The first episode of the year opened with Dexter Lumis in an empty Capitol Wrestling Center. Lumis pressed a button to start the show.
Karrion Kross def. Damian Priest
The show opened up with the big return of Kross to major action, as he took out the former NXT North American Champion. Kross and Priest had a hard-hitting encounter, with both the stars delivering their best moves in a long and hard-fought match.
Kross ended up hitting a roundhouse kick, followed by Doomsday Saito and a forearm to Priest’s head to finish up things.
Backstage: More teams were announced for the Dusty Rhodes Classic, as Adam Cole and Roderick Strong, representing Undisputed Era, spoke about a prophecy coming true after they win the tourney. They also gave props to Kyle O’Reilly ahead of his NXT title match later in the night.
NXT Cruiserweight Title Match | Santos Escobar(c) def. Gran Metalik
Both the stars were joined by their respective friends at ringside, as the Cruiserweight Classic finalist, Metalik, received a title opportunity. Lince Dorado took out Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendonza at ringside, but Metalik couldn’t capitalize. A fun, high-flying match saw Escobar retain his title, after delivering a Phantom Driver.
A vignette aired with Boa and Xia Li, followed by a vignette for Mercedes Martinez, who said she is coming for Io Shirai.
Xia Li def. Katrina Cortez
A new look Li made her return to NXT with Boa and the mystery woman from the training sessions. Li displayed a mean demeanor and finished the squash with a kick to the face.
A video aired from earlier, where William Regal canceled the Fight Pit match between Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa due to Thatcher suffering an injury.
Backstage: Bronson Reed vowed to achieve bigger things in 2021 and picked Rhea Ripley to win the Last Woman Standing Match.
Last Woman Standing Match | Raquel Gonzalez def. Rhea Ripley
The two big women of NXT brawled all over the arena and used plenty of weapons on each other in the gruesome encounter. Dakota Kai made her presence felt with kendo stick shots during the match. The finish saw both the stars go through the stage after Gonzalez planted Ripley. Gonzalez somehow crawled out at nine-count to win the match.
Kushida and Shotzi Blackheart def. Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae
The Way entered in grand fashion for a big celebration. Johhny Gargano celebrated his title defense last week, as Hartwell and Theory presented him with a plaque and a picture of the team dressed as superheroes.
Shotzi Blackheart interrupted and a brawl broke out, with Blackheart taking out Theory and Hartwell. Gargano was blindsided by Kushida before Dexter Lumis appeared and set a mixed tag team match
The impromptu match took off with the babyfaces working in sync against the married couple. Kushida ended up pinning the North American Champion after countering Gargano’s offense into a pin.
Backstage: More matches were announced for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, and William Regal announced the first-ever Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic for the Women’s Division.
NXT Championship Match | Finn Balor(c) def. Kyle O’Reilly
The main event took place featuring the rematch from NXT Takeover 31. The match was full of ground and pound action, with the two stars applying various submission maneuvers on each other. Balor applied a submission on O’Reilly and pulled back on his injured jaw, leading to the referee calling the match out of nowhere.
A bloodied Balor celebrated, as the Undisputed Era looked on with dejected faces.