3 things that went right on the Jan. 17 episode of WWE NXT


With New Year’s Evil behind us, the NXT brand now turns its attention to the Feb. 15 Vengeance Day pay-per-view. This week’s episode of WWE’s developmental brand continued to piece together that show.

Of course, there were plenty of things to complain about on this week’s NXT, but that doesn’t mean WWE failed to get anything right on the two-hour broadcast. So, let’s talk about those positives.

These are three things that went right on the Jan. 17 episode of WWE NXT.

Acknowledging Jay Briscoe’s passing.

Frankly, Hearing the news of Jay Briscoe’s untimely passing made it difficult to care about much of what happened on this show. The outpouring of shock and sadness over the news reflects how much he meant to the pro wrestling industry.

In that spirit, it was nice to hear Vic Joseph acknowledge Briscoe’s passing and offer condolences before the show went to a commercial break. There isn’t anything to add outside if Briscoe’s passing being absolutely terrible news.

Bron Breakker and Grayson Waller’s respective sit-down interviews

Ahead of Bron Breakker and Grayson Waller’s steel cage match for the NXT Championship at Vengeance Day, Vic Joseph sat down with champion and challenger to discuss the countout result of their New Year’s Evil match.

While neither interview segment ran particularly long (not that either needed to), both effectively reinforced the dichotomy between Breakker and Waller. Additionally, Breakker and Waller telling Joseph how disappointed they were that the New Year’s Evil match didn’t determine a definitive winner added a layer of importance to the cage match and the general idea of wanting to see clean finishes in matches (if only WWE hadn’t relied too heavily on wacky finishes over the years).

Hopefully, this will lead to the rare WWE cage match where both wrestlers go for pins instead of racing to escape (it’s fine if Waller does it a few times, though, since it fits with his gimmick), especially with Breakker promising to pin Waller in the cage.

Roxanne Perez gets the pin in the tag main event

The show closed with NXT Women’s Champion Roxanne Perez and Lyra Valkyria taking on Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne, which progressed the build to the Perez/Dolin/Jayne triple threat match for Perez’s belt at Vengeance Day.

The match fell into the all-too-common “this is just here to fill time” category, but these four at least provided fans with some decent action before getting to the story beats WWE wanted them to execute.

The bit where Cora Jade brawled with Valkyria to turn the main event into a virtual handicap match seemed too contrived — particularly after we essentially saw the same thing happen in the Gallus/Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen match — at least it didn’t lead to Perez losing. Instead, she took advantage of a Toxic Attraction miscommunication spot and scored the pin over Dolin.

Next. Montez Ford should have a breakout run to main event player in 2023. dark

WWE has plenty of weeks to book Dolin and Jayne to gang up on Perez for heat, but that shouldn’t happen every week. Interjecting instances where two heels who are fighting to win the same championship fight with each other makes for a more interesting story going into Vengeance Day.