Wrestling Review: NXT Vengeance Day (2023)

For the first time in a few years, the NXT brand is finally back on the road, as The Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina plays host to the 2023 edition of NXT Vengeance Day. In the main event, NXT Champion Bron Breakker and Grayson Waller collide for the top gold on the NXT brand, when they are confined inside a steel cage. Following the ring mishaps at New Year’s Evil, the decree has been made that the only way to win this cage match will be Pinfall or Submission: there will be no running away from any unfinished business for either man. Roxanne Perez also faces a challenge, when she must get in the ring with not one, but both members of Toxic Attraction, when Perez defends the NXT Women’s title against Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne in a triple threat match. Things have become tense between Dolin and Jayne as of late, but there is no doubt the two Toxic women can work together when the outcome is championship gold. Meanwhile, the New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) defend the NXT Tag Team Championships against three teams — Gallus (Mark Coffey and Wolfgang), Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince and Kit Wilson) and Chase University (Duke Hudson and Andrew Chase) — in a Fatal Four-Way Tag Team Match, while the Women’s Tag Team champs Kayden Carter and Katana Chance battle the surprising duo of Fallon Henley and Kiana James. Finally, the games of oneupsmanship end when Carmelo Hayes and Apollo Crews look to break the deadlock of wins against each other in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match.

+ The New Day (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston) (c) vs Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince) vs Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) vs Chase University (Andrew Chase & Duke Hudson) (NXT Tag Team Championships): overall this was fine, but I had a hesitation about the match going in that proved frustratingly correct. I’m a huge fan of the Chase U duo here, and I think I’ve made my love of Pretty Deadly quite apparent, and none of those four disappointed. I have not seen the appeal of New Day as NXT tag champs, and nor do I ever really get much out of the Gallus boys, especially when teams like The Creeds are right there waiting. Some audio issues right at the finish was also frustrating, but this ended up being perfectly serviceable
+ Apollo Crews vs Carmelo Hayes (w/ Trick Williams) (2-out-of-3 Falls Match): Melo’s entrance was fantastic, and I hope that Trick and Melo never break up since they only add to each other’s act. Both of these two are so athletic, and similar to the Ricochet/Carmelo match from World Collide there was a lot of incredible high-flying in this match. But I’d argue Crews is known more for his outrageous power than his athleticism, and that was the one-sided part of the match. I loved this one, and it was easily the match of the show with an ending that I didn’t like at the time but have come around to the more I’ve thought about it
+ Kayden Carter & Katana Chance (c) vs Fallon Henley & Kiana James (w/ Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen) (NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships): Carter in particular looked really good, but neither Henly or James were anything special and in fact looked amateur at times compared to the champs. I’ve long said that Katana Chance (or Kacy Catanzaro) needed to be tearing up the main roster with her athletic and American Ninja background, but I guess this match sort of showed why that might not be a great idea just yet either. This was fine, but never great
+ Wes Lee (c) vs DIJAK (NXT North American Championship): I’m a big fan of DIJAK in particular, and I don’t understand the hate this new gimmick of his gets in some circles. There were a lot of big kickouts in this match, which certainly added some excitement, but also begs the question of why these two mid-card guys are so resilient all of a sudden. I thought this was really good overall, but I can’t overlook another horrendous match ending that seemingly happens at least once every show. Something needs to be done about this garbage

Bron Breakker (c) vs Grayson Waller (Steel Cage Match for the NXT Championship): considering this was a Steel Cage match, and a story that has become so personal, this was incredibly bland and heatless. I am sorely disappointed with this match, as Waller’s entrance in particular hinted that they had really got something big up their sleeve. I have liked Breakker as champ, but I can admit he was losing some steam on the way into this compared to the charismatic nature of Waller’s character. I dunno, I just really thought that being the main event of the first show on the road in some time, they’d do something special here; and if they did, I certainly missed it
Roxanne Perez (c) vs Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne (NXT Women’s Championship): as much as I love Rok-C, and both Gigi and Jacy are growing on me, this did nothing for me. It was far too obvious how this was going to go — which itself is not a negative, just that they spent far too long trying to tell us otherwise — and I didn’t care for the story going in. Hopefully at least there are some bigger things coming out of this for all three

> again unless I missed something, there were also no ‘newly signed person sitting in the crowd’ moment, or any other sort of big announcements

Should you watch this event: I was careful not to overhype this event for myself, but I just expected something exciting to happen in this first show back on the road. This didn’t feel like anything special, and despite how good Carmelo/Apollo and Wes/DIJAK were, this was a very missable show.


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