By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Taped December 14, 2022 from Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired December 27, 2022 on USA Network
[Hour One] The Creed Brothers and JD McDonagh cut promos from different parts of the WWE Performance Center. Both parties cut holiday themed promos while also taunting their opponent in the next match…
Vic Joseph and Booker T were on commentary. Alicia Taylor was the ring announcer…
1. Julius Creed (w/Brutus Creed) vs. JD McDonagh. Both men started out at a stalemate during the initial chain wrestling sequences, with JD claiming that Julius was doing something dirty. JD then slapped Julius which fired up Julius and causing him to slap him. Julius put JD in a side headlock. After both men ran the ropes, Julius hit JD with a hip toss and Kata Gatame takedown for a two count. Joseph talked about Julius being one of the greatest amateur wrestlers to come out of Duke University (which is true).
JD recovered and put Julius in a wristlock. Julius escaped with a springboard flip. JD dumped Julius to ringside. Julius yanked JD on his shoulders at ringside. Julius said “Sorry Vic” and flapjacked JD on the announce table. JD recovered and shoved Julius into the ringpost. JD grabbed Julius by both hands and slammed him several times, chest first, into the ringpost. The show cut to Picture in Picture.[c]
Random commercial note, Sasha Banks was advertised for a USA game show coming sometime in the future.
Back from break, JD went for a crossbody, but Julius caught JD with one hand and hit JD with a backbreaker. Julius and JD traded kick variations. JD spiked Julius with a nice Spanish Fly. JD gave Julius clubbing blows which Julius fought through with a right hand. JD caught Julius with an enzuigiri. JD hit Julius with a Brainbuster for a two count. JD went to the top rope, but Julius tightrope lept on the top rope like a cat. JD shoved Julius off the top rope. JD missed a moonsault. Julius hit JD with a Cartwheel Driver and his Basement Lariat finisher for the win.
Julius Creed defeated JD McDonagh via pinfall in 9:51.
Veer Mahan and Sanga, Indus Sher, got on the apron with mics. Veer hyped that they’re finally facing The Creeds at New Years Evil. Veer said they will destroy the Creeds on January 10th…
John’s Thoughts: A great technical match with Julius showing some really good singles potential here. It helps that nobody has a bad match against JD McDonagh (who again, has been NXT’s 2022 In-ring workrate MVP despite winning half his matches). Despite taking the loss, JD has proven to absorb losses like nothing and get his heat back. Julius on the other hand, continues to show that he has the potential to be a big singles player on the main roster (but I wouldn’t rush that because the Creeds are great as a team and their youth means they can have a whole tag team run before sending both prospects on big singles careers). Looking forward to the Creeds finally mixing things up with Indus Sher.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Tony D’Angelo and Channing Lorenzo. Tony talked about how he’s going to win the North American title on the last show of the year. McKenzie asked Tony about Dijak possibly interfering. Stacks claimed that Tony has nothing to worry about…
Cora Jade made her entrance for the next match…[c]
A Schism promo aired where all the Schism members taunted Edris Enofe, Malik Blade, and Odyssey Jones, who are their opponents later in the show….
Wendy Choo ran out to the ring and attacked Jade…
2. Cora Jade vs. Wendy Choo. Choo beat up Jade initially. Jade grabbed a kendo stick, but Choo ducked the swing and tossed Jade back in the ring for a two count. Choo hit Jade with a dropkick. Jade got a moment to recover after a backbreaker. Jade hit Choo with a slingshot double stomp for a two count. Jade caught Choo with a few elbow drops for a two count. Jade kept Choo under control with an armbar.
Choo used elbows to escape. Choo and Jade traded forearms. Choo won the rally. Jade surprised Choo with a twisting knee strike. Jade used a Full Nelson to slam Choo into the corner. Choo reversed a corner knee into a sitout Bomb for a two count. Choo rallied with strikes on Jade and hit Jade with a Belly to Belly toss. Choo hit Jade with a cartwheel elbow and a “sleepy” crossbody for a two count.
Jade hit Choo with a Full Nelson Drop for a two count. Jade told Choo “this is my company”. Jade kicked out of Choo’s small package. Choo slammed Jade’s face into the 2nd buckle. Choo hit Jade with a Full Nelson Slam. Choo hit Jade with a Vader Bomb for the clean win.
