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July 17, 2024

Kevin Owens Helps Trick Williams Retain Future Title Shot in Chaotic NXT New Year’s Evil Main Event

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Jan 3, 2024

NXT New Year’s Evil 2024 delivered chaos, surprises, and high-stakes action as the yellow brand rang in the new year. An injury to NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov shook up the main event scene, while the finals of the Men’s Breakout Tournament crowned a new rising star.

Last-Minute Change Thrusts Grayson Waller Into New Year’s Evil Main Event

The original main event was set to feature NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov defending his title against Trick Williams. However, just hours before the event, WWE announced that Dragunov was not medically cleared to compete.

Dragunov’s injury resulted in a last-minute swap, with Grayson Waller stepping up to battle Williams. If Williams won, he would retain his previously earned future title match against Dragunov.

The high-stakes nature of the bout raised questions over whether Waller would try to sabotage Williams’ title hopes if he gained the upper hand.

Chaotic Match Ends with Kevin Owens Costing Waller the Win

The impromptu main event started off hot, with Waller aggressively targeting Williams’ left arm. But Williams weathered the early storm and turned the tide after launching a surprise dive to the outside.

Late in the match, Waller appeared poised to hit his finisher when the lights in the arena suddenly cut out. Kevin Owens then appeared out of nowhere and hit Waller with a Stunner, allowing a surprised Williams to score the pinfall.

After the match, Owens cut a promo explaining that he showed up because he can’t stand Waller. The Prizefighter praised Williams as the future of NXT and said he looks forward to their match with Dragunov.

Williams Ecstatic With Hard-Fought Win Heading Into Future Title Match

In an exclusive interview after his victory, Williams said the main event experience was a “dream come true.”

“To be in this spot, I’m just so thankful for it,” Williams said. “There’s been so many people who have helped me get to this point to be the ‘A Champ’ in NXT. Now we look ahead to Ilja Dragunov and the NXT Championship.”

Williams added that he has a “trick or two” up his sleeve for the champion. The rising star promised to leave New Year’s Evil 2025 as the new NXT Champion.

Breakout Tournament Finals

The finals of the 2023 Men’s Breakout Tournament pitted Scrypts against Oba Femi in a battle between two up-and-coming athletic standouts.

Femi entered the match with plenty of momentum after scoring upset wins over Javier Bernal and Andre Chase. Scrypts presented a dangerous challenge though, having dominated the tournament with his high-risk offense.

Oba Femi Overcomes Scrypts to Win Tournament

The athleticism was on full display right from the opening bell. Scrypts attempted early dives while Femi answered back with explosive slams.

Femi appeared to suffer a shoulder injury midway through the bout after missing a dive to the outside. Scrypts ruthlessly focused his attack on the injury.

But Femi shockingly kicked out after a devastating double stomp from the top rope. He then countered another high-risk move attempt from Scrypts into a rollup to score the surprise pin and win the tournament.

Men’s Breakout Tournament Bracket
Finals
Oba Femi def. Scrypts
Semifinals
Oba Femi def. Andre Chase
Scrypts def. Javier Bernal
Quarterfinals
Oba Femi def. Javier Bernal
Andre Chase def. Myles Borne
Javier Bernal def. Tank Ledger
Scrypts def. Dante Chen

In an exclusive interview after his win, a jubilant Femi called it a career-defining moment.

This has been a vision since I was a child…that one day, I would make it to the WWE. To win the entire Breakout Tournament in my rookie year, words can’t describe it!” Femi said.

As tournament winner, Femi earned a future title match of his choosing. He did not announce when he plans to cash in his title shot.

Other Notable Moments

The Breakout Tournament finals and chaotic impromptu main event headlined the show, but NXT New Year’s Evil also featured plenty of other newsworthy moments:

  • Lyra Valkyria narrowly escaped with her NXT Women’s Championship. She defeated Blair Davenport in the opening match, then fended off a surprise cash-in attempt from Nikkita Lyons right after.
  • Tag team champions LWO (Legado del Fantasma) overcame No Quarter (Dijak, Cruz Del Toro & Joaquin Wilde) in wild Six-Man Tornado Tag action.
  • Grayson Waller viciously attacked Apollo Crews backstage in an apparent revenge plot after their feud last year.
  • Carmelo Hayes invited former rival Cameron Grimes to join him in the ring and unexpectedly offered his respect. But Grimes refused to make amends for their heated history.
  • Kevin Owens promised he is in NXT for the long run and plans to have fun targeting Waller while also mentoring younger stars.

What’s Next After New Year’s Evil?

The yellow brand heads towards Vengeance Day on February 15 with plenty of chaos still to unravel:

  • Ilja Dragunov is injured again. When will he return and how will it impact Williams’ title match?
  • Who attacked Crews and will he seek payback against Waller?
  • Is KO really here to stay and what other surprises might be in store?
  • What will Oba Femi choose to do with his future title shot?
  • Is the contentious feud between Hayes and Grimes reigniting?

As NXT builds momentum towards WrestleMania season, the road ahead looks filled with intrigue. The chaos of New Year’s Evil seems to have set the stage for an eventful 2024 in the world of sports entertainment.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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