Tonight’s NXT takes place right before the holidays, so perhaps it makes sense that we were treated to two stellar title defenses on tonight’s episode. We’ve all seen the incredible match at the UK Championship Tournament which saw Tyler Bate defeat Pete Dunne to become the inaugural champion. The spectacular rematch at NXT Takeover: Chicago featured “The Bruiserweight” capturing the title. At last, the rubber match between the two has arrived. Before we get to that, there is a whole other title match on this show to discuss:
Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Eric Young & Killian Dain for the NXT Tag Team Championships –
One of the first orders of business from Fish and O’Reilly after they joined was to attack SAnitY right after the won the tag team titles. Several matches and backstage attacks later, Fish and O’Reilly finally got their shot at the championships here.
Young and Dain began the match by teaming up against Kyle O’Reilly. O’Reilly eventually had to go outside of the ring in order to take a breather. Young then began fighting both men on his own as he decked Fish and O’Reilly. Bobby Fish swept Young’s feet off of the ring apron, sending him crashing to the floor. This was only the beginning of the bad luck for Eric Young.
Both men began to assault Young repeatedly with several strikes and kicks. Fish nailed a senton to get a two count on the SAnitY leader. For the next little while, the story of the match was that Young desperately tried to tag in Killian Dain but could never reach him in time. It certainly didn’t help that both Undisputed Era members worked over Young’s knee for several minutes. Kyle then locked Young in the hammerlock position before sweeping his feet out from underneath him.
Young did managed to fight back occasionally during their assault, at one point hitting a knee strike and swining neckbreaker, but the odds were mostly against poor Eric. Fish tagged in and charged after Dain on the ring apron for a change. Dain was upset by this and tried to enter the ring. As the referee tried to prevent him from doing so, O’Reilly and Fish began to assault Young together at the same time.
He was eventually able to overpower them and send them both to the outside. Next, Young tried his hardest to make the tag to Dain. He tried and tried before Kyle stopped him when he was just inches away from reaching Dain’s grasp. After some rigmarole, Young was finally able to stop Kyle O’Reilly. He leapt into the air and finally slammed Dain’s enormous palm for the tag.
Dain came into the match and laid waste to everyone and everything in his path. He clotheslined both men and performed corner avalanches on them as well before hitting a senton dropkick on Kyle. After some more double team moves from the Undisputed Era, Young makes his way back into the ring and throws out Fish. Despite being hurt for most of the match, Young already made the tag to come back into the ring. He went for a top rope maneuver when Adam Cole suddenly arrived and prevented Young from executing the move while the referee was preoccupied.
O’Reilly naied an axe kick forearm for a very close near fall that almost netted himself and Fish the titles. From out of nowhere, Nikki Cross then emerged and leapt onto Adam Cole as she began raining blows upon him. Officials eventually were able to carry her away, but Cole stayed outside for the rest of the match.
Young forearmed them both for a two count and Killian Dain made sure that Adam Cole stayed out of the rest of the match. Eric Young then made a fatal mistake when he decided to go for a tope on Cole. As soon as Young got back in the ring, Fish and O’Reilly were able to hit Total Elimation and pin Young to win the NXT Tag Team Championships.
Winners: Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish
A video package showing highlights of Roderick Strong’s upbringing and desire to be a pro wrestler were re-aired prior to a match featuring himself and Lars Sullivan fighting to earn the last spot in the NXT Championship number one contender’s Fatal 4-Way match.
Once again, Shayna Baszler will be debuting on NXT soon.
Otis Dozovic and Tucker Knight of Heavy Machinery wander around the Full Sail premises until they spot a Maserati. Of course, this brings out Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss to claim ownership of the luxury vehicle. Moss says that Heavy Machinery could have a car like his one day (albeit not as nice). Moss reminds him of his “pork and weights” mantra, quickly prompting Otis to inform him that it’s actually “STEAKS AND WEIGHTS!!!” Wanting no part of these unhinged big fellas, Tino and Riddick get in their car and leave.
After showing Sonya Deville making Ruby Riott pass out on NXT last week, Deville is interviewed at the Performance Center. She reminds everybody that Ember Moon pinned Ruby Riott and not her in their triple threat match not too long ago. As a result, Deville will face Ember Moon for the NXT Women’s Championship next week. Isn’t she supposed to be on Raw now?
Lars Sullivan vs. Roderick Strong –
Anyway, enough about that. We’ve got another match to get to. The story that the company has told with Roderick Strong feels very genuine and sympathetic. Could Strong become a viable world title contender and earn another shot at the title that has eluded him for so long by defeating the unstoppable monster? Actually, no.
Lars Sullivan’s path of destruction is set to continue for now, because his great power was on full display in this match. To be fair, Strong did put up a decent fight as he immediately lit the monster up with some kicks and strikes once the bell rung. Lars began to stop him and slam him around the ring for a bit before locking him in a loooooong bearhug.
