wrestling / Columns

411’s WWE NXT No Mercy 2023 Preview

September 30, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
NXT No Mercy NWT Image Credit: WWE

Hello 411 guys, gals, enbies, and everyone else! Welcome to 411’s NXT No Mercy preview! I’m Jeremy Thomas and tonight NXT has arrived in California for their latest show taking place outside of the Capitol Wrestling Center. No Mercy has a lot of solid matches here — and at least one that is completely thrown together. But hey, at least it’s only one, right? Beyond that we have five title matches and a hoss battle, so it should be fun. There’s plenty to get into, so let’s get right down to it!

Kelani Jordan vs. Blair Davenport

Image Credit: WWE

OUr first match is one that was pretty much thrown on the card, and you’d be more than forgiven if you’d missed that it was announced. Blair Davenport has been in the midst of a feud with Gigi Dolin, which has seen the two go at each other multiple times. That came to a head (of sorts) on this week’s NXT when they were set to compete, only for Davenport to assault Dolin backstage before the match. As a result, the bout was cancelled. Then in a Digital Exclusive, Jordan said she had some anger to release (indirectly referencing Dana Brooke’s release) and challenged Davenport to a match. Apparently, at some point it was made official.

There’s not anything approaching heat for this match; it seems like it’s either a chance to get Davenport a win on the show or a way to have Dolin give Davenport a comeuppance. It should be noted that Jordan and Davenport did have a mini-feud that involved Brooke as well back in August, but that had already seemed blown off. Davenport could use the win here more, so I’m going to go with her getting the W — either by beating Jordan down another time (and then being attacked by Gigi) or by DQ when Gigi runs in and sideswipes here. Either way, this should be an okay if short match.

WINNER: Blair Davenport

Bron Breakker vs. Baron Corbin

Image Credit: WWE

Unlike our other title-less match, Bron Breakker vs. Baron Corbin has had plenty of build. How successful it’s been depends on your opinion of Corbin, who has been doing some solid work since he came to NXT. The storyline between these two has involved Von Wagner, as Corbin has wanted to see the NXT roster be more aggressive and he encouraged Bron and Von to beat the shit out of each other. Bron crushed Von’s head in the ringsteps and the week after, when Corbin tried to congratulate him, Bron said he didn’t care. Since then, they’ve been battling each other out of the ring, leading to this week where they had multiple segments attacking each other until they went right through the wall into Shawn Michaels’ office.

As I said, Corbin has been doing decent work in NXT and he’s looked more inspired in the ring than he has in some time. Meanwhile, Bron is getting more comfortable in his heel persona and adapting his style to fit it. This should be a good match, even if I am not a fan of heel vs. heel bouts as it is harder for them to get the crowd into the match. Corbin’s whole point of being in NXT is to find his fire and get the talent main roster-style experience. Bron is obviously near the point that he’s ready to be called up, and this should be a good chance to get him a win over a main roster guy. Breakker gets the win here and hopefully will be moving up soon, as he’s running out of things to do on Tuesday nights.

WINNER: Bron Breakker

NXT Tag Team Championship Match
Tony D’Angelo & Stacks vs. Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo
vs. The Creed Brothers vs. OTM

Image Credit: WWE

The NXT Tag Team Championships have been kind of on the backburner for a while. While there’s been plenty of tag team matches and even storylines, they have generally involved non-title situations such as the Creed Brothers’ battle with Schism. That looks like it’s ready to change as there are a number of teams that have been newly established like OTM, Hank & Tank, Angel & Humberto and the like who can potentially mix it up for the titles. All that said, this marks only the second Tag Team Championship defense for Tony and Stacks since they won the championships in July, so it’s well past time for this to happen.

We can easily do some process of elimination here. Right now, there’s no reason to expect OTM to win the titles. Bronco Nima and Lucien Price have potential, but they’ve only had three matches on the NXT proper (plus several on NXT Level Up) and they’re still at the point of getting established. Angel and Humberto are coming down from the main roster, but they’re not exactly Becky Lynch or Baron Corbin and their sole win on NXT since showing up was a loss back in July to Dragon Lee and Nathan Frazer. That brings it to The Creed Brothers and The Family. Tony and Stacks are definitely building up as a team and are still getting their title reign established, while a loss here doesn’t hurt the Creeds due to the Fatal Four-Way nature of the bout. Expect The Family to get the win to continue their title reign in what should be a decent enough bout.

WINNER: Tony D’Angelo & Stacks (STILL NXT Tag Team Champions)

NXT Heritage Cup Match
Noam Dar vs. Butch

Image Credit: WWE

The NXT Heritage Cup is looking for a bit of stability after being disputed between Noam Dar and Nathan Frazer for several weeks, and NXT No Mercy looks to be the first step toward that. Dar got to have some fun with his losing the Cup to Frazer, and once he got it back he and the Meta-Four have been able to take it a bit easy as they watched the Global Heritage Invitational roll out. WWE did a solid job with implementing the round robin tournament for the Cup; sure, it was hardly the G1 Climax but we got some very good matches out of it and it’s leading to a potential banger at the PPV.

Butch came out on top in the tournament, which was a bit of a swerve considering that Frazer and Joe Coffey were separately set up in storyline as potential winners. I don’t mind this at all though, as those two will be able to contend for the Cup in the future on NXT and this provides something different. There are two ways WWE could go with this; on one hand, Dar has been doing some silly but fun work in the lead up to this match and I wouldn’t mind seeing him continue with it — something I wouldn’t have said several weeks back. On the other hand, WWE has had success putting the NXT titles on main roster stars for short runs and Butch isn’t doing a ton on Smackdown anyway. Considering how hard WWE is leaning on the Raw and Smackdown talent for NXT right now I’m going to pick Butch, but I would not be surprised if I was wrong.

WINNER: Butch (NEW NXT Heritage Cup Champion)

NXT North American Championship Match
Dominik Mysterio vs. Trick Williams

Image Credit: WWE

The NXT North American Championship situation got a little glitchy when Mustafa Ali was released. Ali was set to face Mysterio after a long campaign for a title shot, and his release caught everyone — including Shawn Michaels — off guard. That led to this past week’s NXT where Trick Williams managed to get himself inserted into the North American Title #1 contender’s match and picked up the win, heading to a date with Dirty Dom at NXT No Mercy with Dragon Lee, who Dominik has been feuding with, as the guest referee.

This is a weird sort of match, if only because of the storylines. Dominik has been solid in his work on NXT as the heel champion, and it never hurts to have Rhea Ripley show up. But at the same time, Trick has gotten incredibly over with the NXT audience. I can definitely see where NXT might want to pull the trigger on Trick while he’s hot, but he’s also just now been pushed into this level after being built up with matches against Ilja Dragunov and others. Trick also has his growing gulf with Carmelo Hayes (more on that shortly) which could play both for or against the notion of his getting the title here. I see Trick coming close but failing to win the title when Judgement Day gets involved, giving Trick one more reason to be frustrated if Melo didn’t show up to have his back. That means more Dominik on NXT for now, which I’m fine with.

WINNER: Dominik Mysterio (STILL NXT North American Champion)

NXT Women’s Championship Extreme Rules Match
Becky Lynch vs. Tiffany Stratton

Image Credit: WWE

Becky Lynch’s NXT Women’s Championship win has been criticized on some parts of the internet for taking the title off Tiffany Stratton when she was coming into her own, and I get that. However, I also don’t have a problem with the decision. Lynch has clearly been good business for NXT, and giving The Man a short title reign not only made for a good story for her (giving her the title she was previously denied), it didn’t particularly hurt Tiffany. Stratton has grown by leaps and bounds as a competitor and a character, but these matches with Lynch are already doing a lot for her and set her up to be a much bigger name.

We already saw what these two could do in a regular match, and now we’ll be seeing them go at it under Extreme Rules. That means we’ll probably get some crazy bumps, plenty of kendo sticks, and maybe some shenanigans. But while outside interference could play into Stratton’s favor, I don’t think they do here. You may have heard in one of the gajillion news articles, reactions, interviews and such about it that WWE has signed Jade Cargill. There’s been a lot of question where she will debut and when, but if I were WWE I would want to immediately capitalize on the news of her signing. I expect that Lynch defeats Stratton in a hard-fought encounter, making Stratton look good and getting the win, before Cargill comes out and lays The Man out. That sets Cargill up for an immediate high profile feud befitting the WWE PR machine’s investment into her signing. Stratton will be just fine after this; this is too good an opportunity to late WWE pass it by.

WINNER: Becky Lynch (STILL NXT Women’s Champion)

NXT Championship Match
Carmelo Hayes vs. Ilja Dragunov

Image Credit: WWE

Carmelo Hayes and Ilja Dragunov are not two people I would have expected at the start of 2023 to have an extended feud. Not that I ever thought they wouldn’t deliver, but they’re just not two character types I expected to clash against each other for such an extended time. But as long as it keeps delivering matches like they have, they can keep feuding as long as they want. Melo has established himself firmly as the face of NXT and Dragunov has been able to balance having a credibly dominant persona and doing it without a title on him. They put on a strong match at the Great American Bash, and their promos against each other have been quite good to boot.

The one thing we can’t ignore about Melo and Ilja is the Trick Williams-sized elephant in the room. Trick notably got involved in the match between the two at the Great American Bash, and that is part of the storyline of Melo wanting this match so he can “remove the asterisk” next to his title reign in terms of beating Dragunov. Ilja had his own match with Trick and while the Mad Dragon got the win, he put Trick over as more than just a sidekick. Add all those factors in and include the growing tension between Trick and Melo, and you have to imagine he gets involved here. I’m going way out on a limb with this one, but I do think that Williams ultimately costs Melo the title. Dragunov does not seem bound for the main roster right now for whatever reason, and he’s going to need something to do. Meanwhile, the Melo vs. Trick feud doesn’t need the title, and in fact might hurt it as it’s harder to believe Trick might win if the NXT Championship is on the line. I’m predicting that Trick, angry that he lost the North American Championship, turns on Melo at last to cost him the title since he thinks Melo cares about the title more than him. That launches Hayes into his next feud and opens up the NXT Championship picture for a new contender to step up to the new champion.

WINNER: Ilja Dragunov (NEW NXT Champion)

And that’s all we have for NXT No Mercy! It’s a very solid card for the Tuesday night brand, and if they handle it right NXT could have a lot of momentum to carry them through the end of the year. Thank you as always for reading and remember that we will have live coverage of the show courtesy of Robert Winfree right here on 411mania.com. Now I’m taking off before Bron decides that my head looks crushable…

Image Courtesy of WWE

article topics :

NXT No Mercy, Jeremy Thomas