NXT – April 11, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 11th April 2023
Date: April 11, 2023
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T.
With no major special events in sight, it is time to start getting ready for the next big TV show. That would be two weeks away with Spring Breakin, which is going to need a main event. This week will see a four way match for the #1 contendership, with participants to be announced. Let’s get to it.
Here are Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams to get things going. Hayes wants to talk about Bron Breakker turning on him last week. There was no passing of the torch because Hayes took it. Hayes and Breakker are going to be facing off for a long time and Stand & Deliver was just a chapter in a long story. Tonight, Hayes is flexing his championship muscle and inviting Breakker into the four way #1 contenders match. That means he’s telling, not asking.
Cue Dragon Lee to interrupt, saying that Hayes is talented but he’s coming for the title. Hayes welcomes him to NXT and says never interrupt the champ. Lee gets a pass because he’s new around here, but here is JD McDonagh to interrupt. McDonagh promises to win the match and the title, but Hayes makes a leprechaun joke. Now it’s Grayson Waller, who says there are some stupid people here. Hayes says there are a lot of them’s but one him. This was your “hi, I want a title match” opening segment.
Kiana James and Fallon Henley argue again. Brooks Jensen is nowhere to be found.
Sol Ruca and Dani Palmer were making a TikTok video in the parking lot when Tiffany Stratton interrupted. Tiffany was NOT happy about them being in her space but left in a huff.
Women’s Tag Team Titles: Alba Fyre/Isla Dawn vs. Fallon Henley/Kiana James
Henley/James, with Josh Briggs, are challenging. James jumps Dawn to start and the fight is on fast. It’s off to Henley, who gets tripped down and forearmed by Fyre. We see Brooks Jensen arriving as Henley jawbreaks her way to freedom and brings James back in. The champs are cleared out and we take a break.
Back with James in trouble but managing a belly to back suplex to Fyre. Henley gets the tag and trades kicks with Dawn for a double knockdown. Cue Jensen to try to bring in the loaded purse but the referee ejects him as Henley tells him to get out. Jensen shoves Briggs down and carries James off, leaving Dawn to get Backstabbered and Swantoned to retained the titles at 10:05
Rating: C. Henley and James have been bickering for months now and they are still doing just that. There is only so much that you can get out of that idea and we might be reaching that point. At the same time, Dawn and Fyre are looking like fairly good champions, even if there isn’t much to compare them to. Just get on with the Henley/James stuff already so everyone can move on to something else.
Video on Noam Dar and the Heritage Cup.
It’s time to present the Chase University MVP Award to Duke Hudson. After a speech from Andre Chase about Hudson saving the day, Hudson seems mostly grateful and does his own spelling chant. Cue Bron Breakker to interrupt, saying everyone wants to hear from him. Breakker doesn’t care that he is being rude, but he has realized that the title is a curse.
He doesn’t need the approval of these scumbags any longer, but for tonight, Hudson should be in the #1 contenders match. Breakker goes to leave, only to turn around and spear Chase in half. The Chase U flag is ripped in half. This didn’t feel like the start of a feud and it shouldn’t be.
Gigi Dolin is at her childhood home, which looks less than inviting. She talks about how she wanted to be loved and escape from this place. Jacy Jayne knew that and then attacked her anyway, but she will never break Dolin’s spirit.
Earlier this week, as shown by NXT Anonymous, Tony D’Angelo and Stacks attacked Pretty Deadly.
Javier Bernal vs. Eddy Thorpe
They go to the mat to start with Thorpe getting the better of things and hitting a crossbody. Cue Damon Kemp to watch as Bernal sends Thorpe outside. Back in and a suplex sets up a Boston crab on Thorpe, who slips out rather quickly. Thorpe’s double underhook swinging suplex finishes Bernal at 3:36.
Rating: C. This was little more than a way to get Thorpe some more exposure as he continues his start. Beating up a goon like Bernal is a fine way to go as the fans will react to it enough and Thorpe can get something out of it. Thorpe has potential, but he has to get some wins before that potential can start to be realized. These matches might not be great, but they’ll be helpful for him on the way up.
Gallus interrupted Tank Ledger’s photo shoot but as interrupted by Schism. The Dyad want a Tag Team Title shot.
Scrypts is ready to expose Axiom.
Sol Ruca vs. Tiffany Stratton
Stratton takes her down by the wrist to start before they take turns flipping over each other. Ruca actually falls for a handshake and is quickly taken down for a standing moonsault. The armbar keeps Ruca down but she fights up with some running shoulders. A flipping corner clothesline and a powerslam give Ruca two, with Stratton bailing to the floor. Ruca’s dive is cut off with a kick to the arm, setting up a Regal Roll. The moonsault gives Stratton the pin at 5:30.
Rating: C+. The athleticism was on display here but Ruca didn’t get to show nearly what she can do. That’s the right play in a match like this though, as this was about making Stratton look like a star. The flips looked great with that moonsault to finish being a thing of beauty. Stratton very well could be the next breakout star in the division so there is no reason to have her lose here.
Duke Hudson is fired up about bringing gold to Chase U.
The Creed Brothers want Gallus for the Tag Team Titles next week. With them gone, Tiffany Stratton comes in to say Indi Hartwell is scared.
Here is Cora Jade for a chat. Jade talks about how it is time to start humbling some people. Zoey Stark can do a lot of impressive things in the ring, but she’ll never be champion. Roxanne Perez is only famous for Jade turning on her and how long is she using what happened to her as a crutch? Gigi Dolin was close to winning the title but that title says Cora Jade.
Then there’s Tiffany Stratton, who has the tools but Jade runs this place. Lyra Valkyria is fearless but she should fear Jade. Finally there is Indi Hartwell, who isn’t in a fairy tale but rather Jade’s NXT. Cue Valkyria to interrupt and accuse Jade of being jealous. The fight is on and Jade bails fast. This was a weird mixture of compliments and insults but Jade seems to have a next opponent lined up.
Wes Lee is interrupted by Charlie Dempsey and Drew Gulak, who wonder how he would handle being tied up on the mat. Lee more or less says bring it and leaves.
Von Wagner vs. Ilja Dragunov
If Wagner loses, Mr. Stone (ringside) is done with him. Wagner jumps him to start as Booker compares Wagner to Shaquille O’Neal. Dragunov is back up with the Constantine Special and a suplex to drop Wagner again. Wagner gets in a slam off the top but Dragunov kicks him in the head to take over again. The Torpedo finishes for Dragunov at 3:23.
Rating: C+. That’s exactly what it needed to be, as there was no reason to believe that Wagner was going to be a threat to Dragunov. After months of Wagner losing every big match he had, he wasn’t going to beat a star like Dragunov for the sake of keeping his manager. This was more a matter of necessity to split up Wagner and Stone and if I get to watch Dragunov wreck someone, so be it.
Stone walks away from Wagner. Cue Dijak to stare Dragunov down and threaten violence.
Hank Walker gives Tank Ledger a pep talk.
Tank Ledger vs. Joe Coffey
The rest of Gallus is here too. Ledger shoves him down to start but Coffey is right back in with an armbar. That’s broken up and Ledger hits a splash but what looks to be an Alabama Slam is broken up. They head outside with Coffey sending him into the steps, followed by All The Best For The Bells back inside. A second one finishes Ledger off at 4:25.
Rating: C. Much like Dragunov vs. Wagner, this wasn’t about drama as Ledger wasn’t going to win here, save for a very surprising upset. Coffey hasn’t been around for a good while and needed a win, but this wasn’t entirely dominant. Ledger got in a few shots here and showed some potential, but it isn’t close to his time yet.
Post match the Creed Brothers and Schism comes in to fight.
Roxanne Perez comes up to Tony D’Angelo and Stacks to say they’ll all win titles. Then Zoey Stark comes in to mock Perez, resulting in a match for next week. With Perez gone, Pretty Deadly jumps D’Angelo and Stacks.
Grayson Waller vs. Duke Hudson vs. JD McDonagh vs. Dragon Lee
The winner gets a title shot in two weeks. Hudson gets knocked to the floor to start, leaving Waller to take over inside. Back in and Hudson suplexes McDonagh and Waller at the same time but Lee low bridges him to the floor. The big flip dive drops Hudson again and McDonagh Asai moonsaults onto Lee. Waller’s rolling Stunner hits Hudson but he gets dropped as well. Everyone is down as we take a break.
Back with Lee hitting a bunch of dropkicks in the corner but Waller cuts him off. Hudson is back up to clean house, including a bionic elbow on Waller. A slingshot German suplex gets two on Lee but McDonagh hits Hudson with a poisonrana. Lee makes the save with a top rope double stomp, followed by another to bring McDonagh out of the corner. There’s the suicide dive onto Hudson and a running shot to McDonagh’s face for two. Lee powerbombs Hudson but Waller hits the rolling Stunner to steal the pin and the title shot at 12:45.
Rating: B. This was the all action match that you would expect here with a bit of a surprise result. Waller winning is an interesting way to go as he is the most established of the four stars but he just lost a huge match at Stand & Deliver. He’ll do for a first challenger for Hayes though and it came after a pretty great match. The four of them kept moving almost entirely throughout and Waller stealing the win suits him perfectly. Very good main event and the best thing on the show.
Waller drinks from a shoe and gets stared down by Carmelo Hayes to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. Solid show here with matches that kept stories moving and got some people into new spots. What matters here is setting up a bigger show with Spring Breakin and they got the main event ready here. The rest of the card can be set up next week, but for now we had some stuff going on and a good main event. That’s a nice use of two hours, as tends to be the case for NXT.
Alba Fyre/Isla Dawn b. Fallon Henley/Kiana James – Swanton to Henley
Eddy Thorpe b. Javier Bernal – Swinging double underhook suplex
Tiffany Stratton b. Sol Ruca – Moonsault
Ilja Dragunov b. Von Wagner – Torpedo
Joe Coffey b. Tank Ledger – All The Best For The Bells
Grayson Waller b. Dragon Lee, Duke Hudson and JD McDonagh – Powerbomb to Hudson
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