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NXT 12/23/2020: Tag Titles on the Line; A Very Gargano Christmas; Cole vs. Dream Main Events!

Here's what's on tap for tonight:

  • Jake Atlas vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott

  • "The Colossal" Bronson Reed returns to NXT

  • Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai

  • NXT Champion Finn Balor & Kyle O'Reilly relive their epic Takeover match

  • Street Fight for the NXT Tag Team Championship: Killian Dain & Drake Maverick vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch (champs)

  • The Way present "A Very Gargano Christmas"

Tonight's NXT in the Capitol Wrestling Center kicks off with a street fight!

Street Fight for the NXT Tag Team Championship

Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch (champs) vs. Drake Maverick & Killian Dain

Maverick and Dain attack the champs from behind during entrances! All challengers in the early going. Maverick sets up a chair in the ring but Lorcan/Burch turn the tide. They send Dain into the barricade and take him in the ring while Maverick is down on the outside. There's a couple chairs in the ring. Dain back drops Lorcan on a chair and the challengers turn their attention to Burch. Drop toe hold by Maverick and a senton by Dain! Dain uses Maverick as a weapon to take out the champs! Maverick tags in the match officially. They stack Lorcan in the corner and take turns hitting him with charging strikes. Near fall for Maverick. Burch and Maverick trade counters. Dain and Lorcan battle on the outside. Burch levels Maverick with a clothesline. Lorcan with a blockbuster on Dain on the outside. Burch drop toe holds Maverick into a chair. The champs lean a table against the barricade but Dain stops them from doing anything else. Lorcan tries to suplex Dain through the table but Dain blocks. Pump kick by Dain! DAIN CHARGES LORCAN BUT LORCAN MOVES AND DAIN GOES THROUGH THE TABLE!! We go to a commercial.

We're back and Lorcan is whipping Maverick with a belt in the ring. It looks painful! Maverick sells it amazingly. Burch tags in and continues the whipping. Per Beth Phoenix, "This is hard to watch". The champs taunt Maverick asking where Dain is? More taunting and Dain is back on the apron. DAIN TAGS IN! Dain goes crazy. He dishes out some belly to belly suplexes and is firmly in control. Dain power bombs Burch! Dain tags Maverick back in. Dain picks up Lorcan but Burch saves him! THE CHAMPS PUSH DAIN OFF THE APRON ONTO A TABLE BUT IT DOESN'T BREAK!! In the ring, Lorcan whips Maverick with the belt until Maverick low blows both of them!! Maverick has the belt now! HE WHIPS BOTH OF THE TAG CHAMPS!! Lorcan lows blows Maverick!! LORCAN HOLDS MAVERICK AND BURCH HITS HIM WITH THE CRICKET BAT!! THE CHAMPS HIT AN ASSITED ELEVATED DDT FOR THE WIN!! Good hard hitting match!

W: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch via pin @ 15:34

Commentary talks about the season of giving and we're taken to the Gargano household where they are putting up Christmas decorations while Johnny Gargano playing the piano. A Gargano figure tops the tree. They're home recording everything. Theory is eating cookies and mentions No Way Jose. Gargano isn't happy about that and stops him from eating cookies. Theory opens a gift. It's "Gargano Whey" protein powder haha.

Commentary hypes Finn Balor vs. Kyle O'Reilly at NXT New Year's Evil!

Back from a break, we see highlights of the Balor vs. O'Reilly match from NXT Takeover 31. You can read a review of it here. Balor and O'Reilly talk about the highlights as they're being shown. O'Reilly says he is confident seeing Balor get his jaw broken. Balor says that's what people remember but he won the match and there won't be a trilogy.

Tyler Rust is warming up with Malcolm Bivens when McKenzie Mitchell interviews them. Bivens says Tyler Rust is a diamond in the rust and will prove it tonight.

Jake Atlas vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott

They lock up and Atlas backs Swerve to the corner. Clean break. Lock up again and Swerve takes Atlas to the mat. Swerve gets a pin attempt with a cocky grin. Atlas shoves him. Atlas ducks a right and slaps Swerve. Swerve is pissed and takes Atlas to the corner and beats on him. Both men are aggressive. Swerve takes Atlas to the mat. Atlas gets back to his feet. Swerve knocks him down and tries a stomp but Atlas counters and sends Swerve to the outside. Springboard enziguri by Atlas. Swerve teases going to a chair but decides not to as we go to a break.

Back from the break, Swerve is in control. Atlas hits a sunset bomb out of the corner for a near fall! Atlas goes to the top looking for the cartwheel DDT but Swerve hits a super kick to the jaw! Pump kick by Swerve followed by a tilt-a-whirl slam! Suplex by Swerve! 1...2...NO!! Swerve sends Atlas face first into the top turnbuckle. Swerve puts Atlas on the top turnbuckle and goes up with him. Atlas blocks and hits elbows to escape. Pump kick by Atlas and he goes back up. POISON RANA BY ATLAS BUT SWERVE LANDS ON HIS FEET!! Another kick by Atlas and another! Swerve ducks another and hits an enziguri. They trade near falls! Swerve with a head butt to knock Atlas loopy. SWERVE CONNECTS WITH A CONFIDENCE BOOST FOR THE WIN!! Good match between these two. Swerve gloats and celebrates before offering a handshake to Atlas. Atlas refuses.

W: Isaiah "Swerve" Scott via pin @ 10:31

McKenzie interviews Adam Cole and Roderick Strong. They say Kyle O'Reilly will beat Finn Balor next time they face off because he has a new strategy. VELVETEEN DREAM INTERRUPTS!! Dream says the mighty have fallen. Dream says Kyle O'Reilly is the leader making Cole and Strong nothing. COLE SLAPS DREAM AND CHALLENGES HIM TO A MATCH LATER.

Rhea Ripley and Dakota Kai are backstage getting ready for their match. It's next!

Timothy Thatcher is backstage talking about Tommaso Ciampa. Thatcher says Ciampa has no respect. Thatcher says he will take liberties with Leon Ruff and if Ciampa is a man, he'll come stop him. Thatcher wants to fight Ciampa.

Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai

Raquel Gonzalez is banned from ringside

The bell rings and Ripley wants to know where Gonzalez is. Ripley backs Kai into the corner but Kai avoids her and pie faces Ripley. Kai lands a kick and avoids Ripley. Ripley gets a hold of Kai and throws her across the ring. Ripley backs Kai into the corner and hits a couple forearms before sending her into the opposite corner. Kai gets on Ripley's shoulders before landing a kick. On the apron, Kai stomps on Ripley's shoulder on the apron. That was sick looking. Ripley is sent into the ring post as we go to a split screen commercial.

During the break, Kai beats on Ripley back in the ring for a near fall. Kai works on Ripley's arm on the mat with a submission. Ripley tries to fight to her feet but Kai slams her back to the mat. Kai takes Ripley to the corner and puts a boot in her face. More strikes and arm work by Kai. Another near fall for Kai.

Back from the break, Kai is still working the arm of Ripley. Ripley is able to lift Kai and plant her to the mat with a power bomb type move. Clotheslines by Ripley followed by knee strikes. Basement drop kick by Ripley. Kai misses a pump kick and Ripley connects with a drop kick. Ripley lifts Kai belly to back and plants Kai face first into the mat for a near fall. The ladies trade strikes. Kai catches Ripley with a kick but misses the next. Ripley gets Kai in an electric chair and plants her face first! 1...2...NO!! Ripley charges but Kai drop toe holds her into the middle turnbuckle. Kick by Kai in the corner. Ripley counters Kai into the Prism Trap!! GONZALEZ APPEARS ON THE STAGE!! Ripley still has the Prism Trap locked in by Kai gets to the ropes! Ripley beats on Kai in the corner before putting her on the top turnbuckle. Kai blocks the superplex. KAIROPRACTOR BY KAI!! 1...2...NO!! Kicks by Kai. RIPLEY DUCKS A KICK AND TRIES RIPTIDE BY KAI COUNTERS INTO A GUILLOTINE!! Ripley counters. RIPLEY HITS RIPTIDE FOR THE WIN!! Good back and forth match with both ladies getting to shine!

W: Rhea Ripley via pin @ 11:31

Post match, Ripley calls Gonzalez to the ring but officials try to stop them. THEY BRAWL!! After multiple attempts by officials, they're finally broken up.

Back to the Garganos. Indi opens a gift and it's a PS5. The box is empty! The real gift is the nickname "Indi Wrestling". Theory cries tears of joy!

Toni Storm is interviewed by McKenzie Mitchell. McKenzie asks what's next? Toni says she beat Rhea Ripley last week and now she plans on beating Io Shirai for the NXT Women's Championship. Toni says she's the one person Io can't beat. Toni brings up the Mae Young Classic.

A vignette hypes Bronson Reed. He's up next!

Another Xia Li and Boa video airs. Per usual, Boa is getting his ass kicked by Xia Li. He keeps asking for more. Boa finally says "enough". A masked lady looks at the two of them. I don't quite understand these things. Hopefully it leads to something.

Bronson Reed vs. Ashante "Thee" Adonis

Adonis goes right after Reed but Reed over powers him. Reed charges in the corner but eats a boot, Strikes by Adonis but Reed lays him out. Stomps and kicks by Reed followed by a senton. REED GOES TO THE TOP AND HITS A TSUNAMI SPLASH!! IT'S OVER!! Squash. Reed looks into the camera and says he's back. Be afraid.

W: Bronson Reed @ 1:07

McKenzie tries to interview Io Shirai but Shirai isn't having it. SHIRAI HEADS TO THE RING!! Shirai grabs a chair and sits in the ring. SHIRAI CALLS OUT TONI STORM!! Storm's music hits and MERCEDES MARTINEZ ATTACKS SHIRAI FROM BEHIND!! On the outside of the ring, Martinez sends Shirai into the barricade multiple times and then the ring post. Shirai tries to fight back but no luck. MARTINEZ THROWS SHIRAI THROUGH THE SIDE OF THE ANNOUNCE TABLE!!

Back to the Gargano house. The last gift is for Candice. It's the last wheel off of Shotzi Blackheart's tank! They take a group picture in front of the tree and Theory spits out his whey powder.

Timothy Thatcher vs. Leon Ruff

Thatcher hits Ruff with a slap to the back before taking him to the mat. Big uppercut by Thatcher followed by an elbow strike. Ruff tries to fight back and gets a side head lock. Thatcher fights out and hits a back elbow. Belly to belly by Thatcher. Knee strikes by Thatcher. Thatcher smothers Ruff and asks the camera where is Ciampa? Near fall for Thatcher. Ruff fights back with little effort. Body shots by Thatcher and another belly to belly. Thatcher goes to the outside and grabs a chair. He sits it at the bottom of the ramp and invites Ciampa. Ruff gets a roll up for a near fall. Strikes by Ruff. Ruff tries a springboard but eats an uppercut. Double underhook suplex by Thatcher and more strikes. THATCHER GOES FOR A SINGLE LEG CRAB BUT TAUNTS ALLOWING RUFF TO CRADLE HIM FOR A WIN!!

W: Leon Ruff via pin @ 3:58

Post match, Thatcher immediately attacks Ruff after the match! CIAMPA IS HERE AND HITS WILLOW'S BELL!! Ciampa says "You wanna fight? I'll see you in the fight pit." Commentary says it'll happen at NXT New Year's Evil.

Damian Priest vignette. He says Kross isn't as bad as he thinks he is. Priest says at NXT New Year's Evil, he'll punk Kross out in front of the world!

Dexter Lumis paints a picture showing Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez at NXT New Year's Evil and then it says "Last Woman Standing"!

Ariya Daivari vs. Tyler Rust w/ Malcom Bivens

They lock up and Rust takes Daivari to the mat with a head lock. Back to their feet but Rust takes him down again. Daivari fights free but Rust tries an arm submission but Daivari gets to the ropes. Bivens goes over to commentary for a minute. Rust works the arm of Daivari and airplane spins him by his arm. Rust takes Daivari down again and tries an arm bar. Daivari avoids it but Rust works him over in the corner. Rust charges but Daivari avoids him before hitting a high kick. Daivari connects with a neck breaker and then kicks Rust off the apron to the floor. Back in the ring, Daivari mounts Rust and delivers punches. Daivari talks trash and Rust locks in a triangle. Daivari gets the ropes but then eats an uppercut. Kicks by Rust. Daivari blocks a kick and strikes the throat. Rust counters and lands more kicks to the shoulder. RUST TIES UP DAIVARI IN A SICK LOOKING ARM SUBMISSION AND DAIVARI TAPS OUT!! Rust is impressive but this felt too long honestly.

W: Tyler Rust via submission @ 4:33

Leon Ruff is talking to McKenzie backstage. Ruff is loving his win over Thatcher but he just came out of William Regal's office. He has a match against Johnny Gargano next week for the NXT North American Championship.

Adam Cole and Velveteen Dream face off the in main event next!

Kross vignette now. Kross says Priest has dug himself into a hole that he can't get out of. Kross says he's made the biggest mistake of his life. Kross claims he'll take back the title he never lost. But for now, he can't take his eyes off of Priest. Scarlett says doomsday is coming for Mr. Priest. Tick Tock!

Velveteen Dream vs. Adam Cole w/ Roderick Strong

Dream is stand offish at first. They lock up and Cole gets the upper hand. He grounds Dream Cole backs Dream to the corner. Clean break. Dream tries to slap Cole but misses. Cole looks away and Dream pounces on him. It's short lived. Cole is pissed. All Cole now. Big pump kick by Cole! Cole sends Dream to the corner but Dream connects with a boot. Cole hits a neck breaker on Dream and lifts Dream but Dream goes to the apron. Cole hits Dream with a pump kick knocking him to the floor. Back in the ring, both men collide heads! HERE COMES PETE DUNNE!! HE ATTACKS STRONG!! DUNNE WITH THE BITTER END ON THE APRON! Cole is distracted allowing Dream to take advantage and get a near fall as we go to a break.

During the break, Dream stays on the offensive and wears down Cole. Cole begins fighting back.

We're back and Dream cuts off the Cole rally with a slam. DREAM MISSES THE PURPLE RAIN MAKER!! Both men trade punches. Clotheslines by Cole followed by a neck breaker over the knee! 1...2...NO!! They trade counters and Cole hits an enziguri and a German suplex!! 1...2...NO!! Dream takes over and lays out Cole with a neck breaker for a near fall. Cole lifts Dream but Dream escapes. Dream beats on Cole in the corner with haymakers. Back elbow by Dream but Cole hits a super kick to Dream's knee taking him off the top. Cole tries a figure four but Dream kicks him into the ring post and Cole falls to the outside. Dream climbs to the top and jumps but Cole catches him with a super kick!! The ref checks on Dream while Cole waits in the ring. Dream makes it back in. Super kick by Cole and he locks in the figure four!! Dream makes it to the ropes!! Dream rolls up Cole for a near fall. Dream hits Cole with a sick DDT!! Dream goes to the top and HITS A PURPLE RAIN MAKER!! 1...2...NO!! Cole turns the tide on Dream. Cole goes for the Panama Sunrise but Dream hits a super kick! Dream goes to the top again but COLE HITS A SUPER KICK!! COLE HITS DREAM WITH THE LAST SHOT FOR THE WIN!! Good match but I never bought into Dream winning.

W: Adam Cole via pin @ 13:19

Cole celebrates to end the show and says at New Year's Evil, the NXT Championship comes back to the Undisputed Era!

Next Week:

  • NXT North American Championship Match: Leon Ruff vs. Johnny Gargano (champ)

  • Roderick Strong vs. Pete Dunne

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