The Born Again NXT Virgin – Vengeance Day Thoughts

Here’s the thing. I don’t have a lot of time.

For those unaware, my primary form of writing revolves around Australian Rules Football, and it takes up copious amounts of my time. However, I had it pointed out to me that if I was going to run a wrestling site, which is more of a passion project for the record. then I should probably be up to speed with what is going on at all levels of the WWE.

I mean, like many of you, I pay attention here and there, but I miss quite a bit, as well. Six or seven hours of TV per week is a bit to much to commit to, at times. Sadly, that ‘bit’ i miss tends to be NXT more often than not. As in always.

I have to admit, the fact that there was an entire segment of the WWE that I’d not paid any attention to at all since the halcyon days of Balor, Corbin, Banks, and Bayley participating in the developmental tier made me think I needed to pull my finger out and get my head around what was going on.

And so, with little else to do other than look after my kids and write about football, I sat down to consume NXT’s Vengeance Day to see what all the fuss was about. Going in blind, having never seen 90% of the wrestlers perform, I found myself in uncharted waters.

I dived on in, anyway and this is what I saw.



An absolute cracker to start things off, and easily the best match of the card.

I am sure I am preaching to the choir here, but Wes Lee flies like he has been shot out of a cannon. That said, for a bigger dude, Dijak is no slouch, either.

A few too many superkicks in this one for my liking, almost as though it was the weapon of choice for both guys. You can kind of see Shawn Michaels’ fingerprints all over the match – when in doubt, dish out some sweet chin music.

The two played off each other very well, with some ripping false finishes paving the way for a red hot crowd to invest in both guys. A potentially great spot, with Lee secured to an announcer’s chair on the outside with a broom… yep, a broom… in preparation for Dijak’s moonsault from the top to the floor, was ruined when two bozos whose names I didn’t catch showed up, took the moonsault and it led to the finish where Lee was able to eke out the win in a fantastic bout.


Yes, absolutely, I would. The spectacle of these two and the meshing of their styles worked beautifully, with Lee attempting to match power at points with Dijak, and failing, only to weaken his opponent and then hit the german suplex he’d been trying for earlier. Intelligent, well thought out match that did not weaken either guy, but elevated Lee whilst showcasing some of Dijak’s athleticism.



I have to say this up front – I am not a fan of mediocre women’s matches on the card to fill a quota. There is a fair bit if that going on in wrestling at the moment. However, this one hummed along nicely, with the champs pulling off a plethora of double-team moves to delight the crowd. They seemed in-sync and played off each other very well.

A fanatastic finish saw Henley get the win, as she had assistance from James, holding down the feet of Carter from the outside to allow prevent the kick out of the pin attempt. Of course, the ref saw nothing.

Excellent heeling.


Hmmm… not yet. I am a bit of a wrestling snob and know what I like. Some nice spots and a good finish, but messy at times, too.

I’d give it a miss.


A quick aside to mention that the promo for JD McDonagh aired, and he looks a lot like Peter Dinklage. I hope, for his sake, that he is not small in stature, as the comparison is inevitable. I also hope, and this is definitely for his sake, that he is the God of tits and wine, because there’s not a lot that can go wrong with that mix.



Right off the bat, you can tell that HBK has his sights set on Hayes as his star. The presentation, the introduction, and the video package that aired before the match… if he is not NXT champ or elevated to the main roster within the next few months (maybe right after Mania?), there’s something up.

A little thing I noticed about Hayes and the way they are covering him – his sideways glance at Crews as his opponent was being introduced. It was not cocky or full of malice – it was almost as though he was studying him.. sizing him up. I loved it – adds to the depth of his character with little moments like this.

Crews was great in this one, and did a ton of work to make Hayes look good, whilst saving some pretty impressive moves of his own for near-falls.

Hayes worked on the neck of Crews, firstly by dropping him throat first on the top rope a couple of times, and then by applying the STF to secure the first fall. Crews tapped pretty quickly to emphasise he was suffering with a neck/throat issue while the announce team speculated he submitted to save himself and not incur too much damage.

Nuh-uh… the damage had already been done.

Crews’ superplex, lifting Hayes over the top rope from the apron and into the move in one motion was a perfect example of why is is such a talent… and strong as an ox!

If I had one criticism, it might be the lack of facial expressions from Hayes. If that is his character – blank stares after being hit with a big move, then so be it – I haven’t watched him, but only late in the match did he start using facial expressions to convey he was hurting. It is such a valuable tool to have in order to effectively tell a story – he should use it more often.

