“Give me a C-H-A-S-E-U!” Fan favorites Andre Chase and Duke Hudson at last secured a big victory in the main event of tonight’s episode of NXT, advancing to the fatal four-way NXT Tag Team Championship match at Vengeance Day. It’s one of many marquee matches on this Saturday’s card in Charlotte, North Carolina; will Orlando heroes Chase University and others translate on the road?
The Creed Brothers vs Indus Sher
Jinder Mahal and Ivy Nile accompany each corner in a match surprisingly months in the making, featuring the in-ring return of Indus Sher. The Mahal-led team is a spectacle of behemoths, but it’s less than pretty as they wreck NXT’s fan-favorite opposition in a methodical yet stiff opener. The Creed Brothers eventually make a comeback with insane agility and strength as Julius muscles up Veer Mahaan for a powerbomb, but Mahal creates a distraction atop the apron. Nile faces him but takes an inadvertent tackle from Julius, leading to the finishing chokeslam from Sanga. Their updated classy presentation is obviously the strong suit, no pun intended, but the new and improved Indus Sher trio has legs.
Winners: Indus Sher
Tyler Bate catches Axiom watching film of their NXT UK match – except they pretend the masked man isn’t actually the former A-Kid. In comes Damon Kemp from Level Up obscurity, and Bate calls him a “pendejo.”
Zoey Stark vs Indi Hartwell
Footage shows Hartwell sharing her Royal Rumble experience with the women’s locker room while Stark defends accusations of taking out Nikkita Lyons last week. Sol Ruca stands up for the former, and the match begins to Stark’s advantage in the opening goings. It’s hard getting behind Hartwell who’s done nothing of note since the disbandment of The Way and release of her tag partner, and it clearly isn’t changing soon as Stark hits the finishing knee strike for three. The winner starts a post-match assault when Ruca makes the save, and Booker T on commentary insists that Stark “get (him) a cup of coffee.”
Winner: Zoey Stark
A dark promo package from Schism calls out their opponents tonight, Chase University and Malik Blade and Edris Enofe. The other goth, purple foursome on the main roster operates tenfold in comparison to the generic, emotionless, brooding aesthetic of Schism.
A vignette from Apollo Crews in Charlotte, North Carolina hypes his match against Carmelo Hayes at Vengeance Day. In another of Crews’ hokey future-seeing visions, an interfering Trick Williams is taken down from the apron.
Well, it was a good run, Wes Lee, but the North American Championship is likely getting handed to Dijak this Saturday. The latter’s size advantage is the elephant in the frame, but Lee powers up in a hearty promo battle. Speaking of size is the returning Von Wagner, slotted right back into the position of warm-up matches for challengers. Lee hits Wagner’s infamous line, “come Tuesday,” while instigating a match between the two towering men.
Dijak vs Von Wagner
Wagner has an odd ceiling of being the roster’s impressive punching bag but really has potential to be more (I’m one of four Von Wagner fans in existence). Pulling out bangers with big men is almost Dijak’s specialty, and it’s his time to invoke “justice” over his main roster career massacre. Case in point, the two competitors get Orlando on its feet with consecutive big moves until Dijak hits Feast Your Eyes in a great short burst matchup.
Tony D’Angelo and “Stacks” were watching backstage before taking “care of that other thing.” They also apparently have a surprise in store for next week.
McKenzie Mitchell goes over footage of Nikkita Lyon’s attack last week like it’s a crime story, spotlighting potential suspects in an actually well-layered video. Lyons is unfortunately out with a legitimate injury, as elaborated on in a Twitter graphic.
“Bron Breakker – strong, athletic, boring,” accurately describes Grayson Waller in a promo package. He challenges the NXT Champion in a steel cage match at Vengeance Day, and nobody is more ready for the road than Waller. He won’t win of course, but his heart’s in the right place.
Tyler Bate vs Axiom
Imported like tea is an NXT UK rematch between Bate and A-Kid, who should really shed the masked persona at some point. It’s even preceding picture-in-picture until Bate delivers his signature Airplane Spin, but Axiom comes back with a Sleeper. They trade smooth counters, and Bate finally hits Tyler Driver 97 to close an expectedly nice bout between two wrestlers who don’t miss. “That boi big” says Booker T about the winner.
Winner: Tyler Bate
Orlando gives a legitimate standing ovation for a show of respect before Damon Kemp blindsides Axiom in Panda Dunks, but Bate makes the save.
Alba Fyre finally stands in unity with Isla Dawn to spawn the “festival of spring,” and the duo is one component away from recreating the Hocus Pocus trio in a dark magic vignette.
“I’m shaking like booty meat on a Friday night,” jokes Trick Williams about Apollo Crews’ vision. “Until you beat me two-out-of-three falls, you can never be him,” says Carmelo Hayes to his opponent.
NXT Champion Roxanne Perez and challengers Toxic Attraction have a split screen interview with more of the same: Perez’ sappiness and the duo’s annoyingness. The champion couldn’t take it either, walking out of the frame as Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin solidify that they’re on the same page; will a Survivor Series ‘09 be pulled in Saturday’s triple threat? Perez attacks her challengers to initiate a pull-apart brawl before Vengeance Day.
Dani Palmer vs Stevie Turner
It’s the NXT debut of Turner, who is presented with a live streamer gimmick. Perez actually started with a gamer gimmick, and the pipeline keeps getting weirder. Turner puts it away with a Uranage, “two levels above, and two steps ahead” says commentary.
Winner: Stevie Turner
Fallon Henley catches Kiana James talking to another man before Kayden Carter and Katana Chance step in to talk smack. Can the challengers coexist, Maggle?
Charlie Dempsey vs Drew Gulak
On paper is a grappling showcase that immediately cuts to picture-in-picture in reality. Gulak’s protege Hank Walker is ringside in his one button-up shirt like he’s Peter Griffin as Dempsey connects with suplexes. Orlando points out that “this is wrestling” indeed, trading reversals amidst a continuous, fluid chain sequence until Walker “inadvertently” collides with Dempsey after Gulak pushes him. Off the scuffle, the latter secures the pinfall victory as his protege is floored.
Winner: Drew Gulak
“Why do you have me manage you?” asks Mr. Stone after another Von Wagner loss. “Help me help you!” Stone repeats emotionally.
Schism vs Malik Blade and Edris Enofe vs Chase University
It’s the New Day Tag Team Invitational, where the winning team advances to the NXT Tag Team Championship fatal four way at Vengeance Day. Fan favorites Andre Chase and Duke Hudson take control as Booker T officially reveals that he took Rey Mysterio’s spot at the Royal Rumble to put theories to rest. Schism essentially takes out the professor with an assisted Tombstone on the floor, but Chase miraculously pushes through like it’s just a rough winter semester. Jagger Reed and Rip Fowler strategically single out Chase, who kicks out of an assisted backstabber to hot tag Hudson, who is on fire with the foreign exchange schtick. Blade and Enofe finally make a high-flying presence with simultaneous dives before superhero Chase connects with the inevitable Tower of Doom.
Orlando is completely behind the heart and soul of Andre Chase University, arguably NXT in a sense, with a loud and emphatic C-H-A-S-E-U stomp chant from the professor. Thea Hail heroically takes out Ava Raine as Chase and Hudson connect with a double team maneuver for the victory!
Winner: Chase University
Gallus, Pretty Deadly, and New Day surround the fourth team in Saturday’s championship match as a hype package closes out the show, sure to deliver in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Awesome seeing Chase University get their due after securing a natural connection with the audience. Besides a couple outliers, NXT actually featured some amazing wrestling matches – very unlikely. And that showcase of roster members who won’t be getting that Vengeance Day shine was a nice watch.