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NXT results, live blog (Dec. 25, 2019): Roderick Strong open challenge

Here's a place to check results and comment along with the latest airing of WWE NXT in its regular Wednesday night at 8PM Eastern time slot on USA.

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Enjoy the show!

Feliz Navidad, everyone! We’re going a little more spare with the live blog tonight, as yours truly is also on recap & reactions duty. On to the Cathy Kelley, Sam Roberts & Pat McAffee-hosted pre-taped action!

- We start with some Mauro Ranallo intro-ed, Slipknot-accompanied highlights of last week’s loaded show.

- Our hosts are in red (and Pat’s not wearing shorts or jorts!), and they kick to it to Mauro & Nigel McGuinness at Full Sail. Roderick Strong is promo-ing on his way to the ring, and heads through the curtain to give someone a season’s beating. Former Evolve champ answers the challenge!

- Roderick Strong def. Austin Theory by submission with Stronghold, retaining the North American title

Roddy shows off his technical skill in the early going. Theory talks some trash anyway, so the champ stomps and chops him. Theory doesn’t fold and leaps over a charging Strong to hit a drop kick that only gets him a one count, but puts him in the driver’s seat. That lasts until the head to the floor, where Roddy is able to shove Theory into the barricade than Olympic Slamming him back first into the ring post.

Theory barely beats a ten count, and heads into more season’s beatings from Strong. A drop kick gets the champ a nearfall. Roddy stretches him, but when Theory starts to power out, he fishhooks the mouth until the referee forces the break. They trade strikes and Roddy tries to throw the challenger to the floor. Theory catches himself and tries to launch an offensive maneuver, but gets caught for a backbreaker. Austin answers with a snap suplex and another dropkick. Striking exchange, then a somersault blockbuster gets two for Theory. A buckle bomb and a brain buster variant almost spells the end for the champ.

Big shots from each man. Superplex from Roddy. Sitout powerbomb from Theory. They battle on the ropes, and Roddy drops him on the top turnbuckle with a backbreaker! That gets one, two, no! Theory kicks out! He goes for something on the apron, but Austin reverses and drops the champ with an Attitude Adjustment on the hardest part of the ring. A pair of superkicks seem to seal the deal, but Roddy answers back with a high knee. End of Heartache into Stronghold, and Theory has to tap.

- They continue to jaw a little bit more after the bell, then we get Pat & Sam breaking it down and bickering.

Then it’s off to Brooklyn, where Tom Phillips & Beth Phoenix will call the action.

- Isaiah “Swerve” Scott def. Jack Gallagher via pinfall

Counter for counter as this is mostly grappling in the early going, with a few flashes of speed from Swerve and strength from Gallagher. Scott bookends a kick from the apron with submission attempts. We go PiP when Jack whips Swerve shoulder first into the ring post. Gallagher stays in charge on the small screen, but they’re quickly exchanging blows when we return. Chops and a clothesline get Scott back in control, and he lays in the kicks while selling his left shoulder. Flatliner gets two.

Another exchange, then Jack hits the rebound headbutt for two. The Brit looks for an armbar on Swerve’s damaged wing, but it’s reversed, then reversed again. Scott snaps off Jack’s arm, then connects with the House Call head kick to pick up the win.

- Gallagher glowers at Swerve from the floor, and we head to the studio where Cathy, Pat & Sam talk about the history of NXT in Brooklyn. We also get a reminder that next week’s the Year-End Awards, and these three will host again.

We’re back to Full Sail for...

- Candice LeRae def. Taynara via pinfall

The judoka tries for a kick at the bell, but Candice is ready. She catches it, fires back with a forearm, and continues she levels Conti with a baseball slide and springboard crossbody to the floor. That gets a cover, which LeRae transitions into a neck crank. Taynara sends Candice’s head into the turnbuckle and follows with a back elbow to take control as we go split screen.

That continues through the break, but Conti can’t put LeRae away. Candice is fighting back when we return and goes for an octopus hold, but that’s transitioned into a swinging slam that gets two. Taynara can’t believe and shoves Candice, which pisses LeRae off. She puts her hair up and fires away with strikes. Conti doesn’t give up, but a pump kick is caught and sets Candice up for a step-up senton. Springboard quebrada follows and that’s it.

- Cathy, Sam & Pat break it down for us. Then kick it to a video for Arturo Ruas, who puts over his upbringing from Lebanon and his black belts in every martial art on the planet. More commercials and then it’s back to Brooklyn for...

- Dominik Dijakovic def. Bronson Reed via pinfall

The big bois circle, then lock-up. Dijakovic gets and keeps a side headlock. Reed eventually reverses, which doesn’t last long before we’re having a chop fest from both me. Bronson brings his weight down on DD’s lower back as we go PiP. The big Aussie isn’t able to maintain control throughout the commercial, however. Dijakovic gets in the driver’s seat on the small screen, and they’re trading big shots when we return from the break.

Reed gets an advantage from that, following it up with a splash and a suplex that gets two. Dom evades another splash, then tries for a suplex but can’t get Reed up on three tries. More strikes, and the fourth time is the charm for the suplex. It only gets two, however. Dijakovic is selling his neck, which may be why he can’t pull off Feast Your Eyes. Bronson fights back, but eats a boot that gets two. A frustrated Dominik climbs for a moonsault off the top, and really can’t believe that doesn’t end it. The ensuing flurry sees the Aussie head butting Dijakovic’s hand, and ends with a Thesz Press off the ropes from Reed that gets a nearfall, but when he climbs for a follow-up, he gets caught. DD hits the choke bomb and gets three.

- Phillips kicks it to hype for Worlds Collide. Then we’re back to the studio, where we learn the main event on Jan. 25 will be Undisputed ERA vs. Imperium! That takes us to a video for Bianca Belair, intro-ed by Sam admitting she had an alright year. After a commercial, back to Full Sail for...

- Bianca Belair def. Shotzi Blackheart via pinfall

Blackheart powers Belair into the corner, then howls and offers her hand. The EST slaps that away and shoves her down to do some taunting of her own. Bianca uses her power advantage to stay in control, but after staving off a sunset flip she showboats too much. Shotzi pops her bubble literally, and goes on the offensive. A back senton in the ropes seems to have Belair in trouble, but she catches a follow-up and drops Blackheart on the apron as we go PiP.

The EST continues to inflict damage during the break, but goes for a flash pin just after we go full screen again. Another sunset flip is thwarted though, which sets up a cravate from Belair. Shotzi pushes her way free and follows with a splash and a sling blade. Forearms, kicks and a face buster gets a nearfall for Blackheart. Bianca is dazed, but manages to power Shotzi into the corner with her shoulder. She lifts her up but takes too long and lets Blackheart slip free. She tries to whip Belair to the floor, but The EST hangs on. Blackheart tries for a DDT (I think) on the apron and manages to put Bianca’s face into the hardest part of the ring. But a follow-up move from the top misses, and it’s only a moment later the K.O.D. ends it.

- More verbal barbs from Pat & Sam, before Cathy plugs the Year-End Awards voting. Then it’s the main event from Brooklyn...

- Keith Lee & Lio Rush def. Tony Nese & Damian Priest via pinfall

Lio’s out with an elf jacket, and Keith has a Santa hat under his hoodie and a plate of cookies he hands to his tag partner (they both enjoy some Xmas treats). The cruiserweights look like they’re gonna start, but Nese tags out immediately. Lio steps to Priest, gets grabbed, and slaps the bigger man. He avoids a grab and uses his speed to launch some kicks, then tags in his partner. Keith tries to start with his hat on, but Damian grabs it and throws it away. He’s put down in pretty quick fashion, and Nese tries to slide in and get some offense in while Lee poses, but Rush throws cookies at him. That leads to Tony chasing him around the ring, and sets Nese up to run right into Lee so they can do the POUNCE spot. The Premiere Athlete flies over the announce desk as we go to commercial.

Lee and Rush are doing battle with Priest when we get back, but Lio doesn’t fare too well when he’s the legal man. Damian throws him around until Nese recovers and is tagged in. He survives a few kicks from Rush to land a big drop kick of his own and slap on a leg scissor around Lio’s mid-section. That’s where Tony targets his offense while working the heat. A couple fun sequences as Rush tries to get to his corner. He’s cut off, but eventually hits the Come Up. Both men make tags.

The Limitless One runs over Priest repeatedly, splashes him with some back elbows in the corner, then gets a cover. He tries for a Spirit Bomb, but Damian slips out the back and makes a tag Keith doesn’t see. Nese with an enziguri for two, but before Lee carries him to the corner for a tag. The cruisers show off some Matrix-like action, but when Rush gets a tag, Priest takes out Lee in the corner. He throws Lio around a bit, but when he does some pantomime archery, Keith rises behind him - wearing the Santa hat! He blasts him, catches a dive from Priest, powerbombs him into the spron, then swings him into Nese on the floor. Back in, Tony takes a Jackhammer. Lio reappears on the apron with a mouth full of cookies. Lee smiles, tags him in, helps him with a Final Hour, and the good guys save Christmas.

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