The John Report: WWE NXT 01/23/24 Review

wwe nxt january 23

This week’s WWE NXT featured a Lyra Valkyria-Roxanne Perez contract signing, Bron Breakker & Baron Corbin in tag team action and more.

I’ll do this summary style and play-by-play for one or two matches.

This episode is taking place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. My WWE NXT Review archive is here. Let’s get to it.

A video aired recapping the Women’s Battle Royal last week, which led to a Fatal 4-Way match. Roxanne Perez was the winner, so she gets to challenge Lyra Valkyria for the NXT Women’s Title at NXT Vengeance Day on Sunday, February 4th.

The commentary team was Vic Joseph and Booker T as usual. It was reported that Kevin Patrick was removed as the Smackdown lead announcer. I know Michael Cole is on Smackdown duty this Friday, but I think Vic Joseph has definitely earned a spot on one of the main shows again.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals: Nathan Frazer & Axiom vs. Baron Corbin & Bron Breakker

I’ll go play-by-play here. I don’t know if Wolf Dogs is an official name for Bron and Corbin, but the announcers said it a few times.

Axiom and Frazer did a bunch of strikes on both opponents before the referee called for the bell. Axiom did an armdrag/headscissors combo. Frazer and Axiom dropkicked their opponents out of the ring. Axiom and Frazer each hit dives on their opponents on the floor. Axiom hit a hurricanrana on Corbin while Frazer dropkicked Bron into the barricade. The bell finally rang with Axiom kicking Corbin and Axiom hit a missile dropkick off the top on Corbin for two. Frazer and Axiom made some quick tags as they worked over Corbin. Corbin shoved Frazer back leading to Corbin hitting a boot to the face. While Bron and Frazer battled in the ring, Corbin caught Axiom on the floor and Corbin gave Axiom a Powerbomb onto the table. Frazer jumped off the top, Bron caught him and Bron hit a powerslam. They went to a picture-in-picture break.


Corbin hit Axiom with a belly-to-back suplex. Bron lifted up Axiom for a spinning move leading to a Cutter for a two count. Axiom broke free to bring in Frazer, who ran the ropes and hit a running forearm. Frazer was showing off impressive speed as he avoided Bron, who went crashing into the turnbuckle. Frazer pulled down the top rope to send Corbin out of the ring. Frazer went up top and hit a froggy cross body block on both opponents. Back in the ring, Frazer hit a Frog Splash off the top and legal man Axiom jumped off the top with a Frog Splash on Bron for two. Axiom tried an armbar, but Bron got out of it and slammed Axiom onto Frazer, who was trying to choke out Corbin. All four guys were down. Corbin tagged in with a Deep Six on Frazer followed by a Death Valley Driver on Axiom and a brainbuster by Corbin on Axiom for a two count. Bron tagged in, Corbin tossed Axiom and Bron hit a powerslam for two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Axiom jumped over Bron, who came back with a clothesline. Bron went to the middle turnbuckle, Axiom kicked Bron in the head and Frazer tagged in. Axiom hit a Spanish Fly on Bron off the top and Frazer hit a Phoenix Splash off the top for two because Corbin broke it up. Corbin caught Axiom and hit End of Days. Frazer kicked Corbin with a superkick while Bron recovered in the corner and Bron hit a Spear on Frazer for the pinfall win! Awesome match. It went 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Baron Corbin & Bron Breakker

Analysis: ***3/4 That was an awesome match. A nice mix of the power of the Corbin/Bron team while the Axiom/Frazer team used their speed for some fast-paced offense throughout the match. These guys had instant chemistry together. The key thing is that Corbin & Bron sold really well for their smaller opponents to make Axiom/Frazer look like threats to win. That Phoenix Splash nearfall from Frazer was great because Bron needed Corbin to break it up to avoid being pinned. There was a bit of illegal offense in the ring, which I don’t love, but the guys did get out of there fairly quickly. The finish was set up well with Bron hitting that impressive Spear for the win.

That win means that Baron Corbin & Bron Breakker go to Dusty Cup Finals at NXT Vengeance Day against the LWO or Carmelo Hayes/Trick Williams. That match is next week.

Analysis: I think Corbin & Bron will win the tournament. I can see Hayes & Trick making the finals, but they’ll have some communication issues to cost them the match.

Josh Briggs walked up to NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov with Briggs saying he talked to JBL last week and Josh wants to prove himself against Dragunov. Trick Williams interrupted it saying he wanted Ilja to be 100% at Vengeance Day. Briggs insulted Trick saying he’ll jump into Carmelo Hayes’ back pocket. Trick said if you want an opportunity, he’ll give Josh an opportunity. Josh left.

Fallon Henley talked to Wren Sinclair in the locker room. Wren was nervous about her match. Henley told her she’ll do great tonight. Wren did a self high five and left.

Lash Legend and Meta-Four entered for Lash’s match.

A commercial aired for the Royal Rumble on Saturday night with Kevin Owens challenge Logan Paul for the United States Title.


Ava was shown leaving Shawn Michaels’ office when William Regal also walked out of the office. Regal congratulated Ava on being the youngest General Manager in WWE history. Regal wanted her to look after this brand for him. Regal said that there are long hours, tough decisions and he knows Ava can do it. Ava said she can do it too. Regal said if she ever needs anything, his phone is on.

Analysis: It’s good to see William Regal back on NXT TV for the first time in a couple of years. Ava as the NXT GM is big news, so it will be interesting to see how she does that role.

Wren Sinclair vs. Lash Legend (w/Noam Dar, Oro Mensah & Jakara Jackson)

Sinclair was known as Madi Wrenkowski before she was in WWE, so she’s new in WWE, but not new as a wrestler. Lash used her power to work over Wren with some forearms. Wren avoided a charging Lash, who hit the turnbuckle. Wren hit an impressive enziguri kick. Jackson held onto Lash, so Wren shoved Lash into Jakara and Wren got a rollup for two. Lash lifted up Wren and hit a Powerbomb that Vic called the Slam Dunk for the pinfall win after about four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Lash Legend

Analysis: *1/2 There was a bit of offense from Wren. This was all about putting over the more established wrestler Lash. Legend’s finisher looked impressive. Wren has potential. It’s still early in her run, but I do expect her do well as her character develops.

After the match, Meta-Four tried to attack again, but Fallon Henley made the save. Henley and Wran gave Lash a double clothesline over the top to the floor.

There was a scene of OTM telling some guys at a restaurant to call for their boys referring to Tony D & Stacks.

The announcers mentioned the new WWE 2K24 video game coming in March with the cover athletes revealed as Cody Rhodes along with Bianca Belair & Rhea Ripley on the Deluxe Edition of the game.

The trailer for the WWE 2K24 video game was shown.


Elektra Lopez was shown walking angrily backstage saying she was looking for Lola Vice.

Dijak was attacked by Joe Gacy during Dijak’s entrance. They fought around ringside with Gacy sending Dijak into the ring post. Dijak shoved Gacy into the steel steps. Dijak tossed Gacy over the barricade at ringside. Referees showed up at ringside as Dijak got a chair, but Gacy hit him with a forearm to the back. Gacy hit Dijak with a chair to the ribs and a chair to the back. Dijak came back with a boot to the face that sent Gacy crashing through a wooden partition. Gacy smiled and fought back by sending Dijak into the ring post. Dijak got a hold of Gacy and Dijak gave Gacy a Chokeslam onto the commentary table, which broke the table. Dijak elbowed two security guys to knock him down. Gacy got back to try to choke out Dijak, but security separated them again.

Analysis: It seems like a lot of Dijak rivalries go this way with a brawl around the ring and breaking the furniture around ringside. Dijak is great at bringing the intensity, so it’s used to have a fight. Gacy brought it in this segment too. It worked.

Arianna Grace walked in talking about herself as usual while Elektra Lopez walked in looking for Lola Vice.

Lexis King was walking backstage saying that Trey Bearhill better be grateful for the spotlight that King is putting on him.


A video aired featuring Mr. Stone training with Von Wagner in a football stadium where Von played college football. Stone’s twin sons were there to encourage Von ahead of his attempt to win the Heritage Cup from Noam Dar. After Von went through some drills, Stone said that Von was ready for the Heritage Cup.

Analysis: It was another bonding segment to show that Von is ready for the Heritage Cup opportunity. Stone’s twin sons did a good job too.

Trey Bearhill vs. Lexis King

There was a lot of offense from Try to start the match with a corner splash and a body slam. King got in some kicks, but Try hit him with some chops and a back rake. King broke free leading to two kicks to the body and a running clothesline to the back. King hit the Coronation swinging neckbreaker for the pinfall win. It went about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Lexis King

Analysis: *1/2 An easy win for King as a guy who is pushed to a decent level while Trey is not. I like King’s finisher.

Supernova Sessions were up next.


The team of Trick Williams & Carmelo Hayes were chatting in the locker room. Hayes said that Ilja Dragunov was playing him. Trick said that he just wants Dragunov to be 100% for their match. Hayes said that Ilja has been playing a game since he attacked Trick in October. Hayes told Williams that Ilja sees Trick as a threat. Trick said he’s thought about all of this. Trick said that this week they take care of the LWO, Friday it’s Melo against Austin Theory. Trick said he had to do this by himself and Melo said he knows, so he wished him good luck.

Analysis: The attack on Trick in October was likely done by Carmelo, but we might not get that reveal until the Vengeance Day PLE itself.

Supernova Sessions with Lola Vice

Noam Dar was in the ring with Oro Mensah hosting Supernova Sessions in the ring with couches and a chair in the ring. Dar said that Von Wagner will never touch the Heritage Cup.

Lola Vice made her entrance with the NXT Women’s Breakout contract in her hands. Booker was excited and Vic: “Why are you sweating?” Booker: “Because it’s hot.” Well done.

Dar said he loved it when Lola eliminated Elektra Lopez. Lola said there was an expiration date to their friendship. Lola said that Lopez is a leech that tried to use Lola to use her star power to make Elektra’s career relevant, so she dumped her over the top rope like the baggage she is. Lola said she didn’t regret anything. Lola talked about other women being jealous and getting this contract on her own.

Elektra Lopez asked who the hell Lola really is. Lopez said that Lola likes to pretend how sweet and innocent she is. Lopez called Lola a “bitch” saying that her hard work is what got her there. Lopez said Lola got here by shaking her ass on Instagram. Lopez said Lola was auditioning for a lifetime movie, then she was a MMA fighter shadow boxing in her bikini and Lopez called Lola a big phony. Lopez said next week they’ll have a match.

Lopez got into the ring saying she didn’t want to wait until next week because she wanted to burn Vice City down right now. Lopez attacked Vice on one of the couches and they exchanged punches. Referees quickly broke it up.

Analysis: It was simple enough. Both women were intense, so they pulled it off well. Vice is the heel while Lopez fired back with some personal shots. It was also a nice plug for Lola’s Instagram account too. Just saying.

A video aired from Tony D, Stacks & Adrianna Rizzo with a warning to OTM for ruining their restaurant.

Dragon Lee made his entrance for singles action.


Andre Chase and his students were at Chase U were some dudes were repossessing items like desks, banners on the wall and even Duke Hudson’s MVP trophy. They were sad about how they had nothing left. Andre said next week they will say their goodbyes to Chase U.

Analysis: I assume what happens is next week, we find out that Jacy Jayne raised enough money to save Chase U based on whatever her secret project is. Then again, if Chase U went away I’d be fine with that too.

Dragon Lee vs. Scrypts (w/Lucien Price, Bronco Nima & Jaida Parker)

The NXT North American Champion Oba Femi watched from a platform in the building. Lee nailed Scrypts with a dropkick and a somersault dive over the top onto Scrypts on the floor. Scrypts came back with a kick to send Lee out of the ring. Scrypts hit a dive over the top doing a flip onto Lee. Scrypts got some offense going with a cross body block and a dropkick. Lee came back with an enziguri kick and a Tornado DDT off the ropes. Scrypts was able to counter two different moves. Lee ran the ropes and I think it was Scrypts hitting a Spanish Fly. The Family arrived with Tony D, Stacks and Rizzo going after Nima, Price and Parker. They went fighting to the back. Scrypts was watching that, so Lee hit Operation Dragon for the pinfall win. It went about six minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dragon Lee

Analysis: **1/2 A win for Lee to build him up for the title match against Femi at Vengeance Day. Scrypts is a good athlete, but it’s not like they are pushing him as a wrestler. Scrypts was distracted by the fighting going on and Lee capitalized to get the win.

After the match, Oba Femi said he has made his decision and said he’ll see Lee at Vengeance Day. That means Femi defends the NXT North American Title over Lee at Vengeance Day.

Analysis: That should be a win for Femi. It might be Lee’s NXT farewell match since he’s already on the Smackdown roster.

Malik Blade & Edris Enofe were backstage frustrated about their loss last week. The excitable Brinley Reece talked to them trying to express her positive attitude. Brinley talked about being ready for her next opportunity. Edris said they just need luck. Brinley wanted them to write journals and she slapped Edris on the chest. Blade said they’ll try anything.

Analysis: I like Blade and Enofe, but I think they have been teaming for over two years at this point without much progress in terms of getting big wins. I hope it works out for them.

Blair Davenport entered for singles action.


Lyra Valkyria, the NXT Women’s Champion, was watching something on a tablet when Tatum Paxley showed up to talk to her. Lyra told Tatum that teaming up last week was a one time thing. Paxley said she understands that Lyra’s focus is on Roxanne Perez. Lyra said she was glad they are on the same page. Lyra thanked her and left while Paxley said “absolutely on the same page.”

Blair Davenport vs. Karmen Petrovic

Blair got the advantage early with a double foot stomp to Petrovic’s back. Blair hit a backbreaker for two. Petrovic delivered some kicks to the body along with a spinning clothesline. Blair avoided a spinning kick, but Petrovic came back with a back kick to the head for two. Blair dropkicked Petrovic into the turnbuckle. Blair hit a very gentle front sitout body slam like a weak Michinoku Driver followed by a knee to the face for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Blair Davenport

Analysis: ** Blair is the more established wrestler so of course she got the win. Petrovic looks impressive with her kicks, but we will need to see more from her to see if she can stand out.

Ridge Holland was interviewed by Kelly Kincaid, who asked about Ridge getting beat up by Gallus last week and nobody helped Ridge. Holland made it clear he didn’t want any help and he said he wanted to take on Gallus by himself.

Ilja Dragunov, the NXT Champion, joined commentary for the next match.


Next week on NXT:

* NXT Heritage Cup: Nom Dar vs. Von Wagner

* Lola Vice vs. Elektra Lopez

* Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals: Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams vs. LWO – Cruz Del Toro & Joaquin Wilde

Trick Williams vs. Josh Briggs

I’ll go play-by-play since it’s the last match on the show this week. Briggs hit a running back elbow, body slam and elbow drop. Trick hit a boot to the face while Ilja said that Trick deserves a title match and Ilja respects him. Trick hit a dropkick followed by two body slams. Briggs hit a running boot to the face and a Chokeslam for a two count. Trick was on the floor where Ilja encouraged him to get up.


Briggs caught Trick with a Bossman Slam for a two count. Trick came back with punches, a leaping clotheslines and two jumping side kicks. Trick hit a flatliner. Briggs hit a gutwrench slam followed by a splash for two. Briggs sent Trick into the turnbuckle and then they collided. Trick left the ring, Briggs tried a kick and Trick moved, so Briggs kicked Ilja inadvertently. Trick hit a jumping kick on Trick. Ilja went on the apron, so Carmelo Hayes showed up and pulled Ilja off the apron. Trick jumped off the top rope leading to Briggs going for a Chokeslam, but Trick rolled through and sat on top for the pinfall win. It went about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Trick Williams

Analysis: *** A good match with a bit of a controversial finish. Trick is getting an NXT Title match at Vengeance Day, so it makes sense for him to win and continue his positive momentum. I like how they hit some big power moves in the match. Trick got the win, but it was a pinfall counter so it protects Briggs a bit. If they timed it better they could have shown the whole match instead of having a commercial in the middle of it.

After the match, Briggs decked Trick with a clothesline. The fans booed that. Dragunov was back on his feet wanting to go into the ring, but referees held Dragunov back. Trick gently pushed Melo in the chest to get him to give Trick some space.

Analysis: I think that post match clothesline from Briggs will lead to him turning heel soon. I thought that Trick & Melo would win next week, but maybe Ilja will cost them the match. There are a few different options for sure.

Jacy Jayne & Thea Hail were backstage talking with Jacy saying that Chase U isn’t done yet because she’s workshopping. Lexis King showed up to hit on Hail, but Riley Osborne of Chase U told King that nobody wanted to talk to King. Hail awkwardly thanked Riley for helping them. Riley asked to talk to Hail privately. After Riley left, Jacy told Hail to keep it cool.

The NXT Women’s Title contract signing was up next.


A video aired about Drew Gulak’s No Quarter Catch Crew group of four wrestlers. Drew spoke about how they get to determine who wrestlers the match for their group.

Trick Williams & Carmelo Hayes were backstage with Melo saying Ilja was coming after him while Trick said he wasn’t coming after him. Melo told Trick that he was the hottest thing out there and he needed to wake up.

Here’s the NXT Vengeance Day lineup on Sunday, February 4th.

* Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Bron Breakker & Baron Corbin vs. Trick Williams & Carmelo Hayes or LWO – Cruz Del Toro & Joaquin Wilde

* NXT Championship: Ilja Dragunov (c) vs. Trick Williams

* NXT North American Championship: Oba Femi (c) vs. Dragon Lee

* Tony D’Angelo, Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo & Adrianna Rizzo vs. OTM – Lucien Price, Bronco Nima & Jaida Parker

* NXT Women’s Championship: Lyra Valkyria (c) vs. Roxanne Perez

That’s five matches for now. I don’t know if they will add one or two more, but it’s possible.

NXT Women’s Championship Contract Signing: Lyra Valkyria and Roxanne Perez

Ava was in the ring to moderate the NXT Women’s Championship contract signing. Ava is the NXT GM. There was a table in the ring along with the red carpet and two chairs. Roxanne Perez was up first followed by the NXT Women’s Champion Lyra Valkyria.

Roxanne Perez said they respect eachother. Roxanne said this is a Stand & Deliver main event nine weeks later. Lyra talked about how they have been on a parallel path. Lyra said she debuted when Roxanne won the NXT Title over a year ago. Roxanne praised Lyra for having an incredible first year and Roxanne claimed this was the best division in all of WWE. I don’t agree with that. Roxanne said that everybody has been able to witness the rise of Lyra while Roxanne had to pick herself back up and chase down a championship she never lost. Roxanne said she will finally get her one on one title match. Roxanne said that Lyra would have to travel down that same road after she lost the title.

Lyra said that she has seen Roxanne grow into this confident woman who’s not afraid to snap. Lyra told Roxanne she had a great run, but Lyra has replaced her. Lyra said she has replaced Roxanne at the top of this division. Lyra said she’s going to prove herself to Roxanne and the last 12 months for Roxanne will mean nothing.

Roxanne gave Lyra a little bit of advice. Roxanne said that Lyra will lose and the real questions will start to begin. Roxanne said that some days the fans are going to be with you and some days they are going to boo you. Roxanne said when she becomes champion, will Lyra be able to rebuild herself the way Roxanne did.

Lyra told Roxanne that she was wrong while saying she was mentally and physically tougher than Roxanne. Lyra said that after Vengeance Day, Roxanne will stay behind her.

Ava told the two women to sign the contract. Lyra signed the contract first and Ava signed the contract too.

Lyra and Roxanne had a staredown as Ava wished them both good luck. After Lyra left the rig, crazy Tatum Paxley showed up in the ring and attacked Roxanne from behind. Paxley gave Roxanne a spinebuster through the table. Paxley hugged Lyra and Lyra shoved Paxley down. Lyra yelled at Paxley for what she did. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: It was fine for a contract signing. I’m not a big fan of contract signings being in the main event spot. I remember going to a taping over a decade ago and there was a contract signing main event that had a broken table spot just like this. It’s fine, but is it really that exciting? I get why contract signing segments are done to have the wrestlers do promos about the match. I just think it shouldn’t be in a main event spot. Lyra and Roxanne made their points well. Roxanne was almost a bit heelish by talking about how the fans will boo you sometimes, which makes me think she might go heel after she loses. Then again, maybe Roxanne will win because she does something heelish and they could use Tatum Paxley to “accidentally” cost Lyra the match. There are a few ways it can go. The presence of crazy Tatum doing the Mickie-Trish 2006 story does make it seem like Lyra might lose.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Bron Breakker & Baron Corbin
  2. Axiom & Nathan Frazer
  3. Trick Williams


The Scoreboard

This week: 7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7

2024 Average: 7


Final Thoughts on WWE NXT

I thought it was a good show overall. They have built up the Vengeance Day card well. As usual for NXT, a lot of different people on the show in all kinds of matches and segments. They know how to use the roster well. I don’t like seeing a contract signing in a main event spot, but Lyra and Roxanne did a good job of building up their match. Plus, it ended in a table spot.

That tag team match with Bron Breakker & Baron Corbin beating Axiom & Nathan Frazer was excellent and full of action. Bron & Corbin have gelled as a couple of jerks that work well together. That Trick Williams match with Josh Briggs was also booked well with an interesting finish. Some of the other matches were short, which is fine as a way to get some people wins.

Lastly, it was nice to see William Regal on NXT again, even though it was brief. Ava is the new NXT GM and she’s the youngest GM in WWE history. Good for her. She hasn’t wrestled much in her career, but she’s fine as a talker and we’ll see how she does in that role.

The first NXT PLE of 2024 is Vengeance Day on Sunday, February 4th. Here’s the lineup so far.

* NXT Championship: Ilja Dragunov (c) vs. Trick Williams

* NXT Women’s Championship: Lyra Valkyria (c) vs. Roxanne Perez

* Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Bron Breakker & Baron Corbin vs. Trick Williams & Carmelo Hayes or LWO – Cruz Del Toro & Joaquin Wilde

* NXT North American Championship: Oba Femi (c) vs. Dragon Lee

* Tony D’Angelo, Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo & Adrianna Rizzo vs. OTM – Lucien Price, Bronco Nima & Jaida Parker


Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport