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WWE NXT Review 21/11/2023

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

The big story around here seems to be a still unspecified scandal at Chase U, which played a role in the team losing the Tag Team Titles last week. Other than that, we’re about two and a half weeks away from Deadline and two sets of Iron Survivor Challenge qualifying matches are still on the docket. Two of them go down tonight.

Match 1 - NXT Heritage Cup: Chad Gable vs. Noam Dar

Dar is defending and all of the expected friends are here too. Round one begins with a feeling out process until Gable grabs the wristlock. They go to the mat with Gable grinding away on the arm before switching into a front facelock. A takedown gives Gable two and the ankle lock goes on. Dar grabs the rope and blocks a German suplex as the round ends.

Round two begins with Gable running him over and not liking Dar slapping him in the face. An annoyed Gable chops away and gets two off a release German suplex. An armbar over the ropes looks to set up rolling Chaos Theory but Oro Mensah gets in a cheap shot. The Nova Roller gives Dar the pin at 2:22 of the round and 5:57 overall.

Round three begins during a break and we come back with Gable catching him on top. A top rope superplex gives Gable two as the round ends. Round four begins with a strike off until Gable takes him down. A top rope headbutt (and a long one at that) gives Gable two but Dar kicks him down on the apron. Back in and a spinning elbow gives Dar two but he can’t get anywhere with a rear naked choke. They slug it out from their knees until the round ends.

Round five begins with Gable hitting a rolling Liger kick to the head, followed by rolling Chaos Theory to tie it up at 17 seconds of the round and 14:51. Round six (final round) begins…after a cheap shot from Dar between the rounds so Dar can hit a running elbow in the corner at the bell. Dar slugs away but the Nova Roller is countered into an ankle lock. That’s reversed into a rollup with tights for two so Gable is back with a DDT for two of his own. The ankle lock, with grapevine, goes on but time runs out for the draw at 18:30 total.

Official Winner - STILL Heritage Cup Holder - Noam Dar

Official thoughts - Are you surprised Dar didn’t lose? You really shouldn’t be, as this is what happens in these matches. Dar gets in trouble, cheats, and escapes with the Cup. The Cup has had six holders over about three years and Dar has held it for well over half of that time. Heck, he didn’t even lose the fall the last time he lost the Cup. Dar can be funny with his stuff and such but my goodness it’s ok to let something change for a bit.

Dar taps immediately after the bell but it’s still a draw. Otis beats up Oro Mensah and hits on Lash Legend, who looks close to being sick.

JBL picks his Iron Survivor Challenge matches: Carmelo Hayes vs. Josh Briggs and Blair Davenport vs. Thea Hail.

Tony D’Angelo and Stacks go to dinner, with Stacks asking how bad it is for Chase U. D’Angelo doesn’t want to talk about it but the rest of the Family is there for a title celebration.

Trick Williams checks on Carmelo Hayes before his qualifying match. Hayes is ready and Williams will be in his corner, but Hayes asks to do this by himself. Cool with Williams as everything seems fine.

Women’s Title: Xia Li vs. Lyra Valkyria

Li is challenging…and jumps Valkyria in the entrance. No match.

Match 2 - Malik Blade and Edris Enofe vs. Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza

This was scheduled for later but was moved up due to the Li attack. Carrillo takes Enofe down to start but Blade comes in with a good looking dropkick. Garza gets knocked off the apron but Blade gets sent outside. A hard shot to the chest has Blade in trouble as Booker goes on a rant about getting titles.

The Gory Bomb/flipping cutter combination gets two on Blade, who comes back with some shots to the face. A DDT gets Blade out of trouble and there’s the tag off to Enofe as the fans don’t seem to care. Everything breaks down and Enofe misses a 450, allowing Carrillo to hit a powerbomb. A popup kick to the ribs finishes Enofe at 5:32.

Official Winners - Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza

Official thoughts - The match had its moments with Enofe and Blade getting to show off their athleticism, plus Carrillo and Garza’s snappy double teaming. I can go for Garza and Carrillo getting into the title hunt as they’re a rather awesome team, but they need to string some wins together first. This was a good start, though I’m not sure how much value there is in beating Blade and Enofe.

Fallon Henley and Brooks Jensen fire up Josh Briggs but he’s ready to take this opportunity on his own.

Match 3 - Iron Survivor Challenge Qualifying Match: Carmelo Hayes vs. Josh Briggs

Briggs tries to go with the power to start but gets dropkicked out to the floor. That works a bit better for Briggs, who hits a big boot but Hayes is right back with the Fade Away. The fans seem pleased with Hayes, only to have Briggs drop him with a right hand. Back in Briggs works on the arm but Hayes low bridges him to the floor. Briggs sends him over to the announcers’ table and we take a break.

Back with Briggs taking over again and hammering away before grabbing a chinlock. Hayes fights up and hits a springboard shot to the face but one heck of a chokeslam puts Hayes down. Commentary keeps playing up the idea of Briggs not being an experienced singles star as Hayes comes back. Cue Lexis King for a distraction though, allowing Briggs to drop Hayes again. A moonsault gives Briggs the big upset pin at 12:32.

Official Winner - Josh Briggs

Official thoughts - This wasn’t a great match but it told a nice story of Hayes being the more experienced singles star and Briggs using the straight power because he didn’t have the experience in singles matches. The King interference plays into the Hayes/Trick Williams deal as we have to be coming up on a twist. Odds are we get Hayes vs. King at Deadline, which should be a big step forward in whatever they’re doing, but for now, we have a nice surprise win for Briggs.

Lyra Valkyria says the title match is still happening.

Von Wagner shows up at Mr. Stone’s house for dinner with some partially eaten brownies. They eat with Stone’s wife and kids, who eat rather quickly like Wagner. The sons look at Wagner’s scar, but it’s cool with him. We hear about bullies at their school and Wagner wants violence but Stone says we don’t do that. With the parents away, Wagner says to write the bullies’ names down because Wagner has them. This was wacky shenanigans.

Here is Wes Lee for a chat. The people know who he is so he gets to the point: he wants one more shot at Dominik Mysterio and the North American Title at Deadline. Cue Mysterio (no Rhea Ripley) to list off Lee’s losses, which means he shouldn’t get a title shot. Lee points out how many times Judgment Day has had to save Mysterio and says he’s willing to do anything to get the title back. Mysterio is interested, but Lee has to beat some former North American Champions. Lee is in, but Deadline is his last shot, assuming he gets there.

We recap the Chase U scandal, with Andre Chase breaking his silence next week.

Thea Hail is panicking because Andre Chase and Duke Hudson aren’t here. Jacy Jayne says she always has Hail’s back.

Josh Briggs is happy with his win when Tiffany Stratton comes in to congratulate him. With her gone, Brooks Jensen and Fallon Henley come in, with Henley not being happy over Stratton being there.

Match 4 - Iron Survivor Qualifying Match: Thea Hail vs. Blair Davenport

Jacy Jayne is here with Hail as Davenport goes after the arm to start. Davenport runs her over for two and we’re off to the armbar. Hail fights up and strikes away but gets pulled into a Fujiwara armbar. That’s broken up and Jayne offers a distraction, allowing Hail to hit a fallaway slam on the floor. Back in Hail is distracted by the lack of support from the student section, which lets Davenport block a backsplash. A knee to the face finishes Hail at 4:08.

Official Winner - Blair Davenport

Official thoughts - This was short and to the point as the Chase U ordeal continues to cause the team trouble. I’m almost scared of where this is going but Jayne and Hail seem like they could split off from Chase U without much trouble. Davenport going forward is fine, but at some point, Hail needs to get a bigger win before she loses the steam that she has.

We get a video on Baron Corbin vs. Ilja Dragunov, highlighting their differences in training, style and philosophy on their way to the Deadline title match. Dragunov is alone in America as his family is in Russia, while Corbin has everything he could want. Playing up the contract is always a good angle to take and they’re doing a nice job setting this up.

Match 5 - Charlie Dempsey vs. Eddy Thorpe

Dempsey’s friends are here too. Dempsey takes him down without too much trouble and cockily stomps away. Thorpe’s comeback is cut off in short order and we hit the abdominal stretch to work on Thorpe’s ribs. With that broken up, Thorpe hits a running boot in the corner and Dempsey cranks on the arm…until Thorpe reverses into a cradle for the surprise pin at 3:59.

Official Winner - Eddy Thorpe

Official thoughts - Pretty much a squash here until the fluke ending, which is a good thing as Thorpe has been needing a boost after some recent setbacks. Dempsey and company continue to be a fine midcard heel stable, but they aren’t going to matter much if they don’t win a bit here and there. For now though, Thorpe winning is a good way to go and maybe he can start going somewhere. As for Dempsey, at least commentary is making “Regal” references during his matches.

Post match Dempsey’s friends get in the ring to beat Thorpe down so posing can ensue.

Back at the dinner, Tony D’Angelo and Stacks are given envelopes of money, some of which are more successful than others. They go to leave, where Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza jump them and speed off.

Arianna Grace isn’t happy with Karmen Petrovic attacking her and hopes Petrovic can get some help.

Here’s what’s coming next week.

Match 6 - Women’s Title: Lyra Valkyria vs. Xia Li

Valkyria is defending and is banged up after the attack earlier tonight. The fired up Valkyria goes right after Li to start but gets knocked into the corner for some choking. A running dropkick gets Valkyria out of trouble and Li is knocked outside. Back in and another kick drops Valkyria as we take a break.

We come back with Valkyria fighting out of a cravate but getting caught with a swinging neckbreaker for two. Li grabs a facelock but Valkyria fights up again to strike away. The spinning torture rack drop cuts Valkyria off for two more but she blocks a kick. A German suplex puts both of them down and we get a breather. Back up and Li’s spinning kick misses, allowing Valkyria to hit one of her own. A Samoan driver finishes for Valkyria at 9:40.

Official Winner - STILL NXT Woman’s Champion - Lyra Valkyria

Official thoughts - It was a nice fight, but there was only so much you could do after Li had a heck of a match with Becky Lynch last night. They stacked the deck against Valkyria a bit here and it made things more interesting, but it was hard to buy Li as a real threat. The idea here seemed to be giving Valkyria a nice win and that’s not a bad thing.


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