Reviews

The John Report: WWE NXT 04/26/22 Review

wwe nxt april 26

This week’s WWE NXT featured Solo Sikoa in action against Trick Williams, Mandy Rose faced Roxanne Perez and The Viking Raiders made an appearance as well.

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 show started with a closeup of the buxom Nikkita Lyons standing backstage and the fans cheered at the sight of her. Lyons made her entrance for the opening match. It was Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett on commentary as usual.

Nikkita Lyons vs. Lash Legend

Lyons avoided a kick followed by some kicks to the body and Lyons hit a spin kick to the head. Legend came back with a back elbow. They each ran the ropes, it looked awkward and Lyons did a Thesz Press followed by punches. When Lyons let up, Legend tossed her out of the ring to the floor. When Lyons was on the apron, Legend hit a running elbow to knock Lyons down. Legend tossed Lyons into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Legend tripped up Lyons followed by elbows and knees. Legend sat on top of Lyons, one of them said “ready” and the other said “yep” with Lyons getting a pin attempt for two. Legend hit a sidewalk slam for a two count. Legend grabbed a weak-looking chinlock that looked even worse during a camera close up. Lyons made the comeback with knees to the ribs followed by a suplex. Lyons with a German Suplex across the ring. Lyons with a jumping forearm followed by punches. Legend got a hold of Lyons coming out of the corner, Lyons did a headscissors and Lyons did a spinning kick to the chest for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nikkita Lyons

Analysis: *1/4 A poor match that’s a reminder that this is still a developmental brand. Legend still has a long way to go while Lyons is a bit more polished at least. I like some of the kicks that Lyons does as well as some of her power moves. I think Lyons will get a big push this year. Legend is a bit sloppy, but hopefully she gets better.

Post match, Natalya went into the ring and attacked Lyons from behind. Legend held Lyons, so Natalya stomped Lyons a few times. Cora Jade made the save with her skateboard as she knocked Legend out of the ring. Natalya faced off with Jade, Natalya wanted a Sharpshooter and Lyons was back up to kick Natalya out of the ring. That ended it.

Analysis: It set up an obvious tag team match with Natalya/Legend as a heel duo against Jade/Lyons.

Tony D’Angelo was shown walking backstage saying he was supposed to face Xyon Quinn, but he’s got a hangnail or a stomach ache, so now he has to face Von Wagner. Tony said that he’ll be swimming with the fishes and gave a shoutout to his rival Santos Escobar as well.

(Commercial)

Roderick Strong was shown backstage with his Diamond Mine group. Strong said that recently they have been struggling and he won’t let them crumble like his previous group. Brutus talked about how they survived the Gauntlet Match beating several teams before Pretty Deadly showed up. Strong told Julius and Brutus that he got them a match against a former NXT tag team. It was The Viking Raiders, who walked into the picture.

A replay was shown of Joe Gacy’s attack on Bron Breakker last week.

Von Wagner (w/Robert Stone) vs. Tony D’Angelo

They are both heel characters. Wagner used his power early to shove Tony into the turnbuckle. Tony came back with a hard slap to the face. Wagner did a waistlock takedown followed by shoulder tackles to the ribs and an elbow to the face. Tony with punches, Wagner with a knee to the ribs and forearms to the back. Tony wanted a suplex, Wagner powered out of it and Wagner was pushing Tony’s head against the middle rope. Tony with a drop toe hold and a kick that sent Wagner out of the ring. Tony with an atomic drop followed by a clothesline over the top to the floor. Wagner with a belly to back suplex onto the ring apron.

(Commercial)

Wagner was in control with a chinlock, Tony broke free, but Wagner came back with an awkward-looking spinebuster. Tony got some offense going with a belly to belly suplex across the ring followed by a belly to belly side slam. Tony with a double leg takedown, then some punches to the head and the body. Tony with an overhead belly to belly suplex, but Wagner came back with a clothesline. Wagner went for a slam off the shoulders, Tony slipped out and wanted a suplex into a slam, but Wagner got out of it. The two Legado guys jumped on the apron, two of Tony’s friends took care of them and Santos Escobar hit Tony in the back of the leg with a pipe or something like that. Tony was barely able to stand, but he did get into the ring. Wagner took advantage with a boot to the face for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Von Wagner

Analysis: **1/4 It was just an average match between two heels with Wagner getting the cheap win after Escobar attacked Tony. Based on how it was booked, it makes Tony look like the face, but I don’t think that his character will work as well if he’s in a face role. I guess it doesn’t matter that much. Anyway, it’s a big win for Wagner from the standpoint that he beat another younger wrestler that he is on the same level with, so it elevates Wagner a bit. With that said, I’m not that impressed by Wagner. Being a taller guy is a good thing for him, but he really doesn’t stand out that much.

They showed some of the women’s roster talking backstage including Persia Pirotta/Indi Hartwell talking to Roxanne. That’s when Mandy Rose and her Toxic Attraction friends arrived. Mandy talked down to the newcomer Roxanne, who said she wanted to prove herself in a match against Mandy, who said she knows what Roxanne is doing. Mandy said she’ll teach her the difference between being a champion and somebody who only dreams of becoming a champion.

Nathan Frazer’s NXT debut was up next.

(Commercial)

There was a backstage segment with Briggs & Jensen along with their friend Fallon Henley talking about how they were going to beat Legado in a mixed tag later. The lovely Sophia Cromwell walked by, Jensen was staring at her, Sophia left and then Briggs got Jensen fired up.

Next week at NXT Spring Breakin’ is Natalya & Lash Legend vs. Nikkita Lyons & Cora Jade.

Nathan Frazer was shown making his entrance. Grayson Waller took out Frazier’s opponent at ringside. Waller trash-talked Frazer saying that this is his NXT because this is the Grayson Waller Show. Waller said he’ll do what he wants, when he wants and Grayson pointed out the Chase U idiots. Waller said that Andre Chase’s University is a scam. Chase and Bodhi Hayward went on the steel steps. Frazer hit Waller with a dropkick, then he knocked him out of the ring and Frazer hit a suicide dive on Waller on the floor. Andre Chase said that what we have right now…is a teachable moment. Waller was down on the floor selling while the faces stood tall in the ring.

Analysis: They were hyping up Frazer’s in-ring debut, but then they booked something else with Waller sticking his nose in Frazier’s business to prevent the match from happening. It will lead to Frazer facing Waller next week.

The commentary team announced the first NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament starting in two weeks. Arianna Grace talked about how she’s not afraid to take chances and spoke about her athletic background.

Analysis: Arianna is the daughter of former WWE superstar Santino Marella. It’s always good to have more fellow Canadians on the show.

Katana Chance and Kayden Carter. Katana Chance is the new name of Kacy Catanzaro since WWE made her change her name since they want less people using real names.

(Commercial)

Tiffany Stratton was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Stratton complaining about Sarray pulling her hair three times. Grayson Waller interrupted complaining about Nathan Frazier. Stratton ripped on Frazier saying he had a terrible accent. Waller said that if Frazier wants to make a debut, he can do it against him. Anyway, Waller and Stratton seemed to get along here, so they left together.

Yulisa Leon & Valentina Feroz vs. Katana Chance & Kayden Carter

Carter tripped up Leon, who came back with a dropkick and Feroz did a headscissors sending Carter to the floor. Carter managed to outsmart Feroz with a kick, then a dropkick and Chance hit a spinning splash for a two count. Feroz went for an armbar, Chance countered it into a pin attempt and Chance hit a cross body block for two. Carter and Chance did a double kick on Feroz for a two count. Carter brought Feroz to their corner leading to Chance hitting a senton splash on Feroz for two. Feroz fought out of the corner, Leon got the tag and was on fire with a missile dropkick on Carter for two. Feroz tagged back in, Leon with a body slam and Leon press slammed Feroz onto Carter for two as Chance broke up the pin. Carter came back with a rollup on Feroz. Carter was sent into the corner, Leon got the tag and Leon missed a moonsault when Carter moved. Chance tagged in against Feroz, Carter held Feroz and Chance did a 450 Splash off the ropes for the pinfall win after about six minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Katana Chance & Kayden Carter

Analysis: ** It was decent. The team of Chance & Carter are one of the few babyface teams in NXT right now, so it makes sense for them to get a win like this to build them as potential challengers in the future. I like the finisher that Chance & Carter use. Leon and Feroz are still in the early stages of their career, so it’s fine for them losing a match like this.

There was a backstage scene with Brooks Jensen selling a leg injury with medical personnel checking on him. Jensen said that he was jumped. They told Briggs that he can’t wrestle, so Briggs was upset and left.

(Commercial)

A video aired featuring Kay Lee Ray, who has a new name. She talked about how she has to resurrect her past, so fire represents a rebirth and she said her name is Alba Fyre.

Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde, Cruz del Toro & Elektra Lopez) vs. Josh Briggs & Fallon Henley

Briggs & Henley knocked their opponents out of the ring to start the match. Lopez started with Henley with Lopez hitting a body slam, Henley with a dropkick and Lopez tagged out. Briggs was legal for his team as he took out both of his male opponents. Del Toro jumped off the top onto Briggs, who caught him and Wilde hit a chop block to the knee of Briggs. Del Toro tagged in with a senton splash on Briggs. Robert Stone talked about how Jensen had wandering eyes, so Wagner took out Jensen for looking at Sophia Cromwell earlier. The two Legado guys took turns doing running clotheslines on Brigs. Wilde with a splash on Briggs for two. Del Toro back in, Briggs launched him in the air and hit a punch. Henley tagged in with a shoulder tackle on Lopez and a jumping kick that missed. Wilde tagged in with a dropkick, Briggs kicked Del Toro off the apron, Briggs with a slam and a splash. Lopez drove Henley back first into the barricade at ringside. Briggs tossed Wilde into the turnbuckle. Del Toro made the tag, walked across the top and hit a missile dropkick. The Legado boys did their legsweep/kick double team attack on Briggs for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde, Cruz del Toro & Elektra Lopez)

Analysis: **1/4 The numbers game advantage led to the obvious result of the heels getting the win. I liked the aggression of the women in the match, but they were also sloppy a bit doing some of their moves. The Legado guys work well together as usual.

Natalya & Lash Legend were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Natalya ripped on Cora Jade for being young and immature while ripping on her stupid little skateboard. Natalya said she’ll break Cora’s legs and put the women’s locker room on notice. Lash Legend said that next week she’ll team up with a legend. Natalya said we’ll see how flexible Nikkita Lyons is and Lash said they’re going to get the win.

The NXT North American Champion Cameron Grimes made his entrance to join commentary for the next match.

(Commercial)

There was a video about Kiana James doing a promo about being a successful corporate woman that thinks she’s the next breakout star.

Solo Sikoa vs. Trick Williams (w/Carmelo Hayes)

Cameron Grimes, the NXT North American Champion, was on commentary. Grimes faced Carmelo Hayes and Solo Sikoa in a triple threat match next week for Cameron’s title.

Trick wrenched on Solo’s left arm a bit with Solo having some black tape on his left shoulder. Trick sent Solo’s left shoulder into the turnbuckle four times. Solo broke free with a snapmare followed by a shoulder tackle. Solo with a body slam along with an arm wringer on the left arm. Trick with a shot to the ribs followed by a spin kick. Trick with a body slam along with a whip into the ropes leading to a body slam. Trick with a neckbreaker for two. After a chinlock, Solo fought back with a belly to back suplex. Solo with kicks to the legs, an uppercut, punches and a running splash. Solo with a running corner splash again followed by a Samoan Drop. Solo went up top and hit an Uso Splash for the pinfall win after about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Solo Sikoa

Analysis: *3/4 A simple match with Trick on offense for the first few minutes until Solo made the comeback and finished off Trick easily with the top rope splash. Good offense by Solo making the comeback to win. Solo does that top rope splash very well just like his Uso brothers.

Post match, Solo got in Cameron’s face saying he wanted the title, Hayes got into the ring to say he wanted the title and Solo hit a superkick on Grimes because Hayes moved.

The team of Edris Enofe and Malik Blade were in the locker room talking about their match against the Viking Raiders. Blade was lacking confidence, so Enofe tried to fire him up and it worked. Their match was after a break.

(Commercial)

The Legado del Fantasma foursome did a promo in a happy mood after their tag team win. Escobar said that he proved Tony D’Angelo is a lowlife and a liar. Escobar said that no one threatens him while saying he got his message last week, but now this week Tony got his message.

The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) vs. Edris Enofe & Malik Blade

Viking Raiders are from Smackdown. They are former Raw and NXT Tag Team Champions.

Ivar knocked down Blade with a shoulder tackle. Erik tagged in against Enofe, who showed off his athleticism leading to a dropkick. Blade back in with a double team kick into a back elbow. Enofe was legal, he avoided Erik and then Erik ran him over with a forearm. Ivar worked over Enofe with repeated back elbows. Erik hit a knee to the head of Enofe for a two count with Erik doing the hard leg slap while he does the move. Erik charged, Enofe avoided him and Erik hit the turnbuckle. Ivar tagged in, Enofe broke free and Blade hit a forearm followed by a dropkick. Blade with a clothesline. Enofe tagged in, Blade jumped onto Ivar and Enofe jumped off the top with a cross body block on top of Ivar for a two count. Ivar fought back with a jumping attack and a back body drop. Erik tagged in with a knee to the back of Enofe. Ivar back in and VR hit a double team Powerbomb on Blade leading to Ivar getting the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar)

Analysis: **1/4 A solid tag team match to put over The Viking Raiders without really burying Enofe & Blade since they did get some offense. I’ve always thought that The Viking Raiders were a very good team that was not being used well on the main roster, so using them to work with some NXT teams is fine with me.

After the match, The Viking Raiders shook hands with Enofe & Blade. The Creed Brothers showed in the aisle to have a staredown since they face The Viking Raiders next week.

A video aired about Wes Lee talking about how it was six-month journey to get back those NXT Tag Team Titles. Wes said that losing a championship sucks, but when a championship is taken, anger is created. Wes said that he can only rely on himself in the future. He said he can knuckle up and make the waves that he’s destined to.

Analysis: It sucks that Nash Carter was released, but I don’t blame WWE for it. He did a stupid thing in terms of a photo and allegations by his wife, so Wes is on his own now. Maybe Carter will be back one day. I look forward to seeing what Wes can do.

The Toxic Attraction trio was shown walking backstage since Mandy Rose is in action.

(Commercial)

Tony D’Angelo was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell saying that Santos Escobar doesn’t make the threats, Tony D does. Tony said he made a few calls, so now his crew is here: Troy “Two Dimes” Donovan and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo. The two guys stood behind Tony. Tony said that he wants a sitdown with Santos next week.

Analysis: More new characters on NXT with Troy and Channing joining Tony D in this mafia group.

Roxanne Perez made her entrance for her second NXT match after she beat Jacy Jayne last week. Speaking of Jacy, she entered with fellow NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion Gigi Dolin and they joined NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose for this match.

Mandy Rose vs. Roxanne Perez

Rose overpowered Perez by shoving her back first into the turnbuckle. Rose with a wristlock, Perez went on Rose’s shoulders and got a rollup for two. Perez with two arm drags followed by a headscissors into another pin attempt for two. Perez went for a crucifix pin for a two count. Rose did some trash talk, so Perez bit her finger leading to a rollup. Rose tossed Perez out of the ring. Perez fought back while on the floor and she sent Rose’s finger into the steel steps. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Rose was in control with a back body drop for a two count. Rose hit a backbreaker followed by a stretch across the knee. Rose pulled Perez off the ropes leading to a slam to the mat. Rose with a slingshot into the ropes, then she got a sunset flip pin and that got a two count. Rose with a body slam. Perez made the comeback with a boot to the face followed by a Thesz Press. Perez with a Russian legsweep followed by a handspring press for two. Perez with an armdrag followed by another rollup and Perez hit a cross body block for two. Rose got back up, hit the jumping knee to the face and that was enough to beat Perez for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Mandy Rose

Analysis: *** A good match that was done in a way that made it look like Roxanne was very close to winning a few times, but Mandy was able to kick out and eventually put her away for the win. It’s easy to get excited about Roxanne’s future as a 20-year-old who continues to impress because of how natural she looks in the ring. Some women with a lot more experience stumble around in there, but Perez is very smooth in her motions and makes it look easy. Mandy is one of my favorites. I wouldn’t say she’s amazing in the ring, but she’s good in her role as a heel champion. I like how the finish was booked with Perez going for pins repeatedly, but then it took one move from Rose for the win.

After the match, Wendy Choo appeared on the apron with the Super Soakers in her hands, but Mandy and friends ran away from her. The Toxic Attraction were standing in the aisle, Wendy pushed a button and a net went on them. After that, Wendy and Roxanne sprayed some silly string on the Toxic trio.

Analysis: It was bad comedy, but it worked in terms of getting some cheap laughs. It seems like they are building to Choo against Rose, but maybe it’ll be Choo and a partner against Gigi & Jacy. Cora Jade is probably the woman that beats Mandy for the title although they do have a few options.

A video aired about Sloane Jacobs in the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament. She said she’s only 19 years old, so she’s an underdog. I feel old.

Joe Gacy was shown making creepy faces while surrounded by druids. Joe: “Let’s go change the world.”

(Commercial)

Next week is the NXT Spring Breakin’ episode with this lineup:

* Natalya & Lash Legend vs. Nikkita Lyons & Cora Jade.

* Nathan Frazer vs. Grayson Waller.

* The Creed Brothers vs. The Viking Raiders.

* NXT North American Championship: Cameron Grimes (c) vs. Solo Sikoa vs. Carmelo Hayes.

* Tony D’Angelo & Santos Escobar have a Sit-Down Meeting.

* NXT Championship: Bron Breakker (c) vs. Joe Gacy.

Let’s Hear from Joe Gacy

Joe Gacy made his entrance in black attire as usual. Joe said that “we” have come so far with so many triumphs. Joe said that barriers have been broken. Joe said that NXT is the clay that he has been molding over the last six months. Joe said it’s about acceptance of everyone and anyone. Joe added that the mission isn’t quite accomplished and he doesn’t think that everybody buys into that ray of life. Joe said it was time to separate from the people that want to live in the past. Joe wants us to commit to the future, commit to his vision and do it willingly. Joe said that after NXT Spring Breakin’ there will be no choice. Gacy added that Bron Breakker hasn’t told them about his injury. Gacy said that because of Bron’s fall from grace, he believes he’ll be crowned the new NXT Champion. Joe said that NXT will be molded into clay as he sees the world.

Rick Steiner, who is Bron Breakker’s dad, made his entrance to join Gacy in the ring. Steiner was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame earlier this year. Steiner said that his son is cleared to compete and he will defend his title at NXT Spring Breakin’ next week. Gacy said that Rick picked a great time to come back or did you pick the worst possible time? The druids appeared on the apron, which led to Bron Breakker making his entrance and Bron put the title down.

Bron Breakker went towards the ring where he punched some of the druids and clotheslined some of them out of the ring. Gacy got a cheap shot clothesline that knocked Breakker down. Rick Steiner was held in the corner. There were druids lined up as they passed the NXT Title down one by one and handed it to Gacy in the ring. Gacy stood tall over a fallen Breakker with the NXT Title in Gacy’s hand. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: I don’t think this feud is good at all. It’s lame with the druids and all this other stuff Gacy talks about. Gacy hasn’t won a meaningful match in a long time, yet he’s getting an NXT Title shot next week because he kidnapped Rick Steiner a few weeks ago. Breakker should win next week and if he doesn’t, I’ll be very surprised.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Mandy Rose/Roxanne Perez

2. Viking Raiders

3. Solo Sikoa

 

The Scoreboard

This week: 4.5 out of 10

Last week: 5.5

 

Final Thoughts

I thought it was a bad episode. I try to be nice and understanding of NXT being a developmental brand, but there was a lot of stuff this week that just didn’t work well. They throw some stuff at the wall to see if it sticks, so to speak. That’s why there are growing pains. It’s also why some fans are going to have a tough time getting into NXT because they can tell that it has some issues.

This week’s show was lacking in terms of some NXT star power since they have the Spring Breakin’ special with more of the bigger names in action. While we did see NXT Champion Bron Breakker at the end of the show, it was in a lame segment involving Joe Gacy and druids. I’m just not into that storyline at all.

Anyway, I liked Mandy Rose’s match with Roxanne Perez, who has impressed so far as a newcomer. The Legado tag team match was booked well. Solo Sikoa looked impressive in his match. Some of the other stuff was just bad and mostly forgettable.

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John Canton

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