The John Report: WWE NXT 11/22/22 Review
This week’s WWE NXT featured Wes Lee defending the NXT North American Title against Carmelo Hayes in the main event, plus the NXT Tag Team Titles were on the line as well.
I am doing my usual NXT review with summary style most of the show and play-by-play for the main event.
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 opening video package showed highlights from last week’s NXT episode.
Let’s Hear from Mandy Rose and Toxic Attraction
The NXT Women’s Champion and my personal favorite person on this show, Mandy Rose, made her entrance joined by Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne. They were wearing some new Toxic Attraction shirt available now. The commentary team was Vic Joseph and Booker T as usual.
Mandy said in the immortal words of Queen: “Another one bites the dust.” Mandy talked about how, all by herself (not really true), she was the Last Woman Standing and retained her NXT Women’s Title. Rose said she’ll be watching the Iron Survivor Challenge to see who is willing to go to war just to share the same ring as her. Rose said that the winner of that match at Deadline won’t stand a chance of taking the title from her.
Jacy Jayne talked about how Mandy can sit on her throne as the champion while she and Gigi can focus on becoming the first ever three-time NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions. Gigi said they are a real team and talked about getting back the gold.
Kayden Carter and Katana Chance interrupted with Chance talking about how the reason Mandy’s the champion is because of Isla Dawn. Kayden said Mandy’s words aren’t the only thing phony about her. What a line. Chance and Carter exchanged words with Jayne and Dolin with Jayne saying that seeing them with Toxic’s titles is disgusting. Carter and Chance went into the ring, but the Toxic ladies dominated them with a 3 on 2 attack. Jayne and Dolin did a spin kick/trip kick combo and stood tall over the champions.
Analysis: The promo by Rose was the usual comments about doing things on her own, which was a lie. That like by Carter about Rose being phony was really good. I think Jayne & Dolin beating up Carter & Chance is a way of setting up a future title match between the teams.
Wes Lee was shown arriving earlier in the day as the NXT North American Champion. Tony D’Angelo drove up with Stacks saying that he hasn’t forgotten what Wes did to him. Wes tried to explain that it was an accident, but he stopped himself and said Tony knows where to find him.
Cora Jade entered for a match.
A commercial aired for Smackdown with The Usos facing Drew McIntyre & Sheamus in a WarGames Advantage. It should be great.
Duke Hudson was backstage with Grayson Waller, who said that being part of Chase U isn’t really Duke who is. Duke said he’s a committed student of Chase U. Waller said that Duke’s true colors will show out eventually. Duke said his true colors are black and red (Chase U colors), Waller laughed and left.
Cora Jade vs. Wendy Choo
Choo got some offense early, but Jade was aggressive coming back and hit an elbow to the back while Choo was against the ropes. Choo hit a dropkick along with a running kick in the corner. The action spilled to the floor with Jade charging and Choo hit her with a hip toss on the floor.
Choo was in control of the match as they returned from the break with Choo getting a nearfall followed by a brainbuster. Booker was freaking out because Choo didn’t go for a cover after the brainbuster. Jade tried using the kendo stick, but the referee took it from her. Jade tossed Choo’s drink into her eyes and Jade hit a DDT (while a liquid was all over the ring) and got the pinfall win. It went about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Cora Jade
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match. Lots of offense for Choo, then Jade cheated by using the dreaded liquid to the face and hit the DDT for the win.
Cora Jade was laughing at Choo, who was crying. She even had an eyelash on her face.
Apollo Crews was featured in a video going to the Sunrise Diner talking about how six months almost to the day, he envisioned making history with Bron in an NXT Title match. The match is at Deadline on December 10th. Crews said that the vision, the ending, is clear and it was an image of Crews looking at the NXT Title.
Analysis: I think Crews might win, but I doubt I will officially predict that. Crews has been a face during this run. It wouldn’t shock me if he went heel to win the title to beat Bron. Also, every time they have shown Crews having a vision, it has happened, so him holding the title might happen. I’d also be fine with Bron retaining because I want to see him have a title feud with Carmelo Hayes at some point.
Kiana James as interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell saying that Fallon Henley paid for not making a deal last week. Kiana left for her match.
Javier Bernal walked into the picture. Javier had 1,347 names on his naughty list (Big Body Files) and read Axiom, which led to Mitchell saying Axiom is still hurt. Javier also had Elon Musk, Drake and others on there. This eventually ended leading to a break.
Analysis: They are trying to portray Javy as an obnoxious heel while they book him to lose matches whenever he’s on this show.
There was a backstage scene with Chase U “students” talking with the group thanking Duke Hudson for helping them. Pretty Deadly walked up to them with the NXT Tag Team Titles, they mentioned having a poker game and wanted Duke to help them since he was a poker player. They exchanged words about wanting the old Duke to return and then they got into a fight leading to referees breaking it up.
Ivy Nile (w/Tatum Paxley) vs. Kiana James
They exchanged some holds early on with some counters and Nile got a two count. James came back with a backbreaker followed by a clothesline to the back. James hit an invited backbreaker slamming Nile onto her shoulder. James got some more offense including a belly to back suplex, but Nile went for a submission on the left arm. Nile got some momentum going with a headscissors and a gutwrench suplex. James tried to leave, but Fallon Henley showed up to stop that. Nile applied a Dragon Sleeper submission leading to a tapout win. It went about five minutes.
Winner by submission: Ivy Nile
Analysis: **1/4 It was a decent match. James got plenty of offense, she’s very technically sound and knows her character, so I think she’ll be good for many years. Nile has improved a lot in the last year or so. The way she hits moves looks a lot smoother now. Anyway, it was a distraction finish with Henley stopping James from laving and Nile capitalized to get the win.
Post match, Henley went after James with punches and they went fighting into the crowd.
The Creed Brothers joined Ivy Nile with Julius saying that Indus Sher isn’t going to make a name off of them. Brutus said they worked too hard to fear Indus Sher. Julius challenged Indus Sher to a match at NXT Deadline. Ivy Nile didn’t seem to approve of the match challenge.
Analysis: It’s fine as a match at Deadline although normally if there’s a tag team match it’s for the titles.
A video aired featuring Isla Dawn, who made her NXT debut last week. She said she gave hints that she was coming as they showed some technical difficulties moments. Dawn said she’ll have so much fun with Alba Fyre, who she attacked last week.
Scrypts will make his in-ring debut after a break.
Duke Hudson walked up to Andre Chase in the classroom. Duke explained what happened with Pretty Deadly with Duke talking about how he got into a fight with them. Duke mentioned he got them a Tag Team Title match and Chase was excited. They showed a guy named Mario saying that was great, so Chase swore at him and talked to Duke about their match.
Scrypts made his debut. It was Reggie in in black/orange mask and full body attire. Guru Raaj was the opponent.
Guru Raaj vs. Scrypts
Scrypts showed off his athleticism including a spinning cross body block and fans were chanting “Reggie” because they figured out who it was. Scrypts went up top with a somersault dive off the top onto a standing Raaj for the pinfall win after about one minute.
Winner by pinfall: Scrypts
Analysis: * Easy win to put over Scrypts in his debut. I didn’t know who it was going to be, but it was clearly Reggie and he showed off his athleticism well. The gear that Scrypts wears looks goofy, though. I think people will laugh at it, so maybe that should be changed going forward.
Schism was shown backstage because they are up next.
Let’s Hear from Schism
The group known as Schism was seated in the ring in chairs while there was also a table and black carpet. They were all wearing masks on their faces. Joe Gacy talked about togetherness and recognize the day for giving thanks (Thanksgiving on Thursday). Ava Raine spoke about how blood relatives cannot guarantee a united family, but the Schism can be counted on. Fowler and Reid spoke up about Thanksgiving more while Raine picked out some guy in the front row and invited him into the ring.
Gacy said that Ava found a guy with Gacy talking about a new holiday. The fans were chanting “sacrifice” with Gacy saying they are going to pledge the day of Schism Invictus. Gacy did a promo about a pledge saying they would refuse anybody who is not in the Schism, they are all about togetherness and it’s four roots with one tree. Ava hugged this guy, then she looked into the camera with an evil look and Gacy thanked him for his sacrifice. Gacy gave the guy a uranage through the table. The fans chanted “sacrifice” while Booker laughed about it.
Analysis: A simple segment to show that Schism is together as a group that isn’t interested in adding new members so they destroyed that poor guy. Ava’s line about blood relatives was a reference to her father, The Rock, so it’s a way to show that she thinks of Schism as her family more than her actual family. The uranage slam is similar to a Rock Bottom as well.
Trick Williams was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Trick saying that Carmelo Hayes was preparing for his match. Wes Lee, the NXT North American Champion, interrupted the promo so Trick said that Melo walks and talks like money because Melo is money. Lee said that Trick didn’t even need to be out there and that led to Trick saying “Melo doesn’t need me” and Lee said so he’s got Melo one on one tonight. Trick: “What was that?” It was Trick being outsmarted.
Zoey Stark entered with a smile because she’s a heel now.
There was a video showing Bron Breakker driving on a boat out on the water and talking about how he’s just another fisherman out there. Bron said he loved how quiet it is out there. Bron talked about the pressure of being the NXT Champion, he said he loves it, but he needs those quiet moments for himself. Bron said that Apollo Crews is next, so after one challenge ends, another begins and after he retains his title, you can find Bron out there fishing again.
Analysis: It was a simple way to get Bron on the show by showing him away from the ring and what he’s like out there when he’s fishing.
The graphic was shown for NXT Deadline with Bron Breakker defending the NXT Championship against Apollo Crews.
Zoey Stark vs. Sol Ruca
Sol showed off her athleticism by doing a flip and landing on her feet followed by a dropkick. Stark hit a superkick to take control. Stark did the apron pull to trap Ruca leading to a dropkick on the floor. Sol got some offense with shoulder tackles, a dropkick and a back body drop. Sol also hit a running powerslam for two. Sol went for a missile dropkick, Stark moved and Stark hit a running knee for the pinfall win after about four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Zoey Stark
Analysis: ** A simple match to give Stark a win in her new heel role. Stark is a lot more experienced and polished compared to Sol, but I think Sol is improving every time I see her. Sol did some moves that I had never seen her before, so you can tell she’s doing better.
Post match, Stark tried to attack Ruca some more, but Nikkita Lyons made her return and chased Stark from the ring.
Analysis: This should lead to a Stark-Lyons match soon since Stark turned on Lyons two weeks ago.
They showed Edris Enofe and Malik Blade talking to Von Wagner and Mr. Stone. Edris & Malik invited Von to party with them, but Von called them mediocre and turned them down. Von beat up Edris and Malik with Von also ripping Malik’s sweater. Odyssey Jones showed up to help Edris & Malik while security pulled Von away.
Chase U’s team of Andre Chase & Duke Hudson entered with Thea Hail for a match.
A video aired about Charlie Dempsey talking about all he needs is a deck of cards while adding that he trains like Karl Gotch while mocking some of the guys that are obsessed with things like Instagram and TikTok. Dempsey said that pro wrestling is a serious business.
NXT Tag Team Championships: Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince) vs. Chase U (Andre Chase & Duke Hudson) (w/Thea Hail)
Hudson was wrestling in a Chase U tank top and red headband. The fans were strongly behind Chase U as usual. Chase U got some offense early, but Prince hit an impressive dropkick to take over. Wilson and Chase exchanged moves leading to Chase getting a two count. Chase even did a double headlock takeover/headscissors takedown on both guys. Chase did the stomping routine where he spelled out “CHASE U” with the crowd chanting along. Booker even shouted “CHASE U” and said “what the hell am I doing?” That was funny.
The match returned with PD in control as Prince worked over Chase with corner clotheslines. Lots of quick tags by the champions as Chase tried to fight back by tossing Prince over the top. Prince bumped into Thea on the floor while Hudson checked on her and was not there to make the tag. When Hudson finally got the tag, the crowd exploded for him as Hudson was cleaning house on both PD guys. Hudson even slammed Chase onto Prince. Hudson tagged in Chase, who was still exhausted from getting beat up, and Hudson kicked Chase because Wilson avoided the kick. Prince sent Hudson into the steel steps. Prince tagged in and PD hit the Spilt Milk neckbreaker/spinebuster combo for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Pretty Deadly
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a pretty good match where the story was all about Hudson wanting to prove himself. We don’t know if Hudson is a changed man that’s going to be a better person instead the heel that we knew in the past. That’s what makes it an interesting story. Pretty Deadly works well together as a heel team that takes shortcuts when needed and continues to pick up the victories as the champions. I thought they set up the spots in the match well.
A video was shown of Roxanne Perez on TikTok with Nikkita Lyons and Indi Hartwell was yelling at Roxanne about it to continue that story.
Next week: Roxanne Perez faces Indi Hartwell.
Carmelo Hayes was walking backstage alone wearing a “Him.” shirt while Trick Williams stayed in the back. Wes Lee was shown with his NXT North American Title while Tony D’Angelo & Stacks looked at him with the title.
They showed Kayden Carter and Katana Chance walking backstage with Nikkita Lyons talking about how she wasn’t a real team with Zoey Stark, but she admired her. They all talked about wanting to have some fun. Lyons said if they need a partner against Toxic Attraction then she’s their girl.
Analysis: I have said for months that I thought Lyons would be the one to beat Mandy Rose for the NXT Women’s Title, so I think we’ll see the start of that pursuit coming next week.
Next week on NXT: Shawn Michaels reveals the Iron Survivor Challenge Competitors for NXT Deadline.
It was main event time with Carmelo Hayes making his entrance looking for his third NXT North American Title win. Booker called Hayes a “special talent” and I agree with that. Wes Lee was up next as the NXT North American Champion to a good ovation from the crowd. They stood in the ring for the championship introductions from Alicia Taylor.
NXT North American Championship: Wes Lee vs. Carmelo Hayes
Lee was aggressive right away, so Hayes went to the floor and Lee sent Hayes into the barricade. Hayes sent Lee into the ring, they exchanged punches, Hayes did a pump kick and Lee hit a headscissors. They did some counter moves to eachother, then each man got a nearfall and Lee did a flipping pin attempt for a two count. Lee and Hayes each avoided moves off the ropes and they did a double pump kick to knock eachother down. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Hayes was in control with the Fade Away springboard leg drop to take control leading to a chinlock. Hayes sent Lee into the top rope for a stun gun followed by a springboard clothesline for a two count. Hayes whipped Lee into the turnbuckle. Hayes sent Lee into the turnbuckle again with Lee taking a sternum bump. Hayes charged, Lee launched him into the turnbuckle and Lee followed by a German Suplex. They got into a slugfest, Lee with a snapmare into a dropkick and a running punch. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them as Lee hit a running uppercut. Lee with a neckbreaker and a hurricanrana that spiked Melo for a two count. Lee went up, he tried a splash, Hayes avoided it and got a cradle. Hayes did an incredible spin around Lee’s body leading to a slam into the mat for a two count. Lee blocked a double knee attack, Lee with a superkick and Hayes came back with the double knee attack. Hayes went up top, jumped off with an attack and Lee avoided it. Lee with the running double knee attack for a two count. That was a great nearfall. Lee hit a spinning kick that knocked Hayes out of the ring. Trick Williams showed up at ringside, so Lee ran the ropes and hit a somersault dive over the top onto Trick on the floor. Hayes sent Lee into the apron. Hayes went up top, but Lee stopped him there and Hayes sent Lee into the turnbuckle. Lee kicked Hayes in the back of the head and Lee hit a backflip into a kick into the head. Lee hit a Michinoku Driver slam for the one…two…and three. Booker: “What happened?” The match ended.
Winner by pinfall: Wes Lee
Analysis: ***3/4 This was great. They are talented athletes that were given the time to have a long match and they delivered. It was very even the whole way with Lee finding a way to win because he should get the win to establish him as a new champion. Hayes wasn’t able to hit his finisher while Lee took everything that Hayes tried and Lee hit some big moves to get the win. Lee doesn’t really have an established finisher, but I loved that backflip into the kick to the head and the Michinoku Driver (almost like a Falcon Arrow) got the win. I enjoyed the match a lot.
They showed replays while Lee celebrated with the title.
Analysis: I think Melo will be fine being out of the North American Title picture after he was part of it for the past year. Melo should be the guy that wins the Iron Survivor Challenge match at Deadline next month to earn an NXT Title match.
After the match, Wes Lee was shown in the ring celebrating the win. There was a graphic shown with black smoke and a cage door opening. Lee was looking at it. From behind, somebody appeared. Vic shouted that it was “Dijak” and Booker goes: “Who?” That made me laugh. Dijak grabbed Lee by the throat leading to a slam off the shoulders into a knee to the face. Dijak stood tall over Lee with Vic saying that Dijak has brought his brand of justice to NXT.
Analysis: The former T-Bar is back officially in NXT after weeks of teasing his return. I thought it was well done as a cheap attack to bring Dijak back as an immediate threat to Lee. During his WWE career, he has also used the name Dominik Dijakovic (his real name is Chris Dijak), so I think going with just Dijak is fine because it’s going to stand out as a one word name. Booker asking “who?” when Vic said it was Dijak was a strange response, but that’s Booker saying some weird stuff sometimes. Anyway, they teased Dijak’s return for several weeks and I can see him as a dominant force in NXT over the next year before they possibly use him on Raw or Smackdown again. Dijak is a talented guy in his mid-30s that can be a big force in NXT.
Three Stars of the Show
- Wes Lee
- Carmelo Hayes
- Pretty Deadly and Andre Chase/Duke Hudson
This week: 6.75 out of 10
Last week: 7.75
The show was solid for the most part. I thought the second hour was much better than the first due to the quality of the two title matches. I really enjoyed that Lee-Hayes match. Lee winning was obviously the right call, but I like that it was so competitive and also a clean finish to put over Lee. Hayes should be fine out of the North American Title because I hope he wins the Iron Survivor Challenge match to earn an NXT Title match.
It was also a night for returns/debuts with Dijak dumping the T-Bar name and attacking Lee after the match. I think NXT is the right spot for Dijak at this point in his career. They will book him strong, so maybe he can succeed on Raw/Smackdown some day. As for Scrypts being the former Reggie, he’s a talented guy with unique moves. I think the outfit was lame and won’t help him, but they can always tweak it in the future.
It’s a good call going with Bron Breakker against Apollo Crews for the NXT Title at Deadline on December 10th. I think they need to build the story a bit more, but it should be a very good match for the title.
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