Wednesday, 9 December 2020

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WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from December 9

Sana Ejaz Khan


    NXT went to war, and not everyone made it out in one piece. The December 9 edition of the black-and-gold brand promised a look back at the major event while also setting in motion the future, looking toward NXT New Year's Evil.

    Finn Balor has been absent for months due to his injury, but that looked to change. The NXT champion had a plan and wanted to face the best of the best from WarGames.

    Raquel Gonzalez pinned the NXT women's champion Io Shirai in WarGames. However, some were still overlooking her. She wanted to make a statement by destroying Ember Moon in NXT's main event.

    Cameron Grimes and Tommaso Ciampa went through wars on Sunday, but they weren't done. The Technical Savage had to step into the ring with The Blackheart, hoping to rewrite his path right back toward the moon.

    This week's NXT was coming off the back of one of the best wrestling events of the year. It needed to make an impact, but only time would tell if it could.

Finn Balor Meets His Bevvy of Future Challengers

1 OF 8

    Pete Dunne barely let Finn Balor finish his challenge before The Bruiserweight headed to the ring. Dunne was glad to finally face Balor. Kyle O'Reilly wasn't going to stand for Dunne going for the title after losing at NXT WarGames.

    O'Reilly tried to goad Balor into a match. Damian Priest arrived to make his own statement, but the NXT champion was not standing around waiting. He made clear he would defend at NXT New Year's Evil, but he would let William Regal decide on his challenger.

    Scarlett arrived to remind The Prince that Karrion Kross was coming back soon. Balor was glad to accept that challenge when the former NXT champion was ready. The Archer of Infamy taunted Scarlett, telling her man to pick his own fights.






    This segment did not accomplish much. It showed that there are a variety of challengers for the NXT Championship, though others were awkwardly left in the back. The back-and-forth banter did not sell Dunne, O'Reilly or Priest anymore than anyone would already see them as contenders.

    Scarlett further establishing that Kross is on his way back made more of an impact. Balor vs. Kross has serious potential. Hopefully, that match is kept for a major NXT TakeOver.

Isaiah "Swerve" Scott vs. Jake Atlas

2 OF 8

    Isaiah "Swerve" Scott looked like a new man after time away, and he brought an extra level of aggression to this fight with Jake Atlas. However, that aggression did not pay off as Swerve had the advantage only until Atlas caught him with a surprise pinning combination.

    Swerve glared at Atlas then walked out without shaking his former ally's hand.



    Atlas def. Swerve by pinfall.






    This was a fine but short match. These two can do so much more. Too much of this contest was the feeling-out process, potentially because they were saving it for a rematch down the line.

    Swerve as a heel can certainly work. However, Scott will need to do more than just glare. It is going to take time and story. A true rivalry with Atlas should do wonders as Atlas is so likable. The pairing could keep the cruiserweight division relevant beyond Legado del Fantasma.

The Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Imperium vs. Ever-Rise

3 OF 8

    Ever-Rise wanted to get some revenge against the two teams that attacked them recently: The Grizzled Young Veterans and Imperium. It took some time for Matt Martel and Chase Parker to take control, and it did not last long.

    Fabian Aichner managed to save a near victory for Ever-Rise on James Drake, and Marcel Bartel got involved to nearly give Imperium the win. Zack Gibson slipped in and set up Ticket to Mayhem on Parker for the victory.



    Grizzled Young Veterans def. Ever-Rise and Imperium by pinfall.






    These tag teams have a unique dynamic that is difficult to pin down. However, even without a clear face, this contest worked wonders. It was fun and energetic. All three teams fought with everything to get this win, setting them up for a title opportunity soon enough.

    Ever-Rise in particular brought everything to look on the same level as two of NXT's best teams. It should be fun to see what comes next for the stacked NXT tag team division. The Grizzled Young Veterans deserve a serious run with the NXT Tag Team Championships.

WarGames Retrospective; Toni Storm and Io Shirai Brawl

4 OF 8

    A retrospective video package talked about the two brutal WarGames matches. Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai and Bobby Fish were all seriously injured, yet even the injured gloated over their teams' wins.

    Io Shirai attacked Toni Storm during an interview, battling into the ring. Ember Moon helped as well as the two laid out Storm. The Genius of the Sky landed her signature moonsault.






    The video package for WarGames was a great way to showcase the event. The retrospective did not just recap the moments. Talent got to speak on their victories or defeats, setting up the future for everyone involved.

    Storm vs. Shirai is a money match for NXT, and the brand would be smart to sell it for a major moment. It seems likely the first battle will be at NXT New Year's Evil, but that should not be the last. The two already have proved their chemistry.

Tommaso Ciampa vs. Cameron Grimes

5 OF 8

    Tommaso Ciampa explained in a backstage promo he went after Timothy Thatcher to make sure he still had it. He was going after Cameron Grimes because The Technical Savage would not stop talking.

    Thatcher sat on the stage to watch Ciampa work. After a fist fight with The Blackheart went awry, Grimes tricked Ciampa, taking advantage of his lingering injuries. Ciampa survived a few close calls and began to fight back.

    After attempted interference from Tyler Rust was avoided, Ciampa planted Grimes with Willow's Bell for the victory. Thatcher stared down Ciampa afterward then Grimes got in the technician's face and got flipped on his own face.



    Ciampa def. Grimes by pinfall.






    The battle between Ciampa and Grimes was solid, but it lacked a clear story. The Technical Savage is better in contests with build. Here, he was the generic heel beating down The Blackheart until he made his expected comeback for the win.

    Ciampa vs. Thatcher has serious potential, but it is important that the technician not lose out anymore. He needs to be able to show he can match up to one of the NXT elite. He has lost too many big matches lately.

Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae Gloat in Celebration Ceremony

6 OF 8

    A video was shown of the brutal training Boa and Xia Li were going through at the hands of their ruthless teacher.

    Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae came out with smiles on their faces, flanked by Austin Theory and Indi Hartwell. The Rebel Heart showed off his lip stitches while The Poison Pixie smiled bright even with her left arm in a cast.

    Gargano gave his wife a trophy for her WarGames victory. Gargano gladly stated he and Theory would defeat Damian Priest and Leon Ruff again in a tag team match next week. The Archer of Infamy mocked Gargano only to be viciously attacked by Karrion Kross.






    The Gargano family are a delightful group. Theory is the odd man out right now, and it works. Gargano and LeRae are fun together, but they needed people to work off with their overconfidence. Theory and Hartwell are the perfect young apprentices to heighten their arrogance.

    Priest needs to move away from The Rebel Heart, so Kross is the perfect man to help with that. He and Priest could be a fun rivalry for months to come. Both are near title contention and can elevate each other.

Pete Dunne vs. Killian Dain

7 OF 8

    Malcolm Bivens found Tyler Rust during an interview, walking away with him to talk about an opportunity. Killian Dain and Pete Dunne got into a fight backstage, leading to this match.

    The Bruiserweight brutalized The Beast of Belfast with kicks and punches, but Dain fought through. He sent Dunne flying with a release German suplex, only for Dunne to bounce back up and suplex The Beast of Belfast.

    Dain kept fighting, but he was badly banged up. Each powerbomb and suplex just seemed to aggravate The Bruiserweight. Dunne wanted this win as much as Dain needed revenge.

    Drake Maverick stopped Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch from interfering for a moment, but he got laid out. Dain made the save. However, the distraction cost The Beast of Belfast, who walked into a big kick and the Bitter End.



    Dunne def. Dain by pinfall.






    This was the best match Dain has had in years. He and Dunne clicked in a way that few have with The Beast of Belfast. It helped that The Beast looked way better working as a face underneath rather than working as dominant heel.

    It made sense for The Bruiserweight to win, even in such an important revenge match for Dain. He got to hang with a future world title contender, so he certainly got a serious rub in this physical match.

Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon

8 OF 8


    Leon Ruff was asked about what he would do next week with Damian Priest injured. Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory made fun of Ruff, but Kushida agreed to back him up.

    Raquel Gonzalez was not afraid to do serious damage to Ember Moon early, choking her out and throwing her around the ring. Every time The War Goddess attempted to rally, she was planted on the mat by the sheer power of her physical opponent.

    Finally, Moon connected on a suplex and a cartwheel clothesline followed by a DDT that barely got a two count but certainly affected Gonzalez. Moon had a dangerous idea, climbing the stage, but Gonzalez caught her and blasted her head first into the steel post.

    The War Goddess held on through all the pain. Gonzalez caught the Eclipse then planted her with a clothesline. A single-arm powerbomb sealed the win for the bruiser.

    Afterward, Toni Storm tried to attack Ember Moon with Gonzalez's help, but Rhea Ripley made the save. Ripley and Gonzalez stared each other down to end the night.



    Gonzalez def. Moon by pinfall.






    This was a great showcase match for Gonzalez. She has found her role as the brutalizer of the NXT women's division. Her size and strength are a unique pairing in the women's division, and she has improved immensely in utilizing what she does best.

    She and Moon are a great pairing, and there's plenty of time to develop to a future match between the two. This was a worthy physical main event. It established that Gonzalez should be next in line for the NXT Women's Championship. It will be between her and Toni Storm


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