WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Highlights and Reaction from December 12
A North American Championship match headlined Wednesday's episode of NXT, a show that continued to set the table for January's TakeOver: Phoenix event.
Not only did the show feature a title defense from Ricochet, but it also saw EC3 seek vengeance against Undisputed Era's Bobby Fish and a bout between Mia Yim and Reina Gonzalez to determine the latest entrant in the Fatal 4-Way No. 1 Contender's match.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch battled The Mighty to round out the card.
Find out who emerged from each match with their arms raised in victory, which Superstar challenged Ricochet and whether the champion was able to pick up a win to maintain momentum with this recap of the December 12 episode of NXT.
EC3 vs. Bobby Fish
The Undisputed Era kicked off the show, and leader Adam Cole was quick to make his voice heard, saying the holidays began Wednesday night with the destruction of EC3.
Fish dominated the match, targeting the previously injured knee of his opponent. He delivered a dragon screw leg whip that had EC3 reeling late.
Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong each attempted to interfere, but EC3 knocked them off the apron. Fish delivered another chop block, but EC3 caught him with a roll-up for the win.
After the match, Undisputed Era beat down the former TNA world champion until Heavy Machinery's Otis Dozovic and Tucker Knight made the save.
EC3 defeated Fish
A rivalry between Undisputed Era, EC3 and Heavy Machinery feels like a step down for the faction following a high-profile loss at TakeOver: WarGames.
That is not an intentional knock on EC3 or Heavy Machinery, but neither act has been presented on the same level as Cole, O'Reilly, Fish and Strong. Hopefully that changes with working alongside them, but for now, it feels like a peculiar use of the brand's hottest faction as a year they dominated comes to a close.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. The Mighty
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch looked to make it 2-0 against The Mighty Wednesday night when they met Shane Thorne and Nick Miller in tag team action.
The double-tough babyfaces were off to a hot start that only ignited further with a senton by Lorcan over the top and to the floor. A side suplex by Miller halted their momentum, though, and gave control to The Mighty.
Thorne and Miller worked over Lorcan until a hot tag to Burch sparked the babyface comeback.
A Tower of Doom superplex spot by the heels turned the tide a second time. Miller planted Lorcan with a powerslam, and Thorne delivered a cannonball in the corner to Burch.
Lorcan fought out of a double gorilla press, though, and delivered a double DDT. From there, Burch joined him, and the babyfaces put the opposition away with a spike DDT.
Lorcan and Burch defeated The Mighty
This match was a nonstop, action-packed battle between two teams seeking to etch their names in title contention.
Burch and Lorcan brought the intensity, while The Mighty continued to demonstrate why it may be the most underrated and undervalued team in all of WWE.
The outcome was surprising given the fact The Mighty was beaten cleanly the last time, but it is becoming clear that the duo is not a priority in the eyes of NXT Creative. While that is a shame, the loss propelled Burch and Lorcan forward, hopefully toward a rematch with Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong somewhere down the line.
Mia Yim vs. Reina Gonzalez
Mia Yim battled Reina Gonzalez, making a rare NXT TV appearance, in a match to determine who would enter the Fatal 4-Way No. 1 Contender's match in a few weeks.
An aggressive Gonzalez attacked from the opening bell, driving Yim into the corner. She fought out, applied a guillotine choke and tried to wear the fight out of her opponent.
Gonzalez regained control, using her size and power advantage to offset her opponent's experience.
Yim countered out of a backbreaker submission and fired off an array of strikes. Eat Defeat ended the match and secured her place in the upcoming four-way battle.
Yim defeated Gonzalez
Gonzalez is still raw but has the size, strength and pedigree to be a star in the future.
Yim, though, is one of the more accomplished women's wrestlers in the industry and is finally enjoying the success on the big stage she deserves. She was impressive here, delivering a performance that made the match infinitely better than it otherwise would have been.
Her journey to the NXT Women's Championship will be a story to watch over the next year.
North American Championship Match: Ricochet vs. Tyler Breeze
Ricochet defended his North American Championship Wednesday night against the returning Tyler Breeze, who received a hero's welcome as he strutted to the squared circle in the same garb that made him a star in the developmental brand.
An exchange early gave way to a dropkick by Ricochet that sent Breeze to the arena floor. Ricochet teased one dive and executed another, only to sail into a dropkick from Prince Pretty.
Breeze took control of the match, but his advantage did not last long.
Ricochet fought out, delivered a corner 619, a springboard back elbow and a standing shooting star press for a near-fall.
The challenger fought back, and a war of reversals and counters ensued.
A slugfest broke out before a knee from Breeze and heel kick had him rolling.
Ricochet caught Breeze, delivered a fireman's carry driver and scored the successful title defense.
Ricochet defeated Breeze
If anyone wants evidence that going to the main roster and languishing in the undercard does not kill one's desire to be great, watch this match.
Breeze rediscovered the in-ring excellence Wednesday night that made him one of the most respected and appreciated stars in NXT, and his chemistry with Ricochet led to a fantastic main event.
Ricochet looks like a badass for accepting the challenge and beating a main roster star, while Breeze can point to another outstanding performance as evidence that he is better than his place on the card suggests.