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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 5.30.23

May 30, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE NXT Baron Corbin Image Credit: WWE
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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 5.30.23  

Hello, everyone and welcome to our live WWE NXT coverage right here on 411! I’m Jeremy Thomas as usual, and with Battleground in the books NXT is ready for the fallout. Tonight’s show will feature Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne (hopefully) culminating their feud with a Weaponized Steel Cage match, while Carmelo Hayes will address his win over Bron Breakker at Battleground and Tiffany Stratton will have a “Tiffybration” of her Women’s Championship win. Plus, the mystery attacker that’s been laying the NXT women’s roster low will reveal themselves and probably more fallout from the show. Should be a good time all in all.

Here at Thomas HQ, I had a relatively light week of movie-watching. I watched Orson Welles’ noir masterpiece Touch of Evil for the first time at least, and it’s as good as its reputation proclaims. I also watched the Marlene Dietrich classic Shanghai Express from 1932, which was a lot of fun. In more modern cinematic viewing, I watched Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game which was an enjoyable little film about the man who helped reverse the ban on pinball in many US cities in the 1970s, as well as the action-thriller The Best Man which was incredibly dull for a wedding-set Die Hard.

In TV updates, I watched the first season of Queen Of the Universe on Paramount+ ahead of the second season’s premiere on Friday. It’s a drag queen take on American Idol, and a lot more fun than that reality show. And in reading, I’m making my way through Stephen Graham Jones’ 2021 horror novel My Heart is a Chainsaw about a slasher-obsessed girl in an Idaho town who believes her town is becoming ground zero for their own serial killer. It’s solid, though it does take a little while to get going.

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 kicking off with the Weaponized Steel Cage match! But first we get a vignette recapping the feud.

Weaponized Steel Cage Match
Gigi Dolin vs. Jacy Jayne

Jacy of course attacks Gigi on her way out of the ring and slams her into the ring apron, assaulting her. She gets Gigi on the steps and slams the door on her, then gets them in the ring and the bell rings.

Jacy goes straight into a bag and comes out with a leather strap, whipping Gigi across the back and then doubling her over before another strap shot to the back. Jacy grabs a chair and sets it up, but she turns around into a boot to the gut and a trash can lid to the back. Gigi moves in but Jacy puts her face first into the chair, Gigi turns it around and hits a crossbody onto the chair.

Gigi sends Jacy into the cage wall twice, then grabs the strap and whips her with it. Gigi grabs a garbage can and puts it over Jacy, then kicks it and shoves Jacy down. She grabs the trash can and puts it on Jacy, talking shit and slapping her before coming off the ropes with a dropkick. Cover gets two.

Gigi grabs the strap and chokes Jacy with it, then shoved her down. She grabs another trash can and sets it down, then grabs a baseball bat with thorns on it and lays into Jacy’s gut in the corner. She rubs it over Jacy’s cheek before backing off for a moment, then swings — but Jacy ducks and hits a spinebuster onto the trash can as we go to PIP break.

We’re back as Jacy has a chain across Gigi’s face, but Gigi sends her into the turnbuckle. Big clothesline and a cover for two. Gigi throws some chairs into the center of the ring and grabs Jacy, going for a half-and-half suplex but Jacy escapes and hits a neckbreaker ONTO THE CHAIRS! Cover gets a nearfall.

The two start trading shots on their knees and get to their feet, Gigi takes over and goes for an abdominal stretch but is sent into a garbage can set up in the corner. Kick right to the face and a cannonball. Cover but Gigi kicks out at two and a half.

Jacy grabs a table and sets it up, then grabs Gigi for a suplex but Gigi blocks it and fights back. She turns it around and hits a kneelift, picks Jacy up but gets thrown into the cage. Jacy has Gigi out on the apron now and climbs up the corner, pulling Gigi up and slamming her into the cage multiple times. She climbs up but gets headbutted. Gigi slams Jacy into the cage wall and hits a weak choke slam through the table for three.

Winner: Gigi Dolin (12:30)
Rating: ** 3/4
Thoughts: This was their best match yet because they got to work around their lack of chemistry with the weapons. That’s not to say it was amazing, but it was fun enough and hopefully is the end of this feud.

* We get a recap montage of the events at NXT Battleground including Ava helping Gallus get the Tag Title retention, Wes Lee defending his NA Title, Moan Dar getting help to retain the Heritage Cup, Ilja Dragunov surviving Dijak, Tiffany’s NXT Women’s Title win, and Melo beating Bron to retain the NXT Championship.

* McKenzie is with Wes Lee and talks about his 10 successful defenses. He says he’s pumped but a bit sore at the same time. He says when he won the title at Halloween Havoc he didn’t know how long she’d be riding with him but through all the titles…

Here come The Dyad to threaten Lee and Tyler Bate backs him up. Dyad leave and Bate says he still has Wes’ back.

* Tony D’Angelo is getting his mugshot done.

* Gallus are backstage talking about their win at Battleground. Joe Coffey says they can’t be stopped, and they ask who’s next. Mark jokes that Tony D can’t be involved because he’s in prison, and Stacks walks in and says he knew it was them. They deny it and ask him what he’s going to do. He says snitches get stitches and attacks, but gets beat down despite officials trying to separate them.

* Here comes Melo! The NXT Champion (and Trick) make their way out to the ring. Trick says let’s get straight to business and says Melo went to Battleground and left still champion in his hometown. Melo says he did that and that NXT Battleground was exactly that: a battle. He says Melo’s crowd was going crazy and it was nothing but net. Melo says sometimes you have to take shots to make shots, and when it comes to the NXT Championship he never misses. Melo says Battleground was just another brick laid down in the foundation of —

Here comes Naom Dar with Ora, Lash and Jakara, who says Melo managed to escape his hometown still champion. But he wasn’t the only one to retain his championship. He calls the Heritage Cup the most important title in NXT and says Melo just managed to beat Breakker, while he beat Dragon Lee twice.

Trick says it took all four of them to cheat and beat Dragon lee, and now are out to interrupt Trick and Melo which is a super no-no. Melo says he saw the match and good job, but there are levels to this game and his title is on the highest level. He beat Lee twice, but he couldn’t beat Melo once. That’s all it is, and all —

Dar interrupts and says the adults are talking. He says that sounds like a challenge and says it would be the biggest mistake against his life. He dares Melo to put the title on the line him against him tonight. Trick says he’s trying to take advantage of Melo and Dar says “Duh!” He says Melo is counting his minutes like an NBA superstar because he doesn’t have it to compete on the highest level like him. He says Melo has what Lash calls load management.

Melo says “Load management, my ass” and agrees to the match.

* We go back to earlier today where Cora is saying that Lyra headbutted her in the eye and blinded her in her match and she’d be NXT Women’s Champion. No one believes it. She says no one should be celebrating anyone but her. Ivy Nile walks up and says Cora needs to suck it up because she lost. Cora tells Ivy not to give her attitude because her boys lost and Ava whipped her ass. Ivy says they were in a fight, and where was she? She leaves and Cora says she’s not afraid of Ivy.

* Reggie walks up to Axiom at Battleground and asks what he’s up to. Axiom is skeptical and Reggie says growing up, people called him SCRYPTS. He says he appreciates what Axiom did for him by taking the mask off, because it opened his eyes and he’s seeing what needs to be seen. He says he helped Axiom against Dabba-Kato because of that and thanks him before leaving.

The Dyad vs. Tyler Bate & Wes Lee

Reid starts with Bate and they lock up. Reid with a wristlock, reversed by Bate who flips Reid over. He goes right back the wrist but is backed into the corner where Fowler tags in and nails Bate. Bate fights back in the corner and climps up for a leaping uppercut, Wes Lee tags in and gets two on a pin.

Wes with a waistlock, they go into the ropes and Fowler holds on. Rana by Lee and a crossbody for a two-count. He tags in Bate who comes off the top with an axehandle to the elbow. Fowler manages to shove Bate into the corner which crotches Lee. Reid is in now, they go at him but he dodges them and tags in Lee who dives off and takes them both down. Double dropkick, Dyad to the floor and they come back in to stare off —

And Mustafa Ali is here in the crowd! He’s watching the match and gets an Ali chant as we go to break.

We’re back and Reid has Bate in a headlock as Ali has joined the commentary booth. The Dyad go for a double suplex but Bate knees his way out and takes both men down. Fowler grabs hold of Bate but he pushes Reid away, and gets into the corner where Lee tags in. Lee with rapid fire kick offense and a takedown of Fowler, he flips through a waistlock by Reid into a DDT on Fowler! Kicks and a double stomp to Reid, he kicks Fowler and goes for the Cardiac Kick but Fowler dodges and nails Lee.

Fowler knocks Bate off the corner, Lee into the ropes — double Cardiac Kick! Bate tagged in, they both go up and dive onto Dyad. Lee dives on Fowler, Bate hits Tiger Driver ’97 on Reid and that’s it.

Winner: Wes Lee & Tyler Bate (9:21)
Rating: *** 1/4
Thoughts: Fantastic match, as if we would expect anything less from them.

Ivy Nile attacks Ava post-match and it turns into a brawl outside the ring as Bate and Lee watch inside the ring. Gacy then comes in and shoves them both down, then stomps at Lee until Ali comes in and makes the save, tossing Gacy. Gacy looks pissed as Ali celebrates with Lee and Bate.

* Drew Gulak and Charlie Dempsey are teaching at Chase U and show how Thea Hail failed to win and made her cry last week. Earlier today, they’re teaching in the ring and Duke says Thea doesn’t need to be here. She says she never wants to feel that way again and enthusiastically demands to get in the ring. Duke says okay and she gets in, being mocked by Drew and Charlie who tell her not to cry this time. Thea and Dempsey start to face off.

* It’s time for the Tiffy-bration! Stratton makes her way to the ring which is set up with photos of her. She says to raise your hand if you’re not surprised that she’s the new champion. She’s not. At Sunday she claimed her spot at the center of NXT. She says the title has been held by the likes of Bayley, Asuka, and Charlotte Flair and tonight she’s going to show everyone what it means to be a true champion. And when she thinks of what a champion is, it’s her. No one in the locker room can do what she does, and when she looks in the mirror she sees the epitome of what a true WWE Superstar is. So she wants to invite the whole women’s locker room to see what a champion is.

No one comes out, and she says they must not want to know who her first opponent is. The women eventually come out and she says she knows they’re all starstruck and want to know what’s next. She says to be honest, she can’t think to herself that she’s going to be champion for a long time. She says she might as well retire as champion and runs down the women’s division. She says it’s so awkward, she invited them all out there — JUST KIDDING! She had a Tiffany Epiphany on the way back from Battleground — why not give them all an opportunity at her Tiffy Title? There will be a #1 contender’s battle royal next week, but it doesn’t matter who’s going to win because she’s going to beat all of them to it. It’s Tiffy Time as long as she wants.

Thea Hail attacks Tiffany and sends her out of the ring, and she gets a dropkick as well. Tiffany throws a tantrum and says it’s supposed to be her moment.

* Trick is on the phone and says it’s going to be all right and they’ll be there later. Lash, Ora and Jakara walk up and Jakara says Melo’s gonna get whipped by Dar. Which is too bad because he’s kind of cute. Trick tells them to buzz off, and Ora says Melo should have taken the night off. Trick calls Ora a Shyster and calls Miss Jackson the distraction. He says he’s watching all of them tonight and leaves.

* Dani Palmer is still in the ring and says she can’t leave until she finds out who the attacker is. The attacker promised to reveal herself tonight, and she attacked Dani and Sol Ruca, putting Sol out for a year. She tells the attacker to reveal herself and we get a vignette of all the attacks on the Tron. The attacker turns around and — of course Palmer gets attacked in the ring. The person nails Dani with a Michinoku Driver and reveals herself as Blair Davenport. She knocks Dani out of the ring and strikes a pose.

* Last week, Eddy Thorpe was congratulated on his match by Edris Enofe and Malik Blade. Eddy says he has a few things he wished he could have back and they tell him not to worry about it. Damon Kemp walks up and says he was impressed, but Eddy can’t win without cheating. They face off next week.

Joe Coffey vs. Stacks

Stacks attacks at the bell and stomps down Joe, but Joe back up and goes in to attack the hurt ribs. Takedown by Stacks and a headlock, they’re back to their feed and Stacks with knees to the head to knock Joe down. Fistdrop and a cover for two.

Stacks locks in a headlock, Joe to his feet and gets taken right back down. Cover for two, and another. Joe rolls Stacks over to his shoulders for one, Stacks with a headlock and gets shot into the ropes — big hip toss. Joe with fists to the head and a hard whip into the opposite corner. Stomp and an elbowdrop by Joe, cover for two.

Joe talks shit and gets decked, but he beats on Stacks and nails another hip toss. Stacks is fighting back, he gets to his feet but Joe falls to the mat. Cover for two. Coffey back up and hits a big scoop slam, he moves in but gets sent to the apron and a dropkick sends Coffey to the floor. Stacks out of the ring and nails Joe as we go to break.

We’re back with Stacks in a legscissors submission, but he rolls Joe back for a one-count and then goes for a sharpshooter. Joe kicks out and sends Stacks off the ropes, picking him up and hanging him. Coffey with a press slam for two.

Stacks fights back and hits a DDT on Joe, both men slow to get up. Stacks with repeated shots to Joe and leaping back elbow off the ropes. Charging uppercut and a neckbreaker gets two, he goes up top but Joe with an uppercut. Joe climbs up, super belly to belly! He covers for a nearfall.

Joe sent into the corner, he comes out into a backdrop. Coffey with a clothesline that sends Stacks over the top, and Joe goes with! Stacks with a charging forearm to Coffey, he charges in but Joe moves and Stacks hits the ring steps. Joe gets Stacks in the ring, Glasgow Sendoff and a spinning elbow for three.

Winner: Joe Coffey (9:59)
Rating: ** 3/4
Thoughts: Quite a good match, other than some pretty clear missed punches and such by Stacks. Stacks did the underdog thing well but Coffey rightly got the win.

* Last week, Stone asked Von what his rampage was about last week. Von says Luca had what was coming to him, and Stone says he could have been suspended for that. He says Von has some serious issues in his past and needs to talk to a therapist. Von says all a therapist will do is take his money, and Stone says he’ll pay for it. Von will think about it.

* We get a vignette where Ilja speaks with his son ahead of Battleground and says everything will be fine and he’ll see him. He asks if the pain searches for him or if he searches for it. Maybe he is the pain. It doesn’t matter because the world shall know pain tonight. He psyches himself up and we get a montage from the match with Dijak in slow motion, including Ilja’s win. Dragunov returns next week.

Cora Jade vs. Ivy Nile

Ivy nails Jade in the face and she acts like she was hurt in the eye, then gets a kick off and points and laughs. Headlock and Jade goes into the ropes, Ivy catches her and clotheslines her down, then wraps her up and covers for two.

Nile begins working the arm and flips her over, then picks her up on her shoulders. Jade elbows out and slams Nile back to the mat by her hair. Cover gets two. Jade stomps away at Nile and picks her up to throw her back to the mat. She lays in a fist and throws Nile to the apron, then grabs her and wraps her up in the ropes for a chop to the mouth! She comes off the ropes, front dropkick and then a cover for two.

Jade locks in a reverse chinlock on Ivy. Nile up to her feet and snapmares Cora over, she rolls her up for two. Nile with kicks to the head, she sends Jade across the ring and hits a leaping thrust kick for two. Fisherman’s suplex countered into an inside cradle from Jade for two, and Jade slams Nile down. Stomp off the ropes misses and Nile slams Jade down. Ava runs in and ttacks, Nile catches her in a Dragon Sleeper, Jade attacks and hita a DDT for the win.

Winner: Cora Jade (4:06)
Rating: ** 1/2
Thoughts: A pretty basic match, but it was fine for the time it got and was there to advance the Ava/Ivy feud plus get Cora a win.

* Hank asks Tank how his shoulder is, he says it’s getting better and asks Hank how the wrist is. Tank says that they’re feeling tighter than ever and have a connection. Tank asks them to do favorite food on three: chicken parm! Favorite animal: honey badger! Favorite wing sauce: buffalo! Malik and Edris walk up and they say they’re tight, but Edris and Malik say it’s only been one match. Tank and Hank say best movie is: Jaws. Edris and Malik try to do it but can’t agree, Edris says they’re not vibing.

* We get a promo for the Great American Bash on July 30th.

* McKenzie is backstage with Diamond Mine, and Ivy says she’s sick of this crap. She wants to face Ava next week, and Creeds want to face Diamond Mine. Ava and The Dyad show up and it becomes a shouting match.

Set For Next Week:
– Ilja Dragunov returns
– Eddy Thorpe vs. Damon Kemp
– NXT Women’s Title #1 Contender’s Battle Royal

NXT Championship Match
Carmelo Hayes vs. Noam Dar

They lock up to start, Dar with a wristlock that Melo reverses, putting Dar on the mat. Dar reverses out and gets Melo on the ropes, he misses a kick and Melo with a headlock. Dar gets Melo down with a foot to the knee and then locks in the elbowlock, but Melo counters out of that into one of his own. The counterwrestling continues, Dar into the ropes and runs into Hayes to no effect, but he kicks Melo in the face. But Melo right back and hits a springboard forearm to send Dar out of the ring as we go to PIP break.

Back from break and Melo has Dar in a shoulderlock, but Dar drops him against his shoulder. They go into the corner, Melo charges in, Dar with the foot up and gets set in the ropes for a kick to the head and a springboard Rocker Dropper for two.

Dar back elbows Melo and sends him through the ropes to the apron. Melo misses a fish, Dar trips him up and hits a dropkick to send him to the floor. He gets Hayes back in and covers for two, then hits a quick charging elbow for another nearfall.

Dar with a double underhook suplex for a two-count. He picks Melo up, Melo fights back but Dar with a left elbow for another nearfall. Dar with kneelifts but Melo counters with a rollup for two, Hayes comes off the ropes and hits a spinning bulldog. Both men up, they trade strikes and Melo takes over. Big clothesline and a thrust kick, pump kick off the ropes. Dar counter a whip but gets planted for two.

Melo looking frustrated and he goes to up top, but the ladies provide distraction. Ora sneaks up on Trick and gets decked; Trick gets ejected from the ring! Dar tries to roll Melo up and it gets reversed, Dar with a big elbow and a cover. Kickout but Dar right into the leglock. Melo escapes and locks in a crossface, Dar is able to get to the ropes.

Dar kicks Melo away and they get up, Melo with a shot and Dar returns it. Back to trading blows, Dar takes over but eats a spinning elbow. Cutter for Hayes, and he goes up top but Ora Mensah shoves him off. Nathan Frazer and Dragon lee yank Ora down and Dar exits the ring — Hayes leaps on them both! Dar back in the rope, Nothing But Net, that’s it.

Winner: Carmelo Hayes (11:21)
Rating: *** 1/2
Thoughts: Dar was a good opponent here for a champion vs. champion match that didn’t require both titles be on the line thanks to no British Rounds rules. The match was, as should be expected, pretty great even if I would definitely like to see them get more time. But it gets Melo another title defense under his belt and ended the show strong, so it works for me.

Melo paoses with the title — and Baron Corbin attacks Melo! Corbin gets Melo in the ring and beats him down, then hits the End of Days. He poses with the title. Oh. Joy.

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

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
NXT had a really good episode for the most part this week. We had largely very good to good matches, including that opening match which could have gone very wrong. This was a focused episode that did a lot to establish what's next after Battleground, and while I can gripe about Corbin I want to be optimistic here because he would work well with Hayes. Mustafa Ali is also a bonus. This was a strong show that had me entertained throughout and outside of the flubs in Stratton's promo, I have very few complaints.

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WWE NXT, Jeremy Thomas