Reviews

The John Report: WWE NXT 11/08/22 Review

wwe nxt nov 8

This week’s WWE NXT featured the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles on the line in the main event, plus Bron Breakker and Von Wagner build to their big match next week.

As usual, I’ll go summary style for the matches on most of the show and play-by-play for the main event. As mentioned in the Raw review, I’m changing to photos in these reviews instead of videos.

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.

It was right to the action as the Schism group made their entrance. The commentary team of Vic Joseph and Booker T welcomed us to the show.

Joe Gacy (w/Rip Fowler, Jagger Reid & Ava Raine) vs. Cameron Grimes

This rivalry has been going on for several months now. Grimes hit a hurricanrana early in the match. Gacy got some offense going with a corner splash. Gacy hit an impressive move that was a hiptoss into a neckbreaker. Grimes came back wit ha kick that sent Gacy out of the ring along with a kick while on the apron. They went to a picture-in-picture break.

(Commercial)

Gacy was in control after the break with a modified backbreaker along with a crossface submission. When Gacy went for a running attack, Grimes countered with the running cross body block that knocked Gacy down. Grimes hit Gacy with superkicks and a German Suplex. Grimes hit a cross body block off the top along with a Poison Rana. Gacy left the ring to avoid being pinned, so Grimes hit a somersault dive over the top onto the three guys on the floor. Reid distracted the referee, so Raine shoved Grimes off the top to send him into the ropes and Gacy hit the big lariat with Grimes doing a flip bump leading to Gacy getting the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Joe Gacy

Analysis: *** It was a solid match with Gacy winning due to the numbers game advantage as you would think for somebody in the Schism group. Since Raine is new in the group, it obviously made sense for her to play a factor in the finish. Grimes was really impressive on offense in the last few minutes, but the heel distraction finish gave Gacy the big win.

Schism posed over Grimes while Vic talked about how that closed the door on the rivalry.

Analysis: There are rumors of Grimes moving to Raw or Smackdown soon although I don’t know if that’s true. I like Grimes a lot as a performer, so if he moves on from NXT it’s fine with me.

Nathan Frazer was shown leaving the WWE Medical room where he talked to Axiom while Frazer said he’s out for a few more weeks. JD McDonagh trash talked them, then Axiom mentioned JD failing to walk away with the NXT Title and JD threatened to send Axiom to the medical team when they have a match later.

A commercial aired about the Smackdown World Cup eight-man tournament starting and The Usos defending the Tag Team Titles against The New Day.

(Commercial)

They showed Zoey Stark and Nikkita Lyons arriving earlier in the day.

Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams in the Barber Shop

Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were seated in the barbershop along with some of their friends. Melo said that he made the NXT North American Title more relevant than the NXT Title and nobody has pinned him to take his title. Melo said that he respected Wes Lee for winning the title, but he didn’t pin Melo to do it so he’s a paper champion. When a guy mentioned that Wes has the NXT Universe behind him and Melo said until you beat Melo in the ring, you are not him. Melo said that it’s going to be a short title reign so imagine what will happen when the title is on the line. Trick said the title match will be in two weeks. Melo said next week they’ll do a contract signing and then the title match is in two weeks on November 22. That’s all it is and that’s how it is going to be.

Analysis: Those are good segments to allow Melo and Trick to show off their personalities.

The power went out briefly, then the lights went out and there was a threatening message from “Scrypts” talking about how they are coming to NXT soon.

Elektra Lopez vs. Sol Ruca

Lopez returned to NXT two weeks ago with a surprise attack on Indi Hartwell and Sol Ruca. Lopez took control with a clothesline on the floor along with an elbow drop in the ring. Sol made a comeback including a cartwheel into a corner splash. Sol went up top and Lopez slammed her off the top rope. Lopez hit a sitout spinebuster that Vic called Electric Shock for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Elektra Lopez

Analysis: *1/4 I’ll be kind in saying that it was good thing that it was short. Lopez has a good power game. Ruca is very athletic, but still very early in her career. Lopez has a good power game.

Post match, Indi Hartwell attacked Lopez because of Lopez attacking Hartwell two weeks. Referees broke it up quickly.

Chase U was backstage with Andre Chase, Thea Hail and Duke Hudson. There was some overacting by Thea and Duke said he would be at ringside to support Chase. Andre Chase said he’d give Charlie Dempsey an ass whooping.

Analysis: Thea’s gimmick of being hyper is really annoying for a babyface character. Lots of overacting by her. It’s too much.

(Commercial)

A video was shown featuring Jacy Jayne in her car talking to Mandy Rose via Facetime. “Hey girl” talk led to them talking about Alba Fyre with Jacy said that Gigi Dolin had three cracked ribs from a table bump. They trash talked Fyre with Rose telling Jayne to come over. A cop pulled over Jayne, who said she was shopping and instead it was Alba Fyre. That led to Fyre pulling Jayne out of the car. Fyre said she took out Gigi last week and this week she took out Jacy (who is out on the road) and Fyre said that next week she’ll beat Rose for the NXT Women’s Title.

Analysis: The overacting comment that I made before applies here. So Fyre stole a cop car to get at Jayne? Okay. I don’t really get how Jayne is “taken out” by being pulled out of a car seat. I think Fyre might beat Rose next week, but I’d rather not see it happen.

They showed NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Kayden Carter and Katana Chance arriving earlier in the day.

Charlie Dempsey vs. Andre Chase (w/Duke Hudson & Thea Hail)

Dempsey is the son of William Regal. Chase knocked Dempsey out of the ring. Dempsey countered a Chase move into an armbar. Chase did an atomic drop and a Russian legsweep. Chase did his routine where he did the stomps leading to the fans chanting “CHASE U” for him. Dempsey applied a submission hold with Chase telling Hudson not to interfere. Dempsey had Chase in a STF-like submission, then Hudson grabbed the white towel that Thea had and threw it in the ring so Hudson was giving up for Chase. It went about three minutes.

Winner: Charlie Dempsey

Analysis: *3/4 It was all about the story here with Chase trying to get Hudson to be noble and not cheat while Hudson threw in the towel because we don’t know if he’s being genuine or if he’s trying to screw over Chase. Dempsey has good technique in the ring. I don’t know if he’ll be that big of a star, but I like his potential.

After the match, Chase was asking what happened and was saying that he didn’t quit. Booker said he thought Duke did the right thing while Vic said it’s hard to trust Duke.

Indi Hartwell was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell saying that Elektra Lopez had that coming. Hartwell said you can’t count on anyone and you have to take what you want. Hartwell said that she’s betting on herself and putting the entire house on her.

(Commercial)

There was a Happy Hour segment with Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen along with Fallon Henley at her family bar. Kiana James walked in with her gorgeous assistant Giovanna. Kiana wanted Fallon to talk about the proposal she offered to buy the property. Fallon said she’s not interested and the place is not for sale. Brooks was being awkward around the pretty women. Fallon said that this bar has been in her family for her entire life while Kiana said she’ll build an apartment complex here. Kiana had another proposal, Fallon said no to it and Kiana trashed Fallon’s family for being land rich and money poor.

Analysis: It’s a weird storyline where we are supposed to think that Kiana has the money to buy a bar while Fallon Henley can shut it down. I don’t really know why NXT always feels like wrestlers need to have other “jobs” in addition to being a wrestler.

Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo (w/Tony D’Angelo) vs. Hank Walker

Walker did an impressive toss across the ring. After Lorenzo tried a charge, Walker shoved him over the top to the floor. Stacks got some offense going with a knee to the head. Walker stopped a charging Lorenzo by launching him across the ring. Walker hit a power slam sending Stacks into the mat. Stacks did a blatant thumb to the eye and a rollup for two. Stacks did a knee drop to the back of the head like a stomp for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo

Analysis: ** They are slowly building up Stacks while Walker is still very early in his NXT career. Walker got a lot of offense in the match, but Stacks found a way to win.

Grayson Waller was shown backstage because his talk show is up next.

(Commercial)

Grayson Waller Effect with Bron Breakker and Von Wagner (w/Mr. Stone)

It was talk show time with Grayson Waller hosting his “Grayson Waller Effect” talk show that had a big table along with some fake trees. Waller bragged about how he’s looking good. Waller introduced Von Wagner first joined by Mr. Stone while Bron Breakker was next as the NXT Champion. It’s Bron vs. Wagner for the NXT Title on next week’s episode of NXT.

A comment was shown from a “fan” saying he didn’t think Wagner didn’t deserve a title shot. Wagner dismissed it while Stone said that the NXT Universe is jealous of Wagner. Von said he wasn’t there to be popular, the people can piss & moan all they want and Von is there for that title. Bron credited Wagner for being powerful and dangerous while Stone said Wagner is more powerful and dangerous than anybody that Bron has ever been in the ring with. Bron said he wanted Von to try to come after him face to face. Waller mentioned a fan comment about how they were waiting for Bron to lose the title.

Bron talked about how NXT is all about the future while adding that a year ago he was on the rise, but now he has learned that if you want something in this business, you’ve gotta go take it. Bron mentioned former champions like Seth Rollins, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens and said everybody wants a shot at the championship. Bron mentioned JD McDonagh and Apollo Crews wanting a shot while saying he hopes Apollo is happy for saying his name. Von said he’ll be the guy to take it. Von said he is dangerous, the first time he stepped foot in the building he got a title shot and next week it’s just the two of them. Von said he’s second generation too and he didn’t use it to get his foot in the door or gain any stroke. Von said he won’t need it to rip the title off Bron’s shoulder. Bron dared Von to rip the title off his shoulder right now. Stone told Von to wait for next week so Bron slammed Stone’s head into the table. Bron and Wagner had a staredown while Waller was in the background laughing about it.

Analysis: This was okay. Promos are not Bron’s strength while Von is not known for his promos either although I did like the intensity shown by both guys. The good thing is that it didn’t drag on too long and since Waller was part of it as well, it flowed a bit better than if it was just two guys instead of four of them in the ring. I doubt Wagner beats Breakker next week for the NXT Title.

Wes Lee was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell talking about his NXT North American Title against Carmelo Hayes in two weeks. There wasn’t much to it other than Lee saying he was confident.

They showed Axiom and JD McDonagh backstage ahead of their match.

(Commercial)

Cora Jade did a pre-tape promo trashing Wendy Choo after Choo made the save from a Jade attack last week.

Apollo Crews was shown doing a promo on Twitter talking about how he was in Nigeria searching for potential WWE superstars. Crews warned Bron Breakker that he would be the next NXT Champion.

JD McDonagh vs. Axiom

They are two of the best athletes in NXT, so it should be fun. It was fast paced right away with Axiom getting numerous pin attempts and JD avoiding a jumping kick to the head. After JD had a submission on the arm, Axiom broke free with a kick to send JD out of the ring. Axiom kicked JD off the apron to the floor.

(Commercial)

JD was in control after the break because the heel is usually in control when the match returns from commercial. JD was working on the left knee, but Axiom came back with a jumping kick to the head. Axiom hit an impressive dropkick to knock JD out of the ring. Axiom did an incredible moonsault off the top onto a standing JD on the floor. Axiom did a great backflip off the ropes to avoid a charging JD. McDonagh caught Axiom in a Boston Crab submission until Axiom got to the ropes. They exchanged some strikes, then Axiom collapsed due to the knee injury he suffered and JD hit him with a headbutt. When JD tried a moonsault off the top, Axiom caught him in a Triangle Choke submission and then a hurricanrana got a two count. Axiom with a hard running kick for two as the fans chanted “this is awesome” again. Axiom did a great job of selling the knee injury, but he was able to come back with a submission attempt. JD got out of a submission attempt and then bent Axiom’s leg at an awkward angle. The referee stopped the match right there. Booker T: “I heard something pop. I heard it!” Axiom was selling the knee injury. Axiom said don’t stop the match, but the referee called for the medical team to check on Axiom, who had an injured right knee. The referee called for the bell. It went 14 minutes.

Winner by referee stoppage: JD McDonagh

Analysis: ***1/2 It was a great match between two talented in-ring performers with a finish that put over JD’s character as a technical wrestler that can cause a lot of damage. Since JD is more pushed than Axiom is, I get why JD got the win here. It’s hard not to be impressed by Axiom every time he’s in the ring because he makes everything look easy. This put over JD as a badass because of how ruthless he was working on both knees on Axiom, who also showed his toughness by continuing to fight. I was really impressed by Axiom in this match. They’re both so talented, but I thought Axiom really stood out with that performance.

Post match, JD that was a severe strain, not a tear “because I’m a nice guy.” JD mentioned Ilja Dragunov is still in the hospital after JD took him out. JD dared somebody to get on his level and test him while saying he was looking at you, Apollo (Crews).

Analysis: That should be a good match when Crews faces JD as two of the top title contenders. It was later announced that it would be next week.

A video aired about Damon Kemp’s issues with Brutus & Julius Creed leading to this match.

(Commercial)

A video aired letting us know that next week on NXT, Shawn Michaels will have an announcement about NXT Deadline on December 10th.

Five-Minute Time Limit Match: Brutus Creed (w/Julius Creed & Ivy Nile) vs. Damon Kemp

Brutus attacked Kemp in the aisle and sent him into the barricade. They went into the ring, the bell rang and a countdown clock was on camera. Brutus was dominating as he sent Kemp knee-first into the steel steps. When Kemp tried to get back in the ring, Brutus pulled Kemp out of the ring. Kemp sent Brutus into the turnbuckle. Kemp brought a chair into the ring, Brutus blocked a chair shot and smashed Kemp a few times along with senton splashes. Brutus grabbed the chair from the referee leading to Brutus hitting Kemp in the back with the chair for the DQ. It went 2:48.

Winner by disqualification: Damon Kemp

Analysis: ** It was more about the angle of Brutus getting revenge for what Kemp did to him. Kemp won, but Brutus got payback for when Kemp attacked Brutus in the past.

Post match, Brutus hit Kemp in the back with another chair shot. Brutus was about to leave, but then the fans encouraged him to do more, so Brutus smashed the chair on Kemp’s back one more time.

Analysis: As a story it made sense. It wasn’t about winning the match for Brutus. It was just about Brutus getting revenge.

The duo of Veer Mahaan and Sanga were on the platform staring at The Creed Brothers in the ring, so that’s a tease for that match.

A video aired featuring Donovan Dijakovic talking about how he’s going to bring justice. They did not show his whole face, but that’s who it was as they showed his old T-Bar mask tossed in a fire.

It was main event time with Nikkita Lyons and Zoey Stark up first.

(Commercial)

Indi Hartwell was shown walking backstage with Roxanne Perez asking if Indi was doing okay. Indi told Perez that there are no friends in this business and you have to look out for yourself.

Next week on NXT:

* Bron Breakker defends the NXT Championship against Von Wagner.

* JD McDonagh vs. Apollo Crews.

* Mandy Rose defends the NXT Women’s Championship in a Last Woman Standing match against Alba Fyre.

* NXT North American Championship Contract Signing: Wes Lee and Carmelo Hayes.

Analysis: Those are some big matches next week.

The NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Kayden Carter & Katana Chance made their entrance. They have come a long way as a team. The four women stood in the ring for the championship introductions from Alicia Taylor.

NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance vs. Nikkita Lyons & Zoey Stark

It’s the main event, so I’ll go play-by-play for it. Lyons and Stark made some quick tags working over Chance, who came back with a leap over Stark to avoid an attack. Chance did a monkey flip to Stark, who landed on her feet and Chance did a headscissors takedown. Chance did a flipping move that barely touched Stark, who had to sell it away. Lyons tagged back in as Stark hit a clothesline. Lyons got a takedown on Carter leading to an armbar on the left arm. They did a spot where Stark/Lyons each hit body slams at the same time. Stark missed a charging attack and bumped to the floor. Lyons was kicked out of the ring and Chance kicked Lyons down. Chance hit a headscissors on Stark on the floor leading to a picture-in-picture break.

(Commercial)

Chance broke free from Stark to tag in Carter, who was aggressive with a forearm on Stark. Carter rolled through leading to a superkick to the face. Carter hit a running kick on Stark to send Stark out of the ring. Carter jumped off the top onto Stark. Chance hit a twisting dive onto Lyons on the floor. Chance tagged back in with a top rope flatliner-like move. Lyons was back in with a forearm knocking Carter off the apron and Lyons overpowered Chance into the corner. Chance jumped off the top, Lyons caught her and hit a spinning slam. Stark hit a half n half suplex on Chance. Stark with a with a spinning kick to the back for a two count. Carter hit Lyons with a dropkick on the floor. Stark went up top, she jumped off with a diving attack, Chance avoided it and Chance countered a move into a Stunner for two as Lyons made the save for her partner. Lyons kicked Carter, who bounced off the ropes and hit a running kick to knock Lyons down. Stark nearly hit Lyons when Chance moved out of the way, then the champions hit a double superkick on Lyons, who rolled out of the ring. Lyons pushed Stark out of the way to save her from getting kicked. Chance hit a jumping DDT on Stark. Carter back in, Chance up top with the 450 Splash/neckbreaker combo and Carter pinned Stark for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance

Analysis: *** The match was pretty good with the champions winning cleanly. I thought they would have more of a complicated finish with a miscommunication spot for the challengers causing the finish. Instead, it was just about how Lyons ate a double superkick to knock her out of the ring and that left Stark alone to get double-teamed. Carter and Chance work really well together. They’re a fun babyface team to watch.

Post match, Stark and Lyons presented the titles to Carter and Chance although Stark hit Lyons with the title to the head. Stark yelled at Lyons and Stark hit a running knee to the head. Stark tossed one of the titles on Carter on the floor. The fans sang “oh Zoey is angry” to end it. Stark stood tall over Lyons to end it.

Analysis: There’s the obvious heel turn for Stark that has been teased for a few weeks. I mentioned it a few times in the past. You could tell it was coming and apparently everybody other than Lyons could see it coming because that’s how the babyface is supposed to act. That should lead to a Stark/Lyons rivalry over the coming weeks and months. It should be good for Lyons getting a big singles push. As I have written for months, I think Lyons might be the one to be the next NXT Women’s Champion, but obviously, Alba Fyre has a chance next week too. Anyway, Stark’s heel turn was executed well.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. JD McDonagh
  2. Axiom
  3. Kayden Carter & Katana Chance/Zoey Stark & Nikkita Lyons

 

The Scoreboard

This week: 7 out of 10

Last week: 6.25

 

Final Thoughts

A good show this week. I thought this was a step up after a downer last week. The McDonagh/Axiom match was the best on the show and those guys really worked well together. The NXT Women’s Tag Team Title match was pretty good with the main story being about Zoey Stark turning on Nikkita Lyons after the loss. That was obvious after the last few weeks with Stark being angry all the time. Cameron Grimes losing to Joe Gacy again (due to Ava Raine) ends that feud I guess and there are rumors of Grims being on Raw/Smackdown soon, so we’ll see if that happens.

There were some shorter squash matches as well and they do a nice job of getting a lot of different wrestlers on the show. They built some upcoming title matches with two of them next week and another one the week after. I like how they are trying to put title matches on more often by telling stories instead of just randomly doing them.

There are still some poorly acted segments featuring wrestlers that have other careers other than being WWE superstars. With that said, I think NXT has improved in the last few months.

===

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

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport