WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 3

Kevin BergeJanuary 4, 2023

WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 3

0 of 9

    Carmelo Hayes would finally go one-on-one with Apollo Crews this week.
    Carmelo Hayes would finally go one-on-one with Apollo Crews this week.Credit: WWE.com

    Starting the new year, WWE NXT had much to prove. The program has been finding its footing but has not reached for the heights the gold brand previously aimed for. 2023 could change that.

    This January 3 edition would include a grudge match as Alba Fyre faced Isla Dawn in an Extreme Resolution match.

    Grayson Waller has taunted Bron Breakker for weeks. The NXT champion would finally get him in the ring on The Grayson Waller Effect.

    Apollo Crews would battle Carmelo Hayes with a possible future title opportunity for the winner. Trick Williams had his own assignment, taking on Axiom.

    NXT had a solid card promised that also needed to set for the stage for New Year's Evil next week, including such stars as Roxanne Perez, The Creed Brothers and New Day.

Carmelo Hayes (w/ Trick Williams) vs. Apollo Crews

1 of 9

    Carmelo Hayes attacked the knee of Apollo Crews, and it set up the finish. Crews missed a standing moonsault and landed on the knee. The A Champion caught him with a double-knee facebuster and a diving axe kick to win.

    This was a good match, though Melo had to slow down for Crews in spots. What worked well was the focus on the knee of Crews as well as the clean finish. It sold how dangerous The A Champion is to Bron Breakker if he does get past Grayson Waller.

    The finish was a bit mistimed, but the two have chemistry to explore. Crews just needs to open up his arsenal more for the rematch down the line if he wants to prove himself as a top guy again.

    Result

    Melo def. Crews by pinfall.

    Grade

    B+

    Notable Moments

    • Booker T described this as "a main event anywhere in the world," but this was not even the main event of this episode of NXT.
    • Trick Williams distracted Crews on the apron, allowing Melo to kick him to the floor.
    • The A Champion planted Crews with a powerbomb, then transitioned into a single-leg Boston crab. The Nigerian Warrior battled out but was left limping.
    • Crews answered a pump kick with a pump kick, but Melo responded with a cutter.

Axiom vs. Trick Williams (w/ Carmelo Hayes)

2 of 9

    Trick Williams used his strength to take control of the action early, but Axiom showed he could match him strike for strike and eventually hit the Golden Ratio to pick up the victory.

    This was a solid short match but could have been more. Axiom winning so quickly makes him look good but did not give Trick much of a shot to show what he can do. The two gave just a hint of interesting chemistry.

    NXT is playing a dangerous game of possible 50-50 booking when it comes to Axiom, Apollo Crews and Carmelo Hayes. Melo is the priority and should not lose the likely tag team match coming just to help save face for the good guys.

    Result

    Axiom def. Trick by pinfall.

    Grade

    C+

    Notable Moments

    • After Melo's win over Apollo Crews, Axiom attacked Melo and Trick.
    • Following Trick's win, Melo and Trick attacked Axiom until Crews made the save.

Dijak vs. Channing "Stacks" Lorenzo (w/ Tony D'Angelo)

3 of 9

    Channing "Stacks" Lorenzo wanted to get back at Dijak, but he was completely outmatched. The big man put him away with Feast Your Eyes.

    While this was another squash match to start the night, the story made sense. Dijak had beaten down Stacks, but Lorenzo has shown he is a constant fighter. This was a showcase of how much Stacks continues to improve.

    In the end, the big man is the priority. Dijak has found a gimmick that represents him well and could lead him to a quick return to the main roster. Before that, he has some interesting opponents to face.

    While Dijak and Tony D'Angelo are technically both heels, The Don was working the babyface role here. It could be an interesting test to see if he can play both roles long-term.

    Result

    Dijak def. Stacks by pinfall.

    Grade

    C+

    Notable Moments

    • Earlier in the day, Dijak finally let Stacks go after they agreed to a match. Lorenzo had a bad black eye from the kidnapping.
    • Stacks ran at Dijak repeatedly in the corner until he charged right into a big boot.
    • Afterward, the big man tried to hurt Stacks more, but D'Angelo sent him running and challenged him to a match for next week at New Year's Evil.
    • Wes Lee agreed in a later interview to give the winner of Dijak vs. D'Angelo the next shot at the NXT North American Championship.

The Women of NXT Call Their Shots at the Women's Championship

4 of 9

    Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne declared 2023 as Toxic Attraction's year, claiming a shot at the NXT Women's Championship. Indi Hartwell, Cora Jade, Nikkita Lyons, Wendy Choo and Zoey Stark all interrupted before Thea Hail called for a brawl.

    Roxanne Perez appeared on the stage to announce a 20-woman battle royal that would crown her first challenger at NXT Vengance Day.

    This was insufferably bad, and that is a shame because it highlighted so many of the women in NXT. No one seemed on their game, including some genuine struggles to deliver 15-second promos.

    It is a good idea to have the women earn that first shot at Perez rather than just having Dolin and Jayne talk their way into a match. However, NXT needs to keep working with the talent to make sure they can talk before meeting an unforgiving main roster crowd.

    Grade

    F

    Notable Moments

    • Stark especially seemed to be tripping on her words throughout this segment.
    • Fyre nearly got into the action during this brawl, but Dawn attacked her, leading to a fight into the parking lot and backstage area.

