The John Report: WWE NXT 03/14/23 Review

wwe nxt review march 14

This week’s WWE NXT featured a Tag Team Title Match, promo time with Johnny Gargano, a Breakker-Hayes contract signing and more.

This will be summary style for most of it with one match getting play-by-play style.

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.

A video package recapped last week’s NXT Roadblock special that included Roxanne Perez collapsing at the end of her NXT Women’s Title match. It is a storyline worked injury.

It was Vic Joseph and Booker T on commentary as usual.

Let’s Hear from Johnny Gargano

Johnny Gargano got a big pop from the crowd. Booker asked why the fans love this guy so much and Vic said it’s because Johnny gives everything he has for this universe. The fans chanted “welcome home” at Gargano. Johnny said that the last time he was in this ring, Grayson Waller attacked him from behind with a steel chair, so he wanted the fans to watch his back. Gargano talked about how he would teach his son to finish what you start. Gargano said he’s back in NXT to finish his story. Gargano spoke about how 15 months ago, his story ended on a cliffhanger and when he came back last August, a piece of him was missing since he was taken out on NXT by Waller. Gargano said that Waller took out the heart & soul of NXT on Johnny’s last night. Gargano said he actually respected it because he wanted to see what Waller would do. Gargano said that Tommaso Ciampa took him out and became one of the best NXT Champions of all time. Gargano told Waller that he failed when he had two chances and blamed everybody from himself. Gargano said Waller was disrespecting the fans, the locker room and NXT. Gargano said no matter what brand he is on, NXT is his home. Gargano said you do not screw with a man’s home (that’s called foreshadowing). Vic Joseph got off commentary and showed Grayson Waller on Instagram Live at Johnny’s house. Vic is one of Johnny’s best friends. Anyway, Johnny ran to the back to leave the building.

Analysis: A good promo by Johnny leading to more later in the show. The foreshadowing there was very obvious because Johnny mentioned a man’s home and moments later we saw Grayson Waller at his home. I like wrestling promos that are a bit more subtle.

Wes Lee was shown in the parking lot with the NXT North American Title. Axiom was there to tell Lee he was going to follow him around all day so he can get the title match.

Pretty Deadly entered for tag team action.


Johnny Gargano was shown leaving the building with his car waiting for him right there. Mckenzie Mitchell told Andrew the camera guy to follow him.

NXT Tag Team Championships: Gallus – Mark Coffey & Wolfgang vs. Pretty Deadly – Elton Prince & Kit Wilson

I will go play-by-play here. They are both heel teams, but I think Gallus are more like faces of the two teams. Coffey ran over Prince with a shoulder tackle followed by an armdrag. Coffey with a back elbow to knock Prince down. Wilson tagged in and got an inside cradle. Wolfgang tagged in and tossed Wilson across the ring. Prince saved Wilson from an attack by Wolfgang. Wilson tried an attack, but Wolfgang slammed him down. Gallus did a double monkey flip to Wilson along with a double team back body drop. Gallus cleared the ring leading to the break.


PD were in control with Wilson hitting a belly-to-back slam on Coffey and Prince tagged in with punches along with a leg drop. PD hit a double team elbow smash. Prince hit a running uppercut on Coffey. Wilson with stomps followed by a weak-looking chinlock. Coffey with a back body drop to break free, Wolfgang tagged in against Prince and Wolfgang hit a running kick. Wolfgang hit a corner splash on Prince. Wolfgang with a double axhandle off the top, then a body slam and a senton splash for two. Gallus hit a double team slam, but Wilson broke up the pin. PD knocked Wolfgang out of the ring, Wolfgang pulled PD out of the ring and PD tossed Wolfgang over the commentary table. Prince into the ring with a title, the referee was distracted by that and Wilson hit Coffey in the back with the other title. Prince covered for two. Great nearfall. Wolfgang sent Prince out of the ring, Coffey with a back elbow. Wolfgang back in, Coffey with a running knee leading to a spinning slam by Wolfgang for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Gallus

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a great tag team match. Pretty Deadly always has good matches if they get time and Gallus are more than capable on top. That nearfall after Wilson did the belt shot to the head was terrific and really got a big reaction. Gallus won the titles fairly recently, so I figured they would retain.

They showed Fallon Henley and Josh Briggs (dressed in camouflage) sneaking into the office of Kiana James. They broke in there to try to find out if she’s cheating on Brooks Jensen. They were trying to be sneaky. The James book said operation boyfriend was a success. They showed the book from with James mentioning somebody named Sebastian and a card from Sebastian too, so Fallon and Josh think Kiana is cheating.

Analysis: When watching this stuff, we have to assume that the other wrestlers on the NXT show don’t watch NXT because otherwise, Kiana James would see these two people in her office. We also assume that people that know these wrestlers don’t talk to them about this stuff either. Sometimes when we watch wrestling, we have to turn our brains off.

