Oh come all ye faithful, this NXT may not be Christmas themed, but by the will of jolly ol’ Saint Nick, I’m not going lose the X-Mas spirit I tell you! So putting Christmas aside for the moment, let’s get on with the show!
We kick off the show with Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce vs Daria Berenato who seeks to get back at both of them for screwing her over at NXT takeover. I do like Daria’s in ring style and attempts to mimic the MMA technique in an exaggerated way, even with added emphasis on her taking the gloves come off helps her character seem more serious and willing to deal out pain. The endless assault had Billie try to escape with Peyton but Daria took them both down and throwing Billie back in the ring. However, interference from Royce to attack Daria behind the referee’s back leaving her weak enough for Billie to secure the win. This was a fairly well-paced opening for the show and we managed to see Daria in the ring some more, and both Billie Kay’s & Peyton Royce’s friendship showing how they can beat their way to the top.
In post match promo they call out Asuka, asserting that they are the most dominant women on NXT. “Asuka’s gonna kill you” chants littered the aftermath of their promo. I mean who doesn’t want to see Asuka make them eat their words at this point.
The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering came out to face Anthony Bowens & John Ortagun in a tag team match, which was a standard exhibition to emphasise the AOP’s destructive power. Ortagun decided he didn’t want anything to do with the fight after his partner was laid out quickly, but he was taken down with ease. As a side note, we learned that during the taping of this show, Anthony Bowens suffered a concussion. He’s recently tweeted about the incident stating;
— Anthony Bowens (@Bowens_Official) December 22, 2016
I’m glad he’s feeling better since this whole incident, and I hope he gets an opportunity to shine in the future. After the match, Paul Ellering said that the Authors of Pain are on a seek and destroy mission to become NXT Tag Team Champions, with the intent being to hype a different kind if obstacle for DIY.
Asuka responded to being called out by Billie and Peyton earlier in the show by simply saying “they need to be careful.” Perhaps before her thought was finished, Asuka’s attention was grabbed by Nikki Cross who was grinning maniacally in the wings. The Empress of Tomorrow cracked a smile, eager for some real competition.
The rest of the episode was solely dedicated to the fatal 4-way elimination match between Bobby Roode, Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong and Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas to determine the number one contender for the NXT championship. It began with Bobby being double teamed by Strong and Dillinger only to be blindsided by Almas. This longer match was really well-paced and contained some genuinely fun spots, such as Almas Moonsaulting from the top rope and landing on his feet, adding a backflip, all for him to be countered by Strong.
All the participants involved were definitely impressive. Another highlight was the classic multi-man Superplex spot, in which Almas, Strong and Roode were all bombed from the top rope by Dillinger, who collapsed with exhaustion.
Almas was eliminated by Strong with a boot to the face, followed with Dillinger eliminating Strong with the Tye Breaker. This left Dillinger and Roode to fight Back and forth with the crowd fully behind Dillinger. Dillinger looked a dead cert when he reversed a Glorious DDT into a Tye Breaker, but in true stakes-raising fashion, Roode managed to kick out. The match ended with Roode eventually landing the DDT and becoming the new number one contender.
Although it’s disappointing to see Dillinger once again come up short, the match was exciting and the crowd pops were evidence alone of how much effort these guys put into the performance, so huge congratulations for that. The episode on a whole was pretty fun and things seem to be shaping up nicely for January’s Takeover. The best way to sum this up is with a Christmas carol;
On this episode of wrestling,
Will Regal gave to me,
Four tough athletes,
Three great fights,
Two awesome spots,
And Asuka smiling evilly