Excluding last year’s WrestleMania weekend, NXT had its first special arena show since NXT Takeover: Portland, a once habitual scheduling. No longer contained to just the WWE Performance Center, the white-and-yellow brand took NXT Vengeance Day to the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina; of course, Charlotte Flair subsequently did the opening hype package.
Can NXT return to selling out arenas on a regular basis? Almost forcing the brand to reprioritize great wrestling and headline matches, the brand looks to be headed on the right track.
Wes Lee (c) vs Dijak – North American Championship
Speaking of Portland, Dijak has prior experience facing a Lee for the North American Championship – the former of which being his breakout match before an infamous main roster call-up. Tonight’s story follows Dijak’s subsequent “brand of justice,” which includes an early ringside slam and biel to the floor. Charlotte pops big for Lee’s German and twisting outside dive in the eventual comeback, and a Fisherman Suplex gets a close near-fall. The champion is an amazing, emotive underdog who continuously escapes the bigger man’s finishing attempts – at one point reversing with a top-rope hurricanrana and Spiral Tap for another two count.
Calling back to the aforementioned 2020 bout, Dijak traps Lee in an announce chair and attempts to dive off the turnbuckles until Tony D’Angelo and “Stacks” take the blow. The scuffle allows Lee to capitalize with his finishing backflip kick to surprisingly retain his North American Championship – unexpected but deserved. Cameras zoom in on Dijak’s broken finger and broken promise of serving his own brand of justice.
Winner: Wes Lee
Fallon Henley and Kiana James vs Kayden Carter and Katana Chance (c) – NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships
McKenzie Mitchell speaks beforehand with the champions, who aren’t concerned with the challengers’ “love triangle” as Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen accompany them ringside. The champions enter through the crowd – the longest reigning ever, understandable by looking at the makeshift competition. Obviously hard to follow regardless, but the atmosphere isn’t as energetic in comparison to tonight’s fiery opener, however Chance makes the audience stand with an assisted top-rope hurricanrana. Sneaky half James foils the champions’ finishing attempt and adds leverage to a pinfall that ultimately lends her and Henley the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships in another surprise victory. With Briggs and Jensen, this quartet has actually progressed through an interesting, unpredictable story that continues to be layered tonight.
Winners: Fallon Henley and Kiana James
Drew Gulak finally talks protege Hank Walker into getting new ring gear at the Orlando watch party: “I’m building a superstar, not a house.” Afterwards, Lyra Valkyria calls out the NXT women’s locker room and Cora Jade in a promo package.
Carmelo Hayes vs Apollo Crews – 2/3 Falls Match
Continuing their tradition of epic special entrances, Trick Williams introduces Hayes – on his way to superstardom with a taste of the arena spotlight. An extended entertaining string of smooth chain wrestling ushers in the match until Crews slaps that taste right out and gains control. The pace uncharacteristically slows when Hayes turns the tide, seemingly dealing with hurt ribs after taking a ringside moonsault, but Crews picks it up with a big comeback. Two kick-outs from Crews later, Hayes pushes forward with a Crossface to win the first fall by submission favoring Trick-Melo gang.
After both competitors break the referee’s outside ten count, Williams removes the top turnbuckle that instead meets the back of Hayes. Out comes Dabba Kato, the former partner of Crews, sweeping out Williams like the latter’s hokey visions predicted. Crews daps Kato up, and Hayes takes advantage with his finishing leg drop to win two-nil. So Crews loses by high-five, and adding insult to injury, is blindsided by the meatball who won’t go away.
Winner: Carmelo Hayes
Valentina Feroz accepts Lyra Vakyria’s challenge in Orlando while the new NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions celebrate in Charlotte, supposedly on the same page at last.
Chase University vs Pretty Deadly vs Gallus vs New Day (c) – NXT Tag Team Championships
While Andre Chase is Charlotte’s hometown challenger, the heroic reception for New Day is inevitable, and no team comes close to connecting like the champions. Pretty Deadly takes majority control until Kofi Kingston makes an incredibly hot comeback with a three-person Boom Drop. He’s eventually thrown into a ringside mass, and Chase adds on with a Superplex to Kit Wilson as “U” chants reverberate. Foreign student Duke Hudson fires up by taking the announce desk apart, but Pretty Deadly puts it back together again before taking the former’s offensive string.
Gallus boys send Hudson through the announce desk anyways, leaving Chase to hit his super popular “C-H-A-S-E-U” stomps, which evidently do work outside the Orlando bubble. Xavier Woods fends for his team, but Gallus catches the champion in mid-air, delivering their finishing maneuver for three. A fun and chaotic match changes the guards, just arguably the least interesting option of the four.
Gigi Dolin vs Jacy Jayne vs Roxanne Perez (c) – NXT Women’s Champion
No Survivor Series ‘09 throwback tonight, and it’s a “glorified handicapped match” as commentary mentions. 5’1” Perez realistically has no advantage but isn’t immediately demolished, surviving long enough to create tension between Toxic Attraction. The crowd heavily favors Dolin in each friendly-fire exchange, but Jayne seemingly is given the most time to shine. They temporarily reunite to introduce a table at ringside, which Dolin goes through as Perez delivers an Avalanche Pop Rox to retain in a solid showing considering the situation. Perez, Dolin, and table got loud chants; Jayne did not.
Winner: Roxanne Perez
Grayson Waller vs Bron Breakker (c) – NXT Championship
Waller enters with symbolic chain link, champagne, a golden shoe, and six women in a much-deserved main event, jump-started on the outside until Breakker closes the door himself. While Breakker pales in comparison to Waller’s charisma, he reminds early on that his intensity and agility is absolutely insane. Booker T likens the challenger’s legitimate braggadocious confidence to that of Dolph Ziggler, outright wondering if the latter would’ve had a better career without it; but the attitude is what got Waller here in the first place. It’s a methodical state of affairs, and Breakker continues fighting from underneath – at one point getting crucified between the ropes before eventually powering out like a cartoon character. Waller hits a low blow and rolling stunner for two before scaling to the top, but Breakker meets him there for a super superplex, followed by two spears for the victory.
Winner: Bron Breakker
The ultimate NXT match is teased and essentially set for WrestleMania weekend when Carmelo Hayes makes his way ringside to close the show. Bron Breakker versus Carmelo Hayes at Stand and Deliver!