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NXT Review 30/01/24

It’s the go home show for Vengeance Day and that means a lot of talking for the matches that are already set. One of them has a bit of a twist though, with #1 contender Trick Williams also set to team with Carmelo Hayes in the semifinals of the Dusty Classic. That could make for a busy Sunday so let’s get to it.

Opening recap.

Match 1 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals: Carmelo Hayes/Trick Williams vs. LWO

Hayes armdrags Wilde down to start and snaps off a dropkick. Williams comes in for a dropkick of his own so it’s off to del Toro for a double back elbow. A comeback is cut off with some shots to the knee but Williams gets over to Hayes anyway. The LWO sends them right back to the floor though and stereo dives connect as we take a break.

Back with Hayes fighting out of a chinlock and hitting his half of a double clothesline. Williams comes back in for a double release Rock Bottom and it’s back to Hayes, who gets caught in the Tree of Woe. The LWO take him down again with stereo missile dropkicks and everyone is down. Hayes and del Toro kick it out until del Toro misses a phoenix splash. Williams comes back in and hits the jumping knee for the pin on Wilde at 12:33.

Official Result Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams win

Rating: B-. So there’s your setup for the main event at Vengeance Day, as there’s a very good chance that Williams can’t win because of something that happens in the tournament final. As in the tournament final that he was in because of Hayes, meaning Hayes costs him the title. Or maybe he wins everything and Hayes is jealous. Either way, it makes things more interesting and we should be in for something good.

Post match Oba Femi runs in to jump the LWO and takes out Dragon Lee for trying to make a save.

Ava tells Ridge Holland that he can’t fight Gallus himself. Lexis King comes in with a gift basket for Ava, who didn’t realize they have a meeting. Ava makes King vs. Holland for tonight. Works for Holland.

Tatum Paxley talks to a picture of Lyra Valkyria, saying she’ll always be there for her. Valkyria comes to say she got all of Paxley’s messages but doesn’t get why Paxley attacked Roxanne Perez last week. Paxley says she’ll always be there for Valkyria.

Match 2 Tatum Paxley vs. Roxanne Perez

Lyra Valkyria is on commentary and we’re joined in progress with Paxley firing off an assortment of kicks. A hanging butterfly suplex gives Paxley two and she sends Perez outside, with Valkyria not being sure why Paxley is doing any of this. Back in and Pop Rox finishes Paxley at 2:20 shown.

Official Result Roxanne Perez wins

Arianna Grace is with Wren Sinclair and says she is a role model around here. Fallon Henley comes in to say she doesn’t buy this and wants a match with Grace later.

Match 3 Elektra Lopez vs. Lola Vice

Lopez spars her down and the fight is on to start with the two of them heading outside. Back in and Vice fires off some kicks to send her into the corner. More kicks to the back give Vice two but Lopez powerbombs her out of the corner. An annoyed Lopez strikes away and hits a swinging Rock Bottom for two. A spinebuster is broken up though and Vice kicks her in the head for the pin at 3:32.

Official Result Lola Vice wins

Rating: C+. This was quick and to the point with Vice getting a pretty strong win by knocking Lopez silly with that kick. Lopez is on her way to Smackdown and Vice is probably going to get into the title match sooner than later so they needed to cover both of these things. Not a great match, but it was intense while it lasted.

Joe Gacy comes to see Dijak and sits down without permission. Gacy says Dijak can’t get rid of him and plays a recording suggesting that he has been here before. Dijak wrecks him again.

Match 4 Ridge Holland vs. Lexis King

Holland elbows him in the face to start and we take a very early break. Back with King going after the knee but getting hit in the face for his efforts. King cheap shots him in the corner though and chokes away before we hit the chinlock. A running clothesline to the back of the head gives King two but Holland fights up again. The Coronation is blocked and Holland hits him in the back of the head for two but cue Gallus for a distraction. That’s enough for a hanging Coronation to finish Holland at 9:38.

Official Result Lexis King Wins

Rating: C. King is still not great in the ring but at least he’s getting the character stuff down. You also need to give him some wins like this to build him up and it’s not like Holland is going to lose much in defeat. Holland already has to deal with Gallus while King gets to move on to something of his own so this was a nice way forward for both of them.

Post match Gallus comes in to beat down Holland.

Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes are still unsure about Ilja Dragunov but Hayes gives him a pep talk. Hayes promises to show that he’s had Williams’ back since the beginning.

Here is Chase University, minus their sweaters (and Jacy Jayne/Thea Hail), for their final goodbyes. Chases knows he’s a hothead and he has no one to blame but himself, but he thanks everyone for letting him live his dream.

Duke Hudson talks about what he has learned from the school and wants everyone to remember how it was. This means a tribute video, which may have been made by threatening students, and yes it is set to Tell Me A Lie.

Chase thanks everyone, but here are Jacy Jayne and Thea Hail to interrupt. Jayne says if you want something done right, ask a woman. Chase: “We’re out here saying our final goodbyes.” Jayne: “Are you?”

She talks about how she came into this place a bit toxic but she needed friends. Maybe she could actually change, and maybe she could help fix the problem. She looked inside her comfort zone and the school is NOT closing.

We see the Ladies Of Chase U Calendar…..which will have Chase U out of debt and moving into the future. Chase jumps up and down in happiness and Jayne hugs him. There is something hilarious about how simple of a solution that is and hopefully they get back to doing what worked with Chase U.

The D’Angelo Family is ready for OTM at Vengeance Day.

Brooks Jensen comes up to Fallon Henley to talk about old times but she leaves to go have her match, leaving Jensen a bit disappointed.

Chase U celebrates a lot but Lexis King interrupts. A match between King and Riley Osborne is teased but Joe Gacy and Dijak brawl in to break it up.

Match 5 Fallon Henley vs. Arianna Grace

Wren Sinclair is here with Henley. Grace offers her a hand to start and gets caught in a wristlock for her efforts. Some armdrags put Grace down again and a big right hand rocks her again as we take a break. Back with Henley fighting out of a chinlock and getting two off a rollup. Henley sends her outside and gets in a shot of her own, only to have Jakara Jackson come in to distract the referee. Cue Lash Legend to kick Henley in the face to give Grace the pin at 8:41.

Official Result Arianna Grace Wins

Rating: C. Henley is definitely moving up the ladder a bit around here and it seems that she has a feud coming up with Meta Four. I could go for her winning something else but at least she has something going on here. Grace on the other hand continues to be more annoying than anything else but at least she didn’t get a dominant win.

OTM is ready for the D’Angelo Family at Vengeance Day.

Dijak and Joe Gacy are fighting way above a dumpster, with Dijak knocking him down into it for a nasty thud.

Baron Corbin praises Bron Breakker for his Royal Rumble performance and seems to be warming up to the Wolf Dogs name.

Match 6 Heritage Cup: Von Wagner vs. Noam Dar

Dar, with Meta Four, is defending and Mr. Stone is here with Wagner. Round One begins with Dar’s kicks being shrugged off and Wagner snaps off a nice armdrag. Wagner powers him into the corner and slowly walks around as Stone plays cheerleader. The tape comes off of Wagner’s hand and he hammers away until the round ends.

Round Two begins with Wagner going after Oro Mensah, allowing Dar to hit the Nova Roller for the pin at 22 seconds of the round and 3:57 overall. We take a break and come back with Wagner hitting a rather delayed vertical suplex. Mensah offers a distraction but here are Fallon Henley and Wren Sinclair to brawl with Lash Legend and Jakara Jackson. The women leave as Dar’s kneebar can’t get the tap before Round Three ends.

Round Four begins with Wagner punching him in the face for two but Dar is back with some elbows. Wagner fights out again but the Death Valley Driver is broken up. Instead Wagner scores with a jumping knee to the face but misses a charge into the post. That’s enough for Dar to roll him up and retain at 1:53 of the round and 10:10 overall.

Official Result Noam Dar Wins

Rating: C. The seemingly never ending reign continues for Dar and the matches are getting less interesting. Wagner didn’t seem like one of the strongest challengers but Dar has held the title for the better part of ever. Either find something else for him to do or get rid of the title altogether, because this stopped working a long time ago.

Post match Dar mocks Stone’s kids in the front row so Wagner puts Mensah through the announcers’ table.

Ava yells at Dijak for putting Joe Gacy in a dumpster and wants a No DQ match with Gacy….who pops out of the dumpster to say he’s in. The match is on.

Vengeance Day rundown.

Here is Trick Williams for a face to face showdown with NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov. Cue the champ, who says he’s ready to whoop that Trick, but Williams thinks Dragunov has been playing him the entire time. Williams thinks Dragunov faked his injuries to avoid the match but Dragunov says there’s no way because he’s ready to hurt himself to retain the title.

Dragunov says Williams might want to be more worried about Carmelo Hayes but Williams says he’ll win twice on Sunday. Williams wants Hayes left out of this so Dragunov threatens him with destruction. They shake hands and have a staredown but cue Baron Corbin and Bron Breakker to jump them. Carmelo Hayes runs in for the save so Dragunov and Williams can stare each other down again to end the show.

Overall thoughts

There wasn’t a must see match on the show, but they did a good enough job of making me want to see Vengeance Day. The action worked well and they set up some more things for the pay per view and it was a fairly solid go home show. The ending segment was probably the best part of the show as they’ve done a nice job of setting up a story that could go in a few different directions. Solid show here, even if there was only so much more that could be done with the title match.


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