NXT VENGEANCE DAY RESULTS (2/4): Wells’s live report on Ilja Dragunov vs. Trick Williams, Trick Melo Gang vs. Breakker & Corbin in the Dusty Classic final, Lyra Valkyria vs. Roxanne Perez, more

by Kelly Wells, PWTorch Contributor


FEBRUARY 4, 2024

NXT Commentators: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett

Ring Announcer: Alicia Taylor

Backstage Correspondent(s): Kelly Kincaid

Tonight I’ll be joining Greg Parks live on Wrestling Night in America following the show, while Nate Lindberg and Kevin Cattani will be recording a Roundtable to go up later.


I had some wonderful computer issues for the first nine minutes of the match. Trick largely played face in peril and started selling a worked knee, which could certainly figure in to his match with Dragunov later tonight.

Melo faced off with Corbin, and the faces teamed up to dump him. Hayes took out Breakker in the ring as Williams and Corbin tangled on the outside. Breakker caught Hayes and tossed him at Williams. Williams caught Hayes but Breakker suplexed both of them together. Corbin tagged in and Breakker launched Corbin onto Trick and Melo on the outside. Lots of barking dogs in the audience. Corbin caught each babyface with Deep Six and he covered Williams for two. With the faces on the outside, Breakker hit a flying senton on both for some more barking. He posed in front of the Dusty Cup trophy.

All four got involved and the WolfDogs had Trick and Melo up in two corners. Both faces fought them off. Everyone hit impact moves leading to Breakker hitting Hayes with a spear and getting the pin to win. The spear was meant for Williams but Hayes shoved him out of the way.

WINNERS: Bron Breakker & Baron Corbin at 14:33.

(Wells’s Analysis: Everything I actually got to see while not getting my computer back online seemed strong. Hayes ate a pin here and is now free to act as if Williams and his distractions cost him the victory. It took eight years, but Corbin – who lost the first Dusty Cup final while also in a wacky tag team with a brute who does a spear – finishes the tournament on top. This is a tournament that could serve to highlight how strong the brand’s tag division is, but again this time around, it was a way to show that two singles stars can walk into the tournament and beat established teams. With the negative out of the way, I’ll admit that the Breakker-Corbin TV is some of the best that either has ever been a part of)

-Peacock Premium gave me an Elimination Chamber ad and some of the usual hype segments for various NXT wrestlers, finally followed by a WrestleMania ad. It felt like a fairly long break.

-We got some of the hype for the Women’s Championship match that has seen Roxanne Perez tap into her darker side. Despite the good-sized segment we got, the match wasn’t next up.

(2) JOE GACY vs. DIJAK – No Disqualification match

“Love is Blind” remains Gacy’s theme song. He got a decent pop as he continues to test the waters as a crazy babyface. After the bell sounded, Dijak produced a nightstick and Gacy pulled out a baton. The weapons went flying as the two collided. Dijak hit a big suplex, still wearing his big leather coat. Dijak got dumped and Gacy hit him with a tope, then got a trash can and some chairs from under the ring and tossed them inside, as well as some rolls of duct tape. Dijak got in some shots and set up a chair outside the ring. The two battled on the steps, and Gacy sat Dijak on the chair and launched himself from the stairs for a cannonball for an early “holy shit” chant.

Gacy brought out a table to the usual big pop. Vic repeatedly used the old faithful “toys” in place of “weapons.” Gacy got a box of tiny toy soldiers and other small toys and put them all over the table. Dijak fought off Gacy and hit a discus boot, then rolled Gacy in for a one count rather than use the table yet. Gacy begged for more violence. Dijak did some ground & pound and hit a side slam for a one count again. Gacy put on a crazy wide-eyed smile. Dijak put a trash can over Gacy and stomped him down, then waited for him to get up and did it again. Then a third time, followed by several stomps. Dijak yelled for Gacy to stay down. Gacy rolled up again, still with the trash can on him. Dijak ran the ropes and Gacy ran blindly toward Dijak to lay him out.

