The John Report: WWE NXT 05/30/23 Review

wwe nxt may 30

This week’s WWE NXT featured a Gigi Dolin-Jacy Jayne Steel Cage Match and NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes in action in the main event.

It’s the first NXT episode after the Battleground PLE on Sunday, which was a very good show.

I will use a summary style for most of the review and play-by-play for one or two matches.

This episode is taking place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. My WWE NXT Review archive is here. Let’s get to it.

It was Vic Joseph and Booker T on commentary as usual with the ring surrounded by the Steel Cage along with weapons.

There was a video package shown about the friendship and rivalry between Jacy Jayne-Gigi Dolin going into their Steel Cage Match. The video didn’t even mention Toxic Attraction and never showed Mandy Rose. Their rivalry was 1-1 going into this match.

Jacy Jayne attacked Gigi Dolin while Gigi was making her entrance. Jacy threw Gigi into a bunch of objects and slammed the door onto Gigi repeatedly. They went into the cage to start the match.

Weaponized Steel Cage Match: Jacy Jayne vs. Gigi Dolin

I’ll go play-by-play here. There were weapons all around the ring. Jacy hit Gigi with a leather strap about three times. Gigi came back with a trash can lid to the back. Gigi kicked Jacy followed by a cross body block. Gig whipped Jacy with the leather strap. Gigi kicked a garbage can that was on Jacy’s head. Gigi dropkicked a trash can onto Jacy for a two count. Gigi used a baseball bat that had thorns on it while putting her hand on the end of it to gently hit Jacy with it. Gigi swung the bat and you could tell Jacy would duck it, which she did, which led to Jacy hitting a spinebuster onto a trash can.


Gigi sent Jacy into a steel chair that was against the turnbuckle and Jacy hit it with her hands. Gigi hit a clothesline for two. Gigi set up a pile of chairs in the ring, but Jacy countered an attack with a neckbreaker on the chairs. Jacy sent Gigi into a trash can that was against the turnbuckle followed by Jacy hitting a cannonball attack in the corner. Jacy opened up a table and set it up near a turnbuckle. Gigi hit a knee to the ribs. Jacy sent Gigi into the cage. They battled on the top turnbuckle while the table was underneath them. Gigi slammed Jacy off the table for a back-first bump through the table. Gigi covered Jacy for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Gigi Dolin

Analysis: *** It was good for what it needed to be as the ending of this rivalry. They used a lot of weapons and it was a decisive conclusion for the babyface Gigi getting the win. I thought some more nearfalls would have helped a lot because while they were set on doing spots, I wanted to see Jacy going for the win more often and the same from Gigi as well. Instead, they just cared about using the weapons. Let’s not forget that the purpose is to try to win.

A video aired about NXT Battleground from Sunday night.

Wes Lee, the NXT North American Champion, was interviewed earlier in the day by Mckenzie Mitchell. The Dyad confronted Wes, Tyler Bate showed up to support Wes and it looked like a tag team match was coming.


They showed Tony D’Angelo getting “arrested” with arrest photos.

Gallus was mocking Tony D getting arrested. Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo arrived to fight with them, so then Gallus beat up Stacks. There were WWE Officials that broke it up.

Let’s Hear from Carmelo Hayes

The NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes made his entrance with Trick Williams along with “Melo” chants from the crowd. Trick mentioned that Melo left Battleground in his hometown still as the NXT Champion. Melo says sometimes you have to take shots to make shots. Melo said he never misses.

Noam Dar, the NXT Heritage Champion, interrupted with his allies Oro Mensah, Lash Legend and Jakara Jackson. Dar got in the ring saying he successfully defended his Heritage Cup by beating Dragon Lee twice (it’s 2/3 falls). Trick pointed out that it was four of them that beat Dragon. Melo said that this NXT Championship puts Melo on the highest level and he knows that Dar can’t beat him.

Dar said that almost sounded like a challenge even though it would be the biggest mistake of Melo’s life. Dar wanted Melo to put the NXT Title on the line. Dar trashed Melo for hesitating to accept the challenge saying he was practicing “load management” like NBA players. Melo said forget that because if Dar wants a title shot then he’s got it.

Analysis: It was okay as a promo segment to set up a match for later in the show. It’s a fresh matchup for later in the show. Melo was confident as usual while Dar was looking to take advantage of Melo possibly being tired after the tough match at Battleground.

Cora Jade was shown complaining about things with six other women in the locker room. Ivy Nile walked in saying they have all had it with her whining. Jade mentioned The Creed Brothers lost on Sunday and Ava kicked Ivy’s ass. Ivy said that they were in a fight while Cora was not. Ivy left while Cora said she’s not scared of Ivy. They have a match a later.

The Dyad entered for tag team action.


Axiom was shown backstage watching Battleground with Reggie showing up to him. Reggie said that his people call him Scrypts and Axiom wondered who, but Reggie didn’t specify who. Reggie thanked Axiom for opening his eyes by taking off his mask and that’s why Reggie helped Axiom with Dabba-Kato last week.

The Dyad – Rip Fowler & Jagger Reid (w/Ava) vs. Wes Lee & Tyler Bate

Bate started for his team, then Wes tagged in and had a unique cross body block takedown style move. Bate tagged in and Fowler shoved Bate into Wes. After Reid got the tag, Wes jumped off the top with a headscissors combo on both opponents. Bate and Wes each hit dropkicks knocking both opponents down. Mustafa Ali showed up in the crowd with the fans chanting “Ali” for him.


Mustafa Ali joined commentary as The Dyad worked over Bate. Mustafa said he’s a free agent, so he can be on any show. Ali said that he’s looking at getting a championship. Fowler with a forearm on Bate, but then Bate drove Fowler into the turnbuckle and Wes tagged in with strikes. Wes dropkicked Fowler in the back along with a DDT. Wes with strikes along with a double stomp on the back. Wes bounced off the ropes with a Cardiac Kick on both opponents. Bate tagged in leading to Wes and Beat each hitting twisting dives. Wes hit a dive on Fowler on the floor. Bate hit a Tyler Driver 97 on Reid for the pinfall win. It went about ten minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Wes Lee & Tyler Bate

Analysis: ***1/4 That was an entertaining match, which is not a surprise considering who was in the match. Lee & Bate are both awesome while The Dyad are a talented team that requested their WWE releases, those were not granted and now they’ll still be there for a few more months to lose more matches. The finish was exciting with Lee hitting the double Cardiac Kick, then the top rope splashes and Bate hitting the Tyler Driver to win. I liked that ending a lot.

Post match, Ivy Nile showed up to attack Ava. The Creed Brothers tried to stop it, then The Dyad got into a fight with The Creeds and officials broke it up as they went to the back.

Joe Gacy attacked Ali & Bate from behind, but Ali made the save. The fans were chanting for Ali for the save.

Analysis: Since Ali said he was looking at winning a title because he came close to getting the Intercontinental Title, this could lead to Ali vs. Wes soon. That will be an amazing match when it happens.

Tiffany Stratton, the NXT Women’s Champion, was shown walking backstage.


They showed Drew Gulak and Charlie Dempsey instructing Chase U students on how to wrestle. Thea Hail told Duke Hudson she knows she isn’t weak. Charlie told Thea there’s no crying or running away this time. They cut away before a lockup.

Let’s Hear from Tiffany Stratton

Tiffany Stratton made her entrance as the new NXT Women’s Champion. The ring was full of photos of Tiffany for the celebration. Tiffany talked about how she’s in her rightful spot at the top of NXT. Tiffany went over names of future Hall of Famers that have held this title like Charlotte Flair, Asuka, Bayley and Rhea Ripley. Tiffany said she’ll prove what it means to be a true champion. Stratton said she believes she is the epitome of what it means to be a WWE superstar. Stratton invited the locker room to join her celebration.

The women’s locker room slowly emptied out with Stratton standing in the ring saying she knows they are starstruck around her. Stratton said she’ll be champion for a long time and will retire as champion. Stratton trashed the women standing around ringside.

Stratton said she had a “Tiffany Epiphany” to give everybody a shot at her title. Tiffany said that there will be a battle royal to determine her first title challenger. Tiffany said for as long as she wants, it is Tiffy Time. Booker: “Ahhhh Yes!”

A few of the women from outside the ring attacked Tiffany, who bumped to the floor. Tiffany threw a tantrum on the floor while the other women stood in the ring.

Analysis: It was fine. Tiffany is an over-the-top, egotistical style heel that has no allies, so she was rude to everybody in the segment and then they cleared her from the ring to show that the women’s division is coming for her. I still think Tiffany’s gimmicky voice style is a detriment and she might want to cut that out, but overall I like her a lot. It’s been fun watching her growth over the last two years.

Trick Williams was backstage with Lash, Jakara & Oro going up to him for some trash talk about the match later. Oro Mensah said that Carmelo Hayes never should have taken the match. Trick said he’s watching them all later.

They showed Noam Dar and Carmelo Hayes preparing for their match separately in the backstage area.


Dani Palmer was in the ring saying she can’t leave this ring until she finds out who this attacker is. Dani complained about this mystery attacker coming after her and her best friend Sol Ruca, who is out for a year. Dani said she’s not leaving until this woman shows her face. A video aired showing the random attacks.

The random attacker hit Palmer from behind and then there was a sitout suplex. The attacker revealed herself to be Blair Davenport. Blair hit Palmer with a knee leading to Blair’s music playing.

Analysis: The mystery attacker story was a way for NXT to bring Blair back in a creative way, so I don’t mind it. Blair is a talented woman. With several women being drafted to the main roster recently, I think Blair could have a big impact in the months ahead.

They showed a clip of Eddy Thorpe talking to Edris Enofe & Malik Blade. Damon Kemp said he guesses Thorpe can’t win without cheating. Kemp faces Thorpe next week.

Joe Coffey vs. Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo

Wolfgang & Mark Coffey were kicked out of the building, so Joe was alone. Stacks was selling a rib injury after being attacked earlier in the show. Joe was aggressive with a hard whip into the turnbuckle as Stacks continued to sell the injured ribs. Joe hit a body slam, then he was sent to the apron and Stacks hit a dropkick knocking Joe to the floor.


Joe was in control for a few minutes. Stacks got some offense going with a back elbow, a running uppercut and a neckbreaker. Stacks going up top was a mistake because Joe hit him with a belly-to-belly suplex off the top. Stacks came back with a clothesline that sent both guys to the floor and Stacks actually bumped over the top first, so that looked weird. Stacks missed a running attack by the steps when Joe move and Stacks hit the steel steps. Back in the ring, Joe hit a jumping forearm and a discus clothesline leading to a great flip bump by Stacks. Joe covered for the win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Joe Coffey

Analysis: *** The match was okay. It’s still weird seeing Stacks in a babyface role, but I thought Stacks sold well for the most part. Joe has a lot of good power moves as a shorter guy who looks tough. I thought it was an entertaining match and I didn’t have high expectations going into it, so kudos to them doing well.

Von Wagner was shown backstage with Mr. Stone after last week’s NXT show with Von saying he shut Luca’s mouth by putting him down through the table. Stone said that Von has serious anger management issues. Stone told him to see a therapist, Von wasn’t interested and Stone said he’ll pay for it. Von said he’ll think about it.

Analysis: They are trying to work on Von as a character. Perhaps this story is going to make him more of a popular babyface.

There was a video package shown of Ilja Dragunov ahead of his Battleground match last Sunday and highlights of the match he had with Dijak. Dragunov got the win with a forearm to the back to drive Dijak’s head into a steel chair. Dragunov won the Last Man Standing match.

Analysis: Cool video. Dragunov and Dijak had an outstanding match as expected. Dragunov is one of my favorite performers in NXT for sure. He’s so fun to watch.

Cora Jade entered for singles action.


Ivy Nile vs. Cora Jade

Jade took control early with a hair pull. Jade trapped Nile against the ropes leading to a hard chop along with a dropkick. After Nile got a bit of momentum, Jade pulled on the hair again. Nile did a gutwrench slam. Ava showed up, Nile grabbed her and Jade kneed Nile in the back. Jade hit a Jaded DDT for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Cora Jade

Analysis: ** The mean girl Jade is pushed more than Nile at this point, so it’s not a surprise that Jade got the win. Nile and Ava continue to have issues, so it cost Nile the win. Jade needs a meaningful feud soon.

Hank Walker and Tank Ledger talked about their match last week saying the yare tighter than ever. They both said “chicken parm” was their favorite food and other things they agree on. Edris Enofe & Malik Blade showed up to show their chemistry, but they didn’t agree on things. Blade said that fighting may help them too.

Analysis: Quick segments to try to build tag teams and get more people on the show.

The main event was next.


The next WWE NXT Premium Live Event is the Great American Bash on Sunday, July 30th in Cedar Park, Texas. The main roster should use that name, but I am glad that NXT is using it.

The Creed Brothers and Ivy Nile were shown talking backstage so Mckenzie Mitchell showed up for an interview. Ivy challenged Ava while The Creed Brothers challenged The Dyad as well. The Dyad and Ava showed up as the two sides were separated by WWE Officials.

Next week on NXT:

* Ilja Dragunov returns

* Eddy Thorpe vs. Damon Kemp

* Women’s Championship #1 Contender Battle Royal

The wrestlers made their entrance for the NXT Championship match. Alicia Taylor did the championship introduction while both guys were in the ring. There was a “Melo” chant.

NXT Championship: Carmelo Hayes (w/Trick Williams) vs. Noam Dar (w/Oro Mensah, Jakara Jackson & Lash Legend)

I’ll go play-by-play for this match. They battled over a headlock early, Dar decked Melo with a kick to the chest, but Melo came back with a springboard clothesline as Dar left the ring.


Melo was in control with a kick to the back of the head, Dar was trapped against the ropes and Melo hit a springboard leg drop. It’s a pretty move, but silly to have Dar hold onto the ropes to take it. Dar sent Melo to the apron, Dar kicked Melo in the leg and Dar hit a dropkick knocking Melo off the apron to the floor. Back in the ring, Dar hit a running forearm for two. Dar hit a double underhook suplex for two. They exchanged punches with Dar hitting a leaning jab to the side of the head for two. Melo got some momentum going with a spin around the shoulders leading to Melo slamming Dar into the mat. Melo continued on offense by driving Dar’s head into the knee and Melo hit a jumping kick. Melo hit a move like a pumphandle slam for two. Legend, Jackson and Oro were causing chaos on the floor, so Trick punched Oro and the referee ejected Trick from ringside. Melo got a rollup on Dar for two, but Dar came back with a reverse elbow. Dar applied a kneebar submission, Melo punched out of it and Melo applied a crossface submission, but Dar got to the ropes. Melo with forearms, Dar with a spinning elbow and Melo countered with a lifting Cutter. Melo went up top, the referee was distracted, Oro pulled the top rope and Nathan Frazer/Dragon Lee showed up to stop Oro. Melo jumped off the top with a cross body block on Dar and Oro on the floor. Back in the ring, Hayes jumped off the top with the Nothing But Net leg drop to the back of the head for the pinfall win after about 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Carmelo Hayes

Analysis: ***1/2 It was the usual great TV match for Melo and Dar is certainly capable as well. A few more minutes may have seen get to that next level in terms of having an even better match, but I certainly enjoyed it. Hayes showed he’s a fighting babyface champion, which is good for the brand. Dar got plenty of offense in the match and showed that he could compete with Melo, but the champion was too much for him. Having Dragon Lee and Nathan Frazer show up as Noam Dar rivals to stop Oro from interfering some more was good storyline continuity. Carmelo capitalizing on the situation was the right way to finish it.

After the match, Carmelo Hayes was celebrating with the title and the NXT signature was on the screen. Baron Corbin showed up with a forearm to the back! Cheap shot by Corbin. Back in the ring, Corbin hit the End of Days slam on Melo. Corbin brought the NXT Title into the ring and held up the title over Melo. Corbin put the title on Melo. End show.

Analysis: That was a surprise because Corbin hasn’t been in NXT for many years. Since Corbin is a free agent, it allows him to go on a show like NXT just like Mustafa Ali earlier in the show. I don’t mind it since I assume Hayes will beat Corbin when they wrestle. It’s something fresh and different, at least. Maybe it will be good for Corbin’s career to have an NXT run like this.


Three Stars of the Show

1. Carmelo Hayes

2. Wes Lee & Tyler Bate

3. Noam Dar/Gigi Dolin/Jacy Jayne


The Scoreboard

This week: 7.5 out of 10

Last week: 6.5

2023 Average: 6.93


Final Thoughts

I liked the show. The match quality was strong for the whole show while they followed up on key storylines from Battleground. There were good matches from Hayes-Dar, Lee-Bate over The Dyad and the Dolin-Jayne Steel Cage match was okay with a big table spot ending.

There was a couple of surprises with Mustafa Ali and Baron Corbin showing up. Maybe it will be good for Corbin’s career at this point while Ali can have great matches with so many of these guys I think both guys should do well in NXT for a short period just because the creative team utilizes the whole roster better than Raw and Smackdown do. We see it every week because NXT manages to get nearly the whole roster on the show all the time.

The NXT brand is in a good place these days. It’s still developmental for a lot of people, but booking wise I think they are consistently entertaining on a weekly basis.


Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays. My contact info is below.

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport