NXT PLAYBACK 12/30/20
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Before the show, we get a tribute to Jon Huber (Luke Harper). Tonight is the final NXT show of 2020 and it is the Year-End Awards. The show kicks off with Bronson Reed taking on Isiah “Swerve” Scott.
Reed gets Swerve in a headlock early and then takes Swerve to the outside hitting a shoulder block. Back in the ring now Swerve takes the big man down by attacking his knee. Scott would follow up with a pump kick.
Scott hit an elbow to the spine of Reed. Scott stayed in control as he once again attacked the knee of Reed and followed up his attack by hitting a flat liner. Reed got back in control by sitting on the chest of Scott and then hitting hard clotheslines, followed by a chokeslam.
Scott hit Reed with a headbutt, and this angered the big man. Reed would take Scott down and capitalize on Swerve by hitting him with a tsunami picking up the victory.
Breezango vs. Grizzled Young Veterans
We get tag team action next as Breezango takes on GYV. Tyler Breeze and James Drake start the match. Breeze gets on the offence first and tags in Fandango who works on Drake as well. But Drake fights back and tags in Zack Gibson.
Gibson and Fandango go back and forth as Fandango got the upper hand and was able to tag in Breeze. Breeze would get on the wrong foot Gibson worked on Breeze for a bit for bit. This match was slow-paced and not a lot of action went down just basic move sets.
Fandango would wipe out Drake and Gibson on the outside as he climbed the structure on the outside taking out both men. This would lead to commercial, but before we got to it, it looked like Fandango hurt his knee from the landing.
We come back from the break with Gibson and Drake working on the knee of Fandango. Back in the ring, Gibson stayed in curse control on Fandango by delivering a power slam and Fandango’s knee hit the rope.
Tyler Breeze would get tagged in and was flying. James Drake now the legal man delivered a hard shot to the head of Breeze. Gibson would get tagged in, but Breeze tried fighting his way back, but it wasn’t enough as the Grizzled Young Veterans hit the ticket to mayhem and they got the win.
After this match, Ever-Rise came to the stage, but not much came out of it.
One important note here is that during this match, it was announced that The Dusty Rhodes Classic will return in two weeks. Adam Cole announced that he and Roderick Strong will represent Undisputed Era in the tournament
Mercedes Martinez vs. Valentina Feroz
Mercedes Martinez makes her in-ring return taking on Valentina Feroz. Martinez dominates the match, laying in hard shots and hitting a big spinebuster. Martinez showed off her power, Mercedes hit the air raid crash and got the win in this short squash match.
NXT Year-End Awards Winners
Breakout Star of the Year winner: Shotzi Blackheart
Tag Team of the Year winner: Undisputed Era
Female Competitor of the Year winner: Io Shirai
Male Competitor of the Year winner: Adam Cole
Match of the Year winner: Finn Balor vs. Kyle O’Reilly from Takeover 31
Future Star of the Year winner: Austin Theory
Overall Competitor of the Year winner: Io Shirai
Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong
This match starts fast as Strong got the advantage early. Dunne slowed the pace down at locked Balor in a headlock, but Strong would respond with a kick in the face. Strong would then deliver heavy chops to the chest.
Dunne began to brutally bend the fingers of Roderick Strong. Strong reversed it, but shortly after Dunne tossed Strong to the outside and caught Strong with a kick. Back in the ring Strong hit a backbreaker and hit a drop kick to Dunne as he was on the outside, we would head into the commercial break with Strong in control.
We come back with both men slugging it out. Dunne would brutally toss Strong into the turnbuckle. Strong got back in the match, by hitting a perfect dropkick to the face of Dunne. Both men once again went back and forth, Roderick Strong won this battle as he was on fire hitting a flurry of shots to the Bruiserweight.
The fight went to the outside where Strong planted Dunne with a half nelson slam on the apron. Dunne and Strong traded more shots. Dunne locked in a triangle choke but Strong countered with a cool backbreaker.
Dunne was able to snap the fingers of Strong and then hit Roderick with the bitter end to pick up the victory as this was the end of for Strong in this good back and forth match.
Finn Balor and Kyle O’Reilly Promo
Finn Balor enters the ring to hand Kyle O’Reilly his award but before he goes to the ring, he and Pete Dunne exchange words he tells Dunne if he wants a shot at him, he has to get in line.
Balor says that O’Reilly impressed a lot of people at Takeover 31 from their match. As Balor was about to call O’Reilly to the ring, O’Reilly was one step ahead. Balor says he doesn’t need the trophy because he has the NXT Championship and that the trophy belongs collecting dust.
O’Reilly says the trophy is a participation award because he says Balor has what he wants, and that the championship will come home with him next week. Balor says he will do everything in his power to make Kyle suffer and that he will make him pay for breaking his jaw.
Scarlett and Karrion Kross interrupt them. Scarlett says that whoever has the championship their fate is already sealed. Kross gets on the mic and says doomsday is here. Damian Priest appears behind Kross and tells him this is how you hit like a man and both men then battle. Priest and Kross both go through the plexiglass. This doesn’t stop them as they continue to fight. Kross went to slam through a table, but the Priest’s weight shifted and he landed on top of Kross, as Karrion took most of the impact and this would take us to commercial.
Xia Li and Boa will return next week
We get a Ciampa vs. Timothy Thatcher promo for next week as they get ready for their fight pit match
We get a video promo of Raquel Gonzalez and Rhea Ripley
Legado Del Fantasma promo
Santos Escobar says Undisputed Era winning the tag team of the year is a fluke and there is no other tag team that can match Legado Del Fantasma. Lucha House Party comes out and Lince Dorado gets on the mic and says to Santos Escobar that he is bugging if he thinks Lucha Libre belongs to him. Raul Mendoza says something to them in Spanish, and they charge the ring and take out Wilde and Mendoza William Regal’s made makes this official, and we go to break.
Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado) vs. Legado Del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde)
Our match begins with Gran Metalik on fire. Lince Dorado tags himself in and he’s all over Mendoza early, before Joaquin Wilde grabs Dorado by the legs and Mendoza hits a baseball slide.
Metalik and Mendoza are now the legal men and Mendoza picks up where he left off showing off his skills. Dorado gets tagged back in and hits a splash on Mendoza.
Metalik takes out Wilde on the outside and Dorado takes down Mendoza, Dorado tags in Metalik who hits an elbow from the ropes picking up the win in this fast pace but short tag team match. Lucha House Party continues its momentum this week. Hopefully, these teams battle again sometime soon with more time next time.
Gran Metalik will take on Santos Escobar at New Years Evil for the Cruiserweight Championship.
Leon Ruff vs. Johnny Gargano for the NXT North American Championship
Our main event begins with Leon Ruff in control early on Johnny Wrestling, connecting with a nice kick to take down Johnny. Ruff stays in control before Johnny pushes him to the outside from the turnbuckle and Ruff took a rough landing to the floor.
Gargano slowed the pace down by slapping the back of Ruff. Shortly after Ruff got back in control but Leon got distracted and Johnny hit a neck breaker followed by a suicide dive and then Gargano threw Ruff into the steel steps as we got to the final break.
Johnny stays in control as he locks a submission hold on Ruff. Ruff tries to fight back but Gargano hits a backbreaker. Gargano tried to stay in control, but Ruff responded with kicks and forearm shots. Ruff hit a perfect neck breaker as he started to feel the momentum shift, he would hit a German suplex and stay in control. He and Gargano traded blows, but Johnny hit a nice superkick and long darted Ruff into the middle turnbuckle.
Johnny hit another neck breaker and a clothesline followed by a powerbomb he locked in the Garga-No-Escape but Ruff made it to the ropes. Ruff and Johnny battled on the top rope, but Johnny countered a Ruff’s face hit the turnbuckle. Gargano capitalized by hitting the one final beat to pick up the win and retain his championship ending his championship curse.
The show ends with Dexter Lumis starring in the camera as his drawings of the match cards are in the background.
This was a good show to close out the year I am glad that Johnny Gargano ended it on a high note. I am excited about next week’s show as it will be a stacked one.