This week’s extended episode of NXT is all about looking back at 2018, with the announcements of nominees for NXT’s Year-End Awards. But it’s not all about past action: “The King of Bros” Matt Riddle and “The Knockout Artist” Kassius Ohno are ready to ring in the new year with a rematch of their very brief match (six seconds!) at NXT TakeOver: WarGames II.
Matt Riddle def. Kassius Ohno
Riddle is out first, naturally looking real laid back on his way to the ring. Ohno, on the other hand, is looking determined. He’s definitely looking alive, immediately avoiding the jumping knee from Riddle at the start of this match—he’s clearly learned his lesson from TakeOver.
But Riddle has the early advantage against Ohno, beating him down with non-stop strikes. However, one desperate punch from Ohno finally allows him to get on top of things and put the hurt on Bro. This is the match people were expecting at TakeOver.
The NXT Universe at Full Sail chant “LET’S GO BRO” to try to fuel Riddle into making a comeback, but Ohno doesn’t allow that comeback to happen, just beating the guy and so very clearly satisfied with his work. Riddle attempts to fight back, and after a series of strikes, he manages to dig deep and hit Ohno with a German suplex. Then he starts to hit Ohno with kicks, but Ohno finally grabs his foot—going after his toes, because that’s what happens when you live the barefoot lifestyle—before hitting him with a big knee. But he’s still not able to put Riddle away. Then he starts mocking Riddle, saying “COME ON, BRO” in between strikes.
But this just fires Riddle up, and another flurry of strikes come. He really is fired up… and now he’s kicked in the face. Ohno follows that up with two back-to-back sentons, and he goes for a third senton but ends up landing himself right into Riddle’s Bromission. Then it’s only a moment before he has to tap out. No, Ohno isn’t knocked out by this submission, but he so very clearly looks like he’d rather be: The dejected look on his face as a result of this loss is heartbreaking.
Despite the way Ohno has treated Riddle since he’s arrived in NXT, post-match, Riddle offers Ohno a fist bump of respect. (The NXT Universe even chants “FIST BUMP.”) A true bro, indeed. Ohno rejects it and starts to leave, but he seemingly has a change of heart and comes back to offer up his own fist bump—to which the WWE Universe chant “BRO-NO.” (Like Kassius “Bro-No,” not telling Bro no to the fist bump.)
But as it turns out, this isn’t a change of heart for Ohno: It’s actually a ploy to get Riddle off his game and beat him down. He ends up throwing Riddle into the steel steps repeatedly, all while the NXT Universe lets him know “YOU STILL TAPPED.”
After he screams at Riddle, asking if he knows who he is and what he’s done, he hits him with a rolling elbow. The NXT Universe chants “YOU SUCK” to the tune of Ohno’s theme, before he mockingly fist bumps an unconscious bro. The first NXT episode of 2019 ends with the NXT Universe chanting “YOU TAPPED OUT” at Kassius Ohno.
You can watch this week’s NXT on the WWE Network.