The John Report: WWE NXT 09/05/23 Review

wwe nxt september 5

This week’s WWE NXT featured Tiffany Stratton defending the Women’s Title against Kiana James, Dragon Lee facing Mustafa Ali, Bron Breakker vs. Von Wagner in a No DQ Match main event and more.

I will do summary style for most of the show and play-by-play for the main event.

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.

It was Vic Joseph and Booker T on commentary as usual.

NXT Women’s Championship: Tiffany Stratton vs. Kiana James

The women were in the ring to start the show and Alicia Taylor did the introductions. Why not announce the hometowns of the wrestlers? They should. Only saying the name is weak.

Stratton had a back splash onto Kiana’s back early. James came back with a clothesline to take control with a submission move pulling back on the arms. When Stratton went for a running splash, James countered it into a pin attempt. They did a running double clothesline spot to knock both women down. James hit her 401K neckbreaker into a flatliner submission. The referee was removing the bag that Stratton brought into the ring so Stratton did an eye gouge. Stratton did a rolling senton followed by the triple jump Prettiest Moonsault Ever for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Tiffany Stratton

Analysis: **1/2 I don’t think anybody thought James had a chance here. It was just a match to put over Stratton. James did get the nearfall with her finisher at least, but it’s not like they are going to take the title off Stratton in a match like this.

Becky Lynch appeared via video message on the screen. Lynch said that she has won everything in WWE except the NXT Women’s Title. Lynch said because Stratton was at Raw and Payback, Lynch wants to pay her a visit. That led to Lynch announcing that Stratton will defend the NXT Women’s Title against Becky Lynch next week in the main event.

Analysis: That’s big for next week. It will be good to see Becky Lynch in NXT.

They showed Carmelo Hayes arriving as the NXT Champion with Wes Lee arriving at the same time.

Ilja Dragunov entered for singles action.


The Creed Brothers and Ivy Nile were in the Diamond Mine area of the backstage area. The NXT Tag Team Champions Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo interrupted. Julius called them Mario and Luigi. Julius thanked the champions for helping Ivy Nile recently. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade claimed they deserved a title shot before The Creed Brothers. Tony D and Stacks said it would be a long night.

Ilja Dragunov vs. Oro Mensah (w/Noam Dar, Jakara Jackson & Lash Legend)

Dragunov was in control with a running knee and a knee drop off the ropes. Mensah hit an impressive springboard moonsault for two. When Dragunov tried a move off the ropes, Mensah superkicked him.


Dragunov was on offense with a running clothesline and German Suplexes. When Dragunov tried a running Powerbomb, Mensah punched him to get out of it, which led to Mensah hitting a spinning heel kick for two. Dragunov come back with a jumping kick to the head along with a Powerbomb. Dragunov hit the Torpedo Moscow uppercut for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Ilja Dragunov

Analysis: *** The winner was never in doubt because Dragunov is the bigger star in NXT, but I thought Mensah was impressive in the match. Mensah has some cool moves while he’s also very athletic. Dragunov picking up the win as the right move.

After the match, Wes Lee entered the ring with Ilja Dragunov. Wes said he’s next up for NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes. Dragunov said that Carmelo is his. Dragunov said he will rip anybody’s head off who stands in his way. Wes said he has more heart than Dragunov can handle.

The NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes interrupted the promo exchange. Melo said there is no asterisk next to their mask. Melo said Dragunov took a risk and Melo took advantage. Melo told Wes he took a risk and Melo took advantage. Melo said that Shawn Michaels decided that next week it’s Wes Lee against Ilja Dragunov. The winner of that match will face Melo for the NXT Championship at No Mercy on September 30th. Melo held up his title while Dragunov and Wes had a staredown.

Analysis: That’s a huge match for next week. It should be awesome. Melo had a better match with Dragunov than he did with Wes, but I think either match against Melo would be amazing to see. Wes and Dragunov will have a great showing next week too.

Dominik Mysterio was looking at the rule book and threw some pages out. He’s up soon as the referee.

Nathan Frazer was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Frazer saying he’s thinking about the Heritage Cup back. Frazer said he’s not about to slow down.

Nathan Frazer entered for singles action.


Jacy Jayne was hanging out with Thea Hail with interruptions from Gigi Dolin and Blair Davenport. Hail told Dolin she didn’t know her. Gigi said that you don’t want to hang out with Jacy. Hail said she’s not a kid and she’ll prove it to Gigi tonight.

NXT Global Heritage Invitational: Nathan Frazer vs. Duke Hudson (w/Andre Chase)

They are in Group B of this tournament. Hudson used his power to hit an STO slam. Hudson went for a Razor’s Edge, but Frazer sent him into the turnbuckle. Frazer with a kick to the gut and a Phoenix Splash off the top for the pinfall win after about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nathan Frazer

Analysis: **1/4 A quick match to give Frazer a win after losing to Joe Coffey in his first match. Frazer is fun to watch.

Diamond Mine was shown in their area of the locker room when other teams like Hank & Tank walked up to them about how they want a title shot. Reggie said that the streets made Nima & Price the way they are.


Tyler Bate vs. Dabba-Kato

Kato was in control after a boot to the face. Kato with a spinning backbreaker. Bate got a boot to the head followed by an uppercut off the middle rope. Bate avoided a Chokeslam by punching Kato in the face. Bate picked up Kato to show he’s a “Big Strong Boi” with the fans chanting that and Bate did a spinning slam off the shoulders. Bate hit a twisting slam off the top onto Kato for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Tyler Bate

Analysis: ** Bate is great because he can make a Kato match look competitive at least. It’s smart not to book Kato in a longer match. The fans really came alive when Bate hit the slam off the shoulders and put Kato away after that.

Dominik Mysterio was shown walking backstage with the NXT North American Title. Dominik went up to Carmelo Hayes saying that next week he finds out his No Mercy opponent and tonight, Dominik finds out his opponent.

Dominik Mysterio made his entrance wearing a purple NXT referee shirt representing The Judgment Day.

The women’s locker room was shown with Kiana James complaining about her title loss while Roxanne Perez and Lyra Valkyria were there. James said mean girl things so Perez hit her with a forearm and the other women broke it up.


Baron Corbin was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell to talk about the Bron Breakker-Von Wagner match. Corbin said he didn’t care who won while saying he would be on commentary. Corbin said maybe after it’s over, he might pick up the scraps.

Tiffany Stratton was nearly interviewed backstage, but Stratton said to get out of her face and kept walking.

Mustafa Ali vs. Dragon Lee (Dominik Mysterio as the referee)

Ali got a hurricanrana early on. Dragon came back with an impressive series of kicks including a leaping kick over the ropes. Ali hit a running clothesline. Dragon sent Ali out of the ring leading to a suicide dive that sent Ali crashing over the commentary table. When Dragon tried to do more, Ali nailed him with a clothesline. Back in the ring, Ali hit a Tornado DDT. Dragon got a bridging German Suplex for two. Ali hit a Jackhammer slam for a two count. Dragon came back with a sitdown Powerbomb for a two count. Dragon didn’t like Dominik’s count, then Ali tied up Dragon’s legs and Ali was on top as Dominik did a fast count. Ali won while Dragon was mad about the fast count. They got about five minutes here.

Winner by pinfall: Mustafa Ali

Analysis: **3/4 It was very good for a shorter match, but I was anticipating a longer match. Lots of big moves by both guys. It had a controversial finish that makes me think we will be getting a triple threat match at No Mercy instead of just Dominik against Ali because Dragon Lee has a right to complain about this one.

After the match, Dominik raised Ali’s hand and Ali punched Dominik in the face. Ali shook Dragon Lee’s hand.

Ilja Dragunov talked to Trick Williams in the locker room saying that Trick is more of an entertainer. Dragunov didn’t like Trick saying to Carmelo Hayes that he thought Melo would beat Dragunov again. Dragunov thinks that Trick was lying to Melo and to himself.

Butch entered for a singles match up next.


There was a training session with Drew Gulak and friends having an issue with Myles Borne talking to Briggs, Jensen & Fallon Henley. Drew told Borne to make a good impression next week.

A video aired featuring Eddy Thorpe saying he’s not done with Dijak.

NXT Global Heritage Invitational: Axiom vs. Butch

They are in Group A. Noam Dar with Meta-Four were watching the match. The first couple of minutes featured some mat based wrestling by Butch grounding Axiom and stomping on his head. They did a rope running spot with Butch nailing a clothesline. Butch hit his Explex slam along with a running dropkick. Butch wrenched on Axiom’s arms by the ropes.


Axiom got some offense going with some hard strikes including a punch, kick to the head and a jumping kick. Alicia Taylor announced two minutes left in the 12 minute match. Butch hit a knee to the face to block a move followed by Butch hitting a sitout Powerbomb. Both guys were down selling. Axiom with a kick followed by the Golden Ration kick, but Butch’s left hand was under the bottom rope to force a break. Axiom went for a submission move bending back the arm, but Butch wouldn’t quit. Butch hit the Bitter End for just two with five seconds left. The bell rang to make it a draw after 12 minutes.

Match Result: Draw

Analysis: ***1/4 That was a very good match. The time limit draw is a rare thing, but it’s fine to do it once in a while when you’re in a tournament like this. I liked their chemistry in this match with Butch getting more nearfalls and near submissions, but Axiom was able to fight him off enough leading to a draw.

Tyler Bate appeared by the entrance area to wave at Butch and Axiom since he faces both of them in this tournament.

Von Wagner was shown doing a sitdown promo saying the fans cheering him makes him feel a certain type of way. Von said life with you is so much more fun – he was talking to the commentary table. Mr. Stone walked into the picture and Von said that Bron Breakker will be tabled tonight.

Gigi Dolin made her entrance for singles action.


Tony D’Angelo and Stacks were in the Diamond Mine area talking about tag teams. Angel and Humberto walked up saying they will take the NXT Tag Team Titles. Angel said it’s about the glory of becoming the champions. Tony D talked about scars that Angel had on his chest, so Angel punched him and it led to a brawl between a lot of tag teams.

Thea Hail (w/Jacy Jayne) vs. Gigi Dolin

Hail is no longer enthusiastic and representing Chase U even though she entered with the Chase U theme song. Hail was aggressive with running forearms. Gigi got some offense going with kicks to the head. Hail applied a Kimura Lock on the left arm, but Gigi was able to get to the bottom rope to break the hold. Gigi left the ring with Hail, but Gigi took over send Hail into the ring post and an STO trip. After Jayne distracted the referee, Blair Davenport did a single arm takedown on Gigi on the floor. Back in the ring, Hail had the Kimura Lock locked in and Gigi tapped out. It went four minutes.

Winner by submission: Thea Hail

Analysis: ** A cheap win for this new heel version of Thea Hail. Gigi was outnumbered.

The Creed Brothers were shown in their destroyed Diamond Mine Dojo. Ivy Nile asked if they were doing okay. The Creeds laughed and Brutus said they have never been better.

Von Wagner and Bron Breakker were shown walking backstage separately ahead of the main event.


Kelani Jordan was talking to Lyra Valkyria about what happened last week. Lyra said it was just her fourth match. Dana Brooke walked in saying that she didn’t like Lyra being there giving her bad advice. Dana told Jordan if she wanted advice, she should talk to Dana because Dana is her friend. Lyra said if you want a match with her then all she has to do is ask.

Analysis: The slow heel turn of Dana Brooke continues as she continues to act like a jerk at times.

Tiffany Stratton was shown commenting about facing Becky Lynch. Stratton said she’s only been wrestling for two years and she’s already a champion while Lynch wasn’t close to that. Stratton said that the NXT Women’s Championship isn’t going anywhere. Stratton: “See you next week, bitch. Toodles.”

Next week on NXT:

* NXT Women’s Championship: Tiffany Stratton vs. Becky Lynch

* NXT Global Heritage Invitational Group A: Tyler Bate vs. Axiom

* NXT Global Heritage Invitational Group B: Nathan Frazer vs. Akira Tozawa

* Wes Lee vs. Ilja Dragunov in a #1 Contender’s Match

* The Creed Brothers vs. Malik Blade & Edris Enofe

Von Wager was up first with Mr. Stone with Von wearing a “You’re Gonna Get Tabled” shirt. Baron Corbin was on commentary. Bron Breakker was next looking mean as usual with “BADASS” written on his singlet.

No Disqualification Match: Von Wagner (w/Mr. Stone) vs. Bron Breakker

A No Disqualification Match also means no countout. They should just call it a Street Fight.

Bron sent Wagner into the turnbuckle followed by a clothesline over the top rope. Wagner was ramming Bron’s face into the hood of the commentary table and Wagner tossed Bron over the commentary table. Back in the ring, Wagner hit a shoulder tackle followed by a clothesline over the top to the floor. Bron hit Wagner with a chair to the ribs followed by a German Suplex on the floor.


Bron was in full control with kendo stick shots to the body several times. Bron with a knee to the ribs. Wagner came back with headbutts along with a clothesline. Bron came back with his own leaping clothesline for two. Bron continued with kendo stick shots to the body. Wagner hit two running boots to the head, but Bron came back with a sitout Powerbomb. Wagner tried a lifting move and then he collapsed due to selling the rib injury. Bron went up top and hit a bulldog onto the steel chair. Bron applied the Steiner Recliner while putting the kendo stick in Wagner’s mouth, but Wagner got out of it. Wagner fought of it and hit a clothesline. They exchanged clotheslines with neither guy going down. Bron with a lifting move while driving his knees into the ribs. Bron went for a Spear, Wagner moved and Bron hit a chair that was against the turnbuckle. Wagner got the kendo stick, Bron spit on him and Wagner hit Bron with kendo stick shots to the body. Wagner hit Bron in the ribs and back with a steel chair. Wagner hit a Chokeslam for two. Wagner tossed Bron into the part of the set that had the thin NXT logo on a piece of wood or whatever it was by a platform. Wagner set up Bron by the table, but Bron came back with a punch. Bron jumped up, Wagner caught him and Wagner gave Bron a Powerbomb through the table. The fans chanted “NXT” for that. They went back into the ring, Bron got out of a move off Wagner’s shoulders and Bron hit a low blow uppercut punch. Bron hit a Spear for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bron Breakker

Analysis: *** It was better as a No DQ match instead of if it was a regular match because I don’t think their skills would have produced a great match if it was a regular match. Bron was terrific in the match as he continues to get better as a heel. Wagner isn’t the best in the ring or anything like that, but he got through it fine. What I didn’t like was that after Bron was put through the table, he didn’t sell it much and came back to win about 30 seconds later. It made the Powerbomb spot look weak. Bron cheating to win is fitting for him as a heel. Based on what happened next, they are obviously doing this match again.

Bron attacked Wagner with a couple of chair shot to the back. Bron threw Wagner into the steel steps. Bron picked up the steel steps and smashed them on Wagner’s head, but the camera went to black just as the smashing happened so we never actually saw it. Vic shouted “you son of a bitch” while Corbin said “I can’t believe it he did it!” The screen remained on black as the NXT logo appeared in the bottom of the screen. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: A vicious attack by Bron Breakker to end the show. It is a way to get sympathy for Von Wagner and build up another match between them. That will probably happen at No Mercy later this month.

After the show, Von Wagner did a stretcher job to the hospital.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Bron Breakker
  2. Butch/Axiom
  3. Ilja Dragunov


The Scoreboard

This week: 6.75 out of 10

Last week: 7

2023 Average: 6.99


Final Thoughts

A good show overall although match quality was a bit down from the last couple of weeks. The Bron Breakker/Von Wagner grudge match provided a memorable ending due to Bron’s vicious attack with the steel steps after he won the match. Tiffany Stratton looked strong in her title defense. Ilja Dragunov also got a big win and has great matches every time he’s out there. The 12-minute draw with Butch & Axiom was very entertaining as well in the Heritage Coup Invitational.

I was hoping for a better match from Mustafa Ali & Dragon Lee. It wasn’t given a lot of time with Dominik Mysterio as the referee. There was a controversial ending, so perhaps it leads to a triple threat or something other than Ali vs. Dom.

They set up some big matches for next week with Tiffany Stratton defending the NXT Women’s Title against Becky Lynch and Ilja Dragunov vs. Wes Lee for a shot at the NXT Title. Those matches should be very interesting to see who wins while I also think they can be great matches too.


Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Rams. My contact info is below.

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport