WWE’s once consistently high-quality brand in NXT underwent numerous changes in presentation and MO during 2022, and it has landed on a middle ground known as the white-and-gold era. Although nowhere near the heydays of the 2010s, NXT still features sporadic highlights with the likes of Carmelo Hayes, Grayson Waller, and Bron Breakker, but too often the programming is filled with the residue of NXT 2.0: inexperienced rookies saddled with laughably bad characters and storylines, which in part encapsulates the brand’s final episode of the year.

JD McDonagh vs Julius Creed

McDonagh vows to grant Creed the holiday gift of loss, but the latter overpowers him with an obvious size advantage. Creepy calculated McDonagh controls through picture-in-picture with limb-targeted offense, and commentary puts over a “certain moxy about them” for both competitors. Creed eventually escapes a top-rope moonsault attempt from “Irish Ace,” and a finishing lariat gives the Diamond Mine standout his holiday victory. Suited giants Sanga and Veer Mahaan appear on the apron with microphones in-hand, issuing a challenge for NXT New Year’s Evil: Indus Sher vs the Creed Brothers.

Winner: Julius Creed 


Tony D’Angelo is interviewed backstage about his North American Championship match tonight, and “Stacks” claims that Dijak won’t interfere with his brand of justice.

The continually evolving and improving Schism “see through the charade” of Odyssey Jones, Malik Blade, and Edris Enofe. “Four roots, one tree” are the yellow mask-wearing cult in a cool promo package.

Cora Jade vs Wendy Choo

Choo jumpstarts the match in a modified onesie, with a character arc turning her into a five year old instead of a toddler. A rivalry incited because Jade’s actions were reminiscent of a bad sleepover for Choo (no, actually), the latter shows intensity and finally “puts away the mean girl,” says commentary, with a corner splash.

Winner: Wendy Choo


Ikemen Jiro is practically naked without his signature jacket, which was stolen by the ridiculous Scrypt. Subtitles accompany his Japanese promo about the jacket being who Jiro is.

Loyalties are questioned when Brooks Jensen is more focused on appealing to Kiana James, who faces Fallon Henley tonight for ownership of the family bar.

Ikemen Jiro vs Scrypts 

Scrypts flips in from the abyss with Jiro’s blazer on, and an uninterested string of boos scores the matchup. Two characters making the gimmicks of early 1990s WWF look badass, this mini rivalry is a rough example of the bad qualities continuing to plague NXT. Scrypts gains the pinfall victory with a 450 and gives back the blazer anyway.

Winner: Scrypts


A vignette displays the party life of Oro Mensah, who is “bringing that vibe to NXT.” After, a promo package from Alba Fyre challenges Isla Dawn to “anything goes” next week.

Lash Legend vs Lyra Valkyria 

Valkyria is racking up victories but blending in with the other supernatural women wrestlers from the UK – which isn’t a lot, but weird when it happens three times. Legend actually controls the early goings, and a very awkward comeback from Valkyria leads to the finishing top-rope splash for the win.

Winner: Lyra Valkyria


Toxic Attraction is in the Toxic Lounge, and Mandy Rose is there in spirit. Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne aren’t headed to the main roster yet and will instead enact revenge upon NXT Women’s Champion Roxanne Perez.

NXT Champion Bron Breakker is interviewed about getting Bret Hart’d by Grayson Waller with his armored chest plate. Waller has escaped to his home country of Australia, and a beautiful package sells Sydney as a top vacation spot; Waller can sell anything.

Schism vs Odyssey Jones, Malik Blade, and Edris Enofe

Schism looks like a serious unit nowadays, and The Rock’s daughter Ava Raine is in their corner. Enofe turns the tide, thankfully without the WWE logo tattooed on his chest like he teased on Twitter, and a shoulder-assisted splash from Blade brings a stalemate to commercial break. Raine scolds Booker T about “living your best life” under the Schism, but big Jones makes the comeback with incredible intensity for his size. It takes six consecutive dives from Schism to take him down, which is surely a first, and a lethal Double Doomsday leads to the handspring lariat from Joe Gacy for victory. The 180 Schism has done within a few months is simply inspirational.

Winner: Schism


“There is one thing he cannot do, and that is whoop that Trick,” says Trick Williams about Axiom. Carmelo Hayes talks about moving Apollo Crews out his way in the NXT Championship hunt, which is bound to be Melo’s someday.

Fallon Henley vs Kiana James

An interesting storyline commences where businesswoman James fights Henley for ownership of the family bar. Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen are ringside, and the latter’s loyalties are in question due to James’ persuasion. Henley supposedly injures James’ ankle, leading to the Shining Wizard for victory, saving the family bar. Jensen, knowing James paid off the bar’s debt, looks conflicted.

Winner: Fallon Henley


NXT Women’s Champion Roxanne Perez’ strong suit is evidently the in-ring stuff, but regardless, she will do anything to “represent this championship” as stated in a backstage interview.

A promo package from Isla Dawn gives a bewitched forewarning to Alba Fyre, who she challenges next week.

Drew Gulak presents the 2022 Drew Gulak Invitational, where Hank Walker was asked to observe ringside. Gulak takes upstart “Luca” and demonstrates a Chicken Wing, rolls around with Tavion Heights, and applies a violent Dragon Sleeper on Myles Borne when the latter gains the upper hand. Out comes royalty in Charlie Dempsey who offers “a run for your money,” threatening Walker before their match next week. Despite Gulak’s obvious real technical prowess, spearheading his own segment was out of his wheelhouse; the audio issues didn’t help either.

Tony D’Angelo vs Wes Lee (c) – North American Championship 

2022 was a breakout year for both singles wrestlers, but overshadowing tonight’s main event is the returning Dijak and his unclear motives. “The Don” acts nonchalantly but goes off on “Stacks” ringside when Lee takes control, and the champion stands tall with an outside dive preceding picture-in-picture. D’Angelo recuperates with a corner T-Bone suplex and targets Lee’s left knee, slamming it into the announce desk. He stifles a comeback attempt and scales the ropes until Dijak kidnaps “Stacks,” allowing Lee to hit a backflip kick for three.

Winner: Wes Lee


NXT 12/27/22

Orlando, FL

It’s a testament to NXT’s state when Schism is arguably the best segment on the show. The group’s 180 of turning chicken s- into slightly better chicken s- is inspirational. Unlike Schism, too many other NXT gimmicks are content being cheesy and irredeemable, which looks to continue into 2023.