This week’s WWE NXT was the New Year’s Evil special with Bron Breakker defending the NXT Title against Grayson Waller, plus a women’s battle royal main event.
A reminder that for NXT I go summary style for most of the show. I’ll go full play-by-play for the NXT Title and battle royal main event match.
There was a Chase University video with Andre Chase talking about how it’s a new semester where everybody gets a fresh start. Chase talked about what’s coming up on the show along with some videos. It ended with Chase hyping up Thea Hail for the women’s battle royal.
It was Vic Joseph and Booker T on commentary as usual.
Tony D’Angelo (w/Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo) vs. Dijak
The NXT North American Champion Wes Lee was at ringside watching the match. They got into a slugfest with Tony clotheslining Dijak out of the ring. As they fought on the floor, Dijak clotheslined Tony. Back in the ring, Tony was on offense for a bit until Dijak hit a stun gun into the ropes along with a clothesline. Tony came back with a running clothesline that sent them both over the top to the floor. Stacks put his body in the line to save Tony D from getting sent into the barricade and Tony came back with a Spear on Dijak on the floor leading to a break.
The match continued with Tony getting some offense including a belly-to-belly suplex and a spinebuster. Dijak hitting a superkick and a sitout chokeslam called High Justice for a two count. Stacks, who was handcuffed to the middle rope, wanted to take a shot move for Tony D, but Tony told Stacks that he was not his boss, he was family and Dijak hit a running boot to the head for the pinfall win after ten minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dijak
Analysis: **3/4 The match was pretty good to put over Dijak after Tony refused to have help from Stacks, which allowed Dijak to hit the running boot to the face. I think the sitout Chokeslam is a more devastating move, but I guess the running kick worked better in the finish.
Dijak stared at Wes Lee holding the NXT North American Title on the commentary table. This should lead to Dijak getting a North American Title match against Wes Lee.
Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. They were confident about winning the battle royal. When asked what would happen if they are the final two, Gigi said you will hear “your winners, Toxic Attraction.” The ladies left. I like both of them, but I miss Mandy Rose.
The Creed Brothers made their entrance. Sanga entered alone saying that Veer Mahaan was not there. That led to Jinder Mahal showing up to attack The Creed Brothers from behind. Mahal threw Julius shoulder first into the ring post while Sanga threw Brutus into the steel steps. The fans chanted “Jinder” for Mahal while Sanga slammed Brutus on the bottom half of the steel steps. Jinder hit The Khallas on Julius. Mahal said that Veer and Sanga fight for respect, but he doesn’t. That was it.
Analysis: Welcome Jinder Mahal to NXT, I guess. They really weren’t doing much with Jinder on the main roster, so they might as well put him with Veer and Sanga since they are all guys from India. In Jinder’s case he’s a Canadian-Indian, but it still counts especially since I’m a Canadian-Greek. Anyway, it’s a logical spot to use Mahal.
Pretty Deadly was shown putting their hair in rollers and New Day showed up to tell them their match was next.
Sanga was shown with Jinder Mahal backstage. Valentina Feroz talked to Sanga about his actions, Sanga said he’s about him and his brothers now. Elektra Lopez talked to Valentina about the battle royal coming up.
Pretty Deadly’s Kit Wilson and Elton Prince did a promo talking about how they will win the gauntlet to prove they deserve a NXT Tag Team Title match against the best teams. Two dudes ran out to The Rockers theme music.
Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson) vs. Brian Williams and Jimmy Jackson
Prince hit a running forearm to the back. Wilson tagged in with double knees to the ribs. Prince was back in and they hit the Spilt Milk double team move for the pinfall after less than one minute.
Winners by pinfall: Pretty Deadly
Analysis: 1/4* A squash.
The New Day, NXT Tag Team Champions, showed up with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods saying they have to beat actual top tag teams. The New Day brought out Enofe and Blade as the opponents.
Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson) vs. Edris Enofe & Malik Blade
Enofe and Blade were aggressive right away. They sent Pretty Deadly out of the ring and hit running somersault dives over the top onto Pretty Deadly on the floor.
The match continued with the faces in control as Enofe hit a running knee for two. PD got some offense going as Wilson hit double knees to the ribs. Blade made a blind tag, Prince gave Enofe a superplex and Blade jumped off the top with a Frog Splash on Prince for a two count. Good nearfall there. Enofe got an inside cradle on Prince, Wilson pushed Prince so that he was on top (the referee never saw it) and Wilson pinned Enofe for the pinfall win. That went about eight minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson)
Analysis: **1/4 A crafty win by Pretty Deadly after Enofe & Blade were on offense for most of the match.
Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen were announced as the next opponents, but they were shown backstage looking like they were beaten up on the floor. That led to Gallus making their entrance for their return after being away for a few months.
Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson) vs. Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang)
Wolfgang and Mark were aggressive as they attacked both PD guys. Mark hit Wilson with a full nelson slam. Wolfgang tagged in leading to a jumping kick/powerslam combo for the pinfall win. It was just over one minute.
Winners by pinfall: Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang)
Analysis: * Easy win for Gallus looking dominant because Pretty Deadly wasn’t ready for them.
That was the end of the three-match gauntlet with Gallus as the winners.
After the match, The New Day and Gallus exchanged words to tease a future tag team match.
Julius Creed was shown walking out of WWE Medical with Ivy Nile telling Julius to move on from these guys. Julius said there is no moving on from these guys. Nile left to get ready for the battle royal while Julius wanted to get a match made.
They showed Carmelo Hayes seated in a restaurant talking about how he is beyond the reach of everyone. Hayes: “I am him.” Trick Williams was there with a mask for some reason, but then he took it off. Hayes said that the NXT Title doesn’t have Apollo Crews on it, it has Melo on it. Williams said you don’t have to write it down, just speak it into existence.
New Year’s Countdown Leads To Tiffany Stratton
Tiffany Stratton made her entrance in pink attire. Booker T did the horny announcer routine about how hot Tiffany is. Tiffany was out with some injury and she also is bigger in the chest. That’s my classy way of saying she got a boob job. If you follow her on Instagram, I’m sure you have noticed it too.
Tiffany did a promo about how NXT’s biggest superstar is back. Tiffany claimed that in her first nine months here, she picked up the business better than everybody and in the past five months, she’s watched the other women fail miserably. Stratton said that 2023 can officially begin because the center of the universe is back.
Analysis: I like her talent in the ring and she is a pretty woman, but the annoying voice is too silly to take seriously. It’s too much like a spoiled teenager’s voice even though she’s an adult.
A video package aired about the Bron Breakker-Grayson Waller feud leading to Bron defending the NXT Title against Waller.
They showed NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Kayden Carter and Katana Chance in the parking lot. They talked about being the longest-reigning NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions at 161 days and now they are going after the men’s record. Tiffany Stratton was shown walking to her car, she refused a question and that was it.
Grayson Waller made his entrance to boos from the crowd. Bron Breakker was next as the NXT Champion with cheers for him.
NXT Championship: Bron Breakker vs. Grayson Waller
I was surprised that they put this in the middle of the show instead of the main event, but based on what happened it made sense. I’ll go play-by-play for this match.
Waller slapped Bron in the face, so Bron chased him around the ring and back into the ring with a shoulder tackle. Bron hit a delayed vertical suplex. Bron hit a standing moonsault with only his forearms landing on Waller. When Bron tried a lifting move, Waller countered it into a DDT and the crowd was chanting for both guys. Waller grabbed a tight headlock to take down Bron and Waller hit a belly-to-back slam to the mat. Bron got some offense going with two overhead suplexes. Bron hit a tilt-a-whirl slam. Waller whipped Bron hard into the turnbuckle followed by Waller tackled Bron into the turnbuckle and the middle turnbuckle/ropes broke. They went to a picture-in-picture break as some guys at ringside tried to put it back together.
The middle turnbuckle/ropes was back together while Waller was in control with a half crab submission. Bron went for an armbar, but Waller got his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Waller avoided a move by Bron leading to a clothesline to the back of the neck. Waller put on a Steiner Recliner submission, so Bron got back up easily and slammed Waller down. Bron got some offense going with two shoulder tackles along with a powerslam on a leaping Waller. Bron jumped off the top with a bulldog off the top like his father Rick Steiner used to do. Waller did a necksnap across the top rope, Waller left the ring and jumped back in with a jumping knee for two. Waller usually does a Stunner off that, but he hit a jumping knee instead. Waller stood on the middle rope to do a move, but the middle rope broke again, so Waller fell out of the ring to the floor. Waller tried to get back in the ring, but he pulled on the rope and fell back down. Bron won by countout after 12 minutes.
Winner by countout: Bron Breakker
Analysis: *** It was turning into a pretty good match, but then they had the creative ending with the rope breaking for a second time. That was followed up on later in the show. I thought Bron and Waller worked well together with some big moves by both guys, a lot of counters and some nearfalls that worked too. The finish was controversial. It wasn’t something that you should use often, but you can do once in a while to set up another match between them.
Roxanne Perez was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Perez saying she was rooting for Cora Jade to win the battle royal, then she laughed about it and said she was kidding. Perez talked about how this battle royal is huge since they get a title shot against her. Perez talked about contenders while mentioning Toxic Attraction are threats. Perez said she can’t wait to watch it.
They showed a video about Drew Gulak coaching Hank Walker over the last few weeks.
Axiom and Apollo Crews were shown in the locker room. They mentioned their issues with Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams, so that should lead to a tag team match.
Charlie Dempsey vs. Hank Walker (w/Drew Gulak)
The ring has been “double reinforced” due to the rope breaking in the previous match. Dempsey is William Regal’s in case you don’t know. Walker hit a shoulder breaker to show off his power. Dempsey managed to get some offense going by pulling on Walker’s face against the bottom rope. Dempsey blocked a kick and dragon screw leg whip. Dempsey tried a submission, but walker got to the ropes. Walker countered a Dempsey move with a submission on the right arm, but Dempsey countered out of it. Dempsey did a submission pulling back on the leg along with a crossface and he locked his hands, so Walker tapped out. It went about five minutes.
Winner by submission: Charlie Dempsey
Analysis: **1/4 This was solid for a shorter match with Dempsey finding a way to get the win after Walker put up a fight. Walker busting out a submission move shows that he is learning from Gulak, but he’s not there yet in terms of picking up big wins.
They showed Sol Ruca and Alba Fyre talking backstage with Fyre talking about facing Sol in a match that was originally scheduled, then Sol said she’d take the match. Alba was a bit aggressive, so then she apologized for being rude. That was it.
A video package aired about Tyler Bate, who has been gone for a few months. Bate lost to Bron Breakker at Worlds Collide. Bate said that he returns to NXT next week and this time he’s staying.
They showed NXT Anonymous filming Oro Mensah and leaving a note by his ger in the locker room.
Julius Creed vs. Jinder Mahal (w/Sanga)
No Brutus with Julius since Brutus was attacked earlier in the show. Julius was very aggressive to start the match as he sent Mahal into the ring post and out of the ring.
The match returned with Julius hitting a superplex for two after Julius jumped to the top rope. Mahal got the momentum after sending Julius into the top rope with a stun gun along with a dropkick. Mahal hit a jumping knee to the face. Julius made a comeback with a forearm to the face along with an impressive suplex. Julius lifted Mahal on his shoulder, then took him down with a slam and when Julius went up top, Sanga provided a distraction. Julius went for a Shooting Star Press off the top, Mahal avoided it and hit a superkick. Mahal hit The Khallas for the pinfall win after ten minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jinder Mahal
Analysis: *** This was a good match with Julius continuing to impress. Mahal was selling for a lot of the match until the took over towards the second half of the match. Julius continues to be one of the most impressive young talents in NXT. Considering his experience level, I’m amazed at how much Julius has improved over the last year. Jinder is a nice addition to the Indus Sher group.
Brooks Jensen was shown in the trainer’s room with Kiana James checking on Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs talking to Fallon Henley. Henley didn’t like James checking on Jensen, who wished James good luck.
The entrances took place for the women’s battle royal main event.
A video aired about a woman wrestler named Stevie Turner, who is from NXT UK. She talked about herself as if she was hosting a video podcast while saying she’s a level above and two steps ahead.
Next week on NXT TV:
* Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams vs. Apollo Crews & Axiom
* Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen vs. Gallus
20-Woman #1 Contender’s Battle Royal
The winner gets an NXT Women’s Title match at Vengeance Day.
Lyra Valkyria eliminated Cora Jade within the first five seconds, so that was a shock since Cora was a favorite to win. Kiana James eliminated Tatum Paxley leading to James helping Fallon Henley even though they are former rivals. Lash Legend powered Amari Miller over the top to the floor. Sol Ruca did handstand on the floor to avoid having her feet touch the floor and then Ruca pulled herself up to get back in. That was impressive. Thea Hail eliminated Valentina Feroz, then Indi Hartwell avoided a kick from Lash Legend and kicked Legend to the floor to get her out. Lyra Valkyria eliminated Kiana James followed by Zoey Stark doing a press slam to Dani Palmer to send her out. Valkyria kicked Stark, then tried to send her to the apron wit ha clothesline and Stark went down instead of bumping. Cora Jade ran back in, so Valkyria pulled the rope down and Jade went over the top to the floor again. Nice spot.
The show returned with Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin working together to eliminate Indi Hartwell. There were nine women left in the match as Nikkita Lyons sent Elektra Lopez to the apron and knocked her out with a spin kick. Wendy Choo was nearly eliminated by Zoey Stark, then she landed on a pillow, so Lopez pulled the pillow and Choo hit the ground to eliminate her. Stark eliminated her former friend Lyons with a clothesline over the top. Sol Ruca tossed Stark over the top to the floor. The fans were cheering for Ruca, but Alba Fyre kicked Ruca in the chest. Fyre tossed Ruca over the top to the floor.
It was down to the final four with Jayne, Dolin, Fyre and Valkyria. They started brawling with Valkyria kicking Jayne and Dolin to knock them down. Fyre and Valkyria were both on the apron, then Fyre went back into the ring and Valkyria used her legs to pull Fyre over the top to the floor. Cora Jade was back again to try to eliminate Valkyria, who avoided her, so Jayne & Dolin eliminated Valkyria. That led to Jade & Valkyria brawling around ringside. Jayne and Dolin celebrated in the ring as the winners of the match, but then they stared at eachother when they realized they had to fight it out. Jayne teased leaving, then she kicked Dolin in the chest and Jayne sent Dolin over the top to the apron. Dolin sent Jayne over the top to the apron. They each climbed to the bottom turnbuckle and then punched eachother (sort of) leading to both of them bumping to the floor. One official said Gigi won and another referee said Jayne won. It went 14 minutes.
Winners: Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin
The referees watched a replay. They showed some replays with the judgment that they hit the floor at the same time. Gigi and Jacy both went into the ring and they were both announced as the winners of the battle royal.
Analysis: **3/4 It was a pretty good battle royal. They probably spent most of the last week practicing it and you could tell they had some creative elimination spots throughout the match. There was the ongoing story of Valkyria eliminating Jade, which led to Jade coming back repeatedly to try to get rid of Valkyria, so that should set up a match. I think Sol Ruca eliminating Zoey Stark should lead to a match and there could be more. The finish was interesting with the tie because you don’t see that very often, but it’s a simple booking strategy to set up a triple threat match after Jayne & Dolin each got the win.
Roxanne Perez arrived with the NXT Women’s Title and held up her title for a staredown from a distance. The graphic was already there for the Triple Threat Match for the NXT Women’s Championship at Vengeance Day.
Analysis: I don’t see Perez losing to Jayne and Dolin in that triple threat match. Since Roxanne just won the title last month, it’s still very early in her title reign, so she should keep the title. I think Jayne and Dolin will work well together, but then their egos will get in the way of them winning.
The NXT boss Shawn Michaels was in his office with NXT Champion Bron Breakker and Grayson Waller. Shawn said what happened is not the way that anybody wants an NXT Title match to come to an end. Bron and Waller exchanged words about how they were going to win if not for the rope break. Shawn said they’ll have a decisive winner at Vengeance Day on Saturday, February when Bron will face Waller in a Steel Cage Match. Both wrestlers were excited about it. End show.
Analysis: I’ll take Bron to win there. I thought they would have moved on from Bron-Waller and gone to Bron vs. Carmelo Hayes at Vengeance Day, but I guess not. They can do Bron vs. Hayes at Stand & Deliver during WrestleMania weekend unless one of them is on the main roster before that.
Three Stars of the Show
- Bron Breakker/Grayson Waller
- Gigi Dolin/Jacy Jayne
- Jinder Mahal/Julius Creed
This week: 6.75 out of 10
Last week: 7
2023 Average: 6.88
It was mostly a good show, but I wouldn’t call it a great episode for a special like New Year’s Evil. They used a lot of the matches to build to the future rather than ending feuds like they tend to do in some of these themed episodes. The NXT Title match had a controversial finish to set up Breakker-Waller for the Steel Cage Match at Vengeance Day. The women’s battle royal didn’t have a singular winner to set up a triple threat match.
I like Jinder Mahal being in NXT. He’s a veteran that will help the younger talent on the brand and adds to the Indus Sher team. It’s another example of using some main roster talent to work with some newer opponents since Jinder wasn’t doing anything on Smackdown anyway.
The next WWE NXT PLE event is Vengeance Day on Saturday, December 4th with this lineup:
NXT Championship Steel Cage Match: Bron Breakker (c) vs. Grayson Waller
NXT Women’s Championship: Roxanne Perez (c) vs. Jacy Jayne vs. Gigi Dolin
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