The John Report: WWE NXT 08/23/22 Review
This week’s WWE NXT featured more stars from NXT UK appearing throughout the night, a “married” couple reunited and a Lights Out Match main event to end a long rivalry.
Last week’s show was the Heatwave special that had three title defenses with all the champions keeping their titles. It also ended some rivalries. We also saw some NXT UK talent appear last week, I didn’t know why at the time and then we found out that NXT UK is ending while WWE plans to launch NXT Europe in 2023. It also means there’s a Peacock/WWE Network Premium Live Event called Worlds Collide on Sunday, September 4 in the late afternoon. The idea is that some NXT 2.0 talent will face NXT UK talent. That’s cool since it provides us with fresh matchups.
As usual, I’ll go summary style for the matches on most of the show. I’ll probably cut out a lot of words on the matches and then play-by-play for the unique 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 was a video package showing highlights from last week’s Heatwave episode of NXT. It took a few minutes. The commentary team was Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett.
Let’s Hear from Bron Breakker
Bron talked about how JD McDonagh proved that he was one of the best in the world in his match against Bron. That led to Bron saying that after the match, Tyler Bate joined Bron in the ring and he called out Bate to come to talk to him.
Tyler Bate made his entrance as the NXT UK Champion. Bate hasn’t even won the title yet on NXT UK’s TV show, but they have decided to spoil it for people so they can promote Worlds Collide. Bate thanked Bron for the invitation and he had respect for Bron for beating JD because knows how good JD is. Bate said that NXT UK has been host to some of the best that this business has to offer and he’s a proud flagbearer of NXT UK saying he was the first and the last NXT UK Champion. Bate said with NXT Europe around the corner, he can’t think of a better way to kicking things off than by unifying those two titles. Bron said he’s watched from afar and he knows he’s a big threat. Bron said this is NXT where the greatest superstars in the world are. Bron said there should be just one NXT Champion, so in two weeks at Worlds Collide let’s do champion vs. champion and title vs. title. They shook on it and held up their titles.
Analysis: They are both babyfaces, so it was a respectful promo. It’s a big match to do with two talented young guys in their mid-20s with bright futures ahead of them. That’s cool with me. I look forward to the match that I think Bron will probably win.
A video aired about the three-man Gallus group showing their dominance in NXT UK.
While Gallus made their entrance, they showed Lash Legend and Fallon Henley getting into a fight backstage until they were separated.
NXT UK Championships: Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen (w/Fallon Henley) vs. Gallus – Wolfgang & Mark Coffey (w/Joe Coffey)
Gallus was in control in the first few minutes. Jensen broke free to bring in Briggs leading to a slugfest followed by Gallus retreating. They went to a picture in picture break.
Wolfgang and Mark were in control of Jensen as the match returned from break. Briggs got the hot tag with punches, kicks, a sidewalk slam and a splash. Lash Legend attacked Henley at ringside. That led to Pretty Deadly going to the ring to brawl with Briggs/Jensen. That should be a DQ for attacking Briggs, who was the legal man, but the referee was counting out Briggs/Jensen instead.
Winners by countout: Gallus – Wolfgang & Mark Coffey
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match with a bad finish. I don’t know what they were going for with the ending because if a wrestler that’s not in a match attacks somebody that is legal in a match then it should be a DQ win for the guy that was attacked. Instead they did a countout because I assume they want to say Gallus won the match. I just think they could have come up with something else.
Post match, Diamond Mine’s Creed Brothers and Damon Kemp beat up the Gallus boys. Diamond Mine cleared the ring with security keeping Gallus back to stop the brawl.
Analysis: It looks like they are going to some sort of multi-team match for both sets of Tag Team Titles. Maybe a Fatal 4-Way match with Creed Brothers, Briggs/Jensen, Pretty Deadly and Gallus. They will probably make it official next week
Grayson Waller was shown backstage getting ready for the debut of his talk show.
There was a video with Andre Chase introducing Charlie Dempsey to teach the Chase U “students” some moves. Dempsey was really aggressive with them. Dempsey told the students to google Billy Robinson because their class is too soft.
It’s official: NXT & NXT UK Championship Unification Match: Bron Breakker vs. Tyler Bate.
The Grayson Waller Effect Talk Show
Grayson Waller was in the ring sitting at a desk that was in the ring. They turned the lights down with a spotlight on him in the ring. Waller said this show is about him, not the guest like other talk shows. Waller introduced his guest, a former Intercontinental & US Champion that is in NXT to take opportunities from everyone, it’s Apollo Crews.
Crews sat in the chair that was really short, so Crews made it taller. Waller called him a “clout chaser” while ripping on AJ Styles, the British guys that are there and Crews interrupted him saying that he was born in NXT. Waller: “Didn’t you used to have an accent?” Waller mentioned Crews having a Nigerian accent. Crews started talking with the accent saying that he is still a Nigerian warrior. Crews said he was proud of his heritage and went to WrestleMania 37 to become an Intercontinental Champion. Crews said now he’s focusing on his future. Waller asked about the visions that Crews has. Crews said there’s no greater force than knowing yourself. Waller said that Crews knew Diamond Mine would be attacked and Crews did nothing about it while claiming that Crews was trying to break them up.
They stood up face to face in the ring. Waller asked Crews how he feels knowing he’ll get run out of NXT by Waller. Crews asked: “How does it feel to be a low budget version of The Miz?” The crowd let out an “ooohhh” response. Waller claimed it was a compliment and Crews said it was not a compliment. Waller wanted to know how he feels telling his kids that daddy couldn’t cut it on Mondays & Fridays, so now he’s back in NXT. Crews said he told them that their dad was a champ on Monday, a champ on Friday and soon to be a champ on Tuesday. Crews punched Waller and said that was the Apollo Crews Effect.
Analysis: Good promo work from both guys. I like Waller’s cockiness and the Crews line about Miz was perfect. They should have some fun matches together in the future. I think Waller will improve working with a veteran like Crews. Waller is like Miz in a lot of ways, so maybe when he gets called up to the main roster he’ll be paired with Miz. Crews should probably get the win when they do this match next week.
Gallus was shown backstage with Pretty Deadly there to talk to them as they exchanged some words while security held Gallus back.
A video aired about Tyler Bate talking about starting in WWE as a 19 year old boy to a 25 year old man. Bate said that NXT UK will close with him holding up his title.
Von Wagner & Mr. Stone were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Wagner said that Bate is an international superstar and tonight we’ll find out how tough Bate really is. Wagner said that Bate won’t make it to Worlds Collide.
Cameron Grimes vs. Javier Bernal
This was Bernal’s NXT debut. Joe Gacy was watching the match with his Schism group since he’s trying to recruit Grimes. Gacy wished Grimes “good luck” in this match. It was a dominant win with Grimes hitting a Cave In double foot stomp for the win after about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Cameron Grimes
Analysis: * A quick win for Grimes to give him some positive momentum.
After the match, Grimes stared at Gacy and friends.
A video package aired about Blair Davenport, who said she was born in England and raised in New Zealand. They showed clips of her in action.
Indi Hartwell entered for singles action.
They showed a video featuring Alba Fyre talking about her rivalry with Lash Legend. Alba told some story about her family having a history with fire or something. I don’t know why they try so hard to give everybody a gimmick or something to do, but that’s NXT.
Blair Davenport vs. Indi Hartwell
This was all about putting Davenport order since she’s “new” on NXT now. Davenport got this high angle twisting neckbreaker for a nearfall. When Davenport went for a sleeper, Hartwell dropped to her back to get out of it. Indi got a spinebuster for a two count. Davenport came back with a kick to the head and a high angle brainbuster slam that looked brutal, but Indi was okay. I think Davenport asked if she was okay. It went about four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Blair Davenport
Analysis: *3/4 Easy win for Davenport since they are pushing her while Indi has been booked inconsistently for a while now. They aren’t going to have Davenport lose in her first match on this brand especially because of what came after. The finish was a bit rough.
After the match, Davenport kicked Indi out of the ring. Davenport bragged about beating Hartwell while claiming that she was the number one contender in the UK and said she’s the rightful heir to the Women’s Championship.
The NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose made her entrance looking great as usual in all black attire. Rose confronted Davenport that she is the most dominant Women’s Champion and Davenport should put some respect on Mandy’s name.
There was another interruption as the NXT UK Women’s Champion Meiko Satomura walked out with her title on her shoulder with the announcers putting her over since Barrett called her a “Living Legend.” Meiko told Mandy she is not the most dominant Women’s Champion because that would be Meiko. Rose put over Meiko as a true legend, but she can’t think of a better way to put respect on her name then to beat a legend like her. Meiko said they can face off at Worlds Collide and then Davenport interrupted them saying she’s the number one contender. The fans chanted “shut the hell up” at Davenport. Meiko: “Okay. Triple threat match!” And that was it as they had a staredown.
Analysis: It sets up the triple threat match for both titles at Worlds Collide. That’s fine with me. While I have said for a long time that I think Nikkita Lyons will be the one to dethrone Mandy Rose, they could have Davenport win both titles in that match. Meiko could win also. It’s tough to predict, but I think it’s a way to beat Mandy without having her take a pin and then she can complain about it. Anyway, it should be a good match.
Tiffany Stratton was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Stratton had a different look with her hair braided and long locks, but she still spoke in her teenage girl voice.
Tony D’Angelo, the Don of NXT, was shown talking to Legado Del Fantasma’s Joaquin Wilde, Cruz Del Toro and Elektra Lopez. Tony said he forgave them for trying to help Santos last week and the future of the family starts tonight with a win.
There was a video featuring JD McDonagh talking about rehabilitation saying he enjoyed the match with Bron Breakker more than Bron did. JD said that his pain tolerance is only growing and wished Bron good luck at Worlds Collide. The camera showed that JD was hanging upside as he spoke.
They showed Wes Lee talking to Kayden Carter & Katana Chance, who are the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions. Lee said that everybody is going to come with those titles. Chance said that they’ll take on anybody and Carter said anybody who wants it can come get it. Lee liked their confidence.
The women’s triple threat is official for Worlds Collide: NXT & NXT UK Women’s Championship Unification Match: Mandy Rose (c) vs. Meiko Satomura (c) vs. Blair Davenport.
Indi Hartwell was still at ringside saying this is what rock bottom feels like. Indi said that Blair may unify the titles, but Blair isn’t the problem because Indi is the problem and it’s always been him. Indi said she told herself she’s done with tears, setbacks and mourning losses. Indi said she’s in the same position she was in four months ago. That’s when her “husband” Dexter Lumis showed up on the other side of the ring and the fans popped for her. They crawled to the middle of the ring to reunite with a hug. The fans cheered loudly for it. The fans chanted “In-Dex” for them since that’s their couples name. Lumis carried Indi to the back.
Analysis: In-Dex is back together again. Cool moment. That kind of thing makes a lot of people happy because it’s a romance comedy angle that really took off well in the past. The fans reaction to it was great. We have seen Lumis on Raw for the past month, so maybe Indi will be on Raw in the future as well, but I don’t know if that’s the case.
Vic Joseph was excited while Wade wanted to throw up. Vic shouted out former announcer Beth Phoenix saying she was probably celebrating. Lumis handed Indi a paper with a drawing on it. Lumis left the building where cops were there to arrest him. Indi opened the photo from Dexter that said he loves her.
Analysis: Lumis was arrested because he was trespassing on Raw in Toronto and now he was arrested in Orlando. The WWE Universe is a weird place.
Cora Jade was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Cora bragging about her win over Roxanne Perez last week. Jade ripped on fans complaining about it and told them to go on a date with a girl because their inflatable dolls don’t count.
The Dyad (Rip Fowler & Jagger Reid) (w/Joe Gacy) vs. Cruz Del Toro & Joaquin Wilde (w/Tony D’Angelo, Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo & Elektra Lopez)
Fowler is the former Zack Gibson and Reid is the former James Drake. They showed Cameron Grimes watching from the platform in the building. Tony was ordering his guys around and didn’t like some of the moves they did. Reid hit an impressive leap off the back leading to a corner attack followed by Fowler hitting a suicide dive. The Dyad hugged Gacy on the floor while looking at Grimes. Wilde hit some impressive moves after getting the hot tag including a spot where he kicked Fowler while doing a DDT on Reid. Legado hit a double team suplex on Reid. Fowler got the tag leading to a corner dropkick and Reid launched Wilde into the air onto the double knees from Fowler leading to the pin after five minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Dyad (Rip Fowler & Jagger Reid)
Analysis: **3/4 A solid tag team match between two good teams, but I’m still getting to The Dyad with that look and those names. The Legado guys are such a talented team that is always going put on a good match. I’m surprised the win was as clean as it was since they are heels. The Dyad team is very good when they get a chance to show what they can do.
Post match, a happy Gacy was happy with his team while staring at Grimes. Meanwhile, Tony D ripped on his guys for losing.
They showed Javier Bernal walking backstage where he was rude to a woman so security guy Hank Walker ripped on Javi for being rude to her. Hank is a tall guy that should get more TV time moving forward.
The NXT UK Champion Tyler Bate entered for a match.
They showed Cruz Del Toro, Joaquin Wilde & Elektra Lopez walking out of the building. Santos Escobar drove up in a black truck telling them he wasn’t going to leave without them. Escobar said that the familia stays together. The fans chanted “Legado” for them.
Analysis: That means that Escobar is bringing the Legado del Fantasma group with him on Raw & Smackdown since Escobar last week meaning he had to leave NXT. That’s fine with me. It’s a good group and I like seeing more stables on the main roster.
Tyler Bate vs. Von Wagner (w/Mr. Stone)
There was a big size advantage for Wagner as Bate hit a couple of dropkicks, but Wagner knocked him down with a boot to the face. They showed NXT Champion Bron Breakker watching the match. Wagner did a press slam dropping Bate to the mat. Wagner used his size advantage to remain in control, but Bate sent him out of the ring and Bate hit a dive over the top to the floor. The fans chanted “Big Strong Boy” for Bate because that’s his nickname. Wagner got the momentum back after a huge lariat. Bate with elbows, then a clothesline and Wagner caught him, but Bate hit him with some punches to the face. Bate showed off his impressive power with an overhead slam. Bate went up top and hit a twisting splash on Wagner for the pinfall win after about six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Tyler Bate
Analysis: **3/4 A big win for the smaller guy in what was a pretty good match. If you’ve seen Bate against a bigger guy like Gunther (back when he was Walter) then you know Bate can show off his power moves against anybody no matter how big they are. Wagner got plenty of offense, but again this is a case, like with Davenport, where they wanted to put over Bate strong going into the Worlds Collide event in less than two weeks. Bate is so fun to watch.
They showed Diamond Mine in the locker room with Julius Creed of The Creed Brothers speaking up telling Roderick Strong that he doesn’t trust him. Briggs & Jensen walked in talking about Diamond Mine facing Gallus in a six-man tag and to save a piece of Gallus for them. Strong said after what Gallus did, they will destroy Gallus. Briggs claimed that The Creeds aren’t the best team in NXT. The Creeds told Briggs & Jensen they should see who the best team is in NXT.
Analysis: I still think a four-way for the two sets of NXT Tag Team Titles is possible instead of just two teams, but I don’t know what the plan is right now.
Tiffany Stratton entered for the main event.
Next week on NXT:
* Apollo Crews vs. Grayson Waller
* Josh Briggs, Brooks Jensen & Fallon Henley vs. Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson) & Lash Legend
* The Creed Brothers (Julius & Brutus Creed) & Damon Kemp vs. Gallus (Wolfgang, Joe Coffey & Mark Coffey)
Wendy Choo made her entrance. I didn’t expect Choo to become a main eventer, but here she is on this show. Choo had on a onesie, but then she took that off to reveal some gear that was more fitting for wrestling.
Lights Out Match: Wendy Choose vs. Tiffany Stratton
A Lights Out Match is like a Falls Count Anywhere match with weapons allowed, but they shut the lights off other than a light on the competitors.
The lights dimmed in the building with a blue spotlight on the ring. Stratton with a clap to the face and Choo came back with a dropkick. Choo hit Stratton with a tennis racket (hey Jim Cornette) and then Choo put a trash can over Tiffany’s head. Choo hit the trash can with the tennis racket. There was just a blue spotlight surrounding the women. Back in the ring, Choo hit a running kick to the face. Stratton to the floor, she got a toolbox and swung a wrench, but Choo moved, so Stratton hit the ring post. They were back in the ring with a clothesline followed by a release belly to belly suplex across the ring. Stratton avoided Choo’s move leading to Stratton sending Choo into a trash can. Stratton sent Choo into the steel steps leading to a picture-in-picture break.
There was a bed/table that was at ringside. Choo charged in the ring while Stratton hit a powerslam. Stratton went up top, jumped off with a picture-perfect moonsault, Choo avoided it and Stratton hit the mat. Choo hit a brainbuster onto a steel chair for two. Choo used a steel bar to try to make Stratton submit, but Stratton got her purse and sprayed something in Choo’s face. Stratton hit a Powerbomb on a trash can for a two count. The fans chanted “this is awesome” as Choo avoided an attack off the ropes leading to Stratton hitting the mat. Choo grabbed a dreaded pillow, then she hit Stratton and Choo dumped stuff out of the pillow…it was Lego. They are not as devastating as thumbtacks, but they can hurt! Choo dumped some more Legos in the pile. Stratton caught Choo and gave her an overhead slam missing the Lego, but then Choo rolled into the Lego, so Stratton picked up Choo and gave her a body slam onto the Lego. I assume Stratton was supposed to toss her into the Lego with the fallaway slam, but it didn’t work. Stratton with double knees for a two count. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. They left the ring with Stratton trying to throw powder at Choo, but Choo shoved it in Stratton’s face and Choo slammed Stratton onto the bed that broke like a typical table in WWE. That drew a big pop and “holy shit” chants with WWE musting “shit” part of the chant. Back in the ring, Choo jumped off the ring with a backward splash off the top onto Stratton for the pinfall win. It went about 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Wendy Choo
Analysis: ***1/2 I liked this match. They worked hard and had some creative spots in what was the longest match on this show. I wouldn’t call it a great match or anything like that, but I think they did a nice job of making this feel like a grudge match to end the feud. Choo getting the win made sense since she’s the face in the rivalry and Stratton has got the upper hand a lot in the rivalry. Choo using the Legos was pretty funny because it fit her character. Choo also slamming Stratton through the base of a bed was unique as well. That led to Choo hitting her finish off the top for the win. I know some people don’t like Choo because her gimmick is so silly, but when the bell rings she always delivers in the ring.
Wendy Choo celebrated the ring with the Legos in the ring while Stratton was down selling.
There was a shot of the backstage area where Mandy Rose, Meiko Satomura and Blair Davenport signing the contracts for their NXT & NXT UK Women’s Title match at Worlds Collide. They also showed Bron Breakker and Tyler Bate signing the contract for their NXT & NXT UK Title match. End show.
Analysis: A nice way to end it since there was a big push to promote Worlds Collide throughout the show.
It will ALL be on the line at #NXTWorldsCollide!#WWENXTpic.twitter.com/5O3bk4Rawt
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) August 24, 2022
Three Stars of the Show
- Wendy Choo
- Tiffany Stratton
- The Indi Hartwell-Dexter Lumis reunion. Sure.
This week: 6.5 out of 10
Last week: 7.5
It was a weaker episode this week in terms of match quality, but they still managed to get a lot of people on the show and advanced several of the storylines. There was obviously a lot of build to Worlds Collide, which his why Tyler Bate and Blair Davenport picked up wins to build them up for their title matches.
The quality of the matches was down because a lot of the bigger names on the brand were in Heatwave matches last week that were given a lot of time and were good. This week it was more about building to the future and giving other people a chance in the ring. That’s fine. It just wasn’t as good as last week’s show. But at least “IN-DEX” is together again, so that makes people happy. I’m also glad that Legado del Fantasma will remain a group that will debut on Raw or Smackdown soon. They are great.
It was a bit surprising to see Wendy Choo beating Tiffany Stratton in a Lights Out Match main event, but that was a long term feud and likely the end of it. They worked hard and had a very entertaining match. Choo has a comedy gimmick, but when the bell rings she’s good while Stratton continues to impress.
The next NXT Premium Live Event is Worlds Collide on Sunday, September 4. Here’s what we know so far:
NXT & NXT UK Championship Unification Match: Bron Breakker (c) vs. Tyler Bate (c)
NXT & NXT UK Women’s Championship Unification Match: Mandy Rose (c) vs. Meiko Satomura (c) vs. Blair Davenport
You can watch NXT Worlds Collide on Sunday, September 4, at 3 p.m. ET, streaming live exclusively on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays. My contact info is below.