Former EVOLVE Champion Austin Theory made his WWE NXT TV debut on tonight's Christmas episode on the USA Network.

The 22 year old Theory opened the show by answering the Open Challenge from NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong. That hard-fought match saw Strong retain his title by submission.

WWE officially announced Theory's signing back in August, in the same Performance Center Class that included Santana Garrett, Tehuti Miles, Catalina Garcia, Briana Brandy, and others. Theory also appeared ringside at the "Takeover: Toronto 2019" event during WWE SummerSlam Weekend back in August.

Theory held the EVOLVE Title as a NXT Superstar and didn't drop it until EVOLVE 139 on November 9, losing it to Josh Briggs. He had been champion since defeating current NXT Superstar Fabian Aichner for the title back on December 15, 2018 at EVOLVE 117, in a Triple Threat that also included Strong.

Below are a few shots from tonight's title match, which brought a standing ovation from fans after the bell: