By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Live from Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired October 4, 2022 on USA Network
[Hour One] Wade Barrett checked in from ringside. Barrett joked that Vic Joseph was stuck overseas by immigration (He’s actually out on a honeymoon, I believe, with his new wife, WWE broadcast team member McKenzie Mitchell). This week’s commentary team was a 3 man booth with Barrett, Sudu Shah, and Byron Saxton. Saxton talked about how NXT was a very important place to him (Saxton and Barrett used to be the commentary team for WWE-FCW because a lot of injuries kept Barrett out of the ring, so they used him as Color Commentator)…
Pretty Deadly, Kit Wilson and Elton Prince, walked out to the ring to a podium dressed up in extremely British and parliamentary cosplay. They did their usual flamboyant bragging and sideplate checks. Prince brought up that the problem now is finding new opponents for Pretty Deadly. Prince noted that they’ve beaten everyone in the division. They brought up Enofie and blade, while making fun of Blade’s sweater vest. They then brought up the Creeds and how Damon Kemp is single-handedly destroying the Diamond Mine. They talked about the Dyad being creepy. Prince decreed that Pretty Deadly are the rulers of the domain and that they should be awarded the tag team championships forever… Yes Boy!
Out of nowhere, Butch and Ridge Holland, the Brawling Brutes, made their entrance. Holland brought up PD challenging them on social media. Pretty Deadly joked that people like Kevin Nash and Kevin Owens hacked their twitter. Holland said PD just keep talking about how pretty they are. Holland said it’s tuesday. Butch said which means its fight night. Butch and Holland cleared PD from the ring…
Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams made their entrance for the next match…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Okay, now we’re starting some graphic design changes. There’s still a bit of a paint splatter effect, but instead of a rainbow, it’s pretty much gold as a primary color. The lighting is black, white, and gold. Fun opening segment. Pretty Deadly were main roster ready the day they showed up in NXT. These guys aren’t only good in the ring, but they really do a good job executing their characters. Cool to see the Brutes on NXT for the week. The slow metamorphosis of Butch back to Pete Dunne continues.
From earlier today, Alba Fyre attacked Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne in the parking lot with her bat. Sudu joked that the NXT Parking Lot is the most dangerous place in WWE. Fyre kidnapped Mandy Rose who was still in a SUV…
1. Carmelo Hayes (w/Trick Williams) vs. Oro Mensah. Mensah dominated the early chain wrestling sequence. Melo swatted Oro off a dropkick attempt. Oro landed a dropkick and reverse suplex for a two count. Saxton and Sudu talked about how Mensah had just moved to the US about a month ago. Hayes hit Oro with a nice slingshot DDT on the apron. Hayes hit Oro with a flapjack on the top rope. Oro reversed a superkick into a rollup for a two count. Melo recovered and hit Oro with a superkick.
Melo hit Oro with a springboard slingblade. Oro rallied back with chops and a backdrop. Oro hit Melo with a high angle German Suplex. Oro hit Melo with a standing Liger Kick and springboard splash. Oro hit Trick with a Liger Kick, but walked right into a Codebreaker from Melo. Melo hit Oro with a top rope scissors kick.
Carmelo Hayes defeated Oro Mensah via pinfall in 5:35.
Melo took the mic and talked about how people are talking about his losing streak, but that’s gone. Melo was cut off by Chase U making their entrance. Melo joined the commentary team for the Von Wagner vs. Andre Chase match…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Good showing by Mensah and good win for Hayes. I actually would have had Hayes lose here, maybe in fluky fashion, to continue the story of him being on a bit of a losing streak. That said, I also see the merit in keeping Melo strong.
An Extreme Rules ad aired, featuring Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey…
Highlights aired from last week’s Brutus Creed vs. Damon Kemp match aired where Kemp lost via DQ. Saxton noted that Kemp hit Brutus over ten times. They cut to earlier today where Julius Creed was being checked on by the trainers. Despite Brutus yelling “I’m fine”, the doctor wouldn’t clear him. Duke Hudson showed up to trash talk the Creeds and Ivy Nile. Hudson joked that Brutus was the dumb brother. Julius challenged Hudson to a match later in the show…
2. Andre Chase (w/Thea Hail, Bodhi Hayward) vs. Von Wagner (w/Mr. Stone) for a spot in the North American Championship Ladder Match at Halloween Havoc. Wagner tackled Chase in the corner. Chase came back with low kicks and chop blocks. Wagner came back with a lariat. Chase took down Wagner with a Dragon Screw. Wagner came back with a power slam. Chase came back with a dropkick to the injured knee of Wagner. Chase hit Wagner with punches and a Side Russian Legsweep. Chase hit Wagner with the Chase U boots.
Stone got on the apron for a distraction. Thea Hail dragged stone away on her shoulders. Hail body slammed Stone at ringside. Chase and Wagner traded counters. Chase rolled up Wagner for a two count. Wagner hit Chase with a big boot and a hanging Death Valley Driver for the victory.
Von Wagner defeated Andre Chase via pinfall in 3:36 to earn a spot in the North American Championship Ladder Match at Halloween Havoc.
Wes Lee flew in out of nowhere to dive on Carmelo Hayes.
Sanga and Nathan Frazer were chatting backstage. Sanga is still depressed about losing his last match. Frazer talked about how he lost his first match in the best of three series, but he filtered out all the negative energy and made a comeback. Sanga said he hopes Frazer ends up winning the best of 3 and then the North American Title Ladder Match. After Frazer left, Sanga was confronted by his old tag team partner Veer Mahan (former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Rinku Singh)…
Lash Legend was shown heading to the ring from backstage. She trash talked on her way there…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Good match with Chase looking good in defeat as usual. Looks like Von Wagner is going to be that “Base” in the upcoming ladder match, the big man role that Kane and Big Show usually played where they counterbalance all the high flyers. By the way, Saxton and Barrett have good chemistry on the commentary table. I’ve been a huge fan of theirs dating back to FCW. Hey, if Hunter wants to shake up the Raw announce desk, I’d be a proponent of doing a Wade Barrett and Byron Saxton two man team.
The show cut to the parking lot, where the unknown red hooded man was handing out Joe Gacy smiley pins to random fans. Grayson Waller was shown in the lot with extra security to protect him from Apollo Crews…
John’s Thoughts: Hmmm. Waller may be NXT’s Miz. Miz and Waller are both running around with extra security afraid of getting killed by their respective stalkers (Crews and Lumis).
Wendy Choo made her entrance. Legend hit Choo with Choo’s body pillow to fire up Choo.
3. Wendy Choo vs. Lash Legend. Legend had the initial advantage but Choo rallied back with kicks. Legend caught a diving Choo and hit her with a nice backbreaker. Legend worked on Choo with methodical offense. Lash Legend hit Choo with an elbow drop. Legend dominated the match for a stretch. Choo came back with strikes and a corner splash. Legend caught Choo in a wheelbarrow. Chool rolled up Legend for a two count. Choo slammed Legend to the ground and hit her with a Vader Bomb for the victory.
Wendy Choo defeated Lash Legend via pinfall.
Kelly Kincaid interviewed Wes Lee. Lee said he was just out there to give Melo a receipt for smashing his skull in the locker. Channing Stacks Lorenzo showed up talking about how Lee is ruthless and how he messed up Tony D’Angelo’s leg. Lee talked about how he didn’t want to win that way. Lorenzo told Lee that actions have consequences..
The show cut to a Gallus promo. Mark Coffey talked about how they are suspended due to attacking security. Wolfgang said he didn’t expect NXT security to be so soft. Joe Coffey said they’ll be back soon. Wolfgang said they are going to beat up Briggs and Jensen when they get back. Joe said that he’s going to be going after Bron Breakker’s title and in the end Gallus will be on top…
Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin made their entrance…[c]
John’s Thoughts: One of Legend’s better matches in WWE so far. Not the prettiest by any means, but Legend is slowly and surely getting better (Don’t understand why we have to witness her growing pains on TV though?). Wendy Choo is very valuable in NXT in getting some good matches out of the inexperienced talent. She’s also developing a bit of an edge to contrast her kiddy character.
The show cut to a Katana Chance and Kayden Carter sitodwn interview. Carter talked about hwo she grew up wanting to be a wrestler. Chance talked about coming from a gymnastics and Ninja Warrior background. She talked about how she had to step a way a few years ago to reset her mental state. They showed internet articles saying that Chance was possibly leaving WWE. Chance talked about how Carter helped her fall in love with WWE again. They talked about carrying each other to he top. Carter and Chance talked about looking at the Toxic Attraction vs. Lyons and Stark match to find their next opponents…
John’s Thoughts: Good stuff, and some of the old NXT 1.0 character profile pieces that we used to get. It was cool seeing Chance and Carter get some relatable character development in the sitdown setting.
4. “Toxic Attraction” Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne vs. Nikkita Lyons and Zoey Stark for a future title shot at the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships. Stark ended up shoving Jayne to the ground. Sudu talked about how Toxic Attraction put Stark on the shelf for about a year. Jayne came back with a series of rollups. Stark hit Dolin with a springboard crossbody. Jayne and Lyons tagged in. Lyons hit Jayne with a Tae Kwon Do Thrust Kick combo. Stark and Lyons cleared Toxic Attraction from the ring heading into picture-in-picture.[c]
John’s Thoughts: The commercial break graphics are still rainbow splatter NXT 2.0. WWE is really taking their sweet time rolling out their new graphics. At least they fixed up most of their show graphics at least so it’s only a matter of time they cover up some of the other 2.0 graphics still looming around.
[Hour Two] Dolin escaped a Juji Gatame from Lyons and then tagged in Jayne. Jayne and Dolin cut the ring in half on Lyons. Jayne and Lyons took each other out with stereo pump kicks. Stark and Dolin tagged in with Stark cleaning house. Stark hit Dolin with a uppercut and forearm combo. Stark hit Dolin with a running knee for a two count. Lyons tagged in and hit Dolin with a German Suplex while Stark superkicked Dolin. Stark and Jayne took each other out with stereo lariats. Lyons and Dolin traded fatigued strikes. Dolin hit Lyons with a STO. Jayne tagged in and hit Lyons with a neckbreaker.
Stark broke up Jayne’s pin attempt. Lyons hit Jayne with a Tae Kwon Do hook kick. Jayne hit Stark with a Bull Hammer. Jayne crotch chopped. Lyons dragged Jayne to ringside. Stark hit Dolin with the tilt a whirl GTS. Stark hit Jayne with a plancha. Lyons hit Dolin with the Melina Split Leg Drop for the win.
Nikkita Lyons and Zoey Stark defeated Toxic Attraction via pinfall in 10:28 to earn a future title shot at the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships.
John’s Thoughts: Good work from all four women. This was one of Nikkita’s better matches in WWE. I really think she should focus more on her Tae Kwon Do background because the moveset will allow her to stand out from everyone else (a la Speedball Mike Bailey). WWE Raw is very light on Babyfaces now (as witnessed through Bianca Belair’s random ass team). I wouldn’t mind if WWE calls up Lyons, Stark, and throw in Indi Hartwell to replenish the babyface women’s roster up there. Lyons might be well served if she’s allowed to develop in tag team matches and not counted on for longer singles matches.
