This week’s WWE NXT saw Wes Lee face Baron Corbin in the main event, plus more Iron Survivor Challenge qualifying matches.
They taped this episode and next week’s show back to back. That was done to give the roster next week off for the US Thanksgiving holiday. That’s a cool gesture by WWE.
I will do the summary style review for most of the show and play-by-play for a few matches. This review was delayed by a few days because I was on vacation.
Chase U’s Andre Chase & Duke Hudson were shown arriving with their allies earlier in the day while fake media people asked them about the “investigation” going on.
It was Vic Joseph and Booker T on commentary as usual.
NXT Tag Team Championships: Chase U – Andre Chase & Duke Hudson (w/Thea Hail & Jacy Jayne) vs. Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo
Chase U won the titles three weeks earlier against Tony & Stacks, so it’s a title rematch. The Chase U “student section” wasn’t enthusiastic toward Andre as usual.
Andrew got a pin attempt on Stacks for a two count and when Stacks tried a pin, Andre countered him for a two count. Tony D tagged in with an atomic drop. When Duke tagged in, he hit Tony with a big boot to the face. Duke hit an impressive move on Stacks sending him into the ropes. Tony didn’t jump over Andre properly on a leapfrog, so Andre fell down. They regrouped, sent the champions to the floor and Tony launched Stacks over the top onto both opponents.
The match continued with Duke hitting a uranage slam while some members of Chase U were shown leaving. Stacks knocked Duke out of the ring and hit an elbow drop on the floor. Chase got the tag and was on fire as he suplexed Stacks onto Tony against the turnbuckle. The fans continued to boo Chase, who hit a cross body block off the top for two. Tony D tagged in for a double team German Suplex/uppercut on Chase for two. Duke gave Stacks a German Suplex even though Tony D was the legal man. Tony sent Duke knee first into the steel steps, so Chase hit a dive onto Tony on the floor. Tony and Stacks hit a Powerplex combo for two because Hudson broke up the pin. When Chase tried his “CHASE U” stomp, the fans left and didn’t chant with it. Tony & Stacks hit their Bada Bing Bada Boom double team suplex/spinebuster move on Chase for the pinfall win. It went 14 minutes.
Winners by pinfall AND NEW NXT Tag Team Champions: Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo
Analysis: *** A good match to put an end to the Chase U title reign after three weeks. The story about Chase U having a “scandal” is silly, but a stable being a “university” for two years is silly to begin with. It’s okay to not take everything seriously in pro wrestling. I thought all four guys worked really hard and it was an entertaining match. While I didn’t expect such a short title reign for Chase U, I get it in terms of the storyline to show things aren’t going well for them. Stacks & Tony D are now two-time champions.
Lita was featured in a video picking Iron Survivor Challenge matches for this week: Roxanne Perez vs. Lash Legend and Trick Williams vs. Joe Coffey.
Baron Corbin was backstage with the NXT North American Champion Dominik Mysterio. Corbin complained about having to deal with Wes Lee later in the show. Dominik said he’ll be around and he’s watching. They touched fists to show they get long.
Supernova 11 Sessions Hosted By Noam Dar with Alpha Academy
Noam Dar was in the ring with Meta-Four’s Oro Mensah, Lash Legend & Jakara Jackson along with his talk show set. Dar had his NXT Heritage Cup in case. Alpha Academy’s Chad Gable, Otis, Maxxine Dupri & Akira Tozawa were the guests.
Chad Gable said “thank you” for the invitation. They exchanged words with Dar talking about how he beat Tozawa last week. Tozawa said he would have won without Meta-Four at ringside. Otis hit on Lash saying she could say anything she wanted to him and the fans chanted “Otis” for it. Lash was grossed out. There was a lot of arguing to set up Gable saying “SHOOSH” to stop it. Dar said nobody can beat him for the Heritage Cup. Gable said he’s got your next challenger right here. Dar said next week you’re on. Meta-Four thought it was Otis, but it was actually Chad Gable. Gable ducked a Dar punch and Gable headbutted Dar down. Alpha Academy did the Tozawa dance to end it.
Analysis: It was a fun segment to set up Gable-Dar next week. The Academy act works really well, so I’m happy that they get to be on NXT a bit. Gable and Dar should have a great match next week.
Iron Survivor Challenge Qualifying Match: Roxanne Perez vs. Lash Legend (w/Noam Dar, Oro Mensah & Jakara Jackson)
Perez won the Iron Survivor Challenge last year. Lash used her size advantage to throw Perez around a bit. Perez dropkicked Lash out of the ring and Jakara tripped up Perez. The referee saw that, so the referee ejected the three friends from ringside. Lash hit an impressive pump kick. Perez sent Lash out of the ring and Perez hit a suicide dive on the floor. Perez hit an impressive move slamming Lash face first into the mat. Perez avoided a cartwheel move from Lash. Jakara Jackson went out to the ring, the referee was distracted by that, Kiana James arrived at ringside & held onto Perez’s arm. That allowed Lash to hit a pump kick on Perez. Lash hit a Popup Powerbomb for the pinfall win after five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Lash Legend
Analysis: *3/4 A cheap win for Lash to get by Perez, who is a former champion. Kiana James cost Perez the match. Lash looks impressive physically, but she’s not really close to the better women in NXT in terms of in-ring skills. Lash is a taller woman so she is different than most of the others. I just thought Lash would be better after a couple of years.
Lash Legend is the second woman to qualify for the Iron Survivor Challenge joining Tiffany Stratton.
There was a backstage scene with four NXT Tag Teams while Angel & Humberto walked in to talk trash to Edris Enofe & Malik Blade. Tony D & Stacks walked in with their NXT Tag Team Titles while mocking Angel & Humberto. The new girl that’s part of Tony’s group (Adriana Rizzo) said next week they’re going to celebrate.
Analysis: It’s a way to show that there are a bunch of teams going after the NXT Tag Team Titles.
Lyra Valkyria was shown watching footage of Xia Li one day earlier and Lyra was invited to a Tea Ceremony by Li.
Xia Li and NXT Women’s Champion Lyra Valkyria were shown having a Tea Ceremony. Li spoke about her title match against Lyra. Li spoke about pouring water onto tea leaves and I really lost my interest. Lyra refused the tea and Li said she would show no remorse in their battle. They exchanged respectful bows to end it.
Analysis: NXT likes to have different kinds of segments and that’s what this was. With that said, I was extremely bored by this. If I was watching live, I would have changed the channel. I get that Li was paying tribute to her culture. It wasn’t interesting to watch.
Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Trick said that when he punched Melo, it was an accident. Melo claimed a lie detector determined that he didn’t attack Trick. Mitchell asked about that, but Melo moved on. Melo said he would have Trick’s back out there tonight since he’s against Joe Coffey of Gallus. Trick said it felt good to be back on the same team.
Joe Coffey entered with his Gallus buddies.
The women’s locker room was shown with Kiana James bragging about costing Roxanne Perez her match. Arianna Grace got into an argument against Gigi Dolin leading to a match.
Bron Breakker was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Bron said he hurts people like Von Wagner, he’s the badass of WWE and he breaks everyone. Dijak walked in saying that while Bron was picking splinters out of his ass, Dijak qualified for the Iron Survivor Challenge match. Dijak thinks that Bron will be in a qualifying match and Bron said you better hope he’s not in it because Bron will leave him “begging for retribution.” Dijak was angry as Bron left.
Analysis: The “retribution” usage by Bron was a reference to Dijak being a part of the failed Retribution group. Well played.
Iron Survivor Challenge Qualifying Match: Joe Coffey (w/Wolfgang & Mark Coffey) vs. Trick Williams (w/Carmelo Hayes)
Trick hit two body slams in a row followed by a dropkick. Trick launched Joe into the air leading to an uppercut punch. Joe took control with some offense after hiding behind his buddies and punching Trick on the floor. After they went back into the ring, Joe clotheslined Trick out of the ring leading to a break.
Joe was in control after the break, but Trick managed to hit a neckbreaker for two. Joe came back with a body slam. Joe kept on applying armbars to ground Trick leading to comeback spots like when Trick hit a leaping clothesline. Trick hit a Book End for a two count. Mark was on the apron, so Trick punched him. Wolfgang tried to interfere, Melo was grabbing Wolfgang’s leg and Trick jumped out of the ring leading to a bump to the floor. Back in the ring, Joe hit a charging attack followed by a German Suplex. Trick avoided a forearm and Trick hit a jumping knee for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Trick Williams
Analysis: *** This was good with Trick continuing to improve while Joe is a solid vet who hits hard. I don’t think anybody watching this thought that Joe would win here, but it was a competitive match that it needed to be with Trick beating a veteran opponent. The spot with Melo nearly costing Trick the win advanced the story of their accidental issues that existed in recent weeks.
Trick Wiliams has qualified for the Iron Survivor Challenge along with Dijak. There will be three others in that match with Melo looking at the graphic.
Ilja Dragunov, the NXT Champion, was backstage with Wes Lee. They talked about Wes facing Baron Corbin. Wes didn’t consider himself a challenger for the NXT Title since he had some other things in mind. They touched knuckles to show they were buddies.
The Brawling Brutes entered for tag team action.
Baron Corbin was shown in his locker room where Lexis King walked into the room. Corbin said that King taking out Trick Williams was a big move. Corbin said how King did it without getting caught was impressive. King said that it was mission accomplished. King told Corbin good luck and enjoy the main event spotlight tonight.
Out The Mud (OTM) – Lucien Price & Bronco Nima (w/Scrypts) vs. The Brawling Brutes – Ridge Holland & Butch
Butch stomped on the left arm of Price. The Brutes hit the forearm smashes to the chest, but OTM did manage to stop it. Price delivered a stomp to Butch’s chest. Nima set up Butch against the ropes leading to Scrypts hitting a running kick. Butch hit a charging DDT on Nima leading to Ridge getting the hot tag against Price. Ridge cleaned house with charging attacks on both opponents and a swinging sidewalk slam. Butch made a blind tag leading to an enziguri kick, but Price slammed Butch onto Price. Butch hit running kicks on his opponents and some finger-breaking to Nima. Ridge tagged in as Butch hit a moonsault onto Price & Scrypts on the floor. Ridge with a Powerbomb on Nima. Butch was back in leading to an elevated DDT for the pinfall win after six minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Brawling Brutes – Ridge Holland & Butch
Analysis: **1/4 I thought this might be a breakout win for OTM, but instead the Brutes found a way to make the comeback leading to the win. I like how the ending was booked. Nima & Price have a lot of potential and are future champions, but it’s still very early in their run.
Joe Gacy did a promo into a camera outside of the WWE Performance Center. Joe talked about how he was unhinged while saying things like maybe this is where it will end, but maybe not. Vic shouted that they had to get Gacy off the roof.
Gigi Dolin entered for singles action.
Arianna Grace vs. Gigi Dolin
Grace was in control early on with a running back elbow along with a suplex. Dolin got a couple of pin attempts. Grace did a hair pull takedown and a chinlock. Dolin hit some kicks to the body and an STO trip for two. Grace tried a pin attempt with her feet on the ropes, but the referee saw it and stopped it. Dolin delivered a kick followed by a spinning slam for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Gigi Dolin
Analysis: *1/2 A short match to give Gigi a win. It’s early in Grace’s NXT run and while she is getting TV time as an annoying beauty queen, but she isn’t picking up big wins at this point.
A video package aired about Von Wagner and Robert Stone starting at the WWE Performance Center at the same time with a narrator talking about their history. It led to these two strangers working together and becoming friends. That led to the story of Bron Breakker injuring Wagner. Stone supported Wagner and they went from being friends to being like family. Wagner got revenge on Bron with a Powerbomb. Wagner and Stone shared a hug to show how far they’ve come.
Von Wagner and Mr. Stone were in the locker room with Von rubbing his head. Stone invited Von over for dinner with his family. Von liked the pasta and sausages that Stone’s wife makes. Stone left saying he’d let her know.
Wes Lee and Baron Corbin were shown walking backstage in separate areas ahead of the main event.
Eddy Thorpe was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Thorpe spoke about how he had to take some time to recharge after beating Dijak in a Strap Match. Thorpe said he’s ready to go. Drew Gulak, Charlie Dempsey and Myles Borne interrupted. Drew and Charlie exchanged words with Thorpe, so that will probably lead to a match.
Andre Chase was shown in the parking lot area with fake media people trying to talk to him. Chase said he had no comment. Jacy Jayne drove up and Chase left with her.
A video package aired about the Iron Survivor Challenge matches that we will see at the Deadline PLE. The video explained the rules.
Next week on NXT:
* Lyra Valkyria defends the NXT Title vs. Xia Li
* Noam Dar defends the NXT Heritage Cup vs. Chad Gable
* Eddy Thorpe vs. Charlie Dempsey
As I mentioned earlier, it was already taped.
Wes Lee vs. Baron Corbin
Lee attacked with body punches, but Corbin got a hold of the arm and pulled the arm leading to Lee getting slammed to the mat. Lee came back with a headscissors, enziguri kick and a dropkick. Corbin fought out of a suplex leading to a suplex. Lee avoided a senton splash leading to a kick to the head. Lee hit an enziguri kick to the head that led to Corbin regrouping on the floor. Lee dove onto Corbin, who caught Lee and Corbin hit the Deep Six slam on the floor.
Corbin remained in full control as he held Lee by the arm leading to a huge clothesline. Corbin continued the attack with punches and forearms. Corbin charged, Lee moved and Corbin went shoulder-first into the ring post. Lee dropkicked Corbin out of the ring. Lee jumped onto Corbin on the floor and Lee followed up with punches. Lee swung around the ring post leading to a 619-style kick. Back in the ring, Lee hit a missile dropkick for two. Lee charged, Corbin caught him and Corbin hit a Death Valley Driver slam for two. Corbin hit a backbreaker, but Lee hit a flipping kick to the head. Corbin went to the turnbuckle where Lee met him and kicked Corbin off the apron to the floor. Dominik Mysterio showed up, pushed Corbin out of the way of a dive and Lee hit a somersault dive over the top onto Dominik. Lee punched Dominik a few times. Back in the ring, Lee walked right into Corbin, who hit the End of Days slam for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Baron Corbin
Analysis: ***1/4 I liked most of the match and it was probably the best match on the show. I didn’t love the cheap ending, but it’s a way to protect Lee from the loss and also show that he’s probably going after Dominik Mysterio’s North American Title. We know Wes was a long-term NA Champion again, so it’s an easy story to tell. Anyway, I didn’t like it took just one move to beat Lee after Lee hit that dive onto Dominik on the floor although Corbin’s End of Days has always been a protected finisher.
After the match, Corbin attacked Lee with punches, so NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov ran out in a suit for the save. Dragunov gave Corbin a German Suplex. Dragunov charged for a move, but Corbin caught him and Corbin hit the End of Days slam. Corbin stood tall over Dragunov with the NXT Title in his hands.
Ilja Dragunov did a promo after the match saying that Corbin made a grave mistake. Dragunov told Corbin he’s got his NXT Title match. Dragunov said he would see him at Deadline. Corbin liked that. Dragunov was shown selling in the ring. End of show.
Analysis: It was obvious they were going with that match at Deadline. It was made official after the show. I’ll pick Dragunov to retain.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) November 15, 2023
Three Stars of the Show
- Baron Corbin/Wes Lee
- Trick Williams
- Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo
This week: 6.25 out of 10
Last week: 6.75
2023 Average: 7.09
Final Thoughts on WWE NXT
It was more of an average episode this week. I wouldn’t call it bad. It just felt weaker than normal. They advanced some stories and some matches were okay, but nothing really stood out that much.
They still have plenty of time to build up the NXT Deadline PLE, so hopefully things get hotter in the next few weeks.
Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.