Vengeance Day 2023
Date: February 4, 2023
Location: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T.
NXT is back on the road for the first time since Stand & Deliver all the way back in the spring. That is something that could do a lot of good for NXT and the card is pretty stacked as well. We have a bunch of title matches here, capped off by Bron Breakker defending the NXT Title against Grayson Waller inside a cage. Let’s get to it.
Charlotte hosts the opening video, which features all of the wrestlers coming into what looks like a mini arena (probably at the Performance Center) and staring each other down. That’s certainly different.
Commentary says they are on the road for the first time since they took over Portland over 1,000 days ago. So I dreamed going to Stand & Deliver in Dallas last year?
North American Title: Wes Lee vs. Dijak
Lee is defending and suckers Dijak into the corner to start. A missed charge lets Lee hit a slingshot hurricanrana (nearly taking out the referee in the process) to send Dijak outside. Back in and Dijak throws him around to take over, including a heck of a toss suplex for two. Dijak tosses him over the top for a big crash and then sends him into the barricade for a bonus. Lee ducks a charge though and sends Dijak crashing to the floor.
Back up and Lee sends him into the corner for a superkick to the back of the head. A bridging German suplex plants Dijak and Lee knocks him to the floor again. There’s the big twisting dive and a poisonrana plants Dijak back inside. A fisherman’s driver gets two more but Dijak counters a flip into High Justice for two.
Dijak goes to a crossface chickenwing and grabs the bodyscissors but Lee makes the rope. Another High Justice is reversed and Lee hits a running knee to the face. Dijak kicks him in the face for two and takes it to the corner, only to have a superbomb reversed into a super hurricanrana. The Spiral Tap gives Lee a very close two and Dijak bails to the floor.
The suicide dive only hits barricade though and it’s time for Dijak to grab a chair. Dijak uses a broom to secure Lee in the chair and goes up for a moonsault, which hits…..Tony D’Angelo and Stacks? With the two of them down, Lee superkicks Dijak out of the air and hits the Pele to retain at 16:56.
Rating: B+. This felt like an old school Takeover opener where you were expecting a pretty good match but got a very good one instead. That is the kind of surprise that is always nice to have and they delivered it very well here. Lee gets the kind of win that he has been needing and Dijak had enough of a distraction to keep his loss from hurting him that much. D’Angelo probably comes out of this as champion, but this was a heck of a step on the way there.
Dijak seems to have really messed up his finger.
Kayden Carter/Katana Chance only care about retaining their Women’s Tag Team Titles.
Women’s Tag Team Titles: Kiana James/Fallon Henley vs. Kayden Carter/Katana Chance
James/Henley, with Brooks Jensen/Josh Briggs, are challenging. James takes over on Carter to start but gets taken down, allowing Chance to come in with a slingshot hilo. Hold on though as Henley doesn’t like James using the hair to cheat. The champs hit a standing moonsault/legdrop combination for two on Henley but it’s right back to James for a side slam.
Henley grabs a chinlock but Chance flips her away and it’s back to Carter to clean house. James spinebusters Carter for two and everything breaks down again. Henley gets taken up top for a super hurricanrana from Chance but James breaks up the neckbreaker/450 combination. Henley grabs a rollup for the pin and the titles out of nowhere at 9:15, not noticing James holding the leg down.
Rating: C. This match was in a weird place, as they had very little story coming in and the titles haven’t felt important in a long time. The fact that Chance and Carter had held the belts for six months was almost staggering as they haven’t done anything with them. NXT has enough women for a tag division, but if the titles are forgotten so often, it isn’t going to make much of a difference. Completely watchable match, but it pretty much came and went.
There is an NXT watch party at the Performance Center. Drew Gulak is impressed with the opening match but needs Hank Walker to get some proper gear.
We recap Apollo Crews vs. Carmelo Hayes. Crews is an athletic marvel who is here to prove himself in NXT. Hayes is the new phenom and says he’s the next big thing. Tonight it’s 2/3 falls.
Carmelo Hayes vs. Apollo Crews
2/3 falls and Trick Williams is here with Hayes. Feeling out process to start with neither being able to get very far on their feel or on the mat. Crews starts in on the leg so Hayes flips up and hits him in the face for a breaker. Hayes goes up but gets pulled down into the Tree Of Woe to bang up his ribs.
That’s enough of a target for Crews, who knees him in the ribs but gets elbowed in the face. Crews sends him outside for a moonsault to the floor, followed by a slingshot hilo for two back inside. Back up and Hayes backdrops him over the ropes and catches a cutter to drop Crews across the top. Hayes starts cranking on the neck but Crews is back up and sends him to the apron.
The apron super gives Crews two but Hayes faceplants him down hard. We hit the Crossface on Crews, who finally tapes for the first fall at 15:48. Crews is banged up to start the second fall and Hayes goes after the shoulder to keep him in trouble. The Fade Away gives Hayes a fast two but Crews is back up with a running Blockbuster (almost a flipping DDT) for two.
They both go to the apron and a double ram into the buckle puts them on the floor. Back in and Crews hits a jumping knee to the face but Williams’ distraction doesn’t work. Crews knocks Hayes to the floor and it’s Dabba Kato (formerly Commander Azeez) to take Williams down. Hayes takes Crews down as well though and it’s Nothing But Net to finish Crews 2-0 at 23:24.
Rating: B. The Kato return isn’t exactly inspiring but this was a rather well done back and forth match with Hayes getting a very strong rub. Hayes has been built up as a big star in NXT and this should be enough to catapult him into the #1 contendership. It is the big prize that he has not won around here so it was either get in the title hunt or head to the main roster. They got a lot of time here and the match was good, so it’s hard to find much to complain about with the entire package.
Post match Kato hugs Crews and then takes him out with a chokebomb.
Brooks Jensen/Josh Briggs/Kiana James/Fallon Henley can’t believe they won the titles. Now, they drink.
Hometown boy Andre Chase is ready to win the Tag Team Titles in his hometown. The fact that they are freezing outside is just a detail.
Tag Team Titles: Chase U vs. New Day vs. Gallus vs. Pretty Deadly
New Day is defending and it’s one fall to a finish. Kofi and Prince start things off but it’s quickly off to Woods. Prince winds up on Wilson’s shoulders on the floor, with a baseball slide breaking it up. Thea Hail uses the megaphone to scare Pretty Deadly but Hudson tags himself in to take over on Prince.
Wilson comes in and gets beaten up by Gallus, who take turns on his arm. Woods takes Wilson’s place and is pulled into the corner to start up the beating. Pretty Deadly takes over on Woods, with Wilson cranking on the wrist. Woods gets in a shot of his own though and the hot tag brings in Kofi to clean house.
The Boom Drop into the SOS gets two on Prince but everything breaks down. The parade of knockdowns sets up an assisted gutbuster for two on Kingston but he’s right back up with the Midnight Hour. Everyone dives in for the save and the pile heads to the floor. Chase throws Kingston onto them all, then superplexes Wilson onto them for an even bigger crash. The announcers’ table is cleared off but Pretty Deadly throws Hudson back in rather than using it.
Hudson runs both of them over but Mark Coffey takes Hudson down. Everyone heads back outside, with Gallus sending Hudson through the announcers’ table. Back in and Chase sends Wolfgang outside, setting up the high crossbody for two on Coffey. We hit the Figure Four on Coffey but Wolfgang makes the save with the Howling.
The enziguri/powerslam combination gets two on Chase but Kofi is back in to break up a second attempt. Kofi’s Trust Fall is pulled out of the air though and Pretty Deadly hits Spilled Milk on the floor. Woods forearms Coffey down back inside but dives into an assisted powerslam to give Gallus the pin and the titles at 16:46.
Rating: B-. I couldn’t decide on picking Gallus or New Day to leave with the titles here so they didn’t go out of left field. Gallus feels like a team who could be rather dominant if they are build up properly and it isn’t like a loss is going to hut New Day. At the same time, Pretty Deadly have held the titles for a good while already and Chase U….well they never win anything. The good thing here though is Chase U was actually in the title match, which is more than they can say most of the time. Throw in them not taking the fall and this was a pretty nice result all things considered.
We look at the who did it video on the Nikkita Lyons attack.
We recap the Women’s Title match, with Roxanne Perez defending against Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin. The challengers both won a battle royal and are both coming for the title. They teased splitting up, only to get back together and fight Perez at the same time. Perez is trying to prove she is a real champion by fighting both of them at once.
Women’s Title: Roxanne Perez vs. Gigi Dolin vs. Jacy Jayne
Perez is defending and has to start slugging away at both of them at once. Dolin and Jayne collide by mistake though and have to pause to make sure everything is cool. Back up and Perez sends both of them outside but Jayne neckbreakers Perez down. Another near mistake leaves Dolin and Jayne apologizing on the floor, only to have Dolin pull Jayne into the way of a baseball slide.
Back in and Jayne breaks up Dolin’s cover, meaning the fight is on between the challengers. Perez is back in with a DDT for two on Jayne and Dolin is left down in the corner. Jayne sends Perez into the corner for the Cannonball, followed by a running knee for two on Perez. Back up and Jayne drops Dolin but Pop Rox is broken up.
Dolin suplexes Perez for two with Jayne making a save. Everyone needs a breather until Perez gets knocked down for a double near fall. It’s time to bring out a table but Perez fights up again. Perez sends Jayne into the apron and drops Dolin, setting up the super Pop Rox to retain the title at 13:43.
Rating: C. I couldn’t get into this one as it felt like a bunch of the same idea over and over. Toxic Attraction gets along, then they fight, then they fight again, all while Perez is able to split the difference and get in some shots of their own. That’s about what you would expect to happen in a match like this, as it is the tried and true formula. Perez gets a nice win, but it wasn’t exactly a great match on the way there.
We recap the NXT Title match as Bron Breakker defends against Grayson Waller in a cage. Waller keeps trying to get inside Breakker’s notably easy to mess with head. Breakker is ready to kill him but Waller seems rather confident.
NXT Title: Bron Breakker vs. Grayson Waller
Breakker is defending inside a cage but Waller (who has a woman bring his golden shoe to the ring) dropkicks the door into Breakker’s face on the floor before he can get in. That doesn’t last long as Breakker fights back and takes it inside for the opening bell. Waller grabs a cravate and fires off some knees to the face.
Breakker reverses that into a suplex but gets caught in a tornado DDT for two. A belly to belly puts Waller down again and the Steiner Bulldog, only for Breakker to miss a charge into the cage. Waller heads up top, only to get Frankensteinered back down. A jumping knee knocks Breakker out of the air for two and Breakker gets tied in the ropes. Waller hits a spear but Breakker powers out of the ropes, leaving Waller a bit petrified.
The rams into the cage keep Waller rocked until he low blows his way out of trouble. The fans are split on Waller, who goes all the way to the top of the cage. Rather than climb down, Waller waits for Breakker to get up and catch him on top. A superplex off the top of the cage rocks Waller’s inner Big Boss Man and there’s the spear to cut him in half. That’s not enough for Breakker to cover though as he yells at Waller instead. Waller shoves him in the face…..so Breakker hits a second spear to retain at 14:22.
Rating: C+. Another kind of weird match here as Waller more or less hung with Breakker until the ending and then tried his mind games, only to get speared down again to lose. The match wasn’t bad by any means, but it also didn’t feel like something epic. Then again this feud hasn’t felt like a big deal since it started, but Carmelo Hayes seems to be the next big bad for Breakker and that should work well.
Breakker seems to be favoring his arm a bit but poses on top of the cage anyway. Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams come out to stare at Breakker to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. While it was nowhere near a Takeover, this was a good enough show and felt like a big one by NXT standards. At the end of the day, NXT needed to get out of the Performance Center and have a show that felt more important. They did it here and get to do it again in Los Angeles in April, so things are looking up a bit. Other than that, this was a collection of mostly good matches, with the opener blowing away just about everything else. They also set up the next title program, so the show did a few positive things. You don’t need to see it, but there are worse things to watch, which makes it a win.
Wes Lee b. Dijak – Pele
Kiana James/Fallon Henley b. Kayden Carter/Katana Chance – Rollup to Carter with James holding the foot
Carmelo Hayes b. Apollo Crews 2-0
Gallus b. New Day, Pretty Deadly and Chase U – Assisted powerslam to Woods
Roxanne Perez b. Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne – Super Pop Rox to Jayne
Bron Breakker b. Grayson Waller – Spear
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