SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TONY D’ANGELO (w/Stacks) vs. DIJAK
Wes Lee has been the NXT North American Champion for a little while now, and there are plenty of competitors coming for his title. D’Angelo and Dijak are two of the front runners for that title. Wes Lee sat ringside, watching these two closely.
Since returning to NXT, I’ve been relatively high on the way they’ve been portraying him. The 80s movie villain gimmick suits him well. With the over the top entrance and with his massive push coming into New Years Evil, I think they have high hopes for him. Maybe not Roman Reigns level high hopes, but Dijak could easily play a solid upper card gatekeeper on the main roster.
The match itself was on the better side of fine, though somewhat slow and clunky. Especially during the commercial break. As you could see in the picture in picture, they really leaned into the rest holds.
A heel/heel match is hard to pull off. Dijak is out there kidnapping people, and D’Angelo has solidified himself as a heel over the last year or so in NXT. Who do you cheer for? The kidnapper or the mobster who almost certainly killed Two Dimes?
Dijak winning was probably the right choice for Dijak’s character. But D’Angelo has lost nearly every major match he’s had at this point. When are we going to see the Don of NXT get a shine on him?
THE CREED BROTHERS vs. INDUS SHER
Indus Sher, for weeks, has protected the Creed Brothers saying that they wanted to face them only if they are 100%.
Well, turns out that they’re liars. When it came time for the match, Sanga revealed that Veer wasn’t in the building tonight. The Creeds were upset when Sanga said that he’d honor the match anyway. They said that it was disrespectful for Veer not to show his face.
And then, just as quickly as his rise from jobber to WWE Champion, Jinder Mahal attacked the Creeds from behind. He and Sanga laid them out before Mahal ended the segment by grabbing a mic and saying that Indus Sher fight for respect. He does not.
That seems a bit hypocritical to me. Why would Indus Sher align themselves with someone without their values?
Other than that, it was an explosive segment. One that I did not see coming.
PRETTY DEADLY GAUNTLET MATCH
NXT Tag Champs, The New Day, have time and time again refused to give Pretty Deadly a rematch for their titles. In response, Pretty Deadly organized a gauntlet match against three of “NXT’s best tag teams” to prove their worthiness.
Of course, Pretty Deadly booked a bunch of jobbers. After beating the first jobbers, New Day came out and had Edris Enofe and Malik Blade come out as the next contenders in the gauntlet match.
Enofe and Blade have been the tag team to watch over the last few months, and I hope this rub from New Day gives them the push they need.
Though Enofe and Blade put forth a valiant effort, nearly upsetting Pretty Deadly on a number of occasions, Pretty Deadly moved on to the next round.
Briggs & Jensen were supposed to be the next contenders. But Wolfgang & Mark Coffey attacked them backstage and took their place instead. The suspension on Gallus is over!
Gallus was a team that we’ve talked about on PWT Talks NXT who could dethrone New Day. Perhaps that’s the direction we’re headed?
BRON BREAKKER vs. GREYSON WALLER – NXT CHAMPIONSHIP
I was so glad to see that this wasn’t the main event for New Year’s Evil. This feud has felt so flat simply due to the relatively lackluster reign from Bron Breakker. It didn’t deserve to be on last, even though I generally am in favor for either Men’s or Women’s championship main eventing.
Right before the first commercial break, the 2nd rope broke when Waller body tackled Breakker. It almost looked like it wasn’t supposed to happen, as there was a little confusion ringside while Breakker and Waller continued wrestling as if it didn’t happen. Once back from the break, the rope was fixed.
The majority of the match was exactly what I thought it would be. Bron Breakker getting his stuff in with Greyson Waller outsmarting him every so often to get the advantage.
Waller went for a 2nd rope move, and the 2nd rope snapped again sending Waller out to the floor. This time, it felt very staged. Before the ref’s 10 count, Waller grabbed the loose, broken rope which I’m sure he’ll use to claim he never lost.
The crowd chanted my feelings for this finish, as chants of “Bullshit!” could be loudly heard through the building.
HANK WALKER (w/Drew Gulak) vs. CHARLIE DEMPSEY
One of the undercard matches of the night, Hank Walker sought retribution against Charlie Dempsey after Dempsey humiliated them during their first match.
Walker enlisted Drew Gulak to teach him how to wrestle more on the level of Dempsey, but unfortunately it didn’t quite translate to this match.
Walker is being billed as a former security guard, a pretty tough guy. But he’s so green right now that it’s hard to believe he can take hang with the NXT elite.
Dempsey pretty much dominated Walker throughout the whole match until Walker got lucky and locked in an armbreaker a la Gulak. It looked like he may beat Dempsey with it, but Dempsey was prepared and tapped him out moments later.
JINDER MAHAL vs. JULIUS CREED
After Mahal attacked the Creed’s and injured Brutus, Julius demanded this match.
Julius went after Mahal with everything he had, but even though it’s Jinder Mahal… he is still a former WWE champion. Jinder was in control of the majority of the matchup.
While I’m glad to see Julius getting some time in the spotlight, this match really dragged on. If anything, they should have had this match next week and let the surprise of Mahal debuting in NXT sink in.
TWENTY WOMAN BATTLE ROYAL
The winner of this battle royal would go on to Vengeance Day to face Roxanne Perez for her NXT Women’s Title.
Cora Jade, a favorite to win this match was eliminated within second of the bell ringing.
As most battle royals are, this was a chaotic flustertruck until it was whittled down to the final few women.
Alba Fyre, Lyra Valkyira, Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolan were the final four at the end of a lengthy and rather lackluster battle royal. Cora Jade came back out and helped to eliminate Valkyira and Fyre, leaving Dolan and Jaye as the final two.
Jayne turned on Dolan, and the two awkwardly fought on the turnbuckle for far too long before both women wound up knocking each other off at the same time, leaving no winner. Officials even looked at a replay, unable to determine a winner. So rather than declare a draw or no contest… they declared both of them the winner. They then officially announced the triple threat between Toxic Attraction and Roxanne Perez at Vengeance Day.