Reviews

The John Report: WWE NXT 11/01/22 Review

wwe nxt november 1

This week’s WWE NXT featured an interview with the Schism group, a celebration of Mandy Rose’s one-year run as NXT Women’s Champion and a Tag Team Title main event.

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 NXT Champion Bron Breakker made his entrance in a black leather jacket, jeans and a Bron t-shirt. The commentary team of Vic Joseph and Booker T welcomed us to the show with Booker saying he loved everything about this kid, Bron Breakker.

Let’s Hear from Bron Breakker

Bron talked about how Halloween Havoc was a monumental night for NXT and not just for him. Bron mentioned Wes Lee capturing the NXT Championship, Julius Creed in an Ambulance Match and here’s Pretty Deadly with the interruption.

Pretty Deadly, the NXT Tag Team Champions, did their routine mocking Bron with some bad American accents. Elton Prince said Bron is the absolute worst and he’s sick of it. Bron called them wankers. Kit Wilson said that you do not talk to them like that. Prince said they should have started this week’s show because they retained their titles last week and they deserve a parade. Wilson took a shot at Wes Lee, which led to Wes making his entrance.

Wes Lee walked out with the NXT North American Title telling Pretty Deadly to shut up. Lee said he appreciated the words from Bron. Prince and Wilson said that this is about them. Bron said they should quit bitching and if you weren’t combing your hair for three hours, you may have been out there first. Lee credited PD for having beautiful hair, so Bron touched some of the hair. Bron took a step back to let them have the spotlight and Lee said he’ll give PD an introduction. Wes introduced PD and Bron even joined in. The fans booed. Prince and Wilson did their “side plate check” posing. Bron and Lee talked about how when they start talking, somebody usually interrupts them and they are coming for the titles.

Wes said that they are the two guys that are interrupting. Wes said that he misses those tag team titles so fans chanted for Wes having two belts. Bron suggested PD should put the titles on the line against Bron and Wes tonight. The match was agreed to so then Prince said that opening the show sucks and there’s no way tonight can get any worse…so cue the interruption.

What’s Up! It’s R-Truth making his entrance doing his song routine leading up to his match. Booker T loved it, of course. Truth is in a match up next.

Analysis: It was a classic WWE show opening promo with the two sides exchanging words leading to a match. I thought there might be a singles wrestler that would interrupt Bron, so at least having Pretty Deadly and Wes Lee out there to set up a tag team title match later is different than what I was expecting. I still love R-Truth’s entrance after all these years. It’s catchy and gets the crowd going.

(Commercial)

R-Truth vs. Grayson Waller

This match was set up last week. A big age difference here with Truth at 50 years old and Waller at 32 years old. I thought Waller might have been younger, but that’s not too old in wrestling. Truth got some offense going with multiple atomic drops. Waller did a Cena hand gesture, Truth tripped him up and got a shoulder tackle. Truth with a high hip lock takeover. Waller did an STO trip driving Truth to the mat. Truth punched Waller out of the ring. Truth ran the ropes, jumped over the top with a somersault, Truth clipped the top rope a bit and that led to Truth not jumping far enough, so he went crashing to the floor hard. Truth immediately grabbed his left knee. He was hurt right away. Waller could tell right away as well. They went to a picture-in-picture break.

(Commercial)

The show came back and Waller was announced as the winner because Truth was unable to compete due to injury. It went around seven minutes.

Winner by referee’s decision: Grayson Waller

Analysis: * The rating really doesn’t matter. Truth was hurt and the match was called off. My guess is that Waller was likely going to win as the younger guy that’s an NXT regular, but I’m not sure about that.

Truth was helped out of the ring by two trainers while favoring his left leg.

Analysis: I hope R-Truth is okay. A knee injury can be a lot of things as far as how long somebody is out of action. You could tell he was hurt immediately when he hit the floor. I don’t think Waller was at fault for failing to catch him better because Truth hit the top rope a bit, which led to Truth not jumping as far out as he meant to. R-Truth is one of the most likable, beloved guys in wrestling. At 50 years old I don’t know how many years he has left in the business, but I hope he can at least come back from this and entertain the fans again. He has made us laugh and smile for a long time. Best wishes to R-Truth.

Grayson Waller did a promo saying it doesn’t matter who it is because he is the most dominant superstar in this company and he’s sick and tired of people sleeping on him. Waller talked about beating R-Truth, the fans said he got lucky and Waller said he gets lucky every night. Waller said NXT is his house and nobody is going to change that.

Analysis: It was the way to fill the time after the injury cut the match short. Waller is a good talker.

Interview with Schism

The four-person Schism group with leader Joe Gacy, Rip Fowler, Jagger Reid and newcomer Ava Raine sat down with Vic Joseph earlier in the day for an interview. Vic said he’s known Ava since she started in the Performance Center and some people have known her a lot longer. Raine said that she has been around WWE her entire life and nobody took the time to get to know her until she met them. Raine said that they got to know the real her. Raine said that she suffered a devastating injury when she started at the WWE PC and a new guy Joe Gacy checked on her while other people didn’t check on her. Raine didn’t like Vic making assumptions about her. Gacy said that Raine has been asked for things her entire life, but she is with them because they accept her for who she truly is. Rip said that they have faced ridicule from the locker room, but those other groups never had the togetherness that the Schism has. Rip even offered Vic one of their yellow pins. Reid said that when you take your mask off to reveal yourself, it’s too harsh for people yet it is welcome within the Schism. Vic had one more question while referencing a tweet from Cameron Grimes, which led to Vic saying Grimes believes Raine was brainwashed. Raine said she was not brainwashed. Raine said that together, Schism can do more than she could do individually. Raine said Grimes paid two guys to beat them. Raine said that they are committed to making an example out of Grimes and will follow through on the commitment when Grimes faces Gacy for the final time next week. They said they are “four roots – one tree.” That was it.

Analysis: I thought it was pretty good. Ava was very comfortable in a seated, pre-tape setting because that’s easier than being in the ring and doing a promo. She looked nervous last week in the ring, which is understandable. You can tell she’s a good speaker already so that’s in the genes from her father The Rock. Whether she can go in the ring, we don’t know that yet, but she’s only 21 years old with a very bright future. This group is very unique, but I really like Fowler & Reid as a veteran tag team that’s been together a long time, while Gacy is an excellent talker and solid in the ring. Ava can certainly interfere in matches to help her friends win in the weeks ahead as well as she gets used to being on camera.

Javier Bernal was backstage with Edris Enofe and Malik Blade standing outside the “HBK” with Javier telling them not to waste a meeting with Mr. Michaels. Javier said he had a match tonight and to meet him by his office. Odyssey Jones walked out of the office telling Javy that he is facing him. Poor Javy.

Kiana James was shown handing an envelope to her assistant and making her entrance. The assistant’s name is Giovanna Eburneo. Look her up on Instagram. I have. I’m such a journalist.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for Crown Jewel on Saturday while promoting the Braun Strowman-Omos match.

There was a video from earlier in the day showing the women’s locker room. Zoey Stark and Nikkita Lyons walked into the room with Stark looking frustrated, so Indi Hartwell argued with Zoey. That will lead to a match later.

Andre Chase and Thea Hail were backstage with Chase hyping her up, then nobody was carrying the flag because Bodhi Hayward was released, so Duke Hudson emerged to say he’ll carry the flag.

Kiana James vs. Thea Hail (w/Andre Chase & Duke Hudson)

James was in control of the action early on by grounding Hail on the mat along with some basic stomps and submission attempts that were not going to end the match. Hail got some offense going with clotheslines along with a neckbreaker and a cross body block leading to a two count. James did a hair whip into the mat followed by a move that was like a flatliner. Hudson put Hail’s foot on the bottom rope, so Chase yelled at Duke to go to the back because they don’t cheat at Chase U. James choked Hail across the middle rope and hit her spinning flatliner again for the win after four minutes. That finisher move is called the 401 K apparently according to Vic on commentary.

Winner by pinfall: Kiana James

Analysis: *3/4 They are slowly building up James in the women’s division. Hail is a plucky young underdog full of energy that’s going to keep improving. James was in control, Hail made a bit of a comeback and James found a way to win.

Post match, Charlie Dempsey attacked Chase with a forearm to the back. Dempsey applied a tight choke hold on Chase, so Hudson ran out for the save and Dempsey ran away. Hudson also helped Hail back up after she was knocked down.

Analysis: Dempsey has been used more often in the last few weeks. He’s the son of William Regal with a bright future.

Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen were interviewed about wanting the Tag Team Titles, then Fallon Henley spoke and Kiana James’ assistant handed Henley an envelope. Henley read it, shook her head and that was it.

Odyssey Jones made his entrance. The popular big man is back for the first time in ten months. Jones greeted the fans all around ringside because he’s very popular with the crowd.

(Commercial)

Bron Breakker and Wes Lee were shown in the locker room were shown talking ahead of their title match. Mr. Stone walked up to them with Stone trashing Bron for going after the Tag Team Titles instead of defending the NXT Title. Stone talked about how Von Wagner is going to beat Bron for the title. Bron said Von should talk to him face to face instead of sending his errand boy, Bron threatened Stone and Stone left.

Analysis: That’s a tease for later.

Odyssey Jones vs. Javier Bernal

Jones was out for ten months with a ruptured patella injury. That’s a serious knee injury to the kneecap as well. Jones knocked down Bernal easily leading to some rolling sentons on the back of Bernal. Javy got some offense with shots to the left knee and wrenching the knee, but Jones kicked Javy out of the ring. Javy ran the ropes leading to Jones hitting a shoulder tackle. Jones hitting a spinning Bossman Slam for the pinfall win. It went three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Odyssey Jones

Analysis: *1/4 Easy win for Odyssey Jones to show that he’s back in action after missing nearly one year. I like his personality and his intensity during his matches. I’m glad he’s back.

The Toxic Attraction trio was shown walking backstage because they’re up next.

(Commercial)

Mandy Rose’s 1-Year NXT Women’s Championship Celebration

The ring was full of couches, photos of Mandy Rose and some dudes with champagne as well. Toxic Attraction’s NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose, Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin made their entrance. I think Mandy is the star of the night because of that outfit alone. She is tremendous. I like the other two as well, but Mandy is my favorite of any woman in WWE.

Jacy Jayne told the crowd to bow in the presence of greatness. Jacy talked about how it was one year of proving everybody wrong and being the “baddest bitch in the game” for the last 365 days. Gigi Dolin said that Mandy was untouchable, but you didn’t believe in her. Dolin said that Mandy has proven she’s superior to every man and woman in that locker room. Jayne talked more about Mandy’s greatness about how she helped make Toxic Attraction the most decorated female faction in NXT history. Jayne said that in honor of Rose’s greatness, they put together a video package.

A video package aired showing Mandy Rose’s run of success over the last year since beating Raquel Gonzalez (now Rodriguez) for the title last October. The video showed highlights of some of Mandy’s wins to keep her title over the last year. It was 371 days since her win as the video indicated.

Rose thanked her friends for the kind words and the video. Rose said that all of that is not bad for a piece of candy. Rose said that’s all she was for four years – a peach, a Barbie doll, a centerfold bitch. Rose claimed that she bet on herself by coming to NXT to rebuild herself and it was the greatest decision of her life. Rose talked about how Toxic Attraction has risen to the top, ratings don’t lie and merchandise sales don’t lie. Rose said that this title represents the greatest women’s wrestlers in the entire world and she has proven it to all of us for over a year. Rose says “put respect on my name” because it’s the truth. Rose said she has stepped on every woman in the division and made it look good. Rose said it felt good to sit on her throne for over a year now and nobody will kick her out of it. Rose said if anybody has a problem with what she said, you know where to find here.

There was smoke that was shot into the ring and Alba Fyre showed up to superkick one of the guys in the ring, then she knocked down Jayne and Dolin. Fyre kicked another guy to knock him down. Rose bailed to the floor. Fyre gave Dolin a Gory Bomb through a table. Fyre said this week she took out Dolin, then next week she’ll take out Jayne in two weeks time she’ll take that title.

Analysis: I thought the Rose feud with Fyre was done, but I guess not because Fyre lost because of Rose’s friends at Halloween Havoc. Maybe they’ll do a title change with Fyre winning. I don’t think Fyre is that popular as a face although she is a good performer. The promo from Rose was really good, Jayne did well and Dolin was fine too.

Apollo Crews was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Crews suggesting a match with Bron Breakker saying that’s what the NXT Universe wants to see. Crews said that he’s not sure if Bron wants the same thing. Crews said when he came back, his name hasn’t been mentioned by Bron. Crews wondered why he had to chase Bron. Von Wagner walked up saying don’t waste your time chasing after Bron while Wagner said when it comes to that title, he was the future.

A commercial aired for Smackdown this Friday with GUNTHER defending the Intercontinental Title against Rey Mysterio.

(Commercial)

A video was shown of the NXT Performance while a mysterious phone call that left this message: “You can screen my calls, but you cannot screen my fury. One by one you shall fall, so just let it happen, as it’s written on the walls. Coming to NXT almost feels like home. Because inside those ropes the canvas will be the place where I express how I feel in my bones. I will leave my mark, and I warn you all on my imminent start. Sincerely, SCRYPTS.” The video showed that they spray-painted SCRYPTS on the wall.

Analysis: A mystery character is coming.

Indi Hartwell vs. Zoey Stark (w/Nikkita Lyons)

Stark got some offense going with a springboard cross body block. They had the second time with “technical difficulties” with Vic apologizing for it, so there’s some larger angle coming to NXT. Indi used her power to hit multiple body slams and a clothesline out of the ring.

(Commercial)

Indi was in control with a boot to the head while Stark was against the ropes. Stark came back with a running knee to the head. Stark hit an impressive twisting dive off the ropes onto Indi for a two count. Stark was really aggressive and nearly getting DQ’d with Lyons trying to calm Stark down. Indi hit Stark with repeated clotheslines, but Stark came back with a superkick. Stark sent Indi into the hood of the commentary table repeatedly and Stark took the cover off. Lyons tried to tell Stark she didn’t need to do this, so Stark tossed Indi back in the ring. Indi hit a boot to the face and a forearm to the back of the neck for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Indi Hartwell

Analysis: **1/2 The match was solid. They are clearly building to a heel turn for Stark, who continues to have fits of rage all the time. Indi’s finisher was okay, but it didn’t really look that devastating. It was a big win for Indi in terms of building her up as a singles wrestler.

The replays were shown to further the story that Lyons was trying to calm Stark down throughout the match. Stark was frustrated as she talked to Lyons after the match.

Analysis: Since they are giving Stark/Lyons a title shot next week, I assume the story will be that they lose the match, Stark blames Lyons for the loss and Stark turns heel on her partner.

There was a video that aired with a guy talking about how it’s not anger, it’s about authority. It’s the former T-Bar coming back to NXT as Donovan Dijak. They didn’t show his face, but that’s who it is.

There was a backstage segment where Sanga told Valentina Feroz that he can’t support her at ringside when Sanga saw Veer Mahaan walk up to him. Veer Mahan talked to Sanga and they left while Wendy Choo was in the background.

Cora Jade entered for her match.

(Commercial)

Zoey Stark and Nikkita Lyons were shown talking backstage. Stark said she promises Lyons that this Tuesday, her head will be in the game. Kayden Carter and Katana Chance walked up with their titles saying that Stark/Lyons won’t beat them next week.

A video aired for NXT Deadline on Saturday, December 10th, which is the last Premium Live Event of the year.

Valentina Feroz vs. Cora Jade

Jade took control with a STO trip. Feroz with double knees and a dropkick. Jade got back on offense after they left the ring and Jade hit a running back elbow while Feroz was against the ropes. Feroz got an inside cradle, but Jade came back with a clothesline. Jade avoided a cross body block, Jade hit a senton and a DDT for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Cora Jade

Analysis: *1/4 Easy win for Cora Jade after losing her grudge match to Roxanne Perez two weeks away. Cora has a bright future.

Post match, Jade tried to attack with a kendo stick, so Wendy Choo made the save in her pajamas. Jade ran away to avoid an attack with the kendo stick.

Analysis: There’s new rivalry with Jade facing Choo.

Tony D’Angelo was shown with Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo talking about business with Tony saying that Stacks is facing Hank Walker next week. Elektra Lopez walked up to them looking pretty good. Lopez said if you think she was dangerous before, watch how dangerous she is now.

Analysis: I think Elektra has a great look. She needs to get better in the ring, but if she does improve she can be a force in the future.

The NXT North American Champion Wes Lee and NXT Champion Bron Breakker made their entrance for the main event.

(Commercial)

Next week on NXT:

* Cameron Grimes vs. Joe Gacy.

* Brutus Creed vs. Damon Kemp in a 5-Minute Challenge Match.

* NXT Women’s Championship: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance vs. Nikkita Lyons & Zoey Stark.

* Andre Chase vs. Charlie Dempsey.

Pretty Deadly made their entrance for their tag team title defense.

NXT Tag Team Championships: Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince) vs. Bron Breakker & Wes Lee

Lee started with Wilson with Lee getting a couple of nearfalls on Wilson. When Wilson tried a move, Lee did a backflip to avoid it. Prince tagged in with Lee taking him down with an arm drag. Bron tagged in for takedown on Prince followed by Bron hitting a standing moonsault. Booker was impressed by it. Prince slapped Bron in the face, then Bron came back with a back body drop and Bron ran the ropes with a clothesline. Lee tagged in, Prince launched Lee into the air and Lee crashed into the mat. The champions tried a double team suplex, so Bron saved his partner and Bron/Lee hit double hurricanranas and punches to knock the champions out of the ring. Bron did some barking like his father Rick Steiner.

(Commercial)

Lee hit an impressive headscissors on Prince followed by a pin attempt for two. Prince launched Lee into the air and Lee hit a dropkick. Lee kicked Prince out of the ring, Wilson made the tag and Wilson ran over Lee with a punch to the back. Wilson sent Lee into the ring apron. Wilson worked over Lee with uppercuts along with a running uppercut. Wilson hit Lee with a neckbreaker for two. Prince tagged in with a running forearm and uppercut. Prince with a body slam on his side of the ring, Lee avoided to two elbow drops and Lee managed to break free to bring in Bron. Breakker was on fire with a shoulder tackle, a powerslam, a corner clothesline and Bron hit a bulldog off the middle rope. Bron hit a double suplex on both guys at the same time. That was really well done! Lee tagged in, so Bron launched Lee onto both guys for a double cross body block. Bron knocked Prince out of the ring. The camera work was weird as far as what the director showed. Lee went up, Carmelo Hayes showed up and shoved Lee off the top rope. Wilson did a crucifix pin on Lee for the win while Bron didn’t see it, so he was unable to make the save. It went 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince)

Analysis: ***1/4 The match was good with the heels getting the win. It’s rare to see Breakker lose a match, but he didn’t get pinned. The finish was also cheap with Melo costing Lee the match to set them up for a feud while the heel champions Pretty Deadly capitalized on the situation to get the win. I liked the story of the match with Lee as the face in peril leading to Bron getting the tag and that led to the screwy finish. I like PD’s matches. They’re a classic heel team that is fun to watch.

After the match, Lee jumped over the top with a somersault dive onto Melo.

Bron Breakker was in the ring with his title, then he turned around and Von Wagner hit Bron with a boot to the face. Wagner stood over Bron making the belt gesture. Apollo Crews was shown watching that on a TV screen backstage. JD McDonagh walked up there to issue a threat to Crews and JD said he’ll see him around. End show.

Analysis: It was a way to tease potential challengers for Bron in the coming weeks. I don’t know if it’s going to be a 4-way match or if they have a contender’s match to set up the next title challenger. I was hoping they would go with Hayes vs. Breakker because we haven’t seen it, but clearly, Hayes is going to be going after Lee for the NXT North American Title, which should produce some good matches. Anyway, it was a decent ending to tease things for the future.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Mandy Rose
  2. Pretty Deadly
  3. Bron Breakker/Wes Lee

 

The Scoreboard

This week: 6.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

 

Final Thoughts

It was more of an average NXT show this week. There were some good things for sure, but it wasn’t as interesting overall. It sucked seeing R-Truth hurting his leg on the dive out of the ring. He has been so durable for so long. Truth is such a fun guy and still so entertaining after all these years. I wish him the best in dealing with that leg injury.

They started some new rivalries this week while continuing others like Alba Fyre coming after Mandy Rose and maybe Fyre will be the woman to end Mandy’s title reign. Von Wagner going after Bron Breakker wasn’t my preferred choice, but I doubt Von beats Bron for the NXT Title.

I thought Ava Raine did well with her promo with the Schism group. It was smart to make it a sitdown interview rather than a live promo because she was nervous last week. She was a lot more comfortable this week.

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Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport