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WWE NXT Review 22/08/2023

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

It’s time for another special with Heatwave, which will be our big time TV show for August. That includes Carmelo Hayes defending the NXT Title against Wes Lee, plus a Trick Williams vs. Ilja Dragunov showdown. NXT has had some success with these bigger shows so maybe they can continue it here.

The opening sequence features Tony D’Angelo and Stacks in a pool, talking about the matches tonight. Big Ang comes in with some of her friends to join in and the guys think the more the merrier. More previewing ensues, with Stacks getting a bit distracted.

Match 1 - Ilja Dragunov vs. Trick Williams

This is the more serious Williams and they start fast with a strike off. Dragunov gets the better of things by chopping him around the ring until Williams blocks a boot. Williams gets in a shot to the face of his own and they head outside, where Dragunov sends him into the apron. We take a break and come back with Dragunov chopping away in the corner, with Williams telling him to bring it.

Dragunov does bring it up and seems to regret that decision. Williams blocks a chop and kicks him down though and the fans seem to approve. Some shots to the face strike Dragunov down against the ropes but he tells Williams to bring it on. Fans, seemingly singing: “TRICK’S GONNA BEAT YOUR A**!”

One heck of a knee puts Dragunov down again but he pulls Williams into a DDT. Back up and Williams catches him with a super Rock Bottom (that was cool) for two of his own. Dragunov knees him down and hits a powerbomb as the fans are WAY into this. The middle rope fist drop finally finishes Williams at 12:49.

Official Winner - Ilja Dragunov

Official thoughts - This wasn’t so much about the technical side of things but rather two guys beating the fire out of each other as the fans got into it. If that crowd reaction is any indication of what they are going to do with Williams, his future just got a heck of a lot brighter in a hurry. Williams has charisma to him and enough in-ring ability to back it up. He wasn’t ready to beat a star like Dragunov here, but they beat each other up well on the way to the loss.

Tyler Bate is trying to recover from his Dabba Kato beating last week when Nathan Frazer comes in. Bate is ready to see Frazer show he’s the true Heritage Cup Champion, but Frazer would like him to be his second tonight. And yes, Bate will get the first shot after Dar is vanquished. Deal.

Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley are warming up for their mixed tag tonight when Mustafa Ali comes in. Ali can’t wait for Dominik to be gone so the North American Title can be free but Ripley threatens violence if Ali isn’t gone in ten seconds. Ali: “Ten seconds? Sounds like something you guys are used to.”

Match 2 - Ava vs. Ivy Nile

Schism is here with Ava, who sends her into the corner for a running splash to start. A scorpion kick puts Nile down again but a slam attempt is countered into the Diamond Chain Lock to make Ava tap at 2:11.

Official Winner - Ivy Nile

Post match the masked Schism members come after Nile, who fights them all off until Ava is pulled away.

A banged up Ilja Dragunov comes in to see Wes Lee, saying he is next for the NXT Title. Lee says he’ll be champion at the end of the night and he’ll face Dragunov after he wins the title.

Match 3 - Heritage Cup: Noam Dar vs. Nathan Frazer

Frazer, with Tyler Bate, is defending while the rest of the Meta Four are here too. This is of course under Heritage Cup rules so round one begins with Frazer working on the arm. Dar takes him down into an armbar of his own but Frazer reverses into a headlock as they stay basic to start. Some kicks to the ribs have Frazer staggered a bit but he rolls Dar up for two. Back up and they both miss a few shots, allowing Dar to get in a slap to the face. Frazer hammers away until the round ends and we take a break.

Back with Dar up 1-0 as Dabba Kato came out to attack Bate, allowing Dar to roll him up for the fall. Round three begins with Bate being carried out and Frazer grabbing an STF on Dar. With that broken up, Dar gets in a shot of his own and counters an enziguri into an ankle lock. Frazer breaks that up and sends Dar outside for a suicide dive. A running shooting star press gives Frazer two as the round ends, though Dar gets in an elbow after the bell.

Round four begins with Frazer kicking him down but missing the phoenix splash. Dar elbows him in the face again for two but Frazer catches him on top with a superplex. The Final Cut ties us up at 1-1 at 1:45 of the round and 12:25 overall. We take a break and come back with Frazer hitting a dive onto Dar but Lash Legend slows the count down. Frazer gets a very close two as the round ends.

Round six begins with Frazer forearming him down but Dar gets in some kicks from the mat. Frazer misses a kick in the ropes and gets struck down, only to have Dar miss a top rope stomp. Dar counters a kick into the kneebar but Frazer kicks his way out as we have a minute to go. Frazer goes up top but another distraction means the phoenix splash misses. The Nova Roller gives Dar the cup back at 2:45 of the round and 19;41 overall.

Official Winner - NEW Heritage Cup winner - Noam Dar

Official thoughts - These matches do have a unique feeling with the rounds, but when you miss most of two of those rounds, the special part kind of goes away. Other than that, this was a back and forth match, though Dar getting the Cup back is a bit depressing. He’s great in the role, but we’ve seen it for so long that it stops being so fun.

Ava says Ivy Nile tried to hurt her but couldn’t do it. If she wants to try again, come give it a shot.

