– Tonight’s WWE NXT episode opens up with a graphic in memory of Jon Huber (Brodie Lee, Luke Harper), who passed away last Saturday at the age of 41 from a non-COVID-19 lung issue. We go to the standard intro video.
– The final NXT episode of 2020 kicks off live on the USA Network as Vic Joseph welcomes us to the Capitol Wrestling Center at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. He’s joined at ringside by Wade Barrett, and remotely by WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix. The crowd cheers as we go right to the ring.
WWE NXT Match Card
Bronson Reed vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
We go right to the ring and out first comes Isaiah “Swerve” Scott as Alicia Taylor does the introductions. Scott slowly marches to the ring. Out next comes “Colossal” Bronson Reed to a pop.
The bell rings and they go at it. Back and forth to start. Reed powers up out of an arm bar attempt with one arm. They break and Reed runs over Scott, then clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor. Reed leaps off the apron with a big shoulder, dropping Swerve on the floor for a pop. Reed brings it back in and goes to the corner but is warned, so he backs off. Scott takes advantage and baits Reed to take him down. Scott mounts offense now. Scott laughs while kicking Reed in the face while he’s down. Scott goes on and covers for a 2 count.
Scott keeps Reed down and flies with a back elbow to the spine. Reed kicks out at 2. Reed fights up from the mat and clubs away with forearms. Swerve avoids a powerbomb and gets on the top turnbuckle, then flips to the mat. They trade counters but Swerve hits a back elbow to the jaw, then a running dropkick and another big kick out of the corner for a 2 count.
Swerve focuses on the arm and leg now, keeping Reed down. They get up and Swerve unloads with rights but it just angers Reed. Swerve goes for the knee but Reed is still up. Reed ends up dropping down with a senton but Swerve still kicks out as Reed clutches his knee. Reed drops Swerve with forearms, then levels him with an elbow. Reed with a running splash in the corner. They go on and Reed hits a chokeslam for a 2 count in the middle of the ring.
More back and forth now. Reed ends up splashing Swerve and then drops another senton on him. Reed goes to the top and hits the Tsunami splash for the pin to win.
Winner: Bronson Reed
– After the match, Reed stands tall as his music.
– We go backstage to NXT General Manager William Regal to present the 2020 Year-End Award for Breakout Star of the Year. We go over the nominees and the winner is announced as Shotzi Blackheart. We go to a video of Shotzi outside somewhere. She howls and talks about her 2020, and how dad taught her to be a badass. She says he would be proud. Shotzi goes on and says she’s ready to roll into the New Year. “TCB!” and she howls again to end the promo. We go to commercial.
Breezango vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans
We go back to the ring and out comes Tyler Breeze and Fandango of Breezango. The Grizzled Young Veterans are already waiting in the ring – James Drake and Zack Gibson. We see backstage shots of Leon Ruff and The Way (NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae, Austin Theory, Indi Hartwell) arriving earlier in the day. Gargano is spooked by a black cat he sees in the hallway.
Drake starts off with Fandango. They lock up and Drake takes him down. They tangle on the mat and come back up as Breeze works on the arm. Fandango ends up coming in and going at it with Drake. Fandango takes him back down and continues working on the arm. Drake counters and tags in Gibson. Gibson catches Fandango with a big takedown but Fandango controls him on the mat. It’s announced that the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will return in two weeks.
Breezango comes back in as we get a bit of chaos. Drake tags back in and controls Fandango. Drake takes Fandango down and plants a knee in the back, grounding him again. Breeze avoids a double team and tags in Fandango. Fandango comes in and unloads on both opponents. Fandango takes out Drake and then goes at it with Gibson. Fandango dropkicks Drake as he’s trying to save Gibson. Fandango works over Gibson and tags in Fandango for a double team kick to the head. The Vets end up on the floor and Breezango stops them from coming back in.
Fandango climbs up on top of a lighting rig at ringside. Breeze stops Drake and Gibson from coming back in. Gibson and Drake look up as Fandango flies from the top of the lighting rig, taking them both down. The referee checks on Fandango as he sells a leg injury. Fans chant “NXT!” as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and The Vets are in control. Fandango gets double teamed. Gibson slams Fandango’s hurt leg into the barrier a few times, then brings it back in. Gibson takes it to the corner and goes right for the leg again. Fandango fights back from the corner but Gibson leg whips him from the top turnbuckle to the mat for a 2 count, and another quick pin attempt, and a third time. Gibson shows some frustration now. Breeze finally gets the hot tag and unloads on Gibson, then Drake as he comes in.
Breeze goes from corner to corner on his opponents. Drake tags in but gets clotheslined to the floor. Gibson is also sent out by Breeze. Breeze launches himself over the top but he lands on his feet and misses his opponents. They double team him but Fandango takes out Gibson. Fandango goes back in and drops Drake with a kick as he comes. Gibson pulls Fandango from the apron, then launches him knee-first into the steel ring steps. Drake with a close 2 count on Breeze.
Gibson tags in but Breeze fights them both off. Gibson catches a kick. Fandango is countered again and The Vets come back with the double team finisher for the pin to win.
Winners: The Grizzled Young Veterans
– After the match, Drake and Gibson stand tall as their music hits. Ever-Rise ends up coming to the stage and taunting Drake and Gibson. The referee gets in front of Ever-Rise but she’s heard enough. She angrily storms to the back as the two teams stare each other down, still talking trash.
– We go to NXT General Manager William Regal for the Tag Team of the Year Award in the NXT 2020 Year-End Awards. The winners are The Undisputed Era. We come back and Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish accept the award. Strong and O’Reilly are holding the two plaques. Cole reveals that he and Strong will be representing The Undisputed Era in the Dusty Classic this year. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a new vignette in the mysterious saga with Boa and Xia Li. They are both on their knees now, in white robes. The ShiFu master looks on and the hooded woman is watching. The hooded woman paints markings on their faces. The mystery figure then blows smoke in their faces. The mystery leader gets up and opens a curtain, revealing a bright light. Boa and Li follow her into the bright light. A Chinese symbol flashes on the screen and then a “Next Week” teaser. Barrett says Boa and Li have survived, and now they are coming back.
Mercedes Martinez vs. Valentina Feroz
We go back to the ring and out comes Mercedes Martinez for her NXT in-ring return. She hits the ring with a mask over her face as the crowd boos. Valentina Feroz waits in the ring. Feroz is Rita Reis making her debut.
The bell rings and Martinez dominates early on. Feroz keeps coming but Martinez nails a big forearm and then drives Feroz into the mat with a chokeslam. Martinez uses the middle rope as the referee warns her. Feroz tries to make a comeback again but Martinez keeps yelling at her and overpowering.
Martinez with a big Spinebuster. Martinez kicks Feroz around and taunts her as the boos get louder. Martinez dominates some more and scoops Feroz on her shoulders for a big Air Raid Crash in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
Winner: Mercedes Martinez
– After the match, Martinez stands tall over Feroz as her music hits. We go to replays. Martinez yells at the camera and puts the whole locker room on notice.
– It’s time for the NXT Year-End Award for Female Competitor of the Year. NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai gets the award. We get a video package on Shirai and then a brief pre-recorded message from the champ. We don’t see him again but NXT General Manager William Regal announces the nominees for Male Competitor of the Year now. Adam Cole wins and we get a video package on the leader of The Undisputed Era. Regal is backstage with Cole now. He said last year he’d win the award again, and he did, and also said he’d become the longest reigning NXT Champion and he did. He credits The Undisputed Era with everything and goes on to predict Kyle O’Reilly will bring the NXT Title home by defeating champion Finn Balor next week.
– We see Roderick Strong walking backstage. Pete Dunne is also shown. Back to commercial.
Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong
Back from the break and out comes Pete Dunne. Roderick Strong is already waiting in the ring and he’s ready to fight.
The bell rings and Strong unloads on Dunne. Strong brings them back to their feet and chops Dunne against the ropes. Strong keeps control until Dunne tries to mount some offense but gets dropped down in a headlock. They run the ropes and Strong nails a flying clothesline. Strong stays on Dunne with strikes, beating him down against the ropes as the referee warns him and the crowd rallies.
Dunne counters right back and grounds Strong with a headlock. Fans chant “Undisputed!” and Strong comes back with a big dropkick. Strong mounts Dunne with right hands. Strong chops Dunne some more. Dunne ends up taking Strong down with a headscissors. The crowd rallies but Dunne bends Strong’s fingers back as he yells out in pain. Strong finally breaks free by sending Dunne into the rope. Strong with chops in the corner now. Dunne dumps Strong to the floor out of nowhere.
Dunne follows with a running boot to the face as the referee counts. Dunne brings it back in and Strong rocks him. Strong catches Dunne with a backbreaker. Dunne rolls right to the floor to regroup. Strong runs and dropkicks him through the ropes, into the barrier and over it. We go to picture-in-picture commercial as Strong tries to bring Dunne back over but Dunne turns it around.
Back from the break and they’re trading strikes in the middle of the ring. Strong gets whipped hard into the corner and goes down after hitting the top turnbuckle. Dunne grounds Strong but he fights out. Dunne stomps on Strong’s arm to stop the rally. Dunne takes his time kicking Strong around now. Strong tries to fight from the corner but Dunne takes him down and puts a boot to the face as the referee counts. Strong kicks his way out of the corner and chops Dunne. They run the ropes and Strong nails a big dropkick for a pop.
They get back to their feet as the referee counts. They unload strikes but Strong gets the upperhand and mounts offense. Strong with a running knee to the jaw in the corner. Strong with the series of running forearms in the corners. Strong with a back suplex for a 2 count. They end up on the floor and Dunne sends Strong into the steel steps, hip and knee first. The referee counts. Dunne breaks it and grabs Strong for a Bitter End on the apron edge. Strong counters and drives Dunne into the edge of the apron. Strong comes back in for a 2 count.
More back and forth now. Dunne counters a suplex with a triangle choke. Strong counters that into a modified backbreaker and they’re both down in the middle of the ring. Strong drapes his arm over Dunne for a close 2 count. Strong goes for a suplex but Dunne rolls him for 2. Dunne stomps away on Strong while holding his arms. More back and forth on the mat now.
Dunne blocks the StrongHold but Strong stomps away. Dunne keeps going for the fingers and finally snaps them back. Dunne goes right into a Bitter End in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
Winner: Pete Dunne
– After the match, Dunne stands tall and has his arm raised as the music hits. The boos get louder as we go to replays. Dunne stares out at the crowd and shrugs his shoulders as Strong recovers at ringside.
– Regal is somewhere as we hear him reveal the nominees for Match of the Year in the NXT 2020 Year-End Awards. The winner is Kyle O’Reilly vs. NXT Champion Finn Balor at the “Takeover: 31” event in October. We go to a video package on that match. Regal is backstage now with the awards. Balor walks up and Regal congratulates him. Regal says he doesn’t need an award, but he will take the plaque for O’Reilly and deliver it himself. The camera then shows Balor walking backstage. He stops as Pete Dunne comes walking backstage from his match. They stare each other down and Balor yells about how there are a lot of people wanting a shot at the title. Balor keeps walking to the entrance way.
– We go back to the ring and out comes NXT Champion Finn Balor. He’s carrying Kyle O’Reilly’s plaque for the 2020 Year-End Award for Match of the Year. The announcers say the Match of the Year for 2020 will be the first title match of 2021. Balor looks at the plaque on the ramp and then heads to the ring as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a video package for the Fight Pit II bout between Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher at New Year’s Evil next week. Balor is in the ring with the NXT Title and the award trophy. He mentions the win over O’Reilly at “Takeover: 31” and goes on. Balor says Kyle didn’t surprise anyone that night, but he did prove that he belonged in the ring with Balor. Balor says O’Reilly deserves this award as far as he’s concerned. Balor goes to speak but the music interrupts and out comes the challenger.
Balor says he doesn’t need the plaque, it doesn’t mean much and is only good for collecting dust as he has the title and another trophy in his mouth from the jaw injuries. O’Reilly has the plaque now. He says it does mean something to him but he doesn’t have to have it. He puts it down and goes on about how he’s been participating for years and he’s done just participating. He’s ready for the real award and while he respects the hell out of Balor, he’s leaving that respect at home next week. O’Reilly goes on about how he will do whatever it takes to win the title next week. The title will prove that the past 15 years have been worth it, and that he’s worth it.
Balor says all that is real nice but he’s going to do everything in his power to make O’Reilly suffer. Balor says the last time they wrestled O’Reilly broke his jaw, so next time they wrestle Balor will make him pay, drag him all over the canvas and make him wish he’d [bleeped out] the first time. They face off but out comes Karrion Kross with Scarlett to the stage to interrupt with Scarlett speaking another language on the mic, perhaps Romanian or Irish?
Scarlett says what’s in the ring already belongs to them, and regardless of who wins next week, the fate of Balor and O’Reilly is already sealed. Kross says Doomsday is here… Tik, Tok. Kross stares them down but Damian Priest is suddenly behind him. Kross turns around and they face off on the stage.
Kross and Priest have words and Priest says this is how you step like a man. Priest rocks Kross and they start brawling on the stage as fans cheer them on. Priest goes for the Razor’s Edge but it’s blocked. They keep fighting, now going to the ringside area. Kross rams Priest back into the lighting rig. Kross charges but Priest catches him and they tumble over the barrier, crashing through the Plexiglas. Fans chant “NXT!” and go wild as the brawl continues through the production area, into the backstage area. They brawl to the top of production cases. Priest looks to put Kross down but Kross blocks a shot and sends him crashing through a table and some equipment.
The camera looks over and we see Scarlett sitting on top of production cases, laughing and looking on. Fans chant “NXT!” again. Referees run over to help Kross and Priest but they’re down with the debris. Scarlett is really enjoying the chaos and debris as we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a good video package for next week’s Last Woman Standing match between Raquel Gonzalez and Rhea Ripley at New Year’s Evil. Ripley talked about how close they once were, even getting matching tattoos.
– We go back to the ring and Legado del Fantasma is out with mics – NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar, Raul Mendoza, Joaquin Wilde.
Escobar takes the mic and tells them to just sit back and look where they are, enjoy the moment. He says what a year they had, what a year he had. He says the WWE Universe can vote for The Undisputed Era as Tag Team of the Year all they want but it’s a sham. Escobar isn’t here to be popular, he’s here to dominate, and that is exactly what he’s done. The boos continue from the crowd.
Escobar says NXT General Manager William Regal is out trying to find his next challenger but no one can touch him. What happened with Curt Stallion’s title shot? Escobar says Regal can look all over the Earth but he won’t find anyone who belongs in the ring with Escobar, with Legado del Fantasma – the leaders of lucha libre. Escobar says in 2021, this dominance will continue because he knows exactly what they’re going to do. Their first order of business… the music interrupts and out comes Lucha House Party to a pop. Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado come to the stage with mics.
Dorado says it’s kind of nice coming to a place where they’re not chasing champions, a reference to WWE 24/7 Champion R-Truth on RAW. They ask Escobar if he really thinks he owns lucha libre. Mendoza ends up yelling at them in Spanish. Metalik and Dorado rush the ring for a fight. They send Mendoza and Wilde to the floor. Escobar is waiting behind them to attack but referees hit the ring and confirm that Regal has made a tag team match. Mendoza and Wilde attack Lucha House Party from behind but Metalik and Dorado take them out, sending them back to the floor. Dorado and Metalik run the ropes with suicide dives as Escobar looks on. Lucha House Party returns to the ring and taunts Legado del Fantasma as we go to commercial.
Legado del Fantasma vs. Lucha House Party
Back from the break and the match is kicking off. Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik double team and get the upperhand early on Raul Mendoza, and Joaquin Wilde. Dorado takes control of Mendoza now. Wilde lands a cheap shot on a double team while the referee isn’t looking.
Wilde and Mendoza take turns on Dorado in the corner now. NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar brags and shows off at ringside. Wilde drives Dorado into the mat for a close 2 count as fans try to rally. Dorado fights both opponents off from their corner, then hits a big crossbody to Wilde. Metalik tags in as does Mendoza. Metalik lands a superkick and then a spinning bulldog.
Metalik with a missile dropkick after walking the top rope. Mendoza kicks out at 2. Metalik blocks a few shots and superkicks Mendoza again. Dorado comes back in and we get another quick tag after more offense. Metalik ends up hitting a huge splash from the top but Wilde breaks the pin up. Wilde ends up tossed from the apron to the floor by a Metalik running hurricanrana.
Dorado drops Mendoza with an inverted hurricanrana. Metalik tags back in, walks the top rope and drops the big elbow on Mendoza for the pin to win in the middle of the ring.
Winners: Lucha House Party
– After the match, Metalik and Dorado celebrate as the music hits. Escobar is shown at ringside and he’s not happy. We go to replays. Metalik motions for the title around his waist as Escobar stares back at him from the ramp.
– It’s time for the Future Star of the Year nominees in the NXT 2020 Year-End Awards. The winner is Austin Theory. We get a video package on Theory as fans boo. The Way is backstage now as Theory takes the plaque from Regal. Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano tell Theory to share the award with Indi Hartwell and he hands it to her. Theory goes on about how he’s finally found the way, and now Gargano is going out there to break the curse surrounding his NXT North American Title. Gargano isn’t happy with Theory using the “C word” and he’s spooked again when a mirror gets broken. Gargano rushes out of the room by himself and we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and it’s time for the reveal of the Overall Competitor of the Year Award in the NXT 2020 Year-End Awards. NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai wins it. We get a quick pre-recorded message with Shirai thanking everyone. It was revealed earlier that the Rivalry of the Year award went to Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee. Cole accepted the trophy from Regal.
NXT North American Title Match: Leon Ruff vs. Johnny Gargano
We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event. NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano and Leon Ruff are already in the ring for formal ring introductions by Taylor. They face off and have words.
The bell rings and Gargano takes control, taking Ruff down with a headlock. We see Austin Theory, Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell watching from ringside. Ruff turns it around using Gargano’s arm and drops him for a 2 count. More back and forth now. Ruff rolls Gargano for a third pin attempt. Gargano goes to the floor to regroup with The Way.
Theory gets on the apron and Ruff swings but Theory drops back down and he misses. Gargano tries to capitalize with the slingshot Spear but has no luck. We get another 2 count. Ruff mounts some offense and levels Gargano with a big kick. Ruff with right hands and chops in the corner now. Ruff with a running big boot in the corner to drop Gargano again. Ruff jumps to the second turnbuckle, facing the crowd, but Gargano runs from behind and shoves him all the way out to the floor. Gargano follows and chops Ruff against the barrier as the crowd boos him.
Gargano works Ruff around the ringside area and launches him into the barrier. Gargano breaks the count and tries to send Ruff into the barrier but he jumps up on it. Ruff keeps jumping from apron to barrier to avoid Gargano, then drops him with a kick for a pop. Ruff rolls Gargano back into the ring but The Way provides a distraction at ringside. Gargano rocks Ruff on the apron and then nails the neckbreaker over the middle rope. Gargano runs the ropes and hits a big suicide dive, sending Ruff into the barrier. Gargano then sends Ruff shoulder-first into the steel steps. We go to a picture-in-picture commercial.
Back from the break and Ruff fights out of a hold in the middle of the ring. Gargano takes him right back down to the mat, slamming him hard. Gargano applies a submission now and snaps Ruff back, causing him to roll around in pain. Gargano goes for another neckbreaker but Ruff counters and goes for a backslide. Gargano swings and misses. Ruff rocks him and kicks him in the gut. Ruff with another back kick, and big right hands. Ruff with crossbody shots in the middle of the ring. Ruff goes on and hits a modified enziguri, and then a neckbreaker for a pop.
Ruff counters a move and nails a clothesline German suplex, dumping the champ on his head. Ruff with a running corkscrew cannonball in the corner. Gargano kicks out at 2 as a “NXT!” chant breaks out. Ruff scoops Gargano on his shoulders but he slides out and nails a clothesline. Ruff comes back and levels Gargano with a big clothesline of his own. Ruff charges but runs into a superkick. Gargano launches Ruff into the middle turnbuckle face-first like a lawn dart.
Gargano calls for the finish and goes for the superkick while Ruff is on his knees, but Ruff goes to block it. Gargano was just faking the superkick, and then nails the real superkick for a close 2 count. More back and forth now. Ruff fights in from the apron but Gargano catches the Crucifix Bomb. Gargano drops Ruff and hits a spinning clothesline. Gargano then powerbombs Ruff and holds it for a 2 count. Ruff kicks out but Gargano goes right into the GargaNoEscape. Ruff tries to crawl and finally gets the bottom rope to break the hold. Gargano takes advantage of the 5 count.
Gargano is frustrated now as he shoves Ruff under the bottom rope to the floor. Gargano follows and goes to lawn dart Ruff into the lighting rig but Ruff avoids it. Ruff ends up on the apron. He leaps off with a big Flatliner on the floor to Gargano. Ruff rolls Gargano back in the ring and goes to the top, moving a bit slow. Ruff flies with the big Frogsplash but Gargano kicks out just in time. Ruff and The Way can’t believe it.
Ruff takes Gargano to the corner and places him on the top, rocking him. Ruff climbs up and keeps hitting Gargano. Ruff looks to go for the Frankensteiner but Gargano slides free and Ruff hits the turnbuckle hard, face-first. Gargano follows up with One Final Beat for the pin to retain and break the curse.
Winner: Johnny Gargano
– After the match, the music hits as The Way enters the ring to celebrate. Theory hands Gargano the NXT North American Title and his Year-End Award plaques. We go to replays. The Way stands tall together in the middle of the ring as the celebration continues. We go back to the announcers at ringside. The camera cuts to the platform above the announcers as we see New Year’s Evil host Dexter Lumis standing under a spotlight. Beth confirms Gran Metalik vs. NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar for next Wednesday’s special. The announcers go over the rest of the card as Lumis stands by his drawings for each match. The final NXT of 2020 goes off the air as Lumis stands tall, staring straight ahead while the crowd chants “NXT!” in the Capitol Wrestling Center.