7/7 NXT HEATWAVE RESULTS: Wells’s report on Trick Williams vs. Ethan Page vs. Je’Von Evans vs. Shawn Spears, Roxanne Perez vs. Lola Vice, Wes Lee vs. Oba Femi, more

by Kelly Wells, PWTorch Contributor


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WELLS’S NXT HEATWAVE REPORT
JULY 7, 2024
TORONTO, ONT. AT SCOTIABANK ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON PEACOCK

Commentators: Vic Joseph & Booker T

Ring Announcer: Mike Rome


-I’ll be recording a recap of the show tonight with Chris Lansdell, who’s in attendance at the show, so look for that later tonight or tomorrow.

-Megan Morant and Sam Roberts hosted the pre-show. They shared the usual Instagram exclusive content. There was a continuing story that Nathan Frazer had not yet arrived at the arena, leading his partner Axiom to worry that he was going to have to defend the tag team championship together. The issue between Duke Hudson and Ridge Holland continued to simmer as well.

-Odd couple Karmen Petrovic and Arianna Grace faced Jacy Jayne and Jazmyn Nyx in a pre-show match that started about 15 minutes before the show proper. Petrovic and Grace got the win in about eight minutes when Nyx had Petrovic rolled up near the ropes, but Grace yanked Nyx to reverse their positions from the outside.

-Frazer showed up after the match and Axiom took him to task. Frazer blamed traffic and fans who wanted autographs.


-The show opened with some hype and video of various talents arriving at the venue.

(1) WES LEE vs. OBA FEMI (c) – NXT North American Championship

Lee evaded some early strikes and got in quick kicks. Femi tripped Lee, who quickly slunk away. Femi leaned on Lee in a corner, but Lee got in a strike. He slapped Femi without fear and threw some combo strikes. Femi missed a boot in the corner and Lee kept up the footwork. Lee tried a springboard…splash, maybe? But he had trouble finding footing on the rope. This happened several times on the weekly show recently, and I’m still wondering if the ropes are different or the tightening is slightly off. Femi press slammed Lee high into the air and he landed to a huge reaction.

Lee fought from underneath with some kicks, but Femi cleared him to the outside where he ended up draped over the announce table. Lee tried to put on the brakes but Femi charged him into the steel under the ring. Vic called for the ref to consider stopping it. Femi reentered the ring and Lee joined him as the referee’s count reached seven. Femi caught Lee and laid him out with a backbreaker. Femi charged Lee to a corner and stalked him. There was a near 50-50 dueling chant, but it doesn’t feel like anyone is “anti” either guy.

Femi laid out Lee with one big right as Lee tried to get back into it. Femi hit another backbreaker, held on, and then just tossed Lee aside to the mat. Lee tried some shots to the midsection but Femi charged him to another corner. Femi went at Lee with a knee and then set him up in the Tree of Woe on the opposite one. Femi looked for a spear but Lee swung himself up. Femi tried to power Lee over the top rope but Lee changed momentum and Femi went out instead. Lee had a minor flurry on the apron but Femi just obliterated him with a loud strike. There was a “this is awesome” chant celebrating the brutality thus far.

Femi stretched Lee backward over his knee as the crowd tried to cheer Lee back into it. Femi struck Lee to the mat and covered for two. Femi slapped dismissively at Lee’s head as he got to his knees. Femi threatened with a big club but Lee hit a thrust kick and then struck quick and often with his feet. Lee hit a tornado DDT for a two count. Femi went outside and Lee charged though the ropes for a tope. Lee entered again and did it again as Femi walked around a corner. Lee hit a third one from yet another side. There were some quick reversals and Lee trapped Femi for a very long two. An “NXT” chant went out as both guys sold for a moment.

Lee hit a meteora to the back to lay out Femi. Lee went up again for a springboard lariat, but Femi laid him out with an uppercut to smash Lee out of the air. Femi covered for two. Femi put Lee on his back and crawled up the ropes. Femi tried a top rope powerbomb but Lee reversed to an X-Factor. Lee hit the Cardiac Kick, and Femi kicked out at two. Uh-oh. Lee went up and hit a frog splash, but Femi had actually caught him at the neck. The two spilled from the ring. Femi took Lee down with a shoulder breaker, then rolled Lee inside.

Lee hit a couple of kicks and a double stomp. He went for a second Cardiac Kick but Lee caught him. Lee still had the momentum and he tried another. Femi caught and press-slammed Lee. Femi hit a pop-up powerbomb to finish.

WINNER: Oba Femi at 16:18.

(Wells’s Analysis: I thought Lee had a very real shot here, just because Femi is destined for even bigger things. Apparently he’ll continue on as champion. Both these guys are essentially in their final forms and either one could contribute on the main roster in short order, though I think they’ll take their time and really pick their spot with Femi in particular)

-There was a hype package for Kelani Jordan and Sol Ruca, up next. It was likely only shown to Peacock Premium subscribers, though they don’t always announce that anymore.

(2) KELANI JORDAN (c) vs. SOL RUCA – NXT Women’s North American Championship match

Quick catches and escapes to open. Neither woman could land an offensive move early as they were able to roll through repeatedly. There was a dueling chant that was largely pro-Sol, who at this point is still a much more clearly defined character than Jordan, though a lot of work has been done over the past four week. There were more evasions again, some of which you see on a very rare basis. On a second effort, Ruca hit an X-Factor that got two.

Ruca worked a surfboard for a moment, then charged Jordan forward face-first on the mat. Jordan hit an arm drag and a huracanrana, then hit a plancha after Ruca spilled out. Back inside, Jordan covered for two. Ruca got back into it with a superkick and then hit a couple of springboard shots. Ruca hit a thrust kick from the apron and then hit a springboard 360 lariat (Vic said “What the hell do you call that?” and I guess I’m committing to that). Ruca got in some combo kicks but Jordan caught one and hit a Pele kick. Jordan hit a poison rana and Ruca bailed to the outside again. Jordan went to the apron and hit a moonsault. Jordan got back inside. Ruca wasn’t looking like she could beat the count, so Jordan went out after her so she wouldn’t win that way. Ruca got in a kick and a moonsault from the apron. Both women laid on the floor outside. The referee got to nine and both women charged into the ring.

Jordan trapped Ruca a couple of times and Ruca returned the favor a couple of times as near-falls came frequently. Ruca hit a powerbomb for two. Ruca took Jordan up to the top rope and Jordan elbowed her to the mat. Jordan went for a 480 Splash and Ruca got the knees up. Both women sold on the mat. Ruca tried the Sol Snatcher but Jordan slammed her down and covered for two. Jordan tried to go high but Ruca held on. Jordan tried another poison rana but Ruca turned it into a reverse Alabama Slam. Sol went up the ropes with Jordan on her shoulders likely for a Sol Snatcher, but Jordan hit the poison rana, then hit her finisher.

WINNER: Kelani Jordan in 11:37.

Jordan shook Ruca’s hand afterward, and they held each other’s hands up.

(Wells’s Analysis: Potentially the best match either woman has had to this point, as they just worked like a well-oiled machine together and had counters and escapes ready for everything. Ruca would be a believable choice for next champion but thankfully she’ll get a little more time to show us who she is as her reign continues)

-Gallus, via X, cut a promo on Tyson Dupont and Tyriek Igwe ahead of their match Tuesday.

-The pre-show win by Petrovic and Grace was outlined. Ava interviewed the two women. Grace said it’s a good thing she was there, because Petrovic would’ve been eaten alive. They argued about who was better and Grace said the team was over because Petrovic is the anchor holding her down. Ava made a match for Tuesday between the two. Grace said it was sickening of Ava to pit the tag teamers against one another.

(3) CHASE UNIVERSITY (Andre Chase & Duke Hudson) (w/Riley Osborne & Thea Hail) vs. AXIOM & NATHAN FRAZER (c) – NXT Tag Team Championship

Axiom and Chase opened up with some mat grapples. Vic said tag championships hadn’t changed hands since 1999 on an event called Heatwave (it was an ECW show then). After a minute or so of quick escapes, they reset. Chase charged into an Axiom knee in the corner. Axiom hit a dropkick and Chase kicked out at one. They rolled a few times and Chase trapped Axiom for two. Chase said it was a teachable moment. Frazer tagged in and immediately got into trouble as Chase put him down with an armbar. Frazer hit a spinning heel kick and Hudson tagged in.

Hudson ran the ropes and then caught Frazer for a high-release belly-to-belly. Chase tagged in again and he and Hudson hit some tag offense. Chase kept up the onslaught briefly but Axiom tagged in and the champs took over. Axiom hit a hard basement lariat and Axiom covered for two. Booker T said it was an illegal shot. Axiom hit a half-and-half and Frazer tagged in for some tag offense. Frazer worked a chinlock as the match took its first real breather. Frazer went for a springboard spot but Chase caught him and slammed him. Both guys sold on the mat. Chase played face in peril as Axiom tagged in and cut him off. Axiom snapped on an armbar but Chase rolled him up to break.

Chase hit an enzuigiri and tried to crawl to tag, but Axiom didn’t release Chase and trapped him in an ankle lock. Chase rolled through. Both guys made tags and Hudson was the house afire. Hudson got in his Chase U signature strikes, then caught Axiom for a uranage and Frazer with a press slam. Hudson hit both guys with a senton/gutbuster combo and covered Frazer for two. Rope run and Frazer dropkicked Hudson to the outside. Frazer went for a tope but Hudson caught with a right, then reentered for a huge German suplex. Duke went for Razor’s Edge but Frazer turned it into a head scissor right into the corner. Action spilled to the outside and everyone got involved, ending up in a heap near the announce table.

Back inside, Axiom hit a frog splash on Hudson. Frazer hit one also and he covered Hudson for two. The champs made a couple more tags as Hudson tried to fight off their offense. Frazer went up but Hudson hit Stratusfaction. Hudson hit a DDT for two. After a few more tags, the champs had Hudson set up on their own corner but Hudson shoved them off. Axiom hit a Spanish Fly and Frazer hit the Phoenix Splash, normally the finishing combo, but Chase was ready on the other side and he rolled Frazer over and the danger was ended for now.

They reset and Chase took over n offense. He dominated both champs. Frazer tried to superkick Chase but he moved and he nailed Axiom. Frazer and Hudson spilled out and Chase rolled up Axiom for a very long two. The crowd was hotter than they’ve been all night. Chase hit a Russian leg sweep and then did the CHASE U stomps. Chase went up and hit a high cross-body for a very long two, broken up by Frazer. Frazer made the blind tag and he went at Chase, who ducked a shot. Axiom then made a blind tag and he and Frazer used tag offense to lay out Chase. Frazer blew through Hudson with a tope, leaving Axiom able to finish Chase with the Golden Ratio.

WINNERS: Axiom & Nathan Frazer at 16:49.

Chase U sulked on the outside and Vic said maybe they should have allowed Ridge Holland at ringside after all.

(Wells’s Analysis: This might be my favorite Axiom & Frazer tag match to date, as the extra story of whether they can keep coexisting brought a lot of doubt to the table. Chase U have their own issues as well, making this a surprising choice for a match as they took two stories and intersected them for the sake of this match. I’m definitely glad they did)

-Wes Lee responded with some anger at an unseen interviewer who wanted thoughts. He said he traveled the world for this and he failed. He said Oba Femi was the better man tonight, point blank. He said he needed time to figure out what’s next and said he see us all on Tuesday.

-There were some (previously seen) vignettes for Premium subscribers ahead of the Women’s Championship.

-Vic hyped the upcoming Great American Bash, Booker T’s favorite event because he went 7-1 there.

-Hype for the Women’s Championship, including Lola Vice’s emotional promo from Tuesday. Previous TV content gave way to the wrestlers walking through the back as the bass rhythm played.

(4) LOLA VICE vs. ROXANNE PEREZ (c) – NXT Women’s Championship

It was a tepid reaction early, but the crowd essentially exploded during the tag match, so they’ll have to earn them back. Mike Rome handled formal introductions.

The two locked up and rolled around the ropes early. Perez slapped Vice and immediately showed regret. Vice took down Perez with a snap mare and shook her hips. Vice snapped on an armbar and Perez frantically rolled her up to break. Perez worked Vice’s arm in the hopes of staving off the armbar later. A dueling chant was far more even than one would think, based on Vice’s reactions in Florida. Vice went for her knockout backfist but Roxy bailed. Vice charged out and hit a hip attack.

Vice rolled Perez in, allowing Perez to take advantage of Vice on her entrance with a kick. Perez dragged Vice around the ring and beat her in the turnbuckles. Perez shoved Vice’s head a couple of times, then tied her up in the ropes and yanked her by the hair until the ref broke it up. Perez hit a Russian leg sweep and covered for two. Perez worked a chin lock and armbar combo as the match settled in. Vice got in some knees but Perez rolled her up for two. Vice got in her rapid alternating kicks and then hit a hip attack in the corner, then covered for two.

Perez got a rollup for two also. Vice got a sleeper on but Perez kicked off in the corner to break. Vice snapped on another one and Perez rolled to the outside and backed Vice into the announce table to break. Vice charged Perez at the post and missed, then sold the hand. Perez stomped the hand, then hit a suplex on the floor. Back inside, Perez rolled up Vice for two. Perez dropped a knee on Vice’s right arm as Vice continued to sell agony. She tried a second time but Vice moved the arm.

After some jockeying, Perez hit a belly-to-back suplex. Perez missed a moonsault and Vice tried a triangle, and again Perez rolled her up to break. They need more counters for that stuff. Vice was able to dump Perez to the outside but Vice kept selling the arm before going out after Perez to roll her inside. Vice covered Perez right by the ropes and Perez got her foot on the rope to break the count. Perez went to the apron and continued punishing Vice’s arm.

Vice countered Pop Rox and got in some kicks. She continued clutching her bad arm. Perez countered a move and hit Pop Rox for a long two. She sold shock and anger at the kickout. Vice rolled out, and Perez uncovered the announce table. Perez yelled “You will never be champion” at Vice and hit Pop Rox on the table, which didn’t break as the two have a much smaller combined weight than the norm. Perez rolled Vice in and covered for two. She immediately kept up the work. Perez hit Pop Rox three more times (the probably intended final one was pretty ugly, so she did one more) and she got the three. Color me surprised after that build.

WINNER: Roxanne Perez at 13:09.

(Wells’s Analysis: Having a red-hot newly-turned babyface getting better every day and a young heel champion finding her voice more every day is a pretty good problem to have. This was a strong old-school match as Perez nearly got done in by an early armbar, so she turned her attention immediately to that arm. I’m not convinced it’s done between these two, despite the definitive win by Perez here)

-A Premium segment on Brooks Jensen narrated by Shawn Michaels invited Jensen to appear on NXT on Tuesday to talk about his future.

-Lexis King narrated, via a social media post, about “real music” like Motley Crue and Metallica, cutting a promo on Eddy Thorpe and his “beep-boop” music.

-Tony D’Angelo, also via socials, cut a promo on King, who apparently also took aim at Tony D and his Heritage Cup. D invited him to a match on Tuesday, where he’d “knock that fake-ass beard right off of your face.” Vic confirmed the Heritage Cup match and also promoted Karmen Petrovic vs. Arianna Grace, The OC vs. OTM, Gallus vs. Igwe & Dupont, and Wes Lee addressing his future.

(5) TRICK WILLIAMS (c) vs JE’VON EVANS vs. SHAWN SPEARS vs. ETHAN PAGE – Fatal four-way for the NXT Championship

Evans entered first to a good reaction as Vic put over the speed in which Evans found himself in the main event. Spears entered with a chair and his creepy entrance mask. Page was next to boos. There were multiple “I Believe in Joe Hendry” signs right next to the ramp. Maybe the man’s going viral, and maybe the company wants to do something with him so they’re planting signs (possibly both). Williams entered last and the crowd was hot – perhaps nobody more than Booker T, as Trick’s gear was Harlem Heat-inspired. Mike Rome handled formal introductions. Evans got a good reaction there too, but nothing compared to what Williams got.

The men circled around for a bit and Page exited the ring to boos. Evans hit him with an immediate tope suicida. The camera focused on Williams, who was dominating Spears inside. They spilled to a different area outside the ring. Page and Spears had a brief competition over which could slam an opponent’s head into the steps harder. Back inside, the two heels acted like they were going to have a test of strength, but they both went to the eyes. The babyfaces cleared them out, exchanged an elaborate handshake, and went at it. Evans struck early and often, bouncing from the ropes a few times. Evans got a rollup for a long two and said “I was close as hell!” Williams sold annoyance.

After some jockeying, Williams hit a dropkick. Spears entered with a chair, but Trick ducked it. Page entered also and Trick took out both guys with axe kicks and then Evans flew in at the heels with a cross-body. Williams hit a uranage on Evans for two. There was a “we want tables” chant. This match is good enough without it, gang. The heels took over on offense, and shortly after it was Page alone getting his shine as he got in offense on all three guys. Page went to the turnbuckle, but Spears and then Evans met him there, and finally Williams did as well. Page and Williams ended on top of a mess and referee Darryl Sharma counted as they both covered opponents for two. Vic asked Booker what would happen in a double pin, and Booker said he didn’t know.

Spears used his chair on everyone, including Evans, who was bounding off of a rope. It looked like it came from a real unpleasant angle. Spears set up the chair against a turnbuckle, and ended up hitting the C4 against the chair for two. I lost power in my house for a scary 10 seconds or so and came back to all four laying on the mat. Page and Williams went to the outside and brawled against the post. Evans flew over the corner and laid out Williams. Vic acted like he had to stop himself from saying “holy shit,” and when the fans chanted it, he said “I’m glad they’re saying it.”

Inside, Spears hit a C4 on Evans from the second turnbuckle. He covered, but Page tossed Spears out and covered instead. He got a very long two. Page stood above Evans to boos. Page went up in a corner and Spears met him there with some chops. Williams flew into the frame and both he and Spears spilled to the outside. Evans hit a huge cutter on Page from the heavens and he covered for a long two, broken up by Williams. “Young O.G.” chant. There they are.

The babyfaces paired off with the heels outside. They evaded a few shots but met with kicks in the middle, then sold on the mat. Everyone took a breather until Evans and Spears went up in a corner. They jockeyed there for some time until Evans hit a cutter, then splashed Spears from the opposite corner. Williams broke up the near-fall. Evans tried a springboard on the table side, and Williams instinctively shoved him backward. Evans broke through the table and laid there. Williams sold regret and the crowd chanted “Rest in peace.”

The other three took some turns getting in offense. Page laid out Trick and covered, and Evans, still groggy, set Williams’ foot on a rope to break the count. Page got heated and threw repeated fists to boos. Williams hit the Trick Shot on Evans, trying to hit Spears, who got dumped. He then hit one on Page, who fall backward on top of Evans. Williams tried to break it up but Spears yanked him out of the ring and Williams looked on helplessly as Page, practically knocked out, got the three and became new champion.

WINNER: “All Ego” Ethan Page at 17:26.

Page celebrated with his belt. He mocked the audience reaction by making a sad face, then laughed. In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, they cut to a close-up of Joe Hendry, turning to the camera with a winning smile. The clip ended as soon as it started and the show went off the air.

(Wells’s Analysis: Holy hell. Toronto got no title changes at Money in the Bank and it sure looked like they weren’t getting one at Heatwave until that genuinely shocking ending. Page’s rise to the top is pure heel stuff, with a lot of whining until he gets what he wants, and then winning in the least honorable way possible, and then mocking the crowd as he becomes the face of the brand. Williams certainly won’t have a hard time finding things to do on TV as I believe he’s essentially bulletproof right now, and we now have someone who’s already often compared to Bobby Roode as the NXT Champion leading into surprising new territory. This was right up there as one of my favorite four-way matches this brand has ever run, perhaps only behind Breeze-Neville-Kidd-Zayn, but you could convince me I actually liked this one better)


FINAL THOUGHTS: Maybe I’m just in a good mood, but I can’t think of much of anything negative to say about this show. At a time when I think there are way too many PLEs in NXT when sometimes the talent pool doesn’t warrant running so many, and a lot of them feel inconsequential in the end as nothing really changes and no major stories end, this one led to a moment I don’t think anyone expected as Williams really hasn’t been champion for long himself, and now finds himself on the outside once again with a very different opponent at the top. There are a lot of possibilities coming out of this show for the players in the main event, and there’s no doubt Evans will be one to watch as he showed even more of what he’s able to do in this match. Everyone worked hard tonight and every match was in over-delivery territory. If you’d have told me we’d have just one new champion on this show I would’ve put money on it being Lola Vice, while leaving the door open for the possibility of Wes Lee or Chase U. I’m looking forward to Tuesday’s show as they immediately get to work on putting together Great American Bash, as NXT continues to run too many specials (though when one comes off like this, I suppose it’s not the night to complain). I’ll be talking with Chris Lansdell about his live experience tonight and we’ll have a show for you after that.

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