The John Report: WWE NXT 10/03/23 Review

wwe nxt october 3

This week’s WWE NXT follows No Mercy with Trick Williams defending the North American Title against Dominik Mysterio.

The NXT No Mercy Premium Live Event on Saturday night was an excellent show that I rated highly at 9 out of 10, which makes it the best NXT PLE this year and probably for a few years. I thought the Ilja Dragunov-Carmelo Hayes match was incredible (I rated it five stars meaning it was exceptional) and I really liked the Becky Lynch-Tiffany Stratton Extreme Rules Match as well. The rest of the card was solid too. Kudos to the hard working NXT crew for the great show.

As usual, I’ll go full play-by-play for one or two matches and then summary style for the rest.

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.

There was a lengthy video package about NXT No Mercy.

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

Let’s Hear from Becky Lynch

Becky Lynch entered for a show opening promo. Lynch talked about how she is still the NXT Women’s Champion, but she is not medically cleared tonight. Lynch said that her opponent Tiffany Stratton isn’t medically cleared either because they beat the hell out of eachother. Lynch spoke about how she’s looking ahead on the calendar and she sees that Halloween Havoc Night One is coming up later this month. Lynch mentioned an upcoming match with Tegan Nox, but here’s an interruption.

Lyra Valkyria said that Becky Lynch’s NXT debut in 2014 kickstarted Lyra’s career as a fellow Irish woman. Lyra spoke about how much Lynch is beloved back home. Lyra spoke about Lynch main eventing WrestleMania and how big of a moment that was. Lyra talked about getting to team with Lynch in the NXT main event and while that felt great, she would like to face Lynch in a match. Lyra said she didn’t know if Becky thought she was ready but…here’s Indi Hartwell.

Indi Hartwell made her NXT return after hardly being used on Raw for several months. Indi spoke about becoming the NXT Women’s Champion at Stand & Deliver, but then had to give up the title because of injury and getting drafted to Raw. Indi said that this will always go home. Indi said these fans watched her grow up and she got married in this ring.

Roxanne Perez was the next woman to join the promo party. Perez said she wasn’t going to rely on her accolades and her accomplishments. Perez said she didn’t want to sit at home and rest up. Perez said she respects Lynch so much, so that’s why she is there to say she’s taking back her Women’s Title back at Halloween Havoc.

Lynch did the obvious by suggesting that the three women have a triple threat match tonight and the winner will face Lynch for the NXT Women’s Title at Night 1 of Halloween Havoc on October 24th.

Analysis: It was the typical promo party featuring a bunch of women thinking they deserved the next title shot. Setting up a match was obvious because we have seen it dozens of times in WWE history. I think all three women are interesting options to face Lynch, but I think Lyra would be the best choice out of the group. Whenever somebody beats Lynch it will be a big deal. I don’t know when it will happen or who it will be. I just think it’s going to be a big moment for that person.

The NXT Women’s Breakout tournament begins tonight.

Butch and Tyler Bate entered for tag team action.


Gallus – Wolfgang & Mark Coffey (w/Joe Coffey) vs. Butch & Tyler Bate

Butch was distracted by Joe on the floor, so Wolfgang hit a clothesline and Mark hit an uppercut to knock Butch down. The Gallus boys worked over Butch in their corner. Butch managed to break free to get some offense going with a stomp on the arm of Wolfgang. Bate tagged in as both guys stomped on Wolfgang’s arms. Butch tagged in, sent Wolfgang out of the ring and some finger snapping/punching to clear the ring.


Gallus were in control of Bate for about a minute until Bate broke free. Butch tagged in with a bunch of kicks along with a knee drop and running knee for Mark. Butch did the repeated forearms to Mark and dove onto Joe on the floor. Bate tagged in with a standing Shooting Star Press on Mark. Bate did an airplane spin to Wolfgang. Bate with a clothesline, Butch tagged in and Bate was back in for a double team Tyler Driver 97 on Mark for the pinfall win. It went about 10 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Butch & Tyler Bate

Analysis: *** A good match between four guys that have likely wrestled many times before. Butch & Bate worked well together as guys that used to team a lot. Gallus losing doesn’t hurt them that much since they have been out of the title picture since losing the titles.

The Gallus trio attacked Butch & Bate after the match, so Ridge Holland ran out there for the save. Ridge headbutted Joe and did a Pounce to knock Joe down. Bate, Ridge & Bate stood tall in the ring while Gallus on the floor.

Analysis: That should set up a six-man tag team match between these guys.

The new NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov was shown walking backstage since he has a promo up next.


Let’s Hear from Ilja Dragunov

Ilja Dragunov made his entrance in a suit and he had the NXT Championship with him. When Ilja posed on the middle turnbuckle, he actually slipped a bit, but he was okay. The fans chanted “you deserve it” like they tend to do.

Ilja spoke about how you can welcome him with one of his nickname, but you can also welcome him as your new NXT Champion. Ilja said that Carmelo Hayes brought the fight and pushed Ilja to places beyond his limits. Ilja said he was barely even able to stand, but he stands even in pain as your champion. Ilja promised he would fulfill his destiny and push the title to the next level. Ilja said “long live the czar” and here’s the interruption.

Trick Williams made his entrance as the NXT North American Champion while fans chanted “Whoop That Trick” for him.

Trick got into the ring saying congratulations to Ilja for winning his championship. Trick said he was there because somebody else won a championship at No Mercy. Trick said he’s the new NXT North American Champion. The fans chanted “you deserve it” to Trick, who said thank you to Dragunov. Trick said that Dragunov pushed Trick to another level at Heatwave and now Trick has gold, so he’s only going up from here. Ilja told Trick that he was proud of him. Ilja said that at No Mercy, “you whooped that trick.” And here comes Carmelo Hayes.

Carmelo Hayes walked out in street clothes with a jacket and a bit of a limp. Melo got into the ring to congratulate Ilja for helping him. Melo wondered why Trick was thanking Ilja because Melo always believed in Trick. Melo said that winning the championship is amazing, but defending it is a completely different level. Ilja asked what did he mean by that? Ilja said this was a conversation between champions. Trick said if you want a rematch against Dragunov, he respects that. Melo said that Trick needs to focus on Dom.

Dominik Mysterio arrived for a promo with the fans booing loudly. Dominik told Trick to listen to his friend Melo because winning a title and keeping it are two completely different things. Trick wondered if Dominik always takes orders from his Mami. Dominik claimed that he was all man. Trick said he was going to whoop that ass tonight. Dominik said he promised Mami he would bring home the gold to her and The Judgment Day. Melo said that Dominik isn’t going to roll alone. Melo said he has got Trick’s back tonight and he’ll be in his corner. Dominik said that Trick is a champion who is still in Melo’s shadow. Trick told Melo he knows he’s his dog, but he’ll have to decline because he got this title by himself and he’ll defend it by himself. Trick said tonight, he’ll whoop this trick. Trick’s music played to end it.

Analysis: A solid promo segment all around. I like Trick showing Ilja respect for making him better. Carmelo offering help only for Dominik to mock him for it led to Trick saying he didn’t want help because Trick wants to keep proving he can do it on his own. I can see there being a finish with some interference coming later in the show.

They showed Indi Hartwell winning the NXT Women’s Title at Stand & Deliver in April. One month later in May, she relinquished the title due to a foot injury and getting drafted to Raw.

Indi Hartwell entered for the triple threat match.


Lyra Valkyria vs. Indi Hartwell vs. Roxanne Perez

Becky Lynch was on commentary. There are no disqualifications and no countouts in a triple threat match. The winner of this match will challenge Lynch for the NXT Women’s Title at Halloween Havoc Night 1 on October 24th.

Perez got a bridging nearfall on Lyra early on. Indi hit body slams on both opponents and a boot to Lyra for a nearfall. Perez cleared the ring with a headscissors on Indi. Perez knocked down Lyra with a suicide dive and Indi kicked Perez to knock her down. Indi was standing tall as the show went to break.


Perez was in control with dropkicks, forearms and a legsweep for two. Indi and Perez worked together for about a minute while Lyra was out of the ring. Lyra got back into it with a missile dropkick on both women. Lyra hit enziguri kicks on both women and got a nearfall on Perez. After Perez hit a hurricanrana, Indi kicked Perez and got a nearfall for two. Perez hit Pop Rox on Indi near the turnbuckle, so then Kiana James showed up, broke up the pin and punched Perez. Lynch got up out of her chair and kicked James to knock her down. Lyra was on the top rope and hit a Superfly Splash on Indi for the pinfall win. It went 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Lyra Valkyria

Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good with a lot of action and nearfalls with all three women trying to get the win. When the match has a title shot reward for the winner, you want the story of the match to be people going for nearfalls the whole time because it puts over the importance of winning. Lyra getting the win how she did was a very good finish. I also think Lyra winning is the best story due to her saying she got into pro wrestling because of watching her fellow Irish woman Becky Lynch and now Lyra will get the chance to see if she can beat Lynch. Perez has a viable complaint because she could have won if Kiana James didn’t get involved while Indi had a few moments where it looked like she might win. I enjoyed the match.

Lyra Valkyria and Becky Lynch had a staredown in the ring with Lynch holding up the NXT Women’s Title. Tegan Nox’s music played and she pointed at Lynch saying she gets the title shot next Monday on Raw.

Analysis: I think Becky Lynch beating Tegan Nox next Monday on Raw is very likely, but I’m happy for Nox getting the opportunity.

Carmelo Hayes was shown walking backstage where another former NXT Champion Bron Breakker walked up to him. Bron said that he is the only one how Melo feels right now to lose his championship on the biggest stage. Bron said that when Melo lost, they chanted for Ilja. Bron can tell that it’s bothering him and there’s all that frustration and rage. Bron told Melo to use that frustration, that rage and destroy everybody, especially Trick Williams. Melo said leave Trick out of this. Bron said that Trick wasn’t there for him after the loss to tell him everything was going to be alright. Bron said that Melo had to find Trick somewhere because he was being selfish. Bron said he told Melo he knew how he felt. Think about it.

Analysis: I thought that was really good with Bron Breakker trying to manipulate Carmelo Hayes to think in a heelish way like Bron does. Melo took the title from Bron six months ago, now Melo is a former champion and Bron was there to rub it in. I really like Bron’s evolution as a heel in NXT. It’s been fun to watch.


Ilja Dragunov was shown getting the nameplates put in on his NXT Title. Baron Corbin walked up to him reminding Ilja that outside of Melo, he’s the only one that beat Ilja in the last year. Corbin said he put badass Bron Breakker down. Corbin said nobody stands in his way for the title and Ilja disagreed with that. Corbin told Ilja to get as many pictures as possible while he still can.

Analysis: I assume this will lead to Dragunov-Corbin at Halloween Havoc Night Two (October 31) later this month. Corbin will probably win a number one contender’s match to earn the shot, but maybe it will just be given to him.

Gigi Dolin vs. Blair Davenport

Dolin attacked Blair before the bell rang as payback for Blair doing cheap attacks. Dolin hit a running dropkick. Blair hit a double foot stomp to the back. Dolin was aggressive on offense with a clothesline to the floor. Blair tried to hit Dolin with a chair shot that was never going to connect and Gigi kicked her in the head. Back in the ring, Gigi got a nearfall after a clothesline and kick to the head. Dolin brought the chair in, Blair knocked her down and grabbed the chair, but the referee took it from her. Dolin got the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Gigi Dolin

Analysis: **1/4 A shorter match with Dolin getting some revenge on Blair by picking up the win. I liked the intensity shown by both women. I don’t like the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! ending in general. I get why it was done here because I think in this case it shows that Gigi found a way to win, but the rivalry will likely continue because it was a close win rather than a decisive win.

After the match, Blair grabbed the referee by the throat and pushed him into the turnbuckle.

A video aired from NXT on June 7, 2022 when Roxanne Perez beat Tiffany Stratton to win the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament. Over a year later, the tournament is back.

Kiana James was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. James said that Perez started in NXT the same day she did and she wasn’t going to let Perez get another win. James said her mission is to make sure the entire world sees herself above Roxanne Perez. James said that if Perez wants a match with James then Perez has to beat her opponent next week: Asuka. The fans popped for that.

Analysis: Asuka against Roxanne Perez next week is pretty big. We know NXT is head-to-head against AEW Dynamite next Tuesday, so NXT is going to load up with some bigger names.


The eight women in the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament were shown: Lola Vice, Dani Palmer, Arianna Grace, Jaida Parker. Jakara Jackson of Meta-Four, Karmen Petrovic, Kelani Jordan and Izzi Dame. The brackets are here.

Analysis: My pick to win is Lola Vice. If it’s not her then Kelani Jordan is a possibility for sure. I think a Vice-Jordan final is likely.

NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament Quarterfinals: Kelani Jordan vs. Izzi Dame

I have watched Jordan wrestle many times while Dame is new to me. Dame is a taller woman and is a former volleyball player. Dame knocked down Jordan leading to a running knee smash. Dame hit a backbreaker and grounded Jordan with a chinlock. Dame held Jordan on her back with a backbreaker submission. Jordan made the comeback with two dropkicks and a cross body block off the top rope for two. Dame missed a corner charged, Jordan kicked her down and Jordan hit a split-legged moonsault off the top for the pinfall after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kelani Jordan

Analysis: ** It was a decent match telling the story that Dame had the size advantage and used her power throughout the match while Jordan was selling very well. You can tell they are both very athletic and knew their roles well with Jordan showing a lot of fire as a babyface making the comeback. That split-legged moonsault by Jordan looked impressive. Dame has a bright future as a taller woman who uses her size well.

Chase U’s Andre Chase & Duke Hudson walked up to Jacy Jayne & Thea Hail. Chase asked if they can support Thea for her match. Thea wasn’t interested, but Jayne surprisingly was okay with it.


Elektra Lopez & Lola Vice vs. Jacy Jayne & Thea Hail (w/Andre Chase & Duke Hudson)

This was set up due to social media bickering. Lopez and Vice were in control of Hail for about a minute. Hail did leg whip takedown on Vice, but Vince punched Jayne and prevented a tag. Hail broke free, Jayne tagged in with some offense on Vice including a neckbreaker. Vice hit Jayne with an elbow to knock her down. Lopez tagged in, Jayne avoided a charge and Jayne hit Lopez with a forearm. Hail tagged in with the Kimura Lock lading to Lopez tapping out. It went four minutes.

Winners by submission: Jacy Jayne & Thea Hail

Analysis: **1/4 The positive momentum continues for Hail as a heel with Jayne. It was a weird dynamic in this match since they willingly had the Chase U guys at ringside with them. Hail beating Lopez is fine while Vice doesn’t take the loss since she’s a favorite in the Breakout Tournament.

Carmelo Hayes was shown walking outside. Carmelo Hayes said he requested a match with Bron Breakker. Hayes said he talked to somebody who gave him some great advice. Hayes said he got some advice from John Cena. Hayes said that John Cena isa 16-time World Champion. Hayes said that John Cena is going to have his back and Cena is going to be in Carmelo’s corner next week.

Analysis: Huge news right there. John Cena on NXT next week in the corner of Carmelo Hayes against Bron Breakker. NXT is in Orlando and Cena lives in Tampa, so it’s not that far of a trip. Like I said earlier, NXT is against Dynamite next Tuesday so obviously WWE is calling in the big guns like John Cena.

The graphic was shown of John Cena in the corner of Carmelo Hayes against Bron Breakker for next week’s episode of NXT.

Dominik Mysterio made his entrance for the main event with the Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley.


Next week on NXT:

* Carmelo Hayes (w/John Cena) vs. Bron Breakker. It is the first time Cena has ever been on NXT TV.

* Major Announcement from Cody Rhodes.

* Asuka vs. Roxanne Perez.

Analysis: Cody Rhodes also appearing on NXT is a big deal. I don’t know if it’s about the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic that NXT has done in the past or if it’s something else. It wouldn’t shock me if WWE adds more to next week’s NXT since there is still Smackdown, Fastlane and Raw before that show.

Trick Williams made his entrance as the NXT North American Champion with the fans chanting “whoop that Trick” for the champion that the fans love.

NXT North American Championship: Trick Williams vs. Dominik Mysterio (w/Rhea Ripley)

They stood in the ring as Alicia Taylor did the championship introductions. I’ll go play-by-play here. Trick hit a shoulder tackle, dropkick and an uppercut punch. Dominik bailed to the floor to regroup.


Dominik was in control with a belly-to-back suplex while The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor & Damian Priest arrived at ringside as the WWE Tag Team Champions while Priest is also Senor Money in the Bank. Dominik hit a running back elbow followed by a chinlock. When Dominik let go, he whipped Trick into the turnbuckle three times in a row. Dominik hit a senton from the apron into the ring for a two count. Dominik hit two vertical suplex, but Trick avoided a third one followed by a neckbreaker. The fans were going wild supporting Trick with their “Whoop That Trick” singing. Trick did a superkick and a flatliner. Dominik jumped into his arms leading to Trick hitting a body slam. Trick picked up Dominik with a Rock Bottom that Booker shouted out “Book End” because it was called that too. It got a two count. Ripley’s Women’s World Title was thrown into the ring, Ripley distracted the referee and Dominik hit a DDT on the title for two. Trick got a small package for a two count. Dominik sent Trick into the middle rope leading to Dom hitting the 619 kick. Dominik went up, he jumped off with a Frog Splash and Trick hit a jumping knee smash. Ripley with a distraction, JD McDonagh ran into the ring and Trick hit him with a running knee smash. Priest gave Dominik the MITB briefcase, the referee stopped that from being used and Balor hit Trick with the Raw Tag Team Title! The referee never saw it. Dominik Mysterio went up top and hit a Frog Splash to the back. Dominik turned Trick over for the one…two…and three! Dominik Mysterio is NXT North American Champion again.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW NXT North American Champion: Dominik Mysterio

Analysis: *** It wasn’t a great match or a match with a clean finish, but they worked hard and had an entertaining match. The numbers game played a factor since Trick didn’t have any help while Dominik had The Judgment Day in his corner as usual. I’m not surprised by the result because I think it’s better for The Judgment Day to all have titles so even though Trick winning the North American Title was a good moment, I didn’t expect him to have a long title reign. The key thing is that Trick told Carmelo Hayes he didn’t want him at ringside earlier in the show, so Trick was all alone dealing with four people plus Dominik and it was too much for Trick to handle. A very cheap win for Dominik, but also very fitting for him because that’s the kind of heel that “Dirty” Dom is. I do feel bad for Trick a bit. However, I think he has a bright future as a babyface and has many more championships in his future.

nxt dominik mysterio judgment day

Dominik Mysterio celebrated with the NXT North American Title with The Judgment Day by his side again. JD McDonagh was on the floor smiling while The Judgment Day was in the ring. Ripley kissed Dominik on the cheek while the group hugged in the ring.

A video aired with Paul Heyman standing outside somewhere in front of a truck that had Shawn Michaels’ face on it. Heyman said live on NXT, Carmelo Hayes will face Bron Breakker on network television. Heyman said that Melo is accepting advice from the “second greatest of all time” John Cena, who keeps getting involved in Bloodline business. Heyman said that The Bloodline has to reciprocate. Heyman said that Roman Reigns has bestowed upon him to provide wisdom to Bron Breakker. Heyman said he’ll be there up close, in person, in Bron Breakker’s corner next week live on N…X…T. Heyman had a smug smile on his face. End show.

Analysis: Paul Heyman on next week’s show too! I love that. That means it’s John Cena, Paul Heyman, Cody Rhodes and Asuka from the main roster in addition to others from the main roster that appear on NXT. Like I said earlier, it wouldn’t surprise me if there are more people from the main roster on the show. Also, what I loved about this promo is that Heyman was standing in front of a Shawn Michaels photo. Shawn is the guy in charge of NXT, so it’s not an accident that they filmed it in front of Shawn’s face in the background. Brilliant.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Dominik Mysterio
  2. Trick Williams
  3. Lyra Valkyria, Butch & Tyler Bate


The Scoreboard

This week: 7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.25

2023 Average: 7.04


Final Thoughts On WWE NXT

I liked the show for the most part. The match quality wasn’t as strong as the better NXT episodes, but I think we can forgive that coming off a great No Mercy show last Saturday. The Dominik Mysterio title win over Trick Williams was as cheap as it gets with Dirty Dom getting help from The Judgment Day. That’s fitting for a character like him. I liked seeing Butch & Tyler Bate team up again. I wouldn’t mind seeing that more often.

The women’s division was strongly represented with four women’s matches in a row on the show. Some wrestling shows these days have one women’s match on the show, so to have four matches and to have four in a row is really cool to see. The triple threat match won by Lyra Valkyria was definitely the best of the women’s matches. I’m just glad that the women are represented so well and with Becky Lynch there too, that’s some added star power as well.

Next week NXT goes head to head with AEW Dynamite on Tuesday, so they called in some big guns. Huge match with Carmelo Hayes facing Bron Breakker while Melo has John Cena in his corner and Paul Heyman in Bron’s corner. Asuka is against Roxanne Perez and Cody Rhodes has a “major announcement” to make it. As I wrote in the review, there may be more things added to next week’s NXT since they still have Smackdown, Fastlane and Raw before that. I know Dynamite will load up with big matches and championships on the line too. Good time to be a wrestling fan.


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

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport