The John Report: WWE NXT 07/18/23 Review

wwe nxt july 18

This week’s WWE NXT saw Wes Lee defend the North American Title against Dominik Mysterio, Tony D’Angelo is back and plenty more action.

I will use a summary style for most of the review and play-by-play for the main event only. I’m watching this on Wednesday afternoon due to being really busy this week.

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.

A video was shown of last week’s NXT episode showing Ilja Dragunov beating Bron Breakker in a number one contender’s match for the NXT Title. Plus, The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor & Damian Priest beat Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams in the main event.

Let’s Hear from Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams

The NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams started the show with a promo. Trick introduced us to Melo as if we didn’t know. Melo said they were seconds away from defeating The Judgment Day, but then Ilja Dragunov wanted to “help” Melo. Here comes Dragunov.

Ilja Dragunov was in a suit as he got into the ring. Dragunov said if Damian Priest used his Money in the Bank briefcase, he could have taken the NXT Title to the main roster, so Dragunov wanted to prevent that. Dragunov told Melo that he lost control. Melo told Dragunov that he was in control and Melo is ready for him. Dragunov said when he gets into the ring, he gives it all and makes the fans feel something while he’s going to give Melo a defeat.

Melo talked about the pressure of being a champion saying that he feels everything. Melo knows it’ll be a fight against Dragunov and gave credit to Dragunov for earning it. Melo said that he is Mr. PLE and he will hit different. Dragunov punched himself in the face saying that Melo had to hit harder than ever before. Dragunov said Melo will not be able to control him. Melo said on July 30th, he’ll blow that fire out and for one of us it will be champagne while for the other, it will be just pain.

Analysis: It was a solid promo. I don’t know if I’d call it great, but it worked in terms of having both guys give a “mission statement” of sorts going into their Great American Bash match.

Mustafa Ali approached Wes Lee in the locker room with Ali not being happy about Lee defending the NXT North American Champion. Ali said he didn’t want to face Dominik at the Bash, he wants to face Lee. Wes said he’s ready for whatever Dominik Mysterio throws at him. Ali said he wants to face Wes, who he called the greatest North American Champion ever. Wes said he’ll be there. Ali said he will be there, but Wes has to get there. Wes left.

Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo entered for tag team action. They didn’t have the Los Lotharios name.


A video aired showing Tony D’Angelo being let out of prison with Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo picking him up. It was two months “in jail” for Tony D.

Dragon Lee & Nathan Frazer vs. Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo

They are all talented athletes. Garza and Carrillo were in control on Dragon in the first few minutes. When Frazer tagged in, he tried a dive onto the heels, but Garza & Carrillo sent Frazer into Dragon.


Garza superkicked Frazer and Garza pulled his tights off to reveal the trunks, so he’s still doing that. Dragon hit a DDT on Garza and hit a running knee for two. Carrillo got a hold of Frazer on the floor with Carrillo slamming Frazer onto the hood of the commentary table. Garza & Carrillo slammed Dragon off the top, Garza hit a moonsault on Frazer on the floor and Carrillo hit a top rope moonsault on Dragon for two. All four guys were in the ring hitting big moves and then Dragon hit a sitout Powerbomb for two with the crowd being shocked about it. The fans were chanting “this is awesome” for them. The faces made the comeback with Frazer hitting a cross body block on Carrillo on the floor. Dragon hit a leaping reverse DDT for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Dragon Lee & Nathan Frazer

Analysis: ***1/2 Great match that was full of action. The second half especially was outstanding with a lot of nearfalls from both guys and the crowd going crazy for them. I thought Garza & Carrillo would win to re-establish them as a team in NXT, but there’s nothing wrong with the faces winning because they are so fun to watch. Dragon and Frazer do everything well.

Dragon Lee and Nathan Frazer celebrated with their friends Leon and Feroz.

Post match, Carrillo shoved Angel down on the floor and left on his own. Angel went after him.

Baron Corbin was featured in a video talking about how he needs to be feared to be respected and be a champion. Corbin walked up to somebody in a hood and it was Corbin himself, so he was staring at himself.

Gigi Dolin entered for singles action.


They showed Booker T advising Roxanne Perez about being aggressive against Blair Davenport. It was filmed by NXT Anonymous.

After the video was shown, they showed Booker T on commentary with Vic. Booker T was angry about being filmed.

Kiana James vs. Gigi Dolin

Dolin was in control with a hurricanrana and a dropkick that sent James out of the ring. After James had some brief offense, Dolin hit a clothesline and pump kick. James did a hair pull takedown. James saw her giant purse/bag, Dolin got it from her and the referee stopped Dolin. James took advantage with the 401K (like a flatliner) on the bag for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kiana James

Analysis: *3/4 I’d call it below average, but it’s tough to have a memorable match when you only get a few minutes. I think both women need to improve their strikes. Anyway, the heel James outsmarted Dolin here, so maybe we’ll see a rematch soon.

They showed how Scrypts and Axiom set up a tag team match last week with the new team of Nima and Price. Axiom said he’s not a tag team with Scrypts.


Ivy Nile was shown taking down the Diamond Mine banner where the group trained.

Eddy Thorpe was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Thorpe saying that victory on NXT Underground makes him a championship contender. They were interrupted by Noam Dar in a wheelchair with friends. They presented Thorpe with an autographed picture of Dar, so Thorpe ripped it up. Oro Mensah challenged Thorpe to a match.

Bronco Nima & Lucien Price vs. Scrypts & Axiom

This is Nima & Price’s NXT TV debut. Axiom started the match, Scrypts was in after that and Axiom went back in, so Scrypts hit Axiom with a forearm to the back of the head. Prince and Nima each took turns pounding on Axiom. Nima hit a running kick on Axiom and Price covered for the win. It went two minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Bronco Nima & Lucien Price

Analysis: 1/2* A win for Nima and Price on their TV debut because of Scrypts turning on Axiom. Nima and Price are big boys with bright futures, but this was more about the turn by Scrypts.

Scrypts walked away with Nima and Price. That could mean they are together.


Welcome Back Tony D’Angelo

Tony D’Angelo, the Don of NXT, was in a suit as he went down to the ring. They had some members of the D’Angelo Family in the ring along with tables of food. Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo introduced Tony. They hugged in the ring while Tony greeted the other family out there.

Tony said he was back and the fans cheered while chanting “Tony D” for him. Tony credited Stacks for coming up with a master plan to fool Gallus. Tony said most of you and definitely Gallus thought that Stacks was the rat. That led to a video package.

The video was shown from two months ago with Stacks telling Tony that they need to convince Gallus that Stacks wants to be The Don. Anyway, they showed more about how they fooled Gallus. Stacks beat Joe Coffey to earn Tony D’s freedom.

Gallus walked out with the NXT Tag Team Titles with Joe Coffey ranting about what happened. Stacks said they will lose the titles to the D’Angelo Family. Tony D said they’ll take those titles that they should have taken at Stand & Deliver. Mark Coffey and Wolfgang said that the D’Angelo Family won’t make it to the bash.

Gallus went into the ring with Tony D and the family. All of the members of the family had weapons. Tony and Stacks used crowbars as weapons while Stacks and Tony slammed Mark Coffey through the table. Tony and Stacks held up the NXT Tag Team Titles.

Analysis: I think Tony and Stacks will win the titles. It was an entertaining segment overall, but it did go a bit long. I like Tony’s promos.

Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were backstage with Schism showing up for trash talk. Ilja Dragunov interrupted it to have a staredown with Melo. One of the guys in a Schism mask shoved Gacy into Melo so that led to a brawl to set up a six-man tag team match.

Thea Hail entered with Duke Hudson.


Elektra Lopez (w/Lola Vice) vs. Thea Hail (w/Duke Hudson)

Lopez hit a body slam. Hail hit an exploder suplex and a senton that barely touched. Vice tried to distract, Lopez picked up Hail and Hail applied the Kimura Lock submission. Lopez tapped out to give Hail the submission win in just over one minute.

Winner by submission: Thea Hail

Analysis: * An easy win for Hail to continue her positive momentum. Lopez looks impressive physically, but she just isn’t used well.

Post match, Thea Hail said that Lopez tapped out just like Tiffany Stratton tapped out and said she wants another chance at the NXT Women’s Championship. Hudson led the crowd in a “rematch” chant so Hail called out the champion.

Tiffany Stratton entered as the NXT Women’s Champion. Stratton was greeted by “you tapped out” chants. Stratton said if you want a rematch then she accepts. Stratton said it would be the easiest title defense ever since she already won. Hail wants to add one more thing to their Great American Bash match saying she wants to make it a Submission Match. Stratton said no that and said that Hail can’t make me. Hail applied a Kimura Lock again and Stratton said “okay submission match.” Hail stood tall.

Analysis: It was a good segment because the crowd is solidly behind Hail at this point. Stratton isn’t known for her submissions, but I think her title reign should continue.

wwe nxt great american bash thea hail tiffany stratton

Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley were backstage talking. Tony D said that Benny the Bumper from yard (in prison) says hello and Dominik said “yeah, what a guy.”

Lyra Valkyria walked up to Rhea Ripley, who told Lyra to show Ripley how much of a badass Lyra is. Lyra said she will.


A video aired about Gable Steveson announcing something about his future whether it’s in NXT or freestyle wrestling or going to the Olympics next year.

Analysis: I think they’ll use that segment to set up Steveson for his first match at the Great American Bash. Steveson should win that match easily.

Eddy Thorpe vs. Oro Mensah (w/Noam Dar, Jakara Jackson & Lash Legend)

Dar is in a wheelchair in a catatonic state due to not having the Heritage Cup trophy. Mensah was in control for a few minutes. Thorpe with chops, a forearm and a jumping kick to the head. Thorpe hit a German Suplex, Mensah to the floor and Thorpe hit a suicide dive. Legend put catatonic Dar into the ring. Dijak walked up to Thorpe and kicked Thorpe in the head. Mensah hit the running spin kick against the turnbuckle for the win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Oro Mensah

Analysis: ** A cheap win for Mensah due to Dijak attacking Thorpe. It sets up a new rivalry for Thorpe with Dijak, who needs to be used better.

