NXT – June 20, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 20th June 2023
Date: June 20, 2023
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Booker T., Vic Joseph
It’s the first week of Gold Rush, a two week pair of shows focusing on titles. This week is so big that NXT is bringing in a bonus title in the form of Seth Rollins defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Bron Breakker. Other than that, the North American Title is on the line with a special guest referee. Let’s get to it.
The opening video talks about the importance of titles, with some of tonight’s participants promising to leave as champion.
North American Title: Wes Lee vs. Tyler Bate
Bate is challenging and Mustafa Ali is guest referee. Feeling out process to start with Lee flipping around until Bate grabs a headlock. Lee tries a rollup out of said headlock for a rather fast two, leaving Lee and Bate looking at Ali. Back up and Lee gets rolled up for a MUCH slower one, which has Bate looking a bit worried. They go outside and fight over a lockup as Ali doesn’t bother with a count.
We take a break and come back with a double clothesline leaving both of them down. A slugout goes to Lee, who can’t even get one off a backslide. Instead he dropkicks Bate in the back but Bate scores with the middle rope elbow. The Cardiac Kick misses for Lee and Bate’s rebound lariat gets two.
Lee takes him up top for an attempted superplex but Lee gets punched out to the floor for the big crash instead. That’s almost enough for a countout but Ali goes outside to wake him up. Not to be unfair, Lee wakes up bate as well, but the distraction lets Lee hit the Cardiac Kick to retain at 13:03.
Rating: B-. Ali’s ordeal in the end is probably going to cause problems later, but for now it was a good match between two people who can make anything work. What started off as just an ok run from Lee has turned into the best North American Title reign ever and it’s going to be a big deal when he loses the thing. Ali might be the one to take it off of him, but for now he was just a mildly screwy referee.
Post match respect is shown but Bate doesn’t seem pleased.
Gigi Dolin looks at a bunch of murals as she talks about what art means to her. She has been betrayed by a bunch of people and art lets her do what she wants.
Kiana James isn’t interested in what happens with Dolin because James has ambition.
Here is Duke Hudson for a pep rally in honor of Chase U’s star student Thea Hail. The student section and Drew Gulak/Charlie Dempsey are here as Hail talks about how she didn’t have a ton of accomplishments. She graduated high school last year (Dempsey: “What have we gotten ourselves into?”) and thanks Andre Chase for pushing her.
After thanking Hudson and her coaches, Hail promises pain to Tiffany Stratton next week so here is Tiffany to interrupt. Hail needs to understand that she got lucky next week but she would have to be very dumb to believe she has a chance next week. Hudson said Hail is winning the title next week because she leaves it in the ring every week. Tiffany gets in the ring and promises she won’t tap next week, only to tap to a quick Kimura. Crazy Hail is so much fun and she was again here too.
Joe Gacy thinks he might be the problem with Schism and yeah, that might be the case. Ava says they’re still one tree with four roots.
The Diamond Mine doesn’t like Schism and is ready to get rid of them.
Lyra Valkyria comes up to Jacy Jayne and asks what the problem is. Jayne says last week was just locker room chatter but Valkyria doesn’t buy it. With Valkyria gone, Jayne thinks she should have just kicked her in the face.
Josh Briggs/Brooks Jensen vs. Hank Walker/Tank Ledger vs. Edris Enofe/Malik Blade
Fallon Henley is here with Briggs and Jensen and this is for a title shot next week. Briggs kicks Ledger in the face to start but gets dropkicked by Enofe. A double slam plants Enofe and another one puts Ledger down as we see Gallus watching in the back. Briggs is pulled to the apron and dropped onto the apron before all six come in for the huge brawl. Enofe and blade manage a pair of flip dives to the floor but Ledger and Walker hit stereo Vader Bombs to take the other four down outside. Back in and Walker hits a full nelson slam for two on Enofe and we take a break.
We come back with Briggs and Jensen cleaning house again but Enofe cuts them off. Ledger snaps off a fall away slam until Jensen is back in with a superkick. A Hart Attack hits Ledger but Blade dives in for the save. Enofe adds a frog splash for the pin on Ledger and the title shot at 9:14.
Rating: C+. I’m been a Blade/Enofe fan for a good while now so it is nice to see them finally getting something of a chance. While I don’t think they win the titles, there is at least a chance they pull off the upset and that is more than I would have bet on previously. If nothing else, NXT desperately needs some new teams in the title hunt so why not these guys? The match was your usual triple threat insanity with everyone going everywhere, though Briggs and Jensen looked dominant for long strethes.
Gallus isn’t impressed but Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza come in with some threats.
Damon Kemp picks his stipulation against Eddy Thorpe: RAW UNDERGROUND.
Roxanne Perez jumps Blair Davenport, who doesn’t seem upset.
New Heritage Cup Champion Nathan Frazer comes in to see his mentor Seth Rollins, who congratulates him on the win. Rollins tells him to have fun with that thing and Frazer leaves, when Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams come in. Violence is teased but everything is cool. They respect each other, champion to champion.
Cora Jade vs. Dana Brooke
Feeling out process to start with Brooke knocking her down and hitting a handstand splash for an early two. Back up and some shots to the ribs have Brooke in trouble, allowing Jade to shout at the people a lot. An anklescissors and a running kick (seemed like a dropkick that didn’t go so well) send Jade outside but she catches Brooke with a knee. A DDT plants Jade back inside and it’s time to work on Brooke’s knee.
Brooke sends her into the corner and tries the handspring but her knee gives out. Brooke shouting “MY KNEE” is quite the hint as trainers come in to check on her. We take a break and come back with Brooke fighting off of a stretcher and forearming away. A chop block cuts her off back inside but she’s fine enough to hit some clotheslines. Brooke gets an elbow up in the corner but she misses a Vader Bomb. A half crab goes on though Brooke won’t tap, leaving the referee to stop it at 10:42.
Rating: C. Well that was….a lot. There is something to be said about Brooke fighting through the pain and not giving up, but it was a story that started and ended in about eight minutes, which lessens a lot of the impact. Jade looked like a good villain, but this felt like a story that was a bit more than Cora Jade vs. Dana Brooke needed.
Von Wagner and Mr. Stone sat in an empty arena earlier today, with Wagner saying this is where it all started. Stone asks about the picture, which Wagner says is about his skull being born locked into place and he had to have surgery when he was 15 months old. They pulled his face down and fixed his skull and gave him a life. The scarring on his head was bad and the kids used to call him a monster, but all he could do was take it. That’s enough for today and Wagner thanks Stone for what he did. Rather intense moment here, though the reveal that a photo looking like Wagner had surgery revealing just that wasn’t quite shocking.
Eddy Thorpe looks into Raw Underground….and here is Gable Steveson to say he’ll help train Thorpe if need be. Gable says he knows Damon Kemp better than anyone (not mentioned here, but that would be his brother).
Here are Carmelo Hayes and Baron Corbin for a face to face debate. The two argue over potential and what they both could do, with Hayes making fun of Happy Corbin. That doesn’t bother Corbin, because being Happy got him a $1.8 million house. Hayes lists off what he was accomplishing at 27, which was around the same age when Corbin was getting cut from the NFL.
He respects the black and gold originals for building the house, but Hayes has ripped the roof off the house and made it bigger. Corbin threatens violence but says he’ll just take the title and have his hot wife pour a drink that Hayes can’t afford. They kept this short but there were some big shots thrown in there.
Nathan Frazer and Dragon Lee wish Yulisa Leon and Valentina Feroz luck in their tag match. With them gone, Frazer tells Lee that he’s trying to thank the people who helped him get here, so Lee can have the first shot at the Heritage Cup. Works for Lee.
Stacks jumps Joe Coffey in the parking lot and kidnaps him in the trunk of his car.
Yulisa Leon/Valentina Feroz vs. Jakara Jackson/Lash Legend
The rest of the Meta Four are here too. It’s a brawl to start and Leon seems to hurt her knee. Jackson takes Leon down for two and grabs the chinlock as Lola Vice and Elektra Lopez come out to watch. They leave just as fast as Jackson switches to a seated abdominal stretch. Noam Dar offers a distraction but earns Oro Mensah a flip dive instead. The distraction lets Legend kick Leon in the face for the pin at 3:21.
Rating: C-. The Meta Four are the new group around here and as a result, they need to win something to matter. That isn’t the easiest thing to do after they lost their big prize last week but this was better than nothing. Jackson and Legend could be a nice team, and when you tie that in with Dar’s incredibly annoying nature, there might be something here.
Here’s what’s coming next week.
World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Bron Breakker
Rollins is banged up and defending, as the fans give him a WELCOME HOME chant. An early Pedigree attempt is blocked so Rollins sends him outside for a running kick from the apron as we take a break. Back with Rollins fighting out of a bearhug on the bad ribs but some overhead tosses put him right back down.
Rollins misses a charge and gets German suplexed to bang up the ribs again. Breakker’s spear hits post though and a running knee sends him outside. The three straight suicide dives take Breakker down again and it’s time to set up the announcers’ table. The frog splash through said table has Breakker in trouble and we take another break.
Back again with Rollins reversing a German suplex into a rollup for two. The low superkick sets up a missed frog splash and Breakker plants him down with a Frankensteiner. The gorilla press powerslam gets two but Rollins is back up with a Pedigree for two of his own. Back up and Breakker spears him in half for two, leaving them both down again. Rollins manages a superkick into the stomp into another stomp to retain the title at 17:07.
Rating: B. They saved the best for last here with Breakker being a nice foil for Rollins, even in a match with almost no chance of a title change. Breakker was in over his head here but still made Rollins work, at least partially due to the rib injuries holding Rollins back. What mattered was having such a big name here and Rollins made it work as a result. The power vs. speed/high flying formula was at work here and Breakker came off strong in defeat.
Rollins poses post match but Finn Balor runs in to jump him from behind. Several shots to the ribs connect but Balor fights off security. Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams run in for the save to end the show. That was a nice surprise and could set up something in the future.
Overall Rating: B-. There was a weak part between the Hayes/Corbin segment and the main event but the rest of the show was quite good. What mattered here was making multiple things, including the titles, feel important. I’m really digging this strategy of having the main roster stars come down, as they make the show seem that much more important. Another fine week here, with the last twenty minutes really pulling things higher.
Wes Lee b. Tyler Bate – Cardiac Kick
Edris Enofe/Malik Blade b. Hank Walker/Tank Ledger and Josh Briggs/Brooks Jensen – Frog splash to Ledger
Cora Jade b. Dana Brooke via referee stoppage
Jakara Jackson/Lash Legend b. Yulisa Leon/Valentina Feroz – Pump kick to Leon
Seth Rollins b. Bron Breakker – Stomp
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