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NXT recap & reactions (Nov. 29, 2022): What’s up with Nikkita Lyons?

Nikkita Lyons seemed destined for superstardom. Now she seems stuck in limbo as NXT goes in other directions.

The Ballad of Nikkita

Allow me a minute for some pontification. I don’t want to talk about this week’s main event matchup between Toxic Attraction and Kayden Carter, Katana Chance, & Nikkita Lyons. The reason it happened in the main event is because Zoey attacked Nikkita prior to the match and aggravated her bum knee. Nikkita saw a trainer, got the knee wrapped, and showed up at maybe 50 percent in the main event.

That all makes sense with Zoey waiting in the wings because this isn’t over yet between them. But what doesn’t make sense is what’s happening with Nikkita right now. Many moons ago, Nikkita looked prime for title shot against Mandy Rose. Then she got hurt and things changed. Two big signs? Nikkita isn’t anywhere close to even sniffing a title match against Mandy Rose, and her absence from the Iron Survivor Challenge match.

Shawn Michaels, Road Dogg, X-Pac, Alundra Blayze (or Medusa), and Molly Holly did a couple backstage segments discussing their picks for the men’s Iron Survivor Challenge and the women’s Iron Survivor Challenge. Not only did Nikkita not make the cut, but they didn’t even discuss her. They talked about Zoey Stark, Roxanne Perez, Cora Jade, Kiana James, and Fallon Henley. The woman who got so much attention her first few weeks on the brand didn’t elicit so much as a pity mention.

Oh, and the wild card match for the fifth and final spot in the women’s match? She’s not in that either. Instead it’s Wendy Choo, Indi Hartwell, and Fallon. No diss to either of those women but Nikkita not being there just feels weird. I’m not saying she’s the best in the ring but this is developmental; most NXT wrestlers are rough around the edges minus a few. But I am saying Nikkita’s name rang bells and she was a big deal. She still might be a bigger deal than most of the women in this match. So what gives? Is the injury worse than we know? Did she rub someone or several someones the wrong way?

They’re still using her but they’re also not putting her in the big spots she seemed prime for earlier this year. Even in this six-way dance, in which she barely wrestled, it seemed like she only showed up to take the pin.

This feud with Zoey should shed more light on the situation, even though it’s hard envisioning Zoey losing after getting christened by five hall of fame wrestlers and competing in WWE’s newest creation.

It’s all weird and, right now, the most fascinating story in NXT.


Pop 4 Roc

One of my least favorite JAY-Z songs and what the crowd did for Roxanne Perez. Her match with Indi Hartwell came from Indi being in her feelings that Roxanne didn’t watch her match. In reality, it’s just because Indi feels insecure at the moment and took it out on the wrong person. That’s real, I get it. Maybe Roxanne watched the match and maybe she didn't, but she did watch her foot go down Indi’s throat.

Solid match and a good boost for Perez. Indi keeps floating aimlessly because when you pick that fight and talk all that trash, you gotta win.

Final Justice

Dijak defeated Dante Chen, a man who seemingly had a little push a while ago. Chen didn’t get squashed, but Dijak dominated. The match didn’t do anything for me and I’m not interested in Dijak yet but there might be something there. I’m not sure if this “hard justice” gimmick is the thing for him, but we shall see.


I dig Kiana James and Fallon Henley. I love Fallon’s character and style. Kiana’s character is growing on me just like her in-ring ability. And I love that she cheats. Heels doing heel things always makes me smile. Heels play fair way too much for my blood these days, so seeing Kiana use her bag to get the bag and the W? Keep it going. The match held my attention because I’m invested in both ladies. Like most NXT matches, it was solid wrestling with solid character progression.


Big Body Javy makes me chuckle. He’s the goofball that every territory needs. His work with McKenzie is probably the best in NXt since they have an easy rapport. Big Body got his wish this week, finally, and got his hands on Axiom. A broken clock and all that. Axiom, of course, got the W because Javy isn’t there to pick up wins; he’s the punchline to every joke. But both men looked pretty good and impressed in their short time. Props to Axiom for selling that knee injury from a few weeks ago through his offense and sporting a limp after Javy exploited the injury. It’s the little things.

Tossed Salad & Scrambled Eggs

Bron Breakker showed up at Apollo Crews’ diner this week! “I knew you’d be here,” said Bron. Because duh. Where else is Crews but at a Florida diner sitting at a small ass table while journaling? Deniro and Pacino in Heat it was not, but it’s a change of pace than the usual in-ring microphone battles. Neither man said anything new, just gave each other props, tried getting into their respective heads, and kept it civil. Apollo’s journaling is quite comical to me and I think the diner stuff has its limits, but throwing Bron into the mix gave it a spark.

Cross Purposes

JD McDonagh is such a weird cat. He poked his nose in Diamond Mine business this week, kinda on Ivy Nile’s side. He, like Ivy, thinks the Creed Brothers bit off more than they can chew with Sanga & Veer. Julius didn’t take any of that well, so in typical Creed Bros. fashion, they fought about it.

I dug the match for the most part. JD can go and Julius is such a powerhouse and an entertaining watch. But Veer & Sanga were the story. The two behemoths stood at the entrance and when JD went for a chair shot against a defenseless Julius, Sanga stepped in to take the shot. But he didn’t go after JD. In fact, Veer & Sanga let JD step away before turning their focus on the Bros. Creed. They told the Creed’s they want them at their best and at their healthiest. That’s why Sanga took the chair shot and that’s why they didn’t beat them down when they had a chance this week.

Just let them fight because I’m excited for this one.

It hit me around the time we got a Malik Blade match with Von Wagner over the fact Von destroyed Malik’s father’s sweater last week that this was another week with a lot happening in two hours. Too much happening. There was no true standout match this week or compelling storyline. Wes Lee didn’t show up for revenge against Dijak, Melo was absent, and we only saw the NXT champ in a brief segment in a diner.

Outside of the Iron Survivor Challenge announcement, you can skip this show.

Grade: C

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

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