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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 9.26.23

September 26, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE NXT Image Credit: WWE
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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 9.26.23  

Hello everyone, and welcome to our live WWE NXT coverage right here on 411! It’s me as usual, Jeremy Thomas, and tonight we’ll see the NXT Global Heritage Invitational conclude as Joe Coffey and Butch battle for a shot at Noam Dar’s Heritage Cup at No Mercy. No Mercy is the name on everyone’s lips with just a few days left to go, and we’ll see Carmelo Hayes and Ilja Dragunov to sign their NXT Title Match contract for the PPV tonight as well. Plus Eddy Thorpe and Dijak will do battle in a strap match while Gigi Dolin takes on Blair Davenport amid their heated rivalry. We’ll also surely get some clarification on who Dominik Mysterio will defend the NXT North American Championship against at Saturday’s show. Should be a fun show tonight.

Here at Thomas HQ, I’m been busy providing remote coverage of Fantastic Fest 2023. You can check out my reviews of the splendidly nasty upcoming Netflix series The Fall of the House of Usher here, along with my reviews of crime thriller Jackdaw and horror prequel Pet Semetary: Bloodlines. I’ve also been continuing on my 2023 Hooptober Viewing Challenge with the fun alligator thriller Crawl and the decent Spanish-language giallo throwback flick The Last Matinee. I also took time on Sunday night for a comfort watch in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, which is always a favorite of mine.

On TV, I am almost done with Canada’s Drag Race season two. And finally, I am basically caught up in reading the various X-Men books and am mostly liking the Fall of X era so far. Alpha Flight, Astonishing Iceman, X-Men Red, Immortal X-Men and others are staying strong, Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant is a delight, Uncanny Spider-Man is fun and there’s potential in Dark X-Men and Children of the Vault, though they started off shaky.

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 Global Heritage Invitational Finals!

Global Heritage Invitational Finals
Butch vs. Joe Coffey

Lockup to start, Butch pushed into the ropes. He ducks a shot and decks Coffey. Back into a lockup, they break and circle before grappling. Butch gets control of Coffey and takes him down, working the shoulder. Butch up with a stomp to the shoulder. They’re back up, Coffey works Butch’s shoulder and puts him on the mat to wrench on his face and lock in an elbowlock. Butch back up and backs Coffey into the ropes, Coffey nails him and hits a snapmare takedown.

Back up, Coffey shot into the ropes, Coffey runs through a clothesline and runs Butch over. He brings Butch up, Butch with a shot to the head and a single-arm DDT followed by a kneedrop to the shoulder. Stomp to the arm and Coffey is set in the corner, Butch up top for a stomp to the shoulder and a shoulderlock, Mark Coffey distracts the ref and Wolfgang gets a cheap shot on Butch. Coffey up top for a leap but Butch NAILS him and gets a two-count.

Joe to the outside for a breather, Butch goes up top and MOONSAULTS on all three Gallus members! Back in the ring, German by Butch, stomp on the heads and a kick to the head. Gallus try to enter — and the ref ejects them from the ring! We’re headed to PIP break.

It’s been back and forth during the break, as we come back Coffey grabs Butch on the apron from the ring but Butch snaps his arm against the ropes and then lays in the forearms! Butch stares at Noam Dar and then snaps Coffey’s wrist again, but Joe with a big kick to the head. Coffey grabs Butch for a powerbomb on the apron but Butch blocks it and hits a DDT on the apron!

Butch back in now and nails Joe, Joe fires back. Joe pushes Butch up for an uppercut and hits a crossbody off the top. German suplex but Joe’s hand gives out. He tries again and hits the release German! Coffey lies in wait as Butch gets to his feet, Coffey with the Glasgow Sendoff. he comes off the ropes into a kick, gets dropkicked but hits a spinning lariat.

Both men down and slow to get up, Coffey crawls to the cover — but Butch grabs his arm and works the digits. Coffey escapes and hits a powerbomb, then charges for another Glasgow Sendoff. Off the ropes with a big lariat, cover gets almost three but not quite! Coffey throws Butch to the outside, goes out and charges — Butch moves and Coffey hits the steps! Back in the ring, Bitter End, that’s it!

Winner: Butch (12:43)
Rating: ***
Thoughts: Hot match to start. Butch made more sends to make it babyface vs. heel, but Coffey looked great here as well. No Mercy will have a banger of a Heritage Cup Match.

* Dom is backstage with McKenzie, and he calls his match on Raw an instant classic. He says he’s done with Dragon Lee and has a free Saturday to hang out with Mami on the couch eating chicken tendies. McKenzie says she thought he knew he’d be defending the title against the winner of Axiom vs. Wes Lee vs. Dragon Lee. He says he doesn’t follow HBK on Twitter so McKenzie shows him the tweet and he leaves angrily.

* Tony D and Stacks are at their restaurant and Stacks asks the plan. Tony says first they give the food, then they decide who’s going to challenge them for No Mercy. Angle & Humberto come in and get pat down. They sit down and Angel says they appreciate the invite and last time things got out of hand. Tony asks if are gonna do the same. Humberto says they didn’t come here to fight or eat; they came here for one thing, looking at the titles. Stacks says get a drink and wait for the others to show up. Humberto doesn’t look impressed.

Trick Williams vs. Joe Gacy

Lockup to start, Gacy into the ropes and sends Trick into the ropes. Trick runs Gacy over. Headlock, Trick shot into the corner but goes up and over, bodyslam and a dropkick. Whip into the corner reversed by Gacy, Trick catches a boot and puts Gacy in the corner, big shot. Into the ropes again, but Gacy takes Trick down and then lays in punches to the back of the neck and shoulder, then goes into a high torque chinlock.

Trick gets to his feet and breaks the hold, but Gacy with a kick to the gut and slam to the mat. Joe with an elbow drop, Trick dodges and lays in punches to Gacy, battering him back into the ropes. Irish whip, clothesline but Gacy gets Trick in the corner. He goes into the ropes for his handspring elbow but Trick counters with a high knee and gets three!

Winner: Trick Williams (2:26)
Rating: N/A
Thoughts: RIP Joe Gacy.

Kelly congratulates Trick on the win. He says it’s good to get that W and he’s ambidextrous because he kicks ass both ways. Kelly asks Trick about Melo’s match, and he says they just had a good match but she wants to talk about another man? He says Dragunov hits hard, and he’d be a fool to bet against him — namely HIM, Melo. He says Melo’s going to retain — and now that he thinks about it, Melo has his title and it’s time Trick goes to get his.

* McKenzie is with Blair Davenport and she asks about Gigi and Blair’s brawl. She says imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but with Gigi it’s pathetic. When she takes people out they don’t get back up. She says Gigi can’t match her vicious behavior and she’ll prove that tonight.

* Andre Chase is with Duke and says he’s worried about Thea. Duke says he got a thumbs up emoji which is improvement. Jacy Jayne shows up and Andre asks how Thea is. Jacy says “Ask her yourself!” Thea shows up in leather and Duke and Andre look pissed, but Andre says that she looks great. Thea says she needs to get ready for her match tonight. Jacy says wait till you see her ring gear, and they head off.

Baron Corbin vs. Josh Briggs

Lockup to start, Corbin backs Briggs into the corner and hits a couple slaps to the head. Briggs batters Corbin back and sends him over the top with a clothesline, then comes outside and grabs Corbin to slam his head into the apron. Whip into the guardrail, then Corbin is rolled into the ring. Briggs on the apron and comes off the ropes with a BIG boot.

Briggs grabs Corbin but Corbin kicks him in the head and then hits a uranage, cover for two. Corbin batters Briggs against the ropes and whips him into the corner, he charges in for an avalanche. Briggs battles back, sidewalk slam and a splash for two.

Briggs and Corbin trade shots, Briggs with elbow strikes and a big boot to send Corbin into the corner. Briggs goes in but Corbin pulls the ref in the way and batters Briggs, End of Days finishes it.

Winner: Baron Corbin (3:00)
Rating: **
Thoughts: Basically a squash match, and it was a fine one I suppose.

Corbin gets a mic and says this Saturday we find out if Bron is all bark, or bites. He’s burned his past and is looking to his future, and Bron just saw his: EOD.

Bron comes out to the ring with a mic! He says “Look,” and decks Corbin! Officials are in quickly to break it up, but they manage to keep getting to each other until finally they get separated.

* Trick walks up to Shawn Michaels’ locker room and knocks, walking in after being told to come on in.

* Up next is the preview for Becky Lynch vs. Tiffany Stratton for the NXT Women’s Title in an Extreme Rules match at No Mercy. We get Tiff saying she is going to be a better champion than all the others, including Becky Lynch who hadn’t been champion… yet. We get Becky’s challenge to Tiffany and highlights from that match, including Lynch’s win. Then Lynch’s promo last week and Tiffany’s response, which led into the main event tag team match and Tiffany attacking Lynch. Becky then calls it an Extreme Rules match.

Hank & Tank vs. Bronco Lima & Lucien Price

Tank starts off with Nima and takes over, Hank tags in and they take Nima down, then hit a double headbutt. Hank puts Nima in the corner and splashes him, Tank tags in with a drive-by spear in the corner and a splash for two.

Nima hits a cheap shot on Tank and then puts him against the middle rope for a bouncing rope choke. Price tags in and hits a big charging clothesline in the corner, Nima tags in and Tank manages to roll him up for two, then tags in Hank who hits mounted punches. He takes out Price and then picks up Nima for Snake Eyes and then a charging boot. Tank tags in, he picks up Nima. SCRYPTS distracts the ref, Price with a cheap shot and then they take out Tank for three.

Winner: OTM (2:46)
Rating: N/A
Thoughts: RIP Hank & Tank.

* Gigi Dolin is prepping backstage when the lights go out. Blair Davenport attacks Gigi and says she’s pathetic, then walks away.

* Dijak and Eddy Thorpe separately WALK backstage.

* The tag champs and Angel & Humberto are waiting, and Stacks asks about their new tats. Angel says it’s a reminder of their grandfather as a message to them. Angel says the message includes taking the NXT Tag Team Titles. The Creed Brothers come in and Brutus says he’s starving. Julius says they also came here to discuss business and Stacks says nothing’s been settled yet.

Brutus asks if this is the place where people had their Last Supper and had food poisoning, but Tony says that’s the place up the street. Stacks says OTM is OTW. Tony says “G-O-O-D.”

* Tyler Bate and Axiom are talking about their match tonight and Trick walks in and says he wanted to let them know that tonight’s triple threat is now a Fatal Four-Way.

Strap Match
Eddy Thorpe vs. Dijak

Dijak immediately goes outside and tries to pull Eddy into the turnbuckle, but Eddy pulls Dijak into the ringpost and dives on him. He rolls Dijak in, Dijak with a cheap shot but Eddy is back in and batters Dijak. He charges in but is got with a boot, Dijak goes up but gets pulled into a kick.

Thorpe with a waistlock, Dijak hits a couple back elbows. Eddy locks it back in and Dijak batters him some more, then goes to swing with the strap but Eddy with a front dropkick to send Dijak down in the corner. Eddy charges with a boot but Dijak dodges and whips Eddy, then sends him into the ropes and sends him through to the outside as we go to break.

We’re back and Dijak has Thorpe in a strap-based chinlock. Eddy fights out of it and hits a superkick, they end up going to the outside and Dijak drops slams Thorpe onto the apron. He slams Eddy into the guardrail in front of his family and ties him up, then whips him with the strap. He talks shit to Eddy’s family and then whips him some more. More trash talking, he rolls Eddy into the ring and folliws in.

Dijak takes off his white belt and wraps it around his fist. He swings but Eddy ducks and hits a big kick to the head in the corner. Eddy whips the shit out of Dijak! Multiple repeated smacks to the back, he blocks Dijak from going for the belt and whips him. He grabs the belt and nails Dijak with it, then goes to the second rope — elbow drop! That’s it.

Winner: Eddy Thorpe (10:09)
Rating: ** 3/4
Thoughts: Perfectly fine strap match. Eddy had to get the win here if they were gonna put his family there, and I’m happy to see him win. This hasn’t been a great feud but it delivered fine here.

Post-match, Dijak attacks Thorpe and knocks him down, puts him on the top and hits a superkick. Eddy stuck over the ropes ring in the Tree of Woe, Dijak ties his legs up and goes to the outside to talk trash before smacking Eddy with the belt repeatedly. Officials eventually back him off.

* Jacy is waiting outside the locker room and asks how the new gear’s looking. She says she’s almost ready and Jacy is excited.

* Gigi Dolin is unable to compete tonight. Blair Davenport appears at the commentary booth, mocks Gigi and says next time it’ll be far worse before walking off.

Dani Palmer vs. Thea Hail

Lockup to start, Dani gets put on the mat and Thea goes for a leg submission but gets flipped over. Dani with a headlock, Thea reverses and hip tosses Dani down before hitting a double knee to the shoulder. Some counterwrestling, Palmer hits a rana, Thea into the ropes and hits an acrobatic takedown into an armbar, but Dani rolls it onto a one-count. Thea with a kick in the corner and an Exploder suplex for two.

Thea works the arm but Dani with a shot, a clothesline and a dropkick. She hits a flip kick in the corner and goes up top, spinnijng senton but Thea moves and locks in the Kimura to finish it.

Winner: Thea Hail (2:22)
Rating: N/A
Thoughts: RIP Dani Palmer.

* Melo is looking at his phone when Trick walks in and says he’s in the bag right now, and he’s going to show the rest of the world — but he notices that Melo is distracted. Melo talks up Trick and then goes back to his phone. Trick asks if he’s paying attenion and he says he has a lot going on. Trick says go ahead and handle it, he has his own business to handle.

* Baron Corbin is walking out and is asked about Bron. He says he doesn’t have time for their stupid questions and Saturday, Bron is getting his ass kicked. Bron attacks and officials break it up.

NXT North American Championship #1 Contender’s Match
Dragon Lee vs. Axiom vs. Trick Williams vs. Tyler Bate

Double superkick to Trick from Axiom and Bate to start! Dragon Lee and Bate end up in the ring, they go into the ropes — and Bate dives over onto Trick! Axiom and Lee do some acrobatics, Axiom off the second rope with an armdrag and then hits a dropkick. He goes out to the apron and tries to dive onto Bate, who ducks so Trick gets taken out. Dragon Lee dives from the ring into all three men!

Lee rolls Trick in and goes for a driver, Trick counters into a Boston Crab as Bate locks in an armbar as well. And Axiom jumps on Williams’ back for a sleeper! Bate finally breaks his and takes out Axiom. He grabs Lee but Lee with a shot to the head and another, into the ropes and Bate with a dropkick. Trick kicks Bate in the head and takes out Axiom, he comes off the ropes and clotheslines Lee. Bate and Axiom come at him and get hit with double lift drops! We’re on PIP break.

We’re back as Lee counters a powerbomb into a pin for two. Lee with a half-and-half German suplex and a kick to Trick’s gut. He goes up top for a rana that takes both Bate and Trick down. Quick combo leads into Bate getting DDT’d and Trick getting clotheslined, but Lee is in and takes out Axiom. Dropkicks to both Axiom and Trick in the corner, Bate goes for his bounce off the ropes, Lee counters into a powerbomb and pin but Trick and Axiom break it up with kicks to the head.

Trick tosses Lee and hits a shot to Axiom’s gut as he leaps off the top. Bodyslam to Bate, he grabs Bate and then Lee — double uranage! Cover for two. Trick grabs Bate and lays into him, suplex gets countered into a DDT by Bate. Bate grabs Lee and does the Big Strong Boy spin. Axiom comes in and gets knocked down — Bate spins them both! Didn’t quite look as cool as it should. Trick sends Bate into the roeps but he bounces out and takes him down, cover and Axiom breaks it up and hits a Canadian Driver on Lee!

Axiom kicks at Bate but gets caught and taken down. Trick with an upperkick to Williams, some quuck moves in succession and Lee superkicks Axiom. He goes up top but Bate with an enzuigiri. He goes up, Axiom stops him and knocks him to the apron. Spanish fly by Axiom, cover for a nearfall! Lee is up and they stare at ach other, Lee with a spinning inverted DDT. Trick breaks it up and gets kicked in the head — he falls on Axiom and gets the pin!

Winner: Trick Williams (11:01)
Rating: *** 3/4
Thoughts: This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, it was VERY flippy but man if it didn’t deliver. Nice to see Trick get his first PPV title match, NXT is recognizing how much the fans are behind him and I’m excited to see where it goes from here.

* Back at the restaurant and everyone is eating until OTM show up. Stacks says they impressed them by beating Hank and Tank and have earned a seat at the table. They say they’ll get a booster seat for SCRYPTS. SCRYPTS says he’s got cheese for the rats.

Humberto asks which team it’ll be at No Mercy, and the Creed say they can’t remember when the last time Angel and Humberto won a match. There’s some shit talking back and forth and SCRYPTS says that Tony D and Stacks must want a cake walk if they don’t say Nima and Price. Price says they’ll give them the tag title shot or things will get dirty. Tony snaps his fingers and some heavies show up.

Stacks says everyone made good cases, and Tony says they don’t want anyone saying they took it easy so everyone’s getting the title shot. Stacks says they procured their favorite beverages to make it official. Tony says “To the Fatal Four-Way.” They drink.

* McKenzie asks Dom about Trick being his opponent, and Dom says “Big deal.” He’s not impressed and he’s gonna whup that Trick. Dom says HBK needs to realize he doesn’t run NXT; Dom does. He’s going to destroy Trick just like he destroyed Dragon Lee. Lee attacks him and gets pulled away.

* Melo is walking backstage and Trick walks up. Melo says he’s proud of Trick and says they’re both walking out champions.

* A TV turns on to reveal…WCW Saturday Night and an old Bengals video. That’s probably Brian Pillman Jr.

* It’s contract signing time! Ilja is out first, and Melo comes out next. No moderator apparently. Melo gets the mic and says he and Ilja both know that there’s nothing for them to talk about, so let’s sign the contract and see each other on Saturday. Ilja says he’s always the wrong person at the wrong time, and he’s convinced Melo is the wrong man for the NXT Championship.

Melo says wrong person, wrong time just like Ilja at GAB. He didn’t mean for last week to happen, but at No Mercy he can and will beat him. Ilja says he can see Melo struggles outside of his comfort zone and at No Mercy he’ll feel unbearable pain. Melo says he struggled, but only for a minute. Unbearable pain is Ilja believing his own hype and thinking he beat Melo at GAB when he didn’t.

Ilja says these people know he won and he will fulfill his destiny. He asks Melo what you do when you through everything you have at him and he won’t stay down. What do you do when you shoot your best shot and you miss? Did Melo prepare himself to answer these questions? Melo says the reality is, being NXT Champion isn’t about how much pain you can endure, how many veins you can pop out of your head. It’s about being undeniable and being HIM. He’s not like these people he’s beaten before. He’s not Oro, he’s not Wes, and he’s not Trick — OOOH. Melo changes tactics and keeps talking, but Ilja stands and signs the contract. He slaps it down in front of Melo and says he will do nothing because he can do nothing. Ilja is finished letting destiny slip between his fingers and when he gets crowned the new NXT Champion, Melo will realize his dynasty has fallen. Long live the Czar!

Melo signs the contract and gets in Ilja’s face. He says now that he signed it, he wants Ilja to understand the title is bigger than them. It’s a beacon of hope for kids who look like him. He absolutely thinks Ilja can carry the title and do it with dignity. But better than him? Absolutely not.

Vic Joseph announced at the end that Dragon Lee will be the special guest referee for the NA Title match.

Out to the parking lot where Bron and Baron are fighting. Bron throws Corbin into a car, denting it, and then beats on him. Corbin gets in the car and Bron grabs him, but gets pulled out. Bron charges but Corbin dodges and Bron hits the door. Corbin beats on Bron as officials keep trying to break it up. Bron counters a slam into the rolling door and slams Corbin, then puts Corbin on the car. He picks Corbin up — and gets low blowed. Corbin grabs Bron and slams him onto the car roof. Bron sits up and jumps on Corbin’s back, but gets slammed into the hood. They keep fighting and end up in the building — and get speared through the wall into HBK’s office! Officials finally break it up.

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

The final score: review Good
The 411
There were a lot of squash matches this week that may not have been strictly necessary on NXT, but we also got a lot of build to No Mercy and a couple bad-ass matches. WWE always put their foremost effort into the hard sell NXT shows and we had that here too. If they'd cut the number of Bron vs. Corbin brawls this could have been a better paced show, but otherwise it was solid times.

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Jeremy Thomas