Reviews

The John Report: WWE NXT 04/05/22 Review

wwe nxt april 5

This week’s WWE NXT was the follow up to NXT Stand & Deliver and it saw the new NXT Champion Bron Breakker have a huge challenge in the main event as he faced Gunther.

I enjoyed Stand & Deliver on Saturday although I wouldn’t call it some amazing show overall or compare it to the best Takeover shows. I rated it 7.75 out of 10. I’m happy that Cameron Grimes won the NXT North America Title, and it was good to see Mandy Rose keep her NXT Women’s Title. I was very surprised that Dolph Ziggler beat Bron Breakker to keep the NXT Title. I didn’t realize they would have a rematch on Monday’s Raw with Bron winning back the title. It’s nice to see Bron as the champion again. It was also a great moment when Triple H hugged Tommaso Ciampa after what may have been Ciampa’s farewell NXT match since Ciampa is likely headed to Raw or Smackdown soon.

For this review I’m going to do play by play for the women’s tag team title match and the main event. The other stuff will have quicker summary reviews.

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.

The opening video package showed some highlights of NXT Stand & Deliver from this past Saturday. The commentary team was Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett as usual.

Let’s Hear from Bron Breakker

Bron Breakker made his entrance with the NXT Championship in his hands again. The fans cheered him. Bron said his first WrestleMania weekend had some ups and downs. Fans chanted “we want Ziggler” while others said “no we don’t” so Bron spoke about inducting his father/uncle The Steiner Brothers into the WWE Hall of Fame. Bron said he failed at Stand & Deliver, but then he got to WrestleMania to watch great superstars like Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch, Kevin Owens and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Bron said it got him thinking that he’s going to headline WrestleMania one day and he wasn’t going to leave Dallas without the NXT Championship. Bron said he beat Dolph Ziggler at the biggest Raw of the year and brought the NXT Championship back where it belongs.

It was interruption time as Gunther walked out with Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner. Gunther said that nobody cares about Bron’s weekend. Gunther said all he cares about is that NXT Title and what title stands for. Gunther said that you cannot call yourself the best until you step in the ring with Gunther. Bron said he’s had a hell of a weekend, but if you want it then you’ve got it tonight. The Creed Brothers entered for a match.

Analysis: I thought Bron’s promo was fine. He’s not a great talker yet, but he’s getting better with more experience. He has improved from where he was a few months ago. I figured they would save Bron-Gunther for the first time as a main event level at a bigger show, yet here they are doing it on TV very soon. Maybe one of them is going to be on Raw or Smackdown soon, so perhaps NXT felt like they needed to do it now. I don’t know. It just seems like this match could have used more build.

(Commercial)

The Creed Brothers (Julius & Brutus Creed) vs. Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner)

Julius hit an impressive belly to belly suplex on Barthel. Aichner worked over Brutus for a bit including a running headbutt to the ribs and a shoulder tackle. Aichner showed off his power as he hit a rolling senton on Julius, who is bigger than Aichner. When Barthel tagged in, Brutus hit him with a knee to the ribs, but Barthel came back with an enziguri kick. Aichner body slammed Brutus into the ropes as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

Julius hit a powerful suplex on Barthel as the match returned from break, but then Barthel hit him with a forearm after Aichner distracted Julius. There was a spot in the match where Aichner yelled at Barthel to tag out. Barthel hit a running dropkick while Aichner walked out on his partner. Barthel had a cut on the left side of his face. Julius and Brutus each hit powerslams on Barthel followed by a slam off the shoulders and a stiff clothesline by Julius for the win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Creed Brothers (Julius & Brutus Creed)

Analysis: **1/2 A solid match to put over the younger Creed guys. The Imperium guys are talented veterans that I have seen as trainers at tryouts, so they’re more than just wrestlers to the NXT brand. It was a bit of a surprise to see Aichner walk out on his partner since the Imperium guys are usually on the same page. They could have done a better job of building to Aichner walking away from his partner. Anyway, it was a good win for The Creed Brothers.

After the match, The Creed Brothers were attacked by chair shots to the back by two men dressed in black. The men revealed themselves as former NXT UK Champions Pretty Deadly using the names Elton Prince and Kit Wilson. Referees showed up to stop a further attack.

Analysis: I am not a heavy NXT UK watcher, but I know these guys are a talented team. They used to go by the names Lewis Howley and Sam Stoker, so it’s a name change for them. This solves the question of who did the mystery attacks on the Creed Brothers in the last few weeks.

The NXT Champion Mandy Rose and Gigi Dolin/Jacy Jayne were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Gigi and Jacy said that they were going to win back the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships. Mandy said that they are not just Toxic Attraction, they are the attraction.

Cameron Grimes was shown with the NXT North American Title for a promo up next.

A commercial aired for Smackdown on Friday. They mentioned Roman Reigns will be there as the WWE & Universal Champion. They didn’t promote anything specific.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear from Cameron Grimes

The new NXT North American Champion Cameron Grimes made his entrance with a smile on his face and the title in his hands. Most of the fans were chanting “you deserve it” while some of them were chanting “no you don’t” for some reason. Grimes said “we did it” while adding he made good on his promise and he knows his dad is looking down smiling ear to ear because his boy did it. Grimes talked about his father giving his blood, sweat and tears for this business, but more importantly his father – a single parent – raising Cameron to be the man that he is. Grimes talked about busting his ass to prove his dad was right and that he deserves to be a WWE Superstar. Grimes held up his newly won title while adding he’ll make sure the title goes “to the moon” since that is his catchphrase.

Solo Sikoa was the man to interrupt the promo with congratulations for Grimes. Solo said now comes the hard part where you’ve got to hold onto the title. Solo had a good line: “Championships run all through my bloodline.” That’s a reference to his brothers The Usos and cousin Roman Reigns, so the fans cheered that. Solo challenged Grimes to a title match. Grimes told Solo that the match is on and they shook hands since they are both faces.

Analysis: I liked that promo from Grimes. It took him three years to win a recognized title in NXT and now he’s got one. It’s easy to support a guy like Grimes, who was a heel that became a face and now he’s a champion. Solo had the great about the bloodline that drew a big reaction.

Joe Gacy and Harland were backstage with Gacy talking about how family is the most important thing in life. Gacy said that they know what makes you tick inside, it’s imperative to success and if you don’t have a family it only leads to self-destruction.

Draco Anthony was in the locker room watching what Gacy said. Xyon Quinn showed up with Draco telling Quinn to stop telling him what to do. Quinn told Anthony he needs to learn a lesson in respect.

A recap of Stand & Deliver’s couple contest was shown with fans voting for Indi/Dexter aka #Index over Persia/Duke aka #Dusia as the hottest couple in NXT. The guys had a match after the break.

(Commercial)

Tiffany Stratton was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Stratton did her loud voice promo ripping on Sarray saying that she (Tiffany) is not a loser. That was it.

Dexter Lumis (w/Indy Hartwell) vs. Duke Hudson (w/Persia Pirotta)

I vote for Persia thanks to that outfit she was wearing on this show. What? There’s no vote here. Never mind. Lumis was in control early, but then he ran right into Duke, who hit a uranage slam. Hudson grounded Lumis with a long chinlock leading to Lumis making the comeback with a suplex and leg drop. Lumis hit a clothesline, bulldog and a spinebuster for two. They left the ring with both guys pulling on the arms by the ring post, the ladies got involved trying to help their guys and both guys hit the ring post. Both guys went down and the referee counted them out after five minutes. The fans booed the awful finish.

Match Result: Double countout

Analysis: *1/2 A boring match with a bad finish. Lumis matches are tough to get into sometimes. The ending likely means they will have a rematch soon. Some bad acting going on here too.

The NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Raquel talked about how dominant they are as a team.

Toxic Attraction’s Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin entered for their NXT Women’s Tag Team Title match.

(Commercial)

Gunther was in the locker room with Marcel Barthel. No Fabian Aichner around. Gunther talked about how they had to focus because he’s going to win the NXT Title later tonight.

NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships: Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez vs. Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne

Jayne jumped on Raquel’s back, Dolin tagged in and jumped on Raquel, who was ready for it. Raquel hit a spinning slam on Dolin leading to Kai tagging in with a foot stomp to the ribs. Kai tagged in with a rollup and dropkick on Dolin. Gigi messed on a hurricanrana on Kai or maybe it was Kai’s fault, but it was an awkward landing. Jayne punched Kai down leading to Dolin and Jayne making some quick tags to work over Kai in their corner. Raquel tagged in with clotheslines along with a fallaway slam. Gonzalez was distracted by Dolin, so Dolin sent her upside down and Jayne hit a cannonball splash on Raquel.

(Commercial)

Raquel was still in the ring, she kicked Jayne out of the ring and brought in Kai against Dolin. Kai with a jumping kick, then a running hiptoss along with two running kicks for two. Raquel got the tag, Kai with a jumping double foot stomp and Raquel hit an elbow drop off the ropes. Raquel sent Jayne out of the ring. Kai was legal, Jayne made the tag and hit a neckbreaker on Kai. Jayne with a superkick on Kai for two. Dolin tagged in with a running clothesline on Kai with Raquel breaking up the pin. All four women were down around the ring. Raquel went for a slam on Dolin, but Dolin hit a neckbreaker. Wendy Choo showed up in her pajamas, but Mandy Rose attacked her and threw Choo into the steel steps. Rose with a distraction, so Jayne hit a chop block on Gonzalez. Dolin with a kick to Raquel and then the Toxic women did a high/low kick on Raquel for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall AND NEW NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions: Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne

Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match. I was surprised by the title change, but the Toxic ladies are the right team to hold the titles. It’s not that common for Raquel to be pinned clean, so that result surprised me because I figured it would be Kai who takes the pin. Rose taking out Choo like that could lead to that as a title feud.

Tony D’Angelo was shown walking backstage because he was up next.

(Commercial)

Joe Gacy and Harland were in a darkened hallway. Gacy talked about how family again saying when chaos hits, you reach out to your family. Gacy said when you can’t control it, the chaos controls you.

Let’s Hear from Tony D’Angelo

AJ Galante was in the ring doing a promo saying he was the former President of the Danbury Trashers hockey team and said to look them up. Who? No idea. Anyway, he introduced Tony D’Angelo for this segment. Tony walked out in an all-black suit along with a top hat. It was a segment to make Tony a “made man.”

Tony did a promo saying everybody was rooting for Tommaso Ciampa, but everybody also thought Ciampa would walk right through Tony and we saw what happened (Tony won). AJ said that there’s a card that signified that Tony was ready to take the oath of the Don. AJ struggled through the promo as fans were shouting something and AJ told them to shut up. AJ said that the code of silence can never be broken. Tony said he would accept his position. Fans were chanting “boring” at them. AJ put a ring on Tony’s right ring finger with AJ presenting the Don of NXT, Tony D’Angelo. The fans booed. They drank some wine.

Analysis: This was not good at all. Bad segment. AJ seemed to be nervous and forgot some things. Tony has a bright future as a talent, but I don’t know how far they can really go with the mafia character gimmick.

The MSK duo of Wes Lee and Nash Carter were backstage as the NXT Tag Team Champions with Mckenzie Mitchell there to interview him. Wes talked about their long journey to the titles. Carter said that they told us that they would win the titles. Grayson Waller showed up with his right arm in a sling. Sanga said that MSK won’t be champions for very long. Waller said that they’ll take the titles when they’re ready and MSK will go back to square one where they belong.

Nikkita Lyons entered for singles action.

(Commercial)

Dakota Kai was shown backstage tossing things over and making a mess. Kai said that Mandy Rose is not safe. That was it.

Nikkita Lyons vs. Lash Legend

Lash took control early with a pump kick and elbow drop. When Lyons tried to come back, Lash hit her with a clothesline. Lash jumped too after a cartwheel into a moonsault. Lyons hit an impressive German Suplex across the ring. Lyons hit a superplex while on the middle rope. Lyons hit a spin kick that Lash didn’t sell very well and then Lyons hit a spit-legged leg drop to win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nikkita Lyons

Analysis: *3/4 Lyons continued her winning ways and is obviously getting pushed a fair bit due to her popularity. You can tell that Lash is a good athlete, but there are times when she looks sloppy and lost in the ring a bit. I assume Lyons will move on to another feud and I think she’ll be in the title picture in a few months.

Tony D’Angelo was shown leaving the building with AJ Galante. Santos Escobar was there with his Legado del Fantasma crew. Escobar told Tony to keep his business out of Legado’s business and everything will be okay.

Gunther entered for the main event.

(Commercial)

They showed a video about Von Wagner beating the Jacket Time guys last week. Kushida said he’s not afraid of Von Wagner.

Next week on NXT:

* NXT North American Championship: Cameron Grimes vs. Solo Sikoa.

* NXT Women’s Championship: Mandy Rose vs. Dakota Kai. Go Mandy.

* NXT Tag Team Championships: MSK vs. Grayson Waller & Sanga.

(Nash Carter of MSK has apparently been released by WWE so things will change there.)

* Von Wagner vs. Kushida.

* Draco Anthony vs. Xyon Quinn.

Bron Breakker made his entrance as the NXT Champion with the fans supporting him.

NXT Championship: Bron Breakker vs. Gunther

Bron and Gunther had an exchange of side headlock takedowns leading to Bron getting a headlock. Bron went running into the ropes leading to Gunther doing a leapfrog followed by Gunther hitting a boot to the face. Bron drove Gunther into the turnbuckle with shoulder tackles. When Gunther tried a leapfrog, Bron caught him with a powerslam. Bron hit Gunther with a Spear. When Bron tried a press, Gunther fought out of it and Bron was favoring his left arm/shoulder. Gunther chopped Bron with a huge chop to send Bron out of the ring. Gunther whipped Bron into the steel steps.

(Commercial)

Gunther with shoulder blocks into Bron’s left shoulder. Gunther delivered three hard chops to the chest that knocked Bron down. Gunther with a German Suplex, but then Bron came back with his own German Suplex. Gunther chopped Bron, then Bron bounced off the ropes and hit a clothesline. Bron wanted a power move, but Gunther caught him with an armbar and Bron powered out if it with a body slam. Bron kicked Gunther into the ropes leading to a belly-to-belly suplex across the ring. Bron charged, Gunther with a dropkick and Gunther hit a Powerbomb for a two count. Gunther has beaten a lot of people with that move. Gunther went up top and hit a Superfly Splash for a two count. That’s another move that I have seen Gunther win with. Gunther delivered a stiff clothesline for another two count. Gunther went up top, he jumped off the top with nothing and Bron hit a Spear. Gunther with a hard chop, Bron punched, Gunther chopped, Bron hit a knee to the ribs and Walter went for a sleeper hold. Bron got out of it leading to a clothesline. Bron hit a press powerslam for the pinfall win after about 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bron Breakker

Analysis: ***3/4 Great match that is no surprise by Gunther and I was very impressed by Bron holding his own against the more experienced wrestler. Bron did a nice job of selling the left arm injury while Gunther hit all of his big moves and Bron kept kicking out of everywhere. This match really put over Bron’s toughness and ability to find a way to win a match. I liked it a lot. They told the right kind of story with Gunther looking like a credible opponent.

After the match, Rick Steiner appeared on the screen telling Bronson that he was proud of him. Steiner was tied up in a cage of some kind. Joe Gacy appeared on the screen with Harland with Joe saying family was everything, so let’s see if we can teach this old dog some new tricks. Bron was watching the screen. That was the end of it.

Analysis: It’s a kidnapping angle of an older man? Weird. I don’t know. It’s a bit lame. If you would have told me that Bron would have to go through Gunther before he gets to a midcard act like Joe Gacy/Harland I wouldn’t have believed it, but here we go. I guess Gacy and/or Harland will be the next title contender.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Bron Breakker
  2. Gunther
  3. Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne

 

The Scoreboard

This week: 5.75 out of 10

Last week: 6.75

 

Final Thoughts

It was an average show that I’d call a weaker episode this week. The main event between Bron and Gunther was great, but I question doing this match without more of a build. I also think the ending with Rick Steiner kidnapped by Joe Gacy/Harland is so cheesy that it makes people forget about the match that took place. I do recommend Bron vs. Gunther, though. It was an awesome match that really saved the show.

There were a lot of things on the show that made me wonder what they were thinking from a creative standpoint. The finish to the Lumis/Hudson match was so bad. It’s like bad comedy that doesn’t work. I don’t know what else to say. I just felt like NXT was not that interesting this week.

===

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

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport