This week’s WWE NXT featured the finals of the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament, Apollo Crews returning to the NXT brand and the fallout from In Your House.
Here’s my review of WWE NXT In Your House from Saturday. It was a pretty good show with the main things coming out of it being Carmelo Hayes as the NXT North American Champion again and The Creed Brothers became the NXT Tag Team Champions for the first time. As usual for my NXT reviews, summary style for the matches and promos, but then play by play for the main event.
There was a video package narrated by former WWE announcer Todd Pettengill with highlights of key moments from the show.
Let’s Hear from Carmelo Hayes
Carmelo Hayes made his entrance wearing the NXT North American Champion and he was joined by his buddy Trick Williams as usual. The NXT commentators were Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett, who said that title is back where it belongs. Trick said things were back to normal in this world while telling the crowd to make some noise for the two-time NXT North American Champion, Carmelo Hayes. Melo gave Cameron Grimes credit for giving him a tough challenge. Melo said he doesn’t change dreams because dreams chase him. Hayes said he’s staying on top while the losers are reaching for their goals and that could never be him. Hayes called himself the most illustrious North American Champion in history and he’s got it right now.
Solo Sikoa interrupted the promo congratulating Melo while the fans chanted “you got next.” Solo said this is where they do less talking and more fighting. Trick told Solo that his agreement was with the former champion, so that deal is no longer relevant. Solo told them he doesn’t have any fear.
Grayson Waller was next with the interruption. Waller ripped on Solo saying he wasn’t famous enough to have Melo’s number. Waller said he didn’t care about Solo’s daddy, brother, cousin and so on. Waller ripped on the fans. Waller said that nobody likes Solo Sikoa, that’s why they call him Solo. Sikoa told Waller to shut the hell up, but tonight Solo is with the fans. Solo punched Williams and Hayes, so then Waller went after Solo as well. Solo was quickly outnumbered by the three guys with Waller hitting a DDT on Solo. Referees went out to the ring to break it up.
Analysis: It was a way to set up a tag team match for later in the show. I like what Hayes said, Solo continues to gain popularity every week and Waller knows how to be an annoying heel too.
A video aired about Josh Briggs and Von Wagner having issues for several weeks, so that match was next.
There was a clip from Earlier Today with Tony D’Angelo telling Santos Escobar to open the door of the truck. Tony asked Santos and Joaquin Wilde about if they got things done, so they told him they have it ready. Tony told Santos he has a match tonight.
Josh Briggs (w/Brooks Jensen & Fallon Henley) vs. Von Wagner (w/Mr. Stone & Sofia Cromwell)
Wagner was aggressive early on, but Briggs got a shoulder tackle. Wagner worked over Briggs with some kicks. After Briggs missed a corner attack, Wagner hit a belly to back suplex for two. Briggs came back with a kick of his own, but Wagner sent Briggs out of the ring. Wagner rammed Brooks Jensen’s injured right hand into the apron. Henley went on the apron, Jensen handed Briggs the cast and Briggs hit Wagner with the cast. Briggs hit a clothesline on Wagner for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Josh Briggs
Analysis: **1/4 It was a rare loss for Wagner, who was outsmarted by Briggs and friends. I didn’t think that they would have Briggs lose to a tag team wrestler like Briggs, but it’s nice to see faces outsmart the heels.
Solo Sikoa was shown getting treatment on his shoulder with Mckenzie Mitchell there for an interview. Solo said he wanted Melo and Waller later tonight while adding if somebody wants to join him they can do that. Solo said he’s going to leave them laying like they did to him.
Nathan Frazer made his entrance for singles action.
They showed Andre Chase of Chase University presenting Thea Hale with a scholarship. She wanted a photo, so then Pretty Deadly interrupted and they got into a bit of an argument. A tag team match was set up for later.
Santos Escobar vs. Nathan Frazer
Santos was accompanied by Tony D’s family along with his Legado buddies. Tony D’Angelo joined commentary. Frazer used his speed to avoid Escobar a few times and Frazer hit a jumping hurricanrana. Frazer sent Escobar out of the ring, but Escobar avoided a dive. Escobar sent Frazer to the apron followed by an enziguri kick. Escobar hit a suicide dive onto Frazer on the floor. Tony D told Escobar that nobody likes that even though the fans were cheering for it. They went to a picture in picture break.
Escobar remained in control with a backbreaker. Escobar did a surfboard submission that he turned into a nearfall. Escobar applied a Boston Crab for about a minute with Frazer getting his hand on the bottom rope. Frazer came back with a rollup and then a running forearm to the face. Frazer hit a reverse DDT along with a standing Shooting Star Press for two. Escobar avoided a top rope attack by Frazer, Escobar with a knee and a superkick that sent Frazer out of the ring. One of Tony’s guys tossed Escobar a crowbar, but Escobar threw it back. Frazer kicked Escobar in the head followed by a Phoenix Splash for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Nathan Frazer
Analysis: *** Good match with the talented young guy Frazer picking up the win thanks to Escobar choosing not to use a crowbar to try to win the match. It was booked in a way where it didn’t hurt Escobar much for losing while Frazer benefits from beating a solid wrestler like Escobar in a tough match.
After the match, Tony D’Angelo was yelling at Escobar about the loss.
Xyon Quinn was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Quinn talking about how he dominated Wes Lee for most of the five minutes and Lee managed to win for three seconds. Quinn talked about how he’ll leave Lee unconscious when they have a rematch next week.
The NXT Champion Bron Breakker was shown walking backstage for a promo up next.
A commercial aired about the Great American Bash NXT USA Network Special on July 5th.
Let’s Hear from Bron Breakker
The NXT Champion Bron Breakker made his entrance for a promo with a smile on his face after beating Joe Gacy to keep his title. Bron said it was a battle because Gacy made it personal, but no matter what Gacy did, he was not taking this NXT Championship away from Bron. Breakker said it’s about NXT because this place is special. Bron said that after he went through the curtain, he saw the look on everybody’s faces and he wondered who was the next person to step up to the challenge.
Apollo…as in Crews. The former Intercontinental and United States Champion Apollo Crews got a big reaction from the crowd with the fans chanting “welcome back” for Crews. Apollo spoke saying this is the type of energy that he has missed. No more Nigerian accent for Crews. Apollo said that he wasn’t there on Saturday, but he’s there now and he’s there for as long as he wants to be. Crews said he’s seen Bron’s meteoric rise to the top and Bron is one of the best athletes in all of WWE. Crews agreed that this place is special and he loved this place. Crews said when he left there were things he wanted to do while adding that he is back to make history. Crews told Bron that one day they will make history together. Until that day, Crews will see him down the road. They shook hands.
Analysis: It’s good to see Apollo Crews back in NXT for a likely program with Breakker. It’s like Dolph Ziggler going there, Natalya going there, the Viking Raiders and others. If you have a main roster wrestler not doing much, it’s a good idea to have them arrive in NXT and try to help out the younger talent. Crews can do it all in the ring. They just don’t use him that well on the main roster other than his two title reigns. The crowd response for Crews was great too. I think Bron and Crews will have a great match whenever it happens.
A video aired about the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament finals. Both competitors were shown walking backstage.
There was a darkened room promo with creepy Joe Gacy talking to his mysterious friends in the hooded outfits. Gacy said now they can focus on their progression, they are the Dyad and they are an extension of him starting next week when they compete in the ring for the very first time. Gacy did a creepy smile.
NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament Finals: Tiffany Stratton vs. Roxanne Perez
The winner of this match wins the tournament and earns a contract to challenge a champion in NXT.
The fans were chanting for both women although Perez was clearly the babyface here while Stratton was a heel. They did a spot early with Perez doing a headscissors, Stratton landed on her feet and then Perez hit a dropkick. Stratton was in control with an armbar while the fans were chanting for both women again. They had a few moments where they didn’t seem to know where to position themselves to set up for some spots, which shows they are still young wrestlers learning on the job. Perez went for an armbar off the top rope, btu Stratton pulled her down and Perez’s left arm hit the top rope hard.
Stratton focused her offense working on the left arm of Perez. Stratton did an arm wringer followed by a corner splash a running dropkick for a two count. Perez made the comeback with the Thesz Press off the turnbuckle and then a suicide dive when Stratton was on the floor. Perez did a handspring splash and hurt her arm while doing it. Stratton came back with a sitout Powerbomb for two. Stratton went for a moonsault, but Perez moved and Perez hit the Pop Rox or Rocks (Code Red) for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall AND WINNER of the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament: Roxanne Perez
Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid match. I wouldn’t call it great or anything like that, but they worked hard and had a good finish. At least there was a story with Stratton wrenching on Perez’s left arm for most of the match, so Perez had to fight back. I think the right woman won since Perez is a likable babyface that has a bright future at 20 years old. Stratton works well as a heel too, so I wouldn’t be upset if she won. Perez didn’t get a lot of offense to win. It was just one big move and that was it.
Perez celebrated the win with her best friend Cora Jade joining her in the ring with a big hug. Perez was handed the NXT Breakout Tournament contract that goes to the winner.
The Toxic Attraction trio of NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose (my personal favorite) joined by NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne. Rose congratulated Perez on the win. Those are some short shorts on Rose, who informed Perez that it’s all downhill from here. Rose told Perez if she challenges Rose then she will fail and you can ask Jade, who failed twice. Rose said that this title isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Perez punched Rose, then Dolin and Jayne went after both women. Indi Hartwell ran out there for the save to even it up 3 on 3. Hartwell hit Rose with a forearm, double superkick by Jade/Perez and Hartwell kicked Rose off the apron onto Mandy’s friends on the floor.
Analysis: This set up a six-woman tag team match for next week. It also sets up some rivalries since Rose is probably going to lose the title soon and it could be to Perez, but Hartwell and Jade are fine choices as well. I think the segment was effective in terms of getting heat on the champions.
They showed Bodhi Hayward of Chase U down selling a rib injury. Andre Chase asked him what happened, Bodhi said he was attacked by Pretty Deadly and Chase left saying he’ll whoop their asses.
Wendy Choo was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell, so Tiffany Stratton walked in to complain about her loss. Stratton said she wanted a rematch, she was being rude to Choo and Choo threw her drink into Stratton’s face. Stratton was screaming about it and said she needed a towel.
Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince) vs. Andre Chase
Chase fought on his own since Hayward was injured backstage. Chase tackled the white-haired Prince and delivered some punches. Chase clotheslined Wilson out of the ring. Wilson tripped up Chase, so that led to the heels taking over. Bodhi Hayward was in the aisle trying to compete, but then Thea Hail was there to tell him he can’t. Hail slapped Prince, Chase hit a Russian legsweep and the stomp with the fans chanting “CHASE U” for the six stomps. Prince hit a boot to the face and Wilson picked up Chase leading to the Spilt Milk double team neckbreaker/spinebuster for the win after three minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince)
Analysis: *3/4 Easy win by Pretty Deadly since it was a handicap match. Chase put up a fight, but he was outnumbered and it was all over after that. Pretty Deadly works well as a heel team.
Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were backstage where they walked up to Tony D’Angelo and friends. Tony offered some help, Hayes said he didn’t need anything and then they argued a bit.
Alba Fyre entered for singles action.
Alba Fyre vs. Tatum Paxley
Fyre took control with a knee to the face along with a hard whip into the corner and a front suplex. Fyre hit a Gory Bomb once called a KLR Bomb. Fyre went up top and hit a Senton Bomb for the pinfall win after about two minutes. They replayed Fyre’s Senton Bomb since she went pretty far with that leap.
Winner by pinfall: Alba Fyre
Analysis: * Easy win by Fyre. Paxley didn’t get to do much there.
When Fyre was in the aisle, Lash Legend showed up and kicked Fyre in the face.
The Creed Brothers were shown with their NXT Tag Team Championships. Roderick Strong congratulated the Creeds on becoming the new NXT Tag Team Champions. There was a Diamond Mine hug. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade walked up to them saying maybe they can earn a shot at the titles. They all shook hands. The Creeds said that they’ll give them a title opportunity next week. Strong told the guys that you need to make them earn it. Strong changed his tune saying they barely won the titles and now they gave a title match to guys that didn’t earn it, so they made a mistake.
Analysis: More tough love from Strong, who is heelish towards the Diamond Mine group most of the time.
A video aired about NXT’s Italian newcomer Giovanni Vinci. However, it’s not a newcomer at all because it’s long-time NXT wrestler Fabian Aichner with a new name. I guess having a beard will make him look a bit different. Vinci is on next week.
Next week on NXT:
* 6-Woman Tag Team Match: Cora Jade, Indi Hartwell & Roxanne Perez vs. Toxic Attraction.
* NXT Tag Team Championships: The Creed Brothers (c) vs. Edris Enofe & Malik Blade.
* Wes Lee vs. Xyon Quinn.
It was main event time with Carmelo Hayes joined by Trick Williams and Grayson Waller was with them. Solo Sikoa entered as the opponent. It looked like it would be a handicap match, but then Solo said that he brought somebody with him. It’s Apollo Crews, who not only returned to NXT, but he’s also in action in the main event.
Apollo Crews & Solo Sikoa vs. Carmelo Hayes & Grayson Waller (w/Trick Williams)
Crews and Solo cleared the ring of the three guys with Joseph noting it was Apollo’s first match in NXT since 2016. Waller tried a headbutt on Solo, but that’s a bad move. Solo with a body slam, Crews tagged in with a senton splash and Crews hit a delayed vertical suplex where he held up Waller up for 30 seconds according to the chants from the crowd. Solo back in with an elbow to the chest followed by a headbutt to the ribs. Crews tagged in with a double axhandle on Waller’s arm, Hayes made the tag and Hayes jumped on the back of Crews leading to a slam into the mat. Waller back in to stomp on Crews followed by a suplex. Hayes back in with a snapmare and kick on Crews. After Hayes grounded Crews with a headlock, Crews broke free and hit an enziguri kick to the head. Solo was back in against Waller with a superkick followed by a running hip attack in the corner. Crews jumped over the top on both heels on the floor. They went to a picture in picture break.
Solo headbutted Waller, then sent him into the turnbuckle and Waller tagged in Hayes, who was reluctant to go into the ring. Solo hit two shoulder tackles on Hayes followed by a clothesline in the corner. Solo went for a running hip attack, Waller saved Hayes, Williams on the apron and Solo punched him down. Hayes capitalized with a springboard clothesline. Waller back in with stomps on Solo. Waller with a trip to take down Solo. Waller jumped off the middle rope with an elbow drop for a two count. Hayes back in with a kick that sent Solo into the turnbuckle. Waller with front headlock while also delivering some rising knees to the face. Waller applied a Crossface submission on Solo, then Solo broke free and Solo used Waller to knock Hayes off the apron. Crews got the hot tag with a back body drop on Waller, then three rolling German Suplex in a row and Crews hit a German Suplex on Hayes. Crews hit a corner splash, jumping clothesline, kip up and a standing moonsault for two with Hayes breaking up the pin. Solo and Hayes battled in the ring even though they weren’t the legal guys. Solo with a superkick followed by a clothesline over the top to the floor. Waller with a necksnap across the top rope on Crews, then Waller tried the jump into the ring for the Stunner, but Crews caught him and Crews hit a sitout Powerbomb for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Apollo Crews & Solo Sikoa
Analysis: ***1/2 This was a very good tag team match like a traditional main event level tag team match. Easily the best match on the show. Crews was the face in peril first, Solo was after that and then Crews was on fire after getting the hot tag. The heel team of Hayes and Waller did a nice job of working well together, cheating when needed and coming close to winning a few times. I like how every Solo/Hayes moment in the match was treated as a big deal with Solo wanting a shot at the North American Title while Hayes sold it like he was afraid of Solo whenever they faced off.
The team of Solo and Apollo celebrated the win. That was the end of the show.
Three Stars of the Show
- Apollo Crews & Solo Sikoa
- Carmelo Hayes & Grayson Waller
- Roxanne Perez
This week: 6.5 out of 10
Last week: 6.75
It was a decent episode of NXT. Apollo Crews is the latest main roster wrestler that will be on NXT for a little bit of a run. He confronted Bron Breakker early in the show (no more accent for Crews) and then teamed with Solo Sikoa to beat Carmelo Hayes & Grayson Waller. That was easily the best match. Crews was treated like a big deal while Solo continues to impress. Fun match.
I think they made the right decision by having Roxanne Perez win the first Women’s Breakout Tournament. She’s so talented at only 20 years old. The purpose of the NXT brand is to watch women like Roxanne grow with experience and get her ready for the bigger stage.
The rest of it was typical NXT. Some stuff is fine and other stuff isn’t as interesting.
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