The John Report: WWE NXT 04/18/23 Review

wwe nxt april 18

This week’s WWE NXT featured an NXT Tag Team Title triple threat match, plus Wes Lee defending the North American Title, Grayson Waller Effect talk show with Carmelo Hayes and more.

I’ll go summary style for most of the show and play-by-play for one or two matches.

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 aired with highlights of last week’s NXT, but then that stopped as the three tag teams in the triple threat match started brawling around ringside.

The commentary team was Vic Joseph and Booker T as usual.

NXT Tag Team Championships: Gallus (Wolfgang & Mark Coffey) (w/Joe Coffey) vs. Creed Brothers (Julius & Brutus Creed) vs. The Dyad (Rip Fowler & Jagger Reid)

There is one legal man from each team in a match like this. The Creeds were in control early, but then Reid tagged in with a jumping side kick. Mark tagged in with a double team slow with Wolfgang for a two count. Julius was on fire with overhead belly-to-belly suplexes on Mark and Reid two times each. Mark hit a belly-to-back suplex on Julius. There was some more impressive Julius offense with a moonsault and a Powerbomb back to back. All six guys got into the ring led to strikes including Julius hitting a knee on Reid, who landed on top of Mark for a two count. Mark managed to get a two count on Julius for a two count leading to a break.


The match returned with Brutus dominating with some forearm smashes for everybody in his path. Brutus did an impressive Northern Lights Suplex/bridging pin combo for two. The Creeds sent Wolfgang into the steel steps and The Dyad sent Mark into the steel steps, so The Creeds and Dyad faced off. Julius hit a double suplex on The Dyad. They did a spot where Ivy Nile got accidentally knocked down, so then Brutus hit a Brutus Ball on Fowler and wanted Julius to finish off their opponent, but Julius checked on Nile on the floor. That allowed Mark and Wolfgang to hit a running knee/spinning slam combo for the pinfall win. It is still Gallus boys on top after 14 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Gallus (Wolfgang & Mark Coffey)

Analysis: ***1/4 A good match with a lot of chaos at times especially at the end, but I liked how it was booked for the most part. Julius was probably the most impressive guy in the match with some of the cool stuff he did. However, Julius checking on Nile cost his team the win because Brutus had it won and then Julius left the ring. That allowed Gallus to go back in for the double team finisher to win. While a title change would have been fine because I like both challengers, I figured the champions would retain there. The Dyad asked for their release recently, there were reports that they were gone and now we see they are still there. I guess we will see if The Dyad gets booked in a more serious way moving forward.

They showed a clip from earlier in the day with Dijak shoving a camera guy asking him questions, so Apollo Crews said that the camera guy was just doing his job. Dijak and Crews agreed to have a match.

Noam Dar blasts off up next.

A commercial aired for the WWE Draft starting on Friday, April 28th.


There was a segment called Hard Hitting Home Truths with Nathan Frazer talking about his career. Frazer talked about how you can tell there is something missing with him in terms of winning big matches. Frazer talked about speed while saying he should “never slow down.” Frazer said it’s time to turn this ship around meaning it’s time for him to get some wins.

Noam Dar vs. Myles Borne

Dar had the NXT Heritage Cup with him. Dar worked over Borne with a barrage of kicks to the body, but Borne came back with a dropkick and an overhead toss across the ring. Dar hit an impressive knee to the jaw and a spinning back elbow. Dar hit a jumping kick to the head called the Nova Roller for the pinfall win after about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Noam Dar

Analysis: *1/2 Easy win to put over Dar for his return to NXT. Borne has a good look and moves well, but they aren’t pushing him at this point.

A video aired with Roxanne Perez talking about Zoey Stark ahead of their match. Perez trashed Stark for being a mean girl. Perez warned Tiffany Stratton as well since she is going after the NXT Women’s Title and Perez said tonight she’ll shut up Stark.


Kiana James was in her office with Josh Briggs there to ask Kiana asking if Brooks Jensen will talk to Josh. Briggs said that he needs her help because Brooks is his buddy. Brooks walked into the room and he was dressed in a dress shirt, different pants than what he usually wears and glasses. Jensen told Briggs they are not family and he’s tired of being treated like a kid because James treats him like a man. Briggs said he doesn’t know who this Jensen is. Brooks told Briggs to leave so Briggs left looking sad.

Analysis: A big change to Brooks in terms of how he dresses and looks because Kiana changed him. The acting level during this is not great and I think there are too many camera cuts, but it’s the high school drama content that NXT loves to do sometimes. This story has been going on for a long time.

Odyssey Jones made his entrance for something and then Bron Breakker showed up with a Spear! Referees helped Jones out of the ring. Bron said that is what happens when you get in his way. Bron called the fans “fat rednecks” while trashing Chase U for thinking everybody gets a trophy nowadays. Bron mentioned taking out Carmelo Hayes, Odyssey Jones and Andre Chase, so then Duke Hudson showed up.

Duke Hudson had his MVP trophy as he spoke while in the crowd. Duke complained about Bron tearing up the Chase U flag and throwing it onto Andre Chase. Duke said that nobody puts down Chase U and gets away with it. Duke challenged Bron to a match at Spring Breakin’ next week on NXT. Bron spoke up, but Duke shouted that he wasn’t done talking as fans chanted “MVP” for Duke. Duke said that Bron is going to face Andre Chase next week. Bron stared into the camera saying that at NXT Spring Breakin’ he’ll Spear Andre Chase in half and Bron will end Chase U. The fans were booing Bron.

Analysis: It sounded like we would get Bron vs. Duke next week, but instead Duke put Chase into the match. It should be an easy win for Bron.

Cora Jade the mean girl was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Cora complained about Lyra Valkyria interrupting her last week. Gigi Dolin arrived to say that this “big Instagram famous ass” is going to kick Cora’s ass later tonight.

Roxanne Perez made her entrance for singles action.


Pretty Deadly were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell about their issues with Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo. They challenged Tony D and Stacks in an “Anything Goes Match” next week.

Zoey Stark vs. Roxanne Perez

The first couple of minutes had some mat wrestling and exchanging holds. Battling over a side headlock for a long period of time isn’t the most exciting thing to watch. When Perez tried a headscissors, Stark kicked her in the ribs. Perez managed to get the headscissors with Stark taking a silly bump to the floor, so that Stark could catch a diving Perez and slam Roxanne onto the apron.


Stark remained in control with a catapult into the turnbuckle. Stark hit a running clothesline. Perez came back with a Thesz Press off the ropes and a dropkick. Perez hit a suicide dive onto Stark on the floor. Stark got a nearfall after rolling through on Roxy’s cross body block attempt. Stark got a two count after a superkick and half n half suplex. Perez managed to come back with Pop Rox for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Roxanne Perez

Analysis: *** It was pretty good with Perez getting a win to get some momentum back after losing her NXT Women’s Title earlier this month. Stark is a credible heel, so it’s notable for Perez to beat somebody like Stark instead of some other woman that is lower on the totem pole. The last few minutes were exciting with a bunch of nearfalls for both women and Roxy only needed to hit her finisher to get a win.

Post match, NXT Women’s Champion Indi Hartwell stood in the ring with Perez. Hartwell spoke about how Perez was never defeated for her title and Indi wants to be a fighting champion. Indi suggested a title match at Spring Breakin’ next week. Perez said they are friends, but in the ring it’s every woman for herself and Perez said at Spring Breakin’ you’re on. Tiffany Stratton (one of my favorites) showed up to complain saying that Hartwell as champion is just dumb luck. Stratton ranted about things, so Indi called her a bimbo and Indi said she’ll prove she’s a worthy champion by beating both women.

Analysis: A triple threat match for the NXT Women’s Title next week. I think Indi will retain by pinning Stratton and they can do the Indi-Roxanne singles match in the future.

Grayson Waller was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell talking about how his loss to Johnny Gargano didn’t count since it was Unsanctioned and he’s back on top because he’s going to take the NXT Title at Spring Breakin’ and that’s the Grayson Waller Effect.

Von Wagner and Mr. Stone were shown talking after last week when Wagner lost a match. Wagner opened up saying that WWE is in his blood and his dad was a Beverly Brother. Stone told him that’s a good start.

Gigi Dolin entered for singles action.


Axiom was featured in a video talking about how he’ll be done with Scrypts soon.

A video aired about Dani Palmer making her NXT debut soon.

Cora Jade vs. Gigi Dolin

Dolin was in control with a kick to the back and a bronco buster against the turnbuckle. Jade came back with an elbow smash followed by a double foot stomp on the back. Dolin got three straight kicks to the head. Jacy Jayne showed up to attack, but Dolin brought Jayne into the ring. Dolin sent Jayne into the steel steps and over the commentary table onto Booker T! When Dolin got back into the ring, Jade hit a rising knee and a DDT for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Cora Jade

Analysis: ** A cheap win for Jade because Dolin was busy taking care of Jayne, who didn’t actually hit Dolin, so that’s why there wasn’t a DQ. Jade took advantage for the win.

Cora Jade was about to do a promo about another victory, but here comes Lyra Valkyria. Lyra told Cora that next week they will engage in battle at Spring Breakin’ and that was it.

Analysis: That has been building for a few weeks, so now it’s official.

Eddy Thorpe was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell talking about how for every day for eight years, he was making sure he was more than prepared to make his family proud. Damon Kemp interrupted saying he was checking out the new guy. Damon said he was very impressed watching him last week and told him to keep up the good work because he might have something.

Dijak made his entrance.


Josh Briggs & Fallon Henley were talking in the bar when Brooks Jensen & Kiana James showed up. Brooks said that Briggs was holding him back while Brooks is jealous that Henley found a great girl. Brooks & Kiana challenged Briggs & Henley to a match next week. Briggs & Henley accepted while Henley yelled at James to get out of the bar.

Analysis: The high school drama story continues leading to a match.

Apollo Crews vs. Dijak

They are two experienced veterans in their mid-30s that aren’t like most of the talent on the NXT roster that is much younger and less experienced. Crews was impressive as he avoided a few Dijak moves leading to a dropkick. Crews hit multiple German Suplexes to show off his power. Dijak knocked Crews off the apron into the commentary table.


Crews got some momentum going with a leaping clothesline, corner splash and a Blockbuster neckbreaker for two. Crews with a German Suplex, Dijak landed on his forearms and got back up, so Crews hit a discuss boot to the face for a two count. Crews with a knee to the jaw, Dijak avoided a moonsault hit a Hard Justice sitout chokeslam for two. Great nearfall there. Dijak hit the Feast Your Eyes knee to the face (like a GTS) for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dijak

Analysis: ***1/4 This was a fun match between two guys that can do it all in the ring. More time would have been nice, but they made the most of the ten minutes they were given. Dijak is the bigger of the two, but Crews had a lot of power moves and Dijak knows how to show off his athleticism. Both guys needed the win, but I think Dijak needed it more to try to build him as a potential championship contender.

Post match, Dijak wanted to attack Crews some more, but Ilja Dragunov ran out for the save. Dragunov hit Dijak with a headbutt to knock Dijak out of the ring. Security and officials broke it up with fans chanting “let them fight.”

Analysis: That’s going to be an awesome match.

Jacy Jayne was shown walking in the parking lot saying that Gigi Dolin left her baby brother home to deal with their drug addict mother. Jayne was sickened by that. Jayne said when she’s done with Gigi, it will lead to Gigi running from NXT like when Gigi left her mother and brother.

NXT North American Championship: Wes Lee vs. Charlie Dempsey (w/Drew Gulak)

Gulak punched Lee on the floor while Dempsey distracted the referee, so the referee never saw it. I’ll go play by play here since it’s the last match.

Dempsey got a takedown early on. Lee managed to get a sunset flip and then a headscissors. Lee hit a dropkick. Dempsey to the floor, so Lee hit a somersault dive over the top onto Dempsey.


Dempsey remained in control with an arm whip takedown sending Lee into the mat. Dempsey applied a wristlock submission leading to Dempsey sending Lee into the turnbuckle. Dempsey with a gutwrench suplex for two. They exchanged strikes, Lee got some momentum with punches, forearms and a dropkick to the back. Lee charged, Dempsey moved and Dempsey got a dragon screw leg whip takedown. Dempsey suplexed Lee across the ring. Dempsey hit a German Suplex for two. Dempsey tried a German Suplex with a bridging pin, but Lee got out of it. Lee did a backflip out of a suplex attempt, Lee with a boot to the face and a jumping kick. Lee knocked Gulak off the apron. Lee hit the cartwheel into the Cardiac Kick for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Wes Lee

Analysis: *** It was pretty good with Lee selling for most of the match, Dempsey showed off his technical wrestling skills and Lee found a way to make the comeback to keep his title. I think Dempsey was in control for about 80% of the match before Lee hit his finisher for the win.

Post match, Gulak and Dempsey attacked Lee. Gulak hit a Powerbomb while Dempsey hit a Dragon Suplex. Gulak held up the NXT North American Title over Lee and talked some trash.

Analysis: That probably means it will be Lee vs. Gulak soon.

Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo talked about their issues with Pretty Deadly. They said they’ll have a Truck Match at NXT Spring Breakin’ and Stacks liked it.

The main event Grayson Waller Effect talk show was up next.


A video aired featuring NXT newcomer Oba Femi debuting next week. He was throwing furniture to show how strong he is.

Next Tuesday on NXT Spring Breakin’ in the regular time slot:

* NXT Women’s Championship: Indi Hartwell (c) vs. Roxanne Perez vs. Tiffany Stratton

* Bron Breakker vs. Andre Chase

* Brooks Jensen & Kiana James vs. Josh Briggs & Fallon Henley

* Lyra Valkyria vs. Cora Jade

* Trunk Match: Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo vs. Pretty Deadly

* NXT Championship: Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Grayson Waller

Analysis: The card is okay. The stories have been built up well. I don’t see there being any title changes.

Grayson Waller Effect with Carmelo Hayes

The ring was full of Grayson Waller’s talk show set as he introduced the NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes. Melo was joined by Trick Williams.

Melo talked about how despite all the losses that Waller takes, he somehow finds himself in the main event every time. Melo said he stays winning. Waller said that in the past 18 months, he has become as big of a star as much as Melo has become one. Trick talked about how Melo is “Him” while running down Melo’s accomplishments and Melo said that they are saying his name.

Waller said that Melo wouldn’t have the NXT Title without Trick. Melo said that they knew Waller was going to do this. Melo said that Waller stole every opportunity he ever had. Melo talked about his greatness saying that Waller might not be that guy or built for that championship lifestyle. Melo called for some banners for Grayson’s accomplishments on screen, but then they said Waller didn’t have any.

Waller talked about how at Stand & Deliver, Melo finally won the NXT Title. Waller said that he stole the show. Waller said that the main event happened before Melo’s music even hit. Melo said that 6/10 that’s still 3 more points than any girl that Waller has ever been with. Waller said that we both know that’s a lie since he’s got an Australian accent. Waller said after he takes the title, maybe Melo can call MVP and carry Omos’ bags. Melo told Waller he can go in Logan Paul’s “Prime” costume. Waller said that next week he’s going to carry that NXT Title and the golden shoe. Melo said that he’s going to put Waller’s shoes in the power lines. Melo said “AND STILL” to end it referring to how he’ll still be the champion. Waller held up his shoe while Melo held up his NXT Title and they argued. End show.

Analysis: It was okay for a talk show segment, but nothing special about it. We saw it when Waller challenged Bron Breakker earlier this year and now we see it again. Carmelo Hayes is good as the NXT Champion and I like him obviously. However, it would be nice if the creative team did a bit more to make him as a likable babyface because they haven’t done much in that regard. It’s basically a case of the fans liking Melo because he’s accomplished a lot in NXT, but character-wise there isn’t much effort into making him more of a face. Anyway, Melo should beat Waller, who I think is likely going to be on Raw or Smackdown in the WWE Draft, so it will be Waller’s NXT farewell.


Three Stars of the Show

1. Wes Lee

2. Gallus

3. Dijak


The Scoreboard

This week: 7.25 out of 10

Last week: 6.75

2023 Average: 6.95


Final Thoughts

A good show overall with a nice balance of some pretty good matches (I rated several at or around three stars meaning they were fun to watch) and they advanced stories well. I think with the Spring Breakin’ special next Tuesday it led to more focused booking on building all of those matches.

The triple threat tag team match was a lot of fun with the Gallus boys on top again while Julius Creed really stood out in that match. Julius Creed could be a massive star in WWE in the next five years. That Dijak-Crews match was a lot of fun. Two veterans on NXT that are older than most of the roster, but there is still a lot of upside for both of them. Wes Lee continues to have great matches every time.

As for the Spring Breakin’ lineup, I don’t see Melo or Indi losing their titles. I think Waller will lose to Melo as I mentioned in the review and I think Waller will be on Raw or Smackdown after the WWE Draft. That Bron Breakker match with Andre Chase could be Bron’s NXT farewell too. Anyway, there could be plenty of changes coming for the NXT crew with the upcoming draft.


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

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport