NXT – June 27, 2023 (Gold Rush Week 2)
By Thomas Hall on 27th June 2023
Date: June 27, 2023
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T.
It’s the second half of the Gold Rush tournament and that means we have a title match main event. Baron Corbin will finally get his shot against Carmelo Hayes for the NXT Title, plus the Tag Team and Women’s Titles are on the line. That is a heck of a card so let’s get to it.
We open with a long recap of last week.
Women’s Title: Thea Hail vs. Tiffany Stratton
Hail, with Duke Hudson, is challenging. Some rollups give Hail two but the Kimura sends Stratton straight to the rope. Cue Charlie Dempsey and Drew Gulak as Stratton gets in a shot to take over, setting up a double stomp for two. Stratton starts working on the arm and we take a break.
Back with Hail firing away in the corner and grabbing a t-bone suplex. The spelling stomps set up an armbar but Hudson is arguing with Dempsey. Hail gets the Kimura again and Stratton taps but the referee is yelling at Gulak. Hail makes the eternal mistake of letting the hold go and getting the referee, allowing Stratton to get the rollup pin at 8:28.
Rating: C. Hail continues to be such an entertaining ball of energy out there and it is hard to take your eyes off of her. At the same time, Stratton feels like an absolute star and someone who is going to keep the title for a long time to come. Hail’s title win might happen someday, but it’s Stratton’s time and NXT seems to know it.
Post match Dempsey and Gulak beat down Hudson but Andre Chase returns for the save. The people seem to still like him.
Video on Ilja Dragunov, who loves fighting.
Gallus still hasn’t heard from Joe Coffey.
Last week, Dana Brooke was getting her knee looked at when Kelani Jordan came in. Jordan praised her and there seems to be some respect.
Tag Team Titles: Edris Enofe/Malik Blade vs. Gallus
Gallus is defending. Blade rolls away from Joe to start and slips out of a double teaming in the corner. Enofe comes in to start working on Wolfgang’s arm before it’s right back to Blade to headlock Mark. A dropkick gets two as we see Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo watching from the platform.
We take a break and come back with Blade in trouble as Wolfgang cranks on the neck. Coffey shoulders him down and grabs a front facelock, only to go after Enofe. The distraction lets Blade duck underneath and bring in Enofe to clean house. Enofe tries to use Coffey as a launchpad but slips, only to come back with a spinebuster for two instead. A frog splash gets two on Coffey with Wolfgang making the save. Cue Stacks to go after Coffey but he knocks Enofe into the steps by mistake (though he doesn’t seem too upset by it). The flapjack/dropkick finishes Enofe to retain at 13:13.
Rating: C+. I still think Enofe and Blade could and should be champions someday and moving the belts here wouldn’t have been the worst idea. Gallus isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire as champions and it would be nice to see some fresh blood around the belts. At least there seems to be something going on with the Stacks deal, but Gallus still aren’t all that interesting.
The Meta Four don’t want to talk about losing the Heritage Cup but Jakara Jackson and Lash Legend want the Women’s Tag Team Titles.
It’s time for a Schism family meeting. Joe Gacy tells them to speak freely, with Dyad talking about how their lives were supposed to be made better. The problem is that Gacy’s life is the only one getting better. Gacy accuses Fowler of not letting Reid have a voice, with Fowler saying Gacy bosses them around.
That doesn’t work for Gacy, who says they were never fully dedicated but they’re in a better form now. Cue the Diamond Mine to say they’re sick of this and declare Schism a cancer that wants to take over NXT. Gacy wants the Creeds vs. the Dyad next week, loser leaves NXT. The Creeds are in, though Julius looks a bit nervous. Schism’s schism continues and it couldn’t happen to a more annoying group.
Lucien Price and Bronco Nima talk about growing up together and using football to let out their aggression. Now they’re back on the same time and they’re here to dominate.
Axiom/Scrypts and Hank Walker/Tank Ledger are impressed by Price and Nima. Nathan Frazer walks up and gets some congratulations from Axiom on winning the Heritage Cup. Axiom says he’s drawn to the cup.
Trick Williams gives Carmelo Hayes a pep talk….and Rhea Ripley shows up (BIG pop for that). She warns them to stay out of Judgment Day business and leaves.
Heritage Cup: Dragon Lee vs. Nathan Frazer
Lee is challenging. Round One begins with neither being able to get anywhere on the mat. Neither can get anywhere off a wristlock so we have a standoff. Cue Axiom to watch as Frazer works away on a headlock. Scrypts is here too as they trade rollups for near falls each. They fight over a lockup and get nowhere as the round ends.
Round Two begins with Frazer snapping off a flying mare and hitting a running dropkick. Lee tries a hurricanrana out of the corner but gets pulled into a sunset flip to give Frazer the first fall at 1:10 of the round and 5:05 overall. Round Three begins with Lee cartwheeling his way out of a hurricanrana. Lee knocks him outside and hits the big flip dive as we take a break.
Back with Round Three over, the score still 1-0 Frazer, and about a minute of Round Four done. Frazer hits a dive to the floor but Lee hits a quick powerbomb for the pin at 1:45 of the round and 10:33 overall. Round Five starts with Lee tying him in the Tree of Woe for the top rope double stomp. They both go up top and come crashing down, with Lee hitting another powerbomb or two. They’re both down for a bit before slugging it out from their knees. A fight over a rollup goes to Frazer, who gets the pin at 2:59 of the round and 13:02 overall to retain.
Rating: B-. These rounds matches can be tricky as while they’re entertaining, they make me want to see these wrestlers have a regular match without the gimmicky setup. Lee and Frazer could have a heck of a match out there no matter what, so why chop it up with the round stuff? Either way, good match and the best on the show so far.
Raw Underground is back next week.
We see Gable Steveson training Eddy Thorpe for his Raw Underground match with Damon Kemp. Steveson will be in Thorpe’s corner.
Mustafa Ali comes in to see Wes Lee and apologizes for getting a little too involved as referee last week. Tyler Bate comes in to question how things went last week. Ali wants a title shot and Bate offers to referee. Bate and Ali bicker as Lee walks off.
Mr. Stone can’t find Von Wagner. Then he finds Von Wagner, who is upset over the photo of him as a baby and everything his family had to go through. Wagner says he can’t do this right now and leaves.
Gigi Dolin vs. Kiana James
They fight over a lockup until Dolin starts in on the armbar. Dolin dropkicks her up against the ropes and gets two off a rollup before they crash out to the floor. We take a break and come back with James going outside again, but this time she manages to send Dolin into the steps. We hit the chinlock back inside but Dolin fights up again. With nothing else working, James goes for her loaded bag, only to get caught with a crucifix bomb to give Dolin the pin at 9:09.
Rating: C. Dolin is in a weird place as NXT seems interested in pushing her but it doesn’t ever really seem to go anywhere. She feels unique enough that she can do something interesting but it hasn’t exactly gone to that next level. James isn’t much higher up at the moment, though she seems to have found more of a niche than Dolin.
Post match James hits her with the bag and pours cans of paint onto Dolin.
We go to the prison, where Joe Coffey visits Tony D’Angelo. Tony looks confused but Joe says things have changed since Tony was locked up. Tony promises that Stacks will handle things, but Joe says Stacks already has things handled. Stacks has ambition, with Joe saying Stacks sold Tony out. Joe plays some audio from his phone, with Stacks talking about how he’s the new Don and wanting Gallus to lay low for a week.
We look at Blair Davenport jumping Roxanne Perez during a fan Q&A show.
Jacy Jayne isn’t happy with Lyra Valkyria, who pops up to hit her in the face. Rhea Ripley pops up to say Jayne deserved that and Valkyria is a bada**.
The Dyad freaks out over next week’s Loser Leaves NXT match but Ava calms them down.
NXT Title: Baron Corbin vs. Carmelo Hayes
Hayes, with Trick Williams, is defending. They start fast with Hayes sending him outside and nailing a dive as we take an early break. Back with the fight heading outside again and Hayes being sent over the barricade. A big boot knocks Hayes silly but he gets out of a chinlock. The springboard clothesline takes Corbin down but he grabs a backbreaker for a breather.
Corbin rips the shirt off and drops Hayes with an elbow before taking him up top. Hayes knocks him off for a frog splash and the Fade Away his Corbin as well. The springboard DDT gets two more and a cradle gets two. Corbin is right back with an AA into the chokebreaker for two of his own and frustration sets in.
They fight out to the floor with Corbin sending him face first into the announcers’ table. Some elbows to the head drive said head into the table for two back inside. Deep Six is broken up but the second attempt plants Hayes for two more. Hayes manages to send him to the apron for a slingshot DDT. Back in and Nothing But Net finishes Corbin to retain the title at 16:28.
Rating: B-. The length hurt this one a good bit as it stopped being interesting early on, got a bit better near the end and then just kept going. Cut out about five minutes of this and it’s a lot better, though they did have me wondering if they were actually going to change the title here. Hayes is starting to feel like a champion and if he can avoid unnecessary losses like this week on Raw, he’ll be good for the time being.
We get a preview of next week’s show, including Mustafa Ali one on one with Tyler Bate.
Bron Breakker leaves Shawn Michaels’ office, shouting about how he has beaten everyone and Shawn can’t control him. Breakker says you’ll see what he means next week.
Overall Rating: C+. This wasn’t exactly a classic or even must see show, as a lot of it felt like a bunch of stuff you might see on a month of normal shows stacked up onto one. The action was good enough and things were set up for next week, but it was missing that spark that really made it feel special. For now though, good enough show, even if it wasn’t as solid of a showing as last week.
Tiffany Stratton b. Thea Hail – Rollup
Gallus b. Malik Blade/Edris Enofe – Flapjack/dropkick combination to Enofe
Nathan Frazer b. Dragon Lee 2-1
Gigi Dolin b. Kiana James – Crucifix bomb
Carmelo Hayes b. Baron Corbin – Nothing But Net
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at: