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Hall’s WWE NXT Review 4.16.24

April 16, 2024 | Posted by Thomas Hall
WWE NXT 4-16-24 Ilja Dragunov Je'Von Evans Image Credit: WWE
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Hall’s WWE NXT Review 4.16.24  

Date: April 16, 2024
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T.

We have a big main event this week as it’s a Stand & Deliver rematch between Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes. This time it’s in a cage, though there is also the chance that NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov will get involved. In addition, we have Spring Breakin starting next week and we need a card. Let’s get to it.

Noam Dar vs. Dijak

Dar, with the rest of Meta Four, kicks away to start before putting Dijak down with a running forearm. They go to the floor where Meta Four’s distraction doesn’t work, allowing Dijak to score with a springboard clothesline for two. A guillotine doesn’t work for Dar as Dijak launches him out to the floor in a heap.

We take a break and come back with Dijak elbowing him in the face a few times, setting up another clothesline. Dar goes flying off the toss suplex but Dar is right back with the guillotine. This one is broken up with High Justice for two and Dijak is stunned. Back up and Dar kicks away at the leg, setting up a fisherman’s buster for two.

Dijak is out of the cross armbreaker without much trouble and boots Dar in the face. Dar hits a spinning elbow to the face but the cyclone boot cuts him off again. Feast Your Eyes is loaded up but Meta Four offers a distraction, allowing the Nova Roller to finally finish Dijak off at 12:10.

Rating: B. This was the good guy version of Dar as he was fighting to avenge his friends against Dijak. I’m not big on Dar but that kind of charisma was only going to keep him a heel for so long. While this was far from a full on turn, it was definitely the biggest step Dar has taken in that direction and that could make for some interesting circumstances for the entire team.

Ilja Dragunov comes in to see Ava, who lets him pick his opponent tonight. The open challenge is on.

Tatum Paxley wanted to be good but no one wants to play with a girl like that. She wanted to be like everyone else and Lyra Valkyria let her in. Then Valkyria lost the NXT Women’s Title, which is what mattered to Paxley the most. Valkyria is nothing without the title and now she’s in Paxley’s way.

Sol Ruca vs. Lola Vice

Ruca takes her down by the arm to start but Vice kicks her way to freedom. Some kicks into the corner set up the running hip attack for two but a second only hits buckle. Ruca strikes away but it’s too early for the Sol Snatcher. With that broken up, Ruca kicks away until Blair Davenport pops up for a distraction. Vice scores with a spinning kick to the face for the pin at 4:15.

Rating: C. This Ruca vs. Davenport feud needs to wrap up already as it’s holding Ruca back. It feels like they have been feuding for months now and that isn’t the most interesting thing when Davenport is barely ever around. Not much of a match here, though it should help set up what is hopefully the final Ruca vs. Davenport match.

Post match Natalya pops up to challenge Vice to NXT Underground in two weeks.

NXT Anonymous shows Ridge Holland choking Joaquin Wilde until Ava yells at him to break it up.

Earlier today, Arianna Grace took Gigi Dolin dress shopping. Dolin hates it but she wants to get this over with as fast as possible.

Joaquin Wilde vs. Ridge Holland

Wilde starts fast but they quickly head outside, where Holland punches the post. Back in and Holland grabs an armbar, which doesn’t get him very far. An overhead belly to belly suplex works a bit better and Holland runs him over, only to pull Wilde up at two. Wilde DDTs his way out of trouble as Shawn Spears is here to watch. Holland is knocked to the floor where a dive is powerslammed out of the air. A lifting DDT finishes for Holland at 3:52.

Rating: C. Holland’s story is starting to take some more shape as he is beginning to embrace more of the violence. That would seem to be his destiny in the whole thing and it could make for a more logical path for him. Holland isn’t likely to become a star, but having him be all violent and evil is a better way to go for him than anything else he could be doing.

Josh Briggs has bad ribs but he’s ready to face Oba Femi. Ivar comes in to say Briggs can rest up and get the first shot at the North American Title after Ivar wins it. Not happening, so they can fight tonight instead.

Brinley Reece is rather perky while working out with Edris Enofe and Malik Blade.

Andre Chase sits down with Thea Hail and explains how he lost everything betting on her but then cost her the match by throwing in the towel. Hail asks why he never told her because she was so mean to him but Chase says he believed in her. Everything seems cool.

Here is the D’Angelo Family for a chat. Tony D’Angelo talks about how things needed to change for the family and yeah he lost at Stand & Deliver. It’s about going one more round though…and here is the No Quarter Catch Crew to interrupt. We get an implication that the Family was paid to take care of Drew Gulak but we aren’t allowed to use specifics.

Payment is implied, but Charlie Dempsey has to ask if there is anything else D’Angelo wants to say. That makes D’Angelo bring up the Heritage Cup, with Dempsey telling him that’s off limits. The brawl is on and we go to break in a hurry. This covered both the informative (the Family got rid of Gulak on the Crew’s request) and the funny (D’Angelo seemingly forgetting his line).

Ilja Dragunov vs. ???

Non-title and a bunch of people try to get in the ring, only to have Je’Von Evans dive over the announcers’ table to get inside instead. The slug out goes to Dragunov but Evans is back up with a superkick for the knockdown. Evans is back up with a bouncing kick to the face but Dragunov hits a hard powerslam.

One heck of a clothesline gives Dragunov two, only to have the Constantine Special countered into a rollup for two more. Dragunov’s running knee gets two but he gets caught with a hard DDT. That sends Dragunov out to the floor so there’s the big dive to take him down again. Back in and Dragunov Death Valley Drivers him into the corner, setting up Torpedo Moscow for the pin at 6:05.

Rating: C+. While it’s not quite the same thing, they were going for the John Cena vs. Kurt Angle moment here and it did quite the big of good for Evans. He felt like someone who was stepping up and the fans were WAY into him, which is about all you could ask for here. Nice stuff, and it’s clear that NXT sees a lot in Evans, which might be validated.

Karmen Petrovic is ready to help Natalya train for NXT Underground but Lola Vice comes in. Vice teases a training partner of her own and we have a contract signing next week.

Sol Ruca wants Blair Davenport next week, No DQ. Ava seems interested.

Thea Hail vs. Tatum Paxley

The rest of Chase U is here with Hail, who gets scared by Paxley crawling around to start. Paxley sends her into the corner before grabbing an upside down surfboard (Paxley was laying on her back and had Hail’s limbs tied up, with Hail looking down at her). That’s broken up and Hail hits the World’s Smallest Slam but here is Jazmyn Nyx for a distraction. Jacy Jayne comes in for another distraction and Paxley grabs a crucifix for the pin at 3:08.

Rating: C. As much as I could go for Hail winning something, Paxley vs. Valkyria seems to be the next big match so they had to give Paxley something here. Paxley revealing that she only cared about the title instead of Valkyria is an interesting way to go and now we could be getting ready for an interesting story involving the title depending on how it falls out. For now though, Paxley gets a much needed boost.

Post match Lyra Valkyria runs in to brawl with Paxley.

Roxanne Perez laughs off the whole thing and says she’ll defend the title at Spring Breakin. Ava comes in to say we’ll make it a triple threat title defense with Lyra Valkyria and Tatum Paxley as the challenges. Perez does not approve.

AOP vs. Edris Enofe/Malik Blade

Blade gets knocked into the corner to start and the beating is on quickly. Akam gets in some clubbering and Rezar comes in to do the same. A missed charge allows the desperate tag to Blade, who tries to pick up the pace. Blade tries a dive to the floor but gets pulled out of the air. The Super Collider finishes for AOP at 3:08.

Rating: C. Another squash here and unfortunately against a team I want to see go further. That being said, giving the AOP a dominant win is why Enofe and Blade were out there in the first place and they did make the monsters look good. There are worse ideas than putting the AOP back in NXT as the big bad team, especially with the Wolfdogs gone.

Post match Nathan Frazer and Axiom come out for the staredown with the AOP.

Back to dress shopping and Gigi Dolin hates a green dress that Arianna Grace recommends. Dolin offers to try it on, though she uses some scissors to make it her own. Grace is aghast but has to pay anyway.

Josh Briggs vs. Ivar

Briggs has bad ribs coming in and kicks Ivar in the face at the bell. Ivar cartwheels over him and plants him down as Oba Femi is watching in the back. Back up and Briggs hits another big boot, setting up a splash, which only hurts his own ribs. Ivar goes back to the ribs, including the spinning powerslam to crush Briggs again. A tiger driver gives Ivar two but Briggs is back with a not very good Boss Man Slam for two of his own. They go outside with Briggs getting in a hard shot, only to get kicked in the head. Back in and the Doomsault finishes for Ivar at 4:11.

Rating: B-. Take two big guys and have them beat each other up for a bit before one of them gets the pin. It’s an idea that has worked for years in wrestling and it worked here too. Briggs has an out with the bad ribs as Ivar moves up for a match to make Oba Femi look like that much more of a monster.

Oba Femi is impressed. Then he leaves and knocks Oro Mensah down again, just like at Stand & Deliver.

Here’s what’s coming at Spring Breakin.

Video on Trick Williams vs. Carmelo Hayes.

Trick Williams vs. Carmelo Hayes

In a cage (pin/submission only) and Hayes says he’s ready to finish this. They start slowly with Williams grabbing a slam but Hayes flips over him. Hayes sends him into the cage and a security guard slips in a billy club. Some shots to the back have Williams down and we take an early break.

Back with Hayes hitting a Codebreaker on the arm for two before cranking on said arm. Williams fights up and is sent into the cage, only to avoid a charge to send Hayes into the steel instead. A super Rock Bottom plants Hayes again and the fans are getting behind Williams. Some kicks to the face into a flapjack set up a reverse suplex to drop Hayes again. Hayes is sent into the cage over and over, with a neckbreaker giving Williams two.

Another shot to the arm slows Williams down but he’s fine enough to grab another Rock Bottom for another near fall. A knee to the face connects and they’re both down for a double breather. They go up in the corner until Hayes tries a super bulldog, with Williams managing a block. Cue the security to distract Williams, who beats them up without much effort. Hayes grabs a chair but the Trick Shot sends the chair into his face to give Williams the pin at 12:20.

Rating: B. I liked this a bit better than the Stand & Deliver match, but it was still only so good. Maybe these two have too much pressure on them or something but they didn’t get to a high level in their first match and they didn’t do it again here either. Granted the short time didn’t help, though Williams seems primed for a real shot at the NXT Title at Spring Breakin. Good main event, though certainly not great.

Ilja Dragunov comes out for the staredown with Williams to end the show.


Noam Dar b. Dijak – Nova Roller
Lola Vice b. Sol Ruca – Spinning kick to the face
Ridge Holland b. Joaquin Wilde – Lifting DDT
Ilja Dragunov b. Je’Von Evans – Torpedo Moscow
Tatum Paxley b. Thea Hail – Crucifix
AOP b. Edris Enofe/Malik Blade – Super Collider
Ivar b. Josh Briggs – Doomsault
Trick Williams b. Carmelo Hayes – Trick Shot into a chair

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The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The opener and main event were both good as this is a rare strong show before we get to the big stuff. The thing that impresses me the most about this one is how much stuff they got into it. With eight matches over about two hours and ten minutes, they crammed in quite a bit without feeling like they were cramming it in. That’s not bad and they had a heck of a show as a result. Now just keep this up with the big shows over the next two weeks.

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WWE NXT, Thomas Hall