Reviews

The John Report: WWE NXT 11/15/22 Review

wwe nxt nov 15

This week’s WWE NXT featured Bron Breakker defending the NXT Title and Mandy Rose defending the NXT Women’s Title as two of the brand’s biggest titles are on the line. Plus, a brand new match type was announced as well.

I watched this week’s show live so I’ll go play by play the whole way instead of summary style like usual when I watch on delay.

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 show started with Bron Breakker and Von Wagner walking backstage since their match was up first. Wagner made his entrance with Mr. Stone followed by the NXT Champion Bron Breakker. The commentary team was Vic Joseph and Booker T as usual. The wrestlers stood in the ring as announcer Alicia Taylor did the championship introductions. They actually showed a graphic with their ages along with other info. Wagner is 29 years old while Bron is 25 years old.

NXT Championship: Bron Breakker vs. Von Wagner (w/Mr. Stone)

Wagner threw Stone into Bron and that led to Wagner getting a kick to the face. Wagner hit a back elbow to the face. Bron got some offense going with a shoulder tackle and an overhead suplex. Bron hit an impressive hurricanrana. I’m not going to call it a Frankensteiner unless it’s off the top rope. Wagner got out of a chinlock by wrenching on the arm against the top rope. Wagner hit Bron with a shoulder tackles to the left arm. Wagner with a body slam along with an elbow drop for two. Wagner ducked his head after a whip into the ropes and Bron came back with a delayed vertical suplex. Bron ran the ropes leading to a running clothesline. That led to a picture in picture break, which is not shown here on Sportsnet in Canada.

(Commercial)

Bron was in control with a headlock on the mat, but Wagner came back with a belly to back suplex. Wagner whipped Bron into the steel steps. Wager gave Bron a Chokeslam on the bottom half of the steel steps. That led to a two count back in the ring. A move like that could be a DQ, but I think they allow moves on weapons around the ring. Wagner with a body slam and a whip into the ring post. Wagner lifted Bron into a slam for a two count. Wagner grabbed a waist lock, then Wagner applied a Cobra Clutch submission and let go within a few minutes with Booker saying he didn’t know why Wagner released it. Bron stopped Wagner from doing a move by the turnbuckle leading to Bron hitting a clothesline off the middle rope. Bron hit two shoulder tackles, then he caught Wagner on a leaping attack and Bron hit a slam. Bron jumped off the middle rope with a bulldog like his father Rick Steiner. Bron charged, Wagner caught him and Wagner hit a slam off the shoulders for a two count. Wagner was arguing with the referee while Booker said that Wagner had to focus on his opponent. Bron went for a lift, but then he was selling injured ribs, Wagner tried another lifting move, Bron got out of it and Bron ran the ropes leading to a Spear for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bron Breakker

Analysis: ***1/4 The champ retains as expected here. They worked hard and had a solid match. Wagner got plenty of offense especially in the second half of the match, but Bron only needed to hit one Spear to put him away. I don’t think anybody watching this show thought that Wagner was going to win and that’s fine because Bron is a dominant babyface champion. Considering they aren’t known as being the best in-ring performers, it was certainly a good match and I thought it was booked really well.

A video aired featuring Alba Fyre talking about her history with NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose. They showed Fyre taking out Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne, so Fyre thinks that Rose is on her own now and Fyre will be the Last Woman Standing in their match later in the show.

Zoey Stark was shown walking in the parking lot with a smile on her face after she turned on Nikkita Lyons last week. She’s up next.

This Friday on WWE Smackdown: The Bloodline reigns, but war is coming. What does this new alliance have planned? That should lead to WarGames. Plus, Ricochet takes on Mustafa Ali and Butch faces Sami Zayn in Smackdown World Cup matches.

(Commercial)

Bron Breakker was shown walking backstage with the NXT Title on his shoulder. He was walking a bit slowly to sell the physicality in the match. JD McDonagh walked up to him to congratulate Bron and JD said that Bron will never get rid of him.