Roddy eventually fought out of the maneuver and chopped him down like a large tree. He kicked and punched him again, as Roderick so often does to his opponents. Lars was even sent outside of the ring before Strong charged after him. Sullivan eventually got the upper hand once again.
Lars went to the corner post for some sort of maneuver, but Strong blocked him from executing the move and actually managed to hit a massive superplex on Lars! This was only enough to get Strong a two count though. Strong kicked him again and even gave him the Olympic Slam (which may be even more impressive than the superplex).
However, the outcome was the same as it always has been for Lars Sullivan matches. The giant was able to stop Strong’s offense with a popup powerslam before hitting the Freak Accident for the win and to get the last spot in the Fatal 4-Way match next week.
Winner: Lars Sullivan
The Street Profits were shown goofing around and hanging out with some fans outside of Full Sail University last week.
Before the UK Championship match began, Tyler Bate was interviewed and he promised that he would win the title back from Pete Dunne.
Tyler Bate vs. “The Bruiserweight” Pete Dunne for the United Kingdom Championship –
It all comes down to this! Was this match as epic as the other two previous encounters between these two British grapplers. Well, it certainly was if you enjoy the art and glorious in-ring psychology of finger bending.
I swear I’ll never watch the exclusive UK show if I ever have to hear those two words again. Nevertheless, this was still quite an excellent match from these two as usual.
Dunne worked over Bate’s fingers, arms, and legs for several minutes in the early stages of this match. Momentum began to change when Bate was finally able to get in a good stiff strike acoss Dunne’s face. Outside of the ring, Dunne tried to step on Bate’s fingers as they were laid out across the steel ring steps. Instead, Bate was able to fight out of it just in time and step on Dunne’s fingers instead. Dunne almost instantly got his revenge when he performed a suplex on Bate from the steps.
Bate’s fingers were seemingly dislocated in this match. The camera even stopped to show Bate popping his fingers back into place so that he could continue on with the match. It’s probably just part of the match, but still, eewwww. Anyway, Bate continued to fight and gave Dunne two running European uppercuts in the corner. He landed a standing shooting star press before deadlifting Dunne into the air and slamming him down to the canvas. Bate got a very close near fall as a result.
Pete Dunne retaliated by popping Bate with a forearm, sending Bate down, but he reversed and rebounded from the move and kicked “The Bruiserweight” in the skull. After going for the Tyler Driver ’97, Dunne reversed the move into the triangle. He had Bate’s damaged arm locked in there for a bit before Bate tried to fight out of it by deadlifting Dunne and slamming him down. No luck, Dunne wouldn’t let go. With his last ounce of strength, Bate lifted Dunne up again and slammed his neck onto the top rope. Dunne clutched his throat in agony as Bate had a chance to recover.
Of course, Bate got Dunne up for the airplane spin, and he spun his foe around in both directions. He seemed to get tired and nearly put down Dunne, however, Bate powered back up and spun Dunne several times more at lightning fast speed before finally dropping him down! Bate also hit a suplex on Dunne from the second ring rope.
As Dunne began to recover, he just started angrily stomping on his head with great force, but Bate eventually reversed the momentum back in his direction and got in some hard kicks of his own. Dunne hit the Bitter End at last…
…BUT NO! That was still not enough to stop this match! After a step up enzuigiri from Dunne, Bate clotheslined him and sent him doing a full 360 degree spin in midair.
They both fell to the floor and began to rest. Finally, they met each other again and began to punch each other as if they were Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. A big strike caused Dunne to go down, but the injured hand and fingers were in so much pain that Bate could not make the cover so fast. Bate went up to the top of one of the ring posts, but Dunne caught him for a sitout powerbomb for a two count.
Dunne rolled outside and nearly lost the match by countout, but with Bate not willing to take a countout win, he dove outside of the ring and promptly tossed Pete back into the ring. Finally, Bate hits the Tyler Driver ’97 to get the win, right?
…BUT NO! The match still goes on as Bate hit a corkscrew from the top rope. At this point, he was desperate just to try anything that would finally put Dunne away. Unfortunately, the risk did not pay off since Bate clearly didn’t hit all of the corkscrew. He chose to make up for this by going for a suplex off the top rope. Dunne was able to land on his feet and catch a stunned Tyler Bate for the Bitter End to get the win and retain the title.
Winner: “The Bruiserweight” Pete Dunne
Aaaaahhhhh! Probably should’ve known that there wouldn’t be two title changes on one show. Regardless, Pete Dunne is still in charge of carrying the UK division into 2018, and The Undisputed Era now has the gold to prove that they are the top team in NXT.
Next week, we’ll see the Fatal 4-Way match with the winner getting a shot at Andrade “Cien” Almas’ NXT Championship at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia in January. Will it be Lars Sullivan, or Aleister Black, or Johnny Gargano, or Killian Dain? Come on back next week to find out. ‘Til then, I’ll see you NXT time!
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