William Regal became synonymous with black-and-gold era NXT as general manager, and after a three-year absence, he returned to the program very briefly to pass the torch; Ava is now the youngest general manager in WWE history, and commentary won’t let you forget it.

Synonymous with white-and-gold evidently is the weekly arguing between Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams. Will it climax at Vengeance Day on February 4?

Bron Breakker and Baron Corbin vs Nathan Frazer and Axiom – Semifinals Match

Both teams have coexisted so far but Frazer and Axiom more so with their signature speed getting the better of the opposition. The intentionally lame “Wolf Dogs” team name lands with Orlando – the commentary desk especially – as they bark and howl. But even more feral is Corbin’s powerbomb to Axiom on the table and Breakker’s catch slam to Frazer preceding picture-in-picture. The latter’s insane quickness is never not impressive, and it’s met by Breakker and Corbin’s intensity. Frazer and Axiom hit a Phoenix Splash and Spanish Fly respectively to a standing ovation, but Breakker obliterates the former for the victory in a phenomenal tag match. Corbin is a rejuvenated new man in NXT, although Breakker continues to prove that he’s always had that dog in him.

Winners: Bron Breakker and Baron Corbin


Josh Briggs steps up to NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov after motivation from JBL last week. He accuses the champ of making Trick Williams pull double duty at Vengeance Day, and the challenger himself appears to defend his name against Briggs.

Newcomer Wren Sinclair nervously talks to herself for a very rough start. Fallon Henley calms her down like it’s the first day of middle school.

William Regal returns to NXT to appoint Ava general manager of the brand. It’s a quick and simple torch pass, but Regal famously has a presence like no other.

Lash Legend vs Wren Sinclair

The pitiful backstage segment puts Sinclair at a disadvantage already, but Legend alongside Meta-Four looks like a superstar in comparison. It’s a one-sided beatdown, as it should, and the Slam Dunk from Legend gives her the victory; she’s come a long way from her initial television matches. Meta-Four corners Sinclair, but Henley makes the valiant save like Woody. “You got a friend in me,” says Vic Joseph.

Winner: Lash Legend


Footage from earlier shows Jaida Parker and OTM trashing The D’Angelo Family’s restaurant and threatening employees. Authorities evidently don’t care, but one could argue that the D’Angelos are the authority.

Joe Gacy blindsides Dijak in the entranceway, doing everybody a favor after the latter’s annoying X day. The bell never rings, and Dijak boots him through the podium and chokeslams him through the announce desk – but Gacy somehow recuperates. Officials defuse a solid brawl that was entirely muted by continuous but deserved “holy sh-” chants.

Mr. Stone brings Von Wagner back to his “stomping grounds” at the UCF football stadium. Stone’s children help coach a Heritage Cup training session, filmed like a feel-good biopic, but the style works for the very authentic, memeable Wagner.

Lexis King vs Trey Bearhill

“My Way” by Limp Bizkit plays in the distance for this rivalry match months in the making. The always hilarious Booker T says King has the “it factor,” although if anything, he has a cool neckbreaker finisher that puts Bearhill away.

Winner: Lexis King


Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes are like an old married couple, arguing with tough love in every episode. Williams insists he has to fight his battles alone, including Josh Briggs tonight.

Supernova Sessions are in session with hosts Heritage Cup Champion Noam Dar and “Main Man” Oro Mensah. Their guest is Lola Vice, who should be watching her back with former friend Elektra Lopez searching for her throughout the show. Instead of attacking immediately, Lopez throws heat on the mic: “You got here by shaking your ass on Instagram!”

Repo men show that Chase University really is a poverty franchise – even taking Duke Hudson’s MVP trophy. “Get your f-ing hands off my podium!” says Andre Chase before accepting defeat. He, and the entire university, could really use a moneyman… a rainmaker perhaps.

Dragon Lee vs Scrypts

North American Champion Oba Femi spectates from the podium, where Scrypts is astonishingly equal to Lee with natural athleticism. Scrypts hits an incredible outside dive, and OTM ringside keeps him in the fight – until The D’Angelo Family appears to enact revenge and even the odds. Lee hits his finisher for three, and Femi accepts a rematch at Vengeance Day.

Winner: Dragon Lee


“I spent hours on this gear… and for what?” questions Edris Enofe about his yellow polka dot tights in the Dusty Cup. Brinley Reece interrupts him and Malik Blade, and she suggests they journal for reflection. NXT has a roster full of weirdos, and most aren’t funny.

Speaking of weirdos, Tatum Paxley sneaks up on NXT Women’s Champion Lyra Valkyria, who doesn’t vibe with the “hundreds of emails, text messages, and voicemails” she’s left with.

Blair Davenport vs Karmen Petrovich

Petrovich wields a katana around, but otherwise she’s pretty indistinct. She has educated feet, so to speak, but Davenport hits her finishing knee strike for victory in the night’s low point

Winner: Blair Davenport


Ridge Holland is interviewed backstage, insisting that he’ll take on Gallus alone. If they lose three to one, Gallus boys won’t be on top much longer.

Josh Briggs vs Trick Williams 

NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov is on commentary for tonight’s main event – as well as William’s hype “whoop that trick” entrance. Briggs has something to prove, legitimately, trying to kickstart his singles run, and he powers over Williams most of the match. Briggs inadvertently big boots Dragunov, and Carmelo Hayes has to restrain the champion. The dirstaction allows Williams to gain the roll-up victory, but Briggs retaliates with a hellish lariat to evolve, or return to, his persona.

Winner: Trick Williams 


Lexis King offers his shoulder for Thea Hail to cry on, but Riley Osborne steps in. “You’ve gotta keep in cool,” says Jacy Jayne after Osborne asks Hail out.

The gritty No Quarter Catch Crew vignettes makes this fodder group look badass: “We’re prepared to show no pity, no mercy, no remorse, no quarter!”

Hayes defends interfering on Dragunov to Williams: “You the hottest thing out right now, and he knows he can’t beat you… wake up!”

The youngest general manager in WWE history – as repeated countless times – Ava conducts a contract signing between challenger Roxanne Perez and NXT Women’s Champion Lyra Valkyria. Nobody of the three is particularly strong verbally, and it’s sink or swim. Well, they wade, and Valkyria shows champ-like confidence in an ultimately contrived, forced segment. The competitors sign the contract and shake hands before Tatum Paxley appears from underneath the table, slamming Perez through it to Valkyria’s disapproval.


NXT 1/23/24

Orlando, FL

The great thing about NXT formatting is that even if segments are weak, they’re over pretty quickly. That last segment, however, lasted a while. On the bright side, the opening tag match was absolutely incredible.