Let’s Hear from Zoey Stark

Zoey Stark was booed heavily by the crowd followed her heel turn on Nikkita Lyons last week on NXT when they failed to win the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles. Stark talked about how her back feels lighter since she doesn’t have to carry Lyons on her back anymore. Stark talked about how in July, she came back after a knee injury for nine months and won a battle royal to win a title match against Mandy Rose. Lyons spoke about how her and Lyons were supposed to be in a tournament on Smackdown, but she wasn’t cleared for the match. Stark said that Lyons told Stark that accidents happen and it was not her fault. Stark laughed about what Lyons said to her. Stark said when she got back in the ring, she carried Nikkita when they teamed up. Stark told Lyons to lighten the load a little bit, but no, she didn’t get that. Stark said when they didn’t win last week, she knew exactly what she needed to do. They showed a video of Zoey’s heel turn on Lyons last week.

Stark was saying she was helping the new recruits and new talent, but now she is done. Stark said now she is a huge part of the problem. Stark talked about how she didn’t get famous posing on a beach or doing a stupid dance on social media. Stark said she did it in this ring. Stark did the usual heel turn promo telling the fans “screw you” for liking those kinds of posts on social media so the fans sang “oh Zoey is angry” at her. Stark talked about how NXT is no longer about the future, it’s about Zoey Stark. Zoey looked into the camera saying “I’m undeniable” while adding that she’s the hunter while every female back there is the prey. That was it.

Analysis: It was okay, but not great. Zoey’s strengths are in the ring and she’s not one of the strongest talkers among the women in NXT. I thought Zoey did a nice job of explaining her frustrations with Lyons as a partner, so that’s why she did what she did. After that, it became the same tired blame the fans promo that all heels do after they turn. I was surprised there was no interruption, but I guess they’ll save that for next week.

There was a Chase U video with Andre Chase talking to Duke Hudson about Duke throwing in the title last week. Duke said he thought Chase was in so much pain and he couldn’t stand watching him in that pain. Duke said he did it so that Chase could live to fight another day. Hudson said if Chase was on the shelf than the whole university would be on the shelf. Duke said if people say he cares too much about the university then that’s good, guilty as charged. Thea Hail walked in, so Duke left and Thea said that Duke is growing on her.

Analysis: Duke is slowly morphing into a good guy although we don’t know if it’s genuine because he has been a heel in the past.

The duo of Veer Mahaan and Sanga were shown backstage ahead of their match up next.

(Commercial)

There was a brief locker room segment with Apollo Crews telling Bron Breakker he came back to NXT to win the NXT Title, so that’s a tease of a future match.

Indus Sher (Veer Mahaan & Sanga) vs. Two Guys With No Chance

Sanga slammed George Cannon into the mat and then Sanga launched the poor guy so that his throat hit the top rope. Sanga hit a Full Nelson slam. Veer tagged in leading to a double running body attack on this poor George guy. Veer forced the other guy to tag in with Veer tossing him across the ring. Veer with some drove the guy’s head into his chest. Sanga tagged in for another double running body attack. Sanga with two body slams on this small man. Veer hit a jumping elbow drop. Sanga tagged in with a running kick while Veer was holding the poor guy. Sanga hit a running body attack in the corner. Veer was back in and jumped off the middle rope for a sidewalk slam/elbow drop combo and Veer got the pinfall win. It went about three minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Indus Sher (Veer Mahaan & Sanga)

Analysis: * Just a simple squash match to put over Indus Sher as a dominant team.

Veer Mahaan and Sher did a post match promo with Veer saying they respected The Creed Brothers. Sanga said that the NXT Universe doesn’t respect them. Veer said that in India they are treated like heroes, but here in America, they aren’t respected. Sanga said to earn the respect, they will destroy The Creed Brothers.

The Creed Brothers were shown watching that on a screen backstage. Julius said they will hit them harder and nobody is going to step on them to get anywhere. Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley walked into the screen with positivity. Brutus said that Veer & Sanga started it. Ivy said that they think they are after the wrong people. Julius told Brutus it’s Indus Sher and then Pretty Deadly.

JD McDonagh made his entrance for a match.

(Commercial)

Wendy Choo was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Choo talking about Cora Jade’s hurtful comments last week. Choo admitted she’s a unique person, but some of what Jade said reminded her of things people would say about Choo in high school too. Choo said she’s going to make Jade look in the mirror with two black eyes.

Apollo Crews vs. JD McDonagh

Crews had a waist lock takeover, then JD came back with a side headlock and Crews countered it into a pin attempt for two. Crews was sent into the ropes leading to a shoulder tackle, JD with an arm drag, Crews got out of it and then JD avoided a move leading to an elbow drop. JD put his foot against the throat, but Crews got back with a punch and a back body drop across the ring. Crews ran the ropes leading to a shoulder tackle that knocked JD out of the ring. Crews went after JD on the floor, then JD was on the apron and Crews slammed JD onto the hood of the commentary. It was not enough to break the table, but it was a big move leading to a break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Crews countering a move off the ropes, but then JD grabbed Crews in a sleeper. Crews fought out of it, but JD hit a belly-to-back suplex. Crews gave JD a back body drop over the top to the floor. Back in the ring, Crews hit a running kick followed by a clothesline. Crews hit a running splash in the corner followed by a leap off the ropes, but JD moved. Crews hit jumping kick to the face followed by a sitout Powerbomb for two. Crews set up JD on the top rope, then JD tripped him up and sent Crews upside down against the ropes leading to Crews bumping to the mat. Crews did a whip into the turnbuckle, JD on the apron and JD avoided a charging Crews to send Crews out of the ring. JD hit an Asai Moonsault onto a standing Crews on the floor. JD went up top, Crews was back up and Crews hit a release Angle Slam while standing on the middle rope. Crews worked JD over with chops, then JD with a knee and an inside cradle. They did four straight inside cradles for two counts. Crews charged right into JD hitting a Spanish Fly slam. Crews with a knee, JD with a headbutt, JD countered a move and got a Code Red for two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. JD sent Crews throat-first into the top rope. JD went for a move off the top, Crews avoided it and Crews hit the big spinebuster for the three count. This went about 14 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Apollo Crews

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a great match especially towards the finish with a lot of nearfalls by both guys in the last five minutes. What I liked a lot about it is that I didn’t know who was going to win. That unpredictability factor makes a match more interesting. I thought JD might have gotten the win after that Code Red move, but he wasn’t able to win with that and he failed to hit his finisher. Crews winning with that lifting spinebuster was a smart way to end it because I don’t think the crowd expected that to be it, so it shows that Crews can win with some different moves at times.

After the victory, NXT Champion Bron Breakker stood in the aisle with his title for a staredown with Crews.

Mandy Rose was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Rose saying for the last year she has heard every prediction and people thinking that she can’t carry the title. Rose said she still stands as the NXT Women’s Champion, not because you’re looking at a cliché, you’re looking at a one-in-a-billion superstar. Rose said with or without her girls, she will still be the NXT Women’s Champion and the Last Woman Standing.

The contract signing between Wes Lee and Carmelo Hayes was up next.

(Commercial)

Javier Bernal was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Javy saying he’s going to be the one issuing challenges around here. Javy issued a challenge to Axiom with Mitchell reminding Javy that Axiom is hurt right now after JD McDonagh attacked him last week. Javy suggested a match against Ilja Dragunov with Mitchell saying he’s not medically cleared and is back in Germany rehabbing. Javy suggested somebody from Gallus, so Mitchell said they are suspended, so they are not available. Javy said that Mitchell is part of the problem holding Javy back from unlocking his potential.

Analysis: That’s some character development for Javy talking trying to be a heel that issues challenges while picking people that are unable to be challenged.

NXT North American Title Contract Signing

Booker T was hosting this segment in the ring. There was a table, chairs and a black carpet in the ring. Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were up first with the NXT North American Champion up next. The Lee-Melo match for the title is next.

Booker said he was a big fan of both guys. Hayes said it is an honor to be part of Booker’s Fave Five because real recognizes real. Booker said it was no dis to the champ. Lee said that Melo is the ex-champion, not the A Champion. Booker talked about how Melo could be a three-time NXT Champion and Melo told Wes that his absolute limit is where Melo starts. Melo said he is relentless about becoming the champion. Melo said that this time next week, it’s all over for Wes. Trick said that Wes is good, but he don’t got nothing on Melo and this will be Lee’s first and last title defense.

Lee was asked by Booker what he was willing to do to walk out as the NXT North American Champion. Lee said everybody knows how hard he has worked, but he played the hand he was dealt and he climbed the ladder to become a champion. Lee said he’ll show he’s the new standard as the NXT North American Champion and he’ll do everything to keep it.

Booker wanted them to sign it with Melo saying he was the future champion. Hayes signed the contract first. Lee signed the contract after Hayes to make it official. Booker said that next week it’s on. Trick spoke up, Lee told him to shut up and Hayes threatened Lee, but Booker told them to wait a damn minute. Booker said nobody is going through a damn table. Booker told them to “save that drama for your mama” because next week the world will see who is going to be the champion next week. Booker ended it with his catchphrase: “Now can you dig that, sucka?” Hayes and Lee exchanged words to end it.

Analysis: It was a typical contract signing with both guys showing confidence as you would expect. Booker stopping them from fighting was good because somebody going through a table during a segment like this happens far too often, so by doing it this way you’re saving the physicality for next week.

There was a video with Donovan Dijakovic talking about how he is not a product of his environment because his environment is a product of him. He said that hard justice is on its way. That was it.

Analysis: They didn’t show his full face or his name, but that’s who it was.

The team of Briggs & Jensen entered with Fallon Henley for tag team action up next.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for Survivor Series: WarGames on November 26th.

There was a segment with Odyssey Jones talking to Malik Blade and Edris Enofe with Jones asking about Blade wearing sweater vests. Blade talked about how dad used to be the best-dressed man that loved wearing sweater vests. Blade said after his dad died, he wore them to honor his father.

Analysis: There’s an explanation for the sweater vests. That’s cool.

The Dyad – Rip Fowler & Jagger Reid (w/Joe Gacy & Ava Raine) vs. Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen (w/Fallon Henley)

Jensen with a hiptoss on Fowler, then a headscissors and a dropkick. Reid tagged in, Jensen with a bulldog and Jensen tagged in with a shoulder tackle. Briggs was back in leading to the double punch by Briggs & Jensen on Reid. Jensen tagged in, but Fowler made a blind tag and tripped up Jensen. That led to Jensen arguing with the Schism on the floor leading to Reid hitting a suicide dive into the commentary table. Jensen fought out of the heel corner and brought in Briggs, who hit a backbreaker and a boot to the face on Reid. Briggs knocked down Fowler on the floor, then a launch into the ropes and a clothesline. Briggs hit Fowler with a splash in the ring. Kiana James went after Henley, then Henley punched James, who fell onto Jensen on the floor. Fowler and Reid each hit double knees on Briggs for the pinfall win after about five minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Dyad – Rip Fowler & Jagger Reid

Analysis: ** It was an average match with the heel Schism guys getting the win after the women fighting on the floor took out Jensen, who wasn’t able to make the save. It made sense for Schism to get the win.

A statement from Shawn Michaels was up next.

(Commercial)

Statement From Shawn Michaels Announcing New Match Type At NXT Deadline

There was a video narrated by Shawn Michaels talking about how they are going to present a new match never been done before at the NXT Deadline event on December 10th. It’s the Iron Survivor Challenge. There will be a men’s and women’s match. Five superstars are in the match that goes 25 minutes. The most falls after 25 minutes wins. Falls can be by pinfall, submission or disqualification. If you lose a fall, you are in the penalty box for 90 seconds. The winners get title shots at the NXT and NXT Women’s Titles. The competitors will be announced in the future.

Here’s the full rundown from WWE.com:

  • Five superstars will compete in this unique 25-minute Match as they battle each other and the clock.
  • Two superstars will start the match and every five minutes a new superstar will enter the match until all five are in the ring.
  • The goal is to have the most falls when the clock hits 25 minutes.
  • Falls can be won at any time via pinfall, submission or disqualification.
  • When a superstar scores a fall they will earn one point.
  • However, when a superstar loses a fall, that superstar must pay the penalty. They are forced out of the ring and into a penalty box for 90 seconds.
  • Once the 90 seconds are up, the superstar can re-enter the match.
  • The superstar who has scored the most falls when the clock hits 25 minutes will be named the Iron Survivor and become the No. 1 Contender for the NXT Championship and NXT Women’s Championship respectively

Analysis: It’s a new match concept that could be very interesting. It’s also a bit confusing when you just hear the concept the way Michaels said it, so we’ll see how it goes when they do the match at Deadline. It’s a bit of a mix of the Scramble Match concept that WWE did while the penalty box thing is something that TNA used to do. I hope it produces some good matches. I’m certainly fine with new match ideas.

Tatum Paxley (w/Ivy Nile) vs. Indi Hartwell

The lights went out a bit for some technical difficulties to tease something coming to NXT soon. Hartwell with a body slam and Paxley came back with a dropkick. Paxley tried a flip landing on her feet, but Hartwell came back with a clothesline. Hartwell with another clothesline. Paxley to the apron, she sent Hartwell into the turnbuckles a few times and a neckbreaker. Paxley with a flipping splash for a two count. Hartwell ripped off Paxley’s mask and stomped on her back. Hartwell tossed the mask to Nile and Hartwell hit a running forearm to the back of the head for the pinfall win after about four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Indi Hartwell

Analysis: *3/4 A short match with Paxley getting some offense, but Hartwell was able to easily put her away. I don’t really like the forearm to the back finish by Hartwell because it doesn’t look that impactful or impressive. Use it as a setup move maybe. I just think it’s weak a finish. They are pushing the story that Indi is more aggressive now.

There was a video from the mysterious Scrypts saying that he got past the guards and into the building. He said that next week you see that you and I are not the same, so who’s first to play a little game? Find out next week, I guess.

The NXT Women’s Title match was up next in the main event.

(Commercial)

Indi Hartwell was shown backstage with Roxanne Perez congratulating Indi on her win. Perez thought Indi went too far by taking off Paxley’s mask because it could break Paxley’s nose again and Indi said she was just trying to win. Indi said she wanted to be in the Iron Survivor Series Challenge and Perez said she wanted to be in it too. Indi left angrily.

Next week on NXT:

* Wes Lee defends the NXT North American Title against Carmelo Hayes.

* Cora Jade vs. Wendy Choo.

Alba Fyre was up first for the main event. Mandy Rose was next as the NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose was next with a smile on her face because she knows she is my favorite person in NXT. Okay, so maybe that’s just her normal smirk. Mandy had a backward hat so it was a bit like a Nikki Bella look. Those shorts are a good choice too. Mandy has the best gear on the show as usual. Alicia Taylor did the in-ring championship introductions.

Last Woman Standing Match for the NXT Women’s Championship: Mandy Rose vs. Alba Fyre

The way to win the match is to knock your opponent down for a count of ten. No disqualifications in a match like this.

Rose tried to run away on the floor, Fyre chased Rose on the floor and when they got back in the ring, Fyre avoided a knee attack. Rose to the floor again, so Fyre hit a suicide dive. Fyre cleared off the table, but Rose sent Fyre into the apron. Fyre sent Rose into the ring post and into the barricade two times. Fyre tossed some weapons into the ring and Rose gave Fire a body slam on a steel chair on the floor. Rose went for a running knee in the ring, but Fyre got a steel chair up, so Rose’s right knee hit the chair. Fyre grabbed a steel bar and applied a half crab submission leading to a picture-in-picture break.

(Commercial)

Fyre was on offense with a Tornado DDT leading to Rose bailing to the floor again. Fyre jumped off the top with a somersault dive onto a standing Rose on the floor. That was a great move leading to Rose counted down for about eight before getting back up. Fyre grabbed a ladder from under the ring and hit Rose in the ribs with it. Rose whipped Fyre into the ladder that was against the ring. Rose slammed the ladder down onto Fyre’s left arm. Rose sent the ladder into Fyre on the floor. Rose sent Fyre into the ring, Rose tried a lifting move, I think Rose’s knee buckled due to the attack earlier and Fyre hit a slam onto a trash can that was in the ring. Rose got back up at eight. Fyre went after Rose, so Rose gave Fyre aback body drop over the top to the floor. That’s a big bump. Rose tossed Fyre over the barricade, which was in front of some fans although there was another barricade there. Rose shoved Fyre off a barricade to send Fyre crashing into the steel steps. Fyre was back up at nine. Rose jumped off the barricade, but Fyre hit her with a superkick. Fyre hit the Gory Bomb that sent Rose crashing into the edge of the ring apron. Fyre hit Rose with a baseball bat to the ribs. Fyre set up a ladder by the commentary table and placed Rose onto the table. Fyre went up the ladder, but another woman Isla Dawn climbed the other side of the ladder and spit some mist in Fyre’s face. Dawn shoved Fyre off the ladder to send her crashing through the table. Rose got back to her feet and Fyre did not, so Rose won the match. It went about 13 minutes.

Winner: Mandy Rose

Analysis: *** It was a good match for the most part, but I wouldn’t say it was great like Bianca Belair/Bayley doing the same match type ten days earlier. Rose sold that knee injury well to make it look like maybe she would fail to get up to beat the ten count, but she found a way to get it done. That assist from Dawn meant that Rose got some help to beat Fyre for the second time in a title match as Mandy’s long title reign continues. The majority of the match was dominated by Fyre while Rose did get some offense, but really not that much. It was all about putting over Fyre’s aggressiveness with some innovative spots and some good bumps by both women. It was a big way to introduce Dawn to the NXT audience that may not know much about her.

Mandy Rose celebrated the win with the NXT Women’s Title while Joseph mentioned that Dawn was from NXT UK and she was the modern-day witch. There were some technical difficulties going on in the arena as they focused on Dawn. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: The technical difficulties were done like that to put over the idea that Scrypts is coming to NXT, so we’ll find out more about that next week.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Apollo Crews/JD McDonagh
  2. Mandy Rose
  3. Bron Breakker

 

The Scoreboard

This week: 7.75 out of 10

Last week: 7

 

Final Thoughts

This was one of the better NXT episodes of the year thanks to two title matches that bookended the show, plus a great Crews-McDonagh match in the middle. Those two guys really put on a show in that match. I’m glad that Bron Breakker and Mandy Rose kept their titles as long-term champions. Bron won clean as usual while Rose won cheap, which has often happened for her. I just don’t think they faced the right opponents to beat them. It’s probably coming soon, but not yet.

There was a nice balance of in-ring action and promos on the show. The contract signing to set up the Wes Lee-Carmelo Hayes NXT North American Title match was good with Booker T maintaining control. That match will be incredible next week. Zoey Stark explained her turn. It was okay for the most part, but then she had to “blame the fans” routine that most wrestlers do when they turn and it just feels too repetitive.

I’m also intrigued by that Iron Survivor Challenge Match being announced for NXT Deadline. That’s a first-time ever match that should be very interesting to watch using a bit of the WWE Scramble Match concept and the penalty boxes that TNA used to use as well. I have no problem with trying a new match type. Hopefully, it’s fun to watch.

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John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

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