NXT – July 18, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 18th July 2023
Date: July 18, 2023
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T.
We are less than two weeks away from the Great American Bash and that means it is time to build towards Ilja Dragunov challenging Carmelo Hayes for the NXT Title. That should go well, as it’s Ilja Dragunov vs. Carmelo Hayes. Other than that, Judgment Day’s NXT excursion continues as Dominik Mysterio challenges for the North American Title. Let’s get to it.
Here are Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes to open things up ans Vic Joseph is seen tapping Booker T. on the arm over and over in the background. Williams introduces Hayes, who talks about how the numbers game and interference cost them a tag match last week. Ilja Dragunov tried to “help” and here is Dragunov to interrupt.
Dragunov says he didn’t mean to mess with Hayes’ business last week, but he wasn’t about to let Damian Priest use his Money In The Bank briefcase to take the NXT Title to the main roster. Dragunov accuses Hayes of losing control last week, but Hayes praises his ability to keep going.
Threats are made for the Great American Bash, with Hayes saying he feels everything. There is no one more qualified to face him than Dragunov, but Hayes isn’t going to lose anytime soon. He is Mr. PLE and he will hit different. Dragunov says he has a fire inside but Hayes promises to blow it out. They only have so much time to set this up so diving in head first like this is a good idea.
Mustafa Ali comes in to Wes Lee’s locker room and says he doesn’t think much about Lee agreeing to face Dominik Mysterio. Ali is already set for his title match, but he isn’t sure about tonight. Lee doesn’t seem to like that disrespect.
Earlier today, Stacks picked up Tony D’Angelo from prison and everything seems ok.
Humberto Carrillo/Angel Garza vs. Dragon Lee/Nathan Frazer
Angel and Humberto jump them to start until it’s Frazer picking up the pace as he and Humberto start. A running dropkick sends Humberto into the corner for one so here is Lee for a change. Lee gets taken into the wrong corner and Humberto goes after the mask. A suplex gives Humberto two and here are Yulisa Leon and Valentina Feroz. Frazer’s flip dive is cut off and dropped in front of them as we take a break.
Back with Lee fighting back and hitting a running knee for two on Garza. Everything breaks down and Carrillo drops Frazer face first onto the announcers’ table. Back in and a double top rope slam puts Lee down, setting up one heck of a moonsault to give Carrillo two. Garza hits a superkick on Lee but Frazer is back in with a middle rope Downward Spiral. Lee’s sitout powerbomb gets two on Carrillo, followed by a running flip into a reverse DDT to finish Garza at 11:27.
Rating: B. This got rocking by the end and that is what you want from a match like this one. It’s always a good idea to let a bunch of fast paced, talented wrestlers go out there and tear the house down and that is almost what you had here. Carrillo and Garza can work well with anyone and Lee/Frazer might just be a bit better. Very fun stuff here with some great near falls.
Post match Garza yells at Carrillo, who shoves him down and says it was his fault. Carrillo leaves through the crowd, with Garza following.
Baron Corbin finds a man standing near a bunch of torches and doesn’t know how he let this happen. Everything was easy but then he burned everything he had. Now it’s time to evolve, but to what? He will face his future, and we see the hooded person is…..a slightly taller Corbin?
Earlier today, NXT Anonymous revealed a clip of Booker T. giving Roxanne Perez a pep talk.
Booker is NOT happy about this invasion of privacy.
Gigi Dolin vs. Kiana James
James starts fast and hammers away but gets dropkicked to the floor for her efforts. Back in and James slams her down for two before Dolin wins a strike off. Dolin misses a shot though and pulls her down by the hair. It’s time to bring in the loaded bag but Dolin has it taken away, allowing James to hit the 401K onto the bag for the pin at 3:28.
Rating: C. That’s quite the odd result as I wouldn’t have bet on Dolin, who has felt ready to move up to the next level, to lose here as James hasn’t been doing much lately. Maybe James gets to go somewhere, but there is a good chance that this isn’t over yet as Dolin is going to want revenge. Or at least to find out what is is in the bag.
Last week, Scrypts agreed that he and Axiom would face Lucien Price and Bronco Nima this week, but Axiom said they aren’t a regular team. He’ll team with Scrypts, but this can’t keep happening.
Ivy Nile takes down the Diamond Mine banner.
Noam Dar is so depressed that he canceled last week’s Supernova Sessions.
Last week’s planned Supernova Sessions guest, Eddy Thorpe, is interrupted by the Meta Four, who give him a consolation prize of a photo of Noam Dar. The ensuing trashing of the photo results in Oro Mensah vs. Thorpe, likely tonight.
Bronco Nima/Lucien Price vs. Scrypts/Axiom
Axiom is powered into the corner to start but comes out with a headscissors and kick to the face. Back up and Axiom gets over to Scrypts for some flips…..and a forearm to the back of Axiom’s head as the team splits. A running boot gives Mina the pin on Axiom at 2:12. Good, as the team was holding Axiom back.
It’s time for Tony D’Angelo’s big return celebration. Stacks, with a bunch of people behind him, brings out Tony, who is very proud of what Stacks did. We see a video of the two stringing Gallus along to pretend that Stacks was turning on Tony. It’s all a ruse get the title shot and here is a livid Gallus. They don’t like being lied to, but the rest of the Family whip out crowbars so the beating can ensue. Mark Coffey goes through a table so D’Angelo and Stacks can hold up the titles.
Elektra Lopez vs. Thea Hail
Lopez, with Lola Vice, knocks Hail with Duke Hudson, into the corner t start but Hail comes out with a suplex. Not that it matters as Hail grabs the Kimura for the tap at 1:11.
Post match Hail says she wants to make Tiffany Stratton tap out, meaning it’s time for a REMATCH chant. Cue Stratton to say the rematch is on, because Hail is in over her head. Hail wants a submission match but gets turned down. That’s fine with Hail, who puts on the Kimura again until Tiffany agrees to the stipulation.
Tony D’Angelo and company wish Dominik Mysterio good luck tonight. With D’Angelo and company gone, Rhea Ripley calls over Lyra Valkyria and tells her to deal with Jacy Jayne.
Gable Steveson makes his decision next week.
Oro Mensah vs. Eddy Thorpe
The rest of the Meta Four is here with Mensah. They start fast by trading knockdowns until Mensah gets in a shot to take him down. Some right hands keep Thorpe in trouble and Mensah kicks him down again. The neck crank doesn’t last long as commentary bickers about who is right coming into this. Thorpe fights back and knocks Mensah outside, leaving the Meta Four to carry the catatonic Noam Dar inside. The distraction lets Dijak run in and drop Thorpe, setting up Mensah’s running spinwheel kick in the corner for the pin at 4:42.
Rating: C. This wasn’t much to see but Dijak cutting Thorpe off means we should be having a big showdown in the near future. For now though, Mensah gets to shine a bit, which really has not been the case so far in the Meta Four. Not bad here, though somehow Dar was the interesting part, which might never have been said before.
Kelani Jordan and Dana Brooke do gymnastics. Cora Jade is not impressed.
We get a split screen interview between Blair Davenport and Roxanne Perez. Roxanne isn’t happy with NXT Anonymous (Blair: “It isn’t me.”) but she’s ready to face Blair in her home state of Texas. Blair says Perez had a great rookie year but that was last year. Perez goes off about how she is tired of being treated as this helpless and now she is ready to prove herself. Blair says you either have the killer instinct or you don’t (Perez: “I have it!”) and we’ll see that reality at the Great American Bash. Perez storms out as Blair mocks her.
North American Title: Dominik Mysterio vs. Wes Lee
Mysterio, with Rhea Ripley, is challenging. After the Big Match Intros, Lee grabs a headlock to start as the fans debate if Dominik is ready. Lee kicks him to the floor and teases the dive as we take a break. Back with Dominik hitting Three Amigos into the 619 into a Michinoku Driver or two.
The frog splash misses though and they slug it out with Dominik getting the better of things. Some right hands keep Lee down but Lee comes back with some hard shots of his own. Lee kicks him in the face and grabs a springboard tornado DDT. The Spiral Tap connects but cue the Judgment Day for a distraction. Ripley belts Lee and Dominik gets the pin and the title at 10:32.
Rating: C+. This was all about the big surprise at the end and that worked very well. Lee has gotten far more than enough out of the title reign and pulling the trigger here was a great surprise. That was one heck of a curve ball, but as usual, it helps that Dominik can wrestle a completely fine match. It’s not like this is some manager beating Lee, which makes it just a little more interesting. Pretty awesome surprise here and nicely done on finally ending Lee’s reign in a unique way.
The fans are STUNNED as Judgment Day celebrates to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. The ending and the pretty awesome tag match were what mattered here and carried the show. The Bash is mostly set at this point, with Bron Breakker’s status being the top question mark. I liked the show well enough, but there are some parts that don’t quite feel as important. Unfortunately most of those were the women’s segments, which don’t quite have the same gravity. Stratton vs. Hail feels almost a bit silly in parts, but the fans want to see Hail win so there is something there. Overall, pretty nice show that did some important things, but not quite must see.
Dragon Lee/Nathan Frazer b. Humberto Carrillo/Angel Garza – Running flipping reverse DDT to Garza
Kiana James b. Gigi Dolin – 401K
Bronco Nima/Lucien Price b. Scrypts/Axiom – Running boot tom Axiom
Thea Hail b. Elektra Lopez – Kimura
Oro Mensah b. Eddy Thorpe – Running spinwheel kick in the corner
Dominik Mysterio b. Wes Lee – Belt shot from Rhea Ripley
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