This week’s WWE NXT saw Becky Lynch defend the NXT Women’s Title against Lyra Valkyria, Tony D & Stacks put the NXT Tag Team Titles on the line versus Chase U and more.
I will do the summary style review for most of the show and play-by-play for one match.
The band Vampyre was there singing New Years Day as highlights aired of the NXT wrestlers leading into the matches on this show.
It was Vic Joseph and Booker T on commentary as usual.
The hosts Shotzi and Scarlett were in the ring in some interesting costumes. Shotzi said they are starting off with the Devil’s Playground match.
Devil’s Playground Match: Roxanne Perez vs. Kiana James
Anything is legal in this match and falls count anywhere.
Perez got a boot to the face and spin around the body leading to a headscissors. They left the ring where Perez got a pin attempt on the floor for two. They had a playground including a swing and slide. James hit Perez with a suplex on the floor along with a laptop to the back.
James used a chain to pull Perez into the ring post and Perez came back to send Perez into the ring post. Perez hit a running uppercut on the floor. James had a welt on her forehead. Perez used a piece of fence wood and hit James with it. Perez hit a side Russian legsweep onto a slide for a two count. James managed to catch Perez on the floor, swing her into the steel steps and then James hit a Powerbomb on a trash can for two. Perez came back by using James’s bag to hit James in the head. Perez hit Pop Rox onto James’ bag. After the match, Perez opened the back to show some broken brick in it as if that move broke a brick. Sure. It went about 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Roxanne Perez
Analysis: *** A good match that was physical and also worked as a feud-ender for this rivalry with Perez getting the big win. James had a welt on her head to show that something hit her in the head, yet James kept on going. I’m not surprised by the result since they always like to push Perez, but I think James could use a big win at some point.
Carmelo Hayes was interviewed by Vic Joseph yesterday, so that interview was shown. Hayes said it was crazy for people to think that he took out Trick Williams last week. Melo talked about his match against Ilja Dragunov next week. Melo said that his motivation is the title, but also wanting to be “Him.” Melo spoke about how his motivation is stronger than ever, he removed all distractions (interesting choice of words) out of the way and Vic mentioned Trick again. Vic wondered if Trick was in that match last week. Melo said that he would absolutely be in the match. Melo said that he’s doing this for Trick next week.
Analysis: The line that Melo said about how he “removed all distractions” was very interesting because it could be a reference to Trick Williams getting attacked.
The debut of Lexis King is up next.
Nom Dar and Meta-Four were with the hosts Scarlett and Shotzi for some card reading. Scarlett said your joy will turn into intense grief and hold onto the things you cherish. While Meta-Four was arguing about something, Akira Tozawa walked up to the Heritage Cup and stole it. Dar was screaming about the cup being stolen.
Lexis King vs. Dante Chen
Lexis said into the camera: “Brian Pillman is dead, long live Lexis King.” King was in control early, but Chen came back with a dropkick. King hit an upkick to knock Chen down. King hit a knee to the ribs and a clubbing clothesline to the back of the head. Chen got some offense with an atomic drop and a boot to the head. King hit Chen with a superkick to the head. King hit a spinning neckbreaker off the ropes for the pinfall win after about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Lexis King
Analysis: *1/2 A strong debut for Lexis King with a decisive win. Chen got more offense than I would have thought. Nice finisher for King.
Andre Chase & Duke Hudson were in the locker room with Jacy Jayne & Thea Hail. Tony D & Stacks walked in saying it was good to see him again and Chase had this look on his face like he was about to be embarrassed. Chase said he would see them out there later.
NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament Semifinals: Arianna Grace vs. Kelani Jordan
Jordan hit an impressive armdrag and dropkick leading to a picture-in-picture break.
Grace got some offense going with a neckbreaker. Jordan came back with a cross body block for a two count. There were nearfalls for both women. Jordan did a cartwheel back elbow and a somersault leg drop for two. Grace came back with a whip into the middle rope leading to a neckbreaker. They battled on the top rope, Jordan knocked Grace down and Jordan hit a split-legged moonsault for the pinfall win. Vic said “one of a kind” as a reference to Rob Van Dam, who did that move for many years. It went about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Kelani Jordan
Analysis: ** It was a decent match with both women getting some offense. They are still very early in their careers, but you can tell how athletic they are, especially Jordan. Grace is further along in the character department. I think Jordan will need some kind of character development, but athletically speaking she is very skilled.
A video aired showing Von Wagner doing physical therapy. Von asked Mr. Stone why he was taking a match with Bron Breakker. Stone said he has no regrets. Stone said he knows he’ll get his ass kicked, but if he can punch or slap him. Stone said that it’s not fair that his friend is in here dealing with this and Wagner was like: “I’m your friend?” Stone said you are. Von was happy. Von would love to be there, but he’s nowhere near ready. Stone said next week is for you.
Analysis: They are slowly building the return for Von Wagner. The character development has worked with Von as a face and I think he’ll probably back to beat Breakker in a match at the Deadline PLE in December.
The Halloween Havoc hosts Shotzi & Scarlett were in new outfits. More Scarlett on the show is never a bad thing. They were interrupted by The Creed Brothers and Ivy Nile. Julius and Brutus said they wanted to face Angel & Garza in a match after Angel & Garza cost them a match. The ladies said it was Spin the Wheel time, so Ivy spun the wheel. Next week on Halloween Havoc Night 2 it’s The Creed Brothers against Angel & Garza in a Tables, Ladders & Scares (Chairs).
Analysis: That should be a great match next week.
Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo made their entrance for their NXT Tag Team Title defense. They were the champions for 86 days going into the match. Chase U’s Andre Chase & Duke Hudson were joined by Jacy Jayne & Thea Hail along with the Chase U student section in the crowd.
NXT Tag Team Championships: Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo vs. Chase U – Andre Chase & Duke Hudson (w/Jacy Jayne & Thea Hail)
I’ll go play-by-play here since it’s a title match. Stacks was on fire knocking Chase out of the ring and hitting a dive onto Hudson on the floor. Stacks ran the ropes, so Tony D gave him a hip toss over the top onto both opponents on the floor. They went to a PIP break.
The match continued with Chase isolated as Stacks got the tag and kicked Chase leading to a two count. Stacks with a body slam. Chase broke free, slapped Stacks and Tony D got the tag. Chase kicked Tony D and Duke got the hot tag. Duke was on fire with forearms and an overhead suplex. Duke delivered clotheslines and tossed Stacks onto Tony. Duke hit a sidewalk slam on Stacks. Hudson chopped Stacks a few times followed by a Bossman Slam for two. Chase tagged in, Stacks avoided a double team and brought Tony D in. Tony suplexed Hudson and hit a belly-to-belly slam on Chase. Stacks tagged in for an uppercut/German Suplex combo move on Chase for a two count. Hudson kicked Stacks with a big boot on the floor. Hase was legal with Tony leading to the leg sweep followed by the CHASE U stomp routine. Chase went up top, Tony D went after him, Hudson held Chase to stop that and Stacks dropped Hudson with a DDT on the apron. Tony D hit a superplex on Chase and Stacks was legal with a headbutt off the top for two, but Duke broke it up by German Suplexing Tony to break up the pin. Great spot. Stacks rolled up Chase for two. Stacks wit ha superkick on Chase. Duke hit a forearm on Stacks and Chase did a sunset flip on Tony for two. Chase with a neckbreaker on Tony. Jayne slipped Chase a crowbar to use, but Chase refused to use it. Tony ran the ropes, he knocked Jayne off the ropes to the floor and Tony was looking at Jayne on the floor, so Chase used his legs to flip Tony over into a pinning predicament and Chase sat on top of Tony D for the pinfall win! Chase U wins! It went 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall AND NEW NXT Tag Team Champions: Chase U – Andre Chase & Duke Hudson
Analysis: ***1/4 I thought it was a very good match that could have been great with a few more minutes. The final few minutes had some really cool spots and there was a lot of action. It really could have gone either way. Tony D accidentally knocking Jayne off the apron cost him because Chase capitalized for the win. It’s finally a Tag Team Title win for Chase U. They have been contenders for most of the year and now they are the champions for the first time. I think it was the right time for a title change since Tony D & Stacks held them for about three months, which is a solid title reign.
Chase U celebrated the win with the fans cheering for them.
Nathan Frazer was featured in a “Hard Hitting Home Truths” video. Frazer trashed NXT North American Champion Dominik Mysterio for only being the champion because of The Judgment Day. Frazer said it was time for him to step up. Frazer said next week on Halloween Havoc Night 2, Frazer will challenge Dominik for the NXT North American Title. Frazer said he’s going to triumph.
Analysis: That should be an excellent match. I think Dominik will cheat to win as usual.
They showed videos of WWE fans predicting the Becky Lynch-Lyra Valkyria match. The videos were from fans in Ireland and the UK.
Baron Corbin was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell, which led to Corbin complaining about triple threat matches. Corbin said he did everything in his power to win that match. Mitchell asked if Corbin was the one who took out Trick Williams. Corbin said he didn’t like Trick, but he wouldn’t do it like that. Corbin suggested other people did it including Melo. Corbin said the only thing he cares about is Ilja and that championship, so if he survives next week, he should have his head on a swivel.
Lights Out Match: Gigi Dolin vs. Blair Davenport
There are no rules except that pinfall or submission must take place inside the ring. They kept the lights off for this match, so there was purple lighting around the building.
Blair hit a running knee strike leading to a fight on the floor. Blair sent Dolin into the steps repeatedly, which means Dolin hit the steps with her hands a few times. Dolin came back with a double knee attack on Blair, who was sitting on chair on the floor. Cool move.
The fans kept chanting for tables, so Dolin pulled out a table and brought it into the ring, so the fans loved that. Dolin opened up the table in the ring. Blair threw Dolin into the turnbuckle and Blair shoved the table out of the ring. Dolin used a belt to beat on Blair a bit. Blair threw a chair at Dolin and hit a belly-to-back suplex. Blair brought a table out from under the ring and set it up on the floor. Dolin hit two running dropkicks to take control. Dolin slammed Blair onto a trash can. Blair cleared off the commentary table, they fought on the table and Blair gave Gigi a Falcon Arrow slam off the commentary table through the table. The fans chanted “holy s**t” for it. Back in the ring, Blair hit a knee strike to the face for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Blair Davenport
Analysis: **3/4 They had a good match with the heel Davenport finding a way to get the win. It was hard to see some of the action due to the lighting. A lot of weapons were used and it made it feel like a fight. I think they could have used more nearfalls in the match to show that the women were trying to win instead of just using weapons.
Ilja Dragunov, the NXT Champion, did a sitdown interview with Vic Joseph. Ilja talked about being a prideful NXT Champion. Ilja said that Carmelo Hayes will enter their match as a desperate man looking to regain the title. Ilja said that this title would be his downfall. Ilja talked about how the title is the physical proof that he’s the best. Vic shook Ilja’s hand.
Carmelo Hayes was backstage with creepy Scarlett & Shotzi in wigs and dresses. They said they saw the cards saying that he attacked Trick. Melo said he doesn’t believe in any of that, so go mess with somebody else.
Tiffany Stratton was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber backstage, which led to Fallon Henley showing up dressed as Tiffany. Henley did a good impression bragging about being rich and saying “Toodles” so Tiffany attacked her.
NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament Semifinals: Karmen Petrovic vs. Lola Vice (w/Elektra Lopez)
Petrovic got some offense early with a spinning kick to the back. Vice got some offense going with strikes, a hip attack to the face and a kick. There was a rest hold by Vice. Petrovic got some kicks to the face again along with a running kick to the head for two. Petrovic hit a cross body block splash onto Vice on the floor. They went back into the ring, Lola ducked a kick and Lola hit a spin kick to the head for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Lola Vice
Analysis: *3/4 It was really about the final spin kick by Vice that is being put over in big way as a knockout kick. Vice was selling for about a minute before that, but then it took just one move for her to get the win.
Lola Vice and Kelani Jordan had a staredown by the NXT Breakout Tournament contract. That match is next week. I may have been looking more at Elektra Lopez looking fine in her black leather outfit.
Analysis: That was my prediction for the finals. I think Lola will win.
Chase U was shown backstage with their NXT Tag Team Titles. In the background was somebody in a mask talking to Dante Chen. Anyway, Duke Hudson they went from boys to men and they are leaders now. Jacy Jayne said that Andre Chase knows what it takes to be a winner. Chelsea Green and Piper Niven walked in with the Women’s Tag Team Titles. They argued with Jayne & Hail, which led to Jayne & Hail wanting a Women’s Tag Team Title match.
Lyra Valkyria was shown walking backstage. Becky Lynch, the NXT Women’s Champion, was also shown walking backstage.
Noam Dar and Meta-Four complained to security about the Heritage Cup being stolen. They looked at a photo of Akira Tozawa with the NXT Heritage Cup. An image was shown of a Haunted House, so they have to go there to get it back.
Analysis: They have done the Haunted House thing in years past, so here we go again.
Bron Breakker walked up to Carmelo Hayes in the locker room with Bron making a remark about Trick Williams. Bron said a couple of weeks ago they were the talk of the industry. Bron said they both know they will be at the top for decades to come. Bron suggested that Melo took out his best friend and Melo said he didn’t do it. Bron said that same Melo next week, Bron will put Stone in the hospital and then it’s right back to this.
Next week on NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2:
* Tables, Ladders & Scares Match: The Creed Brothers vs. Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo
* NXT North American Championship: Dominik Mysterio (c) vs. Nathan Frazer
* Women’s Tag Team Championships: Chelsea Green & Piper Niven vs. Jacy Jayne & Thea Hail
* NXT Championship: Ilja Dragunov (c) vs. Carmelo Hayes
* Tiffany Stratton vs. Fallon Henley
* NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament Finals: Kelani Jordan vs. Lola Vice
Jade Cargill was shown in a gold dress sitting on a chair that was on the platform in the WWE PC.
It was main event time with challenger Lyra Valkyria up first followed by the NXT Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. Two women making Ireland very proud. The women stood in the ring for the championship introductions from Alicia Taylor, who does a great job. It’s just weird that they don’t even announce where somebody is from.
NXT Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Lyra Valkyria
Lyra went for a spin kick, but Lynch avoided it and they went to a picture-in-picture break.
Lynch sent Lyra into the turnbuckle. Lynch hit a knee lift to the ribs as the fans chanted for both women and Lyra hit a cross body block. Lynch hit a cross body block off the middle rope. They each ran the ropes leading to a double cross body block. They exchanged forearms, Lynch hit a spin kick to the ribs and Lyra kicked Lynch in the ribs. Lyra went for a suplex, Lynch got out of it and Lyra hit some kicks to the body. Lynch hit a running forearm, Lyra hit an elbow and two clotheslines. Lyra hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Lynch hit a jawbreaker followed by a Bexploder Suplex. Lynch jumped off the middle turnbuckle, Lyra avoided it and Lyra hit a running dropkick while Lynch was on the floor. Lynch sent Lyra into the ring post. Lyra caught a Lynch kick attempt while on the apron and Lyra punched Lynch in the back a few times. Lyra hit a leg drop off the middle turnbuckle to the back of the head for a two count. They showed a live look at a bar in the UK watching the match.
Lynch went for the Manhandle Slam, Lyra got out of it and Lyra hit a step up enziguri kick to the head. Lyra went up top and hit a missile dropkick for two. Lyra got a rollup for two. Lynch with a boot to the face and Lynch jumped off the middle ropes with a modified Stunner for two. Lynch and Lyra countered eachother. Lynch flipped Lyra over leading to an armbar, but Lyra countered it into a pin attempt. Lyra came back to hook the arms leading to a pin attempt Lyra had Lynch’s arms tied up, but Lynch countered it into a pin attempt for two. Lyra hit a brainbuster for two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Lyra went up top and jumped off with a splash, but Lynch moved. Lynch applied the Disarm-her submission, but Lyra got her right foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Lyra hit a Sitout Powerbomb out of the corner for a two count. Loud “NXT” chants for that. Lyra went up top, Lynch met her there and Lynch hit a superplex from the middle rope. Lynch followed up with a DDT that spiked Lyra for a two count. Lynch was shocked that was a two count. Lynch went up top, Lyra stopped that with a forearm and Lyra jumped off the turnbuckle with a backflip leading to a spin kick to the head for two. Lyra was shocked that it was only a two count. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Lynch flipped Lyra over and Lynch hit a Manhandle Slam for one…two…no! Lyra kicked out at two. Lynch was stunned that it was only a two count. Booker was speechless while the fans chanted “holy s**t” for it. Lyra was on her back, she hit some up kicks and Lyra countered a Manhandle Slam into an arm drag with Lyra on top while hooking the arm/leg for one…two and three! Lyra Valkyria wins! It went 16 minutes.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW NXT Women’s Champion: Lyra Valkyria
Analysis: **** That was an excellent match. I was also genuinely surprised by the title change because I thought Lynch would have a longer title reign, but I certainly don’t mind it since it puts over Lyra in a big way as a woman who beat Lynch clean. It is very rare for somebody to kick out of the Manhandle Slam, so having Lyra do it was a big moment. I thought the finishing spot by Lyra was really well done with a counter move and then hooking the arms/leg to keep Lynch down. I thought it was really well done. They wrestled in a way where Lynch didn’t look that dominant. It was more of an even matchup to show Lyra could compete with Lynch and Lyra found a way to win, which felt like a big moment because it was.
After the match, Becky Lynch presented Lyra with the NXT Women’s Title. The two women hugged while Lyra had her arm raised with Lynch, who is her idol. They hugged again. Lyra Valkyria held up the NXT Women’s Title while the fans cheered her.
Analysis: Congrats to Lyra Valkyria. I didn’t know much about her when she started in NXT, but over the last year she has developed a lot and she’s a very likable babyface that’s skilled in the ring. Good for her.
I’ll admit I didn’t think Becky Lynch was going to lose here, but I’m cool with it because they had an awesome match. Lynch’s title reign was 42 days, which means six weeks and I thought it was great for the title because of the competitive matches that Lynch had. It also meant a lot for Lyra to beat Lynch, which is what you want to see with a title change. Lynch has a busy enough life. She doesn’t have to work NXT shows in addition to everything else. I’m glad she had the NXT run and I think she enjoyed it a lot.
Three Stars of the Show
- Lyra Valkyria
- Chase U
- Becky Lynch
This week: 8.25 out of 10
Last week: 7
2023 Average: 7.10
I thought it was a great show. Lots of action with some storyline advancement, but not any long in-ring promos. The Lynch-Valkyria match was excellent. I didn’t expect a title change although I am happy for Lyra and I thought the finish was booked very well. Lynch’s run as NXT Women’s Champion was only six weeks, yet I think she elevated the title’s value with so many great matches. Becky is so awesome. Chase U winning the Tag Team Titles was also a fun moment since they are a beloved tag team that finally won the titles. That was cool to see.
There were five women’s matches on the show, which was impressive to see. Two of the matches were the Breakout tournament so they were less experienced wrestlers and those matches were kept short. The two gimmick matches were fine to potentially put an end to those rivalries. The Lynch-Valkyria main event match was outstanding as mentioned. Also, Jade Cargill got a big reaction for her appearance too.
The last point is that I liked the debut of Lexis King (Brian Pillman Jr.). There’s a unique look to him and I thought he had some unique moves leading to an easy win. I’m excited about his future. I’m looking forward to Dragunov-Hayes 3 next week.
Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.