SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT TV RESULTS
FEBRUARY 6, 2024
WINTER PARK, FLA. AT THE CAPITOL WRESTLING CENTER
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY KELLY WELLS (@spookymilk), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
NXT Commentators: Vic Joseph, Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Alicia Taylor
Backstage Correspondent(s): Kelly Kincaid
-Vic welcomed Byron Saxton back to NXT. No mention yet of whether this is long-term.
-Carmelo Hayes entered to boos. He had a chair and a mic. He sat down and as his music ended, the boos got way louder. A “f*&k you Melo” chant was muted. He waited out another series of boos, then said “not yet…not yet” and started to walk out of the ring to heavier boos.
-Vic threw to a video recap of Vengeance Day. Much was made of Hayes taking the spear from Bron Breakker that led to Trick Melo Gang’s loss in the Dusty Cup finals. The heavy focus at the end covered the Hayes turn.
-Baron Corbin and Bron Breakker showed up to have their celebration. The camera even ran up the cup, showing the names of all previous winners. Corbin tried to introduce the two of them but Breakker insisted Alicia Taylor introduce them. She called them the WolfDogs, and Corbin asked Breakker how much he paid her to say that. Corbin liked that his name was first on the Cup. He called out Breakker’s minor face injuries. Breakker congratulated Corbin on his first suicide dive ever, and mentioned that he wouldn’t have made it over the rope if Breakker hadn’t helped shove his big ass over. Breakker started to call out tag team champions Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo, but the introductions for the next match happened instead, much to the chagrin of the Cup winners.
(1) AXIOM & NATHAN FRAZER vs. MALIK BLADE & EDRIS ENOFE
Corbin and Breakker sat in on commentary. Axiom wanted a handshake but Enofe slapped his hand away. They hooked up, then reset. After some rope running, Enofe hit a dropkick. Both men tagged and Blade & Frazer started a stalemate exchange followed by diving out of opposite sides of the ring to take out the other tag members. Blade took down Frazer as the match went to commercial. [c]
Frazer tagged in, and he and Axiom double-teamed Enofe for a moment. Axiom covered for two. Axiom threw some kicks and a basement lariat for two. Axiom snapped on a headlock, and he hit a suplex for two. Enofe threw some body shots and tried to tag but Frazer cut it off with a standing moonsault. Axiom tagged in and Enofe managed a thrust kick and made the tag. The angles were odd as Blade & Enofe were in the classic heel corner, but were playing face in peril. Blade hit a powerbomb on Axiom for two, followed by a sit-down powerbomb for another two. Enofe tagged in and hit a flying elbow for two, broken up by Frazer.
All four briefly got involved before the legal men cleared the illegal men out. Axiom hit a top rope Spanish Fly and Frazer hit a Phoenix Splash. Blade was able to shove Frazer into the pile to break up the pin. There was an “NXT” chant as the match went to a second commercial, this one with split-screen. [c]
It was bonzo gonzo upon return to full-screen. Frazer hit a suplex on Blade with Axiom adding a superkick on the way down, and it got a long two. “Fight forever” chant. Frazer went up but Blade got the knees up. Axiom tried and got the same result. Enofe tagged in, took out Axiom, and Frazer broke it up. Enofe missed a flying move on Axiom, and Frazer hit a Phoenix Splash. Axiom hit the Golden Ratio to finish.
WINNERS: Axiom & Nathan Frazer at 16:43.
Breakker and Corbin beat up the winners and shoved them out of the ring afterward, likely for breaking up their celebration. The Family showed up on the ramp holding their titles up, and the WolfDogs asked if they could do it next week. The Family was in agreement.
(Wells’s Analysis: In this era, we don’t see a lot of matches this long on NXT, especially outside of the main event. Fun action, if a little disjointed with not much a story, and it largely rested on a large number of break-ups of pins.)
-Kelly Kincaid caught up with Ilja Dragunov outside. Dragunov said he was here to get some answers from Carmelo Hayes. The show went to a fourth commercial break just 30 minutes in, which feels pretty excessive, so maybe something big is coming later. [c]
-Ilja Dragunov said no matter how much he likes or respects Trick Williams, he couldn’t allow him to beat the mad dragon. He said Williams would be a worthy champion if he was the one to beat him. He said he wanted to call out one person – Carmelo Hayes. (Boos.) He said now we can all see Carmelo’s true colors, and he couldn’t see his friend reaching new heights in NXT. He said the people already gave it to him verbally, but he’s going to go beyond breaking him – “You traitorous son of a bitch.” Hayes didn’t show up and Dragunov said he’d go out after him.
Dijak showed up instead, and he got booed and got a “you suck” chant. Dijak told the crowd to shut up while he was talking, and he said Ilja was sitting there with a broken nose and he was just a normal guy right. “Former T-Bar” chant. Dragunov warned Dijak that for crossing him, he would suffer like he’s never suffered before. Dijak threw a cheap shot and Dragunov got in a large number of shots right after. Vic said they were picking up right where they left off months ago. “Security” held them apart as the crowd chanted to let them fight.
-Thea Hail and Jacy Jayne talked about the brilliance of the calendar. Hail said she wanted to go out for Riley Osborne’s match, but Jayne said she didn’t want to come off desperate, and should play a little hard to get. Hail tried to convince herself that she could do that.
-Lexis King entered ahead of the next match. [c]
-Von Wagner and Mr. Stone talked in a pre-taped segment. Wagner was down, but Stone mentioned that Noam Dar has been in hundreds of Heritage Cup matches, while this was Wagner’s first. The Bash Brothers, Stone’s kids, showed up and along with Wagner, they goaded Stone into agreeing to a tag team match with Noam Dar and Oro Mensah.
(2) RILEY OSBORNE (w/Andre Chase & Duke Hudson) vs. LEXIS KING
Osborne got in a right, then did a bit of ground & pound. King got in some rights and a chop. Backdrop by Osborne, followed by a chop and a very loud palm strike. Osborne dropkicked King from the ring, then hit a dive on King. Back inside, the two ended up on the apron on the announcer side, and King shoved Osborne over to the announce table. A corner graphic promoted that Dijak and Ilja Dragunov will face off tonight.
King wore down Osborne with rights, then worked an abdominal stretch. Osborn got to his feet. King escaped a Rocker dropper and then there were some quick rollups. Body slam by Osborne. Osborne hit a running dropkick for a long two. Osborne went up in a corner and asked his mates why Thea wasn’t there. They told him to focus. King used the opening to hit the Coronation from the top to finish.
WINNER: Lexis King at 4:06.
(Wells’s Analysis: Osborne is so smooth in there. He’s not being asked for much in the way of minutes, but he’s coming through. King remains in a very low-risk style, but continues to get better as well)
-Carmelo Hayes was walking back to the building from the parking lot. [c]
-Kelani Jordan hype segment. She said that fear has never crowned a champion, and what’s meant for her will be hers.
-Izzi Dame and Kiana James walked into the women’s locker room and talked down the girls there. Brinley Reece showed up and got all upbeat about the Jordan video, and the heels bullied her, stole her coffee, and poured it out.
-Carmelo Hayes sat in the ring to massive heat. He moved the mic to his mouth, then away. “You’re not Him” chant. He asked why nobody wanted to hear his side. He said he wasn’t jealous of Trick’s success. He said he allowed him to succeed. He said he wanted everything for Trick, but when he got close, he took it away to remind him his place. He said Trick bit the hand that fed him. He said he and Trick had an agreement about Trick going for the North American Championship while he went after the Championship. He said Trick started believing that the two of them were on the same level, but they’re not. He said Trick went behind his back, and he had to do what he had to do. He said the million dollar question is whether he attacked Trick Williams. He said you’re damn right he did, and he’d do it again if he crossed him.
Trick’s music played to cheers, but Trick didn’t appear. Melo was obviously in on it as he mockingly danced along with “Whoop that Trick.” He said Trick wasn’t coming back because he’s laid up in a hospital bed by Booker T. He said nothing on this brand gets passed without being run by Carmelo Hayes. He said Trick wanted to be like Melo so bad that he emulated him in every way, but at the end of the day, he’s just a Trick. He said it was never a collaboration, and Trick was just a hype man. “That’s all it is…and that’s all you’ll ever be.” The heat for this is incredible.
(Wells’s Analysis: As good a babyface as Hayes is, he just went out there and reminded everyone that he’s a much better heel, and one of the best heels in all the company.)
-The Japanese “Three Faces” script played across the screen, identical to the one on Sunday at Vengeance Day.
-Roxanne Perez entered for the next match. [c]
-Oba Femi hype segment. He’s terrifying.
-Riley Osborne walked through the back and he ran into Thea Hail and Jacy Jayne. Riley said he was looking for Hail during the match. She tried to play it cool, but when he asked if they were still on for Valentine’s Day, she went “YES, YES, YES!” She then tried to go back to playing it cool. After Osborne left, Jayne promised to really teach Hail how to play hard to get.
(3) ROXANNE PEREZ vs. LOLA VICE
Perez dominated early. She staggered Vice and hit her with a high cross-body for two. Perez mounted Vice for a few strikes. Vice recovered and hit a few rapid-fire kicks. She hit her hip attack for two. Vice hit Perez with a hard kick to the back, then choked her on a rope briefly. Perez came back with a few rights, an uppercut and a shoulder block. Perez hit an uppercut in the corner, then mounted Vice there, and rolled Vice up for two. Perez went up but Vice kicked her off of the top to the floor. The match went to commercial. [c]
The two exchanged rights. Rope run and a kick by Vice. She tried again and got rolled up for two. Perez threw quick strikes and punches to Vice. Ax handles by Perez. She hit some more corner uppercuts and a Russian leg sweep. Springboard moonsault got two for Perez. Vice rolled up Perez to break a submission. Perez hit an uppercut, then went for another but Vice caught her in a sleeper. Perez broke it by smashing Vice into a corner. Pop Rox was reversed and Vice hit a back elbow for two. Tatum Paxley showed up to try to “cash in” and the referee said she didn’t have a contract to cash anything in. Vice was briefly distracted and Perez hit Pop Rox for the win.
WINNER: Roxanne Perez at 9:38.
Vice seethed at Paxley after the match.
(Wells’s Analysis: Without her contract, it seems like Vice is going to take a few defeats before she’s moved back up the chain, which is fine because there’s still work to be done. Decent enough match considering Vice’s age in the business)
-Kelly Kincaid talked to Meta-Four. The women made some threats to Fallon Henley and Wren Sinclair, and then Noam Dar took over on the mic and agreed to the challenge from “Mr. Stone and the Flintstone, Von Wagner.” No Quarter Catch Club showed up and jawed with Dar, apparently looking for an NXT Heritage Cup title match.
-Fallon Henley and Wren Sinclair entered ahead of their match. [c]
-It was said that General Manager Ava made the decision to make the tag team championship match official for next week. There was no actual scene with Ava, who deleted her X account yesterday amid attacks about her father, so she may not be in a place for TV at the moment.
(4) FALLON HENLEY & WREN SINCLAIR vs. LASH LEGEND & JAKARA JACKSON (w/Noam Dar & Oro Mensah)
Wren tried to use speed and leverage against the much bigger Legend, who drove her to the Meta-Four corner. Jakcson tagged in and threw body shots, then licked the back of her fingers and chopped Sinclair. Jackson cheap-shotted Henley off the apron, and the distraction gave Sinclair an opening, but Legend tagged in again and dominated Sinclair. Legend and Jackson did the Benjamin & Haas double-team spot, weirdly not called out by Vic, who catches the vast majority of older wrestling moves and references. Jackson tagged in and threw kicks down at Sinclair, and covered for two. Sinclair escaped a body slam and rolled up Jackson for two. Sinclair kicked Jackson away and made the hot tag to Henley, who dominated both of Meta-Four. Henley face-planted Jackson and covered for two. Legend yanked Jackson out of the ring to safety, playing tug-of-war with her body with Henley. Legend and Sinclair tagged in, and Sinclair ate a slam to win for Legend.
WINNERS: Legend & Jackson at 5:01.
(Wells’s Analysis: Pretty decent formula tag stuff here, and Jackson looked pretty good in her first televised NXT match back after injury. The Meta-Four women have some fun tag spots and a good big/small dynamic that brings a lot to the table. Sinclair is going to be a great underdog)
-Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen ran into each other in the lockers. Jensen tried to make small talk, and when Briggs tried to move on, Jensen said he was lost without him and had no idea what to do. Briggs shoved Jensen into the lockers and gave him some tough love, telling him if he didn’t want to lose his spot, he should grow some damn balls.
-Ilja Dragunov entered ahead of the main event at 17 minutes to the hour. If the overrun is the usual 8 minutes, that’s plenty of time for a post-match angle unless the match gets a ton of time. [c]
-Ava’s here after all, and had a scene with Jaida Parker. Parker wanted a match with Adrianna Rizzo and she got it. Ridge Holland showed up afterward and asked for Gallus. Ava said she could have them in a match, one after the other, but if he loses, it’s over. I went pretty hard at Ava on Wrestling Night in America on Sunday, but this was by far her smoothest outing on the mic since she debuted, and she came off as an actual authority figure, although with her youth she still doesn’t particularly look the part in the classic sense.
(5) ILJA DRAGUNOV vs. DIJAK
Non-title. Dragunov threw some early chops but Dijak leveled him with a punch. Dragunov went right at Dijak with a waistlock, and took him down a few times. Dijak elbowed his way free and sold the pain. Dragunov punced the mat angrily, perhaps legit, as he got struck in the broken nose and it probably stung. Dijak went at Dragunov in the corner, but Dragunov came back with chops and strikes. Dragunov hit a diving knee from the second turnbuckle. He missed a second, but rolled through and then booted Dijak in the corner. Dragunov went up a different corner, but Dijak crotched him on the top turnbuckle, then booted him out to the ramp side. Dijake flinched as someone, probably Joe Gacy, grabbed at him from under the ring. Dijak checked under the ring but didn’t see anyone. Back inside, Dijak took down Dragunov with a right, and the match went to split-screen. [c]
Dragunov powered out of a headlock and the two exchanged rights. Dijak threw Dragunov face-first to the mat, then set up Feast Your Eyes, but Dragunov caught the knee and the two started exchanged kicks, each bigger than the last. Dijak got in the last one, a big discus kick, to take control. He closed in and Dragunov managed one more kick. Dragunov hit a DVD into the corner. The relatively everyday spot got a “holy shit” chant. Dragunov hit a top-rope senton and Dijak kicked out at two.
Dragunov gave Dijak a few face washes in the corner. Dragunov threw some chops in the corner after nodding along with a brief “whoop that Trick” chant. Dijak took Dragunov down for two and the two of them sold on the mat. A corner graphic showed that the match between Jaida Parker and Adrianna Rizzo is set for next week.
Dragunov chopped Dijak all over. He went for the Konstantin Special but Dijak chopped him as he approached. Springboard elbow by Dijak, but he sold the pain to his own elbow, which was worked in the match with Joe Gacy two nights ago. He started crawling toward the outside, but Joe Gacy rolled out from under the ring and, still laying down, struck Dijak with…was it a plunger? I was typing. Dragunov seized on the opening with an H-Bomb to finish.
WINNER: Ilja Dragunov at 12:55.
As Dragunov celebrated, Carmelo Hayes appeared from behind and chop-blocked Ilja’s leg. He held up the NXT Championship, standing over Dragunov, as the show faded out.
(Wells’s Analysis: A good, no frills, strong style match. It appears Dijak got the win against Gacy to legitimize him for this main event. The Dijak-Gacy issue will apparently continue, and Dragunov likely has an opponent for Roadblock, before Trick Williams is back in the picture to get a piece of Hayes. I’m hoping Trick is absent for a few more weeks to sell the injury, assuming Shawn Michaels has that kind of restraint. Ask me tonight and I’ll say Williams will show up at the end of a Hayes-Dragunov match to cost Hayes the match, but ask next week and this constantly-shifting story could be entirely different)
FINAL THOUGHTS: It was a light enough show for matches, with just five, but a lot of work was done to set up pieces for the next week of TV and we likely got a glimpse of our Roadblock main event. Beyond the usual great stuff in the ring by Dragunov and on the mic by Hayes, though, it was a fairly restrained episode. Nate Lindberg, Bruce Hazelwood and I will talk it out on PWT Talks NXT shortly. Check us out live or stream tomorrow. Cheers.