WWE NXT for 12/30/20 (#NXTYearEndAwards)

With the final WWE NXT upon us, the show also features the NXT Year-End Awards and two prominent matches. Fans will witness announcements for the following awards. The NXT Awards for Female, Male, Match of The Year,  Breakout Star of the Year, Future Star & Event of the Year. While those are the awards, featured fans will witness two prominent matches too. Will Leon Ruff recapture the NXT North American Championship from Johnny Gargano? Also, will Roderick Strong achieve retribution for the attack he received at the hands of Pete Dunne? All this and more as we preview WWE NXT for 12/30/20.

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WWE NXT for 12/30/20
Photo / WWE NXT

WWE NXT for 12/30/20
NXT Award for Top Female

The top six women nominated are all perennial favorites to win this match. While some are likely to be considered front runners, each of them had a memorable 2020. There are sentimental choices, in particular, Tegan Nox. After suffering two major knee injuries, this past year started well enough for her. However, another major injury cut Tegan’s year short. Io, Rhea, and Kay Lee have all held a women’s championship this past year, so they all can lay claim to the award.

Finally, despite not winning a title, both Candice LaRae and Dakota Kai were contending for the NXT Women’s Championship on multiple occasions. Each of these women could easily walk away with the award. However, if a predicted winner could be made, Io Shirai may be the winner.

 

WWE NXT for 12/30/20
Photo / WWE NXT

NXT Award for Top Male

It was a remarkable year for all the men in this category. Of all those nominated, only Tommaso Ciampa did not hold the championship. However, what could be said is that of all those nominated, WALTER has held his title the longest, capturing it this past April. While Keith Lee is no longer with the NXT brand, he did have the distinction of holding both the North American and NXT Championship simultaneously.

Johnny Gargano is now in the midst of his third NXT North American title reign. It is a tough category to call a winner, but if anyone could walk away with bragging rights for this award, it could likely be Johnny Gargano.

 

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NXT Award for Match Of The Year

Incredibly, eight matches could easily be the winner for the match of the year. Each of them could stand to be the match that generated the greatest reaction and was most talked about. While it likely fell under the radar and wasn’t something that fans expected, the WALTER/Dragonov match was outstanding and was the sole NXT UK match listed.

If cinematic is the one decision that the voters will call on, then One Final Beat will stand above all. If one match where the fans could have added to the match’s atmosphere, it is likely O’Reilly & Balor could be the match that earns the award.

 

IWWE NXT for 12/30/20
Photo / WWE NXT

NXT Award for Breakout Star Of The Year

The list of names here that stand to make a name for themselves is the one’s that were engaged in some of the highest-profile matches. One of the surprising entries would be that of Pat McAfee. His short tenure in the promotion was noteworthy and universally heralded by fans and writers alike. If championship success is a factor then the likes of Damian Priest and Santos Escobar are favorites. Both Raquel Gonzalez and Shotzi Blackheart came on towards the end of 2020 to showcase their skills as threats for the award as well.

The feud between Grimes and Lumis made both men stars this past year as well. However, if anyone’s been in the most noteworthy matches and feuds, held titles, and been prominent in NXT this past year likely makes Damien Priest the winner.

 

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NXT Award Future Star

This is a very tough award to call. Fans that aren’t as familiar with NXT UK are likely to miss out on how talented the likes of A-Kid, Pretty Deadly, and Aoife Valkyrie. However, on the NXT side of things, it is the likes of Jake Atlas, & Leon Ruff who have had notable matches either on 205 Live or NXT that have shown their growth on the program. If the idea of an underdog character that could walk away as the winner then the focus lends itself to being Leon Ruff as the winner.

It could be a bittersweet evening as Ruff is also contending for the NXT North American Championship. Will he manage to be a double winner on this evening, or could The Way members Indi Hartwell or Austin Theory walk away as the surprise winners?

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NXT Award for Event Of The Year

Over the course of twelve months, NXT or NXT UK featured eight prominent events. However, only one of the eight was events were NXT UK focused. While it is a tough category, the challenge would be in deciding the weight of the event in retrospect. The Great American Bash and Halloween Havoc weren’t featured as a stand-alone pay per view event whereas the other TakeOver’s were. Of all the events featured each carried with them a redeeming quality.

However, if anyone stands out because of its sheer imposing nature and build, it would have to be War Games. Titles may not have been on the line; however, the nature in which each competitor was involved, much like the event, was a focal point of feuds culminating.

WWE NXT for 12/30/20
Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong

The sheer brutality that is likely involved in this match is what makes it the most intriguing. These two have a history with one another. As many will recall, it was Strong that turned on Dunne during their tag team title opportunity against Kyle O’Reilly & Adam Cole. Dunne likely has a short memory, and this match could finally be the retribution that he is seeking.

Will Dunne represent the Kings of NXT proudly and put his foot on and down the throat of Roderick Strong? Could this be Strong asserting himself and representing the Undisputed Era proudly?

WWE NXT for 12/30/20
NXT North American Championship
Leon Ruff vs Johnny Gargano

As mentioned earlier, this could be a matter of feast or famine for Leon Ruff. With the emergence of ‘The Way,’ Johnny Gargano could very well be walking in as champion and walking out as champion. Remember Ruff was never considered a threat in the first place and has proven to be an upstart that could contend for the title. Will Austin Theory interject himself in this match? Will Leon Ruff be able to overcome the odds once again? Can he shock the world by recapturing the NXT North American Championship? He will have his work cut off for him. But it’s the ride that fans will likely enjoy the most here.

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