The John Report: WWE NXT 07/11/23 Review

wwe nxt july 11 review

This week’s WWE NXT featured The Judgment Day visiting the brand, plus a huge Ilja Dragunov-Bron Breakker match and more.

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.

It was Vic Joseph and Booker T on commentary as usual.

Let’s Hear from The Judgment Day

The Judgment Day foursome of Finn Balor, “Senor” Money in the Bank Damian Priest, “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio and the Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley made their entrance to start the show. They got a loud reaction from the crowd. Three of them spent a lot of time in NXT while Dominik did not. There were “Mami” chants for Ripley too and “welcome home” too.

Balor: “NXT! Daddy’s home.” Balor said that this is the house that he built and he’s back to lay down some house rules with The Judgment Day. Balor mentioned the names of the others in the group. Priest told them: “All rise for The Judgment Day.” Most of the fans were already standing.

Priest mentioned Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams calling them out because they thought The Judgment Day was divided, but they are running WWE and NXT. Priest said that they are the murderer’s row of NXT. When Dom tried to speak, Melo and Trick interrupted.

The NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams made their entrance. Melo wondered why they called him Dirty Dom and Trick cut Melo off. Melo and Trick went into the ring. Melo said that Finn is right at the top of NXT Mount Rushmore, but right now it has Trick-Melo influence. Melo mentioned Balor beating him on Raw and Melo said now Balor is on his court. Ripley said it was never about the two of them. Melo said they run things. Priest said that the Archer of Infamy never missed a bullseye. Trick fired back saying that Priest was trying to cash a check he didn’t have. Melo wanted a tag team match. Balor said if you come at the Prince, you best not miss. Melo said let’s do this ten. They had a staredown to end it.

Analysis: It was pretty obvious they would bring The Judgment Day there to set up a tag team match. That’s fine because the fans will get behind the NXT guys while J-Day are good at being the heels.

They showed Tony D’Angelo (from prison) talking to Mckenzie Mitchell earlier in the day about Stacks facing Joe Coffey later. Tony said he has at Stack’s mercy and he’s never been worried about him. Tony claimed that Stacks barely visits and he doesn’t know what to think.

Chase University entered for tag team action.


There was a video package about Gigi Dolin talking about her rivalry with Kiana James. There were pictures shown of Kiana having fun in her life. Gigi says they aren’t so different because Gigi embraces who she is while James lives a lie.

They showed Kiana James in the women’s locker room getting mad about the pics that were shown and she left angrily.

Chase University – Andre Chase & Duke Hudson (w/Thea Hail) vs. Charlie Dempsey & Drew Gulak

The heels were in control with Drew hitting a running dropkick on Hudson. When Hudson made a comeback, he did a hurricanrana and that drew a pop because it surprised people. Hudson hit a uranage slam on Gulak for two. When Gulak went for a move, Hudson hit a body slam off the middle rope. Dempsey faced off against Chase with a gutwrench suplex. Chase U made the comeback knocking the heels out of the ring and saying it was a teachable moment.


It continued with the heels still in control as Dempsey hit a double underhook suplex on Hudson for two. Chase got the hot tag with a dropkick, neckbreaker and the C-H-A-S-E-U stomping routine. Chase hit a cross body block off the top for a two count with Gulak making the save. Back to back German Suplexes for the heels got a two count. Hail jumped onto Gulak with a Kimura Lock on Drew’s arms and we are to assume the referee never saw it. Dempsey was legal, so Duke and Chase hit a double team flatliner on Dempsey. Duke covered Chase to get the win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Chase University – Andre Chase & Duke Hudson

Analysis: *** A solid tag team match with a fun ending although it was a bit questionable because it makes the referee look dumb. It was a traditional tag team match with the heels controlling most of the action before the big comeback by Chase and some chaos toward the finish. I think Hail jumping on Gulak with the armbar with the referee not seeing is a bit silly, but it’s payback for Hail on Gulak & Dempsey for being mean to her. The Chase U guys winning was the right finish for this story.

Bron Breakker was in the locker room doing a promo. Bron said that Ilja Dragunov could be a champion like he has been in the past, but it won’t be at Bron’s expense. Bron was confident going into his match.

Cora Jade entered for singles action.


Von Wagner was shown with Mr. Stone in an empty arena. Von spoke about how his parents tried to help him from bullies growing up, but he couldn’t do it at school. Wagner had a titanium plate in his head and he had no friends at school because kids looked in the other direction. Wagner said that when he looked up and the people were with him, for the first time in his life he is being himself. Wagner thanked Stone for his annoying, irritating ass for helping him.

Analysis: This is all about turning Von Wagner face. It has taken months, but he got the strong reaction last week, so the story is working.

Cora Jade vs. Kelani Jordan (w/Dana Brooke)

Jordan showed off her athleticism with some basic moves. Jade caught Jordan and did a slingshot into the bottom rope. Jade got a two count after a double foot stomp to the back. Jade tied up Jordan in the ropes leading to a running dropkick. Jordan made a comeback with some athletic moves including a jumping back kick. When Jordan went for a springboard, move, Jade kicked the ropes. Jade with a DDT for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Cora Jade

Analysis: *1/2 Even though Jade is only 22 years old, she’s more established on NXT, so outsmarted Jordan by kicking the ropes during a springboard move and Jade hit her finishing DDT right after that. There’s a lot to like about Jordan as an athlete that can pull off some cool moves.

Post match, Cora Jade tried to attack Kelani Jordan some more with the kendo stick. Jordan avoided it and then Dana Brooke ran into the ring with a running dropkick along with two clotheslines. Brooke got a hold of the kendo stick, so Jade bailed.

Analysis: It seems like they are building to a Brooke-Jade match, which is fine. I actually wouldn’t mind it if Brooke turned heel to align with Jade and make things more interesting that way. However, I think NXT’s creative team likes Jade being on her own as a mean girl.

Ilja Dragunov did a quick backstage promo about how he will finish what Bron Breakker started. Dragunov spoke about beating Bron Breakker in their upcoming match saying his intensity cannot be matched.

Bron Breakker made his entrance.


They showed a replay of NXT Underground last week with Eddy Thorpe beating Damon Kemp. After the match, Gable Steveson destroyed some dudes with a lot of suplexes.

A video was shown of Thorpe and Steveson walking out of the building last week. Steveson said that he’s thinking about the National Title and the Olympics, but he loves being here too. Gable said there’s a lot to think about.

Analysis: Gable Steveson is under WWE contract, but if he wants to compete in the World Championships and 2024 Olympics then I think WWE would support that.

Dijak walked up to some wrestlers watching NXT Underground from last week and didn’t seem impressed by Thorpe winning one match.

Analysis: It sounds like a Dijak vs. Thorpe is coming soon.

NXT Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Bron Breakker vs. Ilja Dragunov

The winner will challenge Carmelo Hayes for the NXT Championship at the Great American Bash. I’ll go play by play for this match.

They got into a slugfest along with Bron driving his knee to Ilja’s throat. Bron hit a spinebuster variation for a two count. Bron hit a suplex. Ilja came back with chops, then a running knee in the corner and Ilja hit a knee drop off the turnbuckle. Ilja with some hard chops/forearms, so Bron did a double leg takedown leading to punches. Bron went for a suplex over the top, Ilja held on and they both went tumbling over the top to the floor.


Bron and Ilja exchanged strikes. Bron bounced off the ropes, but Ilja was ready with a clothesline that knocked him down. Ilja hit two German Suplexes, then Bron broke free with his own German Suplex and Ilja came back with his third German Suplex. Ilja went for a charging attack, but Bron got his feet up to block. Bron jumped off the top with a bulldog that didn’t look great. Ilja came back with a lift where he ran Bron into the turnbuckle with a slam. Ilja hit a Coast to Coast dropkick off the top onto Bron by the turnbuckle. Ilja hit the running uppercut Torpedo Moscow for a two count. Ilja was shocked that it was just a two count. Ilja went up top for a punch of some kind, he jumped off and Bron hit him with a Spear for one…two…and no! Dragunov kicked out. That was an incredible Spear. The fans chanted “holy shit” for them and it’s deserved. Bron picked up Ilja, who countered it with a DDT. Ilja went for a Powerbomb and he hit it for a two count. Ilja with a kick to the shoulder followed by a running forearm while Bron was on the mat for a two count. Bron decked Ilja with a stiff lariat! Bron charged for a Spear, but Ilja hit a jumping knee to the head. Ilja hit a Torpedo Moscow forearm to the back of the head/neck for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Ilja Dragunov

Analysis: ***3/4 That was an outstanding match. No surprise because any time Dragunov is in a longer match like that you know it’s going to be outstanding. Bron was impressive throughout this match just like when he faced Seth Rollins a few weeks ago. That Spear by Bron when Dragunov was leaping out of the air was amazing. It was also an excellent spot for a nearfall. There was intensity, there were hard strikes and a lot of nearfall spots that were believable. They did a great job. Bron has improved a lot of over the last two years and he showed it here.

That win by Dragunov means the NXT Championship match at Great American Bash on July 30th will see Carmelo Hayes defend the title against Ilja Dragunov.

Wes Lee, the NXT North American Champion, was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Lee spoke about how difficult of an opponent that Mustafa Ali is. Dominik Mysterio and Women’s World Champion showed up saying he’ll accept Wes Lee’s open challenge. Wes said he hasn’t done an open challenge for months because things got hectic. Wes also agreed to the match and Dominik said they should do it next week. It’s on for next week.

Tiffany Stratton, the NXT Women’s Champion, entered for a match.


Baron Corbin was featured in a video saying last week he torched his past and now he’s left to think about what is his future? Corbin said that this house and this life was built off the last eight years. Corbin was shown driving on the road saying he has nothing in common with those he once portrayed and now who the hell is he? Corbin pulled up to field with candles and there was some figure there with their back turned to the camera. Find out more next week, I guess.

Tiffany Stratton vs. Ivy Nile

This was not for Stratton’s title. Nile hit an impressive slam on a charging Stratton. Nile got a knocked down with a punch to the jaw. Stratton tripped up Nile on the apron. Back in the ring, Stratton hit a double foot stomp and a running splash to the back while Nile was on the ropes. After Nile avoided a cartwheel attack, she hit a running kick and powerslam. Nile went for a Dragon Sleeper, but Stratton shoved her into the middle turnbuckle. Stratton hit a rolling senton. Stratton hit her triple jump moonsault to win in about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Tiffany Stratton

Analysis: ** Just an average match put over the champion. Nile is on her own without the Creed Brothers, so the story is about how she might do in NXT now while Stratton to pick up wins. I like having the champion Stratton picking up a non-title win. It’s important to keep champions strong.

Post match, Tiffany did a promo saying the fans were annoying. The fans were yelling “you tapped out” at her regarding her match with Thea Hail recently. Tiffany was frustrated by it and left.

They showed Thea Hail talking to Andre Chase and Duke Hudson in the locker room. Hail said she can tap anybody out with the Kimura Lock. Chase said that Hail is not done with Tiffany. Chase said Hail can make Stratton tap out again. They chanted “rematch” repeatedly.

Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo entered for singles action.


They showed images of Noam Dar looking very depressed without his Heritage Cup trophy while his group Meta Four had supportive messages for him.

Blair Davenport was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Blair talking about how she brutalized Roxanne Perez with knee strikes. Blair said this division is for “grown ass women” not fragile girls with ribbons in their hair. Blair said that girls like Roxanne don’t beat people like Blair. Davenport said she’ll put Roxanne on the shelf for good like the other women she injured.

Joe Coffey (w/Wolfgang & Mark Coffey) vs. Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo

If Stacks wins then Tony D’Angelo is free along with the D’Angelo Family getting a title shot at Gallus. If Joe wins then Tony goes to trial. I guess that stipulation holds up in “court.”

Joe hit a running shoulder tackle to Stacks and told Stacks “it’s time” to do it. Joe nailed Stacks with a discus lariat for two, but Stacks kicked out. Gallus thought that Stacks was going to lay down to take the deal. Joe was yelling at Stacks saying this was a business opportunity. Stacks said “I ain’t no snitch.” The match continues.


While Joe had Stacks in an armbar, Tony D was on the phone laughing saying they fooled Gallus. Stacks was distracted by Galus on the apron, so Joe hit a forearm to the back. Bronco Nima and Lucien Price were in the arena having a staredown with the champions. Stacks started a comeback after Joe was slapping Stacks in the face saying they had a deal. Stacks hit punches along with a running dropkick and back body drop. Mark was on the apron, so Stacks brought him into the ring. The referee was looking at Joe, so Stacks grabbed a crowbar and hit Joe with it. Wolfgang went into the ring, Stacks threw the crowbar to him and the referee turned around to see Wolfgang with the crowbar, so Wolfgang was sent to the back. Stacks hit a boot to Joe and knee drop to the back of the head like a Stomp for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo

Analysis: **3/4 It was okay. The storyline was built for weeks going into it so that helped them. Stacks took a beating early on, but then he made the big come back to find a way to win. The match felt almost like an afterthought because of the story, but I think that’s fine because ultimately it ended out the right way. Stacks beating Joe was the right way to end.

After the match, Stacks said that Tony D is coming home. Stacks said he would never betray his family. Stacks & Tony D will get a title shot against Gallus in the future.

Analysis: I assume it is Stacks & Tony D against Gallus at Great American Bash. I can see there being a title change there.

Schism walked up to sad Ivy Nile, who is without her Creed Brothers friends. Nile accused Joe Gacy for attacking the Creeds with the mask last week. Gacy wondered how could it have been him when he was ejected? Jagger Reid said they are stronger than ever and Ava said there was always room for one more. There were a bunch of guys wearing yellow masks on their face. With the way it was shot, there was more emphasis on the last two guys in the masks.

Analysis: It was interesting to note that the two guys at the back certainly fit the build of Julius & Brutus Creed, so I think that they are going to come back somehow.

The NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams entered for tag team action in the main event.


Yulisa Leon and Valentina Feroz were interviewed by McKenzie Mitchell to complain about Noam Dar. The Los Lotharios duo of Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo (they have the full names again) suggested that the two ladies hang out with them. Dragon Lee and Nathan Frazer walked into the picture asking if there was a problem. Angel and Humberto backed away.

Analysis: That looks like a tag team match setup and it was.

Next week on NXT:

* Tony D’Angelo homecoming

* NXT North American Championship: Wes Lee vs. Dominik Mysterio

* Gigi Dolin vs. Kiana James

* Nathan Frazer & Dragon Lee vs. Los Lotharios – Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo

I don’t anticipate a title change in the Lee-Dominik match.

The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest (w/Dominik Mysterio & Rhea Ripley) vs. Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams

I’ll go play by play here. Priest nailed Trick with a forearm smash along with punches. Priest sent Trick hard into the turnbuckle. Balor choked Trick across the middle rope and stomped away on Trick in the corner. Priest hit a Broken Arrow slam on Trick. Balor was back in with repeated shoulder tackles on Trick. Trick got some offense going with a clothesline. Melo tagged in for a double team move with Trick hitting a dropkick. Trick also launched Hayes onto Priest with a cross body block as the heels retreated. That led to a break.


It was Melo’s turn as the face in peril as Priest hit a running back elbow. Balor tagged in with a stomp to the chest. Priest and Balor hit the double team leg drop/backbreaker for two. Melo hit a jawbreaker to break free. Trick tagged back in with punches for Priest and a dropkick. Trick with a knee followed by a flapjack and neckbreaker. Priest delivered a strike, then Trick hit a jumping kick and a double clothesline spot knocked them both down. Melo tagged in against Balor with a knee to the face, atomic drop and Melo hit a superkick for two. Melo went for a springboard attack, but Balor avoided it leading to Slingblade. Balor hit the shotgun dropkick into the turnbuckle. Balor went up top, he jumped off with Coup de Grace, but Hayes avoided it and Hayes hit a springboard clothesline. Priest tagged in and Melo got a rollup for two. Priest went for a power move, Melo hit a Stunner. Priest came back with a spinning kick and headlock driver for two with Trick making the save. Trick with a spin kick knocking Balor out of the ring. Priest gave Trick a Razor’s Edge onto the hood of the commentary table. The table didn’t break. Melo with a superkick on Priest and double knees. Melo to the turnbuckle, Dominik distracted on the apron and Priest got a punch. Melo countered a Priest move by spinning around leading to a bulldog. Dominik tried to go in the ring with a chair, the referee watched that and Ripley tossed Priest the Money in the Bank briefcase. Dragunov showed up top stop Priest, then Melo ran into Dragunov when Priest move and Priest hit South of Heaven slam on Melo. Balor tagged in with a Coup de Grace (double foot stomp) off the top on Hayes for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest

Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good tag team match as expected. We know Priest and Balor are going to be booked strong in a match like this although the NXT guys did look impressive. What surprised me the most about the match is that Hayes took the pinfall instead of Williams because I figured Trick would lose. However, they had Priest take out Trick on the table and that led to the chaotic finish with Melo eating two finishing moves back to back. It was an entertaining match to show that The Judgment Day is on the same page again.

After the match, The Judgment Day celebrated the win. Hayes was mad at Dragunov with Melo telling him to stay out of Melo’s business. The Judgment Day was shown again as the show ended there.

Analysis: Since Melo and Dragunov are both faces, it makes sense to create a bit of conflict between them. That’s going to be a great match at the Great American Bash.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Ilja Dragunov/Bron Breakker
  2. The Judgment Day
  3. Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams


The Scoreboard

This week: 7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.25

2023 Average: 7


Final Thoughts

A good show overall. That Ilja Dragunov-Bron Breakker match was outstanding and will be one of the best matches on TV this week on any show. Those guys were intense, it felt like you watching a legit fight and there were some really good nearfalls. That Spear that Bron hit on a leaping Dragunov was incredible! I like both of those guys a lot and they worked well together.

There were some other pretty good matches as well with The Judgment Day beating Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams in the main event. I’m a bit surprised that Melo got pinned instead of Trick, but that certainly continues the positive momentum for the J-Day group. Chase U’s win was fun and booked well. The Stacks victory of Joe Coffey was okay since it has had a long term story. I can see Stacks & Tony D beating Gallus for the NXT Tag Team Titles at GAB if that’s where the match is.

As usual, they did a nice job of featuring a lot of different wrestlers throughout the show. There wasn’t that much talking overall. A lot of action. I think NXT has been consistently good over the past three months or so.

The next NXT Premium Live Event is the Great American Bash on July 30th. Here’s what we know so far:

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

* NXT North American Championship: Wes Lee (c) vs. Mustafa Ali

There will be more matches announced soon.


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

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport