Wrestling Review: NXT Spring Breakin’ (2023)

A special episode of NXT, Spring Breakin’ comes live from Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida. The NXT Women’s Championship takes centre stage, as the defending champion Indi Hartwell looks to disprove the assertion of her competitors that she is a beatable champion. Standing against her, however, are Tiffany Stratton, who has beaten Hartwell before, and Roxanne Perez, the former champ who was never beaten for her title. The NXT Championship will also be on the line, as Carmelo Hayes makes his first defence of the title against the fast-rising Grayson Waller. The two have run out of words to spew at each other, and now will do their talking in the ring. Also on the show, tensions have boiled over between two pairs of former tag team champions as Brooks Jensen and Kiana James face Josh Briggs and Fallon Henly in a mixed tag team encounter, and Duke Hudson has offered Andre Chase to go one on one with the former NXT Champion, Bron Breakker. A war of words will come to a head as the time for talk is officially over when Cora Jade and Lyra Valkyria go one on one, and finally who will go for the uncomfortable ride in the trunk of a car as the Don and Underboss of the D’Angelo Family face Pretty Deadly in the first ever Trunk Match.

+ Indi Hartwell (c) vs Roxanne Perez vs Tiffany Stratton (NXT Women’s Championship): the core hook of this match was an injury to one competitor which meant the other two essentially had a singles match. I don’t know for sure if it was real, but the incident where it happened certainly looked real. Stratton is a fantastic character, and already above where she should be for her experience, and Perez is a great wrestler that hasn’t quite figured out her character. Indi, meanwhile, is missing both aspects, which is part of the reason I was so flabbergasted when the won the title in the first place. This was okay, but never great, and certainly not what I would have ended the show on
+ Fallon Henly & Josh Briggs vs Kiana James & Brooks Jensen (Mixed Tag Team Match): this was okay, but never great. I am not ashamed to say I have really enjoyed the story between all four of these people and this was thankfully relatively short. Kiana is much better than Henly is at this time, but both the guys are good for throwing each other around. Briggs in particular has a good future ahead of him as a hoss if he wants to go that way. This was fine
+ Carmelo Hayes (c) (w/ Trick Williams) vs Grayson Waller (NXT Championship): I cannot fathom why this wasn’t the main event. This was really good, and a sure fire sign that either one of these guys, whether they left with the title in-hand or not, are almost guarantees for the upcoming WWE draft. I’ve said it since his debut that Waller is going to be a main event star in the WWE, and this was more proof of that. Hayes, as well, could easily be tearing up the midcard title scene on Raw or Smackdown, and truthfully I think by now he should be
+ The D’Angelo Family (Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo) vs Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince) (Trunk Match): this was good but somewhat underdone, in the same way that D’Angelo/DIJAK was a few months ago in that jailhouse street fight thing. I wish this had gone on a bit longer and some of the fat from the show was trimmed a bit, because all four guys were really impressive. I enjoyed this

Oba Femi debuts: whatever. Debuting a hyped up newcomer and them taking ten minute to beat a nobody is a bad look
Cora Jade vs Lyra Valkyria: this was not good. Cora Jade is getting better at her character basic though it may be, and Valkyria is good but not great enough to do the heavy lifting with an opponent like Jade. I have no doubt we’ll see this match again in the future, and I imagine every other match will be better than this
Bron Breakker vs Andre Chase (w/ Duke Hudson): this was more story than anything else, and frankly I think it was unnecessary
– I like Booker T as a commentator overall, and I think he adds an air of legitimacy to these rookies, considering his own accomplishments. But he really needs to do some preparation before these shows, as he was getting move names, character names and even the name of the show itself wrong. It made some things come across as really low-rent

Should you watch this event: As far as regular TV specials go, I enjoyed this for the most part. The stuff I didn’t like was short or easily ignored, and the good stuff was worth seeing for yourself. I’ll be surprised if all of Tony D’Angelo, Pretty Deadly, Grayson Waller, Carmelo Hayes and Bron Breakker are all still on NXT by this time next week.


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