The show cut to an Ilja Dragunov cinematic promo. Dragunov talked about how he was forced to relinquish his UK title not by an opponent, but by circumstance. He said he had to watch NXT UK breath its last breath from the sidelines. He said he should have been in the ring to defend NXT UK from Bron Breakker. Ilja was shown in a workout montage. He said he can’t change the past, but he can’t change the future. Ilja said Breakker may be a man, but Ilja is a machine. Ilja talked about JD McDonagh trying to take credit for forcing Ilja to relinquish the title. Ilja said he’s totally willing to endure a lot of pain which will be worth it when he becomes champion. Ilja said the crowd will chant, “long live the Tzar”…
Roxanne Perez and Cora Jade were shown in different parts of the Performance Center, heading to the ring…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Great promo for Ilja. I wonder if the shift back to NXT, means we’re getting more of the old Jeremy Borash style cinematic video packages. So far so good and I like that they are making an concerted effort to move away from the unfocused 2.0 concept.
Grayson Waller’s Waller Effect show got a full on intro theme. Waller introduced his Waller Effect show which also had the picture-in-picture selfie camera. He talked about how he had extra security to protect him from Apollo Crews. Waller introduced Cora Jade as “The Tony Hawk of NXT”. Waller then introduced Roxanne Perez too. Jade wore an all black body suit while Perez wore a unique half business suit, and half black dress. Waller joked about forgetting to bring Perez’s booster seat.
Jade asked Perez who she had to cry to to get the match. Perez said everybody wants to see her kick Jade’s ass. Waller cut them off. Perez cut back in saying she feels nothing in regards to Jade. Jade cut her off, saying that Perez is giving another sob story. Perez reminded that she and Jade wanted to climb to the top together and be just like the WWE Four Horsewomen. Perez said Jade threw those dreams away. Perez said she’ll continue that dream all by herself. Jade said Perez just had all the internet hype, but with no talent. Jade said Perez isn’t ready to be in the generation of Jade.
Perez called out Jade for putting on a nice-girl act for a year and blamed Perez when no one was buying it. Perez was about to say that Jade was full of shit, but Waller cut her off. Waller said they need to stop cutting him off. He said he had a scoop, both women will have pick your poison matches, and anyone on the WWE roster can be an opponent. Waller joked about Perez vs. Omos. Jade and Perez trash talked each other. Waller yelled for both women to stop cutting him off. Waller said their Halloween Havoc will be a Spin The Wheel, Make the Deal match. Waller said they can even spin the match now.
Waller went to spin the wheel , but was stopped by a random druid. Waller pulled up the sleeve and was relieved to see that the druid was a white man instead of Apollo Crews. Waller spun the wheel and it landed on a “Weapon’s Wild Match”. Perez and Jade started to have a pull apart brawl. Apollo Crews showed up dressed as a security guard. Apollo Crews dragged Waller under the ring. Waller emerged from under the ring with red goo all over his eyes. His pants were also all ripped up as Crews continued to stand tall over him as he crawled to the back…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Well? Ok. There were good points of this segment, but it was a bit all over the place. Waller and Jade, I actually thought did pretty fine with their material and it was Roxanne Perez who is still a bit rough on promos. I kinda want her to get out of this in-organic Jade feud just to see how she does in a fresh story. The Apollo Crews stuff is weird too. Was that supposed to be blood? It looked like Crews just squeezed ketchup in Waller’s eyes for some reason.
Joe Gacy, Rip Fowler, and Jagger Reid were berating the random red hooded man, who we still can’t see the face of…
John’s Thoughts: Maybe the red hooded man is the White Rabbit (don’t take me seriously on that one) . Either that or a Violent by Design/Control Your Narrative cultist reject.
5. Julius Creed vs. Duke Hudson. Barrett praised Hudson’s “Buns of steel”. Julius hit Duke with a few power slams, a cartwheel slam, and a basement lariat for the quick win.
Julius Creed defeated Duke Hudson via pinfall in 0:52.
An injured Brutus Creed ran out and gave Duke Hudson clubbing blows. Julius and Nile pulled Brutus away. Damon Kemp showed up on the NXT Crow’s Nest. Brutus demanded that Damon come over so he can kick Damon’s ass. Damon said it’s Julius’s turn. Julius said he’s his brother’s keeper and he can take that challenge. Damon said Julius may be Brutus’s keeper, but Brutus is Damon Kemp’s bitch.
Brutus said he just needs 5 minutes in the ring with Kemp. Julius said he’ll take any stipulation. Kamp said he has something good in mind. If Julius loses the match against Damon, Brutus will be gone from NXT. Brutus accepted on Julius’s behalf. Julius said he doesn’t want to be cold hearted, but when it calls for it, there is no one colder than Julius. He said he has ice in his veins. He said it isn’t good enough to pin or submit Kemp. He said that he wants Kemp in an Ambulance Match. Kemp said that sounds good and Roddy needs to make room for Julius. Julius yelled at Kemp to get his shit together, because Julius Creed will be waiting…
John’s Thoughts: All 3 of the men involved in this feud are WWE Developmental projects, but all three really shined in this promo segment. Damon Kemp in particular has really won me over in short order with some of the character work he’s doing. He was fairly mute in Diamond Mine (aside from a fun segment where he was being trained by Gallus. That and when he was the butt of all of Roddy’s jokes). Julius and Brutus were solid here too in their rage. Looks like Halloween Havoc is being filled with stipulation matches. This one has stakes though. I don’t think they’ll break apart the Creeds? But hey, maybe WWE has a curveball in their booking?
The show cut to JD McDonagh in a dark room watching footage of Ilja Dragunov and Bron Breakker. He said he can clearly see with an educated brain that Ilja and Bron are the same, both enduring pain to reach their goals. He said it’s not the biggest or strongest person coming out of Halloween Havoc, but the smartest. He said you can call him a vulture or hyena, but in the end he’ll be the next NXT Champion.
Hank Walker was celebrating with is fellow random security guards. The guards congratulated Hank on being a WWE wrestler. Quincy Elliot walked in and told Walker to not underestimate Quinn because he thinks he pissed off Quinn last week. Elliot also said he kinda likes Quinn’s tribal tattoos. Walker wondered who would get mad at someone as fun as Quincy…[c]
An American Red Cross PSA aired to support the victims of Hurricane Ian…
The show cut to an Axiom sitdown promo. He talked about how he’s facing Nathan Frazer next week for a spot in the North American Ladder match. He said fighting in a trilogy is like fights in the comics. He said this is different because it’s not comics, but real time. He said he expects this match to come down to the wire. He said instead of reading this story on the page, Axiom wants to write the final chapter…
Xyon Quinn was already in the ring. Hank Walker actually got entrance music this week. It was random country music…
6. Xyon Quinn vs. Hank Walker. Quinn tackled Hank early on. Hank came back with a few rough armdrags. Quinn came back with a spinebuster. Quinn rallied with methodical offense. Quinn got a two count off a back suplex. Hank came back with a lariat and showed off his dad bod by going shirtless. Hank gave Quinn a Thesz Press. Walker tossed Quinn in the corners and hit him with a corners splash. Quinn avoided a big boot. Quinn hit Walker with a flying forearm for the victory.
Xyon Quinn defeated Hank Walker via pinfall in 2:15.
Quinn did a Haka and teased attacking Walker some more. Quincy Elliot entered the ring and Xyon backed down. Elliot slapped Walker in the booty and danced to his theme…
Cameron Grimes showed up to convince the red hooded man not to follow Joe Gacy. Joe Gacy and the Dyad attacked Grimes with a trash can and left him lying. Gacy hugged the red hooded man and welcomed him into the Schism. ..
The Brawling Brutes were coaching Enofe and Blade and Briggs and Jensen on taking thing more seriously. They then left doing their “Banger” catchphrase…
The Brawling Brutes came out to their own new music instead of Sheamus’s theme…[c]
Kelly Kincaid tried to interview Bron Breakker, but “Big Body Javi” Javier Bernal showed up and said he’s a future NXT Champion. Javi called Bron dumb for accepting a triple threat. Breakker said that Javi’s stupidity is making him request a match against Javi for next week…
Axiom vs. Nathan Frazer, Wes Lee vs. Stacks were advertised for next week…
Alicia Taylor handled the formal championship in-ring introductions. Taylor was actually shown on-camera…
7. “Pretty Deadly” Kit Wilson and Elton Prince vs. “The Brawling Brutes” Butch and Ridge Holland for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Holland tossed around Prince and Wilson. Wilson tagged in and took a twisting brainbuster. Butch tagged in and dropkicked Wilson while in a double underhook by Holland. Butch worked on Wilson with his signature joint manipulation. Wilson tagged in Prince who put the boots to Butch. Butch came back with a lariat. The Brutes hit Wilson with tandem beats of the drum. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
Butch and Prince traded shortarm forearms which Butch getting the upper hand. Holland tagged in and hit Prince with shoulder tackles. Holland gave Wilson a body slam. Holland gave Prince a power slam onto Wilson. Prince rallied with European Uppercuts on Holland. Holland came back with a desperation lariat. Wilson put Holland in a sleeper. Sleeper staggered over to tag in Butch. Butch got a two count on Wilson after hitting him with a Sunset Flip.
[Overrun] Butch gave Wilson reverse curb stomps. Butch put Wilson in an elbow lock. Butch stomped on Wilson’s elbow and gave Prince an Asai Moonsault. Butch gave Prince a German Suplex. Prince avoided a butch knee. Wilson springboarded off Prince to hit Butch with a codebreaker. Wilson took down Butch with a lariat for a two count. Holland gave Prince a lariat to prevent PD from hitting Butch with Spilled Milk. Butch put Wilson in a Juji Gatame. Wilson rolled up Butch for a two count with assistance from Prince.
Butch hit Wilson with the Bitter End. Prince put Wilson’s leg on the bottom rope for the break. The Brawling Brutes hit Wilson with their finisher. Ludwig Kaizer and Giovani Vinci ran out to distract the Brutes. The Brutes dispatched Imperium. Pretty Deadly hit a distracted Holland with Spilled Milk for the win.
Pretty Deadly defeated The Brawling Brutes via pinfall in 12:27 to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships.
Enofe and Blade made their entrance while Briggs and Jensen showed up on the Crow’s Nest. NXT closed with Pretty Deadly holding up their tag belts…
John’s Thoughts: Good tag team match. I actually think that Butch and Holland have shown improvement in recent months. Butch has always been very good in the ring, but I thought that he started falling into a repetitive template. The bulldog Butch act has caused him to change up his moveset a bit and freshen it. Holland for the longest time has been stagnant in terms of his in-ring work, but it seems like he’s finding new life now that he’s playing a fresh babyface-ish character. Yeah, they went above and beyond to protect Butch and Holland, but Pretty Deadly are chicken heels and the Brutes forwarded their feud with Imperium.
The changes weren’t earth shatteringly different, but there were noticeable changes. We’ve been seeing changes in NXT since Paul Levesque took control over creative, but it was tough to notice them in NXT because the color-splat graphic design served as a reminder of the lame NXT 2.0 rebrand. Them overhauling the graphics did freshen things up. Here’s hoping they continue to make changes gradually while also keeping some of the character development and worldbuilding that 2.0 did better than 1.0. What NXT doesn’t have to worry about now is the main roster yeeting wrestlers away at a moment’s notice. In fact, NXT can now yeet random main roster members as we’ve been seeing Shawn do. It helps that Shawn and Hunter have such a symbiotic relationship and can always help each other out.
I can’t imagine watching Choo vs Legend and wondering why Legend is being seen on TV when Choo is the absolute worst combination of indie garbage and terrible Vince era gimmick.
Nearly everything else tonight has been good. Pretty Deadly need to be on the main roster asap. Same with Melo, Trick, and Waller.
Wendy Choo is ready for the main roster.
I think the red-hooded figure is a woman, and it’s Nikki Cross.
Poor Duke Hudson