North American Champion Johnny Gargano’s next challenger was confirmed on last night’s episode of NXT.
While The Way (Gargano, Candice LeRae, Indi Hartwell, and Austin Theory) celebrated Christmas at the Gargano household, it was announced that Leon Ruff will challenge for Gargano’s North American Championship on NXT next Wednesday. Ruff got a surprise win against Timothy Thatcher last night, pinning Thatcher with a cradle as Thatcher was going for a submission.
Gargano will again be trying to break his title defense curse against Ruff. When Gargano tried to break the curse last month, there was a shocking title change when Ruff defeated Gargano after a distraction from Damian Priest. Gargano then regained the North American Championship at TakeOver: WarGames when interference by Theory helped him defeat Ruff and Priest in a triple threat match.
The build to NXT New Year’s Evil also continued last night. Two new matches were announced for the show. Rhea Ripley and Raquel Gonzalez will face off in a Last Woman Standing match, while the NXT Fight Pit will return as Tommaso Ciampa takes on Thatcher. NXT Champion Finn Balor and Kyle O’Reilly also looked back at their TakeOver 31 match ahead of their rematch at New Year’s Evil. New Year’s Evil is taking place on Wednesday, January 6.
More coverage from last night —
North American title match, Strong-Dunne set for WWE NXT next week
Allin-Cage TNT title match set for AEW New Year’s Smash night two
Kip Sabian-Penelope Ford wedding announced for AEW Beach Break
Jon Moxley’s return set for AEW New Year’s Smash night one
VIDEO: Speak Now Pro Wrestling with Denise Salcedo
Fight Pit match returning at WWE NXT New Year’s Evil
WWE adds Last Woman Standing match to NXT New Year’s Evil
Mercedes Martinez returns to WWE NXT, attacks Io Shirai
AEW Dynamite live results: Holiday Bash
WWE NXT live results: A Very Gargano Christmas
WWE NXT video highlights —
NXT Tag Team title street fight: Lorcan & Burch vs. Dain & Maverick
A Very Gargano Christmas
Finn Balor and Kyle O’Reilly look back at their NXT TakeOver 31 title match
Jake Atlas vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
Velveteen Dream confronts Adam Cole
Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai
Xia Li and Boa’s training continues
Bronson Reed vs. Ashante “Thee” Adonis
Mercedes Martinez returns, attacks Io Shirai
Leon Ruff vs. Timothy Thatcher
Tyler Rust vs. Ariya Daivari
Doomsday is coming for Damian Priest
Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream
NXT fallout: Mercedes Martinez is back and all hell is going to break loose
NXT fallout: Leon Ruff knows what it takes to defeat Johnny Gargano
NXT fallout: 2021 will be the year of Bronson Reed