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

wwe nxt august 8

This week’s WWE NXT saw Dominik Mysterio (with Rhea Ripley) defend the North American Title against Dragon Lee, who had Rey Mysterio with him.

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.

They showed comments from Raw with Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley talking about Dom’s match against Dragon Lee for the North American Title.

A video was shown from earlier today with Rey Mysterio and Dragon Lee in a car talking about Dragon becoming the North American Champion. Rey told Dragon to show Dominik some humility.

The commentary team was Vic Joseph and Booker T. They said there will be limited commercial breaks this week.

Mustafa Ali vs. Axiom

I’ll go play by play since these guys are awesome. They were moving around quickly as Ali hooked the arms for a two count. Axiom sat on top of Ali to hook his legs for a two count. There were some hard chops exchanged. Ali sent Axiom to the apron, Axiom kicked Ali and Axiom did a headscissors sending Ali crashing ribs-first into the hood of the commentary table. Back in the ring, Ali got a pin attempt for two. Axiom came back with a leaping kick and a back body drop slam. Axiom hit a standing moonsault while Scrypts was watching in the aisle. Axiom went for a move off the turnbuckle, but Ali knocked him down and hit a huge clothesline. Scrypts had the team of Lima & Price by his side. When Ali went for a springboard attack, Axiom countered it by hitting a German Suplex while Ali was on the middle rope. Ali hit a jumping kick while Axiom tried a move by the rope. Scrypts and friends went to the back. Ali hit a jumping kick to the head. Ali jumped into the ring going for a move, but Axiom blocked that and held onto Ali with a tight headlock. Ali came back with a Jackhammer slam for a two count. Ali tried a move, Axiom got out of it and Axiom hit a Canadian Destroyer. Ali left the ring, so Axiom went up top and hit a moonsault onto Ali. Axiom was selling a left knee injury. Ali kicked Axiom down and Ali hit a neckbreaker on the floor. Ali went for a 450 Splash off the top, Axiom avoided it and Axiom hit a Tornado DDT for two. Axiom went for a submission on the arm, Ali got out of it and Ali applied a Sharpshooter briefly. Axiom broke free and did a backflip off the top rope into another DDT on Ali for a two count. Axiom to the apron where he kicked Ali. You could tell that Axiom was loosening his mask earlier, so Ali pulled on the mask to nearly expose his face. Ali shoved Axiom off the top to the floor. Back in the ring, Ali hit a 450 Splash for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Mustafa Ali

Analysis: ***1/4 A very good match with Ali being a bit heelish at the end there by nearly pulling off Axiom’s mask (we know it’s the former A-Kid), which stunned Axiom and that led to Ali shoving Axiom to the floor. It was an exciting match with a good finish. Both guys are really talented.

After the match, Mustafa Ali said that he is next in line for the North American Championship, so he wants to face whoever wins later in teh show.

There was a backstage scene with some random people on the ground because they were beaten up by Schism. Joe Gacy said they will find The Creed Brothers even if they have to turn NXT upside down.

Blair Davenport vs. Kelani Jordan (w/Dana Brooke)

The story is that Jordan called out Blair because Brooke told Jordan to be more aggressive. Jordan got a sloppy headscissors and a couple of pin attempts. Jordan did a backslide pin attempt for two. Blair got some offense going after sending Jordan into the turnbuckle. They did a spot near the ropes where Blair trapped Jordan against the ropes and hit a double foot stomp. Blair hit a knee to the face for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Blair Davenport

Analysis: *1/2 It was a weak match. Jordan is still very green, but she does some nice moves. Blair only hit a couple of moves to win. Everybody does running knees and can’t win, but Blair can win with hers apparently. Congrats on that.

After the match, Blair looked like she was going to attack, so Dana chased after her with a belt. Dana almost hit Jordan with the belt but she stopped herself.

Analysis: The story is that Dana is very aggressive now.

Von Wagner & Mr. Stone were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell backstage. Von said that Bron Breakker is going to get tabled.

Fake Heritage Cup Championship Match: Noam Dar (w/Oro Mensah, Lash Legend & Jakara Jackson) vs. Tyler Bate

It’s not the real Heritage Cup since Nathan Frazer has that. There are five rounds that go three minutes and it was best of three falls.

Round 1: Bate delivered a jumping kick knocking Dar down. Dar kept grabbing headlocks, going for takedowns and got a headlock takedown for two. They did a double clothesline. Round one ended.

Round 2: The pace picked up with Bate sending Dar out of the ring and hit a dive over the top on Dar on the floor. Bate hit a Tyle Driver 97. Bate leads 1-0.


Round 3: The first part of round three was shown during a picture-in-picture in the US, but here in Canada. They only showed about 20 seconds to end this round. They did a double clothesline and a double punch leading to a two count for Bate, who still led 1-0 with two rounds left.

Round 4: Dar was aggressive with kicks, but Bate came back with a spinning slam off the shoulders. Dar got a nearfall after an elbow to the head. Dar applied a kneebar submission on the left knee, Bate tried to fight it and then Bate tapped out with about 40 seconds left in the ring. It was 1-1 at that point.

Round 5: Bate was limping on the left knee, so Dar kicked the back of the left leg. Bate got some offense with a rolling kick to the head. Bate with a German Suplex with Dar doing a flip bump. Dar caught Bate’s leg for a submission and Bate hit another German Suplex. Bate knocked Oro off the apron. Dar went for a pin, Bate shifted the weight and sat on top for the pinfall win. It was a 2-1 final for Bate.

Winner: Tyler Bate

Analysis: *** A good match for the fake Heritage Cup. Dar is talented and a unique character while Bate is one of the best wrestlers in NXT in terms of in-ring performance. Bate was selling the left leg injury at some points in the match, but then at other points, he didn’t really sell it much. A little more consistency would be nice to see there. Anyway, this should end the story of Dar’s obsession with the Heritage Cup.

After the match, Bate held up the fake Heritage Cup.

The team of Tank & Hank were talking backstage with Tank suggesting their team name is Smashmouth. Hank wasn’t sure. Schism showed up and beat up Hank & Tank while looking for the Creed Brothers. Schism left.

Ilja Dragunov was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell and said he’s going to the ring. Dragunov is predicting pain for Trick Williams.


Dijak approached NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes in the locker room to threaten him. Wes Lee walked in with Dijak saying that Wes isn’t in the championship picture and said Dijak isn’t in any championship picture. Lee said he had no problem reminding Dijak who he is in front of the champion. Melo had left while Wes was talking. Dijak attacked Wes from behind and slammed him into the wall a few times.

Analysis: I am fine with a Dijak push. He’s great.

Let’s Hear from Ilja Dragunov and Trick Williams

Ilja Dragunov arrived in a suit and he called out Trick Williams, who was shirtless with baby oil. Trick said he wasn’t backing down. Dragunov reminded Trick that he kicked Trick’s ass when they had a fight. Trick gave Dragunov his props because he’s a bad man, but that’s why Trick had a proposal for him. Dragunov said that Trick was the reason that Dragunov wasn’t the NXT Champion. Trick said that Dragunov ran into the title rather than Trick hitting him with the title. Trick wanted a match to prove to the world what he’s capable of. Trick said that he wants to prove he can beat one of the best.

Dragunov said his eyes burn red when he gets really angry and the wrath is consuming him. Dragunov said every time something happens and this time Trick Willy happens. Dragunov said that he will break Trick. Trick said that Dragunov defeated GUNTHER and Breakker, but not Carmelo Hayes. Trick said in two weeks at Heatwave he’ll prove he’s one of the best. Dragunov told Trick that his career will die.

Analysis: I liked the promos from both guys. Trick has a lot of potential and giving him more of a spotlight is good to see. Dragunov is awesome at everything.

Drew Gulak & Charlie Dempsey were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell while Damon Kemp suggested he work with them. Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen walked in to accept a match against Drew & Charlie, so it was agreed upon there.

Bron Breakker was interviewed backstage saying “give me a break” to the idea of Von putting him through a table.


Rey Mysterio told Roxanne Perez she had a statement victory at the Great American Bash. Thea Hail was on a stool and Rey walked up to her with Thea looking nervous. Rey said he knows what it feels like to be the ultimate underdog, but Rey can see her heart and said she was going to be a champion some day. Rey told Thea to believe in herself. Thea asked if Rey still loved his son. Rey said he doesn’t love his choices, but that’s his son so he will always love him and hope one day he realizes who his real family is. Rey told Thea to kick some ass.

Andre Chase & Duke Hudson walked up to Thea saying that was Rey Mysterio, a Hall of Famer. Thea said unlike Chase, he wouldn’t throw in the towel. Ouch.

Analysis: That’s a good move to have Rey interact with some different stars to try to motivate him.

Bron Breakker vs. Von Wagner (w/Mr. Stone)

Von was wearing a “You’re Gonna Get Tabled” shirt before the match. Wagner hit a double underhook suplex across the ring. Back in the ring, Bron ran the ropes leading to a clothesline. Bron was in control with a couple of suplexes and a standing moonsault followed by some Uncle Scott taunting pushups. They did a double clothesline spot. Wagner got some offense going with a corner clothesline and big boot. Bron countered a move, ran the ropes and hit a Spear for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bron Breakker

Analysis: **1/4 It was just decent between two power guys. I’m glad that Bron won because his heel run has seen him lose some matches of late, so I think Bron needed this win. Wagner is still early in this babyface run and he got the big pop after the match.

After the match, Bron went after Mr. Stone and was going to slam him, but Wagner kneed Bron out of the ring to the floor. They were right by the commentary table so Wagner gave Bron a Powerbomb through the commentary table. The fans loved that. Stone even hugged Wagner for saving him.

Analysis: Table bumps like that always pop the crowd. The story will continue with a gimmick match between them and maybe we’ll see Wagner put him through a table to win that match. It makes sense in the story. I don’t know how much longer Bron will be in NXT. Heel Bron is so great. I want to see him as this guy on the main roster.

A video aired about Eddy Thorpe talked about how he was fighting for his people while he was out in the wilderness. Thorpe spoke about losing to Dijak and said he had to re-focus and re-adjust. Thorpe spoke about his ancestors saying he was going to move forward without fear.

Dominik Mysterio & Rhea Ripley were in the locker room with Ripley saying he shouldn’t let Rey Mysterio being there bother them. Lyra Valkyria walked up to them saying that Ripley will just help Dominik win his match like she always does. Ripley said Dominik will be the best North American Champion ever. Lyra wanted her to let Dominik prove it.

The team of Briggs & Jensen entered with Fallon Henley for their match up next.


The NXT Tag Team Champions Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo were doing a photo shoot. Schism arrived to find out where The Creed Brothers were. The Dyad mentioned they were interested in the Tag Team Titles and Joe Gacy told them to stay on task to find The Creed Brothers.

Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen (w/Fallon Henley) vs. Drew Gulak & Charlie Dempsey

A guy named Myles Borne was with Gulak & Dempsey. Gulak was in control of Jensen in the first minute of the match. Gulak wanted Myles to give him water, but Myles didn’t have water and Gulak told Myles to go to the back. Dempsey go an arm drag, Jensen did it back to him and Briggs tagged in with a body slam. There was a double team body slam by Briggs & Jensen on Gulak. Dempsey wrenched on Brigges arm against the top rope. Briggs got out of a Dempsey armbar with a Powerbomb counter. Jensen tagged in with a powerslam on Dempsey. All four guys were on the floor, then some went back into the ring and Damon Kemp hit an overhead suplex on Jensen on the floor. Dempsey hit a Full Nelson Suplex on Jensen for the pinfall win after six minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Drew Gulak & Charlie Dempsey

Analysis: **1/2 It was okay with the heels benefiting from the cheap attack by Kemp on the floor. It looks like Kemp will be added to this Gulak & Dempsey group.

Dana Brooke walked up to Kelani Jordan telling her to show a killer instinct. Brooke said she didn’t want people to tear down Jordan like they did to Brooke. Jordan said it was just her third match. Brooke said she’s going to show Jordan what her killer instinct looks like next week when Brooke faces Blair Davenport.

Analysis: There’s a bit overacting going on by Dana Brooke three, but she’s trying to push the story that she’s more aggressive now. It’s similar to Liv Morgan’s story on Smackdown last year.

Kiana James vs. Ivy Nile

James sent Nile’s left shoulder into the turnbuckle. They left the ring with James shoving Nile into the steel post. James continued on offense in the ring working on the left arm.


James remained on offense after a break. James went for an armbar as The Schism group surrounded the ring. Nile hit a gutwrench powerslam. Nile with a dragon sleeper, Ava swiped at Nile’s leg, the referee did nothing about it and James capitalized with a knee to the head for the win. This went about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kiana James

Analysis: ** A lot of Kiana offense, a brief comeback from Nile and then another cheap finish on this show.

After the match, Schism went into the ring asking Ivy where The Creeds were. She didn’t know anything. Tony D & Stacks ran out with crowbars to clear the ring.

Analysis: It looks like we have a tag team feud.

They showed Angel and Humberto texting eachother. They agreed they had to do their own thing and mentioned their grandpa training them as cousins while wanting the best for them. Humberto said they were embarrassing him. Angel said they should be honoring him. They both stared at pictures of their late grandpa.

Analysis: It sounds like the cousins will patch things up.

Tyler Bate held his Heritage Cup trophy while Noam Dar and Meta-Four walked up to Bate. Nathan Frazer walked up beside Bate saying it was like the Spiderman meme came to life. Frazer said if Noam admits that Heritage Cup is fake then Frazer will defend the real Heritage Cup against Dar at NXT Heatwave in two weeks. Dar didn’t really admit, but left with the cup anyway.

The main event for the NXT North American Title was next.


Tiffany Stratton, the NXT Women’s Champion, was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Tiffany talking about shopping over the weekend. She mentioned how great pink is and how pink is in because of the Barbie movie Tiffany said that pink is “so Tiff Tiff” and Mitchell tried to ask who her next opponent is. Tiffany said “no one.” Toodles.

Trick Williams was shown outside the arena. Wes Lee drove up to Trick saying he should tell Melo he’s coming for him after he deals with Dijak. The trio of Drew Gulak, Damon Kemp & Charlie Dempsey had words with Trick, who said he’ll have something for them. Myles Borne walked up to Gulak, who said Myles was late.

Next week on NXT:

* NXT Tag Team Championships: Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo vs. The Dyad (Fowler & Reid).

* Dijak vs. Wes Lee in a #1 Contender for the NXT Title Match.

* Dana Brooke vs. Blair Davenport.

* Trick Williams vs. Drew Gulak.

Rey Mysterio, the WWE Hall of Famer, made his entrance to a big ovation from the crowd. There was a “Rey” chant. Rey introduced us to the future North American Champion, Dragon Lee. That led to Dragon Lee’s entrance and was greeted by Rey in the ring.

“Dirty” Dominik Mysterio entered as the NXT North American Champion joined by Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley.

NXT North American Championship: “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio (w/Rhea Ripley) vs. Dragon Lee (w/Rey Mysterio)

Dominik drove Dragon to the turnbuckle and chopped him in the chest. Dragon hit a hurricanrana. Dragon dropkicked Dominik out of the ring. Dominik and Ripley taunted Rey, so Dragon dropkicked Dominik on the floor.


Dominik was in control with a necksnap across the top rope and a senton splash for two. Dominik hit the Three Amigos suplex for a two count with the fans booing him. Dominik worked over Dragon with punches. Dominik was untying the mask, but Dragon fought back with running elbow smashes. Dragon kicked Dominik along with a dragon screw leg whip against the ropes. Dragon clotheslined Dominik over the top to the floor. Dragon hit an impressive suicide dive onto the commentary table. Back in the ring, Dragon hit a running knee for two. Dragon with a kick to the head. Dragon went up top, but Dominik tripped him up and Dragon came back with a double foot stomp off the top for two. Dominik hit a neckbreaker for two. Dragon with a German Suplex, Dominik with a kick, Dragon with a knee and Dominik tripped up Dragon into the ropes. Dominik hit the 619 kick. Dominik went up top, jumped off the top with a Frog Splash and Dragon got the knees up. Dragon hit a sitout Powerbomb for a two count. Ripley tossed the North American Title into the ring to Dominik. When Dominik held the title, Rey took it from him. The referee was looking at Rey, so Ripley hit Dragon with the World Title in the head. Dominik hit a Michinoku Driver on Dragon for the pinfall win after 12 minutes. Booker: “What a man against all odds. What a man!” Booker loves Dominik.

Winner by pinfall: Dominik Mysterio

Analysis: ***1/2 I enjoyed the match. Ripley was more effective than Rey in terms of helping their wrestler win. It makes Rey look weak, but that’s just because they want Dominik to keep his title. I like how the match had a few moments where it looked like Dragon could win the match. It was the finish similar to when Dominik won the title because Ripley got involved in that match too and Dominik left with gold because of her. These guys had really good chemistry together. I think Dragon Lee needs to start getting some wins, but at least he fared well in a main event match.

After the match, Rey got in Dominik’s face. Ripley stepped up to Ray and shoved him in the chest. Lyra Valkyria went into the ring and shoved Ripley. Dragon kicked Dominik out of the ring while Lyra did a spin kick knocking Ripley out of the ring. The faces Rey, Dragon & Lyra stood tall in the ring while Dominik & Ripley were on the floor. End show.

Analysis: An interesting way to end the show. It sets up Lyra for another match with Ripley. They could also do a mixed tag with Dominik & Rhea against Dragon & Lyra too. There are certainly a few options here.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Dominik Mysterio/Dragon Lee
  2. Bron Breakker
  3. Mustafa Ali


The Scoreboard

This week: 6.75 out of 10

Last week: 6.5

2023 Average: 6.97


Final Thoughts

A good show overall in terms matches and some decent story development. There were limited commercials, so there was a lot of content to consume and a lot of different people on the show. I liked the Dominik/Dragon match a lot with Rhea Ripley helping Dominik win as usual while Rey Mysterio was outsmarted. The Mustafa Ali-Axiom match was terrific with a clever finish there too. Bron Breakker’s match with Von Wagner was fine with Bron getting the win, but Von got the big pop with the table spot after.

There was plenty of talking throughout the show with so many different kinds of backstage segments to try to get different people some time on the show. I thought the Ilja Dragunov-Trick Williams promo was very good in terms of setting up their match in two weeks. We want to see how Trick does on his own, so that will be a big test.

They are setting up some new stories and rivalries coming out of the Great American Bash a few weeks ago. The booking on NXT is pretty solid overall.


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

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport