Date: February 14, 2023
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Booker T., Vic Joseph
It’s Valentine’s Day and that is not likely to mean much of anything here. We are about a month and a half away from Stand & Deliver and Carmelo Hayes is looking like a strong option to go after Bron Breakker’s NXT Title. Other than that, NXT has some work to do so let’s get to it.
In Memory Of Jerry Jarrett.
Grayson Waller vs. Tyler Bate
Waller takes him to the rope to start the choking, while shouting that Shawn Michaels bet on the wrong horse. Bate grabs his own foot and swings it into Waller’s face, followed by a dropkick for two. A quick shot lets Waller grab a cravate with the knee to the face getting two more.
The back and forth continues as Bate runs him over and hits a standing shooting star press for his own near fall. They go outside with Booker going on his latest long winded rant about how attitude will get you to Wrestlemania. Waller slides back in and then back outside for a hard clothesline and we take a break.
Back with Bate avoiding the rolling Stunner and hitting the rebound lariat for two more. A middle rope uppercut sets up the airplane spin for two on Waller and frustration is setting in. Waller is back with a leg lariat into an Unprettier for two of his own and more frustration sets in. With nothing else working, Waller Tunes Up The Band but Bate cuts him off with Bop And Bang. A superkick gives Bate two more with Waller having to grab the rope. Bate tries the sunset flip but Waller grabs the rope for two, only to have Bate break the grip and get the pin at 11:57.
Rating: B-. The Shawn stuff is interesting as I can’t imagine he’ll get back in the ring at an NXT show, but that is where they seem to be building towards. Unless Shawn has someone to fight for him, I’m not sure where that is going. Bate winning is a good thing as he needs to be rebuilt (again) and beating the most recent #1 contender is a good place to start.
Earlier today, Brooks Jensen was worried about Valentine’s Day with Kiana James, revealing that he has never kissed a woman before. Josh Briggs gives him an explanation (math is involved) and even starts to demonstrate when Fallon Henley comes in. Briggs explains what is going on and Henley says keep it simple: when Jensen drops off James at her door, if James plays with her keys, go for it. Jensen seems to feel better.
Jacy Jayne is coming to the ring but we can see Grayson Waller yelling at Shawn Michaels. Matt Bloom breaks it up and a furious Shawn says cut to the break.
Apollo Crews is up set at Dabba-Kato for returning and attacking him at Vengeance Day.
Here is Jacy Jayne for an explanation about turning on Gigi Dolin last week. Jayne says last week was the beginning of her story and now it is about her. She has been the talk of NXT for the last week and her name is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Jayne has already watched the footage back 1000 times, so let’s make it 1001.
After that produced video rather than just the regular footage, Jayne calls Dolin Jannetty and says the days of Chuckie are over. Everyone needs to listen to her carefully: screw you. She is tired of being the third wheel in the most dominant faction in WWE history. But now, look who is the last woman standing. This wasn’t exactly original (the amount of “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME” promos over the years is astounding) but Jayne did deliver it well.
Chase U tells Thea Hail that she can talk to them about what Schism did anytime they want. She’s ready to go tonight though, and is going to say “Hi fear, I’m Thea.”
Video on Sol Ruca.
Thea Hail vs. Tiffany Stratton
The rest of Chase U is here too. Hail armdrags her down to start and hits a running dropkick for a bonus. Cue Schism (in different parts of the arena) to scare Hail though, allowing Stratton to knock her off the apron. Back in and Hail knocks her to the floor again, setting up the suicide dive. Ava Raine pops up for another distraction, allowing Stratton to plant Hail. The moonsault finishes for Stratton at 3:29.
Rating: C. This was all about keeping Hail vs. Schism going and that feels like it is going to last for a long time. Getting inside Hail’s mind is a good way to go, but at the same time, but Schism has a tendency to drag down almost anyone they work with. Hopefully that isn’t the case here, as Chase U has taken enough damage already. Stratton gets a win as her comeback continues and that is about as good as she can do right now.
Javier Bernal comes up to Tatum Paxley/Ivy Nile in the back and offers to let both of them be his Javytine. Paxley is taken but Nile actually says yes. Then she chokes Bernal out. Isla Dawn’s voice pops up to threaten Paxley and Nile, who don’t seem pleased.
Axiom vs. Damon Kemp
Fallout from Kemp attacking him a few weeks back. Axiom goes right for him to start as Booker talks about the Matrix. The big kick to the head misses so Kemp heads outside, with Axiom hitting a suicide dive. Back in and Kemp snaps off a wheelbarrow suplex and Axiom is in trouble in a hurry. A release German suplex does it again and Axiom gets knocked out to the floor. Axiom strikes away back inside but his high crossbody is rolled through for two. Another German suplex gives Kemp two more but Axiom hits him in the face. The Golden Ratio finishes Kemp at 3:31.
Rating: C+. Axiom is falling into his groove as a rather good midcard star as they have gotten rid of some of the bad things that he had been doing. The superhero deal works well for him and he can back it up in the ring. I’m still not sure what is going on with Kemp, who could be a decent star, but that Diamond Mine feud seemed to ruin him for some reason.
We see some Instagram posts about Brooks Jensen and Kiana James’ Valentine’s Day date.
Fallon Henley has to tell Brooks Jensen what is going on.
Grayson Waller has been thrown out and rants about Shawn Michaels, saying there is no more Heartbreak Kid and he runs this place.
Here is Bron Breakker for a chat. Breakker says it doesn’t feel right around here because the next challenge feels bigger. The match everyone wants to see is Breakker vs. him (not named) but here are Jinder Mahal and Indus Sher to interrupt. Breakker wasn’t expecting them, but Mahal says you have to expect the unexpected. The villains get inside, with Mahal talking about the stress that Breakker has been under for nearly a year now.
Mahal asks if this is what Breakker expected as champion, and yeah it is. Breakker must be deaf if he doesn’t hear the small pocket of fans who are booing him. Mahal says you either die a hero or you become the villain. Breakker says the fans can think whatever they want, which Mahal refers to as arrogance. The tides are changing and Mahal issues the challenge for next week. The champ is in and says Mahal doesn’t need to waste time with the new 3 Man Band. Breakker: “Which one of you plays the guitar?” Mahal says he’ll still like Breakker after taking his title.
This was a good example of the problem being the messenger instead of the message. Jinder Mahal is someone fans are not going to take seriously and the 3MB joke didn’t help things. As a one off win it’s fine, but Mahal as generic villain isn’t helping him. Just have Breakker smash him and move on (which is probably what is going to happen).
Katana Chance and Kayden Carter confirm that they are down to face Roxanne Perez and Meiko Satomura. Perez and Satomura respect each other.
It’s time for an open challenge for the North American Title. Tony D’Angelo comes out to accept but Dijak jump him, with Stacks going to help. We have another challenger sneaking up on Lee though.
North American Title: Von Wagner vs. Wes Lee
Wagner, with Mr. Stone, is challenging. Lee fights back and tries to flip away in the corner, only to get dropped face first onto the apron. Stone reminds Wagner that he has to win back inside so it’s a clothesline for two on Lee. Back up and Lee ducks a big boot, setting up the standing moonsault to stagger Wagner. Lee’s tornado DDT is pulled out of the air and Wagner faceplants him for two. Lee slips out of a gorilla press, hits four straight superkicks, and finishes with the Cardiac Kick at 4:43.
Rating: C. This was power vs. speed 101 and as usual, it worked just fine. Lee is getting built up as someone who can over come the odds, which is going to make whoever beats him that much bigger of a deal. Then you have Wagner and I still don’t get it. He’s as generic of a monster as you can get and it still isn’t interesting no matter what.
Hank Walker has a new singlet but his old boots. Drew Gulak gives him some silver boots of his own.
Charlie Dempsey vs. Hank Walker
Drew Gulak is here with Walker, who shrugs off some forearms to the face to start. A collision goes to Walker but they trade big boots for a double knockdown. Walker tries a Fujiwara armbar but Dempsey reverses into his head and leg stretch for the tap at 1:41.
Post match Dempsey puts the hold back on but Gulak just stands there. Then Gulak and Dempsey leave together. Fair enough as Walker is kind of a loser.
Von Wagner is furious about his loss and Mr. Stone blames Wagner not having a connection to anyone. Wagner needs to break his walls down and Stone has time for the guy inside him.
Gallus is in the pool hall when Pretty Deadly comes in. A pool game breaks out and Pretty Deadly does well….albeit on the wrong balls. Gallus wins easily but Pretty Deadly wants a rematch. The deal is if Pretty Deadly keeps buying them drinks, they can keep playing, with Pretty Deadly getting a Tag Team Title shot if they win. Pretty Deadly loses at least seven games in a row and then get stuck with the (very long) bill. Gallus gives them the title shot anyway.
Ilja Dragunov talks about how pain makes you feel alive and he promises to hurt JD McDonagh. We cut to the arena, where Trick Williams calls out Dragunov. That works for Dragunov, who comes to the ring as Williams promises to drop Dragunov like a mix tape. Cue Dragunov to say Williams is an entertaining life of the party. Williams is dropped but here is JD McDonagh (with tape over his eye) to threaten Dragunov, allowing Williams to get in a cheap shot.
Post break, Trick Williams comes up to Carmelo Hayes and brags about what he just did.
We see Brooks Jensen taking Kiana James to her front door after their date. Jensen gives her astronomy trivia (which he gets wrong) and then goes to kiss her (following the key playing). Then Fallon Henley and Josh Briggs show up (How long have they been following them?) with Henley bringing up the phone call with an “I love you Zack” from a few weeks ago. It turns out Zack is James’ brother and he pops up at the door. James storms inside and Jensen leaves in heartbreak.
Here’s what is coming next week.
Meiko Satomura/Roxanne Perez vs. Kayden Carter/Katana Chance
Carter shoulders Perez down to start and hands it off to Chance, who trips Perez down. A sliding kick and slingshot hilo get two on Perez and we hit the armbar. Back up and Perez flips out of a hurricanrana but gets taken right back into the wrong corner. That doesn’t last long as it’s off to Satomura for the first time, including a handshake with Carter.
Everything breaks down with Perez and Satomura cleaning house with uppercuts. Perez dives through the ropes onto Chance and Satomura hits one on Carter as we take a break. Back with Perez fighting out of Chance’s abdominal stretch but getting dropkicked down. Perez jawbreaks her way to freedom though and it’s Satomura coming back in to strike away. Some kicks to the head get two on Carter and Perez adds a backflip moonsault for two more.
Carter grabs something like an STO to plant Perez but she Russian legsweeps her way out of trouble. It’s back to Satomura, who gets knocked into the wrong corner for a change. Everything breaks down and Perez is knocked to the floor. Satomura is right back with the moonsault knees to Chance, followed by a Pele to Carter. Perez comes back in for Pop Rox and the pin on Carter at 10:29.
Rating: B-. This was a “hey, look who’s here” match as Satomura being around is a cool thing to see. Carter and Chance still have some value as a team so Perez and Satomura beating them means a little something. You might as well make Satomura vs. Perez for the title now though, as it isn’t like Perez has another challenger at the moment.
Post match Satomura issues the challenge for the title match and it would be Perez’s honor.
Overall Rating: B. This is a great example of a show where the overall rating is greater than its individual parts. All kinds of things were advanced here and you even got some turning points in a few stories. It came off like they had a big checklist for the show and covered every single item. The show felt organized and well put together, as you can see a lot of Stand & Deliver coming from here. Heck of an episode this week and I could go for a lot more like this one.
Tyler Bate b. Grayson Waller – Sunset flip
Tiffany Stratton b. Thea Hail – Moonsault
Axiom b. Damon Kemp – Golden Ratio
Wes Lee b. Von Wagner – Cardiac Kick
Charlie Dempsey b. Hank Walker – Head and leg stretch
Meiko Satomura/Roxanne Perez b. Kayden Carter/Katana Chance – Pop Rox to Carter
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