The John Report: WWE NXT 10/11/22 Review
This week’s WWE NXT featured Nathan Frazer facing Axiom in the third match of their Best Of Three series, plus a Dragunov/Waller main event and a whole lot more.
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.
The commentary team was Vic Joseph and Booker T, who replaces Wade Barrett since Wade is on Smackdown now. The change was made last week. Vic was off last week because he got married to backstage interviewer Mckenzie Mitchell recently, so congrats to them on the marriage.
Bron Breakker vs. Javier Bernal
This was not for Bron’s NXT Title. JD McDonagh joined commentary for the match saying he was an Ace, Booker was a King and Vic was a Joker. Bron was in control early on using his power game and slapping on an armbar on “Big Body Javy.” Bron hit an impressive clothesline along with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Javy got a bit of offense with a forearm, but a shove to the face was a bad move. Bron hit a huge powerslam when Javy tried a leaping attack. Bron did the press powerslam for the pinfall move after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bron Breakker
Analysis: *1/2 A dominant win by Breakker as you would expect against a guy like Javy who is fairly new on NXT. They still haven’t come up with a name for Bron’s finishing move after a full year of shows.
JD McDonagh got into the ring against Breakker and they were joined by Ilja Dragunov to complete the triple threat staredown ahead of their Halloween Havoc match. McDonagh headbutted Dragunov, who came back with a running torpedo attack, but McDonagh moved and Dragunov knocked Breakker down. The story was that Dragunov was aiming for McDonagh, but he hit Breakker instead because McDonagh moved. Dragunov held the NXT Title to end it.
Analysis: That’s pretty much a classic way to build a triple threat. Wrestler A goes for Wrestler B, who moves, so then A hits Wrestler C and that story grows from there.
Alba Fyre did a promo saying that she has an NXT Women’s Title match against Mandy Rose at Halloween Havoc. Fyre said that she never backs down because where there’s smoke there’s fire.
Analysis: I like Fyre a lot, but they need to do a better job of having somebody earn title matches in NXT. Just because she attacked Rose shouldn’t be the reason for a title match. I want to see people earn title shots. Speaking of Mandy, one of her brothers recently died, so that’s why she missed last week and this week. I’m so sorry for her family’s loss.
A video aired about the Frazer/Axiom match after a break.
Axiom vs. Nathan Frazer
The series is 1-1 with this being the final match in their Best of Three Series. The winner of this match gets to be the final participant in the NXT North American Title Ladder Match at Halloween Havoc.
I’ll go play by play here because they are so fun to watch. They did a spot where Frazer went for a leapfrog, but Axiom caught him and went for a submission. They did a double dropkick spot followed by a kip-up to face off with eachother. They did more counters including Frazer ducking an attempted kick to the head. Frazer tripped up Axiom on the top rope, then Axiom did an arm wringer against the top rope. Axiom went up top, Frazer was on the apron and Frazer tried a hurricanrana, but Axiom countered by dropping down, so Frazer bounced off the turnbuckle leading to a hard crash on the mat. That was a unique bump that also looked painful.
Frazer was in control with a Boston Crab submission. They showed Frazer hitting a superkick during the break. Axiom countered the Boston Crab, Frazer went to the ropes and Axiom hit an impressive German Suplex. Axiom jumped off the top rope with a cross body block for two. Frazer jumped into it to sell it with even more impact. Axiom hit a Fisherman’s Suplex for two. Axiom went up top, but Frazer managed to kick him off the ropes to knock Axiom down to the floor. Frazer did a backflip off the apron leading to a reverse DDT on the floor. Axiom got back in at the count of nine, so Frazer hit a springboard dropkick. Frazer went for a spinning move off the top, but Axiom caught him in a submission. Axiom pulled back on both arms for a submission, but Frazer managed to get to the ropes. Frazer went for a springboard attack, so Axiom kicked him to knock him down to the floor. Axiom hit a dive onto Frazer on the floor. That was a great leap. Back in the ring, Frazer hit a superplex into another move, but Axiom countered it into a sleeper attempt. Frazer broke free, Axiom with a kick, Frazer with a kick and Axiom hit a double back kick. They both ran off the ropes leading to a double clothesline. Great action in this match! They exchanged forearms, then punches and Axiom did a backslide pin. They each hit superkicks, then Frazer charged and Axiom got a knee up to knock Frazer down. They were countering pin attempts, then Frazer sat on top and hooked the legs for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Nathan Frazer
Analysis: **** That was a terrific match. There are not that many four-star level matches in this era of NXT, but Frazer and Axiom had an impressive showing. The other matches they had were really good as well although I think they improved on those performances. There were so many counters in this match, it was hard to keep up with all of it and they were so smooth in everything they did. It’s not like they were just doing “flippy” moves because they can. They did it because it was part of the story, all the counters made sense and I like that they had some submissions as well. All of the pin and submission attempts make it look like they are both going for the win, which is what they should be doing. I thought Frazer winning was the right move.
That means at Halloween Havoc on October 22, the match will look like this: For the Vacant NXT North American Championship Ladder Match: Carmelo Hayes vs. Oro Mensah vs. Wes Lee vs. Von Wagner vs. Nathan Frazer.
After the match, Frazer and Axiom shook hands and hugged because they are friends. The fans chanted “that was awesome” for them.
Ilja Dragunov was shown in the parking lot with Mckenzie Mitchell asking if that move he did was for Bron Breakker. Grayson Waller interrupted the interview saying that he’s going to face Apollo Crews at Halloween Havoc. Waller was wearing some big glasses, so Ilja mocked him wearing his “grandma’s glasses” and Waller kept running his mouth, so it seemed like Ilja challenged him to a match.
Valentina Feroz was in the locker room asking the big man Sanga if he’ll be in her corner and he said yes. Indi Hartwell walked up to make sure Feroz was ready for their match.
A commercial aired for Smackdown promoting that Bray Wyatt will be on the show this Friday.
Apollo Crews was shown writing something in a journal while talking about visualizing things. They showed a clip of Crews attacking Waller last week and said at Halloween Havoc, let’s see what happens. Crews said he’ll force his perspective on Waller and at Halloween, he’ll leave Waller in the dark.
Analysis: They showed the wheel, so it’s likely a Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal match.
Valentina Feroz (w/Sanga) vs. Indi Hartwell
Hartwell was in control with a body slam. Veer Mahaan arrived at ringside and whispered something to Sanga, who left with Veer to the back while Feroz was sitting in a chinlock. Feroz kept going for an armbar submission, but Hartwell got out of it. Feroz realized Sanga left and Feroz got more offense with a dropkick. Hartwell hit a superplex while Feroz was on the apron, so Hartwell got the pinfall win after that. It went about three minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Indi Hartwell
Analysis: *1/4 A basic match where Feroz was on offense for a lot of it, Hartwell sold fairly well and then hit that big superplex for the win. Since Hartwell is a lot latter than Feroz, it worked as a finishing move in this match.
Pretty Deadly were on the platform in the back part of the arena with the NXT Tag Team Titles around their waist. They mocked the three teams with a bad fake cheerleading routine. They had “GO” on their chests and “PD” on their backs, so they said, “Go Pretty Deadly.”
Edris Enofe and Malik Blade entered for the tag team triple threat match.
Cora Jade was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell talking about how there’s a Pick Your Poison match series with Cora and Roxanne Perez where they can pick opponents for any woman on the roster. Mitchell also mentioned that Roxanne Perez was going to be on Smackdown, so Cora left saying she was going to make some calls.
Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen (w/Fallon Henley) vs. Edris Enofe & Malik Blade vs. The Dyad (Rip Fowler & Jagger Reid) (w/Joe Gacy)
It’s a triple threat tag team match, so three guys were legal at the same time while the partners were on the floor. Briggs and Jensen were in control after some double punches. Reid hit a backbreaker on Blade in the ring and then a double team move on Briggs on the floor. After Blade was worked over a bit by The Dyad, Enofe tagged in with a leaping clothesline. Enofe did a handstand into a leg drop. Briggs tossed Fowler out of the ring and then Briggs tagged Reid over the top onto the guys on the floor. Jensen tagged in with a rope walk leading to a somersault dive onto the heels on the floor.
The Dyad were in control after the break. Jensen managed to break free, so Briggs tagged in with some big moves including a clothesline on Blade on the floor. Briggs hid a sidewalk slam followed by a splash on Reid. Briggs & Jensen hit a double team atomic drop/boot combo. Blade tagged in with a top rope cross body block. Enofe got a top rope elbow drop for a two count. They did a sequence where all six guys went into the ring and did moves leading to some selling. Enofe and Blade each hit dives over the top to the floor. Gacy hit Enofe with a clothesline, so Cameron Grimes shows up with a Cave In foot stomp on Gacy. That allowed Enofe to roll up a distracted Reid for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Edris Enofe & Malik Blade
Analysis: *** A chaotic tag team match with a bit of a surprising finish because Enofe & Blade won a big match to earn a title shot. The ending was clever because the heels weren’t able to cheat to win and instead, Grimes neutralized the cheap tactics so that Enofe could win. I thought Briggs & Jensen would win, but I’m happy with the result.
This means that Enofe & Blade will get an NXT Tag Team Title match against Pretty Deadly at some point in the future.
Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Jayne trashed Alba Fyre and Dolin said if you mess with their gold, they’ll walk through fire for revenge. Jayne teased having a surprise for Fyre.
Alba Fyre made her entrance.
A video aired about the Halloween Havoc Premium Live Event on Peacock/WWE Network on Saturday, October 22nd.
Kiana James was shown in her office with her secretary giving her something. James talked to somebody on the phone about how she’s looking into acquisitions. The idea was that James was trying to acquire Chase U while mentioning having a match later.
Analysis: These skits are rarely interesting, but they just keep doing them. I think Kiana’s ridiculously hot secretary should get more screen time.
Jacy Jayne (w/Gigi Dolin) vs. Alba Fyre
Fyre got some offense going, but after a Dolin distraction, Jayne hit Fyre with a forearm. Jayne hit a cannonball attack in the corner. Fyre made the comeback with a reverse suplex, but Jayne hit a neckbreaker. Fyre hit a sitout slam off the shoulders. When Fyre went up top, Dolin pulled Jayne out of the ring. Jayne got a rollup after a Dolin distraction again. Fyre hit a Gory Bomb for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Alba Fyre
Analysis: ** A decent match that was under five minutes with Fyre getting the decisive win after Jayne had a lot of offense in the match. Fyre was able to fend off Dolin from cheating and managed to get the win.
After the match, Fyre was shown walking by the entrance area where somebody attacked her. It was Sonya Deville wearing a hoodie and she rammed Fyre into the railing. Jayne mentioned a surprise, so it was Deville. Sonya was joined by Jayne and Fyre. Deville hit a pump kick to knock Fyre down on the floor. Jayne and Dolin lifted up Fyre leading to Deville giving Fyre a Powerbomb through the table.
Analysis: Sonya Deville is best friends with Mandy Rose, so it was a way to show that Deville is still close to Rose, who was not there. It also sets up a match for next week.
Joe Gacy and The Dyad did a promo outside the building saying that Cameron Grimes will have to face the full force of Schism three on one because Gacy knows that Grimes has nobody to help him. Gacy said some menacing things to end it.
Wes Lee made his entrance for a match.
A video aired about Zoey Stark & Nikkita Lyons were featured doing a promo about how they earned a NXT Women’s Tag Team Title match. Lyons talked about Stark’s determine and drive while Stark credited Lyons for constantly improving. Lyons said when they get that title match they’ll become NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions.
They showed Hank Walker hanging out with Quincy Elliott and the other security guys with Walker wishing Elliott good luck against Xyon Quinn next week. Walker smacked Elliott on the butt like Elliott did to him last week.
Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo vs. Wes Lee
Stacks was focusing on the left knee right away because his “boss” Tony D’Angelo hurt his knee in a match against Wes Lee, who did nothing to the knee in that match, but the story is that Stacks believes Lee hurt Tony. Lee got a running forearm in the corner. Lee was favoring the left leg injury leading to Stacks hitting a spinning slam off the shoulders. Lee slammed Stacks off the top rope and hit twisting splash off the top for the pinfall win after about four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Wes Lee
Analysis: **1/4 It was a shorter match with a bit of a story since Stacks was targeting the left knee. Lee is in the Ladder Match at Halloween Havoc, so it made sense for him to get the win. Stacks is technically very sound in the ring already in his young career, so I think he has a bright future.
Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes attacked Lee after the match. Oro Mensah made the save, so Hayes and Williams retreated. Lee hit a somersault dive over the top onto Hayes and Williams to end it.
Analysis: That should set up a tag team match.
They showed Sonya Deville, Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin with Mckenzie Mitchell showing up for an interview. Sonya said that she may have had differences with Mandy Rose, but Sonya is her best friend and that means these girls are her girls. Sonya mentioned that she’ll have a match with Alba Fyre next week.
There was a scene with Roderick Strong in a wheelchair trying to motivate The Creed Brothers in The Diamond Mine group. The announcers talked about Julius Creed facing Damon Kemp in an Ambulance Match at Halloween Havoc.
Kiana James vs. Thea Hail (w/Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward)
The bell rang and Mr. Stone went into the ring saying he had business to talk about. Stone complained about how the world was laughing at him because Hail bodyslammed Stone last week. The fans chanted “you got slammed” at Stone. Stone charged, Hail gave him a back body drop and stomped on Stone. James waited for Hail to turn around with James hit a 401k slam into the mat for the pinfall win.
Winner by pinfall: Kiana James
Analysis: No rating for that. It was just one move with James taking advantage of the situation.
Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo was in the locker room with Tony D’Angelo was there with a crutch talking about his PCL injury. Tony said that Stacks has another match next week with Tony refusing to tell Stacks who it was.
Ilja Dragunov made his entrance for the main event.
Mr. Stone was shown walking backstage with Von Wagner wondering what the hell was that. Stone tried to explain, so Wagner said he needed Stone locked in to make sure nobody stops Wagner from winning the North American Title. Stone said it was time for Wagner to be champion and Wagner said that’s more like it.
Cameron Grimes was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell while adding that there’s nobody that he trusts in NXT. Grimes said he may not trust anybody in NXT, but that doesn’t count all of WWE.
Cora Jade walked up to Mckenzie saying that Rhea Ripley got back to her, so Cora is going to Raw.
Next week on NXT:
* Pick Your Poison – Roxanne picks Cora’s opponent from Smackdown and Cora picks Roxanne’s opponent from Raw.
* Stacks vs. Opponent of Tony D’Angelo’s choosing.
* Alba Fyre vs. Sonya Deville.
Ilja Dragunov vs. Grayson Waller
The fans were chanting for both guys like they usually do. They locked up near the ropes, Waller bailed to the floor and back in the ring there was a trip by Dragunov. After an armbar by Dragunov, Waller broke free and applied his own armbar. Dragunov kicked Waller into the ropes followed by a chop and a back splash. Dragunov with a running knee attack in the corner. After Waller went to the ropes to force a break, Waller hit a jab punch. Waller hit a jumping side kick and taunted Booker on commentary. The fans booed that.
Waller tried a suplex, but Dragunov countered it into an inside cradle. Dragunov crushed Waller with a hard forearm to the back, the fans chanted “one more time” and Dragunov did it again. Waller with a punch, but Dragunov hit a jumping kick to the head. Dragunov hit a running knee to the side of the head while Waller was against the ropes. Dragunov hit a lifting powerslam. Dragunov grabbed a waistlock, Waller did an eye poke (that’s his story with Apollo Crews) and a spin kick. Waller jumped off the middle rope with an elbow drop for two. Waller worked over Dragunov with repeated forearms to the back. Dragunov spun around against the ropes leading to a clothesline. Waller hit a dropkick to the knee followed by a sleeper, but Dragunov powered out of it. Waller with a necksnap against the top rope. Waller left the ring going for his finisher, but the “Spin the Wheel, Make A Deal” was spinning without anybody there. Waller jumped into the ring with Dragunov hit two German Suplexes and another impressive suplex. Dragunov hit the torpedo forearm smash for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ilja Dragunov
Analysis: *** This was pretty good with two talented athletes getting a chance to show what they can do. Dragunov winning made sense since he’s in the NXT Title match at Halloween Havoc. Waller was distracted by the wheel spinning itself without anybody there, so it was a bit of a cheap win for Dragunov.
After the match, they showed replays. Dragunov was celebrating the win, so Bron Breakker went into the ring and hit Dragunov with a Spear as payback for what happened earlier. They showed JD McDonagh doing some light applause in the crowd. End show.
Analysis: The story is that JD wanted the other two guys to beat eachother up so he’s getting what he wanted.
Three Stars of the Show
- Nathan Frazer
- Ilja Dragunov
This week: 7.5 out of 10
Last week: 6.75
I thought it was a pretty good show this week. Better than what they did last week too. If you don’t watch a lot of NXT that’s fine, but I’d recommend the Frazer/Axiom match. It was a lot of fun. Other matches like Dragunov/Waller and the triple threat tag were solid. They are doing less goofy stuff and focusing on the matches more with storylines that make sense.
The build for Halloween Havoc is strong with six official matches and still plenty of time to build them up more.
Here’s the lineup for Halloween Havoc on October 22nd so far.
* NXT Championship Match: Bron Breakker (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. JD McDonagh
* For the Vacant NXT North American Championship Ladder Match: Carmelo Hayes vs. Oro Mensah vs. Wes Lee vs. Von Wagner vs. Nathan Frazer
* NXT Women’s Championship: Mandy Rose (c) vs. Alba Fyre
* Weapons Wild Match: Cora Jade vs. Roxanne Perez
* Ambulance Match: Julius Creed vs. Damon Kemp (If Julius loses, Brutus Creed will have to leave NXT)
* Apollo Crews vs. Nathan Frazer
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