Mark Freitas
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Tonight, NXT is live from the Capital Wrestling Centre in Orlando Florida. Tonight’s show is being advertised as A Very Gargano Christmas.


NXT Opening/ Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Drake Maverick & Killian Dain for the Tag Team Championships in a street fight


Our show kicks off with Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch defending their NXT Tag Team Championships in a street fight. As Lorcan and Burch are making their entrance, their opponents Drake Maverick and Killian Dain attack them from behind. Dain and Maverick get an early advantage on the tag champs, but it doesn’t last long as Burch and Lorcan work on Killian Dain.


Dain would deliver a backdrop to Lorcan as he landed on top of chairs. Dain and Maverick got it rolling, Maverick and Dain began to use teamwork. Danny Burch and Drake Maverick were the legal men in the ring, Burch hit a massive clothesline on Maverick then gave him a drop toll hole onto a chair.


On the outside Lorcan and Dain were going at it and Dain went running through Lorcan through a table, but Lorcan moved and Dain put himself through it as we go to commercial. We come back from the break with Oney Lorcan whipping Drake Maverick in the chest and back with Maverick’s belt. Lorcan tagged in Burch and handed him the belt and Burch whipped the back of Maverick as he screamed in pain. Burch tagged back in Lorcan. 


Burch and Lorcan tag teamed Maverick, but as their back was turned when they got cocky Killian Dain tagged himself in and the big man was flying taking both men and hitting a powerbomb on Burch. On the apron it looked like Dain was going to slam Lorcan through the table, but Burch pulled him off and both men shoved Dain off the apron and onto the tables, but they didn’t break. 


In the ring, Drake Maverick gave Lorcan and Burch a taste of their own medicine by hitting both men with the belt. As it looked like the tables were turning Danny Burch took a cricket bat and hit Maverick in the midsection. Lorcan and Burch then sent up Maverick for the DDT and picked the win to retain their Tag Team Championships.


A Very Gargano Christmas segment


We see Johnny Gargano playing Christmas music on the piano. Johnny says, “forget Elf on the Shelf, we’ve got Gargano on the Piano”. Candice LeRae enters the room and asks the “kids” Indi Hartwell and Austin Theory if they want to open presents. We see Theory open his present and its protein powder, the name of the protein powder is called Johnny’s special The Way formula. Our segment ends with bickering for Indi Hartwell and we head to commercial


Tyler Rust promo


We go backstage with Tyler Rust as he is set to be interviewed but before he can answer the question he is asked, Malcolm Biven who came out last week after Rust’s match with Ciampa says Rust took Ciampa to the limit last week and tonight he’ll be in Rust’s corner because Rust is going to prove he’s not a rookie, he’s a diamond in the rust. 


Jake Atlas vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott


Our next match is a rematch from two weeks ago between Jake Atlas and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott. Both men tie each other up and guy back and forth, Atlas slaps him in the face and Swerve doesn’t take too kindly to that, He begins to beatdown Jake in the corner before the referee breaks it up.


Atlas got it going as Atlas kicked him in the face on the apron sending him to the outside. This left Swerve frustrated, and we go to commercial. Coming back from the break Swerve was in control for a little bit before at least hit a beautiful sunset flip into a pinfall that was kicked out by Scott. Shortly after Scott got back on offence and it a nice tilt of war backbreaker and following that up with a big suplex.


Swerve place Atlas on the top rope and Atlas was able to break through it and hit a pump kick. Atlas went to hit a hurricane Atta from the top, but Swerve landed on his feet. Both men went back and forth with shots, but in the end, Swerve was able to hit the confidence boost to get the victory and now evening the score with Atlas. After the match, Scott taunted Atlas and Atlas rejected his handshake.


Adam Cole Promo


We get Adam Cole & Roderick Strong backstage talking about Kyle O’Reilly and Cole says O’Reilly has changed since takeover. He adds that O’Reilly proved it more when he beat Pete Dunne last week. Cole says O’Reilly will prove again when he beats Balor for the belt.

Velveteen Dream returns and taunts Cole and Strong about how it looks like O’Reilly is the leader of Undisputed ERA now, and Cole is the cheerleader. Cole slaps him and says Undisputed Era has no leader. Cole then challenges Dream to a match later tonight.


 Timothy Thatcher promo


 We get a Timothy Thatcher promo at his school. He says if Ciampa has an issue he is going to stop him.


Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai


It’s now time for women’s division action as Rhea Ripley takes on Dakota Kai. Raquel Gonzalez was banned from ringside for this match per William Regal. The bell rings and the match starts and Rhea Ripley shows off her power early on Kai.


Kai would work on Ripley’s arm after she delivered a brutal stomp on the apron and you see the arm bend and it looked gross. After that Kai should Ripley and her injured arm in the ring post. As we head to a picture and picture break Kai kept her foot the gas working on Ripley’s arm. She brought Rhea to her knees and began stomping on it then jamming her knee on it.


We come back from the picture and picture break, Kai was able to lock in an armbar, but Ripley was able to plant Kai to the mat breaking the submission. Ripley shook off the effects and continued to work on Dakota. Both ladies traded shots, Ripley would slam Kai face-first to the mat, she would get a two count and after this Kai got back in control, for a bit but she got caught in the cloverleaf. As Ripley had the submission locked in, Raquel Gonzalez appeared on the stage.


Ripley didn’t let this distract her as she continued her attack, but after Kai hit an amazing backstabber on Ripley. Shortly after Ripley was able to hit the riptide on Kai after she countered her guillotine. Ripley got the win and after the match, Ripley called Gonzalez to the ring and both ladies began talking trash to each other. They started brawling and referees tried to break it up before producers from the back tried to help but it didn’t, and they kept going back and forth at one another, both ladies then stared at each other and we headed into the next segment.


A Very Gargano Christmas segment 2


We get our second part of A Very Gargano Christmas this time it is Indi Hartwell opening her gift. Hartwell gets a PS5. Indi finds out the box is empty, and Johnny says he has the console, the box was just for dramatic effect. Johnny says that they have a better gift for her Since she’s been loyal to him and LeRae, they’re giving her the family nickname and that is Indi Wrestling.


Toni Storm Promo


Toni talks about her win last week over Rhea Ripley, she then turns her focus to Io Shirai and says she’s coming for her title.

Bronson Reed vs. Ashante Thee Adonis

A returning Branson Reed takes on Ashante Thee Adonis and he tries getting some small offence in but Reed runs him over. Reed hits a senton and goes to the top and hits his finisher the tsunami and picks up the win in this short match.


Io Shirai segment


An angry Io Shirai comes down to the ring and calls Toni Storm to the ring. Storm’s music hits. But she is attacked by a returning Mercedes Martinez She drags Io out of the ring by the neck and throws her into the barricades. Io tried fighting back, but Mercedes fires right back. She throws Shirai into the side of the announce desk and stands tall. 


A Very Gargano Christmas segment 3


 Johnny gives the last gift to Candice LeRae and It’s a wheel. Johnny says he spent hours in the junkyard looking for the last scrap of Shotzi’s tank for his general. A Very Gargano Christmas ends with a group shot Theory opens his powder and it goes everywhere as the camera snaps the pic.


Timothy Thatcher vs. Leon Ruff


We return to the in-ring action with Timothy Thatcher taking on Leon Ruff. Thatcher lays in heavy shots on Ruff. Ruff tries to get back in the match by using his quickness, but an angry Thatcher lays a big forearm shot to Ruff.


Thatcher was laying a beatdown on Ruff and Ruff was screaming in pain. Thatcher then took a chair and placed it at ringside as he was calling for Ciampa to come out. This gave Ruff time to get a little offence on Thatcher, but Timothy laid a heavy uppercut on Leon. Ruff grabbed Thatcher by the leg and looked like he was going to give him a submission, but Ruff countered into an inside cartel and got a surprising win. After the match Thatcher attacked Ruff on the outside, he threw him back in the ring and Ciampa appeared and gave Thatcher a willow’s bell as Ciampa left the ring he tells Thatcher he’ll see him in the fight pit.


Tyler Rust vs. Ariya Daivari


Rust gets to work early taking down Daivari with submission holds after submission holds. Rust drops Daivari down again and tries to lock in an armbar, Rust continues to control the match. 


Daivari got in the offence as he hit a neck breaker and took Rust to the outside. As the match goes back into the ring, Rust hits beautiful kicks and uppercuts. Rust locked Daivari into a submission that folded him up like a Prestel and picked up the win.


Early recap


We got a Finn Balor vs. Kyle O’Reilly video package


 Damian Priest and Karrion Kross cut video promos on one another


Dexter Lumis is drawing, and we find out It’s Ripley and Gonzalez in a Last Woman Standing match


Leon Ruff has an opportunity to become North American Champion again as he will battle Johnny Gargano next week for the belt.


Xia Li and Boa training video package again


Roderick Strong will face Pete Dunne next week


Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream 


Our main event starts, both tie each other up, but the Dream got the attack early, but Adam Cole turned the attack, he hit a neck breaker and delivered a big pump kick on the Dream knocking him to the outside.


As the match goes back to the ring both men go down after they hit heads. Pete Dunne comes out and attacks Roderick Strong and gives him a bitter end. The-Dream gets in control as we go to break. 


We return to the action with Cole in control of Velveteen, Cole would land a big German suplex. The dream got back in the driver’s seat delivering big right hands and an elbow. Cole caught Dream with a superkick to the back of the knee.


The fight went to the outside as Cole got knocked to the floor, he caught Dream with a superkick as Dream jumped from the top rope and it looked like Dream was hurt. Both men went back into the ring and Cole hit another superkick and he then locked in figure four. The dream made it to the ropes and shortly after he hit the purple rainmaker and Cole kicked out.

Dream and Cole delivered superkicks to each other, but in the end, Cole’s superkick got Dream to his knees and he hit the last shot on Velveteen Dream picking up the win. Cole ends the show by saying the NXT Championship will be back with the Undisputed Era. 


This was a good show tonight, it had lots of action from start to finish and next week’s show is looking like a good one. I am looking forward to tuning in as we get closer to New Year’s Evil.