WWE NXT Recap: Kyle O'Reilly Comes Up Short Again at New Years Evil

Just as the members of the United States Congress must work through the night to certify the results of the presidential election, so must I work through the night to recap four hours of wrestling. I'm already done with AEW Dynamite so that puts me at the halfway point with just WWE NXT to go.

The Shovel - Weekly TV Recaps of WWE Raw, WWE Smackdown, Impact Wrestling, AEW Dynamite, and WWE NXT [Photo: Shutterstock]
The Shovel – Weekly TV Recaps of WWE Raw, WWE Smackdown, Impact Wrestling, AEW Dynamite, and WWE NXT [Photo: Shutterstock]

WWE NXT Recap for January 6th, 2020

Dexter Lumis welcomes us to WWE NXT New Years Evil in a darkened Covid Wrestling Center by silently walking up to the lighting board and pressing a bunch of buttons. He finds a lever with the New Years Evil mascot on it and pulls it, which turns on the lights and starts the show.

Damian Priest vs. Karrion Kross

Damian Priest heads to the ring. Karrion Kross and Scarlett follow. They have a match, which runs commercial-free. It's an interesting match, with Priest in the role of the underdog standing up to a bully, even though he would be the bully in most other matchups. Priest gives it a good shot but ultimately falls with the story being that even though he can't beat Kross, he stood up to him the whole time and didn't give up.

Winner: Karrion Kross

I feel like that kind of angle works for a scrappy underdog, but not a guy as big as Priest. Priest seems to lose the big matches a lot though. McKenzie Mitchell interviews Adam Cole and Roderick Strong, revealing they will face Breezango in the Dusty Rhodes Classic next week. Cole thinks they stand a pretty good chance of beating Breezango.

Gran Metalik vs. Santos Escobar – NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match

Gran Metalik heads to the ring with his furry companion, Lince Dorado. Santos Escobar comes out with Wilde and Mendoza. They fight. It's kinda sad that NXT has so little for the Cruiserweight Championship that they need to bring in Gran Metalik just so he has an opponent, especially when you consider that Metalik is essentially a jobber on Raw. Anyway, Escobar wins with the Phantom Driver.

Winner: Santos Escobar

That was a waste of time.

Rhea Ripley and Raquel Gonzalez are seen warming up backstage (but not together). Then NXT takes a commercial break, and then we get a video package promoting Mercedes Martinez, who is glad to have dodged a bullet by getting out of Retribution before she was stuck with it. She wants to fight Io Shirai now.

Xia Li vs Katrina Cortez

The mysterious person who has been training Xia Li and Boa for weeks appears on a throne wearing a mask straight out of Mortal Kombat. Xia Li and Boa appear and Xia Li heads down to the ring. In the ring is a jobber. Xia Li squashes her.

Winner: Xia Li

Well, okay. Xia Li is completely repackaged here. Her look is better. Her entrance is better. She finished her opponent quickly. This has potential, but we'll have to see how it goes.

In a video recorded earlier, William Regal explains that Timothy Thatcher injured himself training and can't compete in the Fight Pit match tonight. Thatcher is seen walking off in a huff.

Instead of that, McKenzie Mitchell interviews Bronson Reed. Reed says he's putting NXT on notice for 2021. Best of luck, pal. He predicts Rhea Ripley will win the Last Woman Standing match, which is happening right now.

Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez – Last Woman Standing Match

Rhea Ripley comes to the ring, followed by Raquel Gonzalez. This is the match I've looked forward the most on NXT tonight. It's good. The fight takes place all over the Covid Wrestling Center, including backstage and back out where Gonzalez powerbombs Ripley through a gimmicked area of the stage and is the only one to beat the 10-count.

Winner: Raquel Gonzalez

This match delivered on what it was meant to deliver on: big nasty spots, like Ripley spearing Gonzalez through a glass door. I hope Ripley is heading to the main roster soon because I don't think she has a lot more to do here in NXT.

Promo: The Way

The Way are seen arriving at the Covid Wrestling Center with a police escort, an entrance that lasts through an entire commercial break. They get to the ring and they all have mics. Gargano cuts a promo about reversing the curse and retaining the NXT Championship last week. Candice LeRae has a gift for him: it's a plaque commemorating Gargano overcoming the curse. For another gift, Indi Hartwell and Austin Theory commissioned a comic book style drawing of the four of them. Gargano announces that he and Theory will enter the Dusty Classic.

Shotzi Blackheart drives out with a microphone. Theory goes to confront her and she shoots him in the balls with a projectile from her tank, charges the ring, and attacks LeRae. Blackheart takes the ring, and then KUSHIDA appears and attacks Gargano, joining Blackheart in the ring. Dexter Lumis rings a bell, so I guess this is a match.

Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae vs. KUSHIDA and Shotzi Blackheart

Lumis shows he drew a picture of this match. How did he have time to do that? I thought his gimmick was just that he's a creep, not a psychic. Anyway, they have a match. It's good in parts. It's a little sloppy in others, like when KUSHIDA whiffs a punch about 6 inches from Gargano's face, or when Shotzi does a dive through the ropes and lands on her head. But it's mostly good. Austin Theory tries to interfere but it does The Way no good as KUSHIDA succeeds with a pinning combo on Gargano.

Winners: KUSHIDA and Shotzi Blackheart

Well, that ruined Gargano's whole celebration. Time to see what's happening on WWE NXT next week: Undisputed Era vs. Breezango and Ever-Rise vs. Grizzled Young Veterans in the Dusty classic. McKenzie Mitchell talks to William Regal, who says 2021 will be the greatest year in NXT history. Regal says that in addition to the men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, they will also soon have a Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.

Kyle O'Reilly vs. Finn Balor – NXT Championship Match

Kyle O'Reilly heads to the ring. Finn Balor follows. It's main event time. Finally. They have a match. Remember their first match? It was pretty much the same as that. O'Reilly taps out to a crossface from a bloody Balor.

Winner: Finn Balor

Undisputed Era console O'Reilly after the match Kind of a letdown after all the hype, but to be honest, I didn't really care about their first match either. I look forward to Karrion Kross taking that title off Balor.

New Years Evil was a mixed bag. I liked Priest vs. Kross and Ripley vs. Gonzalez. For people whose cup of tea Balor vs. O'Reilly is, I'm sure that was good too. The rest was meh. But it's been a long day. When you're reading this in the morning, I hope the country is a little bit calmer. The next show Bleeding Cool recaps is Smackdown, which means I get a much-needed night off tomorrow.

About Jude Terror

A prophecy once said that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero would come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events.

Sadly, that prophecy was wrong. Oh, Jude Terror was right. For ten years. About everything. But nobody listened. And so, Jude Terror has moved on to a more important mission: turning Bleeding Cool into a pro wrestling dirt sheet!

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