This week’s WWE NXT was a special episode called Heatwave featuring five matches and three titles were on the line.
Normally I go summary style for the matches instead of a play-by-play review for the whole show, but this is a bit of a special episode, I’ll go play-by-play for the whole show.
There was a video package narrated by Paul Heyman talking about what’s coming up at Heatwave. It was smart to use Heyman since he had an ECW PPV show called “Heatwave” back in the day.
Giovanni Vinci made his entrance for the first match. As usual, Vinci stared at the camera four different times for photo opportunities. The NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes was next with Trick Williams. Hayes was wearing a Vinci shirt and dumped it into a trash can that was on fire. That’s what he does. The commentary team was Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett as usual.
NXT North American Championship: Carmelo Hayes (w/Trick Williams) vs. Giovanni Vinci
They did a couple of spots running the ropes with Hayes doing a chop block type move that may have been a mistake. Vinci ran the ropes leading to a shoulder tackle. Hayes jumped over the back of Vinci followed by a springboard shoulder tackle. Vinci delivered a hard slap to the chest followed by his own springboard attack with a cross body block. Vinci delivered some hard chops to the chest. They did a double clothesline spot leading to a picture-in-picture break.
Vinci was in control with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Hayes went for a move off the ropes, Vinci caught him and got a rolling senton followed by Vinci hitting a moonsault off the middle ropes for two. Hayes got a rollup for two. Vinci to the ropes, Hayes kicked and Hayes hit the springboard leg drop called the Fadeaway for a two count. Hayes got a rollup for two followed by a superkick. Hayes went for a move off the ropes, Vinci caught him and hit a brainbuster for two. Hayes avoided a Powerbomb and hit a lifting Cutter for a two count. Hayes jumped off the turnbuckle with Vinci avoiding it and sent Hayes out of the ring. Vinci with a springboard cross body block onto Hayes/Williams on the floor. The crowd chanted “holy shit” while the “shit” part was getting muted on TV. Hayes wit ha double jump moonsault for two because Williams put Melo’s foot on the bottom rope, which the referee didn’t see. Vinci went after Williams, so Hayes was in control on the floor and back in the ring with Hayes going up top. Hayes jumped off the top, Vinci avoided it and Vinci hit a stiff lariat. Williams went into the ring so Vinci gave Hayes a Powerbomb onto Williams. Vinci gave Williams a Powerbomb as well! Vinci wanted a Powerbomb on Hayes, but Hayes countered with a hurricanrana for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Carmelo Hayes
Analysis: ***1/2 A very good fast paced match between two talented athletes. They are both heels, so the lack of a face in the match hurt it a bit. By the end of the match, Vinci was clearly the face that the fans were rooting, but he’s usually a cocky character. Anyway, I liked the pacing of the match because they made the most of the time the got without doing rest holds or anything like that. I thought Melo was going to win, so the result isn’t surprising at all. Melo winning without using his finisher shows he’s a crafty heel that can find ways to win.
They showed Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne arriving to the building earlier in the day. They walked up to Bron Breakker with Mandy saying he had an uphill battle and Bron said she does too. Mandy said we’ll see who leaves with their title and Bron said he guesses we will.
The Diamond Mine group was shown walking backstage.
Von Wagner and Mr. Stone were shown doing a promo talking about how Solo Sikoa beat Von, but Solo is injured for four to six weeks while Von is still here. Von said that the game has changed, but the rules remain the same because anybody smaller or weaker will not survive in his jungle.
Let’s Hear from Diamond Mine
Diamond Mine members Roderick Strong, Julius Creed, Brutus Creed and Damon Kemp entered the ring for a promo. Julius said that less than a year ago, they got the opportunity of a lifetime to learn from Roderick Strong. Julius said they wanted to win those titles for Diamond Mine. Julius said somebody was trying to destroy what they built. Julius called out Strong for trying to destroy Diamond Mine.
Strong said that he started the group and brought them in because they’re elite athletes that needed some guidance. Strong told The Creeds that they are one of the best tag teams in all of WWE and he believes in them if they faced The Usos. Julius said that they aren’t just the future because they’re the now. Julius he knows Strong is going to stab them in the back. Brutus said he’s got his brother’s back. Strong told Julius to be careful. Julius said he’s not going to keep talking about it, he’ll show them instead.
A replay was shown of the tag team match a few weeks ago where Tony D’Angelo hit the mat and Strong hit Julius in the head because Tony moved out of the way. Strong said he didn’t know because Tony D is a scumbag. Strong kept on rambling leading to Gallus from NXT going into the ring. They are Wolfgang, Joe Coffey and Mark Coffey. They beat up The Creeds and Kemp. Strong faced off against the three guys and they beat up Strong as well. Gallus stood tall. When Gallus left, there was green lighting in the building while all of Diamond Mine was down in the ring. Last week on NXT, Apollo Crews had a vision and that’s what he saw, so the gimmick for Crews is he can see the future.
Analysis: I continue to be impressed by the promos of Julius Creed as he continues to get more promo time week by week. He’s doing well. Anyway, there have been obvious signs that Strong was possibly turning heel on the group he created, so there was some of that teasing here. As for Gallus, it’s a way to bring in some new faces that have a lot of experience as wrestlers and create some fresh stories.
Roxanne Perez was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Perez said this was the most nervous she’s ever been because she never thought she’d be standing across the ring from her best friend. Perez said that Cora wanted this and now it’s go time.
Cora Jade made her entrance with a black kendo stick.
Zoey Stark was shown warming up with Nikkita Lyons talking to her.
JD McDonagh was shown sitting in an ice bath ahead of his NXT Title match later.
Roxanne Perez entered to a pretty good reaction.
Cora Jade vs. Roxanne Perez
Perez was aggressive right away with a kick into the announcer’s table on the floor and then a suicide dive onto Jade on the floor. Jade came back with some forearms to the face and a running back elbow to the back. Perez hit a back body drop along with a running dropkick. Jade charged, Perez barely managed to send her over the top to the floor. When Perez charged, Jade punched her. Jade with a suplex on the floor leading to the picture-in-picture break.
Jade was in control as she pulled back on Perez’s arm. They each got pin attempts for two. They each hit forearms to the face at the same time along with each of them doing a jumping kick at the same time. Perez with forearms, Jade with a knee to the ribs and Perez ran the ropes leading to a double axhandle. Perez with a running corner attack followed by a dropkick. Jade avoided a Perez move leading to a jumping knee. Jade with a twisting neckbreaker slam for two. Jade brought her black kendo into the ring, Perez ended up knocking down Jade and getting a hold of it. Perez nearly swung the kendo stick, but then she put it down. Jade ran over Perez with a forearm to the back. Jade gave Perez a DDT onto the kendo stick for the pinfall win.
Winner by pinfall: Cora Jade
Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid matchup telling the story that Perez didn’t have it in her to use a weapon to win while Jade has the killer instinct and that’s why she won. Keep in mind that both women are 21 years old this year, so they have very bright futures in WWE in the years ahead.
The team of Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen were interviewed with their friend Fallon Henley. The Gallus group got in their faces saying the NXT UK Tag Team Titles belong to them. That led to a challenge. The teams were separated by security.
A video package aired about the history between Santos Escobar and Tony D’Angelo setting up this match. The build to this match has been very good.
The Toxic Attraction trio were shown with Mandy Rose warming up for her match.
NXT Champion Bron Breakker was also shown warming up. Apollo Crews walked in to wish him good luck while also at the title to tease a future match.
Santos Escobar made his entrance wearing a robe, a Lucha mask and he was joined by Legado del Fantasma members Joaquin Wilde, Cruz Del Toro and Elektra Lopez. The fans chanted “Legado” for this group that has had a good run in NXT. Escobar removed his mask in the ring and he was ready to go. They were heels, but Escobar is the face going into this match. Tony D’Angelo was next joined by Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo. The fans booed Tony D during his entrance.
All Or Nothing Street Fight Santos Escobar vs. Tony D’Angelo
If Santos Escobar wins, then him and his Legado del Fantasma group don’t have to work for Tony D’Angelo anymore. If Tony D’Angelo wins then Escobar must leave NXT.
Escobar went after Tony punches, knees and a clothesline. Escobar sent Tony into a chair and a headscissors into the chair for a two count. Escobar with kicks to the legs followed by a knee to the get and a running dropkick to the left knee. Tony got some offense with punches, but then Escobar came back with a jumping knee strike. Escobar went up top and hit a cross body block. Lorenzo jumped onto the two Legado guys on the floor. Escobar hit a dropkick. Tony was sent to the floor and hit Santos with a trash can to the head. That led to a break.
Tony was in control as he trapped Escobar’s arm against the steel steps and Tony kicked the steps. Tony set up a pile of steel chairs on the floor leading to Tony suplexing Escobar on the chairs and back in the ring for a two count. Tony continued to work over Escobar as Stacks gave him and a trash can and Tony hit Escobar with the trash can for two. The fans were booing Tony, Escobar got some offense going with clotheslines and a leaping forearm off the turnbuckle. Escobar with a suicide dive onto Tony on the floor, but then Tony was able to come back by sending Escobar’s shoulder into the ring post. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them as Lorenzo looked for a weapon, but Cruz hit Lorenzo with the crowbar. Escobar and Tony each got nearfalls. Escobar with a punch, then he left the ring and Tony ran at them, Escobar moved and Tony ran over Lopez with a shoulder tackle. She bumped to the floor. The fans chanted “you fu**ed” up but it was muted. Anyway, back in the ring, Santos got a jumping kick to the head. Both guys looked at weapons in the ring including a crowbar and brass knuckles. Tony got the crowbar while Escobar got the brass knucks and Tony hit Escobar with the crowbar. Tony pinned Escobar to get the win. It went 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Tony D’Angelo
Analysis: ***1/4 I liked the match. It was competitive, dramatic and different from anything else on this show because they were legally allowed to use weapons. I felt like the card was mostly predictable, but I didn’t know who would win here, so that made me care more about the nearfalls throughout the match. They tried for a dramatic ending by having both guys sit up in the middle of the ring while their weapons were also in the ring, which led to the finish where it was a bit of a race to see who would use a weapon to win the match. It ended up being Tony D and he got the win with the crowbar shot even though the fans wanted Escobar to win. They worked hard. It was a fitting end to a four-month-long storyline.
The win meant that Santos Escobar must leave NXT while his allies in Legado del Fantasma must work for Tony D’Angelo.
Santos looked sad in the ring while his Legado group was with him in the ring. Tony D was smiling about what happened. They didn’t have a big send-off for Santos. They cut away faster than I thought they would.
Thank you @WWENXT 👊🏽☠️🇲🇽. ❤️
— SANTOS ESCOBAR💀🇲🇽 (@EscobarWWE) August 17, 2022
Analysis: I wrote in the preview of this show that I thought Santos would win, but obviously if he lost then there must be some plan for him on Raw or Smackdown, which is fine because he’s a talented veteran wrestler that has good matches with everybody.
Indi Hartwell was shown talking to NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Kayden Carter and Katana Chance. It was some generic talk about if Indi missed having a tag team partner. A delivery arrived for Indi that was a drawing that said “INDEX FOREVER” on it from her “husband” Dexter Lumis, who was released and is now back in WWE. Blair Davenport walked up to Indi, ripped the drawing up and said she was going to be an NXT Women’s Champion. Blair left while Indi was sad that her card/drawing was ripped up.
They showed Zoey Stark and then Mandy Rose (with friends) walking towards the ring in separate parts of the building.
A video aired about the rivalry between Tiffany Stratton and Wendy Choo. They are both tired of eachother with Choo saying she’s tired of Stratton thinking that Wendy is a joke. Next week it’s a Lights Out Match. Stratton said she can do whatever she wants to Choo. There was more trash talk between them to end it.
Analysis: I think Stratton should win that. Stratton is going to be a big star. I like Choo, but I think Stratton is a better overall performer at this point.
Zoey Stark made her entrance for the NXT Women’s Championship. That was followed by NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose along with her Toxic Attraction allies Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne. That may be the best Mandy in-ring outfit ever.
NXT Women’s Championship: Mandy Rose (w/Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne) vs. Zoey Stark
It was fast-paced right away as they did some counter moves right off the bat. Stark ran the ropes leading to a running elbow followed by a kick that knocked Rose down on the floor. Rose sent Stark into the side of the ring and then Rose sent Stark over the commentary table onto the announcers. Rose rammed the left knee into the top of the commentary table leading to a break.
The match returned with Dolin and Jayne interfering, the referee saw it and he ejected both women from ringside. Nikkita Lyons ran down to ringside to make sure Gigi/Jacy went to the back. Stark got a rollup for two, but then Rose came back with a chop block to the left leg. Rose wrenched on the left leg against her own left shoulder. Rose applied a half crab submission on the left knee. Stark kicked Rose out of the ring and got some offense going with a clothesline along with a running low kick for a two count. Stark with uppercuts, a kick and a kick to the back for a two count. Rose kicked the left knee followed by an overhead suplex that looked ab it awkward and that got a two count. They exchanged strikes followed by Stark flipping Rose over leading to the knee lift to the face. Stark was too hurt to make the cover, so Rose rolled towards the ropes and out of the ring. Rose tripped up Stark in the ropes so that Stark’s left leg was trapped against the ropes. Rose was trying to take off the knee brace of Stark. Rose went for a knee, Stark avoided it and got a rollup for two. Starks got another pin attempt for two. Rose hit a running knee to the face for one…two…and no. That is Mandy’s finisher most of the time. Rose ripped off Stark’s knee brace and put it on her own right knee. Stark hit a running knee while the knee brace was on her right knee and Rose covered for the three count. It went 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Mandy Rose
Analysis: *** A good title match with Rose working over the left knee a lot, Stark coming back throughout the match and then it was Rose using the knee brace as a weapon to get the win. I liked how that was booked because Rose couldn’t beat her clean, so she had to do something devious by using the knee brace to help get the win with the running knee. It shows that Rose is a crafty champion. This was the result I expected. I’ve written for weeks that I think it will be Nikkita Lyons who ends up beating Rose for the title, but they could go with somebody else.
Rose celebrated with her title while Stark was down in the corner.
The main event was next.
A commercial aired hyping Smackdown on Friday with Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre meeting face to face.
They showed a promo from Quincy Elliott talking about how he was bringing all of this to NXT. Quincy claimed that he owned it, he worked it and he’s the Super Diva that is coming to NXT.
Grayson Waller was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell complaining about Apollo Crews. Waller said that Crews is selfish and will stab anybody in the back to make sure he’s the man around. Waller said that next week is the debut of the Grayson Waller talk show and he’s inviting Apollo Crews as his first guest. Waller took a shot at Mitchell saying she wore cheap perfume.
Analysis: Waller is a good talker, so giving him a talk show segment makes sense. It’s a way to further storylines leading to matches.
It was main event time with “The Irish Ace” JD McDonagh making his entrance first. The NXT Champion Bron Breakker was next. Breakker had a sledgehammer that he used to hit some box that was in the aisle. He likes to break things, I guess.
NXT Championship: Bron Breakker vs. JD McDonagh
JD went for the right shoulder, but Bron shoved him down. JD pulled on the shoulder that was against the top rope. Bron with a lefty slap to the face. Bron with an armbar, JD got out of it with a forearm to the face. Bron got a hold of JD leading to a delayed suplex. Bron punched JD off the apron to the floor. Bron followed JD out of the ring, then back in and Bron pulled the left arm against the top rope. Bron hit a belly-to-belly suplex and a standing moonsault for two. Bron sent JD shoulder first into the top rope. They both ran the ropes, Bron stumbled a bit and hit a clothesline. Bron tossed JD out of the ring leading to a picture in picture break.
Bron had JD set up on the top rope, but JD tripped him up. They were at the end of the second hour at this point. NXT usually has an overrun after the top of the hour. JD delivered a neckbreaker against the turnbuckle and he sent Bron back into the ring. JD delivered elbow smashes to Bron’s neck/shoulder area. JD did a submission where he pulled on the left arm to deliver pain to Bron’s neck. Bron broke free from a chinlock with a jawbreaker, then Bron hit a couple of shoulder tackles followed by a powerslam. Bron charged, JD moved and Bron hit the turnbuckle hard. JD applied a submission pulling back on the head while trapping the arm and Bron managed to get his right hand on the bottom rope. JD went up top, Bron punched him a few times and Bron hit a Frankensteiner like Uncle Scott Steiner off the top rope for a two count. They went up to another turnbuckle, JD went for a move, Bron stopped it momentarily and then JD hit a Spanish Flay slam off the ropes followed by a brainbuster for one…two…and no. Bron kicked out at the last moment. JD up top, he jumped off with a moonsault, Bron moved out of the way and Bron hit a Spear while JD rolled out of the ring. Bron brought JD into the ring again leading to another Spear. JD had a bloody mouth and he was laughing at Bron while daring him to do it again. Bron hit a third Spear. Bron hit the press powerslam for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bron Breakker
Analysis: ***1/2 There was a bit of a slow start to this match, but then it really picked up. JD did a nice job on working on Bron’s neck/arms throughout the match to try to weaken the champion. I think Bron could have sold that part of his body a bit more during the match because he hit three Spears in the match. Bron could have sold a bit more after doing those moves. The result didn’t surprise me at all because I expected Breakker to retain the title.
After the match, NXT UK Champion made his entrance with the title on his shoulder. The fans cheered for him as Bate made his way into the ring with Bron. Bate held up his title in front of Bron, so Bron held up his title. Vic said he didn’t know what was going, but could worlds be colliding in NXT? They focused on the two titles and the show ended there.
Analysis: There was a lot of NXT UK talent on this show to try to help that show a bit by having them interact with NXT wrestlers. A matchup between Bate and Breakker would be pretty good because Bate is a guy that has great matches with anybody. Bron has the size advantage. I think they would match up pretty well.
Three Stars of the Show
- Carmelo Hayes
- Bron Breakker
- Mandy Rose
This week: 7.5 out of 10
Last week: 6.25
There were good matches throughout the show while also settling some feuds. If you watched expecting title changes, that didn’t happen, but I think that’s okay because they do a nice job of building up long-term champions in NXT. My favorite match was the opener between Carmelo Hayes and Giovanni Vinci. Two great athletes that had an exciting match. I enjoyed that one.
The two women’s matches were solid. I’m glad Mandy kept her title over Zoey and I didn’t really have a preference in the Cora/Roxanne match. I assume it will probably lead to a stipulation match with Roxanne getting the win.
The debuts of some NXT UK stars like Tyler Bate, the three-man Gallus group and women’s wrestler Blair Davenport means WWE probably wants to try to build up the NXT UK group while also getting more company. I enjoyed the show overall.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays. My contact info is below.