WWE NXT Review: December 18, 2019
WWE NXT Review: December 18, 2019 by Felix Pichler
Adam Cole (C.) vs. Finn Bálor for the NXT Championship
Surprisingly, we kicked off this episode of NXT with this title match. Due to that, it was clear that the second title match of this night for the women’s title would be the main event. Anyways, it was no surprise that these two men delivered an outstanding match which took about 15 minutes. Both men had periods of time in which they dominated, but in truth, nobody was really able to get overhand for a long time. Bálor even kicked out of the Last Shot Shining Wizard but in the end, Jonny Gargano came out what distracted Bálor. Cole took advantage of it to perform another Last Shot Shining Wizard for the win.
After the match, Gargano took a steel chair and entered the ring where Bálor was lying on the ground. He started to hammer away at Bálor with the chair before he walked backstage again.
Opinion: Good opening match as expected. Both men already showed us way crazier matches, but since it was the opening match of this episode, it was perfect. If the worked a more special and longer match, the fans would have been too exhausted to give the following matches enough recognition. Besides, a good way to protect Bálor and the feud between him and Gargano will surely be awesome.
Damien Priest vs. Killian Dain
An interesting match as Killian Dain permanently attacked Damien Priest’s previously injured ribs. Due to that, Priest almost showed no offence throughout the whole match but had to take a lot of a beating. However, after about 12 minutes Priest was able to fight back a bit more and in the end, performed the Reckoning for the win.
Opinion: A good match and I’m also happy that they received that much time to work together. Anyways, I think it would be a good idea to don’t continue the feud between these two (and Dunne). Now, all three have the standing to start a rivalry with new superstars and that would be good to fresh it up.
Cameron Grimes vs. Kushida
Kushida made his entrance with Cameron Grimes’ hat which he stole last week. Their match also took almost 14 minutes and both men had the chance to show their offence. However, Grimes was able to hit Kushida with the Standing Double Stomp for the win.
Opinion: A good match, but I was a bit surprised that Grimes would pick up the win as he lost some matches within the last time. Anyways, both men are great performers and I’m sure that we’ll see them in the race for the North American Championship anytime soon.
Io Shirai vs. Santana Garrett
This was the first match of the night ahead of which it was clear who would pick up the win. Anyways, it wasn’t a typical squash match as it took about four minutes and Santana Garrett also had the moments to show off her acrobatic offensive style. Anyways, after Io Shirai’s Moonsault, Garrett had no chance to kick out.
Opinion: Garrett quite impressed me while I’m anyways a big fan of Shirai. They could have worked surely an outstanding match if they had more time, but it’s understandable that the match just took four minutes as there were several bigger matches on the card.
Pete Dunne vs. Travis Banks
In the beginning, Pete Dunne was able to control the pace of the match, but after some time Travis Banks got better and better to dominate then Dunne, but after about 11 minutes, Dunne hit his opponent with the Bitter End for the three count. After the match, these two shared a fist bump out of respect.
Backstage, Cathy Kelly interviewed Dakota Kai as Mia Yim sent her last week through two tables. Kai answered that she would have ten staples in her head, but she bet Yim in their match. She added that she would beat every woman in this division until she would become NXT Women’s Champion.
Opinion: They continue to have in each episode one match between an NXT US superstar and one NXT UK superstar to have a build-up towards Worlds Collide. This was a solid match and maybe Dunne will play a special role at this event as he is a former NXT UK champion and now performs on NXT US.
Shayna Baszler (C.) vs. Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women’s Championship
Then, it was finally time for the main event. Right from the begin on, Shayna Baszler, and Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke who came out after some time worked over Rhea Ripley’s arm what looked horrible at some points. After some time, Ripley sent Baszler with a dropkick into the ref who went down. Then, Ripley hit her opponent with the Rip Tide and also made easily the three count, but the referee was still down. Then, Ripley threw a steel chair in the ring, but it ended as Baszler performed a DDT on the chair. The ref recovered and started to count, but Ripley kicked out just before three.
Moments later, Baszler once more applied the Kirafuda Clutch. It looked as Ripley would be done, but then wisely choked the referee by his collar to prevent fading away. She came out of the submission move to then apply the Reverse Cloverleaf. However, Baszler escaped just to then get hit with a Rip Tide from the second rope. Ripley pinned Baszler to become the new NXT Women’s Champion. Several NXT superstars came out and the ring was full of them as they celebrated together with Ripley before the show closed.
Opinion: A outstanding match which was quite long for a match of Baszler with about 18 minutes. Anyways, they did a great job in the build-up towards this match and now the fight itself was also awesome. I think that this title change will help to improve the women’s division and make it more interesting as Baszler was really extremely dominant. Besides, the big question is now, if Baszler will get a rematch and if we’ll see her within the next time moving to Raw or SmackDown.
A great episode of NXT which really focused on wrestling as we just had the interview of Kai, the post-match attack by Gargano and the rest was wrestling. It’s clear that you can’t set up a show like this every week as you need other segments to build-up characters and feuds, but this time it was really good. Besides, we finally have Ripley as NXT Women’s Champion and Gargano is also back. All in all, an outstanding show.