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NXT will kick off 2022 with New Year’s Evil

Things have changed a lot in NXT over the past year. WWE retreated from the Wednesday Night War with AEW Dynamite, then gave the entire developmental system a makeover — including their now-Tuesday night show.

Reaction was loud and not always (or often, even) positive. But the paint-splatter brand’s viewership and demographic ratings aren’t much worse than the black-and-gold version’s numbers. In theory, the transition from NXT to Raw and SmackDown should be smoother now, since one of the things the revamp was designed to do is ensure talents being pushed at the Performance Center are Vince McMahon-approved.

Not everything’s changed. Some things fall in the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” category. Themed episodes of the weekly show are one of them. October’s Halloween Havoc delivered NXT 2.0’s best ratings performance on Oct. 26. Now WWE is hoping New Year’s Evil can do the same on Jan. 4.

This will be the second year in a row NXT’s starting the year with a New Year’s Evil show. In another sign of how much things have changed since this past January, the 1.0 version of the show was headlined by Finn Bálor defending the NXT championship against Kyle O’Reilly: one of whom is back on the main roster, the other who could be gone by the time we flip the calendar. Released wrestlers like Karrion Kross and Gran Metalik also had spots on the Jan. 6, 2021 New Year’s Evil.

Will these year’s show be where Bron Breakker finally claims the NXT championship?