NXT TV RESULTS (4/16): Hazelwood’s live report on Williams-Hayes steel cage, AoP vs. Enofe & Blade, Vice vs. Ruca, Hail vs. Paxley, Dijak vs. Dar, more



APRIL 16, 2024

NXT Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T

Ring Announcer: Alicia Taylor

Backstage Correspondent(s): Kelly Kincaid

Tonight after the show, join the PWT Talks NXT self-proclaimed “gang of idiots” to break down the show with calls and emails.

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-The show began with a shot of fans making their way to the CWC earlier today, and then Vic Joseph hyped the main event: Trick Williams vs. Carmelo Hayes in a steel cage match.

-Meta-Four made their entrance for Noam Dar’s match with Dijak. Speaking of, Dijak made his entrance after and there were some people central hard camera side with Dijak signs. He wore a shirt that said Mr. PLE.

(1) DIJAK vs. “SUPERNOVA 11” NOAM DAR (w/Meta-Four) – Singles match

Ref Dallas Irvin got the call for this opening match. Dar went with quick leg kicks, including a teep to the knee, but Dijak choke rushed Dar into a corner. Dar escaped and hit a few kicks, but Dijak just shoved him away…with his boot. Dar then attacked the left arm and hit a sudden spinning back fist and running forearm to a kneeling Dijak. He then shifted to working the left arm. Dijak leaped over a leg sweep, but Dar then escaped to regroup with Meta-Four. Dijak hit the apron and Dar reentered, but Dijak hit a springboard lariat for a two-count. Dar countered a sidewalk slam into a standing guillotine, but Dijak forced him into a corner and then broke the hold, lifting Dar and then literally tossing him over the top and to the outside. [c]

Dar had Dijak in a kneebar as they returned, but Dijak was laying in forearms and Dar responded in kind. Dijak finally ended it with a kick to the head and broke free. Dijak hit a few back elbows and ran through a clothesline to hit a flying one of his own. Dijak then hit about six slaps to the chest in the corner and hit a vertical suplex throw to Dar. Dijak set for his finisher, but Dar caught him in a guillotine again, but Dijak turned it into his Hard Justice sit-out chokeslam, Dar, just kicking out. Dijak went for Feast Your Eyes, but Dar fought it off before being lifted. Dar went for a fisherman’s, but Dijak blocked so Dar kicked the compromised leg. He went for another fisherman’s, but Dijak fought it off. Dar dodged a kick, getting Dijak caught in the ropes and hit a leaping kick from the top. He then hit the fisherman’s buster for a two-count, then chained directly into an armbar.

As they hit the feet, Dijak hit a sudden thrust kick. On the outside, Dar dodged and hit a flying forearm, sending Dijak into the steps. He then hit a dropkick to Dijak against the steps and hit a spinning back elbow for a two-count. Dar set for the Nova Roller, but ran into a thrust kick. Dar hit one of his own, then a superman forearm, but he ran into a big discus boot. Dijak hit his feet and called for Feast Your Eyes, the crowd eating it up. Oro Mensah hit the apron and ate a thrust kick, but turned right into the Nova Roller.

WINNER: Noam Dar at 12:11 (Nova Roller)

-They showed Ava in her office and a knock. Ilja Dragunov walked in and said Ava asked for him. She mentioned next Tuesday’s match with Williams and said she didn’t think it’s fair that he has the night off when Williams has a match. She told Dragunov to pick his opponent. He said to send a message to the locker room about who will challenge him (didn’t she just tell him to pick his opponent?).

-Lola Vice made her entrance for her match with Sol Ruca. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: A fun match as expected. It would be nice for Meta-Four to finally get away from the interference in every match OR for their opponents to come out with at least one person…but that would probably just create more interference now that I think. It sucks for Dijak that he takes the pin here after they just discussed how he didn’t take the pin at Stand & Deliver, plus that Mr. PLE shirt, which makes me wonder if they’re going to set Dar for a possible title match with Oba Femi.)

-They returned with a vignette of little girls doing stereotypical little girl activities. Tatum Paxley then appeared and said no one wants to play with girls like her. The cool girls didn’t want to be her friend, but she made them. She said she found the one thing that made them matter: the Women’s NXT Championship. She then listed off literally everyone with the lineage of that tile except Paige and Mandy Rose (I think, it was kind of fast). She stopped on Lyra Valkyria and said that the title let her in and they became best friends, but then Valkyria lost the one thing that Paxley loves the most. She said Valkyria broke her heart, then showed an evil grin as they replayed her attack on Valkyria. She said Valkyria is nothing to her now, giggled, and said Roxanne Perez is now the coolest girls in class, but it needs to be her. She said Valkyria, “my sweet dove,” is in her way.

-Ruca made her entrance.

(2) SOL RUCA vs. LOLA VICE – Singles match

Vice quickly took the left arm to gain control, Ruca cartwheeled out and took Vice down, but Vice came back up. Ruca used a front handspring to set for a kick, then grabbed the left arm. Vice hit a gut kick (they’re saying it’s an open challenge for Dragunov now), but Ruca flipped out of a hip toss and hit a X-Factor. Vice dodged a corner attack and hit a spinning backfist that just grazed the face. She hit some rapid fire kicks to send Ruca into the corner and then hit her running hip attack. She dragged her to the center of the ring for a two-count. Vice hit an axe kick to the back and a big PK to the gut. She set Ruca against the ropes and hit a few body kicks. Ruca fought back, but Vice ducked a punch and simultaneously landed a body hook. She went for a rear naked choke, but Ruca lifted her and slammed her into a corner. Vice quickly reapplied the hold, but Ruca turned it into a swinging side slam to break it up. Vice looked for another running hip attack, but Ruca dodged and hit some John Cena shoulder tackles and a springboard one. She then lifted and hit a running powerslam and standing moonsault for a two-count. Ruca went for a springboard and rolled through, dodging a kick, and then hitting a second rope sunset flip for a two-count. Ruca dodged a roundhouse kick and hit a thrust kick, then climbed to the top rope. Blair Davenport grabbed the top rope right in front of the ref and caused Ruca to fall. The ref just looked at her and then Vice hit Ruca with a spin kick.

WINNER: Lola Vice at 4;14 (spin kick)

-After the match, Natalya appeared on the Tron and said she’s going to fight Vice on her turf in her match. She said Vice claims no one can fight like her, so in two weeks at Spring Breakin’, it’s Natalya vs. Vice in NXT Underground.

-NXT_Anonymous aired Ridge Holland talking to Ava outside of her office when Joquin Wilde appeared to talk off Holland, who choked him into the wall. Ava yelled him off. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: Ruca is still finding her timing a little bit, but it was still a decent match nonetheless. I feel like they could have done much more with a returning Ruca than they have as she has seemingly just drifted into mid-card territory quickly. She’s likely for the tournament, but Vice is also more likely to win the tournament than her. Also, a Dungeon match was right there, but we’ll get Underground instead.)

-They returned with a Make-A-Wish commercial.

-Joseph threw to a video from earlier today as Arianna Grace was walking through a public park and found Gigi Dolin sitting on a bench, early for their appointment. Dolin said the sooner they can get this over it, the better. She dreaded having to do the “hoity-toity” stuff. Grace said to think of her body as a canvas and said Dolin is giving off a horrifying vision, one that isn’t of peace. Grace said they just need to change Dolin’s attire and soften her rather harsh exterior. Grace said absolutely not to the color black and told Grace to open her mind (like this is Rick & Morty). To be continued…

-Holland was in the ring. Great. Wilde was next.

(3) JOQUIN WILDE vs. RIDGE HOLLAND – Singles match

Wilde was rightfully upset and dismissed the handshake from Holland, who struck him to the mat. Holland forced the handshake, but then suffered a corkscrew crossbody from the corner from Wilde, then a dropkick to send Holland outside. Holland dodged an outside attack and went on the attack, but Wilde dodged a forearm that curled around the ring post. Remember, this match happened because Holland “accidentally” (in storyline) slammed the door on Cruz del Toro’s hand. Holland regained control and tied Wilde up in the ropes to hit some uppercuts and a running boot for a two-count. Holland then hit a headbutt. He missed a corner rush, but then hit a big pounce to send Wilde halfway across the ring. He went for a powerbomb, but Wilde hit a DDT counter. Shawn Spears appeared on the ramp. Wilde hit a few rights and then a springboard kick to the chest, a jawbreaker, and then his pump kicks to the chest, ending with a neckbreaker. Holland rolled outside and then caught Wilde on a tope attempt into an immediate powerslam on the floor. Holland then hit an elevated DDT (Ram-Paige, basically).

WINNER: Ridge Holland at 3:57 (elevated DDT)

-They showed an earlier video of Josh Briggs in the trainer’s room who cleared him for competition. Ivar appeared and asked if he’s good. Briggs said he’s going for Femi. Ivar told him to get some rest while he goes after Femi. Briggs said “go back to Raw and get your ass kicked by Sheamus again.” Ivar challenged him to a match tonight to see who faces Femi. Briggs accepted.

-They showed a TikTok of Brinley Reece leading a workout for Edris Enofe and Malik Blade and she called AoP “Ohp.” She said she was accompanying them to the ring. Enofe was against this while Blade was not. Reece said you just have to believe.

-They showed The Family, disappointed, making their way. [c]

-They returned with Thea Hail preparing in the back. Andre Chase appeared and said they should probably talk after last week. He said Jacy Jayne wasn’t lying. He said he had real confidence in Hail against Tiffany Stratton and decided to risk it all. He said seeing her suffer and refusing to tap out, he had no choice except to throw in the towel and he just wanted her to be OK. She asked why he didn’t tell her anything and he said she didn’t do anything to deserve being in that. She said she was sorry she ever doubted his belief in her and gave him a big hug. He said it was OK.

-The Family made their entrance to “The Don’s” new main event level entrance music.


Tony D’Angelo took the the mic and reminded of the time he said they needed rapid growth. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but then thought about where they were a year ago, “making Pretty Deadly disappear,” and facing charges. He then introduced each member of The Family and put them over, then put over Dragunov as one of the toughest men in NXT history and one of the hardest fights he’s ever had. He said it’s about going one more round when you don’t think you can and that toughness comes from longevity. No Quarter Catch Crew interrupted, sans Drew Gulak, and Charlie Dempsey spouted off on D’Angelo. D’Angelo didn’t take kindly and said NQCC came to his family to take care of “one of their own” because they didn’t have the “cajones to do it themselves.” D’Angelo then said no specifics, “people are watching.” He said he hasn’t got his full quarter from NQCC and Dempsey said who said anything about business, it was just a bit of taking out the trash and doing the industry “a bit of good” while he was at it. Luca Crusifino said they can either settle the debt or handle things how they always handle things. Damon Kemp tried to say something, and D’Angelo said “no one was even talking to you.” He said they live by a code that you don’t betray and said he doesn’t care who they think they are. I think Dempsey forgot a line and then D’Angelo said the Heritage Cup looks pretty good to him. Dempsey said that doesn’t need to be held by some “two-bit gangster in wrestling boots.” Dempsey said over his dead body would he let a lowlife scumbag like D’Angelo hold that cup. D’Angelo removed his blazer and then popped Dempsey in the mouth. A brawl broke out. “No money, more problems for No Quarter Catch Crew,” said Joseph. I’m guessing they’re going to come back with this match already in progress. [c]


-What do you know, no match! Instead, Dragunov made his entrance. A gaggle of wrestlers all came out and then from the back, Je’Von Evans answered the challenge by springboarding over Dragunov and turning in midair to face him as he landed.

(4) ILJA DRAGUNOV (c) vs. JE’VON EVANS – Open challenge non-title match

They punched each other over and over to begin, but Dragunov got the better. He dodged a kick and hit a snap German, holding on and hitting another, still maintaining his grip. Evans broke it only to eat an enziguri. Dragunov then hit his third German. Dragunov then hit his rapid-fire chops in the corner and gave Evans a few bootwashes. Evans then sprang up with an thrust kick that brought the fans to their feet. He then hit his own series of chops, but Dragunov caught his hand and hit three headbutts. Evans flipped out of a German and then hit a leaping enziguri for a two-count. Evans hit some stiff chest kicks, but Dragunov caught him into a powerbomb. Dragunov imitated Bron Breakker and did a few rope runs before hitting a big lariat that even flipped himself. He lifted Evans to his shoulders, but Evans fought out. Dragunov immediately hit some knees, but Evans turned Constantin Special into a Spanish fly for a two-count. Joseph nearly cussed on TV. Evans hit the top rope, but Dragunov met him and smacked him to the apron. Evans went for a springboard, but ran right into a huge chop. Dragunov then hit a running knee to the jaw, but Evans kicked out. Dragunov went for the powerbomb, but Evans turned it into a spike DDT. Dragunov rolled outside, but Evans just saw this as an opportunity and just SOARED over the top for a splash, effortless. He rolled Dragunov in and went for a top rope splash, but Dragunov got his knees up. He rolled through and lifted Evans, then hoisted him to his shoulders for a running DVD into the corner. He set and hit Torpedo Mokau. Dragunov looked like he just survived one hell of a battle. He waited in the ring and shook Evans’ hand, lifting him up and giving him some words of encouragement.

WINNER: Ilja Dragunov at 6:05 (Torpedo Moskau)

-Kelly Kincaid asked Karmen Petrovic if she will be Natalya’s training partner. During her response, Vice interrupted and said sure Natalya has guts, but she’s entering her world and to wait to see who she has in her corner.

-Hail made her entrance with Chase U in tow for her match with Paxley.

(Hazelwood’s Take: I mean, Evans is just amazing to watch. He literally floats in the air, which is made more impressive by the height of the young man. Getting in there and facing the top champ in the division in only his second or third NXT match is a testament to their belief in him and having an open challenge situation protected everyone. That sign of respect from Dragunov and Joseph calling this a “star-making performance” for Evans means that as long as he doesn’t do anything stupid, Evans will be a major force in NXT and WWE for years to come.)

-They returned with Ruca talking to Ava in her office, ranting about Davenport. Ava said Ruca’s already had a match with her and Ruca said she doesn’t want a match, she wants a no DQ match. Ruca told Ava she won’t stop until Davenport is carried out.

(5) THEA HAIL (w/Chase U) vs. TATUM PAXLEY – Singles match

Paxley was already in the ring and then creeped out Hail by crawling at her. Hail hit an arm drag and corner attack, then the two ended kind of in the same pose, which Hail used to attack the arm. Paxley then hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to thwart the momentum of Hail. She then torqued her neck and back across the middle rope, using the entire count. Paxley then hit a running corner attack, wrapping herself around the torso of Hail and wrenching with her body. Paxley then hit a gut kick and a gutwrench suplex for a two-count. She mounted Hail, locking her legs to then basically hit an inverted stretch by rolling over onto her back. Hail hit a big headbutt to break the hold that Hail sold, too. Hail then hit an armbreaker and leaping forearms, a kick to the leg, and World’s Smallest Slam beforeJazmyn Nyx appeared on the apron, distracting the ref. Jayne interfered, allowing Paxley to get the crucifix pin victory. Hail immediately hit a lope to Jayne and they fought to the back after refs came out, but then Valkyria attacked Paxley in the ring. Refs broke them up.

WINNER: Tatum Paxley at 3:05 (crucifix pin)

-Kincaid was in the back with Perez, who was smug about Paxley and Valkyria. She said they can beat each other to a pulp while she sits back and be thoroughly entertained. She said just maybe she’ll give them a title match if they win, then said that was easy and wondered why Ava complains about it being so hard. Ava then appeared and said why choose, it’ll be a triple threat at Spring Breakin’! Perez said of course Ava’s against and mentioned not being pinned to lose the title.

-The Final Testament made their entrance for Authors of Pain match against Enofe and Blade. [c]

(6) AUTHORS OF PAIN (Akam & Rezar w/The Final Testament) vs. EDRIS ENOFE & MALIK BLADE – Tag team match

Akam began with Enofe and Blade used quick offense to then tag in Blade. They went with quick strikes and quick tags, but Akam grabbed Enofe and Rezar tagged in to hit a big running DVD into the corner (second time tonight). Akam tagged back in and they hit some double team offense. Akam then slammed Enofe’s face into the mat thrice, tagging in Rezar after. He dropped Enofe into a lifting knee from Rezar, but Enofe just kicked out. Rezar threw Enofe into a corner, but Enofe just dodged a rush and tagged in Blade. Blade used quick offense, but only a dropkick sent Rezar outside. He also knocked off Akam and went for a tope con hilo, but they caught him outside. As Enofe went for a tope, AoP threw Blade into Enofe. A Super Collider followed.

WINNER: Authors of Pain at 3:17 (Super Collider)

-After the match, Axiom and Nathan Frazer’s music hit and they had to be held back by refs.

-Another Grace-Dolin video aired of them shopping. Grace kept calling her “Georgina” while Dolin complained about the selection. Grace then found a green dress for Dolin that Dolin looked absolutely appalled to have to try on. She said she has to make it her own and had a couple of ideas (please buy it before you do any modifications!). Welp, she went to the dressing room came out with it now having a high slit and some black bows attached to it, safety pins and all. Dolin said she’ll wear it out and that Grace is paying.

-Ivar’s music hit. Joseph said they reinforced the ring. [c]

-They returned with Briggs getting his full entrance with his new music as well.

(7) JOSH BRIGGS vs. IVAR – Singles match (unofficial #1 contender’s match for North American Championship)

Briggs had tape on his right side and immediately ate a big shot from Briggs, then a cartwheel into a lariat. They showed Femi watching a monitor in the locker room and he was actually facing the screen. Briggs was able to regain some control with a running lariat and sidewalk slam into a leaping splash, but he immediately grabbed his ribs. Ivar hit his leaping seated senton from the corner to catch Briggs on the way in, putting all that weight on the ribs. Booker T said he doesn’t know “how the hell” Briggs was cleared. Ivar hit some big shots to the back, blocked a chokeslam, hit a big right hand to the gut, and caught Briggs into a double rotation Tour of the Islands, he then hit a butterfly powerbomb for a two-count, looking like Ahmed Johnson out there (or Tyler Bate I guess). Briggs was able to hit a counter Bossman Slam, but without much impact because of his ribs. He hit a gutbuster to Ivar and then a running shoulder tackle, but still favored his ribs. He tried to power up and followed Ivar outside, hitting a diving shoulder tackle to the outside. He tried for a powerbomb, but couldn’t lift and was then shoved into the steps. Ivar hit a spin kick to the head and rolled him back inside. Ivar climbed the ropes for a moonsault and landed across the face of Briggs.

WINNER: Ivar at at 4:12 (moonsault)

-Kincaid approached Femi in the locker room and asked him what he thought. He just said, “Interesting,” and walked off. Suddenly, there was a sound and Mensah was on the ground. “Not again!”

-Joseph hyped night one of Spring Breakin’ with Perez vs. Valkyria vs. Paxley, Ruca vs. Davenport in a no DQ match, NQCC vs. The Family, the contract signing for NXT Underground with Natalya vs. Vice, and Dragunov vs. Williams for the title or Williams leaves NXT.

-Joseph and Booker T then hyped the main event steel cage match for tonight. They showed the refs setting up the cage as Booker T said his first time in a cage he felt out of his element. Joseph then threw to a pre-match video from the week in Philadelphia from the press conference and his interactions with fans during the week. They also showed Hayes’ responses from the week leading into their match, then highlights of their match. They also showed part of his interview on SportsCenter with Linda Cohn that I somehow caught live. They then showed Hayes attacking both Williams and Dragunov to end last week’s show, making the steel cage stipulation official. [c]

-They returned with Kincaid wanting to interview Hayes on his way to the ring. He said tonight, he’s taking everything away from Williams’ “ungrateful ass.” He entered with his security detail. Williams’ music hit to the biggest pop of the night and it’s not even close. “Whoop that Trick” was extremely loud.

(8) TRICK WILLIAMS vs. CARMELO HAYES – Steel cage match

Both men tried to send each other into the cage to begin, then Williams caught Hayes with two bodyslams. Hayes looked a little shook, then ate a big dropkick and a third bodyslam. Hayes countered Williams and sent him into the cage, then hit his patented springboard lariat. He had one his security hand Hayes a stick, or a billy club as Booker T said. Hayes struck Williams with it several times across the back and midsection. [c]


Hayes was in control as they returned. He used the cage for leverage to booth the left shoulder of Williams, then slammed the arm into the cage twice. Hayes then hit a leaping arm breaker for a two-count and went right back to working the arm. Williams then countered a Williams counter to throw him hard into the cage. Hayes then deposited Williams through the ropes and against the cage, kicking him a few times. Hayes lifted Williams and then hit two running attacks against the cage, but Williams dodged the third and Hayes hit the cage. Williams blocked another attempt at the cage, then met Hayes on the second rope for a second rope falling uranage. They traded blows in the middle of the ring, Williams getting the better. He hit a big leg lariat, then another, and a flapjack. He went for a discus boot, blocked a Hayes counter, then hit a modified half-and-half or something. He then threw Hayes into the cage four times (one to each side) before hitting a neckbreaker for a two-count. Hayes dodged the uranage, but Williams sent him into the cage. Hayes attacked the arm and then climbed to the top rope. Williams caught him and hit a big uranage counter for a two-count. However, Hayes hit a leaping DDT counter for a two-count. Williams hit a big lariat, but then Hayes basically hit his own version of Trick Knee, sending both men to the mat. Hayes sat on the top and Williams met him. They traded bashing each other’s head into the cage. Williams get to the better. Hayes was seated, leaning against one side of the cage and tried to hit a bulldog from the top, but Williams landed on his feet, dodged an attack, and hit the discus boot. He then had to fight off Hayes’ security. One entered the door with a chair, but Williams thwarted his attack and kicked him out of the cage, closing the door. Hayes missed a chair shot and Williams hit Trick Knee with Hayes holding the chair to his face. Joseph said Williams hit “nothing but net” and that he “doesn’t miss,” stealing some of Hayes’ catchphrases. They showed Dragunov on the elevated concourse, somehow still looking up at Williams with the latter sitting on top of the cage.

WINNER: Trick Williams at 12:20 (Trick Knee to chair)

(Hazelwood’s Take: There was just something about that match that was a little off. Their timing and chemistry for some reason didn’t synchronize as it has in the past. It almost seemed like they were unsure of what to do next at points of the match. It did pick up toward the end, but I would really like Shawn Michaels to book some matches with people on the outside and they DON’T get involved in the match. Post-match, sure, fine, that works, but let the action and storytelling in the ring speak for itself. It made absolutely no sense for Williams to lose this match unless they were going to turn it into a triple threat, which is completely unnecessary, and this victory was just as emphatic and maybe even more of a bonus because of the stipulation and the interference that Williams overcame. I expect Williams to win clean next week and to receive the show of respect that Dragunov gave Evans tonight, sending both Hayes and Dragunov to the Draft.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Tonight’s show was less about the in-ring action as it was about the stories being told through the matches and, of course, in the non-match segments. They’re saving the action for the next two weeks of the Spring Breakin’ PLE-lite. I like that we saw more character growth for Paxley, anchoring her maniacal self to the Women’s NXT Championship – and who she thinks should hold the title. In the same light, I also like how nearly the entire men’s locker room dispersed for Dragunov’s open challenge. He is the Men’s NXT Championship after all, and it helped show just how meaningful and important that title is to the competitors. I assume we’ll get the official announcement of Femi defending against Ivar, Dempsey defending against D’Angelo, and Axiom and Nathan Frazer defending against AoP all next week to help night two of the PLE-lite as both of the top titles in the men’s and women’s division will be put up in matches on night one next week. It wasn’t a bad show tonight and not every weekly show has to be amazing. The next two weeks should approach that, however.

Listen to PWT Talks NXT with Nate “Alabaster” Lindberg and myself for more thoughts and live callers and emails!

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