WWE NXT Report – 12/23/2020

Dec 23, 2020 - by Marc Middleton

– Tonight’s “A Very Gargano Christmas” edition of WWE NXT on the USA Network opens live from the Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, Florida as Vic Joseph welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Wade Barrett and remotely by WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix.

Street Fight for the NXT Tag Team Titles: Killian Dain and Drake Maverick vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch

We go right to the ring and out come NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch for this Street Fight. They’re suddenly attacked on the entrance by Killian Dain and Drake Maverick.

Dain and Maverick destroy the champs around ringside. Drake starts filling the ring with chairs after dropping Burch. Dain drops Lorcan and stands up a table at ringside, and another table next to it. Lorcan decks Drake and Burch fights Dain. Lorcan hits Dain from behind and they double team him now. They launch Dain into the barrier. They go on and bring Dain into the ring now, for more double teaming in the corner.

Drake comes in and helps Dain. Dain ends up back-dropping Burch over two chairs standing next to each other. Dain and Drake double team Burch now. Dain drops a big senton, then scoop slams him. Dain then scoops Drake and slams him on top of Burch. Dain picks Drake back up and swings his leg into Lorcan to drop him again. Dain whips Lorcan into the corner and tags Drake in. More double teaming to Lorcan in the corner as they keep charging in on him. The challengers hit double kicks to Lorcan at the same time in the corner. Drake covers for a 2 count but Lorcan’s boots are on the bottom rope.

Burch with uppercuts to Drake. Dain takes Lorcan into the ringside barrier. Burch levels Drake with a big clothesline in the middle of the ring. Lorcan turns it around on Dain at ringside and hits a big Blockbuster. All four Superstars are down now as the crowd rallies. Burch stands a chair up in the ring. He drop toe holds Drake into it face-first. Burch rolls out and they double team Dain again. The champs lean a table up against the barrier but Dain attacks them and fights them off. Burch gets tossed over the barrier into the crowd. Dain tries to send Lorcan into the table but it’s reversed and Dain hits hard face-first. Lorcan looks to suplex Dain into the leaning table but it’s blocked. Lorcan with chops now. Dain pump kicks Lorcan into the table. Dain charges but Lorcan moves and Dain crashes into the table, breaking it. We go to commercial with the champs in control.

Back from the break and Drake is alone in the ring, crawling as Lorcan uses Drake’s own belt on him. Lorcan whips Drake around some more as fans boo. Burch tags in and takes the belt, talking trash as he continue to punish Drake. Lorcan tags in for the double team, launching Drake into the corner. The champs waste some time and show off, taunting Dain and Drake. The double team continues but Dain returns to the apron and tags in. Dain unloads on both opponents. Dain launches both opponents across the ring with suplexes. Dain then hits multiple running splashes in the corners, then one big double splash to both champions.

Dain with a big powerbomb to Burch, then a diving elbow to the chest. Dain tags Drake in. Dain scoops Burch on the apron but Lorcan pulls him off. The champs then shove Dain from the apron to the two tables at ringside, but they don’t break as Dain falls to the floor. The champs taunt Drake now while he’s down. Lorcan with more belt shots as Drake screams out. Drake suddenly nails a low blow to Lorcan, then a low blow back kick to Burch.

Drake with belt shots to Burch now, then Lorcan. Drake unloads with belt shots to the champs as fans rally for him. Drake unloads with belt shots to Burch while he’s down. Drake with a belt shot to Lorcan’s face in the corner, putting him back down. Lorcan hits a low blow to Drake to bring him down.

Burch comes in with a cricket bat and hits Drake in the ribs while Lorcan holds him. They hit the double team assisted DDT to Drake in the middle of the ring for the pin to retain.

Winners: Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch

– After the match, Lorcan and Burch stand tall as their music hits. Drake is laid out in the middle of the ring and Dain is still down at ringside. The champs talk some trash into the camera and then exit the ring, stopping to yell at Dain, who is still under one of the tables at ringside. We go to replays. Dain pulls Drake out of the ring.

– We go to our first “A Very Gargano Christmas” segment at the home of The Garganos. The Way (NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae, Indi Hartwell, Austin Theory) is celebrating Christmas and opening gifts while Johnny films. Indi is impressed that they put this together and Candice says they never would’ve let them down on their first family Christmas together. It’s Theory’s turn to open a present now. It’s protein powder, apparently Johnny’s own recipe that will make Theory strong and dominant in the ring like Gargano. But it’s just some other brand with Gargano’s logo wrapped around it and Gargano is a bit annoyed.

– Still to come, Finn Balor and Kyle O’Reilly will revisit their “Takeover: 31” main event. We go to commercial.

– Back from the break and we get a video package with Kyle O’Reilly and NXT Champion Finn Balor looking back at their “Takeover: 31” main event and looking ahead to their New Year’s Evil rematch.

– McKenzie Mitchell is backstage with Tyler Rust and Malcolm Bivens. She congratulates him on last week’s debut loss against Tommaso Ciampa. Bivens interrupts and says Rust had one of the best NXT debuts in history as he took Tommaso Ciampa to the limit like no other. Bivens says with him at Rust’s side, Rust will show that he’s not just some rookie, he’s a diamond in the rough. Bivens says let’s go make some money. They fist bump and walk off together.

Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Jake Atlas

We go back to the ring and Jake Atlas waits in the ring as Isaiah “Swerve” Scott makes his way out for this rematch from two weeks ago, which Atlas won and Swerve showed some disrespect over.

The bell rings and they go at it, back and forth to start. Atlas shoves Swerve and they have some words. They tangle and Atlas connects with a strike to the face. Swerve doesn’t like that. He takes Atlas to the corner and unloads, beating him down and stomping as the referee warns him. Atlas comes out of the corner with big boots to back Swerve off. Swerve takes Atlas down and works him over on the mat.

More back and forth on their feet. Atlas with a Dragonscrew leg whip. Swerve lands on his neck and rolls out for a breather, but comes right back after baiting Atlas, taking him down. Atlas ends up springboarding with a big kick from the corner, sending Swerve back to the floor. Swerve is upset but he tries to refocus and regroup as Atlas talks trash from the ring. The referee counts as Swerve looks on from ringside. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and Swerve has Atlas down on the mat, mounting him with strikes. They fight back up and Swerve catches a kick, delivering more strikes. Atlas with a big Destroyer out of nowhere for a close 2 count. Atlas goes to the top for the cartwheel DDT off the top rope but Swerve superkicks him in the jaw and he lands on the floor. Swerve with a big pump kick from the apron to the jaw. Swerve brings it back in the ring and nails a big tilt-a-whirl slam. Swerve then powers Atlas up from the mat with a suplex for another close 2 count.

Swerve shows some frustration now. He kicks Atlas around in the head while they’re both on the mat. Fans rally for Atlas as Swerve shows more disrespect. Swerve sends Atlas face-first into the turnbuckle. Swerve takes Atlas to the top and climbs up from behind as the referee warns him. Atlas resists the move from the top, nailing back elbows. Atlas jumps to the apron and hits a big boot while Swerve is still on the top. Atlas climbs back up and launches Swerve to the mat with a scissors but Swerve somehow lands on his feet, smiling behind Atlas.

Atlas with a big kick to the head. Swerve with a big kick to the head. Atlas nails and misses a roundhouse. Swerve drops Atlas and rolls him for a 2 count. They tangle on the mat and get back up. Swerve with a back headbutt as they tangle on their feet some more. Swerve hits the Confidence Boost for the pin to win.

Winner: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott

– After the match, the music hits as Swerve celebrates. He disrespects Atlas some more and Phoenix says he has no class for the way he’s acting. Atlas sits up and watches from the corner. Swerve offers a handshake but Atlas wants no part of the disrespect, rolling to the floor and making his exit as the trash talking continues.

– McKenzie is backstage with Adam Cole and Roderick Strong. They talk about Kyle O’Reilly challenging NXT Champion Finn Balor again on January 6. Cole says O’Reilly has changed a lot since the match at “Takeover: 31” and this time the result will also be a lot different. Strong agrees and says if it wasn’t clear already, O’Reilly made it clear last week when he beat Pete Dunne. Cole goes on about how O’Reilly will win at New Year’s Evil but here comes The Velveteen Dream to interrupt, making his return. He says the mighty have fallen here in NXT. He goes on about Cole being the leader of The Undisputed Era, but now he’s nothing more than a cheerleader. Cole interrupts with a jab to the mouth to drop Dream. Cole says there has never been a leader of The Undisputed Era and he will take care of Dream tonight. Cole calls Dream a “friggin’ moron” and walks off as Dream recovers.

– We see Rhea Ripley and Dakota Kai walking backstage. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and Timothy Thatcher is somewhere in the back. He says Tommaso Ciampa wanted to fight him, and it’s good he came to his face to say it because that doesn’t happen often around here. They tried to take each other out at Takeover, but as an educator he knew the lesson wasn’t complete. So he came to ringside last week but Ciampa walked away and treated him with no respect. Thatcher goes on and says he’s going to take liberties with Leon Ruff tonight and if Ciampa is the man he says he is, he will come stop him. Why? Because now Thatcher wants to fight Ciampa.

Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai

We go back to the ring and out first comes Rhea Ripley. Out next comes Dakota Kai to boos.

The bell rings and Kai stares Ripley down from the corner. Ripley talks some trash and they lock up. Ripley takes it to the corner and breaks as the referee warns her. Kai quickly ducks a clothesline attempt in the corner, then taunts Ripley. Kai with a kick. Kai ducks several strike attempts. Ripley powers up with a gutwrench slam, swinging Kai around and dropping her. Ripley whips Kai hard across the ring into the turnbuckles and she goes down.

Ripley runs out after Kai but she jumps back to the apron. Ripley ends up dropping her on the apron. Kai jumps back up with a kick to the jaw from the apron. Kai counters and drives Ripley’s shoulder into the edge of the apron. Kai then shoves Ripley shoulder-first into the ring post and she goes down. Kai returns to the ring as Ripley recovers on the outside. We go to picture-in-picture commercial.

Back from the break and Kai has Ripley grounded in the middle of the ring, focusing on the arm. Fans chant “NXT!” now. Ripley powers up with a big powerbomb to break free. Ripley mounts some offense now. Ripley with knee strikes and a takedown, then a running dropkick to the back of the head. Ripley screams out as fans cheer her on.

Kai goes for a big pump kick but Ripley dodges it and hits a dropkick. Ripley keeps fighting with one arm. Ripley slams Kai face-first into the middle of the ring for another 2 count. She shows some frustration to the referee. Kai gets up and they trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Kai with a headbutt, Ripley with a forearm. Kai with a big shot to the face to send Ripley to the corner. Kai misses a running kick. Ripley gets Kai on her shoulders and slams her face-first into the mat for another close 2 count. Ripley charges but Kai sends her face-first into the turnbuckle. Kai with a running boot to the face in the corner.

Ripley misses a clothesline. Kai charges but gets blocked. Ripley turns the counter into the inverted Cloverleaf submission. We see Raquel Gonzalez watching from the stage now but she is banned from ringside. Kai screams out in the submission as Ripley turns and yells at Gonzalez, forcing her to watch the submission.

Kai finally gets to the bottom rope to break the hold as Gonzalez looks on. Ripley challenges Gonzalez to come fight her. Gonzalez stares Ripley down as Ripley keeps her eyes on Gonzalez while still fighting Kai. Ripley takes Kai to the top but Kai sends her back down and hits a big modified Destroyer Backstabber for a close 2 count. More back and forth now. Kai counters the Riptide into a Guillotine submission. Ripley overpowers and slams Kai to the mat. Ripley tries again and this time hits Riptide in the middle of the ring for the pin to win while looking at Gonzalez.

