NXT – January 4, 2022 (New Year’s Evil)
By Thomas Hall on 4th January 2022
Date: January 4, 2022
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett
It’s a big night as we have New Year’s Evil featuring the main event of NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa defending against Bron Breakker. That’s big enough, but we also have a triple threat match for the Women’s Title and AJ Styles confronting Grayson Waller. Not wrestling mind you, but confronting him. Let’s get to it.
The opening video looks at the beginning of the new year with a focus on the card. Then we get to Breakker vs. Ciampa, when the video shifts into evil.
North American Title/Cruiserweight Title: Carmelo Hayes vs. Roderick Strong
Title for title, with Trick Williams and Diamond Mine here too. They fight over a lockup to start until Strong grabs an armbar to take over. Back up and Hayes scores with a dropkick to stagger Strong for a change. Strong tries to take him down but Hayes nips up and scores with an enziguri. With that not working, Strong chops him hard up against the ropes, so Hayes drops to the floor for a breather.
Back in and Strong gets caught in the ropes, setting up a springboard legdrop for a cool looking crash. They head to the apron with Hayes hitting a big jumping DDT to rock Strong. They go inside again and Hayes misses something off the top, setting up a heck of a Sick Kick for two. We take a break and come back with Strong fighting out of a wristlock and hitting a running clothesline.
Some backbreakers look to set up the Strong Hold but Hayes reverses into one of his own. That’s reverses as well and now the Strong Hold can go on. With that broken up as well, Strong hits a Rock Bottom backbreaker for two more. Hayes is ties in the ropes for the running forearms, setting up the Angle Slam for two.
Back up and Hayes grabs a suplex into a cutter for his own near fall and we have a shocked face. Hayes gets caught up top and Strong grabs a super X Plex…or at least I think he does as they both crash hard. Hayes is ok enough to cover for two, followed by the top rope Fameasser for the pin and the titles at 15:41.
Rating: B. I’m still not sure what the landing on that super X Plex was supposed to be, but the rest of the match was pretty awesome as they were trading one big spot after another. They weren’t going for anything more than trading bombs until one of them couldn’t get up, and that’s it for the Cruiserweight division. Good match, and one of the better things to air on NXT TV in a long time.
AJ Styles wishes Tommaso Ciampa luck. There doesn’t appear to be much tension here.
The Dusty Classics are coming back, with the men’s version in two weeks and the women’s version in February.
Here is AJ Styles for a chat. After soaking in some cheers, AJ says he never gets tired of that, and talks about how he always wanted to come here, even when he first got to WWE. The fans always have that passion but there is always someone who wants to take it away. That’s where Grayson Waller comes in….and cue Waller himself, to bring up Styles losing to Omos last night.
Waller doesn’t buy this idea that Styles would have started in NXT and is tired of everyone calling him green. Styles says he’s never had a one on one match in NXT, so let’s get a referee out here and change that. Waller says we’re on Grayson Waller time we can do this next week. It can be the biggest win of his life, but AJ thinks it will be the biggest embarrassment. The fight is on with AJ getting kicked down before clearing the ring. At least the match is set.
Pete Dunne is ready to take out Tony D’Angelo for hurting his hand last week.
Kayden Carter/Kacy Catanzaro tell Amari Miller they are ready to win the Tag Team Titles. Miller needs a partner for the Dusty Classic but Tiffany Stratton runs off at the thought. The sleeping girl wakes up, asks why people are staring at her, and introduces herself as Wendy Chu. More sleep ensues.
Riddle/MSK vs. Imperium
Nash Carter starts with Fabian Aichner and gets powered down early on. A shot to the face staggers Aichner though and it’s off to Wes Lee to kick Aichner in the ribs. Lee can’t whip him in though and Aichner BLASTS HIM with a clothesline. That’s enough from them so it’s off to Riddle vs. Walter (who looks to have dropped a good bit of weight) with Riddle striking away. That doesn’t last long as everything breaks down, with Walter pulling Lee out of the air and carrying him to the wrong corner. The running double dropkicks put Lee on the floor and it’s an Imperium pose to send us to a break.
Back with Carter in trouble and a tag attempt being cut off. Carter finally gets in a kick to Walter though and the hot tag brings in Riddle to clean house. More strikes and a t-bone suplex drop Walter, setting up the running Broton. Everything breaks down again and some stereo dives take out Aichner and Barthel.
Back in and Riddle manages a German suplex on Walter for two but Aichner and Barthel offer a distraction. That’s enough for Walter to kick Riddle down and hit the powerbomb for two. A brainbuster gets two on Riddle but he strikes his way to freedom. It’s back to Carter for the Blockbuster Hart Attack, setting up Riddle’s Floating Bro to Aichner. The RKO finishes Barthel at 13:51.
Rating: B+. This was the kind of match that has been missing around here, as it was straight action and everyone going nuts. It also helps that it had star power, with Riddle and Walter feeling like bigger stars than anyone else on the show (save for AJ). That’s what this show has been lacking and it was great to see it again.
Joe Gacy is proud of Harland for getting better and thinks the Dusty Cup would make him happy. But no, they don’t want any special treatment to get into the tournament.
Mandy Rose gets an entrance in a helicopter.
Elektra Lopez is attracted to success and next week, you will get your answers. Next week it’s Santos Escobar vs. Xyon Quin and she is leaving with the winner.
Women’s Title: Mandy Rose vs. Raquel Gonzales vs. Cora Jade
Rose is defending and gets sent outside in a hurry. That leaves Raquel to power Jade around but a headscissors puts her on the floor as well. Rose pulls Jade outside for a beating but it’s a double Samoan drop from Gonzales back inside. We take a break and come back with Jade trying a rollup but getting tossed hard to the floor instead.
That leaves Mandy alone with Gonzales so it’s time to run away, only to have Gonzales chase her down in a hurry. Mandy gets tossed to the floor but comes back with a kendo stick shot for two. Gonzales comes back with the Chingona Bomb but Jade dives off the top with a backsplash for the save. That leaves Gonzales very angry indeed so she goes after Jade, only to get shoved outside. Jade’s rollup doesn’t work though as Rose sits down on it and retains the title at 12:28.
Rating: C-. Well they tried, but this was a rather sloppy match and it was quite the train wreck. There are only so many things that you can expect from three women who are a mixture of inexperienced and not that good, which means putting them out there for twelve minutes on live TV wasn’t the greatest idea. They aren’t ready for this spot without someone to help guide them through a match and that was obvious more than once. They did try hard and that makes a difference, but it wasn’t working.
Boa runs water over his face, making the painted version of himself appear next to him in the mirror.
Riddle congratulates MSK on their win and says goodbye for now. The Creed Brothers pop up to say the tag division is more serious and they’re winning the Dusty Cup.
Here is Andre Chase, who is rather proud of his student for trying to help him last week. That has earned him a FULL SCHOLARSHIP but here is Von Wagner to interrupt. He’s the star around here and punches out Chase for daring to talk. Wagner beats up the student as well and then goes after the fans as well, with referees and security pulling him away.
Video on Bron Breakker vs. Tommaso Ciampa.
Von Wagner is being escorted out of the building, but stops to laugh at Roderick Strong.
Video on Cameron Grimes’ amazing 2021. He wants gold in 2022.
NXT Title: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bron Breakker
Breakker is challenging and breaks some chains and a big X on the way to the ring. Ciampa starts with some running elbows but gets caught in a delayed suplex. Breakker nips up as Ciampa rolls to the floor for an early breather. Another suplex keeps Ciampa in trouble but he gets smart by going after the knee. Breakker gets taken down with a dropkick before a running knee puts him on the floor. Ciampa even busts out a running corkscrew dive (that’s a new one for him) and that’s good for some self applause.
Back in and the chinlock goes on but Breakker is on his feet in a hurry. The running shoulder to the ribs in the corner rocks Ciampa again but he ties Breakker in the Tree of Woe. Stomping and a running dropkick get Breakker out, where he is able to block the Fairy Tale Ending. A spinebuster and standing moonsault get two on Ciampa. Breakker goes to the middle rope but pauses (in a callback to his mistake in their first match), allowing Ciampa to knock him off the top.
Breakker seems to have tweaked his knee so Ciampa (now bleeding from the eye) hits some running knees to the face. A spear cuts Ciampa in half though and they’re both down. Back up and Breakker tries the gorilla press but Ciampa reverses into a tornado DDT….which almost goes very badly wrong as they land on the ropes. Ciampa is able to jump right into position for the Willow’s Bell though and we hit a half crab on Breakker. With that broken up, Ciampa heads outside and pulls back the floor mat.
That takes too long though and Breakker hits a HARD Alabama Slam through the announcers’ table. Back in and Ciampa uses the middle rope for a low blow, setting up another knee to the head. There’s another one for a bonus as Kenny Omega has entered the match. Ciampa hits a third running knee, setting up the Fairy Tale Ending for two, meaning it’s Ciampa’s turn to be shocked. Breakker knocks Ciampa off the top and hits a top rope bulldog, setting up a Recliner for the tap and the title at 15:29.
Rating: B. This was about passing the torch and that’s the feeling it presented, as Ciampa gave it everything he had and came up short. They had to change the title here as Breakker is a beast who has already lost once. He’s looking more and more like a prodigy every day and that’s not something you get to see very often. I’m not sure what he’s going to do as champion, but it wouldn’t shock me to see him on the main roster before the end of the year.
Ciampa nods to Breakker, who celebrates to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. This was a heck of a show that felt like a mini Takeover. The thing that made this one work was how structured everything felt. It came off like the people putting this show together had a bunch of stuff planned and then went out and executed it rather well. That’s how a big show is supposed to feel and it is the exact opposite of how this show feels most of the time. Awesome show here, and the title changes felt important, so well done for this week.
Carmelo Hayes b. Roderick Strong – Top rope Fameasser
Riddle/MSK b. Imperium – RKO to Barthel
Mandy Rose b. Cora Jade and Raquel Gonzales – Cradle to Jade
Bron Breakker b. Tommaso Ciampa – Steiner Recliner
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at: