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Pantoja’s NXT Heatwave 2024 Review

July 8, 2024 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Ethan Page NXT Heatwave, Triple H Image Credit: WWE
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Pantoja’s NXT Heatwave 2024 Review  

NXT Heatwave

July 7th, 2024 | Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario

NOTE: For anyone following all of my reviews, my WrestleMania Series is still ongoing. It’s something I’m doing in my free time though so reviews from 2024 (like this one) take precedence. Also, I’m up to the Manias that are like, 7 hours long so it takes a while.

I wasn’t able to cover this show live but I’m here a day later with a review for everyone.

Arianna Grace and Karmen Petrovic vs. Jacy Jayne and Jazmyn Nyx

Some pre-show action baby. I love that Jacy has adopted the mask that Cody Rhodes gave her. Also, more people need to talk about it but Shawn Michaels ranks about Triple H and Tony Khan for booking women. He’s working with less experienced talent, yet has multiple angles constantly going where all the women feel like they matter. The Grace/Petrovic pairing is so odd that it actually kind of works. They also showed off some solid tandem offense like a whip into a discus lariat that was very well timed and they cut the ring in half on Nyx. Karmen made the classic babyface mistake of getting distracted, allowing the tables to turn and for her to become the isolated party. Arianna got the hot tag in front of her hometown crowd and did her thing. Her offense still needs work but she brought the needed energy for the spot.  The finish was interesting as it saw Nyx roll up Petrovic only for Grace to turn them over and lead to a three count for Karmen in 7:40. Entertaining little opener from a very solid women’s division. [**½]

I have to note that the audio on this stream is awful. The crowd noise overshadows entrance themes and commentary. It’s nearly unbearable.

NXT North American Championship: Oba Femi [c] vs. Wes Lee

On paper, this is an ideal matchup. I love a good David vs. Goliath and both guys here play those roles so well. Wes used his speed to avoid Oba and get in high impact aerial moves. I also think he did a good job turning a botch into something solid on his first springboard. Everything Oba does looks fantastic does. His release F5 of sorts that launched Wes sparked “holy shit” chants in the opening minutes. That sparked a long segment of Wes getting his ass kicked but it was entertaining because of his bumping and Oba’s sheer presence. Wes’ comeback was filled with fire and his offense is creative enough that it wasn’t some typical rally. I loved Oba catching the Meteora, which I don’t ever remember seeing, and Wes finding a way to turn that around in his favor. They did seem to flub the Facebuster off the top spot but I kind of liked that because not everything should come off clean. Wrestling can be a bit messy due to exhaustion and things like that. Wes managed to weaken Oba but in the end, he just launched him once more and won with the sitout powerbomb in 16:19. Oh that was awesome. One of the better David vs. Goliath matches in recent memory and more along the lines of what Sami/Bron should’ve been. [****¼]

NXT Women’s North American Championship: Kelani Jordan [c] vs. Sol Ruca

I’m not typically into introducing new titles but I think it works here given how much the women get to shine in NXT. The idea here was the opposite of the last match as they were evenly matched. Both are incredible from an athletic standpoint so some of the moves and counters they pulled out looked fantastic. Kelani’s handstand block of a Facebuster was excellent. Meanwhile, Sol busting out a springboard 450 lariat puts things like a Buckshot Lariat to shame (and I say this as someone who loves Hangman). I know some will scoff at this and I am not saying it’s on the same level but I got Ricochet/Ospreay vibes here in that it was two outstanding athletes showing off what they can do and kind of having a battle of one upping each other. A few spots looked contrived or awkward as they are still not as polished as they’ll get in a few years, so there’s that. Kelani having a counter ready for the Sol Snatcher was cool. She retained after a Poison Rana off Bret’s Rope and a split-legged moonsault in 11:36. Yes, parts of it looked super rehearsed but at other teams, it was crisp as hell and in the end, I was impressed by both and enjoyed the hell out of that. [***¾]

NXT Tag Team Championship: Axiom and Nathan Frazer [c] vs. Chase U

There was so much energy in this tag match you could call it Thea Hail. They started with a quick pace and never really slowed. Andre Chase is great because he goes out there in a sweater and dress pants like a goof but can go in the ring. Axiom and Frazer have developed some superb chemistry and it showed here, busting out impressive moves and working together seamlessly. There wasn’t too much in the way of psychology or anything like that and I kind of respect it. If you’re going out there for a fun spotfest, do just that and do it right. I can’t do this justice in terms of the pace and spots because they just kept them coming at an exciting pace from bell to bell. They had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands with the near falls and close calls down the stretch. The one after Frazer accidentally superkicked Axiom was a thing of beauty. Axiom ended up hitting Chase with the Golden Ratio kick to retain in 16:49. An absolutely ridiculous match and I mean that in the best way possible. Far exceeded expectations. [****]

NXT Women’s Championship: Roxanne Perez [c] vs. Lola Vice

We love Spanish women. Though that Lola promo on NXT recently was way too over the top. Onto the match though, they kicked it off with a feeling out process and I liked Roxanne quickly getting out of the way to avoid a backfist. It further sells Lola as a threat with strikes. They had some back and forth with neither gaining too clear of an upper hand for too long. And while all of it was good, none of it really stood out either. Roxanne also quickly bailed outside to break a submission, plying into the idea that this was not an Underground match and she had the upper hand because of it. Roxanne gained control when Lola missed a backfist outside and hit the post though even that was relatively short lived. I think they went a bit overboard with the near falls late. Having Lola kick out of Pop Rox in the ring was one thing but a second one on the table also not ending it was too much. Kind of kills the move. Roxanne moved to the Crossface, making sure she grabbed the injured arm and rolled into a trio of Pop Rox (one that was botched) to retain in 13:08. That was good and bordering on ***1/2 until the overdone finish that didn’t work. [***]

NXT Championship: Trick Williams [c] vs. Ethan Page vs. Je’Von Evans vs. Shawn Spears

Main event Shawn Spears is a wild choice. In a lot of ways, this was your typical WWE fatal-four-way with people teaming up, various guys disappearing at ringside so others could go at it, and things like that. I though giving Trick and Je’Von a section to do their thing was great. They are easily the more exciting  dudes in the match so letting them strut their stuff was wise. Spears did his chair man thing (La Parka did it better) since this was No DQ. I still can’t buy him as some major threat though. These matches are well crafted because they’re designed to get the ‘OOH’ pop from the crowd often and this did that due to the rapid-fire spots. Je’Von had the spot of the match with a ridiculous tope  over the ring post and onto Trick, sending him through the barricade. I’m all for more creative spots to break the guardrail since they ran the Spear one into the ground. With Trick out, Page nearly stole the pin on a Bret’s Rope C4 by Spears but Je’Von kicked out. It was one of the better near falls you’ll see because that’s a finish that companies love to pull out these days. Je’Von hit some cool late spots but took a wild bump as Trick sent him through the announce table. When we actually got the finish, it was cool as a barrage of moves led to Evans being on the mat as Page ate the Trick Knee. Spears pulled Trick out as Page landed on Evans to get the three count in 17:24. A really fun main event that was again filled with a bunch of cool spots, making for a blast of a closer. [****]

As the show faded to black, we got one quick image of Joe Hendry.

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
It’s been a while since an NXT special outdid the main roster by a solid margin but that was the case here. While Lola/Roxanne disappointed, it was still good and everything else on the show ruled.

article topics :

NXT Heatwave, Kevin Pantoja