NXT HEATWAVE HITS & MISSES: Hayes vs. W. Lee, Rhea & Dom vs. D. Lee & Valkyria, Dar vs. Frazer, Dragunov vs. Williams, Nile vs. Ava, more.

By: Nate Lindberg - PWTorch Contributor



In a lot of ways, this was Trick Williams moment to shine. For his entire NXT run he’s played second fiddle to Carmelo Hayes as his mouthy, yet capable sidekick. Dragunov and Williams had some disagreements, to put it lightly, during Melo and Dragunov’s rather civil feud for the NXT Title leading up to the last PLE. All of that lead to a match tonight at Heatwave.

Could Trick Williams hang with arguably one of the best technical performers that WWE as a whole has to offer? Could he break free from the shadow of Melo and stand out in his first major singles feud?

Personally, I’d say yes.

He’s not quite on the level of his good friend, Melo either on the mic or in the ring. But he’s not far behind whatsoever. I think if Trick was put on a main roster brand opposite Melo and pushed properly, he could have a solid upper-card, flirting on the top of the card run. His charisma during promos stands out against nearly everyone else in NXT and his inclusion of his boxing background into his skillset makes his offense stand out.

Dragunov and Williams put on a fantastic opening match where, for a welcome change, Dragunov wasn’t presented as the feisty underdog. Instead, he was the hurdle to overcome. Great positioning for both talents.

Emotion-inducing false finishes galore from both competitors leading to Dragunov just barely squeaking out the win. While I may have preferred to see Williams get the W, Dragunov certainly isn’t going to lose anything from his second PLE victory in a row. I think this loss is going to be the catalyst for Williams and Melo to split and eventually feud before a main roster call up.

Verdict: HIT

IVY NILE vs. AVA w/Schism (All 1,000 of them)

If I said I wasn’t nervous going into this match, I’d be lying. Ava’s first few forays into the squared circle haven’t been stellar. To make her look good, she needs a solid opponent. Ivy Nile, while improving and impressing each time she’s in the ring, still isn’t what I would call a ring general just yet. I would hate to see Ava in another clunker.

My immediate thought was that they could get out of this with a screwy finish involving Schism, the Creeds and the zillion yellow masked followers surrounding the ring, leading to this being more of a segment than a match.

Instead, they actually had a relatively basic singles match (that looked like a Lumberjack match with how many Schism members were ringside). Ava took next to zero offense from Nile for the first few minutes of the match until she was able to reverse a Scoop Slam into a Dragon Sleeper, making Ava tap almost immediately.

Nile stood victorious in the ring while the Schism members rushed the ring. Nile single handedly took out all of the Yellow Masked followers before they whisked Ava away to the back to end the segment.

All in all, I think this was a success. No, it wasn’t the match of the night by a long shot. But considering that the (presumed) goal here was to elevate Ava and make her look good, I think this worked. Even if she did tap out at the very last second.

Verdict: HIT

NATHAN FRAZER (w/Tyler Bate) vs. NOAM DAR (w/Meta Four) – NXT HERITAGE CUP

Could Supernova 11, Noam Dar reclaim his long lost Heritage Cup? Or would he revert to Depressed Dar in defeat?

Knowing that Dar would have the other members of Meta Four ringside, he asked Bate to accompany him to the ring tonight to even the odds. In return, he would give Bate the next shot at the Heritage Cup – presuming he wins. Bate heartily agreed.

I am so glad that the Heritage Cup wasn’t scrapped after NXT UK was. This is a very unique championship, competed for under unique rules. It brings a much welcome spin to traditional championship matches and allows for some of the smaller and quicker guys to shine without a Cruiserweight division.

Dar and Frazer put on a bombastic and entertaining match contested under Heritage Cup rules. Unfortunately there was a big plot point that occurred during the first split screen commercial break when Dabba Kato caused chaos, as he stated he would, and attacked Tyler Bate. This lead to a distraction rollup pinfall for Dar, giving him a 1-0 lead over the Heritage Cup champion. They could have waited about 30 seconds and had that happen after the commercial break…

Predictably, Frazer picked up the 2nd fall. Predictable because nobody has ever won a Heritage Cup match 2-0. After a great back and forth in the final round, Frazer missed a Phoenix Splash and allowed Noam Dar to capitalize to pick up the final fall and reclaim his long lost Heritage Cup.

Verdict: HIT


Since Rhea returned to NXT alongside her Dom Dom, Lyra Valkyria wanted to make an impression on the WWE Women’s Worlds Champion. Until she saw some hypocritical behavior in Rhea and called her out on it. Meanwhile, Dragon Lee and Dominik have been feuding over the North American title.

Blending the two feuds certainly works to keep Rhea and Dom on Heatwave without taking two segments. Plus, we get the treat of seeing them tag together.

This match served those purposes as well as gave both Dragon Lee and Lyra Valkyria rubs against arguably two of the most currently popular talents in all of professional wrestling. A fun and entertaining match to keep the crowd elevated going into the last two matches of the night.

Raquel Rodriquez attacked her main roster rival, Rhea causing the distraction and allowing Lee to pin Dom for the win.

Verdict: HIT


Corbin, it’s time to get Tabled!

Man, that catchphrase just doesn’t flow… but it seems to be getting over.

Baron Corbin attacked Von Wagner during his entrance seemingly continuing their brawl ringside after last week’s show. The two brawled on the outside for quite some time, not even caring to get the match in the ring. Instead, they took turns trying to put each other through the announce table. When it looked like Wagner was about to get Corbin through the table, Bron Breakker came out of nowhere and speared the everloving crap out of Wagner to end the segment.

There was no match to speak of, but this definitely looks like it’s going towards a triple threat between these three brawlers.

Verdict: HIT


The last time we talked about these two in a championship match, Wes Lee defeated then North American Carmelo Hayes to become the new champ. To become the longest reigning and most defending North American champ since it’s inception. Would we see Wes Lee, the man who was never supposed to be a singles competitor in the first place, capture the biggest prize in NXT?

As you would expect, neither Wes Lee and Carmelo Hayes held back in this match. Two phenomenal talents showcasing what makes them so good.

Melo seemed like he underestimated Lee, growing increasingly frustrated each time Lee kicked out of a pin attempt. Lee, as he does so well, made comeback after comeback when it looked like he was down for the final time. They don’t call him the cardiac kid for nothing.

They also took one of the most insane bumps I’ve seen in NXT in quite some time. With Lee on the announce table, saved earlier in the night conveniently by Bron Breakker, Melo moonsaulted from the second rope into a DDT, planting Lee’s head through the crumbling table. The “Holy Sh!#” chants are sometimes overused, but this was a perfectly acceptable use of it in my book.

After a grueling match, Melo hit Nothing But Net from the top rope to retain.

What. A. Match.

Verdict: HIT!

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