The John Report: WWE NXT 08/01/23 Review

wwe nxt feb 28

This week’s WWE NXT featured Tony D & Stacks teaming up with Santos Escobar against Gallus, plus Carmelo Hayes & Wes Lee in tag action and more.

It was the follow up episode to the NXT Great American Bash from Sunday. It was highlighted by the epic Carmelo Hayes-Ilja Dragunov match, which was one of the best NXT matches of the year. I thought the rest of the show was okay, but I’d call it a very good show rather than a great one.

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/X @johnreport. My WWE NXT Review archive is here. Let’s get to it.

There was a lengthy video package with highlights from the Great American Bash. It went nearly four minutes.

They showed Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo puling up to the WWE PC when the three Gallus boys attacked them. Gallus got the upper hand. Joe Coffey said it’s Gallus boys on top always and forever. Tony and Stacks were down selling.

Analysis: The NXT parking lot is a dangerous place.

It was Vic Joseph and Booker T on commentary as usual. Jacy Jayne said she’ll finish what she started at the Bash and this time Lyra won’t have anybody to pull Jayne off.

Jacy Jayne vs. Lyra Valkyria

Jayne attacked Lyra in the aisle before the match. That gave Jayne the advantage for the first few minutes. Lyra got some offense with a dropkick and a dive onto Jayne on the floor.


The match returned with each woman getting rollup pins for two and Jayne hit a senton splash. Lyra got some offense going with a dropkick onto the floor. Lyra hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Jayne got a superkick to the face, but Lyra knocked her down with a spin kick. Lyra jumped off the top with a Superfly Splash for the pinfall win after about ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Lyra Valkyria

Analysis: **1/2 A solid match that felt intense due to their story going into it. Lyra continues to get a solid push while Jayne hasn’t been featured as much in recent months. I think Lyra is better in the ring while Jayne is better as a character.

The NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were shown talking backstage in the locker room. They spoke about Melo retaining the title at the Bash. Trick said he has to start doing this for me. Melo said he supports that. Trick said he ain’t no sidekick and Melo said he never saw him as that, but Trick said that the fans see him as that. Trick said that he has to show Dragunov what he’s made of and said he’s going to slay that “Mad Dragon.” Trick said this ain’t no breakup, he just has to be his own man. Melo said he’s got Trick’s back. They shook hands and hugged.

Analysis: I am all for Trick Williams having a singles run. There was no official split, but Trick wants to be on his own and Melo respects that.

Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio were shown walking backstage.


Tony D’Angelo and Stacks were getting checked by a doctor when Mckenzie Mitchell talked about what happened earlier. Tony D said they can face Gallus in a six-man tag team match later and Tony will make a call to a guy he knows. Tony left without the doctor checking him.

Let’s Hear from Dominik Mysterio & Rhea Ripley

The NXT North American Champion Dominik Mysterio and Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley entered for a promo. Ripley bragged about Dominik still being champion. Dominik was booed heavily while he called himself the “greatest luchador that ever lived.”

Dragon Lee interrupted the promo said he won’t let Dominik disrespect the NXT Universe or his heritage. Dragon said that they don’t believe that Dominik is the greatest luchador of all time because Rey Mysterio (Dominik’s father) is the greatest. Dominik said he made the Mysterio name relevant and he is the champion. Dragon said that Ripley has Dom’s cajones on her purse. Ripley said Dom’s cajones are way bigger than Dragon. That led to Dragon challenging Dominik to a title match next week and Dominik agreed. Ripley said she’ll be in Dominik’s corner. Dragon said he won’t come alone either.

Rey Mysterio appeared on the video screen saying he is coming to NXT next week to be in Dragon Lee’s corner. Rey said he’ll have the best seat in the house to see Dragon take that North American Title. Rey’s music played to end it.

Analysis: A big match for next week with a huge name on the show since Rey Mysterio will be there. That’s a great idea. Ripley and Dominik got heat as usual while Dragon did okay with his promo.

Wes Lee went into Carmelo Hayes’ locker room with Wes being frustrated about losing for the last three weeks and losing his title. Melo talked about his pressure of being a champion and said he understood why Breakker snapped. Noam Dar and Oro Mensah walked in with Dar holding the Heritage Cup Championship trophy that is not really his trophy. They got into an argument/fight that was broken up.

Analysis: That’s an easy way to set up a tag team match for later.

Eddy Thorpe entered for a match.


Chase U was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Thea Hail frustrated that Andre Chase threw in the towel because Hail didn’t quit. Baron Corbin walked in to call Hail a “little girl” saying this job is not for everybody and told her that she failed. Corbin told her to pack her things and find something else to do. Andre Chase got in Corbin’s face so Corbin challenged him to a match.

Analysis: A lot of matches being set up via backstage segments this week.

Dijak vs. Eddy Thorpe

Thorpe was aggressive with a dropkick. Dijak came back with a big clothesline. Thorpe missed a corner charge, which saw Thorpe hitting the turnbuckle/ring post. Dijak hit a sitout spinebuster for two. Thorpe with a kick to the gut and a boot to the head. Thorpe hit a belly to back suplex for two. Dijak pulled on the left arm/shoulder of Thorpe to drive him to the mat. Thorpe came back with a German Suplex. After Thorpe hit an elbow drop, Dijak left the ring. Dijak rammed Thorpe’s left arm into the ring post again. Back in the ring, Dijak hit a spinning kick to the face for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dijak

Analysis: **3/4 An impressive win for Dijak. Thorpe sold the arm injury well throughout the match. I’d like to see Dijak utilized more. They feature him at times, then he barely does anything for a month or two and then they use him again. Thorpe is a babyface on the rise that is easy to like, but Dijak getting the win makes sense here.

Tony D’Angelo was on the phone talking to somebody about helping him out and said if this guy does this for him, they are even. Tony told Staks that we’ll see him later. We didn’t know who it was.


Dana Brooke and Kelani Jordan were watching Dana’s win over Cora Jade from the Bash. Brooke said that Cora brought something out of her. Kelani said Dana needed to do that. Dana said she lost it, she saw red and she kinda liked it. Kelani called Brooke a badass. Brooke said that Kelani needs to get out there and call somebody out to find that killer instinct. Brooke told Jordan she’ll need it.

Valentina Feroz & Yulisa Leon vs. Elektra Lopez & Lola Vice

Feroz and Leon hit a double tam slam/splash on Lopez for two. After a Vice distraction, the heels took over. We haven’t seen much of Vice on NXT as she hit a kick to the gut and a running hip attack. Lopez grounded Feroz as the face in peril. Leon got the tag and hit a sitout slam for two on Vice because Perez made the save. Leon dropped Lopez and when Leon turned around, Vice hit a spin kick to the head for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Elektra Lopez & Lola Vice

Analysis: *1/2 It was rough in spots, but they got through it. It’s tough to get into women’s tag team wrestling in NXT with more titles on the brand and who knows if the Women’s Tag Team Champions will go to NXT to defend the titles there. The spin kick by Vice looked great, so perhaps that team will get a bit of a push.

Carmelo Hayes and Wes Lee were in tag team action up next.


There was a TikTok video featuring NXT Women’s Champion Tiffany Stratton putting on makeup talking about her win over Thea Hail. Tiffany said she’ll be back next week and whatever she does, it’ll be fabulous. A “Toodles” by Tiffany ended it.

Carmelo Hayes & Wes Lee vs. Meta-Four – Noam Dar & Oro Mensah (w/Jakara Jackson & Lash Legend)

Wes brought the fight to the heels before the bell rang. After the bell, The Meta-Four guys took control for a bit until Melo hit Mensah with a springboard clothesline. Melo and Wes made some quick tags working over Mensah in their corner. Melo and Wes hit a double dropkick on Mensah for two. Wes went up top, but Lash & Jakara pulled Mensah out of the ring to safety.


The action returned with the heels in control of Wes for a couple of minutes until Melo got the hot tag with clotheslines on Dar. Melo superkicked Dar, who left the ring. They were back in the ring with Melo spinning around Dar’s body leading to a slam into the mat. After Wes got the tag, Jackson went into the ring and Wes still hit a spinning splash for two with Mensah making the save. Melo kicked Mensah to knock him down. All four guys were in the ring, Wes went for the Cardiac Kick, Melo bumped into Dar to knock him out of the way (the fans chanted “you f**ked up”) and Mensah superkicked Lee. Dar hit a jumping kick on Lee for the pinfall win. It went 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Meta-Four – Noam Dar & Oro Mensah

Analysis: ***1/4 A good match with a surprising result. Going into this match, I thought that Melo and Lee would win, but the accidental kick by Lee led to the champion Melo getting knocked down. Wes lost another match, so it continued his story. It’s also a big win for Meta-Four, who haven’t been presented a big, serious group, so at least it gives them some credibility because of who they beat.

Carmelo Hayes and Wes Lee talked about it after the match with Wes angry about it while Hayes tried to play it cool.

Analysis: I don’t know if this losing streak will turn Wes heel, but it could go that far. Wes is a natural face although anybody can go heel in wrestling.

Bron Breakker was featured in a video talking about how Von Wagner is a nobody like his father (from the Beverly Brothers) was a nobody. Bron dared Von to come find him. Bron said that if you think the scar on Von’s head was bad, wait until Bron is done with him.

Analysis: I enjoy heel Bron a lot more than face Bron. That’s not to say face Bron was necessarily bad, but I think he’s a lot more natural as a heel, at least at this point in his career.

Baron Corbin entered for singles action.


Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley were walking backstage with Axiom walking up to them saying Dominik was a parasite. Dominik thought that Axiom was Dragon Lee. Mustafa Ali walked up to them saying he needs to talk to Dominik. Ripley said Ali lost and Ali said he didn’t get pinned. Ali had to deal with Axiom trying to talk to him so Dom & Rhea lift. Ali said he was frustrated for six years and said that North American Title is his.

Andre Chase (w/Duke Hudson & Thea Hail) vs. Baron Corbin

Hail was sad and not full of energy like usual. Chase got a couple of nearfalls in the first minute. Corbin left the ring, Chase followed him and Corbin hit a Death Valley Driver slam on the floor. Corbin whipped Chase hard into the turnbuckle. Chase avoided a charging Corbin and Chase hit a dropkick to the knee. Chase did his C-H-A-S-E-U stomping routine. Hail refused to chant or show any enthusiasm. Corbin avoided a Chase attack off the top leading to a spinebuster. Corbin applied a single leg crab, Hail threw the towel in and Corbin caught it. Corbin threw it out of the ring. Chase got a cradle on Corbin for two. Corbin hit a forearm to the back and End of Days for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Baron Corbin

Analysis: **1/2 It was an average match with an obvious result. Corbin is an upper midcard heel in NXT while Chase isn’t pushed much, so the result made sense. It continued the story of Hail being angry about Chase throwing in the towel during her title match at Bash.

The next NXT PLE is on Saturday, September 30 in Bakersfield, California.

There was a video showing Roxanne Perez from behind the scenes in Austin, Texas prior to the Great American Bash match. They showed Roxanne with her family and hanging out at DreamCon as well. At the Bash, Booker T gave Roxanne some advice. Roxanne got the win over Blair in the Weapons Wild Match at the Bash.

A car was shown arriving in the parking lot with somebody leaving the car. Vic thought it was the mystery partner for Tony D & Stacks later in the show.


Meta-Four was shown celebrating their win over Carmelo Hayes & Wes Lee. Tyler Bate walked in saying he was on a mediation retreat in Tibet. Bate suggested himself in a match against Dar next week.

Let’s Hear from Schism

Schism was in the ring with Joe Gacy, Rip Fowler, Jagger Reid and Ava were in the ring with masked members of their group. Gacy complained about how disobedience must be eradicated. Gacy said two of the six men in masks are threats to Schism. Rip and Jagger were yelling about how it’s time for them to pay. Ava said two of the masks put their hands on The Dyad, so that is unacceptable and you will be punished. Ava told them to remove their masks.

The wrestlers under the masks took the masks off and we didn’t know the first two guy. The third guy was Ikemen Jiro, who generated a pop and Jiro left. Fowler told another guy to leave. Fowler and Reid beat up two guys thinking they were the Creed Brothers, but it wasn’t them.

The Creed Brothers duo of Julius & Brutus were dressed like they were at the beach. Julius said they are done and no longer in NXT. Brutus said they had the time of their lives. They spoke about how they visited different places and changed to show they were messing with the Schism. Julius claimed they weren’t in Orlando at all. Julius thanked them for the vacation.

Gacy did a promo saying he knows The Creed Brothers are there somewhere. Gacy wanted members of the Schism to find The Creed Brothers and bring them to Gacy and the Schism.

Analysis: This means The Creed Brothers are not completely gone from NXT after all. Even though they lost the Loser Leaves NXT match, they will probably win a match to get back onto the show. It took a while to get through all this, but it was okay in terms of advancing the story.

Gallus were shown walking backstage and so were Tony D/Stacks ahead of the main event.


There was a video from Cora Jade last week saying she was done with this place and she left.

Next week on NXXT:

* Dominik Mysterio (w/Rhea Ripley) defends the NXT North American Title against Dragon Lee (w/Rey Mysterio)

* Bron Breakker vs. Von Wagner

* Noam Dar vs. Tyler Bate

* Mustafa Ali vs. Axiom

It was main event time with the Gallus trio up first.

Tony D’Angelo and Stacks were next as the NXT Tag Team Champions with the fans cheering them. Their partner was Santos Escobar of the LWO, who used to be a rival of Tony D, so there was mutual respect there.

Gallus – Wolfgang, Mark Coffey & Joe Coffey vs. Tony D’Angelo, Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo & Santos Escobar

The trio of Tony D, Stacks and Escobar cleared the ring quickly. The fans chanted “welcome back” to Escobar. Tony hit a clothesline on Wolfgang. Stacks worked over Wolfgang with some shots to the body and a cannonball splash. Joe tagged in against Tony, which led to a spot with all six guys in the match. They did a triple slugfest routine. The babyface team cleared the ring of Gallus leading to a break.


Gallus was in control as Mark hit a shoulder tackle on Stacks. Joe tagged in with a sidewalk slam for two. There were more quick tags from the Gallus boys working over Stacks in their corner. Mark knocked Escobar off the apron to stop a tag. Joe pulled Tony off the apron as well and Stacks was unable to tag out. Wolfgang hit a body slam and moonsault attempt missed. Escobar tagged in with a running shoulder tackle on Mark. Escobar hit a jumping kick to the head followed by a cross body block off the top. Escobar sat on top of Mark for a two count. All six guys were in the ring leading to a brawl. The faces cleared the ring, Escobar hit a jumping kick on Mark and Escobar hit a hurricanrana off the top rope. Escobar hit running double knees on Mark. Stacks tagged in and Tony tagged in for the double team Bada Bing spinebuster for the pinfall with Tony covering Mark for the win. It went ten minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Tony D’Angelo, Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo & Santos Escobar

Analysis: ***1/4 A good match that was structured well with all six guys getting a chance to show what they can do in the ring. The faces winning with Tony & Stacks hitting their double team finish was the right way to end it. Escobar did well after he got the hot tag. That hurricanrana off the top was great. Gallus was pushed a fair bit as the champions, so they can afford a loss.

After the match, the trio of Tony, Stacks and Escobar celebrated. Santos even did the Tony D hand gestures to show solidarity with his former rival.

Ilja Dragunov was featured in a video featuring his red eyes. Dragunov said he’s not done with Trick Williams and said that Trick is the reason he’s not NXT Champion. Dragunov said that next week his retribution begins and he won’t stop until Trick is entirely terminated.

Analysis: I guess Dragunov is the Terminator of some kind and he’s going to take care of Trick Williams next week. Dragunov is great, so I’m all for him featured more often.


Three Stars of the Show

1. Tony D’Angelo, Stacks & Santos Escobar

2. Dijak

3. Lyra Valkyria


The Scoreboard

This week: 6.5 out of 10

Last week: 7

2023 Average: 6.98


Final Thoughts

It was okay this week, but I think it was weaker than their better episodes. A few good matches over three stars including the main event (Santos Escobar joining Tony D & Stacks over Gallus), but in terms of overall in-ring action, there wasn’t really much that stood out. They went with shorter matches this week. I liked the story involving Carmelo Hayes and an angry Wes Lee, who is on a losing streak. I’m surprised they lost, but I’m also intrigued to see where the story goes. Trick Williams is also going out on his own while Ilja Dragunov wants revenge against Trick.

As usual, they set things up well for the future with Dominik Mysterio defending the NXT North American Title against Dragon Lee with Rey Mysterio next week. Rey’s presence should provide a nice boost to the show.


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

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport