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Kevin’s WWE NXT Review 12.16.20

December 16, 2020 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
WWE NXT Rhea Ripley 12-16-20
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Kevin’s WWE NXT Review 12.16.20  

Austin Theory and Johnny Gargano vs. KUSHIDA and Leon Ruff

We start with the faces already in the ring. The ladies of The Way are out with the heels. KUSHIDA starts with Theory and takes an inverted atomic drop and knee lift. Ruff gets the tag and does okay but is taken down after a distraction, which allows Gargan to get in and take control. Johnny wears down Ruff and stops to talk trash to KUSHIDA. Ruff rallies and things break down. The faces with a double dropkick and with the heels outside, Ruff tries a springboard somersault. He lands horribly and crumbles but seems to be okay. A blind tag leads to Ruff taking a dropkick and a slingshot spear heading into commercial. Returning, Theory wears down Ruff. He gets free and makes the hot tag to KUSHIDA, who hits everything moving. Johnny escapes an armbar attempt and Ruff tags in with a missile dropkick. Sandiwch enziguris in the corner and Ruff gets two. Theory tags in and gets two on a Blue Thunder Bomb on Ruff. A double superkick nearly ends this but KUSHIDA breaks up the pin. He lays out THeory with a fastball punch and takes a superkick. Johnny goes for a dive but is nearly rolled up. Ruff avoids a serupkick and hits one of his own. He catches Johnny with a beautiful flying cutter and crucifix bomb but hemissed the blind tag. Theory kicks him and wins with something called This is the Way.

Winners: Austin Theory and Johnny Gargano in 13:38 [Really good way to star the show. Nothing special but a spirited tag match with lots of action. ***]

Dexter Lumis is sitting on a podium thing in the arena and has a small easel in front of him.

A Rhea Ripley/Toni Storm vignette airs. Toni says she ran Rhea out of NXT UK and sent her to NXT and tonight she ends the rivalry on her terms.

Shotzi Blackheart is interviewed about facing Indi Hartwell tonight. She says she’s proud of her team at War Games but Candice is no general. Her war against Candice is far from over.

Tommaso Ciampa vs. Tyler Rust

Ciampa gets a chair and sets it up in case Timothy Thatcher wants to come down. As the two competitors work the mat, Thatcher indeed shows up.Ciampa gets more aggressive with Thatcher arriving. He doesn’t sit, instead standing in front of the chair Ciampa set up. Ciampa throws Rust out in front of him and then Rust sends him into Thatcher. He boots his trainer by mistake and Thatcher nearly goes after Ciampa until things are broken up by officials. Rust hits him on his way back in and divorce courts the arm on the apron before a break. Returning, Rust works over the arm and neck. Ciampa gets going with shoulder blocks and brings the fire. He fights out of some more arm work but keeps getting put in some whenever he gets going. Ciampa stomps his way free but has Fairytale Ending blocked. Rust hit a huge kick and a flipping backbreaker for a great near fall. Ciampa gets put in a modified Rings of Saturn and uses his feet on the ropes to break the hold. Ciampa gets going and wins with Willow’s Bell.

Winner: Tommaso Ciampa in 12:24 [Where did that come from? Rust gave it his all and Ciampa let him showcase his skills. ***]

As Ciampa picks up the Thatch-as-Thatch-can shirt, Thatcher returns for a fight but is held back. CIampa throws the shirt at him and leaves.

A Grizzled Young Veterans vignette runs.

A Karrion Kross vignette airs.

During the break, Malcolm Bivens comes out to tell Rust that he’s a star and he wants him to pick himself up. They fist bump and leave together.

Dexter Lumis is still drawing on his easel. We see that he’s drawing the New Year’s Evil logo.

