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WWE NXT live results: Number one contender's match

NXT Champion Finn Balor's challenger for New Year's Evil will be decided tonight.

A number one contender's match between Kyle O'Reilly and Pete Dunne will take place on tonight's episode of NXT. The winner will challenge Balor at NXT New Year's Evil on Wednesday, January 6.

WWE has announced that tonight's O'Reilly vs. Dunne match will have uninterrupted bell-to-bell action.

O'Reilly, Dunne, Damian Priest, and Scarlett all confronted Balor last week. Balor told Scarlett to tell Karrion Kross that whenever he's ready, Balor's ready. After Priest insulted Kross and Scarlett, Kross returned later in the show and attacked Priest.

Kross will be back in action tonight, returning for the first time since suffering a separated shoulder and having to relinquish the NXT Championship this August. Kross' opponent hasn't been announced.

Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm and Leon Ruff & Kushida vs. North American Champion Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory are also set for tonight's show.

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

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Cold open without the usual opening montage. Kushida & Leon Ruff were in the ring ready for their match. Their opponents enter from stage right, and they represent the new faction called The Way.

Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory (with Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell) defeated Kushida & Leon Ruff

Theory pinned Ruff after using a new flatliner finisher. This is Theory's first match back since he in storyline "quit" a while ago.

Theory has new trunks instead of the long tights he wore before his hiatus. This win also snapped Theory's losing streak.

The heels worked over Ruff for heat. Ruff with rally netted some two counts on Gargano. More heat on Ruff as the heel cotinued to work him over.

Kushida made a save, and he and Ruff hit a double dropkick. That led into a springboard dive from Ruff. He slipped on the ropes and landed hard on the floor. Ruff immediately grabbed his ankle. He kept going on, and moments later caught Theory with a DDT.

Gargano made a blind tag, and Ruff was unaware. Ruff took a slingshot spear from Gargano. The show cut to commercial with the heels in control.

Hot tag to Kushida after the show returned from break. Kushida cleaned house, and Ruff soon tagged back in to deliver a springboard missile dropkick. They did a Time Splitter double-team spot, and Ruff got a near fall on Gargano 

Theory cut off Ruff, and he executed his Torture Rack bomb for a two count on Ruff. Kushdia made a save after Ruff ate a double superkick. Ruff came back later with a superkick on Gargano.

Ruff springboarded off the middle rope into a cutter on Gargano. However, Theory made a bling and Ruff was again unaware. He tried to pin Gargano with a crucifix, but Gargano was not the legal man in the match.

Theory snatched up Ruff and used a finisher called This Is the Way. Theory then covered Ruff for a pinfall.

A great video package hyped Toni Storm and her match later on against Rhea Ripley.

Another package featured El Legado del Fantasma. 

Shotzi Blackheart in a backstage interview cut a promo on Candice LeRae and her trophy. Blackheart said she broke LeRae's arm in WarGames, and she will break her best friend tonight. Blackheart meets Indi Hartwell in a match later tonight.

Tommaso Ciampa defeated Tyler Rust 

Ciampa pinned Rust in a really good match. Rust was impressive, and he had a very competitive match with Ciampa. This bout plays into the ongoing feud between Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher.

Ciampa before the mactch set up a chair on ringside. That was seemingly an invite for Thatcher to come sit at ringside. Rust is also a "student" of Thatch-As-Thatch-Can.

Thatcher came to ringside after the match began. Ciampa and Rust started with chain wrestling. When Thatcher appeared at ringside, Ciampa became far rougher on Rust. He then tossed him oustide at Thatcher's feet. 

Ciampa and Rust were fighting at ringside when Thatcher got involved. Ciampa bumped into him, and then Rust went to kick Ciampa. Rush inadvertently kicked Thatcher instead. Thatcher freaked out. He got in Ciampa's face, but officials poured out to separate them. 

Distracted by Thatcher, Ciampa fell victim to Rust. Ciampa took a shoulder breaker on the apron. He was down selling as the show cut to a commercial. Rust was working over Ciampa with a cobra twist as the show returned from the break.

Ciampa broke the hold, but Rust kept targeting the arm. Ciampa fired up into a series of lariats, and an Air Raid Crash for a near fall. Rust fougth back to deliver an ax kick for a two count. Rust transitioned into an armbar. Ciampa fought out of it.

Rust again went for an armbar, and Ciampa countered him. Ciampa stomped him in the face, and a knee to the face by Ciampa. Rust came back with a crazy twisting neckbreaker for a near fall. He went back to targeting Ciampa's arm.

Ciampa baited Rust, and then Ciampa began to pummel him. A knee strike was a prelude to the Widow's Bell, and Ciampa covered Rust for a pinfall.

Grizzled Young Veterans were the subject of a video package. 

Karrion Kross and Scarlett warned that doomsday is coming in another video package.

Dexter Lumis was on a platform using a tablet to draw pictures like he was creepy Bob Ross. The opposite of happy trees.

Looks like the main event is happening at the top of the second hour. 

Kyle O'Reilly defeated Pete Dunne in a number one cotender's match

O'Reilly pinned Dunne to become number one contender. This match was fantastic! 

Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong were in O'Reilly corner before the match. Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan were in Dunne's corner. That would not last long.

Killian Dain & Drake Maverick ran down before the match started to attack the Burch & Lorcan, who are also the tag team champions. Undisputed Era joined in the brawl. Out of nowhere Breezango came flying in to join the party. 

Tag teams were brawling at ringside while O'Reilly and Dunne stood nose-to-nose in the center of the ring. They started with a slugfest, and then they went to grappling on the mat.

Dunne went to apply a bow-and-arrow, and O'Reilly fought back to score a takedown of his own. Great mat work, and the fight soon spilled outside.

They teased a countout as the brawled at ringside. They both rushed into the ring to break the count. They fought through a picture-in-picture commercial break.

O'Reilly countered The Bitter End as the show returned from commercial. O'Reilly applied a choke, and then he delivered a PK. Dunne with a counter to execute the X-plex. 

Dunne with joint locks and other assorted torture. O'Reilly fired up into a comeback. A trifecta of double underhook suplexes by O'Reilly, and then he planted Dunne face first. Dunne still managed to kick out.

They fought on the turnbuckles, and Dunne flipped over to land on his feet. O'Reilly was still hooked onto the turnbuckle, basically in a tree-of-woe. Dunne peppered him with kicks and stomps. 

The match went through another picture-in-picture commercial break. As the show returned from commercial they were taking turns smashing each other into the turnbuckle pad. It was a tug-of-war of sorts that ended when they butted heads. 

Dunne with a Liger Bomb for a two count, and then Dunne applied an armbar. O'Reilly got a rope break, he trapped Dunne in a submission hold. Dunne escaped, but a moment later he took a brainbuster from O'Reilly.

O'Reilly with Ax and Smash on Dunne, knocking out his mouthpiece. O'Reilly followed with a package suplex for a two count. They did a cool spot where Dunne went to pick up the mouthpiece, and O'Reilly then stopped him to stomp on Dunne's hand. 

Back-and-forth in the closing minutes. O'Reilly with a second counter of The Bitter End. This time he countered into a tornado DDT off the apron to the floor.

O'Reilly followed by dropping a Bobby Eaton flying knee drop on a prone Dunne, and then O'Reilly covered him for the pinfall. Great freaking match. 

In winning the match, O'Reilly becomes number one contender. He goes on to New Year's Evil for a title match against NXT Champion Finn Balor. That is a rematch from TakeOver several months ago.

Xia Li and Boa were still being subjected to torturous training routines.

Shotzi Blackheart defeated Indi Hartwell (with Candice LeRae) via disqualification

Blackheart won by DQ when Hartwell used a trophy as a weapon. LeRae had brought the trophy to ringside that Gargano had given to her last week as a gift.

They had a tough job trying to follow the previous match. The lame finish did not help.

Heat on Blackheart, and then a comeback by Blackheart. After she dropkicked Hartwell out of the ring, LeRae jumped on the apron to cause a distraction. 

Blackheart was arguing with LeRae when Hartwell grabbed the trophy. Hartwell hit Blackheart with the trophy, and the referee called for the bell. He DQ's Hartwell, but the heels were not done.

They kept attacking Blackheart, and LeRae laid out Balckheart with The Wicked Stepsister.

Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) defeated Desmond Troy

Kross pinned Troy in a squash match. Kross ate him up and then dumped him with a Saito suplex. Kross then applied his finisher, and Troy tappe out to the Kross Jacket. Kross looked like a killer.

Isaiah "Swerve" Scott in a backstage interview tried to downplay him not shaking Jake Atlas' hand last week. Scott said it was blown out of proportion. He announced that he and Atlas will have a rematch next week.

Ever-Rise stormed in after Scott left the set. They ranted and raved.

The artwork Lumis was working on revealed that he is the "host" for New Year's Evil. (Insert Toru Yano shrug here.)

Also announced for New Year's Evil is Kross vs. Priest. 

Toni Storm defeated Rhea Ripley

Storm pinned Ripley after interference by Raquel Gonzalez. Really good match even if the finish was not clean. 

Great back-and-forth action and sequences in the early stage of the match. They went on to trade strikes. Storm kicked Ripley off the apron before the show cut to its final commercial break.

Storm had Ripley grounded on the mat as the show returned from the break. Ripley with a comeback, and she fired up on Storm.

Storm dodged a kick, and she headbutted Ripley. They both fell to the mat for a double down.They got to their feet, and they traded strikes. Ripley struck with a dropkick, and then she applied the inverted scorpion leglock.

After escaping the hold, Storm rocked Ripley with a lariat. She followed with a German suplex on Ripley for a near fall. Ripley came back with an electric chair snake eyes for another near fall.

Ripley went for the Rip Tide, but Storm escaped to the apron. Raquel Gonzalez jumped the barricade and tried to interfere. Storm was kicked off the apron, and she collided with Gonzalez.

Gonzalez posted Ripley like a lawn dart into the ring post. Storm capitalized with a hip attack. Then a Storm Zero finisher (double underhook suplex into a sit-out powerbomb), and Storm covered Ripley to score a pinfall.

Next week on NXT is a "Very Gargano Christmas."