Here is Tiffany Stratton to say it is the end of a hot summer. She won the Women’s Title and now the fall is going to get even better. She’s already a perfect champion so how much better can it get? Bayley promises to be a better champion than anyone in NXT history, including Becky Lynch (who never won the NXT Women’s Title).

Cue Gigi Dolin to say she wants the title. Cue Kiana James saying she wants the title. Cue Blair Davenport saying she wants the title. Insults are hurled and Tiffany tries to leave but cue Roxanne Perez to hit Tiffany in the face. The brawl is on with Tiffany leaving. This was very horrible “HEY, WHAT ABOUT ME” parade style promo you could ask for and that is not a good thing in any way.

Charlie Dempsey and Damon Kemp are training when Miles Borne comes in to talk to Drew Gulak. Borne has done his chores but Dempsey chokes him from behind. Despite Borne tapping, Gulak says Borne needs to work harder.

Ava is still waiting on Ivy Nile. Cue Ivy, with Ava telling the masked men to take her out. They unmask as the Creeds, who say that if Schism wants Ava back, the Dyad has to face them next week. In a cage, and if the Creeds win, they’re back in NXT.

The Meta Four are celebrating Noam Dar’s win when he is presented with a letter from the Heritage Cup committee. Next week, a #1 contenders tournament begins to find his new challenger for No Mercy. All Dar hears is he isn’t defending for five weeks so they’re off to California!

Match 4 - Judgment Day vs. Lyra Valkyria and Dragon Lee

Lee and Dominik start things off with Dominik hammering away before they trade standing switches. Lee hits a dropkick so it’s off to Ripley vs. Valkyria, with the latter jumping up or a headlock. Ripley powers her down but gets kicked from the mat before the threat of a roundhouse kick sends Ripley running. Valkyria slips out of a suplex attempt and strikes away before it’s back to the men, with Lee kicking Dominik in the head. Judgment Day is sent outside for a dropkick through the ropes and a dive as we take a break

Back with Ripley holding Valkyria in a bodyscissors and screaming a lot. Valkyria manages to turn it over and fires off forearms so Ripley suplexes her down. Ripley tries it again but this time it’s reversed into a DDT for a breather. The roundhouse kick connects for Valkyria but Ripley is knocked into the corner for a tag.

Lee drapes him over the top for a double stomp to the back and a near fall. Dominik misses a 619 attempt and gets planted with a sit out powerbomb for two. Valkyria’s hurricanrana off the apron is pulled out of the air but cue Raquel Rodriguez to go after Ripley. The distraction lets Lee hit a flipping reverse DDT for the pin at 14:05.

Official Winners - Dragon Lee and Lyra Valkyria

Official thoughts - Another good match on the show as Judgment Day continues to feel like the biggest stars anywhere when they’re around. Dominik oddly gets more heat out of being North American Champion on the main roster shows but around here he plays it a bit more seriously, which is quite the change. Lee is all but guaranteed the next title shot and that should make for a solid showdown, with a title change feeling a bit more likely than last time. Throw in Valkyria doing well enough against Ripley and this was a nice use of TV time.

Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams have a reunion and are all ok with each other.

Tiffany Stratton has gotten all the mentions and no, Becky Lynch was never NXT Women’s Champion. As for the other four, they’re in a four way match for a future title shot.

We look back at Thea Hail losing last week due to Andre Chase’s mistake.

Hail rants about how Chase cost her when Jacy Jayne came in to say Hail has improved a lot in the last year. Jayne talks about how everyone has been let down before, but people like them always get through it.

Match 5 - Von Wagner vs. Baron Corbin

Corbin jumps him during the entrance and sends Wagner (with Mr Stone) into the steps. Wagner gets in a few shots but is sent into the steps again and it’s time to load up the announcers’ table. Stone tries to make a save, allowing Wagner to get up…and get speared down by Bron Breakker. No match.

No official winner

Schism is down to face the Creeds, as long as they get Ava back.

Dijak is ready to hurt Eddy Thorpe.

Becky Lynch has sent out a tweet saying she has never been NXT Women’s Champion. Yet.

Match 6 - NXT Title: Carmelo Hayes vs. Wes Lee

Hayes is defending. They flip around a bit to start and then bounce back to their feet for a standoff. Lee takes him down for a fast two before they trade dropkicks into nip ups. A double knockdown sends us to a break as they’re mostly mirroring each other to start. We come back with things having slowed down a bit and Hayes hitting an enziguri into the corner. The Fade Away connects for Hayes and they’re both down again.

They slug it out until Hayes drops him for two, with some frustration setting in. Back up and Lee hits a standing Meteora for two, followed by Spiral Tap for two more. Hayes counters the Cardiac Kick into a suplex cutter though and Lee gets planted for two more. They head outside with Hayes DDTing him through the announcers’ table. Nothing But Net misses back inside though and Lee hits the Cardiac Kick, only to have Hayes roll outside. Lee misses a big dive and barely beats the count, leaving Hayes to hit Nothing But Net to retain at 12:08.

Official Winner - STILL NXT World Champion - Carmelo Hayes

Official thoughts - Hayes is a weird case as champion as he does all the things that make him feel like a star but his matches rarely hit that higher level. That was on display here as the match was good, but it wasn’t anything close to great. What matters is Lee got the chance and the ending, with him going a bit too far, could open him up for a rematch. Ilja Dragunov seems to be next for Hayes though and that should be a showdown.


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