Hayes wrapped it up with a second-straight fall, once again capitalising on the neck injury to Crews, which led to Crews’ buddy, Dabba-Kato, who I knew as Commander Azeez, coming in to prevent any further action.

Of course, this led to the big man turning on Crews and hitting some type of sit-out chokeslam on a chair. Also, chokeslam tries to correct to “cheesecake” on my computer. It knows I want some.


Yep, I’d pay to watch Hayes, as I think he has a helluva lot more to give. Crews is always good value for money, and I hope he is able to find himself in NXT again and prep for a better run.

As an aside, after the show, I made a quick list of those from NXT who could carry a big title on the main roster. I had Hayes at number one, ahead of Bron Breakker. He has just done so much more with his character and seems to really own it.



Very busy match – a lot going on and to be honest, I got a little distracted, which never bodes well for a contest in terms of how it is flowing. A lot of guys standing around waiting for others to get their moves in… not my cup of tea.

Lots of blind tags, the now-required huddle on the floor to collectively take high flying moves, and a few moments to showcase an individual here or there littered the contest, with the best coming from Andre Chase, when he delivered a spot where he spelled out “Chase U” with stomps before slapping a figure four leglock on Mark Coffey. Well, they were in North Carolina, I guess.

Gallus gets the win when they beat Xavier Woods in the middle, to take the tag team titles.

This was messy, spotty, and a little too busy.


New Day – Yeah, and I have.

Gallus – Not really. Was like watching Scott Norton team with himself. I’m not a huge Norton fan.

Chase U – Possibly. Screaming cheerleader was giving me the shits, though.

Pretty Deadly – Most likely. They’re a fun comedy tag team, but have some decent moves thrown in the mix. Good value.



Was pretty good and could have been excellent, but some timing issues, and a little bit of sloppiness dragged it down.

Also dragging me down at this stage was my 11-month-old son, who was in need of something to drink, so I watched this one sporadically. I liked the build of Dolin and Jayne testing the friendship, which have Perez the fighting chance she required.

In the end, it is the growing animosity between Toxic Atrraction members that permits Perez to find a window and hit what was called an Avalanche Pop Rox on Jayne for the win.

Actually, I don’t know if it’s called “avalanche” but the website I looked to up on seemed to describe anything from the top.rope as an avalanche, so I guess I’ll run with that.


Hmmm, the characters of Toxic Attraction are good value, and Perez could develop into a decent babyface at some point. If we get more animosity between Dolin and Jayne, I’m in. If not, I’m out.



I have to say… I may have been misled a little on Bron Breakker coming into this match. I expected a clone of his dad in terms of his wrestling, and whilst the physique is a great selling point, the rest of the package… I’m not buying.

Not yet, anyway.

For a guy his size, he throws shoulder blocks that make Lex Luger look stiff and after hitting the ropes with velocity, his “Steiner-line” clothesline was much more like Uncle Scott’s than it was his dad’s. Scott never threw a great clothesline.

Anyway, I’d seen enough in the first four-or-so minutes to realise Breakker was not gonna do it for me, and instead looked at Waller, who played the heel role well, but both Booker T and whoever the other guy was yapping away about him wanting his “moment” in this match, was distracting. Of course he wanted a moment – that moment should have been winning the title, not jumping off a cage and making highlight reels.

After copping a bit of a pasting, a defiant Waller pie-faces Breakker , who is trash-talking him, and Breakker hits a spear for the win.

Following the match, Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams wander out, setting up the next program for the champ… and possibly the new champ.


Yeah, I probably would. Breakker needs more polish – I’d love to see him go more Big Poppa Pump, but he definitely has the look of a star. I’d also like to see him be a little more physical with his clotheslines and shoulder blocks – they just looked weak early in the piece. Waller is looking very comfortable in his role as a heel and I loved the defiance in the face of defeat – great heel move.

Hayes v Breakker looks to be on the agenda next, and I would tune in to see where that leads, so I guess that means a big yes, upon reflection.


Overall, the show was solid. The opener stole it, Hayes was probably the one that benefited most from all that went on, and Breakker, admittedly, did get better as the match with Waller progressed

Booker T was good on commentary – I liked that he would criticise strategic decisions – made for an enjoyable combination for most of the show.

Excellent video packages aired throughout the show. Cora Jade’s was good,


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