Extreme Resolution: Alba Fyre vs. Isla Dawn

5 of 9

    After a physical brawl, Isla Dawn seemed to smile and accept her fate as Alba Fyre embraced her anger. Fyre put her opponent away with a senton bomb and Gory Bomb through the table outside.

    This was a much stronger match, wrestled far more cleanly than their first. The two fought throughout the arena and differentiated their offense in a long match, especially including the brawl before the bell rang.

    This should be the end of Fyre and Dawn's rivalry given the name of their match. However, the conclusion felt more confused than anything. It is unclear what Dawn got out of all this as Fyre did not seem that different from normal by the end of the match.

    Dawn has already lost on the main roster, but if this somehow leads to Fyre changing and maybe even tagging with Dawn, that could be worth it.

    Result

    Fyre def. Dawn by pinfall.

    Grade

    B

    Notable Moments

    • The brawl that began in the last segment continued as referees repeatedly scolded the talent awkwardly until they got to the ring.
    • Dawn taunted Fyre repeatedly into embracing her dark side.
    • Fyre hit the Gory Bomb for a near-fall then set a steel chair on Dawn for a senton bomb, but her opponent responded by throwing the chair into her face.
    • Dawn tried to break the fingers of Fyre with a wrench and hammer.

Oro Mensah vs. Javier Bernal

6 of 9

    Javier Bernal used an early advantage to dominate a good portion of this match. However, once Oro Mensah got momentum, he did not let up and won with a running spinning heel kick.

    While Big Body Javy continues to be an entertaining highlight of NXT, there was not much to this match. NXT loves a squash match where the loser does most of the heavy lifting, which was exactly this.

    Mensah got the expected win, but he needs to show he can do more than hit a few nice high-flying moves. There are too many working in WWE at his speed. He needs something that makes him really stand out.

    Result

    Mensah def. Bernal by pinfall.

    Grade

    D+

    Notable Moments

    • Bernal interrupted Mensah's interview to peddle his new late Christmas album.
    • During Mensah's entrance, Big Body Javy attacked him on the ramp.
    • Mensah planted Bernal with a springboard moonsault then a wheelbarrow kick.
    • Someone promised to arrive next week in NXT as "The Countdown to the New Year" would end.
    • A mystery woman filmed Katana Chance and Kayden Carter speaking with a trainer, which the champions were not happy about.

Drew Gulak (w/ Hank Walker) vs. Andre Chase (w/ Chase U)

7 of 9

    Drew Gulak showed his technical edge over Andre Chase, but The Professor responded with explosive offense. Something about Chase's offense set off Gulak, who made Chase tap out to Gu-Lock and did not let go for several extra seconds.

    This was a fine showcase of both men's in-ring fundamentals. It would be nice to see Chase do more than just work his basic offense though. Gulak needed a fresh start in NXT, but he's only going to thrive once he works with guys like Charlie Dempsey and Axiom.

    Hopefully, Dempsey's injury is minor so he and Gulak can continue their story soon. Chase U has an interesting story still brewing, but it was mostly a side act for Gulak's continuing rebrand.

    Result

    Gulak def. Chase by submission.

    Grade

    C+

    Notable Moments

    • Gulak tried to teach Chase U, but Chase got aggravated and challenged him.
    • Dempsey was shown in a sling watching backstage, but he got aggravated and threw off the sling before walking away.
    • Chase hit the Chase U stomps then locked in a figure-four leglock.
    • Dempsey told Gulak he is ready to challenge Walker next week.
    • NXT showed a vignette on the rivalry between The Creed Brothers and Indus Sher.

Kofi Kingston (w/ Xavier Woods) vs. Joe Gacy (w/ Schism)

8 of 9

    The numbers game was not enough for Schism as Kofi Kingston ducked through timely distractions and laid out Joe Gacy with Trouble in Paradise to win.

    While Gacy is far from ready to truly defeat Kofi one-on-one, it is a bit confusing for Schism to pick up a loss again so soon after finding momentum.

    Jagger Reid and Rip Fowler can have a great match with New Day, but the timing may not be right. The rematch of New Day vs. Pretty Deadly is still the hottest match NXT can put on, and everything else will be overshadowed in the meantime.

    This may have been more about Kofi testing a young talent nearly ready to jump to the main roster. In that respect, Gacy looked good.

    Result

    Kofi def. Gacy by pinfall.

    Grade

    C

    Notable Moments

    • Booker T and Woods argued on commentary about the legacy of Kofi.
    • The Dyad went after Woods at ringside until Kofi laid them out with a dive.
    • Pretty Deadly confronted New Day in the locker room and demanded a title shot, willing to go through a gauntlet to earn another opportunity.

Bron Breakker Lost His Cool on 'The Grayson Waller Effect'

9 of 9

    Bron Breakker walked into this segment playing it cool, but Grayson Waller kept needling him. Finally, the NXT champion laid out his challenger with a military press powerslam, then hit him with a somersault plancha to the floor.

    This was a fine segment but did not come off as a true rising moment before NXT New Year's Evil. Waller has done so much to goad Breakker into getting aggressive, which should have made this feel more heated.

    This felt more like a first chapter rather than the penultimate. Breakker should have either kept his focus until Waller broke, or the champion should have been ready to fight from the start. The middle ground was a waste of time.

    Still, it feels like either man could walk out champion. It is more likely Breakker retains, but Waller has a chance to truly solidify his NXT status with the performance of his career next week.

    Grade

    C-

    Notable Moments

    • Waller was confident he had the mental edge over Breakker in his interview early in the night.
X