NXT TV RESULTS (1/30): Hazelwood’s live report on Vengeance Day go-home with Dusty Classic semifinal, Dar vs. Wagner, Perez vs. Paxley, Vice vs. Lopez, more



JANUARY 30, 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 contract signing segment between champion Lyra Valkyria and challenger Roxanne Perez (with newly appointed GM Ava), and Paxley’s spinebuster of Perez through the table. They also showed the breakup of Lola Vice and Elektra Lopez, setting up tonight’s match. They then showed Chase U having everything removed. Finally, they showed Carmelo Hayes speaking to Trick Williams before the latter took on Josh Briggs last week with Ilja Dragunov joining commentary.

-Hayes and Williams entered with a combined Tron and a theme mashup. LWO was next.

(1) CARMELO HAYES & TRICK WILLIAMS vs. LWO (Joaquin Wilde & Cruz Del Toro) – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic semifinal match

Hayes and Wilde began the match, Hayes getting the early side headlock. Wilde was able to hit a running side headlock takedown, but Hayes hit a few quick arm drags and a dropkick to regain momentum. He hit a running bulldog and then tagged in Williams. Williams hit his own dropkick, but ate a jawbreaker that allowed Wilde to tag in Del Toro. They hit a springboard splash combo, then Del Toro hit a big chop. He ducked a few strikes, but was caught on a crossbody and slammed down once, twice, but slipped out of a third and attacked the left leg of Williams. Williams was able to hit a pop up uppercut and tagged in Hayes. Hayes unleashed a bevy of chops and kicks in the corner. He sent Del Toro across to be reversed, then was sent to the outside. Wilde tagged in and hit a flipping senton from the top rope, then Del Toro hit a tornillo to Williams, who had tried to take out Wilde. [c]

Del Toro had Hayes grounded as they returned. Hayes tried fighting back and was classically held just inches away from his partner. A double clothesline floored both men. Williams and Wilde tagged in and Williams hit two leg lariats that showed lot of light because of how early Wilde bumped. He took out Del Toro after Wilde ducked, then went back to Wilde. He hit hit little pop up uranage, wait, a double as he also caught Del Toro coming in and dropped both men. Williams hit his discus kick, tagged in Hayes, and hit an assisted splash for a two-count. Hayes climbed to the top, but was tripped into the tree of woe. Del Toro tagged in and hit a thrust kick on Hayes after discarding Williams. The two LWO members hit simultaneous Coast to Coasts, but Williams broke up the pin just before three.

Hayes had Wilde in a catapult, but was hit with a Zig Zag by Del Toro that launched Wilde into Williams. The two legal men traded blows in the middle of the ring from the mat, then their feet, with Hayes getting the better. Del Toro slipped a corner attack, then hit a missile dropkick and tagged in Wilde. Del Toro went for a phoenix splash, but missed and ate a codebreaker. Wilde was met on top, but hit a gourdbuster to drop Hayes. Hayes responded with a codebreaker counter on a splash and tagged in Williams. Hayes took out Del Toro with a Cactus clothesline and then Hayes hit his Tiger Knee.

WINNER: Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams at 12:32 (Tiger Knee) to advance to the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic final at Vengeance Day

-After the match, Oba Femi appeared behind LWO and attacked both men. This prompted Dragon Lee to make the save and all three teamed up on Femi, but he threw them off and kicked the hell out of Del Toro. He then launched Wilde into Del Toro and literally slapped Lee out of midair. He stood over them with his North American Championship.

-Ridge Holland was speaking to GM Ava and said she can’t allow him to have a three-on-one match with Gallus. Lexis King approached with a congratulatory gift basket filled with his merch and pics. She sarcastically accepted. King turned to Holland and said it’s his special meeting time with the GM, which surprised Ava. She then played along and said she had a perfect start for him in 2024: Holland vs. King tonight. She said she had a real meeting and gave Holland the basket, who promptly gave it to King. Ava told King, “Get out.”

-Paxley was stroking a photo of her and Valkyria with a raven feather and then Valkyria came in to say stop texting (earlier today video). Paxley said she thought Valkyria wanted her to take out Perez. Valkyria said she can fight her own battle. Paxley said she can take out Perez and Valkyria won’t even have a match and then be champion forever. She saw the photo after Valkyria walked away and exclaimed, “Oh, come on!”

-Perez made her entrance. They showed images from her second Rumble appearance three days ago. Valkyria joined commentary. They may start this match during break. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: A good match, but without having looked back, it seems like this Dusty Classic was one of the most predictable ones they’ve had. With Williams having two matches on Sunday, it’ll be interesting to see both how they book the matches and if Hayes’ presumed turn happens as well.)

(2) ROXANNE PEREZ vs. TATUM PAXLEY – Singles match

The match indeed began during break, so time will be televised time. Paxley threw off Perez and then the two traded forearms in the middle of the ring. Perez really put some stank on hers, but ate one off of a rope run and a few kicks from Paxley. Paxley hit a running crossbody into Perez in the corner, then hit a rope-assisted butterfly suplex for a two-count. She hit a baseball slide and preened for approval from Valkyria, who was unimpressed. She rolled Perez back in and turned to Valkyria only to be hit with a lope. Back inside, Perez climbed, but Paxley hit the rope to seat Perez, but ate an arm drag counter and then a Pop Rocks that had quite a bit of snap to it. Champion and challenger jawed at each other until Paxley tried to attack Perez. Valkyria broke it up and the two decided to hold off until Sunday, just glaring at each other instead.

WINNER: Roxanne Perez at 2:30 televised (Pop Rocks)

-They showed Arianna Grace with Wren Sinclair in the back kitchen area as Grace said Sinclair came to the right woman for advice. Fallon Henley approached from behind; Grace didn’t realize and unintentionally insulted her. Once she remarked on the smell, Henley came at Grace. Grace said she’s going to show self-restraint, but Henley just said show Sinclair how much of a leader you are tonight and went to go find Ava.

-They showed Lopez walking with purpose, then Vice. [c]

-They returned with a promo for Love & WWE with Bianca Belair and Montez Ford.

-Lopez made her entrance first with more confidence than I’ve ever seen from her. They showed her joining Santos Escobar again from Friday night. Vice was next, spitting fire.

(3) LOLA VICE vs. ELEKTRA LOPEZ – Singles match

Lopez hit a spear to begin and then they traded blows. Vice then tackled the both of them outside that was telegraphed by Lopez making sure she was in position. She threw Vice shoulder-first into the post and then rolled her back inside the ring. Lopez hit a knee to the face, but Vice dodged and hit about four rapid kicks to the side. She hit a running hip attack to a seated Lopez in the corner for a two-count. Lopez hit an axe kick to the back and then cinched in a modified clutch. Lopez fought to her feet and out, ducked a roundhouse kick, hit a schoolgirl, then a big chop. She countered a triangle choke attempt with a powerbomb. They then traded forearms. Lopez dodged a kick and hit a few big chops, then a double to the throat, and a few short-arm clotheslines. She hit a swinging uranage for a two-count. She went for a two-hand chokeslam, but Vice countered into a guillotine. After Lopez escaped, Vice hit a spin kick to the head for the win.

WINNER: Lola Vice at 3:27 (spin kick)

(Hazelwood’s Take: A decent enough match considering where these two were at just a few months ago, particularly Lopez. There was a bit too much of making sure they were in the right spot that took away from the match a little. With Lopez basically on Smackdown now, it didn’t make sense for her to win and this is likely her last regular NXT appearance. As for Vice, does she cash in that contract Sunday? They’ve teased it a few times now, but each time she was thwarted.)

-Dijak was watching footage of him taking out Joe Gacy last week in their little brawl at his table in the dark with one little light. Gacy approached and asked if he could sit; Dijak said no, so Gacy said thanks and sat. Dijak put a nightstick on the table to intimidate Gacy, but he just said it was cool. Gacy said he came here to tell Dijak that no matter what he does, he can’t get rid of Gacy. He replayed the recorder on the table of his words, then ate a punch. Dijak said “Oh, sh*t,” and then the two brawled.

-Holland was making his entrance. This will be another where the match begins during the commercial break. Just joking!

(4) RIDGE HOLLAND vs. LEXIS KING – Singles match

Holland threw off King easily on a tie-up. King pushed away Holland mockingly on the next exchange. Holland then went with a nerve hold and elbowed the face. He hit a big short-arm clothesline as they indeed went to break. [c]

Holland was in control of King as they returned, turning his attention to the left arm. King hit a headbutt on a break (which he didn’t sell at all), then raked the eyes and hit a chop block. He ducked a right only to be laid out with a huge left clothesline. He rolled outside, drawing out Holland for an immediate clothesline of his own. Back in the ring, he went attacked the back of the neck and shoulder area. He used the ropes for a unique boot choke of Holland in the corner (utilizing the entire count). Holland tried fighting out, but was sent across and ate a corner avalanche, big chop, snapmare, and PK for a two-count. King immediately put Holland in a rear chin lock. Back on the feet, he attacked the left knee and hit a neckbreaker for a two-count. He then hit Holland with a few falling knees to the side and then a running lariat to the back of the neck of a seated Holland for a two-count.

King then set Holland for what’s become known as the Yes Kicks. Holland ate a good eight before eating another two on his feet. He finally caught one and hit a leg-capture exploder, then a standard exploder. He hit a swinging uranage (two matches in a row we’ve seen that), but King slipped out of a powerbomb attempt and kicked the knee out. Holland escaped Coronation and then launched King into the ropes. He then hit a few knees to the face and hit his own lariat to the back of the neck. Suddenly, Gallus appeared and Holland took out all three at ringside, none of the three actually making contact as Holland blocked or dodged. The distraction was enough for King to hit a thrust kick as Holland reentered and hit a rope-draped Coronation. Vic Joseph messed up the quote when he said, “You come at the king, you get the crown,” but I guess he’s trying to get something over for King. Gallus then attacked Holland and Coffey ended up striking Holland’s ankle that was trapped in a chair.

WINNER: Lexis King at 9:38 (rope-hung Coronation)

-They showed Andre Chase solemnly in the back as Riley Osborne and Duke Hudson approached. Hudson said let’s do it one last time. [c]


-They returned with Hayes and Williams in the back discussing their past week. Williams said he was looking out on Friday. Hayes said Dragunov is playing games and he’s looking out for Williams. Williams said he appreciates that and that Sunday is about to be a movie. Hayes said all Williams needs to do is hit that game winner against Dragunov, but that won’t happen if he lets him get in his head with the mind games. Williams said he’s going to handle this face-to-face. Hayes said Williams will realize during that face-to-face that Hayes is right and that he’s had his back from the very beginning. Williams said, “Bet.”


Chase said it seemed like yesterday he was introducing Andre Chase University to the world. He said he knows he can be a little hot-headed, known to throw a desk or two, but he knew the type of imprint they could leave on NXT. He said Chase U became one of NXT’s biggest success stories. He said he truly believes the memories they made together will stand the test of time. Osborne and Hudson stood by him looking stricken. Chase said he’s grateful the fans allowed him to live his dream. Hudson interrupted and said Chase has been such a positive influence. he said he was a very different man when he joined, he’s not ashamed to admit, but he saw what Chase U could do for him. He said being named MVP was the greatest day of his life. Hudson said Chase U is so special to everyone that’s been a part of it that he feels it’s important that everyone around the world remembers Chase U as they experienced it: in a positive light. He said he threatened, he meant to say work with students, to create a video in memoriam of Chase U. They even showed footage that had Bodhi Heyward. I recognized Kelani Jordan as one of the students in these flashbacks. Chase was on the verge of tears and said this whole situation has been a teachable moment. He then said for now, this is goodbye. Jacy Jayne’s music hit.

He walked out with Thea Hail. Jayne said if you want something said, ask a man, but if you want something done, ask a woman. Chase said he’s sorry, but this isn’t the time. They entered the ring and Jayne said she didn’t think she would fit in with Chase U and maybe came in “just a little bit toxic,” but she saw the bond they had and complimented Chase for bringing “light back to Duke’s life.” She said maybe even she could change. She said when they were in trouble, she had to stand up to do something about it because she is fiercely loyal to what matters to her. She said she looked inside of her comfort zone and found a solution. She said they won’t be saying goodbye to Chase U tonight. She introduced the 2024 Ladies of Chase U calendar and then several women walked out and it was like the Breakout Tournament announcement, only for a calendar. Jayne said the projected sales will not only save Chase U from debt, but get them to the promised land. After initially looking apprehensive, Chase came around to it and Jayne said they’ll officially go on sale I think after Vengeance Day. She said it will launch them into the next decade. He just hugged her and then told her she’s officially in Chase U.

(Hazelwood’s Take: With EVERYTHING – not a cheap plug for Rich’s show – that has come out over the past week, was going with a sexy calendar to save the group really sound like a good idea?)

-They showed a vignette for The Family. Adriana Rizzo said her whole life she’s been called that girl with a big mouth, but no one’s been able to shut her up yet even though Tony D’Angelo said she threw punches first and asked questions later. They said they would always “call Rizzo” back in the day when they just needed a “ladies’ touch” or just pop someone in the mouth. They said on Sunday, OTM and Jaida Parker will find out why the streets belong to The Family.

-They showed Henley prepping in the locker room. Brooks Jensen approached and said things move fast. He reminisced as she awkwardly kept getting ready. Sinclair then approached and Henley said she’d see him later. Jensen looked crestfallen. [c]

-They returned with Chase U in the back celebrating. Jayne asked the woman in pink to make sure they had drinks ready. Chase thanked Jayne over and over again, and said she saved his life. King then approached and tried to hit on the women again. He asked for a signed calendar. Osborne told him to back off and said he’s exactly right where he needs to be: “between Jacy and Thea.” King said that’s why no one like him and Hail said that’s wrong because she likes him. Dijak and Gacy suddenly brawled their way to the area.

-Henley and Sinclair entered first. Grace followed.

(5) FALLON HENLEY (w/Wren Sinclair) vs. ARIANNA GRACE – Singles match

Grace demanded that Henley kiss her hand. Henley just took it to work the left, keeping Grace away from the ropes. Grace rolled through three times to escape and posed for the crowd. Henley just went right back to the arm. Grace broke out with some right hands, but Henley hit a spinning back elbow and then Grace tried to feign something, but Henley wasn’t fooled. Henley hit a misdirection shoulder tackle, then a sliding leg trip off of a rope run. She hit a kick and then went for the sliding right. Grace blocked, but Henley just waited and then punched her in the face. [c]

Grace had Henley in a modified rear chin lock as they returned. Grace had hit a pretty good Saito suplex during break they showed with a split-screen replay and Booker T said she also hit a “picture-perfect belly-to-belly suplex.” Henley fought back and lifted Grace to her shoulders, but Grace slipped out and slammed her to the mat. She went right back to her modified rear chin lock, knee straight to the back. She then rubbed Henley’s face into the mat for the entire ref’s count before reapplying the hold. They showed Sinclair at ringside looking on with concern; Booker T called her “gullible” and “impressionable.” Henley fired up after Grace mockingly slapped her a bit and then hit two flying shoulder tackles. She caught Grace with a running hairmare and then met Grace with a right hand as the latter tried to escape out of the ring and up the entrance. As Henley recovered a bit, Jakara Jackson showed up on the opposite side to distract the ref. Lash Legend hit Henley with a big boot and rolled her in, where Grace draped her arm over.

WINNER: Arianna Grace at 8:38

-OTM vignette aired as the four sat in chairs in the back of a house you might find in any low-income area. My man Lucien Price had on some clean Jordan XIIIs as they discussed being insulted by The Family. Parker said she’s going to wipe the floor with the women’s division because she came from nothing, they came from nothing. Scrypts said they’re done playing games and it’s time for others to play theirs.

-Meta-Four entered for Noam Dar’s Heritage Cup defense against Josh Briggs, who basically has no Henley now. Joseph suddenly said they have to go to the back. Dijak and Gacy were fighting on top of a production trailier I think. A bunch of refs were yelling at them to stop, but the two fought and a conveniently placed cameraperson was able to film from just behind them. Dijak then threw Gacy off (landing unpictured). [c]

-By the way, on second viewing, Dijak big booted Gacy off of the trailer and into the dumpster. They returned with Bron Breakker on the phone in the locker room. Baron Corbin came in and called him “Mr. Royal Rumble” and said he was impressed, talking about all of his spears. He said he had to watch on peacock and “I thought the Wolf Dogs were better than this.” Breakker coaxed it back out of him again and laughed. Corbin said it’s stuck in his head like a bad song and said the name again. Breakker said it’s a thing and Corbin said focus on the now, the Dusty Cup. Breakker said he’s going to spear Hayes’ ass like he did Jimmy Uso. Corbin said it’s been a long time since he had some gold. They were about to fist bump until Breakker said Wolf Dogs; Corbin came back and bumped after teasing Breakker.

-Joseph and Booker T threw to a video of the Dijak-Gacy interaction before the break and that they’re waiting for a medical update.

-I said Briggs earlier, but it was Von Wagner. Eh, he’s just that forgettable. They showed Mr. Stone’s kids in the crowd, wearing suits, cheering on Wagner. “The Bash Brothers!”

(6) NOAM DAR (c) (w/Meta-Four) vs. VON WAGNER (w/Mr. Stone) – Heritage Cup match

Round 1 began with the two circling and Dar using leg kicks to gauge distance and work the base of the larger man. One shoulder tackle ended that, but Dar went right back to the kicks after an escape only to eat another shoulder tackle. Dar shifted to working the left arm and the left knee, but was having difficulties with Wagner’s power. Wagner showed some technical acumen with a roll through, kip up, and then arm drag counter. Dar just came up and slapped him, so Wagner just lifted and slammed him, raining down blows. Wagner went for and hit a gutwrench TOSS, nearly sending Dar out of the ring. Wagner hit a gutwrench suplex, yet still hadn’t made a pin attempt. Wagner, taking his time, then hit Dar with basically and F5, and still no pin attempt. He just looked at Dar and then took off some of the tape from his right hand to punch Dar in the face. He spent the last ten seconds just punching Dar. He went even beyond the bell and Meta-Four ERUPTED at the blatant breaking of the rules (the irony). Wagner even held Dar from being taken to his corner.

Round 2 began with Wagner taking out Mensah (who was still in the ring, but then turning right into a Novaroller. [c]

Noam Dar up 1-0 

Round 3 had one minute left when they returned. He held Dar in a delayed vertical as the crowd chanted (faster than an actual second) and hit 13 before he dropped Dar. Dar rolled outside and Wagner followed. Mensah distracted the ref and Legend and Jackson grabbed Wagner’s foot. Henley and Sinclair ran down and fought them to the back. Dar went for a heel hook, but the bell rung before he could fully lock in the pressure, though he held onto to it after the bell. Booker T said turnabout is fair play and Joseph said Booker T always says he didn’t see it when Dar did it in previous matches.

Round 4 began with Dar running at Wagner and then Wagner hitting a boot. Dar hit a spinning back elbow and a few Superman forearms. He hit some 12-6 elbows to the crown of the head, but Wagner grabbed the arm and then bodyslammed Dar. He went for a boot, but Dar ducked and Wagner fell outside by the announcers. He kicked Wagner into the steps, then a running dropkick into the knees into the steps. Back in the ring, Wagner was favoring his knees, but was able to kick Dar out of the air (he did a 360), then hit a high running knee. He rubbed at his knee, but missed a corner charge. Dar hit a jackknife pin for the pin.

WINNER: Noam Dar at 10:10 elapsed (jackknife pin)

-After the match, they taunted Stone’s kids. Wagner attacked them and then powerbombed Mensah through the announce desk right in front of the kids. The two celebrated with the kids after.

-Ava was screaming at Dijak outside and said she has no choice but to suspend him. Dijak said he wants Gacy in a no DQ on Sunday. Ava said what makes you think he’s in any condition after that. Gacy appeared from the dumpster and said it sounds like fun so he’s in. Ava angrily yelled for Dijak to leave. If wrestlers can make their own matches, then why is there a GM?

-They showed Williams and then Dragunov making their way. [c]

-They returned with a preview of Sunday’s card: Dijak vs. Gacy, Valkyria vs. Perez for the Women’s NXT Championship, The Family vs. OTM in a mixed six-person tag team match, Femi vs. Lee for the North American Championship, the Dusty Classic final, and Williams vs. Dragunov for the Men’s NXT Championship.


Williams was in the ring and said let’s get straight to business. He said he has a lot on his mind and called Dragunov to the ring. He obliged. He grabbed a mic and said he loves the look on Williams’ face. He said they’re both ready to fight on Sunday. He called Williams the “hottest WWE superstar” and that they will “whoop that trick.” Williams rejected the handshake, saying maybe not this time, and said Dragunov is smarter than he looks. He said if there’s one thing he knows about a czar, they’ll do anything to stay on top.


Dragunov said he’s getting bad info and shouldn’t let Hayes give him bad info. He said their relationship is built on respect. Williams said Dragunov has so much respect for him he delayed the title match until Williams had to wrestle twice. Dragunov said he was so destroyed by pushing this brand to the next level in 2023, including Williams, and he’s willing to do it all over again “and this is the way you talk to me?” Williams said Dragunov waited until he was double-booked. Dragunov said yes, he played games with Corbin because he made it personal, but Williams didn’t have to accept. Dragunov asked if it was his mistake that Williams finds himself in this predicament and that he should be more concerned with Hayes because Hayes needs Williams for further glory. Williams said don’t be worried about his focus and the people are going to chanting “whoop that trick” from open to close. He said they’re going to win the Dusty Classic and then he’s going to take the title from Dragunov. Dragunov said Williams is clearly not focused since he doesn’t know who to trust right now. He said his honest opinion is that their rivalry made him the man he is today more than Hayes ever did. Dragunov said if Williams shows the slightest sign of weakness on Sunday, he’ll destroy him. Williams said there is no one that can destroy what he’s built. He said it’s not the same Trick Willy as last time trying to prove himself to the world; he knows who he is now. Dragunov said Williams will write history on Sunday, just not the one he wants. Williams held out his hand and they shook. Dragunov then pulled him into an embrace, shocking Williams. Dragunov smiled at him as Williams pulled apart. Breakker and Corbin suddenly attacked, and then Hayes came for the save. The two sent Breakker and Corbin out of the ring as Joseph said they’re on the same page. Refs held the Wolf Dogs back. Dragunov rose and then he angrily glared at Williams. They jawed to end the show with a concerned Hayes looking on.

(Hazelwood’s Take: If they have plans to turn Dragunov heel, this segment could be the starting point, but I think it’s still unlikely. They did need to do something to have a more traditional heel-face matchup as the crowd will almost certainly be 100 percent on Williams’ side. I was waiting for some type of mishap between Williams and Hayes to end the show, but they smartly are saving any of that for Sunday’s show. Williams stood out in this segment with the whole “I’m not trying to prove myself to the world” line because he has come into himself far more than when they first wrestled. I do wish we could have gone without the attack to end the segment, but they had to build heat for Williams’ two matches somehow.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: An interesting go-home as not every match had implications for Sunday as they rightfully want to save some of that. The addition of Dijak and Gacy will provide at least a change of pace to a card that is pretty straight up with the only other “gimmick” being the mixed six-person tag. Even the title matches are just matches with no gimmicks. We’re starting to see the inclusion of more and more characters as a few are slated or are already off to Raw and Smackdown, the Chase U women and Sinclair being the most obvious examples. The opener was a fun match, but the in-ring product didn’t stand out tonight as they’re saving their quality for Sunday. Notably absent – unless I really, really missed something – was that there were no segments with Kelly Kincaid and I’m hoping that’s just a function of how the show was laid out than anything to do with her.


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