Hi and welcome back to the NXT review. Today, you’re getting a double bill because I, your humble reviewer, was so busy around Christmas time with merriment and seasonal joy that it took me this long to actually get round to watching the Christmas episode. Also, the Year-End’s Awards special only had wrestling in the form of repeats of its matches of the year. So for the first time in a new decade, let’s get into it.

The Undercard

NXT North American Championship: Roderick Strong (c) def. Austin Theory // Strong tapped out Theory to the Stronghold modified cloverleaf. This was very long and not very interesting beyond Strong playing the asshole well. Theory also seemed uncomfortable in the babyface role. Not great, Bob.

Candice LeRae def. Taynara // LeRae pinned Taynara off a Lionsault. I am informed this match happened but I think I may have still been asleep from Strong vs Theory

Dominic Dijakovic def. Bronson Reed // Dijakovic pinned Reed off a Feast Your Eyes modified Go To Sleep Dijakovic looked great here but Reed continues to wrestle an oddly lackadaisical style. Get angry my dude.

Bianca Belair def. Shotzi Blackheart // Belair pinned Blaclheart off the KOD lifting slam. Blackheart looked solid in her debut with Belair giving her just enough to make this above the average enhancement.

Promos & Packages

We get an Arturo Ruas Highlight Reel.

We get a hype-up for Worlds Collide. The main event is IMPERIUM vs Undisputed Era. Kill ’em all, WALTER.

We get a Bianca Belair Highlight Reel.

Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott vs Jack Gallagher

And now for the sentence most uttered about cruiserweights in main roster arenas, the crowd was dead to start with but they really got them into it by the end. This was really good work, they started off comparing technique with grappling before giving way to a beautiful, little scrap with both men looking to be the first to take the other’s head off. There wasn’t much storytelling per se but as far as Super Juniors-Esque sprints go in NXT, this was as good as they come. I would love to see this dynamic revisited in Full Sail with a hot crowd because even here in this house show/dark match environment, this was very enjoyable. Swerve got the pin off a Running seated Dropkick. Good stiff stuff.

Winner: Swerve

Damian Priest & Tony Nese vs Lio Rush & Keith Lee

Sometimes you want storytelling epics, sometimes you just want 4 talented performers cutting loose and having fun for the holidays. This was firmly in the latter camp but luckily for us, unlike all those Young Bucks multi-man tags we’ve had to sit through over the years, this was as much fun for us the audience at home as it was for the people in the ring.

Winner: Rush/Lee

NXT 2019 Year-End Awards

If you wondered, do I need to watch this episode at all? No, you really don’t. All you need to know is The Undisputed Era got increasingly smug, Dakota Kai is still trying to start a fight with William Regal, Shayna Baszler isn’t going to let losing the title stop her dominating and Keith Lee continues to deserve all the gold. Anyway, here’s the results, plus me telling you all I’d vote for because you’re wrong.

NXT Male Competitor of the Year

The Fans Said: Adam Cole

We Say: Keith Lee

NXT Female Competitor of the Year

The Fans Said: Shayna Baszler

We Say: Io Shirai

NXT Future Star of the Year

The Fans Said: Dakota Kai

We Say: Dakota Kai

NXT Breakout Star of the Year

The Fans Said: Keith Lee

We Say: Keith Lee

NXT Rivalry of the Year

The Fans Said: Adam Cole vs Johnny Gargano

We Say: Io Shirai vs Candice LeRae

NXT TakeOver of the Year

The Fans Said: New York

We Say: Cardiff

NXT Match of the Year

The Fans Said: Adam Cole vs Johnny Gargano – 2 Out of 3 Falls – New York

We Say: Io Shirai vs Candice LeRae – Toronto Or WALTER vs Tyler Bate – Cardiff

NXT Overall Competitor of the Year

The Fans Said: Adam Cole

We Say: Io Shirai

All pics and videos courtesy of WWE