They showed tweets from Shawn Michaels, which he read, about how there’s going to be a Ladder Match at NXT Stand & Deliver to crown a new NXT Women’s Champion due to Roxanne Perez’s injury.

Analysis: NXT loves multi-person ladder matches (every few months) and random parking lot attacks.

Sol Ruca entered for a match.


They had a doctor named Dr. Warren Becker, a Sports Medicine Physician, talking about how Roxanne Perez’s bloodwork came back fine, no abnormalities on the brain and right now she is symptomatically stable. Becker said they can’t identify what happened. They will continue to investigate the issue further. The doctor said he can’t provide an update on when she can return.

Analysis: No idea if he’s a real doctor or if a real doctor should be part of a worked storyline, but there it is.

Booker T said that this business is about highs and lows, so right now we are going to an ultimate low.

Zoey Stark vs. Sol Ruca

This is an NXT Women’s Championship qualifying match at Stand & Deliver.

The action spilled to the floor with Stark hitting a superkick to take control. Sol got out of a long headlock leading to a running shoulder tackles. Sol hit an impressive handstand into a splash followed by a powerslam for two. Stark to the floor and Sol hit a moonsault off the ropes onto Stark on the floor. Back in the ring, Sol tried a springboard move, but Stark caught her, flipped her around and hit a rising knee for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Zoey Stark

Analysis: **1/4 It was okay for the time given. Stark winning makes a lot of sense since she should be a top title contender. Stark is very skilled in the ring and just needs to keep improving as a character. Sol has a lot of potential as a talented athlete, but it’s still very early in her career. It took just one move for Stark to put Sol away.

A video aired about Scrypts aka the former Reggie.

Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn entered for tag team action.


Isla Dawn & Alba Fyre vs. Katana Chance & Kayden Carter vs. Ivy Nile & Tatum Paxley

The winners get a NXT Women’s Tag Team Title match at Stand & Deliver

One member of each team is legal at all times while the other three women wait on the apron. Chance got some offense early by sending Dawn out of the ring and tripping up Paxley leading to a splash by Chance. Carter tried pinning two women at once. Carter hit a dropkick/splash combo move. Paxley bodyslammed Chance onto Fyre. After Nile tagged in, she caught a diving Chance, but Fyre hit a superkick. Dawn hit a running double knee for two. When Nile wanted to tag out, Paxley pulled her hand back and shouted “we were never a team. Paxley walked out on Nile. Fyre stopped a Chance/Carter double team move by shoving Chance to the floor. Dawn kicked Carter out of the ring. Paxley kicked Nile into the ring, then back into the ring. Dawn with double knees and Fyre with a Senton Bomb off the top for the pinfall win. It went about four minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Isla Dawn & Alba Fyre

Analysis: ** A quality win by the Dawn/Fyre team that is an evil duo. Paxley walking out on Nile was Paxley’s way of turning heel, so I guess we might see a mild push for her. The finish was booked well with the heels Dawn/Fyre capitalizing on the situation.

That match result means the NXT Women’s Tag Team Title match at Stand & Deliver on April 1 will be Fallon Henley & Kiana James defending against Isla Dawn & Alba Fyre. There might be a title change there.

Ilja Dragunov was shown walking backstage.


Bron Breakker was shown with Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo showed up to talk to them. Stacks mentioned maybe they can take Carmelo Hayes out. Bron mentioned The Godfather and The Sopranos about potential moves. They offered to take out Melo’s arm or knee. Bron said he doesn’t want their help. Tony said they need to add some gold by going after the NXT Tag Team Titles. They were excited about it.

Let’s Hear from Ilja Dragunov

Dragunov talked about how WWE has been life changing for him, his wife and his son. Dragunov said to continue his ascension in NXT, he needs to rid himself of JD McDonagh once and for all.

JD McDonagh interrupted saying that he should never pretend that this was going to be avoidable. JD said that Dragunov followed him here and they both failed to win the NXT Title because of eachother. Dragunov said that pain makes him feel alive. JD told Dragunov they have been doing this for years because Ilja wants to suffer and JF said he likes making him suffer. Dragunov said that this will end next week. Dragunov said when he’s done, there will be nothing left.

JD got into the ring for a staredown. They agreed to the match next week. Dragunov unloaded with chops and a clothesline that sent them both over the top to the floor. They went fighting to the backstage area. McDonagh threw Dragunov into a door and they left the building.

Analysis: These guys are great. They should have yet another awesome match together.

Pretty Deadly was interviewed by McKenzie Mitchell. Kit Wilson said that Stand & Deliver needed them. Elton Prince said it’s a no brainer and they said that they should host Stand & Deliver.

Wes Lee was shown walking backstage with the NXT North American Title. Dragunov and McDonagh were fighting back there, then Lee said something to JD, so JD punched Lee and Lee went towards the ring.


They showed Chase U hanging out backstage with Tyler Bate teaching Thea Hail some breathing techniques. Andre Chase talked to Duke Hudson about how he has found a purpose in life and a place where he belongs. Chase said that Hudson his hanging on every win and loss. Somebody with a Schism was in the background. Chase told Duke that maybe Chase U has done more for him than he realizes. Chase left while Ava left the Schism mask beside Hudson.

Grayson Waller talked about how Johnny Gargano’s house is huge and he’s living the high life. Waller said he’d go check out if the door was unlocked.

They showed wrestlers fighting backstage to try to answer Wes Lee’s open challenge.

Wes Lee went into the ring as the NXT North American Champion for a match. Axiom went into the ring, but Scrypts hit a dive on him to attack him. McDonagh went into the ring, clotheslined Lee, then Dragunov took out McDonagh and that led to Lee hitting a dive over the top onto a pile of guys. The guys bumped to the floor even though most of them weren’t even touched. A big brawl took place after that.

Analysis: No title match for now. Kudos to the guys selling even though they didn’t get touched.

Dragon Lee was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Lee said it was so exciting to be there. Lee said he’s going to love it here.

Analysis: I was surprised by no promo interruption. I look forward to Lee’s NXT debut.

A video aired about Apollo Crews facing Dabba-Kato showing their history from Kato attacking Crews last month at Vengeance Day.


Jacy Jayne had her right arm in a sling claiming that Gigi Dolin isn’t better than her. Mckenzie Mitchell mentioned that Gigi did beat Jacy in the match last week. Jacy claimed that Gigi separated Jacy’s right shoulder last week. Jacy ripped Gigi for being pathetic. Jacy said when she returns, she will break Gigi’s heart and face…again.

Analysis: I hope Jacy isn’t out for too long. She is on her way to good things.

Apollo Crews vs. Dabba-Kato

Crews attacked Kato on the floor before the bell. Kato managed to chop Crews into the ring to start the match. Crews tackled Kato out of the ring right after the bell rang. Kato went running into the steel steps after Crews moved. Back in the ring, Kato got a boot to the face.


Kato remained in control using his power including a clothesline to the back and a leg drop to the back of the head. Crews with a necksnap across the top rope along with two pump kicks and a corner splash. Crews hit an Angle Slam that got a big pop. Crews hit a Frog Splash off the top for two. Kato bailed to the floor, Crews went after and Kato slammed him back-first onto the steel steps. I guess the steel steps are legal since it’s part of the ring. Kato hit the lifting two-handed sitout Chokeslam for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dabba-Kato

Analysis: **1/4 It was decent to get Kato a big win while Crews sold well for the big guy. Crews had a flurry of offense including that Frog Splash although he couldn’t get the win. Crews gets some wins in NXT, but in this case it was all about putting over Kato as a relative newcomer in NXT.

There was a video filmed by @NXT_Anonymous showing Shawn Michaels talking to Wes Lee. Shawn was telling Wes to stop the open challenges and Wes talked about wanting to prove himself as the NXT North American Champion. Lee said he wants to face ten of the best at Stand & Deliver. Shawn said he can’t do that, but he’ll make it a Fatal 5-Way with Wes picking the four guys. They shook hands and hugged.

Kiana James and Brooks Jensen were in the locker room looking for Fallon Henley and Josh Briggs. Brooks wanted to kiss James for good luck, but she left instead.


Gigi Dolin vs. Kiana James

This is an NXT Women’s Championship qualifying match at Stand & Deliver. They battled over some nearfalls. James hit a neckbreaker for two. Dolin hit some kicks including a kick to the head and an STO trip for two. After James got a pin attempt for two, Dolin hit a Crucifix Bomb into a pin for the victory after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Gigi Dolin

Analysis: *1/2 A quick match to put over Dolin. James is an NXT Women’s Tag team Champion with Fallon Henley so it was obvious they would put over Dolin in this match since Gigi is getting a singles push.

Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn were at ringside and they beat up James. Brooks Jensen showed up to check on James.

Johnny Gargano Finds Grayson Waller At Home

Johnny Gargano was shown at his house as Waller was waiting for him. They were fighting outside the front of the house. Waller used a trash can, Gargano threw the trash can at him and they kept on fighting. Johnny’s wife Candice LeRae and son Quill were there. Johnny told Candice to go inside and Waller hit a low blow. Waller sent Gargano into the wall. Waller hit Gargano in the back with a rake and broke the rake over Gargano’s back. Waller stomped on Gargano’s back to drive him into the ground. Waller shouted at Candice and baby Quill. Waller left while Candice and Quill checked on Gargano on the ground.

Analysis: It was decent. A little cheesy, but it’s a way to make the rivalry personal since Waller went to Gargano’s house. I don’t know if that was legitimately Johnny’s house or something belonging to somebody associated with NXT.

The main event contract signing was up next.


Kiana James was in the locker room with Brooks Jensen. Fallon Henley and Josh Briggs showed up with Briggs still wearing his ridiculous outfit. Henley complained about James having a qualifying match. They informed Henley that her and James defend the NXT Women’s Tag Team Title at Stand & Deliver. More arguing ensued.

Analysis: I hope there is some payoff to this story that is good. They have been doing this week after week for several months.

NXT Championship Stand & Deliver Contract Signing

Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams entered the ring for the contract signing. There was a black carpet in the ring along with leather chairs and a table. Bron Breakker was next as the NXT Champion.

Bron and Melo agreed they didn’t need anybody to moderate this. Melo talked about being the new champion and here comes Pretty Deadly. Pretty Deadly’s Kit Wilson & Elton Prince made their way to the ring to moderate this since they are the hosts at Stand & Deliver. Yes boy!

Melo said that Bron has carried that championship and he deserves to be recognized. Melo said that April 1st is a changing of the guard. Melo said that he’s taking the NXT Championship just like he took the NXT North American Championship and he made it the A Championship.

Bron said that Melo took the NXT North American Championship because he wasn’t ready for this title. Bron said that he wants to beat the Melo that beat Ricochet and Apollo Crews. Bron said that Melo don’t mis, but on April 1st it will be the first for everything. PD tried to talk, so Melo told them to shut up.

Melo said he didn’t want Bron in a tux or a fisherman. Melo said he wants Bron that runs through walls, he wants Bron that won at WarGames and made Tommaso Ciampa tap out. Melo said when Bron is that guy, he is unstoppable. Melo said that will make it sweeter when Bron gives everything he’s got and it’s not good enough. Melo: “I say this because it’s true. I am him.”

Bron said that Melo has to show that “him” means something. Bron said he’ll get the cool Trick and Melo game that everybody loves. Bron spoke about how Melo goes out late while Bron goes to bed early. Pretty Deadly spoke again, so they were yelled at. Bron said it’s 18 months in the making and the biggest NXT Title match. Hayes said they both unified titles. Hayes said it’s the youngest WrestleMania weekend main event in history. Melo said there’s a lot of eyes on this match and that’s not new to them. Melo said he’ll deliver and he needs to know if Bron will deliver too. Bron said I guess something’s got to give.

Melo signed the contract first. Bron signed the contact as well. Pretty Deadly shouted that it was official while summarizing it. Bron and Hayes shook hands. Wilson and Prince asked them to show us some drama. That led to Bron and Melo each picking up Prince and Wilson leading to double slams through the table. Bron and Melo had a staredown while Bron held up the title. There was some more trash talk. End show there.

Analysis: I liked it as a contract signing. They both made good and valid points. Melo mentioning they are the youngest main event during a Wrestlemania weekend is cool to hear. They are in their mid-20s with bright futures in WWE. Bron was confident as usual, but he needs some catchphrases to make himself appear to be more interesting because the presentation is a bit bland.

I think Melo is going to win, but if Bron wins then that’s fine too. Whoever loses is probably getting called up on the main roster possibly as soon a the week after WrestleMania and the winner will probably be on the main roster later in 2023 too.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Gallus
  2. Pretty Deadly
  3. Carmelo Hayes/Bron Breakker

The Scoreboard

This week: 6.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.25

2023 Average: 6.84

Final Thoughts

This felt like a weaker episode of NXT. I’m still saying it was fairly good, but the match quality was not close to their better episodes. That’s fine because last week was a wrestling heavy episode and the week before was great as well. The Bron Breakker-Carmelo Hayes contract signing to end it was solid. I liked the Gallus-Pretty Tag Team Title match too.

As usual, NXT does a nice job of utilizing the whole roster and finding ways to get a lot of people on the show.

The NXT Stand & Deliver card has a Women’s Ladder Match because NXT loves multi-person ladder match. There’s also a Men’s 5-Way match for Wes Lee’s North American Title. Clearly, NXT wants to get more people on the S&D card so that’s a way to do it with those matches.

The lineup for NXT Stand & Deliver on Saturday, April 1 looks like this so far:

* NXT Championship: Bron Breakker (c) vs. Carmelo Hayes

* Johnny Gargano vs. Grayson Waller

* NXT Women’s Championship Ladder Match: Zoey Stark vs. Gigi Dolin vs. others

* NXT North American Championship: Wes Lee (c) vs. four opponents of Lee’s choosing

* NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships: Kiana James & Fallon Henley (c) vs. Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn

Pretty Deadly are the hosts of NXT Stand & Deliver.

NXT Stand & Deliver takes place on April 1st in Los Angeles on Peacock/WWE Network at 1 p.m. ET/12 p.m. CT!


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

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport