NXT TV RESULTS (10/10): Hazelwood’s live report on loaded show Hayes (w/Cena) vs. Breakker (w/Heyman), Perez vs. Asuka, Rhodes’ announcement, more



OCTOBER 10, 2023

NXT Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T

Ring Announcer: Alicia Taylor

Backstage Correspondent(s): McKenzie Mitchell


-The show began with “Kingdom” hitting and the crowd popping for Cody Rhodes, out to make a “major announcement.” The crowd sung from the first word. He went and hugged some of the crowds and dapped up some others. Rhodes stood in the ring as a massive “Cody” chant started. A “yeet” chant started after. Cody obliged with a yeet of his own, and then asked, “So, NXT Universe, what do we want to talk about?” His voice sounded shot. He said he would be lying if he thought he would ever be standing in this particular ring, but now that he is, something feels right. It’s the Rhodes, it’s Florida, they’ve spilled blood all over the state. He cut to the chase: he had announcements, with an s.

He said we’ve all been enjoying the Women’s Breakout Tournament and at the conclusion, there will also be a Men’s Breakout Tournament. He said he kept hearing people talk about a certain tag team tournament when they heard he would be here tonight. A “Dusty” chant started. Rhodes announced that the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic is returning to a big pop. He said there’s one more announcement. He said he has the privilege, and Shawn Michaels made it so, Rhodes is the special guest GM of NXT for the night. Ilja Dragunov’s music hit as the Men’s NXT Champion made his way to the ring in a snazzy suit.

Dragunov stood across from Rhodes, smiling, as a “happy birthday” chant began for Dragunov. He apologized for interrupting, but he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to welcome Rhodes to NXT. Dragunov – standing sideways to Rhodes – said he simply wanted to meet a man, this man who brings this passion, this man who brings this energy, this man who brings the will to suffer for the entire WWE Universe. He said Rhodes is a man who fights with a fire and pushes everything he does to the next level, something he wants to do like Rhodes, something he promises to do, pushing the brand to the next level.

Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley interrupted. The boos were loud and sustained. Mysterio said the WWE Universe is here to see the greatest superstar this brand has to offer: him. The boos were still going. Wait, they shifted to “you suck.” He said Dragunov may be the Men’s Next Champion, but he doesn’t compare to him, “the true Double A Champion.” Mysterio asked about Rhodes’ energy level from every time Judgment Day has left him laying. Dragunov said no one in this arena wants to listen to the sound of his voice. Dragunov said his dad used to work in a prison, so he knows exactly how to turn a barking dog into a small puppy. Ripley whispered something as Rhodes mocked the same to Dragunov. Mysterio challenged Dragunov to a title match (but not his own).

Rhodes interrupted and said Mysterio isn’t willing to put his title on the line. Ripley said Mysterio has been carrying all of WWE on his back this entire year and just won his championship again. Dragunov interrupted and said today is a celebration and as a gift to himself, he couldn’t imagine anything better than beating a man like him alive in this ring. He said, “Rhea, darling, I’m going to smash your boy!” Rhodes said he is the special guest GM, so he said that match for the Men’s NXT Championship for tonight is official. He added, knowing what he knows about Judgment Day, that this match needs a special guest referee, and it’s L.A. Knight. That got a HUGE pop.

-They showed John Cena appearing earlier in a blue Honda Civic.

-Booker T was laughing as Vic Joseph discussed John Cena. They hyped the big match for later tonight.

-Roxanne Perez’s music hit for her match with Asuka, who left NXT undefeated all those years ago. Kelly Kincaid was in a packed viewing room and hyped the upcoming match. Asuka entered and received an amazing pop. She was wearing a dope oni mask. For some reason, Shotzi’s music hit and she rode out in her tank.

(1) ASUKA vs. ROXANNE PEREZ – Singles match

Shotzi joined commentary for some reason. They locked up and Asuka immediately took the left arm. Perez flipped out and took the left arm, but Asuka countered into an arm drag. Asuka went for a roundhouse kick and Perez dodged. They reset, Perez hit a go-behind as Shotzi said she’s again hosting Halloween Havoc (yay…), then hit a shoulder tackle that didn’t even budge Asuka. Perez ended up slapping Asuka, who just smiled, but then missed some punches and ate a flying shoulder tackle, Cena style. Perez went for a lope, but Asuka hit a forearm as Perez hit the bottom rope. Asuka then climbed and hit a missile dropkick that Perez bumped slightly early for. Asuka then mushed Perez a few times and hit some Kawada kicks before doing a hairmare to Perez. She then hit a running hip attack in the corner and put her boot in Perez’s neck.

Perez grabbed the left arm and held it, wrenching on it every time Perez tried to go for a punch. Asuka then just started kicking Perez in the face. Perez fought back with a flurry of strikes, ducked a clothesline, and hit a shotgun dropkick. Perez then hit a side Russian leg sweep; Asuka rolled outside. This time, Perez hit the lope. She rolled Asuka back in and hit a running uppercut into the corner, but ate an elbow on the way back in. Asuka climbed, but Perez landed an enziguri. Asuka moved to the bottom rope and Perez climbed, hitting five punches, then a crossbody to an escaping Asuka for a two-count. Perez ate a kick to the chest and then into an Asuka Lock attempt, but Perez rolled through into a victory roll for a two-count, then two more attempts, but Asuka countered the third one into an Asuka Lock. Perez rolled into a pin for a two-count, but Asuka kicked out. Asuka hit four consecutive spinning strikes, including a backfist and kick, and then hit the roundhouse to the head. Asuka gave a sign of respect.

WINNER: Asuka at 6:14 (roundhouse kick)

-Kiana James entered after to mock Perez, but Shotzi attacked from behind and laid her out; what a face move! Oh yeah, no commercials for at least six more minutes!

-They showed an earlier toady video of Paul Heyman arriving earlier today, much like Cena. Heyman yelled about which door to walk in before he was directed. They hyped the match again: Carmelo Hayes (w/Cena) vs. Bron Breakker (w/Heyman), then Dragunov vs. Mysterio for the Men’s NXT Championship.

-They showed Gallus getting ready in the locker room for their Pub Rules match (which I called on last week’s post-show). They then showed Butch giving Tyler Bate a pep talk. Ridge Holland joined them to say it’s fight night and banger after banger after banger. Their music hit.

(2) THE BRAWLING BRUTES (Butch & Ridge Holland) & TYLER BATE vs. GALLUS (Joe Coffey & Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) – Pub Rules match

Gallus attacked during the entrance, and this is going to be a pain in my ass to recap. Bate started going after everyone. He grabbed a pool cue and jabbed Wolfgang in the face. Butch shoved a dart in the fingers of Joe Coffey (it was really the tape), then Holland hit Mark Coffey with a stop sign and sprayed him with a fire extinguisher. He placed Mark head-first into a trash can and Bate bowled a bowling ball into the can. Butch (Joseph called him Dunne) hurt his knee on a moonsault it looked like before being launched into the steel steps. Gallus then collectively hit a spinebuster on Butch through a table filled with bar food. Finally, a commercial! [c]

Butch stomped on the elbow of Wolfgang as they returned. The faces gathered, as did the heels, and the we had a brawl in the ring. Butch hit the moonsault to the outside this time on Joe as Bate and Holland put the other two in airplane spins. All three then hit the Ten Beats of the Bodhran (and then some) to the heels. Bop and Bang three-way happened next, then a rebound lariat-German suplex bridge combo on Mark for a two-count. Wolfgang dodged Holland and Butch, then hit a bad rope-assisted tope con hilo that may have hit, but looked to hurt him more than anything. Joe and Bate went at it in the ring, but Joe caught him and hit a German, then a piledriver, no, a standing crab in a piledriver position. Holland snapped a pool cue across the back, then put Joe in a crab. Eventually, it was another three-way submission spot that the heels powered out of to reset the match.

Bate and Wolfgang fought in a corner, but he dodged as Butch came in with a kick and hit Bate instead. They hit their finisher, but Bate barely landed a spiral tap to break up the pin. Holland pulled out a table to maybe the pop of the night (sigh); it even got its own chant! Bate set it up and went to hit Tyler Driver 97 on Mark, but Wolfgang ran and hit a lifting tackle. Holland then tossed both men out at the same time. Coffey hit a bit springboard crossbody, knocking out the keg that was set up in the corner. He set for a powerbomb on the table, but Butch came in and saved Holland only to eat All the Best for the Bells. Coffey set up Butch on the, grabbed a pint from the announce table, but then had Bate grab the pint and shatter it on his face. A triple powerbomb through the table sealed the match (where have I seen that before…?).

WINNER: The Brawling Brutes & Tyler Bate at 11:47 (triple powerbomb through table)

-A video played hyping the Becky Lynch vs. Lyra Valkyria match, going over each of their histories in professional wrestling and how though both are Irish, their paths differed. They showed footage of Lynch leading a training session in December 2018 that included a young Valkyria.

-McKenzie Mitchell was with “The Morrigan” Valkyria and she was interrupted by Tegan Nox. Nox said she knows what it takes to beat her (even though she lost) and told Valkyria her title match has to wait. An affronted Valkyria told Nox she couldn’t get the job done last night and she wasn’t going to let anyone get in the way.

-They showed Cena making his way through the halls of NXT. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: Lots of stuff, but I’ll save most for the post-show because I’ve already had to type way too much in the first 40 minutes of the show. I did say I wanted the Pub Rules match to be in a “pub” and be more cinematic, but it was just an “extreme rules” match with bar objects. The video for Lynch-Valkyria was, as always, good, and it was only about 90 seconds. They referred to Valkyria as “The Morrigan” in the video, so they must be going forward with that.)

-They returned with Cena’s music hitting to a big pop. He was introduced as the GOAT. Cena, as expected, played to the crowd. He grabbed a mic as the crowd rapped sung the chorus. He said that was the most street cred he’s received in the past 15 years. A thunderous “Cena” chant started. He said everyone talks about how NXT is the future (here comes the now) and he said they can’t see that they’re making history tonight. He quickly put over what already happened and said that’s what makes this place beautiful, great. Cena was breathing pretty hard. He said there’s nothing like being here in this ring and it’s long overdue. He said it is his honor to be allowed to share this space tonight. He said he’s not alone and that’s why Knight and Rhodes are here- he was interrupted by a “thank you Cena” chant and one guy screaming “Cena sucks.” Cena said he has tons of respect for that. He said thank you to the fans for creating the environment that he and all these other wrestlers want to visit. He said there’s a list of WWE Superstars in line waiting to kick down the door to be at NXT. He said we are all NXT. He said when Hayes called him, he couldn’t say yes fast enough, both Massachusetts boys. He said he respects Hayes for having him in his corner. Breakker’s music interrupted (great timing for the heel).

Breakker had a mic at the entrance. He glared at the crowd and made his way. The crowd sung “Bron Breakker sucks” to the theme of “My Time Is Now.” Breakker entered the ring as Cena said it’s so much cooler when the lyrics are changed. Breakker said it’s a big night for NXT and WWE. Breakker said these people didn’t come here to see Cena, they came here to see him. He cackled in his best Seth Rollins impression. He called himself “Badass” Bron Breakker. It was hard to hear as the crowd had to be muted for chanting “bulls**t.” Cena said we know the business runs in his blood and he’s athletically gifted, but his glaring weakness “young man” is his lack of respect. He didn’t come here to run down Breakker, “but now that you’re here…” Cena said this is a “teachable moment.” He said he is here to respectfully wish Breakker good luck and held out his hand. Breakker attacked Cena instead. He set for the spear, but Cena dodged and went for the AA. Breakker slipped out and left.

-Joseph hyped the Men’s NXT Championship match, next. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: I guess that was their last effort to get people to tune into what I now know will be the main event of the night. I’m guessing we’ll also hear from Heyman. Cena showed an understanding of NXT, including that teachable moment line, and did what he does best in giving a good rah-rah speech. Breakker could do without the cackle, but he’s so much better as a heel than he ever was as champion.)


-They returned with a Royal Rumble ad for January 27 in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida.

-Rhodes was walking in the back as Tony D’Angelo and Stacks greeted him. They said they had a problem and Stacks said they need new challengers. D’Angelo said (as Dijak walked by in the back), as they put over basically a battle royale where the last two teams have to win by pin or submission (did they call this a reverse battle royal something in Impact or AEW?). Ten teams, it’s called the Bada Bing, Bada Boom Battle Royal and begins next week.

-Mitchell was with Baron Corbin in the back. Corbin requested the time and ran down Dragunov for taking on Mysterio, a match he knows he can win, and said the rage, anger, and phony intensity doesn’t fool him: Dragunov is ducking him. He said outside of Hayes surviving, he’s the only one who’s broken Dragunov down and basically just reiterated that Dragunov is ducking him. Knight’s music hit to interrupt and the crowd erupted. Knight had on a cutoff of a ref’s shirt. Mysterio’s music hit to boos. Dragunov entered next to cheers. “The Mad Dragon” was in white with red and gold accents.

(3) ILJA DRAGUNOV (c) vs. DOMINIK MYSTERIO (c) (w/Rhea Ripley) – Men’s NXT Championship match (L.A. Knight special guest referee)

Dragunov immediately slammed Mysterio and put him in a side head lock. He then hit a judo hip toss to ground Mysterio again. Back on the feet, Dragunov hit a big bodyslam and Mysterio retreated into the ropes. Knight was wearing sunglasses, a leather vest over his ref shirt, jeans, and Tims. Dragunov hit another judo hip toss and scored a one-count. Mysterio forced Dragunov into the corner and worked some corner attacks to turn the momentum and slow the pace. However, Dragunov hit a big chop to floor Mysterio and then a leaping senton. Dragunov hit another chop and then a German. He held on and hit a second (both more of the snap variety), but Ripley distracted Knight, allowing Mysterio to thumb the eye. Mysterio then threw Dragunov into the ropes similar to when Simon Gotch threw Enzo Amore into the ropes at I think Payback several years ago. [c]

Mysterio was trying to hit Three Amigos as they returned, but Dragunov blocked the third and then hit his bounce-back enziguri. The crowd kept chanting “YEAH!” Dragunov was able to hit Constantin Special that Joseph somehow only called a clothesline. Dragunov hit a flurry of chops in the corner, then hit a snap German, a second, and this time, he used more of a crotch grip to hit the third on Mysterio (almost like a teardrop-German fusion). Dragunov pounded away at Mysterio in a corner, then another. Mysterio ducked a chop and slapped the hell out of Dragunov’s chest, which just appalled Dragunov at the audacity. He then took it to Mysterio and hit his rapid-fire chops in the corner. Dragunov set for a powerbomb, but Mysterio fought out and hit a thrust kick and a dropkick. He went for 619, but Dragunov ducked. Mysterio countered Constantin Special with a catapult into the ropes and hit 619, but Dragunov kicked out just before three.

Mysterio gave the Latino Heat gesture, but Dragunov met him before he even climbed. Dragunov went for a superplex and hit. He rolled to his feet and set for Torpedo Moskau, but Mysterio rolled to the apron. Dragunov followedm but Mysterio kicked out his leg and hit a DDT to the apron, half caught in the ropes. Mysterio went for Three Amigos, but Dragunov countered into a huge powerbomb and the Dan Henderson to Michael Bisping H-Bomb. He set for Torped Moskau, but Finn Balor made his way to the ring. Knight took him out and hit BFT to JD McDonaugh. Ripley went to hit Dragunov with the title, but Trick Williams pulled her off the apron and caught her in his arms; she quickly detached, but Dragunov hit the Torpedo. The crowd chanted “thank you Trick!”

WINNER: Ilja Dragunov at 11:55 to retain the Men’s NXT Championship

-After the match, Corbin’s music hit as Dragunov was celebrating. He made a beeline to the ring, but Dragunov turned right into Dijak giving him a big boot and calling out Dragunov for the title. Corbin looked confused; Dijak said he beat Corbin to it, so Dragunov is his. Corbin looked displeased.

-They showed the two Massachusetts boys getting ready in the locker room. Hayes thanked Cena for taking the call last week and that he’ll be bringing the ruthless aggression to Breakker. Williams entered and introduced himself to Cena. Hayes apologized to Williams for last week and Williams said not in front of Cena. Cena: “You mean you can see me?” They laughed and then they put over friendship. Cena said that’s all it is, and they did their old catchphrase. Hayes walked away to get ready. Williams asked Cena when he knew it was his time. Cena said let’s talk.

-NXT_Anonymous showed Heyman speaking to Ava earlier, emphasizing The Bloodline.

-Jade Cargill stepped out of a white SUV looking as amazing as ever. The crowd erupted. She shook hands with Michaels and then made her way.

-Lola Vice (with Elektra Lopez) made her entrance for her first round match in the Women’s Breakout Tournament. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: Holy hell, maybe I will get my wish to see Cargill on NXT more and see that development week to week. The star power that just oozes off her, and oozed off her in that little snippet, is astounding, and WWE have done nothing but grade an A+ in how they’ve presented her since the signing.)

-Rhodes was entering that little kitchen area and ran into Corbin. Corbin asked if he was the man to speak to tonight. He said Rhodes owed him a makeup match. He said the last time they saw each other in Brooklyn, Rhodes jumped him from behind. Rhodes said Corbin made a great case for himself by telling every single person in the building he was the last man to beat Dragunov. Rhodes said it’s also true that Dijak one-upped him and he can make an argument for the winner of Hayes vs. Breakker. He said relax, Corbin will get his match if he wins the triple threat next week with Dijak and the Hayes-Breakker winner.

-They showed Mysterio and Ripley leaving with ice on his chin. Nathan Frazer and a gaggle of people confronted him (INCLUDING DANTE CHEN)

(4) LOLA VICE (w/Elektra Lopez) vs. DANI PALMER – First round match in the Women’s Breakout Tournament

Palmer was already in the ring as they returned. Vice quickly used her grappling to mock Palmer, but Palmer came right back. Vice received a “Lola’s gonna kill you” chant. Palmer hit a roll-through victory roll, then a Kimura roll-through to lock in a head scissors. She keeps smiling and yelling after her moves. Vice fought out and hit a shoulder tackle. She side kicked Palmer out of the air as Palmer went for a leap frog. She then used her striking skills to hit a couple of stiff strikes. She hit an axe kick to the back for a two-count. Vice hit a 720 body kick in the corner, then posed and hit her running hip attack into the corner. Palmer kicked out at two.

Vice locked in a body scissors to Palmer as they showed the viewing area, dominated by Meta-Four. Palmer fought to her feet with Vice on her back and rammed her into the corner. Palmer hit a middle rope crossbody, then dodged a thrust kick. She hit some running clotheslines and a dropkick, then a running scorpion kick into the corner. She climbed for a corkscrew moonsault. She landed on her feet and dodged cyclone kick. Vice used that to lock in a triangle choke, but Palmer basically did a handstand to break out, but then ate a stiff side kick immediately on the feet.

WINNER: Lola Vice at 3:59 (side kick to the head)


They showed Thea Hai’s empty seat. Hail showed up in all black and only agreed to return (on Jacy Jayne’s advice) if Jayne was allowed to attend as well. Chase went over the history of Halloween Havoc, but Jayne and Hail kept talking to each other. Duke Hudson was taking notes. Jayne sent something and the whole room’s phones went off. Chase went off on a random student and threw his phone across the room into the wall. He then turned to Jayne and said everything was going well until she showed up. She said he’s just so excited about the news and that’s that Chase U is in the tag team battle royal.

-They showed Breakker warming up in the locker room as Heyman appeared and said Bron Breakker as only he can. Heyman said he’s worked with Breakker’s father and uncle and that Breakker has the best that both had to offer. He said he’s the Wise Man because he can see the future and the future is Bron Breakker in the main event of WrestleMania. He said the only thing standing in his way is Carmelo Hayes. Breakker said he doesn’t care if it’s Hayes, Cena, doesn’t matter who stands in his way, he’s going to break them all (I thought he was going to drop Roman Reigns). Heyman told his phone to call Reigns.

-Cena’s music hit and he received another huge pop. Cena quickly shut his music to introduce Hayes. He had Breakker’s and Heyman’s faces through a scope on his shirt. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: Vice continues to impress each time she’s in the ring. I keep saying not everyone who has transitioned from MMA to pro wrestling has meshed their styles well, but she’s definitely on the side of “has had little to no issues” in adapting. I’m sure the PC works wonders for this, but there’s also a reason she was a pro mixed martial artist. She’s talented, and seems to have lots of potential. Between her and Cargill, WWE is ensuring they’re overlapping several audiences for the future.)

-They returned with another unnamed Brian Pillman Jr. vignette, this time showing his father and all of the things they used to say about him. He narrated and said his father was one of the most infamous superstars in this business. He said everywhere he goes, people tell him they loved his dad and have fond memories of his father, but not him, “his own damn son.” He said he’s tried everything to get away, but this industry has always been in his blood and to inflict pain on the business that’s brought him so much grief. He said when they see his face, he wants them to see his face and not his father’s. He said the man who really raised him was named King, and so is his (a report came out that he will go by Lexis King, but maybe it’ll just be King like he’s in Tekken or One-Punch Man.)

-James was thanking Asuka, then walked away. Blair Davenport showed up and spoke in Japanese to Asuka. Kelani Jordan shook Asuka’s hand and moved away like a fan shaking an artist’s hand. Tiffany Stratton cut off Fallon Henley and introduced herself to Asuka.

-Joseph went over next week’s card, including the triple threat #1 contender’s match, the Bada Bing, Bada Boom battle royal, and Valkyria vs. Nox after their interaction earlier in the night.

-Heyman said ladies and gentlemen, “my name is” and stopped when the crowd finished. He said their name isn’t, but his name is Paul Heyman. He put over the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman Reigns. He then said Breakker is the single most talented wrestler on the NXT roster, on behalf of Roman Reigns, he gives to you “BAD ASS BRON BREAKKER!” Breakker’s music hit and he came out in the black singlet with red lettering (white outline).

(5) CARMELO HAYES (w/John Cena) vs. BRON BREAKKER (w/Paul Heyman) – Singles match

Ref Daryl Sharma called for the bell as the two circled. Hayes used his speed to get some early strikes, but Breakker used his power to maintain some distance. Breakker caught Hayes on a top rope crossbody and immediately slammed him Mark Henry style. Breakker went to work with some corner attacks to Hayes. Breakker lifted Hayes to his shoulders, but Hayes slipped out. Breakker built up speed on rope runs, but Hayes hit his springboard lariat. Breakker rolled outside to reset. [c]

Breakker had Hayes in a bow and arrow as they returned. Hayes tried fighting back, but Breakker shoved him to the apron. Breakker and Hayes both climbed the same corner as they also struck each other. Breakker just kind of lifted and snapped Hayes into the top turnbuckle. He reentered the ring and began hitting mounted strikes to Hayes. He then snapped Hayes up against the bottom rope. He sent Hayes into the ropes and just stood there, deflecting Hayes as Hayes tried a shoulder tackle. He then hit an overhead toss and conducted the crowd as they sung about how he sucked. Hayes fought back, but Breakker just straight up tackled Hayes and hit more mounted strikes. Hayes looked like he didn’t know what got himself into with Breakker.

Breakker lifted Hayes onto his shoulders and then hit a falling gutbuster. Cena looked on with concern as Heyman just smiled and laughed. Breakker started doing a bad imitation of Cena’s flying shoulder tackles and then the protoplex. Breakker mocked Cena, but Hayes hit a thrust kick as Breakker went for the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Hayes hit a few clotheslines and then two corner splashes. He blocked a Breakker counter and hit a lifting cutter for a two-count. Hayes climbed, but Breakker met him to block the Nothing but Net attempt.


Breakker went for a superplex, but Hayes blocked. Hayes pushed Breakker off, but Breakker ran up and somehow saved whatever it was he was trying by turning it into some kind of avalanche face buster (Hayes didn’t land nicely). Breakker set for the spear, but Hayes sidestepped and Breakker hit the post. Hayes climbed,  but Breakker caught him and the military press powerslam, but Hayes kicked out and then rolled all the way outside. Breakker took off the top of the steel steps, but Cena took the steps and the kicked Breakker (ref was distracted with Heyman). Cena hit a rushing Solo Sikoa with the steps and then they fought to the back. Hayes hit his big codebreaker on the outside, then hit Nothing but Net in the ring. It looked like Heyman may have rushed to the back after Sikoa and Cena.

WINNER: Carmelo Hayes at 12:52 (Nothing but Net)

-After the match, almost immediately, Breakker hit a big spear to an unsuspecting Hayes. He took a mic and said there’s only one badass in all of WWE. The Undertaker’s gong hit to the biggest pop of the night. The American Badass music hit and Biker Taker rode out on his chopper, doing his customary lap around the ring, well, half lap as he stopped by the announce desk since the steps were still up over there. His shirt said Old School. Chokeslam. Tombstone. Last Ride. He gingerly entered the ring and pandered to the crowd a bit. He stepped to Breakker, who glared up at him. The crowd chanted “holy sh*t.” Breakker said listen to me old timer, there’s only one badass around here, you understand me? The Undertaker just looked at him like really? He took the mic and said he’s been watching Breakker for a long time and one day, he’s going to be a very special talent. It’s just one thing: it ain’t today. He feinted with the mic and hit a straight right to the jaw of Breakker. Breakker wobbled to his feet and ate a chokeslam (Breakker got UP for that chokeslam). Hayes looked on and smiled. Taker grabbed the mic again (they’ve passed their usual overrun), leaned down to Breakker, and said “young fellow, I’m going to give you a little advice: there’s always an older, bigger, better badass just waiting around the corner and you just met the baddest of them all.” He then went over and helped Hayes to his feet.

(Hazelwood’s Take: A different match and story than they told what, six months ago? This one was more of Breakker leaning into his power and being a “badass” so to speak while Hayes had to make those “second half adjustments” to emerge victorious, and just barely. We were all just waiting for the Cena involvement, and I said last week it’s more like to see Sikoa than Jimmy Uso or Reigns because of Sikoa’s recent NXT history. We did see him, but only briefly. However, throughout the show, they did exactly what they hoped for in having Heyman and Cena on the show – they put over the next generation of wrestlers in WWE. You could even say they put over Ava by having her in that video with Heyman. I guess we’ll see. American Badass was the way to go with how he’s moving considering his Deadman gimmick would have needed at least 15 minutes to make it to the ring at this point, but it’s just one of those things to get a pop that I don’t really think was necessary.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: It was billed as the biggest NXT ever, but I can see this being a polarizing show. There were only five matches (I said four or so last week, so I was off by one), a lot of talking segments, and a lot of future building. I thought the show, outside of that dastardly commercial-free first 30 minutes, was paced well with what set to accomplish. However, the sheer amount of promos and interviews could have turned some off as there was only about 45 minutes of in-ring action (and that includes commercial breaks). Still, utilizing Rhodes throughout the show, the enthusiastic response of the crowd to Knight and The Undertaker, and the utilization of Cena and Heyman should chalk this show up as nothing but a massive success in the eyes of WWE and I’m sure they can expect a higher than average numbers, though if we’re being honest, the MLB Playoffs and NHL Opening Night are going absolutely squash both NXT and Dynamite tonight.

Listen to PWT Talks NXT for more on tonight’s show!

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