NXT recap & reactions (Nov. 22, 2022): Wes Lee might not like being him

Are you him?

Wes Lee & Carmelo Hayes are in the hospital this week. There is something special about these two cats together that creates magic. They are very similar in the ring but polar opposites on the outside. These different philosophies provide an opportunity for storytelling, but the practical application of realism makes this work impossible. After all, they don’t call it “tried and tested” for nothing.

I use this phrase in several matches but it is appropriate here: repeating it again does not do it justice. I’m not saying it’s a bigger deal than it used to be, just that it’s a lot harder and nothing I can say will lift the reader’s eye. Talking about stats at the beginning of the match, the neck rush in the middle, and Trick Williams place in the final act just seems silly when the whole match is worth your time. Especially regarding Wes, the man who needs this win more than anything else. Even as a North American professional, Wes felt inferior to Hayes. And they never nailed Hayes for the title, so there’s that. Not only did Wes do this, but he knew Hayes so well that he used a lot of his wits – not wanting to argue – against him. He wrestled Nothing But Net, defeated Williams and pinned Melo in the middle of the ring. That he did all of this against a man wearing a shirt that simply said “HE.” he made it very sweet.

Where does Melo go from here? I don’t know. He can no longer cast spells on Wes or call him a paper master. I don’t know if he’ll ever go back to the barbershop after this. The Bron Breaker dance card no longer has a place, as evidenced tonight through separate vignettes featuring Apollo Crews and Bron himself. He’s playing into the idea that Bron is a little underwater at the time. If Crews or JD knock him off the bench, that could be Melo’s opening. Addition? Not following the NXT Championship after all this time just feels silly. Wes is a great hero because of the game and because of the shine put into the title, thanks in part to Melo.

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As for Wes, Dijak is his next challenge. The big man went back to the color black and gold, regardless of RETRIBUTION. After a few weeks, we know that the man who promised his “righteous brand” will soon reign in NXT. I don’t see him taking Wes’ belt away right now, but Dijak brings something completely different than Melo or anyone Wes has faced thus far.

Count me in.


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Almost Perfect

Getting this out of the way quickly, but I’m really disappointed WWE2K22 has 67 percent off Black Friday instead of 69 for obvious reasons. Such a wasted opportunity for spiritually immature people all over the world. Le sigh, WWE & 2K. Le Sigh.

The Chase

Not just one of my favorite Foxy Brown songs, but a sign of where Chase U got thresmevels this week in the middle of a team championship. And we got here because Pretty Deadly teased Chase U earlier on the show. The NXT tag team, along with Grayson Waller, believe that Duke Hudson is full of it. You know what “it” is in this case. Grayson thinks the whole Chase U thing is a hoax, while Pretty Deadly is a little mocked that Duke wears a shirt and hangs out with people he considers inferior. A fight broke out and Duke talked him and Andre Chase into a tag team championship match.

Andre Chase gets everything he does in NXT right now. His struggle is no different. Chase is a good and kind person so everything he does is emotional and makes him happy. Pretty Deadly and Duke are no slouches, which is why this game worked so well, but Chase just does a lot for me.

The issue here is whether Duke is really destroying Chase U from the inside. He often does things to question his integrity. This week? After receiving the hot tag and rising to the challenge, Duke pinned Andre, who was idle in the ring while he rested and recovered. The two tried to double team but Duke inadvertently hit Chase with a big boot instead. Or was it unconscious?

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Pretty Deadly won with Spilled Milk and Chase U looked united in defeat. But at what point do Andre Chase or Thea Hail ask the same questions as Waller and Pretty Deadly?

All Wet

Cora Jade and Wendy Choo got into a fight this week and the ending just blew me away. The match itself was great, both women showing off their skills and Wendy was very impressed with Cora. But in the end…

Cora went to get her kendo stick because of course, and Wendy blocked her attack. The obvious part was managing to get the stick out of the ring and missing something. There is no problem with this because it comes with a section. But the referee missed Cora throwing the Wendy’s cup of whatever it was in Cora’s face. Cora goes to the ph inside as the referee counts to three as her hand falls to the floor in a lot of water.

I know if the ref doesn’t see it then it didn’t happen, but it’s scary. Obviously this feud didn’t end with Cora stealing the win, but I wish they had gone a different route to get there.

Diamonds in Trouble

Ivy Nile vs. Kiana James was fine. A few patches, especially Ivy’s hurracanrana which caused James to slow down. But still, Ivy got the W here in a quick match that also saw Fallon Henley face off against Kiana. I really enjoy it because of the humanity involved.

The post match is where things got interesting if you are a Diamond Mine fan. The Creed brothers celebrated Ivy’s victory and accepted Sanga & Veer’s challenge. Ivy, who still considered herself Sanga’s friend, protested a little. No one is crazy but he clearly stated what he was against Brutus & Julius. Although I like the Diamond Mine in theory, the crew hasn’t been the same since Stokley abandoned diamonds for jade. If this is the beginning of the end, I’m fine with that.

Soooo…

Scrypts and Reggie. Right? We all agree on that? We deserve it. He looked good because Reggie’s flying skills were unmatched. Another stint in NXT could be good for him.

I don’t know what I think about magic. It’s a lot, and not all in a bad way. On one side is the entrance, which is very interesting with the pictures around the square. On the other side is a calling card that he leaves on the chest of his fallen opponent. You’re not Spider-Man, Reggie. It’s part of it.

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And Just When You Think They’re Safe…

Here comes Nikkita Lyons to ruin Zoey Stark’s day. Zoey defeated Sol Rocca. Sol continues to improve and this was his best game to date. Letting him lean on his personality until he’s stopped sounds like a good idea but hey, I don’t work for Shawn Michaels. It’s not a match worth seeing if you missed it, especially since the story is Lyons going after Zoey after the bell.

A Toxic Relationship

Toxic Attraction kicked off the show with a bang as always. And for good reason. I laughed at Jacy Jayne referring to Alba Fyre as a “Fire bat.” Jacy & Gigi Dolin called out Katana Chance & Kayden Carter because they want “them” back. The tag recipients were happily forced, a war of words ensued, and the champs were outnumbered 3>2. But he found his third wife in Nikkita Lyons, who developed a relationship with the champs and supported him in the six-woman match.

I wondered if Zoey Stark wasn’t messed up in some way.


We often talk in our Slack channel that NXT does more in two hours. This was definitely one of the most packed shows in two hours but only a few joined. The big event? Of course. Chase U stuff? Where. Even the vignette Bron on the boat discussing the weight of the crown caught my attention because it’s a different side to the guy who screams in the ring. But the other matches, along with a few backstage segments, including Schism taking time out of everyone’s lives to criticize us for commercials and Thanksgiving, made the show a mess with no real music. NXT is at its best when it gets down and moves in a structured manner.

This was not that.

Grade: C+

It’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.

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