnny Gargano became a three-time North American Champion by defeating Ruff and Damian Priest in a triple threat match at TakeOver. Priest appeared to be on the verge of winning the match, but the returning Austin Theory appeared wearing a Ghostface costume and hit Priest with a lead pipe.
Tommaso Ciampa and Dexter Lumis also picked up wins at TakeOver. Ciampa defeated Timothy Thatcher, while Lumis defeated Cameron Grimes in a strap match.
Two matches have been announced for tonight. Ciampa will take on Grimes. In the main event, Gonzalez will face Moon.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
The Prince Is Back
NXT Champion Finn Balor opened the show with his return to NXT. Wearing a cool leather jacket and street clothes, he had the NXT Championship belt draped over his shoulder. Dude looked like a superstar.
WarGames is over and done. Balor declared the "the champion is back!" Some people love him and hate him, but if you want to know him then come see him in the ring. Cue Pete Dune, who entered stage right.
Dunne glared at Balor as he walked to the ring, and Dunne confronted Balor inside the squared circle.
Dunne said he and Balor are cut from the same cloth. He came from overseas and made a name for himself, just like Balor did. Dunne said it was about time they stand face-to-face, and he was glad Balor is back.
When Dunne vowed to take the championship from Balor, that brought out Kyle O'Reilly to interrupt them. He sarcastically addressed Dunne as "Peter-Peter-Pumpkin Eater."
O'Reilly bragged about Undisputed Era winning WarGames. Then he shifted his focus to the champion. O'Reilly reminded Balor that he broke his jaw, and O'Reilly said they have unfinished business.
Out comes Damian Priest to join the party in the ring. Priest confronted Balor, and he challenged Balor. Dunne stepped in front of Priest to ask, "Aren't you the geezer who couldn't beat Leon Ruff?"
Priest bickered with Dunne, and then O'Reilly started to bicker with them as well.
Balor quietly left the ring and walked up the ramp. Priest asked him where he was going. Balor said they need to learn manners. They cut Balor off before he could announce he is defending the title at New Year's Evil. Deciding who is not his job, that is for William Regal to decide.
As Balor was leaving the lights in the arena began to flicker. The theme music for Karrion Kross left Balor frozen in the place on the stage. Scarlett confronted Balor, and Balor said he had a message for Kross.
"When he is ready," Balor said, "Finn's ready."
Balor exited stage right, with the other three prospective challengers still in the ring. Priest referred to Scarlett as a "smokeshow" as he also called out Kross. Scarlett smiled with a sinister grin. And scene!
Pete Dunne was being interviewed during a commercial break when Killian Dain attacked him. They had a pull-apart brawl.
Jake Atlas defeated Isaiah "Swerve" Scott
Atlas pinned Scott in what was portrayed as an upset. Looks like Atlas is getting a push.
Lots of unique offense with Scott in control throughout most all of the match. Atlas fought back, and kept trying to counter. Scoot went for a magistral cradle, but Atlas countered with crucifix to score the pinfall.
Scott glared a whole through Atlas as Atlas offered a handshake. No code of honor as Scott stormed out of the ring after refusing to shake hands.
Tommaso Ciampa cut a promo on Cameron Grimes ahead of their match tonight.
Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake & Zack Gibson) defeated Ever-Rise (Chase Parker & Matt Martel) and Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) in a triple threat tag team match
Drake pinned Parker to win a triangle tag match. This bout was set up last week with brawling, and the match began with a brawl on the floor. Basically pickup up where they left off on the prior episode.
Grizzled Young Veterans and Imperium settled into a match in the ring. There were supposed to be one person from all three teams in the ring at once, but Ever-Rise were laid out on the floor. They were playing possum. It did not matter, as they still got knocked off the apron. They were down again on teh floor as the match continued in the ring.
Ever-Rise eventually rushed back into the ring to take over on offense, after the other two teams were worn down.
Chaos (not the New Japan kind) for a few moments. Lots happening in a short span of time. Aichner with a picture-perfect moonsault. Gibson splats on the floor. Imperium executed a finisher on Drake, but Ever-Rise jumps trying to steal a pin. Parkers gets a near fall on Drake.
Veterans with the Ticket To Mayhem on Parker, amd Drake covered him for the pinfall.
A video package feature highlighted the brutality of WarGames from this past Sunday. Those involved in WarGames gave their thoughts on the battle they had at TakeOver.
Shirai Brawls With Storm
Toni Storm in a bacstage interview was asked why she turned on Ember Moon. She stole her thunder. Before Storm would finish saying she wanted a title shot, NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai confronted her. Shirai said she no problem with Storm, she just didn't like her. Then, Shirai smacked her in the face. A brawl erupted backstage.
Storm and Shirai brawled their way into the CWC, and they took the fight into the ring. Storm tried to flee the ring, but out comes Ember Moon to attack Storm. Moon wanted payback, but for now she settled on rolling Storm back in the ring so Shirai could hit her with a moonsault press.
Tommaso Ciampa defeated Cameron Grimes
Ciampa pinned Grimes clean even after interference a few moments prior.
Ciampa was getting the better of Grimes when Timothy Thatcher came to ringside. Thatcher sat in a folding chair and watched from his seat in the aisle.
Grimes tried to fight back, but Ciampa mowed him down. They fought at ringside in front of Thatcher. Ciampa was distracted by Thatcher, and Grimes was able to cut off Ciampa. Grimes worked over Ciampa during a picture-in-picture commercial break.
Ciampa after the break made a comeback. He hit Grimes with a bunch of lariats, and Grimes was on rubber legs. Grimes still managed to kick out on a near fall. He soon was rocking Ciampa with strikes.
A running one-man Spanish Fly netted Grimes a two count. They traded strikes until Grimes was shoved out of the ring. Tyler Rust ran in to interfere, and Ciampa wrestled with him. Somehow this was not a DQ.
Grimes tried captialize, but Cimapa was crafty enought to catch him with The Widow's Bell. Ciampa then covered Grimes for a pinfall.
Ciampa and Thatcher had a staredown after the match. Ciampa walked backwards while leaving, and he glared at Thatcher.
Grimes confronted Thatcher, and Grimes yelled at him. Thatcher turned to leave. Grimes wheeled him around, and Thatcher put Grimes in an ankle lock. Grimes screamed in pain.
Xia Li and Boa were still somewhere being tortured. It looked like the roughest fight camp ever. They bled from their knuckles, and they bled from being hit with kendo sticks.
Celebration With New North American Champ Johnny Gargano & Company
NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano marched to the ring along with his wife, Candice LeRae. They were flanked by Indi Hartwell and Austin Theory.
Gargano said for months they were going to show you the way. "You're looking at it," Gargano declared as he pointed to all four of them.
Their faction name appears to be The Way. Theory exclaimed "Milky Way!" That was supposed to be funny I guess.
Gargano continued to brag on himself. He then bragged on his wife. Gargano shouted at the crowd, telling them to shut up.
Gargano has a surprise for LeRae. He had it shipped overnight from Italy. There was comedy with them doing bad drum roll.
Pulling the sheet off of the surprise, Gargano revealed a trophy. It was tacky as heck, and on top of the trophy was a green-haired doll that presented Shotzi Blackheart.
Gargano & LeRae were great here.
Damian Priest interrupted them. He was headed to the ring when Karrion Kross blindsided him out of nowhere. They did a stunt near the stage where Kross powerbombed Priest through a table. Kross then left the building. He got in a car, and he sped away.
Malcolm Bivens approached Tyler Rust wanting to be his manager.
Pete Dunne defeated Killian Dain
Dunne pinned Dain after outside interferance.
Dain was cleaning house on Dunne from the start. Dain pummelled him until Dunne caught him with a kick. Dunne continued to fight back, and Dain was posted after headbutting the ring post.
Dunne began to work over Dain. Nevertheless, Dain soon came back with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex that threw Dunne across the ring. Dunne cut him again as he targeted the fingers.
After a commercial break, Dunne was back in control. He grounded Dain on the mat. Dain soon made a comeback. He flattened Dunne with sentons, and he powerbombed him for a two count.
Dain was going for sort of other powerbomb, and Dunne tried to counter into a triangle choke. Dain with a deadlift into a powerbomb to break the hold. Dain nailed him with a shotgun dropkick. He went to follow up with a senton into the corner. Dunne moved, and Dain crashed into the corner.
Dain moments later with a suepr fisherman's buster off the top rope. Dunne was turned inside out with a lariat. Dain was setting up for a Vader Bomb when Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan ran down to ringside.
Drake Maverick runs down to save the day. Swinging a chair he chases off both Bruch & Lorcan...or so he thought. He turned around so proud of himself. Lorcan & Burch then attacked him from behind. They beat down Maverick, and Dain went outside the ring to save his tag partner.
Burch & Lorcan fled, but the distraction allowed Dunne to hit Dain with a cheap shot. Dunne then executed The Bitter End, and he covered Dain for a pinfall.
With Priest now out of his match for next following the attack on him, Leon Ruff needed a new tag partner for next week. Gargano taunted him, saying he would have to face Gargano & Theory on his own in a handicap match. Kushida entered the scene, and he volunteered to be Ruff's partner. So that sets up Gargano & Theory vs. Ruff & Kushida for next Wednesday on NXT.
Raquel Gonzalez defeated Ember Moon
Gonzalez pinned Moon clean in a good match.
Cat and mouse game at the outset. Gonzalez soon grabbed Moon in her clutches. She ragdolled and bieled her out of a corner. Gonzalez dashed a hope spot, and the onslaught continued with Gonzalez on the offensive.
Moon started a comeback with series of dropkicks. Those only dropped Gonzalez to a knee, but a flatliner dropped her on the mat. Moon speared Gonzalez off the apron before the show cut to a commercial break.
Gonzalez cut off Moon during the break. When the show returned from a commercial, Gonzalez had Moon trapped in a Gory Special.
Moon with headscissors counter sent Gonzalez crashing into a turnbuckle. After startinf a comeback, Moon let out a scream before she did a cartwheel into a clothesline. Moon with a tilt-a-whirl into a tornado DDT for a near fall.
Moon sailed through the ropes with a tope suicida. She climbed part of the lighting rig at ringside. She was going for a splash on Gonzalez, but Gonzalez caught her in mid-air. She then posted Moon with snake eyes, but somehow Moon managed to kick out.
Gonzalez posted herself a moment later, and Moon rocked her with kicks. Moon climbed the turnbuckles, and she went for The Eclipse. Gonzalez with a counter again caught Moon in mid-air, and she hit Moon with a Western Lariat.
Moon got a near fall on a counter using a roll-up, but Gonzalez kicked out. Gonzalez then used a modified powerbomb to score the pinfall.
Toni Storm came down to the ring after the match. She told over Moon, and went to possibly attack her when Rhea Ripley made a save.
Ripley got into the ring for a staredown with Gonzalez that closed the show.