The John Report: WWE NXT 10/17/23 Review

wwe nxt october 17

This week’s WWE NXT featured Carmelo Hayes, Baron Corbin and Dijak in a triple threat match for a shot at the NXT Title.

I will do the summary style review for most of the show and play-by-play for one match.

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 video package recapping last week’s star-studded NXT episode that ended with Carmelo Hayes beating Bron Breakker. After that match, The Undertaker arrived to remind Bron that he’s still the biggest badass in WWE.

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

Bada Big Bada Boom Tag Team Battle Royal

The ring was full of ten NXT tag teams (including Butch & Ridge Holland from Smackdown) for a battle royal while NXT Tag Team Champions Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo were watching from a platform. Tony D & Stacks will defend their titles against the winners (of a tag team match to follow) at Halloween Havoc.

As soon as the bell rang, Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen eliminated Damon Kemp right away, so Drew Gulak was gone too. Hank & Tank were next to be eliminated when Tank was sent over the top to the floor. Gallus worked together to send Brooks Jensen over the top to the floor, so Jensen & Briggs were eliminated. Ridge Holland dumped out Edris Enofe & Malik Blade at the same time. Mark Coffey nearly got eliminated, Wolfgang saved him and then Brutus Creed knocked Coffey out to eliminate the Gallus boys. There was a double elimination between Ridge Holland & Butch along with Nima & Price getting eliminated at the same time when Scrypts jumped on all of them to get rid of them. Julius dumped Humberto Carrillo over the top to the floor, but the referees never saw it due to the other four guys on the floor. Carrillo & Garza dumped the Creed Brothers over the top to eliminate them.

Analysis: *3/4 It was a decent battle royal. There were some quick eliminations to get some lower level teams out of there fast. I thought the Garza/Carrillo team cheating at the end by taking advantage of no referees was a clever finish while also screwing The Creed Brothers, so that should set up a tag team rivalry.

That led to the tag team match to decide the winners.

Humberto Carillo & Angel Garza vs. Chase U – Andre Chase & Duke Hudson

The team of Jacy Jayne & Thea Hail were at ringside to support Chase U. Chase and Hudson did some tag team moves early on leading to a break one minute into it.


Angel and Humberto were in control of Chase as the face in peril. There were quick tags, as well as basic heel tag team moves, to isolate Chase. Chase managed to break free, but when he did, Hudson was not on the apron because he was knocked down. Hudson finally got the hot tag with the crowd firing up for his moves including an overhead belly-to-belly suplex and punch combo. Duke hit a uranage slam for two on Humbert after Angel broke up the pin. Chase tagged back in with a top rope cross body block for two. Angel attacked Hudson outside the ring with a DDT on the floor. Humberto hit a sitout Powerbomb on Chase for two. The fans did an “NXT” chant. The Creed Brothers showed up at ringside, Julius pulled Humberto out of the ring and Chase sat on top of Angle with a tight cover for the pinfall win after about 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Chase U – Andre Chase & Duke Hudson

Analysis: *** This turned out to be a pretty good tag team match. They worked well together with a lot of nearfalls for both sides to show that it was a competitive match. Chase U is still a popular act with the fans and having The Creed Brothers cost Garza & Humberto made sense based on the battle royal spot.

Next week at Halloween Havoc Part 1: Tony D & Stacks defend the NXT Tag Team Titles against Chase U’s Andre Chase & Duke Hudson.

Blair Davenport was featured in a promo video issuing a challenge to Gigi Dolin for a match at Halloween Havoc.

Carmelo Hayes was shown walking backstage for a promo up next.

This Friday on Smackdown: How will The Bloodline respond to the megastar LA Knight? Plus, IYO SKY defends the WWE Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair. There may be a title change coming there.


A video aired with Lexis King talking about Brian Pillman saying that he told people he loved his father, but he didn’t know that man. They showed videos of wrestling legends talking about how great Brian Pillman was. Lexis said he spent more time in a hotel room than in his home. Lexis said that Halloween Havoc is the start of his career and he’s going to make his name better than his name ever was. “My name is Lexis King.” The debut of Lexis is next week.

Analysis: I thought that was well done. I know some fans wanted him to use the Brian Pillman Jr. name, but I think being his own man is fine and he could do very well in WWE. I’m excited to see how King does.

Let’s Hear from Carmelo Hayes

Carmelo said that last week he got to stand in the ring with the Greatest of All Time, John Cena. Melo also got to stand shoulder to shoulder with The Undertaker as well. Melo kept on going until Baron Corbin interrupted.

Baron Corbin said that Melo was a fanboy. Corbin ripped on Melo for hanging out with John Cena for an hour, getting a photo, talking to Cody and The Undertaker said if he concentrated on being a superstar he would be a champion.

Dijak walked out to join the black jacket wearing party with threats for both guys. Dijak got into the ring with them. Dijak said that all that showboating and pandering you do won’t mean much when you’re looking into Dijak’s eyes. Corbin said nobody is looking in your eyes since you have sunglasses on. Dijak said that Corbin wants people to be afraid of you. Dijak said he’s not afraid of Corbin and Melo hasn’t put his name on a jersey. Corbin mocked Dijak for being stupid. Melo said he would have a custom jersey for Dijak.

There was an interruption by NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov on the video screen. Dragunov said they should be concentrating on their fierce battle to see who will face Dragunov on Night 2 of Halloween Havoc. Dragunov said that Cody Rhodes decided last week that tonight’s main event would not be a triple threat, it would be a fatal four-way match and the last competitor would be this man…it’s Trick Williams.

Trick Williams made his entrance as the fans chanted “Whoop That Trick” for him. Melo had a stunned look on his face. Trick joined the ring and Corbin mocked his “ugly-ass pants” and Trick said Corbin was ugly. Trick said if he wins this match he could be your NXT Champion. Trick said he knows Melo is good with this because this doesn’t change anything. Corbin said it changes everything because look at Melo, he’s shook. Corbin said that Trick went into business for himself and got put into a match he doesn’t belong in. Corbin said he did it behind Melo’s back and never even told him about it.

Melo said he knows who he is and he knows who Trick is. Melo knows what it takes to be a champion and he knows how to put anyone down to get back to the top. Dijak asked if Melo could do that to Trick. Dijak and Corbin did a cheap attack. Melo & Trick Cleared the ring of the heels. That ended it.

Analysis: That was an interesting surprise for the NXT Title contender’s match. Trick Williams is really popular with the fans, so of course they loved him being in the match. Melo did a good job of selling the announcement with a shocked look on his face. All four guys had some good lines with some jokes in there as well.

A video aired from earlier in the day when Fallon Henley was talking to women in the NXT Breakout Tournament. Tiffany Stratton walked in doing her mean girl act to trash Fallon. That will probably lead to a match.


NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament Quarterfinals: Karmen Petrovic vs. Jaida Parker

There were pre-taped promos from each woman to introduce us to the women. Karmen had some impressive strikes with the kicks she did. Parker got some offense going with shoulder tackles. Parker set up Karmen against the middle rope and jumped on her ribs. Karmen did a leg sweep kick and another kick to the face. Karmen did a running kick. Karmen did a did a spinning kick to the ribs followed by a submission using the leg around the throat. Parker tapped out.

Winner by pinfall: Karmen Petrovic

Analysis: *1/2 It was decent for a shorter match. Petrovic had a lot of kicks and strikes. Both women are very athletic. I’m sure we’ll see more of both women in the months ahead.

Karmen Petrovic advances to the Semifinals against Lola Vice. That should be a win for Lola.

Tegan Nox was shown getting ready for her match. Natalya showed up to support her. Nox entered for her match with Natalya by her side.


Tegan Nox (w/Natalya) vs. Lyra Valkyria

They spent the first minute or so exchanging holds. Nox got a shoulder tackle knockdown and a forearm to the face. Lyra got a sunset flip on Nox for two. They kept on going for pin attempts on each other leading to multiple two counts. Nox hit an uppercut. Lyra knocked Nox out of the ring to the floor and Lyra hit a running dropkick to knock Nox down on the floor.


Lyra hit an impressive Northern Lights Suplex for two. Lyra connected with a kick to the head for two. Nox hit a bridging Fallaway Slam for two. Lyra came back with an impressive leap over Nox leading to a jumping kick. Nox hit a Molly Go Round off the top for a two count. Piper Niven and Chelsea Green, the Women’s Tag Team Champions, arrived at ringside to watch the match. Some fans were chanting for Green. Nox left the ring briefly to confront them. Nox went back in the ring for a two count. Lyra came back with a spin kick to the head for the pinfall win after about 11 minutes. Lyra looked like she wanted to do another move, but then she just decided to pin Nox instead.

Winner by pinfall: Lyra Valkyria

Analysis: *** That was pretty good. They wrestled a fast-paced match with a lot of great counters throughout the match. I didn’t love the finish because Nox leaving the ring just to yell at two people standing ten feet away is silly. Lyra winning was the right result since she faces Becky Lynch next week.

Post match, Natalya & Nox fought with Niven & Green leading to the four of them going backstage.

Lyra Valkyria did a promo about her match against Becky Lynch next week. Lyra spoke about wanting to be the first Irish woman to be NXT Champion, but Lynch beat her to it. Lyra said that she has learned from Lynch that if somebody closes a door in your face, then you knock down another one. Lyra said that she’s going to beat Lynch for the NXT Women’s Title.

Becky Lynch did a pre-tape promo that was shown on the video screen. Lynch said she’s been watching Lyra for a long time. Lynch said she wanted to face her not just because she’s Irish, but because Lyra is really good. Lynch said that she is better. Lynch said that she has to fight like her life depends on it. Lynch said Lyra has to despise Lynch and have a chip on your shoulder because that’s the only way you’ll have a chance. Lynch: “Welcome to the big time.” Lynch’s music played to end it.

Analysis: I enjoyed those promos. Lyra is likable while Lynch is obviously one of the best in WWE. It should be a great match next week. Lynch should win.

Carmelo Hayes was in the locker room with Trick Williams, who said he wanted more gold. Trick said he’s at the same place Melo was at last year. Trick said he should have told Melo, but he was nervous to tell him. Melo said now they have to go against eachother. Melo said he has to do what he has to do. Trick said no matter what happens, they are still Trick Melo game. They shook hands.

Analysis: Good segment to cover the story of Trick not telling Melo about it with Trick saying he was nervous about it.


A commercial aired about WWE Crew Jewel on November 4th.

Gigi Dolin was backstage with the Spin The Wheel, Make the Deal wheel that was backstage. It landed on Lights Out Match, so Gigi said “Blair Davenport, it’s Lights Out…bitch.” Booker loved it.

The announcers talked about Von Wagner’s injury status as we saw a clip of Bron Breakker smashing the steel steps on him last month.

There was a video package of Von Wagner (with a taped head) doing physical therapy. Von thought he couldn’t do it while Mr. Stone and the physical therapist told him it was going to take time. Wagner said that Breakker could have hurt Stone more than he did to Wagner. Stone said he knows when Wagner is 100% ready and 100% healthy, Wagner is going to finish it. Wagner was motivated again to do the physical therapy.

Analysis: I assume it will be at the December PLE called Deadline where Von Wagner makes his comeback and probably beats Bron Breakker at that show.

Kiana James vs. Shotzi

Shotzi was in control early on with some unique offense including a headscissors against the ropes. James came back by sending Shotzi’s head into the ring post and James kicked Shotzi off the apron to the floor.


James was in control after the break. Shotzi managed to knock James out of the ring leading to a suicide dive on the floor. Shotzi went up top and James shoved her down. Roxanne Perez went to ringside, grabbed Kiana’s bag and took a brick out of it. Shotzi hit James with the bag. The referee took the bag away. James charged, Shotzi moved and James hit the ring post. Shotzi went up top with a Senton Bomb (Shotzi Bomb?) for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Shotzi

Analysis: **1/4 It was okay with Roxanne Perez getting some revenge on Kiana James, who has been a thorn in Perez’s side of late. Shotzi capitalizing on it and getting the win is nice for her since she doesn’t wrestle much on Smackdown.

Oro Mensah and Lash Legend of Meta-Four were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Noam Dar was on the phone about Jakara Jackson having an injury. Akira Tozawa walked up wondering where Dar was. Tozawa said he was looking for Dar.

There was a backstage scene where Trick Williams was shown on the ground holding his head while the referees checked on him. Carmelo Hayes was there as well wondering what happened.

Analysis: The dreaded mystery attack strikes again. The parking lot is usually the place for that to happen on the NXT brand.


Kelly Kincaid was in the parking lot saying that Trick Williams was going to the hospital and was out of the main event. Kelly said that nobody knows who attacked Trick Williams.

Dominik Mysterio, the NXT North American Champion, was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell backstage. Nathan Frazer went up to him and they got into a brawl in front of other wrestlers. They went brawling down another hallway and the fight went out to the ringside area. Frazer got a takedown followed by an enziguri kick to the head. Frazer hit a twisting neckbreaker slam. Frazer went up top, but Rhea Ripley showed up and pulled Dominik out of the way.

Analysis: That furthers the Dominik-Frazer story to set up a match between them.

Shotzi was shown walking with Roxanne Perez saying she’s ballsy and Shotzi likes it. Perez didn’t understand why Kiana James was obsessed with her. They walked up to the Spin The Wheel Make a Deal wheel backstage. Perez spun the wheel to land on a Devil’s Playground Match.

Arianna Grace was in the ring with a “Miss NXT” sash around her waist. Grace said she had an injury far worse than Jakara Jackson and Grace came back. Grace wanted a bye to the next round, but instead, she has a match.

NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament Quarterfinals: Brinley Reece vs. Arianna Grace

Grace is a cocky heel while Reece is a generic babyface wearing bright colors. Reece hit a body slam. Grace got an armbar takedown followed by a suplex. Reece got a sunset flip pin for two and Reece connected with a couple of suplexes. Grace did a face raking along with a hip toss over her back into a slam for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Arianna Grace

Analysis: *1/4 It’s tough having a cold match without any sort of story and the fans not knowing much about Reece. Grace has an over-the-top personality so she should do fairly well as a heel. Grace is Santino Marella’s daughter, but the announcers didn’t mention that.

It’s Grace vs. Jordan and Petrovic vs. Vice in the semifinals. I think that will lead to Vice beating Jordan in the finals.

The triple threat main event was next.


Bron Breakker was interviewed backstage by Mckenzie Mitchell. Bron said that he was the reason it was the most talked about episode of NXT. Mr. Stone walked up saying Von Wagner was improving. Bron said he didn’t care. Stone shouted that Bron just keeps living life while Wagner’s life has paused. Stone said his kids ask if Von will get better and Stone said he didn’t know. Stone challenged Bron to a match at Halloween Havoc and Bron accepted. Bron said to call the hospital.

Analysis: That could be a massacre. Stone used to be a wrestler known as Robbie E in TNA about a decade ago, but he hasn’t wrestled in a long time. Stone is in great shape at least.

Next week on NXT Halloween Havoc Night 1:

* NXT Women’s Title: Becky Lynch vs. Lyra Valkyria

* Gigi Dolin vs. Blair Davenport in a Lights Out Match

* NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament Semifinals: Karmen Petrovic vs. Lola Vice

* NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament Semifinals: Kelani Jordan vs. Ariana Grace

* Lexis King makes his in-ring debut

* Roxanne Perez vs. Kiana James in a Devil’s Playground Match

* NXT Tag Team Championships: Tony D’Angelo & Stacks vs. Chase U

Analysis: That’s five women’s matches advertised for next week. That’s cool to see.

Baron Corbin vs. Carmelo Hayes vs. Dijak

The winner will challenge Ilja Dragunov for the NXT Title at Halloween Havoc Night 2 on October 31st, which is Halloween night. No disqualifications and no countouts in a WWE triple threat match.

Melo was the smallest guy in the match by a lot so he tried to strike and get some offense going. Dijak hit a Chokeslam backbreaker on Melo. Corbin clotheslined Dijak. Corbin sent Melo to the apron, Melo fought back and then he jumped onto Dijak, who hit a backbreaker along with a toss across the ring. Corbin and Dijak exchanged forearms. Melo jumped off the ropes teasing a DDT and then he managed to hit the double DDTs on both guys. Melo got two counts on both guys leading to a break.


Melo hit Corbin with some forearms against the turnbuckle, but Corbin came back with a clothesline on Dijak and Melo. Dijak hit a running elbow on Melo. Dijak superkicked Corbin. Melo hit a superkick on Dijak. Dijak lifted up Melo with a suplex toss into Corbin. All three guys were down selling a bit. Corbin hit a suplex on Dijak. Corbin even hit a clothesline off the middle rope on Melo, which is not a move Corbin does often. Dijak clotheslined Corbin out of the ring. Melo hit a lung blower double knees on Dijak. Melo went up top, but Corbin pulled him down and Corbin hit a Death Valley Driver on the floor. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. When Corbin got to the apron, Dijak kicked him in the head and kicked Corbin down to the floor. Melo threw Corbin into Dijak, who hit a Chokeslam. Melo broke up the pin with a superkick into a pin attempt for two. Dijak hit a running boot to the face of Melo, who did a spectacular bump, and that got a two count. Melo worked over Dijak with chops and Dijak kicked him down. They did a spot by the turnbuckle with Dijak on the top rope, Corbin tried a suplex and then Melo was underneath for a Tower of Doom spot with Melo doing a Powerbomb and Corbin suplexes Dijak, who did a moonsault bump into the ring. The fans chanted “holy shit” for that. Great spot. All three guys were down a bit. Corbin punched Melo out of the ring. Dijak kicked Corbin in the chest. Dijak and Corbin each tried their power finishing moves, which led to Corbin hitting Dijak with the End of Days. When Corbin was on his knees, Melo jumped off the top and hit the Nothing But Net leg drop to the back of the head! Melo covered Dijak for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Carmelo Hayes

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a great match full of action. While I don’t love triple threats, you can have a fast-paced match due to the ability for one of the three guys to rest at times while the other two are wrestling, so that led to a lot of exciting moments. The Tower of Doom spot out of the corner was really good and it set up the finish. Melo timed the leg drop off the top perfectly on Corbin while going over to pin Dijak. I thought maybe Corbin would win, but I have no problem with Melo as the victor of the match. Even though this was a match without disqualifications, nobody used weapons.

Carmelo Hayes celebrated the win. That win means that in two weeks on October 31st, Hayes will challenge Ilja Dragunov for the NXT Title.

Lyra Valkyria was shown in the locker room watching the end of the show. She grabbed a picture of herself with Becky Lynch. Lyra: “In one week, your title is mine.” Lyra ripped up the picture. As Lyra walked away, a video of Jade Cargill was shown tapping a watch on her left wrist as if to say time was running out. End show.

Analysis: It’s safe to say WWE is loving the Jade Cargill cameos of late. We still don’t know when her in-ring debut will be, but they are putting her on all the brands to show that she is coming soon.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Carmelo Hayes
  2. Chase U – Andre Chase & Duke Hudson
  3. Lyra Valkyria


The Scoreboard

This week: 7 out of 10

Last week: 8.5

2023 Average: 7.08


Final Thoughts

This episode wasn’t as good as last week’s huge show, but that was to be expected. I still liked most of it and I’d call it a good show. It still had some entertaining aspects to it as they built to two weeks of Halloween Havoc episodes. Carmelo Hayes won the big triple threat with Dijak & Corbin to set up another Hayes-Dragunov match in two weeks, so that should be awesome.

Trick Williams was going to be part of the triple threat match to make it a fatal four-way, but he was mysteriously attacked. Nobody loves mystery acts like the NXT brand. The shocking thing is that it wasn’t in the parking lot. Regular NXT viewers know what I mean. Anyway, I like a good mystery angle. I was a bit surprised Bron Breakker wasn’t featured more because he was only in a short backstage segment.

There were four straight women’s matches on the show along with several other women featured on the show. That’s something NXT does as well as any wrestling show out there. I’m not saying every match was great because two of them were shorter matches in the Breakout Tournament, but they utilize the women so well in NXT. There are also five women’s matches advertised for NXT Halloween Havoc Night 1 next week. That’s impressive. I think the next two weeks will be better with Halloween Havoc episodes featuring more grudge matches and title matches. Solid show overall.


Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport