WWE NXT New Year’s Evil Results: Finn Balor Beats Kyle O'Reilly to Retain Title
Finn Balor and Kyle O'Reilly (Photo Credit: WWE)
WWE NXT was not scared to kick off the New Year with a bang. The maiden NXT show of the year – NXT New Year’s Evil had all the signs of an NXT TakeOver. The show featured multiple grudge matches and several important title matches.
Host Dexter Lumis opened the show in what seemed to be a dark and empty Capitol Wrestling Center (CWC) at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Top talent stepped in to spar indicating that the new year is bound for some possible match of the year contenders early on.
Here’s a look at some of the big winners and highlights:
Damian Priest vs. Karrion Kross at NXT New Year's Evil
After an elaborate intro by Kross and Scarlett, Damien Priest instantly started off with some big moves before he was cornered post a series of clothesline. Priest was sent crashing out before the steel steps were brought in to play before Kross threw him back in the ring. After the two traded a series of kicks and moves, Kross slammed Priest’s ribs onto the steel steps and followed it with a saito suplex and a running forearm to pick a win.
Winner: Karrion Kross
Santos Escobar vs. Gran Metalik - NXT Cruiserweight Championship match
The bout started off with Metalik taking control early on and hit a huge moonsault before getting a near fall. The reigning cruiserweight champion Escobar blocked a Hurricana and caught Metalik on a headscissors takedown, before sending him into the barricades. Right after a brief back, Escobar took control and the two went to the rope before he hit Metalik again. Metalik tried his best to come up with distractions at New Year’s Evil but the champion caught him with a Phantom Driver for a three count win.
Winner: Santos Escobar retains the Cruiserweight title
Xia Li vs. Katalina Cortez
Xia Li dominated Katrina Cortez as the latter was trying to evade a slew of strikes unleashed by the former. In between the bout,Li even paused to bow to her trainer before employing more kicks on Cortez, whobriefly managed to fight back for a while.However, Li hit a few more kicks before she quickly ended the clash with a spinning back kick to secure a win at New Year’s Evil.
Winner: Xia Li
Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez - Last Woman standing match
In what can only be described as a brutal match, Gonzalez took it to Ripley and defeated her in their Last Woman Standing match at New Year's Evil. Weapons came out right away and Raquel was handcuffed to the chain-link fence, but she managed to break it off. Gonzalez then smashed Ripley with the ring bell and attempted attack with the twisted metal. However, in the end, both superstars went crashing through the stage and Gonzalez was the first one to climb out before the count of ten and claim the victory at New Year's Evil.
Winner: Raquel Gonzalez
Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae vs. Kushida and Shotzi Blackheart
Candice LaRae and Shotzi Blackheart kicked off the match and LaRae had to leave the ring to dodge a few hits before the clash headed for a break. Gargano and Kushida resumed and got the tags as the duo were immediately locked in an armbar. They both were in the ring when Kushida and Blackheart came up with huge double team moves before throwing them out at ringside. Austin Theory and Indi’s intervention too didn’t help as they met with the same fate, before Kushida rolled Johnny up for a win.
Winner: Shotzi Blackheart & Kushida
Finn Balor vs. Kyle O'Reilly
Balor got his jaw hammered as O’Reilly went for it early on, but Balor retaliated with a headlock of his own. The duo traded kicks and holds before O’Reilly managed to break it up using his teeth to grab the ropes. After a long to and fro between the two, Balor had the abdominal stretch in and took O'Reilly down before he made him tapping out to retain his title.
Winner: Finn Balor