Reviews

The John Report: WWE NXT (Roadblock) 03/08/22 Review

wwe nxt march 8

This week’s WWE NXT featured two title matches including Bron Breakker putting the NXT Title on the line against Dolph Ziggler and Tommaso Ciampa in the main event.

For this week, I’m going to write a review in a format where I summarize the matches and promos rather than go very detailed. I’ll go play by play for the main event. I’ll still have the analysis and star ratings as usual. This is just a way for me to try a different format and write a bit less too. Anyway, they are using the “Roadblock” name for this show because they are on the road to Stand & Deliver on April 2 in Dallas.

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.

There was an opening video package for the NXT Title main event between champion Bron Breakker, former champion Tommaso Ciampa and Raw’s Dolph Ziggler.

Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals: Raquel Gonzalez & Cora Jade vs. Dakota Kai & Wendy Choo

The Toxic Attraction trio of NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose and NXT Tag Team Champions Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin were watching in the “Toxic Lounge” in an upper part of the building. Choo started with Jade and Choo even did her sleeping routine for a few seconds. Gonzalez did an airplane spin into a sloppy looking slam for two. Kai and Choo were a crazy team that each hit running kicks on Jade in the corner. Choo and Jade did a spot where they rolled around the ring getting cradle pin attempts on eachother. Choo hit a baseball slide dropkick on Jade on the floor, then Jade drove Choo into the apron. Gonzalez stared down her former friend Kai, but then Dolin & Jayne attacked Gonzalez with a club to the knee while Jayne rammed Raquel’s leg into the ring post. Raquel was down selling the knee injury.

(Commercial)

Jade was still in the ring working on Kai with a dropkick and Gonzalez was unable to even stand on the apron. Jade’s offensive run ended when Choo hit a Full Nelson Slam and then a double team slam with Kai. Gonzalez finally got a tag as she favored her right leg injury and Raquel go a powerslam on Kai. Dakota hit an impressive double knee to the back followed by Kai hesitating and then Gonzalez went for a Chingona Bomb, but she stumbled due to the leg injury. Kai with a running kick on Gonzalez, Choo tagged in with a top rope splash and Kai hit a double foot stomp off the top on Gonzalez for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Dakota Kai & Wendy Choo

Analysis: *** A long match with Gonzalez/Jade getting screwed by Jayne/Dolin and the unique team of Choo/Kai was able to get along enough to get the win. They always book Raquel strong, so having her get attacked gives an excuse for why she lost. I like watching Choo since she’s entertaining, but I’m not a big fan of the random sleeping gimmick even though I get that it’s a comedy routine. Kai & Choo are both very talented in the ring. No doubt about it.

The win by Kai & Choo means they go on to the finals of the Women’s Dusty Cup Finals.

Tommaso Ciampa did a seated promo about how he’s going to be a three-time NXT Champion. Ciampa had a “Mr. NXT 2.0” shirt on.

The commentary team plugged NXT Stand & Deliver on Saturday, April 2 taking place in the afternoon of the first night of WrestleMania.

Tiffany Stratton was shown walking backstage with Sarray looking at her.

The Creed Brothers were down in the parking lot with referees, medical team and other members of Diamond Mine there to check on them.

Analysis: Over the last few weeks, NXT has made a point to make The Creed Brothers into babyfaces and having them take a cheap attack like this adds to that.

(Commercial)

The Creed Brothers were shown getting checked on in the Medical Room while Gonzalez & Jade were there with Gonzalez getting her knee looked at it.

Tiffany Stratton vs. Fallon Henley

Stratton is more known among the two women, but Henley got some offense early with an impressive clothesline. Stratton showed off her strength by powering Henley up into a Samoan Drop. While Stratton was against the ropes, some smoke was going off in the aisle and that allowed Sarray to get a cheap shot kick to the head of Stratton. Henley hit a running knee for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Fallon Henley

Analysis: *3/4 It was an upset win for Henley due to Sarray continuing her rivalry with Stratton. Sarray-Stratton have had issues over the last few weeks.

Fallon Henley celebrated with her friends Briggs & Jensen, who lifted her on their shoulders. They had some backstage interaction in the past.

Andre Chase was shown “teaching” at Andre Chase University. A student mentioned Bodhi Hayward had a black eye that should get checked out, so Chase yelled at him for thinking he was a doctor and called him a “piece of shit” while also throwing a basketball at him. Good class!

(Commercial)

The North American Champion Carmelo Hayes and his buddy Trick Williams were shown in the barbershop. Trick spoke about how Roderick Strong, Cameron Grimes and Pete Dunne all missed when they got their shot at Hayes. Trick had a joke about Russell Westbrook in there. Hayes said that at Stand & Deliver they are going to have a Ladder Match with five guys in the match. Trick said that they will need to qualify for it. Hayes was confident as usual.

Analysis: That should be a great match. Hayes keeping the title makes sense, but if he loses and goes after the NXT Title then that’s fine too.

Lashing Out with Lash Legend had Nikkita Lyons as the guest. Lash and Nikkita got into an argument with Lash wondered what Nikkita and her butt implants will do to her. Nikkita said other than her spray tan and her nails, she’s all-natural while the only thing about Lash that is natural is that she’s “full of s**t.” It ended there with some trash talking.

Analysis: Nikkita Lyons is gaining popularity on social media due to her impressive…uh…physique? Sure, that’s the word I’ll use. Anyway, I can see Lyons getting a decent push in the weeks and months ahead.

Imperium’s Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner, the NXT Tag Team Champions, were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell and they spoke about The Creed Brothers getting attacked. MSK said that they are going to take The Creed Brothers place, so that match is on for later.

LA Knight made his entrance for singles action.

(Commercial)

The team of Briggs & Jensen were celebrating with Fallon Henley celebrating her win. Santos Escobar, Elektra Lopez and the Legado boys were there, so they accused Legado del Fantasma for the parking lot attack. Legado denied it, Jensen said that’s what Lopez does and Lopez said “don’t go accusing me because you can’t get laid.” Ouch. Jensen: “I’m working on it.” Escobar told him to work on it. Henley asked if they did it, Jensen said he’s still working on it again and then Briggs said they are the good guys.

Analysis: Some funny lines of dialogue there. Make it count when you get a quick segment like that.

Last Man Standing Match: LA Knight vs. Grayson Waller

Knight attacked Waller in the aisle before he could get to the ring. Knight was in full control as they brawled around the ring with Knight sending Waller into the steel steps. The fans were strongly behind Knight. Waller managed to get control, he did a necksnap against the ropes and a leap into the ring right into a Stunner. Knight was down for about seven until he got back up. Knight got some momentum back when Waller was on the top rope going for a move, but Knight suplexed him off the top. Knight hit the BFT neckbreaker, Waller looked like he was going to get up and then Waller left the ring to land on his feet. Waller used a trash can to stun Knight. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Waller and Knight were up on a platform in the back part of the arena. Knight punched Waller, who took a bump off the platform. We did not see where Waller landed, but it was probably somewhere soft. Sanga, who is Waller’s bodyguard, carried Waller to ringside. We never saw where Waller landed. Knight hit Sanga with a chair to the back and Sanga came back with a Chokeslam on the apron. Knight managed to get some handcuffs that he used to cuff Sanga around the ring post. Knight was on fire after that with a lot of offense including a spot where he tossed Waller over the top rope and sent him through a table at ringside. Waller was back up at nine and then he sat down after. Knight put a trash can on Waller’s head and Knight hit the trash can that was on Waller’s head. Knight also hit Sanga in the back with the chair four times. Knight cleared off the commentary table while Waller had something in his right hand. Waller hit Knight in the head with a black club of some kind. Knight was laid out on the table, Waller went up top and Waller hit an impressive elbow drop off the top onto Knight through the table! We have seen that spot in other places in wrestling before, but I thought that was very impressive by Waller. The fans chanted “Holy Shit” while the referee counted them both down. Waller got back up before ten by holding onto Sanga, who stood up. Knight stayed down. Waller won the match after 16 minutes.

Winner: Grayson Waller

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a good match. The younger guy Waller wins the blowoff match. It’s rumored that Knight will be on Raw or Smackdown after WrestleMania, so I can understand why they have him losing a match like this since he’s likely leaving NXT soon. Good use of weapons in the match since they didn’t use a lot of them early, but then they had some bigger spots towards the end of the match. Waller’s elbow drop through the table looked very impressive. Knight has had some good matches like this in the past with Cameron Grimes. Waller continues to impressive me in terms of his athleticism, his selling and his ability to be a heel that the fans hate.

Bron Breakker, the NXT Champion, was shown in the locker room doing a promo about how he busts his ass and how much he loves this business. Breakker said he’ll run right through the final Roadblock on the way to Stand & Deliver.

Kay Lee Ray & Io Shirai entered for tag team action.

(Commercial)

Tony D’Angelo was shown in the restaurant at his cousin Mikey’s restaurant. Tony did his mafia gimmick dialogue about how he’s going places. Tony said at Stand & Deliver, his career reaches the top. Tony said we’ll all witness him as the new “don” (that means boss) of NXT.

Analysis: I can see Tony being in the North American Title Ladder Match at Stand & Deliver.

Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals: Kay Lee Ray & Io Shirai vs. Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro

These are both babyface teams although KLR isn’t a traditional face. Mandy Rose was in the Toxic Lounge where Malik Blade & Edris Enofe were the waiters there since they beat up the other waiters that were supposed to be there. Carter hit an impressive springboard kick to the face. Kacy and Kayden hit some tag team moves on KLR and then Shirai tagged in for the first time. The match broke down a bit with Carter hitting a dive onto KLR on the floor and Kacy hit a twisting splash on Shirai. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

Carter countered a Shirai slam attempt into a DDT. Kacy hit some cool-looking moves leading to a slam into the mat. Shirai used her knees to block a splash from Kacy. Shirai hit a great missile dropkick off the top on Carter for two. KLR tagged in leading to Carter hitting an impressive bulldog off the ropes. Fans chanted “this is awesome” as all four ladies were out on the mat. Shirai and KLR went for a double superplex, but Carter saved her partner, Carter had KLR on her shoulders and Kacy hit a Reverse Rana off the top and off the shoulders! Holy shit, that was great! Kacy covered, but Shirai shoved Carter onto the pin to break it up. Shirai sent Carter into the steel steps, KLR with a superkick on Kacy and a KLR Bomb. Shirai tagged in and hit a moonsault on Kacy for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Kay Lee Ray & Io Shirai

Analysis: *** It was pretty good action here. That Reverse Rana spot by Kacy off the shoulders of Kayden was great. I know Shirai and KLR are pushed more based on their singles history, but I would have liked to see Kacy/Kayden win since they are an actual tag team instead of two singles wrestlers that were put together for this tournament. You could even say Kacy was the star of the match since she hit some cool moves. I understand why Shirai/KLR won, but I wouldn’t have had an issue with Kacy/Kayden winning.

The win by KLR/Shirai means they face Dakota Kai & Wendy Choo in the Women’s Dusty Cup finals. I think KLR/Shirai will win, but they could opt for the unlikely duo team of Kai/Choo winning.

They showed the Toxic Lounge with Mandy Rose applauding the winners, but then Cora Jade attacked Rose with some fake-looking punches and slaps. They were broken up by Blade and Enofe.

Indi Hartwell was watching her team losing last week. Persia Pirotta walked in with Duke Hudson talking about her fun dating life with Duke. Hartwell and Pirotta argued about their issues as a team while arguing who is better. They agreed to have a match between them. Pirotta pushed Hudson against the ropes and they had an aggressive makeout session again. Good for Duke.

The NXT Tag Team Title match was up next.

(Commercial)

Tiffany Stratton was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell doing her spoiled rich girl gimmick. Stratton said she’s going to do more than break Sarray’s necklace because she’s going to break her face.

NXT Tag Team Championships: Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) vs. MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter)

Carter got a headscissors takedown on Barthel and then Barthel took over with an uppercut. Aichner and Lee got in the ring with Aichner body slamming Lee back first into the ropes. Carter tagged in leading to a dropkick combo move. Aichner decked Carter with a clothesline. Lee got some momentum going with a moonsault on Barthel, but then Aichner hit an impressive backbreaker on Lee. That’s when The Creed Brothers showed up to attack both teams. It went about six minutes.

Match Result: No Contest

Analysis: ** Good work by two talented teams with a non-finish. I didn’t expect a clean ending in a match like this just based on how it was set up.

The fight continued post match with The Creed Brothers going after Imperium and MSK. They hit suplexes on both MSK guys. Brutus hit a suplex on Aichner that almost dropped him on his head. The Creed Brothers clotheslines Barthel & Aichner out of the ring.

Analysis: It makes sense to do the Imperium-Creed Brothers Tag Team Title match at Stand & Deliver on April 2 although they might not stretch it out that long and do it earlier. It could also be a triple threat match with MSK part of the match. I just think with The Creed Brothers as faces now, it makes sense to do the title change at the bigger show. If they want to do it on an NXT episode then that’s okay too.

Draco Anthony was shown working out where Joe Gacy and Harland were there to talk to him. Xyon Quinn showed up telling Anthony to not listen to them and he should live his own life. Gacy said he wanted him to live his own life instead of living a lie. Anthony thanked Xyon for that.

Dolph Ziggler was shown walking backstage. Robert Stone was talking to a hot blonde woman that we saw last week during Von Wagner’s entrance. Anyway, Ziggler did a quick promo saying: “Hit my music…the good one!” They played the main Dolph Ziggler song rather than the newer one he’s used since teaming with Robert Roode.

(Commercial)

There was a video about Spanish WWE Superstar A-Kid coming to NXT soon. He was part of the NXT UK brand. A-Kid said he can’t wait to test himself against the best talents in NXT. His debut is next week.

Analysis: I have seen enough of A-Kid to know he’s a great talent that has a bright future. I just don’t think A-Kid is a great name for a wrestler. It’s like he couldn’t think of a good name, so he called himself “A-Kid” and that’s still his name. I figured they would come up with something better.

The Jacket Time duo of Ikemen Jiro and Kushida were shown watching. Kushida said he’s good and then he said he was better than good. Jiro said he’s excited.

Next week on NXT:

* Cameron Grimes vs. Santos Escobar in a North American Championship Qualifying Match. Good match. Could go either way. I’ll pick Grimes.

* Persia Pirotta vs. Indi Hartwell. I think Pirotta will cheat to win possibly with help from Duke Hudson.

* Sarray vs. Tiffany Stratton

* A-Kid vs. Kushida

Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance for the main event followed by the NXT Champion Bron Breakker. They stood in the ring for the championship introductions.

NXT Championship: Bron Breakker vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Dolph Ziggler

It’s triple threat rules, so no disqualifications and no countouts. It’s the main event, so I’ll go play by play for this match.

Ziggler left the ring early, but when he got back in there, Bron whipped him into the turnbuckle. Bron went for a shoulder tackle, Ciampa ducked and Bron hit the mat hard. Ciampa with chops on both guys, Bron with a spinebuster on Ziggler and a clothesline on Ciampa. Bron hit a double suplex on both guys. It looked okay, but not great. Bron was sent out of the ring, Ciampa and Ziggler exchanged holds while Ciampa got a forearm to the face. Ciampa with a running clothesline. Ciampa with a catapult that sent Ziggler into the turnbuckle with Dolph always selling that well. Ciampa hit a twisting dive over the top onto Bron on the floor. The fans chanted “Ciampa’s gonna kill you” as Ciampa did his routine where he hit multiple running clotheslines on both opponents and Ziggler hit a dropkick on Ciampa. Bron came back with a clothesline on Ziggler. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Ciampa gave Ziggler an atomic drop leading to Bron hitting a belly to belly to belly suplex. Bron lifted up Ciampa in a move leading to Ciampa hitting the mat. Bron applied a Steiner Recliner submission, Ziggler jumped on Bron’s back with a sleeper and Bron released his hold. Bron dropped back with Ziggler on top of Ciampa. All three guys were down selling. The three guys all stood up as they exchanged strikes, Ziggler punched Bron to the apron and Ciampa kneed Bron off the apron to the floor. Ziggler with a rollup on Ciampa for two. Ziggler hit a Fameasser leading to a Zig Zag for a two count. Great nearfall there that the fans thought was the finish. Bron was back in the ring, Ciampa kicked him and Ziggler hit a DDT on Bron. Ciampa with a knee to Bron. Ciampa hit a slam on Ziggler with Ciampa’s double knees hitting the body. Ciampa got back into it with a Spear on Ciampa. Ziggler with a knee on Bron, then Bron held onto the ropes to block a Zig Zag and Bron hit a huge Spear on Ziggler. Bron hit the press powerslam on Ziggler near the ropes for the one…two…and there’s Robert Roode to pull the referee out of the ring. As a reminder, there are no disqualifications in a triple threat. Bron punched Roode to knock him down. Ciampa hit a DDT on Bron followed by the Fairytale Ending. Ziggler shoved Ciampa down and covered Bron for just two. Great nearfall there. Ciampa dumped Ziggler out of the ring. Ciampa went for a running knee on Bron, but then Roode pulled Bron out of the ring. Ziggler back in the ring and he hit a superkick on Ciampa for the one…two…and three! Dolph Ziggler is the new NXT Champion after 13 minutes. Vic Joseph: “What the hell did we just witness?” A new NXT Champion named Dolph Ziggler.

Winner by pinfall and NEW NXT Champion: Dolph Ziggler

Analysis: ***3/4 Great match. No surprise there. A cheap win by Ziggler after getting an assist from Roode. I like how the match was set up, they had some good nearfall spots where it looked all three guys had a shot to win at different points. I think most people watching this probably thought Bron was going to win, but having Bron lose while not getting pinned is the right way to protect Bron. The last few minutes were outstanding. I thought they set up those nearfalls so well with Ciampa nearly winning, Bron nearly winning and then Ziggler getting the cheap victory thanks to Roode interfering with Bron multiple times. I liked this match a lot.

Dolph Ziggler celebrated with the NXT Title with his buddy Robert Roode by his side. They showed some replays of the finish. Bron was shown in the ring frustrated while Ziggler celebrated with the NXT Title some more. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: The win by Ziggler means that Bron’s title reign ended after two months. Surprised? A bit. I assume that the plan is for Ziggler to face Bron in a singles match at Stand & Deliver with Bron winning the title back at that show. They probably want to do a title change in front of the biggest NXT crowd of the year. I realize some people don’t like the title change decision because it weakens Bron a bit. I think it’s fine. I don’t think they are going to move Bron to Raw or Smackdown already. I think Bron is going to get the NXT Title back at Stand & Deliver and that it’s a smart move to have Bron get the title back at the biggest NXT event of the year. If you’re mad about a heel champion winning a title, that’s what they want you to feel. They want fans to root for Bron to get the title back and that’s what will happen.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Dolph Ziggler
  2. Bron Breakker/Tommaso Ciampa
  3. Grayson Waller/LA Knight

 

The Scoreboard

This week: 7.25 out of 10

Last week: 6.75

 

Final Thoughts

Good wrestling show from top to bottom. I liked the main event a lot and two other matches around the three-star level makes me a happy wrestling fan. I think the NXT brand does a nice job with these “special” shows where they give the bigger matches more time. It’s a lot like what the black & gold version of NXT was. Now that we know more about the characters, we can get into the matches/stories more.

Dolph Ziggler winning the NXT Title was a surprise for some people I’m sure, but I don’t mind it. I assume it will lead to Bron Breakker winning the title back at Stand & Deliver to end the show on a happy note in front of the biggest NXT crowd of the year in Dallas. Having Dolph pin Ciampa protected Bron in the match. I liked the match a lot.

They are doing a nice job of building other stories as well. The two women’s tag team matches were booked well and full of action. The Waller/Knight feud appears to be done with Waller getting the Last Man Standing Match win. Knight is likely going to be on Raw or Smackdown post-WrestleMania so that makes sense. Fun show overall.

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John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport