WWE Announces 'Halftime Heat' Return With NXT Six-Man Tag Match

WWE made a major announcement during the Royal Rumble pre-show on Sunday night by announcing the [...]

WWE made a major announcement during the Royal Rumble pre-show on Sunday night by announcing the return of Halftime Heat.

The special originally aired in 1999 during the halftime of Super Bowl XXXIII, featuring an empty arena WWF Championship match between The Rock and Mankind. The show will return for the first time in 20 years with a six-man tag match featuring NXT stars as Velveteen Dream, Ricochet and Aleister Black take on Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole.

WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, who works as an NXT trainer at the WWE Performance Center, was the one to announce the match after cutting to footage of a brawl that took place after NXT TakeOver: Phoenix went off the air. The show ended with Ciampa and Gargano, now the NXT and NXT North American Champions, celebrating on the top of the ramp to signify the return of their DIY tag team. But shortly afterwards they, Dream, Ricochet, Black and Cole all wound up in a brawl that spilled its way into the backstage area. The scene was finally broken up by a group of referees and Triple H.

The brawl capped off what wound up being an incredibly eventful night for WWE's developmental brand. The show kicked off with The War Raiders capturing the the NXT Tag Team Championships from Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong of the Undisputed Era, followed by a slugfest between from UFC fighter Matt Riddle and Kassius Ohno.

Midway through the show Ricochet and Gargano put on 23-minute instant classic that stands out as an early Match of the Year contender, as the now heelish Gargano hit the reigning champion with a suplex onto an exposed concrete floor, then pinned him with a slingshot DDT.

Following that match, NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler successfully defend her title against the then-undefeated Bianca Belair by knocking her out with her Kirifuda Clutch submission finisher.

The 2019 edition of Royal Rumble takes place on Sunday night at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. The show is headlined by a Men's and Women's Rumble matches for the second year in a row, and will also feature a number of title matches such as Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor and WWE Champion Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles.