WWE NXT 12/20/17 is the second to last show of the year and will feature SAnitY defending their tag titles against Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly from Undisputed Era. Also on tap for tonight is WWE UK Champ Pete Dunne defending his strap against Tyler Bate. Those two matches alone should make this a great episode. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 12/20/17 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. We open with a video package highlighting tonight’s two title matches. Standard opening credits and we’re taped (originally taped 11/29/17) from Full Sail. Mauro welcomes us to the show and SAnitY’s music hits.
Eric Young and Killian Dain are out. We learn that Wolfe still hasn’t been medically cleared after getting staples in his head following War Games. No Nikki Cross – seems ominous. Undisputed Era’s music hits and they’re out next – without Cole.
Match #1: SAnitY (Eric Young & Killian Dane) (c) vs. Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) (NXT Tag Team Championship Match)
Wow, this was a wild one. Fish and O’Reilly do an excellent job of isolating Young and keeping Dain out of the ring. We haven’t seen heel tactics this good since the Revival were at NXT. EY finally makes the hot tag and Dain goes on an incredibly impressive run. Dain caps things off by hitting both guys with a combination Senton and dropkick. Young tags back in and things start to break down. Young looks like he’s going up for an elbow drop, but Cole appears out of nowhere and crotches EY on the ropes. This brings Nikki Cross through the crowd and she dives off the apron onto Cole. Nikki starts pounding on Cole and it requires two refs to drag her, kicking and screaming, to the back. Young decides to take out Cole on the outside and heads back into the ring, only to walk right into Total Elimination. New tag team champs!
Verdict: Thumbs Up – I’d have preferred SAnitY held on the belts a bit longer, but this was a solid match and Fish & O’Reilly are clearly deserving of the titles. I’m sure the rematch will involve Cross and Cole suspended above the ring in shark cages.
Post-match, the Undisputed Era celebrate on the stage while SAnitY sells defeat in the ring.
Later tonight? The final Fatal Four Way Qualifier Match between Lars Sullivan and Roderick Strong. A Roderick Strong hype video airs.
Also, later tonight? Tyler Bate tries to take the WWE UK Championship from Pete Dunne.
Next, a “Shayna Baszler is coming soon” vignette airs.
Back from break, Heavy Machinery are outside talking about working out and eating. They see a fancy car illegally parked and Otis tries to lift it to move it. This brings out Moss & Sabbatelli who cut a promo on Heavy Machinery that ends in “pork and weights”. This infuriates Otis because it’s “shakes and weights”, Moss & Sabbatelli drive away, and I think next week’s tag match is set.
Two weeks ago, Sonya Deville beat Ruby Riott. We see “earlier this week” footage of Sonya at the PC saying that she wants Ember Moon next week because they have unfinished business.
Next week? Ember Moon defends the NXT Women’s Championship against Sonya Deville.
Up next? Strong vs. Sullivan for the final Fatal Four Way spot. Here’s a Lars Sullivan video package to get you pumped up!
Back from break, we see footage of last week’s Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole match.
Meanwhile, Lars Sullivan’s music hits and he’s out. Roderick Strong is out next.
Match #2: Lars Sullivan vs. Roderick Strong (Fatal Four Way Qualifier Match)
Strong gets in more offense than usual on Sullivan, but this is still an incredibly convincing win for Lars. Sullivan tosses Strong around the ring and dominates for most of the match. However, it was very impressive to see Strong hit an Olympic Slam on Sullivan. But seriously, Lars is getting the “monster heel” push right now so this one was academic. After a pop-up powerslam, Lars puts Strong away with the Freak Accident.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I’m slowly warming up to “Lars squash” and this match was “okay” with Strong. Lars still seems to work best with guys closer to his size though.
Up next? Dunne vs. Bate!
I guess no women’s match this week. Surprising since this ends up being the longest NXT episode I’ve ever seen.
Meanwhile, Street Profits do another promo outside of Full Sail.
Next week? The Fatal Four Way to determine the Number One Contender to the NXT Championship.
Back at Full Sail, Christy is backstage with Tyler Bate. Tyler mentions how long his feud with Dunne has been going and pledges that tonight is his night.
“Not Sledgehammer” hits and Bate is out. Dunne enters last.
Match #3: Pete Dunne (c) vs. Tyler Bate (WWE UK Championship Match)
Well, these guys never disappoint and even though this match made the episode feel oppressively long – I’m glad they got this much time. We get the standard mat wrestling from these guys, but Dunne really goes to work on Bate’s left hand. At one point it legit looks like one of Bate’s fingers gets dislocated. Ouch! We’ve reached the point in this feud where finishers are going to get kicked out of. Dunne can’t put Bate away with the Bitter End and Bate hits a Tyler Driver 97 for 2. These guy continue to beat the Hell out of each other until they’re trading blows on their knees. Great stuff. The finish comes when Bate attempts a German Superplex off the ropes, but Dunne lands on his feet and catches a surprised Bate with a second Bitter End.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Another classic from these two and it just blows my mind how young these guys are. Also props to NXT for putting a match of this caliber on the weekly show. This easily could have been a TakeOver match.
We go off the air as Dunne celebrates his victory in the ring.