Mentor and mentee were in lockstep from the get-go, as Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory showcased instant team chemistry. Kushida & Leon Ruff battled back with their athleticism, highlighted by Ruff planting Theory with a massive DDT out of nowhere, though The Way countered with a well-coordinated dropkick-missile Spear combination. Ruff put Gargano down with a spectacular springboard cutter and looked to pin the North American Champion with a crucifix, but Theory, who made a blind tag, dropped Ruff with an innovative, modified flapjack for the win.
Tommaso Ciampa set a chair up outside the ring, seemingly an open invitation to Timothy Thatcher, and one that was accepted as the dean of Thatch-As-Thatch-Can made his way to ringside for a front-row seat as Ciampa punished former Thatcher student Tyler Rust. The action spilled out right in front of Thatcher at one point, and a kick from Rust errantly caught Thatcher, enraging him to the point that he had to be held back by referees.
Rust recovered to demonstrate a deep arsenal of innovative offense and primarily targeted Ciampa's arms with several vicious holds. But The Blackheart prevailed after spiking him with Willow's Bell.
Bedlam ruled the Capitol Wrestling Center before the opening bell, as Drake Maverick & Killian Dain looked to settle unfinished business with NXT Tag Team Champions Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan, while The Undisputed ERA's Adam Cole and Roderick Strong — and even the returning Breezango — joined in on the fisticuffs.
Once the action was officially underway, it became immediately evident how familiar Kyle O'Reilly and Pete Dunne have become with each other's repertoires after weeks of warring between their factions, as both Superstars traded counters while jostling for the early advantage. O'Reilly eventually claimed the edge, countering a potential X-Plex attempt on the apron into a suplex to the floor. The UE's martial-arts master followed with a diving knee off the top rope, punching his ticket to face Finn Bálor at NXT New Year's Evil.
The Way made their presence felt at ringside, as the trophy Johnny Gargano unveiled last week for Candice LeRae wound up in Indi Hartwel's hands, but the referee saw her blast Shotzi Blackheart with it, leading to a disqualification. Victory was far from sweet for Blackheart, though, as LeRae laid her out with the Wicked Stepsister afterward.
In his first bout in four months after being out with a shoulder surgery, Karrion Kross picked up right where he left off. The former NXT Champion decimated Desmond Troy in a dominant performance, flattening him with the Doomsday Saito before forcing him to submit to the Kross Jacket.
Kross wasn't finished with just the victory though, challenging Damian Priest to a bout in three weeks' time at NXT New Year's Evil.
The first two NXT UK Women's Champions renewed their rivalry in hard-hitting fashion with Rhea Ripley taking control against Toni Storm behind her overwhelming power. Raquel González continued to be a thorn in The Nightmare's side, however. While Ripley's boot sent Storm crashing into González, who toppled over the ringside barrier, González had the last laugh. With the referee checking on Storm, "Big Mami Cool" sent Ripley shoulder-first into the post, and Storm capitalized to hit the Storm Zero for a massive victory over her long-time foe.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory (w/ Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell) defeated Kushida & Leon Ruff (10:08)
- Tommaso Ciampa defeated Tyler Rust (8:50)
- Kyle O'Reilly defeated Pete Dunne (w/ Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan) to become the #1 Contender for the NXT Championship (22:46)
- Shotzi Blackheart defeated Indi Hartwell (w/ Candice LeRae, Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory) by DQ (4:06)
- Karrion Kross (w/ Scarlett) defeated Desmond Troy (1:05)
- Toni Storm defeated Rhea Ripley (13:53)
Other on-screen talent