clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NXT recap & reactions (Feb. 14, 2023): Roxanne Perez’s boss fight

Roxanne Perez and Meiko Satomura tag team, Isla Dawn channels her voice, Trick talks a big game, and a Valentine’s Day all on this week’s NXT.

NXT comes at you live this Valentine’s Day! I’m not sure if love is in the air but something definitely is because we got a lot of fighting this week. Love taps?

Claire does what she does better than anyone (so why compete) while I add some hopefully smart insights.

Let’s talk NXT!

The Champ

Every championship reign needs a story. Mandy Rose’s reign told a story about everyone overlooking her while she racked up victories. Bron Breakker’s reign tells the story of a man finding control and not beating himself. I’m not sure what Roxanne Perez’s story is at the moment, even though she impresses me every time she wrestles. But maybe that’s by design since NXT made her champ sooner than they planned, and her first big title match wasn’t really about her.

But after NXT’s most recent episode, I still don’t really know where we’re going with her story even if I enjoy her matches. But is that enough? That’s the ultimate question. Do we know enough about Roxanne or get enough promos from her to truly know who she is and what she’s about so she keeps that connection with the audience?

Roxanne teamed with Meiko Satomura against Kayden Carter & Katana Chance. The former tag team champs apologized for being in their feelings last week and admitted they were wrong for coming at Roxanne sideways. But they both wanted a chance at wrestling the Final Boss.

And wrestle they did.

This match got physical in ways Carter & Chance’s match usually don't go. Satomura added that element and props to every woman for committing and matching her blow for blow. Perez pinned Carter with a Satomura providing a big assist, which tracks given what happened prior to and after the match. The Final Boss hinted she wants a favor for her favor, and after the match, she made her intentions quite clear.

Before Roxanne gets to Stand & Deliver, she must defend her title against Meiko. In fact, Roxanne can’t wait to do so and is honored she asked. While I’m excited for the match, I still don’t know what Roxanne’s core story is outside of being a prodigy. She and Meiko will probably tear down the house in whatever house this match takes place, but her reign needs more than this. I’m still on board but like I said, I wonder how long we can go with the “happy to be here” babyface with the girlhood dream. If anyone knows how that act gets old really fast, it’s Shawn Michaels.


Get Out

Grayson Waller showed a newfound aggression this week. Sure, he needed it for Tyler Bate, but it makes perfect sense after Grayson’s previous two weeks. After losing the NXT championship match at Vengeance Day, he ran into Shawn Michaels’ office, which resulted in a suspension. I like giving Waller a big chip on his shoulder since he’s focused on proving he’s “the guy.” Waller warming up the band for his version of Sweet Chin Music might be the moment of the match as it played Waller’s dislike for Michaels and Bate’s admiration for the Heartbreak Kid.

But even with all that aggression, Waller found himself on the short end of the stick because he took a shortcut and the ref caught him. Looking for shortcuts got him an L in the biggest match of his career, and it’s part of the reason he took an L this week in his first match back. Putting Grayson on a bit of a losing streak, while furthering his beef with Shawn, gives Grayson something interesting and should help his character.

Revenge of the Notepad

I love an angrier Apollo Crews. I love that they started with him journaling and then he threw it to the ground. He wants Dabba Cato, that’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. If this program gets extra physical, and hopefully personal, they might have a winner.

Jacy Goes Shawn Michaels

I’m torn on Jacy’s promo. I didn’t actually like her delivery because I didn’t believe anything. She seemed a bit rushed and just sped through it rather than talking. But, she’s so easy to hate because of how she carries herself in the ring. While Jacy may not have the talking part down just yet, she knows how to walk like a heel. Calling Gigi “Jannetty” was way too on the nose for me and misses the larger point of that barbershop moment. Anytime WWE tries recreating it, someone points out the fact they recreated the event. Which actually pulls me out of the moment and reminds me why that moment worked so well and why most remakes aren’t on that level. Her “screw you” at the end of it didn’t quite land either just because she said worse about Gigi prior to that moment.


Tiffany Stratton defeated a very distracted Thea Hail. We still don’t know what transpired between Hail and Schism but it clearly shook Hail. The Dyad & Ava Raine showed up during this match and got under Hail’s skin. Light work for Stratton.


I know some people will dig this but Isla Dawn taunting Ivy Nile & Tatum Paxley through a big speaker conveniently in the Diamond Mine training room is not my type of silly. I spent too much time asking why and what is this to even engage with it on the level NXT desired. No bueno.

Damn Damon

Remember when Damon Kemp was a thing? Or at least in meaningful matches? Apparently neither does NXT. Axiom ran through him like a blowtorch through butter. Damon Kemp is effectively a nobody on the roster.

Hindering Jinder

A couple things here. The crowd seems sour on Bron Breakker. Which is...interesting. I like the fact he and Jinder Mahal acknowledged that during their segment. Yes, you read that right, Jinder Mahal. The former WWE champ got in the NXT champ’s way with Bron looking squarely at Carmelo Hayes. NXT realizes Melo and Bron won’t happen for at least another month and a half, so keeping both men busy before that time serves a purpose. I even like the idea of a former WWE champ heating up Bron on his way to Melo. But not this former champ. Jinder never truly got it going in the ring, and I’d much rather see Bron and Veer or Sanga because that’s meaty men slapping all kinds of meat.

But the crowd seemingly doesn’t care much about Jinder, and the last thing any championship match needs is apathy.

Drew Dumps Hank!

I mean, that’s it in a nutshell. Charlie Dempsey beat Hank and Drew left with the winner.

Help Me Help You

I wanted forward progress on Von Wagner’s story. Instead, we got stasis. Von challenged Wes Lee for the United States championship. He lost, and threw a fit in the locker room. Mr. Stone basically said what he said last week: No one knows who Von is and Von doesn't even know who he is, which is why he lost.

All of that sounds great but we played this note already. In fact, I wish Wagner went solo this week and Stone said in the locker room since it looked like the pair split last week. I guess breaking up really is hard to do.


Pretty Deadly challenged Gallus to a game of Billiards. Or Pool. Or whatever each team called the game. Pretty Deadly wagered a tag team title shot and they, of course, lost. But Gallus likes to fight and they’re “not the New Day” so yeah, they get their tag team title match. Gallus boys are not only on top, but apparently nice boys.

Trick Dropped Dragunov Like a Mixtape

So, last week, Ilja Dragunov beat JD McDonnagh so bad that he detached his retina. But before Dragunov gets his proper revenge on JD, Trick Williams has something to say.

Actually, Trick has a lot to say.

Trick dropped Dragunov after JD distracted the former NXT UK champ, which means we’re or a one-on-one between Trick and Dragunov. Now, I’m not sure if Trick is ready for that, so I’d prefer a triple threat that protects him a bit and lets him work in and out of spots. I’m sure Dragunov can do the heavy lifting in a one-on-one battle, but I don’t know if anyone believes Trick whoops Dragunov with all things equal.

Sitcom Shenanigans

Brooks Jensen’s lips never kissed anyone else’s lips. He planned on changing that during his Valentine’s date with Kiana James. Hilariously, he got closer to kissing his tag partner than Kiana! And, in typical sitcom fashion, Fallon Henley rushed the scene at Kiana’s house, told Brooks that Kiana is cheating on him because she overheard her phone conversation with “Zack.” If you know ‘80s or ‘90s sitcoms, you knew Zack was either a cousin or brother. Turns out he was the latter and we even got an appearance from Zack, apparently Kiana’s roommate.

I really like giving everyone something to do but the sitcom storytelling here is dated in sitcoms so it feels even worse here. Clearly Fallon mistrusting her tag partner is a problem for the champs, but this can’t be the only way to show that. And definitely can’t be the best way. It’s corny and predictable.

I wasn’t really feeling NXT this week. I really wish they slowed it down post-Vengenace Day and told some deeper stories. Maybe that means less wrestlers on the show, which I know kinda defeats the purpose of developmental, but it makes for a more engaging two hours.

Those are my thoughts, right or wrong. Just how I was feeling at the time. What are yours?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats