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NXT TV REPORT
OCTOBER 11, 2022
WINTER PARK, FLA. AT THE CAPITOL WRESTLING CENTER
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY KELLY WELLS (@spookymilk), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
NXT Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T
Ring Announcer: Alicia Taylor
Backstage Correspondent(s): McKenzie Mitchell
Tonight after the show, join the PWT Talks NXT self-proclaimed “gang of idiots” (including me) to break down the show with calls and emails.
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-Vic Joseph introduced his new broadcast partner, Booker T.
(1) BRON BREAKKER vs. JAVIER BERNAL
Non-title. JD McDonagh’s music played, interrupting Bernal as he entered second. McDonagh walked to the commentary table. Book mentioned how debonair he looked and said he liked the kid because he had a lot of respect. Booker is apparently leaning heel for the show’s purposes.
Breakker took down Bernal with a waistlock early. Bernal regrouped. Double armbar takedown by Breakker. Bernal tried to reverse but Breakker held serve with a fireman’s carry takeover. Booker kept gassing up McDonagh about the coming triple threat match at Halloween Havoc. Rope run and Bernal kicked Breakker in the face, then peppered him with rights. He posed to boos. He shoved Breakker’s head. Rope run and a shoulder block by Breakker, then another, and finally a spinebuster as Booker said it was “shades of his old man.” Breakker hit his powerslam while looking out at McDonagh.
WINNER: Bron Breakker at 3:22.
McDonagh entered and got in Breakker’s face. They jawed for just a moment and Ilja Dragunov’s music played him to the ring. He too entered and the three stared at one another. McDonagh threw a headbutt at Dragunov, and a brawl ensued. Torpedo by Dragunov missed McDonagh as he slipped away, and it hit Breakker instead. McDonagh preened outside the ring. Dragunov held Breakker’s belt as the segment ended.
(Wells’s Analysis: Smooth work from Bernal in a straightforward enhancement role. Kind of a nothing segment between the triple threat participants, but McDonagh was strong on commentary. Booker T can really get into bad habits as an announcer, but ten minutes in, I have no complaints)
-Alba Fyre segment. She cut a promo on Toxic Attraction. She said as a firekeeper, she never backs down. [c]
-Vic and Booker promoted Undertaker’s One Deadman Show in Boston.
(2) AXIOM vs. NATHAN FRAZER – Best of three series final; winner qualifies for Halloween Havoc Ladder Match for the North American Championship
Waistlock takedown by Axiom. Dueling chant was close – about 60% Frazer. Reset. Headlock takedown by Axiom, who transitioned to the arm. Quick escapes and Axiom took down Frazer by an ankle as he tried to leapfrog Axiom in a seamless spot. Quick reversals and near-misses and another reset as both kipped up. “NXT” chant. Very quick counters and yet another reset to applause. Axiom took down Frazer with another headlock and tried a leverage pin for two.
Test of strength was won by Frazer, who leaned in for two, then did so again. Action went to the top rope and the two jockeyed for position. Axiom caught Frazer in a powerbomb that went slightly awry; it looked like Frazer possibly landed on his neck. The match went to split-screen and Frazer continued working as normal, so it appears no major harm was done. [c]
The two worked methodically during the break, saving up for a hard-to-recap segment once it was back to full-screen, no doubt. Frazer controlled with a Boston Crab but Axiom rolled through for a quick two. Axiom hit a powerbomb with Frazer coming off the second ropes, then a high cross-body for two. Axiom went up again but Frazer dropkicked him to the floor. Near the announce table, Frazer went for a moonsault. Axiom moved but Frazer landed on his feet, then took down Axiom. The count reached six and Frazer got back in; Axiom reached at nine but Frazer hit an immediate dropkick. He flew off the top with a…Phoenix splash attempt?…but Axiom caught him in an armbar. Frazer fought his way to a rope to break. Another “NXT” chant rang out.
Frazer tried to springboard into the ring, but Axiom kicked him to the floor, then hit a springboard moonsault to the outside. Axiom rolled Frazer inside, then went up. Superplex by Frazer. Axiom locked on a sleeper as both guys no-sold almost everything. Kicks missed but Axiom managed one, followed by a lariat. Both guys sold on the mat and a third “NXT” chant greeted them. The two got to their knees and exchanged forearms. Axiom hit a big one and trapped Frazer for two. Superkicks by both. Flash knee by Axiom, who set up a superkick. Quick reversals on rollups ended with Frazer on top for the win.
WINNER: Nathan Frazer at 12:53.
(Wells’s Analysis: Lots of fun in this match, which is no surprise, though a little more selling wouldn’t have bothered me. I half-expected a draw that brought both to the ladder match, but they’re going with Frazer, who for now is the slightly more popular babyface. He won’t win the ladder match, I don’t think, but he’ll do some very interesting stuff in there. the field is set with Carmelo Hayes, Oro Mensah, Wes Lee, Von Wagner and Frazer)
-McKenzie Mitchell caught up with Ilja Dragunov in the parking lot. She asked if the headbutt was meant for Bron. Dragunov tried to answer but Grayson Waller ran up to annoy him. Dragunov mocked Waller’s grandma glasses. In a roundabout way, Dragunov suggested Waller’s poking and prodding was going to keep Dragunov in NXT. Dragunov left and Waller pouted.
-Sanga and Valentina Feroz talked ahead of Feroz’s match coming up. Indi Hartwell showed up and said tonight, it was her ring. [c]
-Apollo Crews narrated a segment of him walking around a parking lot. He promoted his upcoming match with Grayson Waller at Halloween Havoc, then “saw” a bunch of evil images, including Chucky, who has a long and interesting history in professional wrestling. He said at Halloween Havoc, he’ll leave Waller in the dark.
(3) VALENTINA FEROZ (w/Sanga) vs. INDI HARTWELL
I think Hartwell’s music is new, but it’s generic enough that I can’t be certain. Hartwell shoved Feroz to the outside, then dominated when Feroz reentered. Body slam and a two count by Hartwell. Hartwell worked a headlock and behind them, Veer Mahaan walked down to the ring and whispered something to Sanga, who left ringside with Mahaan. Hartwell put up Feroz over her shoulder. Feroz escaped and trapped Hartwell in an arm scissors. Hartwell powered Feroz up and suplexed her to break. Feroz snapped on another scissors and this time Hartwell had to reach a rope to break. Feroz hit a running knee for two.
Jawbreaker by Feroz, who then noticed Sanga was gone. She hit double knees and a basement dropkick on Hartwell for two. To a corner, Hartwell elbowed Feroz to the apron. She brought Feroz up and hit a second-rope superplex that…finished?
WINNER: Indi Hartwell at 3:34.
Pretty Deadly were up on the perch, dressed up as exaggerated American football fans. They put over Hartwell, then started talking about the tag team division. They ended with “2-4-6-8. Who do we all think is great? Preeeeeetty Deadly!”
(Wells’s Analysis: Decent enough match, though it was simply a backdrop to get Sanga out of his kindly uncle storyline and move him back with Veer to reform Indus Sher. It’s a bummer for Feroz, who’s very talented but has now lost both of her onscreen mates, unless she’s still got more to do in this storyline)
-Edris Enofe and Malik Blade entered for the next match. [c]
-McKenzie Mitchell talked to Cora Jade about the deal with her and Roxanne Perez finding opponents for one another. Jade said Perez has no friends, but Mitchell told her Perez’s phone is blowing up.
(4) EDRIS ENOFE & MALIK BLADE vs. JOSH BRIGGS & BROOKS JENSEN vs. THE DYAD (Jagger Reid & Rip Fowler) – Triple threat match to determine #1 contenders for the NXT Tag Team Championship
Jensen, Blade and Fowler started. Reid tagged in and so did Briggs as action was too frenetic to call. The rednecks took the early advantage and pointed up at Pretty Deadly. Briggs hung up Reid on the apron a couple of times. Reid entered and Blade dropkicked Briggs to pair off with Reid. Reid tagged Fowler, and the two double-teamed Briggs on the outside, then shared a hug with Joe Gacy, and the three stared up at Pretty Deadly.
Fowler paired off with Blade, slamming him for two. Reid tagged in and they double-teamed Blade with a flying ax-handle. Fowler tagged in and battered Blade as Enofe reached for a tag. Blade got a small flurry and dropped a knee, then tagged Enofe. The two double-teamed Fowler with knees. Enofe hit a legdrop with a flourish. Enofe and Blade were teaming up on Fowler, but Briggs reentered and cleaned house. Jensen tagged in and Briggs helped him walk the rope and fly out onto the sea of humanity. Briggs and Jensen fired up as the match went to commercial. [c]
The Dyad controlled, and apparently did throughout the break. Reid tagged in and the Dyad double-teamed Enofe in a corner. They went for a superplex but Jensen charged in for your guaranteed pyramid spot. Briggs tagged in and he dominated. In a really cool spot, from the outside, he tossed Blade against the ropes and then laid him out with a lariat as he sprung back at him. Briggs and Jensen dominated Reid and Enofe in the ring. Jensen covered Reid but Enofe broke it up at two. Blade tagged in and got his offense in. Enofe made the blind tag. Blockbuster by Blade on Jensen. Enofe flew in with a legdrop and covered for two, broken up as Briggs nailed Blade into the pile. Things broke down as everyone took turns with impact spots. Enofe and Blade stood tall at the end of the segment as the other four were cleared out on opposite sides of the ring. Both hit planchas – one on each side.
Gacy attacked Enofe on the outside, but Cameron Grimes flew in out of nowhere and hit the Cave In on Gacy. Blade rolled up Reid, and with Gacy not there to cause trouble, it was good for the win.
WINNERS: Edris Enofe & Malik Blade at 12:31.
(Wells’s Analysis: As I expected, a tough one to recap, but for a spotfest, it was enjoyable and felt like everything was leading somewhere. Enofe and Blade will get a shot on their biggest stage so far)
-McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin about Jayne’s match with Fyre tonight. They suggested they might have a surprise for Fyre.
-Halloween Havoc spot.[c]
-Kiana James talked to someone on the phone about her analytics. Her chesty assistant, who she called simply “G,” handed her things. She said tonight she faces a member of Chase U. The segment, like all with James and the assistant so far, looked intentionally cheap.
(5) ALBA FYRE vs. JACY JAYNE (w/Gigi Dolin)
Quick rollups got one for both. Jayne hit a right and the two exchanged forearms. Rope run and Fyre tripped Jayne, then went to the outside, spun Jayne around and hit a hard right. Dolin tripped up Fyre to give Jayne an opening to stomp a mudhole in the corner. Hip attack and a cannonball in the corner by Jayne. Cover for two. Jayne worked a headlock, but Fyre broke free and hit a loud palm strike. Fyre planted Jayne, who turned it back around with a neckbreaker for two. Both sold for a moment. Jayne taunted Fyre, who hit a sitout powerbomb. Fyre went up for her senton but Dolin pulled Jayne to safety. Tope suicida by Fyre.
Fyre went for a Gory bomb, and Dolin interfered again. Jayne rolled up Fyre for two. Gory Bomb thankfully finished – perhaps the experiment with the floating senton as Fyre’s finisher is over.
WINNER: Alba Fyre at 3:35.
Fyre was walking out near the crowd, and a hooded figure ran her head into the crossbar. She unmasked and it was Sonya Deville. Deville and TA triple-teamed Fyre. They destroyed the announce table using Fyre.
(Wells’s Analysis: Jayne had the farthest to go of Toxic Attraction when they got together, but she looked perfectly acceptable in her rare chance at a singles match. Interesting wrinkle here, as Deville will definitely benefit with a stop in NXT to rehab her character)
-Joe Gacy and the Dyad got into the face of a camera. Gacy cut a promo on Cameron Grimes. They dropped the camera, and they were followed by the figure in the red hoodie who’s been working with them. [c]
-Nikkita Lyons and Zoey Stark cut a promo about winning the tag team championship from Kayden Carter & Katana Chance. They gassed each other up. We saw some oldish footage with Triple H suggesting to Lyons she can learn a lot from Stark. Lyons referred to Triple H that Stark was very helpful. They said they were definitely becoming tag team champions. Pretty good segment for both, who have a chemistry that works well together.
-Quincy Elliott, Hank Walker and the usual gaggle of security guys bantered. Elliott referred to Hank as “Big Hanky.” As he walked off, he repeated “Hanky!” like he really liked it. One of the security guys said “That’s chemistry right there.”
(6) WES LEE vs. CHANNING “STACKS” LORENZO
Lorenzo controlled early. He hit a dragon screw over the second rope, then flew in with a dropkick. He battered Lee’s previously injured leg. He took Lee up and dropped Lee’s knee on his own. Stacks worked a leg lock and slapped at Lee. Lee threw a big right to break. Lee blocked rights and threw his own, then a back elbow and a series of combo kicks. Lee threw forearms and hit Stacks with an Irish whip and a running uppercut. Stacks kicked at Lee’s leg and hit him with a neckbreaker for two. Stacks went up but Lee slammed him down to the mat. Twisting splash by Lee was good for the win as Booker said “He didn’t get all of it.”
Trick Williams attacked Lee after the match, and Carmelo Hayes followed soon after. Oro Mensah made the save and he dominated both. Mensah set up a corner spot on Hayes, but Williams pulled him to safety. Lee flew over Mensah to the outside and laid out the heels.
WINNER: Wes Lee at 3:57.
(Wells’s Analysis: A decent short match based around Stacks trying to work the injury. It was all to add a little more sizzle to the ladder match, as three of the competitors mixed it up here.)
-Mitchell interviewed Sonya Deville, Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne. Deville said she and Mandy Rose had had their differences, but they’re still best friends, and Rose’s friends are her friends too. Deville said she wanted McKenzie to warn Alba Fyre that she’d be waiting for her next week. [c]
-At a hospital waiting room, Ivy Nile rolled Roderick Strong, in a wheelchair, out to the Creed Brothers. The Creeds vowed to get back at Damon Kemp. Strong apologized for all his actions and for bringing Kemp into Diamond Mine. He told Julius to do one thing – win, because it’s Diamond Mine forever. Between the music and emotional speech, it looked like they were going for the big scene in a sports movie just before the game.
(7) THEA HAIL (w/Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward) vs. KIANA JAMES
James entered first and was annoyed at the Chase U entrance. Before the women could lock up, Mr. Stone entered the ring and said he should be celebrating Von Wagner going to Halloween Havoc, but he was humiliated because Thea Hail slammed him last week. He said he was going to ruin Hail’s night, and he ran right into a backdrop by Hail. Hail distracted herself for long enough for James to set up 401K for the win.
WINNER: Kiana James at 1:18.
(Wells’s Analysis: This really does very little for James, who does nothing to win so much as Hail does everything to lose.)
-Stacks talked to Tony D’Angelo at the lockers. D was on a crutch. D said he had an opponent for Stacks next week, and he’d know when the music hits. It was framed as a bit of a punishment for the loss tonight. [c]
-Mr. Stone walked by some people who laughed at them. Von Wagner got in Stone’s face and said he needed him to be locked in. Stone said it was time for him to be a champion. Wagner said that was more like it.
-McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Cameron Grimes, who was challenged by The Schism. He said he didn’t trust anyone in NXT, but that didn’t include all of WWE.
-Cora Jade flew in and said if Roxanne Perez had found an opponent for Jade on SmackDown, Jade would be getting one for Perez from Raw.
-Next week, Alba Fyre faces Sonya Deville.
(8) ILJA DRAGUNOV vs. GRAYSON WALLER
A dueling chant was much closer to even than is reasonable. Waller’s heel act should be rewarded with heat. Dragunov took Waller down with a front chancery and transitioned to an arm lock. Back to a chancery, then an arm wringer. Waller flipped through and threw a knee to break, then wrung Dragunov’s arm. After a rope run, Dragunov laid out Waller with a chop. Corner rising knee from Dragunov, followed by a waistlock. Waller reached the rope. Dragunov made a clean break and Waller threw a cheap right. He mocked Booker T’s hand taunt and got a big round of boos and a “whooaaaa” from Book himself. The match went to split-screen. [c]
Waller controlled with knees. Inside cradle got two for Dragunov. Reversals led to a big chop by Dragunov and Booker T compared Waller’s arrogance to Brian Pillman. Combo shots by Dragunov, followed by a thrust kick. Running knee by Dragunov, then a slam. Dragunov fired up as Waller sold.
Waller hooked Dragunov’s nose, then dropkickedhim. Waller went up and hit a diving elbow from the second buckle for two. Waller mounted Dragunov for repeated shots to the back of the head. He covered for two. Waller yelled out that it was his house to boos. Waller worked a sleeper and Dragunov went to a corner and threw elbows to break. Dragunov exploded from the ropes with a lariat and both guys sold on the mat. Dragunov ran at Waller, who tripped him and hooked on a bodyscissors. Sleeper by Waller, and Dragunov threw Waller over his body to break this time. Waller floated over the ropes to hook Dragunov’s neck there, then set up his spot where he jumps in for the stunner. He backed up and saw the Halloween Havoc wheel and sold confusion as it spun. He ran in for the spot but Dragunov suplexed him. Torpedo finished.
WINNER: Ilja Dragunov at 11:07.
As Dragunov celebrated, Bron Breakker flew in and slammed him, apparently unable to see that Dragunov’s Torpedo on him at the top of the show was incidental. Then again, it’s been established for forty years that the Steiners aren’t all that bright. Behind the action, in the audience, JD McDonagh slowly clapped and the camera zoomed in on his face as the show went black.
(Wells’s Analysis: Distraction wins for everyone! Some of the action was hard-hitting at times, but both were definitely holding back in a TV context to get Waller to the spot outside that reveals that his match with Apollo Crews will be Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal. I’m well in favor of adding an issue to the Dragunov-Breakker aspect of the triple threat, although making Breakker look like a buffoon is an interesting way to get there.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: A whole lot of content was jammed into the usual runtime, with eight matches and well over a dozen segments all moving the show along at a frenetic pace. Despite all that, it didn’t seem like a particularly strong bit of hype for Halloween Havoc. That’s what go-home shows are for, though, and they’ll go home next week. Sonya Deville’s appearance and apparent alliance with Toxic Attraction – if she isn’t a full-fledged member – provides a very interesting story ahead for the group and fresh doubt over which woman will finally unseat Mandy Rose as champion. A mixed bag this week, as often, with Axiom and Nathan Frazer making their final match count with one of the better NXT matches in recent months and the tag teams coming through with an enjoyable triple threat as well. Check out PWT Talks NXT tonight or stream tomorrow.