NXT HITS & MISSES 8/8: D.Lee w/R. Mysterio vs. D. Mysterio w/Ripley, Bron vs. Von, Axiom vs. Ali, Dar vs. Bate, Gulak & Dempsey vs. Briggs & Jensen, Davenport vs. Jordan, more.

By: Nate Lindberg - PWTorch Contributor



Mustafa Ali and Axiom both can lay claim to Dirty Dom’s North American championship, and tonight we kicked off the show with a fast paced match where each competitor looked to prove they were worthy of challenging for that title.

In the middle of the match, Scrypts showed up with Bronco & Lima on the entrance ramp to keep a close eye on his ongoing rival, Axiom. This clearly threw Axiom off of his game throughout the duration of the match, and allowed Mustafa Ali to get the upper hand any time Axiom looked to shift momentum in his favor.

Ali picked up the win, which makes sense to me here. Ali was in the running for the North American championship before Dominik made his way to NXT from the main roster. Axiom wasn’t, and has been embroiled in a feud with Scrypts in the midcard. Ali is arguably the bigger star, though a bit of a tweener/heel at the moment. He vs. Dominik is doable, but it’d be easier if there was a babyface involved, like Wes Lee was at the Great American Bash North American Triple Threat.

Verdict: HIT


Prior to the match we were shown an Instagram story from Jordan where she called out the most feared woman on the roster to prove herself in NXT, Blair Davenport.

Once both women were in the ring, I expected Davenport to eat Jordan for breakfast.

And… that’s pretty much exactly what happened. Except we saw a few hope spots in Kelani’s favor throughout the match. Moments that made me say “Huh, she has something,”

Jordan, for as new as she is to the business, looks like she’s been wrestling for a lot longer. With her gymnastics background and her look, all she needs to work on is her mic skills and we could be seeing the next breakout star on the women’s roster.

After the match, Dana Brooke snapped and attacked Davenport with a belt. Jordan tried to hold her back, and managed to but not before almost getting whipped with the belt herself. Jordan and Brooke have only been together a handful of weeks, it almost feels too early to break them up. However, they feel like Jordan is as ready as she looks — why not put her in a higher profile singles feud against a main roster talent?

Verdict: HIT


Since losing the Heritage Cup, Noam Dar was more depressed than Baron Corbin was before finding gambling. He was gifted “The Heritage Cup” back by his stable, Meta Four and snapped out of his funk. Tonight, he defended his false cup in a Heritage Cup rules match against Tyler Bate while the real Heritage Cup champion, Nathan Frazer, had the night off.

This had everything I could want in a non-main event segment. Incredible wrestling by Dar and Bate, comedic and weasel-y heels in Meta Four all in the middle of a match contested under Heritage Cup rules, complete with multiple rounds and multiple falls. Oh, and Noam Dar lost meaning we’ll get the incredibly hilarious depressed Dar once again.

Tyler Bate and Nathan Frazer in a match to unify the two cups? YES PLEASE!

Verdict: HIT


It’s finally happened. The battle of the On’s. Bron vs. Von.

For a few weeks, these two have been getting under each other’s skin and we’re seeing their first match here on NXT TV. Frankly, I thought they may build this to a match at a PLE like Heatwave or something. But instead, the two meanest men on the NXT roster clashed on free NXT TV.

Then again, maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea. I couldn’t have cared less about the match. While I’m interested in Von Wagner’s recent story progression, he’s not the greatest in the ring. I usually look past that, but when his opponent is literally the person I couldn’t care less about in NXT — I wasn’t really invested in this whatsoever. The crowd must have been in a similar position, largely seen sitting on their hands and buried in their cell phones.

Breakker is just way too generic of a heel for him to solidly click in NXT. On the main roster, sure. But NXT is a different beast and he’s just not clicking.

Breakker obviously got the win, because the “Hogan Must Pose” mentality will never die. After, he attacked Mr. Stone and Wagner came to his aid before putting him through the announce table. Seemingly his new gimmick if his new, and awful, T-Shirt and catch phrase about getting “tabled” is anything to go by.

Verdict: Meh. This existed. Miss


The Schism spent all of NXT running roughshod backstage looking for the Creed Brothers. Hank & Tank stood in their way and received a beatdown for their… stupidity. Unfortunately, that left Dempsey & Gulak without opponents later in the night.

Briggs & Jensen took offense to Dempsey & Gulak referring to the NXT tag division as S-O-F-T (heh, I see what you did there, Gulak.) and offered to fill in for Hank & Tank.

This was a perfectly passable tag match with some great offense from both teams. Gulak is such an underrated talent, I’d love to see him get some more ring time and potentially a singles push in the future. Though, I’d give a singles push a slim chance of happening unfortunately, seems as if he’s hit his ceiling in WWE.

Damon Kemp, who aligned himself with Dempsey and Gulak earlier in the night, attacked Jensen behind the ref’s back allowing Gulak and Dempsey to pick up the win.

Verdict: HIT


Before the match began, we saw Kiana James in a pre-recorded interview saying that Gigi Dolan failed to expose her past, but she can tap into it whenever she wants. We’re about to see a new side of Kiana James.

And wow, yes we did.

Ivy Nile isn’t known for getting next to zero offense and then pinned cleanly. Tonight, we saw Kiana James absolutely womanhandle her opponent. James’ offense looked believable and very crisp, reminding the audience just how good she actually is.

With this new found edge for Kiana James and seemingly a subsequent push, will we see James challenge for the NXT Women’s championship before long? Probably not before Stratton drops the title, but perhaps.

Unfortunately, this match was interrupted when a bajillion yellow-masked wrestlers surrounded the ring with Schism, chanting at Ivy Nile. Hoping to question her on where her former Diamond Mine brothers, The Creeds, are hiding.

Nile harnessed the weirdness, not letting it let her falter. But ultimately, James was able to use Schism and their followers for the distraction they were and put Nile away.

After the match, Schism shoo’d James out of the ring and approached Nile. Seeing Nile in such a prediciment was too much for the NXT Tag Champs, D’Angelo and Stacks saved the day and made sure Nile was safe.

Verdict: HIT

DRAGON LEE w/ Rey Mysterio vs. DOMINIK MYSTERIO w/ Rhea Ripley – North American Championship

Dragon Lee turned to the one person who knows Dominik better than Ripley, his father, in an attempt to capture the North American Championship. Rey Rey happily agreed to be in Lee’s corner.

Rey kicked things off by coming to the ring and addressing the crowd, introducing Dragon Lee to the ring, a very nice touch and surely an honor for Lee.

Once the match started the big question of the night was whether or not Rhea, or any other member of Judgement Day for that matter, may try to insert themselves into the match to ensure Dom kept his title.

I need to give Dominik a lot of credit for working so hard to get to where he currently is. Is he as good as his father in the ring? No. But compare his in-ring skills to where they were years ago and the difference is night and day. Now that he’s found a character that works for him and found his groove between the ropes, he’s able to mix it up with someone on the caliber of Dragon Lee and have a fun, believable and athletic matchup.

Of course, the match ended exactly how I expected it to. A distraction that led to Rhea using the Women’s World Title as a weapon on Dragon Lee allowing Dom to retain.

Predictable, but hey — I’ll let it pass. We got a great match and Rey Rey on NXT. Lyra Valkyria attacked Rhea after the match, aligning herself with Dragon Lee and Rey Rey, at least to end tonight’s episode of NXT.

Verdict: HIT

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