David E Houston II he’s attended small independent shows with…
Reviews by Dave
By David E Houston II
Show air date: January 4, 2022
NXT presented its “New Year’s Evil” show, and I was hoping it would be wrestling heavy to avoid the horrible backstage and promo segments that have derailed this show since its rebranding. That’s what I got.
Carmelo Hayes (c) defeated Roderick Strong (c)
Unifying the NXT North American Championship and NXT Cruiserweight Championship
North American champion Carmelo Hayes (with the eye-rolling Trick Williams) got a huge win, beating Cruiserweight champion Roderick Strong of the Diamond Mine (with the best manager in WWE, Malcolm Bivens), unifying the two championships and bringing an end to the Cruiserweight title (though commentary didn’t even pretend there was any chance it would be Strong winning and the NA title coming to an end). A heel vs heel set up with the live audience behind the veteran Strong at the start and evening out as the match went along.
The finish was just bizarre as Strong hit a top rope End of Heartache on Hayes but it’s Hayes with a near fall and Hayes getting to his feet first, climbing to the top again and hitting a Fameasser or axe kick or something for the win. Good match overall. I hope this kickstarts Hayes back into defending the title and giving his reign some credibility. No more haunted houses.
Dusty Cup Tournaments
A new set of Dusty Cup tournaments. Are they about to hire some people or something or are we about to get a ton of rematches?
AJ Styles is there. Okay. Face off and scuffle with Grayson Waller. I’m good.
So Bad, It Woke Up Wendy Choo
There was a backstage segment with Kacy Catanzaro, Kayden Carter, Amari Miller, Indi Hartwell, Persia Pirotta, and Tiffany so bad, it woke up Wendy Choo (who introduced herself).
MSK and Riddle defeated Imperium
The good wrestling came back with Matt Riddle teaming with MSK–Wes Lee and Nash Carter–to upset NXT tag champions Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel and “The Ring General” WALTER (who looks like he’s slimmed down a bit), Imperium. I would love to see one tag match that doesn’t have the spot where the face is about to tag when someone pulls his partner off the ring apron. That’s been done to death by everyone. Stop.
Another good match. Funny how when they want to put on a good show, they go hard on showcasing their veterans, even bringing in some. Seeing how the feud going forward is MSK chasing the titles, Riddle getting the pin didn’t really help in that. WWE stays allergic to details. Carter’s hair tells me Lee plays too much.
Mandy Rose (c) defeated Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade
For the NXT Women’s Championship
I guess someone was watching The Great American Bash from 86 and had Mandy Rose arrive for her Women’s title match against Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade in a helicopter. They tried. All three women put up as strong an effort as they could but Rose and Jade are still very limited and it got dumb with Rose trying to run away and Gonzalez chasing her. Hey chiquita (her favorite word now), you can just pick Jade’s butt up and pin her but go off, sis. Rose won. She pinned Jade. Fine.
Did anyone tune in for an Andre Chase-Von Wagner face-off? Didn’t think so.
Crowbar on a Pole match? FIRE RUSSO!!!
Main Event: Bron Breakker defeated Tommasso Ciampa (c)
For the NXT Championship
In the best match of the new NXT era (which I don’t think will be challenged any time soon), Bron Breakker defeated Tomasso Ciampa for the NXT Championship in a great match. Not only was the work good, they told a good story with a callback to Breakker’s faceplant in their previous match. When you’re a big hoss like Breakker and they put you with a vet like Ciampa, just do as you’re told and you’ll look great (right Lex and Sting and Nikita and Billy Jack and so many others) and he stayed in his lane and rarely did too much.
Both guys looked great in their roles and gave WWE their first legit “classic” in 2022. Breakker won with the Steiner Recliner, considering Ciampa’s history of neck injuries, was the perfect move. WWE’s still acting weird by having him use all his dad and uncle’s moves without ever acknowledging him as a second-generation star (which is lame AF).
Best NXT show in months and months as they threw the last handful of dirt on the grave of the former NXT.
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Reviews by Dave is the best wrestling review on the internet! It’s written by David Houston II, who writes about WWE NXT 2.0, AEW Dynamite, and IMPACT Wrestling.
David E Houston II he’s attended small independent shows with less than 100 people and large stadium shows with over 20,000 fans and live worldwide pay-per-views.