WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from December 11
It's the holiday season, and the December 11 edition of WWE NXT promised early Christmas presents for the WWE Universe.
The main event was an incredible triple threat match between Tommaso Ciampa, Finn Balor and Keith Lee. The winner would get an opportunity to challenge Adam Cole for the NXT Championship.
After weeks of personal insults and backstage brawls. Lio Rush granted Angel Garza another shot at his NXT Cruiserweight Championship. While The Man of the Hour wanted to make his challenger pay, Garza was ready to do anything to become champion.
Returning from injury with revenge on the mind, Mia Yim demanded a match with Dakota Kai, and it was granted by William Regal. The ring would not easily contain these two rivals.
These matches were only the beginning of a jam-packed night that also set up a championship night on December 18.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush vs. Angel Garza
Lio Rush came out aggressive after a few choice comments from Angel Garza, and he never stopped fighting. However, the Mexican Superstar hit as hard as he ever has.
His avalanche Spanish fly from Garza got only a near-fall, and the NXT cruiserweight champion battled back. After taking the Final Hour, the challenger rolled outside then caught The Man of the Hour with double knees when he attempted a second Final Hour to the floor.
Garza connected with the Wing Clipper for another near-fall then trapped Rush in a reverse full nelson for the submission.
During the break, Garza proposed to his girlfriend in the NXT arena, and she accepted.
Garza def. Rush by submission to become the new NXT cruiserweight champion.
Matches at this level are extremely rare on TV. Few major events in WWE get anywhere close to contests this good. Rush vs. Garza was everything the cruiserweight division is all about at its best. The near-falls in this match were as tense as a WWE Championship main event.
Garza earned this moment at the top with his performance. Now, he needs to show he's ready to carry a division struggling to stay relevant. He cannot just have great matches with Rush for the next six months.
Cameron Grimes vs. Raul Mendoza
Cameron Grimes attacked Kushida earlier in the day due to his frustration over last week's loss. He did not get back his momentum from Raul Mendoza though. Mendoza tripped him up with a headscissors takedown into a surprise three count.
Kushida taunted Grimes after the loss by stealing his hat.
Mendoza def. Grimes by pinfall.
Kushida vs. Grimes is only starting to build, and the story has potential. However, it does not help either when Grimes loses clean in just over one minute to Mendoza.
The match barely got going and still was sloppy. The only bright spot was Kushida enjoying wearing Grimes' hat far too much.
Travis Banks vs. Jaxson Ryker (w/ The Forgotten Sons)
Travis Banks struggled with the power and ferocity of Jaxson Ryker. The Forgotten Sons at ringside did not even see a need to get involved. However, The Kiwi Buzzsaw caught Ryker off the ropes with the Slice of Heaven to barely take the three count.
Banks def. Ryker by pinfall.
Banks is a great asset to NXT UK and absolutely needed to win this match. While Ryker has been protected mostly to this point, his relevance to the brand is far below The Kiwi Buzzsaw.
The match was perfectly fine. It might have been nice to give Banks a better opponent to work with. He does not come to NXT much, and many would give him a great fight.
Dakota Kai vs. Mia Yim
While Mia Yim came for a fight, Dakota Kai was in her element early in this striking affair. The Captain of Team Kick cheap shot The Head Baddie with kicks. The ultimate cheap shot came when she exposed the turnbuckle, sending Yim into the exposed turnbuckle head-first.
The pinfall to follow was academic. As Kai gloated, The Head Baddie refused to let the winner rest. The two brawled into the crowd, and Yim sent her rival through a table with Saito suplex.
Kai def. Yim by pinfall.
Round one of Kai vs. Yim was good, but the women need to be unleashed. It didn't feel right for the two to compete in a standard match. A street fight or falls count anywhere stipulation would best suit these two.
That will likely come given the ending of the segment. Yim can't be satisfied with merely sending Kai through a table. She needs her win back.
Breezango vs. The Singh Brothers
The Singh Brothers started this match off strong, but they were quickly outmatched. After Tyler Breeze took the early offense, Fandango looked unstoppable as he threw around Samir and Sunil with ease. Breezango won after a Fandango leg drop.
Breezango def. Singh Brothers by pinfall.
The Singh Brothers seem perfectly suited for entertaining squash matches. Their personality shines through in matches even though they rarely have a chance to win. The 24/7 Championship reigns they managed elevated them.
The focus here was elevating Breezango. The two may have a ridiculous entrance gimmick, but Breeze and Fandango have been great together since the NXT return. Few teams deserve a tag team title run in NXT right now more than Breezango.
Bianca Belair vs. Kayden Carter
Kayden Carter tried her best to keep up with the nearly unmatched athleticism of Bianca Belair, but she was outmatched. The EST took advantage of a few mistakes by Carter to plant her opponent with the K.O.D. for three.
Belair def. Carter by pinfall.
Much like the previous match, an entertaining squash match has value. Belair never looked to be overwhelmed by Carter, but she gave her opponent time to shine. A few key moments allowed the underdog to continue building a reputation in NXT.
The EST needs to find a direction in NXT. She comes off as lost at the moment. It's hard to tell what motivates her week to week. The women's division is stacked, but talent like Belair cannot be wasted.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Keith Lee vs.
NXT showed pre-taped video packages for Finn Balor and Keith Lee earlier in the night as both explained why they would win. Tommaso Ciampa responded as he headed to the stage, stating tonight would set the date for when he reclaimed his championship.
Everyone got close to the victory in this monumental clash of the best stars in NXT. Ciampa pulled off an impressive Air Raid Crash on Lee, but he kicked out. The Limitless One hit the Spirit Bomb on Ciampa only for The Prince to hit the Coup De Grace immediately on Lee for three.
Balor def. Lee and Ciampa by pinfall.
This was a clash of titans and certainly got the crowd on its feet. All three men brought their A-game. While Lee was always going to be the highlight given his unique style, Balor stepped up with his best performance since his return to NXT.
Balor winning helps to delay two huge matches for the future. Adam Cole vs. Ciampa is an obvious money match, and Cole vs. Lee has been quietly building. Both will happen at a later date. Cole vs. Balor should be fun, but the heel dynamic is less interesting.