The John Report: WWE NXT 09/26/23 Review

wwe nxt september 26

This week’s WWE NXT featured a four-way for a shot at the North American Title, a contract signing and more on the road to No Mercy.

It’s the last NXT show before Saturday’s NXT No Mercy PLE. I will do summary style for most of the show and play-by-play for one or two matches.

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.

They started with the finals of the Global Heritage Invitational tournament. Butch was the Group A winner while Joe Coffey was the Group B winner. Noam Dar and Meta-Four were in their lounge watching the match in Kentucky Derby style wear.

Global Heritage Invitational Finals: Butch vs. Joe Coffey (w/Wolfgang & Mark Coffey)

The winner of this match will challenge Noam Dar for the Heritage Cup Championship at NXT No Mercy. I’ll go play by play here.

Butch delivered a hard open hand slap. Butch took down Joe by the arm leading to a stomp onto the arm. Joe grabbed an armbar, then Butch pushed him to the turnbuckle and Joe hit a forearm smash to the face. Joe knocked down Butch wit ha running shoulder tackle. Butch got a single arm takedown along with a double knee attack on the arm. Butch did a double foot stomp on Joe’s arm and got an armbar, but Mark distracted the referee. Wolfgang punched Butch with a cheap shot. Joe went for an attack off the ropes, but Butch stopped that with a punch to the jaw. Joe tried to regroup, so Butch hit a moonsault onto Wolfgang and Mark on the floor. Butch with a German Suplex, stomp on the hands and a kick to the head. Mark & Wolfgang were on the apron, so the referee ejected them from ringside. That always leads to cheers and it did here too.


The match continued with Butch grabbing Joe by the arm leading to some Sheamus-like ten forearms to the chest. Joe came back a headbutt while they were on the apron. Joe went for a lift, but Butch countered with a DDT on the apron. Butch went off the ropes leading to Joe hitting an uppercut. Joe hit a German Suplex across the ring while also selling a left hand injury. Joe hit a running shoulder tackle. Butch came back with a kick, then a jumping kick and Joe delivered a powerful clothesline. Both guys were down selling as the fans chanted “NXT” for the match. Butch did some finger snapping, Joe got out of that and hit a Powerbomb. Joe with a jumping shoulder tackle along with the Best of the Bells lariat for a two count. They left the ring with a Joe charging, but Butch avoided it and Joe hit the steps. Back in the ring, Butch hit the Bitter End for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Butch

Analysis: ***1/4 That was a pretty good match between two guys that know eachother very well. They worked well together and had some believable nearfalls towards the finish. I figured Butch would win as the babyface in the match since Dar is a heel. Joe looked good throughout the match. Joe missing the charging attack on the floor cost him since Butch finished him off after that.

The win by Butch means he’ll challenge Noam Dar for the Heritage Cup at NXT No Mercy.

Dominik Mysterio, the NXT North American Champion, was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Dominik thought he was off for No Mercy so he can sit on a couch with “Mami” Rhea Ripley and have chicken tendies (tenders). Mitchell informed him of a triple threat match later where the winner faces Dom at No Mercy. Dom left angrily.

Trick Williams made his entrance with the fans chanting “Whoop that trick” for him.

This Friday on Smackdown: John Cena doesn’t have a partner against Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa and Rey Mysterio defends the US Title against Santos Escobar.


Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo were at the dinner table with the NXT Tag Team Titles. Angel & Humberto arrived as guests. Angle said they came there for the tag team titles. Stacks told them to have a drink while they wait for the others.

Trick Williams vs. Joe Gacy (w/Ava)

Trick was aggressive early with a body slam and dropkick. Gacy got some offense going with a DDT. Trick hit a jumping leg lariat. When Gacy went for his Upside Down finisher, Trick hit a jumping knee smash for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Trick Williams

Analysis: *3/4 A quick match to give Trick a victory and some momentum. Gacy isn’t being used that well while Schism has lost The Dyad so they are hurting.

Post match, Kelly Kincaid interviewed Trick Williams in the ring. Trick said it feels good to get that win. Trick said he just had a good match and maybe his best win yet. Kelly asked about the NXT Title match. Trick said that Ilja Dragunov hits hard, but he’d be a fool to bet against him and by “him” he meant Carmelo Hayes. Trick said at No Mercy, Melo is going to retain his championship. Trick said Melo already has his championship, so Trick is going to get his. Booker T likes that.

Blair Davenport was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Blair talked about her rivalry with Gigi Dolin. They have a match later.

Baron Corbin entered for singles action.


Chase U’s Andre Chase & Duke Hudson were backstage where Jacy Jayne was standing by. Thea Hail arrived in a new look black leather outfit. Chase hesitantly said he has never seen Thea look so nice. Thea thanked Jacy for her help and left to get ready for a match. Jacy said just wait until you see her new ring gear. Chased asked Duke: “What the hell was that?” Duke thinks it will be okay.

Analysis: The character of Thea Hail is evolving. That’s a good thing.

Baron Corbin vs. Josh Briggs (w/Brooks Jensen & Falon Henley)

They are two tall guys with both of them around 6’6” or so. The fight spilled out to the floor with Briggs sending Corbin into the barricade. Back in the ring, Briggs hit a big boot, but Corbin came back with a Chokeslam-style move. Briggs hit a powerslam and splash for two. Corbin took control with an uppercut punch after hiding behind the referee, jumping clothesline and End of Days for the pinfall win. It went about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Baron Corbin

Analysis: **1/4 A decent match to give Corbin a win going into his No Mercy match against Bron Breakker. Briggs has potential, but he’s a tag team wrestler and it was obvious he wasn’t going to win here.

Baron Corbin said this Saturday at No Mercy, we find out if the little doggy Bron Breakker is all bark or if he bites. Bron Breakker walked out with a microphone, but then he didn’t say a word and instead attacked Corbin with punches. It turned into a brawl with referees/security out there to try to break it up.

Analysis: Good intensity shown by Bron as usual. It’s a heel-heel matchup, but I like how it has been built for No Mercy.


Trick Williams was shown knocking on the door of NXT boss Shawn Michaels and Shawn invited him into the room.

A video aired previewing the Becky Lynch-Tiffany Stratton match for the NXT Women’s Title at No Mercy. They showed Lynch beating Stratton for the title earlier this month. That will lead to the Extreme Rules Match at No Mercy. There wasn’t much new here other than Tiffany saying she showed she can compete with a WrestleMania main eventer even though Tiffany has only been in the business for two years. It was a good video.

Out The Mud – Bronco Nima & Lucien Price (w/Scrypts) vs. Hank & Tank – Hank Walker & Tank Ledger

Hank and Tank were aggressive early on, but the heels Lima & Price took over. Price hit a corner clothesline for two. The form of Hank’s punches are good and he hit a jumping boot. Scrypts got involved, so Price did a cheap shot to help his partner. Nima & Price did a double team move with a lift leading to a spinebuster for the win after three minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Out The Mud – Bronco Nima & Lucien Price

Analysis: *1/2 A quick match to put over Nima & Price. Good cheating move near the end to get the advantage and the win. I don’t know about the name “Out the Mud” as a tag team name, but I think Nima & Price are good athletes.

Gigi Dolin was shown warming up. The lights went up, she was beat up and the lights came on with Blair Davenport standing over Dolin.

The Dijak-Eddy Thorpe match was next.


They showed Tony D & Stacks with Angel & Humberto, who now have chest tattoos/scars to represent their grandfather. The Creed Brothers Julius & Brutus were there to eat and talk business. They were eating dinner.

Tyler Bate and Axiom were talking in the locker room about their NXT North American Title match opportunity. Trick Williams walked in saying that tonight’s triple threat match has become a fatal four-way with Trick Williams added to it.

Strap Match: Dijak vs. Eddy Thorpe

Some of Eddy Thorpe’s family including parents, sister and niece were ringside watching the match. They had their left wrists tied to the strap. It started as a fight with punches from both guys. Thorpe pulled Dijak off the turnbuckle leading to a jumping kick. After Thorpe missed a running kick, he was trapped against the turnbuckle and Dijak hit him with the strap to the back. After Dijak sent Thorpe crashing to the floor, they went to break.


They did a double clothesline going over the top to the floor. Dijak gave Thorpe a Chokeslam onto the apron. Dijak taunted Thorpe’s family by hitting Thorpe with the strap. Thorpe made the comeback with kicks along with a bunch of strap shots to the back. Thorpe hit an elbow drop off the middle turnbuckle with his left arm wrapped in the strap and that was enough for the pinfall win. It went about 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Eddy Thorpe

Analysis: *** A physical match that felt like a fight. I like how they made it feel personal with Dijak taunting Eddy’s family at ringside. They used the strap well. I’d like to see Dijak getting a push in NXT, but using him to try to elevate a newer guy like Thorpe is okay too.

After the match, Dijak attacked Thorpe and hit a rising knee to the face. Dijak superkicked Thorpe to tie him up against the ropes. Dijak used the white belt to hit Thorpe in the chest repeatedly. Referees made Dijak leave.

Analysis: I thought that match was a feud-ender, but I guess it’s going to continue. A brutal attack by Dijak after the match.

The new-look Thea Hail was in action up next.


Blair Davenport arrived at ringside and took Vic Joseph’s headset. They said that Gigi Dolin can’t compete tonight. Blair said next time it will feel much worse.

Thea Hail (w/Jacy Jayne) vs. Dani Palmer

Hail has some black wrestling gear that is a new look for her. I’m sure boyfriend Nathan Frazer approves. Hail also has new music. Hail was in control with a headscissors leading to an armbar. Palmer hit an impressive dropkick. Palmer did a handstand leading to a kick on Hail. Palmer went for a top rope attack, but Hail avoided it and Hail applied the Kimura Lock for the submission win.

Winner by pinfall: Thea Hail

Analysis: *1/2 Easy win for Hail to give her some positive momentum with the new look as a heel. Palmer is a good athlete who has a bright future.

After the match, Hail hugged Jacy Jayne while Jayne taunted Andre Chase & Duke Hudson, who were on the platform.

Trick Williams went into the locker room to talk to NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes, who seemed busy on his phone. Trick was talking a lot and Melo wasn’t paying attention this hand. Melo said he’s got a lot going on. Trick said he had his own business to handle.

Dragon Lee entered for the fatal four-way match.


Baron Corbin was shown walking out of the building saying that Bron Breakker will get his ass whooped. That’s when Bron arrived to get into another fight with Corbin. The referees/security were there to break it up.

Axiom vs. Tyler Bate vs. Trick Williams vs. Dragon Lee

The winner will receive an NXT North American Title match against Dominik Mysterio at No Mercy. This was the last match on the show, so I’ll go play-by-play for it.

Bate and Axiom superkicked Trick out of the ring. Bate hit a dive on Trick on the floor. Axiom and Dragon did some fast-paced moves with Axiom hitting a dropkick. Axiom hit a running knee off the apron on Trick on the floor. Dragon hit a somersault dive over the top onto the three guys on the floor. Trick applied Boxton Crab on Dragon, then Bate had an armbar on Dragon and Axiom jumped on Trick with a sleeper. That lasted about ten seconds until Bate broke it up. Bate hit a dropkick on Dragon and Trick knocked down Bate. Trick hit a leaping clothesline on Dragon. Trick with a kick on Axiom and a double flatliner on Bate/Axiom at the same time. The fans were fired up for Trick.


Axiom got a hurricanrana on Bate for two. Axiom hit a half-n-half German Suplex on Bate, who landed on his head. Axiom did multiple headscissors and then Axiom hit Trick with a clothesline while Trick did a DDT to Bate. Dragon jumped over the top with a corner kick on Axiom. Lee hit corner dropkicks on Trick and Axiom. Dragon caught Bate and hit a sitout Powerbomb for two because the other two guys broke it up. Trick was on fire clearing the ring and then he hit a double Book End (or Rock Bottom), which was called a Book End from Booker T because that was his move and that got a two count on Dragon & Bate. Trick went for a suplex, but Bate countered it with a DDT. Bate did the airplane spin to Dragon along with a Swing to Axion to show how strong Bate really is. Bate hit a German Suplex on Dragon. Bate bounced off the ropes and hit Trick with a clothesline. Axiom jumped off Bate’s back and hit a Canadian Destroyer (Vic called it a Canadian Driver). That was excellent. The fans were chanting “this is awesome” as all four guys were down. Bate with a punch, then Trick punched Bate and Axiom kicked Trick twice. Dragon kicked Axiom against the turnbuckle. Dragon with a superkick on Axiom. Bate met Dragon on the turnbuckle with a kick. Axiom kicked Bate down. Axiom hit a Spanish Fly on Dragon for a two count. The fans chanted “holy shit” for that. Dragon hit a jumping reverse DDT on Axiom. Trick was back in, Dragon headbutted Trick and Dragon bumped to the floor, then Trick bumped into Bate on the apron to knock him down and then Trick landed on top of Axiom for the pinfall win! Booker T: “Yeah!” It went 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Trick Williams

Analysis: ***3/4 That was an incredible match. Fast paced action the whole way. It really could have gone any way with all four guys being worthy of a title shot. I was hoping it would be Trick since he’s really getting a lot of fan support, but I didn’t know if it was going to be him. The finish was clever with Dragon headbutting Trick, who knocked down Bate and Trick landed on Axiom for the win. That’s certainly not a decisive win, but it’s a win and that’s what matters. If you like really fast paced action with a lot of nearfalls, this was a lot of fun to watch. There really weren’t a lot of dives to the floor or top rope moves, but when they did them, they really mattered a lot.

The fans chanted “Whoop That Trick” for Trick Williams with Booker celebrating as well.

The dinner scene returned with Tony D & Stacks at the head of the table with their NXT Tag Team Titles. Bronco Nima & Lucien Price arrived with Scrypts. Brutus Creed really liked the food. Julius mocked Angel & Humberto about when the last time they won. Brutus really enjoyed the food. Scrypts said they want new blood with Lucien & Bronco in the match. Julius said they should get the title match. Price & Nima threatened to wreck the place if they aren’t given the shot. Tony D snapped his finger, so a bunch of dudes showed up to back up Tony D. Stacks said they all make good cases. Tony said they don’t want to be told they took it easy or picked favorites. Tony D said it’s high risk, but they want to do a Fatal 4-Way match at No Mercy. The eight wrestlers stood up with drinks (The Creed Brothers had milk while Bronco & Nima didn’t have drinks) and agreed to it.

Analysis: It’s fine to do a Fatal 4-Way Match for the NXT Tag Team Titles at No Mercy, but I’d rather see wrestlers earn the shot by winning matches rather than just being given a shot. The Creeds did beat Dyad so I guess that’s how they earned a shot. The Creeds made a good point that Angel & Humberto haven’t won a match in a while, so why are they getting a shot? At least Bronco & Nima beat Hank & Tank. I think sometimes the creative team in NXT forgets about the tag team division and they just throw them in matches without stories. It reminded me of when Gallus were champions, they met other teams in a bar and had matches that way. This could be set up better.

Dominik Mysterio, the NXT North American Champion, said he was going to Whoop That Trick (Williams) at No Mercy. Dominik said he’ll beat him like he beat Dragon Lee and Dominik thanked Dragon for the black eye. Dominik bragged about beating Dragon Lee again, so Dragon showed up and punched him to knock Dom down.

Carmelo Hayes was walking backstage with the NXT Champion. Trick Williams went up to him. Melo said at No Mercy they will both leave as champions. They were happy.


A video aired about Cincinnati Bengals and WCW Saturday night with somebody watching on a TV. It was very brief.

Analysis: That is likely for the NXT debut of Brian Pillman Jr., who recently signed with WWE. Brian’s late father played for the Cincinnati and was a WCW star before he was in WWE, so that’s what they were teasing there. I look forward to seeing Brian in NXT soon.

They went over the NXT No Mercy lineup.

* NXT Women’s Championship Extreme Rules Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Tiffany Stratton

* NXT Heritage Cup Match: Noam Dar vs. Butch

* Bron Breakker vs. Baron Corbin

* NXT Tag Team Championships: Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo (c) vs. The Creed Brothers (Brutus & Julius Creed) vs. Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo vs. Bronco Nima & Lucien Price

* NXT North American Championship: Dominik Mysterio (c) vs. Trick Williams

* NXT Championship: Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov

That looks like the full lineup with six matches. I’ll have a preview up on Friday and a review on Saturday night.

NXT Championship Contract Signing: Carmelo Hayes & Ilja Dragunov

The ring had a table in it along with two chairs and a contract. There was nobody in the ring moderating the contract signing. The challenger Ilja Dragunov was up first followed by NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes with the fans louder for Melo.

Carmelo said that after last week, there wasn’t much for them to talk about. Dragunov said he’s convinced that Melo is the wrong man for the NXT Championship. Melo said he is walking into No Mercy knowing he will beat him. Dragunov talked about how Melo struggles out of his own comfort zone. Dragunov told Melo he’ll feel unbearable pain. Melo said for the first time ever he struggled with his confidence, but only for a minute and he checked himself. Melo reminded Dragunov that he didn’t win at Great American Bash. Dragunov said that Melo knows that Dragunov won.

Melo said he’s about being undeniable and it’s about being him. Melo said he’s not like guys Dragunov beat before like Wes, Oro or Trick – and the fans let out an “ooohhh” while Dragunov did a “wow” reaction. Melo stopped himself while saying he would push Dragunov to his limits.

Dragunov signed the contract first. Dragunov yelled at Melo that he will do nothing to him. Dragunov said when he’s NXT Champion, you will realize that Melo’s dynasty has fallen. Dragunov: “Long live the Czar.” Melo signed the contract.

Melo got in Dragunov’s face saying this NXT Championship is bigger than the both of them. Melo said when he carries the championship it’s a beacon of hope for kids that look like him. Melo believes that Dragunov can be champion, but he does not think Dragunov can do it better than Hayes. They had a staredown to end it.

Analysis: It was okay for a contract signing. Good lines from both guys throughout the promo. I don’t really like contract signing promos in the main event of shows, but I get why they did it to promote No Mercy. I just think it’s better to end the show with a match instead of a contract signing like this.

It was announced by Vic (via Shawn Michaels) that Dragon Lee will be the special guest referee in the Dominik Mysterio-Trick Williams match at No Mercy.

Analysis: That’s an interesting development. I think Trick might win now, but I’m not sure. Rhea Ripley might be back for it, so maybe she’ll help Dom win again.

Bron Breakker and Baron Corbin were shown fighting in a parking lot near one car. There were referees trying to break it up. Bron tried a running attack, Corbin moved and Bron hit the car door. Bron slammed Corbin onto the front of the car. Corbin hit a low blow punch to the door and Corbin gave Bron a Chokeslam on the hood of the car. Bron sat up like 1993 Undertaker and tried to choke out Corbin. They went fighting into a garage door. They went back into the building in the backstage area. Bron tackled Corbin through a makeshift wall that was the office of Shawn Michaels. A bunch of guys went in the room to try to break it up. End show.

Analysis: Good intensity shown there. It feels like two guys that don’t like eachother. Even though they are both heels, I think people want to see them fight.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Trick Williams
  2. Butch
  3. Eddy Thorpe/Dijak


The Scoreboard

This week: 7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.25

2023 Average: 7.03


Final Thoughts

A good show overall. There were three longer matches and then all of the other matches were kept under three minutes. Plenty of talking as well since they were building to No Mercy. I didn’t like how the Tag Team Title match was set up for No Mercy with four tag teams having dinner to set up a 4-Way. They need to do a better job of setting up Tag Team Title matches.

Trick Williams is building momentum as a rising babyface star that won two matches and now gets an NXT North American Championship match against Dirty Dom. I thought Trick was tremendous. The fans love him. Trick is a bigger guy than a lot of people in NXT too, so he really has a lot of long-term potential in WWE. That 4-Way with Trick, Axiom, Tyler Bate and Dragon Lee was outstanding. It was fast-paced, exciting and fun to watch with a clever finish.

This six-card match lineup for No Mercy. Carmelo Hayes and Ilja Dragunov had one of the best WWE matches of the year at Great American Bash, so let’s see if they can top it.

The next NXT Premium Live Event is No Mercy on September 30th. Here’s what we know so far:

* NXT Championship: Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov

* NXT Women’s Championship Extreme Rules Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Tiffany Stratton

* NXT North American Championship: Dominik Mysterio (c) vs. Trick Williams (Dragon Lee will be special guest referee)

* Bron Breakker vs. Baron Corbin

* NXT Heritage Cup Match: Noam Dar vs. Butch

* NXT Tag Team Championships: Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo (c) vs. The Creed Brothers (Brutus & Julius Creed) vs. Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo vs. Bronco Nima & Lucien Price

You can watch NXT No Mercy on Saturday, September 30, streaming live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.


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

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport