Reviews

The John Report: WWE NXT 08/09/22 Review

wwe nxt aug 9

This week’s WWE NXT featured Tony D’Angelo talking to Santos Escobar about their problems in “The Final Accord” while Cora Jade was in action against Zoey Stark.

As usual, I will go summary style for the matches instead of a play-by-play review. I’ll do play-by-play for the main event.

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.

There were promos from some of the wrestlers in big matches/segments coming up on this week’s show. It’s a bit of a Saturday Night’s Main Event feel when I see that.

The commentary team was Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett as usual.

Nikkita Lyons made her entrance for her match. They showed some comments from Nikkita and Zoey Stark talking about being in the Women’s Tag Team Title tournament.

Kiana James vs. Nikkita Lyons

This was set up by some trash talk from James in recent weeks. Lyons used her size advantage to hit a shoulder tackle, but James took over with a knee drop to the knee after Lyons missed a corner charge. When they left the ring, James avoided a kick, so Lyons kicked the steel steps to hurt her left knee even more. Lyons hit some kicks, a German Suplex and a cannonball splash in the corner. James went for a rope-assisted pin, but Lyons kicked out. Lyons hit a kick to the head followed by the jumping leg drop for the pin after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nikkita Lyons

Analysis: ** It was a decent match with Lyons selling the left knee injury before making the comeback. James has the gimmick of a smart woman, so having her work on a body part made sense. They are going to keep pushing Lyons and she’ll likely win most of her matches.

Post match, Kiana James used a bookbag to hit Lyons in the back to knock Nikkita down. That was it.

They showed Apollo Crews sitting down with The Creed Brothers watching some film. Roderick Strong walked into the picture wondering what they were doing with Crews. Strong said that he wasn’t there last week because he put them through a test and they passed. Strong and Crews argued leading to Strong challenging Crews to a match. Strong told Crews that the Creed Brothers will be in his corner because it’s Diamond Mine forever.

They posted the rules for the Rounds Match between Trick Williams and Wes Lee. That match was next with Lee making his entrance.

(Commercial)

They showed Lash Legend talking to Malik Blade backstage, she rambled on about how good she looked last week and they cut away. Wade said he wanted to hear what Lash had to say.

Rounds Match: Trick Williams (w/Carmelo Hayes) vs. Wes Lee

They were wearing boxing gloves for this match while a round one clock was shown counting down from three minutes. Trick got a few punches in, then Lee broke free and got a few body shots. Lee did a nice job of avoiding punches, then Trick got a legsweep takedown and they got back up throwing punches. They each got some body shot punches leading to Trick getting a knee to the ribs. Lee got in a couple of punches to the jaw along with body punches. Lee did a flurry of punches as the first round ended at 3:00.

They took the gloves off to start round two as Lee unleashed wrestling moves including a dropkick and clothesline to the floor. Lee jumped over the top onto Trick on the floor. The referee was looking at Trick while Hayes grabbed Lee’s leg and Trick hit a spinning kick to the head. It was 1-0 Williams as they went to a picture-in-picture break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Vic letting us know there was no fall during round three. I watch on Sportsnet here in Canada and they don’t show picture in picture action.

It was onto round four with Trick wearing a lefty boxing glove. Lee got a sunset flip for a two count. Trick sent Lee hard into the turnbuckle. Lee avoided some punches and followed up with a cradle pin for three. It was 1-1 now. After the fall, Williams punched Lee to knock him down.

They were in round five with Trick hitting a jumping clothesline. Trick was without gloves again as he hit an uppercut punch for a two count. Trick hit multiple suplexes and a running neckbreaker for two. Lee got momentum after Trick missed a kick leading to Lee hitting some kicks to the body. Lee hit a running bulldog, then he put on a glove and punched Lee in the face. The referee was telling Lee to cover, so I guess that was the finish as Lee covered for the pinfall win. That’s 15:00 of action since they had 3:00 rounds. Wes Lee was the winner 2-1.

Winner: Wes Lee (2-1)

Analysis: ** It’s tough to rate this since the rules are weird for this kind of match. Having a regular match would have been better, but I guess they felt like trying something different. Since Williams had the upper hand over Lee in the past along with the presence of Hayes, it made sense to have Lee get the win as the babyface getting his revenge. I like Lee a lot while Trick isn’t featured in matches that often, but he certainly looks like a guy that is going to keep improving as he gets more experienced.

They showed something from earlier today at Chase U. Arianna Grace complained about Thea Hail hitting her with something in the face leading to a black eye. Chase put them in a match, Grace didn’t like it and Thea was excited about it since it’s her first match on NXT.

A closer look at Bron Breakker and JD McDonagh was up next.

(Commercial)

The NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes claimed that Wes Lee cheated. Hayes said last week he issued an open challenge and that little peon Nathan Frazer thought he would pull a fast one on Hayes, who beat Frazer. Hayes bragged about how he was still the A Champion in NXT. Nathan Frazer’s music hit, but Giovanni Vinci appeared in the ring instead. Vinci said that Hayes was lucky that Frazer took Vinci’s spot last week. Vinci told Hayes to open the challenge up for Heatwave next week. Vinci called Melo “A Guy” instead of the A Champion. Hayes said that last week, Frazer saved Vinci from Hayes. Melo said that they can have their match at Heatwave, but he will put Vinci on a shirt and it won’t be designer. They had a physical exchange, Vinci went for his finish and Hayes slipped out of it. Referees broke it up.

Analysis: Solid promos by both guys. That match between Hayes and Vinci will be amazing. I really want to see that one.

A video package aired about JD McDonagh challenging Bron Breakker for the NXT Title at Heatwave next week. They showed clips of their feud along with comments and the training methods of both guys.

(Commercial)

They showed Lash Legend continuing to talk to Malik Blade while Edris Edolfe showed up and Lash kept talking.

Arianna Grace vs. Thea Hail

Chase was attacking Hail’s face by sending her into the turnbuckle and rubbing her face into the mat. After some weak slapping, Grace applied an armbar. Hail dropped to her back while Grace was on her back, so Hail drove Grace into the mat. Hail hit corner splashes, a dropkick and a neckbreaker as part of her comeback. Hail with a forearm to the jaw, Grace screamed about her eye and Grace was faking it as she hit a kick to the face. Grace hit her version of the Wasteland that Wade Barrett used (Wade said it) and Wade said she’s his new favorite female superstar.

Winner by pinfall: Arianna Grace

Analysis: * This was kind of rough with some of the offense that Grace did, but I was impressed by Hail’s comeback. Grace won due to some heelish injury faking leading to the finish. Not great, but they are both still really new at wrestling. It’s a reminder this is a developmental show.

Apollo Crews was shown walking backstage, so he’s up next. They showed some green footage of the Diamond Mine guys down in the ring, then Crews shook it off and kept walking. It’s like a video as if he’s seeing the future. I don’t know what the hell is happening on this show sometimes.

(Commercial)

They showed some highlights from last week’s episode of NXT with Solo Sikoa beating Von Wagner in the main event. Solo got the win with a splash off the top rope putting Wagner through the table.

Solo Sikoa was shown getting looked at by a doctor. The doctor told him he had a PCL injury, so he’s out 4-6 weeks. Cameron Grimes walked up to Solo as they exchanged kind words about respect. Solo said he’s going for the North American Championship. Grimes seemed despondent in reply and just walked away.

Analysis: Best of luck to Solo coming back from that injury. It’s only about a month, so he should be fine.

Apollo Crews vs. Roderick Strong

I’ll go play by play for this match. The announcers bickered about how Strong is handling the Diamond Mine group with Barrett defending Strong since Strong is heelish guy. Crews was in control with a front facelock, Strong got an armbar and a side headlock. Crews applied a headscissors across the head, Strong broke free and slapped Crews in the head. Crews got a hold of Strong, so Crews slapped Strong in the head in return. Strong with a takedown leading to an armbar, Crews broke free and hit a dropkick. Strong with a forearm to the back followed by a backbreaker. They exchanged some strikes including some hard chops from Strong. There was a backbreaker from Strong. Crews jumped off the ropes leading to Strong hitting a backbreaker. They battled on the apron with Strong trying for a suplex, Crews held on and then they did a double clothesline on the floor. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

Strong was in control with a submission pulling back on the head/neck of Crews. When Crews got out of that, he hit a delayed vertical suplex. Crews went up top, Strong tripped him up there and Crews bumped onto the turnbuckle. Strong took over with an abdominal stretch on the mat, Crews got back up, he got a kick to the head, multiple clotheslines and a leaping clothesline. Crews hit a running corner splash followed by a blockbuster neckbreaker off the middle rope for two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them as Crews hit two German Suplexes. Strong charged in, but Crews caught him and hit another German Suplex for two. Strong got a boot to the face, Crews to the apron, Strong hit a knee to the head and they went on the apron with Strong giving Crews a back body drop on the ring apron. Strong applied a Boston Crab submission leading to a kick that sent Strong out of the ring. Crews hit a powerslam. Strong avoided a lifting move, then he hit a backbreaker, Crews hit a jumping kick and Crews hit a gutbuster with the double knees. Strong with kicks, but Crews hit a massive spinebuster for the pinfall win after about 16 minutes. Barrett said it was a match of the year candidate. I wouldn’t go that far, but it was good.

Winner by pinfall: Apollo Crews

Analysis: ***1/2 A great match between two talented veterans that matched up well. They got a lot of time, started out at a slow pace and then it picked up after the commercial. The finish was really well done with both guys hitting big moves, then selling a bit and coming back with more big moves. Strong didn’t hit as many backbreaker as he usually does although Crews was selling a back injury for most of the match. In the end, the power of Crews as too much. I think the right guy got the win here.

Post match, Crews celebrated. Strong was shouting “where are they” wondering where his Diamond Mine guys were.

Lash Legend continued to talk to Edris Enofe and Malik Blade. That’s when the Pretty Deadly team arrived to set up a tag team match.

Santos Escobar was shown talking on the phone in the car saying he’s alone for this meeting with Tony D’Angelo.

(Commercial)

There was a backstage scene with Sanga along with the women’s tag team of Valentina Feroz & Yulisa Leon. The ladies talked about how they must do better. Sanga was going to give them advice while the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Kayden Carter & Katana Chance walked into the picture. The champions said they know that down the road they will see them in a match for the titles. Sanga told Feroz/Leon that the current champions fought so hard to be champions and now they are. Sanga said next week he’ll help them find balance and perspective.

They showed Diamond Mine’s Julius & Brutus Cred along with Damon Kemp watching some film. Roderick Strong asked them where they were. They told Strong it was a test and Strong yelled at them. They continued to argue with Strong slamming a tablet to the floor.

Analysis: It’s just a matter of time until Strong completes the heel turn.

The Final Accord: Tony D’Angelo & Santos Escobar

They were at some park with Tony D and Santos meeting one on one. Escobar wanted a handshake, Tony didn’t and they sat down at a table. Tony didn’t like that Santos hit him with brass knuckles. Santos said that Tony and his guys nearly ended his career, so last week was payback and just business (not personal). Tony said over four months later, look where they are at. They remarked about how neither guy is a champion right now. Tony said he’s the boss. Santos said that this arrangement is not going to work. Tony said he wanted Santos to come back to work for him, but he can see Santos’ head is still shoved up in his own ass. Santos said he knows Tony and what makes him tick. Santos wanted to up the stakes in one final match. Santos said that if Tony wins, then Santos is gone and never to be seen in NXT. Tony said that then he gets to keep the sheep (the three wrestlers in Escobar’s group) and Santos said they are not sheep. Santos said if he wins then Legado del Fantasma is free from the D’Angelo Family. Tony said he’s got his match under one condition. Tony said this is going to be a Street Fight and Santos agreed to it. If Santos wins, Legado is free and if Tony wins then Santos is gone from NXT. They shook hands. Santos said that next week they’ll find out who is the true leader of leaders. Tony told Santos to say goodbye to his Legado guys because he’ll rid NXT of Escobar for good. That was it.

Analysis: That’s a big match for next week. I don’t know who is going to win. I think Escobar leaving NXT is possible because they could have something for him on Raw or Smackdown. However, having Escobar free from Tony and back with the Legado group is a good thing as well. I think Escobar is probably going to win.

(Commercial)

Tiffany Stratton walked into her locker room saying now she can finally relax. Wendy Choo was there, the lights went out and Wendy had some goggles so could see. When the lights came back on, Stratton was on the ground selling while Choo told her this isn’t over.

Analysis: The acting quality isn’t always the best, but they are solid in the ring and keep improving.

Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince) vs. Malik Blade & Edris Enofe

The team of Enofe and Blade were in control early with some big moves against Prince, but then Wilson distracted and the heels took over with Wilson hitting an uppercut. Pretty Deadly hit a double team move that was a gutbuster into the knees. Pretty Deadly mocked Josh Briggs & Brooks Jenson, so that team entered with Fallon Henley. Enofe got the hot tag with an impressive dropkick on Wilson. Enofe hit an elbow drop off the top on Wilson for two as Prince made the save. Prince slid a chair to Wilson while Blade hit a dive over the top onto Prince. Briggs grabbed the chair, Wilson shoved Enofe into the chair and Prince shoved Blade into the ring post. PD hit the Split Milt double team neckbreaker/spinebuster for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Pretty Deadly

Analysis: ** It was just an average match. The team of Enofe/Blade isn’t being featured much while Pretty Deadly is going after the NXT UK Tag Team Titles, so it makes sense for PD to win. I think Enofe/Blade have long-term potential as a team that keeps improving, but they just aren’t being pushed much these days.

After the match, Lash Legend appeared at ringside and hit a pump kick on Henley. Legend celebrated with Pretty Deadly so it should lead to a six-person tag against Briggs, Jensen and Henley.

Cameron Grimes was leaving, a guy told him to be careful going through the door and Grimes was stopped by security instead of doing something. Joe Gacy and friends showed up with Joe asking where Grimes is going, Grimes said he’s going home and Joe asked: “To whom?” Grimes left sadly on his own.

Analysis: Gacy continues to try to recruit Grimes. It will probably happen soon.

Cora Jade made her entrance for the main event.

Zoey Stark and Nikkita Lyons were shown chatting in the locker room. Lyons told Stark that Jade isn’t going to stand in her way for the NXT Women’s Title and said nobody will stand in their way in the Women’s Tag Team Title tournament. They did a handshake and Stark left for her match.

(Commercial)

There was a video package featuring Jacy Jayne in a music store saying she likes rock music. Gigi Dolin went into a bar saying she doesn’t play by anybody’s rules. Gigi said she thrives doing things her way and she’s never going to change. They said they are wounded, but they are dangerous. They said they are Toxic Attraction and they shatter your false reality.

Apollo Crews was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Crews saying he doesn’t like or trust Roddy, but he’s stacking up win after win. Grayson Waller interrupted the interview with Waller saying that Crews is not welcome there. Crews dared Waller to fight, but Waller backed away.

They went over the NXT Heatwave lineup for next Tuesday:

* NXT North American Championship: Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Giovanni Vinci

* Street Fight: Tony D’Angelo vs. Santos Escobar

If Tony D wins, Santos must leave NXT and Elektra Lopez, Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde must stay with The Family. If Escobar wins, Legado Del Fantasma is free from Tony D’s Family.

* NXT Championship: Bron Breakker (c) vs. JD McDonagh

Mandy Rose was on commentary with her NXT Women’s Championship. Wade was excited to see her. The other Heatwave matches are:

* NXT Women’s Championship: Mandy Rose (c) vs. Zoey Stark

* Cora Jade vs. Roxanne Perez

Zoey Stark made her entrance, so it was time for the main event.

Zoey Stark vs. Cora Jade

They started the match with a bunch of moves where they each went for pin attempts. Wade was sucking up to Rose by saying she was the greatest NXT Women’s Champion in history. Stark hit a clothesline for a two count. They exchanged some holds again with Stark hitting a suplex. Starks kicked Jade’s leg for a knockdown followed by a splash off the top rope. Jade stopped a charging Stark leading to a knee to the face. They went to a picture-in-picture break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Jade on offense while Stark was against the ropes, then Jade charged and Stark moved. Stark got a pin attempt, but Jade hit a clothesline for a knockdown. Jade applied a submission on the head on the mat while the fans were chanting for both guys. Jade hit a back elbow, Stark avoided a jumping knee and Stark slammed the knee into the mat. Jade grabbed her stick, Stark avoided it and Stark hit a German Suplex across the ring. Stark hit a couple of clotheslines, a kick to the gut, a back elbow and sliding kick for two. Starks hit another German Suplex with Jade doing a flip bump. Jade landed hard, but she was okay. Jade went for a Sliced Bread off the ropes, it didn’t look smooth and Stark shoved her off leading to a superkick. Jade sent Stark into the ropes, then a running knee and a Hammerlock DDT for two. Jade hit the Sliced Bread neckbreaker off the ropes for two. Jade looked at her black kendo stick, but Roxanne Perez was there to grab it. Jade was distracted by that so Stark hit a superkick followed by a move where she flipped Jade over and hit a rising knee to the face for the pinfall win after 11 minutes. Stark pointed at Mandy Rose while she made the cover.

Winner by pinfall: Zoey Stark

Analysis: *** It was a pretty good match that was fun in the last few minutes. The first part wasn’t that interesting. Since Stark is getting the NXT Women’s Title match next week it made sense for her to get the win. Jade is also in a match next week, but I’d rather see Stark win since she’s in the bigger match. There was a bit of a distraction by Perez that led to Stark capitalizing and hitting two moves to get the win. The crowd was into the match for the most part, so that’s a good thing.

After the match, Roxanne Perez tried to attack Cora Jade with the black kendo stick, but Cora ran away and Perez chased her to the back. A shoeless Mandy Rose went after Stark, but Stark hit her with a superkick and flipped Rose over leading to Stark hitting a knee to the face. Stark held up the NXT Women’s Title over a fallen Rose. That’s how the show ended.

Analysis: That means Stark got the advantage going into her title match against Rose next week. While I think Stark could beat Rose, I think it’s going to be Nikkita Lyons as the next NXT Women’s Champion that ends Mandy’s long title reign.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Apollo Crews
  2. Roderick Strong
  3. Zoey Stark

 

The Scoreboard

This week: 6.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.25

 

Final Thoughts

This episode was a bit of a step back after the last two weeks of pretty good shows. There were still some things I liked, but the first half of this episode was weaker and then the second half was more fun thanks in part to the great Crews/Strong match. I really liked the last few minutes of the match. The main event between Zoey Stark and Cora Jade was okay too.

I liked the segment with Santos Escobar and Tony D setting up a Street Fight for next week. If Santos loses, he’s gone from NXT. If he wins, then his Legado group doesn’t have to work for Tony D anymore. It could go either way. Some of the other matches and non-wrestling segments were decent, but nothing else was that interesting.

Next week’s NXT Heatwave show has five matches advertised that have been built up very well and it should be a great show with three title matches.

Here’s the Heatwave lineup in the regular NXT timeslot next Tuesday:

* NXT Championship: Bron Breakker (c) vs. JD McDonagh

* NXT North American Championship: Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Giovanni Vinci

* NXT Women’s Championship: Mandy Rose (c) vs. Zoey Stark

* Street Fight: Santos Escobar vs. Tony D’Angelo

If Tony D wins, Santos must leave NXT and Elektra Lopez, Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde must stay with The Family. If Escobar wins, Legado Del Fantasma is free from Tony D’s Family.

* Cora Jade vs. Roxanne Perez

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John Canton

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