NXT TV RESULTS (7/25): Wells’s report on Judgment Day opening, Hayes & Williams & Dragunov vs. Schism, Gable Steveson’s Decision, more

by Kelly Wells, PWTorch Contributor


JULY 25, 2023

NXT Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T

Ring Announcer: Alicia Taylor

Backstage Correspondent(s): McKenzie Mitchell


-Recaps of last week, where Dominik Mysterio ended Wes Lee’s record North American Championship reign, followed by other Judgment Day highlights from the main roster in the last week, ending with Mysterio’s defeat of Sami Zayn last night on Raw. This transitioned to Mysterio and Rhea Ripley entering to the standard strong heel reaction. The chyron promoted Ripley vs. Lyra Valkyria later tonight.

Rhea opened on the mic and the crowd rained down boos when Dirty Dom took over. Rhea proudly announced Mysterio as the new North American Champion to big boos. Dom said he finally made the Mysterio name relevant. Rhea waited out some chants and started in on Lyra Valkyria but Wes Lee’s music played him out to the ring. He said he hated seeing his North American Championship on Dominik. He said he put his heart and soul into that title and losing it the way he did, specifically to Dom, was no good. Lee said we need a new North American Champion now. Mustafa Ali’s music played him out and Ali said he’s got a lot of respect for Lee, but none for Dominik. He said Dominik stole his chance to defeat Wes Lee, but last week “this clown dropped the ball.” Ali realized what he said and apologized for being angry. The crowd chanted “triple threat.” Ali got fired up and he said he told Lee not to take the match but Lee was too stupid to listen. Lee got fired up and got in Ali’s face and told him to watch his mouth. Dom said this seemed like their problem and he started out, shouldering Ali and saying “Sorry, champ coming through.” Ali charged but hit Lee, and the two babyfaces brawled as Dom hit the ramp with Rhea and the two posed and smirked.

-McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Tony D’Angelo and Stacks, who put over their match with Gallus for the championship. Bronco Nima and Lucien Price spoiled the party and said they’d be next, if D and Stacks managed to come home with the championship.

-Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were announced ahead of their six-man match. [c]

-Last night, Lyra Valkyria and Rhea Ripley ran afoul of each other backstage to make tonight’s match. Presently, Lyra Valkyria told McKenzie Mitchell she needs to know where she stands. She said she’s not going to bide her time and wait in the locker room.

(1) CARMELO HAYES & TRICK WILLIAMS & ILJA DRAGUNOV vs. SCHISM (Joe Gacy & The Dyad (Rip Fowler & Jagger Reid)) (w/Ava)

Gacy and Hayes opened. Quick low-impact offense to open until Hayes hit a dropkick and a chop. Williams tagged in and hit a dropkick on Gacy as well. Fowler took over on offense but Williams hit a body slam before long. Williams hit a shot to the jaw and fired up. Dragunov tagged in and wrenched Fowler’s arm, then took him down with a slam. Dragunov got taken to the heel corner and Reid tagged in. Dragunov hit a lariat and Williams tagged back in. Reid managed  lariat and stomped Williams, then took a cheap shot at Hayes. The Dyad and Hayes & Williams all got involved and fought in the ring as the match went to split-screen. [c]

Hayes was face in peril against Reid, but made the hot tag to Williams as Gacy also tagged in shortly after return. Trick flapjacked Gacy and fired up again. Williams dumped Gacy and Dragunov tagged himself in. He ran around the corner for Gacy, who moved, and Dragunov hit Torpedo Moscow on Williams. Gacy took advantage as Hayes checked on Williams. Gacy hit a side suplex, back in the ring, on Dragunov and covered for two. Reid tagged in and headlocked Dragunov on the mat and added rapid punches. He released and hit a clothesline, then tagged Fowler. Dragunov fought off both of the Dyad with chops and kicks until the numbers caught up and they hit an assisted knee drop. Outside, two masked Schism followers wiped out the Dyad. As Vic wondered what was going on, Melo tagged himself and hit Nothing But Net on Gacy to finish.

WINNERS: Hayes & Williams & Dragunov at 11:27.

Dragunov argued with Trick & Melo on the ramp.

(Wells’s Analysis: A mess that was fun at times that forwarded the main event story for Great American Bash and also raised some questions about what’s going on with Schism. This wasn’t the best match these six could produce, but it accomplished a lot)

-Vic promoted the next match and the show went to commercial. [c]

-Tiffany Stratton segment. She said sometimes a superstar just has IT, and she’s IT. She said she’s the epitome of what a women’s champion is. She runs faster, works harder and jumps higher, and looks better than everyone. She said she didn’t come this far to have it taken away by some 19-year-old brat. She said Thea Hail has energy and she’ll give her that, but she’s going to make sure Hail doesn’t take her out. She said she never tapped, her “hand just grazed the mat a couple times” and the ref didn’t see it. She said payback was coming. She said Hail could bring everyone and it wouldn’t matter – she’d walk out still champion.

-Vic said it was official – the Great American Bash match for the North American Championship is now a triple threat between Wes Lee, Mustafa Ali and Dominik Mysterio.

(2) VON WAGNER (w/Mr. Stone) vs. JAVIER BERNAL

Bernal took a few quick shots but Wagner put him in a corner and clobbered him there. Wagner hit a big boot and followed up with ground & pound. Wagner waited for Bernal to get up and did his slam finisher.

WINNER: Wagner at 0:54.

The crowd egged on Wagner to put Bernal through the announce table. Mr. Stone did the same, so it was done. As Wagner posed, Bron Breakker popped into frame out of nowhere and speared Wagner. Breakker went for a chair and a gaggle of refs got in the way. Breakker posed to boos.

(Wells’s Analysis: I was all set to say that a push for Wagner finally resulted in a win, but yet again, it seems like it’s all just to warm him up to feed him to another big priority. I’m surprised to see Breakker still hanging around; his heel persona seems fully formed. Maybe he’s planned for after SummerSlam, or maybe they think there’s work to be done before WrestleMania season next year)


-Carmelo Hayes caught up with Ilja Dragunov and said it was a good W, but this is as far as they go. Trick Williams got into it with Dragunov and Hayes pushed him back. Dragunov said he likes Williams, but if he comes at him like that, he’ll take him out. Dragunov left and Hayes took issue with Williams, who said maybe Hayes will take care of business at the Bash, but this is about Trick himself.


He thanked everyone for his time in NXT so far. He said many people might not know who he is, so he introduced himself. He said next year in Paris he could be a two-time Olympic champion, or he could go back to college and be a three-time champion. He started to announce his decision, and Baron Corbin cut him off on the ramp. Corbin said he should go back to college or the Olympics, but he shouldn’t come to NXT. He said if he does, Corbin’s going to make him do something he’s never done – fail. He said for eight years he’s done everything he was asked, but he no longer cares. He told Steveson he’s swimming with sharks, and he’s eye to eye with a great white. He said he’s starving and he smells blood.

Steveson said Corbin just made his decision easier. How about me vs. you – my first match at Great American Bash? Corbin tried a cheap shot but missed and Steveson suplexed him a couple of times. Corbin bailed and tried to strike again but refs held him back.

-Dana Brooke walked with Kelani Jordan ahead of her kendo stick match with Cora Jade. [c]

-Backstage, Dom helped Rhea Ripley stretch. He wondered if the triple threat match was really a good idea, and Ripley said “Mami’s always right.” He agreed with her and was apparently content.

(3) DANA BROOKE (w/Kelani Jordan) vs. CORA JADE – Kendo stick match

Brooke jumped Jade on the ramp. The ref got it in the ring and called for the bell.


Action spilled back outside and Brooke put Jade into the steel steps, then beat her head into the mat. Brooke tossed Jade over the announce table and the landing was bad. “Are you okay” chant. Brooke missed with a kendo stick and Jade took control, striking Brooke with another. Jade rolled Brooke inside and grabbed five kendo sticks and rolled them into the ring. Brooke went for one but Jade stepped on it and grabbed another and struck her with it. Jade bodyslammed Brooke on top of the stack of sticks. Jade put Brooke in a crossface using a stick and the crowd chanted “tap.” A different segment chanted “Dana” as she powered up to her feet. Jade took the stick to Brooke in the corner, then trapped her in the corner with one and charged with a rising knee. Jade missed in the corner and Jade played possum and got out of the way of a shot. The sticks went flying and Brooke hit a couple of clotheslines. Cartwheel splash in the corner. Jade countered a move and hit a DDT for a long two.

Jade got a chair and brought it into the ring. Vic said it was a kendo stick match, not a chairs match. The ref just acted like it was no big deal for some reason as Jade set Brooke up in the chair. Jade grabbed a stick and Kelani Jordan distracted her on the apron. Brooke tripped Jade onto the chair and Jordan provided a large pink kendo stick to Brooke, who used it relentlessly on Jade. “NXT” chant? Really? For that? Brooke set up the chair and a bunch of sticks and suplexed Jade on it. Brooke went up and hit a senton to finish.

WINNER: Dana Brooke at 7:42.

(Wells’s Analysis: Decent enough no-DQ affair, I suppose, but Brooke, the babyface, wins by using outside help? What did that do for anyone?)

-Ilja Dragunov and Carmelo Hayes talked about Trick Williams near the lockers. Hayes said Trick doesn’t want a match. Ilja said that’s great, because that’s not what he’s looking for either. He said if Trick wants, he’ll break him tonight, and this weekend he’ll break Hayes.

-Tony D and Stacks entered ahead of their match. [c]

-Charlie Dempsey destroyed Myles Borne in a ring in a dark room until Drew Gulak pulled it apart. Gulak said this is what he means – these young guys are fast but not tough. Damon Kemp offered himself up to them and Gulak got thoughtful.


Scrypts sat in on commentary for some reason and it got awkward as he heeled on Vic about how Vic was talking to him. Nima and Price dominated early. D got a brief hold of Nima and made the tag to Stacks, and the match broke down completely and all four got into it. D arm dragged Stacks into one heel, then the other. Stacks covered Nima for two. Price made a blind tag and splashed Stacks stomach-first onto Nima’s knees. Price charged and hit a boot and covered for two. Nima tagged in and leaned on Stacks on the second rope. Price hit a cheap boot on the apron and Nima covered for two. The camera focused on Scrypts and Axiom flew in and chased Scrypts through the ring.

In the ring, D made the hot tag and destroyed both heels. Spinebuster on Price got two, broken up by Nima. The faces hit Bada Bing on Price and got the victory.

WINNERS: D’Angelo & Stacks at 4:59.

Gallus showed up on the screen from their usual bar and said when it comes to these titles, it’s always Gallus boys on top.

(Wells’s Analysis: Good action, though I’m a bit surprised to see Nima and Price lose a match so early in their tenure. I figured it made more sense to feed low-level teams to them, though in NXT, typically earlier booking has mattered little when it’s time to push someone.)

-Dijak cut a previously recorded promo on Eddy Thorpe, saying he’d be in trouble when facing a force he couldn’t beat. [c]

-Zion Clark was shown in the crowd.

-Vic announced the Steveson-Corbin match was official for Sunday.

-Last night, Roxanne Perez and Blair Davenport brawled in a convenience store. A “shopper” did some lovely terrible acting by repeatedly putting her hand over her mouth to display shock. I’m wondering if Booker T is having flashbacks about Steve Austin. Sirens played in the background and Perez, after destroying Davenport, skinned out and said this was just a taste of what Davenport will get at Great American Bash.

-Supernova Sessions. Noam Dar was still depressed and sitting in a wheelchair while the others did the talking. They tried to pump up Dar as they announced him as the special guest of his own show. Jakara Jackson and Lash Legend called him the real Heritage Cup champion. Legend said they did some research and six weeks ago, Dar was supposed to defend his Heritage Cup championship but he was injured, and Oro Mensah did his best to defend it but Nathan Frazer stole it. Disappointingly, the NXT crowd was doing a rare “what” chant. The group said they had a surprise, and they presented him with a Heritage Cup. Dar blinked a few times, then flew out of his chair and said it was a miracle. He stood on the couch and said he was the only real Heritage Cup champion.

Nathan Frazer and Dragon Lee hit the ramp and Frazer was holding his Heritage Cup. They said they were seeing double. Lee said he saw two very annoying women and a man so delusional that he thinks he’s still the Heritage Cup champion. Dar said Frazer was a fraud and called for security. They said they should go right now. Oro said it’s great because it was two against four. Lee asked why they thought they came alone. Valentina Feroz and Yulisa Leon took out Legend and Jackson as the male faces took out Dar and Mensah.

-Chase U segment. Andre Chase fired Thea Hail up and they went to a training video. Chase melded kayfabe with reality, talking about how Hail’s parents had to drive her to independent shows because she couldn’t drive, and they scouted her and celebrated on signing day. They showed an old clip of Chase U celebrating, and Bodhi Hayward was front and center. Both men talked up Hail before she got her voice over and said she was going to be the youngest NXT Women’s Champion in history.

-Rhea Ripley was announced ahead of the main event.

-Last week, Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo broke their team up.

(5) LYRA VALKYRIA vs. RHEA RIPLEY (w/Dominik Mysterio)

They walked around each other to open. Ripley shoved Valkyria into a corner. Valkyria tried something and Ripley shoved her off. Ripley hit a back elbow and snapped on a headlock. Ripley blocked Valkyria to the mat and did her shoulder taunt. Rope run and Valkyria managed a rollup for one. Ripley hit a trio of blocks in a corner. Ripley chopped Valkyria. Reversals led to a rana by Valkyria. Ripley hit a German suplex and Valkyria bailed. The match went to split-screen as Rhea and Dom taunted. [c]

Ripley hit a shot on Valkyria’s kidney. Ripley went for a backslide but Valkyria went for the reverse. The two exchanged some reversals until Ripley stomped Lyra’s foot ad slammed her for two. Ripley went for Riptide but Valkyria floated over and hit a sleeper. Ripley flipped Valkyria over her and hit a headbutt when Valkyria charged. Ripley went to the top and did the Guerrero shimmy but Valkyria recovered and shoved Ripley to the outside. Valkyria went for a dropkick through the ropes and Dominik shoved Ripley so he could eat the move. Valkyria hit a rana on Ripley.

The two went back inside. Ripley wanted a suplex bt Valkyria reversed and hit a DDT, then went up and hit a splash for a long two. “NXT” chant. Step-up enzuigiri by Valkyria as a “This is awesome” chant rang out. Valkyria hit a basement dropkick, then missed a roundhouse kick. The two missed a few moves until Valkyria went for a roundhouse kick but Ripley ducked it and soon after caught Valkyria with Riptide.

WINNER: Rhea Ripley at 10:08.

Ripley grabbed Valkyria’s face and said “Prove me right and defeat Jacy Jayne.” Valkyria said she would.

(Wells’s Analysis: Valkyria gained a lot here, showing the NXT fans how much she can show up against a very established opponent. The two easily had the match of the night here when most of the matches were little more than extended angles. Judgment Day’s effect on NXT has been so strong and positive)

-Trick Williams walked through the back as Vic wondered what we’d see after the break. [c]


-An eight-man tag was made for Great American Bash as Meta-Four will face Nathan Frazer, Dragon Lee, Yulisa Leon and Valentina Feroz. Vic ran through the rest of the previously announced card as well. Seven matches is a lot for an NXT PLE, so it might be a long one.

-Trick Williams said tonight it’s about Ilja Dragunov and this fight. He told Ilja to bring his ass out here. Dragunov showed up and Williams dropkicked him on the ramp. The two brawled with Williams getting the early upper hand, but Dragunov took the power and hit some German suplexes. They finally went to the ring and Dragunov chopped Trick into oblivion in a corner. The garbage snap-zoom cam effect was working overtime in this segment. Dragunov took Trick out and hit a lifeless Williams with a leaping elbow. Dragunov set Williams up in a corner and didn’t see that Carmelo Hayes had run into the path of destruction to protect Williams, and Dragunov ended up hitting Torpedo Moscow on Hayes.

Dragunov stood over Hayes and grabbed the mic. He said Hayes was a man of honor and loyalty is in short supply these days. He said he should hold onto that friendship with Trick, because after Great American Bash, it’ll be all he has.

(Wells’s Analysis: A strong through-line tonight as Hayes and Dragunov showed each other respect even as things were breaking down completely between them. The main event for GAB seems like a pretty big deal now and I think they’ve put a little doubt on the outcome, though I’m not expecting Hayes to drop it this early unless there are main roster plans for him sooner than later)

FINAL THOUGHTS: A fun go-home show that filled out the (large) card for Great American Bash and kept some TV stories going as well. The main event story got the lion’s share of the focus and as a result it feels like a major step in the journey of Carmelo Hayes rather than a transitional match. Judgment Day continues to rule the airwaves whenever they’re onscreen, as even with Finn Balor and Damian Priest not in attendance, they had a strong presence on the show and continued to be a focal point while also offering focus to acts that can benefit from rubbing elbows with them. Perhaps most importantly, Noam Dar can speak again.

Nate Lindberg and I will break it all down tonight on PWT Talks NXT. Check it out live or stream tomorrow. Cheers.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply