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NXT 12/30/2020: Gargano vs. Ruff; Strong vs. Dunne; NXT Competitor of the Year Announced; More!

Here's what's on tap for tonight:

  • Bronson Reed vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott kicks off the show

  • Breezango vs. Grizzled Young Veterans

  • Mercedes Martinez returns to action

  • A special look at the history between Rhea Ripley & Raquel Gonzalez

  • NXT Year End 2020 Award winners to be revealed

  • Roderick Strong vs. Pete Dunne

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

In memory of Jon Huber. RIP!

It's the last NXT of 2020 and we're in the Capitol Wrestling Center kicking things off with some action!

Isaiah "Swerve" Scott vs. Bronson Reed

Reed comes to the ring with a dinosaur on his jacket! Not sure I noticed that last week. Maybe it's a new thing? They lock up and Reed gets the side head lock and takes Swerve to the mat. Swerve is about to counter to an arm bar but Reed powers out and then clotheslines Swerve to the floor outside. Reed hits a shoulder block from the apron. Back in the ring, Swerve backs off in the corner and the ref keeps Reed back. Swerve suckers him in and takes advantage with a couple kicks. Reed rolls to the outside. Swerve hits Reed with a pump kick and gives the crowd a DX crotch chop. Swerve works over Reed on the mat. Swerve goes to the second rope and delivers an elbow to the spine of Reed for a near fall. They fight in the corner where Reed lifts Swerve for a power bomb but Swerve escapes and lands an uppercut and drop kick. Flatline by Swerve! 1...2...NO!! Swerve uses a knee bar to work on the left leg of Reed. Reed fights back and Swerve delivers right hands that Reed no sells. Swerve tries a sunset flip pin but Reed sits on him to squash him. Reed begins building momentum! Splash in the corner by Reed followed by a choke slam!! 1...2...NO!! Reed lifts Swerve but Swerve gets to the ropes and delivers an elbow to create separation. Reed is pissed!! SENTON BY REED!! TSUNAMI SPLASH!! IT'S OVER!! Swerve got little offense. Reed continues to roll since returning.

W: Bronson Reed via pin @ 6:18

Commentary talks about the NXT Year End Awards. William Regal announces the nominees for break out star of the year: Pat McAfee, Damian Priest, Shotzi Blackheart, Cameron Grimes, Dexter Lumis, Timothy Thatcher, Raquel Gonzalez, Santos Escobar, and Ilja Dragunov. THE WINNER IS SHOTZI BLACKHEART!! A video shows Shotzi talking about the year she has had. She says the good times will roll into the new year!!

Leon Ruff arrives to the building with Jake Atlas. We also see The Way arriving. They spot a black cat in the building and Johnny Gargano freaks out about having bad luck.

Breezango vs. Grizzled Young Veterans

Drake and Breeze start. Drake takes Breeze down early but Breeze works back to his feet and takes Drake down by the arm. Drake kips up but is taken back down. Fandango tags in and knocks down Drake with a shoulder block followed by an arm drag. Drake creates some offense and tags Gibson in. Fandango counters an arm drag by Gibson and takes control. BREAKING NEWS THAT THE DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC RETURNS IN 2 WEEKS!! The GYV turn the tide and Drake tags back in. Big slam to Breeze but he kicks out at 1. Drake delivers a knee to the back before working a head lock. Gibson tags back in as they isolate Breeze but Breeze finally makes a tag. Fandango cleans house. Sunset flip pin by Fandango gets a near fall. Fandango front face suplexes Gibson across the top rope and he and Breeze double team. Gibson gets a near fall off Breeze. The GYV are knocked to the outside. FANDANGO JUMPS OFF THE SCAFFOLDING TO TAKE THEM OUT AS WE GO TO A COMMERCIAL!!

We're back and GYV double team Fandango on the outside targeting his knee. In the ring, Fandango fights back in the corner but Gibson dragon screws him to the mat. Multiple near falls for Gibson. Gibson slams Fandango so his knee comes across the ropes. Drake tags and tries to work on the leg some more but Fandango kicks him into the barricade outside. Gibson tags back in. Breeze is in as well. Breeze goes crazy on Gibson and a forearm for Drake as well! Enziguri to Gibson by Breeze. All men are down outside. Back in the ring, Breeze hits Drake with a knee to the jaw. Breeze goes to tag but Fandango is taken out by Gibson. Gibson tags back in but Breeze keeps fighting. The numbers catch up to him and GYV HIT THE TICKET TO MAYHEM FOR THE WIN!! Commentary say they may be favorites for Dusty Classic. EVER-RISE IS HERE TO TALK SHIT!! They back off when GYV approach them.

W: Grizzled Young Veterans via pin @ 12:57

Time for the tag team of the year award. The nominees are: Undisputed Era, Breezango, Imperium, Gallus, Legado, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch. IT'S THE UNDISPUTED ERA!! Regal presents them. The UE isn't surprised. Cole says he and Strong will represent the UE in the Dusty Classic!!

Another Boa and Xia Li training video. The old man puts a mark on both of their foreheads. It ends with them following the hooded person into a light and it finishes with the words NEXT WEEK!

Mercedes Martinez vs. Valentina Forez

This should be quick. Martinez starts with strikes and throws Forez around the ring. Martinez chokes Forez across the middle rope. Forez avoids a suplex and tries a sleeper but no luck there. Spine buster by Martinez! Martinez talks trash and delivers more strikes. Belly to belly suplex followed by AN AIR RAID CRASH FOR THE WIN!! Complete squash! Martinez says she's coming for every lady in this place!

W: Mercedes Martinez via pin @ 2:11

Women's competitor of the year award. Nominees: Rhea Ripley, Io Shirai, Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Kay Lee Ray, Tegan Nox, THE WINNER IS IO SHIRAI!! Io thanks everyone who voted for her!

Men's competitor of the year award. Nominees: Finn Balor, Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano Gargano, Keith Lee, WALTER, and Tommaso Ciampa. THE WINNER IS ADAM COLE BAY BAY!! Regal presents the award. He makes it two years in a row. Cole says he couldn't of done it without the UE. What he wants more than this award is for Kyle O'Reilly to beat Finn Balor.

Voting is now open for overall competitor of the year. Will it be Io Shirai or Adam Cole?

Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne are warming up backstage. Their match is next!

Roderick Strong vs. Pete Dunne

Strong takes Dunne down right away and they brawl on the mat! Back to their feet, chops by Strong but Dunne fights back. Strong takes him down again and controls with a head lock. Dunne sends him off the ropes and the pace quickens. Clothesline by Strong followed by punches in the ropes. Dunne takes Strong down and works on the left arm. Back to their feet again. Strong lands a kick to the face. More chops by Strong. Dunne goes after the arm again and takes Strong down and locks in another submission. Dunne manipulates the fingers and remains in control. Strong fights out and hangs Dunne up in the ropes. More chops by Strong in the corner until Dunne sends Strong to the outside. Kick to the face by Dunne on the outside. Back in the ring, they trade blows until Strong hits a back breaker. Dunne rolls outside and Strong hits a kick through the ropes as we go to a picture in picture break.

During the break, both men battle on the outside where Dunne gets the upper hand. Back in the ring, Strong lands some knee lifts and puts Dunne on the top turnbuckle before going up with him. Dunne blocks a superplex and knocks Strong off. Kicks by Dunne! Dunne works over the legs of Strong and puts him in a surfboard submission. Strong gets free but Dunne continues the attack in the corner. Vicious kicks by Dunne! Dunne sends Strong back to the outside. Dunne waits for Strong to get back in.

Back from break, Dunne sends Strong into the corner sternum first. Another submission by Dunne to keep working the arm and shoulder of Strong. DUNNE TWIST STRONG'S EAR WHILE HE HAS HIM IN THE HOLD!! Strikes by Dunne with Strong in the corner. Strong fights back with kicks and chops. Beautiful drop kick by Strong!! Both men are down. They get to their feet and trade punches. Slam by Strong and a knee strike in the corner. Running forearms by Strong and an OLYMPIC SLAM!! 1...2...NO!! Dunne crawls to the ropes and kicks Strong away. They go to the outside where Dunne sends Strong into the steps knee first. Dunne breaks the count and tries the Bitter End on the apron but Strong counters and slams Dunne on the apron. Near fall back in the ring for Strong. Near fall for Dunne on a roll up. They trade enziguris. Both men counter each other until Strong hits a back breaker for a near fall!!! Dunne avoids a cradle and delivers multiple stomps. Dunne tries a triangle but Strong avoids. Strong tries a Stronghold but Dunne grabs the fingers and snaps them!! BITTER END TO STRONG FOR THE WIN!! Good back and forth here with lots of action!

W: Pete Dunne via pin @ 13:37

Time for the top 5 matches of 2020!! Nominees are: Fatal four way Iron man Match, Balor vs. O'Reilly at Takeover 21, WALTER vs. Dragunov from NXT UK, men's War Games, triple threat Io vs. Charlotte vs. Rhea. THE WINNER IS BALOR VS. O'REILLY!! Balor is here is accept. He doesn't want his trophy but he'll be sure to give Kyle O'Reilly his. Balor heads to the ring but runs into Pete Dunne who says he wants the title. Balor says get in line.

Balor heads to the ring! He'll speak after a commercial.

A video package hypes the fight pit next week between Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher. Thatcher says Ciampa will be in his world in the fight pit.

Balor is in the ring with a mic. Balor talks about their Takeover 31 match being match of the year. Balor says O'Reilly surprised a lot of people that night but not Balor. Balor says O'Reilly deserves the award. SHOCK THE SYSTEM!! Here comes O'Reilly. Balor tells him to take his trophy because Balor doesn't need it. Balor says he has the NXT Championship. Balor says his steel plates remind him on the match. Balor says the trophy is only good for gathering dust. O'Reilly says it means something to him. It's proof that he belongs on top. O'Reilly calls it a participation award. He wants the real prize. O'Reilly respects Balor but respect will be left at the door. The title say Balor is #1 but O'Reilly plants to take it! Balor says that's very nice but Balor will do everything in his power to make O'Reilly suffer. Balor says last time O'Reilly break his jaw, so Balor will make him pay next week! Balor says he's going to make O'Reilly wish bleep bleep bleep!! HERE COMES KARRION KROSS AND SCARLETT!! Scarlett says the championship belongs to them and it doesn't matter who wins their match. Kross says "Doomsday is here! TICK TOCK!!" DAMIAN PRIEST SHOWS UP BEHIND KROSS!! THEY FACE OFF. PRIEST AND KROSS BRAWL IN THE ENTRY WAY!! THEY TACKLE EACH OTHER THROUGH THE BARRICADE!! They battle into the tech area. KROSS GOES FOR A DOOMSDAY SAITO BUT PRIEST COUNTERS INTO A CROSS BODY THROUGH TWO TABLES!! Both men are down while Scarlett stares laughing.

A video package shows the build up for Rhea Ripley and Raquel Gonzalez match next week. Ripley talks about who close they are or were. They even got matching tattoos at one point. Ripley says Gonzalez isn't the same person now. They used to be there for each other and Ripley goes as far to say she needs Gonzalez at one point. Ripley claims Gonzalez got jealous of Ripley's success. Gonzalez claims to be the biggest and baddest in the industry. Lots of pictures and videos of them hanging out together and working out together. Then all of what happened recently. A really good video package! Last woman standing next week!!

Legado del Fantasma is in the ring now. Escobar has a mic and says lets take a moment to look around and see where they are. What a year they had. Santos says what a year he had. He says it's a scam that the UE got tag team of the year. He's here to dominate and not be popular. That's exactly what he's done. He says Regal is looking for his next challenger. Escobar says he won't find anyone who belongs in the same ring as him! They are the leaders of lucha libre! In 2021, this will continue. Their first order of business is HERE COMES THE LUCHA HOUSE PARTY!! They say it's nice to be in a place where they aren't chasing a champion. They say Escobar doesn't own lucha libre because it's for everyone! They trade insults and we have a match!

Legado del Fantasma w/ Santos Escobar vs. Lucha House Party

Before the bell, LHP cleans house! The match is already in progress after a break. Metalik is in control of the match and hits a back breaker on Wilde. Dorado tags in and hits a rana! Mendoza tags in but Dorado hits a spring board moonsault. The ref doesn't see and double team allowing Legado to take over. Mendoza works on Dorado in the corner and both members of Legado hits a double suplex for a near fall. Dorado is sent into the corner but he fights back. DORADO WITH A CROSS BODY!! Both men tag. Metalik hits Mendoza with a super kick and a reverse sling blade. He walks the ropes and hits a drop kick for a near fall. Dorado makes a blind tag. Super kick. Splash by Dorado for a near fall broken up by Wilde. Metalik sends Wilde to the floor with a rana. Mendoza gets taken out. METALIK WALKS THE ROPES AND DELIVERS A SPRING BOARD ELBOW TO MENDOZA FOR THE WIN!! Lots of action in a short time. Escobar is pissed on the outside.

W: Lucha House Party via pin @ 3:52

Time for future star of the year! Nominees are: Austin Theory, Jake Atlas, Leon Ruff, Kacy Catanzaro, Kayden Carter, Indi Hartwell, Xia Li, A-Kid, Aoife Valkyrie, and Pretty Deadly. THE WINNER IS AUSTIN THEORY!! Regal presents to Theory with The Way with him. Theory says he has proven he is the future and he found THE WAY!! Theory hypes Gargano before his match with Ruff. Theory mentions the curse and Gargano says don't says the "c" word! Gargano throws Theory's protein powder and breaks a mirror!! Gargano freaks out about bad luck and says he needs to focus on his match which is next!

Commentary says the event of the year was War Games and feud of the year was Pat McAfee vs. Adam Cole! OVERALL COMPETITOR OF THE YEAR IS IO SHIRAI!!

NXT North American Championship Match

Leon Ruff vs. Johnny Gargano (champ) w/ The Way

They lock up and Gargano takes down Ruff. Ruff gets to his feet but remains in control. Ruff escapes and takes down Gargano. Ruff gets an early near fall and Gargano goes to the outside to regroup. Theory distracts but Ruff avoids a sling shot spear and gets a near fall. Ruff rolls through a take down and lands a kick. Ruff takes Gargano to a corner and lights him up with chops. Ruff with a pump kick in a different corner. Ruff goes to the second rope and Gargano pushes him off and out to the floor. On the outside. Gargano with chops of his own and bounces Ruff's head on the apron. Gargano then sends Ruff into the barricade before breaking the count. Gargano tries to send Ruff into the barricade again but Ruff uses his Spiderman skills to climb it and eventually hits Gargano with a rana on the floor. Back in the ring, Theory distracts again allowing Gargano to his a draping neck breaker from the ropes. Gargano is in control of the match as we go to a split screen commercial.

During the break, Gargano beats on Ruff on the outside. Gargano with clubs to the back of Ruff's head while he's laid across the apron. Gargano ties Ruff up in the ropes as the beat down continues. A neck breaker by Gargano gets a near fall. Ruff delivers punches from his knees to fight back. Gargano stops that with a rolling kick to the face! Gargano grounds Ruff with a chicken wing style submission.

Back from the break, Ruff fights to his feet again but Gargano takes him right back down. Gargano stretches him out while having a knee in his back. Ruff avoids another neck breaker and hits a kick to Gargano's head. Another kick by Ruff and a third! More strikes by Ruff and Gargano is reeling! Enziguri to the back of Gargano's head followed by a back breaker! German by Ruff!! Corkscrew cannonball by Ruff!! 1...2....NO!! Ruff lifts Gargano but Gargano slides off as they trade blows but Ruff takes Gargano down with a clothesline. Ruff goes off the ropes but eats a super kick! GARGANO LONG DARTS RUFF INTO THE MIDDLE TURNBUCKLE!! SUPER KICK BY GARGANO!! 1...2...NO!! Gargano sets up for the one final beat DDT but Ruff stops it. Ruff tries a crucifix bomb but Gargano counters with a clothesline! GARGANO POWER BOMBS RUFF!! 1...2....NO!! GARGANO ESCAPE!!! RUFF MAKES THE ROPES!! Gargano breaks on a four count! Gargano sends Ruff to the outside. Gargano tries to long dart Ruff into the barricade but Ruff avoids and FLATLINERS GARGANO ON THE FLOOR!! Back in the ring, Ruff goes to the top and RUFF HITS A FROG SPLASH!! 1...2...NO!! Ruff puts Gargano on the top turnbuckle and goes up with him. Gargano stands up and DROPS RUFF FACE FIRST ON THE TOP TURNBUCKLE AND POST!! ONE FINAL BEAT DDT AND GARGANO WINS!! Gargano breaks the curse in a match that was better than expected. I didn't expect Ruff to win but he had a good showing.

W: Johnny Gargano via pin @ 14:14


Commentary runs down the rest of next week's card to end the show!

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