NXT VENGEANCE DAY 2023
FEBRUARY 4, 2023
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
As Voices of Wrestling’s self-declared WWE guy for 2023, you would think that would limit my work to the main roster’s output for this year. You would stand corrected. Any good bit must be done whole hog, diving with both feet in and with no reservations. This brings us to this Saturday night in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Spectrum Center has seen some truly terrible things in its 18 years of existence. 41 times a year, the Charlotte Bobcats would take center stage and do something that vaguely resembled the sport of basketball. I mention this to say that NXT Vengeance Day won’t be the worst thing these poor people have ever seen.
That’s not to imply that NXT 2.0 is anything more than the worst show of the year. While a small comfort comes from the campy, over-the-top nature of the show, it’s largely a show stuffed to the brim with bad wrestling, goofy storylines, crappy characters, and confusing booking. That said, NXT does try to pull out all the stops for the big shows. So, let’s run down this card.
NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP
WES LEE © VS. DIJAK
Wes Lee has been a very solid babyface on this roster. He was very mopey for a while after his tag team partner got fired, but he eventually got his groove back and won the North American Title in one of the two dozen ladder matches this promotion runs yearly. His opponent is the once-again repackaged Donovan Dijak. His character now is a cross between Attitude Era Big Boss Man and Bane. He rambles about a vague version of justice while putting on a deep heel voice. I guess there’s a little Nailz in there too, now that I think about it. It’s another anchor of a gimmick for this big, athletic wrestler who could benefit this roster if he was just allowed to be some type of a normal person.
This match should be very spot-heavy, as that’s where both guys thrive. While you may expect Dijak to win because he’s new, the NXT booking style usually has the newer guys lose. I wouldn’t be surprised either way, but my pick is Wes Lee to retain. Prediction: Wes Lee
NXT WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
KATANA CHANCE & KAYDEN CARTER © VS. FALLON HENLEY & KIANA JAMES
Alright, strap in folks. You won’t believe this, but two people who don’t like each other are challenging for the tag team titles! What a novel and interesting concept! Here’s the story.
Fallon Henley’s family bar had run out of money. Stay with me. Kiana James, professional businesswoman, wanted to buy it out. Henley didn’t want to sell, so James bought a controlling interest in this side-of-the-road bar. Stay with me. They had a match for the ownership of the bar that Henley won. James turned her attention to Henley’s friend Brooks Jensen, whose gimmick is that he’s never gotten laid. Stay with me. Jensen is smitten, so after they won a tag match on TV, he got them a tag team title match against the Party Girls.
I don’t want to write about this anymore. I feel stupid. Prediction: Fallon Henley & Kiana James
NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
THE NEW DAY (KOFI KINGSTON & XAVIER WOODS) © VS. PRETTY DEADLY (ELTON PRINCE & KIT WILSON) VS. GALLUS (MARK COFFEY & WOLFGANG) VS. CHASE U (ANDRE CHASE & DUKE HUDSON)
The only thing that surprises me about this match is that this isn’t a ladder match for no reason. Kingston and Woods made a surprise appearance in NXT in December before beating Pretty Deadly for the tag team titles at the Deadline PLE. This whole story has been Pretty Deadly trying and comically failing to get a rematch. Their last chance was a gauntlet match that ended up being won by Gallus, who were returning from a suspension caused by Pretty Deadly. Pretty Deadly would succeed in worming their way into the title match the next week. Then, New Day randomly decided to add another team to the match, with Chase U winning their spot in a three-way tag match. While there is a shot one of the other teams wins this match and allows Pretty Deadly to move up to the main roster, I expect Pretty Deadly to get the belts back here. The whole story revolves around them and the New Day, so my guess is that they pin one of the other teams to steal their titles back. I wish they wouldn’t because Pretty Deadly is such a cringey, turn-off act to me, but that’s what I think happens here. Prediction: Pretty Deadly
NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
ROXANNE PEREZ © VS. GIGI DOLIN VS. JACY JAYNE
The Women’s Title is on the line here in this three-way dance, as Roxanne Perez defends against the remaining members of Toxic Attraction. This feels like a blowoff for the Toxic Attraction act after Mandy Rose smartly figured out that being professionally hot online is much easier and more lucrative than being a mediocre wrestler. Dolin and Jayne immediately turned on each other the second a title shot became available but have worked together to take Perez out at points during the build. This will be your typical WWE three-way, where the heels work together until they fall apart. I will say that Jacy Jayne AKA Toxic #3 AKA The Third One AKA La Toxica III does look like a legitimate prospect going forward, as she’s improved a good bit over the past year. Perez retains and moves on to whatever ends up being her WrestleMania weekend feud. Prediction: Roxanne Perez
BEST OF THREE FALLS
APOLLO CREWS VS. CARMELO HAYES (W/ TRICK WILLIAMS)
This is the clubhouse leader for the match of the night and looks to be a defacto #1 contender’s match for the NXT Title. The story here is simple: both men want to be NXT Champion, and they know they must get through each other to get there. These are two of the best wrestlers in NXT, and they’re being put in a big spot here. I have no doubt that they will deliver, as these guys have consistently come through when asked. To me, this is the final hurdle for Carmelo Hayes to clear before going to Wrestlemania Weekend and winning the NXT Title. He called himself the A-Champion while he was North American Champion, he’s usually a part of the best match of the night, and his act with Trick Williams has gotten over. This is going to be the big highlight match that makes it clear to everyone that Hayes is next up. Honestly, I would have him win in two straight falls to really make it clear, but at the end of the day, Hayes is winning. Prediction: Carmelo Hayes
NXT CHAMPIONSHIP – STEEL CAGE MATCH
BRON BREAKKER © VS. GRAYSON WALLER
Waller won the Iron Survivor Match at Deadline and got his title shot at the New Year’s Evil episode of television. That match got (kayfabe) marred by a second rope that kept breaking, so to solve that problem, they will be having a rematch inside a steel cage. As we all know, ropes cannot break when there’s a cage around them. Anyway, I don’t feel very strongly about this. Waller is a main roster-ready act, but I don’t feel any need to put the title on him here. Meanwhile, Bron Breakker just…exists as a champion. He’s got a good tough guy energy about him, but his matches don’t really stand out in any type of special way. I don’t think having a cage match with Grayson Waller will change any of that. Breakker will win this, and we’ll get the big Breakker/Hayes title match at the WrestleMania weekend show. Prediction: Bron Breakker
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