By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Live from Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired March 7, 2023 on USA Network
[Hour One] The show started off with a “Tiffany’s Epiphanies” segment where Tiffany Stratton ran through her thoughts on the NXT Roadblock card. During her preview, she talked about how she’s coming for the NXT Women’s Title at the Mania Weekend show in Downtown LA…
Vic Joseph and Booker T were on commentary. Alicia Taylor was the ring announcer…
Entrances for the Jailhouse Streetfight match aired. The rules graphic noted that it’s a No-DQ match where you can only win by locking your opponent in a jail cell. The “jail cell” is one of the shark cages they use for WarGames. Dijak made his entrance with a police baton. A picture was shown of Dijak’s dislocated finger from his match against Wes Lee…
1. Tony D’Angelo (w/Channing Lorenzo) vs. Dijak in a Jailhouse Street Fight. Dijak tried to hit Tony with the baton, but Tony was good as pressuring Dijak with boy blows and a Belly to Belly Suplex. Tony had managed to get Dijak in the cell, but Dijak escaped after giving Tony a throat punch. Tony was put in the cage, and he also escaped by punching his opponent in the throat. Dijak fought off Tony and Stacks. Dijak hit Tony with a sitout chokeslam.
Dijak tossed a bunch of chairs in the ring and pummeled Tony with one of them. Dijak buried Tony in chairs. Tony quickly recovered and hit Dijak with a Super Belly to Belly Suplex. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
Dijak gave Tony a Judas Effect which put him on a table (which almost broke). Dijak hit Tony with an impressive slingshot elbow drop from the ring. Tony got put in the cell. Dijak almost got it closed, but he escaped after twisting Dijak’s dislocated finger. D’Angelo hit Dijak with a Book End. D’Angelo put Dijak in the cell, but Dijak put Stack’s face at the entrance and dared D’Angelo to slam it. Tony hesitated and was shoved away.
Stacks was tossed over the barricade. D’Angelo fired up and manhandled Dijak with suplexes and chair shots. D’Angelo tried to toss Dijak in the cell, but he was low blowed by a mule kick by Dijak. Dijak hit D’Angelo with Feast Your Eyes. Tony was dragged in the cell. Dijak slammed the door, but Stacks blocked it with his ribs. Dijak hit Stacks with Feast Your Eyes.
Tony found a crowbar and went to town on Dijak with it. Tony got Dijak in the cell and slammed the door shut for the win.
Tony D’Angelo defeated Dijak in a Jailhouse Street Fight in 11:11.
John’s Thoughts: A fun gimmick match. NXT is doing a good job with some of these “experimental” matches. This was also Tony D’Angelo’s best match since returning from injury. It was up there in quality with his matches against Pete “Butch” Dunne from early in the 2.0 era. Yes, his face turn has felt uninspired, but he really won the crowd over here with the fire he showed during is comeback sequences. Dude’s also very strong. WWE really has a blue chipper with Tony, I just hope he doesn’t get dragged down with his generic mob boss gimmick. Props to Dijak for doing the favors. I’m happy to see him like a man who’s freed from jail after being stuck in WWE Main Event hell looking like a Mad Max reject.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Roxanne Perez about her thoughts on facing Meiko Satomura later. Roxanne said she’s anxious. Perez noted that Meiko beat her a few months ago and she’s been busting her ass to make the result of this rematch different. She talked about pushing past her physical limits. She said this isn’t her first title defense, but her most important. She said she wants to make it to Mania weekend as well as beat a living legend. Perez reiterated that she’s nervous and anxious, but she’s going to do every thing she can to keep the championship…
Pretty Deadly and Gallus were shown heading to the ring from different parts of the Performance Center…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Not the world’s most groundbreaking promo, but a much improved promo from Roxanne there. As I noted when she was doing guest commentary, she’s amazing in the ring, but promos are her weak point. She showed a lot of improvement in her interview with McKenzie. Hopefully we see more of this from Roxanne. Practice makes perfect.
