Welcome to Ringside News’ coverage of WWE NXT. Please keep refreshing throughout the show for constant updates once it kicks off at 8:00 PM EST.

Two big matches have been announced for tonight, and we are also scheduled to hear from our NXT Champion Finn Balor! Here’s a run down of tonight’s announced card.

First, the new NXT North American Champion Leon Ruff will defend his recently-won championship against former champion Johnny Gargano. Gargano thought that he could give himself an easy victory last week in his first title defense, and Ruff shocked the world by becoming champion. Will Gargano be able to fix the mistake he made last week?

Also, Io Shirai will defend her NXT Women’s Championship against Rhea Ripley. Ripley has been on a quest to recapture her title since losing it to Charlotte Flair back in April at WrestleMania. Will Ripley regain her title and become a 2-time champion?

Lastly, Finn Balor is set to address the NXT Universe about his status and future as champion. This is the first time Balor will be addressing his championship reign since getting his jaw broken against Kyle O’Reilly at NXT TakeOver 31. If Balor must relinquish the championship, this would be the second relinquishing of the title since Keith Lee lost to Karrion Kross, so hopefully Balor is okay and will continue his run at the top.

Tonight looks to be an exciting episode of NXT with major consequences for the future of the brand, and we will begin coverage when NXT goes live at 8:00 PM, EST!

NXT opens with a championship match!

NXT North American Champion Leon Ruff vs. Johnny Gargano for the NXT North American Championship

After Leon enters the ring, we see a recap of Ruff winning the match against Gargano.

Gargano comes out and makes them shut off the recap video. He says that last weeks was a fluke and Ruff is a pawn of Damian Priest. Gargano says that Ruff is a joke, but the joke is over tonight.

Gargano cheap shots Ruff, but Ruff says that he is ready for the match. Gargno drives Ruff into the corner, then whips Ruff hard across the ring. Gargano picks up Ruff and lays into him with forearms and chops.

Ruff comes back with chops of his own, then strikes at Gargano’s midsection, then he evades Gargano’s suplex attempt, catching him with a dropkick, sending Gargano out of the ring. Ruff hits a dive over the top rope onto Gargano, then rolls Gargano into the ring.

Ruff goes for the crucifix pin again, but Gargano blocks and takes out Ruff with a clothesline. Gargano lawn darts Ruff into the corner. Gargano picks up Ruff and lawn darts him again into the opposite corner. Gargano drags Ruff into the middle of the ring.

Gargano looks poised for a DIY style superkick, but is distracted by Damian Priest coming down the ramp. Ruff tries to roll up Gargano for the victory, but Gargano kicked out. Ruff lays out Gargano with a clothesline and goes for a splash from the top rope, but Gargano rolls out of the way and catches Ruff with a superkick.

Gargano picks up Ruff and hits him with a powerbomb. Gargano hits Ruff with One Final Beat and pins Ruff. Gargano had the match won, but Damian Priest pulls Ruff out of the ring. Ruff looks at Priest with a questioning look, and Priest says, “Sorry kid,” then knocks him out with a forearm to the face.

Winner: Leon Ruff

We learn that Ruff wins via DQ, which seems to have been Priest’s plan. Priest carries Ruff to the back, championship in hand.

Cameron Grimes is backstage, talking about how he isn’t scared of Dexter Lumis anymore, and he is going to beat Lumis in their upcoming match, right after this commercial.

Back from commercial, Rhea Ripley is shown arriving at the arena for her main event later tonight.

Dexter Lumis vs. Cameron Grimes in a Blindfold Match

Grimes and Lumis put their blindfolds on. Grimes goes for a flying crossbody, but completely misses Lumis. Grimes taunts the crowd, and Lumis is completely still, not going after Grimes at all.

Grimes runs around the ring, spooking himself by running into turnbuckles and ropes. Grimes swings at the referee, but the referee ducks. Lumis has slowly moved towards the middle of the ring but is still not pursuing Lumis.

Grimes decks the referee and continues to attack him. Grimes takes off his blindfold only to realize that he has not beaten Lumis, but the referee. He looks at Lumis and realizes that he has an advantage. Grimes goes for a Cave In, but Lumis dodges.

Grimes grabs at Lumis, accidentally removing the blindfold. Lumis takes Grimes out with a clothesline and bulldog, then goes for The Silence. Grimes counters and runs out of the ring. Lumis chases, tossing Grimes into the fence at ringside. Grimes keeps trying to run, but Lumis continues to chase him.

Lumis tosses Grimes into the fine again and again, chasing him around ringside. Lumis tosses Grimes into the fence from a distance, and Grimes is able to climb the fence, getting to the other side and running away.

Backstage, William Regal is reprimanding Damian Priest for interfering in the match between Ruff and Gargano. Priest says that he was just joking around, and Ruff shows up, upset that Priest was calling him a joke.

Ruff says that he is the champion, and he should be able to retain it on his own. He slaps Priest, saying, “I’m no one’s joke,” and walks off. William Regal looks at Priest and says, “Serves you right,” before walking away himself, and we go to commercial.

Back from commercial and Shotzi Blackheart is talking about how Candice needs an army, because on December 6th, “We are going to war,” announcing that NXT TakeOver WarGames 2020 is coming in just a few weeks.

Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell vs. Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro

Indi and Carter start the match. Carter goes for a takedown, but Hartwell blocks. Carter is able to drag Hartwell into her corner and tags in Kacy Catanzaro. Catanzaro and Carter tag in frequently and quickly, hitting a kick and senton combo, pinning Hartwell for two.

Hartwell tags Candice in. Kacy takes Candice down with a dropkick, but Candice hits Kacy with a knee to the midsection. Candice whips Kacy into her corner, tagging in Indi. Indi stomps away at Kacy in the corner.

Indi throws Kacy hard into the corner. Indi hits Kacy with a sidewalk slam, pinning her for two. Indi tags Candice in. Candice hits a scoop slam on Kacy and goes for a senton, but Kacy dodges and tags in Kayden Carter.

Carter takes Indi off the apron and lays into Candice with strikes to the chest. Kayden hits Candice with a scissor kick, pinning Candice for two. Carter goes for a facewash kick, but Candice pulls Carter’s hair, tossing her to the mat. Candice hits a suplex on Carter, then locks in a submission.

Kacy tries to break up the submission, but Indi pulled Kacy out of the ring, hitting her with a big boot. Candice stomps on Carter, sending her face first into the mat, pinning her for the win.

Winners: Candice LeRae and Kacy Catanzaro

We get a short video package for Arturo Ruas, saying that he is up next after this commercial break.

Back from commercial, Io Shirai is shown arriving at the arena.

Arturo Ruas vs. Kushida

Kushida and Ruas trade takedown attempts. Ruans is able to get Kshdia on his back, but Kushida gets to his feet. Ruas goes for a standing kimura, but Kushida blocks and with kicks. Ruas takes Kushida down with a knee to the face, then takes him down by the knee.

Ruas picks Kushida up and focuses his attack on Kushida. McKenzie Mitchell tells us that Finn Balor still has not arrived at the arena, but he will have “all the time he needs to address the NXT Universe,” tonight.

Back in the ring, Ruas is manipulating Kushida’s hand. Kushida kicks at Ruas, but Ruas goes again for the standing kimura. Ruas takes Kushida to the mat. Kushida gets to his feet and hits a dropkick and overhead kick on Ruas.

Kushdia hits Ruas with a hiptoss and a dropkick, then pins Ruas for two. Kushida geos after Rua’s left arm, stomping on the hand. Ruas kicks Kushida in the face, but Kushida goes for a kimura lock.

Kushida is unable to completely lock in the hold. Ruas tries to pick Kushida’s ankle, but Kushida blocked, bridging Ruas into a pinfall attempt for the win.

Winner: Kushida

Ember Moon and Toni Storm are backstage, getting interviewed about their upcoming tag team match against Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez.

Moon and Storm talk about how they have a common enemy with Kai and Gonzalez, and they agree to put their differences aside to take out Kai and Gonzalez, and that match is up right after this commercial break.

Back from commercial and we see a hype package for the match between Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley. Superstars backstage like Kushida, Timothy Thatcher, Triple H, Damien Prest, and Shawn Michaels are asked who they think will win, with everyone giving various answers.

Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon and Toni Storm

Gonzalez and Storm start the match. They lock up, but Gonzalez has the strength advantage, taking Storm down with a shoulder tackle. She tags in Kai, who hits a facewash kick on Storm, then pins her for two.

Kai tosses Storm in the corner, then shoves her boot in Storm’s face. Kai pins Storm for one. Kai picks up Storm, but Storm hits Kai with an atomic drop and a basement dropkick. Storm hits Kai with a suplex, then pins Kai for two.

Kai fights back, clubbing away at Storm’s back. Kai tries to kick Storm, but Storm ducks and tags in Moon. Moon goes after Gonzalez as Storm sends Kai out of the ring. Then, Storm joins Moon and they clothesline Gonzalez over the top rope and out of the ring as we go to commercial.

Back from commercial and Gonzalez is in control of Toni Storm in the ring. Gonzalez picks up Storm by the hair, but Storm takes Gonzalez down with a headscissors. Moon tags in, kicking and striking away at Gonzalez and Kai. Moon hits a stomp and a senton on Gonzalez.

Moon follows it up with a kick to Gonzalez’s face, then hits a diving codebreaker on Gonzalez. Moon pins Gonzalez, but Kai breaks up the pin at two. Kai escapes the ring and Moon chases, but Gonzalez runs interference and hits Moon with a big boot to the face.

Gonzalez tosses Moon back in the ring and pins her for two. Gonzalez picks up Moon and locks in a submission on Moon. Moon escapes, then dumps Moon out of the ring. Gonzalez gets back in and hits a pounce on Moon before Moon can make the tag.

Kai tags in and pins Moon for two. Moon is able to get to Storm and she tags in. Storm hits three German suplexes on Kai, then a fisherman suplex, pinning Kai for two. Storm hits Gonzalez with a headbutt, and Moon comes in and hits a DDT on Gonzalez. Kai hits Moon with a superkick, and Storm and Kai hit clotheslines on each other at the same time, both women falling to the mat.

Storm and Kai get to their feet and trade blows. Kai hits a facewash kick on Storm and Kai runs at Storm again, but Storm hits Kai with a big boot. Gonzalez tosses Storm into the ring post, and Moon hits a dive onto Gonzalez on the outside.

Kai realizes that Storm is laid out and looks to take advantage. She tries to pick up Toni Storm, but Storm rolls Kai into an inside craddle, pinning her for three.

Winners: Toni Storm and Ember Moon

Moon and Storm retreat up the ramp, but Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae attack them from behind and toss them back into the ramp. Gonzalez hits each women with a single arm powerbomb, and Vic Joseph implies that LeRae is extending an olive branch to Kai and Gonzalez for War Games.

Outside the arena, Pat McAfee, Pete Dunne, Danny Burch, and Oney Lorcan are shown arriving at the arena. McAfee says that they heard that Finn Balor was addressing the NXT Universe tonight, and the four of them are interested in what he has to say, so they enter the arena.

Backstage Io Shirai is shown warming up for her match with Ripley, and we go to commercial break.

Back from commercial and we see a recap of Finn Balor’s NXT Championship defense against Kyle O’Reilly at NXT TakeOver 31. We are still awaiting Finn Balor’s arrival.

Timothy Thatcher vs. August Grey

Thatcher tosses his jacket at Grey and tries to get the advantage, but Grey is able to strike Thatcher down. Grey hits a backslide on Thatcher, pinning him for two. Thatcher hits Grey with a belly to belly suplex.

Thatcher locks in a crossface on Grey. Thatcher picks Grey up and hits him with an uppercut, then pins him for two. Grey sits in the corner and Thatcher stomps away at him. Thatcher picks up Grey and hits a suplex, pinning Grey for two.

Thatcher goes back for a submission, transitioning into another pinfall attempt for two. Thatcher picks up Grey and hits him with an uppercut, but Grey fights back with strikes. Thatcher hits Grey with another uppercut and Grey goes down.

Thatcher goes for an armbar, but Grey blocks. Thatcher gives up and picks up Grey, hitting another uppercut. Grey fights back with an elbow to the face. Thatcher picks the leg on Grey, but Grey kicks Thatcher away. Grey lands a series of clubing blows on Thatcher.

Grey catches Thatcher with a superkick, then goes to the top rope, but Thatcher catches him and hits a double underhook suplex. Then Thatcher locks in a submission and Grey taps out.

Winner: Timothy Thatcher

Thatcher picks up Grey and tells him not to pick a fight with him. Thatcher goes to do more damage to Grey, but Tommaso Ciampa’s music hits. Thatcher releases Grey and stares Ciampa down and Ciampa comes down to the ring.

Ciampa gets in the ring and Thatcher and Ciampa stare each other down. Thatcher says, “I’ve got no problem with you,” and leaves the ring. Ciampa continues to stare daggers into Thatcher as Thatcher retreats up the ramp.

Damian Priest is shown heading to the ring for a match of his own, up next after this commercial.

Back from commercial, and Ciampa is asked about what his confrontation with Timothy Thatcher was about, and Ciampa simply says, “I tried to make it clear. I want to fight Thatcher,” then walks off.

Damian Priest comes down for a match, but Gargano attacks him during his entrance. Gargano tosses Priest in the ring, and Priest tosses Gargano across the ring. Gargano hits an enziguri, but Priest hits a roundhouse forearm.

Gargano goes out of the ring, and Priest chases, removing the top of the commentary desk. Priest lays Gargano on the table, but Gargano hits a diving forearm at Priest.

Priest hits Gargano with a big boot, then tosses Gargano in the ring. Priest gets a chair and looks to get in the ring. Leon Ruff runs in and hits a dropkick onto Priest, then hits a superkick onto Gargano. He tosses Priest and Gargano out of the ring and stands tall.

Gargano and Priest stare at Ruff and Ruff realizes that he has two enemies now. Gargano and Priest try to attack Ruff, but Ruff gets out of the ring and runs up the ramp. Priest and Gargano briefly stand side by side, but Priest chases Gargano out of the ring.

Wade Barrett says that he will not be available for commentary next week, but instead Kevin Owens will be joining the commentary team in his place.

We see a recap of the strange incident with Boa and the mystery man last week. We see a video of William Regal hunting down Boa. Regal goes to his house and asks Boa where he has been, as he hasn’t reported to the PC. Boa says, “No PC, no trainer.” Then, he just keeps saying, “She’s coming.” Regal asks if he means Xia, and Boa says, “No Xia, she’s coming.”

We get a brief tale of the tape regarding Rhea Ripley vs. Io Shirai, and then we go to commercial.

Back from commercial, William Regal approaches Leon Ruff backstage, asking Ruff if he “has any idea what he is doing.” Ruff says that he is sick of being treated like a joke, and he wants to fight both Gargano and Priest.

NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women’s Championship

Ripley and Shirai lock up, and Ripley has the strength advantage. Io out-speeds Rhea Ripley, though. Ripley goes for a clothesline, but Io dodges and hits a dropkick. Rhea goes for a fallaway slam on Io, but Io instead tries to rollup Rhea.

Ripley blocks the pinfall attempt and Io hits a dropkick on Rhea, sending her out of the ring. Io goes for a dive onto Rhea on the outside, but Rhea catches her with a forearm to the face. Rhea gets Io in an electric chair, then slams her face into the apron, and we go to commercial.

Back from commercial and Io is on top of Rhea in the ring. Io goes for a meteroa on Ripley in the corner, but Ripley dodges and slams Io into the mat face first. Ripley grabs Io’s hair and picks her up, then goes for a suplex on Io. Io reverses into an inside craddle, but Rhea kicks out.

Rhea hits a suplex on Io and pins her for two. Rhea locks in a seated abdominal stretch on Io. Io fights to her feet and shoves Rhea into the corner. Rhea picks up Io and sits her on the top turnbuckle.

Rhea goes to the second rope and looks for a superplex. Io fights out and goes for a powerbomb. Rhea blocks, but Io instead hits a German suplex on Rhea. Io runs at Rhea in the corner, hitting her with a back elbow. Io hits a palm strike and a double stomp onto Rhea.

Io hits a running dropkick onto Rhea, pinning her for two. Io locks in a crossface on Ripley. Ripley rolls into a pin, so Io releases the pin. Rhea hits Io with a big boot. Io goes after Ripley’s left arm, then plants her on the mat arm first.

Io hits a running dropkick onto Ripley’s arm. Rhea goes for a scoop slam, but Io is able to block and land on the apron. Io bends Ripley’s arm over the top rope and then drives her elbow over the apron. Rhea and Io fight on the apron until Io takes Rhea off the apron, tossing her into the ring steps arm first as we go to commercial.

Back from commercial and Ripley hits Io with a superplex. Rhea pins Io for two. Ripley picks up Io by the hair, and both women trade blows. Ripley hits Io with knee strikes to the face and a dropkick, pinning Io for two again.

Ripley stomps on Io, then goes for her inverted cloverleaf submission. Rhea spins Io around, then plants her, keeping the submission in. Io gets to the ropes, forcing a break on the submission.

Rhea picks up Io and goes for the riptide. Shirai counters and takes Rhea down with an armbar attempt. Rhea blocks the armbar attempt. Ripley goes for a powerbomb, but Io blocks and locks in the armbar. Ripley reaches the ropes, forcing a break.

Io goes for two Tiger Faint Kicks, but Ripley dodges. Io hits Ripley with a palm strike, then lands a Tiger Faint Kick. Io hits Rhea with a missile dropkick from the top, pinning Ripley for two.

Io hits a meteroa on Ripley, then goes for a moonsault. Ripley rolls out of the way, but Io lands on her feet. Ripley hits Io with a clothesline, pinning Io for two. Ripley stomps on Io and goes for the Riptide again, but Io reverses into a DDT.

Ripley gets to her feet on the apron, and Io hits a diving sunset flip powerbomb onto Ripley, sending Ripley through the announce table. Ripley rolls back into the ring just in time to break the referee’s count, and Io hits Ripley with a moonsault, pinning her for the win.

Winner: Io Shirai

Io and Ripley shake hands and hug after their match, showing a deep respect for each other as they both head up the ramp.

Finn Balor stands in the ring with his own championship and a mic. He congrats Io Shirai first, but then says, “Let’s get down to business.” He talks about how he hasn’t been seen since he defended his championship and he now has three plates in his jaw.

Before he can say more, Pat McAfee, Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan, and Danny Burch come down to the ring. McAfee says that this is their house now. He says that he is sure that Balor saw what they did. They killed Drake Maverick, Killian Dain, Breezango, and the Undisputed Era.

McAfee and his goons surround the ring. McAfee says that, if Finn respects NXT, he will hand his title over to them, or he will end up like everyone else. Balor says, “It’s easy for the mice to play while the cat is away, but the cat is back. And look what I just dragged in.”

The lights cut, and Undisputed Era’s music hits. All four members rush the ring, and Cole hits McAfee with a boot to the face. The rest of the six men brawl around and inside the ring as NXT goes off the air.

Adam Dunnells

Adam is an English graduate student currently studying young adult literature at The University of Southern Mississippi. He has been watching pro wrestling since the infamous invasion storyline from the early 2000s.

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