NXT did their first standalone premium live event outside of Orlando in two years on Saturday night. Charlotte, North Carolina was host to NXT: Vengeance Day which is a roadblock heading into Stand & Deliver. Attending this event, I can honestly say that the crowd was very loud, and the action was up to the standards of Takeovers. Five matches showcased the best of what the updated black & gold brand brings to the table and the superstars dud not disappoint. In this article, I will give you my thoughts about each match and give my observations on what is next for the NXT brand as we move closer and closer to NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver on WrestleMania weekend.
First things first, the attendance. Around 5,000+ of the WWE universe packed the lower bowl/floor seats of the Spectrum Center. Considering that this PLE was promoted and announced on all three brands (Raw, Smackdown and NXT), the turnout was a breath of fresh air to NXT who were so used to having events at the Performance Center. The feeling from most fans on social media was that it was great to see NXT back on the road doing arena shows and this could be the start of bi-monthly PLE’s for NXT to combat with the Big 4 events.
Match #1: Wes Lee (c) defeats Dijak to retain North American Championship
This match was MOTN and it kicked off the event in a massive way. These two had great chemistry and it led to a great opening match. There was even a spot in which there was an powerbomb/hurricanrana counter spot in which Wes Lee countered a potential second rope powerbomb into a crazy hurricanrana spot. The match ended with Dijak getting distracted by Tony D’Angelo and “Stacks”, leading up to Lee hitting his triple backflip kick to get the win. Dijak confirmed that he broke his middle finger during the match. This match was a great way to start the premium live event and another feather in the cap on the North American Championship lineage.
Match Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Match #2: Kiana James & Fallon Henley defeats Kayden Carter & Katana Chance (c) to win NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship
This match was the worst match on the card. Not to say it was bad or anything, it just was not booked well and it had to come after the Lee/Dijak match. Didn’t make any sense that the longest reigning women’s tag champs in history would lose their titles to a team that follows the tired “Can they coexist” trope that has been over done for years? Just a few weeks ago, Henley & James were fighting over Henley’s bar, and now we supposed to believe them as tag team champions? Henley, with the assistance of James holding Kayden Carter’s feet, pin the champs in a shocking matter. Unless this is going to lead to Kayden & Katana getting called up to the main roster after WrestleMania, what was the point of this title change? Alba Frye/Isla Dawn are coming and we will see a match between the two teams before or at Stand & Deliver.
Match Rating: 2 stars out of 5
Match #3: Carmelo Hayes defeats Apollo Crews in a Two out of Three Falls Match
One of the most hyped matches on the card and it was one of the other MOTN candidates. Carmelo Hayes had an entrance fit for a true superstar and even Apollo Crews had a decent slideshow for his entrance. After 10+ minutes, the first fall went to Hayes by submission through a crossface. After interference from Trick Williams and the returning Babatunde/Commander Aseez/Dabba Kato, Carmelo Hayes got the second and deciding pin from his signature top rope leg drop. This match did two things: Gave “Him” another signature win against a main roster talent and Apollo gets a much needed refresh against his old colleague.
Match Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Match #4: Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) defeats Chase U (Andre Chase & Duke Hudson w/ Thea Hail), Pretty Deadly (Elton Price & Kit Wilson) and The New Day (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston) to win NXT Tag Team Championship
Do you remember back in the day during the old NXT when tag team wrestling was king? This match brought back memories of the old NXT. These four teams brought out their best. Chase U was the ones that the fans wanted to win. Their gimmick has gotten over with the fans especially with Andre Chase giving some of the best moments during the match. Pretty Deadly did their thing, Gallus putting Hudson through the announce table gave the crowd a cheer because the crowd was waiting for a table spot. Gallus won the titles with their double-team move on Woods. The New Day winning the belts was shocking and I actually thought they would retain or Chase U would win the titles. Hopefully, Chase U gets another opportunity at the belts and Pretty Deadly get their shots too. This match is great, go take a look back if you can at this match, another MOTN candidate.
Match Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Match #5: Roxanne Perez (c) defeats Toxic Attraction (Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin) to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
Now, I wouldn’t consider this a bathroom break match, but more of a pallet cleanser before the main event. Perez basically carried Toxic Attraction to a passable match. Finally seen Jayne & Dolin in the ring together and there is a reason why they should not break up after this match, and with the hype surrounding Dolin because of her “assets”, I can see why the incels go crazy for Gigi when she appears on NXT TV. The only bright spot of this match was the end in which Roxanne threw Gigi to the outside through a table and performing a second-rope Pop Rox on Jayne to retain her title. What’s next for the Prodigy? Cora Jade, Tiffany Stratton, Zoey Stark are great contenders for Perez, especially with Stand & Deliver on the horizon. Please do not break up Toxic Attraction (It’s not what Mandy Rose would have wanted). Good Match though.
Match Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Match #6: Bron Breakker (c) defeats Grayson Waller in a Steel Cage match to retain NXT Championship
First off, S/O to Grayson Waller because this man is one of the top heels on NXT based off his mind games and ability in the ring. Waller was getting inside the head of Breakker throughout the feud and took it to another level by wearing a chain link head gear, similar to Bron’s uncle Scott Steiner’s apparel. There was no escape, only winning by pinfall or submission, so Waller was trying to get away from Breakker by any means. The only problem with Grayson’s strategy was Breakker was ready to destroy him at any second. It took two ferocious spears by Bron to retain his title and to finally shut the mouth of Grayson Waller. Good cage match which finally ended what was a good title feud to get Breakker ready for Stand & Deliver. Well, it will be Carmelo Hayes vs Bron Breakker in Los Angeles. Will Waller go after Shawn Michaels, based off the post-show presser? Only time will tell.
Match Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
All in all, this was another great NXT premium live event. All matches went from good to amazing. The Charlotte crowd was hot all night, a few times it was quiet but for the most part it was on a thousand. With two title changes (ironically in the tag team division), it gives the brand something to work with heading into the build for Stand & Deliver. Wes Lee, Roxanne Perez and Carmelo Hayes were the stars of the night for their performances. We also have to give props to the ”Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and the NXT crew for giving the Spectrum Center crowd something exciting for NXT’s first foray into Queen City.
NXT: Vengeance Day rating: 4 stars out of 5
- Wes Lee vs Dijak
- Carmelo Hayes vs Apollo Crews
- Fatal 4-Way Tag Title Match
In The Middle
- NXT Women’s Title Triple Threat
- NXT Championship Cage Match
- Questionable Booking on the Tag Title Matches
- Women’s Tag Title Match