The December 18th edition of NXT was almost a mini-TakeOver, featuring not one, but two Championship matches.
NXT handily beat AEW in the ratings this week, let’s find out why!
NXT Championship: Adam Cole vs. Finn Balor
The show kicked off with Adam Cole defending his NXT Championship against the longest reigning champion in NXT history, Finn Balor. This match was everything you would expect, when you get two of the best wrestlers in the world facing off. From start-to-finish this was a fast paced, high energy, back and forth match.
I do think they held back a little, because I think we will get this match again at a proper TakeOver. If you have not seen this week’s episode yet, there are two matches I urge you to check out, this is one of them. Near the end of the match, Balor got the upper hand and it looked like he was on his way to victory. Until he was distracted by a returning Johnny Gargano. This led to Adam Cole getting the win, and keeping his title. I have a funny feeling these three aren’t done with each other.
NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler vs. Rhea Ripley
I mentioned earlier that there was two matches from this week’s NXT that you need to watch, this is the other match. This was absolutely amazing. I would argue that this is Rhea’s best match in her short NXT career. They set this match up perfectly.
There were a couple times in the match where Shayna actually looked scared of Ripley. After the Horsewomen came out for the distraction, Shayna got the choke on Rhea. Rhea lasted a long time, almost fading a couple times, but breaking out. After Rhea broke out she would hit her finisher and get the win, to a huge pop from the NXT faithful.
Rhea ended Shayna’s monster reign of 416 days. WWE has made a star out of Rhea in such a short amount of time. I think she was absolutely the best option to beat Shayna. This also makes Rhea the first woman to hold the NXT UK and NXT Women’s Championships in the same year. After the match, the NXT locker room came down to celebrate.
Between those two matches and other good stuff on the show like Cameron Grimes beating KUSHIDA, this was an amazing episode. Cole vs. Balor lived up to the hype, and it isn’t very often we get a title change on TV.
No surprise that NXT beat AEW this week. They also did a great job setting up stuff and keeping feuds going, especially the Dakota Kai situation. There is nothing about this episode of NXT that I did not like. NXT is firing on all cylinders, the war is heating up!
Grade: This was an A+ show, period.
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The Scrap’s Austin Luff is broadcasting student with a passion for watching and writing about mixed martial arts and professional wrestling. Make sure to follow Austin on Twitter (@AJMMA_).