On a special Christmas Day edition of NXT, what surprises would the black and gold brand have in store?
Well, not many.
North American Championship: Roderick Strong vs. Austin Theory
NXT kicked off backstage with Roderick Strong (we didn’t see any of the other Undisputed Era members this week) backstage. Strong explained that because of the holiday season, a deserving contender was getting a title shot to kick off the show. That deserving contender turned out to be none other than former Evolve Champion, Austin Theory!
These two had like a 25-minute barn burner. It was technical, but also extremely stiff with lots of back bumps. As much as I love the Undisputed Era, it is nice to see their members stand on their own every now and then. This was just a fantastic TV match for the North American Championship. I don’t think many people knew who Austin was because he got no pop at all, but they knew who he was after this performance.
Judging by the rest of the show, I’m surprised this opened the show. I think this should have main evented, but either way a fantastic match! Can’t wait to see more of Austin Theory.
Shotzi Blackheart vs. Bianca Belair
We also had a surprising debut this week as Shotzi Blackheart faced Bianca Belair. I wanted to highlight this, because I don’t think many people know about Shotzi. She is a wrestler that has been on the Indies for quite a while, and she is fantastic.
She’s wrestled for companies like Impact, Shimmer, GCW, Evolve, to name a few. I have been watching her for a couple years now and I am stoked she is finally in NXT. She has a different look, she’s solid in the ring, I think she could be big in NXT. As for the match, it was fine, Bianca is a solid wrestler. I just wanted to highlight the debut and if you have never heard of her, I urge you to track down some of her matches.
She is fairly new to wrestling, only debuting in 2014. In such a short time she has developed such a presence and an energy in her matches, she is going to be fun to watch in 2020.
This was a thrown together episode of NXT, and it showed. It wasn’t bad, it just lacked the usual story progression and relevance that NXT usually has. It was very much a throw away episode, there was no real story progression.
We had a couple good matches, including Dijakovic vs. Brunson Reed but in terms of substance. But it wasn’t enough for me. NXT is so consistent that they have set a high bar for themselves and this episode fell short.
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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_).