Winner: Rhea Ripley

– After the match, Gonzalez and Ripley continue staring at each other while Ripley recovers and has her arm raised. Gonzalez starts walking to the ring but referees run down to get in the way. She shoves them away and hits the apron as Ripley challenges her to come in. Gonzalez steps through the ropes and shoves a referee to the corner, warning him to back off. Ripley continues taunting her as they size each other up. They meet in the middle of the ring now, still talking trash as referees yell at them and the crowd cheers. A brawl breaks out as the crowd pops. Referees try to break it up but they keep brawling. Ripley runs and leaps into the corner to keep the fight going. Gonzalez fights through them now to attack Ripley. WWE Producers rush the ring now, including Steve Corino and Scotty 2 Hotty, holding them in opposite corners. Ripley breaks free and attacks Gonzalez in her corner. They’re held off again but this time Gonzalez breaks free to attack. Gonzalez mounts Ripley on the mat as they keep brawling. They stare each other down as officials try to stop the chaos.

– We go back to the home of The Garganos. Indi Hartwell opens up a PS5 and Austin Theory can’t believe it. Indi shakes the box and there’s nothing in there. Johnny Gargano says he gave her the box for the dramatic effect because the gift he’s about to give her is worth more than that. He says she’s proven herself and should now take on the family nickname. Johnny christens her “Indi Wrestling” now. Indi says that is way better than a PS5. Candice says they support her, they support Indi Wrestling. Theory shakes his head and gets emotional, saying how beautiful the moment is.

– McKenzie is backstage with Toni Storm, asking what’s next. She says she called her shot with Rhea Ripley last week and was on the winning team at WarGames. So what’s next? She’s going to take the NXT Women’s Title from Io Shirai. Storm says there’s a good reason why Shirai is terrified every time she mentions the title, because Shirai knows Storm is the one woman on the roster she can’t beat. Storm goes on and says the title isn’t Shirai’s only problem. She has a second problem now and her name is Toni Storm.

– We get a video package hyping up “Colossal” Bronson Reed. He returns tonight. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we get another dark training vignette with Xia Li and Boa, with their ShiFu master directing things. This time Li is delivering more strikes to Boa but he wants more. She keeps attacking him and they both love it now. We then see Li rise up from a water tank as the ShiFu master looks on. Flashes of the mystery woman and the master are also shown to end the segment. Barrett says Li and Boa are turning into warriors.

Bronson Reed vs. Ashante “Thee” Adonis

We go back to the ring and out comes Bronson Reed making his return as Alicia Taylor does the introductions. Ashante “Thee” Adonis is already waiting in the ring.

Adonis looks to show Reed up early on but Reed capitalizes. Adonis with strikes coming out of the corner but Reed levels him with a big splash out of nowhere. Reed stomps and kicks Adonis in the head, then drops a big senton. Reed goes to the top and hits the big Tsunami Splash for the pin to get the squash win.

Winner: Bronson Reed

– After the match, Reed stands tall and has his arm raised as the music hits. We go to replays. Reed yells out that everyone should be afraid.

– McKenzie Mitchell catches up with NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai in the back, asking if she heard what Toni Storm had to say earlier. Shirai says she did hear what Storm had to say… she keeps walking and tells a crew member to hit her music. Shirai marches right to the ring, without her title, and she’s all business.

Shirai grabs a steel chair and brings it into the ring. She takes a seat and tells Storm to come out. Shirai drops the mic and kicks her feet up, waiting for Storm. Storm’s music hits but instead, Shirai is attacked behind by a returning Mercedes Martinez. Martinez takes Shirai to the floor and manhandles her, driving her into the lighting rig and the barrier. The boos get louder as Martinez keeps the punishment coming.

Martinez tries to bring the brawl back into the ring but Shirai kicks her in the face. Shirai comes back to the floor but Martinez decks her, then launches her into the bottom of the announce table. Martinez stands tall over Shirai at ringside and raises her arms as the boos continue. We go to commercial.

– Back from the break and we get another Christmas segment at The Garganos. Johnny Gargano gives his present to Candice LeRae now. It’s a wheel and tire. Gargano says everyone knows he hates wheels, but he spent hours in the junkyard to find the last wheel left from Shotzi Blackheart’s original tank. Johnny will do anything for his girl. They all pose for a group Christmas photo to end the segment.

Timothy Thatcher vs. Leon Ruff

We go back to the ring and Timothy Thatcher is fuming. Leon Ruff is also out.

They lock up and go at it, trading quick strikes and counters. Thatcher takes Ruff down and grounds him from behind, stretching him back as the referee warns him. Thatcher drops Ruff and keeps looking at the stage, yelling for Tommaso Ciampa. Ruff looks to mount some offense now. Thatcher powers out but Ruff keeps applying a headlock. Thatcher breaks out and levels him. Thatcher with a big suplex.

Thatcher with big knee strikes to take Ruff back down. Thatcher grounds Ruff and yells at the camera, asking Ciampa where he’s at. Thatcher with a 2 count. Thatcher with more big knee strikes while they’re on the mat. Thatcher continues to dominate Ruff on their feet now. Thatcher with a big belly-to-belly suplex.

Thatcher goes to ringside and grabs a steel chair. He goes to the bottom of the ramp and sets the chair up, calling for Ciampa to come have a seat. Thatcher returns to the ring and Ruff rolls him for a close 2 count. Ruff with dropkicks now. Ruff unloads with lefts and rights. Ruff with the clothesline off the ropes.

Ruff keeps going and springboards but Thatcher hits him in mid-air with an uppercut. Thatcher with a double underhook suplex, and a kick to the back. Thatcher keeps control but Ruff rolls him up again, but this time it’s for the pin out of nowhere.

Winner: Leon Ruff

– After the match, Ruff runs wild with the celebration as his music hits. Thatcher nails him at ringside and beats him up as the crowd boos. The referee yells at Thatcher but he rolls Ruff back in the ring. Ciampa runs down and rushes the ring, dropping Thatcher with the Willow’s Bell draping DDT. Ciampa says if Thatcher wants to fight, he will see him in the Fight Pit. Ciampa exits the ring and takes a seat in the chair, all smiles as his music hits. He taunts a recovering Thatcher and heads to the back.

– We get a pre-recorded video with Damian Priest sending a warning to Karrion Kross ahead of their match at New Year’s Evil. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we see New Year’s Evil host Dexter Lumis drawing a poster for Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez in a Last Woman Standing match at the big event.

Ariya Daivari vs. Tyler Rust

We go back to the ring and WWE 205 Live Superstar Ariya Daivari waits in the ring. Out next comes Tyler Rust with Malcolm Bivens.

The bell rings and they lock up, going at it. Rust counters and takes control, taking Daivari to the mat and grounding him. They get back up and Rust keeps control. Bivens goes to the announcers and brags on his client and how impressive he is. They lock up again and Rust keeps focusing on Daivari’s arm.

Rust has Daivari on his back now, swinging him around before dropping him into the mat. Daivari catches a kick but Rust quickly takes him down and goes for the arm bar. Daivari fights it and gets his foot on the bottom rope. Rust with more offense in the corner now, working on the arm. Rust misses a running knee in the corner. Daivari looks to mount some offense now. He hits a draping neckbreaker from the second rope. Daivari then dropkicks Rust off the apron to the floor. Daivari brings it back in the ring and mounts Rust with right hands as Bivens looks on. Daivari talks some trash to Rust and the referee.

Bivens yells at Daivari. Daivari disrespects Rust and yells at him, but Rust pulls him down into a triangle choke. It’s broken as Daivari gets the bottom rope. They get up and Daivari is dazed. Rust with an uppercut, then kicks while Daivari is on his knees.

More back and forth now. Rust with more big kicks to the arm, an uppercut, and another kick to the upper arm. Rust takes Daivari back down and applies another arm submission. Daivari finally taps out.

Winner: Tyler Rust

– After the match, Rust stands tall and has his arm raised as the music hits. Bivens joins Rust in the ring and congratulates him.

– McKenzie catches Leon Ruff coming out of the office of NXT General Manager William Regal. He’s thrilled with tonight’s win, but Regal just gave him a better gift – a rematch against NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano for next Wednesday. Ruff puts on a Santa hat and walks off.

– We see Adam Cole and Roderick Strong walking backstage. We also see The Velveteen Dream walking. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we get a video package with Karrion Kross and Scarlett. Kross sends a warning to Damian Priest for their New Year’s Evil match and mentions how it’s inevitable that he will get his NXT Title back. Scarlett says Doomsday is coming for Priest.

– Announced for next week is the reveal of the NXT 2020 Year-End Awards, plus Leon Ruff challenging NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano for the title.

Adam Cole vs. The Velveteen Dream

We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event as The Velveteen Dream makes his way out. Out next comes Adam Cole with Roderick Strong.

The bell rings and Dream stalls some. They lock up and Cole applies a headlock. They hit the ropes but Cole takes Dream down with the headlock. Dream tries fighting out but Cole keeps him locked in, and takes him back down in the middle of the ring as fans rally. Cole takes it to the corner and backs off. Dream tries for a slap but Cole rocks him. Dream ends up trying again and connecting. Dream beats Cole around the ring now, showing off to some boos. Cole kicks Dream in the head, then clotheslines him.

Cole with more strikes in the middle of the ring. Dream begs him from his knees but Cole rocks him. Cole whips Dream into the corner but runs into a boot. Cole counters a move and nails a jumping neckbreaker. Cole scoops Dream on his shoulders but Dream escapes to the apron. Cole with a pump kick to send Dream to the floor. Cole brings it back into the ring but Dream scoops him. Cole counters and they collide head-to-head out of the corner, both going down.

Pete Dunne suddenly runs down and attacks Strong at ringside as fans boo. Dunne unloads and slams Strong into the edge of the apron with a Bitter End. Dream take advantage and levels Cole but Cole kicks out at 2. We go to a picture-in-picture commercial.

Back from the break and Dream has dominated Cole for most of the commercial. Cole fights back as the crowd chants “NXT!” when we come back from the break. Dream drops Cole and goes to the top. Dream flies with the elbow but lands hard as Cole moves. Cole looks around and Strong is nowhere to be seen as he and Dunne fought. Cole and Dream trade shots. Cole with a clothesline out of the corner and more offense. Cole with a big pump kick and a neckbreaker for a close 2 count.

Cole grabs from behind but Dream goes for the rope and can’t get it. Cole with an enziguri, then a German suplex. Cole crawls for a pin but Dream kicks out at 2. Dunne vs. Strong is announced for next week. A Fight Pit match with Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa is announced for NYE. Dream turns it around on Cole and hits a neckbreaker for a close 2 count.

Cole scoops Dream but he slides out. Dream unloads with big stiff strikes in the corner, beating Cole down as the referee warns him. Cole counters but Dream nails a back elbow. Dream looks to capitalize from the turnbuckles but Cole superkicks his knee out and Dream falls to the mat. Dream blocks a Figure Four and kicks Cole out of the ring. Dream climbs to the top turnbuckle and leaps to the floor but Cole superkicks him in the gut on the way down.

The referee counts and Cole breaks it, Cole tries to bring Dream in but Dream is down. Cole returns to the ring alone as the referee goes out to check on Dream. Dream crawls back in. Cole superkicks him. Cole goes for the Figure Four in the middle of the ring now. Dream screams out in pain as Cole tightens the hold. Dream finally gets the bottom rope and breaks it as NXT goes past 10:02. Cole goes for a superkick but puts the brakes on so he doesn’t hit the referee. More back and forth between the two. Dream nails a big DDT.

Dream goes back to the top and hits the Purple Rainmaker elbow. Cole still kicks out at 2. Cole slaps Dream from his knees, then hits the Ushigoroshi. Cole goes to the corner for the Panama Sunrise but Dream superkicks him on the way down. Cole rocks Dream with a big kick of his own, and then exposes his own knee. Cole follows up with the Last Shot for the pin to win in the middle of the ring.

Winner: Adam Cole

– After the match, Cole celebrates as his music hits. He tells the camera that the NXT Title is coming back to The Undisputed Era at New Year’s Evil. We see Dream down on the mat as we go to replays. Cole stands tall and represents The Undisputed Era as NXT goes off the air with Vic wishing a Happy Holidays to everyone.

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