Reviews

The John Report: WWE NXT 09/20/22 Review

wwe nxt sept 20 main

This week’s WWE NXT featured a number one contender’s match for an NXT Title shot, plus some news about the North American Title as well.

This week’s show and the September 27 episode were taped last week. The new white & gold NXT logo was part of this week’s show, but I don’t know if they will change the overall look of NXT when they go live again on October 4th.

As usual, I’ll go summary style for the matches on 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 @johnreport. My WWE NXT Review archive is here. Let’s get to it.

They showed highlights from last week’s show including Solo Sikoa beating Carmelo Hayes to win the NXT North American Title in the main event.

Shawn Michaels Addresses NXT North American Title Situation

There was an office scene moderated by Shawn Michaels with Solo Sikoa and Carmelo Hayes. Shawn told Solo that he was in a match he wasn’t sanctioned to be in last week and the fans voted in that match, but Solo wasn’t part of that, so Shawn said the results of that match…cannot stand. Shawn told Solo he needs him to hand over the North American Championship. Shawn said that rules are rules. Solo said he gets it, he took care of his unfinished business and he handed Shawn the title. Shawn congratulated Solo for a great run in NXT over the last year, then wished him good luck on Smackdown, Raw or wherever his WWE career takes him. Solo reminded Melo that he had next. Hayes told Solo to beat it. Shawn told Hayes that he got burned by trying to outsmart the system (by taking out Wes Lee). Shawn said that the business slapped you in the face. Shawn said that in six weeks at Halloween Havoc (on October 22nd) there will be a 5-man Ladder Match for the North American Championship. Melo is one of the men in the match and four other men who will have to qualify it. Melo said okay and left.

Analysis: I was surprised to see that they would have Solo give up the title like that considering he defended it on Smackdown last week. From a logical point of view, it does make sense because Melo’s challenger was supposed to be voted on by the fans and Melo took out Wes Lee, so Solo was a surprise replacement. They did explain it well, but I figured we would see Solo remain on NXT at least for a few more weeks, but that’s not going to happen. Solo is on the main roster now. I’m interested to see who else is in the North American Title tournament. I don’t think Hayes should win it again, so I’m interested to see who wins the title next.

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

Axiom vs. Nathan Frazer

This is the second match in their best of three series with Axiom getting the first win. They did some spots going for pin attempts with neither man able to get the win. Axiom used his speed to hit a dropkick followed by a Northern Lights suplex for a two count. Frazer sent Axiom out of the ring with a headscissors, but Axiom stopped a dive with a forearm. When Axiom tried an attack off the top rope, Frazer hit him with a dropkick leading to a picture-in-picture break.

(Commercial)

The fast-paced action continued with Axiom hitting a dropkick followed by a springboard clothesline for two. Axiom got a couple of nearfalls, then he went for a kick, but Frazer hit his own superkick for just a two count. That was close. Axiom hit a butterfly suplex-style move off the middle ropes for two. Frazer jumped off the ropes with a moonsault, Axiom caught him with a submission and Frazer got to the ropes to break free. Frazer came back with a superplex into a twisting neckbreaker. Frazer went up top and hit a twisting 450 Splash for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nathan Frazer

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a very good match between two high fliers that know how to execute a bunch of cool moves at a fast pace. They probably could have done more dives and high spots, but I liked that they tried to tell a story with submissions as well as a lot of pin attempts by both of them. Axiom seemed like he was in control for most of the match, but Frazer came back strong with three big moves for the win.

The win by Frazer meant that the Best of 3 series was predictably tied 1-1 after that match.

Alba Fyre did a promo about how she’s coming after Mandy Rose for the NXT Championship. Fyre said that she saw fear in Rose’s eyes when they were face to face and Fyre said she’ll be the one to take the title from her and burn Mandy’s empire to the ground.

Mandy Rose was shown watching Alba Fyre while Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne talked to her. Rose said she’ll beat Fallon Henley next week while Gigi & Jacy will get a big win tonight.

The lovely Toxic Attraction trio of Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne made their entrance.

Analysis: Congrats to Mandy on getting engaged a few days ago. This was taped before the engagement to former NXT wrestler Tino Sabbatelli (real name Sabatino “Sabby” Piscitelli). They have been dating for about five years after meeting earlier in their WWE careers.

This week on Smackdown: Roman Reigns is back, plus The Usos defend the Tag Team Titles against the Brawling Brutes and Braun Strowman faces Otis in a matchup of two strong guys.

(Commercial)

A video aired featuring Damon Kemp talking about how he took money from Tony D’Angelo to help him win the Tag Team Titles from The Creed Brothers, but Santos Escobar got involved. Kemp said Roderick Strong was going to show video proof that he wasn’t involved in costing The Creed Brothers, so Kemp destroyed Roddy’s phone and destroyed Roddy as well. Kemp said he thinks Roddy is still in the hospital. Kemp said he’ll face one of The Creed Brothers in a match, but he wants the other one to stay in the back. Kemp ended his confession speech there.

They showed Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley talking in the locker room with Nile complaining about Kemp trying to destroy Diamond Mine. Paxley wanted her to focus, Nile said she was focused and off they went.

Toxic Attraction – Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne (w/Mandy Rose) vs. Ivy Nile & Tatum Paxley

Dolin knocked down Paxley with a clothesline and Jayne got a senton splash for a two count. The Toxic ladies continued to work over Paxley for a few minutes until Paxley did a head slam on Dolin. Nile hit an impressive suplex on Jayne across the ring. After Dolin tagged in, she sent Nile out of the ring. Jayne and Dolin each kicked Nile at the same time for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Toxic Attraction – Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne

Analysis: *1/2 A bit sloppy, but it was fine for a shorter match to put over the more established team to give Toxic Attraction the win.

Joe Gacy and Schism group was shown walking backstage.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear from Schism

The Schism trio of Joe Gacy, Jagger Reid & Rip Fowler were in the ring for a promo. Reid and Fowler didn’t say that much while Gacy talked about Cameron Grimes saying he has been patient, but then said that the wrath of Schism is imminent. The team of Malik Blade and Edris Enofe attacked Schism in the ring, so that led to a match.

Malik Blade & Edris Enofe vs. The Dyad – Jagger Reid & Rip Fowler

Blade and Enofe did some good combo moves including a kick followed by a clothesline by Enofe. The action spilled to the floor after Enofe knocked both opponents out of the ring and Blade (who was wrestling in a sweater for some reason) hit an impressive dive over the top onto the guys on the floor.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Fowler grabbing Blade’s sweater and then Reid jumped over the top for a double team move. The Schism trio hugged on the floor with the fans booing them. A few minutes after that, Enofe got the hot tag and he unleashed some offense with punches on both guys. Enofe hit a dropkick, then he tripped Fowler and hit a slam into the mat. Fowler did a jawbreaker, Blade was back in there was a double team move by Enofe/Blade leading to a leg lariat by Blade for two. That could work well as a finisher. Enofe almost got the win, but Fowler got out of a pin attempt. Reid jumped off Fowler’s back leading to a Canadian Destroyer by Reid! Wow! What a move. The Dyad hit their Ticket to Mayhem double team move that’s a double knee attack leading to Reid getting the pinfall win. It went about nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Dyad – Jagger Reid & Rip Fowler

Analysis: **3/4 A pretty good tag team match with The Dyad working well together just like when they were called the Grizzled Young Veterans. I don’t mind seeing them get wins because they are a talented team even though the gimmick is weird. Enofe & Blade continue to improve. They might not win a lot on NXT, but they are talented and I can see them getting a push within a few months.

They showed highlights of Quincy Elliott’s NXT debut win last week.

Wendy Choo made her entrance for singles action.

(Commercial)

They showed comments from Roxanne Perez and Meiko Satomura talking about their match on NXT two weeks ago with Meiko getting the win. Perez talked about gaining Meiko’s respect. They showed comments from Meiko with the translated words on the screen. After the match, Cora Jade attacked Perez and Meiko made the save. Perez said she’ll be tougher, rougher and more determined when she faces Jade next time.

Cora Jade vs. Wendy Choo

The crowd was chanting for both women because that’s what they like to do. Choo hit a running kick in the corner sending Jade out of the ring, but Jade came back and choked Choo across the middle rope along with knees to the back. Choo got some offense going with a suplex across the ring and a forearm to the face. Jade sent Choo into the turnbuckle and Jade hit a DDT for the win.

Winner by pinfall: Cora Jade

Analysis: ** That was quick. I thought they would get more time for a match like this because Choo is capable in the ring, but instead, it was a quick match to give Jade the win. Choo won her feud with Tiffany Stratton, so I thought Choo would put up more of a fight. Jade is pushed well as a heel, which made it obvious she would win. All it took was two simple moves for Jade to win.

After the match, Lash Legend was in the ring behind Choo and Legend kicked Choo in the face.

The NXT Champion Bron Breakker was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Bron thanked the NXT Universe for voting him NXT Superstar of the Year. Bron said he didn’t know who would win between Tyler Bate & JD McDonagh in the main event. Bron picked Bate saying he would love to face him again.

Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were shown walking backstage for a promo up next.

(Commercial)

A video aired about Oro Mensah.

Oro Mensah was interviewed by Kelly Kincaid ahead of Oro’s match against Grayson Waller later in the show. Oro said that Oro means gold, and he’s going to qualify for the North American Title Ladder Match tonight.

Let’s Hear from Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams

Melo and Trick went into the ring for a promo. Trick said Melo had to get something off his chest. Melo said that vote or no vote, he is the biggest superstar in NXT. Melo complained about what happened last week saying he wanted people fired that played a part in what Solo Sikoa did last week. Melo said he didn’t care what bloodline Solo came from and Melo claimed he was still the “A” Champion.

Andre Chase of Chase U interrupted with Bodhi Hayward and Thea Hale. Chase got into the ring with Melo saying that this was serious business. Chase was about to spout off his “teachable moment” phrase, but the heels kept cutting it off. Chase ended up saying it to a pop. That led to Chase and Hayward punching Melo & Trick out of the ring.

Analysis: A simple way to set up a tag team match with the “holla holla holla” tag match Teddy Long booking.

Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams vs. Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward

Trick hit a dropkick on Chase early in the match. Trick hit a suplex on Hayward, but Hayward came back with a shoulder tackle. After Chase did a Russian legsweep on Trick, he did the stomping routine with the fans chanting “CHASE U” because they know that routine well. Hayes tagged in while Hayward had Trick in a Torture Rack, so Hayes/Trick hit a double clothesline and Hayes hit a springboard clothesline. Chase got some momentum after a tag with an atomic drop and body slam on Trick. Nice uppercut by Trick on Chase. Hayes tagged in with kicks on both guys, then Chase rolled forward and held Melo’s arms down for the pinfall win. Vic yelled “teachable moment” twice on commentary to show excitement for Chase’s win. It went about four minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward

Analysis: **1/2 A basic tag team match with a surprising result after Hayes also lost the North American Title last week. I figured going into the match that Hayes would get the win, but it was a surprising result with Chase winning. Since Chase doesn’t beat the top guys in NXT much at all, it shocked the crowd and made them happy.

Chase and Hayward went into the crowd to celebrate the fans wearing the Chase U shirts while Hayes complained about it to the referee.

Sanga and Von Wagner were shown walking backstage ahead of their match.

(Commercial)

They showed the Gallus group playing darts, cards and having beers. Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen arrived with Fallon Henley. They exchanged words, but security broke it up. That would set up a tag team match for next week. That’s how NXT always books segments like that.

Sanga vs. Von Wagner (w/Mr. Stone)

These guys are two high flying athletes just like the Frazer-Axiom match earlier. Just kidding. They are both over 6’6” and two of the biggest guys on the NXT roster. Sanga was in control early after a clothesline, but Wagner managed to fight back. Wagner applied a weak-looking chinlock, Sanga with a corner splash and a sidewalk slam. Sanga kicked Wagner off the apron to the floor. Stone jumped towards Sanga, which led Wagner to get back into it sending Sanga into the ringpost and steel steps. Wagner hit a slam off the shoulders for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Von Wagner

Analysis: * A poor match between two bigger guys. The fans weren’t into the match, which is understandable because it was boring. Wagner is fine against the smaller guys that can sell his power moves well, but he’s not that exciting to watch. Sanga looks impressive. I just don’t think he’s that interesting to watch.

A video aired showing Wes Lee talking about Trick & Melo attacking him. Lee said he was offered a bye to immediately qualify for the Ladder Match, but he’s not going to take it. Lee said that he was going to earn his way into the NXT North American Title Ladder Match at Halloween Havoc.

Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo interrupted Mckenzie Mitchell to say that Wes Lee was facing Tony D’Angelo in the NXT North American Title Ladder Match qualifying match.

Grayson Waller made his entrance with the fans boing him.

(Commercial)

Cameron Grimes did a promo telling Joe Gacy that next week he’s going to take him “to the moon” when they have a match next week.

NXT North American Title Ladder Match Qualifying Match: Oro Mensah vs. Grayson Waller

The announcers did a good job of putting over Oro, who is new, with Vic saying Oro’s family was watching in Switzerland. Oro hit some impressive moves like a jumping kick to the face and he did a Waller taunt as well. Waller hit an impressive belly to back suplex off the shoulders. Waller worked over Oro with some forearms to the back. Oro made the comeback with a moonsault along with a spinning kick to the head that looked impressive. Waller went for his move jumping into the ring, but Apollo Crews stood in front of him. Crews had blood coming out of his right eye after Waller did the eye gouge to him. Since Waller was distracted by Crews, Oro sent him back into the ring and Oro hit a running spin kick in the corner for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Oro Mensah

Analysis: **1/2 It was another surprising result on this show because I thought Waller would be in the Ladder Match, but Oro got the win thanks to the distraction from Crews. Waller got screwed by Crews, who looks a bit silly with the blood coming out from the right eye. They are telling the story of Waller poking Crews in the eyes multiple times, so that should lead to another Crews-Waller match soon.

That means that Oro Mensah has joined Carmelo Hayes as two of the five men in the NXT North American Title Ladder Match at Halloween Havoc.

The Creed Brothers were shown training and arguing about who is going to face Damon Kemp. Brutus made it clear that it needs to be him, Julius agreed to it and Julius told his brother to end his career.

The NXT Champion Bron Breakker was shown walking out with a Connor’s Cure Thriver named Landon and the fans gave the young man Landon a big ovation. That’s a cool moment.

(Commercial)

A video aired about a new women’s wrestler Sol Ruca leaving the beach and hitting the ring next week.

Next week on NXT:

* Cameron Grimes vs. Joe Gacy.

* Gallus vs. Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen in a Pub Rules Match.

* Kayden Carter vs. Nikkita Lyons.

* Brutus Creed vs. Damon Kemp.

* Tony D’Angelo vs. Wes Lee.

* Mandy Rose vs. Fallon Henley.

As I mentioned earlier, next week’s show has already been taped.

The main event was a number one contender’s match for a shot at the NXT Title with Tyler Bate up first followed by JD McDonagh. Bron Breakker was on commentary for the match.

Tyler Bate vs. JD McDonagh

They did some mat wrestling early on with some slick moves leading to Bate hitting a cross body block followed by an armbar. Bate with a kick along with a jumping back elbow off the middle ropes. Bate and JD exchanged sunset flip attempts along with some other moves for more nearfalls. They literally did about ten nearfalls in a row leading to Bates getting a backslide pin for two. Bate was on the shoulders leading to a pin attempt and then they did a double clothesline leading to a picture-in-picture commercial break.

(Commercial)

JD was in control with a Boston Crab, but JD got to the ropes. JD held onto Bate’s arm leading to some quick kicks to the head. Bate whipped JD into the corner leading to JD bumping over the top to the floor where he landed on his feet. Bate jumped over the top with a cross body block on JD, who landed on the commentary table right in front of Bron and the announcers. JD sent Bate into the hood of the table and pointed at Bron. Bate sent JD back in, Bate got a hold of JD and hit an Exploder suplex followed by a standing Shooting Star Press for two. Bate with an uppercut, JD went to the apron and JD jumped onto the shoulders, so Bate did the airplane spin followed by a slam off the shoulders for a two count. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. JD sent Bate out of the ring followed by a kick to the chest while JD was on the apron. JD hit a moonsault onto Bate on the floor. Back in the ring, JD went up top and hit a 450 Splash for a two count. JD with a brainbuster into a pin attempt for two. They got into a slugfest as they exchanged punches with the fans cheering them. Bate did a big right-handed punch, JD kicked the knee and Bate countered a move. Bate bounced off the ropes leading to JD hitting a Spanish Fly slam, but Bate punched him in the face to prevent a pin attempt. The fans chanted “NXT” and “fight forever” for them. Bate went up top, JD went after him, Bate teased a move off the top, but JD avoided it and JD delivered a headbutt with a loud slap to make it sound impressive. JD hit a Spanish Fly slam off the top rope followed by the Devil Inside slam for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: JD McDonagh

Analysis: **** This was a terrific match between two talented athletes who hit a lot of big moves and counters throughout the match. That Spanish Fly off the top by JD towards the finish was impressive and then he hit the Devil Inside slam for the win. I knew the result because of spoilers, but I think they wrestled the kind of match where if I was watching live I wouldn’t have known who was going to win, so that made me like it even more. The fans really loved it too. Much like the Axiom-Frazer match earlier in the show, they are two amazing athletes that hit a lot of impressive moves and put on a very entertaining match. I highly recommend it if you missed it.

Bron Breakker went into the ring with the NXT Title to face off with JD McDonagh. Suddenly, the great former NXT UK Champion Ilja Dragunov made his entrance in dress clothes. The crowd reacted to Dragunov in a big way. Dragunov stared at both guys in the ring. Bron held up the NXT Title in between the two men. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: There’s the tease for a big triple threat title match. I’m all for it. Dragunov was one of my favorite guys in NXT UK and should do very well in NXT while he’s there. Dragunov is so good at selling as a babyface while also looking credible when he’s doing moves too.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. JD McDonagh
  2. Tyler Bate
  3. Nathan Frazer/Axiom

 

The Scoreboard

This week: 7 out of 10

Last week: 6.75

 

Final Thoughts

It was a good show when talking about the terrific matches, but then there were other things that were less interesting. The standout matches were by JD McDonagh/Tyler Bate in the main event along with the Frazer/Axiom in the opener. None of those guys are that big or tall, but they can really go in the ring and those matches were outstanding. It was really cool seeing Ilja Dragunov at the end of the show as well because he makes everybody around him better.

There were also some bad matches because NXT is still a developmental show because matches like Von Wagner/Sanga was a stinker. The women’s tag with Toxic Attraction beating Nile/Paxley wasn’t very good either. I thought Cora Jade/Wendy Choo would get more time, but it was kept short to put over Cora decisively. That’s what you get with NXT as they try to get different people on and that’s why it can be a mixed bag at times.

The news about the North American Title being vacated was a bit of a surprise, but that sets up a ladder match at Halloween Havoc, so that should be great to watch. They have done ladder matches many times before (Shawn Michaels love to book them – what a shock!) and they usually deliver.

===

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

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport