NXT Recap & Reaction (Jan 17, 2023): Be careful of toxic relationships

NXT Recap & Reaction (Jan 17, 2023): Be careful of toxic relationships

It’s always weird to cover a show under the cloud of something terrible in the wrestling world. My condolences to Jay Briscoe’s family and everyone affected by his passing. WWE did the classy thing of acknowledging his death during the show. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for those in the building who knew Jay or shared a locker room with him at some point in their career.

Weird transition but hey, I feel about this just like I do right now so bear with me. Claire’s blog is still dope and organic peanut butter jelly. Read that and then come back here for context.


chemical waste

Toxic Attraction ran a promotion this week that didn’t do much for me. The words were there but the connection was not connected. They’re still finding their voice without Mandy Rose, at least on the mic. But let’s get to what they said, not how they said it: There is no animosity between them and it was all part of the plan to get even in the ladies’ rumble last week. The Toxic Attraction Revenge Tour is complete and heading to Roxanne Perez in Charlotte, NC.

Well, Lyra Valkyria had ideas.

Lyra admonished both women for not being woman enough to handle Roxanne on their own, and if it wasn’t for Cora Jed, the title match at NXT Revenge It will look a lot different. Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin didn’t like this bit, so defeat ensued. Roxanne ran to save and we got to setup for our main event: Lyra & Roxanne vs. Toxic Attraction.

Roxanne and Lyra started out a bit slow as this is their first match together. To say nothing of the fact that their opponents are former tag team champions. But they eventually found their groove, which feeds into the story that Gigi and Jesse aren’t as tight as they want us to think.

The turning point came when Lady Jade appeared and pushed Lyra off the top rope behind the referee’s back. An enraged Lyra attacked Cora and the two had a fight in the locker room, leaving Roxanne alone with the former tag champions. The storytelling is also good because Cora clearly wants beef with Lyra, so she sticks to it And Her ex-best friend at the same time makes sense in the world. Plus, it’s not like Lyra doesn’t want Roxanne’s title, so she doesn’t feel truly loyal to it. Their partnership was just a convenient one.

But oh, toxic attraction, how you fail to be on the same page. Jacy & Gigi had Roxanne exactly where they wanted him to be but a misunderstanding caused Jacy to Russia Leg Sweep Gigi not the Champion. Roxanne capitalized with a Pop Rox on Gigi, gliding out of the building with a W and her title in hand. He argued Toxic Attraction in the ring, clearly parting at the seams.

I loved the storytelling here so much in this match. We got crossover stories, planted some seeds for the upcoming title match, while showing more cracks in the Toxic Attraction Foundation. It’s standard fare for a triple threat match where two wrestlers are part of a team, but I love the execution. Gigi and Jassi’s issues resonate more in the larger context of Mandy’s exodus and Roxanne’s reign. I wonder if Roxanne is coming to Lyra to dump her, but that also doesn’t seem in character. However, if/when they get to that feud, there really is something for the hero to chew on.

A strong main event that made me invested in the characters and their drama. It’s amazing how wrestling works when you keep it simple.


extracurricular

Henf

This title is all you need for a gallus match. Their NXT rematch against Briggs & Jensen was on point. I love the matching tags that fit the personalities and styles of the fighters. Briggs & Jensen loves a good bar fight almost as much as the Gallus boys, so why not let them get physical? Early in the match, Gallus removed the matting from part of the doorway, revealing the concrete floor. This came later and definitely affected the outcome of the match.

Gallus worked the bottom linebacker of Brooks throughout the game. Brooks tried to lift Kofi but that back just couldn’t handle it. So, when Brooks found himself outside the ring, it came as no surprise when Gallows slammed him back-to-back onto the concrete.

This left Josh on his own, and he was an academic at that point. Keiana James rushed over to check on Brooks, who of course rubbed Fallon Henley the wrong way.

As he sat in the “medical area,” Fallon was bombarded with questions and accusations. She thinks Kiana is up to no good and only uses Briggs to which Briggs makes the great point: using him for what? She has her own bar, so what exactly is Kiana trying to get from it?

Later, Fallon showed some legitimate growth! She requested a tag match the next week with Keana James as her partner. The rubber will hit the road and we’ll really find out if Kiana’s feelings were right or Fallon’s first instincts were right.

they missed

Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams shot and missed. This is the title coming out of their tag team match against Axiom and Apollo Crews. The four went about 15 minutes, with Trick and Axiom starting because both guys wanted to rip each other apart.

The Axiom’s sliding of a trick wrist lock so quickly is truly remarkable. He’s subtle yet a great example of his agility in contrast to the strength Trek shows soon after. We don’t get a lot of shenanigans in the ring but this is his best show yet. Milo did most of the heavy lifting later on but Trick held his own in the opening moments and looked like a force against the smaller Axiom. The trick is often comic relief but giving him more moments like him taking on the Axiom any time the Axiom tried to attack him greatly adds another layer to his personality.

Pick up Apollo W by catching Milo off guard. Milo went on top to drop nothing but Net, but Apollo blocked him and turned him into a pinning combination. In essence, they seem to have stolen the win, but the crew is just exercising that seasoned intelligence on someone who still has a lot to learn. A good match sets the stage for more information, while also giving Trick some work.

coat of arms?

Look, I have no idea what my family crest looks like. In fact, I doubt my family has a coat of arms, so I probably don’t have room to say what I’m going to say: Tony D’Angelo’s crest looks tacky as all hell. It’s like the Eagle Fang Karate logo only a little less cool.

Tony presents a leather jacket to Stacks, his newly minted boss. And on the back of the aforementioned jacket was the family crest. I’ll keep the upgrade, but I’m burning the jacket because whew. Anyway, the main takeaway here is that Stacks are no longer foolish; He’s a skinny boss in the family, who’s been watching the final match between Tony D and Dijak last week. Tony loves Stacks and views them as family and equals.

fire fighter

Sol Roca dominated this match. As if it was right on top of Sol Roca. She displayed new aggression which clearly resulted in her ongoing feud with Isla Dawn. Well, right away, Isla appeared sky high at the Performance Center. Alba lost focus and paid the price when Sol caught her in the beautiful Sol Snatcher.

This was a great way to capitalize on Sol’s rumble performance last week, continue this storyline between Alba and Isla, and massively outpace Sol’s finishing move against her biggest opponent yet.

As for Alba, she took out her frustration with the referee only for Katana Chance and Kayden Carter to stop her from making a huge mistake. Instead of thanking the tag champions, Alba challenged them to a tag team championship match the next week. She says she doesn’t need a partner. Alba is tired of losing, and I love this for her. I’m sure Isla Dawn ends up as her partner next week, even if reluctantly. right? I mean this where are we going or am I wrong?

Not your locker

Indi Hartwell took issue with Tiffany Stratton’s comments last week. So much so that she kicked Stratton out of her dressing room. Apparently, Indy speaks on behalf of all the women in NXT, but she’s the first to break Stratton next week.

Ivy over this…

Ivy Nile is done with whatever major BS identity crisis the Creed Bros. series is going through. I told them to develop a group and get back to what they do best rather than engage in petty bullshit with Jinder Mahal. Both brothers agreed, so we’ll see how that plays out.

More Stevie…

Stevie Turner is back this week, smashing the ladies’ rumble and Stratton’s comeback. She noticed Elektra Lopez helping Valentina Fairuz during the clatter and asked why. Every woman is for herself after all, so what does he give? we will…

Cheaters never thrive

Thea Hail got her first W in NXT! Valentina defeated Fairuz after Valentina refused to use the brass knuckles handed to her by Elektra Lopez. It was a quick match with a bit of plot: why does Elektra care about Valentina? And what happens with Chase U? Before the match, Andre Chase showed some footage, courtesy of NXT Anonymous, that didn’t put Duke Hudson in the best light. Anonymous Hudson was caught talking to another Chase U student about everything he thinks Andre Chase is doing wrong. Chase backpedaled faster than the rib in man coverage, but Chase wasn’t entirely convinced. When will the implosion happen? I suppose soon that latent tension has fermented long enough.

Electra visited Valentina in the locker room and tried to reason with her. I like this for both of them because it gives them something to do while also providing some of the needed traits for Turquoise.

New day violence

New Day came to the ring dressed in their Sunday best. They celebrated being completely done with Pretty Deadly and moving on to Gallus. Pretty Ditley said “Nah” to all of that. They think they are legitimate #1 competitors. Of course, logic says “Nah” because they failed that test last week. Gallows hit the ring, got on the mic, and Xavier said no one understood a word they said but it’s clear they want to fight and New Day is ready for the fight.

Pretty killer for some reason, I thought jumping on those four guys was a good idea. It didn’t go over well for them and the segment ended in a nice brawl.

New Day vs. Gallus intrigues me because the patterns are so different. Truthfully, I don’t want to share Pretty Deadly because I think Gallus vs New Day is the more interesting match. But hey, we’re getting a triple threat in Revenge.

Big Strong Boy vs. Big Body Jaffe

Part of me feels like going from Bron Breaker and JD McDonagh to Javier Bernal is a step down for Tyler Bate. Another part of me knows Big Body is entertaining as hell. But I’m also not sure about the crowd Dislikes for him. I think most of them are just as entertained as I am, which means seeing Tyler beat him in his first match is not satisfying. This does not mean that they did anything wrong! They put on a good match without a lot of time to really get busy, but seeing Javi get beat up just didn’t do it for me anymore. Even if his music is still awful.


This was a show with a lot going on. But they actually found really good pacing and pacing in most of it, and they told some interesting stories. We got solid wrestling with a great tag match in the middle, and a lot of preparation for it NXT Revenge. I didn’t even mention the sit-down interviews with Bron and Grayson Waller! That’s how crowded those two hours really were. However, the interviews were just a match for the upcoming steel cage, and the fact that Grayson might have a Bron number and be a champion if not for the faulty rope. Solid storytelling again.

Grade: B+

This is my degree and I stick to it. Your turn.

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