NXT TV RESULTS (1/23): Hazelwood’s live report on Dusty Classic semifinal, Davenport vs. Petrovic, Gacy vs. Dijak, King vs. Bearhill, more



JANUARY 23, 2024

NXT Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T

Ring Announcer: Alicia Taylor

Backstage Correspondent(s): Kelly Kincaid



-The show began with a recap of last week’s 20-woman battle royal to become #1 contender, won by Roxanne Perez with a final four that also included Kelani Jordan, Kiana James, and Fallon Henley.

-Vic Joseph welcomed viewers as Breakker’s music hit for the semifinal of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Baron Corbin’s music once again cutoff Breakker’s as he entered with a wolf head like he’s in Elder Scrolls or something, I think to mock “Wolf Dogs” from Breakker, who promptly tore off the hood and tossed it aside. Nathan Frazer entered after with Axiom following, their theme and time lapse or slow mo or whatever mashup as well.

(1) BRON BREAKKER & BARON CORBIN vs. AXIOM & NATHAN FRAZER – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic semifinal

Axiom and Frazer attacked before the bell and forced both outside. They hit topes and then Breakker was forced into the steps and barricade while Corbin was hit with a rana. They rolled Corbin back inside and the bell finally rung. Axiom tagged in Frazer and then Axiom again as both targeted and worked the left arm of Corbin. Frazer hit a springboard to the exposed left arm after tagging in, but was then forced into a corner. He used his quickness to escape and reapply pressure on the left arm. He dodged another Corbin attack to land a flurry of his own, but a big boot floored him just like that. Corbin then beat on Frazer a bit before tagging in Breakker. Corbin rushed at Axiom in the corner, but was kicked. He went outside and caught Axiom on a rana, powerbombing him onto the announce desk. Frazer climbed to hit a springboard on Breakker, but Breakker caught him into an immediate World’s Strongest Slam. [c]

Axiom kicked out just before three as they returned. Corbin tagged in and the pace of the match was slowed considerably from the opening two minutes. Axiom fought back, but ate a Saito suplex for a two-count. Corbin tagged in Breakker as they isolated Axiom, hitting a belly-to-back cutter. Axiom was able to fight out of the corner and tag in Frazer. He gained speed and hit Breakker with a running forearm. He escaped a corner attack and mocked the big man, then leaped over a charge in the corner to send Breakker into the post. He sent Corbin outside and then told the camera they know where this is going. He climbed and hit a top rope frog splash crossbody. He rolled in Breakker and hit a thrust kick. He tagged in Axiom and they hit a top rope splash combo. Axiom put Breakker into a triangle armbar as Frazer grounded Corbin with a rear naked choke. Breakker rose and then powerbombed Axiom onto Frazer to break the hold.

Corbin hit a series of impact moves, including a spine-tingling brainbuster, but Axiom kicked out. Breakker then tagged in and had Corbin toss Axiom to Breakker for a slam; Axiom kicked out yet again. He fought out of the corner and then ate a big a lariat from Breakker. Breakker took out Frazer and set for the top rope bulldog. Axiom caught him with an enziguri and tagged in Frazer. Axiom hit an avalanche Spanish Fly and then Frazer a phoenix splash, but Corbin broke up the pin. Corbin then countered a tornado DDT from Axiom into an End of Days. Frazer kicked away Corbin, but that opened him up for a spear from Breakker.

WINNER: Bron Breakker & Baron Corbin at 12:03 (spear) to advance to the final of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic

-Ilja Dragunov was speaking to a producer backstage as Josh Briggs approached. Dragunov said he’s sure Briggs didn’t mean to interrupt him and Briggs said he did. Briggs said JBL told him he needs to make a name for himself and called out Dragunov. Dragunov asked him if that’s what he really wants. Briggs said there’s no fear in his eyes, but he can’t say the same about Dragunov making Trick Williams wrestle twice at Vengeance Day. Williams came in to breakup the argument and told Briggs he has to wait. Briggs said he can’t tell him what to do and said Williams is going to hop in the back pocket of Carmelo Hayes after Vengeance Day. He asked Briggs if he knows who’s next in line and then said it was a “Trick” question. Tension, tension.

-Wren Sinclair was giving herself a pep talk in the locker room. Henley approached and Sinclair introduced herself. She said she was nervous for her first singles match. She said she’s trying to fit in and not make too many enemies. Henley told her to slow down and take a deep breath. Henley told her to be her genuine self.

-Meta-Four made their entrance for Lash Legend’s match against the aforementioned Sinclair. [c]

-They returned with Ava leaving Shawn Michaels’ office saying, “What a meeting.” Out followed William Regal and congratulated Ava on being the youngest General Manager in WWE. He asked her to look after the brand for him since he was there from day one and it means a lot to him. He laid out what it’s going to be like and said he knows she can do it. She thanked him and they shook hands.

-Sinclair entered to some generic dance music.

(2) LASH LEGEND (w/Meta-Four) vs. WREN SINCLAIR – Singles match

Legend cut her off and Sinclair used her quickness to try arm drags, but Legend used her strength to block. Sinclair climbed the back, but Legend eventually ran her straight into the top rope neck-first. She then slammed her head into the mat about eight times. Legend then laid her against the second rope and beat on her with forearms. She then hit a few corner shoulder thrusts to the gut and then put Sinclair into a torture rack. She locked her hands and even squatted with Sinclair on her shoulders. Sinclair tried for a sunset flip, but Legend just lifted and tossed her. Unfortunately for Legend, she ran right into the post as Sinclair dodged. Sinclair hit an enziguri to floor Legend, then tried for a pin. Jakara Jackson held Legend’s hands to prevent the pin. The ref counted Jackson, but they broke the hold in time and Legend kicked out. Sinclair dodged and Legend almost ran into Jackson on the apron, but then Sinclair shoved Legend into Jackson and almost got the victory. Legend then hit a big chokeslam. They moved to attack Sinclair after the match, but she was saved by Henley.

WINNER: Lash Legend at 2:58 (chokeslam)

-They showed an earlier today video of Adriana Rizzo lying unconscious on the floor with broken glass around her as O.T.M. intimidated the waiter to tell The Family that it’s not over.

-They then showed Joe Gacy headbutting Dijak last week while Gacy was on commentary, their brawl after, and their thoughts on the booking of the match.

-Joseph then shifted to the WWE 2K24 cover announcement and the 40 Years of WrestleMania edition. Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley are on the Deluxe, and Cody Rhodes is on the Standard. I think the same video they played to announce the game yesterday played one more time, a bit uncanny valley at times. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: Really like that they didn’t go with the “shocking upset by the debuting face” here. In the past, we would have scoffed at the fact that Legend was chosen to guide Sinclair in her first NXT match, but Legend’s improvement has really been drastic and that was a perfectly serviceable match.)

-They returned with Elektra Lopez angrily entering through the back and yelling at people.

-Dijak entered. Gacy attacked from behind (called that). Dijak was able to shove off Gacy into the steel steps and beat on him a bit on the outside. He threw him over the barricade and went to recover. He then looked for something under the ring, a chair. Gacy jumped off the barrier to attack Dijak before he could turn around. They fought toward the concourse area where Breakker likes to spear people. Gacy used the chair on Dijak a few times, but Dijak dodged a third and hit his discus boot to send Gacy through the bottom of the concourse area. Gacy was crawling back toward Dijak and smiling, asking for more. He fought back, but Dijak chokeslammed him through the announce desk. There was at least 30 seconds muted combined because of crowd chants. Finally, security came down to break it up, but Dijak easily fought them off. Gacy rose once more and applied a rear naked choke to Dijak, but was finally separated by security and the refs. The two they yelled at each other as they were being held back.

-Arianna Grace was in the locker room practicing a speech. Lopez walked in and demanded to know where “she” was. Grace said right here and Perez said, “Not you, princess; Lola.” She walked away. Her acting hasn’t been great in the 15 seconds or so she’s been on.

-Lexis King was making his way and said the main event is about to happen early. [c]

-They returned with an over the weekend video of Mr. Stone and Von Wagner at the UCF football field where Wagner played football, number 87. Stone said they’re there to work on speed, stamina, and agility for the Heritage Cup. Stone said they had the two best trainers: Stone’s two sons, “The Bash Brothers!” 80s-style montage commenced.

-King made his entrance. Trey Bearhill was already in the ring, raring to go.

(3) LEXIS KING vs. TREY BEARHILL – Singles match

As soon as the bell rung, Bearhill went after King. King ducked and pushed Bearhill, but Bearhill pushed him to the mat. Some strikes from King resulted in one landing from Bearhill to floor king. He then hip tossed King from the apron back into the ring and hit a big running corner splash. He hit a bodyslam, but King rolled out of the way of a big leaping elbow drop. King then went on the attack to the grounded big man. He hit a kick to the chest of Bearhill, then another, which just fired up the big man. A third hit and a fourth was caught, then a double chop sent King to the mat. Bearhill landed a back scratch and then a big chop. He kept yelling throughout the match and then went for a chokeslam. King slipped out and hit a thrust kick, then one to the knee, then a running lariat to the back of the neck. The Coronation followed.

WINNER: Lexis Kinga at 2:31 (Coronation)

-Supernova Sessions with Lola Vice is next. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: If this is what we see from Bearhill on a regular basis, then it’s not going to go well. He basically just pulled an Ascension and yelled the entire match and really just hit a bunch of strikes and a few wrestling moves. It’s only his first real match, so let’s see how he progresses. King was fine, but nothing about his offense excites me.)

-They returned with Williams in the locker room as Hayes walked in saying he’s been watching matches. Hayes asked why Williams was fighting Dragunov’s battles and Hayes said he’s playing Williams like 2K. Hayes said Williams won the Iron Survivor Challenge and then all of the sudden, Dragunov’s hurt? He said Dragunov knows they’re a lock for the Dusty Cup so that’s why he’s trying to make him wrestle twice in a night. He said Dragunov sees Williams as a threat. Williams said he knows Hayes knows the game, but he also knows the game. Williams laid out their schedule of matches in the next few weeks and reiterated he needs to do it himself. Williams dapped him up.


Noam Dar and Oro Mensah were in the ring for Supernova Sessions. Dar said Legend and Jackson aren’t here because they’re “taking care of” Sinclair and Henley. Dar then said Wagner and Stone’s sons are in the same school, same class, same crayons. He mocked them some more and then introduced their guest for the segment, Vice, holder of the Women’s Breakout Tournament Contract. Like Lopez, she also came out in all black. She entered and gave both men a hug.


Dar said Lopez’s reaction when she was eliminated was fantastic and asked if it was planned. Vice said there was always an expiration date and called Lopez a leech for trying to use her and her star power. Vice then said she dumped her like the baggage that she is. She said she didn’t regret anything, not the people watching her every move, not the women jealous of her in the locker room- Lopez interrupted. She said she’s not questioning why Vice did it, but who the hell Vice really is, pretending to be sweet and innocent, saying it’s such an honor to be here in WWE. “Bitch, I’ve sacrificed-” and then muted for a bit. She brought up LdF and her work and said Vice got here by shaking her ass on Instagram. She called her a wannabe MMA fighter shadowboxing in her bikini. “Real talk,” she called Vice the biggest phony in WWE. Lopez said it’s them in a match next week. Lopez said she wants to burn “Vice City” to the ground right now and went straight at Vice, launching themselves into and over the couch in the ring. The refs had to separate them.

-They showed Tony D’Angelo’s response, posted to Twitter, with Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo, and Rizzon nursing her neck in the back.

-Dragon Lee’s music hit for his match with Scrypts. [c]


A somber scene played as movers came in and were removing things from what was already a crappy, makeshift classroom. Riley Osborne got up and apologized deeply to Andre Chase and that he would remember everything. Chase told Osborne he failed them. Everyone but Duke Hudson remained behind. Hudson said it was all materialistic and could be replaced until they took his trophy. “Without the trophy, we aren’t Chase University.” They even took the podium against Chase’s wishes. Chase said they had a good run and next week, they officially say their goodbyes. “Class dismissed.”

-Scrypts made his entrance alongside O.T.M. I’m thinking The Family makes a run-in.

(4) DRAGON LEE vs. SCRYPTS (w/O.T.M.) – Singles match

They started with Lee working the left arm and Scrypts retreating into the ropes. Lee took him down with a side head lock and then they showed Oba Femi watching from the elevated concourse. Scrypts used his acrobatic skill to dodge a few attacks, but ate a running kick and then a tope con hilo on the outside. Lee rolled him back into the ring and hit his corner kick, leg sweep, and leaping kick to the face. Lee went for the running corner dropkick and hit for a two-count. Scrypts left the ring near the entrance and tried to retreat, but Lee sprung over the rope to get him back into the ring. However, as he went to climb the top, Scrypts hit an enziguri and then basically hit a leaping Houston Hangover to the outside, but he landed on his feet. He rolled Lee back inside and hit a big top rope crossbody for a two-count.

He rained down some shots to Lee as Femi looked on, unimpressed. Lee fought back with some body shots, but ate a spin kick to the gut, a snapmare, and then basement dropkick to the neck for a two-count. Lee began fighting back, hitting a few running attacks and then a feint enziguri. He hit a tornado DDT using the corner for momentum. Bronco Nima distracted Lee enough for Scrypts to land a pump kick. A series of acrobatic counters and reversals from both men ended with Scrypts landing a counter Spanish Fly. The Family’s music hit and then things broke down. Rizzo hit a lope to Jaida Parker on the outside. The six others fought to the back as Lee hit Operation Dragon on a distracted Scrypts.

WINNER: Dragon Lee at 5:32 (Operation Dragon)

-Femi cutoff the music and said he made his decision: “I’ll see you at Vengeance Day!” I assure you he said it a lot more cool than I could type.

-Edris Enofe and Malik Blade were sitting despondent in the back with the polka dot attire of Dusty Rhodes. Brinley Reece came over and Enofe asked why she was so happy after being eliminated last week. She said they only focus on the positive that you can bring out of every experience. Enofe said he’s glad she’s happy, but they just can’t catch a break. They don’t need journals or reflecting, just luck. She said she’s not going to let that happen to them and said they’re going to write down five things they liked and didn’t like about the match and go over it next week. She hit a sudden chop on Enofe and left. Blade said at this point, they’ll try anything.

-Blair Davenport made her entrance for her match with Karmen Petrovic. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: A good match between the two filled with the athletic spots you would expect from two skilled athletes. My biggest issue here, I guess question, is does Lee really need a distraction to defeat Scrypts? Yeah, sure, Lee went out there solo against four other people, but he was just a champion and it seems both diminishing for him to win like that and the for Femi to grant him a title match after that. I’m definitely nitpicking here, but it stood out to me.)

-They returned with Lyra Valkyria watching footage in the locker room, title on a stool next to her. She turned off the tablet and then turned right into Tatum Paxley, scaring her. Paxley said teaming with Valkyria was the highlight of her career. Valkyria said this isn’t going to work out because she has a lot going on and doesn’t have time to respond to the hundreds of text messages and phone calls from Paxley. Paxley said she completely understands that Valkyria needs to focus on Perez. Paxley said they were on the same page.

-Petrovic’s music hit with a lot of sword noises and it hurt my ears, so there’s that.


Davenport looked at her like is she serious? Petrovic used her quickness to hit some leg kicks (she tripped, but quickly regained her balance at one point). Davenport kicked out of the corner and hit her second rope double stomp to the back. she then repeatedly drove Petrovic into a corner and hit a pendulum backbreaker for a two-count. She then locked in a modified one-arm clutch, wrenching on Petrovic’s neck. Davenport went for another backbreaker, but Petrovic countered into an O’Conner Roll for a two-count. She then hit a flurry of kicks and running attacks to Davenport, including a discus lariat that finally floored the bigger wrestler. Petrovic hit a running kick to the face in the corner, but missed a cyclone kick as Davenport moved. Petrovic countered a falcon arrow and hit a nifty kick counter, using the ropes to hit a spin kick to the face. She missed a running knee in the corner, then ate a missile dropkick into the corner. A falcon arrow (that Petrovic didn’t really get up on, but I don’t think it was intentional) and kamigoye followed.

WINNER: Blair Davenport at 3:12 (kamigoye)

-Kelly Kincaid was in the back with Ridge Holland. She asked about last week’s match and attack. Holland said yeah, he has no friends to save him and he had his ass handed to him. She asked why he didn’t ask for help. He said he didn’t want to prove them right and that he broke away from the Brawling Brutes to find himself. He then challenged Gallus. Kincaid shockingly asked if he was going to take on Gallus all by himself; he said yes.

-Dragunov made his entrance. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: We were not at all impressed with Petrovic after her first two matches, essentially saying she didn’t yet belong on TV. Well, since then, Petrovic has shown nothing but improvement and put in another solid outing here. It helped that Davenport, veteran that she is, was there to guide her through the match, but Petrovic did well in what she was asked to do. From the early matches where her offense had no fire to them to now, where they look like they’re actually landing right, has been nice to see.)

-They returned with another WWE 2K24 ad read, this time with headlines from across the media landscape.

-Joseph ran over some matches for next week including Dar vs. Wagner in a Heritage Cup match, Vice vs. Lopez in their grudge match, and Williams and Hayes vs. LWO in the other semifinal of the Dusty Classic.

-Josh Briggs’ music hit. This is the main event and there’s still about 20 minutes before the overrun hits. They’re trying to make this a showcase singles match for both men – that is, if they go the entire remaining length of the show. Williams was next as “Whoop that Trick” rung out through the arena and Booker T did his usual.

(6) TRICK WILLIAMS vs. JOSH BRIGGS – Singles match

Dragunov joined commentary. Briggs tried to use his power immediately, but Williams easily dodged. He talked some smack and then ate a big rebound elbow. Briggs told Dragunov to watch as he beat on Williams in the hard cam corner nearest the announce desk. He sent Williams across, but he kicked out of the corner and then hit a beautiful, absolutely beautiful dropkick, completely parallel with the mat. Briggs responded with a big right hand to buy some time and then a running boot. He then hit a falling chokeslam for a two-count. Briggs started leaking a little blood from his nose I think. Dragunov told Williams to do something as Williams recovered on the outside. [c]

Briggs had Williams in a rear chin lock as they returned. Williams fought out, but ate a big counter side slam for a two-count; it was like a Black Hole Slam without the swing. Williams hit a few forearms, dodged a corner attack, and then landed right hands to the face, including an uppercut. He came off a rope run with a leaping lariat, two leg lariats, and a flapjack. He set for the discus kick, but Briggs dodged, hit a falling side slam, and then his immediate splash for a two-count. They fought to the outside, in front of Dragunov. Briggs doded a running Briggs kick, who then kicked Dragunov accidentally. Williams hit his discus kick to Briggs and then rolled him inside. Williams prevented Dragunov from entering the ring. Williams leaped from the top, was caught by Briggs, but then rolled him up for the victory. Briggs immediately rose and hit a big lariat to Williams. Dragunov was being held back as Williams gently shoved away Hayes for interfering. Hayes looked at Williams with visible frustration and confliction. I forgot about the contract signing as the actual “main event.”

WINNER: Trick Williams at 7:46 (rollup)

-Thea Hail was lamenting the fall of Chase U in the back and Jacy Jayne said she’s still working on things. King approached and tried to hit on Hail. Osborne came up and told off King since they want nothing to do with him. King walked away and Hail yelled at him, slipping that Osborne is “her” hero. Jayne told Hail she needs to act like a grown ass woman.

-Perez and Vallkyria made their separate ways to the ring.

(Hazelwood’s Take: A lot was going on at the end there. With Williams shoving away Hayes, it gives Hayes legitimate reason to turn on his partner – at least in his mind. He was just trying to help him, after all. Briggs might be going the heel route after that sudden post-match attack, something his newfound mentor also did to “find himself.” Dragunov now has a little match he can have with Briggs after that boot as a little tune up before Vengeance Day. The match itself, for what was shown, was fine, but not particularly exciting.)

-They returned with a No Quarter Catch Crew vignette and their “Catch Clause” where they determine who wrestles a match among the four of them.

-They showed Hayes and Williams arguing in the backstage area. Hayes said Dragunov was coming for Williams and Williams said Dragunov is straight up. Dragunov said like with Corbin? That shut up Williams and Hayes yelled at him to wake up before storming off.

-Joseph went over Vengeance Day, including the Dusty Classic final, Dragunov vs. Williams, Femi vs. Lee, and The Family vs. O.T.M. in a mixed six-person tag team match.


-Ava was in the ring and said with the Royal Rumble on Saturday and Vengeance Day in a few weeks, “all eyes are on NXT right now.” She then introduced Perez first as the challenger. Joseph reminded viewers that Perez never actually lost the title. Ava then introduced the Women’s NXT Champion, Valkyria.


Ava sat between the two as they all faced the hard cam. Ava said there are some big expectations and all that’s left is to make it official with the signing. Perez said let’s get all of the respect stuff out of the way because she knows they respect each other and that it’s a Stand & Deliver main event nine weeks early. Valkyria agreed and said they’ve been on parallel paths. She said she debuted the same night Perez won the title. Perez said Valkyria had a great first year, “the number one woman in the best division in all of WWE,” but it feels familiar because she was in those same shoes a year ago. She said she’s had to dig deeper and work her way back up to a match for a title she never lost in the first place. She said she finally gets her one-on-one title match and when she wins, it will mean everything she’s suffered over the last year was worth it. She said Valkyria will then walk the same path she’s just walked.

Valkyria said she’s not trying to push buttons, but is just telling the truth: “You had a great run, but I’ve replaced you. I have replaced you at the top of this division.” She talked about the “edgy Roxanne” she wants to see because the last person she has to prove that this is her division to is Perez. Perez said Valkyria is so confident and she sounded exactly the same, “just another PLE right, just another challenger.” Perez said Valkyria’s going to lose and that’s when the real questions will begin: is she overrated, was it too fast? She said some days, “these people” won’t be with you and some days, these people will boo you. She said when she becomes champion, “and I will,” Valkyria cut her off as they stood face-to-face and said she’s always been mentally and physically tougher than Perez. She said after Vengeance Day, Perez will always stay behind her. Ava jumped between them and said they’re going to save that for Vengeance Day and for now, they’re going to sign the contract. Valkyria was first, then Perez. Ava, exasperatedly, said thank you and said the match is official. They faced off in front of the table as Ava exited the ring. They shook hands and then glared at each other, Valkyria holding the title high. As Valkyria left the ring, Paxley crawled out from underneath the contract signing table and gave Perez a spinebuster through the table. Valkyria entered the ring and threw off Paxley, asking her what the hell she was doing. Paxley profusely apologized as Valkyria continued to berate her, Perez nursing her injuries between them.

(Hazelwood’s Take: I know Wade has his heavy caveats for when the meta or real world narrative is inserted into storylines, but I like how this was laid out because it is true that people were asking those things about Perez before, during, and after her championship reign. Perez showed a different fire that was disparate from so many others “I’m becoming more edgy now grr” changes we’ve seen in the past, grounding her edginess in the reality of the criticisms levied against her by wrestling fans and pundits, and the journey she’s had to go through to reassert herself atop the division, or at least into a title match. What’s interesting is that I’ve been levying these same criticisms at Valkyria recently, so it’s interesting how that’s come around. I don’t think Perez wins, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see her lose and then go full heel with a post-match attack, assuming this isn’t the main event.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: A decent to good show depending on your outlook. Every match tonight aside from the main event was set beforehand by some kind of previous angle and even then, you could say Briggs and Williams have been on the periphery of each other for weeks now. The non-match segments also served to advance some stories and I think Kincaid is getting more comfortable as the backstage correspondent. The biggest news coming out of tonight was the continuation of the Hayes-Williams story and the added wrinkle that both men could be right about Dragunov and this could lead to their potential downfall. With the go-home show next week (I think), let’s see what they do in that tag team match to either put them in the final and have Williams wrestle two matches, or the simmering tension to cause them to lose next week.

Tune into PWT Talks NXT for more!


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