Trick Williams is white-and-gold era NXT’s greatest success story, beginning as Carmelo Hayes’ sidekick to the focal point of the entire brand. He pulls double duty tonight as Trick Melo Gang heads to the Dusty Cup finals before ultimately challenging for the NXT Championship against Ilja Dragunov in the main event.
While his matches against Dragunov have propelled his success, it’s the whodunit storyline from October that writes Williams’ story to Vengeance Day. It culminates tonight in Clarksville, Tennessee, where Vic Joseph and guest commentator Wade Barrett present the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament trophy.
Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes vs Baron Corbin and Bron Breakker – Dusty Cup Finals
The Wolf Dogs come in on motorcycles, but Williams just needs his “whoop that trick” chants for a hype entrance. Despite the flashy moves, former headliner Hayes has become secondary – especially when Breakker is just as eye-catching with his flip cutters and catching slams. Williams gets the hot tag with big energy, apparently jamming his left knee, before Hayes returns looking extra clunky – to the point where Barrett questions if the ropes are regulation.
Breakker is full of intensity, and it runs off on a rejuvenated Corbin – both connecting with outside dives. Williams eventually takes out the latter, but Hayes sacrifices himself on a signature Breakker spear giving the Wolf Dogs the victory. For Corbin it’s a “nine-year redemption arc” from the inaugural Dusty Cup, and for Breakker it’s another piece of hardware at the tailend of his long NXT tenure.
Winners: Baron Corbin and Bron Breakker
Dijak vs Joe Gacy – No Disqualifications
Nothing less than bangers are expected from Dijak every big show, although this feud is his least inspired. Gacy introduces weapons immediately and covers a table with plastic toys before Dijak hops on offense with some sanity. Gacy pushes him off the ropes, springboarding through the table, and attempts to top-rope suplex him onto a trash can. They miss the trash can, and Dijak very clearly mutters an expletive.
Dijak is duct-taped blind but hits Feast Your Eyes, hilariously not being able to capitalize for the pinfall. But he comes back with a nightstick, hits Feast Your Eyes again, and finally wins a big one. Gacy smiles in defeat, so at least he’s happy.
The Ladies of Chase U calendar is selling fast and will be available online tomorrow. Jacy Jayne has saved the university from debt, so Andre Chase doesn’t need a rainmaker after all.
OTM vs The D’Angelo Family – Mixed Tag Match
Newcomers Jaida Parker and Adriana Rizzo are thrown into the deep end with practically their first televised matches being in an arena. Their male teammates don’t do the match many favors, and there’s an evident lull in Clarksville. OTM dominates the numbers game with Scrypts at ringside before Tony D’Angelo makes a comeback, suplexing Lucien Price on his head. He recovers enough to catch both Stacks and Rizzo’s dives and eat D’Angelo’s finisher, giving the Family the victory. These teams have some potential, but the NXT tag team division right now needs some help.
Winners: The D’Angelo Family
Kiana James and Izzi Dame talk game over Kehlani Jordan at a Florida resort, and in NXT fashion, it’s filmed like a cheap Lifetime movie.
Carmelo Hayes looks forward to Trick Williams’ main event match despite the Dusty Cup loss. Unlike past matches, Williams requests that Hayes accompany him ringside: “Tonight, I want my brother by my side.”
Roxanne Perez vs Lyra Valkyria (c) – NXT Women’s Championship
A long but solid chain-wrestling sequence opens the match, and despite shortcomings of personality, both are impressive in-ring. Perez eventually hits Pop Rox before NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament winner Lola Vice cashes in her contract to make the match a triple threat. Tatum Paxley fails to make the save, but both Perez and Valkyria survive the fresher woman’s offense anyway. The crowd finally gets its energy back, and after numerous near-falls, Paxley takes out Perez and Valkyria capitalizes on Vice for the victory.
Winner: Lyra Valkyria
Riley Osborne asks Thea Hail to be his valentine at the calendar signing, making Chase University seem more like Chase Elementary. The following, contrasting vignette talks about having three faces – one that possesses evil no one sees.
Dragon Lee vs Oba Femi (c) – North American Champion
Femi has the rocket strapped to him, and his first title defense needs to prove people right. Lee doesn’t hold back with stiff kicks and lightning-like dives, but Femi manhandles him around with ease. The challenger breaks the count, cinches a submission, and drops Femi with a powerbomb. But the latter swats him with a chop and chokeslams him into Barrett’s chair before ending it with a Pop-up Powerbomb. Femi is obviously much cooler with short squashes, but he showed that he can go in long, arena-type matches.
Winner: Oba Femi
Osborne gets into a scuffle with Lexis King at the calendar signing, and after, General Manager Ava announces a handful of NXT events on the road. Speaking of Johnsons, Clarksville audibly boos the WrestleMania XL Press Event graphic featuring The Rock and Roman Reigns; they want Cody!
Nathan Frazer and Axiom square off with Edris Enofe and Malik Blade, eventually leading to a tag match on Tuesday. Brinley Reece is in the middle of it all, adding very little. Meanwhile, cameras catch Perez rightfully attacking Lola Vice after costing her tonight’s match.
Trick Williams vs Ilja Dragunov (c) – NXT Championship
The rise of Williams has been special to watch, and his continued growth coincides directly with his extended feud with Dragunov. But with Carmelo Hayes at ringside, chances are high that the champion advances to 3-0. Both get bloodied almost instantly – coming with the terms of any Dragunov fight, and the champion abnormally acts villainously on offense. Williams is destroyed in front of Hayes by the Russian madman, but the challenger makes a comeback with “whoop that trick” chants accompanying him.
Dragunov splats on the floor off an apron Uranage and gets physical with Hayes, inadvertently running into Williams’ injured left knee. The challenger miraculously kicks out a diving H Bomb and gets Clarksville standing before mistakenly taking out both Hayes and the referee. Another official runs in as Williams reverses another H Bomb, and the competitors simultaneously hit a running knee and Torpedo Moskau respectively. But it’s Dragunov’s move that connects harder, handing him the victory to the visible distraught of many fans.
Winner: Ilja Dragunov
“You’re my boy,” consoles Hayes before taking out Williams’ left knee to the most invested reaction of the night. Hayes repeatedly hits chair shots to “f- you Melo” chants, leaving Williams in a ring of his own blood. Trick Melo Gang is no more.
NXT Vengeance Day 2024
Watching the beginning of Trick Melo Gang, it was clear they were destined for greatness. And it’s apparent from tonight that NXT would be in trouble without Trick Williams, because the remainder of the card was the most devoid-of-energy big show they’ve had in a while. Luckily, and rightfully, Vengeance Day was built around this long-running storyline.