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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 5.16.23

May 16, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE NXT Image Credit; WWE
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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 5.16.23  

Hello, everyone and welcome to our live WWE NXT coverage right here on 411! I’m Jeremy Thomas as usual, and tonight the NXT Women’s Championship Tournament continues as Roxanne Perez battles Jacy Jayne and Cora Jade takes on Fallon Henley. Plus The Dyad will take on The Creed Brothers while Noam Dar will bring the Supernova Sessions to NXT with his guest Dragon Lee. NXT is headed toward Battleground in a couple of weeks so we’ll likely also see more with Bron Breakker and Carmelo Hayes, plus other fun hijinks.

Here at Thomas HQ, my movie-watching got kicked into high gear over the past week as I played a ton of catchup. I watched Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant, which is a compelling first and second half stitched together with a really sketchy conjoining sequence but otherwise quite good, along with Ben Affleck’s Nike drama Air which I found pretty fantastic all in all. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 provided a truly great sendoff to the MCU team.

On the downside, the DC animated film Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One didn’t register to me because the DC heroes rang false in some significant cases and I’m not familiar enough with RWBY to get that side of it. And Viking Wolf on Netflix was a perfectly mediocre werewolf film that didn’t do enough to distinguish itself from dozens of other generic werewolf movies. The Drop on Hulu was 100% not my bag, being filled with too much awkward comedy and not enough dark humor, while the Jena Malone-starring horror flick Consecration was fine and largely saved by Malone and the third act. Finally, I watched the decent documentary Mumbai Mafia: Police vs the Underworld on Netflix and Caddyshack, which is not as funny as I remember at all.

In TV updates, I completed RuPaul’s Celebrity Drag Race and have now moved onto Drag Race UK, having completed the first season. Will I make my way through all the international Drag Race franchises? We’ll see!

Anyway, we’re gonna have a lot to cover tonight so let’s hop right in.

As a reminder, the GoFundMe for Larry’s daughters is still active and if you can make a donation, that would be awesome. Thank you so much to everyone who’s done so thus far.

* We’re LIVE in the Capitol Wrestling Center and launching into the first match.

NXT Women’s Championship Tournament
Cora Jade vs. Fallon Henley

Lock up to start, Henley backed into the corner and Cora shoves her face and laughs. Henley shoves Jade back across the ring, Jade with a headlock and is shot into the ropes, Henley runs her over after some back and forth. Henley drops Jade seat first and kicks her, Jade into the ropes and Henley with the sliding under the ropes uppercut. Back into the ring, Henley with a shot and a suplex for two.

Henley goes for a splash but Cora moves, and she takes over by going after the knee. Double stomp on the back of the knee and then she grabs the knee, slamming it into the mat. Henley gets put on the apron and wrapped up in the ropes, Cora with a shot and then comes off the ropes for a front dropkick. Henley pulled into the ring for a two-count.

Jade wraps up Henley’s hurt knee for a legscissors submission, then transitions on top to slam her head into the mat. Henley reverses for a two count but Jade takes over, going after the knee. Henley escapes and lays in the firsts, she hits a diving back elbow and a clothesline. Charging back elbow in the corner, Henley off the ropes for a diving facebuster for a nearfall.

Henley picks Jade up but she floats over into a dragon suplex and knee to the back. Henley with a back kick and she charges in for a Shining Wizard, but she can’t cover and Jade rolls out of the ring. Henley follows, she rolls Jade in the ring and gets on the apron but Jade chopblocks Henley’s knee on the way in and hits the double underhook DDT for three.

Winner: Cora Jade (5:06)
Rating: ** 1/4
Thoughts: Obvious result is obvious based on Lyra being in the semis. This match never really got off the ground, they had a couple solid sequences but there were also some awkward transitions. It wasn’t terrible, but did lack a bit.

* In the locker room, the women thought Fallon had that and Kiana scoffs at them. Thea says she saw Kiana get eliminated last week, and Kiana says Thea’s a pathetic child. Thea says she should have been in the tournament and challenges Kiana, who asks if Thea needs a permission slip. She asks Duke and he says “Do whatever you want.”

* Wes Lee and Tyler Bate are meditating, and Lee says they have a match and can get back to this afterward. The Dyad then charge in and lay waste to the two. Joe Gacy walks up and says this charade of a friendship is based on lies and will burn out. He slams Wes against the lockers as Ava looks on.

* We’re in the NXT parking lot where Melo and Trick pull up and walk in. They make their way through, heading straight to the ring as Trick talks some shit to Charlie Dempsey and Drew Gulak.

Melo says last week his boy defended his honor and brought it to Bron Breakker, but afterward Bron said he wanted to send a message. Melo says ‘message received’ and says he knows this isn’t the same Bron from Stand & Deliver, but he’s not the same Carmelo Hayes. At NXT Battleground they’re in his yard, and in his yard he doesn’t bark; he bites. He calls Bron to come down to the ring.

And that brings, of course, Dempsey and Gulak. Gulak says Melo and Trick’s sit-in has gone on too long, and he doesn’t care if they’re embarrased; they don’t disrespect them. Dempsey says they brushed by them like they were nothing when they found out their tag match wasn’t happening. Gulak says unlike Melo and Trick, their flash is in the ring. The crowd chants “Willy Wonka” and Melo says when they speak the audience chants that, but when he speaks they chant “Melo!”

Trick says to hold on Mr. Gulak, Mr. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. And since they’re waiting on Mr Big Bad Booty Breaker, why don’t they compete? Gulak takes a cheap shot but Melo and Trick take over and send Dempsey and Gulak out of the ring.

* We see a vignette from Dijak where he says Ilja found out last week he’s the judge, jury and — but here’s Ilja! He says Dijak wants to break him, but he’s unbreakable. Dijak says Ilja enjoys pain and he enjoys inflicting it. Ilja says pain is inevitable, and Dijak says he’ll break Ilja. Ilja says he’d like to see Dijak try.

* We get a recap of Dani Palmer being attacked by the mysterious person at the weekend’s NXT house show.

The Creed Brothers vs. The Dyad

Julius and Fowler start and lock up, Fowler with an armdrag. They get back up and lock up, takedown by Julius. Wristlock reversed by Fowler, Julius ends up on the ground. Fowler with a monkey flip but Julius lands on his feet, into the ropes and Julius escapes as Brutus makes the tag and comes off the ropes for a double axehandle.

Fowler manages to get Brutus in the corner and Reid tags in, laying into Brutus and snapmaring him down. Rear chinlock by Reid to wear Brutus down. Brutus gets to his feet, Reid with some shots but Brutus knocks him down and picks him up for a delayed vertical suplex hold. Julius tags in and Brutus HANDS REID OVER. Julius finally drops Reid.

Reid escapes a waistlock with a back elbow and Fowler tags in. Creed reverses a suplex and they do the delayed vertical changeover again, Brutus is having issues holding him up so they tag AGAIN and Julius drops him. Cover for two.

Back elbow by Julius, Fowler tries to fight out and catches himself on the ropes, Reid tags in and they take out Julius. Brutus knocked off the ropes, Dyad with an enzuigiri into a Flatliner and Reid locks in a Koji Clutch! Fowler lays in some kicks and then backs off, Julius manages to escape and picks Reid up for a powerbomb as we go to PIP break.

We’re back with Julius in a chinlock by Reid, but he starts crawling across the ring with Reid on his back. Reid jumps down on Julius’ back to stop the tag and then snapmares him, knee to the back and a chinlock. Julius to his feet with Reid on his back, he gets close to the tag but Reid lays in fists — Julius with a slingshot suplex. Fowler tags in and grabs Julius’ foot, but he still gets the tag and Brutus comes in hot.

Fowler with a German suplex but Brutus lands on his feet and takes Fowler down, BRUTUS SMASH! Fowler tries to escape but is dragged back in for more smashing. Splash in the corner, he gets Fowler on his shoulders, slams him down for a nearfall.

Reid distracts Brutus and Fowler hits a jawbreaker. Both Dyad in, they sent Brutus into the ropes, he rolls up Reid and then hits Fowler with a Northern Light suplex, covering both of them for two.

Brutus is going wild, he pounces Reid out of the ring and then starts trading blows with Fowler. Double clothesline takes both men down. Ava has vanished as Reid and Julius both go up on the turnbuckles — stereo 450s to their opponents! Julius and brawl in the ring, jumping knee followed by a superkick but Julius lays Reid out.

Fowler is distracting Ivy as Ava sneaks out from under the ring — but Ivy grabs Ava in a dragon sleeper. In the ring, Reid misses a splash, Julius grabs him for a somersault slam and then a diving clothesline for three.

Winner: The Creed Brothers (14:12)
Rating: *** 1/2
Thoughts: That was just a fantastic match that fired on all cylinders. Hard-hitting, crips, some big spots and fast action — what more could we want?

* Earlier, Tony and Stacks are having dinner and Tony talks about getting a Tag Team Championship match. Stacks gets a phone call from Paulie at the Port Authority. Two men with badges come in and Tony says he has already made a generous donation to the foundation. The cops need him to go to the station due to criminal acts. Tony says he knows how this goes and goes with them, but he says it better be legit because he’s missing his meeting.

Stacks walks back in and asks the waitress what’s going on, then gets on his phone and walks away.

* The Creeds and Ivy get on the commentary headsets and Creed lays out the challenge to Gallus for the tag titles at Battleground.

* Noam Dar is WALKING backstage.

* It’s time for the Supernova Sessions! Dar welcomes us in the ring, live from the moon. He introduces himself and says Supernova Sessions is must-see TV and the creme de la creme of WWE talk shows. He says the first guest is supposedly a supreme athlete with eyes on his cup — but he ain’t gonna get it! He introduces Dragon Lee, who comes to the ring.

Dar tels Lee to sit in the single chair and thanks him for coming on and please make himself at home — but he forgot, Lee doesn’t speak English so he starts talking from a Speak Spanish Easy book. Lee says he speaks English better than Dar, and Dar says it’s $20 wasted.

Lee says it’s an honor to be among these people, except Dar. Dar doesn’t give people respect, and he comes from a family that gives respect. His father taught him to respect his opponent, and Dar says they aren’t here to talk about his father. Dar says Lee is a bonafide star — in Mexico. Lee says not to talk about his country, and says Mexican people have spirit and passion, just like the people in NXT.

Dar says the passion and pride Lee has for his heritage is the same Dar has for the Heritage Cup. Lee asks if he is willing to put the Cup on the line and says he has to defend it. Dar says he doesn’t know what he’s asking for. He explains it condescendingly and says you have to be a master of the game to understand, and there are procedures and protocols.

That brings out Nathan Frazer, who says he has to expose Dar as a massive fraud. Dar calls for security, and Frazer says it doesn’t matter how many rules Dar makes up; the Cup has to be defended like any title. And Dar doesn’t get to choose how to defend it. Dar does some more racist stuff and Frazer says Lee speaks English fine and everyone wants to see Dar defend the title. Dar says if Lee fills out the forms, but Lee lays out the challenge for Battleground. Frazer baits Dar into accepting the challenge. Dar says for having the audacity to interrupt, he’s going to kick Frazer’s ass next week in a non-Cup match.

* Ilja is in pain in a vignette and Dijak asks if he’s had enough. Ilja gasps for air but grins and says “Not even close.” Dijak picks up the truncheon and fade to black.

* McKenzie asks Jacy Jayne about her match with Roxy tonight and Jacy says she’s not confident at all and doesn’t know why they’re having the match, then laughs and says she’ll need better questions when she’s Women’s Champion. SHe says Roxy’s time is done and she wanted to face Gigi in the semifinals, but Gigi failed just like she always does. Meanwhile, Jacy is a winner and she’ll just have to picture Gigi’s face when she kicks Roxy’s face in.

Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams vs. Charlie Dempsey & Drew Gulak

Dempsey and Trick start, Demspey with a cheap shot and wristlock which is reversed. Dempsey with a snapmare, he tuns intot he ropes and counters an armdrag into a bridge for one. Trick lays in several dropkicks and Dempsey backs away, tagging in Drew. Melo also tags in, and they lock up. Gulak with knees to the ropes and an armdrag, Melo hits one of his own and then a headlock takedown. But Drew right to his feet, he sends Melo into the corner but he springboards out and hits an armdrag.

Melo into the ropes, they go into some counterwrestling and Gulak with a sunset flip for two. Drew with a wristlock and backs up so Dempsey can tag in, they send Melo into the ropes and run him over, cover for two.

Dempsey with a standing armbar, it turns into a back and forth, Melo with a crucifix for two but Dempsey quickly turns it into a Boston Crab attempt,Melo counters out and tags in Trick who runs over Dempsey for two.

Dempsey with a shot to the throat, and Drew with a cheap shot behind the ref’s back. GUlak with a snapmare while Dempsey exits the ring, Drew with a partial surfboard and grabs the hair to pull for four. Dempsey tags in, they send Trick into the corner for one and then two German suplexes, cover for two. Dempsey locks in a single leglock, Trick escapes with kicks and Melo gets the hot tag. He goes over Drew and nails Dempsey on the apron, superkick to Drew. Dempsey tags in and gets run over with a springboard forearm. He picks Dempsey up and bombs him, cover but Drew breaks it up.

Trick tags in and goes for a backslide, Dempsey into the corner and Trick with a big roundhouse. Melo tags in, Rocker Dropper off the top finishes it.

Winner: Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams (6:29)
Rating: ** 3/4
Thoughts: Great for the time it got. This was fast-paced and chaotic in a good way, with all four men matching up well. Imagine what they could do with a decent amount of time…

Afterward, Melo gets on the mic and calls out Bron. Bron appears on the Tron and asks Melo how his ribs feel after last week? Bron says Melo’s going to have to wait a week longer because Bron made a pit stop. He’s at the barber shop where everyone is looking nervous. He stands up and walks out.

* Duke is grading papers when Thea comes up psyched up for her match. Duke has forgotten about it but plays it off.

* Dar is walking along talking to his Heritage Cup when he sees Lash Legend and Miss Jackson and talks with them. He asks Lash if she watched, and Lash talks about all the talk shows on WWE when the only one they should be talking about is The OG — Lashing Out With Lash Legend. Uh….

Thea Hail vs. Kiana James

Hail gets in Kiana’s face and gets shoved down twice, but Thea ducks a clothesline and knocks Kiana down before running on her back. Kiana nails Thea and goes for her bag, Thea rolls her up for one.

Thea takes over and lays into Kiana, taking her down. Kiana goes on the attack but gets sent to the outside, Hail dives through the ropes onto Kiana and lays in punches. James rolled back in, Thea goes up top for a splash but Kiana moves. Kiana with kneelifts to Hail, cover for two.

James with a knee to Thea’s side and another, she picks Hail up in the corner and decks her before snapmaring her. Cover for two. Kiana with a sitting waistlock to Thea in the center of the ring. Hail gets to her feet but gets taken right back down, Kiana with a stomp to the midsection. Hail sent face-first into the turnbuckle, then gets shoved into the corner a couple of times for punches to the gut. Thea blocks another attempt and goes on the attack, big knee and clotheslines. Northern lights suplex without the bridge, she springboards into a drop onto James.

James sends Thea to the outside, but she nails her and goes up top, crossbody for two. Hail frustrated now, she goes for a suplex but Kiana counters and hits a front suplex. Thea charges but is hung on the ropes, 401K finishes it.

Winner: Kiana James (4:53)
Rating: ** 1/4
Thoughts: As good as it could be for the time given. Neither of these two are fantastic yet, but they worked well against each other.

* Tank and Hank are examining Tanks new teeth when Briggs and Jensen walk up and congratulate the two on their toughness. Briggs says he and Jensen beating the hell out of each other was the best thing that ever happened to them. They leave and say drinks are on them. Tank says they should do that too because they need to be close, so they should face off next week in a hoss fight. It’ll be a bonding experience! Hank agrees to it.

* We get a replay of Wes Lee and Tyler Bates’ beatdown and McKenzie is with them in medical. Bate is still being looked at. Wes says he normally loves his time with McKenzie but tonight he’s gonna say what he needs to say to the NXT Universe. He makes sure Bate is okay and says “Stay Tuned!” before heading out.

* Dabba-Kato says he came to NXT to get rid of Apollo Crews, and that during the Draft the NXT roster wanted to see him drafted elsewhere, but he’s not going anywhere. He’s on the hunt and every NXT star is his prey.

* Edris and Malik are backstage with Axiom and Eddy Thorpe, and Edris says Axiom looks pissed. They talk about Dabba-Kato’s promo and my feed went wonky so I don’t know how it finished.

* Wes Lee is out here to speak! And he is not happy. He says he wanted to address everyone and says the match isn’t happening because of Schism’s attack. He says he’s gotten better at controlling his anger, but when you attack him and his body you piss him off. He says Gacy’s goons aren’t friends and if Gacy wanted a North American Title match, all he had to do is ask.

Gacy appears on the platform with Ava and says he’s never been dishonest about what he wants — the NXT North American Championship. Ava says that Wes is becoming closer and closer to being the North American Championship, but what will that mean when Gacy beats him. Gacy says that he wants the match at Battleground and Lee needs to tell Bate that. Bate comes out angry and says he’s had it with the high school name-calling rubbish. Maybe Gacy is still bitter from losing at S&D, and he has a receipt coming for him.

Lee says Gacy is about to have a busy night, competing twice in a night. Bate says he and Lee are friends, but he’d be lying if he said he didn’t want a match for the NA Title. Gacy tries to butt in and Lee tells him to shut up. He asks Lee why he didn’t ask, and Bate says his bad. They can still do it in the spirit of competition, and he’d never let the title get in the way of his friendship.

Gacy asks who it’s gonna be, and Lee says he’ll take them both on in a triple threat. He tells Bate he thought he could trust him and walks off.

* We get a vignette where Roxy talks about how her journey to the NXT Women’s Championship started exactly one year ago with the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament. She has a photo board from the last year including his match with Meiko and her Rumble appearance. She asks what her board will look like next year. It’s nerve-wracking but also exciting. She knows where she’s been and where she wants to go. It’s just about how she gets there.

* Von is talking with some about his battle royal when when he walks up on Javi talking shit to Robert Stone. He grabs Javi and throttles him, saying they’ll settle things in the ring. Stone says Von just stood up for him, and Von says that Stone believes in him. Stone tries to get Von to talk about that childhood photo, and Von says “Nice try.”

NXT Women’s Championship Tournament
Jacy Jayne vs. Roxanne Perez

Lock up to start, Roxy backed into a corner and Jacy talks shit but gets rolled up for less than one. Roxy with a big slap to the face, Jacy swings but Joxy ducks and nails a waistlock. Jacy nails Roxy and sends her into the ropes, but Roxy rolls through and bridges into a cover for two. Another rollup for two and a wristlock from Roxy, Jacy grabs the ropes to avoid another rollup attempt and runs her over, but Roxy with another cover for two.

SHoulerlock from Jacy, she gets shoved into the ropes and they have an awkward moment before Jacy gets a shot to the back. Roxy is up on the top rope, Jacy shoves her off to the apron and Roxy tries to come back but gets knocked off the apron into the commentary booth as we go to PIP break.

We’re back as Jayne slams Roxy down and covers for two. Jacy with a stomp to the back and then a modified camel clutch — during which she licks Roxy’s hair? Okay. She slams Roxy to the mat and charges into the corner to drive the shoulder into Roxy’s midsection. Roxy is backed off and charges back in, but Roxy moves. Jacy moves in and gets kicked in the head, Roxy lays in a fist that is returned. Roxy is up and they start trading shots. Roxy catches a boot and then goes HAM with punches before dropkicking Jacy out of the ring. Roxy kips up and dives through the ropes onto Jacy!

Roxy rolls Jacy in and goes up top, high crossbody and then a knee off the ropes. Russian legsweep, floatover into the cover for two. Roxy is lying in wait now, she goes for a spinkick but Roxy catches it and goes for the gut. Roxy with a Pop Rocks attempt, but Jacy counters out and hits a superkick, discus punch for a nearfall.

Jacy frustrated now and mounts Roxy for punches. She picks Roxy up on her shoulders but Roxy grabs the ropes — Jacy with a facebuster but Roxy recovers and ducks a kick, hitting the Pop Rocks for the win.

Winner: Roxanne Perez (9:06)
Rating: ** 1/2
Thoughts: Not as good as it should have been, they had a couple sketchy moments but on the whole it was a perfectly fine match.
Tiffany and Roxy face off next to the title as Gigi attacks Jacy in the ring. They brawl to the outside and officials break them up.

* Carmelo comes out to the ring and says he knows traffic isn’t that bad, so let’s get Bron out here. They plan to wait here all night, as we go to break.

* Back to Ilja the Masochist vs. Dijak the Sadist. Ilja is hurting bad, and Dijak says he told him he’d break any man. Ilja says he’s still standing. Dijak is impressed. Remember, the sub is always the one who actually has control in the dynamic.

Set For Next Week:
– Noam Dar vs. Nathan Frazer
– Women’s Title Tournament Semifinals

* Hayes and Trick are still waiting in the ring. Bron’s music finally plays and here he comes to the ring — with a host of security. Bron says he didn’t bring them out for him, because last time he speared Melo through the wall. Bron brought them out to protect them from him. Trick says the only person who needs protection is Bron, and Bron reminds Trick that he beat him last week.

Melo says big talk for a guy behind a wall of security. Some people say Bron changed for the better, but Melo says Bron has no one to blame but himself. He thought he was untouchable until he got touched, and at NXT Battleground he’s not taking the title.

Bron says they fight for very different reasons. Melo wants to retain the title, which is fine because that doesn’t interest him. Rather, it’s destroying Melo in his home city so his fans and family leave crying about how their hero couldn’t get the job done. Melo says Bron does it with so much conviction and belief, but there’s a reason why they’re in the main event. No one else is cut like them. Melo says beating Bron will help him build the dynasty he’s going to build over Bron’s body.

Bron then talks about dynasties ending in Boston and trashes Boston’s sports teams. He’s going to put an end to the dynasty before it begins. Melo dives over the ropes onto the security, the security holds Trick back and Melo gets caught with a clothesline. Bron with a gorilla press, but Melo slips out, hits a low blow and hits Bron with the title.

And with that, we’re done for the night!

The final score: review Good
The 411
This was definitely an improved episode of NXT from last week. If nothing else we got a great tag team match, but even beyond that NXT was more focused and not trying to transition from the amount of call-ups like last week's show did. The Women's Title Tournament matches were somewhat disappointing but the Melo vs. Bron stuff was pretty good, and there was a lot of solid set-up for NXT Battleground. Was this a great show? Not really. But it was thoroughly solid.

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WWE NXT, Jeremy Thomas