This week’s WWE NXT featured a six-person mixed tag, more main roster stars appearing and a women’s battle royal main event.
I will use a summary style for most of the review and play-by-play for one or two matches.
It was Vic Joseph and Booker T on commentary as usual.
Baron Corbin was shown walking backstage. Corbin told a woman in a headset to hit his music, so Corbin walked out to the ring to boos. They showed highlights of last week’s ending when Corbin beat up NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes and Corbin held up the NXT Title.
Let’s Hear from Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin said he never thought he’d be back in NXT. Corbin talked about how for the last eight years, he has been on Raw & Smackdown while talking about main eventing pay-per-view events. Corbin said NXT stars come up with ego and attitude. Corbin said that NXT stars act like we should thank them for coming to Raw and Smackdown. Corbin talked about he hears superstars in the back talking about their legacies or complaining about not coming back. Corbin said that they have guaranteed contracts and are living in a house that he built. Corbin talked about how the OG’s started in FCW, then they took this train to sell out Barclays Arena (Center) to sell out 16,500 people. Corbin told them not to clap and to get off his bandwagon.
Corbin said that the superstars in the back don’t show him the respect he deserves. Corbin said he had no control over the last draft class that came up, but you can make damn sure he will have control of the next draft class. Corbin said that everybody in the back is soft, weak and they are not as good as they think they are.
Corbin trashed Carmelo Hayes said he got a taste of main roster reality last week. Corbin said he stood over Melo’s body with the NXT Title and held it over his head.
Ilja Dragunov interrupted as he walked to the ring and introduced himself to Corbin. Baron said he knows him, but what does he want? Dragunov told Corbin he is not soft or weak because he’s the most animalistic man in NXT and after Battleground, he’s the first person in line to challenge for the NXT Title. Corbin said that he competed in six WrestleMania matches, he retired Kurt Angle and he was the last man to pin Roman Reigns. Dragunov said he didn’t care about Corbin’s history and said if he has to push Corbin aside for an NXT Title match, he’ll do it. Corbin said that he’s the biggest star in this building. Dragunov challenged Corbin to a match tonight. Dragunov showed off a big bruise on the right side after Battleground. Corbin said when he’s done with Dragunov, Ilja will be covered in bruises. Dragunov said he welcomes the challenge.
Analysis: I thought Baron Corbin’s promo was very good as a veteran heel. While I don’t think the fans think that Corbin is as good as he is, the stuff Corbin mentioned as far as his WWE history goes is impressive, so that’s something he should be bragging about. Dragunov is such a likable face and a guy that’s so easy to get behind.
While Corbin was posing in the ring, Trick Williams showed up with an attack from behind on Corbin. Trick punched Corbin a few times and Trick hit a clothesline that sent Corbin over the top.
Analysis: Trick got some revenge for Corbin attacking Hayes last week.
They showed a clip from earlier today with Thea Hail selling the idea that she was training with Drew Gulak and Charlie Dempsey. Duke Hudson walked up to her to talk about the battle royal and Hail was excited as usual.
Schism entered for tag team action.
There was a video shown from moments ago with Bron Breakker standing over Ilja Dragunov. Bron shouted about how Dragunov thinks he likes pain, so he asked how does that feel? Dragunov was selling.
Analysis: This show likes random attacks. The Dragunov-Dijak feud happened with similar attacks.
Schism – Rip Fowler, Jagger Reid & Ava vs. Diamond Mine – Julius Creed, Brutus Creed & Ivy Nile
They have yet to push Ava in terms of putting her in matches, so it’s a rare match for her. Julius and Brutus made some quick tags as they worked over Reid. Julius started a suplex, Brutus tagged in to take over the suplex, then Julius tagged himself back in and after about 20 seconds Julius dropped Reid with a suplex. Reid hit an elbow on Julius. Ava tagged in, so Nile had to tag in and Ava tagged out to Fowler. Brutus hit a double axhandle off the top onto Fowler. Brutus did a press slam along with a standing moonsault. Nile even suplexed Brutus onto Fowler. They went to a break.
Schism were in control with Fowler isolating Brutus with a chinlock. After a Reid distraction, Fowler hit Brutus with a knee to the back. Reid hit a move looking like a blockbuster neckbreaker on Julius for a two count. Brutus managed to bring in his brother Julius, who unloaded with multiple overhead suplexes on Reid & Fowler. Julius hit an impressive moonsault off the top on Fowler & Reid. Julius hit a big clothesline on Reid, but Reid answered back with a superkick on Julius. Nile tagged in so that meant that Ava was legal. They exchanged strikes, which didn’t look great, but Ava hit a nice back kick. Nile choked out Reid, so the referee looked at Reid, which allowed Ava to put on a mask to headbutt Nile and get the cheap pin. It went 14 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Schism – Rip Fowler, Jagger Reid & Ava
Analysis: **3/4 It was pretty good for the most part with a cheap ending. The guys worked well together. Julius is so fun to watch and I liked Brutus’ power spots while Fowler/Reid are always showing off their skills in there. It’s pretty obvious that Ava still isn’t ready to have a meaningful match. She was only in there for a few minutes and barely did anything. Some of the selling needs to improve, but she did some nice moves. The finish fits Schism since they are known as cheating heels.
Tony D’Angelo was shown in jail talking on the phone to Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo. Tony said that somebody hooked him up with a Peacock subscription. Tony told Stacks that Gallus are the ones that did this. Tony told Stacks you can’t do it 3 on 1 and told Stacks to figure it out.
Analysis: Sure. I don’t find this story to be that interesting, but when Tony “gets out” of jail maybe he and Stacks will win the Tag Team Titles from Gallus.
A video aired about Blair Davenport after she revealed herself as the woman that did the cheap attacks in the past.
There was a video featuring Von Wagner and Mr. Stone visiting different therapists during the week. I think one of them was a guy named Ryan Katz, who works with NXT. A guy walked out of the doctor’s office crying and Wagner didn’t want to do it after that guy was crying. A gorgeous woman was the doctor, so Wagner told Stone to stay there and Wagner winked.
Analysis: This show really loves the out of the ring vignettes.
Blair Davenport vs. Dani Palmer
Blair was in control with a stomach breaker while Booker spoke about how Palmer was green due to not having much experience. Blair took over with knee strikes to Palmer. After Palmer got some strikes, Blair slammed her off the top rope. Blair hit a knee to the face and a Falcon Arrow slam for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Blair Davenport
Analysis: *3/4 A short match to put over Blair in a dominant way. They didn’t give Palmer offense here.
After the match, Blair Davenport said she was putting the entire NXT women’s division on notice.
Dana Brooke from Raw was shown in the parking lot saying NXT is full of opportunities, so she’s going to be in the battle royal and be the last woman standing.
Tiffany Stratton, the NXT Women’s Champion, was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Stratton said of course Dana Brooke wants a shot at the championship. Stratton said she has made this championship the most desirable title in all of WWE. Stratton said nobody was happy when she won the title. Stratton thinks that Lyra Valkyria pushed her at Battleground, but it doesn’t matter who wins the battle royal because Tiffany will remain the NXT Women’s Champion. Toodles.
Baron Corbin vs. Trick Williams
They showed a tweet from Carmelo Hayes about wanting to get back to 100% to sell the idea that he was hurt by Corbin’s attack last week. Corbin was wrestling in a black tank top and shorts. Corbin was aggressive early on with forearms to the back along with a running back elbow on a charging Trick. Trick got some offense with a punch that knocked Corbin out of the ring.
They did a spot where Trick tried to hit a knee on Corbin against the commentary table, but Corbin moved and Trick’s left knee hit the table. Corbin hit a spinebuster leading to a single leg crab submission until Trick got to the ropes. Trick got some offense with a dropkick, knee, clothesline and a neckbreaker. Corbin hit the Deep Six slam for two as usual for that move. Corbin charged, Trick moved and Corbin hit the ring post. Trick tried a move, then sold the left knee injury that was hurt earlier, so Corbin kicked the knee and Corbin hit the End of Days slam for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Baron Corbin
Analysis: *** Good match. I want to see Trick get more opportunities in the ring because he keeps improving. Trick has an impressive look too. We know Trick’s role in NXT these days is to lose to guys that are feuding with Carmelo Hayes, so Trick losing was expected. Corbin worked hard and was easy to hate as the heel in this match. Trick showed a lot of heart as the babyface. It was all about putting over Corbin as a threat in NXT.
Post match, Baron Corbin said he’s going to Smackdown on Friday to qualify for Money in the Bank. Corbin told Ilja that he’s coming back next Tuesday.
Nathan Frazer was shown on a news desk delivering some Hard Hitting Home Truths. Frazer said he wasn’t a fan of Noam Dar’s group. There was a Senior International Correspondent…it’s Dragon Lee. Lee had five names for Noam’s group and they were all bad names on purpose. Frazer said Dar is a fragile fraud hiding behind his buddies. Frazer challenged Dar for a Heritage Cup match next week and Dragon Lee said he’ll be in Frazer’s corner.
Analysis: It’s just a different way to deliver a promo. A push for Frazer would be great.
Mustafa Ali was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Ali talking about how he’s a free agent and wanted to be a champion. Wes Lee walked up with the NXT North American Title with Ali saying Wes didn’t need to hand him an opportunity. Mustafa said he’s going to beat Joe Gacy and maybe down the road he’ll get a title shot at Wes, if he’s still champion. Wes wished him the best of luck.
Mustafa Ali made his entrance for singles action.
Joe Gacy vs. Mustafa Ali
Gacy was aggressive early as he sent Ali out of the ring and back in for a two count. Gacy hit a uranage slam for two and a DDT for two. Ali jumped through the ropes leading to a neckbreaker for two. Ali hit a sunset flip Powerbomb off the top. Ali hit a 450 Splash off the top for the pinfall win after about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Mustafa Ali
Analysis: ** A clean win for Ali to give him some momentum in NXT. I don’t think a three-minute loss is good for Gacy, so maybe there’s some change coming for him.
After the match, Schism’s tag team The Dyad attacked Ali with Gacy joining in. Wes Lee and Tyler Bate made the save with Ali, Wes & Tyler clearing the ring.
Analysis: That should lead to a six-man tag team match.
Fallon Henley was talking to Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen about her battle royal with the guys wishing her good luck. Edris Enofe & Malik Blade talked to Briggs & Brooks about tag team chemistry. Hank Walker & Tank Ledger joined in talking about getting some drinks. Those four guys left. Edris & Malik were arguing. Gallus walked up saying that Edris & Malik would never beat them for their titles. Malik and Edris agreed to face eachother next week to build up tag team chemistry. After Malik left, Edris asked Siri when Malik’s birthday is.
Analysis: There were a lot of people in that backstage segment. I say every week how NXT always try to get people on the show even if they don’t have a match, so this was an example of that.
Eddy Thorpe entered for singles action.
Noam Dar was with his Heritage Cup joined by Oro Mensah, Lash Legend and Jakara Jackson. Dar put over the individuals in the group. Dar said he’s never losing this cup and there is no stopping the Meta Four – I guess that’s the name of the group.
Eddy Thorpe vs. Damon Kemp
Thorpe was on offense with a spinning cross body block. Kemp caught Thorpe on his shoulders leading to a rolling slam. Kemp hit an impressive belly-to-belly overhead suplex along with a backbreaker. Thorpe made a comeback with a jumping kick and jumping elbow drop for two with Kemp getting his foot on the bottom rope. Thorpe hit a bridging German Suplex near the ropes, Kemp’s right foot was on the middle rope and the referee never saw it, so Thorpe got the win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Eddy Thorpe
Analysis: ** It was decent for a short match. Thorpe is a talented athlete while Kemp is improving as a heel. The controversial ending likely suggests there’s another match coming.
Post match, Damon Kemp was correctly complaining about the finish.
Gigi Dolin and Kiana James got into an argument backstage ahead of the battle royal coming up.
Dabba-Kato was shown walking backstage because he’s in action next.
Scrypts vs. Dabba-Kato
They are going with the Scrypts name without a mask on his face. They aren’t calling him Reggie even without the mask. The big man Kato was dominant with power moves along with a bearhug. Kato tossed Scrypts out of the ring to the floor. Kato picked up Scrypts on the floor, Axiom was standing on the steel steps and Kato shoved Axiom down. Axiom was on the top rope, he jumped over Kato and Scrypts hit Kato with an elbow smash and a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the win. It went three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Scrypts
Analysis: * That wasn’t the result I was expecting. A ROLLUP OF DEATH~! by a small guy on a 300-pounder is a weird booking decision.
Post match, Kato slammed Scrypts and Kato slammed Axiom onto Scrypts.
Analysis: The post match attack makes people forget that Kato lost in under three minutes to a guy much smaller than him.
Joe Gacy was shown ranting to his Schism buddies. Gacy said next week they will expose Wes Lee, Mustafa Ali & Tyler Bate. The other Schism guys talked about how they had success earlier. Joe said that he lost tonight and at Battleground, so he needs to do better. The Dyad’s Jagger Reid said they had Gacy’s back.
They showed entrances of Lyra Valkyria & Cora Jade for the main event women’s battle royal.
Mustafa Ali was shown backstage with Wes Lee and Tyler Bate. They mentioned their six-man tag team match next week. Ali said that Wes and Tyler love this while saying everybody wants to see them do it again, one on one. They agreed to a match with a handshake. Ali said that Friday on Smackdown he has a Money in the Bank qualifying match, then they have a six-man tag team match next week and then they’ll figure out when Ali faces Bate in a match.
Next week on NXT:
* Tyler Bate, Wes Lee & Mustafa Ali vs. Schism
* Baron Corbin vs. Ilja Dragunov
* Heritage Cup: Noam Dar vs. Nathan Frazer
Women’s Battle Royal For NXT Women’s Title Shot
The ring was full of women competing in the battle royal. The winner gets an NXT Women’s Title match against Tiffany Stratton.
Dana Brooke was in pink/black gear that was similar to her NXT gear in the past. There were some eliminations by Jacy Jayne (she got rid of Brooklyn Barlow) and Cora Jade (eliminated Lola Vice) early on. Gigi Dolin and Kiana James fought by the apron leading to James sending Dolin into the ring post to eliminate Dolin. Lash Legend & Jakara Jackson teamed up to eliminate Kelani Jordan. Thea Hail dove onto Oro Mensah, who was holding Jackson, who is eliminated while Hail is not. Legend sent Hail face first into the steel steps. Legend was eliminated by Feroz & Leon working together. Feroz & Leon were on the apron, so Jackson & Legend pulled them off the apron to eliminate Feroz & Leon. Those four women went fighting off screen leading to a picture-in-picture break.
The match continued with Blair Davenport in the aisle watching the match, so Roxanne Perez went under the bottom rope to attack Blair. Tatum Paxley made the save with a cross body block on Perez on the floor and the referee said Paxley was eliminated since she went over the top. Blair and Tatum sent Perez back into the ring. When Perez got back into the ring, Jayne dumped out Perez. Blair and Paxley mocked Perez, so they will be allies. Lyra with enziguri kicks on two women and a dropkick on Brooke. Lyra kicked Henley down. Lyra eliminated Jayne with a headscissors and then Jade dropkicked Lyra out to eliminate her.
The final four (or so they thought) were Dana Brooke, Fallon Henley, Cora Jade and Kiana James. Henley and James renewed that rivalry with Henley delivering a back body drop over the top (Henley was on the apron) to the floor on James. Brooke was in control with a double clothesline. Brooke hit handspring elbows on Henley and Jade. Jade dumped Henley out by the ropes. Jade nearly dropkicked Brooke out. Brooke and Jade did a double clothesline spot as Thea Hail emerged on the apron because she was not eliminated. It’s three women left with Brooke and Hail working together against Jade. Hail hit Brooke with a forearm. Jade sent Hail over the top, but Hail held on while on the apron. Hail kicked Jade in the head to knock her down. Brooke hit a neckbreaker on Hail, Jade with a knee to Brooke and a jumping knee. Brooke blocked a knee attempt by Jade, so Hail dumped Brooke & Jade out at the same time. Thea Hail wins! It went about 13 minutes.
Winner: Thea Hail
Analysis: **3/4 It was okay for a battle royal. The first half before the break was boring and then it got better as it got going. They likely spent time over the past week working on the eliminations at the WWE Performance Center. Thea Hail wasn’t in the ring for that long, yet she won after selling a move on the floor for about half of the match. It was kind of a cheap win for a babyface to have, but the fans loved it. I thought Dana Brooke did well in the match along with Cora Jade in terms of making it competitive toward the finish. The angle with Tatum Paxley helping Blair Davenport get rid of Roxanne Perez sets up a new feud with them.
— WWE (@WWE) June 7, 2023
The win means that Thea Hail will challenge Tiffany Stratton for the NXT Women’s Title at some point in the future.
Thea Hail was going crazy about the win. The ring was full of Chase U “students” celebrating with Thea Hail. The Cavendar Twins put Thea Hail on their shoulders. Drew Gulak and Charlie Dempsey were in the aisle watching their Hail celebrate since they had “trained” Hail a bit. They did a rundown of what’s coming next week as Thea Hail’s celebration continued.
Analysis: Thea Hails is the most excitable character in NXT and perhaps all of WWE, so if she wins something then she should get excited. I don’t see Thea beating Tiffany, but perhaps it will be a close match.
Bron Breakker was shown in the parking lot. Bron said he didn’t like Ilja Dragunov spouting garbage about being the most intense guy in WWE. Bron called out Seth “Freakin” Rollins saying he was an NXT Champion and Bron was the most dominant NXT Champion ever. Bron suggested that Seth comes there to put the WWE World Heavyweight Title against Bron.
Analysis: There was no date given for when Bron wants the match with Rollins, but maybe we’ll see Seth on NXT next week to set it up. That’s an interesting move although by having Seth on the show it certainly adds some star power to NXT whenever Seth shows up.
— WWE (@WWE) June 7, 2023
Three Stars of the Show
- Thea Hail
- Baron Corbin/Trick Williams
- Mustafa Ali
This week: 6.75 out of 10
Last week: 7.5
2023 Average: 6.92
It was okay this week. There are episodes of NXT that have much better matches than what we got this week, so that hurts it a bit. The women’s battle royal was solid as a main event with Thea Hail as a surprise winner. They had a few creative elimination spots in the match as well. The six-person tag shows that Ava still has a long way to go as a wrestler, but she did get the cheap win over Ivy Nile.
I thought Baron Corbin had a very good showing from the promo he did to start the show leading into the match with Trick Williams. That was a more serious version of Corbin that’s better than what he was doing on the main roster. Mustafa Ali had a strong showing in his match. I liked seeing Dana Brooke in the women’s battle royal too. Why not? They barely use her on the main roster, so let’s have her mix it up with some NXT women and see if there’s anything there.
The ending of the show saw Bron Breakker challenging Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Title was certainly intriguing. It could bring more fans to NXT next week to see how they follow up and if they agree to have a match on NXT in the coming weeks.
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