The John Report: WWE NXT 01/31/23 Review

wwe nxt jan 31

This week’s WWE NXT was the final episode of the show leading into Vengeance Day on Saturday featuring a triple threat tag team match in the main event.

A reminder that for NXT I go summary style for most of the show. I’ll go full play-by-play one match as usual. NXT Vengeance Day takes place this Saturday, February 4th.

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

It was Vic Joseph and Booker T on commentary as usual. They said there will be limited commercial breaks this week.

Indus Sher – Sanga & Veer Mahaan (w/Jinder Mahal) vs. The Creed Brothers – Brutus & Julius Creed (w/Ivy Nile)

The Indus Sher boys were in control for the first few minutes. Julius and Brutus hit a double team hip toss followed by Julius slamming Brutus onto Veer for a two count. Veer and Sanga did a double team stun gun sending Brutus throat-first into the top rope. Indus Sher isolated Julius in their corner for several minutes including a double team shoulder tackle. Julius finally broke free after a kick leading to Brutus tagging in with some forearm smashes and two German Suplexes on Veer. After Julius tagged in, Brutus tackled Sanga out of the ring. Julius hit a Powerbomb on Veer after having a bit of trouble doing the lift, but he got it done. Mahal grabbed Julius’ foot, the referee saw it, didn’t even eject Mahal, Nile was yelling at Mahal and Julius bumped Nile off the apron to the floor. Veer hit a lefty clothesline on Julius followed by Sanga hitting a Chokeslam on Julius for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Indus Sher – Sanga & Veer Mahaan

Analysis: *** A pretty good tag team match with the heels picking up the win due to Julius accidentally knocking Nile down while Brutus was checking on her and Indus Sher capitalized to win. The Creed boys continue to impress as guys that are good at selling while also doing a lot of cool power moves. The referee not doing more when he saw Mahal interfere is a bit weak. I’m fine with Indus Sher winning because they needed it.

They showed Axiom watching some NXT UK matches with Tyler Bate saying that he was always a fan of A-Kid and wondered what happened to him. Bate said that Axiom reminded him of A-Kid. Axiom challenged Bate to a match, Damon Kemp walked up to them with some mean things to say and left with Bate trashing Kemp after he left.

Analysis: The “joke” about saying that Axiom is like A-Kid is that Axiom actually is A-Kid, but as we can see, Axiom has a mask on as a new character.

Indi Hartwell vs. Zoey Stark

This was set up because earlier today they had some trash talk in the locker room earlier in the day with Stark trashing Hartwell. Sol Ruca defended Hartwell against Stark. The heel Stark did the cowardly thing by running away from Hartwell in the early part of the match. Stark got some offense going, but Hartwell came back with a sidewalk slam. Stark hit an impressive springboard senton for a two count. Hartwell got some momentum going with some clotheslines and a spinebuster. Stark got the momentum back with a German Suplex for two. Hartwell got a punch and went for a springboard attack, but Stark tripped her up. Stark hit the slam off the shoulder into the rising knee for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Zoey Stark

Analysis: **1/2 It was okay with the heel Stark picking up the win because Hartwell went for a springboard move, but it was a big mistake and Stark countered it for the win. Starks has been getting a decent push as a heel, so it made sense for her to win.

Post match, Zoey Stark attacked Hartwell with punches. Sol Ruca made the save, so Stark left the ring.

A video aired featuring The Schism group talking about how Fowler and Reid are going to win the triple threat against Enofe/Blake and Chase U with Ava Raine saying there’s no group stronger than The Schism.

Wes Lee was shown with the NXT North American Title for some promo time up next. That led to the first commercial of the show 27 minutes into it.

A commercial aired for Smackdown with The Bloodline dealing with the fallout from Royal Rumble and Charlotte Flair defending the Smackdown Women’s Title against Sonya Deville.


Apollo Crews did a promo from Charlotte, NC talking about how he’s going to beat Carmelo Hayes in their 2/3 Falls Match at Vengeance Day on Saturday. Crews said that his best will be better than Melo’s best. Crews said that at Vengeance Day, the past (himself) will dictate the future.

Let’s Hear From Wes Lee

The NXT North American Champion Wes Lee talked about how he had a big challenge at Vengeance Day when he faces Dijak. Lee said he might take an ass kicking but just like he did against Tony and Carmelo, he will rise as the NXT North American Champion.

Dijak interrupted the promo telling Lee to soak it all in because these are his final days as the NXT North American Champion. Dijak said that Lee was too stupid to hand Dijak the championship and now he’ll be staring at the biggest/baddest man in the NXT locker room. Dijak said when that happens he’ll rip that championship form his hands. Lee said that is much easier said than done. Lee thanked the fans for supporting him and showing him that he can reach levels he never thought possible. The fans chanted “Wes” at this point with Dijak saying you can fight for them, but they won’t be fighting for Lee.

Von Wagner interrupted with Mr. Stone saying it sounded like Dijak said he’s the biggest and baddest. Wagner trashed Dijak to take sunglasses while saying it was an injustice that he is overlooked. Lee suggested a match between the two big guys. Dijak tried to punch Lee, who avoided it and Dijak hit Wagner, which led to Wagner knocking Dijak out of the ring.

Analysis: A simple way to set up a match between two heels. Lee was confident about his match against Dijak, but I think Dijak might win at Vengeance Day.

Dijak vs. Von Wagner (w/Mr. Stone)

Wagner hit a jumping knee and a fallaway slam leading to a break.


Wagner was in control with a suplex into the corner while Lee was on commentary. Dijak finally got some offense with a side kick, but Wagner hit an impressive boot to the face for a two count. Dijak backflipped out of a Chokeslam attempt (that was impressive) and hit a sitout Chokeslam for a two count. They battled on the turnbuckle with Wagner hitting double underhook suplex off the middle rope. Dijak got out of a move, choked out Wagner for a few minutes and Dijak hit the Feast Your Eyes knee to the face for the pinfall win after about seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dijak

Analysis: **3/4 A fun match with some big power moves by both guys. It was the second straight match where somebody did a slam off the shoulders into a rising knee for the win. Putting Dijak over is smart since he gets the North American Title match at Vengeance Day while Wagner isn’t even on the card at this point.

Post match, Dijak and Lee had a staredown from a distance.

Tony D’Angelo was shown with Lorenzo “Stacks” Lorenzo talking about something with Stacks saying he took care of it so next week it’s on.

They posted an injury update on Nikkita Lyons, who had knee surgery. It’s a torn ACL, so she’s going to be out about 8-10 months.

There was a replay shown of Nikkita Lyons down on the parking lot cement selling a knee injury last week on the show. There were multiple women that were standing by, so Mckenzie Mitchell went over the footage about multiple women that were nearby including Zoey Stark and Tiffany Stratton as possible culprits.

Analysis: The NXT parking lot has been the home of many attacks over the years. They don’t have to say who it was until Lyons is back in 8-10 months, but maybe they’ll reveal it soon.

A commercial aired for some new A&E Biography episodes starting on February 19th.


There was a video featuring NXT Champion Bron Breakker and Grayson Waller talking about their Steel Cage Match at NXT Vengeance Day on Saturday. The video showed highlights of both guys in action with Waller talking about how he needs to be the champion while Breakker wants to prove he’s the best NXT Champion ever.

Analysis: I’ll have a preview up on Friday and I’ll tell you now I think Breakker will retain the title. I think the build for this match has been very good.

Tyler Bate vs. Axiom

I’ll go play by play for this. This should be a really good match between two talented athletes. Bate got a trip up into a two count. Bate maintained control of Axiom’s right arm after multiple arm drags. That lasted for over one minute. After Axiom broke free, he hit a dropkick to the face. Bate ran at Axiom, who gave him a hip toss over the top to the floor.


Bate was in control with an airplane spin with Booker saying that’s not a move that he would recommend. Bate hit a spinning slam off the shoulders for a two count. Axiom got some offense going with a jumping kick to the head along with a running kick. Bate knocked Axiom back and went for an uppercut off the ropes, but Axiom grabbed him with a sleeper hold attempt. Bate with a punch, Axiom with a superkick and Axiom went for a rollup, but Bate sat on top for a two count. Axiom with a punch, Bate blocked a kick, lefty punch by Bate and a springboard clothesline on Axiom. Axiom countered a Tyler Driver 97 into a pin, but Bate bridged out of it and Axiom countered it again with a hurricanrana into a pin attempt for two. Bate hit a Tyler Driver 97 for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Tyler Bate

Analysis: ***1/2 A great match for the 10 minutes they were given. They aren’t big guys, but they are so gifted in the ring and make everything look easy. This is the kind of match we need more of on NXT although the roster isn’t full of people as talented as these two guys. Axiom’s speed is a sight to see while Bate can do it all with a mix of speed and power as well as technical skills. I thought the finish was terrific with Axiom countering the finish, but then Bate hit the Tyler Driver 97 for the win. I enjoyed that match a lot.

Post match, the fans were cheering for both guys while Bate and Axiom shook hands. Damon Kemp hit Axiom in the back with a forearm. Kemp with a backbreaker on Axiom and Bate chased Kemp away.

Analysis: It was an effective way to get heat on Kemp by having him do a cheap attack after a match that the fans enjoyed.

There was a video featuring Isla Dawn telling Alba Fyre there has always been a rage inside of her and she just needed a gentle nudge. Dawn talked about how the initiation has begun.

Analysis: Dawn and Fyre were rivals, but now Dawn has Fyre as an ally. They should become threats as a heel tag team now.

An interview with the women in the NXT Women’s Title picture was next.


Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Trick was a bit freaked out about the visions that Apollo Crews has. Melo said that until Apollo can beat him two out of three falls, you can never be him.

NXT Women’s Championship Interview: Roxanne Perez, Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin

The NXT Women’s Champion Roxanne Perez, Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin were interviewed. Roxanne was by herself while Jacy and Gigi were beside eachother. Jacy and Gigi mocked Roxanne for not winning the Royal Rumble. Gigi said Roxanne had no chance of beating them. When Roxanne said she had a chance, Jacy mocked her and said that Roxanne peaked at 21 years old while adding that it’s all coming to an end this Saturday. Gigi and Jacy kept on interrupting Roxanne while she tried to talk. Gigi told Roxanne that her run is over. Jacy and Gigi talked about how they will show the world just who they really are. Gigi said “when I become Women’s Champion” and Jacy didn’t like that, which led to Roxanne attacking both women. They got into a brawl with Roxanne throwing a lot of punches while some NXT officials broke it up.

Analysis: It was okay with Jacy and Gigi doing more of their “mean girl” routine while Roxanne was frustrated about it. That led to Roxanne fighting back by attacking Jacy and Gigi. I doubt Roxanne loses at Vengeance Day.

Stevie Turner vs. Dani Palmer

Turner was on offense for most of it with kicks followed by a running kick. The announcers talked about Turner in NXT UK with Vic speaking about it while Booker had no idea. Turner hit a neckbreaker. Palmer got some offense with clotheslines along with a Thesz Press to knock Turner down. Turner hit a pump kick and a neckbreaker into a DDT. Turner hit a sitout uranage for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Stevie Turner

Analysis: * An easy win for Turner in her NXT debut. Turner has a lot of talent in the ring. I don’t know if the podcaster gimmick is going to work that well, but she is skilled in the ring.

Kiana James was shown talking on the phone telling somebody named Zack that she loved him. Fallon Henley yelled at her about who she was talking to. James said she doesn’t know what she means. Kayden Carter and Katana Chance walked up with the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles talking about how they are best friends while Henley & James aren’t even friends. Henley told James to stay focused for Saturday, but this conversation is not over.

Analysis: Henley is mad at James because Henley thinks James is fooling Brooks Jensen, who is Henley’s friend.

Drew Gulak (w/Hank Walker) vs. Charlie Dempsey

It’s a battle of two guys that don’t wear kneepads. They were fighting over some holds for about a minute when the show went to break.


Dempsey was in control with a bridging German Suplex for two. Dempsey focused on Gulak’s left knee with a takedown. Gulak hit a spinning clothesline, but Dempsey came back with a backbreaker. Dempsey had Gulak in a sleeper submission, Drew managed to get out of it by sending Dempsey into Walker, who was by the apron. Drew rolled up Dempsey with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Drew Gulak

Analysis: **3/4 It was an old-school traditional wrestling match. There wasn’t a lot of rope running or moves off the top. It was about technical wrestling. Drew is a bit heelish at times, but hasn’t gone over the edge yet to teach young Hank. They still need to work on Dempsey as a character.

Von Wagner was in the locker room getting mad while Mr. Stone told him this wasn’t working. Stone told Wagner to show him what’s inside and Stone said “help me, help you” from the Jerry Maguire movie.

There was a rundown of the NXT Deadline lineup for this Saturday in Charlotte, NC:

NXT Women’s Championship: Roxanne Perez (c) vs. Jacy Jayne vs. Gigi Dolin

NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance (c) vs. Fallon Henley & Kiana James

NXT North American Championship: Wes Lee (c) vs. Dijak

2 Out Of 3 Falls Match: Carmelo Hayes vs. Apollo Crews

NXT Championship Steel Cage Match: Bron Breakker (c) vs. Grayson Waller

The fourth match was the NXT Tag Team Championship match at Vengeance Day with four teams in the match.


The team of Edris Enofe & Malik Blade were next. The third team was the popular Chase U team of Andre Chase & Duke Hudson with Thea Hail joining them.