An interview featuring Roxanne Perez and Blair Davenport was next.


Dana Brooke were shown on the mats doing some gymnastic routine in a bonding session. Brooke said that Jordan will break out and Cora Jade wishes that Jordan could do. Jordan said she’s learning a lot from Brooke, who said “back at you” to show they are getting along.

Cora Jade watched on a TV and hit her kendo stick against the lockers.

Roxanne Perez and Blair Davenport Interview

When Perez said she didn’t know who the Anonymous person was and Blair said it’s not her. Perez mentioned they are having a match at Great American Bash in Roxanne’s home state. Blair said she already beat Perez and she’ll do it again. Perez claimed there’s been a rage building up inside of her and Blair has added to it. Perez said she’s going to show a side of herself that the WWE Universe hasn’t seen from her. Blair said it sounds great, but she doesn’t believe her. Blair said that she has the killer instinct while Perez does not. Blair said Perez should stay in Texas and don’t come back to Orlando because Perez doesn’t belong here anymore. Perez took her microphone off, so Blair mocked her for being a stupid girl.

Analysis: Since Roxanne Perez keeps talking about how she’s going to be more aggressive, maybe we’ll see her trying submission moves and stuff like that. I think Perez might win that match over Blair.

It was main event time with “Dirty” Dom Mysterio entering with the Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley, who had a lot of success in NXT in her career.


Next week on NXT:

* Carmelo Hayes, Trick Williams & Ilja Dragunov vs. Schism.

* Kendo Stick Match: Dana Brooke vs. Cora Jade.

* Gable Steveson decides his future.

Wes Lee made his entrance as the NXT North American Champion. Ring announcer Alicia Taylor did the championship introductions. No hometown or weight announced for either wrestler.

NXT North American Championship: Wes Lee vs. Dominik Mysterio (w/Rhea Ripley)

They battled over a headlock for about a minute without much happening. Wes hit a dropkick leading to Dominik bailing to the floor.


Dominik hit a couple of vertical suplexes, Wes stopped a third suplex and Dominik hit a dropkick. Dominik hit the 619 kick followed by a Michinoku Driver for two. Dominik went up top, he jumped off with a Frog Splash, but Wes moved out of the way and Dominik hit the mat. They exchanged punches, Dominik lifted up Wes and did a belly-to-back suplex that saw Dominik dump Wes on his head. That looked weird leading to Dominik delivering punches to the head. Dominik delivered a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Wes came back with punches along with two running forearms and kicks to the body. Wes did a double foot stomp to the back. Wes with a kick to the head, then a roundhouse kick and Wes hit a Tornado DDT off the ropes. Dominik grabbed the title from ringside, then Wes jumped onto Dominik with a suicide dive and they went back into the ring. Wes hit a Phoenix Splash off the top. Finn Balor distracted the referee, Damian Priest went into the ring with the title that Dom dropped and Wes hit a Cardiac Kick on Priest. The referee was still distracted, so Ripley hit Wes in the head with her title and Wes went down to the mat. Dominik covered for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW NXT North American Champion: Dominik Mysterio

Analysis: *** This was all about the cheap finish. It was good overall, but the finish is a classic heel ending with the numbers game helping Dominik pick up the very cheap win. Wes Lee was very exciting as usual in his matches, yet he wasn’t able to hit his finisher on Dominik and The Judgment Day was there to help Dominik out. The method of the win was pretty much how you would expect a heel like Dominik to win with a belt shot. I wasn’t sure if they would book a title change here, but since they did, they did it the right way.

Dominik Mysterio and The Judgment Day celebrated the win while Wes Lee was sad in the ring. The Judgment Day continued to celebrate. End show.

Analysis: Congratulations to Dominik Mysterio on his first singles title in WWE. It happened in his first singles match in NXT too.

the judgment day dominik mysterio ripley balor priest


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Dominik Mysterio
  2. Nathan Frazer & Dragon Lee
  3. Wes Lee


The Scoreboard

This week: 6.75 out of 10

Last week: 7.25

2023 Average: 6.99


Final Thoughts

I’d call it a better than average show, but not great overall. It did set up some things for the Great American Bash, so that’s good. Dominik Mysterio beating Wes Lee in the main event is a surprise to some people I think, but the way WWE keeps pushing The Judgment Day, I’m not surprised at all.

Some of the promo segments were okay, but maybe too much talking overall. They did use most of them to set up Great American Bash matches, so at least they had a purpose.

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: Dominik Mysterio (c) vs. Mustafa Ali

* NXT Women’s Championship Submission Match: Tiffany Stratton (c) vs. Thea Hail

* NXT Tag Team Titles: Gallus vs. Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo

* Blair Davenport vs. Roxanne Perez

There will be more matches announced soon.


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

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport