The John Report: WWE NXT 11/21/23 Review

wwe nxt november 21 review

This week’s WWE NXT saw Lyra Valkyria defend the NXT Women’s Title against Xia Li, Noam Dar took on Chad Gable, two more Iron Survivor Challenge Qualifying Matches and more.

It was taped last week to give the roster this off for the US Thanksgiving holiday. That’s nice of WWE. 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.

They went right to the action to start the show. The commentary team was Vic Joseph and Booker T as usual.

NXT Heritage Cup Championship: Noam Dar (w/Oro Mensah, Lash Legend & Jakara Jackson) vs. Chad Gable (w/Otis, Akira Tozawa & Maxxine Dupri)

This was the longest match on the show, so I’ll go full play-by-play here.

Round 1: They started out doing some mat wrestling in the first minute while battling over an armbar. Dar applied a headlock while rubbing his forearm against Gable’s face. Gable got a waistlock takedown along with an overhead toss. Gable used his technical skill to trip up Dar and go for an Ankle lock, but Dar got out of it. Round one ended there. It was slow-paced action since they had lots of time to go.

Round 2: Gable knocked Dar down with a shoulder tackle. Dar delivered some kicks to the chest, but Gable came back with two running forearms to knock Dar down. Gable hit a German Suplex throw with Dar doing a moonsault bump over on his chest. Dar knocked down Gable with repeated kicks to the body. Gable applied an armbar d on the left arm against the ropes. Gable drove Dar into the turnbuckle, Mensah did a cheap shot kick to Gable (the referee never saw it) and Dar did a jumping kick Nova Roller to Gable’s head for the pinfall. Dar leads 1-0.

(Commercial – They don’t show picture-in-picture action here in Canada so I didn’t see most of round three.)

Round 3: It returned with about 33 seconds left. Dar was on the turnbuckle, Gable followed him there and Gable hit a superplex leading to both guys getting a two count out of it.

Round 4: Dar delivered some kicks, but then Gable caught him and hit an overhead suplex. Gable jumped off the top with a top rope headbutt to the shoulder for two. They battled on the apron where Dar kicked Gable’s leg and Dar hit a flatliner off the apron to the floor. When Gable got back in, Dar hit back elbow to the head for two. Gable went for an armbar, Dar got out of it and Dar applied a rear naked choke briefly, but Gable stood up to get out of it. Gable got a crucifix pin for two. Dar hit a knee to the face for two. They exchanged slaps/punches as the bell rang to end the round.

Round 5: Gable hit a running somersault kick to the head. Gable hit the Chaos Theory German Suplex with a bridge for the pinfall. The match is tied 1-1.

After the fall, Lash Legend was on the apron, so Dar did a cheap shot forearm to Gable while the referee was looking at Lash.

Round 6: Dar hit a belly-to-belly suplex followed by a running clothesline. Gable came back with a brainbuster. Gable jumped off the top, Dar caught the arm and Gable came back with a Powerbomb. Dar hit a spinning back elbow to the jaw for two. Dar went for a running kick, Gable caught the ankle, Dar got out of it and Dar got a rollup for two. Dar got a pin attempt for two. Gable lifted up Dar onto his shoulders followed by a slam into a DDT for two. Gable went up top, jumped off with a moonsault and Dar blocked, so Gable applied an Ankle Lock again. Gable applied the kneebar with the Ankle Lock as the clock went 3…2…1…and it expired. After the clock expired, Dar tapped out. That was the end of the sixth round.

It was announced that the score was tied 1-1 and the rules are that if it’s tied after the extra sixth round then it’s a draw.

Match Result: Draw (Noam Dar Remains Heritage Cup Champion)

Analysis: ***1/2 I thought it was a great match. Gable came so close to winning, but the heel champion Dar found a way to remain the Heritage Cup Champion. They matched up really well with Gable showing off his technical skills as usual while Dar is such a great heel who knows how to do cheap shots at the perfect time. Based on how this ended, it makes me think they’ll do a rematch at the Deadline PLE in a few weeks.

After the match, Lash Legend argued with Maxxine Dupri with Lash shoving Maxxine down. Otis shoved Mensah out of the ring. Maxxine slapped Lash leading to Otis catching Lash in his arm. Lash freaked out and left the ring. Alpha Academy did the Tozawa “dance” to end it.

Analysis: This rivalry isn’t done. Otis is funny and Tozawa’s dance rules.

A video aired featuring JBL talking about the Iron Survivor Challenge. JBL picked Carmelo Hayes against Josh Briggs, who said that this is Josh’s opportunity. JBL picked Blair Davenport and Thea Hail on the women’s side.


There was a video about the NXT Tag Team Champions Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo having a dinner. They walked in with their titles and into a restaurant through a kitchen. Adriana Rizzo was there with the “family” to celebrate the Tony & Stacks winning the titles. They sat down to eat.

Carmelo Hayes was in the locker room with Trick Williams, who talked about how he qualified for the Iron Survivor Challenge last week. Carmelo said that Trick got in and Melo has to get in. Williams said that Briggs is a bad boy while saying that he should be ringside with Melo since Brooks Jensen might be there. Melo said he appreciates that, but he wanted to do it solo. They agreed and Melo left.

Lyra Valkyria made her entrance as the NXT Women’s Champion, but Xia Li attacked Lyra from behind. Two security guys showed up to take Li away. The medical team checked on Lyra.

Analysis: They teased the title match happening here, but the attack from Li delayed the match.


Malik Blade & Edris Enofe vs. Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo

Enofe hit an impressive arm drag followed by Blade tagging with a dropkick on Carrillo. Angel tagged in, then he opened up the ropes and a running Blade went through the ropes to the floor. Angel hit Blade with a running knee (with a loud leg slap) as the heels took control. Angel & Carrillo worked over Blade for a couple of minutes. Enofe got the tag against with a dropkick and splash on Carrillo. Enofe went for a top rope move that didn’t work, Carrillo caught him and Carrillo hit a Powerbomb. Angel tagged in, Carrillo launched Enofe into the air and Angel kicked Enofe in the ribs for the pinfall win. It went about six minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo

Analysis: **1/2 A quality win for Angel & Humberto to build them up as title contenders. Enofe & Blade are never really pushed that much in NXT and are usually in the position of being a team that others beat to get into a title-challenging position.

They showed Lyra Valkyria getting checked on by the medical team.

Josh Briggs was in the locker room with Brooks Jensen & Fallon Henley. Brooks & Fallon wanted to support Briggs at ringside, but Briggs said JBL gave him this chance, he’s been waiting for this opportunity and he wanted to do it alone.

Carmelo Hayes made his entrance for singles action.


Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge Qualifying Match: Carmelo Hayes vs. Josh Briggs

Melo was in control early with a jumping kick that knocked Briggs off the apron to the floor. Briggs used his size advantage to hit a boot to the face. Melo came back with a springboard fadeaway leg drop to the head. Briggs knocked down Melo with a shoulder tackle. They left the ring where Briggs threw Melo into the ropes leading to a clothesline and Briggs tossed Melo over the commentary table.


Briggs hit a running kick along with a Bossman Slam for two. When Melo fought back with chops, Briggs hit a sidewalk slam along with a splash. Melo got some offense going with a kick and a springboard clothesline. Melo continued with an impressive Scissors Kick (Booker loved that since it was one of his moves) for a two count. Briggs came back with a Chokeslam along with a running boot to the head for two. Melo hit the Codebreaker. Lexis King was at ringside, so Melo kicked him off the apron. Briggs hit a huge lariat (Clothesline from Hell) and a moonsault off the top on Melo for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Josh Briggs

Analysis: ***1/4 The result was an upset with the tag team wrestler Briggs picking up a win over a former NXT Champion Hayes. That means that maybe WWE is thinking of trying out Briggs as a singles wrestler moving forward. Briggs did well in the match with a lot of power moves, he also bumps well and looks credible in there. It was a controversial finish since Melo got screwed out of the win by Lexis King showed up and Briggs hit two moves to win the match after that. I don’t think Briggs should use a moonsault as a finisher, but it did look impressive for a bigger guy. I assume they go with Carmelo Hayes facing Lexis King at Deadline as well.

Josh Briggs has qualified for the Iron Survivor Challenge with Trick Williams and Dijak. There will be five men in the match.

Lyra Valkyria was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell, who asked if the match was off. Lyra said there’s no way this match is off and no way Xia Li is leaving with the NXT Women’s Championship. That match is later.

Wes Lee was shown walking backstage for a promo up next.


There was a video of Von Wagner having dinner with Mr. Stone, his wife, and twin sons. Von was in a tank top and he brought brownies, but he ate some on the way. There was some pretty bad acting here, but the point is that Von is like a neanderthal that the kids liked and Von wanted them to fight bullies at school.

Analysis: It’s more character development for Von Wagner showing he has become good friends with Mr. Stone.

Let’s Hear from Wes Lee

Wes Lee did a promo in the ring saying he thinks we all understand why he’s out there right now, especially after last week. Lee spoke about Dominik Mysterio and the NXT North American Title. Lee said that he sees red when he sees Dominik and not because he’s a low form of human being or having a face you want to punch, but he has the North American Title. Lee said when he was champion, he felt like he belonged and he found himself. Lee said that the fans accepted when he was the champion. Lee wants that back, so he needs one more shot at Dominik Mysterio at Deadline.

Dominik Mysterio appeared with the NXT North American Title. Dominik did a promo from the aisle rather than go in the ring with Lee. Dominik said that Wes makes the fans feel sorry for him and Wes is good at it. Dominik said that Wes got beaten by Ilja, got beat by Melo, then he left, he came back, lost to Corbin and now he thinks he should get a title shot. Dominik said he made the title relevant. Wes fired back saying he needs to get that NXT North American Title back and he will do anything to get it back.

Dominik said that Wes proved himself as the champion. Dominik said that Wes has to face three other former North American Champions to get to Dominik at Deadline. Dominik said if Wes wins then he can get a chance at this title. Dominik said if Wes doesn’t win then this is his last shot at the championship. Lee accepted the challenge.

Analysis: It was logical for Dominik to deny Wes a title shot since Wes has lost recent matches, so Wes shouldn’t be rewarded with a title shot. Wes winning a four-way match will give him a title shot, so that’s a fair reward for winning a tough match.

There was a video package about the Chase U “investigation” regarding the scandal involving Andre Chase. It was just a video of things that we have seen over the last month.

Thea Hail was worried about Andre Chase not being there for her, but Jacy Jayne was there to encourage Hail. Jayne said that she has Hail’s back tonight and always. Hai hugged Jayne.


Josh Briggs was shown backstage after his win. Tiffany Stratton walked in congratulating him saying it feels good to be a winner. Briggs said that it did and Tiffany said trust her, she would know. She said she would see him at Deadline and she left. Brooks Jensen & Fallon Henley wondered what Tiffany wanted, Josh said don’t worry about that and they left.

Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge Qualifying Match: Thea Hail (w/Jacy Jayne) vs. Blair Davenport

Blair knocked down Hail followed by a double foot stomp on the left arm. Blair was in control for the first couple of minutes with an armbar. Hail came back with knees along with forearms. Blair kept working on the left arm by wrenching on it and dropkicking the left arm. Blair argued with Jayne on the floor, so Hail hit a suicide dive on Blair. Hail was distracted by Chase U fans ignoring her. Hail went for a move off the ropes, Blair got her knees up and Blair hit a knee strike to the face of Hail for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Blair Davenport

Analysis: ** It was decent for a shorter match. Davenport is pushed more than Hail is, so I get why she got the win. It also continues the story about Chase U having problems and Hail was distracted by the lack of Chase U support leading to Blair getting the win.

The win by Davenport means she joins Tiffany Stratton and Lash Legend in the Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge match.


Ilja Dragunov-Baron Corbin Video

There was a video that aired talking about the NXT Championship match between Ilja Dragunov and Baron Corbin at Deadline. Corbin said that Dragunov puts himself second to his family while Ilja is home at an empty apartment and communicates to his family through a screen. Corbin talked about how he has generation wealth, expensive cars, a big mansion and kisses his wife and kids every night. Corbin claimed that the only person who can slay the dragon (Dragunov) is The Dragon himself meaning Corbin.

Analysis: I think Dragunov will retain at Deadline. With that said, I like how Corbin has been booked in NXT.

Eddy Thorpe vs. Charlie Dempsey (w/Drew Gulak & Myles Borne)

Dempsey hit a double arm suplex for a two count. Thorpe fought back with strikes, but Dempsey stopped him with a knee strike to the ribs. Thorpe delivered some more strikes along with a spinning kick. Thorpe hit a running kick. Dempsey blocked a move and Dempsey applied a submission on the arm/hand. Thorpe countered it into a rollup pin for the three count. It went about four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Eddy Thorpe

Analysis: * It was one of those matches where the loser got most of the offense and then the winner managed to get one “lucky” move to get the victory. It was fine, but very basic for a short match.

After the match, the trio of Drew Gulak, Charlie Dempsey & Myles Borne attacked Thorpe. It was a basic cheap attack with chops. Nobody tried helping Thrope.

Analysis: I guess Thorpe will need some friends to deal with these guys.

They showed Tony D’Angelo, Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo eating dinner while guys handed them envelopes with money for the mafia business they have. Adriana Rizzo was there too. When Tony D and Stacks left the room, Angel & Humberto attacked them outside in the parking lot. Some help arrived for Tony & Stacks, so Angel & Humberto drove off. Tony shouted if they want it, they got it.

Analysis: That’s a simple way to set up a Tag Team Title match at some point in the future.

Lyra Valkyria was shown with her NXT Title since her title match was next.


A video aired about Ariana Grace (talking to a mirror) complaining about Karmen Petrovic attacking her from behind. Grace said that she has struggled to find the beauty in Petrovic. Grace complained about the stench in the arena. Grace said that she loves us all.

Next week on NXT:

* Wes Lee vs. Cameron Grimes, Bronson Reed & Johnny Gargano. Wes has to win to get a North American Title match against Dominik Mysterio.

* Two more Iron Survivor Challenge Matches.

* Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo defend the NXT Tag Team Titles vs. Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo

NXT Women’s Championship: Lyra Valkyria vs. Xia Li

Lyra attacked with punches to start, but Li took over and slowed it down. Li choked Lyra against the ropes. Lyra came back with a cross body block. After Lyra hit a dropkick, Li left the ring and Lyra kicked Li to keep her down. Li tripped up Lyra by the turnbuckle. They went to a break.


Li was in control with a swinging neckbreaker. Li continued on offense while Lyra tried coming back with a backslide pin for a two count. Li did an airplane spin into a slam for a two count. Li went for a spin kick, but Lyra blocked it and hit a German Suplex. Li went for a knockout kick, but Lyra came back with a spin kick to the head. Lyra hit a spinning slam off the shoulders for the pinfall win after about ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Lyra Valkyria

Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid match that was a bit better than average. It certainly wasn’t at the level of the Li match with Becky Lynch on Raw. I don’t think anybody watching this thought that Li would win. It was just a way to give Lyra a win to show she’s a fighting champion.

Lyra Valkyria celebrated as the NXT Women’s Champion. There wasn’t anything after the match. That was the end of the show.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Chad Gable
  2. Noam Dar
  3. Josh Briggs/Carmelo Hayes


The Scoreboard

This week: 6.25 out of 10

Last week: 6.25

2023 Average: 7.09


Final Thoughts on WWE NXT

It was a weaker show than usual. Last week was too. It’s okay because they did some great shows a few weeks ago with the two Halloween Havoc specials. This was taped last week and there were a lot of out of the ring segments to fill some of the time.

They are building to Deadline fairly well with the Iron Survivor qualifying matches as well as some of the champions having good rivalries. The match quality was fine, but nothing that special. I thought the Dar/Gable match was the best of the night.

Josh Briggs getting a big singles win over Carmelo Hayes was an upset, but it was also cheap because Lexis King was involved. It continues the story of Hayes struggling a bit while King gets pushed into a big feud fairly soon after his debut. They still have a few more weeks to build the Deadline card.

The next WWE NXT Premium Live Event is Deadline on Saturday, December 9th with these matches set so far.

* NXT Championship: Ilja Dragunov (c) vs. Baron Corbin

* Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge: Trick Williams vs. Dijak vs. Josh Briggs vs. two more wrestlers

* Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge: Tiffany Stratton vs. Lash Legend vs. Blair Davenport

That’s all we know so far.


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

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport