We're well on the way to NXT New Year's Evil, and tonight wegot several matches added to the card. We'd find out who would be challenging NXT Champion Finn Balor, as Pete Dunne and Kyle O'Reilly battled in a No.1 Contender's match.
Austin Theory, Johnny Gargano, and Indi Hartwell of The Way were all in competition tonight, Tommaso Ciampa got a chance to beat down a student of Timothy Thatcher's, and more. All of that plus a stellar main event in a reignited NXT UK Women's Title feud between Toni Storm and the Nightmare Rhea Ripley.
Last week, Karrion Kross brutalized Damian Priest to the point that he couldn't appear on tonight's show. The Archer of Infamy was supposed to team with Leon Ruff tonight to take on Austin Theory and the NXT NA Champion Johnny Gargano tonight. While Priest couldn't compete, Ruff quickly found a partner in one of NXT's top stars, Kushida.
Kushida and Leon Ruff vs The Way (Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory) on NXT
Austin Theory started things off with the Time Splitter, and Kushida easily outwrestled the man that quit NXT a few months ago. Theory simply couldn't keep up, as Kushida worked over the arm. However, the second Leon Ruff tagged in, Mr. All Day quickly turned things around. A kick to the gut and a suplex was enough to get the former NXT North American Champion fighting from below.
Ruff avoided a splash in the corner and used his incredible evasiveness to slide in and out of the ropes, disorienting Theory. A distraction from Johnny Gargano put a stop to it momentarily, allowing Theory to bowl him over with a clothesline. Gargano then tagged in to further try and humiliate Ruff.
Staring at Kushida, Gargano had his eyes off the ball, allowing Ruff to get a few near falls in on him along with some nice strong kicks. As Gargano was backed into his opponents' corner, he responded with a gourdbuster, dropping Ruff from on high.
Kushida interrupted a double suplex spot, allowing he and Ruff to build some steam sending Gargano and Theory to the floor. Ruff attempted some high-risk offense, but lost his footing on the top ropes. Luckily Ruff was okay.
Prior to the break, Gargano hit the slingshot spear on Ruff. When we returned, Ruff managed to hit a rebound clothesline on Theory, and Kushida and Gargano tagged in. The NXT Triple Crown couldn't keep up with Kushida's speed. As Gargano was set up for the double-arm trapped stomps, Theory broke it up. Theory paid for it, though, with the running arm breaker.
Kushida's Hoverboard Lock was blocked, and a leaping enziguri dazed Kushida. Ruff tagged in for a sky-high missile dropkick. A double-kick in the corner dropped Gargano for a two-count.
Theory tagged back in and dropped Ruff with a spin-out powerbomb out of the torture rack position. Somehow, Ruff kicked out. Gargano tagged back in, but as Kushida and Theory fell to the floor, Ruff rocked him with a superkick. Theory snuck a tag in just as Ruff hit the springboard corkscrew cutter.
Theory rocked him with a kick, and bounced him off the mat with Ataxia, getting the win.
Results: Austin Theory defeated Leon Ruff via pinfall on NXT.
Toni Storm said that it's Toni Time, and she'll finally end her rivalry with Rhea Ripley tonight. They've fought many times before, and this time, Storm will end things on her terms.