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The Main Event Podcast #85 – NXT New Year’s Evil

New year, new NXT? Will any torches be passed? Will a favourable review be passed? Join Jez and Dan for The Main Event Podcast as we deep dive into NXT New Year’s Evil 2022.

Championship Unification Match – NXT North American Champion Carmello Hayes (c) vs. NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong (c)

We kicked off the show with the big unification match with NXT North American Champion Carmello Hayes facing off against NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong – Winner take all. The match began as a slow, technical affair but the pace soon quickened and even spilled outside of the ring with Strong chasing Hayes, delivering a stiff chop every time he caught him. Back in the ring, and through a commercial break, the match morphed back into a textbook wrestling match that Strong took the momentum of. Strong achieved several nearfalls but never got more than a 2-count, which raised the ire of Malcolm Bivens at ringside. Hayes fought back in bursts and almost took it all after a huge X-Plex from the top rope. Not put off, Carmelo Hayes went back to the top rope and dropped Strong again with a scissors kick. Hayes pinned the Cruiserweight Champion to take all the gold and continue his dominant run in NXT 2.0.

Jez’s Pick: Carmelo Hayes
Dan’s Pick: Carmelo Hayes
Winner: Carmelo Hayes
Jez 1 – Dan 1

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Announced 

After the opening contest at New Year’s Evil, it was announced that the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic would return for 2022. The Women’s competition will begin in February and the men’s will kick off before the end of January. Are we excited for the return of the tournament?

AJ Styles Returns to NXT to Confront Grayson Waller

After losing to Omos on Monday Night RAW the evening previous, The Phenomenal AJ Styles made his way back to NXT to once again confront young upstart, Grayson Waller. Styles began alone in the ring on the mic and expressed his regret that he didn’t start his WWE career in NXT. He said that he loved the passion of the NXT crowd and that he would be damned if he let Grayson Waller take away that passion from them. This brought Waller out to the ramp who immediately mocked the veteran for his loss to Omos and said that Styles lost the match because Waller was in his head and he was thinking about him. Styles tried to take control of the confrontation and engage Waller in a match but Grayson said that the money fight needed the spotlight and the match would take place in the main event of next week’s NXT. Waller went for the cheapshot on Styles but AJ was ready. Styles readied for the Phenomenal Forearm but Waller escaped the ring and scurried away, living to fight another day.

Jez’s Pick: AJ Styles
Dan’s Pick: Grayson Waller
Winner: No Winner*
Jez 1 – Dan 1

Six Man Tag Team Match – Imperium vs. MSK and Riddle

WALTER returned to NXT next as he teamed with his Imperium comrades, the NXT Tag Team Champions Marcel Barthel and Fabien Aichner to face off in a six man tag team match against MSK and their Shaman, Riddle. The match got underway with Nash Carter and Marcel Barthel squaring off, staying close to the mat with hold and counter-hold. Barthel tagged out to Aichner and Carter tagged out to Wes Lee but business really picked up when Riddle and WALTER tagged in and went at it. The pair exchanged chops and kicks for a while before all hell broke loose in the match leading into a commercial. On the other side, Riddle and WALTER came together again and the Original Bro took firm control. Distracted by the brawl between MSK and Aichner/Barthel outside the ring, Riddle was isolated for a short time but as things became more chaotic, Riddle struck with an RKO to Marcel Barthel and picked up the 1-2-3 for his team.

Jez’s Pick: Imperium
Dan’s Pick: MSK and Riddle
Winner: MSK and Riddle
Jez 1 – Dan 2

NXT Women’s Championship – Mandy Rose (c) vs. Cora Jade vs. Raquel González

Ahead of the triple threat match for the NXT Women’s Championship, the champion Mandy Rose arrived by helicopter to defend against Cora Jade and Raquel González. Not to be outdone, González arrived on a motorcycle and Jade on… her skateboard? There’s a clear winner here. The match started fast with the three women exchanged one on one battles in true triple threat turntaking style. During commercial, Mandy Rose took advantage of the no-DQ aspect of the triple threat rules and introduced a kendo stick but the plan backfired when González got a hold of it. With the distraction of Cora Jade, the pair were able to send González out of the ring but Jade paid for her intervention when Rose slammed the point of the kendo stick into her throat. Now taken out, the fight was firmly on between Rose and González. The champ received a couple of nearfalls and started to get annoyed that she couldn’t put González away. Raquel used this to her advantage and hit her Chingona Bomb on Rose. She made the pin and was about to win when Cora Jade came flying in from the top turnbuckle and breaking up the pin but as Jade tried to get a sneak rollup on Rose, Mandy turned it around and locked in a pin of her own, getting a 3-count on the young skater girl and retaining her NXT Women’s Championship.

Jez’s Pick: Mandy Rose
Dan’s Pick: Mandy Rose
Winner: Mandy Rose
Jez 2 – Dan 3

Andre Chase Does a Thing

Next at New Year’s Evil, we were paid a visit by Andre Chase… for some reason. He spoke about being saved from Harland by one of his students last week. He wanted to take the time to recognise his student and give him a full scholarship to Andre Chase University. This was not to be, though, as the moment was interrupted by Von Wagner. Wagner prattled some nonsense before attacking Andre Chase and leaving him laying before turning his attention to Chase’s star student and random members of the NXT crowd. Security then dragged Wagner out of the arena, mercifully putting an end to the segment.

Winner: Not the viewing audience, that’s for sure

NXT Championship – Tomasso Ciampa (c) vs. Bron Breakker

The main event of NXT New Year’s Evil was the highly anticipated rematch between the champion Tommaso Ciampa and Bron “Don’t Call Me Steiner” Breakker. As Breakker made his way to the ring, he was true to his name, first yanking the old NXT black and gold logo from the big screen with chains and then kicking through the foam X that sat in the arena under the old setup. This would be a less than subtle foreshadowing to the era changing moment we were about to witness. Breakker started the match strong, displaying the lessons learned from their first meeting at Halloween Havoc with calm physicality. Ciampa got some physical offense of his own in at several points of the match but this contest was an exhibition for Breakker, for the most part. Ciampa lived up to his promise of dragging the challenger into deep, deep water but neither the Willow’s Bell or the Fairytale Ending were enough to put him away. The end of the match came when Bron Breakker locked Ciampa in the Camel Clutch, forcing the last bastion of the black and gold brand to submit. 

Jez’s Pick: Bron Breakker
Dan’s Pick: Tommaso Ciampa
Winner: Bron Breakker
Jez 3 – Dan 3

*The following week on NXT, the match between AJ Styles and Grayson Waller took place. Jez and Dan agreed to carry their predictions through and therefore Jez picked up a point when AJ Styles defeated Grayson Waller

Final Rating

Dan awards 2.5 broken NXT Xs Out of 5
Jez also awards 2.5 broken NXT Xs Out of 5

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