Date: December 27, 2022
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Booker T., Vic Joseph
We’re taped again this week to close out the year. With about five weeks to go before Vengeance Day, there is quite a bit of time to fill and some of that will have to be covered tonight. This week’s show will feature a North American Title match, as Wes Lee defends against Tony D’Angelo. Let’s get to it.
Julius Creed is ready to prove a point against JD McDonagh, even if Brutus Creed ate all of the green bean casserole.
JD McDonagh is glad that the holidays are over so people don’t have to pretend they like their families anymore.
Julius Creed vs. JD McDonagh
Julius’ brother Brutus is here. Feeling out process to start, though McDonagh claims a pull of the hair. They fight over arm control until Julius bounces off the rope to armdrag him outside. That means a drop onto the announcers’ table but McDonagh is back up with a posting as we take a break.
Back with Julius hitting a backbreaker into a jumping knee to the face. McDonagh grabs the standing Spanish Fly for a double knockdown but Julius catches him on top. That’s broken up but McDonagh misses the moonsault, allowing Julius to hit the basement lariat for the pin at 9:52.
Rating: C+. That’s a heck of a win for Julius a the push seems to be on its way. He has the skill to do something on his own around here and that might be starting up soon. At the same time, McDonagh seems to have fallen quite the long way after being in the NXT Title hunt. I’m not complaining but dang that’s a drop down the card.
Post match here is Indus Sher to issue the challenge to the Creeds for New Year’s Evil in two weeks. The game seems to be on.
Tony D’Angelo isn’t worried about Dijak or Wes Lee. Stacks took care of Dijak last week you see.
Schism talks about how they are different than everyone else but this is their best life. They are one.
Cora Jade vs. Wendy Choo
Choo starts fast and takes the fight to the floor. Back in and Choo misses a charge in the corner, allowing Jade to plant her with a backbreaker. Jade grabs the armbar to put Choo down but the running knee in the corner is countered into a sitout powerbomb for two. Choo hits a suplex and a small package gets two, followed by the full nelson slam for two. The Vader Bomb gives Choo the pin at 5:13.
Rating: C. Speaking of weird results, Jade losing here isn’t exactly something I would have expected. Choo kind of goes up and down the card but Jade feels like someone who should be getting ready to challenge Perez for the title. Kind of a nothing match, but I’m more than a bit surprised by the result.
Ikemen Jiro is ready to stop Scrypts using the power of the jacket.
Josh Briggs gives Fallon Henley a pep talk before she faces Kiana James. Brooks Jensen insists he’s on her side, eventually clarifying that he means Henley’s.
Ikemen Jiro vs. Scrypts
Scrypts, in Jiro’s jacket, tries to jump him from behind but gets knocked outside. Back in and Scrypts hits a basement dropkick to take over, setting up the triangle choke. Jiro fights up and makes the comeback, including right hands and a knee to the face. They head up top with Jiro getting shoved down, leaving Scrypts to hit the top rope flipping seated senton for the pin at 4:13.
Rating: C. Is it that clear that they are running out of interesting things to do at this point in a bit of a marathon taping cycle? I’m not sure what NXT sees in the Scrypts deal but it isn’t exactly clicking after a month or so. Yeah it’s clearly Reggie under the mask but what is supposed to be so menacing or even bad about him here? NXT doesn’t often have an idea that just misses but they seem to be at that point with Scrypts.
Oro Mensah loves being in the club and in the ring.
Alba Fyre is ready for Isla Dawn.
Lyra Valkyria vs. Lash Legend
Legend powers her into the corner to start but Valkyria is back up with a jumping shoulder. An armdrag sends Legend outside but she pulls Valkyria out with her for a chop. Back in and Valkyria hits a kick to the head, setting up a top rope splash for the pin at 3:32.
Rating: C-. The string of pretty meh stuff continues here as Valkyria didn’t exactly show off here. She has a great presentation and feels like a star but it wasn’t exactly clicking. At the same time, somewhere along the way, Legend became a heck of a lot closer to competent after months of being a disaster.
Toxic Attraction is ready to rebuild and regroup after their biggest loss.
Bron Breakker wants to hurt Grayson Waller but he isn’t here. Waller sends in a video though and brags about how much smarter he is. Instead, Waller is back in Sydney, Australia and brags about how awesome the city really is. He’s ready to win the NXT Title and they can sign the papers next week. Breakker smashes the TV the video aired on.
Schism vs. Edris Enofe/Odyssey Jones/Malik Blade
Ava Raine is here with Schism. Gacy and Blade start fast with neither being able to get very far. A rollup gives Blade one but Gacy sends him into the corner. Reed comes in and gets caught with a dropkick, allowing the tag off to Enofe. It’s off to Fowler for a suplex to take over and we hit the chinlock. That’s broken up and Enofe hits a good looking dropkick, allowing Jones to come in for a rolling splash. Everything breaks down and we take a break.
Back with Raine talking to Booker T. and seemingly freaking him out as Fowler chinlocks Blade. With that broken up, Blade gets over to Jones for the house cleaning, including a double side slam to the Dyad. Enofe drops a top rope elbow as everything breaks down again. Schism sends Jones outside for….six straight suicide dives to FINALLY knock him down. Back in and a double Doomsday Device into the double Codebreaker into the handspring lariat finishes Enofe at 11:15.
Rating: C+. As usual, Schism is a heck of a lot more tolerable when they aren’t talking. As for the match, the finishing sequence was quite good and Enofe looked like he was completely destroyed by the onslaught. Throw in Jones looking like a monster and this was a rather enjoyable match. From Schism. Believe it or not.
Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams are ready for a pair of big matches next week against Apollo Crews and Axiom respectfully.
Kiana James vs. Fallon Henley
The winner gets Henley’s family’s bar. Henley elbows her in the face to start and hits a running shoulder to keep James in trouble. James hides behind the ring skirt and gets in a few shots to take over in the corner. That’s broken up as Henley hits her right back and grabs a facebuster for two. Henley trips James down, setting up the running knee to the face for the pin and the bar at 5:13.
Rating: C. Well, that’s that I guess. Henley wins the match and gets to keep the bar, which was fine one week, then in jeopardy, and now it’s fine again. I’m not sure how much drama there was to the story, but at least Henley gets a win after what felt like a pretty nasty losing streak. Fairly nothing match, but they got the important part right.
Roxanne Perez still isn’t used to being Women’s Champion but she is going to do everything she can to honor the title.
It’s time for the Drew Gulak Invitational, featuring him grappling with three young stars as Hank Walker watches. Gulak takes all of them down with varying levels of ease for the taps. After that ends with no drama, Charlie Dempsey comes out to challenge Walker for next week. Game on.
Here’s what’s coming up next week.
North American Title: Wes Lee vs. Tony D’Angelo
D’Angelo, with Stacks, is challenging. Feeling out process to start with Lee getting in some right hands, only to get snapped over with a release belly to belly. D’Angelo gets two off a German suplex and shrugs off a front facelock. Lee gets whipped hard into the corner but manages to send D’Angelo outside for the big dive.
We take a break and come back with Lee holding a headlock to keep things slow. D’Angelo fights up and decks Lee again before starting in on the leg. They head outside with Lee’s leg being dropped onto the announcers’ table to make it even worse. Back in and Lee gets in a shot of his own before hammering away in the corner. Some right hands are cut off with a toss powerbomb out of the corner for a delayed….non-cover as D’Angelo goes after the leg instead. Cue Dijak to go after Stacks though and Lee’s leg is fine enough for the standing backflip Pele to retain at 14:48.
Rating: C+. Selling issues at the end from Lee aside, this felt like a big enough match for a main event, with D’Angelo looking fairly dominant in defeat. Lee is starting to string together some wins and is going to get to the point where him losing the title is going to mean something. The Dijak showdown is likely coming and that should be a good enough fight, so at least they’re setting things up.
Overall Rating: C. You could definitely tell that they are in need of a fresh taping as this felt like the bottom rung of the ladder. The show was far from bad but not much on here felt important, which made for a pretty weak night. There is a good chance that gets better next time, as it certainly needs to do before New Year’s Evil in two weeks.
Julius Creed b. JD McDonagh – Basement lariat
Wendy Choo b. Cora Jade – Vader Bomb
Scrypts b. Ikemen Jiro – Top rope flipping seated senton
Lyra Valkyria b. Lash Legend – Top rope splash
Schism b. Edris Enofe/Odyssey Jones/Malik Blade – Handspring lariat to Enofe
Fallon Henley b. Kiana James – Running knee
Wes Lee b. Tony D’Angelo – Backflip kick to the head
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