NXT’s annual Spring Breakin’ event next week features the climax of Trick Williams’ rise to the top, attempting to finally defeat NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov in their fourth encounter. First, he enters the steel cage tonight against Carmelo Hayes to close a near three-year chapter of Trick Melo Gang, which helped elevate NXT to its largest show ever on WrestleMania Weekend.

Noam Dar vs Dijak

Commentary makes reference to Max Holloway at UFC 300 in comparing Dar’s need for a quick knockout in this match. The corporate synergy manifests into Dar’s smooth striking, but his opponent pops back with a springboard lariat. Dar continuously attempts to submit Dijak, but the latter’s combination of size and agility is overwhelming. They trade blows until Dijak connects with a spinning big boot that gets Orlando standing, but distraction from “Main Man” Oro Mensah allows Dar to gain the win with Nova Roller. The loser entered tonight’s opener with a “Mr. PLE” t-shirt, but the bangers evidently translate to TV too.

Winner: Noam Dar


NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov meets with NXT General Manager Ava, who lets him choose his opponent for tonight. He instead requests an open challenge to whoever wants to test the “Mad Dragon.”

A vignette from Tatum Paxley feeds into her stalking habit, showing footage of picture boards and dolls. After turning on Lyra Valkyria, she reveals the former NXT Women’s Champion now means nothing to her.

Sol Ruca vs Lola Vice

Vic Joseph puns about the “new wave” of competitors eyeing the new Women’s North American Championship while rookie Ruca’s athleticism shines. She makes a comeback before Blair Davenport interrupts her cartwheel DDT attempt, allowing Vice to capitalize with a spinning heel kick for victory. Natalya appears on-screen, to unanimous boos, to announce their match at Spring Breakin’ as an NXT Underground match – turning opinions around.

Winner: Lola Vice


A Hallmark-esque vignette shows Arianna Grace’s plea to Gigi Dolin on a park bench, complete with quirky music and corny lines. “Open your mind and allow elegance and grace to come right in,” Grace says about a makeover for Dolin.

Ridge Holland vs Joaquin Wilde

The NXT Anonymous profile catches Holland choking Wilde into a wall yesterday, and meanwhile, commentary plugs the new CM Punk action figure available for pre-order. Holland stifles his opponent’s eye-catching offense with brute strikes and throws, and Shawn Spears appears ringside to spectate. Wilde attempts an outside dive but is caught and slammed to the floor, letting Holland follow up with a modified DDT for victory.

Winner: Ridge Holland


Ivar consoles an injured Josh Briggs in footage from earlier, offering his first North American Championship defense if he defeats Oba Femi. Briggs tells him to retreat to RAW and “get (his) ass kicked by Sheamus again,” goading them into a match tonight.

Brinley Reece makes a workout TikTok with Edris Enofe and Malik Blade, which is an interesting attempt at modern promo production at the very least.

Andre Chase explains himself to Thea Hail, saying his heart is always in her corner. Hail accepts with a hug, and Booker T acts like he’s choked up.

The D’Angelo Family enters clad in black, and “The Don” is getting a little aura back. No Quarter Catch Crew interrupts quickly, denying the Family any payment for “services rendered” – as described by Luca Crusifino. “Over my dead body,” Charlie Dempsey says over both the funds and his Heritage Cup, but the Family knocks them ringside before an abrupt commercial break.

Ilja Dragunov vs Je’Von Evans

Multiple wrestlers storm the apron to accept Dragunov’s open challenge, but newcomer Evans is the first to springboard in and make it official. “Young OG” is the talk of all NXT Level Up viewers, however many that accounts for, and he’s diving into the deep end. Dragunov doesn’t hold back, mauling him with strikes, but Evans recuperates with an outstanding rebound kick. He reverses Constantine Special with a Spanish Fly, but Dragunov catches him with a mid-air chop and knee strike. 19-year-old Evans continues fighting with an outside dive, and Torpedo Moskau ultimately gives Dragunov the win. But Evans earns a handshake from the NXT Champion, and the rookie wins overall tonight with a breakout moment.

Winner: Ilja Dragunov


Karmen Petrovic is interviewed about being Natalya’s training partner for NXT Underground, and Lola Vice steps in to tease a better cornerwoman at a contract signing next week. After, Sol Ruca demands a No Disqualifications match against Blair Davenport at Spring Breakin’, and Ava is forced to oblige.

Thea Hail vs Tatum Paxley

Paxley controls the majority of the match, and when Hail makes a comeback, Jazmyn Nyx provides a distraction for Jacy Jayne to interfere. Paxley wins with a roll-up, but a fired-up Hail initiates a pull-apart brawl that adds Lyra Valkyria into the mix against the victor.

Winner: Tatum Paxley


NXT Women’s Champion Roxanne Perez responds nonchalantly in an interview, and Ava retaliates by announcing a triple threat at Spring Breakin’ against Paxley and Valkyria for the title.

Authors of Pain vs Edris Enofe and Malik Blade

Everybody involved in The Final Testament is experiencing deja vu back in NXT, but they’re bigger fish in a small pond now. AOP look like beasts, smothering Enofe before Blade attempts a comeback; they catch an outside dive and bounce him off Enofe. Super Collider puts it away, and AOP is a hoss team NXT can benefit from. NXT Tag Team Champions Axiom and Nathan Frazer enter and stand menacingly, but that’s the extent of it.

Winners: Authors of Pain


Ariana Grace’s makeover of Gigi Dolin continues, and the latter modifies a green dress to “Gigi it up a bit.” 

Ivar vs Josh Briggs

A meat match acts as a palette cleanser, and Ivar’s agility is never not surprising. Commentary mentions Ivar being the first to drop Oba Femi, who Booker T swears to be the real deal on “(his) momma)” and “(his) hood.” The big men trade booming slams, but Ivar finally connects with a top-rope moonsault for the decisive victory. “Interesting,” Femi says succinctly in an interview before taking out Oro Mensah.

Winner: Ivar


WrestleMania Weekend for Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes is recapped, culminating in a rematch tonight that potentially caps a near three-year arc. Unexpectedly from the inception of Trick Melo Gang, “Whoop that Trick” has eclipsed “Him.” Hayes is interviewed in the hallway, flanked by his henchmen, vowing to disrupt Williams’ NXT Championship match next week by leaving him broken.

Carmelo Hayes vs Trick Williams – Steel Cage Match

Hayes gains control with a springboard clothesline before a henchman hands him a baton to weaponize. He targets Williams’ arms through picture-in-picture and repeatedly bounces him into the steel, but the latter recuperates with a top-rope Bookend. Williams fires up with leg lariats and sends his opponent into chain link, but Hayes reverses with a DDT and knee lift. They battle on the ropes before Williams fends off Hayes’ personal security guards, ducks a chair shot, and connects with a running knee strike for victory.

Winner: Trick Williams


NXT 4/16/24

Orlando, FL

The WWE renaissance is ushering in through NXT too as the brand finds a balance between hot stories and banger matches. The production follows with it, although it’s a double-edged sword with NXT’s infamous, incessant sit-com vignettes and hokey angles that seem to plague the women’s division.