clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NXT New Year’s Evil 2022 recap & reactions: When it all falls down

The NXT championship match ends in the silliest way possible while Roxanne Perez has not one, but two challengers for her championship.

Welcome back, boys and girls. New Year’s Evil comes to you live from the same place all NXT shows come from, so let’s party. Claire is your other party host with the most, so, as always, pay attention to everything she writes. Then come back here for some context and deeper meaning.

Let’s talk New Year’s Evil!


Of All the Things I Saw This Week, This is One of Them

Well, that was lame as hell. The NXT championship match between Bron Breakker and Grayson Waller ended terribly. I’m not giving it many words because I’ll just spiral into an angry diatribe. But here’s the skinny.

Early in the match, the middle rope detached itself from the ring after Bron collided into it. Grayson and Bron wrestled around it while the refs and the ring crew put it back in place. I didn’t think anything of it at the time other than they overbooked the match.

Fast forward to the end and that middle rope came into play again. This time, Grayson tried capitalizing on an incredible high knee. Bron kicked out at two, sure, but he was down. Grayson climbed the middle rope, it collapsed again, and he fell out of the ring. And no, it wasn’t real because the ref started counting.

To make a ridiculous story short, Grayson lost the match due to countout. That’s a lot to protect Grayson and a terrible ending for a championship match. Bron looked dissatisfied, and Waller was furious. This was piss poor at best. Before the closing credits, Shawn Michaels announced a cage match between both men at NXT Vengenace, which does pique my interest quite a bit. That’s great for several weeks from now but awful for this moment.

The most hilarious thing is Booker T calling it an “anomaly that happens quite often.” The fact that it's an anomaly means it can’t happen quite often but I guess WWE is redefining words now since it happened twice in one match.


Toxic Tie

Going to try something different here and just jot some thoughts while I’m watching. Rumbles are pure chaos so this is an easier way to write:

Cora Jade is the first to go

Sol Ruca pulls a Kofi with a handstand outside the ring and shows incredible athleticism. if she can put it together in the ring, her moveset and those natural gifts will take her a long way. I’m looking forward to her match with Alba Fyre next week. That match, combined with her being one of the final five shows NXT is high on her.

Toxic Attraction eliminated Indi Hartwell, which hopefully has implications down the line.

Elektra Lopez is petty. She got eliminated then ensured Wendy Choo got eliminated after Wendy landed on her pillow.

Zoey Stark eliminated Nikkita Lyons, which tracks and I appreciate the continuity.

The final four? Alba Fyre, Toxic Attraction, and Valkyrie. Cora, came back to eliminate Valkyrie, and Toxic Attraction eliminated Alba. And with every woman for themselves, it meant Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne faced the unthinkable: fighting each other.

At first, Jacy fronted like she would do her friend a favor. She almost exited the ring but Gigi yelled for her to stop. Jacy responded with a swift kick to Gigi’s stomach, and the two duked it out. That is until they both fell out of the ring simultaneously.

After looking at the instant replay, the refs declared it a tie. Therefore, both women won. Of course, they foreshadowed this earlier in the night during an interview with McKenzie, so it wasn’t much of a surprise.

The good thing? We get a triple threat match where Roxanne will play mind games against both women and play them off of each other.


Extracurriculars

Loyalty is Expensive

My feelings on Dijak are pretty clear. For those who don’t know, he’s a big meh. Maybe that’s why the most compelling thing in his match with Tony D’Angelo was, well, Tony D’Angelo. Early in the match, Stacks took a hit for The Don which gave Tony an opening on which he capitalized. Dijak, realizing Stacks presented a problem, handcuffed Tony’s righthand man to the turnbuckle where he stayed for most of the match.

But after watching Tony take a lot of punishment, Stacks did what any loyal member of the family does: He begged his boss to let him take another hit for his boss. That’s when Tony grabbed Stacks and told him he’s not his boss; he’s family. Tony kissed Stacks on his forehead, pushed him out of the way, and took the oncoming onslaught from Dijak for the L.

That’s quite the evolution for Tony D and some nice character work. The match wasn’t awful either, but it does mean Dijak now faces Wes Lee while the much more interesting character does not.

Disappointed

I really looked forward to Indus Sher vs. the Brothers Creed. Almost as much as Booker T. So consider me crestfallen that Veer didn’t show up and instead we got Jinder Mahal surprising the Creeds with a sneak attack. And that was that. No match. This thing they built for weeks just didn’t happen. I will survive but I’m in my feelings right now.

Follow-Up

Julius Creed wanted a match with Jinder to avenge the beatdown and his brother. Unfortunately for him, that wasn’t in the cards. Taking an L to a former WWE champ is never a terrible thing for anyone in NXT. Also in Julius’ favor is the fact he was less than 100 percent. This was a good match, with Julius being extra aggressive out the chute, but just couldn’t beat Jinder in his current state.

No, Boy

Well, Pretty Deadly failed the gauntlet test. Things started poorly when their first opponents were The Rockers. No, not Shawn and Marty, but Flyin’ Bryan Williams & Slammin’ Jammin’ Jimmy Jackson. That was an easy W for Pretty Deadly, and New Day called them out on their BS. New Day brought out a real challenge in the form of Malik Blade & Edris Enofe. Malik & Edris gave the former tag champs some competition but it wasn’t enough. Briggs & Jensen were next...until they weren’t. Their music hit but the camera saw them beaten down backstage. So, of course, their assailants took their place.

Gallus is back.

Pretty Deadly wanted no static with Gallus and promptly caught those hands and took an L.

NXT seemingly set up a match between Gallus and New Day, even though that was never the stated stipulation. A little more clarity at the end would help but at least we got one solid tag match out of this gauntlet.

As a whole, I’m down on this match as a whole. Gallus vs. New Day might be really fun though.

Stratusfaction

Tiffany Stratton is back! She was the obvious person behind those Happy New countdowns but obvious isn’t a bad thing in this case. Her promo was a little rough. I’m not sure if she forgot her lines, was thrown by the crowd, or it was planned that way, but she seemed a bit lost in the middle of it.

Following her appearance, we got a weird paparazzi-style segment in the parking lot. Some cat holding a camera congratulated Katana Chance & Kayden Carter on being the longest reigning Women’s NXT tag champs. While those two entered the building, Tiffany left the building. The paparazzo tried asking her a question as she went to her car, but she refused to answer. Sooo, yeah, that felt rather pointless.

Good Try

Hank Walker gave his best but Charlie Dempsey defeated him. As he should. Hank continues to look promising, while Dempsey is ferocious.

Big Strong Comeback

Tyler Bate returns next week!

The Him Diner

Carmelo Hayes found himself a diner and a notebook. He parodied Apollo’s gimmick and while it was definitely insulting, it didn’t go as far as I wanted to truly make it funny. Even with Trick Williams rocking a luchador mask to see the world through Axiom’s eyes, it felt off for two guys who normally kill everything they do. Like most of New Year’s Evil, it wasn’t a complete miss by any means but it was simply average.

Later on, Axiom and Apollo discussed joining forces. Which, obviously, is the right move.


This wasn’t an awful show but it wasn’t great either. It was just there in the background. The rumble was fun because rumbles are usually always fun, but there wasn’t much on the show that excited me. Or distracted me from all the ugliness going on behind the scenes with WWE. It was an average show that left me wanting in a lot of spots, with a few bright moments scattered throughout.

Grade: C

That’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats