1/24 NXT REPORT: Hazelwood’s live report on follow up to training fight, Women’s Tag Team Championship match, contract signing for Women’s Championship, more

BY BRUCE LEE HAZELWOOD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

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SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

NXT TV REPORT
JANUARY 24, 2023
WINTER PARK, FLA. AT THE CAPITOL WRESTLING CENTER
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY BRUCE LEE HAZELWOOD (@B_Lee253), 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.

STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 15 MINUTES AFTER THE SHOW CONCLUDES
•CALL: (515) 605-9345

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: pwtorchnxt@gmail.com
•IF YOU DON’T LISTEN LIVE, DOWNLOAD OR STREAM THE FULL SHOW POST-RECORDING


[HOUR ONE]

-The show began with a recap video of yesterday’s “brawl” in the PC thanks to Grayson Waller barging in and calling out Bron Breakker. Tom Stoup told us the woman who shot the video that first appeared yesterday was Alexis Lete and Rickssen Onpont was the man who hoisted Waller away effortlessly. DANTE CHEN APPEARANCE.

-Vic Joseph welcomed fans as the cameras cut back to the live crowd. Indi Hartwell then made her entrance to a good babyface reaction. Joseph and Booker T were actually ringside. Hartwell came over and said she was going to “give Tiffany an ass whooping.” Tiffany Stratton then made her entrance for I believe her first match since she returned. She had a Giovanni Vinci-esque entrance complete with snapshot sounds. She kind of looks like a mix between Scarlett and Charlotte Flair in her gear.

(1) TIFFANY STRATTON vs. INDI HARTWELL – Singles match

Hartwell kicked her before she could enter the ring and did some damage ringside before rolling her back inside the ring for the bell to ring. Stratton tried calling off Hartwell, but to no avail. Hartwell with two hip tosses and a dropkick for a two-count. Stratton tried to beg off again by saying sorry and extending her hand, but Hartwell grabbed it and forced her to the mat, stepping on her hand. Stratton came back, but Hartwell hit a schoolgirl for a two-count. She sidestepped Stratton and sent her outside, but Stratton hit an arm breaker across the top rope and then hit her little tope for a one-count.

Stratton drove the arm into her knee, then taunted Hartwell. Stratton looks to be in good shape, hitting a running hip attack to Hartwell against the second rope for a two-count. There doesn’t seem to be much, if any, ring rust for Stratton. A modified top wristlock was applied, then reapplied with authority by Stratton. Stratton whipped Hartwell into a corner and hit a cartwheel-double handspring splash in the corner, then a running hip attack to a seated Hartwell for a two-count. She reapplied the wristlock, working the compromised left arm of Hartwell. The crowd was behind Hartwell, who rose to her feet twice, but was immediately dragged back down both times.

Hartwell finally threw off Stratton, then hit a kick and her odd looking right hands. She hit a comeback sequence that ended with a spinebuster for a two-count. Hartwell put Stratton on the apron to hit her uppercut and running boot combo, then Irish whipped her into the corner. Stratton leaped out, but ate a kick to the knee and then another to the face. Stratton (obviously) faked a knee injury, so the ref checked on her. As he did, he called medical to the ring, but Stratton then hit a stiff forearm to Hartwell’s head. She hit a rolling senton to set up basically a Best Moonsault Ever and my goodness, was it majestic. It was basically a mix of Christopher Daniels’ and Kurt Angle’s.

WINNER: Tiffany Stratton at 6:05 (BME)

-Joseph then discussed the main event last week where Roxanne Perez beat Toxic Attraction essentially two-on-one. McKenzie Mitchell was in the back with Jacy Jayne, who interrupted her and said her biggest problem was calling Gigi Dolin her partner. She said she realized she’s been carrying Dolin and to “check the receipts.” She said Dolin has anchored her down for too long. She had a new getup with a black leather jacket adorned with spikes and a black bowler hat with a red underside.

-They showed Thea Hail in commencement attire as they prepared to celebrate her first victory. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: I mean, we knew Stratton was going to win. I don’t necessarily think she needed to play the fake injury angle, but I guess it does a good job of reasserting her character. Hartwell, in her defense, has been booked more to where a clean loss probably does more harm than what transpired tonight. Still, I think Stratton’s ceiling is higher than a nagging heel who does fake injury angles.)

-They returned with an earlier in the week video where Ivy Nile brought in new training partners for The Creed Brothers: Drew Gulak, Hank Walker, and the rest of the crew. They showed footage of Nile coaching the training session, a lot of grappling, with Gulak giving pointers to Walker of what not to do based on the session. Gulak then angrily berate a trainee and told him to take a break. He told Walker to stay back and Gulak went in, giving up his back to Julius. They put on a good clinic, but Julius tripped him with a leg trip. Gulak shoved him, calling it a cheap shot.

THEA HAIL FIRST VICTORY (GRADUATION) CEREMONY

Chase U was in the ring as he welcomed viewers, and then the USA player decided to freeze on me. Lovely. After refreshing, Andre Chase said they’re there to celebrate Hail’s first victory last week. He said she showed courage and confidence, and looked fear in the eye and said, “Fear, you don’t scare me motherf-.” It was muted as the crowd said, “That’s not PG.” He apologized, then presented Hail with the award for her first victory. Chase, in doctoral attire, posed for a photo with her as Duke Hudson posed in the back. She thanked Chase and the rest of the crowd, but then JD McDonagh’s music hit. Huh.

McDonagh strolled out and from the entrance area, asked if this is how far the standard has slipped: all of this for one win. (To be fair, I was thinking the same thing, but McDonagh is an ass.) McDonagh said he’s a nice guy (HA!) and gave her advice: when you hang around with losers, every win means a lot. He then poked fun at Chase U’s win-loss record. He called the fans losers and as delusional as they were. Chase then scolded McDonagh, saying Chase U means the world to all of them. McDonagh said not Hudson, though, since Chase didn’t say his name. He said he’s not some wet behind the ear student. He told Chase to leave the ring since he’s dressed for a fight and Chase is “dressed like a moron.” As a PhD, I take strong offense to that statement. Chase said he stays ready, tore off the robe, then punched the hell out of McDonagh. I think this is going to start during commercials. [c]

(2) JD McDONAGH vs. ANDRE CHASE (w/Thea Hail & Duke Hudson) – Singles match

As expected, they joined the match in progress with McDonagh in control and the consecutive match with the heel targeting the face’s left shoulder. Chase went for a sudden sleeper, then McDonagh, but Chase quickly turned it into a belly-to-back suplex. Haile un did her robe so she could reveal the Chase U shirt. Chase hit some punches and hit a discus chop, inverted atomoic drop, and a side Russian leg sweep. He then hit the Chase U stomps. He sold the arm as he made the U with his hands. He then hit a lay out uranage side slam for a two-count. Chase set for a powerbomb, but McDonagh flipped into a bridge pin. Chase fought up and hit a backslide, but then was hit with a backbody drop.

McDonagh then hit a huge lariat to Chase. He was suddenly pinned for a two-count on a victory roll counter. Chase then hit a leaping knee, but McDonagh responded with a headbutt. Both men fell to the mat. Booker T has said “number one stunna” at least eight times tonight. Chase hit a sudden destroyer, but McDonagh got his foot on the rope during the pin. Chase went to the top rope, but McDonagh ran into the ropes to crotch him and flip him onto the apron. Hudson slapped his hand on the mat in frustration and walked away. Chase, distracted, was hit with Devlin’s Side.

WINNER: JD McDonagh at 4:35 televised (Devlin’s Side)

-Kiana James was telling her assistant Gi some instructions, then Fallon Henley approached with Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen. James wanted to start the match, but after Henley looked at her, she said let’s see what happens. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: Can we just get some damn clean finishes with no angles or distractions, please?)

-A WWE 2K23 commercial aired, highlighting John Cena, the cover star for all three covers (well, four if you count Digital, but the same as Standard) and some of the matches you’ll likely play in Showcase mode.

-They returned with a WrestleMania ad with the old A Few Good Men clip with Cena and JBL.

-The teams were already in the ring.

(3) KIANA JAMES & FALLON HENLEY (w/Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen) vs. IVY NILE & TATUM PAXLEY – Tag team match

James started, but Henley tagged in, and they both tried going through the same ropes. Nile then quickly took Henley down and used her grappling to just handle Henley. She tagged in Paxley and they hit double arm wrenches. Paxley hit a second ring dropkick from the middle of the ropes rather than the corner for a two-count. James made a sneaky tag and then hit a clothesline to Paxley, Henley following with a leaping kick. James showed more aggression than Henley and beat on Paxley in a neutral corner. She then put Paxley in an abdominal stretch in the middle of the ring. Paxley fought out with a hip toss, but James prevented the tag only briefly. Henley and Nile both entered.

Nile took it to Henley again, this time showing her striking ability before hitting a judo throw. She hit her running corner kick, but Henley then hit a big boot. Nile countered into the dragon slayer, but James saved Henley. Paxley then took out James. As the ref put Paxley back in the corner, James grabbed Nile’s foot to distract her. Henley hit a shining wizard and James prevented Paxley from breaking up the pin. Henley wasn’t happy with how they won.

WINNER: Kiana James & Fallon Henley at 3:22 (shining wizard)

-The New Day was in the back singing Randy Orton’s old theme song (which is BETTER than Voices and I will go to the grave thinking that!). Edris Enofe & Malik Blade entered and thanked them for helping them out. Blade, without his vest, did a bad dance. The New Day said they’ve been looking good. Schism walked in as The Dyad then asked for a title shot. Xavier Woods said next week is The New Day’s Tag Team Invitational. The winner of Enofe & Blade and The Dyad will be added to the title match, making it a fatal four-way. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

-They showed Breakker making his way and then hyped Apollo Crews at the barbershop. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: They’re heavily working the reluctant partners who are trying to find the sweet spot angle with Henley and James. It’s not good for Nile & Paxley that they, a more established tag team, lose to a brand new team, but I guess ANOTHER distraction helps with that? Also, are they just trying to give me arthritis by making the damn match a fatal four-way next Saturday!?)

APOLLO CREWS IN THE BARBERSHOP

Crews said he can see why Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams like it in the barbershop. The barber said they don’t like having him there. They walked in and were enraged that Crews was in his chair. Crews said it’s sad to see the realization in Hayes’ face that Crews won’t go away. Hayes said he’s a younger, better version of Crews from five years ago. He said he is him and Williams was just in the back doing all of the motions and poses. Crews said the Men’s NXT Championship looks better around his waist. Hayes said if they go tit-for-tat, that’s all it’s going to be. Crews challenged Hayes to a two-out-of-three falls match at Vengeance Day. I swear to who or whatever you do or don’t worship, they are trying to END me next Saturday.

(4) THE CREED BROTHERS (Brutus & Julius) vs. DREW GULAK & HANK WALKER – Tag team match

Gulak and Julius began the match. Julius used his wrestling ability – and size – to take the early advantage. Gulak tried to wriggle out, but Julius hit the leg trip again. Is this a subtle heel turn in the works? Gulak then took the left arm and hit a la magistral for a two-count, but held onto the right arm this time and tagged in Walker, which I wouldn’t recommend. Walker took the left arm, but Julius easily reversed it. Walker countered and hit a quick arm drag. Julius hit a quick fireman’s carry and tagged in his brother, who hit his own and threw Walker into another from his brother. Julius tagged back in and they did it again as a few boos rang out. Walker then hit a big shoulder tackle and tagged in Gulak. Walker hit an airplane spin and Gulak finished it with a big clothesline. [c]

Gulak hit a stiff forearm to Brutus as they returned. He hit a few more snug shots to Brutus before Brutus hit a release German counter. Brutus then did his Brutus Smash with his double hammerfists, but Gulak hit a running dropkick and running DDT counter.

[HOUR TWO]

Walker and Julius tagged in, but Julius took control. Walker is still in a button up and jeans. Julius took it to Walker, then hit an overhead suplex to an interfering Gulak. He hit an exploder, standing shooting star, and tagged in his brother for a standing moonsault that resulted in a two-count. Walker kicked off Brutus and tagged in Gulak. Gulak got caught on the top rope as Brutus held him in a butterfly suplex position. Julius tagged in and leaped over his brother for basically a Rough Ryder-Angels Wings combo, but Walker broke up the pin.

Walker and Gulak went for the same airplane spin combo as last time, but Brutus hit a big pounce on Gulak. Walker somehow got rid of Brutus and hit a big wheelbarrow on Juilius and right into a cross armbar. Walker had it on for a bit, but had to relent to escape a pin. Brutus tagged in, they did some rope running, and eventually a double lariat was hit. Gulak was distracted as Charlie Dempsey appeared ringside (seriously, ONE distractionless match, please!). Gulak told Walker he has this, so Walker went after Julius. Julius hit a belly-to-belly and tagged in his brother, who hit the Brutus Ball from the top rope.

WINNER: The Creed Brothers at 11:43 (Brutus Ball)

-Julius took a mic after and said to Nile that he can be an ass sometimes. He said some more stuff and said that’s how he has to be to be the best version of himself. He said the past few months have been tough, but she rode with them and thanked her for setting them straight. Brutus also thanked her and said that she inspired them to be the old Creeds. Indus Sher’s music hit as Julius was talking.

Jinder Mahal led the other two, all in nice suits. Mahal said congratulations to them for once again becoming The Creeds. He said they’re tired of trying to gain respect, so they’re taking it and next week, they find out in a tag team match. He challenged them and told them to accept. Nile answered for them: “You’re on!”

-Mitchell was in the back with Dolin. Dolin said she heard what Jayne said and she’s surprised, but not shocked. She said Jayne is always the first to cast the stones and that she’s a bad person. Dolin said she’s nothing like Jayne even though she might be a little dark. She motioned to the rose in her hand and said that thorns can be very dangerous if you’re distracted by the petals, but they’re not hiding. She said she’s not hiding. Her gear was also different.

-Wendy Choo made her entrance. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: That was a long match considering the opponents, especially considering the story was Nile helped The Creed Brothers once again find themselves. Yes, you can still tell the story of Walker’s progression without having inserted them into a one-night angle with The Creed Brothers. I almost thought they were going to turn heel on Nile there, but glad they didn’t. Also, Indus Sher is the best dressed faction this side of The Hurt Business.)

-They returned with Tony D’Angelo and Stacks entering a restaurant with Italian music playing, so I’m guessing an Italian restaurant. They were led to the private area with just the two of them. D’Angelo said the family couldn’t be more pleased with the numbers and selling the macarons with something else (I forgot already) was a good move. Stacks said he could take on the biggest the streets have to offer, and D’Angelo agreed. The waiter came in and said AJ (presumably Galante, so he’s alive!) said they’re good. They drank some wine.

-Lopez made her entrance and they showed her telling Valentina Feroz to be ringside.

(5) WENDY CHOO vs. ELEKTRA LOPEZ (kind of w/Valentina Feroz) – Singles match

They locked up and Lopez immediately used her strength to gain control, then taunted Choo. Choo tried a go behind, but was thrown off and Lopez just tossed her. Feroz made her way to the ring as Choo rolled outside. Lopez threw the body pillow, but Choo ducked and it hit Booker T (bullseye!). Back in the ring. Choo hit a series of pins, but couldn’t put her foe away. She hit a Japanese arm drag, then a running corner kick. Lopez caught her on a splash and hit a swinging uranage counter. Lopez hit some moves and scored a two-count, then locked in a body scissors.

Choo rolled back, but Lopez kicked out of the pin while maintaining the hold. Choo finally broke the hold and landed some strikes. She countered Lopez in the corner, then hit the Nap Time splash from the second rope for a two-count. Lopez sneakily put on the brass knuckles. Feroz tried to warn the ref, but he didn’t see Lopez just clocking Choo with them for the win.

WINNER: Elektra Lopez at 3:33 (brass knuckles punch)

-They showed Briggs and Henley in the back, shocked at their victory. Jensen came in and congratulated her, too. Briggs called them “Farooq and Bradshaw.” Sure. Jensen said he went to Shawn Michaels’ office and said Henley and James will challenge for the Women’s Tag Team Championship at Vengeance Day. She said she didn’t ask for this and it was a one-time thing. This really reminds me of the episode of Smart Guy where they built Yvette her own bathroom, but she wasn’t happy because they didn’t ask her for a single bit of input. Deep cut, right? [c]

-They returned with Lopez and Feroz walking in the back. Lopez said it doesn’t matter how you win, it’s just if you win. Feroz said she doesn’t know if she can do that to Hartwell because they’re friends.

-Mitchell was in the back by the screen and said she was supposed to be joined by Stevie Turner, and then Turner appeared on screen. Mitchell said she thought she’d be there on set, and Turner said she is on set. She rolled her eyes at Mitchell. Turner then said her debut was next week, then kept ignoring Mitchell to answer her superchat questions. She then put up her social handles and told Mitchell this was a better interview. Waller’s music hit and Turner cut her stream.

GRAYSON WALLER-BRON BREAKKER BRAWL

Waller entered in a big pink fur coat. He called out Breakker immediately and said he showed the world he punked out Breakker yesterday. He said there’s no steel plate and opened his jacket to show the Men’s NXT Championship. They showed Breakker fuming in the locker room. Breakker grabbed his title and left. Waller said Breakker should be scared to get in a cage with Waller. Breakker made his way as the locker room basically tried to talk him out of it though some seemed excited for what was about to happen. Waller kept talking and insulting Breakker. He said he can smell “that dog coming.” Breakker shoved away security as they tried to stop him. They played his music anyway. Blade, now in a vest, tried to stop him, but all hell broke loose.

Waller left the ring after being separated, but then he and Breakker went at it and Breakker looked like he was legitimately throwin hard shots at Waller. Breakker shoved away security and went to spear Waller, but Waller moved and Breakker went through the only part of the barricade that happened to be plywood. Joseph almost said holy shit on air. Waller just smiled as he observed his fallen foe. Medical checked on Breakker as he held his head.

-They hyped the Women’s Tag Team Championship match next. There’s still that and the contract signing in the last half hour or so to go. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: They’ve done a solid job at building believable heat between the two. Still, Breakker continues to be a hotheaded idiot that somehow still retains his title. Waller should win next Saturday because he just brings such a different dynamic that the division, and show, sorely need.)

-They returned with Gallus in the pub, playing pool, still absent Joe Coffey. Well, they were playing snooker. Honestly, I could not understand about 85 percent of what they said. I did make out them saying they’re going to walk out of Vengeance Day as champion. Gallus boys on top.

-Joseph ran through the confirmed matches for Vengeance Day, then through the replay of the previous segment.

-Alba Fyre made her entrance sans partner (though I presume Isla Dawn will join her during the match, a team Nate Lindberg first predicted). Fyre showed no lack of confidence. Kayden Carter & Katana Chance then made their entrance, a wholly disparate entrance to Fyre’s. Alicia Taylor gave formal introductions from the timekeeper’s area.

(6) KAYDEN CARTER & KATANA CHANCE (c) vs. ALBA FYRE & SOL RUCA – Women’s Tag Team Championship match

The ref checked on Fyre, but she said to ring the bell. As soon as the bell rang, Sol Ruca’s music hit. Ruca, who defeated Fyre last week for her first NXT victory, officially joined as her partner as the ref allowed the match to continue. Fyre and Carter started as Fyre took control. She basically glared at Ruca and I wouldn’t be surprised if Ruca only gets in because she tags in herself. Chance tagged in and they hit a series of moves for a two-count. Carter tagged back in, but Fyre took control with stomps and strikes. Ruca indeed tagged herself in to Fyre’s chagrin, but Ruca acquitted herself well early with her athleticism. She hit a split-legged jawbreaker to send her opponent outside. Fyre tagged herself in and then threw Carter into the steel steps. [c]

Ruca and Chance were legal when they returned. Chance used her quickness to escape and tag in Carter as Fyre tagged in, but Carter took it to both women, hitting a running attack to both women in the corner, then a running kick-splash combo to both women as well. Carter set for a running kick and hit Fyre, then tagged in Chance. Chance hit a double stomp to the back for a two-count, but it looked like she barely made contact. Fyre got caught with a kick, then Carter tagged in and did the same. Chance flipped onto Carter’s shoulder, who splashed her onto Fyre for the two-count.

Fyre fought back and hit a gourdbuster to Carter. She willingly tagged in Ruca, who hit a springboard splash with the pin being broken up by Chance. Chance and Fyre fought to the outside, Fyre being sent into the steps. Carter hit basically a victory roll driver and then a few superkicks to Ruca. They hit their neckbraker-450 combo to retain. After the match, Fyre just walked past Ruca. Dawnmet her at the entrance. She looked at her, and the two walked back together.

WINNER: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance at 8:03 (neckbreaker-450 combo)

-Henley and James were on the concourse and said they’ll see them at Vengeance Day. Let’s hope that match is more tight than this one.

-They showed Dijak as Wes Lee approached in a grainy overlay. He said he didn’t think Lee had the balls. Lee said he could hand it over and save himself some pain at Vengeance Day, but Lee said he’s made stupid decisions his entire life, like being stupid enough to risk everything to make it to NXT. He said his stupid decisions have made him the man he is today. He rejected Dijak’s offer and said he doesn’t have to like it, but will damn sure respect it. “Protect your neck! I’ll see you in Charlotte!” Dijak said he doesn’t deal in sob stories; he deals in justice, whatever that means.

-Cora Jade was approached in the locker room by Mitchell since Jade wasn’t on set, which Mitchell said was a theme tonight. She asked about Lyra Valkyria, and Jade said she needs to learn her place. She called her a birdbrain and said Valkyria will never be better than her. Joseph interrupted and told Mitchell something is going on outside. They went outside and showed Nikkita Lyons holding her leg as a bunch of people just walked away. A few women came to help. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: That match could have been better, but a lot of the offense, particularly from Chance, was very light and almost looked like she didn’t make contact at times. I’m more interested in the budding team with Fyre and Dawn than anything actually involving the champion or their challengers at Vengeance Day.)

-They showed Chase and Hail in the locker room. Hudson walked back in to get yelled at. He said he didn’t walk out on the university. He said Chase is an inspiration and yeah, he left ringside, but went to Michaels’ office and demanded to be put in the invitational next week. Michaels told him to talk to The New Day. Hudson strung them along a bit about the architectural design of the campus, then said they’re in. At least Kelly’s recapping the show next week.

[OVERRUN]

-Joseph ran through next week’s show, highlighted by Indus Sher vs. The Creed Brothers and Jade vs. Valkyria.

-Booker T was in the ring as Jayne and Dolin were seated across from each other. He then introduced Roxanne Perez, his prized pupil. She’s definitely gained more and more confidence since becoming champion. She just looks more comfortable out there.

WOMEN’S NXT CHAMPIONSHIP TRIPLE THREAT MATCH CONTRACT SIGNING

He started with Dolin first, but she said she knows Jayne wants to start. Jayne said everyone already knows how great she is because they watched her carry Dolin’s ass for a year. She said the kick last week was an accident, but haha, she wishes it wasn’t (she laughed like that, too). Perez and Booker T just used their eyes to speak to each other as her foes tore each other down. Dolin said Jayne has fake confidence when the cameras are on, but behind the cameras, Jayne is the most insecure person she ever met. She said since they’re shooting from the hip, Jayne has to puke in a bucket in the back, one that has her name on it next to Gorilla. Jayne called Dolin a pathological liar. Booker T did the damn shuckie duckie quack quack.

He turned to Perez, who asked for some popcorn. She said those two have thrown insults at every single woman in the locker room, not to mention making her life a living hell. She said she’s glad they’re feeling the same way they’ve made every woman feel and that karma is a toxic bitch. She said she thought it would be a handicap match, but it looks like it will be a real triple threat. She said the odds are still against her, but then Dolin interrupted her and said Perez will make history as the shortest reigning Women’s NXT Champion of all time. It reverted to the former partners bickering with each other. Dolin yelled at Jayne and called her the third wheel of the group and the match. Booker said he had some more questions. They then smiled at each other and attacked Perez, who was caught off guard. I kept thinking this sudden turn was, well, sudden. They hit a double chokeslam on the champ through the table and held the title together like they’re this decade’s version of LayCool.

(Hazelwood’s Take: I guess we can explain the overacting as them trying to sell any internal strife, which I guess worked since Perez was the one who went through the table. However, we’ve seen basically every triple threat match in WWE history go from a handicap match to a triple threat match as the partners can’t get over their jealousy. It will be interesting to see if Dolin and Jayne end up going for a mutual double pin, if a double pin happens by chance, or if their jealousy does end up being their downfall.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a satisfactory show, but could have been so much more if they had two things: quality control and babyfaces not making things harder on themselves. The first two matches both were working the left shoulder and the distraction or angle finishes throughout were just such bad ways to end matches. By my count, not a single match was truly clean depending on how you want to categorize the impromptu team of Fyre and Ruca losing. Especially in developmental, where the story of the journey is so crucial (just look at Rhea Ripley’s rise, for example), it’s fine to have clean wins and losses. I think WWE very much overestimates how seriously wrestling fans take clean wins and losses, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy since they have far too many nights like this.

Tune into PWT Talks NXT with Nate Lindberg and special guest, making his return, Tom Stoup!

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