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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 1.31.23

January 31, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE NXT Chase U Andre Chase Duke Hudson Image Credit: WWE
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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 1.31.23  

Hello, everyone and welcome to our live WWE NXT coverage on 411! I’m Jeremy Thomas, here as always, and NXT is barrelling ahead to Vengeance Day this weekend. Yes indeed, the brand moves out of Capitol Wrestling Center on Saturday for a show in Charlotte, North Carolina. But before we get there, tonight will see the final competitors in the Fatal Four-Way NXT Tag Team Championship match determined as Chase U, The Dyad, and Malik Blade & Edris Enofé do battle for that Vengeance Day spot. Plus, the Creed Brothers will finally get their match against Indus Sher while Roxanne Perez responds to last week’s attack by Toxic Attraction. We’ll also see Bron Breakker and Grayson Waller talk before their NXT Championship match on Saturday, and the in-ring debut of Stevie Turner among other likely moments.

Meanwhile, things are moving along as always here at the Thomas household, where I’m still coming off the Royal Rumble high. I’ve been a busy little bugger, with my top 10 films of 2022 column going live earlier this week. I’ve stayed busy in my movie-watching too, with a total of 31 films watched so far this year. Over the past week I did a rewatch of the underrated and underseen 2010 action flick The Losers, which to this day has the best use of “Don’t Stop Believin'” ever committed to film. I also watched the new J-Lo action romcom Shotgun Wedding, which was watchable but not great, and the new Nic Cage western The Old Way, which was even less great. I also saw the new horror flick Fear, which is our official January “Worst of the Year” contender. In better news, I checked out the Netflix documentary They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead about Orson Welles’ famous unfinished film The Other Side of the Wind. The documentary is well worth watching. I also watched the new found footage liminal horror movie The Outwateers that arrives in theaters on February 9th; you can check out my review of that film when it arrives later tonight.

On the TV side, the hectic month meant that I only just now got around to the first episode of The Last Of Us on Sunday night and I loved what I saw. And I’m keeping up on Dropout.tv’s Gamechangers, which remains one of the most fun game shows I’ve seen in a long time. I also continue to recommnd Dropout’s Dirty Laundry.

Anyway, we’re gonna have a lot to cover tonight so let’s hop right in.

As a reminder, the GoFundMe for Larry’s daughters is still active and if you can make a donation, that would be awesome. Thank you so much to everyone who’s done so thus far.

* We’re LIVE in the Capitol Wrestling Center and going right into the action, with limited commercial interruptions.

The Creed Brothers vs. Indus Sher

Veer and Julius start off and lock up, but push off each other. Julius with a waistlock but Veer gets free, they go into the ropes and try to hip toss each other, then just go into strikes. Veer puts Julius in the corner but Julius escapes and tags are made. Brutus and Sanga face off, Brutus with a waistlock but gets tossed off. Brutus goes right back in for a leg takedown but gets battered down and thrown into a corner. Brutus fights out of it and goes for the leg again, but Veer tags in and nails Brutus. Off the ropes and Sanga with a body block, then Veer with an elbowdrop.

Veer stomps at Brutus, but he picks Veer up into the corner. Julius tags in and nails Veer, double hiptoss and alternating knees to the side. Julius covers for two. Jinder with a distraction and Veer is able to make the tag, then Julius gets hung on the ropes. Sanga manhandles Julius through the ropes and the ref is distracted which allows Jinder to get a shot in. Veer tags in he leapfrogs over Sanga and sitdown splashes Julius to the mat.

Julius is firing back but gets cut off, Veer tags in Sanga as he gets taken down. Sanga picks Julius up and snake eyeses him into the top rope. Measured stomp to Julius and Veer tags in, he stomps away at Julius. Sanga tags back in, Julius into the ropes and gets double body blocked down. Sanga now locks in a trap chinlock before sending Julius into the corner and splashing him. Side grasp into an elbowdrop and a cover for two.

Sanga now puts Julius in the corner and batters him, he puts Julius in the center of the ring and lays on him for a forearm to the side of the head. Veer tags in now, he’s got Julius’ leg but Julius with an enzuigiri! Brutus comes in hot and lays out Veer, knocks Sanga off the apron and hits a back suplex on Veer before coming out to nail Sanga. German suplex to Veer and Hulk Smashing fists to him. He tags in Julius and hits a moonsault, Julius with the standing shooting star for two before Sanga breaks it up. Brutus tackles Sanga out of the ring, Julius with a gutwrench into a powerbomb! Cover for a nearfall.

Both men up, Julius cartwheel plants Veer but Jinder grabs Julius. Ivy gets on the apron to argue with Jinder, Julius is comes off the ropes and accidentally nails Ivy! Veer plants Julius and Sanga hits a choke slam for three.

Winner: Indus Sher (9:54)
Rating: ***
Thoughts: Very good little match between these two teams to start off the show. Indus Sher needed the win, and the Ivy shenanigans worked pretty well. No complaints here.

* Axiom is watching A-Kid matches in NXT when Tyler Bate comes up and says he liked A-Kid. Axiom wonders what happened to him, and Tyler doesn’t know. But he says Axiom reminds him of A-Kid. Axiom says it’s because of his eyes. Axiom suggests a match with Bate, and Bate is game for it. Damon Kemp comes in and says he hates it when guys respect each other, and that limeys are soft while Euro wrestling is overrated. He says A-Kid is hot garbage and walks off.

In a video from earlier, Indi accused Zoey of attacking Nikkita Lyons and she denies it, then points out that she was in there for a half-hour while Indi was eliminated a bit quicker. Sol Ruca says that Indi beat Zoey their last time in the ring.

Zoey Stark vs. Indi Hartwell

It’s the battle of two Royal Rumble competitors. Bell rings and the two lock up, with Zoey backed into the corner. Indi sends Zoey into the ropes but Zoey escapes, runs around the ring with Indi giving chase and Indi trips Zoey as she tries to enter the ring. Zoey slammed into the side of the ring and rolled in, cover for one.

Short-arm clotheslines from Indi, Zoey rakes the eyes and snapmares Indi. Diving clothesline off the ropes for two. Zoey locks in a shoulder submission, but Indi gets to her knees and then her feet before armdragging Zoey. They trade slaps and Zoey sends Indi into the corner hard, then whips her back in. Whip across the ring reversed by Indi, who hits a sidewalk slam for two.

Indi gets Zoey on the apron, but Zoey ducks a shot and snaps Indi against the ropes. Senton and cover gets two. Zoey lays into Indi with shots and then locks in an inverted sleeperhold. Indi to her knees and Zoey turns it into a front facelock but gets backed into the corner. Indi slams her into the corner again, but Zoey with a kick to the head. They trade shots, Indi knocks Zoey down and clotheslines her a couple times. Spinebuster gets a nearfall.

Zoey manages to turn it around with a kick to the head and a cover for two. Half nelson, but Indi snapmares out of it. Zoey gets Indi on her shoulders, Indi counters out and ends up on the apron. She goes for a springboard and Zoey knocks her down, flip GTS for the pin.

Winner: Zoey Stark (6:20)
Rating: ** 1/2
Thoughts: Competant bout between these two, breaking Indi’s streak of not-great efforts. For the time it had, it worked well.

Zoey attacks after the match and Sol Ruca comes out for the same.

* Schism is here and say the day of vengance is coming. Dyad say that they’re coming for the titles they’ve deserved, and Gacy says that they will change their destiny by altering others’ realities. Ava calls Chase U abusive and delusional, and that Chase U will fail. There’s no unit stronger than the Schism. They put on their masks and walk off.

* Wes Lee is backstage with his title and will talk next.

* We get a vignette with Apollo Crews already in Charlotte, where he feels the city’s excitement. He needs two falls against Carmelo Hayes and says he’s envisioned it already. His best will always be better than Melo’s best and if Trick gets involved, Trick will be handled. Melo wants to call himself the past and Crews the future? Crews says at Vengeance Day, the past will dictate the future.

* Wes Lee comes out and gets a mic. He says we’re T-minus four days from NXT going back on the road and swinging through Charlotte for Vengeance Day. Or North Cackalackie, as he says. He says he has his biggest challenge in Dijak, who claims to be serving justice but really just wants the title. He says Saturday will be tough and he’ll probably take an ass-whupping, but just like Tony and Melo, the Cardiac Kid will rise as champion.

Here comes Dijak! Dijak tells Mr. Lee to soak it all in and enjoy these moments, because they’re his final day as North American Champion. He says Lee’s speech was motivating but it won’t make business. He says Lee could have handed him the title but was too stupid to do it, and he’s going to be standing opposite the biggest, baddest man in the locker room and Saturday, he’ll rip the title from his hands.

Lee says that’s easier said than done and he didn’t win it by accident. Every minute of training, every risk, every trial and tribulation, he’s fought and when he felt like he couldn’t to it anymore, the support of the fans showed him he could. Lee says Dijak isn’t just fighting him on Saturday, he’s fighting everyone on the Westside.

Dijak says he may be fighting for them, but they won’t be fighting for Wes.

Oh joy, here comes Von Wagner and Mr. Stone. Stone says his ears aren’t working well because Dijak says he was the biggest and the best, but he forgot about Von. Von says to take the stupid sunglasses off because the only injustice is him getting overlooked. Dijak says he has no issues wirh Von (we get a “Wagner sucks!” chant) and Wes plays them against each other. Dijak tells him to shut his mouth but Wes says he just sees an injustice that needs to be fixed. On Tuesday we may need a new #1 contendership match and if Von wins tonight, he may no longer be overlooked. So we can solve this injustice. Dijak swings at Lee but Lee ducks and he hits Von, who knocks Dijak out of the ring. Looks like we have a match.

Dijak vs. Von Wagner

Von and Dijak brawl to start, Dijak into the ropes and falls to a high knee as we go to PIP break.

We’re back as Dijak takkes over with strikes and clotheslines Von down for a two-count. Lee is at the booth now to talk as both men get up in the ring. Dijak with the goozle but Von punches out of it. Dijak kicks and punches at Von, but Von suplexes Dijak fully into all three turnbuckles in the corner. Splash by Von, he sends Dijak across the ring and charges in but Dijak with a big boot. They trade shots off the ropes, Dijak with back elbows against the ropes and a superkick. He comes off the ropes but runs right into a big boot for two-plus.

Von lies in wait with his hand raised high, he goozles Dijak and goes for a chokeslam but Dijak flips out of it. Hard Justice and a cover, but Von kicks out just before three.

Dijak nails Von in the corner and puts him on the top turnbuckle. He climbs up — slowly and awkwardly — and grabs Von’s throat. Von elbows his way out of it and lays hammershots into the back — double underhook facebuster off the ropes! Cover for two!

Von goes for his Angle Slam, but Dijak escapes and locks in a sleeper with his arm trapped behind him. Up onto the shoulders goes Von for Dijak’s finisher and the pinfall.

Winner: Dijak (8:45)
Rating: ** 1/2
Thoughts: It wasn’t bad, which is a success considering how not-sold I am on Von. This was a decent big man match all in all and I can’t complain much.

* Backstage, Stacks is pissed about Dijak but Tony tells him to let it go. He asks about Stacks’ big impact he was gonna make, and he says he took care of the first thing and it’s done for next week. The second thing, they’re gonna go do now.

* Vic and Booker give an update on Nikkita Lyons, who underwent surgery. McKenzie is backstage and talks about who attacked her. She shows back the footage and slows things down; Valentina, Dani Palmer, Arianna Grace and others walking away. An unidentified woman drives away and Elektra and Lola Vice walk away, while Tiffany Stratton is going through her back nearby. Zoey Stark is nearby along with Tatum and Lash in the far background. Also, Wendy Choo is watching from inside a vehicle. No one is taking credit for the attack.

Uh…did no one ask Nikkita?

* Anyway, the Inside Look at the NXT Title match is next.

* We get a vignette recapping the Grayson Waller vs. Bron Breakker feud. Waller says he’s been running NXT for months and he’s now decided he needs to be NXT Champion. We get a look at their first match at New Year’s Evil and its controversial finish, followed by the announcement for Vengeance Day. Waller says Bron is a wild dog, and Bron says his temper gets the best of him. Waller says no one’s taken advantage of it like him, and he’s living rent-free in Bron’s head. He doesn’t have to beat Bron; Bron will beat himself. Bron says in the cage, he won’t have to control it anymore. Waller says he’s read Bron and passed the test. He wants to embarrass and hurt bron and points out how he was a star at NXT WarGames. Bron says it’ll be his Vengeance Day.

Tyler Bate vs. Axiom

Lockup to start, Axiom backed into the ropes. They break and circle, back into the lock and Bate sent into the corner but he escapes. Counterwrestling, Bate with a two-count. Bate off the ropes and reverses an armdrag into one of his own. Bate works Axiom’s shoulder, Axiom goes up and over and tries to shoot Bate into the ropes, but Bate keeps the armlock on and puts him down. Axiom gets slammed down and Axiom uses the referee to flip over and break the hold, but Bate locks it right back in and snaps Axiom down.

Axiom goes up into a headscissor and drops down, finally breaking the hold. Enzuigiri for two. Bate gets a kick to the stomach and Axiom charges at him, with them going over the ropes as we go to PIP break.

We’re back with Axion on Bate’s shoulders for an airplane spin. Bate gets a bit dizzy but recovers and does it again before slamming Axiom down for two. Bate with a forerarm, fired back by Axiom. They trade shots, Axiom with an enzuigiri and a charging kick to the head for two. Bate up top, and he leaps off but Axiom catches him into a bodyscissors sleeper. Bate rolls over and gets to his feet, he powers out of the hold and Axiom with a waistlock. My feed went a bit off but Axiom with a superkick when I come back for a two-count.

Axiom with a big shot, he dodges a flip kick but Bate with a shot and he hits a clothesline off the ropes. Tiger Driver ’97 countered by Axiom for two, but Bate bridges out and goes for it again, rana to counter for two, Tiger Driver ’97 finally connects for three.

Winner: Tyler Bate (10:06)
Rating: *** 1/4
Thoughts: Would you expect anything less from these guys? Incredibly athletic and technical match, Bate got the expected win but Axiom looked pretty good too.

Bate applauds Axiom and helps him up for a handshake as Damon Kemp comes in and attacks, then hits a uranage backbreaker on Axiom. Bate chases Kemp out of the ring.

* Isla talks about Imbolc, the beginning of Spring which is time for new beginnings. Tonight, on the eve of Imbolc, we purge the constraints of the past and purify the negative energies, before bringing in a new member to the house. She says Alba always had the fire and just needed a gentle nudge. Isla begins the ritual to shed their egos and relinquish their need for control. The emotions no longer serve them. The initiation has begun.

I still gotta say, I love that Isla either knows her shit well or does the proper research for her witch act; it is paying off in dividends.

* Melo and Trick are with McKenzie, and Trick says he’s shaking like booty meat on a Friday night but only because it’s cold. Trick says Crews is doing some Miss Cleo stuff but Melo calms him down. He says Crews needs to realize he’s a different caliber and Crews can’t touch his level, and he ain’t never gonna be Melo.

* It’s time for the Roxy and Toxic Attraction satellite conversation. Roxy says it was overwhelming to be the youngest women ever in the Royal Rumble and it was incredible. Jacy says it was incredibly pathetic and says Roxy didn’t win, so she’s going to Vengeance Day to lose her title. Gigi says she probably lost because she got put through a table and laugh at how they played Roxy.

Roxy says she knows there’s a lot of truth to what they said, and Jacy says there’s zero chance. Roxy tries to talk a couple times and keeps getting cut off. Jacy says Roxy peaked at 21, and on Saturday it’s all coming to an end. Roxy says it’s not and Gigi interrupts to say it is. Jacy says Roxy can always play the “What If” game — what if she didn’t move out of her lane. Jacy says it’ll be two against one on Saturday, and Gigi says her 15 minutes are over. Roxy stands up and walks off, and Toxic Attraction mock her for leaving. Jacy says they’re looking at the NXT Women’s Champion right here. Gigi says there’s no crack between them and Jacy says they’ve controlled the women’s division, but everyone’s been on a vacation for the last six weeks. That changes at Vengeance Day where things shift back to them. Gigi accidentally says “I” instead of “we” at some point and Roxy dives in, attacking them.

Dani Palmer vs. Stevie Turner

Lockup to start, Stevie armdrags Dani down. Dani up and backflips out of the wristlock. Waistlock reversed by Dani, who takes an elbow as Stevie locks in a headlock. Dani gets free but gets kicked down and boot choked against the ropes. Stevie off the ropes with a kick to the head. She kicks Dani in the cut, batters her and hits a neckbreaker. Palmer with a snapmare and a sleeper, but Palmer gets free and comes off the ropes to run her over. Palmer with a kick to the gut but Palmer with a jawbreaker, then a Thesz press and mounted punches.

Turner is able to grab Dani and take her out with a pump kick off the ropes, followed by a DDT. Choke slam finishes it.

Winner: Stevie Turner (2:55)
Rating: N/A
Thoughts: RIP Dani Palmer.

* Kiana is on the phone backstage with someone named Zack, who she says she loves. Fallon walks up and asks who it was, Kiana plays it off and Fallon says she knew Kiana would break Jensen’s heart. Chance and Carter walk up and there’s some shit-talking back and forth. Chance and Carter say the titles are sticking with them and walk off. Fallon says they should stay focused on Saturday, but the convo isn’t over.

Charlie Dempsey vs. Drew Gulak

Takedown from Gulak to start, Dempsey gets one of his own and Gulak escapes but gets caught with a headscissors. They grapple a bit, Dempsey with a wristlock which Gulak breaks. And we’re off to PIP break.

We’re back as Gulak kicks out of a submission and gets caught with a dragon screw whip for two. My feed goes whacky again and when it’s back, Gulak has Dempsey in a hold but gets snapmare over. Another dragon screw legwhip and Dempsey goes into a single leg crab. Gulak kicks his way out again, he blocks a shot and hits a spinning lariat for two.

Dempsey picks up Gulak for a backbreaker for two, with both slow to get up after. Dempsey up but gets slapped HARD by Gulak. Dempsey with a kick to the head, Gulak takes him down for two, Dempsey right into a submission but Gulak reverses. Dempsey to his feet and goes for the crossface chickenwing. He gets Gulak to his knees and then drops him down. Gulak is struggling to get to the ropes and Gulak throws him off. Dempsey collides with Hank Walker on the outside, Gulak rolls Dempsey up for three.

Winner: Drew Gulak (8:42)
Rating: ** 3/4
Thoughts: Solid technical bout that continues to show Gulak’s willingness to ruin his students for a win.

* Backstage, Stone says this isn’t working, and Von destroys the room and says, “You think?” Stone says Von has to show him who he is inside. “Help me! Help you!” Stone walks off and Von struggles to look conflicted, which means he looks blandly after Stone.

* We run down the card for Vengeance Day.

NXT Tag Team Title Match Qualifying Match
Dyad vs. Malik Blade & Edris Enofe vs. Chase U

Duke starts off against Fowler, and they lock up. Fowler with a kneelift and tries to to tag in Reid, but Duke slams him down and tags in Chase. Rip gets drop-toe held and then hit with a dropkick, Chase covers for one. Fowler slaps Enofe to tag him in, lockup and Edris flips over Chase but gets rolled up for one. Another roll up for one, which was a teachable moment.

Edris pushes Chase against the ropes for a roll-up but Chase holds on, Edris with a dropkick and tags in Malik. Chase taken down for two. Chase comes off the ropes and Reid tags Enofe, then nails Chase. He sends Chase to the outside, Rip grabs him in piledriver position and Reid goes over the top to spike Chase. Chase gets his head slammed into the apron, Rip picks him up in the ring and slams him down for two.

Rip with a sleeper hold, Chase to his feet and gets spun around for a clothesline for two. Rip a little frustrated with the ref and drives an elbow into Chase’s back before going back into the modified sleeper. he beats on Chase a bit and goes for a suplex, but Chase reverses! Reid tags in and takes out Duke. Chase with a backdrop and goes for the tag but Duke isn’t there. He takes out Rip and finally goes to tag Edris and Malik, but Rip drops them off the apron and lays out Chase. Powerbomb & backstabber combo and a cover — but Chase kicks out!

Fowler talks shit to Chase and Reid charges in, but Chase goes over and tags in Duke! Duke comes in hot and batters both Dyad members. Elbow to the head of Fowler, senton. He sends Reid over the top and big boots him to the floor! Chase rolls Reid in, he slingshots over for a German suplex, cover for a nearfall. Duke reps for a kick, Blade tags himself in! Crossbody off the top to Reid, he takes out Duke, Edris tags in. Frog splash and a top-rope elbow. Leaping neckbreaker to Reid to take him off Blade’s shoulders, cover but everyone breaks it up!

All six men are in the ring brawling, Fowler sent to the outside and Edris and Blade send Chase U out as well. They dive onto all four men! Reid rolled in, Edris goes up top but Reid trips him up. Reid up top, he goes for a superplex. Blade goes up but gets pulled down by Fowler. They’re going for the double superplex but Chase tagged himself in and powerbombs them all down! Chase is feeling hyped — Chase U stomps! Ava Raine is now on the apron — and Thea pulls her down! Chase dodges a diving kick from Reid, Fratliner for the pin!

Winner: Chase U (10:36)
Rating: *** 1/4
Thoughts: Fast-paced match here that had lots going on, but it never felt chaotic in a bad way. Nice to see Chase U pick up the win, and they’re going onto Vengeance Day.

After the match, Gallus and Pretty Deadly are out to mock Chase U. The New Day appear on the Tron and congratulate Chase U, saying they’ll see all three teams at Vengeance Day.

We get a promotional video hyping Vengeance Day to close things out.

And with that, we’re done for the night!

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
WWE NXT tends to be a much better show when they're on the go-home for a big event, and this week was no different. They had good to very good matches for the most part, but most importantly a focus on building to Saturday's PPV. I really liked what they did all in all tonight, and even the stuff that wasn't specifically building to a Vengeance Day match was mostly good. Big win for the show this week.

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Jeremy Thomas