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NXT Vengeance Day 2024 Reviews

Reverse Hipster's NXT Vengeance Day 2024 Reviews

The WolfDogs vs. Trick Melo Gang Dusty Cup 9.2/10 A

Sphere Carmelo

This match was an experimental rap album. There were some sloppy moments that didn't land as well as the artist hoped, but there were so many moments of brilliance to make up for it. This match had so much action it felt like the camera didn't know where to look. Carmelo slipped out of a Deep Six and the End of Days. He was flying around everywhere, and he had a counter for everything. Trick Williams was as intense as he has ever been. Trick showed everyone what a hot tag is supposed to look like.

Bron Wins match

However, it was the winners of this match, the WolfDogs, who really shined in this match. Corbin dived to the outside over the top rope, which nobody ever expected to see. Bron Breakker did a front flip off the top rope to the outside and he german suplexed Trick while Trick was holding Melo. The ending was amazing, too. Carmelo had his finisher lined up and ready to go, but Corbin caught him out of the air and protected Bron, which led Trick to knock out Corbin. After that, Bron went to spear Trick, but instead, Carmelo jumped in front of it. Unfortunately, Carmelo was the legal guy, and the Wolfdogs won. I'd like to think Dusty would be proud of this match.

Joe Gacy vs. Dijak NO DQ 8.6/10 B

Joe Gacy toys

This was the perfect follow-up to the Dusty Cup final because it was hard-hitting and fast-paced but different from the match before. Dijak was sent flying backward off the ring apron into a table with toy soldiers on it. Joe Gacy blinded Dijak with Ducktape and slammed him off the top rope, nearly breaking him in half, but Dijak fought back harder. He hit his finisher with the ducktape but couldn't find Joe after for the pin. Dijak would deal out some street justice when he cracked Joe in the ribs with a pipe, hit his finisher, and won the match.

OTM vs. The Family 6-person Mixed Tag 8.4 B

OTM vs. Family

It was awesome to see this gang warfare play out entertainingly. Rizzo joining Stacks, Tony D in the Family, and Jaida Parker joining OTM have given both teams, as well as this match, a spark. Rizzo is an exciting loose cannon who has fit right in with the Family, launching herself off the top rope at everyone and getting her hands dirty. Jaida Parker is strikingly attractive, incredibly athletic, and audacious. She's the full package slamming down Rizzo one moment and slapping the crap out of the Don the next, and she can talk.

OTM and Family

In this match, OTM dominated most of it. OTM got to have their coming out party and show the world they got the skills. However, it was the Family who got the win. In the end, Tony D hit his finisher and won the match. I like this formula because it kept the Family strong, which is important because the tag team titles are held by Stacks and Tony D. However, OTM was given every opportunity to look good in the loss, and boy, did they.

Roxanne Perez vs. Lyra Valkyria vs. Lola Vice NXT Women's Title Match 9/10 A-

Roxanne best Lyra

This match started with Roxanne vs. Lyra in a one-on-one match. These two women were trying to outwrestle each other. Lyra's character work is passable, and her character's backstory is interesting, and her promo skills are satisfactory, but her in-ring work is unquestionable. So it makes sense that the prodigy Roxanne Perez would want to beat her and prove she is the better wrestler. Roxanne was able to get the upper hand a couple of times, but she never outwrestled Lyra. It seemed like Lyra had the edge when it came to technical skills.

Lola Vice submission

However, much like the other former Champion in Tampa, Tom Brady, Roxanne just finds ways to win. She is the ultimate gamer and has a lot of heart. So she willed her way to break her stalemate with Lyra, but then Lola Vice came out and cashed in her breakout contract. Lola took this match way up in excitement. Lola was kicking heads off like she was Tajiri. Lola Vice just looks like a movie star and wrestles like a UFC fighter. In fact, I've seen people come from that background and not translate as well as Lola Vice in the ring. Lola reminds me a lot of Melina, one of my favorite women's wrestlers of all time.

Lyra wins Title

Lola had a great career-making night, but she ruined Roxanne's night. Tatum tried to attack Lola and instead hit Roxanne, leaving Lola the chance to hit one move and win the title off of Lyra, but the champ was too experienced, and she reversed and hit her finisher and retained her title. Roxanne was screwed out of her one on one match, and she lost the title again without being pinned. Maybe Roxanne will get her match at NXT Stand and Deliver.

Oba Femi vs. Dragon Lee North American Title 8.3/10 B

Dragon Lee

Oba and Lee had a tough task ahead of them. Despite being a title match, this was the most uninheritably exciting match on the card. The wrestlers weren't heavy hitters, and the rules were standard. However, these men kept the same energy of the night and met the moment. Oba Femi was dominant. Oba Threw Dragon Lee in the air like he didn't give a damn where he landed, like he was a sack of fertilizer. He even reversed a hurricanerana into a pop-up powerbomb. Oba Femi retained his title and proved he is here to stay. Despite Dragon Lee losing, this is the best I have ever seen him look. This match made it clear that Dragon Lee has been missing a Goliath to his David to really show off his lucha skills.

Trick Williams vs. Ilija Dragonuv NXT Title 10/10

Trick vs. Dragonuv

I'm not gonna lie to you: the NXT men's title match will often be the most mid part of NXT PPVs and always goes last regardless. However, this match is different. Trick Williams brought out the best in the crowd, the match, and the Champion himself. Dragonuv was brutal again. He may be a babyface to the fans, but he is a maniacal killer in the ring. Straight away, he dismantled Trick Williams right in front of Carmelo. It was brutal. Only Dragonuv can make a regular match feel like a disgusting ECW extreme rules match.

Dragunov beats Trick

Dragonuv tried to break Trick Williams's spirit, but Trick Williams had his own inner dragon, and it blew fire in Dragonuv's face. Trick refused to stop. Not only did he kick out after Dragonuv hit his finisher, thanks to Carmelo accidentally injuring Trick's leg, but he also pinned Dragonuv when the ref went down. Trick Williams got as close to being Champion as any superstar possibly could. He had Dragonuv on the ropes. Both superstars were on their last legs when they rose like anime fighters and, with their last bit of energy, launched their best striking finishers at each other, but Dragonuv's headbutt hit first, and he got up, went off the top, and came down on Trick with a final fist and retained. Dragonuv may have retained the title, but Trick Williams proved that the main event scene needs Trick Williams.

Carmelo turns heel

It would have been great if that had just been the end of the PPV. However, then Carmelo turned on Trick and made it excellent. Carmelo was the most likely candidate the whole time, but it still came as a shock. Carmelo's turn was so well done that even if you thought it would happen, it was still shocking. Carmelo did everything he could to lull us to sleep, from taking the spear to cheering him on in the match and even acting like he was happy when Trick was winning. He even consoled Trick after the loss and then betrayed him. The crowd went nuts.

Rob’s Vengeance Day Review

Trick Melo Gang vs. the Wolf Dogs (Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals)

Trick and Melo

This match told an interesting story of a team on the rise and a team on the fall. If you had seen this match a couple of months ago, you would assume Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams would have better chemistry than Bron Breakker and Baron Corbin. Throughout the tournament, Hayes and Williams had more missteps, and Breakker and Corbin found their stride. Likewise, a year ago, if you had told me former sidekick Williams would be the hottest act on his tag team with Hayes, I would have thought you were crazy. In this match, Williams was the hot tag they built up to, and I loved it. 

Corbin & Bron

Breakker went hard on this match and miraculously did not get hurt on a routine bounce of the ropes that nearly decapitated him. Corbin went NXT mode as Breakker shot him over the top rope at Trick Melo Gang to get in the offense. Williams hurt his knee at one point in the match, but Hayes went out of his way to take Breakker’s spear for Williams in an attempt to keep him healthy for his NXT championship shot tonight. The spear led to the win for the Wolf Dogs and winning the Dusty Classic. This match was a testament to how far all four guys have developed in their NXT runs. Some will complain that another unlikely team won the NXT Classic over an established duo, but I think the storytelling in this match won me over for the finish.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

Dijak vs. Joe Gacy (No DQ)

Dijak vs. Joe Gacy

It feels like Joe Gacy has been a non-factor on NXT recently, but this match did its best to win fans back over. The match had creative spots throughout, as Dijak went through a table covered in toys and got his eyes duct-taped while Gacy assaulted him with kendo sticks. In the end, it was still somehow Dijak who picked up the victory, but Gacy looked pleased with his effort in defeat. There were a few points where the timing and execution were off on hardcore spots, and it begged the question of whether Gacy could hang with the higher-level NXT guys. Dijak continues to be great in big spots, but he still doesn’t have that big push in NXT, and I don’t think this win has enough momentum to push him there, either. 

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

The Family vs. OTM (Tag Team Titles)

The Family Wins

When we picked up watching NXT, Tony DiAngelo was pitted as the future, and he just hasn’t actualized that. This match frankly felt like it could have been on any regular NXT show, and a lot of the stars looked like they were not ready to be on this big of a stage. The Family picked up the win, and it feels like OTM has lost to them numerous times now. 

Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average

Lyra Valkyria vs. Roxanne Perez (vs. Lola Vice) (NXT Women’s Championship)

Roxanne Lyra

NXT started this match right with a great promo package of how Roxanne Perez has had an unpredictable year since becoming champion around the same time last year. It made me want to root for Perez while recognizing Lyra Valkyria is the women’s standard in NXT right now because she beat Becky Lynch. They had a great opening to this match that looked like it would be match of the night to a point where it looked like Perez was going to win it. Then, Lola Vice came out and joined the match with her Breakout Contract, officially making it a triple threat.

Lyra Jumps ropes

Unfortunately, it immediately became obvious how out of place Vice was. A new competitor and near-falls made it exciting, but it overall brought the match down for me. It also gave Valkyria a chance to make a comeback and pick up the win. If Perez is going to be positioned to be better than the champion but creatively screwed out of it every time, I think it’s time for her to go to the main roster. If that’s the vision, Valkyria was the right winner here, and it was a good spot for Vice to learn from, even if she looked out of place. 

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

Oba Femi vs. Dragon Lee (NXT North American Championship)

Oba slams Lee

This match set up a clean rematch for Oba Femi to prove his win against Dragon Lee was not a fluke. Mission accomplished. Lee’s luchador style against Femi’s power made for an awesome contrast in-ring. Lee was simultaneously the underdog while having way more experience than Femi. It felt like Femi was learning on the job as he figured out how to counter Lee and win the match. Proving Femi was not a fluke? Mission accomplished. Femi looks like he will have a dominant championship run. 

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

Ilja Dragunov vs. Trick Williams (NXT Championship)

Trick punches Dragonuv

This was a really interesting main event, with Ilja Dragunov working as a heel during a majority babyface run. Dragunov got cut open early, and it added a lot to this match. The crowd was firmly behind Trick Williams, and I was at home too. Throughout the match, there were more miscues with Hayes that hurt Williams, including a point where Williams would have won if Hayes had not distracted the referee. The in-ring action was overall good, but it seemed like there were some miscues there, too, including a finishing sequence where it didn’t look like Dragunov got all of Williams but picked up the win regardless.

Dragonuv NXT TItle

It sucked the air out of the building, but it was supposed to be a disappointing moment for Williams fans. Hayes picked him up and brushed him off before turning on him in their own version of the famous NXT Takeover signature spot. Hayes brutalized Williams while boos rained down on him, and it finally seems like that story is progressing. Time will tell if this was genius or not. Hayes is certainly better as a heel, while Williams is certainly better as a babyface, but I think this will take some explaining beyond simply jealousy to make sense to me because Hayes tried to help Williams at numerous points throughout the night. For now, Dragunov is the right choice to keep the championship. While a Williams win would have been a lot of fun, he proved a couple times throughout the night that he wasn’t quite ready for that level. 

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

Rob's Final Thoughts

Long removed from the five-star NXT Takeover era of the past but distinctly progressed since the early NXT 2.0 days, this NXT show is really hard to place. I think NXT tried to have their cake and eat it, too. They simultaneously want to be the premier wrestling product that is worth selling out an arena while putting out superstars that are not quite ready for the limelight. In the same match, you can have a 27-year-old with 8 years of wrestling experience, 22 22-year-old with 5 years of wrestling experience, and 25 25-year-old with 3 months of wrestling experience. Sometimes, it works out in the case of Oba Femi. Other times, it just doesn’t. The match of the night for me was the opening contest between guys who have been wrestling in NXT and working together for a while. The low points were watching people who feel like they should still be honing their craft in the Performance Center instead of on TV. The result for me is that I have to rank this show somewhere in the middle of all of that. It’s worth your time, but as long as NXT doesn’t have a consistent philosophy, it’s just average. 

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Vengeance Day Final Grade 89.16 B+

Vengeance Day was excellent—Banger after banger from start to finish. The matches were so well-paced as well. There was a big title change at the start of the card to get the fans going wild, and then a different kind of hard-hitting No DQ match that capitalized on the intensity of the previous match. Plus, that match broke up the two tag matches, and then we got the women's match, and that was different, and then the United States title match broke up the two world title matches. There wasn't a single bad match. The NXT stars took the torch of momentum and passed it over and over again until the incredible finale in the main event.

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