By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE Performance Center)
Aired December 9, 2020 on USA Network
Highlights from NXT Takeover WarGames 2020 aired to start out the show. The package ended with the imagery of a vulture with Karrion Kross saying the words “Tick Tock” in the background…
Finn Balor was already in the ring to start of the show. Balor reiterated the promo he did on Sunday where he talked about team sports being over and how the champion is back. Balor said he knows people in the back like him and hate him. Balor challenged anyone in the back to come out and challenge him, but before he could even complete a sentence Pete Dunne made his entrance. Dunne had a mic and talked about having a similar career path to Finn Balor in terms of being from the UK and making a name for himself in the US.
Dunne said it’s a matter of time before Balor and Dunne will face each other and the NXT Title will be Dunne’s. Kyle O’Reilly made his entrance to confront Dunne and Balor. O’Reilly talked about how UE won war games. O’Reilly then talked about how Balor technically won the match, yet O’Reilly forced Balor to eat his meals through a straw over the past few months. Damian Priest then interjected himself into the opening segment. Yo! Where’s Teddy Long At!?! Priest said that Balor vs. Priest for the title will be a marquee match. Dunne got in Priest’s face pointing out how Priest lost to lost to Leon Ruff recently.
Finn Balor quietly walked up the ramp while O’Reilly, Dunne, and Priest were trading childish jabs at each other. Priest then called out Balor for walking away. Balor noted that he will be defending the title at the New Years Evil show and it’s Regal’s job to pick the opponent. Karrion Kross’s entrance music then played. Scarlett [Bordeaux] then showed up to confront Balor. Balor said he guesses that Scarlett is here to say the words tick tock, but Balor is here to take on all comers. Balor made his way to the back. Priest then called out Scarlett. He addressed her by her old Impact nickname as “The Smokeshow”. Priest said it always seems that Scarlett sends the messages while Kross stays in the car. Priest then called out Karrion Kross for a fight. The show cut to commercial with the camera zooming into the Kross logo…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A WWE main roster-esque opening, notably Smackdown most of the 2000s sans Teddy Long. Kevin Owens made fun of this format a few weeks ago. That said, it was solid and I think the segment was carried by Priest and Balor looking like badasses that you can root for. O’Reilly and Dunne were solid playing their characters too, Dunne being the stoic badass while O’Reilly was the quirky goofball with an edge.
Pete Dunne was approached by the camera man backstage. Before Dunne can get out any words, he was attacked by Killian Dain was was trying to get revenge against Dunne for smashing his face with a car door…
1. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Jake Atlas. Vic Joseph noted that Curt Stallion is the number one contender to the Cruiserweight Title (and I’m guessing this guy won the title shot on 205 Live, which NXT doesn’t even bother to give highlight packages for). Scott dominated the match early on. Atlas got a huracanrana in, but Scott immediately ducked a crossbody to regain control. Scott hit Atlas with a Paydirt for a two count. Atlas caught Scott with a back kick and superkick. Atlas hit Scott with a modified Falcon Arrow for a two count.
Scott recovered, planted Atlas, and hit Atlas with a House Call kick. Atlas tried to get a victory roll on Scott, but Scott countered to an armbar. Atlas escaped by putting Scott’s shoulders on the mat. Scott tried to roll up Atlas via a La Magistral cradle, but Atlas adjusted his weight to get Scott’s shoulders on the mat for the surprise win.
Jake Atlas defeated Isaiah Scott via pinfall in 4:26.
Atlas tried to ask Scott for a handshake, but Scott stood up while seething. Scott walked away form the handshake looking salty…
Tommaso Ciampa cut a promo from his usual truck container spot. Ciampa talked about how no one is safe now. He then addressed his match later with Cameron Grimes. He said Grimes is the squeekiest tool in the shed. Ciampa said Grimes might be loud because he’s either confident or insecure. Ciampa said insecurity sometimes disguises itself as confidence and we’ll see which one applies to Grimes tonight…[c]
John’s Thoughts: An interesting twist in terms of a potential heel turn for Isaiah Scott. To be honest, I think this is the way to go because he’s a pretty decent heel promo from what I saw him do in Lucha Underground. They also seem to be building up Jake Atlas a bit after that random post-match interview with McKenzie Mitchell a few weeks ago. This can be a fun program and I hear that Scott and Atlas have great chemistry in longer matches (I heard that they had a really good encounter in the San Franscisco APW indie promotion back in 2019 which you can watch on Youtube).
2. “The Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake vs. “Imperium” Marcel Barthel and Fabien Aichner vs. “Ever Rise” Chase Parker and Matt Martel.
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