Wendy Choo defeated Cora Jade via pinfall in 6:10.
Choo taunted Jade from a distance…
Ikemen Jiro cut a half english and half Japanese promo about how important his jacket is to his identity. He said he’s going to beat Scrypts and take his jacket back so everyone can smile…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A good match with plenty of action and given just the right amount of time without dragging. The finish surprises me a bit. I thought this would have been a good time to give Jade a win to help elevate her up the card. With Mandy Rose out of WWE, there’s a vacuum at the top of the heel depth chart for a top heel. With Jade’s recent improvement as a heel, I’d pick her as a top candidate for the role. I also think that Choo needs to take a loss and get repackage because I feel like they’ve gotten as much as they can out of this weird child character. I say this because Choo is almost like the JD McDonagh of the women’s division in that she’s usually the one to get the best matches out of wrestlers. Can we at least bring back Mei Ying? That was cooler than this.
Josh Briggs was psyching up Fallon Henley in the locker room in preparation for her match where her parents’ bar is on the line. Brooks Jensen was distracted putting on the dress shirt that Kiana James gave him. Briggs asked Jensen which side he was on? Jensen said he’s on “her” side. Fallon wondered which “her”? Jensen said he meant Fallon…
Scrypts (f.k.a. Reggie) surprised Jiro from behind by making his trampoline entrance behind Jiro…
3. Ikemen Jiro vs. Scrypts. Jiro dumped Scrypts to ringside and hit him with a Tope Con Hilo. Jiro caught Scripts with some ground and pound palm strikes. Scrypts backdropped Jiro. Jiro went for a Sunset flip but Scripts blocked it, did a backflip, and hit Jiro with a front dropkick. Scrypts hit Jiro with a few dropkicks. Scrypts put Jiro in a cravate.
Jiro escaped the cravate and gave Scrypts a backdrop. Jiro hit Scrypts with palm strikes. Jiro hit Scrypts with a running knee for a two count. Scrypts hit Jiro with a standing corkscrew crossbody. Jiro dodged a standing Shooting Star Press. Jiro caught Scrypts with a gamengiri. Jiro dragged Scrypts to the top rope. Scrypts shoved Jiro off the top rope and hit him wiht the Molly Go Round for the win.
Scrypts defeated Ikemen Jiro via pinfall in 4:14.
Scrypts took Jiro’s jacket and laid it on the fallen Jiro. Scrypts then went to the top of the ramp to do his weird cursive writing hand thing…
The show cut to an Oro Mensah vignette where he talks about how he loves the night life…
Lyra Valkyria was hyped for after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A pretty decent match from both Jiro and Reggie/Scrypts. Scrypts did improve his ring gear. Can’t give a final judgement for it, because it’s just better than whatever crap he wore when he debuted, but lets see if this grows on me (What stands out as a negative now in his gear is those foam looking flaps on his cheeks). This also might have been one of the longer matches I’ve seen Scrypts wrestle because when he was on Raw, most of his matches were under a minute, involved no selling, and ended via rollup. Scrypts did well here and if he can tighten up his offense and work longer matches, he might have the potential to be the new John Morrison. Jiro surprised me a bit here too. It was refreshing to see him wrestle more of a stiff style and not try to integrate his Jacket offense all over the place. Maybe he should drop the whole jacket gimmick and just rely on his natural charisma.
An Alba Fyre promo video aired. She talked about how she is stronger despite getting misted and her hand broken. She said her ancestors are stronger than Dawn’s spirits. She hyped up taking down Dawn next week…
Lash Legend was already in the ring. Lyra Valkyria got a televised entrance. Her entrance was improved because they allowed the fog and video wall to give a cool rainy ambiance. Sadly, they decided to do that horrible rain Instagram filter when she posed in the ring…
4. Lyra Valkyria vs. Lash Legend. Lash womanhandled Lyra around the ring using her power. Lash hit Lyra with an elbow drop to the back. Lyra recovered and took down Lash with an armdrag. Lyra hit Lash with a wrecking ball dropkick. Lash slammed Lyra onto the apron. Lash gave Lyra a chop to the chest. Lyra tried to rally back but Lash hit her with a backbreaker. Lash missed a cartwheel into a moonsault.
Lyra came back with kicks and flying lariats. Lyra hit Lash with a tornado DDT and a reverse roundhouse. Lyra did her pose on the top rope and hit Lash with a splash for the win.
