This week’s WWE NXT saw Bron Breakker face Von Wagner, Trick Williams wants answers from Carmelo Hayes, Iron Survivor Challenge qualifying matches and more.
Please Note: I am going on vacation for 7 days starting this Friday, November 10th, which means no review of Smackdown that night. That also means no review of Raw on November 13, NXT on November 14 and AEW Dynamite on November 15. I will do condensed reviews of those four shows and I will post them after I return. I’ll be back in action on Friday, November 17th for Smackdown that night. It’s my second week off this year. I don’t have a sunny vacation planned or anything like that, but I have some stuff to do around my part of the world, some friends/family to visit, a couple of sporting events and most importantly a break from all the writing that I do. Our TJRWrestling.net news team will continue to cover the business as best we can. I’m really proud of the team we have.
I will do the summary style review for most of the show and play-by-play for a few matches.
A video aired recapping NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2 from last week. I thought it was a great show.
The commentary team of Vic Joseph and Booker T were on hand to call the action as usual.
Akira Tozawa had Alpha Academy’s Chad Gable, Otis and Maxxine Dupri with him. Noam Dar was joined by Meta-Four’s Oro Mensah, Jakara Jackson and Lash Legend.
NXT Heritage Cup Championship: Noam Dar vs. Akira Tozawa
Round 1: This was pretty even most of the way. Dar took control after kicking the left leg of Tozawa. Tozawa came back with a suplex along with some unique dancing. Tozawa hit a belly-to-back suplex on Dar on the floor and Dar hit a superplex to end the round.
Round 2: Dar got a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! while grabbing the tights to get the pinfall to lead 1-0. Dar punched Tozawa in the head after the fall as a cheap shot.
Round 3: This was shown as picture-in-picture, which isn’t shown here in Canada. When the match returned, they were at the end of round three with Dar still leading 1-0. After the round, Dar elbowed Tozawa in the head a few times.
Round 4: Dar was in control with a running clothesline on Tozawa. The tide turned with Tozawa getting some offense going with a suicide dive. Dar went for a kick, Tozawa ducked and Dar kicked the post. Tozawa applied an Ankle Lock and Dar tapped. It’s 1-1.
Round 5: Dar hit a back elbow to the head for a two count. Tozawa got a hurricanrana for two and a German Suplex for two. Tozawa hit a spinning kick. Tozawa went up top, Mensah with a distraction, Legend pulled Dar out of the ring and that meant Tozawa’s senton splash missed. Dar hit the Nova Roller kick for the pinfall win at around 14 minutes.
Winner: Noam Dar (2-1)
Analysis: *** It was a good, competitive match, especially in the final rounds. Tozawa did a great job with his comeback and looked like a threat to win even though going into the match I doubt most people thought Tozawa had a shot. Dar is entertaining in this role as the champion.
After the match, Oro Mensah trash-talked Tozawa, so Maxxine slapped Mensah and Gable hit a German Suplex. Otis hit a running splash on Mensah.
Analysis: A happy ending with the babyfaces standing tall.
A video aired featuring Mick Foley on Instagram announcing the NXT Deadline Iron Survivor Challenge qualifying matches.
Lola Vice and Elektra Lopez were in the women’s locker room with Lola Vice bragging about winning the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament. Arianna Grace and Karmen Petrovic were there too. Kelani Jordan said that Lola only won because of Elektra Lopez. Roxanne Perez advised Lola to not make enemies out of the entire locker room. They spoke in Spanish and left.
Let’s Hear from Lyra Valkyria
Lyra Valkyria made her entrance as the NXT Women’s Champion after beating Becky Lynch for the title two weeks ago. Lyra talked about beating a true legend like Becky Lynch. Lyra said she defeated an icon and now the finest prize in NXT is around her waist. Lyra thanked the fans for making this place feel like magic and they showed the world what a main event women’s title match is all about. Lyra said she knew she wasn’t the only woman who dreamed of being the champion. Lyra said she knew that the locker room was packed with women who wanted to take this title from her.
Xia Li from Raw appeared in the crowd, so Lyra told security to let her through. Li got in the ring with Lyra to brag about her attack on Becky Lynch on Raw. Li said that she planned to take Lyra’s title. Li hit a spin kick on a security guy who got in her face. The women had a staredown.
Analysis: That’s a simple way to set up a match. Li is frustrated about not getting chances, so it makes sense for her to step up in a spot like this. Lyra will beat Li when they have a match.
Tyler Bate was featured talking about his match with Dijak.
Fallon Henley was shown backstage with Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen hyping her up for her match.
It’s Tiffy Time as Tiffany Stratton made her entrance for singles action.
Akira Tozawa was backstage with the Alpha Academy with Chad Gable advising Tozawa to be patient and Tozawa said “I want it now.” Maxxine Dupri said they will be guests on Super Nova Sessions. Drew Gulak and his group walked up with Drew mocking Gable for this group. Gulak said he leads a group that is serious. Charlie Dempsey said some threatening things, so Otis did some hip shaking. Otis challenged Gulak to a match, so it’s on for later. Gable: “Thank you!”
A WWE NXT referee Adrian Butler was shown walking out of Shawn Michaels’ office saying he is allowed to use discretion for the Bron Breakker-Von Wagner match. Ava was shown walking into Shawn’s office in the background.
NXT Deadline Iron Survivor Challenge Qualifying Match: Tiffany Stratton vs. Fallon Henley
Henley trapped Stratton in a half-crab submission, but Stratton managed to get to the ropes. Stratton left the ring and punched Henley to take control. Henley hit a superplex off the middle rope for two. Henley remained in control with a punch while Stratton was near the ropes.
Stratton got some offense going with a punch and a body slam into the ropes. Stratton had Henley in her arms and Stratton dumped Henley onto the floor. Stratton hit a sitout spinebuster for a two count. Henley made a comeback with a punch as well as a clothesline. Stratton came back with a rolling senton, but Henley avoided a moonsault. Stratton kicked out of a pin, took a shot at the knee and sent Henley into the turnbuckle. Stratton hit the Prettiest Moonsault Ever for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Tiffany Stratton
Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid match with the bigger name getting the win since Stratton is a former NXT Women’s Champion while Henley hasn’t really been pushed much. Nice story to the match with Stratton working on the left knee and it came into play for the finish.
Wes Lee was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Wes saying that Dominik Mysterio was his target. Baron Corbin walked in saying nobody cares about Wes. They exchanged words leading to Wes issuing a challenge and Corbin saying he would be a failure like Ilja Dragunov is.
Bron Breakker was interviewed backstage saying he’ll destroy Von Wagner and Von was a fool for thinking he could beat Bron Breakker.
The angry man Bron Breakker made his entrance for singles action.
Dijak did a promo talking about his Iron Survivor Challenge qualifying match against Tyler Bate later in the show.
Bron Breakker vs. Von Wagner (w/Mr. Stone)
This was Von’s return after a few months off selling the attack from Breakker. Bron attacked Wagner, who came back with punches and punched Bron out of the ring. Bron tried a leaping attack on the floor, but Wagner kicked him down. Wagner hit a clothesline and then Wagner was selling like he was dazed. Bron followed up with a running knee to the head. Bron tackled Wagner and punched him repeatedly. Bron connected with a German Suplex on Wagner along with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Bron applied the Steiner Recliner submission, but Wagner got back up and sent Bron face first into the turnbuckle. Wagner hit a double underhook suplex across the ring. Wagner hit a corner splash along with a big boot to the face. Wagner tried a lift, Bron got out of that and Bron charged, but Wagner hit a jumping knee for two. Wagner cleared off the commentary table. Bron avoided a move and Bron shoved Wagner into the steel steps. The referee was distracted by Stone, so Bron hit a low blow uppercut on Wagner. Bron lifted Stone, Wagner saved Stone and Bron hit a Spear on Wagner on the floor. Back in the ring, Bron hit Wagner with another Spear for the pinfall win after six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bron Breakker
Analysis: **3/4 It was good for a shorter match that was all about the storyline. Wagner showed a lot of babyface heart throughout the match while Breakker was relentless and crafty as the heel. I liked the story of the match. The feud isn’t over.
After the match, Stone hit Bron with a steel chair to the back. Bron went after Stone, so Wagner made the save. Wagner gave Bron a Powerbomb through the commentary table. The fans chanted “NXT” for it. Stone was happy that Wagner finished him. Wagner hugged his buddy Stone.
Analysis: It was a great post match angle with Wagner standing tall over Breakker. I can see them in a match at NXT Deadline with Wagner getting the win over Bron as the biggest win of Von’s career.
Carmelo Hayes was asked by Mckenzie Mitchell about Trick Williams making his return last week. Melo said he did not attack Trick. Melo said he’ll talk to Trick later in the show.
Lola Vice and Elektra Lopez entered for tag team action.
Roxanne Perez & Kelani Jordan vs. Lola Vice & Elektra Lopez
There wasn’t much happening in the first couple of minutes. Vice & Lopez took control over Perez with some double team moves. Perez dropkicked Lopez into Vice. Perez hit the Pop Rox on Lopez. Perez hit a suicide dive onto Lopez on the floor to take her out. Jordan hit the split legged moonsault off the top onto Lopez for the pinfall win.
