NXT TV RESULTS (12/26): Hazelwood’s live report on taped episode including Thorpe-Dijak in Underground, Dar-Briggs for Heritage Cup, Breakout Tournament, more




NXT Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T

Ring Announcer: Alicia Taylor

Backstage Correspondent(s): Kelly Kincaid

Tonight after the show, send in your emails to pwtorchnxt@gmail.com for thoughts and questions coming out of tonight’s show.


-The show began with Chase U already in the ring. Out The Mud entered next.

(1) OTM (Bronco Nima & Lucien Price w/Scrypts) vs. CHASE U (Andre Chase & Duke Hudson) – All or Nothing tag team match

Andre Chase and Lucien Price began the match, Price easily throwing off Chase. Price once again threw off Chase after another lock up. Chase hit a go-behind into a side headlock, escaped a bodyslam, and then hit a dropkick and another before tagging in Duke Hudson. Power went against power and Price was able to block a bodyslam. The two traded blows until Hudson took the left arm and tagged in Chase, who came off of the top across the arm. Hudson tagged back in and went right to the arm. Another quick tag brought Chase back in for a drop toehold-elbow combo. They showed The Family watching from the elevated concourse as Price turned it around and tagged in Bronco Nima, who hit a series of back elbows in their corner. Nima jawed at Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo, then choked Chase across the middle rope. Price tagged back in and tripped Chase, who then ate a running knee to the chest.

Price stomped the hand, then exploded Chase into the corner, hitting some shoulders to the gut. Price then sized up Chase like a snake and hit a running clothesline in the corner. Nima tagged back in and thwarted an initial comeback attempt, but Chase escaped and leaped, then rolled under for the tag. Hudson took out Nima, then Price, then went to Nima with his usual combo. He lifted Price and hit a Death Valley Driver onto Nima. Scrypts hit the apron and ate a hip toss, but Chase made an unexpected tag, telling Hudson he got this. He then promptly ate a thrust kick from Price. Nima tagged in and they hit an assisted spinebuster for the win.

WINNER: OTM at 6:10 (assisted spinebuster)

-The first set of yearly awards began with Tag Team of the Year: The Creed Brothers. Female Superstar of the Year: Tiffany Stratton. Male Superstar: Ilja Dragunov.

-Meta-Four made their entrance for Noam Dar’s defense of his Heritage Cup against the surging Josh Briggs. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Tale: A standard tag team match with the predictable finish – even if you didn’t read the spoilers – that showed continued development from OTM, just at different speeds. Price seems to be adapting quickly whereas Nima is still a bit plodding, though not nearly as much as their first matches. OTM seems likely to face The Family at New Year’s Evil after the events of tonight, but it’s both too early for them and an indication of the state of the men’s tag team division that OTM is in line for the next shot.)

-They returned with Trick Williams in the back. Carmelo Hayes approached and said it was cold what happened to Dragunov last week in his match with Ridge Holland. Williams said he might have to push the match back so he could face Dragunov at 100 percent. Hayes said Williams didn’t hurt him so to take his shot regardless. Williams asked if that means Hayes doesn’t think he could take Dragunov at his best, and Hayes said no, it’s about taking your shots when they come. He compared it to the Lakers and LeBron James winning the 2020 NBA Finals during the COVID bubble and how no one talks about that (well, kind of).

-They showed Eddy Thorpe arriving earlier and then showed the Underground rules; it will main event.

-Briggs entered to his own music and solo.

(2) NOAM DAR (c) (w/Meta-Four) vs. JOSH BRIGGS – NXT Heritage Cup match

A reminder that I do elapsed time for these matches. Round 1 began with Dar circling and then getting thrown down by Briggs. Vic Joseph asked if Briggs is built for this type of match as he threw down Dar once more. Dar signaled for a test of strength, but he couldn’t reach Briggs’ hand so he slapped him instead. He then used his quickness to kick the knee, hit a Superman forearm, some Muy Thai plumb knees, but then was thrown by Briggs. Briggs no-sold some chest kicks and then flipped over Dar with 90 seconds left in the round. Dar hit a double chop to the throat, but ate a big sidewalk slam and immediate jumping splash for a two-count. With a minute left, Briggs locked in a single leg crab. Dar reached the bottom rope and Briggs stomped on him. Dar slipped out of a vertical, but ate a big running tackle. With 15 seconds left, Dar retreated into a corner and was in powerbomb position as the bell rang; Briggs did not slam him.

Round 2 began with Dar being caught and slammed Black Hole style for a two-count. Briggs signaled for the jackknife, but Dar turned it into a standing guillotine. Briggs just sat him in the corner, grabbed Dar by the throat, and then suffered a leaping triangle armbar. Briggs lifted Dar and slammed him into the corner and then hit a Clothesline from Hell to score the first fall with 1:43 left in Round 2.

Josh Briggs up 1-0 [c]

30 seconds were left in Round 3 when they returned, both men on the apron and striking each other. Dar got the better and hit a DDT on the apron, then an enziguri from the apron to end Round 3. They were both laid out on the floor with Briggs showing some color from his mouth and nose area. Meta-Four dragged Dar to their corner and prepped him.

Briggs slowly reentered the ring as Dar looked like a predator ready to pounce on its prey. He hit a quick running bicycle kick, then another, then a second rope forearm for a two-count. He hit a running knee and then a running kick for another two-count. Briggs fired up after being slapped and hit a big boot and then falling chokeslam for a near-fall. Dar came back and took out the left leg, then hit a leaping one. he came back with a spinning back elbow and a kneebar. Briggs held on and punched his way out. Dar hit elbow after elbow, Lash Legend was on the apron, and then she hit Briggs with the bucket after he punched Dar, the official distracted. Briggs kicked out. Jakara Jackson distracted the ref and Oro Mensah threw in the bucket, but Briggs took it and then struck Dar. The ref saw and that resulted in an automatic disqualification.

WINNER: Noam Dar at12:50 elapsed by disqualification to retain the NXT Heritage Cup

-Axiom and Nathan Frazer were in the back, glad Bron Breakker didn’t win the year-end award. Frazer talked smack and Breakker appeared behind him. Breakker told him he should really considering slowing down and thinking before he speaks. Frazer said no. Breakker said Frazer’s speed and athleticism would have no effect on him because he’s the “badass of WWE” and Frazer said put it to the test. Axiom said he was winking at Frazer as a warning.

-Cora Jade entered for her match with Karmen Petrovic. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: Again, Briggs is the last Evolve Champion so if he’s surprising you as a singles wrestler, just remember that he’s had it in him. It was a good match, but as with the story in seemingly ever Dar match, Meta-Four played a pivotal role in the finish and even when it seemed like their plan was foiled, they emerge with the outcome they desired. I wonder if there will be a backstage segment later where Brooks Jensen and Fallon Henley talk to Briggs, the former unintentionally exacerbating the gradually tenuous relationship between the two men.)

-They returned with Petrovic’s entrance and her katana.

(3) CORA JADE vs. KARMEN PETROVIC – Singles match

She said she’s going to take back what’s rightfully hers – a locker. Jade had a bored look on her face with how long it took Petrovic to do her entrance. Jade pushed Petrovic, but she came back with a step-over kick. Jade forced Petrovic into a corner in response, but ate a sunset flip. Jade then hit a running knee in the corner like her hero CM Punk, then a sliding back elbow to Petrovic, resting along the second rope. Jade gave Petrovic a hard Irish whip. Petrovic tried fighting back, but Jade took it to her and then slammed her face-first into the mat. Jade did that one more time after a bit of taunting, but missed a leaping double stomp. Petrovic hit a spinning leg trip, then a flying forearm, another, and a running kick in the corner. She hit her hurricane kick to the back of Jade for a two-count. Jade used the moment to throw Petrovic into the ropes and hit the double arm DDT. After the match, Jade went for another one, but Gigi Dolin’s music hit and she actually sprinted to the ring to chase off Jade.

WINNER: Cora Jade at 3:04 (double arm DDT)

-They showed Dijak arriving earlier, dressed in his customary all black.

-Lexis King entered for his Breakout Tournament semifinal match with Riley Osborne of Chase U. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I thought Jade looked good in the ring tonight. She’s fully into this character and though I quibble with how much she sold for Petrovic – Jade is small, but she looked huge compared to Petrovic – there didn’t seem to be any issues for Jade in the ring. Petrovic looks much, much more comfortable than those early matches, but still has a way to go. She’s not in a position to be winning matches and rightfully took the loss here, but expect her to receive some sort of babyface push the latter half of 2024 depending on how quickly she develops.)

-They returned with Osborne’s entrance.

(4) LEXIS KING vs. RILEY OSBORNE – Men’s Breakout Tournament semifinal match

King took the left arm to begin. Osborne flipped and cartwheeled out to grab his foe’s left arm. King tried to drag out of it, but Osborne held on and applied the hold. Slowly, from the entrance, Trey Bearhill made his way and then sat on one of the folding chairs. King noticed and taunted only to eat a boot from Osborne. Booker T said you can’t blame King for his downfalls, to which Joseph said, “Yes I can, he hit him with the chair!” King took out the left leg and locked in a single leg crab. They showed Thea Hail and Jacy Jayne in the student section to cheer on Osborne. He rolled out and then hit a big monkey flip on King. He hit a running kick and then leaping corkscrew splash for a two-count. King hit a big slap across the chest, so Osborne responded in kind, but then ate a big backbreaker and a straightjacket backstabber for a two-count. King then set Osborne on the top rope nearest the student section. He went for a superplex, but Bearhill stood up and banged on the chair, distracting King. Osborne shoved off King and then hit the SSP.

WINNER: Riley Osborne at 3:43 (SSP) to advance to the Men’s Breakout Tournament finals

-Bearhill entered the ring after the match and then took it to King. He landed old-school back rakes before King was able to weasel away. Booker T complained that King just had a match and there was no honor in Bearhill.

-Breakker vs. Frazer is next. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: I can’t remember who said it, but right after King was added following his attack on Bearhill, one of the three of us said he’s probably going to cost King in the tournament to continue their feud after and here we are! King looked better, but as of now, the more TV-friendly wrestler is Osborne. I’m still sticking with Oba Femi to win, though.)

-They returned with more awards. Match: Hayes vs. Dragunov at No Mercy where Dragunov dethroned Hayes. Moment: The Undertaker’s surprise appearance after Breakker had called himself the only badass in WWE.

-Kelly Kincaid asked Ava, in a Triple H leather jacket, about Dragunov’s medical update. She said it’s up to him for New Year’s Evil.

-Frazer’s music hit and it’s not as good as his old music, sigh. I’ve been trying to get used to it, but just can’t yet. Breakker’s music hit next for his entrance.


(5) BRON BREAKKER vs. NATHAN FRAZER – Singles match

Breakker nonchalantly took to the ring, a complete dismissal of his opponent. He shoved Frazer into a corner and Frazer showed no fear, immediately attacking Breakker. Breakker threw him off and taunted Frazer, who took it in from the corner. Frazer took to another side head lock, then used his speed to hit another and flipped out of a counter. He then did some of that misdirection rope runs only to run into a wall. Breakker then barked at Frazer with another taunt. They showed Baron Corbin watching from the locker room; remember when Corbin and Breakker fought over who would wrestle Von Wagner? Frazer took a side headlock and held on through a counter attempt. Breakker lifted Frazer and then just tossed him into the corner, Frazer crying out in pain. Breakker whipped Frazer across so hard he did the Ric Flair bump only to flip off of the corner so hard he landed a good five feet from the corner; Breakker did some pushups. Breakker whipped Frazer across again and then worked him in the corner. He lifted Frazer for a vertical, but Frazer slipped out and then as both tried using rope runs to their advantage, Frazer hit a solid kick to send Breakker outside. [c]

Breakker hit a thunderous takedown and beat on Frazer as they returned. He then hit an elevated gutbuster for a two-count, continuing to work the midsection. Breakker called Frazer little guy before bieling him across the ring, completely. Frazer hit a big body shot, but then was flipped on a German for another two-count. Breakker then cranked on the leg and neck with a knee firmly in the ribs. Frazer responded with a jawbreaker that seemed to hurt his head more than Breakker. Indeed, Breakker hit the attack first. Frazer responded with the Seth Rollins leap from seated using the ropes into the enziguri to stun Breakker. Frazer sidestepped Breakker to send him outside, then hit a furious tope through middle rope. Breakker was by the steps and Frazer hit a running missile dropkick to send Breakker back-first into the steps. Frazer rolled him inside the ring and climbed. Breakker caught him into an immediate World’s Strongest Slam for a two-count. Breakker set for the spear, but ate a thrust kick for a two-count. Frazer quickly climbed for the Phoenix Splash, but rolled through and then turned right into a bone-rattling spear. Corbin was shown in the back saying “interesting” before walking away.

WINNER: Bron Breakker at 11:43 (spear)

-Drew Gulak and the No Quarter Catch Crew were in the back. He said Dragon Lee is going to learn exactly what it means to be in their world. They each took their turn saying something about Lee, each denigrating while putting over their ideology. Damon Kemp said, “Your breaking point is our starting line.” They challenged Lee, Cruz del Toro, and Joaquin Wilde to a match at NYE.

-Jensen and Henley approached Briggs and said he almost had it and it could have been different if they were out there, but that’s not what Briggs wanted. Jensen said Briggs helped Jensen find his footing and he knows Briggs wants to go solo. He said Henley should accept. Henley basically said yes. Briggs said he loved them and Henley said this is it then, it’s over. Jensen said one last time and they put their fists together. He said they’re family forever. Henley said she loved them and walked away. Briggs looked at Jensen and walked away. Jensen held his fist there, looking crushed. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: Match of the night thus far that unfortunately had commercials during the middle portion.)

-They returned with Ariana Grace meeting with Ava outside of Shawn Michaels’ office. She said she was viciously attacked by Roxanne Perez in the locker room last week and you could still see some of the marks on her “beautiful face” and luckily she has good “bone structure.” She said Perez has an anger management problem and for the safety and betterment of the locker room, they should do something. Ava said the next step was Perez challenging Grace. Grace said bless her heart and how did she take the rejection? Ava said it was agreed to so the match is on. Grace looked miffed.

-Sarah Schreiber was in the back for a sit-down with both Lyra Valkyria and Blair Davenport. Davenport said it’s taken this long because Valkyria ducked her and Valkyria said the same for Davenport. Schreiber said Valkyria has a good point because of Davenport’s “different” methods. Davenport said it worked and Valkyria said until it didn’t, calling her cowardly. Davenport retorted that she beat four women in a match to become Iron Survivor. Valkyria said she welcomes competition and next week won’t be pretty, but the difference is that Davenport wants to call herself champion while Valkyria wants to be the best; Davenport said that’s exactly why she’ll win.

-Femi entered for his semifinal match. Tavion Heights was next.

(6) OBA FEMI vs. TAVION HEIGHTS – Men’s Breakout Tournament semifinal match

They locked up, and Heights took the back trying a suplex, but Femi hit a big elbow. Heights picked the leg, but he grabbed the ropes to break. Heights then hit a big kick, but Femi took it to him with big strikes. Joseph said Heights was Olympic-caliber. Femi hit a big uranage backbreaker for a two-count. Femi hit a big punch in the corner and then an elbow to the back of the neck. Heights tried to fight back, but ate a body shot. Femi then worked the left arm and side. Heights fought back with strikes, but Femi lifted him belly-to-back style and then just tossed him across the ring. Femi then set and hit a running uppercut in the corner for a two-count. That speed was impressive. Heights would get in a few shots, but eat one to falter. He went down for a fireman’s carry and after some fight, he hit a DVD and then a German. He came back and hit an overhead, just throwing Femi. The “Heightsplex Machine” (I’m going to start calling him that) unfortunately turned right into a big lariat and then was launched into the air. Femi then hit the pop-up powerbomb. Osborne came out so he and Femi could have their faceoff in front of the contract.

WINNER: Oba Femi at 4:10 (pop-up powerbomb) to advance to the Men’s Breakout Tournament finals

-They showed Dragunov entering from the parking lot in a neck brace. He cut off Kincaid and said he’s looking for Williams.

-Gallus was already in the ring. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: Heights is like this generation’s version of Jason Jordan with all of his suplex variations and the explosiveness he provides on each one. He has a great base and once he hones his character, he should do just fine. His floor is Kemp, but his ceiling is high. How high is the question. Yeah, I’m still sticking with Femi.)

-They returned by showing the injury angle with Dragunov last week. They hyped an exclusive interview with Holland next week.

(7) JOE COFFEY (w/Gallus) vs. JOE GACY – Singles match

They immediately went to the match. Gacy looks like he lost a little bit of weight. They went at it with strikes and shoulder tackles right away until Gacy hit a dropkick and running senton. Coffey ended up throwing out Gacy. Gacy slammed the announce table and told Joseph he’s great. Gallus distracted Gacy enough for Coffey to hit a tope and then some stiff kicks. Coffey yelled at them to remember him. Booker T: “What the hell is going on?” Coffey hit some short-arm whips into the corner and then a running second rope elbow for a two-count. The crowd chanted “Joe forever.” He then hit some mule kicks to the chest of Gacy in the corner, but he just popped right up and took it to Coffey. He hit a belly-to-back suplex and then whipped Coffey across, ending with a back body drop. Coffey rolled outside and Gacy went through the middle rope to take out all three men. Back in the ring, he hit a uranage and kicked out just before three. Hank & Tank ran out to take out Mark Coffey and Wolfgang. Coffey went for and hit Glasgow Sendoff into the corner, but missed All the Best for the Bells and instead at the Upside Down.

WINNER: Joe Gacy at 3:45 (Upside Down)

-Kincaid was with the LWO in the back and lee said they accepted. He thanked them for being on his side. They said Lee is familia and that high flying is better than the ground game. Elektra Lopez and Lola Vice appeared and there was a reunion for the former stable members. Vice looked a bit disinterested and then was introduced.

-They showed Thorpe and Dijak each preparing in the back for the main event. [c]

-They returned with hype for NYE including Valkyria vs. Davenport, Stratton vs. Henley where loser becomes servant or ranch hand for a day, LWO vs. three of the NQCC, Perez vs. Grace (boos rang out for this graphic), and Dragunov vs. Williams.

-Thorpe’s music hit and I’m anticipating a Dijak attack from behind. Holy crap, I was wrong! The ring was lined with I’m guessing PC folk, no ropes surrounding the ring, but the ring posts were present. Dijak entered next. Thorpe had what amounted to war paint on as Dallas Irvin – in all black – held him back. Samantha Irvin gave formal ring introductions, a nice touch. No rules, ref is only there for the KO or tap out.

(8) EDDY THORPE vs. DIJAK – NXT Underground match

Thorpe immediately hit a big kick and a German, then a back mount for the rear naked choke. he tried a twister, then chained to an armbar attempt. Dijak rolled him over and then stepped on Thorpe’s face to break the sub. He stomped some more. He went for some punches from mount, but Thorpe dodged and then hit an up kick. He hit a series of quick, precise strikes and then a Saito suplex counter to a wild punch. Thorpe then set and went for his elbow, but Dijak caught him by the throat. He went for a chokeslam, but Thorpe went for the armbar. Dijak countered with a sit-out powerbomb. Dijak mounted and hit some big punches as an overhead shot was shown. Dijak yelled at Thorpe only to eat a rising headbutt to the chin. Dijak then threw Thorpe into the post and outside the ring thanks to the absence of ropes. [c]

Dijak ran and leaped with a con hilo to Thorpe on the outside near the entrance as they returned. He rolled Thorpe back onto  the ring and tried to lock up an arm. He threw a haymaker only to have it caught. Thorpe used that to land a big boot and another German. He landed a gut kick and then another German. He went for yet another, ate a few elbows, ducked a right, and landed a big brainbuster. Joseph was quick to remind that there are no pins. Thorpe crawled over and applied a rear naked choke, but didn’t have good positioning. Dijak stood as Thorpe clung to the back, but Dijak just fell backward to break the hold. Dijak had back mount and started raining down blows to the back of the neck. He tried a RNC of his own, but Thorpe threw him off only to eat the discus boot. Irvin checked on Thorpe and Thorpe rose to his feet to eat another boot. Irvin checked again, but Thorpe shook him off. Dijak went for a third, but ate an enziguri instead. Thorpe took the back, but Dijak fought him off a bit. Thorpe tried to German Dijak off of the apron, but he landed on his feet and quickly grabbed Thorpe to land Feast Your Eyes (I think Dijak may have grazed his head on the apron on the German). Dijak grabbed a couple of people at ringside and beat them down before turning back to Thorpe. He set for a running attack, but Thorpe hit a back body drop right onto the apron and Dijak hung over the ring.


Thorpe entered the ring as Dijak took off his belt and sneakily wrapped it around his fist. Dijak went to punch, but Thorpe blocked him and hit the elevated DDT that Joseph called Manifest Destiny. Thorpe took the belt and then whipped the hell out of Dijak’s back and midsection. He then locked in the RNC, but Dijak rose to his feet and ran Thorpe head-first into the post to break the hold. Dijak regained his composure and set for a powerbomb to the outside. Thorpe instead countered with a rana to send Dijak to the floor. Thorpe then hit his big elbow from the apron, landing right in front of the announcers. He then hit Manifest Destiny again, this time on the floor. Irvin checked on Dijak, but Dijak grabbed him and told him not to stop the match. He warily rose to his feet only for Thorpe to jump his back for another RNC. Dijak tried ramming him into the apron and post, but Thorpe held on even after a barricade ram. Dijak fell to his feet, then used the steel steps placed next to the barricade to walk to the top and then after eating some rapid headbutts to the back of the head, Dijak was turned into a Manifest Destiny from the steps through the announce table. Both men were laid out, but Thorpe was the only one moving. Thorpe stood on the steps as Irvin finally called off the match as Dijak lay prone.

WINNER: Eddy Thorpe at 15:46 by KO (Manifest Destiny through announce table)

-They cut to a scene where Dragunov and Williams were sat at a table across from each other. Williams asked if Dragunov could compete next week before he signed his portion of their match contract. He said if Dragunov needs more time, they can push the match back. Dragunov said nothing and no one can stop him. He removed the neck brace and signed the contract. “The match is on.” They rose and shook hands before facing off.

(Hazelwood’s Take: I’m not sure what they wanted that match to be, but to me, it was a fun nearly 16 minutes (three or so in commercials) of action that was made even more unique by the lack of pin attempts where you would usually expect to see them. Thorpe needed a feud win as bad as the Pistons need a win in general and at least one of them got that tonight – Detroit might lose 40 straight in all seriousness – so I wonder who he sets his sights on next. I keep saying he seems prime for a North American Championship in 2024, but right now doesn’t seem to be the best time. Dijak is the new Corbin in that he’s a big man who can give you a solid match – a better match then Corbin don’t get me wrong – but will most likely lose his feuds even while sniffing the main event scene.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you didn’t know it was a taped show, you could tell by the pacing and the amount of matches they were able to pack into tonight’s show. Sure, only three of the eight even went longer than ten minutes and a fourth just eclipsed six minutes, but that’s still a lot of matches over two hours on top of interview/backstage and video segments. Yes, it wasn’t the best show in terms of in-ring work, but it was a great show in terms of advancing stories and angles, or possibly creating new ones (like with Vice) and ending old ones (Briggs, Jensen, and Henley). Femi seems poised to win the Breakout Tournament as Osborne is just fine with the Chase U association (unless they use an Osborne win to advance the serial gambling story with Chase) and next week’s show has two title matches plus a few more stipulation matches. For the short amount of time they’ve had (self-imposed) between Deadl1ne and NYE, they’ve done a solid job in putting stakes and importance on the matches for next week.

Email us at pwtorchnxt@gmail.com so we can discuss your comments and questions on PWT Talks NXT!

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