NXT TV results (2/27): Moore’s review of Ilja Dragunov and Carmelo Hayes meeting, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade, Von Wagner vs. Lexis King, Kiana James vs. Kelani Jordan


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

Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live February 27, 2024 on USA Network

[Hour One] Vic Joseph was on commentary. Alicia Taylor was the ring announcer…

The show immediately started off with NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov making his entrance in a 3 piece suit. Ilja took a mic and called out Carmelo Hayes. He called Melo a disgusting rodent of a man. Ilja talked about how the championship that Melo is looking for is in the ring and all he needs to do is crawl out of his hiding place. Carmelo Hayes made his entrance. Melo said Ilja is only the champion “for now”.

Melo said Ilja isn’t the person that makes this brand roll, Melo is. Melo talked about showing up to the brand with “Ruthless Aggression” (when he confronted NXT Champion Adam Cole in 2019). Melo had security guards line up in front of him. Melo said Ilja’s business suit makes him sick. Melo said he’s not stepping in the ring unless he sees a title contract. Melo said Ilja’s biggest fear is lowing the NXT Championship to Melo, and Melo said he knows Ilja is not about sneak attacks.

Melo said he’ll give Ilja til the end of the night to come up with a title match contract. Ilja punched some of the security guards that were entering the ring. Ilja ended the segment posing with the title belt…

John’s Thoughts: Simple teaser to keep viewers hooked to the end of the show. Curious to see how long Trick Williams sells his leg injury before coming back?

Footage from “earlier today” showed Gigi Dolin and Jaida Parker waiting around NXT General Manager Ava’s office. Both women had different requests. Jaida bragged about World Star Hip Hop hyping up her match against Adriana Rizzo. Both women bickered. Ava told them to ask their requests one at a time…

Kelani Jordan made her entrance. Vic Joseph welcomed back Booker T to commentary, who was back from his recovery. Kiana James and Izzi Dame made their entrance…

1. Kelani Jordan vs. Kiana James (w/Izzi Dame). Jordan eluded the ten punches in the corner by James. Both women had a chain wrestling sequence. Jordan did a springboard into a armdrag. Jordan then hit James with a huracanrana. Dame got in the way to block Jordan’s dive. Jordan caught James and Dame with an Asai Moonsault. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Both women took each other out with stereo crossbody blocks. Jordan then had a rally of clotheslines and an axe handle. Jordan hit James with an overhead kick. Both women tradd counters. Jordan hit James with a handstand into a Flatliner for a two count. James escaped an Overdrive attempt. James planted Jordan with a spinebuster for a nearfall. Jordan got a two count off an inside cradle.

Dame tripped Jordan for a hard bump on the apron. James hit Jordan with an inverted Overdrive for the victory.

Kiana James defeated Kelani Jordan via pinfall in 8:14. 

John’s Thoughts: Solid match with James picking up a dirty win that protects the talented Jordan. As I thought, and the commentators pointed out, that bump on the apron looked nasty. Hopefully she didn’t get whiplash or ring her bell from that one. I’m also a bit confused as to why this feud is happening anyway. James just randomly decided to pick on Jordan for no good reason, even if it’s just to bully. It would be cool to give some character development to Izzi Dame too, who’s just one of the many random developmental women being attached to random acts.

Vic Joseph and Booker T checked in from the commentary table. A replay aired of highlights from last week’s impromptu main event between Lyra Valkyria and Lash Legend due to Shotzi Blackheart being injured. Roxanne Perez was then shown throwing a fit in the locker room about missing the open challenge due to being in the showers. Jakara Jackson showed up to trash talk Perez and praise Lash Legend for stepping up. Perez jumped Jackson and a pull apart brawl ensued…

The Good Brothers, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson, made their entrance (Yes, Taylor called them the OC, but as a person from Southern California, I refuse to call them the Orange County)…[c]

Vic Joseph thanked the band The Wonder Years for providing the song “Year of the Vulture” as the theme song for NXT Stand and Deliver…

Edris Enofe and Malik Blade made their entrance. Booker noted that Anderson and Gallows are former IWGP Tag Team Champions…

2. “The Good Brothers” Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade. Anderson stomped a mudhole into Blade to start the match. Blade took down Anderson with a dropkick. Enofe tagged in. Enofe and Blade then used tandem offense on both Good Brothers. Anderson slowed things down with right hands. Enofe came back with an Frankendriver on Anderson. Blade tagged in. Enofe and Blade swarmed Anderson with tandem offense.

Gallows tagged in and stomped a mudhole in Blade. Gallows draped Blade on the top rope and hit him with a drive by boot. Gallows worked on Blade with overhead elbows and a chinlock. Gallows worked on Blade with his signature boxing gut punches. The Good Brothers cut the ring in half on Blade. Blade got a sunset flip on Anderson and got the hot tag to Enofe.

Enofe hit Anderson with a Sling Blade Bulldog. Enofe dumped Gallows to ringside. Enofe hit Anderson with a Jackhammer. Gallows shoved Blade into the ringpost. Anderson dodged a 450 and hit Blade with a spinebuster. Gallows tagged in. The Good Brothers hit Enofe with a Magic Killer to give Gallows the win.

The Good Brothers defeated Edris Enofe and Malik Blade via pinfall in 5:24.

Andre Chase and Duke Hudson were in the Chase U section. Chase said that by attacking them last week, The Good Brothers will find out that Karma is a bitch. Hudson said their backs aren’t turned this week and that calls for? Andre Chase completed the sentence by saying “an Andre Chase University Ass whooping”.

Axiom and Nathan Frazer made their entrance to also challenge Gallows and Anderson. Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro came in from behind and hit Gallows and Anderson with missile dropkicks. Vic said that Gallows and Anderson aren’t “talk n’ shop” tonight (a reference to their old podcast). NXT Tag Team Champions Bron Breakker and Baron Corbin, The Wolf Dogs, were shown watching the action from the crow’s nest section…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Fodder win for Gallows and Anderson. Fingers crossed that we get the inspired Gallows and Anderson as opposed to the coasting Bullet Club Gallows and Anderson. Enofe and Blade can take the loss and I think they’ll end up getting a bit of a push once their story with Brinley Reece kicks in. Good to see Del Toro and Wilde sticking around a bit in NXT because they have put on some very entertaining performances since returning (spotlighted by that sky high launch from Wilde a few weeks ago). As I said in recent weeks, NXT has a surprisingly entertaining tag division outta nowhere with fun matches week to week. Adding Gallows and Anderson should be a net positive.

Oba Femi entered Ava’s office and asked her for the name of his next victim. Ava said she’s still looking for an opponent. Oba said that whoever Ava picks will regret their words. Ilja Dragunov entered the office. Oba Femi gave him a smirk and left. Ilja told Ava that they need to talk…

Roxanne Perez made her entrance…[c]

Jakara Jackson and Lash Legend made their entrance…

3. Roxanne Perez vs. Jakara Jackson (w/Lash Legend). Perez started the match immediately with a Thesz Press on Jakara Jackson. Lash got in Perez’s way to jaw a bit. Jackson hit Perez with a few chops. Perez slammed Jakara to the mat and hit her with a springboard moonsault for a two count (Perez’s feet landed right on Jakara’s chest hard). Lash saved Jakara from a Pop Rocks attempt. The referee ejected Lash. Jackson hit Perez with a reverse X Factor for a two count.

Jackson worked on Perez with a bow and arrow stretch. Jakara escaped out of a Perez pin attempt. Both women traded face slaps. Perez flurried with clubbing blows and an axe handle. Perez hit Jackson with a uppercut combo and then rolled Jackson into a crossface for the submission win.

Roxanne Perez defeated Jakara Jackson via submission in 7:09.

Perez held on to Jackson after the bell and had to be pulled off by the referee…

John’s Thoughts: Decent enough sh0wing from Jakara Jackson who did some basic heel stuff. Hope she’s okay after that hard moonsault from Perez (and she looked fine due to carrying on with the rest of the match). Good to see Perez fighting heels and faces indiscriminately because it comes off as a bit fabricated when a newly turned heel only fights babyfaces. I like them also using the last two weeks to establish Perez’s mean streak and submission finisher.

Thea Hail, Jasmyn Nyx, and Jacy Jayne were chatting backstage. Hail noted that Riley Osborne put her in the friend zone due to her acting unlike the woman he knew before. Jayne said the old Thea Hail was a loser. Thea told Jacy that Fallon gave her some thoughts. Jacy said that Henley is a loser and the hyper Hail was not cool. Jacy said Duke and Andre are also losers. Kiana James and Izzi Dame showed up. James and Dame walked off with Nyx and Jayne to talk about business regarding the sales of their calendar…

Dijak made his entrance…[c]

Bron Breakker was trying to get Baron Corbin to get a spray tan and spray paint on his jacket backstage, with Corbin refusing. They were confronted by Gallows and Anderson. Corbin and Breakker started randomly yelling to humor Gallows and Anderson. Anderson talked about how they sparked a flame in themselves last week when they hit a magic killer for the first time in a while. They said it’ll be soon enough before they become tag champions. Corbin said the Good Brothers called him a comedian, but it was more funny to see Anderson get slapped in the mouth by AJ Styles.

Breakker said it’s fun and games before the bell between him and Corbin, but after the bell rings the dogs come out and destroy everyone. Anderson said whatever the dogs do, the Good Brothers will be ready…

The No Quarter Catch Crew were all warming up backstage. Vic reminded viewers that they are still hiding which No Quarter member will face Noam Dar later in the show…

Luca Crucifino made his entrance to his bootleg People’s Court theme. A replay was shown of Luca berating Dijak for illegally confining Joe Gacy last week…

4. Dijak vs. Luca Crucifino. Luca managed to dump Dijak to ringside and send him into the announce table with a baseball slide. Luca caught Dijak out of the air with a uppercut and followed up with a cannonball. Dijak blocked a suplex and hit Luca with a clubbing blow to the back. Dijak pummeled Luca with stiff slaps to the chest.

Luca came back with his own stiff chest slaps. Both men blocked suplexes. Dijak took down Luca with a clothesline. Luca rallied with lariats but couldn’t get Dijak off his feet. Luca took down Dijak with a back suplex. Luca hit Dijak with a lariat in the corner. DIjak hit Luca with a Cyclone Boot for the pinfall win.

Dijak defeated Luca Crucifino via pinfall in 3:29.

Joe Gacy made his entrance while ripping off his straitjacket. Luca knocked Dijak off the apron. Joe Gacy beat down Dijak to the back. Luca was then shown hiding a crowbar in the steel steps. The camera then cut to Adriana Rizzo, Tony D’Angelo, and Stacks watching the show backstage. D’Angelo advised Stacks to go “Get em”…

Lyra Valkyria was shown walking backstage…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Uhm? Shouldn’t the referee take away that crowbar due to it being clearly shown on TV that Luca put it there? My guess is they want us to turn our brains off in a few minutes. Ugh. Anyways, Luca Crucifino got more offense than I expected, for his best showing yet in NXT. I’m not sold on the whole Dijak vs. Gacy feud. Dijak isn’t built strong enough, and Gacy is too much of a cartoon goof. And not a good cartoon either (If you want a good cartoon, speak to the ageless legend Ron Killings!).

Kelly Kincaid interviewed Noam Dar and Oro Mensah. Noam choked on his water due to the sneak attack interview. Kelly apologized. Kelly wondered who Noam would want to face from Drew Gulak’s group. Noam praised Lash Legend last week for wrestling two matches, and Jakara for taking Perez to the limit. Noam acted like he forgot Miles Borne’s name and called Dempsey “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. Noam said he didn’t care who he faced…

[Hour Two] NXT Women’s Champion Lyra Valkyria made her fog machine entrance in crop top casual clothes. Lyra took the mic and wished Shotzi Blackheart a speedy recovery. Lyra said that when Shotzi comes back she’ll give Shotzi a title shot. Lyra also praised Lash Legend for stepping up in a tough situation. Lyra then said she was actually shocked that Tatum kept her promise by not interfering last week. Lyra then asked Tatum to come to the ring for her rewards.

Tatum’s entrance played and she crawled from out of the barricade area. She was wearing fishnets and casual clothing. She talked how how worried she was of her “sweet dove” at losing the title  last week. Lyra said she was happy that Tatum didn’t interfere. Tatum said she’ll do “anything” for Lyra and proved she was a woman of her word. Lyra said her reward was a tag team match for last week where they will be teaming together.

Lyra said they won’t be friends, but they will have the common goal of challenging Asuka and Kairi Sane for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. Tatum was getting excited. Ridge Holland interrupted. He said he was happy for both women and wished them luck at the Roadblock themed show at their tag title opportunity. Ridge then asked both women to give him the ring so he can get something off his chest. Tatum and Lyra left.

Ridge said he’s both a man of action more than words. He said his actions have got him in a predicament. He said he’s always the man that “takes it too far”. He said he’s not here to apologize for his actions. He said he was just defending himself and family last time. He said there’s no malice. The lights went out. Suddenly random words were all over the video walls.. A voice started saying some of the words that were teased in recent weeks.

A spotlight turned on and a mystery hooded man hit Ridge Holland. The hooded man took off his hood to reveal that he is the former “Perfect Ten” Tye Dillinger. The censors kicked in due to Holy Shit chants, but it sounded like Vic Joseph called him by his AEW Name of Shawn Spears…

John’s Thoughts: Well damn. That was truly a surprise that I didn’t see coming. I expected either a random other person or a main roster callback. This guy has been signed, cut, signed, cut, and signed many times over the past decade (even going by Gavin Spears during WWECW. And “Stan”, the guy that got superkicked by HBK). Good to see him back in NXT where he had most of his success as the Perfect 10. Wouldn’t mind seeing what he’s going to do now that he’s back as Shawn Spears? Maybe a reference to his “Chair Man” gimmick from that chair shot to the head that hit Cody that one time. Meanwhile, “Sad Ridge” is getting a bit annoying. He’s a good talker, but this current gimmick is cringeworthy.

Brooks Jensen met Oba Femi in the parking lot to challenge him to a title match. Oba asked if he was sure because Brooks looks like a confused man. Brooks said Briggs gave him advise. He said he’ll bust Oba up. Oba said when he’s finished with Brooks, Brooks won’t be able to walk away…

Lexis King made his entrance…[c]

Kelly Kincaid entered Carmelo Hayes’s locker room. Melo was surrounded by security. Melo said he’s just waiting for Ilja to deliver him a signed, sealed, and delivered contract. He told Kelly to send the message “no contract? no Melo”…

Von Wagner and Robert Stone made their entrance…

5. Von Wagner (w/Robert Stone) vs. Lexis King. Wagner took down Lexis with a shoulder tackle and backdrop. Lexis got out of a delayed vertical suplex and then started to target Von’s left calf. Lexis hit Von with a Dragon Screw on the left calf. Lexis continued to slam Von’s calf on the ringpost and apron. Lexis got a two count. Von got to his feet and rallied with clotheslines. Von no sold a tackle and took down Lexis with a big boot.

At ringside, Lexis took out Stone by shoving Von at him. Von went to check on Stone. Lexis hit Von with a chop block and knee to the back of the neck. Stone got on the apron to distract Lexis. Von used a small Package to get the victory.

Von Wagner defeated Lexis King via pinfall in 4:10.

King attacked Von after the match. Stone ran in for the save. Lexis took control and hit Stone with his swinging neckbreaker finisher. Von went to check on Stone as Lexis gloated up the ramp…

An Asuka and Kairi Sane highlight package aired to reintroduce the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions to the NXT audience…

The show then cut to Tatum Paxley and Lyra Valkyria watching the package in the women’s locker room. Lyra and Tatum were hyped to go after the tag titles. Jaida Parker said Lyra and Tatum will get embarrassed by Asuka and Kairi. Ariana Grace got in between and said this doesn’t have to end in a fight. Grace asked Lyra what problem she has with the Kabuki Warriors. Lyra said she wants to be a tag team champion. Grace said we are all champions in our hearts and minds. Parker said she would rather have a championship than a stupid crown. Lyra said being in NXT is all about fighting…

Gigi Dolin made her entrance…[c]

Vic Joseph plugged WWE’s pop-up WrestleMania event in Philadelphia…

Dijak was arguing with Ava backstage. Joe Gacy was the cameraman, who ended up attacking Dijak. Referees pulled both men apart wtih the camera falling to the ground…

Jaida Parker made her entrance with OTM…

6. Gigi Dolin vs. Jaida Parker (w/Scrypts, Bronco Nima, Lucien Price). Parker took down Gigi at first. Gigi then took down Jaida with a technical takedown. Jaida trash talked Gigi and slapped her. Gigi gave Jaida an armdrag. Gigi hit Jaida with a hip attack and dropkick into the 2nd rope for a two count. Jaida beat down Gigi in the corner. Gigi tried to rally back with hands. Jaida draped Gigi on the 2nd turnbuckle and gave her a Vader Bomb style draping Banzai Drop.

Jaida got a two count. Gigi got a two count off a inside cradle. Jaida got a one count off a Blockbuster. Parker put Gigi in a abdominal stretch. Gigi escaped with gut punches. Gigi hit Jaida with a single and double boot. Gigi rallied with forearms. Adriana Grace walked to ringside to demand that both women get along. Gigi hit Jaida with a high kick. Jaida rallied back with right hands. Gigi came back with both hands. Both women would get distracted by Grace. Grace pleaded “please” to Gigi and ate a headbutt from Gigi. Jaida clubbed Gigi in the back and hit her with a sliding forearm for the victory.

Jaida Parker defeated Gigi Dolin via pinfall in 4:31.

Grace walked to Gigi and said “Please, we need to come together”. Gigi looked annoyed…

The No Quarter Catch Crew, as well as Noam Dar and Oro Mensah were shown walking backstage…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Solid women’s match. Jaida continues to impress in her few matches in NXT. Of course she and Adriana Rizzo got a bit of a boast being plugged by World Star Hip Hop’s YouTube Channel (the channel that was famous for beatdowns. RIP Kimbo Slice). They did also get a bit of a boast from the horny male corner of social media (yes, I agree, Jaida and Rizz be mad thicc, but ya’ll be wilin’ over every little bit of booty ya’ll take a peek at on TV). I hope Jaida getting noticed also leads from the rest of OTM being pushed as well. I have a soft spot for OTM due to them reminding me of Inglewood, where I spent most of my life as a kid.

A Drone camera shot was shown of a random empty beach. The words “See You Soon” were etched in the sand (Sol Ruca returning?). The segment ended with a plug for NXT Road Block.

Dijak vs. Joe Gacy in an “Asylum” match was announced for next week’s Road Block themed show…

The No Quarter Catch Crew made their entrance. Vic Joseph reminded viewers of the Catch Clause where we will find out who will actually face Noam Dar once the bell rings. Noam Dar and Oro Mensah made their entrance. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring introductions. Charlie Dempsey stepped up as the challenger…

7. Noam Dar (w/Oro Mensah) vs. Charlie Dempsey (w/Drew Gulak, Damon Kemp, Miles Borne)  for the NXT Heritage Cup. Dar and Dempsey started the match at a stalemate during chain wrestling. Dar hit Dempsey with a roundhouse. Dempsey closed the distance with a standing cravate. Dar came back with double knife chops. Dar rolled up Dempsey for a one count. Dempsey used a jackknife backslide to pick up the first pinfall. [end of round 1]

Charlie Dempsey pinned Noam Dar in 1:47 in Round 1 to go up 0-1.

Right after the bell, the show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

The clock ran out during the break. [end of round 2]

A replay aired of Damon Kemp attacking Noam Dar with a forearm after the end of the first round. Dar and Dempsey traded right hands. Vic Joseph noted that Dempsey is well versed in British Rounds matches. Dempsey reversed a Rear Naked Choke into a juji gatame. Dar got Dempsey in a rear guard. Dempsey escaped a triangle attempt and put Dar in an Ankle Lock. Dar escaped with a leg whip. Dar got a rollup one count.

Dempsey rallied with a European Uppercut, a Butterfly Suplex, into a Butterfly Stretch. Dempsey gave Dar overhead elbows. Dar escaped with an elbow. Dar hit Desmpsey with a Superman Punch and put Dempsey in a Cross armbreaker. Dempsey got to the rope for the break. Dark worked on Dempsey with alternating hands. Dempsey used a side base and German Suplex to block Dar. Dar hit Dempsey with a Judas Effect. [end of round 3]

Dempsey’s corner helped Dempsey revive. Dar came out of the gates with a suplex, Judas Effect, Question Mark Kick, and Nova Roller Leg Lariat for the quick pinfall. [end of round 4]

Noam Dar pinned Charlie Dempsey 0:21 in Round 4 to tie the match 1-1. 

Dar hit Dempsey with a flying axe handle for a two count. Vic noted that Dempsey was owed a title match years ago. Dar hit Dempsey with another Judas Effect. Dar knocked Drew Gulak off the apron. Dempsey hit Dar with a Full Nelson German Suplex for the victory.

Charlie Dempsey defeated Noam Dar 0:51 into Round 5 to become the new NXT Heritage Cup Champion. 

The No Quarter Catch Crew celebrated with Charlie Dempsey and the Heritage Cup…

Ilja Dragunov was shown heading to the ring from backstage…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Even though this is a heel-heel title transfer, I’ve very happy they finally decided to take the belt off of Noam Dar. Yes, they’ll probably still be a lot of cheating, but the No Quarter Catch Crew’s catch wrestling style works better than Noam Dar’s “Sports Entertainment” dirty style for NXT’s version of a pure rules style championship. I hope they don’t immediately put the title back on Noam like they did last time. I also wonder with Vic really pushing the “Catch Clause” if they are going to defend the title under freebird rules? That would be a bit convoluted, but it can also maybe give rookies like Damon Kemp (who’s actually very very TV ready) and Miles Borne some credible TV time.

Shawn Spears was interviewed in the parking lot. Spears said he likes Ridge Holland, but Holland has been lying to himself for way too long. Spears said a jilted pain has been coursing through his body too long. Spears said the truth can bring you to your knees. He said he’s back at NXT and he’ll see Ridge at Roadblock. The camera panned to show Roxanne Perez looking pissed and walking through the parking lot….

John’s Thoughts: Uhhhhh…. That promo felt a bit cheesy and bland. It wasn’t Scrypts bad, because scrypts had that ugly ass helmet, but it wasn’t great either. Spears was at his best when he was the plucky babyface Perfect 10. He had good moments during his AEW run. Right now, it looks like he’s NXT’s latest dark and ominous character, and so far those type of characters haven’t been clicking. I hope he makes this work, because I love Spears’s work. I saw how great he was at moments in AEW. I saw the streets of San Jose yell “TEN” non stop every time NXT would tape in California. I really hope it works.

The Wolf Dogs vs. Chase U for the NXT Tag Team Championships and The Kabuki Warriors vs. Lyra Valkyria and Tatum Paxley for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles were announced for NXT Roadblock next week…

[Overrun] Ilja Dragunov was pacing back and forth in the ring. Carmelo Hayes made his entrance with security guards surrounding the ring. Ilja and Melo sat at opposite sides of the table with Ava in the middle. Melo said he only brought security for his protection. Melo said to hurry up with the contract so he can get his championship back. Ilja talked about how Melo is willing to discard anyone and anything for the championship. Melo said “absolutely”.

Melo laughed at Ilja saying he’ll take Melo’s soul. Melo said he’s just a lot colder about the way he does things. Tony D’Angelo, Channing Lorenzo, and Adriana Rizzo made their entrance. Tony D told his crew to hang back as he entered the ring himself. Tony D said when you talk big business, he needs to be in the discussion. Melo told Tony D to not say one more word or else he’ll send him out via the security. Tony told Melo, there’s only one don.

The Security then walked to the back via Tony D’s orders. Tony then sat in the center of the table. Tony D talked about this Trick, Melo, and Ilja saga going for months. He said he’s the only man to flip this saga on it’s head. Melo tried to interrupt and Tony D yelled not to interrupt him. Tony D said he’s been hearing Melo talk about wanting to be champion for months. Tony D said Ilja is a bit flashy. Tony D said he’s asking Ilja face to face that he wants to take the title from Ilja, not Melo. Tony D said he earned everything he’s got and everyone got what was coming to them that crossed him.

Tony D asked Ilja for a title match at Stand and Deliver. Tony D proposed him vs. Melo next week in a number one contenders match. Ava said she already has the Ilja vs. Melo contract written up, but it’s up to Ilja if he wants otherwise. Ilja said he actually wants to see Melo earn something for once and he approves of the Tony D vs. Melo match. Ilja asked Tony to “Whoop dat Melo”. Melo said he respects Tony D and Tony D is the person you go to to take out trash or a random bookkeeper, but when it comes to the NXT Championship “I am the Don”.

Ilja tried to hold Tony D back and accidentally took a punch from Tony. Melo gave Tony D a spinebuster through the contract signing table. Melo signed the contract and laid it over the fallen Tony D. Melo laid the NXT TItle over the fallen Ilja. The show closed with Melo standing tall and Vic Joseph hyping up next week’s theme episode…

John’s Thoughts: A bit unexpected, with Tony D muscling himself in the title picture outta thin air. Usually, I’d be against something this random, but I’ve been mentioning how thin the NXT main event picture has been, to where I want to see Tony D elevated back to singles relevancy. I felt that despite he and Stacks having good chemistry, he was being held back by the tag team titles because of how good he looked as a singles wrestler despite only having less than 5 matches on TV (I feel like Stack’s singles push after his Nakamura match got halted too). I don’t expect Tony D to win next week, because I totally expect Trick Williams to return to set up a potential triple threat between Trick, Melo, and Ilja.

Well, maybe they’re thinking Trick vs. Melo in a grudge match while Ilja faces Tony D? I donno. They invested a lot of TV time into Trick, Melo, and Ilja, and that’s where Tony D feels a bit random. Let’s see where they go. Hey, maybe they want to play with Stand and Deliver being in the North East US with some mafia gimmick or something? I’m not sure. I am looking forward to Tony D vs. Melo next week though because it’s been a hot minute since we seen Tony D in a singles match (he did have that long injury layoff). He was really killin’ it before the injury, which is why next week’s match has the potential to be really good. Good show this week too. Solid setup for next week’s theme show with the usual utilization of time for character development. I do have to run out real quick for somethin’ so I might be a bit late with my NXT Audio Review for the dot net members and patreon patrons. I’ll have that too ya’ll by tomorrow morning at the latest.

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