1/3 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of Carmelo Hayes vs. Apollo Crews, Alba Fyre vs. Isla Dawn in an Anything Goes match, Axiom vs. Trick Williams, Charlie Dempsey vs. Hank Walker, The Grayson Waller Effect with NXT Champion Bron Breakker, final build to New Year’s Evil

By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

Live from Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired January 3, 2023 on USA Network

[Hour One] The show started of with a 2022 highlight video package…

Vic Joseph and Booker T were on commentary. Alicia Taylor was the ring announcer…

Entrances for the opening match took place…

1. Carmelo Hayes (w/Trick Williams) vs. Apollo Crews. Crews dominated early on with shoulder blocks and a dropkick on Melo. Melo came right back with a springboard lariat. Melo hit Apollo with a draping springboard reverse legdrop. Crews rallied back with right hands. Crews planted Melo with a delayed vertical suplex that lasted about 10 seconds. Crews quickly followed up with a slingshot swanton.

Crews got a two count after a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Melo tried to rally back with strikes but Crews regained control after a few chained German Suplexs. Crews dumped Melo to ringside and hit Melo with a standing Moonsault from the apron. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Melo was dominating back from break, with the help of Trick providing distractions at ringside. Vic noted that Melo was targeting Apollo’s left knee during his stretch on offense. Apollo got a moment of respite after escaping a half crab and hitting Melo with an enzuigiri. Apollo worked on Melo with stiff strikes while selling the left knee. Apollo hit Melo with a backstabber and flying lariat. Crews dragged Melo up and hit him with a Superplex for a two count.

Melo reversed a Power Bomb into an armdrag. Both men traded pump kicks. Melo hit Apollo with a Final Cut Suplex. Apollo dodged Melo’s leg drop finisher. Apollo hit Melo with a top rope Blockbuster for a two count. Trick dragged Melo away from a strike from Crews. Crews dropped Trick off the apron. Crews hit Melo with a Military Press. Crews missed a standing moonsault and landed on the injured knee. Melo hit Crews with a Codebreaker and the Nothing But Net leg drop for the victory.

Carmelo Hayes defeated Apollo Crews via pinfall in 14:28. 

Axiom attacked both heels after the match to clear the ring. Joseph noted that it looks like Axiom wants his match with Trick right now…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Good television match with a methodical but compelling pace. Cool to see Melo get a win over the main roster star without overbooking. I wouldn’t mind seeing them run this back down the road with more stakes. Not sure where they go from here because I don’t see a real reason for Crews to get an immediate rematch so I wonder where they go from here. I assume they’re going to try to keep him occupied until his presumed pursuit of the main title at Vengeance or Mania Weekend.

The commercial joined the match in progress…

2. Axiom vs. Trick Williams (w/Carmelo Hayes). Trick went for a chop, but Axiom dodged it and returned the favor. Trick came back with a lariat. Axiom springboarded off Trick for a dropkick. Axiom caught Trick with a crossbody. Trick kicked out of the pin, but Axiom went right into a Juji Gatame. Trick hit Axiom with a high kick and swinging backbreaker for a two count. Axiom blocked a cyclone kick with a haymaker punch. Axiom hit Trick with the Golden Ratio Superkick for the victory.

Axiom defeated Trick Williams via pinfall in 3:18. 

Trick held on to Axiom’s leg to allow Melo to nail him with a lariat. The heels put the boots to Axiom. Apollo Crews ran in the ring to chase off the heels…

John’s Thoughts: Good match while it lasted. I’m happy to see WWE not rushing Trick in the ring. They limit him a lot, which isn’t a bad thing if he’s not ready for full on television matches. I have been impressed by what little we’ve seen from him (especially in the few tag team matches we saw him). As it was in NXT UK, Shawn Michaels seems to be very high on the former A-Kid. I’m intrigued to see his upward potential, given that NXT is both protecting him and presenting him at a high level in recent months. I can’t wait until the eventual Axiom vs. Dragon Lee match that’s sure to happen…

Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston continued to make Pretty Deadly hunt for WWE Memorabilia in exchange for a tag title shot. The Schsim showed up and New Day clowned on them. Gacy talked about about how The Schism lean on him like Big E and Woods lean on Kofi for advice. Kofi challenged Gacy to a match. Gacy said it would be an honor to defeat a former WWE World Champion and the best WWE Tag Team wrestler of all time…

Vic Joseph sent the show to a Dijak segment. Dijak had kidnapped Stacks and cuffed him to a chair. The camera had a 90s film grain filter. Dijak set up a tape recorder to tape his interrogation. Stacks said all he did was take The Don’s orders.

Dijak said Stacks is looking at the face of fear in NXT. Dijak punched Stacks in the gut. Stacks said if Dijak is a man then he should face him in the ring. Dijak agreed, took out the tape in the recorder, and put the cuff key on the table for Stacks to unlock himself…

Dijak made his entrance to the Performance Center ring. Dijak’s entrance now has a black and white filter…[c]

Footage from “earlier today” was shown. Drew Gulak was shown coaching Hank Walker and Chase University “students”. Andre Chase showed up and said he didn’t respect that Gulak was teaching his students. This would set up a match between Gulak and Chase for later in the show.

3. Dijak vs. Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo (w/Tony D’Angelo). Stacks went right at Dijak with strikes. Stacks dominated the match with aggression while selling his injuries from Dijak’s torture session. Joseph noted that it looked like Stacks had a rib injury. Dijak dominated after hitting Stacks in the gut with a knee. Stacks tried to come back with right boots, but Dijak gave Stacks boots to the injured gut. Dijak hit Stacks with a swinging toss for a two count.

Stacks sidestepped Dijak and rallied at Dijak with corner lariats. Dijak came right back with a Yakuza Kick for a two count. Dijak tried to toss Stacks again, but Stacks reversed it into a rollup for a two count. Dijak used a suplex to put Stacks in position for the Feast Your Eyes (Burning Hammer GTS) for the victory.

Dijak defeated Channing Lorenzo via pinfall in 3:43. 

Dijak went for another Feast Your Eyes, but Tony D’Angelo gave Dijak right hands to dump him to ringside. Tony took a mic and said that Dijak has half the heart that Stacks has. Tony challenged Dijak to a match at New Years Evil…

John’s Thoughts: A solid match. On one hand, I would like to see Stacks in longer matches someday. He’s good from what little we see from him and we know the guy has indie experience. He’s just saddled with the lowly goon gimmick that limits his upward potential. On the other hand though, I’m surprised they gave him so much offense on Dijak (yes, they explained it well by having Stacks trying to get revenge on Dijak, but Dijak should be a bit more dominant in his return to NXT). This feud is a bit off. Yes, Dijak is seemingly a tweener, but the tweener vs. heel matchup between him and Tony D is a bit odd.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Oro Mensah and asked him what we should expect from him in 2023? Before he could really get into his promo, Big Body Javi, Javier Bernal showed up and tried to sell people on his Christmas Album. McKenzie said that Christmas was two weeks ago. Javi said only regular people sell Christmas albums before Christmas. He said the songs on it were the “12 Days of Javi”, “we wish you a Big Body Christmas”, and “Feliz Javidad”. Oro said Javi won’t be singing after facing him later…

The Mandy Rose-less Toxic Attraction duo of Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin made their entrance in street clothes…[c]

Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne cut a promo in the ring about how dominant Toxic Attraction have been and will continue to be. Jacy talked about how their one target now is Roxanne Perez. Indi Hartwell cut off their promo. Indi said she’s sick about hearing about Toxic Attraction. Indi said she thought Roxanne Perez ended Toxic Attraction when she won the title. Cora Jade appeared in the stands to cut off Indi, saying that nobody cares about Indi Hartwell. Nikkita Lyons appeared at a different part of the stands to cut off Jade.

Lyons said that Jade deserves a kick to the face. Lyons was cut of by Zoey Stark. Stark mocked Lyons for posting on TikTok and showing her assets on Instagram. Wendy Choo cut off Stark to follow suit. Thea Hail appeared and said it was time for a “Girl Fight!!!”. Alba Fyre tried to join the fight, but was attacked from behind by Isla Dawn. The NXT Women’s roster ran out to brawl. The camera showed that Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre brawled to the parking lot.

The brawl stopped when Roxanne Perez appeared on the crow’s nest to announce a 20 woman battle royal for number one contendership to the women’s title. After the announcement, the women  went back to brawling with referees trying to break it apart. The camera cut to Fyre and Dawn continuing to brawl at the parking lot. Fyre tossed Dawn against a trash can and garage door. Joseph wondered if the match was starting now?…[c]

John’s Thoughts: The promo started well enough, but then it got a little bit stagey once the mass interruptions started. This segment probably would have been better if it kicked off the show in media res to make it feel a bit more organic. What’s also odd is they are really going out of their way to not mention Mandy Rose.  One bit of praise though, my favorite part of the segment was Thea Hail yelling “Girl fight!”.

[Hour Two] Fyre and Dawn continued to brawl in the Performance Center warehouse with the referee saying that the match is supposed to happen in the ring. Fyre body slammed Dawn on Bron Breakker’s giant foam X. Referees showed up, but couldn’t stop Dawn and Fyre from brawling. Dawn rolled away to avoid getting hit by a bat. Dawn gained control after chucking a trash can at Fyre. Dawn tried to taunt Fyre with a steel pipe, which Fyre grabbed and jabbed Dawn in the gut with.

Dawn and Fyre brawled on top of stacked office tables and equipment. Fyre gave Dawn a headbutt to drop her to a conveniently set up set of chairs (and they gave us an overhead camera shot). Fyre put Dawn on an office chair and punched her off it. The referees completely suck at their jobs because all they’re doing is yelling “don’t do that Alba, please stop”. Fyre put Dawn in a wheelbarrow and wheeled her over to the ring. The referee called for the bell once both women agreed…

4. Alba Fyre vs. Isla Dawn in an Extreme Resolutions Match. Dawn gave Fyre a suplex into the buckle for a two count. Dawn no sold strikes to the chest. Fyre got Dawn to her knees with a throat chop. Both women traded counters, leading to Fyre hitting Dawn with a Superkick. Fyre hit Dawn with a Gory Bomb for a two count. Fyre hit Dawn in the back with a chair. Fyre put the chair on top of Dawn.

Fyre was about to go for a Swanton, but Dawn chucked a chair at Fyre to drop Fyre from the top rope. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Dawn was working on Fyre’s digits with a wrench. Joseph noted that it sounds like Dawn is speaking to an invincible person. Fyre came back with a front suplex. Fyre hit Dawn with a PK. Dawn reversed a PK into a rollup for a two count. Fyre sent Dawn to ringside with a superkick. Fyre hit Dawn with a low Suicide Dive. Fyre set up a table at ringside, which fired up the crowd of course.

Dawn escaped a Gory Bomb attempt and shoved Fyre into steel steeps. Dawn crushed Fyre’s hand in a toolbox. Fyre pulled her hand away when Dawn tried to smash it with a hammer. Dawn went for an Eye of the Hurricane, but Fyre gave Dawn a headbutt. Fyre put Dawn on the table. Dawn was shown smiling. Fyre (barely hit) Dawn with a tightrope Swanton Bomb. Fyre made up for the miss by putting Dawn through the table with a Gory Bomb. Fyre dragged Dawn into the ring for the win.

Alba Fyre defeated Isla Dawn via pinfall in 9:37 (closer to 15 minutes if you count the pre match brawl). 

The replay showed that Isla Dawn was not only smiling, but she also could have escaped and seemingly wanted to take the move…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Grayson Waller who bragged about his talk show. He then taunted Bron Breakker a bit. Waller ended the interview by barking in the face of McKenzie (to mock Bron). McKenzie said “ew”…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A really good PG-Hardcore match. The pre-match brawl really added to the match to make it not come off as cookie-cutter. Dawn doesn’t lose much here as the hardcore stipulation does protect her. I also have to say that I’m really impressed with Isla Dawn’s new repackage, and she’s also gotten way better in the ring since I saw her a few years ago on NXT UK. The finish was almost a botch, but Fyre did a good job making up for it with her 2nd Finishing Move.

Sanga and Veer Mahan cut a promo. Veer talked about how he was the first MLB player from India (also having a Disney movie about him starring Jon Hamm which was related to his MLB journey). Sanga talked about how he’s a Bollywood actor. Veer said while they are famous in the most populated country in the world, they don’t get respect in America.

The promo then cut to The Creeds who talked about wanting to beat Indus Sher. The B-roll footage showed the doctors not clearing The Creeds. Sanga said they could have beat The Creeds before, but in order to get real respect they have to beat them at 100%. Veer said next week’s match will be a mauling…

Oro Mensah was making his entrance, but he was jumped by Javier Bernal…

5. Oro Mensah vs. “Big Body Javi” Javier Bernal. Javi dominated for the opening minutes of the match. Mensah rallied back with chops and a sliding sweep. Javi came back with a lariat and DDT. Oro escaped a Fireman carry with elbows. Oro hit Javi with a backdrop. Mensah hit Javi with a springboard moonsault and Liger Kick. Mensah choked Javi against the rope. Mensah hit Javi with a suplex and corner spinning heel kick for the victory.

Oro Mensah defeated Javier Bernal via pinfall in 3:48. 

Josh Briggs, Brooks Jensen, and Fallon Henley were in the NXT break room clelebrating Henley winning off her bar debt from Kiana James. Kiana James showed up to congratulate Henley for the win. James said even though she thinks the property would be good for condos, she agrees to pay off Henley’s debts. James then walked up to Jensen to tell him to “text me later”…

Andre Chase, Duke Hudson, and Thea Hail made their entrance…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Decent showcase for Mensah. Here’s hoping the clubber gimmick works out for him because he was a bit vanilla when they first tried to introduce him last year. Someone who really stands out these days is Javier Bernal. The guy gets more TV time than almost everyone on the show, even though he’s NXT’s designated jobber. I can’t blame them though because he does make the most of his TV and in-ring time. I’m curious as to his in-ring experience. I know he came into WWE as a College Football Running Back, but the guy’s actually smooth in the ring like a seasoned indie wrestler. His on-air chemistry with McKenzie Mitchell adds for some good comedy. The guy also reminds me a lot of how WWE used Heath Slater from back in the day, which isn’t a bad thing.

A random twitter video from “NXT_Annonoymous” was shown where the person was creeping on a discussion between Kayden Carter, Katana Chance, and a WWE trainer. A female voice said that “everybody has secrets, what’s yours?”…

John’s Thoughts: Female Scrypts? Between Scrypts and that random dude from a few years ago who threw doo doo all over the walls (this actually happened in real life), WWE  really needs to do a better job at creeper control at the PC.

Drew Gulak and Hank Walker made their entrance. The picture-in-picture showed Charlie Dempsey’s arm in a sling. Joseph noted that Dempsey was scheduled for a match against Hank Walker, but he isn’t medically cleared…

6. Andre Chase vs. Drew Gulak (w/Hank Walker). Gulak put Chase in a crossface chickenwing. Chase broke it with a rope break. Booker said he likes to call Gulak a “Hooker” because Gulak is good at hooking arms (ok Book). Chase hit Gulak with an armdrag and said it was a teachable moment. Gulak hit Chase with a Back Suplex and then put Chase in an armbar. The picture-in-picture showed Dempsey taking off the sling and dropping it on the ground. Dempsey walked out of the locker room.

Gulak and Chase continued to trade chain holds. Chase hit Gulak with a Basement Dropkick and Russian Legsweep. Chase hit Gulak with Chase U boots. Chase put Gulak in a Figure Four Leg Lock. Gulak quickly got to the ropes for the break. Thea Hail was doing her Scrappy Doo routine in the face of Gulak. Gulak rallied with right hands. Gulak body slammed Chase into the bottom rope. Gulak put Chase in the Gu-Lock (Dragon Sleeper) for the victory.

Drew Gulak defeated Andre Chase via Submission in 4:27.

Gulak held on to the hold for longer than he was supposed to. Gulak gloated at ringside with Hank not liking that Gulak didn’t let go of the hold…

John’s Thoughts: Seems to be a pattern tonight, “good match while it lasted”. This is another match I would like to see given 5 or 10 more minutes given how good both of these seasoned veterans are. It looks like Gulak might be leaning heel because they are focusing on him being unnecessarily aggressive, making wholesome Hank disappointed.

McKenzie interviewed Wes Lee about Dijak and D’Angelo beefing with each other. Lee said he can’t wait to see them beat the hell out of each other next week. Lee said he’s going to watch the match at the announce table. Lee then said he’s making next week’s D’Angelo vs. Dijak match a number one contenders match. McKenzie gave Lee a high five and said it was a great idea…

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods made their entrance…[c]

The Schism made their entrance. Vic Joseph mocked Booker T due to Xavier Woods joining the commentary table…

7. Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Joe Gacy (w/Ava Raine, Jagger Reid, Rip Fowler). Kofi took down Gacy with a crossbody. Raine crotched Woods off the top rope. Gacy hit Kofi with a Superplex. Kofi kicked out at two. Gacy worked on Kofi with methodical offense. Booker trash talked Booker on commentary, claiming that Woods and Kofi are stealing spots from younger wrestlers. Booker even dropped a PWI 500 reference in there while also cheering on Gacy. Kofi rallied back with axe handle strikes and a dropkick. Gacy escaped an SOS attempt.

Kofi hit Gacy with a High Fly Flow for a two count. Kofi hit Gacy with a PK and Boom Drop. Gacy backstepped Trouble In Paradise and hit Kofi with a Spike DDT for a two count. Kofi hit Gacy with a Paige Turner for a two count. Booker and Woods continued to jaw at each other on commentary. The Dyad got on teh apron to distract Kofi, allowing Gacy to hit Kofi with a palm strike. Kofi hit The Dyad with a Flip Dive. Kofi reversed a Uranage into a Trouble in Paradise. Kofi picked up the pinfall.

Kofi Kingston defeated Joe Gacy via pinfall in 5:22. 

Drew Gulak was celebrating backstage with Hank disappointed that Gulak held on to the hold longer than needed. Gulak said a win is a win. Charlie Dempsey showed up and said that even if he’s injured, he’ll fight Hank next week. Gulak said that Hank is about to rip Dempsey’s arm out of its socket. Hank said “I’m gonna wha?”…

Bron Breakker and Grayson Waller were shown heading to the ring from different parts of the Performance Center. Breakker was wearing a Rick Steiner-like jacket…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Another match that went shorter than you would expect given the talent level in the ring. Again, a theme tonight. I could have done without Gacy taking a loss so early in Schism’s reboot, but there’s no shame in losing to a former WWE World Champion. What I’m a bit confused about is this random New Day vs. Booker T feud. There just doesn’t seem to be any context? It would help if either New Day or Booker can offer some backstory or something. It just comes off as forced and fabricated. At least Booker is really digging his heels in, even playing this feud up on his ESPN podcast. Are they randomly building towards Booker and an NXT wrestler vs. New Day match? Maybe? We do know that Booker is wrestling regularly for his Reality of Wrestling promotion.

Pretty Deadly continued to get memorabilia for New Day. Wilson said they couldn’t find the last item on the list. Woods said that they can’t get a match then. Wilson said instead he wants Pretty Deadly to run the gauntlet against 3 teams next week. Woods and Kofi loved the idea…

John’s Thoughts: While it randomly came to me, I wonder if they might be setting up Tyler Breeze returning to manage or join Pretty Deadly? I don’t think it’s happening, nor do I have any insight, but it would be a perfect fit, wouldn’t it? One thing that has me wondering this is the fact that Tyler has been on the road with WWE recently, mainly doing segments for his and Woods’s UpUpDownDown channel. I was also thinking about this due to Breeze recently posting videos of him and Big E looking through WWE memorabilia on Woods’ YouTube channel.

The New Years countdown vignette aired with the unseen blonde woman. The woman said she’ll be appearing next week…

Vic Joseph announced the following segments for next week: Tony D’Angelo vs. Dijak, Charlie Dempsey vs. Hank walker, The Creed Brothers vs. Indus Sher, and the 20 woman number one contender battle royal.

[Overrun] The intro video aired for Grayson Waller’s talk show aired. Waller was in the ring with his talk show set. Waller also had his picture-in-picture alternate perspective camera. Waller’s instagram live feed was on the big screen. Bron Breakker made his entrance. After Breakker sat at the guest chair, Waller joked about Breakker randomly breaking a TV last week. Waller then introduced a tweet by him, referencing that the kevlar vest segment from a few weeks ago was an ode to Goldberg spearing Bret Hart’s iron plate. Waller joked about how he should have saw it coming due to nobody wearing a fur coat in Florida.

Waller gloated a bit and allowed Breakker to speak. Breakker said he agrees that Waller is good at getting under people’s skin. Breakker said that Waller is good at going viral. Breakker talked about diving off the war games cage, beating up Johnny Gargano, diving off the ropes, and blinding Apollo Crews as some of Waller’s viral moments. Breakker said Waller might go viral during their match, but Breakker will walk out champion. Breakker mocked Waller’s Waller Effect catchphrase. Waller got under Breakker’s skin by saying that Breakker is stealing Rick Steiner’s gimmick.

Breakker said he doesn’t care what Waller says due to him loving his father. Waller tried to reiterate his disrespect, but he was punched by Breakker. Breakker hit Waller with a Military Press Power Slam. Breaker then hit Waller at ringside with an impressive top rope clearing Tope Con Hilo. Bron Breakker dropped Waller’s smartphone on him and then posed over Waller holding the NXT title. Vic Joseph closed the show hyping up next week’s themed show…

John’s Thoughts: Bit of a rough segment. I actually appreciate that Waller tries to differentiate his talk show from WWE’s usual cookie-cutter talk show format. The Instagram Live and Picture-in-picture feed are nice touches. Where these Waller Effect segments falter is when his guests aren’t holding their end of the bargain. Bron Breakker was the rough part here. Not totally his fault, that’s what NXT is for, to improve all aspects of pro wrestling, including promos. What it looked like was he forgot his lines and meandered a bit. Waller tried to save it, but it was tough to save. That nice flip dive in the end did save the segment as a whole from being a dud.

This week’s show wasn’t bad, but it seemed like they tried to cram a lot of build for New Years Evil in a short amount of time. The last minute go-home booking caused a lot of promising matches to end up shorter than you would expect. In a way, I think they could have got a cleaner show by taking away the Stacks vs. Dijak and Kofi vs. Gacy matches and then allocating that time to other segmets (The Stacks and Dijak torture scene was enough and they can run Kofi and Gacy a few weeks from now).

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. New Day vs.Harlem Heat at Mania!!lol

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