COMMENTATORS: Vic Joseph & Wade Barrett
On this week’s NXT:
- Carmelo Hayes battles Legado del Fantasma leader Santos Escobar
- Sarray looks for revenge against Tiffany Stratton
- Tatum Paxley tries to prove herself against main roster invader Natalya
- New Tag Team Champs Pretty Deadly address the NXT Universe
- NXT CHAMPION: Bron Breakker
- NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPION: Mandy Rose
- NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPION: Cameron Grimes
- NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince)
- NXT WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Toxic Attraction (Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne)
NOTE: click “Read More” if recap links do not work, full page needs to be open
- Sarray vs. Tiffany Stratton (**) [RECAP]
- Sanga vs. Grayson Waller (*1/2) [RECAP]
- Legado del Fantasma vs. Drake & Gibson (**1/2) [RECAP]
- Santos Escobar vs. Carmelo Hayes (*3/4) [RECAP]
- Tatum Paxley vs. Natalya (**) [RECAP]
- Wes Lee vs. Xyon Quinn (*1/2) [RECAP]
- Roxanne Perez vs. Jacy Jayne (*1/2) [RECAP]
- Pretty Deadly [c] vs. Dexter Lumis & Duke Hudson for the NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/2) [RECAP]
-OPENING VIDEO: Pretty Deadly win the NXT Tag Team Championship after beating The Creed Brothers, who lasted through an entire Gauntlet before losing. This video is interrupted midway through by Joe Gacy who says tonight we’ll see what Bron Breakker is willing to do for the Hall of Fame ring he stole from his father.
Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince) make their way out to open the show; Bron Breakker is shown via split-screen making his way to the arena. Back to full screen for Pretty Deadly, who say they dominated in the UK as NXT UK Tag Team Champions but they decided that scene was drab so they came to the United States to take THEIR tag team championships. They say it wasn’t even hard to do it, but their victory speech is interrupted by Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake & Zack Gibson). Drake says the only reason Pretty Deadly had any success in NXT UK was because the GYV decided to leave, and Gibson says the only reason they’re Tag Team Champions is because they weren’t involved. Gibson says they’re long overdue an opportunity and will take it TONIGHT. GYV get interrupted by Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde & Cruz del Toro fka Raul Mendoza) and Elektra Lopez; Legado immediately attacks and a big ol’ brawl breaks out.
The ringside area gets cleared out and Bron Breakker shows up, calling Joe Gacy out. Gacy appears via video screen and says all he needs to do is come find him. Cue maniacal laughter and multiple Joe Gacy faces as Breakker exits to the back to find his nemesis. Joseph & Barrett don’t even get a chance to soak in what just happened as Tiffany Stratton makes her way out for the opening match.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: That was a real Crash TV way to start the show. Pretty Deadly certainly seem…energetic, I guess. I was actually wondering where Grizzled Young Vets were last week so I’m glad they showed up here. Bleeding this right into Breakker/Gacy gave that whole three team brawl no weight and Gacy doing Bray Wyatt-lite was goofy. At least the Safe Space stuff is done.
-WWE DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE: Santos Escobar watches comments from Carmelo Hayes on his tablet. Escobar calls Carmelo a former A-champion with A-lot of excuses. Escobar says Hayes was never worthy of the North American Champion but he’s another story. If Hayes has a problem with it Escobar is happy to remind him of his place: the back of the line.
–Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams respond backstage. Hayes says Santos is in a league of his own but calls Santos crazy for saying he needs to go back to the line because he created the line. Williams says they’ll take care of Santos tonight and then end the Cinderella run of Cameron Grimes.
Sarray vs. Tiffany Stratton
Stratton controls the wrist, Sarray flips through and escapes with an armdrag followed by a dropkick. Stratton catches Sarray charging with a chop, Sarray rolls her up for a 1…Stratton kicks out and Sarray immediately ties up the legs into a Muta Lock but Stratton gets to the ropes. Stratton dodges Sarray in the ropes then connects with a seated splash across the middle rope for the 1…2…Sarray kicks out, Stratton traps her in a cobra clutch. Sarray almost escapes, Stratton sends her into the corner and yanks her down by the hair, following up with a springboard senton for the 1…2…Sarray kicks out, Stratton yells at her to stay down. Sarray and Stratton trade slaps, Sarray follows Stratton into the ropes and connects with a dropkick followed by a release German suplex and a double stomp from the middle buckles. Stratton grabs the ankle, Sarray stomps her and follows up with a penalty kick and a dropkick that sends Stratton out to the floor. Sarray quickly rolls her back in, Stratton bails to the corner and hangs on through an O’Connor. Stratton “flicks” her hair and bonks Sarray in the face with the back of her head, following up with a spiral Vader Bomb for the 1…2…3.
Tiffany Stratton defeated Sarray via pinfall (4:30)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Quick win for Stratton, who is now 2-0 against Sarray. Easier than expected. Stratton is made for WWE, she’s gonna do great. Not sure if they’re writing Sarray off like they did with Kushida last week or if she’s sticking around. (**)
–Bron Breakker stumbles onto an audio recording of his kidnap of Rick Steiner two weeks ago inside the same cage. Breakker angrily throws the tablet playing the segment and walks off. Aight.
–Pretty Deadly are “YES BOY”ing photos in the back until they run into Persia Pirotta & Indi Hartwell. They want a favor from Pretty Deadly: they want a match between the champs and…their boyfriends Duke Hudson & Dexter Lumis. Pretty Deadly, who thought the women wanted to “fight” them, walk off saying they’ll keep in touch.
–McKenzie Mitchell interviews Grayson Waller, who talks about how committed he was to the plan of making everyone think he was injured, but Sanga ruined it so Waller fired him. Andre Chase and Bodhi Hayward interrupt for a teachable moment. Waller gets in face…until Sanga shows up and Waller HIGHTAILS it as Chase & Hayward cheer Sanga on. Waller bails to the ring, Sanga keeps him from leaving and…we’ve got a match?
Sanga vs. Grayson Waller
Sanga absorbs a slap and throws Waller around the ring repeatedly for about a minute, crowd cheering him on the whole time. Waller kicks Sanga’s leg out and tries to hurt his former bodyguard with forearms but Sanga doesn’t feel a thing and drops him with a shoulderblock. Waller stuns Sanga with a kick and charges…right into a sidewalk slam. Sanga yells and drops an elbow on Waller’s spine, covering for the 1…2…Waller grabs the bottom rope. Waller kicks Sanga away and slides at him, Sanga goozles him but Waller escapes the chokeslam and sends Sanga headfirst into the post. Waller then gets a running headstart and connects with a stunner for the 1…2…3.
Grayson Waller defeated Sanga via pinfall (3:29)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Waller wrestled around Sanga, who did his job being a BIG MAN doing BIG MAN sh*t…although he looked like he was in Braun Strowman cosplay. Not bad, Waller weaseling out a win made sense for the character. (*1/2)
-VIDEO: Cora Jade has a new dream: kick Natalya’s legendary ass. She rips up an old photo of her and Nattie from when she was a kid, and steps on the Natalya side on her way out.
-VIDEO: Roxanne Perez grew up playing WWE games and dreaming of becoming a WWE Superstar. Perez makes her NXT debut next week (well her second debut).
–McKenzie Mitchell tries to interview a nervous Perez about next week but gets quickly interrupted by Toxic Attraction (Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin, & Jacy Jayne). Rose tells Perez not to set her bar too high because she’ll never get there. They accuse Perez of having an attitude and Jayne says they should move her debut to TONIGHT instead.
Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde & Cruz Del Toro) [w/ Santos Escobar & Elektra Lopez] vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake)
Gibson & Drake are no longer being called ‘Grizzled Young Veterans’, they’re just…Gibson & Drake. Weak. Legado control things early, taking out the former GYV with splashes before the bell and keeping the attack going on Drake. Gibson gets the tag, Wilde dropkicks Drake as he armdrags Gibson, Wilde covers Gibson for the 1…2…not yet. Gibson gets to his feet and stuns Wilde with a pair of boots. Drake catches Wilde with an enzuigiri and dropkicks Del Toro off the apron. Wilde absorbs some punishment but gets the tag to Del Toro who lights Drake up with a series of strikes and a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Del Toro goes for a superplex, Drake knocks him to the apron with a forearm. Gibson gets the blind tag and attacks Del Toro after he covers Drake following a top rope rana. Del Toro launches Wilde into a splash on Gibson, then tags in to hit a Russian Legsweep/kick combo for the 1…2…3.
Legado del Fantasma defeated Griz-uhhh Drake & Gibson via pinfall (3:58)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: About ten minutes of action stuffed into four minutes. Breakneck pace, which seems to be the theme of this show. Lots of fun though. When did Grizzled Young Vets lose their team name? (**1/2)
Santos Escobar wants to keep the momentum going, calling out Carmelo Hayes…and also telling Tony D’Angelo to pay close attention.
–McKenzie Mitchell is standing by with Wes Lee. Lee says the last few weeks have been chaotic for him and he feels lost. Xyon Quinn interrupts, Lee tells him no one knows what he’s talking about and it’s the wrong time to give him a lecture. Quinn says he should teach him a lesson instead, Lee accepts the challenge hoping to bring peace to the chaos of his life.
Santos Escobar vs. Carmelo Hayes [w/ Trick Williams]
No one from Legado wanted to stay by their leader’s side? Especially because he’s wrestling a dude who always has backup? Okay.
Hayes chokes Escobar on the middle rope, they almost break clean but Hayes shoves him to the canvas instead. Hayes high-fives Williams and grabs a side headlock, Escobar whips him off and absorbs a shoulderblock. Escobar responds with a dropkick, Hayes sends him to the apron and eats a kick. Escobar follows up with a frog crossbody (frogbody? crossfrog?) Williams gets involved, Hayes takes advantage of the distraction and connects with a springboard shoulderblock, flying across the ring like a video game character. Hayes pump kicks Escobar and counters a hip toss with a neckbreaker. Hayes basks in his own glory as the match moves to picture-in-picture. Hayes remains on the offensive, working Escobar over on the floor and slowing things down with a chinlock when his pinfall attempt proves to be unsuccessful. Escobar shoves Hayes off, Hayes lays him out for the 1…2…Escobar kicks out and now Hayes locks in a sleeperhold of sorts. Escobar escapes with a jawbreaker, Hayes sends him into the buckles.
Match returns to full screen as Escobar sends Hayes shoulder-first into the post. Escobar starts fighting back, Hayes kind of hits a Spanish Fly and both are down. Hayes does a springboard nothing that Escobar counters into a backbreaker for the 1…2…Hayes kick out and traps Escobar in a single-leg crab, fighting through the pain shooting through his back and shoulder. Escobar gets to the ropes to force a break, Hayes grabs a front chancery and Escobar counters into an inside cradle for the 1…2…Hayes kicks out. Hayes kicks at Escobar and reapplies the front chancery, Escobar counters into a delayed vertical suplex. Escobar and Hayes trade forearms as they get to their feet, turning it into right hands as both men teeter. Escobar backs Hayes into the corner and connects with a chop, then brings him to the other corner and connects with a series of rights. Hayes slides under and drops Escobar head-first on the buckle but he brushes it off and connects with a series of strikes sending Hayes to the floor. Escobar follows up with a tope suicida through the ropes. Escobar rolls Hayes in, TWO MAFIA GOONS SHOW UP AND HIT ESCOBAR IN THE KNEE WITH A CROWBAR. Hayes lets it happen and connects with a flying Ax Kick for the 1…2…3.
Carmelo Hayes defeated Santos Escobar via pinfall (13:55)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: It was kicking up by the end but man for the most part this felt like a slog. I don’t know what happened there, Santos & Carmelo are two of the best on the roster but this match was missing something. Mafia Goons interfering made me laugh though. (*3/4)
Hayes challenges Cameron Grimes for the North American Title at Spring Break-In in two weeks, Grimes comes out and accepts. Solo Sikoa wipes out Hayes & Williams and wants another title shot too, telling Grimes he’s got next.
–Bron Breakker continues his search for Joe Gacy, opening a door to a room covered in mirrors. Gacy appears from behind in a reflection, Breakker turns around and he’s no longer there, causing Breakker to break(ker) a mirror and scream “WHERE ARE YOU”. Oh boy this is terrible, but I can’t stop laughing.
–Malcolm Bivens is on the phone with Ivy Nile, Roderick Strong hitting the punching bag in the background. Nile is apparently in the UK, much to her chagrin, in an attempt to make The Diamond Mine global. Strong says he’s tired of watching groups crumble and if the other members don’t align with his vision they’re an enemy.
Tatum Paxley vs. Natalya
Paxley challenged Natalya last week, continuing to try to prove herself to NXT and The Diamond Mine. Natalya takes Paxley to the canvas with a side headlock, Paxley counters with headscissors, but Natalya nips up and out as the crowd roars in approval. Natalya slaps Paxley, Paxley cartwheels into a counter, Natalya counters with a front flip and brings her to the canvas with an armbar. Paxley gets to her feet and escapes via backflip, Natalya taking a powder. Paxley chases after Natalya, who suckers her right into a rolling lariat followed by a snap suplex. Natalya can’t get the pin so she continues punishing Paxley, tying her up in a surfboard. Paxley stuns Natalya with a back elbow and mounts a comeback. Paxley connects with a standing moonsault for the 1…2…Natalya kicks out. Paxley eats turnbuckle and Natalya locks her in the Sharpshooter for the tap.
Natalya defeated Tatum Paxley via submission (4:53)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: This is the most anyone has ever reacted to Natalya, she may never leave NXT now. This was fine, Paxley has potential. Will be very excited when she ends up joining The Diamond Mine. (**)
–Tony D’Angelo plays dumb about the attack on Santos Escobar, and complements Escobar’s car. SHAME IF ANYTHING HAPPENED TO IT.
–Nathan Frazer debuts next week.
–Indi Hartwell asks Duke Hudson’s pant size because they need to look like a team heading into tonight. Hudson says what matters is their gameplan. Dexter Lumis just stares as Hartwell interprets for him. Hartwell tells Hudson to try and speak his language, Hudson grimaces at him but Hartwell says he needs to learn to communicate. Persia Pirotta asks what’s going on and Hudson angrily walks off.
Wes Lee vs. Xyon Quinn
Lee surprises Quinn with a windmill kick right at the bell and sends him to the floor with a dropkick, Lee immediately following up with a tope suicida. Quinn overpowers Lee and drops him on the apron (hardest ring part of the), rolling him for the 1…2…Lee kicks out. Quinn splits Lee in half with a corner spear, Lee fights out of a fireman’s carry, powering him over into an inside cradle for the 1…2…Quinn kicks out and pancakes Lee when Lee tries to rush in to follow up. Quinn measures Lee, Lee connects with a superkick followed by a series of strikes into a dropkick to the back of the head. Lee tries a springboard but slips and he stumbles into a forearm from Quinn. Quinn picks Lee up and connects with a running forearm (or elbow I guess, according to Joseph) for the 1…2…3.
Xyon Quinn defeated Wes Lee via pinfall (3:29)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Lee showed some fire but it was all Quinn, who looked real good here. Poor Wes. (*1/2)
–McKenzie Mitchell interviews Natalya, who says she came to NXT to cut Cora Jade’s legs off before she could come to the main roster and do it to her. Nikkita Lyons interrupts and says that after she’s done with Lash Legend next week she’s coming for Natalya.
-LAST WEEK: Von Wagner throws Ikeman Jiro in the crowd at the behest of a random blonde lady who likes to point. Jiro will be out of action for the next month. Wagner has been fined and suspended.
Roxanne Perez vs. Jacy Jayne [w/ Mandy Rose & Gigi Dolin]
Perez stuns Jayne with a chop and rolls her up for a two-count. The two roll around the ring trading near-falls, Perez bridges out of a lateral press and Jayne kicks her down. Perez throws Jayne around the ring with armdrags. Jayne tosses Perez into the buckles and follows up with a superkick. Wendy Choo interrupts via JumboTron, showing her remodel (destruction) of the Toxic Attraction locker room. Perez takes advantage and connects with a Code Red for the 1…2…3.
Roxanne Perez defeated Jacy Jayne via pinfall (2:18)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Very amusing that beating Jayne is considered an upset when the person doing it is a former ROH Women’s World Champ but them’s the breaks when they wipe your slate clean after signing a contract. Match was fine, the Wendy Choo thing certainly happened. This show has been exhausting. (*1/2)
–Legado del Fantasma try to leave but there’s a boot on their car’s wheel and a pile of dead fish on the hood. FUGETABOUTIT.
-Grimes vs. Hayes vs. Sikoa official for Spring Breakin’ in two weeks.
–Joe Gacy is shown watching security cameras and says it’s time he ends this.
Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince) [c] vs. Dexter Lumis & Duke Hudson [w/ Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta] for the NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
We go right into in-ring introductions for this one, no entrances to be had. Wilson works Lumis over to start, belting him with a forearm and mocking Hudson. Prince tags in and Pretty Deadly connect with a double shoulderblock followed by a splash/legdrop combo but it only gets a one-count. Prince charges, Lumis sits up like The Undertaker and connects with an inverted atomic drop. Wilson tags in and flies right into an inverted atomic drop, Hudson tags himself in but they can’t get on the same page so he takes over. Lumis tags back in and they go for a double suplex, but they save one another. Pretty Deadly slide out of the ring and pose with Pirotta & Hartwell. Hudson & Lumis hip toss Pretty Deadly back in, Lumis plants Wilson with a Thesz press followed by right hands and a diving forearm. Hudson tags in and this time they hit a double suplex. Lumis gives Hudson a thumbs up, Hudson gives one back and they’re finally on the same page I guess! Hudson drills Wilson with a clothesline, Lumis tags in and crawls after Wilson as the match moves to picture-in-picture. Pretty Deadly lure Lumis in and take over on offense, Prince belting him with a European uppercut. Lumis reverses an Irish whip and connects with a back elbow, moving to a deep chinlock after the pinfall attempt fails. Hudson tags in and drives an elbow to the back of Prince’s neck, followed by a sidewalk slam for the 1…2…Prince kicks out.
Back to full screen and the challengers are still in control. Lumis brings Prince to the canvas with a snapmare and connects with forearms across the bridge of the nose, slowing it back down with another chinlock. Wilson pulls Prince out of the corner and Lumis crashes into the buckles, Pretty Deadly work Lumis over in their corner. Hudson breaks up the pinfall attempt, Wilson traps Lumis in a choke. Lumis slides under Prince’s legs and makes the tag to Hudson who’s a house of fire, throwing Prince overhead and driving Wilson to the canvas with a powerslam. Hudson drops Prince with a back elbow, Wilson tries to attack from the apron but gets hit, Prince pulls him off the buckles and covers for the 1…2…Hudson kicks out. Hudson tries to make the tag, Wilson pulls Lumis off the apron and Lumis throws him into the ring steps. Lumis gets back to the apron, Prince kicks him off and Hudson connects with a powerslam on Prince for the 1…2…not yet! Prince surprises Hudson with a running boot out of nowhere for the 1…2…3! Oh.
Pretty Deadly [c] defeated Dexter Lumis & Duke Hudson via pinfall to retain the NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (11:47)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Lumis & Hudson finding their groove was fun but the match felt like it ended out of nowhere which was disappointing. Still don’t have much of a read on Pretty Deadly as a team, going to need to see more of their matches AND NO THAT DOESN’T MEAN I’M GOING TO WATCH NXT UK WHAT THE F*CK IS WRONG WITH YOU. (**1/2)
-The lights go out in the NXT Arena; when they turn back on Joe Gacy is in the stands. Bron Breakker immediately confronts Gacy. Gacy says if Breakker wanted the ring so bad all he had to do is ask; he’ll return it with no tricks under one condition: Breakker gives Gacy an NXT Championship match at Spring Breakin’. Breakker agrees and Gacy puts the Hall of Fame ring in Breakker’s denim vest. Gacy says now there’s just one last thing Breakker needs to do: take a leap of faith. Gacy then SHOVES BREAKKER OFF THE BALCONY TO THE FLOOR BELOW, where a bunch of druids surround him as Gacy looks on all manic to end the episode.
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Gacy traded Harland in for a bunch of druids, huh? K.
Bloated show full of matches that didn’t really land and a throughline story between Breakker and Gacy that ended in such a lame way I bursted out laughing. When even Santos vs. Carmelo disappoints you know it’s a rough week, and my word this was a rough week. Went from frantically paced at the start to a goddamn GLACIER (not the cool WCW one) by the end.
- FAVORITE MATCH: Legado del Fantasma vs. Drake & Gibson
- FAVORITE MOMENT: Andre Chase showing up for a teachable moment for absolutely no reason (or probably a match next week). CHASE U RULES.
- Tiffany Strattion defeated Sarray via pinfall (4:30) [RECAP]
- Grayson Waller defeated Sanga via pinfall (3:29) [RECAP]
- Legado del Fantasma defeated Drake & Gibson via pinfall (3:58) [RECAP]
- Carmelo Hayes defeated Santos Escobar via pinfall (13:55) [RECAP]
- Natalya defeated Tatum Paxley via submission (4:53) [RECAP]
- Xyon Quinn defeated Wes Lee via pinfall (3:29) [RECAP]
- Roxanne Perez defeated Jacy Jayne via pinfall (2:18) [RECAP]
- Pretty Deadly [c] defeated Dexter Lumis & Duke Hudson via pinfall to retain the NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (11:47) [RECAP]