Winners by pinfall: Roxanne Perez & Kelani Jordan
Analysis: ** A basic tag team match with the heels in control for the first couple of minutes until Perez made the comeback and Jordan got the pinfall win. Simple tag team booking. They want to keep Vice strong, so Lopez taking the pin made sense.
At ringside, Arianna Grace was at ringside announcing the winner. Karmen Petrovic hit Grace with a forearm from behind: “Will you shut up already?” Good question.
Joe Gacy did a cell phone promo camera saying that people called him the weird guy and a maniac. Gacy feels like he’s in his own personal hell and he doesn’t know what to do, but maybe he knows what to do. That was it.
Analysis: I don’t know what’s next for Gacy. They are resetting his career so to speak after Schism failed.
Otis and Alpha Academy entered his match.
Ilja Dragunov, the NXT Champion, talked about beating Carmelo Hayes in their third match. Dragunov talked about being attacked by Baron Corbin last week. Dragunov said that they have met before, but with this title on his shoulder, he’s a different man. Dragunov said the only man who slays the dragon is the dragon himself. Baron Corbin was shown watching on a TV with Hank & Tank saying he should be worried, so Corbin said that’s why you won’t be anybody.
Otis vs. Drew Gulak
Gulak was briefly in control sending Otis into the ring post. Otis showed off his power with a one armed slam. Gulak charged and Otis hit him with a high-angle belly to back suplex. Otis ran over Gulak with a shoulder tackle. Otis hit three spinning back elbows, then a running elbow and a lefty clothesline. Otis did the Caterpillar into the elbow drop. Otis hit a stiff Powerbomb for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Otis
Analysis: **1/4 Easy win for the big man Otis. Gulak had some offense early, but he wasn’t really a threat to win. Otis did a great job with his comeback and the Powerbomb for the win. Otis had been using the World’s Strongest Slam recently, but it was a Powerbomb this time.
Post match, Alpha Academy did some post match dancing. Awkward.
Tiffany Stratton was shown talking backstage to Kiana James while Boa was talking to somebody backstage. Stratton and James bragged about how nobody deserves to compete with them. They agreed that Roxanne Perez can’t win the Iron Survivor Challenge again. James thinks she’ll beat Roxanne Perez and she’ll win the Iron Survivor Challenge. Stratton said “I don’t mind her” as James left.
The Bate-Dijak match was next.
There was a Chase U vignette with somebody delivering a letter to Andre Chase. Jacy Jayne opened up his mail. Chase grabbed the mail saying Jayne isn’t supposed to open other people’s mail. Thea Hail and Duke Hudson walked in. Jayne mentioned that Chase & Duke Hudson have their title defense against Tony D & Stacks for next week. Chase excused everybody and then Chase looked at the letter with a frustrated look on his face.
Analysis: There has been the tease of Andre Chase making some sort of deal with Tony D & Stacks, but we don’t know what it is yet. They are slowly building to a reveal.
NXT Deadline Iron Survivor Challenge Qualifying Match: Dijak vs. Tyler Bate
This is the last match on the show. Dijak worked over Bate with an elbow smash against the turnbuckle. Bate came back with an uppercut off the turnbuckle. Bate with some kicks, Dijak blocked another kick and Bate kicked Dijak out of the ring. Bate hit a running dive over the top onto Dijak on the floor. Bate charged at Dijak, who caught him and Dijak tossed Bate over the barricade at ringside.
The match returned with Bate hitting a Fisherman’s Superplex off the middle turnbuckle. That was impressive. Bate connected with two punches to the face, but Dijak came back with a High Justice sitout Chokeslam for a two count. Bate caught a charging Dijak and Bate gave Dijak an airplane spin while Dijak was on Bate’s shoulders. Bate did a spinning slam to the mat for a two count. Both guys were selling the long spin by stumbling around. Dijak hit a kick to the jaw and Bate avoided a kick leading to a running clothesline. Dijak did a suplex toss across the ring. Dijak went up top, Bate tried a suplex off the top, but Dijak did a backflip into the ring, which is very impressive for a big guy like him. Dijak did a spinning kick to the face for two. Great nearfall there as the fans applauded them while they were down selling in the ring. Bate tried a lifting move, Dijak got out of it and Bate caught him with a knee. Dijak caught Bate on his shoulders and Dijak hit the Feast Your Eyes knee lift to the head for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dijak
Analysis: ***1/4 A very good match between a talented big man like Dijak against one of NXT’s best in Tyler Bate. Lots of action here with both guys taking control at different times in the match and getting believable nearfalls throughout the match. Dijak showed off his athleticism with moves like landing on his feet after countering a suplex. I liked the finish with Bate going for a move, but Dijak blocked it due to his size and finished off Bate right after. The right guy won because they need to push Dijak more.
That win means that Dijak is the first man to qualify for the Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge Match at Deadline.
Trick Williams was shown arriving in the parking lot.
It was announced that Lita will select competitors in the Iron Survivor Qualifying Matches for next week.
Next week on NXT:
* Chase U (c) vs. Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo
* Supernova Session with Noam Dar and Alpha Academy
Let’s Hear from Camelo Hayes…and Trick Williams
Carmelo Hayes was in the ring saying that this is bigger than the NXT Title because it’s about his friendship. Melo called for Trick Williams to come out there, so Trick joined Melo in the ring.
Melo said that he understood why Trick was upset and the opportunity of a lifetime was taken away from him. Melo told Trick that roadblocks are always put in our way. Melo said that without Trick, there would be no Melo. Trick said that for the last two years, he’s put the Trick Melo Game first. Trick said every time Melo won a championship, it felt like Trick won a championship too. Melo said that it worked. Melo said they were like Shaq & Kobe, like Jordan & Pippen and Trick said it was when Melo won. Trick wondered what about now?
Trick wondered why Melo can’t be there exactly in the same way that Trick was there in the same way for Melo. Trick said that the other question is did Melo…and Melo cut him off. Melo said that he believed in Trick. Melo said that he knew Trick was destined for greatness from the beginning. Melo told Trick he knew that he had the potential to be a once in a lifetime performer. Trick said he wants to do his own thing, he wants to have his moments and his main events. Trick said whenever Melo needed him, Trick had his back. Trick wondered where is Melo when he needed him and when Trick got attacked. Trick said that he didn’t see what happened. Melo said you didn’t see it. Trick said that the only voice he heard was yours and they put him in an ambulance. Melo said that so you didn’t see who attacked you? Trick wanted to clear it all and address the elephant in the room. Trick asked Melo if he attacked him. Melo tried to answer, but there was an interruption.
Lexis King interrupted the promos. Lexis got into the ring saying we have a man that was assaulted and the man that was first on the scene was his best friend. Melo and Trick told Lexis to mind his own business. Lexis said that it seems like everybody knows who did it. King said it could have been somebody new, somebody dark and dirty and with thoughts so unclean. King asked Trick if he was sure Melo was the one that attacked him. Trick told King to get out of there. Trick threw a punch at King, who avoided it and Trick knocked down Melo with a punch. King left the ring.
Trick tried to help Melo up, but Melo pushed his hand away at first. Trick pulled Melo back up and they hugged while Melo had this angry look on his face. Vic summarized it by saying we are left with more questions than answers. End show.
Analysis: I mentioned last week during a Lexis King promo that it felt like he would be involved in the storyline based on some of the things he said. They might go with the story that Lexis was the one who attacked Trick even though some people want to believe that Melo was the one who did it. They could certainly go with the story of Melo being the guy that attacked Trick to set up that rivalry and perhaps it can be a story leading to Melo leaving NXT because there’s not much more for him to do there. I think they’ll reveal that it was Lexis King who did it and that Melo/Trick will remain allies.
Three Stars of the Show
- Tiffany Stratton
- Tyler Bate, Trick Williams & Carmelo Hayes
This week: 6.75 out of 10
Last week: 8
2023 Average: 7.11
Final Thoughts on WWE NXT
The last two weeks were Halloween Havoc shows that had titles on the line and more matches that were built up well, so this was a step back from those episodes. There are still plenty of things to like with the storylines in NXT including Bron Breakker beating Von Wagner, but then Von got revenge post match. The Trick Williams-Carmelo Hayes story had an interruption from Lexis King, who may have been Trick’s mystery attacker.
I liked the two Iron Survivor Challenge Qualifying Matches. When you do matches with something at stake, they mean more than some randomly thrown together match. I hope they book some surprising results in the other qualifying matches. The Dijak/Tyler Bate match was the best of the show while Tiffany Stratton had a strong showing over Fallon Henley as usual.
There wasn’t a major main roster presence this week, but I thought the Alpha Academy group did well while interacting with Meta-Four. It seems like it will set up a Chad Gable-Noam Dar match at Deadline. Anyway, I’d say it was overall a solid show, but nothing that special about it this week.
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