The John Report: WWE NXT 12/20/22 Review

wwe nxt dec 20

This week’s WWE NXT featured The New Day defending the Tag Team Titles against Briggs & Jensen, Carmelo Hayes facing Axiom and more.

It was an eventful week for NXT due to the former NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose being in the news a lot. Since she has an exclusive fan club page with explicit content on it, WWE fired her for it. Don’t feel too sorry for her since her agent claims she has made $500,000 since her release last week. I don’t know if I believe that number, but obviously, she’s a gorgeous woman, so more power to her if that’s how she wants to make a living. I see both sides to it because WWE felt like she was doing things that are not allowed per her contract while she is making great money at it, so I can understand if she didn’t want to stop doing it. Despite being a big supporter of hers, I don’t subscribe to it. I’m classy like that. I will miss her on this show and hope she does come back to WWE some day or continues her wrestling career somewhere else.

For this review, I’m going to be very brief in summarizing everything. It was taped last week. Christmas is coming on Sunday and I want to write less this week.

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.

They showed highlights of Roxanne Perez defeating Mandy Rose last week to capture the NXT Women’s Title.

The commentary team of Vic Joseph and Booker T were at ringside to welcome us to the show.

Carmelo Hayes (w/Trick Williams) defeated Axiom

Melo controlled the first half of it, but then Axiom got a lot of offense going after the break. There were a lot of nearfalls by both guys throughout the match. They went for submissions too. Axiom hit this incredible German Suplex while Hayes was going for a springboard move. They did this incredible spot where both guys were standing on the top and Axiom did a hurricanrana off the top. Trick did a cheap attack on Axiom while Melo distracted the referee, so Hayes hit a Codebreaker and the Nothing But Net leg drop to the back of the head for the pinfall win after 13 minutes. (Match Rating: ***3/4) Nice win for Hayes that was cheap. This was a great match between two incredible athletes. Hayes getting the win is fine with me because they should build him up for NXT Title contention some day.

After the match, Axiom hit a moonsault off the top onto Williams on the floor. That likely means that Axiom isn’t done with Melo, so maybe there will be a rematch soon.

Grayson Waller was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Waller saying he wanted his NXT Title match tonight.


Tony D’Angelo was with Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo saying that Tony D has an NXT North American Title match next week claiming it was champion Wes Lee’s idea. Tony told Stacks to tell Dijak to stay out of Tony’s way. Waller told Tony D to let him know if he sees Bron Breakker.

Zoey Stark defeated Nikkita Lyons

This was a grudge match, so there was a lot of aggressiveness early on. Stark was on offense for most of the match. They really didn’t do a lot of nearfalls during the match. When it looked like Lyons had finally got some momentum, Starks rolled her up and pinned Lyons with Starks grabbing the rope for the cheap pin. It went about six minutes. (Match Rating: **1/4) It was just an average match.

Cora Jade was being interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell, but Wendy Choo showed up to fight with Jade. It was quickly broken up.

A vignette aired featuring Fallon Henley in an empty bar with Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen leading to Kiana James and her gorgeous assistant G showed up. James claimed that soon she was going to buy the property and it will become hers. Henley challenged James to a match with the bar on the line with Henley making the deal for her parents. This storyline is ridiculous. So Henley just learned of this predicament by James and agreed to put the bar on the line without talking to her parents, the bar owners, about it? Sure.

NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance defeated Ivey Nile & Tatum Paxley and Toxic Attraction – Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne

It was fast-paced action early on. Carter & Chance hit a double cross body block on their opponents on the floor going into a break. I think Paxley has improved a lot in the ring, but character-wise she still has a long way to go. Chance did an incredible hurricanrana off the top on Paxley. After that, they did a spot where everybody did kicks and they all laid out on the mat to sell for a bit. Paxley did a twisting dive on Jayne for a two count because Dolin made the save. It looked like Paxley landed on Jayne’s head, but Jayne was fine. Nile did a submission attempt with her arm choking Carter, but Carter kicked off the bottom rope and pinned Nile for the win. It went about 10 minutes. (Match Rating: ***) We have seen that kind of finish many times before. It’s a creative way to end a match even if we have seen it a lot. This was a good match with a few sloppy moments, but mostly enjoyable action throughout the match.

A video aired about Oro Mensah saying he is here for a good time.

Roxanne Perez interviewed by Booker T

This was taped earlier in the day. Booker said that she’s the one that said she was going to do it and she’s done it. Roxanne said it was a mix of emotions, she was overwhelmed and she didn’t expect it to happen, but she pulled it off. Roxanne talked about how at 16 years old, she went to Booker T to train her and five years later here she is. Roxanne talked about her accomplishments in the last nine months. When Booker asked Roxanne why she wanted her title shot last week instead of New Year’s Evil, Roxanne remembered a conversation with Booker saying years ago that “you need to bet on yourself” so Roxanne bet on herself last week instead of waiting until New Year’s Evil and it worked out. Booker congratulated her. Roxanne asked Booker for advice. Booker said he’s about checks and championships. Booker talked about how sometimes you’ll have butterflies, but you’ve got to get through it. Booker said you know what you’ve got to do out there. Booker said he’s proud of her and so is everybody from Reality of Wrestling. Booker told her to get it done. This was a feel god moment. It’s hard not to like Perez. She’s a prototypical babyface wrestler that keeps getting better.

Let’s Hear from Apollo Crews

Apollo Crews congratulated Roxanne Perez on her NXT Women’s Title win. Crews admitted he lost at NXT Deadline against Bron Breakker, but that’s okay because he’s not out of championship contention. Carmelo Hayes interrupted Crews saying he was next in line. They exchanged some words with Melo showing off his cocky attitude as usual. Crews told Hayes no matter how good he thinks he is, there’s always somebody better. Crews said that he’ll show Hayes he is better than him. It was a way to set up a match for two talented guys. That should be a great match when it happens.

The New Day were in the locker room with their NXT Tag Team Titles with Pretty Deadly showing up with some boxes of gifts. It led to some comedy with New Day ordering them to get some items like WWE merchandise and Woods mentioned his buddy Tyler Breeze’s selfie stick too. Anyway, Pretty Deadly didn’t get all the gifts, so they don’t get a title shot.

Alba Fyre was shown walking backstage, Isla Dawn spit some red dust in her eyes and Fyre went down. Some guy checked on Fyre and called for help.

They showed Odyssey Jones, Edris Enofe & Malik Blade hanging out backstage with Ava Raine of Schism there. They exchanged words, then the rest of Schism showed up Schism wished the trio a “fun” night. That should set up a tag team match.

Alba Fyre was getting checked by a doctor in a trainer’s room with Grayson Waller showing up to see if Bron Breakker was around. Nope. Waller left.

Elektra Lopez defeated Indi Hartwell

This was set up after some locker room trash talk last week. Lopez grabbed a chinlock early on and then Hartwell got some offense going after that. They did a running cross body block collision spot. Lopez was on the turnbuckle, Hartwell grabbed her, Lopez had put brass knuckles on her hand (they were hidden in the turnbuckle) and Lopez got the pinfall win after about four minutes. (Match Rating: *1/2) A quick match to put over Lopez getting the victory by cheating.

Alba Fyre was shown in the trainer’s room and she was cleared for her match by the doctor.

Wes Lee, the NXT North American Champion, was interviewed by Mckenzie Michell saying he liked making challenges and wants to get through everybody one opponent at a time. Lee talked about beating Tony D next week and knows that Dijak wants to deliver his hard justice. Lee said the title isn’t leaving him any time soon.

Alba Fyre vs. Sol Ruca was about to start, but Isla Dawn attacked Fyre before the match could begin. Dawn trapped Fyre’s hand against the steel steps and hit the steps with the baseball bat. Fyre was screaming in pain while Dawn left with some laughter. It furthered the rivalry between Fyre and the creepy Dawn.

They showed Andre Chase and Chase U having a Christmas party. Chase yelled at a guy that brought a fruitcake because Chase is allergic to it. Duke Hudson convinced a guy to give him his gift. Duke handed Chase a “#1 professor” plaque and Hudson hugged Chase.

Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen talked about how it was the biggest match of their lives facing The New Day. Kiana James interrupted the interview wishing Brooks good luck for his match.

A clip was shown from “Earlier Today” with Drew Gulak training some guys to wrestle. Hank Walker was on the apron asking if Drew had any advice for him. Gulak invited Walker to observe the seminar next week and Walker said he would be there.

NXT Tag Team Championships: The New Day – Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston defeated Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen (w/Fallon Henley)

The crowd was solidly behind New Day even though they are both babyface teams. Kofi had some fun with Jensen early on by outsmarting him. Kofi is about 20 years older than Jensen. There wasn’t much happening before the break early in the match. Kiana James and her assistant G was watching in the crowd. The camera being on them wasn’t a bad thing. Kofi did an impressive leap to the top rope and a dive onto Jensen followed by the Boom Drop. Kofi got a two count after hitting the SOS by the ropes. Briggs got the tag, he was on fire and crushed both New Day guys with clotheslines on the floor. A running big boot by Briggs got a two count by Jensen while the fans were chanting “NXT” for them. After Briggs knocked Kofi down, Briggs jumped off the top with a moonsault leading to Kofi kicking out at two. It wasn’t enough for the win. Kofi hit a Trouble in Paradise kick, Woods tagged in and hit a top rope elbow drop for the pinfall win after 11 minutes. (Match Rating: ***1/4) It was a very good match with some meaningful nearfalls towards the finish, especially that moonsault by Briggs, which he doesn’t do very often. New Day winning was what I expected and Briggs/Jensen looked like a credible team against one of the best WWE tag teams of all time.

Post match, the fans were chanting “that was awesome” for the match. The New Day shook hands with Briggs & Jensen as a sign of respect for the effort.

There was a backstage scene with Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo looking nervous outside of Dijak’s door and practicing what he was going to say.

Grayson Waller was shown saying he’s going to the ring to call out Bron Breakker.

They showed Diamond Mine walking together in the parking lot. The Creed Brothers were proud of Nile and Paxley. Indus Sher showed up for some trash talk, then Julius Creed told them to watch him against JD McDonagh next week and then they will have their match soon.

Next week on NXT:

* Wes Lee defends the NXT North American Title vs. Tony D’Angelo

* Wendy Choo vs. Cora Jade

* Fallon Henley vs. Kiana James

* The Schism vs. Odyssey Jones, Edris Enofe & Malik Blade

The show was already taped last week.

Grayson Waller Calls Out Bron Breakker

Grayson Waller made his entrance for the main event promo wearing a jacket. Waller called out saying he wanted the NXT Championship from Bron Breakker right here, right now. Waller talked about how there isn’t anybody that can do what he does. Waller said he’s going to be the greatest NXT Champion of all time. Waller trashed Bron some more as they showed the parking lot with Bron arriving with the NXT Title.

Bron Breakker walked out to the ring with the NXT Title with Waller looking ready for him. Bron went into the ring, Bron ran off the ropes and hit a Spear, but Bron sold it like he was hurt. Waller pulled Bron off him and Waller took his jacket off. Waller revealed that he was wearing a steel plate on his chest. Booker said that was pretty smart. Waller told Bron: “I outsmarted you tonight. I outsmarted you at Deadline and at New Year’s Evil, I’ll outsmart you one more time when I become NXT Champion. Because that, Bron Breakker, is the Grayson Waller Effect.” Waller held up the title while Bron was out on the mat. Waller put the title back on Breakker. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: It was a clever way to have Waller outsmart Breakker because we know Bron likes doing the Spear, so Waller used that to his advantage and knocked out Bron after he hit the steel plate. This segment may have looked familiar to some wrestling fans because Bret Hart did it to Bill Goldberg in WCW in March 1999. It didn’t actually lead to anything at the time because that’s WCW, but it was a memorable moment with Bret wearing the steel plate under a Toronto Maple Leafs (Go Leafs Go) hockey jersey. It worked well in both instances.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Carmelo Hayes
  2. The New Day
  3. Kayden Carter & Katana Chance

The Scoreboard

This week: 7 out of 10

Last week: 6.5

Final Thoughts

A good show overall. They had two Tag Team Title matches that were both pretty solid matches. The New Day are doing great in NXT. They are making others around them better, which is what they should be doing. The match between Carmelo Hayes and Axiom was my favorite on the show. Two great athletes right there.

I liked the main event angle with Grayson Waller using the steel plate to counter Bron Breakker’s Spear just like Bret Hart did to Bill Goldberg in WCW in March 1999. It worked very well in both instances.

I’m trying to write less this week, so hopefully I covered the show well enough for you, the reader. Have a happy holiday season and a Merry Christmas.


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

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport