Thank you once again for joining us here at Sports Obsessive. NXT is bringing us an absolutely loaded card this Wednesday with the NXT New Year’s Evil special, live on the USA Network at 8pm EST. The card is highlighted by a rematch between NXT Champion Finn Balor and his Takeover 31 opponent, Kyle O’Reilly.
Jon, Junior and James gave their best shots at predicting the outcomes to all of the announced matchups. Without further ado, lets get into it!
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar (c) vs Gran Metalik
Jon: This match is the latest to be added to the card, being made official this past Wednesday after Lucha House Party defeated Legado del Fantasma in their return to NXT television. I’m not sure if they are back to stay, or if this is just a one off, but I don’t see Metallik winning either way. The match will be fast-paced and exciting, but Escobar is too hot right now. My pipedream for this match is that Jordan Devlin shows up and challenges Escobar to a title unification match and makes his full-time return to NXT stateside.
Junior: This is a filler match, but it shouldn’t be. Escobar is very underwhelming. Metalik is exciting, but can not come to NXT and beat the champion who’s held the title for months. Metalik is very stale on the main roster with the same act, but he was my pick for the cruiserweight tournament a few years back. Escobar will win this match, but hopefully this is a build up for the cruiserweight title going forward.
James: For no other reason than I really enjoy seeing him wrestle, I’m going for Gran Metalik.
Jon’s Prediction: Santos Escobar
Junior’s Prediction: Santos Escobar
James’ Prediction: Gran Metalik
Damien Priest vs Karrion Kross
Jon: This is probably the easiest matchup to predict on this card. While I believe that Priest is one of the most talented guys on the NXT roster, it’s clear that Kross is on his way back to contending for the title that he never lost. As long as it’s not a complete squash, this will be a fun one. But I just don’t see any possible outcome other than a victory for Karrion Kross.
Junior: Wow. What can I say about this? Two men, both monsters, both something to prove. Priest has the opportunity to polish his razor sharp edge and continue to dominate. Kross never stopped dominating. His only weakness is his own body. He is now back for vengeance and destruction. Kross wins in a gruelling battle over Priest.
James: I would never bet against Karrion Kross, no matter who he’s in there with. Granted, I’m not the biggest fan of Priest. It’s only a matter of time before Kross sets his eyes back on the NXT Championship and reclaims what is rightfully his.
Jon’s Prediction: Karrion Kross
Junior’s Prediction: Karrion Kross
James’ Prediction: Karrion Kross
Tomasso Ciampa vs Timothy Thatcher in the Fight Pit
Jon: Can you say BANGER? I know that we’ve already seen these two go at it. This time though, the fight pit adds a whole new level of excitement. Ciampa and Thatcher are legitimate tough guys and have no problem inflicting damage on each other or themselves. I’m going with Tomasso to pull this one out in a bloody, brutal affair.
Junior: Here’s a drinking game: one shot for every time a body part starts to bleed, two shots for a tooth or piece of a body part that becomes detached! This is going to solidify that these are the two toughest SOB’s in NXT. This will be smash mouth entertainment at it’s finest. As much as I hate to go against the Blackheart, Thatcher grabs a win in his “sanctuary”.
James: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m not backing Ciampa for once. Thatcher has proved his worth through his grit and tenacity over the past number of months. Thatcher has got to stand tall as a gruesome brawler when the Fight Pit comes to a conclusion.
Jon’s Prediction: Tomasso Ciampa
Junior’s Prediction: Timothy Thatcher
James’ Prediction: Timothy Thatcher
Last Woman Standing: Rhea Ripley vs Raquel Gonzalez
Jon: This is the showdown that I’m struggling with the most. Both of these women are absolute beasts. Rhea has star written all over her and was destined for greatness prior to the pandemic forcing her back overseas. My heart says to go with the Nightmare. On the flip side, my gut says that NXT is building up Gonzalez to be a major force in the division. Why else would they give her the pin fall on NXT Women’s champion Io Shirai in the War Games match? For that reason, and probably against my better judgement, I’m going with Raquel Gonzalez to pick up the victory, but probably not cleanly. Look for Dakota Kai or Toni Storm to make their presence felt in this one.
Junior: Best friends turned mortal enemies. Every time these women lock horns their names are in everyone’s mouths as the hot conversations. As a team they would be unstoppable, but that’s not the case. Once an unbreakable sisterhood, these two women have allowed their hearts and minds to be blinded by hatred, with the goal to destroy one another. Gonzalez will definitely push Ripley to the edge, but the fire to return to the top as women’s champion burns furiously in Ripley. That’s why the Nightmare will be the last woman standing. (Note) I can’t help but feel in my gut that somehow, somewhere, even if I’m wrong about the outcome, someone will interfere in the finish, but that’s just me.
James: Talk about a real wrestling match. This is it. This is going to be emotional yet brutal. I see Gonzalez coming close and sending a message to Rhea but the former NXT Champion has far too much wind behind her to let a victory in this pivotal match slip through her fingers.
Jon’s Prediction: Raquel Gonzalez
Junior’s Prediction: Rhea Ripley
James’ Prediction: Rhea Ripley
NXT Championship: Finn Balor vs Kyle O’Reilly
Jon: I don’t know how these two could improve on their Takeover 31 classic, but something tells me that they’re going to. Their chemistry just seems so natural. That’s what happens when you put two of the best technically sound wrestlers in the world in the ring together. I would love to see KOR come out with the title this time around. My gut says that he won’t, but my heart says to pick him anyway. Fingers crossed for a new Undisputed champion.
Junior: This match will replicate, if not outshine, their recently awarded 2020 Match of the Year!. Finn will only upskill KOR in every moment that they are together. Do not allow your expectations to be limited when these two square off. The first match was a clean finish, but this one intrigues me. Neither competitor is really face, nor heel. Should be an amazing match, but the outcome has to be Balor vs. Kross down the road. So Balor goes over again to defeat KOR and retain his title, only to be humiliatingly congratulated by a seductive dark Scarlett, followed by Balor’s undeniable fate, Karrion Kross.
James: There’s been a lot of buzz around O’Reilly, but you can never count Finn Balor out. Balor is the Champ for a reason. I see O’Reilly with the gold in the future, but not as long as the NXT Championship is strapped around Balor’s waist.
Jon’s Prediction: Kyle O’Reilly
Junior’s Prediction: Finn Balor
James’ Prediction: Finn Balor
What do you think of our predictions? Do you agree or are we way off? What match are you most looking forward to at NXT New Year’s Evil? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter by following, @ShartzerJon, @bashlander, @JamesSixtyThree and @SportsObsessive.