NXT will finish setting the stage for next week's Heatwave special with a go-home show tonight.
Zoey Stark is scheduled to challenge Mandy Rose for the NXT Women's Championship at Heatwave next Tuesday, but Rose is trying to stop that from happening. Rose approached Cora Jade last Tuesday, trying to get Jade to take out Stark ahead of Heatwave.
Rose's selling point is that would leave Jade as the next challenger. That set up a featured match for tonight's episode of NXT, when Jade meets Stark in a singles match.
Stark returned from injury last month, last eliminating Jade in a number one contender's battle royal.
Jade's former tag team partner Roxanne Perez has challenged Jade to a match at NXT Heatwave. Last week, Jade said "absolutely not" to the challenge.
Wes Lee vs. Trick Williams in a Rounds Match is also set for tonight, along with Nikkita Lyons vs. Kiana James. Plus, Santos Escobar and Tony D'Angelo have agreed to meet in The Final Accord, whatever that means.
Ahead of Heatwave, we'll also see the final build to Bron Breakker and JD McDonagh's NXT Championship match.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
The show opens with a grudge match a few weeks in the making.
Nikkita Lyons defeats Kiana James
Lyons pins James clean to win, but James is a poor sport. So she attacks Lyons afterwards. Thus this feud will likely continue, or James is just getting her heat back. We shall see since she clearly lost clean here.
In the story of the bout, James cuts off Lyons by targeting a knee. James works the leg, and Lyons attempts to sell.
Lyons roars back as she begins a rally. Lyons charges into a corner with a flying attack of some sort, which clearly misses. They keep going, leading to them trading near falls near the ropes. They go home soon thereafter.
Lyons with a roundhouse spin kick, and then her finisher where she does the splits into a legdrop for a three count.
James attacks Lyons after the match. A sore loser, James hits Lyons with a large purse after sneaking up behind her. James seemingly gets her heat back with the post-match attack, but she still lost clean.
Apollo Crews is backstage with the Creed Brothers, and they are studying the Creeds' match from last week. Roderick Strong enters the room. The Creeds are upset with him for no-showing their match last week, but Strong insists he never intended to show up. Instead, it was a test. The Creeds won the match, so Strong says they passed the test. The Creeds are not buying it. Crews agrees Roddy is being shady. Crews and Roddy bicker, which leads to a singles match between the two for later tonight.
Lash Legend stops Malik Blade, because she needs to holler at him. They are talking when the scene ends abruptly, but not before Legends admits to Blade she does not like his tag team partner. However, she apparently likes Blade.
Later in the show, Legend and Blade are still talking when Edris Enofe approaches them. Legend changes her tune, and she suddenly like Enfoe. Odd set of skits, and then a third and final skit involves Pretty Deadly. Somehow this all leads to a match involving Pretty Deadly. Stay tuned for that.
Rules for the rounds match coming up next:
- Six three-minute rounds
- 20 breaks between rounds
- Falls can be won by pinfalls, submission or countout
- Once a fall occurs, the round ends
- First to win two falls is declared the winner
- A KO or DQ automatically ends the match (but not really as it turns out)
Wes Lee defeats Trick Williams (with Carmelo Hayes) in a rounds match
Lee wins after pinning Williams in the fifth round. Lee pins Williams twice in the match, thus the bout ends when Lee scores a pin with seconds left in the round five.
Early on it looked to go the way of infamous boxer vs. wrestler fiascos of the past, but they ditched the gloves after the first round, and it turned into what is mostly a pro wrestling match with rounds. Billed as a six round fight, the match ended in five. As per the rules, or sort of.
Lee knocks out Williams, before he pins him. Despite the rules, the match did not end after a KO. Why add that rule and then do this finish? The pinfall made perfect sense without the KO rule, but it still hopefully helps in getting Lee over. He looked strong in winning.
Both are wearing boxing gloves, and Williams played up the gimmick by also wearing other boxing attire. NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes seconds Williams in his corner for the bout. Hayes would go on to interfere.
Williams was getting the better of Lee, pounding him with punches. Lee fires back and Williams is in trouble, but Williams is saved by the bell.
Besides the save at the bell, they also save the quality of the match itself by soon ditching the gloves, getting rid of them for the time being. A glove from each would later factor into the story of the match.
The gloves comes off at the start of the round, and Lee charges towards Williams. Williams is on the ropes again, and Lee does a plancha to the outside.
Hayes interferes by grabbing Lee, which allows Williams to rock Lee with a pump kick. Williams then covers Lee for a pinfall, before a full minute even expires in round two. That leaves Williams up one fall to none.
Ending during a commercial break, the third round is mostly Williams working over Lee. No falls in this round. Williams remains up by one fall.
During the rest period, Hayes loads one of the boxing gloves. Hayes puts it on Williams' hand as the fourth round begins.
Lee dodges the loaded glove. He ducks and dives out of the way, catching Williams in a crucifix. Lee then scores a three count, evening the bout at one fall apiece.
After the bell to end the round, Williams with a cheapshot decks Lee with the loaded glove. He crumples to the mat. Lee is laid out between rounds.
Still selling the cheapshot from the loaded glove, Lee is in peril when the fifth round begins. He fights from underneath.
While in trouble, Lee still manages to kick out several times. Williams misses a kick, and he traps his leg on the top rope. Lee capitalizes, and Lee begins a comeback.
Lee puts on one of his boxing gloves, and Lee clobbers Williams with a punch. Lee then hooks a leg, and he pins Williams with mere seconds left in the fifth round. Having won two falls, Lee is declared the winner of the rounds match.
In a Chase U skit, Thea Hail is booked for her debut match in NXT. Andre Chase was great here, and Hail was very good in her comedic role.
Hail hit Arianna Grace in the face with a ball on campus. Grace is upset and has a black eye. So Andre Chase books the two women in a match. Grace is upset, saying she wanted to sue. Chase flips out at the threat of a lawsuit, yelling a Grace that at Chase U they settle difference in the ring.
Giovanni Vinci challenges North American Champion Carmelo Hayes at NXT Heatwave
Carmelo Hayes, wearing his title belt around his waist, is back in the ring. He is without Trick Williams, who is still selling being KO'd. Hayes is bemoaning Lee winning the rounds match, accusing him of cheating.
Giovanni Vinci comes out to interrupt Hayes. Vinci takes off his suit jacket, and he challenges Hayes to a title match at Heatwave. They go back-and-forth on the mic. Hayes accepts the challenge, setting up a North American title match next Tuesday.
They both try for a cheapshot on the other, but it is a stalemate. Both counter the other's moves, until referees separate them.
A great video package hypes JD McDonagh against NXT Champion Bron Breakker as the main event of Heatwave. Really good stuff. Comparing this to their live segment last week, this hype is much better.
Arianna Grace defeats Thea Hail (with Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward)
Grace pins Hail in Hail's debut match, after Grace tricks Hail.
Hail gets worked over, but she makes a comeback. They trade punches, and Grace sells her already injured eye.It was a trick. She was playing possum, and she boots Hail with a cheapshot.
After tricking Hail and booting her with sneaky kick, Grace delivers a fireman's carry slam. She then covers Hail for a three count. Hail loses her debut match to Grace.
Solo Sikoa is out four to six weeks with a sprained PCL. Cameron Grimes approaches Sikoa in the training room. Sikoa gives Grimes a pep talk of sorts, and Grimes was sort of mild about it.
Apollo Crews defeats Roderick Strong
Crews pins Strong in what is a strong match ... pun intended. Good match, regardless.
By the far the best workers on the show so far tonight, and the best bout thus far as well. Grappling early on in the match builds to a spot outside the ring. Double clothesline and double down just before the show cuts to a commercial break.
Back in the ring after the commercials, the match continues with them going back-and-forth. Very evenly matched, until Strong briefly works over Crews. That gives way to Crews firing up with a rally.
Near falls for Crews after delivering some suplexes. Strong counters a suplex, and he gets Crews on the ring apron. Strong with a sidewalk slam on the apron, leading to another near fall.
Seemingly trapped in the Stronghold (Boston crab), Crews powers out and catches Strong with a powerslam. Crews signals for a military press, but Strong counters his attempt.
Crews delivers a gutbuster, and they fight on. Strong leaps into the air, Crews catches him, and Strong is slammed to the mat. Crews then covers him for a three count.
Later on, the Creeds Brothers are backstage studying film. Strong barges into the room demanding to know why the Creeds were not out at ringside for Strong's match. The Creeds gives Strong the same BS answers he gave them earlier. They bicker, and there is a hint of a tipping point within Diamond Mine next week.
One Final Accord
Santos Escobars arrives for his meeting with Tony D'Angelo, who is waiting for him outdoors at a place with a water fountain in the background. They sit down to talk, and they sure do a lot of talking.
This is very well produced and shot from a production standpoint, but this came off to me like a bad spoof of a soap opera. Kind of boring as well. I kept getting distracted by the water fountain.
Escobar proposes a match next week against D'Angelo, and if Escobar loses he is "gone" from NXT. If Escobar wins, El Legado del Fantasma is free from being part of the D'Angelo Family. So, loser leaves town on one side, or human servitude on the other.
D'Angelo accepts the proposal for a match, but D'Angelo also adds a stipulation of his own. D'Angelo proposes a street fight, and Escobar agrees. The match is on for next week in what appears to be a blow off to this feud.
Wendy Choo jumps Tiffany Stratton, after Choo waited for Stratton in her locker room. Choo warns Stratton this is not over. Choo is supposed to be the babyface in the feud, but this was a heel tactic. Whatever.
Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson) defeat Malik Blade & Edris Enofe
Enofe takes a pin after Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen involve themselves in the match. Their help backfires.
Pretty Deadly mock Briggs & Jensen during the match, which plays into the finish after Briggs & Jensen come down to ringside.
Enofe is running wild after a hot tag, and he delivers a Macho Man flying elbow drop off the top rope. A pinning attempt is broken up.
Pretty Deadly try to cheat using a metal folding chair as a weapon. Briggs jumps on the apron to take away the chair. He inadvertently gets hit, when Enofe collides with him, sandwiching the chair between them.
Briggs falls off the apron, and Enofe takes a Hart Attack neckbreaker.
Lash Legend attacks Fallon Henley, who is at ringside alongside Brooks & Jensen. Legend beats her up, and she leaves. This looks to set up a possible trios match with Legend and Pretty Deadly against the redneck trio.
Joe Gacy and Schism confront Cameron Grimes, asking where he is going. Grimes says he is going home. Gacy asks who Grimes is going home to, and Grimes rolls his eyes before leaving. I rolled my eyes too. Spare us this, please.
Nikkita Lyons gives Zoey Stark some encouraging words ahead of the main event.
McKenzie Mitchells interviews Apollo Crews after his victory earlier tonight. In walks Grayson Waller to interrupt Crews. Waller tells Crews that "on behald of 2.0, you aren't welcome here." Crews challenges Waller to a fight, but Waller leaves instead.
Cora Jade apparently had to wait in the ring through a entire commercial break, while also waiting for the Crews/Waller backstage skit to play out. In addition, the announcers ran down the card for Heatwave. Jade waits. Finally, the entrance for Stark, and the main event is underway.
Just before the match begins, the announcers plug Roxanne Perez against Jade for Heatwave. That makes their grudge match official, even though Jade in storyline scoffed last week at the idea.
Zoey Stark defeats Cora Jade
Stark pins Jade, with maybe a little help from a slight distraction by Roxanne Perez.
NXT Women's Champion Mandy Rose is ringside at the announce desk providing guest commentary. She tries a sneak attack after the match, to no avail.
Jade and Stark wrestle through a commercial break. Jade is in control when the show returns from the break, as she works over Stark.
Trying to cheat, Jade retrieves what appears to be a kendo stick painted black. Stark ducks the kendo stick, and Jade takes a German suplex. Stark rallies, and she makes a comeback.
Jade flips inside out taking another German suplex. They trade near falls. Jade eats a superkick before a two count. Stark takes a hammerlock DDT, but she kicks out at two and half. Stark also kicks out after taking sliced bread.
Roxanne Perez appears at ringside, and she now has possession of the kendo stick. Jade is distracted by Perez being at ringside. Stark delivers a superkick, and she executes her modified version of the GTS. Stark then covers Jade for the deciding pinfall.
Perez confronts Jade after the match, with Perez pointing the stick at Jade like Sting would a baseball bat. Jade flees, and Perez chases her up the ramp and out of the soundstage.
Meanwhile, Mandy Rose tries to jump Stark with a sneak attack. Stark dodges a belt shot, and she executes her finisher on Rose. Stark then poses with the women's title belt, holding the strap overhead as the show closes.