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WWE NXT live results: North American title match, 2020 awards

NXT closes out 2020 tonight with a North American title match, Roderick Strong vs. Pete Dunne, and the announcement of the 2020 year-end awards.

Johnny Gargano will once again attempt to break his title defense curse as he defends the NXT North American Championship against Leon Ruff tonight. The match was announced after Ruff got a surprise win against Timothy Thatcher last week.

Dunne attacked Strong at ringside during last week's Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream main event. He laid out Strong by hitting the Bitter End on the apron.

Last Wednesday, WWE opened up fan voting to help determine the winners of Breakout Star of the Year, Rivalry of the Year, Tag Team of the Year, Male Competitor of the Year, Female Competitor of the Year, Event of the Year, Future Star, and Match of the Year. NXT and NXT UK are both represented in the nominees.

Plus, Bronson Reed vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott will kick off tonight's show, Mercedes Martinez will return to action after attacking NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai last week, Breezango take on The Grizzled Young Veterans, and there will be a special look at the history between Rhea Ripley and Raquel Gonzalez ahead of their Last Woman Standing match at New Year's Evil next Wednesday.

Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

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The show opened with a graphic honoring the memory of Jon Huber.

Kicking off the episode is a singles match.

Bronson Reed defeate Isaiah "Swerve" Scott

Reed pinned Scott clean after a splash off the top rope they're calling "The Tsunami." 

Scott in the early moments tried to use his quickness, but Reed mowed him over. Reed leapt off the apron with a flying shoulder tackle on the floor. Scott turned the tide moments later, and he did a crotch chop like it was 1997.

Scott targeted a knee, and he got a near fall after a flatliner. He began to work the leg, but Reed was able to counter with sit-down splash. Reed made a comeback, and he chokeslammed Scott for a near fall.

Reed soon ended the bout with a flying splash off the top, and he covered Scott for the pinfall.

NXT Breakout Star of the Year -- Shotzi Blackheart

NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano was leading The Way into the building. They were cocky, until Gargano saw a black cat crossing his path. He feared that was bad luck.

Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake & Zack Gibson) defeated Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango)

Gibson pinned Breeze after The Ticket To Mayhem. 

The Vets tried working over Breeze, untill Fandango tagged in. Breezango then with some double-team offense. Gibson still almost stole a pin on Breeze.

Fandango jumped off part a lighting grid into a flying body press before the show cut to a commercial break. The Vets got heat on Fandango after the break as they worked him over. 

Breeze in off a hot tag, but is smashed by the Vets. Fandango tried to make a save, but he was shoved into the ring steps. That furthered injured the leg the heels had worked over.

Outnumbered two-to-one, Breeze soon took a Ticket To Mayhem. Gibson then covered him to score the pinfall.

Ever-Rise after the match acted like they wanted to storm the ring, but they were geeks. Referee Aja Smith was holding them back until she got tired of their crap. She left, and no one was left to hold them back. They quickly begged off.

During the match, the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic was announced as returning in two weeks!

NXT Tag Team of the Year -- Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly, Roderick Strong & Bobby Fish)

Xia Li & Boa return next week.

Mercedes Martinez defeated Valentina Feroz

Martinez pinned Feroz in a showcase match. Martinez looked like a badass. Probably because she is one.

Martinez ragdolled Feroz, and she dominated the match. She talked trash, and she slapped her around. Martinez concluded with an Air Raid Crash, and then she scored the pinfall.

NXT Female Competitor of the Year -- Io Shirai

NXT Make Competitor of the Year -- Adam Cole

Next up is a grude match.

Pete Dunne defeated Roderick Strong

Dunne pinned Strong clean after a great bout.

They began with fisticuffs like a grudge match is supposed to start. No lock-ups. They locked horns instead. The bout was intense when it began. 

Dunne began to work over Strong, but Strong fought back. He suplexed Dunne over a barricade before the show cut to commercial. Dunne during the break blocked a superplex, and he leapt off the middle rope with a double stomp on Strong's hands.

Dunne continued to work over Strong after the break. Strong soon made a comeback, and he rallied into a flurry of offense. However, Strong missed a wrecking ball dropkick, and Dunne posted him into the ring steps. Nevertheless, Strong countered a Bitter End. Strong then gave Dunne a full nelson slam on the apron. 

The fight returned to the ring, and Strong tried to continue his rally. Dunne caught him in a triangle. Strong powered out with a deadlift powerbomb Dunne for a near fall. 

Dunne tried again for the triangle. There was a struggle as Strong tried to pull away. Dunne snapped Strong's fingers, and Dunne followed with The Bitter End for a pinfall.

NXT Match of the Year -- Finn Balor vs. Kyle O'Reilly from TakeOver 31 on October 4th

William Regal was going to present the awards to the two winners, but NXT Champion Finn Balor had other ideas. He took the award plaque and said he would present it to O'Reilly. Balor then went to the ring.

Balor began to cut a promo when Kyle O'Reilly interrupted him. O'Reilly came out to confront Cole face-to-face in the ring. 

O'Reilly went to pick up his plaque. Balor told him he deserved it, but Balor said he himself did not need it. Balor had the championship instead. He also doesn't need a trophy to remind him of their match. Balor has three steal plates in his jaw that remind him every single day. Balor went on to say the only thing that trophy is good for is gather dust. 

O'Reilly said the trophy did mean something to him. It is proof he is a top guy in NXT, but he is not going to carry it around. It is participation award, and O'Reilly said he has been participating for 15 years. He is done with that. O'Reilly wants the title.

O'Reilly went on to cut a fiery promo vowing to take home the NXT Championship. Balor replied he was going to make O'Reilly suffer. O'Reilly broke his jaw last time, so next time Balor is going to make him pay. Balor said something that was bleeped.

They were suddenly interrupted by Scarlett & Karrion Kross. Scarlett said the tittle belongs to them. No matter who wins, the winner's fate is sealed. Kross warned that doomsday is here. 

Damian Priest confronted Kross on the stage. Priest got in his face and said this how you step to a man, and then Priest clobbered Kross. A brawl erupted on the stage. The brawling continued around the set, and they did the Mankind-HBK spot from Mind Games. They crashed through a table before the show faded to a commercial. 

After the break was a featurette documenting the feud between Rhea Ripley and Raquel Gonzalez.

El Legado Del Fantasma came to the ring for a promo. NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar said they had a great year. He called Undisputed Era winning tag team of the year a sham. He went on to say no can touch him as Cruiserweight Champion. In 2021 the success will continue. 

Escobar was interuppted by Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik from Lucha House Party. The two teams brawled with each other, which led to an impromptu match.

Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado defeated Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde

Metalik pinned Mendoza to win a fun match.

The technicos got to shine, but the rudos soon got heat on Dorado. Metalik cleaned house after hot tag. Dorado with a flying body press, but a pinning attempt was broken up.

Metalik with a hurricanrana off the apron sends Wilde to the floor. Dorado gives Mendoza a poison rana. Metalik then walked the top rope, and he leapt into a flying elbow drop. Metalik then covered Mendoza for the pinfall.

NXT Future Star of the Year -- Austin Theory

The Way was with Theory to present him with his plaque. Theory slipped up and said the word "curse" in front of Gargano, and Gargano flipped out. He threw Theory's bottle of protein powder across the room. It shattered a mirror. More bad luck for Johnny Wrestling. He felt doomed as he went to the ring, but then he walked under a ladder as he stormed off.

NXT Rivalry of the Year -- Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee

Overall Competitor of the Year -- Io Shirai

And now for the main event of the evening...

NXT Champion Johnny Gargano defeated Leon Ruff to retain his title

Gargano pinned Ruff to win the match and end the curse.

Ruff with counters and reversals had Gargano on the ropes in the early portion of the match. The story being that the curse was weighing on Gargano's mind. 

After being thrown outside, Ruff was reeling when Gargano tried to throw him into the barricades. Ruff instead leapt onto the chainlink barricade like a spider. He jumped from the barricade to the ring steps, and then back to the barricade like Spider-Man. He then kicked Gargano in the face, and jumped into a hurricanrana on the floor.

Theory at ringside caused a distraction, and Gargano cut off Ruff. Gargano with tope suicida, and then he sent Ruff crashing into the ring steps. The show then cut to its final commercial break.

Gargano was in control throughout the break. Ruff tried to fire up after the show returned from the break, but Gargano dashed the hope spot. Ruff soon countered Gargano, and he hit Gargano with a kick. 

Ruff rallied into a comeback. He fired up on Gargano, and Ruff delivered a hanging neckbreaker. A moment later he followed with a German suplex. Ruff with a cannonball in a corner for a near fall. However, Ruff ran into a superkick.

Gargano threw Ruff into the corner like a lawn dart, and then another superkick for a near fall. They traded counters. Gargano with a lariat and a powerbomb. Ruff kicked out, but he became caught in the Gargano Escape. Ruff crawled over to get a rope break.

Ruff flew off the apron to nail Gargano with a flying cutter on the floor. Following up with a frog splash, Ruff went for a cover. Gargano managed to kicked out. They were fighting on the turnbuckle, when Gargano dropped Ruff into a snake eyes of sorts.

Gargano executed One Final Beat, and he covered Ruff for the pinfall. The curse is broken. Gargano retains.