NXT HITS & MISSES 5/30: Dolan vs. Jayne Weaponized Cage Match, Melo vs. Noam Dar, J. Coffey vs. Stacks, Nile vs. Jade, Baron Corbin and Mustafa Ali in NXT and more.

By: Nate Lindberg - PWTorch Contributor



Move over Ambrose Asylum! The Toxic Playground (okay, I just made that name up) is the next chapter in the feud between the former Toxic Attraction members. A very similar concept to the Ambrose Asylum match of old, the cage was adorned with a number of weapons hanging on the walls of the cage.

Jayne attacked Dolan before Dolan was able to finish her entrance, and then tossed her into the cage. The two then preceded to have a passable, yet choreographed match. I think your average fan will probably enjoy the extra violence in our opener. However, to me, it seemed like they were rushing to get from one spot to another. In other words, I think they needed to slow down and sell some of the offense they dished out to one another.

That all said, I really enjoyed the match overall. I went into it with low expectations and they surpassed them and then some. Dolan was able to pick up the win after an impressive top rope CHOKESLAM through a table. Yes, Dolan won with a top rope chokeslam. Which sounds ridiculous, and it was. But… it was kinda awesome…

Hopefully, this means that the two of them can put this blood feud to rest and move on to new opponents.

Verdict: HIT


Earlier in the night during a Wes Lee backstage interview, Dyad went to attack Lee when Bate stepped in to even the odds. Bate said that he has Lee’s back no matter what and that Battleground was just the spirit of competition. The duo went on to challenge Dyad to a match later on.

Putting the dumb Schism/Dyad gimmick aside, this was a great tag wrestling match. Tyler Bate and Wes Lee are decorated tag competitors themselves with Trent Seven and Nash Carter respectively. They worked very well together to take on one of the best tag teams that NXT UK ever had to offer, the former Grizzled Young Vets – the Dyad.

Halfway through this match, the match came to a complete standstill as Mustafa Ali appeared in the crowd. Ali joined Booker T and Vic Joseph on commentary saying that he’s a free agent and can show up on any brand that he wants. He’s obsessed with the idea of becoming champion, and feels like NXT is the place to do this. He clearly had his sights on Wes Lee’s North American championship.

The match picked back up with Lee and Bate picking up the victory, cleanly, over Dyad. Gacy attacked Lee after the match, and Mustafa Ali ran in to make the save for Bate and Lee. He held up the hands of the victors… signaling the beginning of what I hope to be an incredible angle.

Verdict: HIT


Earlier in the night, all three members of Gallus were backstage making fun of Tony D’Angelo for getting picked up by the police. Stacks overheard and, rather stupidly attacked the three brutes on his own. Gotta give the kid credit for having heart, but he may be lacking in the brains department. They basically wiped the floor with him, and set the stage for this match.

Stacks entered the match selling the attack and spent a good 90 to 95% of it selling the in-ring beat down. Try as he might, David couldn’t beat Goliath tonight.

I have to admit, Stacks has really won me over during the last few matches he’s had. He’s a great in-ring talent and his promo work has improved handily, though there’s still room for improvement in that department. His storytelling is what impresses me, the sidekick turned singles angle that they’re undoubtedly working feels somewhat fresh, and I feel like it’s Stack’s performance that’s giving me that vibe.

Verdict: HIT


Cora Jade was running her mouth backstage in the women’s locker room, sporting an impressive shiner after her match last week. Ivy Nile took exception to Jade putting down the rest of the roster and challenged her to step in the ring.

Jade immediately used her black eye as a decoy, screaming in pain as the two tied up before attacking Nile. I liked this little detail, I think it shows that Jade is beginning to understand her character – or at least is beginning to be able to convey her character effectively by using this simple yet effective heat builder.

Ava attacked Nile, getting Nile back for attacking her earlier in the night during the Bate/Lee vs. Dyad match. Which, I may have forgotten to mention… I was too excited about Mustafa Ali!

This led to… you guessed it… Nile losing the match immediately after the interference.

Nile called Ava out in a segment later on, challenging to her a match next week. Finally.

Verdict: HIT


Trick Williams and Carmello Hayes were in the ring celebrating Melo’s big win over Bron Breakker this past Sunday when Noam Dar, Oro Mensah, Jakara Jackson and Lash Legend interrupted him. The Heritage Cup champion stepped up to Melo and before we know it… Noam Dar is challenging for the NXT title later in the night.

While I’m all for seeing Noam Dar in this spot, he’s super talented, I never thought I’d be writing about Dar in the main event of an NXT episode, challenging for the title. I’m glad that NXT is seeing how talented Dar really is. Putting three newer talents behind him in a faction should be incredibly entertaining as the weeks progress.

Trick Williams wound up punching Mensah on the outside during the match, and got himself ejected from the match. This meant that Melo was on his own against Dar and his three cronies.

As any fighting champion should, Melo predictably overcame the odds and beat Dar. But this match wasn’t ever about Dar actually winning. It was all to position Dar higher up on the card as the leader of this new faction. Putting him opposite Melo and in a position where the stakes were so high against him was a great way to build Dar and crew.

Nathan Frazer and Dragon Lee made the save for Melo when Dar’s Crew (we need a name for this faction) tried interfering, and Melo retained his title. Not a huge fan of the finish, I wish we saw Melo get a clean win and overcome the odds without the assist.

Of course, as soon as the match was over Melo was attacked from behind by who I thought was Bron Breakker at first. But no. It was another B. Baron. Baron Corbin.

Corbin left Melo laying in the center of the ring as he took Melo’s title and held it high over head. Considering last week during PWT Talks NXT, none of us could think of a viable next contender for Melo, I am not surprised that we saw a 2nd free agent make their way to NXT later on in the show.

Verdict: HIT

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