Chase U (Andre Chase & Duke Hudson) vs. The Dyad (Rip Fowler & Jagger Reid) vs. Malik Blade & Edris Enofe

The winners of this match are added to the NXT Tag Team Championship match at Vengeance Day with champions The New Day, Pretty Deadly and Gallus.

Two guys start in the ring while the others are on the apron. Hudson with a hiptoss, Chase tagged in and Hudson hit an elbow drop on Fowler. Chase got a pin attempt on Enofe for two and countered a move for another two count. Enofe showed off his athleticism leading to a dropkick, Blade tagged in with a kick leading to an Enofe clothesline for a two count. Chase with a jawbreaker, Reid tagged in and did a hair pull to take down Chase. The Dyad did a spike/double team shoulder breaker on Chase. Fowler lifted up Chase for a slam followed by Fowler hitting a lefty clothesline. Fowler worked over Chase a bit with forearms to the back, but Chase hit a suplex to break free. Reid kicked Hudson off the apron, Chase hit a back body drop and Duke wasn’t there to make the tag. Chase sent Fowler out of the ring and The Dyad stopped Enofe/Blade making the tag. Fowler hit Chase in the throat, then Reid tagged in and The Dyad hit a double team backstabber for two. Chase finally broke free, Hudson got the tag and ran over both guys in The Dyad with clotheslines, a senton splash and a running boot that knocked Reid off the apron to the floor. Duke did an impressive leap from the apron leading to a German Suplex on Reid for two. Enofe tagged himself in and hit a springboard cross body block on Reid. Blade jumped onto Hudson with a hurricanrana. Enofe tagged in, Blade with a splash off the top and Enofe with a top rope elbow. Enofe/Blade hit a double team Samoan Drop/neckbreaker for two, but the pin was broken up by multiple guys. All six guys were down in the ring leading to NXT chants. Enofe & Blade knocked their opponents out of the ring leading to Enofe & Blade hitting dives onto the four guys on the floor. Fowler and Reid tried for a double team superplex on Enofe, but Chase tagged in and hit a Tower of Doom spot with a Powerbomb out of the corner. Chase did the CHASE U stomp routine with the fans chanting along. Ava Raine was on the apron, so Thea Hail pulled her down. Reid was distracted by that. Chase avoided a charging Reid, Hudson made the tag and they hit the Fratliner (a flatliner by Chase while Hudson held Reid on his back) for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Chase U (Andre Chase & Duke Hudson)

Analysis: ***1/2 It was a great main event match. It started out a bit slow, but the nearfalls really picked up in the second half and the fans were really into it. All three teams had moments where it looked like they were going to win. The action really picked up towards the finish with Chase U getting the win as the most popular team in the match. It was really booked well in terms of having The Dyad and Blade/Enofe look like they might win too. I liked that match quite a bit.

The win means that the NXT Tag Team Championship match at Vengeance Day will be The New Day (c) vs. Pretty Deadly vs. Gallus vs. Chase U.

Post match, The New Day appeared on the video screen while Pretty Deadly and Gallus were also there as well. The New Day’s video message was likely taped from last week or maybe from the Royal Rumble as Kofi & Xavier congratulated Chase U on the win.

There was a video package about NXT Vengeance Day on February 4th from Charlotte, NC. That was the end of the show.

Three Stars of the Show

1. Chase U

2. Tyler Bate

3. Axiom

The Scoreboard

This week: 7.5 out of 10

Last week: 6.75

2023 Average: 6.85

Final Thoughts

It was a very good edition of NXT with a nice mix of quality matches and a building well to Vengeance Day on Saturday. I think the match with Tyler Bate/Axiom was the kind of exciting match that makes NXT fun to watch sometimes. The triple threat tag team main event was also excellent with Chase U picking up their biggest win as a team. Some of the other matches were short while others that got more time were all pretty good.

I think the NXT brand does a nice job of building their PLE/PPV shows and this was another example of that. I’ll have a preview of Vengeance Day up on Friday and a live review on Saturday night.

The next WWE NXT PLE event is Vengeance Day on Saturday, February 4th with this lineup:

wwe nxt vengeance day tag team titles

NXT Championship Steel Cage Match: Bron Breakker (c) vs. Grayson Waller

NXT Women’s Championship: Roxanne Perez (c) vs. Jacy Jayne vs. Gigi Dolin

NXT North American Championship: Wes Lee (c) vs. Dijak

NXT Tag Team Championships: The New Day (c) vs. Pretty Deadly vs. Gallus

2 Out Of 3 Falls Match: Carmelo Hayes vs. Apollo Crews

NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance (c) vs. Fallon Henley & Kiana James

That might be the full card now with six matches.


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

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport