Following her surprise appearance on last week's NXT, Natalya will be in action on the show tonight.
Natalya stopped by NXT last Tuesday and began a feud with Cora Jade. There was also a backstage segment on the show that set up a match between Natalya and Tatum Paxley for tonight. Paxley said she's been trying to prove herself in NXT, and if she has to step up to Natalya to do it -- so be it.
Carmelo Hayes vs. Santos Escobar is also set for tonight, with both Hayes and Escobar looking to state their case for a North American title shot. Hayes lost the North American title to Cameron Grimes in a five-way ladder match at NXT Stand & Deliver earlier this month. Escobar was also involved in the ladder match.
Plus, Grayson Waller vs. Sanga, Sarray vs. Tiffany Stratton, and an appearance by new NXT Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly have been announced for tonight's show.
Pretty Deadly defeated The Creed Brothers at the end of a gauntlet match last week to win the vacant NXT Tag Team titles. Waller and Sanga's partnership ended after they failed to win the gauntlet match.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
The show kicks off with the new NXT Tag Team Champions, Elton Prince & Kit Wilson, who are known as Pretty Deadly. Besides being the new tag champs, they also must have quite the wardrobe.
Pretty Deadly begins to cut a promo, which is their first speaking role on NXT. Grizzled Young Veterans interrupt, and they cut their own promos on Pretty Deadly. Grizzled Young Veterans want a title match tonight. Actually, "Grizzled Young Veterans" might not be their team name anymore. But we will call them that for at least one more week out of habit.
Elektra Lopez interrupts as she leads Legado del Fantasma to the ring. Lopez says that Grizzled Young Veterans are not they only team that wants a title shot. With that, a melee erupts. Legado del Fantasma jump Grizzled Young Verterans.
Pretty Deadly exit the ring so the two heel teams can fight. The two teams brawl out of the ring and off the soundstage.
NXT Champion Bron Breakker comes through the crowd, and he gets into the ring. Dressed in street clothes, Breakker calls out Joe Gacy. Breakker wants his father's Hall of Fame ring back.
Gacy appears on the Titantron screens hanging around the soundstage. Gacy tells Breakker that Gacy has what Breakker is looking for. Gacy challenges Breakker to find him. Gacy then laughs maniacally like a cartoon villain. Breakker heads backstage to search for Gacy, and so begins a show long skit.
A "digital exclusive" from "last Saturday" shows Santos Escobar cutting a promo on Carmelo Hayes. Hayes, joined as usual by Trick Williams, respond to Escobar with a promo of their own. This sets up a match later on tonight.
Tiffany Stratton defeats Sarray
Stratton pins Sarray after using a springboard into a corkscrew. Decent enough match, but the finishing sequence was odd with Sarray taking a phantom bump.
Stratton continues to improve. Parts of the bout look very choreographed, but Stratton is still one heck of an athlete. When Sarray starts her comeback, the pacing and intensity immediately pick up.
Sarry with a double stomp off the top rope, and then comes Sarray's signature running dropkick. After using a German suplex earlier in the match , Sarray went for another. Stratton blocks it by holding onto the ropes.
Stratton throws her head back, and Sarray takes a bump like she was shot by a sniper. Stratton springboards into a corkscrew body press, and Stratton covers Sarray for a three count.
Breakker is backstage searching for Joe Gacy. He hears the voice of his father, Rick Steiner. His dad is calling out to "Bronson" as Breakker searches for where the sound is coming from.
Breakker finds the cage that Steiner was trapped in. Inside the cage is a electronic tablet, and that is the source of the sounds. An angry Breakker breaks the tablet and storms off to continue his search.
Pretty Deadly is met by Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta. There are sexual overtones when Hartwell & Pirotta ask for a match. Pretty Deadly think they mean a match against the women, but what the women mean is a match against their boyfriends -- Dexter Lumis & Duke Hudson. This ends up being the main event match on the show. I am not kidding.
Grayson Waller in a backstage interview addressing his split with Sanga. Waller fired him last week after their loss in the gauntlet match. Waller was cutting a promo on Sanga when Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward interrupt him. Chase said what we have is a "teachable moment," which is his lame catchphrase.
Waller begins responding to Waller when a door burst open. It's SANGA! Waller flees in a hurry. A chase ensues, as the monster lumbers after his prey. Sanga chases Waller onto the soundstage and into the ring. A referee follows them into the squared circle, and he orders for the bell to ring. A match is now underway.
Grayson Waller defeats Sanga
Waller pins Sanga in what is Sanga's second televised loss on NXT in a singles match. Although Sanga plays a monster in this bout, Waller slays him in the end. Not looking good for Sanga's future if he is already taking cleans pinfalls on TV. Time will tell.
Sanga in this bout mauls Waller from the start. Waller is on rubber legs, until he takes a powder when Sanga signals for a goozle. Waller seemingly counters, only to eventually run into a goozle at the hands of Sanga.
Waller still manages to again counter Sanga, as Waller escapes an attempted chokeslam. Waller then sends Sanga crashing into a ring post. With a running start into the ring, Waller does a roll and pops up into a cutter. Waller then covers Sanga for a three count.
Cora Jade in a vignette cuts a promo on Natalya. Jade even rips up a photograph of her younger self with Nattie. Jade meets Natalya in a match soon. This was a great hype video, but the next one on the show was even better.
A different vignette introduces viewers to Roxanne Perez (formerly known as Rok-C in ROH and indies). She talks about her struggles growing up, and how playing WWE video games helped her escape. She made her dreams come true, and she debuts in a WWE ring next week.
Roxanne is also interviewed backstage by McKenzie Mitchell. The Toxic Attraction trio interrupts Roxanne, and they proceed to bully her. Jacy Jayne tells her to move her debut up to this week, and Jayne challenges Perez to a match tonight. Perez accepts after saying she "will figure something out."
Legado del Fantasma (with Elektra Lopez & Santos Escobar) defeat Grizzled Young Veterans
Really good fast paced match, but Grizzled Young Veterans seem more and more like afterthoughts on NXT. They lose another match clean. As good as the match was, it was also an afterthought if the post-match promo is any indication.
Santos Escobar joins Legado del Fantasma in the ring to celebrate. He cuts a promo on Carmelo Hayes, before the show goes to a commercial break. Escobar against Hayes is taking place at the top of the hour.
Carmelo Hayes (with Trick Williams) defeats Santos Escobar
Hayes pins Escobar after outside interference by unnamed assailants. Legadao del Fantasma was not a ringside, so Escobar was alone against the odds.
Seems like a babyface turn for Escobar, and it appears Escobar is headed for a match against Tony D'Angelo. However, D'Angelo later in the show denies any involvement in a Tonya Harding attack on Escobar.
As the match gets going, Williams causes a distraction. That allows Hayes to strike by springboarding into a flying clothesline. Hayes is in control as the show goes to a split screen commercial break.
The show comes back to full screen, and Hayes remains in control. The pace slows down to a crawl. They set up a spot where Escobar gives Hayes a delayed vertical suplex.
Slugfest develops with a fighting spirit exchange. They trade strikes. The pace soon quickens as Escobar fires up. He torpedoes himself through the ropes into a tope.
An unknown person wearing a suit and a fedora is suddenly at ringside standing next to Escobar. He was a red herring. From behind, another person in a suit and fedora attacks. Escobar is hit in the hamstring with a crowbar in a Tonya Harding angle.
The two men roll Escobar into the ring. Hayes leaps off the top rope with a guillotine legdrop, and Hayes scores a pinfall on Escobar.
Hayes cut a promo after the match, and Hayes talks about getting a title shot at "Spring Breakin'", which brings out NXT North American Champion Cameron Grimes. Just when it looks like a confrontation between the two, in runs Solo Sikoa. He cleans house on Hayes and Williams, and Sikoa clears the ring except for Grimes. Sikoa says he has "next."
Breakker is backstage searching for Gacy. This was ridiculous to begin with, but it was made even more ridiculous. They did the mirror spot from Nitro where Hollywood Hogan can see Warrior in a mirror, but no one else can. Breakker smashes a mirror and screams.
Tension is apparent in Diamond Mine. Roderick Strong tells Malcolm Bivens that Strong himself is the leader of the group. Strong tells Bivens that whoever does not agree with Strong's vision of Diamond Mine, then they are an enemy.
Natalya defeats Tatum Paxley
Nattie submits Paxley with a sharpshooter. Nattie looks strong in winning, and she carries the match.
The story of the match is Nattie is basically a ring general, which she is. When Paxley begins to make a comeback, Nattie is there to guide her. Nattie feeds into the comeback while also directing traffic.
Paxley gets a two count after a standing senton. She missed a charge into a corner, and that is the beginning of the end. Natalya applies a sharpshooter, and Paxley taps out.
Tony D'Angelo in the parking lot when he is asked about the attack on Escobar. D'Angelo scoffs at any notion he is involved in the assault. He asks if a SUV in the parking lot belongs to Escobar.
A comedy skit shows Duke Hudson trying to game plan with Dexter Lumis. Gaga ensues.
Xyon Quinn defeats Wes Lee
Quinn pins Lee in a showcase match.
This was set up when the two got into a brief argument earlier in the show. Lee sold for much of the bout, but he eventually explodes into a comeback. But to no avail.
The match is basically all Quinn until he signals for his finisher. Lee counters with a superkick, and Lee fires up. Not for long. Lee messes up on an attempted springboard.
The botch kind of works well with the finish, as Quinn levels Lee with a right hand. He was probably supposed to hit the punch on Lee in mid-air, but Lee instead runs into it.
Quinn hits Lee with a Tito Santana flying forearm that looked very stiff. It looks downright brutal in slow motion.
Natalya in a backstage interview is confronted by Nikkita Lyons. Nattie is talking about Cora Jade when Lyons confronts her. Lyons towers over Nattie. They yell at each other, and this looks to set up a match between the two in two weeks.
Roxanne Perez defeats Jacy Jayne (with Mandy Rose and Gigi Dolan)
Perez pins Jayne after a distraction. Perez looks so much better in the ring that any of the other new faces in NXT. Too bad her bad was kept super short.
The match was just getting good when Wendy Choo appears on the Titantron. Choo is trashing Toxic Attraction's lounge.
Choo's antics distract Jayne, allowing Perez to bounce into action. Perez executes a Code Red, and Perez scores a three count on Jayne.
Escobar is leaving the building with Legado del Fantasma. They are in the parking lot walking to Escobar's SUV. In some unintentional humor, Escobar is still wearing his gear. My guess is they pre-taped this segment before his match, but that is only a guess on my part. Escobar gets to his SUV only to find a boot on one of the wheels. A dead fish sits stinking on the hood. Escobar says it is pretty obvious who did this.
Made official for Spring Breakin' in two weeks time, Cameron Grimes defends the NXT North American Championship in a triple threat match against Carmelo Hayes and Solo Sikoa.
Joe Gacy is watching Bron Breakker on a set of security monitors. Gacy says it is time he ends this. I sure wish somebody who end this stupid storyline. Mercy.
During the main event, some matches were announced for next Tuesday on NXT. Those bouts include:
- Nikkita Lyons vs. Lash Legend
- Fallon Henley, Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen meet Elektra Lopez & Legado del Fantasma in a six-person mixed tag team match
- Solo Sikoa vs. Trick Williams
NXT Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson) defeat Dexter Lumis & Duke Hudson (with Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta) to retain their titles
Prince pins Hudson, and the champs retain.
While the work in the match was decent enough, this did not feel like a main event at all. Very much a prelim finish as well. Though this is basically in the main event slot, a skit would actually close the show.
Similar to the skit, this match had some gaga at times. It is supposed to be comedy.
The tag match built to hot tag where Hudson cleans house on Pretty Deadly. He is cut off, but Hudson fights back down the stretch. Hudson gets a near fall after a powerslam on Prince.
Wilson distracts Hudson, which allow Prince to boot Hudson with a high kick. Prince then covers Hudson, hooks a leg, and gets a pinfall. The champs retain.
Joe Gacy pushes Bron Breakker over the edge
Much of the lights on the soundstage go dark, with spotlights lighting up only Joe Gacy. He is on a perch bathed in the light. Out comes an angry Breakker to confront him.
Gacy tells Breakker he will return Rick Steiner's Hall of Fame under one condition -- Gacy is granted a title shot at Spring Breakin' in two weeks time. I almost feel like Ralphie in "A Christmas Story" when he finds out the whole ring gimmick is just a crummy commercial. Drink more Ovaline. Watch more NXT.
Breakker accepts the challenge, because of course he does. Gacy places the HOF ring in a pocket on Breakker's denim vest. On a side note, I think it is a nice looking vest. It is very pro wrestling.
Gacy then tells Breakker there one last thing he needs to do, and that is take a "leap of faith." Gacy shoves Breakker backwards, and Breakker takes a bump off the platform they were standing on.
Breakker is down selling the fall. Gacy is standing on the platform looking down at Breakker. Gacy wears a sinister smile as druids cloaked in black suddenly appear. The druids cover Breakker as he screams for them to get off him.
The show closes with the cliffhanger of Breakker in peril. Joe Gacy is officially the next challenger. This storyline must continue for at least two more weeks. Please send help.