TJR: WWE NXT No Mercy 2023 Preview

wwe nxt no mercy preview tjrwrestling

This is WWE NXT No Mercy with a Carmelo Hayes-Ilja Dragunov rematch, plus Becky Lynch facing Tiffany Stratton in an Extreme Rules Match.

I like the lineup for the most part. I don’t know if the Bakersfield, California crowd will be very loud or how they might react, but hopefully they will be engaged for most of the matches.

You can watch NXT No Mercy this Saturday, September 30th at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on Peacock or WWE Network.

KICKOFF SHOW: Blair Davenport vs. Kelani Jordan

This should be a win by Davenport, who is pushed decently as a heel. Jordan isn’t being featured much and is still fairly new on the roster. It should be a good experience for Jordan in front of a bigger crowd. Davenport has had issues with Gigi Dolin, so maybe there’s some of sort of involvement from Gigi to cost Davenport, but I’ll go with the Blair win.

Winner: Blair Davenport

NXT Tag Team Championships: Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo (c) vs. Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo vs. The Creed Brothers (Julius & Brutus Creed) vs. OTM – Out The Mud (Bronco Nima & Lucien Price)

If you read my NXT review earlier this week then you know I said this match has had a disappointing build to it. It was essentially Tony & Stack sitting at the dinner table while the other three teams said they wanted a title match. The champions agreed to have a four-way match. Why not actually try to tell a story building to the match instead of just throwing four teams out there? A little bit of effort would be nice.

It should be a decent match with some fun moments, but there is a lack of a story here. I’ll go with the champions retaining although if The Creed Brothers were to win then that’s fine with me.

Winners: Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo

NXT Heritage Cup: Noam Dar vs. Butch

There are unique rules for this kind of match with five rounds and two out of three falls. I didn’t love the format early on, but I have gotten used to it. It allows the bookers to be more creative with how a match like this is booked.

I think Butch being a part of this is intriguing since he’s a main roster guy. A Butch win would be fine with me. However, I think Dar is very entertaining with this Cup in his possession and he should keep it. This will probably be one of the better matches on the show assuming the crowd is invested in it even though it has different rules than a regular match.

Winner: Noam Dar

Bron Breakker vs. Baron Corbin

A heel vs. heel match could lead to a quiet crowd. This feels like it will be a fight that goes about ten minutes with big moves and some brawling around ringside. They brawled a lot on NXT this past week, so that should continue here. I really don’t see a reason for Corbin to win. Put over the younger guy Breakker, who really hasn’t had that much to do since he has been out of the NXT Title picture.

I’m ready for Breakker on the main roster. I think maybe WWE wants to wait until the Royal Rumble for it to happen for him. Just my guess. Anyway, Bron should win here.

Winner: Bron Breakker

NXT North American Championship: Dominik Mysterio (c) vs. Trick Williams – Dragon Lee is the special guest referee

It’s been a fun championship reigns for “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio, who might have Rhea Ripley back with him at ringside for this match. Trick Williams won two matches on NXT with the second victory leading to this match and the fans were really behind him. If the Bakersfield crowd loves Trick like the NXT fans in Orlando and the do the “Whoop That Trick” chant then that will help Trick a lot.

The decision to have Dragon Lee as the referee is an interesting one because Dragon is Dominik’s rival, so it doesn’t make sense for Dragon to count fairly for Dominik. Maybe we’ll see Ripley involved in taking out Dragon, which leads to another referee counting the pin. There’s certainly a chance that Trick can win because he has a lot of momentum right now and there’s a babyface referee like Dragon. I just think Dominik keeps the title. Somehow, he’ll find a way.

Winner: Dominik Mysterio

Extreme Rules Match for the NXT Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Tiffany Stratton

This could be the main event of the show since it’s a stipulation match and Lynch is involved. By putting it on last, it would elevate Stratton as well because then she can say she’s an NXT PLE main eventer. I think Lynch winning seems like the likely outcome in what should be a very good match with some creative spots.

Their regular match when Lynch won the title was good, so they should be able to top it with some weapon usage and more highspots outside the ring. It’s hard to predict when Lynch might lose this title, but I hope it’s a clean loss when it happens. However, I get the sense that when it happens it will be cheap or a multi-person match where Lynch isn’t pinned. I can see them getting around 20 minutes in this match, Lynch will lead the way and Stratton will be able to hold her own. I think Lynch will retain.

Winner: Becky Lynch

NXT Championship: Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov

They had one of the best NXT Matches of the Year two months ago at the Great American Bash with Melo retaining the title in 24-minute classic. Dragunov complained that he only lost because of Trick Williams getting involved, which was a valid point, so now we get to see if Dragunov can get the win without somebody helping Melo.

My feeling is that a title change is coming here. Why not? I think it’s the right guy at the right time and I want to see something different. We saw Bron Breakker hold the title for a year minus a few weeks and now it’s been nearly six months since Melo has been the champion. I would certainly be fine with Melo retaining, but I think the Hayes character could be come more interesting if he wasn’t holding a title. I also think Dragunov is a guy that doesn’t need to have a super long title reign. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the match in terms of how it was booked and of course how great it is. It should be the best match of the night and one of the best WWE matches this year.

Winner AND NEW NXT Champion: Ilja Dragunov


And Finally…

The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most

Carmelo Hayes vs. Ilja Dragunov.

The Match I Care About The Least

The Kickoff Show match. On the main card, the NXT Tag Team Title match isn’t that interesting.

Longest Match

Becky Lynch vs. Tiffany Stratton.

Shortest Match

Bron Breakker vs. Baron Corbin.

Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)

It’s 7.5 out of 10 for me. The Hayes/Dragunov match is going to be outstanding, so that should lead the way in terms of best matches while Lynch/Stratton and Dar/Butch both have a shot to be excellent matches too. Some of the others should be fine too. I wouldn’t say the NXT product is as great as it was when it was at its best from 2015 to 2018 or so, but it is generally pretty entertaining. I am looking forward to the show.


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John Canton

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