The John Report: WWE NXT 09/27/22 Review
This week’s WWE NXT featured a wild tag team brawl in the main event while Bron Breakker found out who he would face at Halloween Havoc.
This week’s show was taped two weeks ago. As usual, I’ll go summary style for the matches on most of the show and play-by-play for the main event.
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 Ilja Dragunov making his entrance in dress clothes. The commentary team of Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett welcomed us to the show.
Let’s Hear from Ilja Dragunov, JD McDonagh and Bron Breakker
Dragunov did a promo saying that the last time he was at NXT he became a champion after beating an unbeatable machine in reference to beating Walter (now Gunther) for the NXT UK Title. It was an amazing match last year. Dragunov talked about his heart while adding that pain has always been his best friend. Dragunov said that one more time he’ll beat an unbeatable machine, but this time his name is not Gunther, it’s Bron Breakker.
JD McDonagh showed up to complain with Dragunov pointing out that he beat JD to make him leave NXT UK. JD said that Dragunov did that, but that’s not the end of the story. JD said that Dragunov was so broken after he was done with Dragunov that Dragunov had to give up the title. JD asked how the broken ankle was, so Dragunov showed that it was fine. JD said if he needs to stop Dragunov just once more then he swears he’ll end Dragunov’s career.
Bron Breakker, the NXT Champion, was next for the promo party. Bron welcomed Ilja to NXT by calling him a warrior, but he said that this championship isn’t going anywhere. JD reminded Bron that he’s the number one contender for that title. JD suggested that Bron faces Dragunov and after that, JD will take his shot. Bron said that he’s the champion, JD is the number one contender, Dragunov never lost his NXT UK Title (he forfeited due to injury) and Bron delivered a line saying JD has a 33.3% chance of winning the NXT Title. Bron said they should have a triple threat match, the fans chanted along and Bron said he’ll see them at Halloween Havoc. Bron held up his title in between the two men to end it.
Analysis: A triple threat match sounds great to me. Dragunov is an incredible wrestler, McDonagh is really good and I think Breakker continues to improve while performing well in big matches. It was cool to see Bron doing the 33.3% line like his uncle Scott Steiner did in a memorable TNA promo many years ago. That promo took on a life on its own on social media over the years due to how ridiculous it was.
There was a backstage fight between Briggs/Jensen and Gallus since they have a match later.
The lovely Mandy Rose, Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin aka Toxic Attraction was shown walking backstage with Mandy telling Alba Fyre to watch her match against Fallon Henley, so Alba should take some notes.
There was a promo from Joe Gacy and his Schism group with Joe talking about how Cameron Grimes will pay for not joining them.
Fallon Henley was already in the ring for her match while Mandy Rose got her full entrance.
Mandy Rose (w/Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne) vs. Fallon Henley
This is not for Mandy’s NXT Women’s Title. Henley got a shoulder tackle early on. Rose hit a cartwheel to avoid an attack followed by a dropkick. Nice athleticism by the champion. Henley came back with her own kick and a punch. Rose got some offense going again with a shoulder tackle in the corner and a suplex. Rose applied an abdominal stretch followed by a slam. Henley hit a clothesline to get some momentum back. After they exchanged some strikes, Rose knocked Henley back and Rose hit a Kiss By The Rose knee to the face for the pinfall win after about five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Mandy Rose
Analysis: **1/4 Rose looked impressive in getting the win. Henley got a bit of offense, but this was all about putting over the champion. Rose also looked impressive in the attire she was wearing. Just saying.
Mandy Rose did a promo saying that Alba Fyre may keep the fires going, but you’re looking at the woman that starts them. Fyre was shown outside the building saying that she doesn’t do verbal warnings, she’s more of a visual woman. Fyre had fire and she lit up the phrase “#ANDNEW” to end the promo.
Analysis: A title change might happen because Fyre is a talented wrestler who might be the one to take the title. I have written for months that I thought it might be Nikkita Lyons, but they aren’t pushing her in singles.
There was a quick promo video about Apollo Crews having visions and issuing a warning to Grayson Waller since they have been feuding.
Wes Lee made his entrance for a match with a Connor’s Cure thriver named Quinn Molitor to celebrate all these tough kids fighting against cancer.
They showed Ilja Dragunov talking to Xyon Quinn in the backstage area. Quinn said if he got a chance to carry the ball, nobody could take it from him. Dragunov basically issued a challenge to a match, which Dragunov should win.
Tony D’Angelo (w/Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo) vs. Wes Lee
They showed Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams watching on a TV backstage. Lee sent Tony out of the ring, but Stacks got in the way to prevent Lee from diving to the floor. That led to Lee diving over the top onto Stacks. Tony had to stop Stacks from going after Lee, then Stacks shoved Lee and the referee ejected Stacks instead of disqualifying Tony. It was a light shove, so that ruling is fair.
Tony D was in full control when they returned from break, but Lee managed to send Tony into the turnbuckle. That was the spot where Tony D suffered a potentially serious injury. The referee checked on Tony, who had trouble standing and two trainers were at ringside checking on Tony. The bell rang to end the match with the referee explaining it to Lee. They went about eight minutes.
Winner due to injury: Wes Lee
Analysis: * It was an incomplete match due to the Tony D injury, so it’s tough to rate it.
The win means that Wes Lee gets to be in the NXT North American Title Ladder Match at Halloween Havoc.
Tony D remained down in the ring while trainers checked on him. They showed a replay of what happened as Tony hit the turnbuckle, then he grabbed his right knee and suffered a knee injury.
Analysis: It was such a fluke injury with Tony running to the turnbuckle, dropping to his knees to take the bump and somehow suffering an injury. It wasn’t a graphic injury or anything like that, but you could tell he was in a lot of pain. Best wishes to Tony D trying to get back from that knee injury.
They showed Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams being interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. They were interrupted by newcomer Ora Mensah
A video aired about surfing woman Sol Ruca making her debut up next.
There was a video called “A Day In The Life NXT Tag Team Champions” featuring Pretty Deadly. They said that they awake at 10 am, then they eat breakfast in the bedroom and take turns feeding eachother. At 11 am, they go through their wardrobe, then at 2 pm they comb their hair, then they have a cup of tea and after that they work out. They don’t lift heavy weights because they are works of art. They also take time to appreciate they are the greatest tag team history and two handsome creatures. They did their “Yes, boy” catchphrase as well.
Analysis: That was ridiculous, but this team is very flamboyant and extravagant, so it was fitting for them. I think they’re very talented as a team.
Sol Ruca vs. Amari Miller
This is Ruca’s NXT in-ring debut. Ruca did an impressive leap off the top rope to avoid Miller and that was followed by a dropkick. Miller got a spin kick. Ruca got some momentum going with a shoulder tackle and another dropkick. Ruca hit a cartwheel elbow attack along with a flipping leg drop out of the corner for the pinfall win after about four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Sol Ruca
Analysis: * You can tell they are both green, especially Ruca. Miller was aggressive at times while Ruca did some of the same moves a few times in the match. They did some spots that were obviously practiced prior to the match because you can just tell when some things don’t look that natural. Ruca will probably pick up some more wins in the future.
Cameron Grimes and Joe Gacy were shown walking backstage ahead of their match.
They showed the three members of Gallus being told to stay in a room before their match and one of the security guys took a headbutt for that.
Joe Gacy (w/Jagger Reid & Rip Fowler) vs. Cameron Grimes
Grimes was aggressive with repeated kicks to the chest. Back in the ring, Grimes hit a knee to the gut followed by a running kick to the head. The Dyad stood in front of Grimes, who jumped over them with a dive onto Gacy on the floor. After a distraction from The Dyad, Gacy hit a uranage slam. Grimes countered a move from Gacy with an armdrag, Grimes with a kick and a superkick. Grimes punched Fowler off the apron, Reid was in the ring distracting and that led to Gacy doing his upside-down bounce off the ropes clothesline for the pin. Grimes sold it really well. They got about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Joe Gacy
Analysis: *3/4 That was quick with Gacy getting the cheap win due to the chaos caused by his friends. That shows that they are going to keep this story going instead of choosing to end it here. Grimes was on offense for about 80% of the match and lost after taking one move.
Grayson Waller was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell about how he was going to hire extra security due to Apollo Crews having visions. Waller will host his talk show next week with Cora Jade and Roxanne Perez as the guests.
Nikkita Lyons made her entrance with tag team partner Zoey Stark.
Kayden Carter (w/Katana Chance) vs. Nikkita Lyons (w/Zoey Stark)
Carter & Chance are the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions while Lyons & Stark are top contenders. Carter stared with a booty slap on Lyons. The size advantage was strongly in Lyons favor, so she unleashed some strikes along with a spin kick to the face. Lyons did a handstand headscissors that didn’t really look great, but Carter sold it anyway. Carter managed to get some offense leading to a crucifix pin for two. Lyons hit a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Carter used her speed to break free leading to a running kick to the head against the ropes. Lyons knocked down Carter on the top rope, then a spin kick to the head and Lyons hit the split-legged leg drop for the pinfall win after about five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Nikkita Lyons
Analysis: ** An average match with Lyons getting the win as you would expect since she rarely loses. Carter is talented in the ring, but she’s never really been pushed outside of the tag team division. A tag team champion losing a singles match to a member of a potential challenger team is common booking to set up a title match.
They showed a highlight from last week’s show with Andre Chase getting the surprising clean win over Carmelo Hayes.
There was a Chase U segment shown from “earlier today” looking like it was filmed in the parking lot. Andre Chase talked about pinning Carmelo Hayes, so he’s earned a spot in a North American Title Qualifying Match next week against Von Wagner. Chase said he’ll beat Von and become the new North American Champion at Halloween Havoc. Somebody named Dave asked if he was confident since he’s never beaten Von Wagner. Chase yelled at him: “Who the f*** have you ever beat Dave? Do you think that was a five star question? How many times have you ever made it? Have you ever been in a g****** ring? Every time I punch Von Wagner I’m gonna think of your stupid, smug face! Now that is a teachable moment.” It ended with “Chase U” chants.
Analysis: Due to what Chase said, the implication is that it was a shot at the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, who is known for rating matches and the “five star scale” that he goes over sometimes while I do not. Anyway, it was funny because I like Chase’s delivery in his promos.
Ilja Dragunov was shown walking backstage for his match up next.
They showed Nathan Frazer talking about how when he was playing soccer, he was the guy that scored clutch goals for his team. The winner of his third match with Axiom will earn a place in the NXT North American Title Ladder Match at Halloween Havoc. They showed Frazer doing some soccer moves on an empty field as well.
Ilja Dragunov vs. Xyon Quinn
Dragunov was in control early with a hiptoss into a side headlock. Quinn got out of an abdominal stretch by grabbing Ilja’s hair and tossing him across the ring. Quinn hit a backbreaker followed by a splash for two. They exchanged some strikes leading to Dragunov hitting a jumping kick to the head. Dragunov hit a suplex followed by a stiff forearm to the jaw. Dragunov hit the running uppercut for the pinfall win after five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ilja Dragunov
Analysis: **1/4 A solid win for Dragunov, who is so skilled in the ring and such a great seller that makes every opponent look impressive. Quinn has a good look, but they don’t really push him much. Dragunov winning was the obvious result since he’s in the main event of Halloween Havoc.
They showed Damon Kemp and Brutus Creed getting ready with Brutus getting a hug from his brother Julius.
A video aired featuring comments from Wendy Choo and Lash Legend, who recently started a rivalry. Every Choo feud is the same where the heel mocks her for how she dresses, so then Choo talks about how tough she is in the ring. They have a match next week.
Brutus Creed vs. Damon Kemp
Brutus hit a gutwrench suplex across the ring, but Kemp came back with a move sending Brutus into the top rope. Kemp had a hold of Brutus in a headlock and sent him into the turnbuckles a few times. Brutus with a body slam, but then Kemp sent him into the turnbuckle. Brutus got a rollup for two along with a pounce that sent Brutus across the ring. Kemp left the ring, Brutus followed and Kemp hit Brutus in the gut with the chair for the DQ. It went three minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Brutus Creed
Analysis: *3/4 It was another short match on this show with a finish that will lead to more matches for Kemp against the Diamond Mine guys. It really never got going, but I did like the intensity shown by both men. I just think if you’re only going three minutes then you shouldn’t just slap on a headlock for one minute of the match.
After the bell rang, Kemp attacked Brutus with more chair shots on the floor and more chair shots in the ring. Some referees went into the ring to stop Kemp. That led to Kemp staring into the camera telling Julius Creed that if he wants some then he should come get some.
Analysis: It was a good way to put over the aggressiveness of Kemp. They said Julius wasn’t at ringside because Brutus wanted to fight alone, but they should have at least had Julius come out to save his brother. Maybe they didn’t do that to keep Kemp strong instead of looking cowardly by running away.
A backstage video was shown of Sanga and Quincy Elliott talking. Sanga was sad about his loss last week, so Quincy told him to keep his head up, Sanga thanked him and left. Xyon Quinn was shown walking backstage and
Wolfgang and Mark Coffey entered for the Pub Rules Match main event. Joe Coffey was banned from ringside for headbutting a security guy.
Nikkita Lyons and Zoey Stark were shown backstage with Lyons saying they were coming for those Tag Team Titles. Toxic Attraction walked up saying those are their titles, then Stark said that Toxic Attraction lost the titles. Mandy warned them that there are three of them and only Lyons/Stark, so that led to Alba Fyre lighting a fire to stand beside Lyons/Stark. The Toxic Attraction trio left.
Analysis: That’s the NXT way of booking future matches by having short backstage segments to set up a match.
Next week on NXT:
* The Grayson Waller Effect talk show with Cora Jade & Roxanne Perez as guests.
* Andre Chase vs. Von Wagner for a spot in the North American Championship Qualifying Match.
* Pretty Deadly has a State of the Commonwealth Address.
* Alba Fyre, Nikkita Lyons & Zoey Stark vs. Toxic Attraction (Mandy Rose, Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin)
It will be interesting to see if they ditch the colorful ring setup since the white/gold logo is present on the show. I don’t know if they will do that, but I think it would be a good idea to get rid of all the bright colors.
Pub Rules Match: Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen vs. Gallus (Wolfgang & Mark Coffey)
It was basically like a No Holds Barred match where anything goes and it ends in a pinfall or submission. It started as a chaotic brawl with weapons all around the ring. Briggs threw a trash can at Mark’s head at ringside. Briggs & Jensen hit a double-team shoulder tackle on Wolfgang. Briggs & Jensen hit spin kicks to knock Gallus out of the ring. Gallus set up a table on the floor, so Briggs/Jensen set up a table against the turnbuckle. Wolfgang and Mark got trash can lids, so Briggs and Jensen got chairs from under the ring. Briggs and Jensen did chair jabs to the ribs along with chair shots to the back to knock Gallus out of the ring. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Wolfgang gave Briggs a powerslam on the floor. Jensen tried to fight against both guys, but Mark hit him with a knee to the gut while Wolfgang hit a running splash on Jense for two. Mark with a knee drop followed by Wolfgang putting his knee against Jensen’s head for a pin attempt. Briggs was back in the ring leading to Wolfgang lifting Briggs into a forearm from Mark. Both Gallus members had leather belts in their hands as they whipped the backs of Briggs & Jensen repeatedly. There were a lot of whips to the back, but Briggs & Jensen connected with headbutts. That led to Briggs & Jensen getting their turn to whip both Gallus members repeatedly. Briggs & Jensen hit some punches to the face after they slid out of the ring. There were some beer glasses on a table at ringside, so Briggs & Jensen smashed the glasses into the heads of both Gallus guys. Briggs & Jensen put Mark in a trash can. Joe Coffey was on the apron, so Briggs & Jensen kicked him and put him through the table. Briggs & Jensen sent Wolfgang through the table that was set up against the turnbuckle. With Mark around with a trash can on his head, Briggs & Jensen hit their high/low double team combo leading to Jensen covering Mark for the win. It went 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen
Analysis: *** It was an entertaining brawl with a good use of weapons and the babyfaces Briggs & Jensen fighting back for the big win. I thought the belt usage was smart because Gallus was looking dominant at that point, but once Briggs & Jensen fought back from that, they took over the rest of the match and got the big win. They also used the table spots well at the end of the match and a clever finish too.
After the match, the Gallus trio was in the aisle looking ready to fight some more. They punched some security and referees. That led to some guys in police officer outfits putting handcuffs on Gallus. The cops looked like indy wrestlers like the security guys, but I don’t know if they were. Anyway, Gallus was taken away by the cops. End show.
Three Stars of the Show
- Mandy Rose. I might be biased sometimes. There really wasn’t a standout on the show, though.
- Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen
- Ilja Dragunov
This week: 5.5 out of 10
Last week: 7.25
It was a very average show this week. It was probably the worst NXT episode this month. The match quality was down since they had shorter matches as well as some inexperienced people in there, but it’s also a reminder this is a developmental show for a lot of the wrestlers. Some of the segments felt off too. At least Mandy Rose was a highlight for me as usual.
I do like the idea of a Breakker-Dragunov-McDonagh triple threat match at Halloween Havoc. That was set up well in a way to show that Bron was a fighting babyface champion. It was also funny that they had Bron do the 33.3% line like his uncle Scott Steiner did in a memorable TNA promo many years ago.
The main event brawl between Briggs/Jensen and Gallus was the best match on the show. It wasn’t that great, but it also had no major competition for the best match since it was also the only match over ten minutes. I’m not opposed to shorter matches at times, but they weren’t that interesting. I get why they do shorter matches because it gets more people on the show, but the matches weren’t as interesting next week. Next week is a live show again after the last two weeks of taped shows, so I wonder if they switch up the color scheme again to stick with the white/black/gold scheme moving forward.
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