Vince McMahon pissed everyone off.
The Rock pissed everyone off, albeit for a COMPLETELY different reason.
Now, the storylines are playing out in a way that should see Carmelo Hayes piss everyone off, again for a COMPLETELY different reason.
It’s time for NXT’s latest pay-per-view offering, Vengeance Day. Can NXT provide us with a distraction from the distraction that was distracting us from a distraction? Let’s hope so.
Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams vs Bron Breakker & Baron Corbin – Finals of the Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are signs about the situation between Roman Reigns, Cody Rhodes, and The Rock all over the arena.
It would be super awesome if the Dusty Classic saw two actual tag teams that weren’t on the verge of splitting up, anyway. The winners receive a shot at the NXT Tag Team Titles, and your options are Bron and Corbin, who could split because Bron could be main roster bound immediately, and the Trick Melo Gang, who may not even survive tonight as a team if Melo turns heel like many believe he will.
This was a fun match. It was also a sloppy match. A few timing hiccups, including a spot where Bron ran the ropes with too much momentum and nearly decapitated himself. He ended up bleeding from a couple different spots on his face, and Trick would come up bleeding from the mouth later on. As I said, the match was fun, but those sloppy moments prevented it from reaching the next level. Bron ended up being the shining star here, as he seems to be adding to his arsenal of moves every single time he wrestles. He delivered a Cutter on Melo that has to be seen to be believed. Let’s go with 3.5 Stars for the match. Trick Williams is 0-1 on the night, with one more match to go.
Joe Gacy vs Dijak – No Disqualification Match
I’m torn on what to expect here. Everything Joe Gacy touches in NXT turns to dried dog shit. At the same time, Dijak always overdelivers on NXT pay-per-view. SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE!!!
The crowd was hot for the show opener, which makes sense when you consider who was in the match. This match has featured very little crowd reaction for most of the action… which makes sense when you consider who is in the match.
More sloppiness here. Gacy sets a table up at ringside, and then dumps toys (Legos, plastic Army men, etc) on the table. We get a spot where Gacy is supposed to send Dijak off the apron and through the table, but Dijak BARELY reached the table, and didn’t go through a single toy when he landed. Later, there was a spot where Gacy was supposed to deliver a Suplex off the top that would have Dijak land on a trash can, but Dijak missed the can. Finally, there was a spot where Gacy was supposed to wrap duct tape around Dijak’s eyes, but he did such a poor job of it that Dijak had to adjust the tape himself to completely cover his eyes. The match, as a whole, was a physical brawl. It was just sloppier than it should’ve been. At least Dijak won, so the right decision was made, I guess. 2.75 Stars
The Family (Tony D’Angelo, Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo & Adriana Rizzo) vs O.T.M. (Lucien Price, Bronco Nima & Jaida Parker) – Six-Person Mixed Tag Match
There is absolutely, positively zero reason why this match should be on pay-per-view. It should’ve taken place on an episode of the NXT television show, or maybe even an NXT live event. Four of the six people in this match aren’t “ready” to be on pay-per-view, and the two that are have one-note characters that have already gotten old.
It seems like the live crowd agrees with me, as they’ve been quiet from the opening bell.
Overall, the match wasn’t bad. It was just what I expected it to be. A decent television match, but not something that should’ve been on pay-per-view. 2.75 Stars. I really miss the NXT Takeover days.
Lyra Valkyria vs Roxanne Perez – NXT Women’s Title Match
At this point, it would appear that a quiet crowd is what we’re going to get tonight. Who would’ve thought that the huge wrestling hotbed of… *checks notes*… Clarksville, Tennessee wouldn’t give us a good crowd? It’s an apparent sellout of just under 3,900 fans, but at times, it sounds like there are 39 fans in the building. Now you just have to wonder if they’re quiet because that’s what they are, or if they’re quiet because they haven’t been given a ton to be excited for to this point.
Women’s Breakout Tournament winner Lola Vice ran out and executed her title contract, making this a Triple Threat Match. It was a weird moment, as it was relatively early in the match, while both Valkyria and Perez were still in fight mode. Why in the fuck would you pick that time to cash your shot in? If she doesn’t win this match, she’s going to look like a moron.
Well, gee, whadaya know? Lola Vice looks like a moron. Tatum Paxley takes Roxanne Perez out, allowing the champion to pin Vice to retain the title. The third woman didn’t add a ton to things, but she was able to get reactions from the crowd, so that has to count for something. It did seem like Lyra and Roxanne were building momentum before her addition, though. I do understand the need to protect Roxanne by not having her take the pin, but that could’ve been handled better. 3.25 Stars
Oba Femi vs Dragon Lee – NXT North American Title Match
After watching one Oba Femi match on NXT television, I said he had a ridiculously bright future ahead of him. He has only gotten better and more comfortable since then. If he keeps it up, I could see him as a future World Champion on Raw or Smackdown.
Dragon Lee had Femi tied up in a bit of a crucifix-style hold, pinning both of his arms back. Femi eventually made his way to the ropes and, without his arms available, bit the top rope to break the hold. That was creative. Good stuff.
This was a really fun match. It wasn’t designed to be a great match, mind you, but it allowed Dragon Lee to look exciting in defeat, while also allowing Oba Femi to look like an unstoppable monster. An entertaining “power vs speed” matchup. 3.25 Stars
Ilja Dragunov vs Trick Williams – NXT Title Match
Well, here we go.
Trick’s entrance and pre-match introduction was the most animated the crowd has been all night. He’s a star. A true blue star.
We’re super physical very early on. The busted lip that Trick suffered in the first match has been opened up, and he has blood filling his mouth, running down his chin, and on his hands. Dragunov, not wanting to be left out, appears to have a busted nose, and he has blood all over his face, as well.
Melo gets in Dragunov’s face, but Dragunov shoves Melo, who tumbles into the back of Trick’s leg. Oh, the drama!
These two have the crowd completely involved and invested in what’s going on.
Man, that was so much fun. Dragunov continues to show why he has a legitimate case for being the best wrestler alive today. Trick Willie, on the other hand, busted his ass with one helluva performance, doing a fantastic job as a top face. In the end, though, the champion retains.
After the match, the expected Carmelo Hayes heel turn takes place. Shots of the crowd show people actually crying. The boos rained down after Melo attacked Trick’s injured knee with a steel chair, leading to LOUD “fuck you, Melo” chants. That was very well done. Everyone saw it coming from a mile away, but it still got the reaction that the company wanted.
Now, keep Trick away from television for a month or so, letting him sell his “injured” knee. Then he can return to set up Trick vs Melo at Stand & Deliver, in what could very well be NXT’s Match Of The Year.
As for this match, I’m going with 4.25 Stars, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see people go even higher with their own ratings.
Now, can I get Ilja Dragunov defending the NXT Championship against Kazuchika Okada? Please?
Overall, Vengeance Day wasn’t the worst show you’ll see, but outside of the main event and what happened after it, nothing is going to be remembered in a few weeks, let alone by the end of the year.
Seriously, though… can I get Dragunov vs Okada, please???