Kiana James was in her office with her busty secretary. Josh Briggs showed up, impressed by Kiana’s new office. Briggs brought up Fallon and Brooks being his family. Kiana said Brooks happiness is her happiness. Brooks said Brooks has been off since Valentines. Josh assumed the flowers on the desk was a gift from Brooks, but Kiana quickly snatched away the “From” card before Briggs could read it (oh no!). James said she appreciates Josh looking out for a friend and she’ll give Brooks a call for a make up date. Briggs was happy and left the office…
NXT Tag Team Champions Mark Coffey and Wolfgang were in the ring in street clothes. Gallus called out Pretty Deadly. Kit Wilson and Elton Prince appeared from the crow’s nest. Kit called Galllus ugly and disgusting. Mark said this was supposed to be a face-to-face. Kit said he can see their faces, so it counts. Prince said Pretty Deadly want the tag team titles. Prince said they almost got the titles back a few months again, but Gallus showed up to ruin their lives.
Wolfgang said that Gallus is always down for a fight. Mark said he’ll lay out a deal for Pretty Deadly. Mark laid down the tag titles and said “come and take them”. Prince and Wilson fired up and said they’re down for a fight. Gallus claimed to not fight. Wolfgang pulled the ropes to slingshot Pretty Deadly in the ring. Gallus tossed around Pretty Deadly which sent them into retreat. Gallus stood tall to end the segment…
John’s Thoughts: A paint-by-numbers segment that really didn’t progress anything. Gallus are still a bit rough in terms of live promos, and they haven’t really sold them as babyfaces (I can see the crowd turning on them in favor of the more entertaining Pretty Deadly). They do a lot better in pre-tape skits though so it might be good to focus on those to present Gallus before going with the live promos.
A Lyra Valkyria backstage promo aired. She talked about how she’s here to seek battle. She said her eyes are on the NXT Women’s Championship. She noted she challenged Meiko for the Women’s title at NXT UK, but the result would be different if she faces her now. She said she’d also be honored to fight Roxanne Perez…
Bron Breakker and the Diamond Mine stable made their entrances…[c]
An Ilja Dragunov promo aired. Ilja said the eyes are windows to the soul and JD McDonagh has no soul. Ilja noted that JD finds serenity by breaking bones. He said JD will not break him. Ilja said that JD will not break him. Ilja finished his promo by saying something in Russian that sounded angry (Ah, they should have subtitled that)…
New NXT Signee and former New Japan wrestler Dragon Lee was shown in the crowd. So far, they’re calling him Dragon Lee…
Jinder Mahal and Indus Sher made their entrances to Indus Sher’s theme (I honestly would have had them come out to Jinder’s very cool theme). Both teams brawled before the bell with Veer and Breakker finally getting each other in the ring…
2. Julius Creed, Brutus Creed, and NXT Champion Bron Breakker vs. “Indus Sher” Veer Mahan, Sanga, and Jinder Mahal. Veer had the advantage early on, but Breakker came back with a shoulder tackle. Julius tagged in and hit Veer with a Belly to Belly suplex. Brutus tagged in. Julius gave Brutus a Gutwrench Suplex on top of Veer. Brutus got a two count. Jinder tagged in.
Brutus reversed Jinder’s suplex with a suplex of his own. Sanga and Breakker tagged in. Sanga no sold gut punches and tossed Breakker into the corner. Breakker came back with a chest tackle to send Sanga to ringside. The Creeds tossed Jinder and Veer to ringside. The babyface team hit the heels with stereo cannonball dives to ringside. the show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
Sanga gave Julius a high angle hip toss. Jinder tagged in and missed a leg drop. Carmelo Hayes joined the commentary table. Jinder hit Julius with a running knee strike. Jinder put Julius in a camel clutch. Breakker trash talked Jinder, sounding like his Uncle Scott. Julius managed to escape. Veer and Brutus tagged in. Brutus gave all three opponents hammerfist smashes. Sanga hit Brutus with a hip strike.
Sanga tagged in and tossed Brutus into Breakker to drop him from the apron. Brutus hit Sanga with a tuck tackle and suplex. Brutus hit Sanga with a senton. Julius tagged in and hit Sanga with a 450 splash. Veer broke up the pin. Sanga escaped the corner by dropping all three opponents. Veer tagged in and hit Julius with an assisted elbow drop. Breakker broke up Veer’s pin. Sanga hit Julius with a chokeslam. Veer hit Julius with a stiff lariat for a two count.
Both teams regrouped in the center of the ring and traded blows. Breakker hit Jinder with a spear. Breakker followed up with a spear on Sanga. Veer hit Breakker with a Yakuza Kick. Julius put Veer in the Electric Chair Position. The Creeds hit Veer with a Doomsday Brutus Ball to give Brutus the win.
Brutus Creed, Julius Creed, and Bron Breakker defeated Veer Mahan, Sanga, and Jinder Mahal via pinfall in 11:14.
Grayson Waller was shown heading to the ring from backstage. The camera cut to the gorilla position where Matt Bloom asked Shawn Michaels if he really wants to do this. Shawn said he’s not sure, but he’s got this…[c]
John’s Thoughts: An extremely fun brawl between a bunch of buff men. It’s always fun seeing the Creeds and Indus Sher clash because they lead to some awesome hoss fights. The Creeds are throwing out some of their innovative high flying moves. Julius’s 450 in particular looked clean. Glad to see them not go out of their way to overprotect Indus Sher here. Pro wrestling has too many distraction finishes. My guess is with both teams having one win a piece, this is going to lead to a gimmick rubber match between Indus Sher and The Creeds.
A sponsored recap aired, recapping the breakup of the Toxic Attraction tag team…
Meiko Satomuira was shown warming up backstage…
[Hour Two] The intro video aired for Grayson Waller’s Waller Effect talk show. Waller said it was time to cut to the chase and he introduced his guest Shawn Michaels. Shawn Michaels made his entrance in a suit, jeans, and cowboy hat. The performance center drowned out Waller by singing HBK’s theme acapella when the song ended. Waller talked about how as a kid he was told that Shawn Michaels isn’t who you think he is. Waller said he was told to be a Bret Hart guy, not a Shawn guy.
HBK said that they are going there, aren’t they? HBK talked about how Waller used to come to him for advice, but now there’s a weird hatred. HBK asked why? Waller talked about wanting to be the face of the brand and was on track since Iron Survivor. He talked about how his social media was doing well. Waller claimed that Shawn is holding him back, like Vince McMahon holding Shawn back for not being big or tall. Waller said Shawn is in the Vince McMahon position.
Shawn said he’s not holding Waller back. He said he gave Waller a chance for a fair match at Vengeance Day and Waller lost. Shawn said maybe Waller should be blaming the man in the mirror. Waller said the only reason Shawn is in charge is because his best friend Triple H had a heart attack. Shawn said it’s true that he stepped up to do his best friend a favor. Shawn said that what Waller has to come to grips with now is that Hunter was in charge, but HBK is steering the ship now.
Waller said that HBK is steering the ship into an iceberg. Waller said he wouldn’t be surprised if Shawn doesn’t put him on Stand and Deliver and he ends up on the cut list. HBK thought about NXT not being about one person, “We are NXT”. HBK brought up NXT being built by people like Finn Balor, Asuka, Undisputed Era, and other legends. He said it’s about Tony D, Wes Lee, and even Waller now. HBK said Waller has to understand he’s a “part” of the greatness. Waller continued to talk down to Shawn, claiming HBK not being a team player during his career.
Shawn said he agrees that he was selfish when he was younger, but NXT has changed him (didn’t the Bible also change him? I kid, I kid. I’m the son of a preacher). HBK said this place is special. Waller continued to be condescending. Waller said he thinks Bron Breakker or Melo will get called up, but why not him. He said he hates this place and the people. He said the crowd look poor based off their clothes. HBK shut up Waller and dared him to hit him. HBK said he’s not letting Waller run this brand to the ground. Waller said if HBK is pissed, then he should do something about it.
Waller challenged Shawn Michaels to a match at Stand and Deliver. The crowd started a Yes chant. Shawn took off his suit jacket. Shawn said he’s been retired for over a decade with the greatest in the world wanting to challenge him to their WrestleMania dream match. HBK said people keep pulling up money to his door to get him out of retirement.
He said those Brinks trucks know his name because people keep sending him money to get him out of retirement (Eh, it’s probably just MBS and the Saudis doing it over and over). HBK said that Waller is doing that in 2023. HBK said he would love to whoop Waller’s ass at Stand and Deliver, but “this man” bleeds NXT and wants Waller’s ass even more. Johnny Gargano made his entrance to his awful remix of Rebel Heart (Can we at least have him come out to DIY’s Chrome Hearts?) . Gargano cleared Waller from the ring and stood tall next to Shawn Michaels to end the segment…
Vic Joseph hyped Jacy Jayne vs. Gigi Dolin was hyped for after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: An awesome exchange between Waller and Michaels. Michaels showed that when he turns on the switch, he can cut the same good ol’ HBK promo that he perfected during his 2nd run in WWE. Waller on his end tried to be a bit “spicy” with his personal attacks on Shawn. The Hunter and Vince one was good, I didn’t think he had to throw in the Bret Hart because it feels like no one can get Montreal out of their mind. Johnny Gargano returning was a surprise, in that he was completely off my radar due to all the clownshoes stuff he’s doing on the main roster. It does make logical sense though because Waller was the person that ran Gargano out of WWE with that beatdown when Gargano’s contract expired. Here’s hoping we get Johnny Wrestling at Staples Center and not the Johnny Comedy we’ve been getting since he returned to WWE.
Gigi Dolin was already in the ring. Jacy Jayne got a full televised entrance…
3. Gigi Dolin vs. Jacy Jayne. Gigi tackled Jacy and both women spilled to ringside. Both women traded ground and pound strikes. Back in the ring, Gigi clocked a kick and gave Jaycy a clothesline. Gigi got in Jacy’s face and said that Jacy is like Gigi’s abusive mother. Jacy tried to run away, but was tossed back in the ring by Gigi. Jacy asked for a time out, but then gave Gigi a discus forearm. Jacy tried to hit Gigi with a chair, but Gigi caught Jacy with a big boot. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
Jacy worked on Gigi with methodical offense. Gigi turned the tables with an inside cradle for a two count. Gigi rallied back with right hands and kicks. Gigi hit Jacy iwth a few leg lariats. Jacy came back with a neckbreaker and senton for a two count. Gigi hit Jacy with her rollup slam finisher for the win.
Gigi Dolin defeated Jacy Jayne via pinfall in 8:01.
Jacy attacked Gigi after the match. Jacy brought the chair back in the ring. Jacy wrapped the chair around the neck of Gigi. The referees ran out and freed Gigi, ordering Jacy to the back…
John’s Thoughts: Welp? That was disappointing. Most of the match happened behind the picture-in-picture too. The post match attack wasn’t even that big either (I would have had her pilmanize Gigi for heat). Here’s hoping they run this back, and hopefully get a lot of heat on Jacy in the meantime.
Fallon Henley apologized to Brooks Jensen in the locker room. Brooks apologized back for taking so long to get over it. Josh Briggs showed up and said he fixed things up. Briggs said he was impressed by the flowers Brooks gave her. Brooks said he doesn’t care about what’s on Kiana’s desk. Brooks picked up the phone call by James, saying “hey girl”. Brooks left while talking on the phone. Henley said she knew the flowers weren’t from Brooks. Briggs said he actually believes Fallon this time. They both said they have to do something.
John’s Thoughts: Fallon! At least let Brooks get one pump in before ruining his love life!
Bron Breakker made his entrance without music. Vic noted that this was unadvertised. Bron took the mic and challenged Carmelo Hayes to a match at Stand and Deliver. Carmelo Hayes made his entrance by himself, wearing a turtleneck sweater. Melo said Bron is right and they need a match between the two biggest stars in NXT. Melo said the crowd wants it, Bron wants it, and Melo wants it. Bron said he knows that he and Melo have had different paths.
He said every time someone takes him up on his challenges, he’s always disappointed that none of them were taken up by Melo. He said he has been keeping tabs on Melo though. Melo said he’s also been keeping tabs of Bron. He said it didn’t matter what part of the card both men were on, he’s always watched Bron’s matches. Bron talked about how they had a meeting with Shawn, and the people backstage picked Melo and Bron as the faces of the brand. Melo said they’ve both lived up to their hype.
Bron said there is only one place to go, “me and you”. Melo said he usually says his “that’s how it is” catchphrase at this point, but he’s going to keep it simple. Melo said Bron just has to put his title on the line, and they have a match at Stand and Deliver. Melo said he’s never been 2nd to anybody. Bron said at Stand and Deliver, we’ll see?…
John’s Thoughts: Simple and effective. Melo is always good in these type of segments. Bron was composed and confident on his end.
Tyler Bate was coaching Thea Hail with some zen meditating. Hail said she’s less stressed now. Andre Chase and Duke Hudson showed up. Chase was happy that Hail was feeling better. Bate said that Thea Hail is a Big Strong Girl, and she’s got this. Chase and Hail left, with Chase saying “namaste”…
John’s Thoughts: Is Tyler stealing Jinder Mahal’s and Sonjay Dutt’s old guru gimmick? I guess? I have Indian friends who I know would say “That’s another example of the British taking the wealth from India”! I kid, I kid. I also had that thought on my mind because I finally watched the movie RRR on Netflix which goes into that subject (Great movie by the way! World’s best bromance story between two meaty indian action heroes).
The Schism made their entrance and the show cut to picture-in-picture…[c]
The match had started during the picture-in-picture…
4. Andre Chase (w/Thea Hail, Duke Hudson) vs. Joe Gacy (w/Ava Raine, Rip Fowler, Jagger Reid). Chase hit Gacy with a legsweep and Chase U boots. Chase hit Gacy with a Side Effect for a two count. Both men traded forearms. Both men then traded superkicks. Gacy planted Chase with a Uranage. Both men traded forearms from their knees with Gacy getting the upper hand. Chase hit Gacy with a Sunset Bomb in the corner for a nearfall.
Hail did some of her breathing exercises and then got in Ava Raine’s face. Duke Hudson and Andre Chase were happy that Hail overcame her fears. Gacy hit a distracted Chase with a handstand lariat for the win.
Joe Gacy defeated Andre Chase via pinfall in 4:27 of on-air time.
John’s Thoughts: Eh, not much of a match. We know both of these indie legends can carry a 20 minute classic, but this was more to continue Thea Hail’s anxiety story.
Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre were in a dark room doing a “moon ritual”. They both talked about Kayden Carter and Katana Chance being their next targets…
Vic Joseph announced Johnny Gargano vs. Grayson Waller and Bron Breakker vs. Carmelo Hayes for Stand and Deliver. Vic noted that Roxanne vs. Meiko will be happening after the break…[c]
Thea Hail apologized to Andre Chase backstage, but said she was happy that Tyler Bate cured her anxiety. Chase was happy too. Duke Hudson said he’s disappointed that they keep losing. Hudson said they’re a university of losers. Hudson said we are pathetic, we are not a university, and we are a joke. Hudson walked off…
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Wes Lee. Lee said he was impressed at the brawl started from his open challenge. He said he loved it that Nathan Frazer came back from his five month time off. Lee was about to make another open challenge before Axiom showed up. Axiom challenged Lee to a one-on-one match. Lee said he’s willing to challenge Axiom, but Axiom is going to have to beat the locker-room to the ring. Both men fist bumped to end the segment…
Entrances for the main event took place with five minutes left at the top of the hour (They have 15 minutes set aside for a longer overrun)…
5. Roxanne Perez vs. Meiko Satomura for the NXT Women’s Championship. Both women started the match with chain wrestling heading into the picture-in-picture.[c]
[Overrun] Perez got out of a Regal Stretch with a rope break. Meiko pinned Roxanne to the mat during a Test of Strength. Perez managed to get to her feet but was slammed to the mat during the test of strength. Meiko hit Perez with a flying shoulder tackle. Meiko put Perez in a straitjacket submission. Gallus vs. Pretty Deadly for the tag titles and Daba-Kato vs. Apollo Crews was announced for next week.
Perez reversed Meiko into her own straitjacket submission. Perez caught Meiko with a huracanrana. Meiko caught Roxanne with a punch to block a suicide dive. Vic Joseph noted that USA will keep airing this match even if they pass their allotted overrun time. Perez rolled up Meiko for a two count. Meiko worked on Perez’s leg with joint manipulation. Meiko forcused her attack on Perez’s right knee.
Perez countered to a side headlock. Meiko escaped and rallied with stiff strikes. Perez no sold the last strike and came back with hands of her own. Meiko gave Perez a stiff kick. Perez caught a kick and turned it into a Dragon Screw. Perez rallied with uppercuts. Perez dodged a handstand leg drop. Perez gave Meiko a shotgun dropkick and suicide dive. Perez escaped the corner. Meiko blocked a Super Legsweep. Meiko also blocked a power bomb with elbows. After dropping Perez, Meiko went for a splash, but Perez got the boots up.
Perez rolled up Meiko for a two count. Perez worked on Meiko with kicks. Meiko came back with a high shortarm roundhouse. Perez escaped a Death Valley Driver and hit Meiko with a Russian Legsweep. Meiko rolled up Perez with a crucifix pin for a two count. Meiko hit Perez with a power bomb and Pele Kick. Meiko hit Perez with a Saito Suplex for a two count. Meiko hit Perez with a handstand legdrop for a nearfall. Vic noted that Meiko won the NXT UK women’s title with that move.
Roxanne shoved Meiko into the ringpost. Meiko blocked Pop Rocks by holding the apron. Meiko hit Perez with Scorpio Rising. Perez got her foot on the bottom rope for the break. Meiko was about to go for another Scorpio Rising, but Perez reversed it with a rollup for the win.
Roxanne Perez defeated Meiko Satomura via pinfall in 13:59 to retain the NXT Women’s Championship.
Meiko took the belt from the referee and handed it to Perez out of respect. Perez passed out due to exhaustion. The referees ran out to check on Perez. They called for medics to check on Roxanne. The medics ran out. Booker T entered the ring to check on his student (he was also sporting a giant ass braid, that looks like a chonky version of Bianca’s). The medics ran out and stretchered Perez while also giving her oxygen. Shawn Michaels helped roll Perez to the back. Perez nodded to say she was ok. Perez was rolled to an ambulance to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: A good match to give Perez her win back. I was afraid when there was only like 3 minutes left in the hour and a picture-in-picture, but then Vic noted that the show would extend past their usual overtime. I don’t think a segment went long because the extra minutes were allotted to the TV guide. Even so, I would have liked it if both women were given 5 more minutes to work their magic because it did feel rushed in the end because they wanted to do that post-match angle.
The post match angle was “interesting”. To soon to tell if it was effective, but it was weird and out of nowhere. This looked to be an HBK classic with how much he likes to utilize stretched out moments of melodrama. We’ll see where this goes and if it somehow sets up Perez defending her title against Tiffany Stratton or another opponent. I guess she passed out due to Meiko’s training kicking her ass? Anyways, this was a good show on paper, and it was a good show in the end.
What was weird tonight was the production because it looked like they wanted to get a lot of storytelling all in one show and got so cramped that they even had to rush things in a show with an extended overrun. Couldn’t they have saved some storytelling for next week? I feel like we could have cut things like the unproductive Pretty Deadly-Gallus segment. Maybe hold off on the horny virgin cowboy segments til next week too. Gacy vs. Chase felt like time that didn’t have to happen this week too, along with Tyler Bate randomly being a zen coach or something. That said the match quality was still good, even though a handful of matches suffered because they were hidden behind picture-in-picture breaks.
Good show overall. It did kinda have the “Weekly show we will slap a theme on” thing going. Not truly a network “special” like Halloween Havoc.
That said, the matches were strong and it did a good enough job of starting the set up for Stand & Deliver. Looks like we are going to have some sort of multi-woman match to determine Roxanne’s opponent.
I hope that the Gigi-Jayne match was purposely kept shorter because a bigger match between the two is coming.
I assume that Tiffany Stratton gets the title shot at S&D.