Gacy finally got the trash can off of him and he threw rights and headbutts. Suplex by Gacy. Huge high-angle uranage by Gacy got two. Gacy put Dijak in a corner and splashed him. Dijak tried to spring into the ring, but Gacy pushed him outward and Dijak flew through the toy-covered table for a “holy shit” chant that the announcers let play out without commentary for a moment. Back inside, Dijak recovered quickly and spiked Gacy into a trash can for two. He once again put the trash can over Gacy.

Dijak fought his way up in the corner, but Gacy went up and hit a release suplex from the top. It was likely supposed to put Dijak through the trash can, but it was just off. The move looked impactful regardless. Gacy blinded Dijak with the duct tape and went after him with kendo sticks as he flailed around. Vic said “Now Dijak can’t feast his eyes on anything.” Dijak was able to catch Gacy with Feast Your Eyes, but still blinded, he reached around for a cover but couldn’t find Gacy, who had rolled off. “You can’t see him” chant rang out from the crowd.

Dijak was able to free himself of the duct tape, but Gacy spiked him with a DDT. Gacy hit a big splash from the top onto Dijak, who was on a chair, and surprisingly Dijak kicked out at the last millisecond. Gacy ran the ropes, but Dijak caught him with a nightstick, then hit Feast Your Eyes to finish. Even in defeat, Gacy was smiling with closed eyes on the mat.

WINNER: Dijak at 11:56.

(Wells’s Analysis: It was another in the Dijak mold where he can barely afford another big loss, but Gacy’s momentum has been strong. No DQ matches aren’t my jam, but for a quickie undercard affair, this was very good. Gacy’s act picked up steam even as he took a loss, and Dijak maintained enough credibility for whatever’s next for him)

-Kelly Kincaid talked to Jacy Jayne, who was signing Chase U calendars along with some of the other Chase U women, of course including Thea Hail.

-Oba Femi pumped iron ahead of his match later tonight.

-Hype for the six-person tag.

(3) THE FAMILY (Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo & Adrianna Rizzo) vs. OTM (Bronco Nima & Lucien Price & Jaida Parker) (w/Scrypts)

Price and Nima rode in on bikes with Parker and Scrypts behind. The camera angled on the entrance ramp, but nobody emerged. Back in the ring, the Family jumped OTM from behind.

The bell sounded and te women opened up. Parker took control with some strikes and a hip attack in the corner. “It’s too easy,” she yelled. Thesz press and some mounted punches from Rizzo. Both the press and the punches need work. Nima and D’Angelo tagged in and Nima took brief control until D made a blind tag and the tag champs double-teamed Nima. Stacks got in some stomps and tagged D back in for some body shots. All four men got involved, and soon enough the women followed. The Family hit repeated shots to the gut to their respective opponents. Stacks hit a cannonball in the corner on Price, who went spilling from the ring. Rizzo got tossed by her mates onto Parker, and D hit a third cannonball on Nima for two.

Stacks tagged in and he and Nima exchanged rights. Scrypts got involved and Stacks went spilling to the outside. The men of OTM double-teamed him for a moment. Action went back inside and Price worked a headlock on Scrypts, then tagged Nima, who kept up the beatdown on Stacks, who was firmly face in peril. Nima hit a stomach breaker on Stacks and fired up. He tagged Price, and Stacks tried to reach for D for the tag but couldn’t make it. Price punched Stacks, who went flying over the top rope. Scrypts got in some more shots and rolled him back inside. The men double-teamed Stacks again but this time, D broke up a cover. The men teamed for a big slam on Stacks for a long two.

Nima worked an abdominal stretch on Stacks. He clubbed Stacks a few times and tagged, and finally Stacks wriggled free and made the tag to D’Angelo, who dominated both Nima and Price. Suplexes and spinebusters for all. D set up a DDT but Parker charged in and slapped him hard. Rizzo charged in and took him out. Everyone got involved and most of them spilled outside. Rizzo went to the top and hit a high cross-body on the OTM men.

Back inside, D hit a spinebuster on Price, followed by his singles finisher to win.

WINNERS: The Family at 10:10.

(Wells’s Analysis: A satisfying six-person match with a good helping of highspots, but classic tag team wrestling to tie it all together and keep it well above the level of a simple spotfest. Rizzo is so strong and confident on the mic that I really hope she can continue to step it up in the ring. Parker is already strong in multiple aspects and fits beautifully into this stable)

-The Peacock Premium break gave us a good amount of Meta Four followed by a Bron Breakker segment. The Breakker bit focused on his turn to the dark side, at a time when he’s back to being a tweener at best and was presented essentially as a babyface in the Royal Rumble.

-Vic mentioned that this is the first ever PLE in the state of Tennessee. He threw to a scene of Kiana James and Izzi Dame sitting outside and drinking wine while talking about their obstacles. They waxed irritatingly about the babyfaces in the division.

-Trick Williams was in the trainer’s room with Hayes. Williams asked why Hayes took that spear for him. Hayes said Williams has to stay fresh for the NXT Championship match. Williams said tonight, this time, for when he wins the Championship, he wants Hayes by his side.

-Stand and Deliver spot. Tickets are on sale now!

-More hype for the Women’s Championship match. While the last segment focused on Perez, this one was from the perspective of Lyra Valkyria.

(4) LYRA VALKYRIA (c) vs. ROXANNE PEREZ – NXT Women’s Championship match

We got the shot of the women walking through the back to the “big match” rhythm. Perez entered first, still slapping hands like a babyface. Alicia Taylor handled formal intros. During this, Perez eyed the championship belt hungrily and hyped herself up.

Grapples and standing switches to open. The two repeatedly escaped and took brief control in the early going. Reset. The two exchanged some rollups for two counts. Backslide by Valkyria got two. Valkyria worked an armbar and rolled through as Perez tried to break free. More quick reversals followed as both women went for head scissors. Another reset.

Rope run and a shoulder block by Valkyria. The two started hitting bigger impact spots for near-falls. Hard German suplex by Valkyria looked like a tough bump for Perez. The two went to the corner and tangled there, and Perez hit a rana from the top. Perez hit Pop Rox, but Lola Vice’s music played, and she ran out, making it a triple threat. Why would she elect to face two women instead of one? Oh well.

(4b) LYRA VALKYRIA (c) vs. ROXANNE PEREZ vs. LOLA VICE – Triple threat match for the NXT Women’s Championship

Valkyria sold on the outside as Perez and Vice fought inside. The fresh Vice took control but as she set up victory, Valkyria flew in. She covered Vice but Perez broke it up. All three got involved and paired off briefly in quick spots. Vice got her rapid-fire kicks on both women. She hit a hip attack on Perez in one corner, and then on Valkyria in the opposite one. She missed an attack on Perez, who hit a DDT on both women. Vice went flying outside and Perez hit a tope. She hit another on the opposite side on Valkyria. Inside, Valkyria hit Nightwish on Perez, but Vice broke it up. Vice covered Perez but Valkyria broke that up. All three women sold on the mat to an “NXT” chant.

Vice hit a big, loud backfist on Valkyria for two. Vice tried to lock in an armbar on Valkyria, wo broke free and hit a roundhouse kick. Perez rolled up Valkyria for two. Pop Rox on Vice. Tatum Paxley, still playing the crazed Valkyria fan, charged and took out Perez to boos (the audience was here for Perez tonight, so it really made the moment work). Valkyria hit Nightwish on Vice to win.

WINNER: Valkyria at 13:30 from opening bell of the one-on-one to the finish.

(Wells’s Analysis: Vice is progressing nicely but isn’t on a championship level yet, so this worked out in that regard. Further, it gave Perez the opening to complete her heel turn in short order on TV, so that was a big plus also. The work here was pretty strong and should set up a lot of good TV for the players involved. The fact that Perez didn’t turn heel tonight is definitely lending a lot of credence to the idea that Hayes will)

-The Family, followed by Carmelo Hayes, were the objects of the next Peacock Premium break.

-Riley Osborne showed up at the Chase U booth to ask Thea Hail if she had a Valentine yet. She sputtered and said no. He asked her to be his, just as awkwardly. Hail glanced over at Jacy Jayne, who nodded a little “yeah, duh” sort of nod. Jayne is just soaring in this new role.

-The screen went black and words flashed on it:

Man has three faces…
One the world sees…
One his family sees…
And the real one no one sees,
But reflects the evil he truly possesses…

(5) DRAGON LEE vs. OBA FEMI (c) – NXT North American Championship match

Alicia Taylor did formal intros. Femi didn’t want referee DA Brewer to hold his title. He instead handed it to a ring hand himself, and threatened him if anything happened to it. Upon the bell, Lee charged and took Femi out of the ring and to the announce table and Vic freaked out. The two exchanged shots outside, then went back inside. Femi caught a flying Lee, but Lee charged him into a buckle for two. Huge double stomp to the face by Lee for two. Wade said if you can’t win with that, what the hell can you do?

Femi stalked Lee and threw some kicks. He stood over Lee after tossing him across the ring. Wade said guys this big are normally breathing hard after this much work, but he’s special. Femi chucked Lee from the ring and he made it in at the nine count. Femi hit a backbreaker, then another while never releasing. A third looked to really fold Lee the wrong way and he covered for two.

Lee managed a kick from underneath, then spidered around Femi’s body and finally trapped him in an arm and head submission. Femi walked Lee to a rope to break, and Lee kept trapping his arms so he had to break with his teeth on the rope. Lee broke and hit some quick offense. Enzuigiri by Lee. Tornado DDT followed. Jumping knee by Lee got two. Lee hit a couple of dropkicks in the corner, followed by a strong third on a grounded Femi.

Femi went up and Lee caught him with a powerbomb for two. Femi went to the apron, where Lee met him and hit a big knee. He ran for a PK but Femi hit him with a huge palm strike to the chest. Femi cleared off the announce table and tried to chokeslam Lee through it, But Lee hit a DDT on Femi. Lee tried to crawl into the ring, breaking the count, but Femi chokeslammed Lee onto Barrett’s (empty) chair.

Back inside, Lee caught Femi in a trap pin for two. Femi darted Lee into a corner, then bealed him and hit a big release powerbomb to finish.

WINNER: Oba Femi at 10:56.

(Wells’s Analysis: It’s weird to say when Lee walked in with a degree of stardom and Femi has still only had a single-digit number of matches in his career, but Femi’s win was never in doubt here. A very satisfying big vs. small match here that allowed Femi not to lose anything or look weak while Lee still had several glimmers of hope. Here’s hoping the vision for Lee is fairly clear now that he’s fully out of the North American title picture)

-Lexis King visited the Chase U booth and got all thirsty over Miss April, Thea Hail. Riley Osborne took issue and the two came to blows.

-Kelly Kincaid talked to Ava, who still doesn’t look, speak or act like a GM. I hope there’s a bigger plan here.

-WrestleMania Press Event hype.

-Enofe & Blade will face Axiom & Nathan Frazer this Tuesday, while Riley Osborne will face Lexis King. Additionally, Bron Breakker & Baron Corbin will have a celebration after winning the Dusty Cup.

-Backstage, Roxanne Perez was mauling Lola Vice after the events of the Women’s Championship match.

-Rundown of the Trick-Melo drama, as well as Ilja Dragunov’s part in it.

(6) TRICK WILLIAMS (w/Carmelo Hayes) vs. ILJA DRAGUNOV (c) – NXT Championship

Wade lamented Vic getting serious so he couldn’t do his Booker T impression during Trick’s entrance. Vic said Booker was going to sue him and that “Clarence Mason is on the case.” What a callback. Alicia Taylor handled formal intros. Strong reaction for Trick with a mixed one for Dragunov, solely due to his opposition.

Williams has a bloody lip from the earlier match, though nothing major. The announcers called it out to continue selling that Williams has already had a match. Quick escapes to open until Dragunov hit a massive clothesline to the nose. Dragunov and Williams were both bleeding now, as Dragunov – seemingly one of the quickest hardway bleeders in the business – took something on the schnoz as well.

Dragunov threw some chops and a face wash at Williams in a corner. Williams bled from the mouth. Dragunov yelled that this is his ring and nobody’s going to push him from his throne, earnestly playing heel tonight to help Williams with whatever story’s he’s got coming at the end of the evening. Dragunov snapped on a headlock and transitioned to a belly-to-back suplex, and another. He held on for one more, but Williams tripped Dragunov from underneath his own legs to gain separation.

Williams got shoved to the outside and Hayes tried to hype him up. Dragunov followed Williams and hit a German suplex on the outside right in front of Hayes. Dragunov hit a Death Valley Driver on Trick on the apron. Hayes was concerned. Hayes helped Williams up andhugged him on the outside, and Williams broke free to reenter the ring at eight, just for Dragunov to dropkick him from the top for two. Dragunov covered Williams for two.

Dragunov posed over Williams to boos. Yay/boo shots. Dragunov caught Williams for a powerbomb. Dragunov set up the H-Bomb but Williams hit a flash knee and The First 48 (lung blower) to stay in it. The two exchanged rights again. Williams hit some axe kicks and a huge flapjack. Williams soaked up a “Whoop that Trick” chant.

Dragunov and Williams again exchanged forearms. After a flying lariat by Williams, both sold on the mat for an “NXT” chant. Dragunov threw some chops, but Williams hit an uppercut that sent Dragunov to the outside, on Hayes’ side. Dragunov charged Williams into the apron. Dragunov set up another DVD on the apron, but Trick blocked and hit an ugly-looking uranage on the floor for a well-deserved “holy shit” chant. Williams charged but Dragunov got a knee up. Hayes got in Dragunov’s face, and Hayes swung and missed. Dragunov charged Hayes away from him, and Hayes knocked Williams into the stairs by clipping the knee that Williams was selling in his first match.

Back inside, Williams managed a neckbreaker but continued selling the knee. Williams hit his own H-Bomb, along with Ilja’s setup, and covered for two. Williams tried to wake up his knee, and he charged, but Dragunov caught him with a knee and hit an H-Bomb. Dragunov went up in the corner and hit an H-Bomb from the second turnbuckle for a long two. Much was being made of Carmelo’s reactions.

The crowd was rabid for Williams. Torpedo Moscow missed and Williams hit a big discus kick for a very long two. Hayes started jawing with the ref and the combatants spilled into them, bumping referee Darryl Sharma. Williams covered Dragunov and got a visual count of eight or so. A new ref ran in for a near-fall. “Ref you suck” chant. Dragunov managed a knee and another H-Bomb. Dragunov dragged Williams to a corner and went up to the top for an H-Bomb. Williams got the knees up. Williams set up something from the corner as the crowd yelled out “Whoop that Trick.” Trick charged and Dragunov did as well, hitting Torpedo Moscow for the win. Hayes looked dejected.

WINNER: Ilja Dragunov at 17:56.

Dragunov celebrated on the ramp and the crawler showed up, as the show faked going off the air. Melo got in Trick’s ear and said he’d always be there, and Trick was his boy. He then circled around him and chopped his leg out from under him to enormous heat. He grabbed a chair and brutalized Trick’s worked leg to oblivion as boos rained down on him. After a pause, he sat the chair down and sat in it and laid the Trick Melo Gang shirt on Trick’s body, and stared down with a cocky look. “F(*& you Melo” chant. Melo posed to the crowd and mocked “Whoop that Trick.” As Melo walked up the ramp, he said “It’s Y’all’s fault” to the crowd. The show went off the air at the 2 hour, 33 minute mark.

(Wells’s Analysis: What a match. The groundwork they laid on TV really paid off as the emotion just oozed out of every pore here. The love this crowd has for Williams is unbelievable – he may actually be the most grassroots star this company has seen in quite a few years. Dragunov retains his championship while being essentially a third wheel in the main event story, even as the champion. It would appear the Trick-Melo match at Stand and Deliver, which we’ve all seen coming for some time, won’t have the championship attached but will likely be the main event. As for whom Dragunov will face, the “three faces” thing that was shown earlier is a Japanese proverb, so maybe Kazuchika Okada is on his way to this company after all.) 

FINAL THOUGHTS: Thumbs way up for this show as everything either delivered or over-delivered, and the inevitable Carmelo Hayes turn was done deliciously, and it didn’t feel perfunctory even though we all saw it coming. I won’t linger here as I’ve got to meet Greg Parks on Wrestling Night in America soon, so feel free to chat with us about the show tonight or just listen. The next eight weeks on the road to WrestleMania weekend should be interesting ones.

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