The John Report: WWE NXT 07/04/23 Review

wwe nxt july 4

This week’s WWE NXT featured The Creed Brothers facing The Dyad in a “Loser Leaves NXT” match, plus an Underground match and more.

It’s the Fourth of July US Independence Day holiday, so they taped this episode last week to give the talent and staff some time off. It makes sense. I’m not big into TV ratings, but obviously airing on a major US holiday is going to hurt the ratings for this episode too.

I will use a summary style for most of the review and play-by-play for a few 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.

Blair Davenport vs. Roxanne Perez

Perez attacked Blair in the aisle before the match and then they went into the ring to start the match. Perez was very aggressive to start the match with a cross body block on the floor. It took a few minutes for Blair to get some offense with a running knee. When Perez was on the top rope, Blair shoved her off the top to the floor followed by a double stomp to the back. Ouch.


Blair was in control with a belly-to-back suplex. Perez countered a move off the top with a cross body block leading to both women down selling for a few moments. Blair hit a forearm to the face for two. Perez clotheslined Blair out of the ring followed by an uppercut on the floor. Blair sent a charging Roxy into the steel steps followed by a running knee against the steps. Blair hit a Falcon Arrow for two. Blair held Roxanne’s arms and delivered two hard knees to the face for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Blair Davenport

Analysis: **3/4 It was a big win for Davenport beating a former champion like Perez. I don’t think it was a great match, but I liked the intensity early on and towards the finish. They put over the story that Perez may have been knocked out after the steel steps and those knees to the face in the ring. This win should elevate Blair a bit.

Ivy Nile was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell backstage about The Creed Brothers having a big match later. Tiffany Stratton, NXT Women’s Champion, bragged about her title win last week. Ivy pointed out that Tiffany tapped out and Tiffany said that the referee never saw it. Ivy threatened to beat Tiffany. Ivy left and Tiffany asked if Ivy goes if Creed Brothers go, but Mckenzie it would just be the Creed Brothers going.

Mustafa Ali entered to a big ovation.


Baron Corbin was featured in a vignette talking about how he didn’t walk out as the NXT Champion like he thought he would. Corbin said he’s got the money, the fame and the family, but he doesn’t have is the reputation. Corbin said he’s seen as consistent, safe, good and said he wants to be feared and respected. Corbin threw some of his past gimmicks in the past into a fire. Corbin said no more gimmicks, no nonsense and no bulls**t. Vic said we haven’t seen the last of Corbin in NXT.

Analysis: It’s some character evolution for Corbin. He did well against Carmelo Hayes last week.

Mustafa Ali vs. Tyler Bate

I’ll go play-by-play here. They did some mat wrestling to start with each guy getting a nearfall. Ali ran over Bate with a shoulder tackle followed by a backslide pin for two. They exchanged more nearfalls along with basic moves like headlocks and Ali had a brief Crossface submission. Bate applied an Ankle Lock, but Ali kicked his way free. Ali connected with some chops to the chest while Bate came back with a dropkick. Bate hit an uppercut off the middle rope while Ali jumped to sell it. Bate sent Ali out of the ring with a clothesline followed by another uppercut on the floor.


Bate hit a back body drop, Ali with a strike Ali went for an attack, but Bate punched him in the head. Ali with a superkick followed by an STF submission. Bate picked Ali up onto his shoulder, he did a spin and then Ali countered a move with a DDT for two. Ali charged, Bate sent him over the top to the floor and Bate hit a suicide dive on the floor. Back in the ring, Ali kicked Bate to the floor and Ali hit a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Bate hit a clothesline leading to Ali doing a flip bump leading to Bate getting a two count. Bate with two body slams. Bate went for a twisting splash, but Ali moved out of the way. Ali up top, Bate hit an uppercut and they battled on the top turnbuckle. Ali tripped up Bate, who was crotched on the top rope. Ali hit an impressive 450 Splash for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Mustafa Ali

Analysis: ***1/2 These guys are great and they had an entertaining match. Ali getting the win makes sense because he has been built up in the NXT North American Title picture, so picking up a win over a guy like Bate elevates Ali into a title shot. The match was even the whole way with both guys getting nearfalls, but Ali found a way to win after crotching Bate across the top rope, which led to Ali hitting a 450 Splash.

Post match, Ali spoke into the camera saying he’s challenging Wes Lee for the North American Title at the Great American Bash. That’s on July 30th.

When the announcers were shown, Booker’s jacket was off and he was wearing a black tank top because it was a holiday.

Joe Gacy and Ava were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Joe said that the right team will win when the Schism beats the Creed Brothers. Gacy said tonight they will eliminate a problem from NXT forever.


Kelani Jordan (w/Dana Brooke) vs. Tatum Paxley

This was Jordan’s first NXT TV match. She’s an accomplished gymnast, so Brooke is mentoring her. Jordan got some offense in the first minute, but Paxley took over with a backbreaker and elbow drop. Paxley went for a suplex, but Jordan turned it into a Stunner counter for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kelani Jordan

Analysis: * It was very basic with Jordan picking up her first win with a great counter move. Paxley isn’t doing much in terms of having a push or much of a character these days. Clearly, Jordan is a talented athlete. You can tell that just from basic moves.

Cora Jade walked out saying that a friend of Dana Brooke is an enemy of hers. Jordan suggested a match against Jade right now. Jade told them not to tell her what to do. Jade left.

Analysis: A future match is likely. Jade is a good talker.

Andre Chase was shown talking to the class at Chase U. Andre thanked Chase U’s MVP Duke Hudson for planning lessons, grading papers and helping this university thrive. Chase mentioned Thea Hail making Tiffany Stratton last week, but Drew Gulak and Charlie Dempsey caused a distraction. A guy asked if Drew and Charlie would be guest lecturing. Duke yelled at the guy like Chase usually yells at people.

Analysis: Fun and cheesy as usual.

The ring was being set up for NXT Underground.


NXT Underground: Eddy Thorpe (w/Gable Steveson) vs. Damon Kemp

This was taped last at the tapings last week because they had to tear the ring apart with no ropes. There was a black carpet in the ring with wrestlers/students surrounding the ring. Steveson and Kemp (real name Bobby Steveson) are actually brothers, but it’s not acknowledged by WWE. The referee was in a black shirt and black gloves instead of a regular referee shirt. You can only win by KO, TKO or Submission.

Thorpe delivered some kicks to the body. Kemp with a lifting slam followed by punches. Kemp with another takedown and more punches. Kemp hit a gutwrench slam. Kemp went for a submission, Thorpe got out of it and Kemp delivered knees to the ribs. Thorpe finally broke free a bit with some punches. They left the ring to continue the fight there. Kemp put a random blonde woman in front of him and Kemp punched Thorpe. Kemp whipped Thorpe into the barricade. Kemp had a staredown with Steveson. Thorpe was by the barricade applying an armbar, but Kemp delivered a Powerbomb against the apron. Kemp hit a German Suplex. Thorpe with a kick to the ribs, but then Kemp hit another lifting slam and a sleeper attempt. Thorpe came back with a German Suplex across the ring. Thorpe hit a high angle suplex, but Kemp was back up with a punch to the face. Thorpe hit a rising knee to the face. Kemp came back with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex from inside the ring onto the floor. That’s a rough landing for Thorpe. Kemp charged at Thorpe, who moved and Kemp hit his shoulder into the ring post. Thorpe hit a German Suplex on the floor. Thorpe applied a Triangle Choke submission, Kemp tried to fight out of it and Thorpe delivered elbows. The referee stopped the fight to give Thorpe the win. It went about eight minutes.

Winner by TKO: Eddy Thorpe

Analysis: *** It was a different kind of match and I really enjoyed it. It’s okay to try something different like this once in a while. Most of the fight saw Kemp in control using suplexes and strikes, but Thorpe kept coming back for more. The key spot was Kemp running into the ring post, which led to Thorpe attacking the arm/shoulder and getting the Triangle Choke to win. Nice job by both guys and I liked the story of the match.

After the fight, Steveson was celebrating with Thorpe. A random guy touched Steveson’s gold medal, so Steveson gave the medal to Thorpe and Steveson hit a German Suplex. Steveson with a belly-to-belly suplex on another guy. A third guy went into the ring so Steveson hit another German Suplex. There was a bigger guy that stood up to Steveson, which led to Gable hitting a belly-to-belly suplex on him too. Booker T was laughing about it.

Analysis: Impressive showing from Gable Steveson. We know Gable wants to compete in the Olympics next year and do some more freestyle wrestling competitions, but we might be seeing his WWE debut soon. I’m excited to see it.

The NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were backstage doing a promo talking about The Judgment Day coming after them. Melo invited all of The Judgment Day to come to NXT and follow through on that threat. Melo said that they are the judge, jury and the executioner. They fired off their catchphrase to end it.

Jacy Jayne entered for singles action.


There was a prison scene with Tony D’Angelo being visited by Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo, who said he had a deal with Joe Coffey, who was there. Stacks said that he faces Joe next week and if Stacks win then the charges will be dropped. Stacks said if he wins they will get a Tag Team Title match. Joe said if he wins then the charges might stick and Tony will be put away for a long time. Joe said it was Stacks’ idea. Stacks said that business is good since Tony has been locked up. Tony complained about Stacks selling him out. Stacks said that Tony will have to live with the decision. Joe told said “Goodbye, Don” to Tony. That led to Tony smashing the phone.

Analysis: Riveting acting going on here. Okay so it’s not great, but it’s a different storyline. I still think it’s silly that NXT tries to have characters that have jobs other than being wrestlers. That’s what they love to do, though. Anyway, I assume Stacks wins over Joe next week and Stacks & Tony D may become the NXT Tag Team Champions. It might be time for a title change.

Lyra Valkyria vs. Jacy Jayne

They had some backstage arguments to set it up, but it wasn’t a hot story going into the match. Lyra used her technical wrestling skills to work over the left arm in the early going of the match. Lyra hit a dropkick that sent Jade out of the ring. Jade caught Lyra on the floor and slammed her face first onto the apron.


After Lyra got a sunset flip for two, Jayne hit a superkick and took way too long going for a corner splash, so Lyra moved. Lyra got a two count after a leg drop coming over the top rope. When Lyra jumped off the top, Jayne moved and Jayne hit a senton splash. Lyra hit a jumping kick to the head followed by a spin kick to the head for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Lyra Valkyria

Analysis: ** It was only an average match. They were trying hard, but it was tough to get into it. Jayne screams and does trash-talking far too much in between moves. That spin kick to the head didn’t look that devastating as a finisher.

Post match, Jayne hit Lyra with a forearm to the back. Jayne ripped up Lyra’s “sacred feathers” that are part of their entrance.

Analysis: I guess the feud will continue. I don’t think we need to see it continue.

Noam Dar was shown backstage saying he needs something back in his life and that “you complete me.” It was a picture of the Heritage Cup. Noam’s friends in Meta Four showed up saying they need to fix this. Dar said bye to the photo.

Kiana James was shown at her office that said “Wet Paint” on it. James noticed that the office was destroyed and Gigi Dolin left a note warning James.

Analysis: It’s another wrestler that has a job other than being a wrestler. Anyway, that story must continue as well after James poured paint on Gigi last week.

They were back in the arena with Von Wagner beating up Javier Bernal with Mr. Stone trying to calm Wagner down. The fans were chanting “table” so Von cleared off the commentary table. Wagner gave Javy a Powerbomb through the table and the fans cheered for it. The announcers put over the crowd cheering for Von while Von posed for them.

Analysis: The babyface turn for Von continues.

There was a video about Lucien Price and Bronco Nima talking about how they are going to go through the tag team division. They are not blood brothers, but they are brothers by heart. Next week is their debut.

The Dyad’s Rip Fowler and Jagger Reid entered with Joe Gacy and Ava. The Creed Brothers were next with their buddy Ivy Nile.

Losers Leave NXT Match: The Creed Brothers – Julius & Brutus Creed (w/Ivy Nile) vs. The Dyad – Rip Fowler & Jagger Reid (w/Joe Gacy & Ava)

It’s the last match of the night. The Dyad attacked the Creed before the bell rang. Julius jumped onto the top rope and gave a superplex to Reid. Brutus hit a Brutus Ball on Fowler on the floor. Julius hit a Shooting Star Press on Reid for two because Gacy pulled Reid out of the ring. That led to the referee ejecting Gacy from ringside.


Fowler was in control of Brutus with an armbar takedown. After a few minutes, Brutus finally got some momentum with a vertical suplex. Julius tagged in with belly-to-belly suplex to both opponents. Julius hit a running clothesline on both opponents and a running kick. Julius with a slingshot dive onto both opponents on the floor. Fowler got a hold of Julius for a two count. Julius came back with a knee lift to the jaw. Brutus tagged in for a knee/spinebuster combo for two. Reid into the ring illegally with a superkick on Julius and Fowler got a rollup for two. Reid with a crucifix pin attempt for two. Julius hit a Powerbomb on Reid, but Fowler hit a chop block to the left knee of Julius. Reid hit a chop block to the left knee as well. Fowler whipped Julius into the steel steps.


Fowler worked over the left knee of Julius with a half crab submission. Julius turned out of it and kicked Fowler in the head to break free. Brutus delivered forearm smashes on Fowler while Brutus was selling the left arm injury. Brutus hit a running Samoan Drop. Brutus hit a springboard 450 Splash for two! That’s such a great move, but it was only a two count. Brutus with an Ankle Lock, Fowler kicked his way free and Fowler hit a double knee attack for two. Reid punched Brutus repeatedly, Julius told his brother to keep fighting and saying he loves him. Brutus decked Reid with a clothesline leading to Reid doing a flip bump. Julius tagged in, Fowler grabbed Brutus on the apron and Reid hit a clothesline/suicide dive on Brutus on the floor. Both of The Dyad guys were in the ring, which is illegal, but Julius took care of them with a belly-to-belly suplex on both guys. Julius was selling the left knee injury as he went up top and hit a moonsault onto both guys. Ava went into the ring, Ivy went after her and a guy in a hood with a mask gave Julius a headbutt to the face. The guy went back into the crowd. The referee never saw it. The Dyad each hit double knees to Julius for the pinfall win! It went 18 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Dyad – Rip Fowler & Jagger Reid

That win by The Dyad means The Creed Brothers must leave NXT.

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match with a controversial finish since the hooded guy (Gacy) helped The Dyad get the win. I was a bit surprised that the crowd didn’t care about the match more because normally they are behind The Creed Brothers, but it was also a long taping. That result is a surprise to a lot of fans because we know The Dyad asked for their release, it wasn’t granted and they might walk away from WWE when their deals expire in October. Both teams have a lot of talent with The Dyad as experienced heels and The Creed Bros have improved a lot in the last two years.

After the match, The Dyad pointed up at the guy in the hooded shirt. Meanwhile, The Creeds and Ivy were sad in the ring.

Analysis: If the plan is for The Creed Brothers to get called up to the main WWE roster then I’m excited about them. Those guys have so much talent and potential. They will get better working with more experienced wrestlers although The Dyad is a very experienced team as well. Julius stands out more than Brutus does, but they are both very talented and still so young in the business.


Finn Balor was featured in a backstage promo talking about Carmelo Hayes calling out The Judgment Day. Balor reminded Hayes of when he beat him on Raw. Balor told Hayes he’ll see him next Tuesday.

Next week on NXT:

* Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo vs. Joe Coffey

* Tiffany Stratton vs. Ivy Nile

* Andre Chase & Duke Hudson vs. Drew Gulak & Charlie Dempsey

Analysis: All three matches have been built up fairly well.

They showed a short video of The Creed Brothers waving goodbye to the NXT fans.

Let’s Hear from Bron Breakker

Bron Breakker made his entrance for a promo in all black attire. Bron talked about how he battled Seth Rollins two weeks ago and it was a war. Bron said that nobody in NXT believed he had a shot until he Speared Rollins in the center of this ring and he heard the energy in this arena drop. Bron said that Seth proved how good that he is, but Bron can’t stress enough how close he was to winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Bron said he’s only had 78 matches in his career while Rollins has had more Premium Live Event matches in his career. Bron said that everything has been right here in this building every week. Bron said his first night on the job he beat one of the hottest stars in the business right now, LA Knight.

Bron said that he’s 25 years old. Bron said that a couple of weeks ago, he proved he can hang with one of the best in the business and “I am that damn good.” That’s a Triple H line. Bron said that we should get used to this face for decades. Bron said that people are wondering what’s next for the most intense superstar in WWE, what’s next for Bron Breakker?

Ilja Dragunov interrupted the promo wearing the suit and he got into the ring with Bron. Dragunov said that he is next in line for Bron. Dragunov said he came there to talk to Bron face to face. Dragunov said that between him and the NXT Title, there’s only one person – Bron. Dragunov said he came out to eliminate Bron. Dragunov said he’s the most dangerous man in NXT and he kicked Breakker.

They got into a brawl, but there were referees there to try to break it up. There were more wrestlers from the backstage area to try to break it up. Dragunov kicked Bron to the apron and Dragunov hit a forearm to knock both guys out of the ring to the floor. Dragunov went after Bron on the floor, but then there were dozens of guys there trying to break it up. The brawl continued.

Analysis: That was intense just like they both say they are. I think we can pencil in Dragunov-Breakker at the Great American Bash later this month. That might be Bron’s NXT farewell because I’m not sure how much longer he’ll be in NXT before his main roster run begins. Anyway, I liked the confidence shown by both guys in their promos and the brawl was entertaining too.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Mustafa Ali/Tyler Bate
  2. The Creed Brothers/The Dyad
  3. Eddy Thorpe/Damon Kemp


The Scoreboard

This week: 7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.25

2023 Average: 6.99


Final Thoughts

It was a good show overall with some unique matches. The Mustafa Ali match with Tyler Bate was really entertaining with a clever finish to put over Ali. That tag team match with The Dyad beating The Creed Brothers had a surprising result since it’s Loser Leaves NXT. I’m very excited about The Creed Brothers’ future no matter what’s next for them.

The NXT brand features women’s wrestlers better than any show in WWE or other companies. They really utilize a lot of women every week. I wouldn’t say there were necessarily great matches this week for the women, but they are given storylines and the characters are developing. That’s what NXT is for.

That NXT Underground fight between Eddy Thorpe and Damon Kemp was very well done. I think adding Gable Steveson to the mix to support Thorpe was a great idea because Steveson hit a bunch of suplexes after the match to show what a force he can be when he starts having matches.

We know it’s probably Wes Lee vs. Mustafa Ali at Great American Bash and probably Bron Breakker facing Ilja Dragunov too. The NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes has to deal with The Judgment Day on NXT next week too.


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

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport