NXT Spring Breakin’ Predictions: Hartwell’s storybook run ends


Less than a month removed from a successful Stand and Deliver event, the NXT brand is set to broadcast its next television special: Spring Breakin’.

The show will feature a whopping seven matches, headlined by Carmelo Hayes making his first defense of the NXT Championship against perpetual upper midcard gatekeeper Grayson Waller. Fans will also see a mixed tag match, a trunk match, the NXT debut of Oba Femi, and a Triple Threat match for the NXT Women’s Championship.

Overall, the card looks solid, though fans shouldn’t expect to see a bunch of Match of the Year contenders.

Let’s predict the match results for NXT Spring Breakin’ 2023.

Oba Femi’s NXT debut

A former track and field star with the Alabama Crimson Tide, Oba Femi has wrestled a grand total of 12 matches since joining WWE via the promotion’s NIL program. A few of those bouts took place on NXT LVL UP. He’s looked…like a guy who’s had 12 matches, but he’ll have time to figure things out.

Femi will likely face a smaller guy who can bump around for him and accentuate his moveset before eating the pin for the young man. Prediction: Oba Femi pins…someone

Cora Jade vs. Lyra Valkyria

Based on the amount of promo time Cora Jade has received, WWE clearly sees something in the 22-year-old, and she likely has a bright future with the promotion. However, she seems out of her depth as one of the top heels in NXT’s women’s division.

Like a few other wrestlers in NXT (and on the main roster), WWE seems willing to let Jade figure things out while she goes along. Again, she’s only 22, so she’ll have plenty of time to show that she has a higher ceiling than “midcard fixture”. At some point, though, she’ll have to find a better gimmick than “generic high school bully”.

On the other end, Lyra Valkyria is on this roster to help wrestlers like Jade improve, hence why these two are feuding. Whether she takes the pin for Jade will depend on whether WWE plans to call Jade up to the main roster this week. Even if that doesn’t happen, Valkyria could use the win to position herself for a title shot, especially if the three-way goes how most people assume it will. Prediction: Lyra Valkyria pins Cora Jade

Andre Chase vs. Bron Breakker

The build to this was quick and sound. Duke Hudson accepted this match on Andre Chase’s behalf on the April 18 episode of NXT as part of his continued shift back to the heel side. As mentioned last week, Hudson set it up well by directing some good faux babyface fire at Bron Breakker before slyly offering up his mentor.

Now, Breakker gets to further cement himself as the brand’s top heel by tearing apart the beloved Chase. The former Harlem Bravado — a good hand in the ring — will get his customary hope spot before Breakker snaps him in half with a spear. Aside from giving Breakker something to do while WWE waits to book the rematch against Hayes, this should help the former champ gain some more heat (as will Hudson for putting Chase in the match). Prediction: Bron Breakker pins Andre Chase

Brooks Jensen and Kiana James vs. Josh Briggs and Kiana James

By now, you’ve probably heard every criticism of the Kiana James/Fallon Henley/Josh Briggs/Brooks Jensen storyline, and you either think it’s one of the worst feuds committed to film or a charming tale that leans into the inherent campiness.

Regardless of how any one person feels about the story, WWE certainly feels that it’s struck gold with this saga. Knowing that, it’s hard to envision it ending after this mixed-tag match. So, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see James and Jensen get the win here. Prediction: Brooks Jensen and Kiana James win (James pins Fallon Henley)

Pretty Deadly vs. Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo- Trunk match

This will presumably follow the same format as an Ambulance or Last Ride match. Tony D’Angelo and Stacks are now on the babyface side, which should work given how much the Performance Center crowd enjoys their dedication to this silly mobster gimmick (even if some of the novelty has worn off). As for Pretty Deadly, they’re great.

If these teams spend most of the no-DQ match brawling, then this could be a lot of fun. Hopefully, that happens instead of constant attempts by one team to put the other in the trunk. Pretty Deadly seems destined for the main roster, so it makes sense for Tony D and “Stacks” to stuff them in the back of a car and send them off to Raw or SmackDown. Prediction: Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo win

Indi Hartwell (c) vs. Roxanne Perez vs. Tiffany Stratton- NXT Women’s Championship

Indi Hartwell got the “Lifetime Achievement Award” title win at Stand And Deliver, but her time as NXT Women’s Champion is just about up. To WWE’s credit, she at least got one successful title defense on her résumé, but everyone knows she’s keeping the seat warm for someone else.

That someone else could be Tiffany Stratton. The former Olympic gymnast has progressed at a rapid pace, even when factoring in some missed time, and it seems like WWE is ready to test her as the division’s top heel.

The division’s top babyface, Roxanne Perez is in this to provide some steady workrate (also, she never got pinned for the title). She will get a couple of close calls, but those will help set up her chasing Stratton and the title. Prediction: Tiffany Stratton pins Indi Hartwell to win the NXT Women’s Championship

Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Grayson Waller- NXT Championship

With Carmelo Hayes entrenched as NXT’s top babyface, WWE will put him opposite the brand’s most reviled heel: Grayson Waller. The Aussie isn’t quite the can’t-miss star that his push suggests he is, but he’s good in the ring and generates good heat, which explains why he’s getting the first shot at Hayes.

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This should be a fun one, but the result isn’t in doubt. Hayes just won the title and has a rematch with Breakker coming at some point, so anything besides a clean retention would be a shock. Plus, Waller will have no trouble getting his heat back after the loss. Prediction: Carmelo Hayes pins Grayson Waller to retain the NXT Championship