The John Report: WWE NXT 02/07/23 Review
This week’s WWE NXT was the follow up to what happened at Vengeance Day with Bayley as a guest hosting her talk show with Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne as the guests.
A reminder that for NXT I go summary style for most of the show. I’ll go full play-by-play for one match as usual.
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 started with a lengthy video package showing Vengeance Day highlights.
It was Vic Joseph and Booker T on commentary as usual.
Let’s Hear from Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams
Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams made their entrance to start the show. Trick trashed Apollo Crews saying Melo made his visions turn into Stevie Wonder meaning a blind vision. Hayes talked about how he swept Crews with a 2-0 score in a Best Of Three series. Melo said he is everything that he says that he is – the one and him. Melo said that he’s beaten everybody he has said he was going to beat, but there is only one more man that he has left to put on a t-shirt and only at one event. Melo said that man he is talking abut is…here’s an interruption.
JD McDonagh interrupted saying it sounded like Melo was going to challenge for the NXT Title. JD said Melo might be cool, but he can’t hold JD’s jock strap. JD told Melo he is not ready for the NXT Title. Melo said he thought he beat everybody that there is to beat and now JD is in his face. They exchanged some more trash talk, then Melo challenged JD to a match and JD said: “Game on.” JD left while Melo stared from the ring.
Analysis: It was obvious that Melo was going to mention the NXT Championship with Bron Breakker at Stand & Deliver, but that’s on April 1st, so they have a lot of time to build to that.
They showed Kiana James and Fallon Henley walking backstage with the NXT Tag Team Titles. Henley said she saw James cheat, but James said you didn’t see it during the match and neither did the referee. James said you’re champion now because of it. Henley wanted to give the former champions a rematch, but James wasn’t sure about that. Henley thought James was leading Brooks Jensen on so she wanted to talk to Brooks, but then they entered a room with Jensen and Josh Briggs along with a bunch of people in the room for a party.
Analysis: At least they followed up on the cheating at Vengeance Day by having Henley say she watched it, but James is all about the results and that’s what matters.
Sol Ruca entered for a match.
They showed a clip of Grayson Waller confronting Shawn Michaels during the NXT Vengeance Day post-show Media Call. I wrote a story about it on Sunday. It’s a storyline, but it’s rare to see, so it felt a bit more real than most wrestling stories.
The announcers said that Grayson Waller is suspended for the next week so he’ll miss this week’s show and live events this coming weekend.
Zoey Stark vs. Sol Ruca
Sol got some offense going with a clothesline out of the ring. When they got back into the ring, Stark took control with a running clothesline on a seated Sol. There was an impressive sunset flip pin attempt by Ruca, but Stark came back with a lariat. Sol with a dropkick along with a cartwheel into a splash. When Sol tried a springboard splash, Stark got the knees up to block. Stark flipped Sol over for the rising knee to the face for the pinfall win after about four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Zoey Stark
Analysis: **1/4 A solid match with Sol showing off her athleticism until she went for a high risk move that Stark blocked, which led to Stark getting the win. I can see Stark getting a push for a title match against Roxanne Perez soon.
Post match, Stark attacked Sol sending her into the turnbuckle. Sol ended up fighting back and hit her impressive Cutter off the ropes (Sol Snatcher I believe it is called) to drop Starks.
Analysis: That move by Ruca is so impressive.
They showed Dabba Kato’s return at NXT Vengeance Day attacking Apollo Crews. Kato is up next.
A commercial aired for Smackdown this Friday with The Usos defending the Smackdown Tag Team Titles against Braun Strowman & Ricochet…if Jey shows up.
They showed James, Henley, Jensen and Briggs chatting at the party. Pretty Deadly were there looking disheveled with their hair messed up and sad about not winning the NXT Tag Team Titles. Chase U showed up so Pretty Deadly blamed Chase U for not winning the titles. Andre Chase said he wanted to win the Tag Team Titles in his hometown of Charlotte, so he was mad. Chase U challenged Pretty Deadly to a match for later.
Dabba-Kato vs. Dante Chen
They spell his name Dabba-Kato for what it’s worth. He used to be called Commander Azeez in the past. Kato with a hard chop and shoulder tackles. Booker said Chen is “doing that job and doing that job well.” Nice choice of words. Kato did a headbutt followed by Kato tossing Chen from the apron into the ring. Chen fired back with clotheslines and a double chop that knocked Kato down to a knee, but Kato hit a chop to take control. Kato hit a two-handed choke into a sitout Powerbomb for the win after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dabba-Kato
Analysis: 1/2* Easy win for Dabba-Kato as you would expect in this spot. I believe he has been in WWE for several years, so they need to try to use him.
Dabba-Kato was interviewed by a very short woman, who asked about what Kato did to Apollo Crews. Kato said that Apollo Crews knows what he did and that’s why he dropped his ass.
Ivy Nile was in the trainer’s room yesterday with her Diamond Mine friends. Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre showed up to accuse Tatum Paxley for the mysterious attack on Nikkita Lyons in the parking lot. Paxley denied.
Isla Dawn entered with Alba Fyre since they are allies now.
Roxanne Perez was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Perez talking about how happy she is to be a champion. Kayden Carter & Katana Chance showed up to complain about what happened when they got screwed out of the Tag Team Titles, yet nobody seems to care. They mocked Perez for not having friends. Roxanne said she would make a phone call to prove she has friends. It sounds like a tag team match is coming out of that.
Isla Dawn (w/Alba Fyre) vs. Tatum Paxley
Dawn was in full control with a move choking Paxley across the top rope followed by a running double knee attack. Paxley tried fighting back some back elbows along with a step-up enziguri. Paxley hit a gutwrench suplex for a two count. Paxley went for a move, it missed and Dawn hit a reverse DDT with an elbow drop for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Isla Dawn
Analysis: * It was the second straight match that was an easy heel win that was a very obvious result. Dawn and Fyre are going to do well as team. Paxley is solid in terms of the basics, but isn’t punched much.
Post match, Dawn & Fyre teased an attack on Paxley, but Ivy Nile ran out with a chain, so Dawn & Fyre ran away even though Fyre had a bat.
Analysis: That should set up a tag team match. Dawn & Fyre should win.
A quick video package aired for the Carmelo Hayes-JD McDonagh match.
They showed a car arriving at the building, they only showed the person’s shoes with Vic wondering who showed up at the building.
Carmelo Hayes (w/Trick Williams) vs. JD McDonagh
I will go play-by-play for this match. Booker really likes both guys. So do I. The match started with both men doing some impressive counter moves including Melo landing on his feet after a suplex. Melo acted like he was bouncing a ball, then JD kicked the imaginary ball away and the fans booed. JD sent Melo into the turnbuckle, then a hard whip, then Melo sent JD over the top to the floor. Melo hit a cross body block onto JD on the floor and back in for a two count. JD launched Melo into the air leading to a slam into the mat. JD hit a belly-to-back suplex. JD suplexed Melo ribs-first across the top rope leading to a break.
JD was in control as he pulled on the left arm to send Melo into the ribs. Melo came back with a back body drop. JD went for a slam, Melo countered it into a pin attempt and they did a couple more pin attempts for two. McDonagh hit a running Spanish Fly slam for a two count leading to “NXT” chants. McDonagh stomped on the ribs. JD went up top, Melo met him with a jumping kick to the back and a Fadeaway leg drop off the middle rope for two. Melo hit a springboard clothesline that barely connected. Melo lifted up JD into a Cutter for two with Booker saying one day that Hayes was going to be a Hall of Famer and he loved it. Melo hit a move where he spun around JD’s shoulder/back and slammed him into the mat for two. JD with a punch to the face followed by a sitout Powerbomb for a two count. Melo blocked a move leading to a double knee strike like a Codebreaker for two. When JD got back up, he hit a headbutt to knock Melo down. Ilja Dragunov’s music hit, JD was distracted by it and Dragunov knocked Williams down with a forearm. JD was looking at Dragunov, so Hayes grabbed the arm into a cradle pin after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Carmelo Hayes
Analysis: ***1/2 A great match as you would expect with the right guy getting the win. Melo should win every match he has going into Stand & Deliver in two months. They worked so well together with counter moves throughout the match, big moves for each guy and the crowd was really into it. I don’t like the spot where we get the music of another wrestler during the match, but in this case they did it to bring back Dragunov, who is great, and that led to JD getting distracted for the finish. Melo won without hitting his finisher so that shows he can put you away with a number of different moves.
Post match, Dragunov hit JD with a forearm. Dragunov wanted to do more, but JD ran away through the crowd, Dragunov followed him and that was it.
Analysis: I’m happy to see Dragunov back. He’s such a great in-ring performer, so having him go after JD makes sense because JD took him out in the storyline. By the way, the person in the car was Dragunov.
Tiffany Stratton was in the locker room getting her makeup done, Thea Hail said she saw Stratton’s TikTok video about Chase U and Stratton trashed Chase U for being tacky and annoying. Hail said that Stratton only cares about herself while Hail only cares about Chase U. Hail said if you’re not down with that, she’s got two words for ya…suck it. Ava Raine grabbed Hail and took her away.
They showed Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne arriving separately earlier in the day.
Brooks Jensen and Fallon Henley were at the party with Brooks saying next week he had a Valentine’s date with Kiana James next week. Henley wanted to warn Brooks about something with James, but she didn’t want to curb his enthusiasm.
Valentina Feroz (w/Wendy Choo) vs. Lyra Valkyria
There were some armbar takedowns by Feroz early in the match, but then Valkyria came back with some kicks. Feroz grabbed a headlock going for a submission, but Valkyria hit a Northern Lights Suplex. Elektra Lopez showed up to watch Feroz’s match. Valkyria and Feroz did a collision spot leading to Perez tossing Feroz some brass knuckles, then Feroz looked at them. Choo told Feroz she didn’t need them. Valkyria did a roundhouse kick followed by a spin kick to the head for the pinfall win.
Winner by pinfall: Lyra Valkyria
Analysis: *1/2 Easy win for Valkyria as a relative newcomer in NXT while Feroz isn’t pushed much. Feroz wasn’t sure about using the brass knuckles, so that cost her the match.
A video aired showing Wes Lee traveling to Charlotte for Vengeance Day along with Lee driving a car saying this is what he lives for. They showed Wes Lee’s wife meeting up with him and she talked about the championship has given him a boost. They showed Lee meeting fans outside the arena along with shots of Lee prior to his North American Title match at Vengeance Day. They showed highlights of Lee beating Dijak in a great match. When Lee went backstage, Shawn Michaels and Steve Corino were among the guys congratulating Lee on a great match.
Analysis: It was a different way of showing us more about a wrestler like Lee while showing his wife talking about him as well.
Wes Lee, the NXT North American Champion, was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Lee mentioning that he had a great weekend while mentioning Dijak’s grotesque finger. Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo said that Lee needed to thank them, Lee said he had an Open Challenge next week and said maybe they can step up for that.
Odyssey Jones entered for a match.
A video aired about Kofi Kingston for Black History Month.
Tyler Bate was featured in a video talking about Grayson Waller acting like an ungrateful child while trashing Waller for being disrespectful toward Shawn Michaels. Bate challenged Waller to a match telling him to try to disrespect Bate.
Analysis: That’s a great match. I’m all for more Bate on the show.
Odyssey Jones vs. Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo (w/Tony D’Angelo)
Stacks got some offense going with clotheslines that didn’t knock Jones down, so then Jones hit Stacks with a huge lariat. Jones whipped Stacks into the turnbuckle followed by forearms to the body. Stacks got some offense with a neckbreaker and a forearm to the back. Stacks jumped over the top with a leg drop to the back while Jones was against the ropes. Jones came back with some power including a one-armed side slam. Jones with a clothesline on the floor, then Jones back in and Stacks hit a DDT. Stacks hit a running punch followed by Stacks hitting a Stomp using his knee to the back to drive Jones into the mat for the pinfall win.
Winner by pinfall: Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo
Analysis: ** I would have thought this would be an easy win for Jones, but it wasn’t that at all. Stacks is technically sound and works hard, so it’s cool to see him getting a win. There are times when Jones looks like a guy they want to push a lot. I guess this is not one of those times. It was a clean win by Stacks.
A video aired of Jinder Mahal standing by with Indus Sher talking about their win over The Creed Brothers. Jinder said that they deserve to be treated as larger-than-life superstars. Sanga said there’s not a team that can beat them. Mahal said that said that the next phase ends when they are draped in gold.
Andre Chase and Duke Hudson were shown walking backstage wondering where Thea Hail was, but Duke said she’ll be okay. Chase U has a match up next.
Roxanne Perez was shown walking out of the building to inform the roving camera guy that Meiko Satomura is teaming with Perez next week against Chance and Carter.
Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince) vs. Chase U (Andre Chase & Duke Hudson)
Pretty Deadly looked like zombies according to Vic and I’d say they looked disheveled. Hudson punched Prince, who did a ridiculous bump over the top to the floor. Chase tagged in, sent both PD guys out of the ring and PD was off trying a bunch of moves until Wilson hit a back elbow. That led to PD firing up again with a splash/leg drop combo. Hudson hit a sidewalk slam on Wilson. Prince sent Hudson out of the ring and Wilson knocked Hudson over the steel steps. Wilson shouted about how they are back.
Prince hit a running clothesline on Hudson with Booker getting excited that PD was functional again. Chase got the tag, he cleaned house on both PD guys including a back body drop on Prince and a Figure Four Leglock on Wilson. Chase hit a DDT/flatliner combo on PD for a two count on Wilson. Hudson took out Wilson leading to Chase hitting a legsweep on Prince and Chase did his CHASE U stomp routine. Thea Hail showed up screaming, Hudson checked on her, Prince made a tag and Pretty Deadly hit Spilt Milk on Chase with Prince pinning Chase for the pinfall. It went about 10 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Pretty Deadly
Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid match with Pretty Deadly not looking like themselves early on although they did make it through the match after getting into the zone during the match. This was yet another match on this show with a bit of a distraction finish since Hudson was distracted by Hail and that cost Chase the win.
Post match, Gallus was on a platform with the NXT Tag Team Titles and had a staredown with Pretty Deadly.
Drew Gulak and Hank Walker were talking backstage with Walker talking about his new gear. Charlie Dempsey arrived for some trash talk and Gulak said Walker can face Dempsey next week.
Bayley was shown walking backstage for her promo segment up next.
There was a tweet shown from Triple H congratulating NXT on the Vengeance Day show.
Next week on NXT:
* Wes Lee’s NXT North American Championship Open Challenge
* Bron Breakker returns
* Roxanne Perez & Meiko Satomura vs. Katana Chance & Kayden Carter
* Tyler Bate vs. Grayson Waller
Ding Dong Hello Hosted by Bayley with Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne
Bayley was in the ring hosting her Ding Dong Hello talk show with her left arm in a sling. There were chairs, a door, some plants and photos of the guests. Bayley said she made it here after what happened on Raw because she loves NXT and loves these two girls. Bayley introduced two of her absolute favorites – Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne known as Toxic Attraction. Gigi and Jacy made their entrance together to the Toxic music.
Bayley asked the girls about what happened on Saturday at Vengeance Day. Jayne said that Dolin screwed her out of the championship. Dolin said that Jayne was pinned. Jayne said they were supposed to be a team. Dolin claimed if she won the title then Jacy would fall into obscurity. Jayne said that she was a star on her own. Jayne told Gigi she looked like a hobo that was banged by Chucky doll. Gigi said Jayne was looking up at the lights – she calls that the Jacy Jayne position. Bayley wondered they would do as individuals if a split happened. Dolin said that the sky is the limit for her and Jayne said that her plan was to go straight to the top.
Bayley wondered if it would be better if they tried to raise to the top with an ally. Gigi realized that everybody hates them and Jacy talked about how she has called everybody names while there are strength in numbers. Dolin said she needs somebody that has her back. Jayne said that when she is mad she aims straight for the jugular, but she admits she knows she can’t change. Jayne said that Dolin will always be her sister with Dolin saying Jacy was like her sister too.
Jacy said that they can go their separate ways and see what happens or one more run. Gigi wondered if it was one more run at the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles, then they looked at Bayley and said maybe the Women’s Tag Team Titles against Damage CTRL. The fans cheered that. Bayley told them to hug it out, so Gigi and Jacy hugged. Bayley present Toxic Attraction as a happy team again. Jacy held Dolin’s head, but then Jacy stepped back and superkicked Dolin. Jacy told Dolin it was never about them, it was always about Jacy. That led to Jayne throwing Dolin into the door and Jacy kicked Dolin in the head while Dolin went down in tears. Jacy celebrated her attack while Dolin was down on the mat. Vic called it a “toxic explosion” to end the show.
Analysis: That’s the end of Toxic Attraction. I’ll miss the theme song along with the entrance a bit. Jayne should thrive as a heel because she’s natural in the role and has shown a lot of confidence at all times. Dolin should do well as a face although if I had to pick, I think Jayne will do better of the two men, at least in the immediate future.
Three Stars of the Show
- Carmelo Hayes
- JD McDonagh
- Pretty Deadly
This week: 6.5 out of 10
Last week: 7.5
2023 Average: 6.79
It was okay for the most part with some good matches including Hayes/McDonagh and the Pretty Deadly/Chase U tag team match. Most of the other matches were just average.
The main event segment cemented the Toxic Attraction split with Jacy Jayne attacking Gigi Dolin, so they are no longer a team with Dolin into the face role while Jayne should do very well as a heel. I thought the angle was well done, but not necessarily a strong main event. I’d rather see a good match in that spot.
There were some bigger names missing from this week’s show since it was after Vengeance Day, so they gave time to others on the brand. That hurts the show a bit in terms of the quality of the overall episode.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.