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WWE NXT Review 08/08/2023

Hello everyone, I am one half of your Irn Bruiserweights bringing you your NXT Review. So let's get into it.

The long road to No Mercy is on but there are probably going to be a bunch of big time matches before we get there. A month and a half is too long to build up the card so odds are we’ll blow through some stuff over the next few weeks. That includes tonight’s North American Title match with Rey Mysterio here as a special guest.

Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio are ready to prove how great Dominik is.

Rey Mysterio and Dragon Lee are ready to show that Lee is the future of lucha libre.

Match 1 - Mustafa Ali vs. Axiom

This is over Ali trying to jump over Axiom to get a North American Title shot and feeling disrespected. Booker tries to make it into some complicated thing and Vic, apparently not in the mood tonight, wastes no time in asking what the heck Booker is talking about. They run the ropes to start until Ali runs him over. Back up and Axiom sends him outside for a dive over the announcers’ table, with Booker managing to stay on his feet.

Back inside and here is Scrypts to watch as Axiom is shoved off the top for a flip into a clothesline to drop Axiom. Cue Bronco Nima and Lucien Price as Ali reverses a suplex into a Jackhammer of all things. Axiom snaps off a Canadian Destroyer to send Ali rolling outside, where a huge springboard moonsault connects.

Hold on though as Axiom comes up holding his knee but he’s fine enough to avoid a 450 back inside. A tornado DDT plants Ali but he counters a cross armbreaker into a Sharpshooter. With that broken up, Axiom hits a springboard moonsault DDT and they’re both down again. Axiom goes up but Ali goes the mask and sends him crashing to the floor. The 450 gives Ali the pin at 10:07

Official Winner - Mustafa Ali

Official thoughts - Good action, as you would expect from these two as Ali moves forward to a likely North American Title shot, but WOW they need to drop this Scrypts stuff. He isn’t interesting, he looks tiny and they can barely decide what his name is, let alone give us a reason to care about him. Just let Axiom go have good matches with people and stop trying to make Scrypts a thing.

Post match Ali says he’s next in line for the North American Title.

Schism promises to find the Creed Brothers and proceed to destroy Ikemen Jiro.

Match 2 - Kelani Jordan vs. Blair Davenport

This is the result of Dana Brooke, here at ringside, wanting Jordan to do something so she called Davenport out. Jordan starts fast and can’t quite snap off a springboard hurricanrana. Davenport takes her into the corner and hammers away, with Dana’s coaching not working. Jordan fights up but gets knocked out of the corner, allowing Davenport to stomp her in the back. A hard knee to the face finishes Jordan at 3:27.

Official Winner - Blair Davenport

Official thoughts - Speaking of things that aren’t working, Dana Brooke is up there on the list. It’s a fine story of a veteran trying to push a newcomer to the next level, but at the end of the day, that veteran is Dana Brooke. She has always tried and seemed to be getting better at times, but this is not the right role for her and there isn’t much of a way around that.

Post match Dana chases Davenport off with a belt but nearly hits Jordan with it, earning Dana a glare.

Von Wagner is ready for Bron Breakker and threatens to put him on a table.

Match 3 - Tyler Bate vs. Noam Dar

This is for Dar’s unofficial Heritage Cup and therefore under Heritage Cup rules with the rest of the Meta Four at ringside. Round one begins with a fight over wrist control and goes to the mat with neither being able to get the better of things. Back up and Bop and Bang doesn’t work for Bate so they clothesline each other and pop up for a glare. More fighting against the ropes ends the round with neither having much of an advantage.

Round two begins with Bate taking Dar down but has to clothesline Mensah off the apron. A big dive hits Dar on the floor and the Tyler Driver 97 finishes Dar at 43 seconds of the round and 4:15 overall to put Bate up 1-0. We take a break and come back with Bate missing what looked to be a dropkick off the top, banging up his knee in the process as round three ends.

Round four begins with Bate running him over for a rather close two. Dar is right back up and hits a spinning elbow for two before grabbing the kneebar. Bate stacks him up for two so Dar grabs the hold again until Bate taps at 2:20 of the round and 11:01 overall, tying it up 1-1. Round five begins with Bate unloading on one leg but Dar pulls him back into the kneebar. That’s broken up and Bate hits a German suplex before a small package gives Bate two. The Tyler Driver 97 is countered so Bate rolls him up for the pin at 2:13 of the round and 13:33 overall to win 2-1.

Official Winner - Tyler Bate

Official thoughts - I was expecting Dar to retain via cheating so well done on a bit of a surprise. I’m still not much of a Heritage Cup fan and the Meta Four do very little for me, but Dar has gone from all time levels of annoying to moderately interesting, so there is some growth there. It’s also nice to see Bate get a win, as he hasn’t been in the ring much lately.

Tank Ledger and Hank Walker name themselves Smash Mouth before being beaten down by Schism, who is still looking for the Creed Brothers.

Dijak comes into Carmelo Hayes’ locker room and wants a title shot. Wes Lee comes in and wants a shot too but Dijak doesn’t like that. They argue as Hayes leaves, with Dijak sucker punching Lee and sending him into a locker.

Here is Ilja Dragunov to call out Trick Williams. Cue Williams, to say he has something to say, which is too far for Dragunov. He doesn’t want to hear from Williams after the Great American Bash, but Williams says Dragunov ran into the title rather than Williams hitting him with it. The challenge is on for a match because Williams wants to show he can back everything up. After all, he isn’t a sidekick. Dragunov says to be careful what you ask for because he won’t hold back and will break Williams. Williams says they’re on for two weeks at Heatwave. Dragunov is going to kill him, but Williams should put up a good fight.

Drew Gulak and Charlie Dempsey think Tank Ledger and Hank Walker are cowards for backing out of their match due to injury. Damon Kemp comes in to say he’s their man if they are looking for toughness. That’s just one, so here are Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen to say they’re tough. A tag match is made.

Bron Breakker is ready for Von Wagner.

Rey Mysterio gives Roxanne Perez a pep talk and is impressed with her. Thea Hail comes in and is a nervous wreck to meet him. Rey praises the heart he sees in the ring with her and she seems amazed. Thea asks if he still loves Dominik, which Rey says he does, even if things aren’t great right now. Rey leaves and Chase U comes in to say that was Rey Mysterio, Hall of Famer! Thea: “I know. And unlike you, he wouldn’t throw in the towel!” YOWZA that was cold.

Match 4 - Von Wagner vs. Bron Breakker

Mr Stone is here with Wagner, who powers Breakker into the corner to start but Breakker runs him over with a clothesline. Breakker drops him again and hits a standing moonsault (or most of it) for two. Back up and a double clothesline leaves both of them down again for a breather. Wagner gets up and hits a running big boot but the fans want tables. Breakker doesn’t mind and hits a spear for the pin at 5:11.

Official Winner - Bron Breakker

Official thoughts - Nice power match here and they went the right way with the far more established Breakker winning, but please stop with the table stuff. It’s bad enough to have the fans chant for them in every weapons based match and I don’t want to hear about them every time Wagner is out there at all. They’ve been done to death so many times that they’re probably eligible to be put on trial as a serial killer and those chants can take over a match way too fast. Find something else for Wagner to use as a thing please, before it gets even worse.

Post match Breakker goes after Stone but Wagner powerbombs him through a table.

Eddy Thorpe talks about the spirit he was given to fight for his people but Dijak has taken him out more than once. Now he has to take responsibility to refocus and readjust.

Lyra Valkyria interrupts Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio, but she accuses Ripley of manipulating people. Ripley doesn’t like being accused of helping Dominik retain the title, so Valkyria challenges her to not be in Dominik’s corner tonight.

Schism asks Tony D’Angelo and Stacks about the Creed Brothers but teases coming after the Tag Team Titles instead.

Match 5 - Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen vs. Drew Gulak and Charlie Dempsey

Fallon Henley is here with Briggs and Jensen. Gulak backs Jensen into the corner to start but charges into a boot to the face. An elbow misses for Jensen though and it’s Dempsey coming in for a headlock takeover. Cue Myles Borne to be in Gulak/Dempsey’s corner but since he doesn’t have water, Gulak sends him away. Briggs comes in to slam Dempsey and drops an elbow for two.

It’s back to Gulak, who is quickly taken into the wrong corner, with Briggs sending him flying off a slam. Briggs and Jensen drop Gulak but it’s Dempsey gets the tag anyway and twists Briggs’ arm over the ropes. Dempsey cranks on the arm, with Vic saying he has a regal approach to this kind of thing. Briggs fights up and brings Jensen back in as everything breaks down. Cue Damon Kemp to suplex Jensen, allowing Dempsey to snap off a dragon suplex and pin Jensen at 5:46.

Official Winner - Drew Gulak and Charlie Dempsey

Official thoughts - Briggs and Jensen have kind of fallen off the face of the planet since the Henley/Kiana James deal ended and that’s a shame as they aren’t a bad team most of the time. That being said, I do like Kemp being added to Gulak/Dempsey. They fit well together and that could be a nice three man team going forward.

Dana Brooke wants to know what that was from Kelani Jordan, but Jordan doesn’t know what her killer instinct looks like. Brooke will show her next week when she faces Blair Davenport. This isn’t working as it’s still just Dana Brooke.

Match 6 - Ivy Nile vs. Kiana James

Before the match, James promises to tap into her wild side. James jumps her before the bell and takes it outside, with Nile getting posted and suplexed. Back in and we hit the armbar as we take a break. We come back with Schism surrounding the ring and rhythmically slapping the mat. Nile fights up but charges into a boot in the corner, allowing James to hit the spinebuster. A Fujiwara armbar has Nile in more trouble but she’s back with a powerslam. Schism offers a distraction though and a knee to the back of the head finishes Nile at 7:41.

Official Winner - Kiana James

Official thoughts -  Yay more Schism, as this one angle has been on TV four times tonight. I still do not get what NXT sees in these guys but they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. At least they’ve mainly been portrayed as a bit more unhinged this week, as they have been the lamest cult in a long time. As for the match, James being more aggressive is good but they still need to find a way to make her stand out more. Nile continues to feel like a missed opportunity and could be something, provided she doesn’t have to talk.

Post match Schism gets in the ring but Tony D’Angelo and Stacks run in with crowbars for the save.

Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo text each other about how they’re a joke now but want to honour their grandfather. A reunion is teased.

Tyler Bate is polishing up his new Heritage Cup when the Meta Four come in to say Noam Dar needs it back for emotional support. Nathan Frazer comes in with his cup and says they’re a Spider-Man meme. They argue over which cup is real and the result is Dar getting his cup back AND a shot at the real thing at Heatwave. Frazer to Bate: “I owe you one?” Bate: “Yep.”

Tiffany Stratton is asked what’s next for her but talks about clothes instead of the title.

Trick Williams runs into Wes Lee in the parking lot and is told to tell Carmelo Hayes to be ready. Williams tells Lee to tell him himself but Lee drives away. Drew Gulak and company show up to mock Williams and then tell Myles Borne he’s late again.

Here’s what’s coming on upcoming shows.

Match 7 - North American Title: Dragon Lee vs. Dominik Mysterio

Dominik, with Rhea Ripley, is defending and Rey Mysterio, who handles Lee’s entrance, is in Lee’s corner. Lee knocks him into the corner to start and hits the slingshot dropkick to send Dominik outside. The fight with Rey is teased and we take a break. Back with Dominik taunting Rey and grabbing a chinlock. Three Amigos hit Lee and Dominik hammers away with his right hand.

Dominik goes for the mask, which fires up Lee to start the comeback. Lee knocks him outside for a big dive but Dominik grabs a neckbreaker for two back inside. They trade shots to the face until Dominik hits a 619. The frog splash hits raised knees though and the powerbomb gets two. Rhea slides in the North American Title but Rey takes it away. That’s enough for Rhea to hit Lee with the Women’s Title, allowing Dominik to hit a Michinoku Driver to retain at 11:40.

Official Winner - STILL. North American Champion - Dominik Mysterio

Official thoughts - One of the good things about Dominik is that he is far from a disaster in the ring. While he’s nothing compared to his dad (most aren’t), he’s certainly capable of having a completely acceptable match. That was on display here, with the Ripley stuff being more of a way to bail Dominik out rather than saving him at the beginning. Lee will get there one day, but Dominik isn’t losing that title for a long time, and that’s how it should be.

Post match Rhea yells at Rey but Lyra Valkyria comes in to send Rhea to the floor. The heroes stand in the ring to end the show.


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