2/7 NXT REPORT: Wells’s live report on Bayley hosting Toxic Attraction, Carmelo Hayes follows up on his big win, Sol Ruca vs. Zoey Stark, more

by Kelly Wells (@spookymilk), PWTorch Contributor

Full WWE NXT 3/28 match card


FEBRUARY 7, 2023

NXT Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T

Ring Announcer: Alicia Taylor

Backstage Correspondent(s): McKenzie Mitchell

Tonight after the show, join Nate Lindberg & Bruce Hazelwood to break down the show with calls and emails.

•CALL: (515) 605-9345

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: pwtorchnxt@gmail.com


-Major spots and results from Vengeance Day played, interspersed with Charlotte Flair’s lifeless show opening from the event. The results were given mostly in order, with the notable exception of Carmelo Hayes’ win being saved for right before a recap of the main event, in case anyone needed another hint that Hayes and Breakker will be the next main event program.

-Bayley arrived at the arena earlier ahead of her “Ding Dong, Hello” appearance.

-Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams walked to the ring. Williams opened with some hype for Hayes. He said Vengeance Day was the day that Hayes turned “the vision seer into Stevie Wonder.” Hayes said he was “on the logo” when he shot that shot, saying he’d win in straight falls. He said he had the whole NXT Universe shook because they know he’s the one, and that he is…him. He said there’s only one more man that has to be put on a t-shirt, and only one event who can hold them. And that man is…

Before Melo could finish, JD McDonagh’s music played and he said it sounded like Melo was about to challenge for the NXT title. He said Melo was entitled just like the rest of his generation. McDonagh acknowledged that Carmelo is the coolest man on the roster, but said as a wrestler, he couldn’t hold JD’s jockstrap. Hayes said he thought he beat everybody there was to beat, but apparently he left a survivor. JD said Carmelo’s about the private rooms, and JD is about sending people to the emergency room. Tensions escalated and Hayes made a challenge for tonight. “Game on,” McDonagh said.

-Kiana James and Fallon Henley ran into each other backstage. Henley said she watched the film back, and she wasn’t happy with James’ cheating. She said they’d have a rematch, and James said they’d talk about it. Henley also wanted to know who James was on the phone with all the time, but before things could get more serious, they walked into a surprise party to celebrate their new titles, led by Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs.

-Sol Ruca was introduced ahead of the opener. [c]

-The WWE Twitter account ran back Triple H performing the William Wallace speech to the troops in Braveheart, followed by the reveal that he was only speaking to Ric Flair and a donkey.

-The announcers threw to Grayson Waller kayfabe storming in on Shawn Michaels during the media call after Vengeance Day, resulting in a one-week suspension, which is being sold by keeping him off house shows as well.


Zoey threw a knee to start and wrenched Ruca’s arm. To a corner, Ruca hit an arm drag into a seamless armbar. Running shoulder block from Ruca, who then rolled through an arm drag attempt to hit a sit-out slam. Action spilled out briefly, allowing Ruca to do the splits to evade trouble. Back inside, Stark took control with a back elbow and a quick cover. Headlock into a knee by Stark. Rollup by Ruca got two, but Stark came back with a huge lariat for two. The two exchanged rights. Ruca hit a couple of blocks and a dropkick. Corner splash by Ruca. Stark elbowed her way out of a fireman’s carry and dumped Ruca to the apron, where she tried a big splash but Stark got the knees up. Stark hit her finishing knee.

WINNER: Zoey Stark at 3:46.

Stark kept up the beatdown afterward, but Ruca was able to reverse a spot in the corner to hit her own finisher. Ruca’s music played.

(Wells’s Analysis: What a gem of a match. Ruca is improving with speed I haven’t seen on NXT since possibly Alexa Bliss. Stark continues a likely roll toward another shot at the women’s championship but Ruca was allowed to get her heat back as she’s clearly being displayed as an important piece of the division)

-Dabba-Kato walked slowly and menacingly through the back. [c]

-The party for the new tag team champions raged on. James’ secretary stood by while the main four were talking and mugged shamelessly. Pretty Deadly showed up, completely disheveled because they haven’t slept since Vengeance Day. Chase U showed up and the two teams, who blamed each other for not winning the tag championships, declared a match for later tonight.


Poor Dante. Big “Dante” chant to open. Kato immediately shoved Chen to the mat face-first. To a corner, Kato unleashed a big palm strike. Corner blocks by Kato. Chen got in a single right and Kato blocked him again. Huge press and release by Kato. Chen threw some rights to no avail. Head butt by Kato laid out Chen. Kato bealed Chen from the apron to the mat inside. Kato missed in a corner, allowing a flurry of strikes by Chen to another “Dante” chant. Corner lariats by Chen, followed by a running boot that staggered Kato to a knee. Another rope run resulted in another big palm strike by Kato. A sit-out powerbomb finished.

WINNER: Dabba-Kato at 2:39.

Kelly Kincaid (FKA Quinn McKay) tried to get a word with Dabba-Kato after, but he wasn’t having it.

(Wells’s Analysis: A rare NXT enhancement match where the loser got almost completely nothing. Chen made Kato look like a million bucks here)

-Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre stormed in on some Diamond Mine time and isolated Tatum Paxley, trying to cause a rift between her and Ivy Nile. The Creeds rounded out the cast. [c]

-McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Roxanne Perez about her win on Vengeance Day. She was excited for what’s next. Katana Chance and Kayden Carter walked in on the scene, bitter over their loss at Vengeance Day. They heeled on Perez and said she didn’t have any friends. Perez said maybe she should make a phone call and prove that she does.

(3) TATUM PAXLEY vs. ISLA DAWN (w/Alba Fyre)

Collar and elbow went to a rope, where Dawn shoved Paxley away. Wristlock by Dawn, and Paxley acrobatically reversed. Rope run and a boot by Paxley for a one count. Paxley taunted Fyre on the outside, allowing a boot by Dawn followed by an axe kick to the back. Dawn hung up Paxley on a rope and hit running double knees for two. Paxley tried to get into it with a few rights. She rolled up Dawn for one. Paxley got the better of a forearm exchange and hit a back elbow on a running Dawn. Step-up enzuigiri by Paxley. She hit a gut-wrench suplex that looked a little labored for two. Paxley missed a high cross-body and Dawn hit her finisher.

WINNER: Isla Dawn at 3:07.

Dawn and Fyre stalked Paxley with Fyre’s bat, but Ivy Nile showed up and ran them off.

(Wells’s Analysis: An acceptable enhancement match, though not near the level of the previous two matches. Nice to see Paxley trusted enough for a singles match again, though)

-Hype for the McDonagh-Hayes match, up next.

-A woman in dress slacks exited a vehicle, arriving outside. The announcers wondered who it could be. (Sonya Deville?) [c]

(4) CARMELO HAYES (w/Trick Williams) vs. JD MCDONAGH

Vic dusted off an old Gorilla Monsoon and called this “a main event anywhere in the world.” Booker was torn as he loves both guys.

Collar and elbow. McDonagh wrenched the arm and Hayes worked himself free for a reset. Quick counters in the next sequence for another reset and applause from the crowd. Hayes pretended to dribble a ball, so McDonagh kicked it away. Vic invoked Ted DiBiase in his famous segment kicking away a ball from a dribbling child. McDonagh spilled outside and Hayes hit a plancha. Hayes rolled McDonagh inside for two. Chop by Hayes, who battered McDonagh in a corner. McDonagh kicked his way to some separation and hit a press and release. McDonagh hit a lariat to a grounded Hayes and rained down with a few more shots. Side slam by McDonagh. McDonagh shoved a face-down Hayes on top of a rope, draining the breath from him. The match went to split-screen. [c]


McDonagh leaned on Hayes with an abdominal stretch. McDonagh charged Hayes into a corner. Hayes managed a back body-drop to get a breather. Hayes hit a body slam and continued selling the midsection. Hayes hit an inside cradle for two. The two shifted weight for four more near-falls. Spanish Fly by McDonagh got two. “NXT” chant. McDonagh hit a double stomp, then went high. Hayes hit the fade away and both guys sold on the mat. Hayes hit a cutter for two. Williams was freaking on the outside. Hayes reversed a backbreaker and the two went into some more reversals until Hayes hit a tilt-a-whirl DDT. He put on a crossface and JD reached a rope to break.

Back kick by McDonagh. Hayes rolled through a powerbomb, but JD hit it with a second effort for two. Hayes hit JD with a jawbreaker for two. Hayes wanted to go up for his finisher but JD fought him off. JD laid out Hayes and out of nowhere, Ilja Dragunov’s music played. JD was distracted and Ilja brutalized Williams as he headed to the ring. Hayes rolled up McDonagh for the win, and Dragunov ran off McDonagh.

WINNER: Carmelo Hayes at 13:18.

(Wells’s Analysis: Excellent work all around, obviously. With another PLE out of the way, apparently there’s room again to work Dragunov back into the thick of things. McDonagh feels like an interloper in NXT at this point. He lost two big matches and has since been used primarily to put over major threats while rarely winning himself. Tom Stoup, with whom I’m watching NXT eight years back, compared McDonagh’s run to Tyson Kidd’s on the brand, and it’s absolutely apt)

-Thea Hail took issue with Tiffany Stratton’s TikTok about Chase U. Hail eventually snapped on the dismissive Stratton and said she was all about herself. Thea said if she wasn’t down with that, she had two words for her – suck it. Stratton said Hail was rude and she looked away and continued applying makeup. Ava Raine appeared behind Hail out of nowhere. She cupped a hand over her mouth and dragged her off as Hail’s eyes filled with terror. Stratton didn’t notice.

-Toxic Attraction arrived separately ahead of their appearance on Bayley’s show. [c]

-Henley and James continued the longest wrestling victory party ever. Henley talked with Briggs and Jensen. Jensen and Henley both had something to say, and argued over who would say their thing first. Jensen told Henley he was Valentine’s with James next week. He was excited because he’s never had one. He asked Henley about her news. Henley, clearly lying, said “Oh, you know. All of this. Thank you.” She walked out of frame.


Choo has her giant pillow back, so I guess we’re supposed to forget about the edge she was starting to build and revert back to her cheesiest version. A shame, as they seemed to be teasing a more interesting tweak to her character.

Feroz took down Valkyria with a wristlock early. Hip-toss by Valkyria got a one count. Feroz managed a rollup for two. Hip toss, and another, by Feroz. Big kick by Valkyria. Valkyria caught Feroz on a cross-body and she hit a suplex with a bridge for two. Elektra Lopez went to the ramp to watch the proceedings as her story with Feroz continues. Feroz hit a brief headlock, then ran the ropes and hit a huracanrana. Valkyria and Feroz hit a headbutt on one another. Lopez shoved a pair of brass knuckles to Feroz. Choo pleaded with Feroz not to use them. Unlike last time, she actually picked them up and considered it, but she waited too long and Valkyria hit her finisher.

WINNER: Lyra Valkyria at 2:51.

(Wells’s Analysis: I think the third time will be the charm as Feroz uses the knuckles to get disqualified and join Lopez, maybe against Choo herself. Competent work here as the match was a backdrop to continue an angle while giving Valkyria another win on her way up)

-Wes Lee segment. We went a little bit inside as Lee’s wife Erica spoke tearfully about how Lee doesn’t even realize how much impact he has on everyone around him. Shots were shown of agents and bookers cheering on Lee after the match with Dijak.

-Presently, Lee got to say just a few words to McKenzie Mitchell before Tony D’Angelo and Stacks barged in and said Lee was the beneficiary of their actions on Saturday. Lee said next week he’s having an open challenge, and maybe one of them will have the cannolis to face him. They said they have business to attend to, and they’ll see him next week.

-Odyssey Jones walked the ramp ahead of the next match.

-Black history month segment focused on KofiMania. [c]

-Tyler Bate cut a promo about Grayson Waller disrespecting Shawn Michaels. He said Waller’s suspended right now, but if he wants to disrespect someone next week, he can try Bate himself.


Lorenzo got some basic early offense until Jones absolutely leveled him with a block. Jones threw hands in the corner and bealed Stacks out of it. Stacks got a quick kick but Jones immediately charged him into a corner. Jones laid Stacks diagonally atop the ropes in the corner and battered him to the mat. Stacks managed a neckbreaker over the ropes from the apron. Stacks threw kicks down at Jones, then hit a springboard legdrop to the apron, then couldn’t hold onto the rope and he hit the floor hard in a scary moment, but he popped right up.

Back inside, Stacks tried a headlock and he ran the ropes and Jones blocked him again. One-armed side slam by Jones. Corner back elbow by Jones. Dueling chant revealed more “Let’s go Stacks” chants by far than I would’ve guessed (which is to say it was probably around ten loud guys). Stacks hyped himself up in a corner and managed something like a Curb Stomp that was led with a knee, and he…got the win?!

WINNER: Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo at 5:17.

(Wells’s Analysis: Perfectly acceptable big vs. small and apparently, Stacks gets a continuing push. He’s winning more often than D’Angelo himself – which is to say he’s winning any matches period – so is a breakup imminent or is it a coincidence?)

-Jinder Mahal and Indus Sher spoke into the camera and cut a basic promo culminating in saying this only ends with all of them wearing gold.

-Chase U’s music was playing as they walked through the backstage area ahead of their match. Andre Chase wanted to know where Thea Hail had ended up, and Duke Hudson said she was a grown woman and she’ll be fine.

-An unseen interviewer wondered if Roxanne Perez had a tag partner for next week. Perez said yes – Meiko Satamura.

(7) CHASE U (Andre Chase & Duke Hudson) vs. PRETTY DEADLY (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson)

Pretty Deadly was made up with overdone “tired” makeup and hair that made them look like extras in a zombie movie. Hudson dominated the sleepy Prince and dumped him. Wilson tagged in ad he begged for mercy. Chase tagged in and Chase U teamed up for a legdrop and a cover for two. Chase got a couple of near-falls on rollups. Wilson kicked out of one and sat out and said “What’s the point? What’s the bloody point?” Chase used one member against the other and dumped both. “Chase U” chant. PD managed a team move essentially accidentally, and it hyped them up enough to hit their tandem legdrops. Hudson tagged in and dominated again. Side slam by Hudson, who charged and was dumped when Prince yanked the rope down. Wilson flew in with a back elbow and Hudson spilled over the ring steps as the match went to split-screen. [c]

Prince was in control of Hudson. He cut off the tag by holding Hudson’s leg, but he got free. The heels tagged and Chase made the hot tag. Chase dominated both of Pretty Deadly and he put the figure four on Wilson, backdropping Prince when he tried to interfere. PD continued trying to interfere and Chase retained control. He hit a DDT on both and covered Wilson for two. Numbers caught up and PD finally got in their shots on Chase, and Hudson broke up a pin attempt and it essentially turned into a tornado match. The illegal men got dumped. Chase hit a Russian leg sweep on Prince and did his CHASEU stomps. Outside, a frantic Thea Hail ran from something into Duke Hudson’s arms. She was covered in Schism smiley faces. No tag was available for Chase and Pretty Deadly hit Spilled Milk. Prince covered Chase for the win.

WINNERS: Pretty Deadly at 9:29.

From the perch, Gallus golf clapped and a match with Pretty Deadly 2-on-2 was teased.

(Wells’s Analysis: A weird spectacle with Pretty Deadly’s gimmicky one-week storyline. If Chase doesn’t get a win against PD when they’re presented like this, it’s safe to say they won’t get one. Big, dumb, yet all pretty fun here)

-Drew Gulak said he was excited to show Hank Walker his new gear. Charlie Dempsey showed up and said it wasn’t about the gear, it’s about the man. He said Walker wasn’t ready for Wes Lee. Gulak said maybe Walker is ready for Dempsey. A match was essentially set for next week.

-Bayley walked through the back ahead of her main event interview segment. [c]

-Next week, Wes Lee holds an open challenge, Bron Breakker returns, Roxanne Perez & Meiko Satamura face Kayden Carter & Katana Chance, and Tyler Bate faces Grayson Waller.

-Ding Dong, Hello!

Bayley walked through her door and welcomed everyone to her show. She said she’s an ultra role model and skimmed over her issues with Becky Lynch and Lita. She introduced Toxic Attraction, who entered together. Jacy Jayne told Gigi Dolin to back up as she made her entrance. Jayne was mostly enthused as Dolin acted annoyed with everything.


Bayley asked what happened Saturday. Dolin and Jayne immediately went at one another, blaming one another. Jayne said Dolin wasn’t a team player. Jayne said she didn’t need her, she was a star all on her own. Jayne said Dolin’s gear made her look like a hobo banged a Chucky doll. Bayley slowed them down and asked what they would do if they broke up. Dolin said she didn’t know but she’d be fine if she was alone, obviously. Jayne said she’d go to the top. Bayley called them out and said they each might need a ride or die. Dolin got introspective and said the two of them had alienated the entire locker room, and everyone hated her. She said the place was a shark tank and she needs Jayne to have her back. Jayne said when she gets pissed, she goes for the jugular, but no matter what happens, Dolin will always be her sister. She said they have two options: go their separate ways and see what happens, or have one more run. Jayne said…one more run for the NXT tag titles? Gigi said…OR…no offense, Bayley, but maybe they should go after Damage Control for the WWE tag team titles. Bayley slowed them down agai ad told them to hug it out. They did. Bayley cheered herself on for getting them back together. The two stood with their arms up long enough that it was clear what would happen next. Jayne hit Dolin with a superkick (there was no barber shop window available for Dolin to go through). Jayne postured and taunted a sobbing Dolin as the show went off the air.

(Wells’s Analysis: A major angle was likely obvious to most as this was given the main event slot. The tease for a run at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships was a strong red herring before the most likely outcome did indeed play out, with Jayne heeling on Dolin and likely turning Dolin babyface in the process. This is a very surprising development as Toxic Attraction seemed destined to stay together, and frankly Jayne’s work doesn’t strike me as strong enough on its own, though I can admit she had a very strong night tonight. I’m less worried that Dolin will succeed, as she’s much more polished in the ring and is better on most nights on the mic than Jayne, but presentation will be key as Dolin will soon be presented as an obvious babyface for the first time in this company)

FINAL THOUGHTS: A fun, busy wrestling show ended with a big angle as NXT continues a nice little streak of very strong weekly episodes (I wasn’t in love with all of Vengeance Day, but the Tuesday show has been pulling its weight). Good enhancement matches, good storytelling, and well-written reveals and developments all contributed to one of the better episodes of the past year. Brutal scheduling is keeping me off of PWT Talks NXT tonight, but Bruce Hazelwood and Nate Lindberg hold down the fort tonight as I hopefully don’t get sideswiped by life next week so I can rejoin the crew. Cheers and I’ll see you in seven.

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