Ridge Holland’s ability to injure needed no convincing, but the damage done to NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov was surprisingly stretched a bit further. The anticipated rematch between Dragunov and Trick Williams was cancelled mid-show, and instead, the returning Grayson Waller took the main-event slot. However, what remains the same is “Trick Willy” being NXT’s hottest name heading into 2024, championship or not.

Blair Davenport vs Lyra Valkyria (c) – NXT Women’s Championship

The first NXT match of 2024 is a first-time matchup between two former NXT UK competitors, both showing their grappling prowess in the opening goings. Davenport gains control with a sick double stomp, and Valkyria fights back with sporadic suplexes throughout the commercial-free segment. The challenger connects with a top-rope Falcon Arrow but inadvertently knees herself through the announce desk to “holy sh-” chants, allowing Valkyria to capitalize with a pinfall victory. Booker T aptly called this a “main event” match, truly setting the tone for the NXT women’s division in 2024. Lola Vice attempts to cash in on a battered champion, but Tatum Paxley makes the unwelcomed save.

Winner: Lyra Valkyria


Kelly Kincaid announces that Ilja Dragunov is not medically cleared to defend his NXT Championship against Trick Williams tonight, audibly souring the live audience.

No Quarter Catch Crew vs LWO

Immediately lightening the mood with a huge pop is Carlito, taking the place of Dragon Lee alongside LWO. No Quarter Catch Crew member Charlie Dempsey is currently on excursion in All Japan Pro Wrestling, missing out on a high-flying beatdown from the opposition – like Joaquin Wilde absolutely launching himself with an assisted springboard. “Carlito” chants distract from a showing by Drew Gulak, Damon Kemp, and Myles Borne before his heroic hot tag gets Orlando standing. He connects with the Backstabber, and Cruz Del Toro hits a Phoenix Splash for the electric six-man victory. For giggles, Carlito spits his apple in Gulak’s face because No Quarter Catch Crew’s not cool.

Winners: LWO


“Naysayer please,” says Trick Williams to a returning Grayson Waller, who stirs the pot between Trick Willy and Carmelo Hayes. The latter confidently puts Williams’ NXT Championship shot on the line tonight to the geeked glee of Waller.

Before the NXT Breakout Tournament Finals, a cinematic vignette for Riley Osborne pays tribute to European stars like Finn Balor, Drew Mcintyre, Fit Finlay, and William Regal. Not mentioned in the speech is his disgraced professor Andre Chase.

Arianna Grace vs Roxanne Perez

While everyone clamors for a Perez call-up, the young staple mixes it up with an even newer competitor in Grace. The latter’s still visibly figuring it out, and Perez eventually puts it away with Pop Rox. She continues the beatdown post-match with a Crossface that takes three officials to halt, and somehow the referee’s decision is reversed in Grace’s favor. 

Winner: Arianna Grace


Ava is interviewed backstage and announces the start of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic next week, and she’s much more natural as Shawn Michaels’ office protege than The Rock’s in-ring offspring.

Nikkita Lyons is the bigger woman for not enacting revenge on Blair Davenport, but the verbal sparring results in an abrupt pull-apart.

Tiffany Stratton and Fallon Henley

A big-time package precedes a goofy match stipulation where the loser becomes the other’s servant or ranch hand. It’s an antiquated, cartoony angle but stays in line with NXT’s current vibe unfortunately. Stratton controls through picture-in-picture until Henley makes a comeback, capitalizing on the former’s attempt to bring in a steel chair with a Shining Wizard for victory. What proceeds will likely be hokey montages of Stratton on the farm or something. 

Winner: Fallon Henley


Baron Corbin reluctantly asks Bron Breakker to team with him in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic because they’re “both a-holes.” Breakker accepts in sight of leading “baldy” in his shadows.

A final-boss vignette precedes Oba Femi’s NXT Breakout Tournament Finals match, touting himself as a champion of Nigeria and the white-and-gold brand.

Cora Jade finds Gigi Dolin sitting in her locker, and the other women need to separate their banter revolving around locker possession.

Ridge Holland has a sit-down interview to discuss injuring Ilja Dragunov and his prior accidents. He speaks touchingly about damaging his legs in 2020 and smashing his nose in 2022. However, he doesn’t bring up Big E or Elton Prince and instead ends on a path to redemption – to “show the NXT Universe who Ridge Holland truly is with no perceptions.”

Oba Femi vs Riley Osborne – NXT Breakout Tournament Finals

Fellow Chase University student Thea Hail loses her mind after getting a high five from Osborne, who’s physically been the underdog throughout the tournament. Ginormous Femi takes his opponent down with a single chop, cinching a Bearhug after commercial break. The high-flying Osborne fights back and attempts a Shooting Star Press, only for Femi to raise his knees and connect with a Pop-up Powerbomb for victory. The 2024 NXT Breakout Tournament, Femi, is a force!

Winner: Oba Femi


OTM send a charismatic message to The D’Angelo Family while Scrypts lingers in the background. Lucien Price and Bronco Nima are a couple of badasses – and then there’s Scrypts.

Kiana James puts over her new business partner Izzi Dame, vowing that in 2024, everyone will know her name.

“I gotta run this play alone,” says Trick Williams to Carmelo Hayes after arguing over jeopardizing his NXT Championship match. Sooner than later, someone’s gonna pull a Draymond Green.

Duke Hudson and Andre Chase are proud of Riley Osborne but look forward to the Dusty Classic. However, Jacy Jayne makes the executive decision that Osborne will take Chase’s place while the debt scandal continues. Meanwhile, Tatum Paxley sneaks up on Lyra Valkyria saying, “As long as you’re champion, all is right in the world.”

Nathan Frazer and Axiom are optimistic about their chances in the Dusty Cup before Malik Blade and Edris Enofe appear behind the former. “He’s right behind me, isn’t he?” is a funny bit for big mouth Frazer. 

The D’Angelo Family responds to OTM and finally introduces their own business partner Adriana Rizzo. “The rizz always takes care of bizz,” says Stacks before finding Joe Gacy hanging in their trunk.

Grayson Waller vs Trick Williams

Williams may be the hottest name in NXT, or at least his catchphrase and entrance are. He competes tonight with his NXT Championship match on the line, whooping his main-roster opponent around the ringside area before picture-in-picture. Waller, much more polished in comparison, dominates thereafter until Williams reverses his rolling stunner finisher. Carmelo Hayes rushes out to cause a distraction, but before Waller can capitalize, the speculated NXT Champion – Kevin Owens – appears and delivers a right hand to his rival. It’s instead Williams that takes advantage with a jumping knee for three, retaining his title shot and spot at the top of NXT.

Winner: Trick Williams


NXT New Year's Evil 2024

Orlando, FL

A pretty decent to start to NXT’s 2024, but it’s clear that main roster guys are a necessity to push this program forward. But there are young highlights, like Williams, who make watching their rise worth a watch.