The 12/16 edition of WWE NXT gave us a clear picture of what to expect for New Years Evil coming on January 6th, 2021. With NXT moving toward not having a Takeover every time the main roster has a big four ppv, with Wrestlemania being the likely exception, we will start to see more of these “specials” that will have a Takeover feel on the card. And New Years Evil will have its main event.
Finn Balor vs Kyle O’Reilly for the NXT Championship.
After defeating Pete Dunne in a fantastic match worth going out of your way to watch, the stage was set for the rematch of one of 2020’s most physical matches. Just a short time ago KOR stepped up to the main event scene for the first time as a singles star and let everyone know he belonged while breaking the champions jaw in the process. Balor has yet to return to in ring action since that match even though he has declared himself cleared.
Io Shirai vs Toni Storm for the NXT Womens Championship.
With a little outside interference in the main event, Toni Time walked away victorious over Rhea Rhipley taking the series lead 3-2. This is set to lead to another rematch for NXT New Years Evil, though this one dating back a little longer. Storm last met Shirai one on one at WWE: Evolution in what was a fantastic finale of that years Mae Young Classic. Shirai has been a great champion and Storm looks to be her best challenger yet. Expect this one to tear the house down.
Karion Kross vs Damien Priest.
After making his official in ring return successfully it was announced that Kross will indeed get a matchup with Priest. These two big men are very athletic and very explosive. Priest has to be considered for most improved wresters in 2020 and if you have not watched him live im not sure you can truly appreciate how crisp his kicks are. This could be Kross getting a big win before going to Raw or Smackdown where he is much better suited or lead right back to the title he never lost. Either way we are all just happy to have Scarlett back on our tv.
Also Teased Matches Include:
Johnny Gargano vs Kushida for the NXT North American Title. Kushida has been on a win streak of late and it appears that NXT is priming him for a push. If you wanna talk about show stealers, im sorry for whoever will have to follow this matchup. Kushida teamed with Leonn Ruff to take on Gargano and his new lacky Austin Theory which resulted in Theory pinning Ruff. Kushida is primed for this long awaited push and this one will be worth the wait.
Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa look to be ready for round two in their anything you can do I can do better game. Tonight while facing a Thatcher student, Ciampa set up a chair with Thatchers shirt on it. Their first matchup was very physical and technical. Expect more of the same if the rivalry continues on 1/06/21.
Tonight making their return were Breezango in a brawl between the current tag champions Burch and Lorcan and Drake Maverick with his partner Killian Dane. This very well could be a setup for a multi-man tag team match for the titles giving a full takeover feel. Also waiting in the wings are the Grizzled Young Veterans.
Joe’s Take: Overall New Years Evil is shaping to be a great way for NXT to kickstart 2021. Kushida vs Gargano, if that is indeed the direction, is a personal dream match of mine. KOR vs Balor was one of my favorite matches of 2020 for its pure physicality and technical showcase. This card will be something Takeover worthy.