NXT – October 3, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 3rd October 2023
Date: October 3, 2023
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T.
We’re done with No Mercy and that means we are on the way to the two week spectacle that is Halloween Havoc. The big story is Ilja Dragunov taking the NXT Title from Carmelo Hayes, but Dominik Mysterio also lost the North American Title to Trick Williams. The latter has a rematch tonight and Rhea Ripley is back as well. Let’s get to it.
We open with a long rematch from No Mercy.
Here is Becky Lynch, arm no longer in a sling, to open things up. She’s still not medically cleared to compete, but neither if Tiffany Stratton after the beating she gave her. Now she’s thinking towards the future though, and that is the first night of Halloween Havoc. She knows she has Tegan Nox first, but here is Lyra Valkyria to interrupt.
Valkyria talks about Becky making her NXT debut in 2014 and it was the first episode of the show she ever saw. It made her start training and she can’t believe how far Becky has taken Irish wrestling. Valkyria would love a title shot but here is Indi Hartwell to say she never lost the title. Roxanne Perez comes out (with Becky doing a motion of “come on down”) and says she wants the title back too. Becky says we’ll just do a triple threat for the Halloween Havoc title shot.
We look at the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament brackets:
Tyler Bate/Butch vs. Gallus
Joe Coffey is here with Gallus. Butch takes Mark down to start but Wolfgang gets in a cheap shot from the apron to take over. Wolfgang comes in but Butch takes over on his arm, allowing the tag to Bate and a double arm stomp. A double arm snap puts Mark on the floor and a double Bop and Bang puts Wolfgang outside too as we take a break. Back with Butch hitting the ten forearms to Mark and then diving on Joe. Bate comes in for the airplane spin to Wolfgang as everything breaks down. Butch hits a moonsault to the floor and Bate adds a dive. Back in and double butterfly powerbomb finishes Mark at 10:06.
Rating: C+. This was more or less a squash as Gallus barely got in any major offense. That being said, losing to a team like British Strong Style is hardly a terrible result and Gallus going away a bit could be nice for the time being. At the very least, Bate and Butch going forward as a regular tag team has some serious potential.
Post match Gallus runs in for the beatdown but Ridge Holland makes the save.
Here is Ilja Dragunov for a chat (but first he slips on the ropes on the way in). After the MELO MISSED chant, Dragunov praises Carmelo Hayes and talks about how hard Hayes pushed him. This championship reign will be a symbol of unparalleled passion. Cue Trick Williams to interrupt, saying he’s here because he won a title at No Mercy too. Williams says he isn’t stopping, but here is a limping Carmelo Hayes to interrupt. Is he slipping or is Williams thanking Dragunov after Hayes praised him for months?
Hayes talks about his history with Williams and praises him for his title win. Defending the title is another level, which has Williams asking if Hayes thinks he can’t do it. Hayes says that’s not what he means but Dragunov asks what Hayes did mean. Dragunov says this was a champions’ conversation but Hayes says Williams needs to be focus on Dominik Mysterio.
Cue Dominik, with Williams saying he’s going to take Dominik out tonight. Dominik accuses Williams of being 6’4 and 240lbs, but he’s still in Hayes’ shadow. Hayes offers to have Williams’ back tonight but Williams says he’s going to do it himself, which Hayes seems to understand.
Indi Hartwell vs. Roxanne Perez vs. Lyra Valkyria
For a title shot at Becky Lynch, on commentary, in three weeks. Indi misses a double clothesline to start and gets sent outside. That leaves Valkyria and Perez to go to the mat, with Perez rolling her up for two. Hartwell is back in and sends Valkyria outside, leaving Perez to roll her up for two as well. Perez spins around her into a headscissors to the floor but Valkyria breaks up a dive. Valkyria’s dropkick through the ropes hits Perez but Indi blocks another one. Perez dives onto Valkyria, only to get dropped by Indi as we take a break.
Back with Perez hitting a high crossbody on Indi and dropkicking Valkyria into the corner. A Russian legsweep gets two on Valkyria and hammers away on Indi but Valkyria dropkicks both of them down. Valkyria suplexes Perez for two but she’s right back with a super hurricanrana for two. Cue Kiana James to pull Perez to the floor but Lynch drops her. That leaves Valkyria to hit a top rope splash for the pin on Indi at 11:54.
Rating: B-. It has felt like Valkyria has been ready to become the new breakout star in NXT for a long time now and giving her the title shot against Lynch on the big stage will be a major step for her. I’m not sure if she wins the title, but she at least gets a chance. Perez has established herself as a player so the loss doesn’t really hurt her. I still don’t quite get the appeal of Hartwell, but she was perfectly fine here for the most part.
Post match Tegan Nox comes out to point at both of them.
Carmelo Hayes runs into Bron Breakker, who asks where Trick Williams was when Hayes lost.
Ilja Dragunov gets his side plates on the NXT Title when Baron Corbin comes in to remind Dragunov that he beat him not too long ago. He’s coming for the title.
Blair Davenport vs. Gigi Dolin
Dolin jumps her from behind during their entrances as ringside is still full of smoke. Back in and the bell rings with Dolin hammering away but Davenport cuts her off. A kick to the back gives Davenport two and they head outside again. Davenport misses a chair shot ad the referee takes it away again back inside. The distraction lets Dolin grab a rollup for the pin at 3:48.
Rating: C. This didn’t have time to do much and they were trying to cram in a bunch of stuff at once. Davenport has hit quite the wall in recent months and this was another hit for her. She’s still good as a villain, but after feeling like she should have jumped up the ranks, she’s losing to Gigi Dolin in less than four minutes. The match was mainly a way to have Davenport get more annoyed, meaning this will continue.
We look at Roxanne Perez winning the Women’s Breakout Tournament last year.
Kiana James is tired of people hearing about Perez because she was in the tournament as well. If Perez wants to fight her, she has to win a match next week. Against Asuka.
We meet the roster of the Women’s Breakout Tournament.
Women’s Breakout Tournament First Round: Izzy Dame vs. Kelani Jordan
Jordan’s sunset flip attempt is blocked to start and Dame sends her throat first into the middle rope. Some shoulders in the corner keep Jordan in trouble and we hit the chinlock with the arm trapped. Dame grabs an over the shoulder backbreaker but Jordan slips out. A 619 armdrag sets up some dropkicks to put Dame down. Jordan hits a high crossbody for two but Dame boots her down for two. Back up and Jordan sends her into the corner, setting up a split legged moonsault for the pin at 4:57.
Rating: C. This wasn’t the smoothest match and while Jordan wasn’t great, she was the better of the two options. These tournaments have a tendency to be about one or two people and Jordan making a run would not be the biggest surprise. At the end of the day, the women’s division needs some fresh blood and we might be seeing it here.
Chase U runs into Thea Hail and Jacy Jayne, with Andre Chase offering to be in Hail’s corner for her tag match. Jayne: “So, like a chaperon?” Jayne thinks it’s not a bad idea and Hail goes along with it, despite some reservations.
We get another vignette of someone watching TV, this time with several second generation wrestlers included. We also see part of a reflection when the TV is turned off. This is the same vignette that aired at No Mercy, or at least close to it.
Thea Hail/Jacy Jayne vs. Lola Vice/Elektra Lopez
Chase U is here too. Hail mocks Vice and Lopez’s dancing entrance. Hail strikes away at Vice to start but Lopez gets in a cheap shot from the apron. The chinlock doesn’t last long for Vice as Hail is up with a dragon screw legwhip. Vice breaks up the tag though and knocks Jayne down on the apron. Hail gets over for the tag to Jayne without much trouble, meaning it’s a running neckbreaker for two on Vice. Back up and Vice gets in a shot of her own, allowing the tag to Lopez. That means a missed charge sends Lopez into the post and it’s back to Hail. A quick Kimura makes Lopez tap at 4:07. Chase U didn’t play a factor here.
Rating: C+. They kept this moving and Hail being all mature but still intense is an interesting hybrid. I can’t imagine this ends with anything but a big Chase U reunion (having it all be Hail’s psychology project would be hilarious), though it’s letting Hail grow a bit. She could only be the crazy student for so long and this is certainly a different way to go for her. If they can give us the big feel good ending, it should work out just fine.
Carmelo Hayes has requested a match with Bron Breakker next week. Oh, and he’ll have a special guest in his corner: John Cena.
Also next week: Cody Rhodes, with a big announcement. Hey did I mention NXT is going head to head with Dynamite next week?
North American Title: Dominik Mysterio vs. Trick Williams
Mysterio, with Rhea Ripley, is challenging in a No Mercy rematch. Williams shoulders and dropkicks him down to start as Ripley is not pleased. We take an early break and come back with the rest of Judgment Day coming to the ring so Dominik can score with a belly to back suplex. A middle rope corkscrew Swanton gives Dominik two and he chokes Williams on the rope.
Three Amigos are broken up and Williams hits a jumping neckbreaker for a breather. Williams hits a Rock Bottom but a distraction lets Dominik hit a DDT onto the belt for two. The 619 connects but the frog splash hits raised knees. Williams hits the running knee so here is JD McDonagh. He’s kneed down as well but Dominik gets the Money in the Bank briefcase. Balor gets in a belt shot and Dominik adds the frog splash to get the title back at 10:19.
Rating: C+. The match and arguably the result aren’t important here. What matters is NXT just made Trick Williams into a star in the last four days. Not only did he beat Dominik clean(ish) to win the title at No Mercy, but it took FIVE people and a belt shot to beat him here. Dominik is right back where he started while Williams is a star who will have a story with Carmelo Hayes coming out of this. Good stuff, and they made a star out of someone with potential.
Post match Paul Heyman pops up to say that since John Cena will be in Carmelo Hayes’ corner, Roman Reigns has told Heyman to be in Breakker’s corner next week. Well sure why not.
Overall Rating: B-. While the wrestling was very focused on the women’s division tonight, this was ALL about the announcements for next week (and maybe the title change too). WWE is going full blast against Dynamite next week and that is going to make for the biggest NXT in a long time. I’m curious to see how things go, but as for tonight, we had a good show coming off NXT, but it’s all about next week and they aren’t trying to hide it.
Butch/Tyler Bate b. Gallus – Double butterfly powerbomb to Coffey
Lyra Valkyria b. Indi Hartwell and Roxanne Perez – Top rope splash to Valkyria
Gigi Dolin b. Blair Davenport – Rollup
Kelani Jordan b. Izzy Dame – Split legged moonsault
Thea Hail/Jacy Jayne b. Elektra Lopez/Lola Vice – Kimura to Vice
Dominik Mysterio b. Trick Williams – Frog splash
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