Lyra Valkyria defeated Lash Legend via pinfall in 3:29.
John’s Thoughts: Decent showcase for Lyra. I was afraid seeing Lash back in the ring, but they’ve kept her off TV enough that I’m hopeful that she’s been getting training while off TV. She definitely had her best match in WWE so far despite a slip up here and there (I do like her integrating the trash talk, and she needs to do more of that). Lyra looked good. She has a good look, good gimmick, and smooth fundamentals. Two things they need to fix. Get rid of that crappy rain instagram filter during the entrance. They got rid of most of it, but they felt the need to add it to her ring pose (we’ve seen in the past via Karrion Kross that you can do a lot with a frame rate filter and fog machine). 2nd thing, that finish didn’t look great. Maybe it didn’t come off like she wanted it to, but it looked like she just fell off the top rope as opposed to leaping in the air.
Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne were sitting in their VIP Lounge area backstage. They talked about how they had a good 2022. Jacy talked about how they are still the Attraction of NXT. Gigi said people keep writing them off, but they’ve reached superstardom. Jacy said they will rebuild, reconstruct, and return to glory. Jayne said they need to take down the woman who took down their empire, Roxanne Perez…
The Schism made their entrance for the next match…[c]
Vic Joseph and Booker T checked in from the commentary table where Vic hyped up Vengeance Day. Vic sent the show to McKenzie Mitchell and Bron Breakker backstage. McKenzie reminded Breakker about the kevlar vest segment last week. Breakker said he fell for Waller’s trap, but he’s better now.
He said he will call out Waller in the ring. McKenzie said Waller wasn’t here but he left a video message. They cut to Waller’s video where Waller talked about how he’s getting ready in Sydney, Australia now, his home. He said there isn’t a better view in the world. Waller talked about how great the Sydney Operahouse was too. They then cut to him at the beach. Waller talked about training with some of the great Australian athletes.
He said he’s taking the title back to Australia. Waller said he’ll be back in America next Tuesday to sign the contract on his Waller Effect talk show. Breakker picked up the TV he was watching the segment on and slammed it to the ground…
John’s Thoughts: Great stuff from Waller. A very unique way to cut and execute a taunt promo. Waller in particular has proven that he’s main roster ready in terms of both in ring and delivering promos. That was good stuff. Breakker has also really grown in this and his last feud. He’s talking in his natural voice. He’s also getting more involved in the story too as opposed to treating his opponents as opponents-of-the-week.
[Hour Two] The babyrace trio of the next match made their entrance…
5. “The Schism” Joe Gacy, Jagger Reid, and Rip Fowler (w/Ava Raine) vs. Edris Enofe, Malik Blade, and Odyssey Jones. Blade rolled up Gacy early on. Reid tagged in and Blade hit him with quick strikes. Enofe tagged in and was shoved to the heel corner. Fowler tagged in and took down Enofe with a lariat. Fowler worked on Enofe with methodical offense and pin attempts. Enofe caught Fowler with a dropkick after running the ropes. Odyssey tagged in and hit Fowler with a shoulder strike.
Jones hit Fowler with a cannonball senton. Blade tagged in and did a splash off the shoulders of Jones. All six men faced off in the center of the ring heading into regular commercial.[c]
Fowler was working on Blade with Methodical Offense. Ava Raine walked up to Booker T and told him to stare at her shirt. She said this represents the way of life “Four roots, one tree”. Booker looked confused.
John’s Thoughts: Booker is just worried at what Papa Rock would do to him for staring at his daughter’s chest. I kid I kid.
Blade managed to weave around and tagged in Odyssey Jones for the hot tag. Jones hit Reed and Fowler with corners tackles like a bowling ball. Enofe hit Reid with a top rope elbow. Gacy broke up the pin. Jones shrugged off about 6 or 7 suicide dives from all the Schism members. Finally Gacy took him to the ground. Blade took down Flower with a dive. Enofe hit Reid with a springobard knee. Gacy tagged in and put Enofe in a Electric Chair Hold.
Fowler put Blade in an Electric Chair Hold. Fowler hit Enofe and Blade with a double Doomsday Device. The Dyad hit Enofe with a double Codebreaker. Gacy hit Enofe with a handstand lariat to give him the win.
The Schism defeated Edris Enofe, Malik Blade, and Odyssey Jones via pinfall in 7:43 of on-air time.
Kia James and Fallon Henley were shown heading to the ring from different parts of the performance center…[c]
John’s Thoughts: That was a pretty sweet six person tag from everyone involved. A nice bounceback for The Schism that has me looking forward to them wrestle down the road (Schism vs. New Day?). Odyssey Jones had his best showing in WWE to date. He didn’t have to be relied upon to carry out a long match, but his fire looked amazing. Him shrugging off those Suicide Dives was a fun spot and he was good in his hot tag sequences. They might consider putting him in a tag team to take advantage of this great hot tag ability (and he definitely has the potential to be a singles main eventer if he develops right). That finishing sequence by the Schism was cool to see. Nice tandem offense.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Trick Williams and Carmello Hayes. She noted Trick is facing Axiom next week while Hayes is facing Crews. Trick said he’s going to send Axiom straight to Comic Con with a knee. Melo said Crews is standing in his way and Crews can either get out of the way or get moved out of the way. Melo said the next NXT Champion is not Apollo but Melo.
Entrances for the Battle for the Bar took place. Booker T said that Kiana James is “the epitome of being a hawty biscotti”…
6. Fallon Henley (w/Josh Briggs, Brooks Jensen) vs. Kiana James for Henley’s Family Bar. James worked on Henley with Akido wrist slams. Henley came back with wrist slams of her own. Henley took down James with a running shove, Atomic Drop, and reverse dropkick. James blocked the baseball slide punch with the ring apron. Henley punched her anyway after James peeked over the apron. James planted Henley with a flapjack. James tackled Henley and worked on her with methodical offense.
Booker talked about how she thinks that James is trying to make Henley’s bar less divey and trashy. Booker also talked about how James could improve the quality of life in the town by drawing better residents (what?). Henley rallied back with a series of right hand strikes. Henley hit James with a Tornado Facebuster. Jensen continued to act conflicted with Briggs calling him out on it. James hit Henley with a single handed gutbuster for a two count.
Henley blocked the 401k with a dropkick to the knee. Henley hit James with a Shining Wizard for the win.
Fallon Henley defeated Kiana James via pinfall in 5:11 to retain the Henley Family Bar.
The replay showed that Brooks Jensen didn’t look pleased at Henley hitting James with a Shining Wizard…
John’s Thoughts: A good match while it lasted. I would like to see both women run this back down the road with about 5 more minutes because I think both women can tell a better story with longer time. Henley has been a workhorse of the division and James has become a breakout star with her consistent improvement and her wonderful showcase at the Iron Survivor Match. The former Tyler Breeze student is a great athlete and wrestler, if only she didn’t have the Businesswoman from Brazzers Gimmick. As much as this whole Bar story is fabricated and bad, Books Jensen was good at ringside during the match. I am intrigued a bit of him selling being torn between his friend and his crush.
The show cut to McKenzie Mitchell interviewing NXT Women’ Champion Roxanne Perez. Preez said it still feels like a dream, but the honeymoon phase is going to end. She said just as quick as she won the title, she can lose it any time. Perez said most of the women in the locker room are future hall of famers and she’s not there yet. She said she’s going to fight and do her best to defend the championship…
The Drew Gulak Invitational was hyped for after the break…[c]
A Isla Dawn promo vignette aired. She was making more “poison” and talking about how she’s trying to draw the evil out of Fyre. She said becoming evil will be good for Fyre…
John’s Thoughts: Wait, Did Malakai Black also teach Isla Dawn how to make evil corruption poison mist? (Ironically, while they were dating at the time a few years ago, Malakai Black/Tommy End was the wrestling trainer for Isla Dawn which they referenced in NXT UK). Hopefully Dawn’s poison doesn’t take a year to kick in.
Drew Gulak and Hank Walker were in the ring with three unnamed indie wrestlers. Gulak had a headset mic. Gulak talked about teaching a lesson and he asked Hank to watch. Gulak called “Luka” over who shook Gulak’s hand. Gulak demostrated a chickenwing on Luka and thanked Luka for the help. Gulak talked about how important it was to let go of the hold after the tag. Gulak trained with “Tavion” the amateur wrestler.
Both men had a amateur exhibition. Gulak dominated with an Octopus Guard and heel hook to get the tag. The third man was NXT Level Up’s Miles Borne. Both men traded lockups. Bourne managed to slam Gulak to the mat. Gulak got up and put Bourne in a Dragon Sleeper for the tapout. Drew wouldn’t let go of the hold and Hank had to get Gulak off of Bourne. While Gulak was coaching Hank, Charlie Dempsey (son of William Regal) made his entrance with a mic.
Dempsey said if Gulak wants to step up to a real wrestler, he can give Gulak a run for his money. Gulak noted that Dempsey wasn’t invited. Hank played peacemaker. Dempsey proposed a match with Hank next week. Gulak agreed on Hank’s behalf and said that Hank would be ready…[c]
An ad aired for John Cena’s WWE return this Friday on Smackdown…
Vic Joseph hyped the following segments for next week: Grayson Waller’s talk show with Bron Breakker as a guest, Alba Fyre vs. Isla Dawn in an Extreme Resolution Match, Axiom vs. Trick Williams, and Carmelo Hayes vs. Apollo Crews.
Entrances for the North American Championship match aired. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring championship introductions. The match started with ten minutes left at the top of the hour (with 8 minutes allotted for overrun)…
7. Wes Lee vs. Tony D’Angelo (w/Channing Lorenzo) for the NXT North American Championship. Tony shoved down Lee in the initial collar and elbow lockups. Lee came back with palms to the gut. Tony came back with a release Belly to Belly followed by a Bridged German Suplex for a two count. Lee held on to the top rope to block a German Suplex. Lee flipped over Tony and hit Tony with a dropkick. Lee did a handstand into a huracanrana. Lee worked on Tony with boxing punches.
Stacks, a la John Kreese, told Tony to “Sweep the Leg”. Tony went for a few chop blocks, but Lee used his shoulder to block it. Tony managed to escape a headlock and went at Wes with gut punches. Lee dumped Tony to ringside and hit him with a suicide heading into picture-in-picture.[c]
Lee had Tony in a grounded headlock. Tony got up and shoved Lee to the mat. Tony put the boots and hands to Lee. Tony put Lee in a backbreaker stretch. Tony took down Lee with a Shortarm Lariat and elbow for a two count. Tony dominated Lee with methodical strikes and holds.
[Overrun] Lee used right elbows to fight out of a Deathlock. D’Angelo came back with two suplexes to the knee. Tony hit Lee with Hockey Punches and gave Lee a front suplex on the announce table. Joseph noted that Tony might be targeting Lee’s knee as revenge for taking out his knee. Booker also noted that it could handcap Lee’s high flying. Lee reversed a Fisherman Suplex into a DDT.
Both men slowly got to their feet. Lee gave Tony basement dropkicks to the knee. Lee gave Tony a CQC combo and a back elbow. Lee continued to work on Tony with CQC. Tony blocked the ten punches in the corner with a Release Power Bomb. Tony went to the top rope. As Stacks was rallying Tony, Stacks was dragged to the back with Dijak showing up out of nowhere to put Stacks in a sleeper. Wes Lee took down Tony with a Gamengiri. Lee hit Tony with the Mars Attack Kick for the win.
Wes Lee defeated Tony D’Angelo via pinfall in 14:49 to retain the NXT North American Championship.
Wes Lee posed with the title to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: A good match with intriguing interference from Dijak. This was Tony’s first extended match back from his big injury and he looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. Despite having so little pro wrestling experience, this guy looks like a seasoned indie wrestler in the ring with how fast he’s picked up becoming a pro wrestling brawler. Here’s hoping they continue to use him in a singles capacity because his momentum was halted when Cole Karter was cut from the roster and Tony was hidden in tag team matches. Dijak attacking the heel adds for good intrigue. I looked like Dijak was going to be a heel coming in, but he may end up being a outlaw tweener, which can work if done right.
Solid episode of NXT from beginning to end. Good matches throughout the show with good development of feuds. I talked about how it feels like Raw and Smackdown are coasting these days, NXT hasn’t taken the foot off the gas in terms of pushing their programs and characters forward. Maybe Papa Paul should look at Uncle Shawn’s method of focusing on character development? If those forces can combine, Raw and Smackdown can move up to a new level. Someone make these DX guys do a Fusion Dance. Anyways, I’ll be back in a bit with my audio review for the Dot Net Members and Patreon Patrons. Have a Happy Holiday and Happy New Year. Stay safe, and play safe!