NXT Title No. 1 Contender’s Match: Kyle O’Reilly vs. Pete Dunne

Before the bell, Kilian Dain shows up to attack Burch and Lorcan. Undisputed Era come over to join the fight. Breezango randomly join the fray but Dunne and Kyle never take eyes off of each other. As soon as the bell rings, they start slugging away at each other before taking things to the mat. They jockey for position, counter each other, and throw in stiff trikes in between nit all, never letting up. The fight moves outside where Kyle blocks an Explex and hops on Dunne’s back for a sleeper. Dunne breaks it by going after the fingers and they trade shots. Both beat the countout at 9 and continue to slug it out inside. Commercial time. As we come back, Dunne is on the offensive but has the Bitter End countered into a chokehold. Dunne survives and starts wrenching on the arm while also digging at the ear and stomping on the ribs. Kyle fights out of a submission and hits a boot of his own. He hits his series of butterfly suplexes for a near fall. Dunne gets kicked to get crotched up top. Kyle follows up, they jockey for the upper hand, and Dunne lands on his feet on a German suplex attempt. A tree of woe left Kyle gets kicked and stomped on before a dropkick floors him. It’s time for another commercial. Returning, they ram each other’s heads into the turnbuckle and both fall out. Powerbomb gets Pete two. They trade stuff again and go back to submission work. Kyle with a brainbuster and both men are down. Kyle hits a sweet bridging back suplex for another near fall after ra pump knee knocked out Dunne’s mouthguard. Kyle stomps on the hand, catches a kick, and tries a submission. Dunne counters into a triangle choke. They continue to go back and forth. They trade shots and Dunne cuts off the rebound lariat to snap the fingers. He adds a knee lift and has his Bitter End on the apron countered into a suplex to the floor. Back in, Kyle comes off the top with a diving knee that gets him the victory.

Winner: Kyle O’Reilly in 22:47 [Spectacular pro wrestling. Two of the best in the business in a hard hitting match that felt like a big deal. I might even be underrating this as it had stiff strikes, quality mat work, and late drama. ****1/4]

Rhea Ripley is interviewed and notes that Raquel Gonzalez backed away from her last week. As for Toni, she’s a different Rhea from the NXT UK days and Toni is still a piece of trash.

Time for another Boa/Xia Li vignette. In this one, Xia is devastated as she is forced to beat the piss out of Boa.

Indi Hartwell vs. Shotzi Blackheart

The first upper hand goes to Shotzi with a dropkick. Indi fights back and gets two after a forearm while Gargano gives her words of wisdom. After an awkward exchange, she gets two on a full nelson slam. Another dropkick by Shotzi sends Indi outside. Candice LeRae distracts her, allowing Indi to get the trophy and use it as a weapon. The referee calls for the bell.

Winner via DQ: Shotzi Blackheart in 4:04 [A rare swing and a miss for this division. A few botches in a short time. *]

Candice hits Shotzi with Wicked Stepsister as The Way focus on how sad they are about the broken trophy.

A Bronson Reed vignette airs.

Desmond Troy vs. Karrion Kross

Kross dominates here, hitting the Doomsday Saito and winning with the rear naked choke gimmick.

Winner: Karrion Kross in 1:05 [Total squash but Kross still doesn’t impress me much. NR]

Isaiah Scott is interviewed and says that him not shaking hands last week is being blown out of proportion. He seems annoyed to lose to someone like Jake Atlas. next week, there’s a rematch. Ever-Rise come over and complain about last week. They went to corporate to get the loss stricken from the record book. They still have a winning streak and are coming for Goldberg. They yell a lot too.

Lumis finishes his drawing, which lists him as the host of New Year’s Evil.

A Finn B├ílor promo airs. He says that Kyle O’Reilly broke his jaw and still couldn’t beat him. He says it’s not Finn vs. Kyle II, it’s Finn vs. Kyle: The End.

NEW YEAR’S EVIL ~ Along with Finn/Kyle, Priest/Kross was confirmed.

Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm

Their history is on display with lots of quick exchanges and counters from both. That leads to pinning combinations from both as well. Rhea ends up on the apron and pulls Toni with her but is driven into the post and then eats a boot going into break. Returning, Toni wears Rhea down with a chinlock. Rhea fights free and hits a kick followed by knee strikes and a running basement dropkick. Toni fights off Riptide but gets wrecked with a kick to the back. A headbutt puts both women on the mat. They trade shots as they get to their feet and each hit the opes with strikes. Rhea wins out with a dropkick for two. Inverted Cloverleaf is applied but Toni battles her way out and delivers a German suplex. Rhea drops her face first on the turnbuckle for two. As the ladies battle to the apron, Raquel Gonzalez shows up. Rhea knocks Toni off the apron and into Raquel, sending her over the guardrail. On the way back in, Raquel hits her with a Snake Eyes still drive into the ring post with ease. Toni with a hip attack and Storm Zero to win.

Winner: Toni Storm in 13:53 [There was a lot to like there. I don’t love their matches despite being a fan of both girls, but this had a lot of good. At times it felt a bit rushed though. ***1/4]

8.5
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Honestly, the only thing that didn't quite work for me was Shotzi/Indi. Everything else was either good, very good, or built something, while Dunne/O'Reilly was one of the best TV matches all year.
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article topics :

WWE NXT, Kevin Pantoja