The John Report: WWE NXT 02/14/23 Review
This week’s WWE NXT featured Bron Breakker doing a promo, Tyler Bate facing Grayson Waller and a women’s tag team main event.
A reminder that for NXT I go summary style for most of the show. I’ll go full play-by-play for at least 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 was Vic Joseph and Booker T on commentary as usual.
Grayson Waller vs. Tyler Bate
I’ll go full play-by-play here. Waller with punches along with forearms to the back and some choking over the middle rope. Bate came back with a dropkick. Bate grabbed a headlock leading to Waller hitting a belly-to-back suplex for two. Waller with some elbows to the head along with rising knees to the face. Bate hit a hiptoss, dropkick and Exploder Suplex. A standing SSP by Bate got a two count. Waller sent Bate out of the ring, Bate tripped up Waller and slammed him into the apron. Waller tried to get way, then he kicked Bate into the commentary table. Waller slid out of the ring leading to a clothesline on the floor.
Waller was still in control as they returned from break. Bate broke free, he countered a move by Waller leading to Bate bouncing off the ropes and hitting a clothesline. Waller hit an uppercut to the chest followed by a belly-to-back suplex. Bate did an airplane spin with Waller on his shoulders leading to a spinning slam for two. Waller avoided a Bate leading attack leading to a spin kick to the face. Waller with a flipping Unprettier for a two count. Waller mocked Shawn Michaels by stomping on the mat, Bate caught the cook, Bate with forearms to the face and a superkick for two because Waller had his hand on the bottom rope. Waller got a rollup with a handful of tights for two. Waller went for a pin and grabbed the ropes, but the referee caught it so no count. Bate did a sunset flip pin on Waller for the pinfall win after about 12 minutes. Waller got right up after the three count to make it look like a close win.
Winner by pinfall: Tyler Bate
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a terrific match with a lot of action right from the get go. The story was that Waller tried to cheat to win, the referee stopped it and Bate was able to counter into a pin attempt for the win. I think from a pure in-ring performance standpoint, Bate is one of the best workers in NXT while Waller is very good too so it’s not a surprise that they would have an entertaining match. It also furthers the story because Waller was angry after the match.
After the match, Waller got in the referee’s face to complain about his counting. They left the ring with Waller following the referee to the back.
They showed Brooks Jensen talking to Josh Briggs earlier in the day. Brooks was saying he has never…then he didn’t really say what he wanted to say, Briggs said Brooks is only 22 so it’s okay because plenty of guys haven’t hit a home run before. Jensen said he’s never been on base so Briggs yelled about how Brooks has never kissed a woman before. Briggs taught him how to kiss saying you need to go in 90% and the woman goes in 10% so then their friend Fallon Henley interrupted. Briggs told Henley that Brooks hasn’t kissed a woman before. Henley wanted to tell Brooks something, but Brooks just talked about how excited her. Henley gave her some tips about kissing and she told Brooks to have fun.
Analysis: It continues the story of Brooks being a nervous young guy while Henley doesn’t think that Kiana James is genuine towards him so Henley was looking out for her friend.
Jacy Jayne was shown walking in the backstage area for her segment up next.
Grayson Waller was in the Gorilla Position yelling at Shawn Michaels saying he was a suit while Matt Bloom (former A-Train) pushed Waller back saying this is not the time. Michaels was shouting: “Get him out! Cut to break!”
Analysis: It furthered the story of Waller whining about Michaels. I don’t know exactly where it’s going, but I doubt Michaels ever wrestles again. I think Michaels will get a wrestler to fight for him, so to speak.
Apollo Crews talked about Dabba-Kato attacking him at NXT Vengeance Day. There were clips shown of Crews as the Intercontinental Champion with Kato (as Commander Azeez) by his side. Crews said they shared the road together, they shared family time together and now Crews is focused on revenge.
Let’s Hear from Jacy Jayne
Jacy Jayne has new music that says her name at the start of it like Toxic Attraction’s song had “Toxic” at the start of it. Jayne had a shirt on mocking her superkick on Gigi Dolin during last week’s NXT show.
Jacy said it’s the beginning of the Jacy Jayne Story because now it’s all about her. Jacy said that for the last seven days, she has been the talk of NXT because the name on the tip of everyone’s tongues is Jacy Jayne. She said “me” repeatedly in an annoying way. Jacy claimed that her only regret was that she didn’t pull the trigger sooner. Jacy called for the footage of her attack on Gigi Dolin last week. They showed a video of Jacy-Gigi history leading into that turn by Jacy last week. Jacy throwing Gigi into the door and kicking her in the face looked brutal. They showed a photo of Gigi with a scar on the right side of her face.
Jacy bragged about what she did saying she had to kick her that hard. Jacy claimed she was the real victim here while claiming Gigi did half the work and took the credit. Jacy called Gigi “Jannetty” in reference to the Rockers famous breakup 31 years ago. Jacy told Dolin that she is done protecting her and is done cleaning up her mistakes. Jacy said “screw you” for thinking she didn’t belong in Toxic Attraction or thinking she was a third wheel. Jacy talked about Toxic being a dominant group and look who is the last woman standing? Her music played with Jacy saying “it’s me” to end it.
Analysis: That was a typical cocky promo after a turn although Jacy was always a heel, so it’s not like she turned heel. She just turned on Gigi, which will turn Gigi into a face. Anyway, Jacy is a good overall performer for somebody that’s 26 years old with only a few years of experience. I think she has a good all-around game and continues to improve in the ring. It reminded me of Zoey Stark doing her heel promo after turning against Nikkita Lyons a few months ago. The heel got to stand in the ring to deliver their promo explaining the turn while the face wasn’t there. I assume we see Gigi next week to try to get some revenge.
They showed NXT Anonymous filming Meiko Satomura arriving to the USA on Monday and Roxanne Perez was there to pick her up at the airport.
Thea Hail was backstage with Andre Chase and Duke Hudson with the guys wondering what happened with Schism last week. Hail claimed she was good and her match was next.
A video aired about Sol Ruca showing off her athleticism. Sol said being in the ring allows he to be a free spirit while saying she gets it from her parents. Sol talked about some of her hobbies. Sol talked about doing the Sol Snatcher finisher in practice and got better every day. Sol said Zoey Stark beat her, but Sol wants another match.
Tiffany Stratton vs. Thea Hail (w/Andre Chase & Duke Hudson)
Hail got some armdrag takedown leading into a dropkick. The Schism had two members in in the crowd with masks on, so Hail was distracted. After Hail knocked down Stratton, she saw Joe Gacy of The Schism with a mask on and was freaked out, Stratton took over. Stratton hit a springboard senton that didn’t have a great landing, but it was enough for a two count. Hail knocked Stratton out of the ring leading to a cross body block on the floor. Ava Raine was in the crowd distracting Hail as well. Back in the ring, Stratton hit a back splash, then a rolling senton and Stratton hit the triple jump moonsault (Best Moonsault Ever) for the pinfall win. It went about four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Tiffany Stratton
Analysis: *1/2 A distraction win for Stratton since she took advantage of Hail being occupied by the Schism group members in the crowd. Stratton’s finisher looks great.
Javier Bernal walked up to Ivy Nile & Tatum Paxley. Javy wanted to give Paxley a valentine with his face on it, and then Paxley said she was taken. Nile said she would accept and then she choked him out. The voice of Isla Dawn started playing in the room with some creepy talk.
Axiom entered for singles action.
Axiom vs. Damon Kemp
Axiom sent Kemp out of the ring quickly and hit a suicide dive on the floor. Back in the ring, Kemp caught Axiom with three German Suplexes. Kemp was on offense for a bit, but Axiom hit a dropkick. Kemp came back soon after with a clothesline leading to Axiom doing a flip bump. Kemp with an Electric Chair Suplex for two. That was impressive. Axiom came back with a forearm, running kick and the Golden Ratio running kick for the pinfall win after about four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Axiom
Analysis: ** It was a decisive win by Axiom after Kemp hit him with a bunch of suplexes. That Golden Ration kick looks great every time Axiom does it.
They showed images of Brooks Jensen and Kiana James having a fun time on Valentine’s Day.
Josh Briggs and Fallon Henley were talking in the locker room with Henley saying she can’t take this anymore, she has to tell him. Briggs left with her asking: “Tell him what?”
Bron Breakker was up next at the top of hour two.
A video was shown of Grayson Waller getting kicked out of NXT while trashing Shawn Michaels some more.
Let’s Hear from Bron Breakker
Bron Breakker, the NXT Champion, made his entrance to a good ovation. There was some barking as usual. Bron said when one door closes, the next door opens. Bron talked about how this next talent is different, feels bigger and it’s the match everybody wants to see: “Me vs. Him.” Bron was interrupted.
Jinder Mahal made his entrance with his Indus Sher buddies. Mahal told Bron that a great champion must always expected the unexpected. Jinder and Indus Sher went into the ring with Jinder saying that he respected him because Bron has held the championship for the entire year and he carries the brand. Jinder said he knows very well about the weight you carry, plus the stress and he understands all the media/appearances, the late nights and early mornings. Jinder said as a former WWE Champion, is this the title run you envisioned and dreamt of? Bron said “you damn straight” and asked what he was talking about? Jinder said that that there is a small pocket of fans that once loved him, but they are changing their tune. Jinder said you die a hero or become a villain. Bron said that fans can say whatever they want. Jinder said he’s there because of that arrogance. Jinder told Bron that the tides are changing, so Bron is tired and weak.
Jinder challenged Bron to a match next week for the NXT Championship. Bron said he’s a simple guy. Bron asked if this is a new Three Man Band leading to light “3MB” chant. Jinder said that the 3MB comment was for the fans to cheer Bron and to like him. Jinder said the fans won’t feel bad for him when Jinder takes the championship, but Jinder will. Jinder’s music played to end it.
Analysis: It sets up a title match for next week even though Jinder barely wrestles in NXT. Bron was obviously about to mention Carmelo Hayes, but since the match isn’t likely going to happen until Stand & Deliver during WrestleMania weekend, they have some time to set it up.
Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro apologized to Roxanne Perez and Meiko Satomura about some of their comments last week. They said they’ll bring it in the match and it will be an honor. Perez thanked Meiko for helping her, then Meiko said she had her reasons and that was it.
Analysis: It’s a tease for Meiko wanting a match against Perez.
Wes Lee was shown walking with the NXT North American Title. Dijak and Tony D’Angelo/Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo were looking on in the background.
A commercial aired for the Elimination Chamber this Saturday.
Indi Hartwell was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell saying she heard Jacy Jayne’s “hot garbage” earlier in the show. Indi told Jacy she will be behind her when it comes to reaching the top.
The NXT North American Champion Wes Lee was in the ring doing a promo saying he was ready and waiting to see who will step up to challenge him for the championship. It was Tony D’Angelo, but Dijak choked him out and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo helped Tony D. That was broken up as they tried to go to the back. Von Wagner attacked Lee from behind with a boot to the face.
NXT North American Championship: Wes Lee vs. Von Wagner (w/Mr. Stone)
Wagner tossed Lee across the ring rather easily. The action spilled to the floor with Wagner slamming Lee’s head against the commentary table repeatedly. After Lee hit some punches, but Wagner hit him with a clothesline. Lee with a trip, moonsault and a dropkick. Wagner slammed Lee on the mat followed by a boot to the face. Lee teased a slam over the top, but Lee broke free and hit multiple superkicks. Lee hit a jumping lee. Lee with a backflip into the Cardiac Kick for the pinfall win after about six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Wes Lee
Analysis: **1/4 A good win by Lee. Lots of offense from Wagner throughout the match, then Lee hit a bunch of superkicks and his Cardiac Kick for the win. That result is fine with me.
They showed Drew Gulak talking to Hank Walker backstage. Walker had a new singlet, but his boots weren’t ready yet. Gulak gave Walker a pair of his boots and told him to wear those.
A commercial aired for the WWE 2K23 video game.
Charlie Dempsey vs. Hank Walker (w/Drew Gulak)
They did a double running kick spot that knocked eachother down. Walker grabbed the left arm leading to a submission pulling on the arm, but Dempsey got the trip. Dempsey applied the stretch submission on the left knee/arm and hooked his hands, so Walker tapped out. It was under two minutes.
Winner by submission: Charlie Dempsey
Analysis: * Easy win for Dempsey after Walker was able to get a brief submission attempt.
After the match, Dempsey put his submission on Walker again. Walker was tapping out. Gulak watched it, but he didn’t help Walker at all as referees made Dempsey stop. Gulak and Dempsey had a staredown. Gulak left with Dempsey while shaking his head so the fans booed Gulak and Hank was mad about it.
Analysis: The story is that Gulak wasn’t happy about Walker losing the match, so he bailed on him.
Von Wagner was angry about the match while talking to Mr. Stone. Stone told Von that he has to open up because he puts the walls up too often. That led to Stone shouting “help me help you” as if he was Jerry Maguire. Stone said he’ll get Wagner where he wants to go but Von has to let Stone “help me help you.”
Analysis: I guess somebody watched Jerry Maguire lately.
They showed the NXT Tag Team Champions Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) playing pool in an empty bar. Pretty Deadly walked into the bar as they exchanged words. Kit Wilson and Elton Prince said they could beat them in pool. Gallus agreed to keep playing and if Pretty Deadly wins then PD gets a title match. Pretty Deadly kept giving Gallus drinks, but Gallus kept winning. Pretty Deadly was shocked at how much the bill is because Gallus drank a lot. Gallus said if you wanted a title shot, all you had to do was ask.
Analysis: It was a bit cheesy, but that fits what Pretty Deadly is all about.
Ilja Dragunov was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. They showed clips of Dragunov getting injured four months ago and then Dragunov got payback last week. Trick Williams was in the ring for a promo saying he wanted Dragunov to meet him face to face.
Trick Williams said he wants to find out if Dragunov really is a bad man and said he’ll drop him like JD dropped him four months ago. Dragunov made his entrance in the building to confront Williams in the ring.
Ilja Dragunov told Trick he was very entertaining. Dragunov said he didn’t come back to NXT just to have fun. Trick punched him in the face, so Dragunov hit a jumping kick to the head.
JD McDonagh walked out with his right eye covered up by some tape. JD said that Dragunov tore his retina. JD told him to stay home. JD said he’ll show us exactly what he’s cable of. JD said this time he’ll beat Dragunov so badly that Dragunov won’t be able to hold his son. Trick hit Dragunov with a forearm to the back and a kick to the ribs. Trick mocked Dragunov’s “orchestra” hand gesture. JD teased going into the ring, but then he backed away when Dragunov got back up.
Analysis: I say it all the time when he’s in matches, but it bears repeating here that Dragunov is so good and so believable when it comes to selling. Dragunov should beat Williams when they have a match. I like the build to another Dragunov/McDonagh match. Dragunov should win that one too.
They showed the two women’s tag teams walking backstage ahead of their match.
Carmelo Hayes was shown backstage looking at his phone. Trick Williams walked into the locker room saying everybody can get it from him. Hayes said Dragunov is different. Trick said it’s his time. Trick Willy said he’s the meanest and they did their hand gesture to end it.
Brooks Jensen and Kiana James was shown walking up to a house at the end of their date. Brooks was really nervous while pointing out the North Star in the sky. James was playing with her keys, which is what Henley told Jensen about earlier as a sign that she wanted a kiss. That’s when Fallon Henley and Josh Briggs arrived. Henley told Brooks that Kiana was cheating on him. Kiana said it wasn’t true, Henley said she heard Kiana on the phone say “I love you Zack” and Kiana said she does love Zack because that is her brother. The door opened it was Zack talking to sis saying he fed the dogs and he’s going to leave through the garage. James was mad while wondering when Henley was going to start to trust her. James went in the house while Henley tried to apologize, Briggs was disappointed in Henley and Jensen walked away with Briggs.
Analysis: Oh, what a drama this turned into. The acting was okay for an NXT sketch, I guess. It’s kind of silly that these people in their 20s are acting like teenagers about this stuff instead of having Henley ask James who Zack was. Anyway, it furthered the story that Henley didn’t think James was genuine, so they continue to have issues even though they are the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions.
Next week on NXT:
* Bron Breakker defends the NXT Championship against Jinder Mahal.
* Jacy Jayne vs. Indi Hartwell.
* Ilja Dragunov vs. Trick Williams.
I think those matches should lead to wins for Bron, Jacy and Ilja.
Roxanne Perez & Meiko Satomura vs. Kayden Carter & Katana Chance
I will go play-by-play since it’s the main event. Meiko is 43 while NXT Women’s Champion Perez is 21 years old, so big age difference between the team.
Carter with a shoulder tackle on Perez, Chance with a tag, a trip and a senton splash. Chance with a headscissors, Perez landed on her feet and Carter was back in with an armbar leading Perez getting to the ropes. Meiko tagged in, Carter with a chop, Meiko with an uppercut and Chance/Perez went into the ring. Meiko and Perez each hit uppercuts on their opponents. Perez hit a suicide dive onto Chance on the floor. Meiko hit a forearm off the apron onto Carter on the floor.
Chance was in control of Perez with a chinlock, Perez broke free and Chance hit a dropkick. Carter tagged in, Perez with a jawbreaker and Meiko tagged in. Meiko with a trip along with a knee to the ribs. Carter with elbows, but Meiko hit a kick to the head along with another kick. Meiko with a slam off the shoulders. Perez tagged in with a handstand into a splash onto Carter, but Chance broke up the pin. Carter blocked a legsweep, forearm to the chest and a slam onto the mat. Carter with a running kick. Chance tagged in with a double foot stomp to the back of Perez for two. Perez hit a legsweep on Chance, Meiko back in and Chance got a sunset flip for two. Chance with double knees to the face. Perez got involved, so Chance hit a cross body block back in. Carter lifted up Chance, who was legal and Chance gave Meiko a hurricanrana off the top for two. Meiko broke free with a kick, then a handstand into a splash and Carter back in with a kick. Meiko with a jumping back kick on Carter, who was legal. Perez with a kick to the gut followed by Pop Rox for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Roxanne Perez & Meiko Satomura
Analysis: *** It was a good tag team match. There wasn’t much of a story going into it and they are both babyface teams, so it was just all about getting some nearfalls for Carter/Chance before they lost. Putting over Perez and Satomura made a lot of sense.
Roxanne Perez and Meiko Satomura shared the ring. Meiko said she did something for Perez, so now she wants Roxanne to do something for her. Meiko pointed at the NXT Women’s Title. Perez said “it would be my honor.” Vic said Roxanne was looking at her roadblock to NXT Stand & Deliver. End show.
Analysis: The reason Vic said “roadblock” is because there’s an NXT Roadblock episode on Tuesday, March 7th with Perez likely defending her title against Satomura on that show.
Three Stars of the Show
- Tyler Bate
- Roxanne Perez & Meiko Satomura
This week: 7.25 out of 10
Last week: 6.5
2023 Average: 6.86
I thought it was an entertaining show overall that was a nice mix of good matches to open & close the show while some of the shorter matches were done well in terms of advancing stories. They had some meaningful promos as well with Bron Breakker-Jinder Mahal (Don’t Hinder Jinder) setting up an NXT Title match next week. Jacy Jayne explained her attack on Gigi Dolin very well too.
When it comes to NXT creatively, they do a terrific job of featuring a lot of different people every week. Probably better than any other regular wrestling show I watch. That doesn’t mean it’s the best show. I’m just saying they find ways to get people on the show if they’re not in matches by doing a lot of different backstage segments or interviews. That’s a good thing for all of the young talent on this show because it gets them more screen time and experience they need to get better.
It’s cool to see guys like Tyler Bate and Ilja Dragunov being featured again. They make the show better because they’re so talented, especially as babyfaces that are easy to like. I also really like the Grayson Waller where he threw another tantrum after losing to Bate. The story of Waller having with NXT boss Shawn Michaels feels fresh, so I’m definitely interested to see where it goes next.
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