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NXT recap & reactions (Oct. 17, 2023): The end is near

The ladies spin the wheel, Chase U gets their big moment, and the road to Carmelo Hayes vs. Trick Williams gets a lot shorter on this week’s NXT.

Duel of the Iron Mic

Before I get into this, I want to shoutout the two people rocking Wu Tang Clan shirts. One with the traditional black and gold logo while the other rocked a Wu Tang Forever shirt. You two gentleman did the Lord’s work and I salute you.

Okay so let’s get into why you’re here. I didn’t expect us here at this moment right now. Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams will battle by hook or by crook. They set the wheels in motion weeks ago but everything shifted into overdrive this week.

And it all started with a little advice from John Cena.

Last week, John gave Trick some advice about timing and taking the moment rather than waiting for the moment to find you. Trick took all that to heart and got himself inserted into this week’s main event. The triple threat match for a shot at Ilja Dragunov’s NXT championship morphed into a fatal 4 way. This news surprised everyone but no one more than Melo.

Besides the potential jealousy, Melo voiced his legitimate complaints about Trick going behind his back and not telling him. Dijak and Baron Corbin played the devils on his shoulder and some of it, or possibly all of it, got to him.

When Melo and Trick got a private moment (you know, with a camera in front of them), that’s when Melo voiced his feelings and Trick explained his side. They both understood the situation but the whole thing played with tension bubbling beneath the surface. Melo, in so many words, said it’s every man for himself with the championship on the line. Trick agreed but once again, cited their friendship and bond.

And that’s when it hit me. If you ever found yourself in a position where someone daps you up or you dap them up, hesitation says a lot. Trick held his hand out for what felt like five minutes before Melo extended his own and they did their usual thing. Now, maybe it’s that jealousy and wanting his best friend to know his role. Or, maybe he truly hated the idea of fighting Trick if it came to that. Maybe both things are true. Either way, Melo not only hesitated but once Trick left the locker room, he looked like a man with potentially evil intent on his mind. Plus, it didn’t help that he rocked a leather jacket, no shirt, and black jeans. If you know your wrestling history, and knowing who runs NXT right now, that ensemble normally means betrayal.

He almost swung on Trick earlier in the show after they beat back Baron & Dijak, but the quick look he gave in the locker room felt more calculating and sinister. So when we caught up with Trick later in the show with refs all around him while he tried recovering from a mystery attack. I knew the culprit. The fact that Melo showed up so quickly and did the whole song and dance about his friend’s well-being made it even clearer. He wanted Trick out the picture and made it happen.

During the triple threat, a fantastic match by the way, neither Booker T or Vic Joseph even broached the idea that Melo did it. Why would anyone? But they did wonder about his focus with his best friend lying in a hospital bed.

Yeah, that wasn’t a problem at all. Melo took on two bigger and taller men with no problem. outsmarted them at almost every turn, took a lot of punishment, and eventually used his quickness and smarts to win the match. But I’m in my feelings about the whole thing because I know how this ends. Whether it’s next week at Halloween Havoc, or the week after, Trick will make his return. And when he does, he, or NXT anonymous, will have proof that Melo put hands on his boy.

NXT’s greatest bromance is on its last leg and it tears me up inside. That is the sign of great storytelling, a testament to both men, and more evidence that Melo’s time in NXT is coming to a close. Hopefully.


The Chase

Some interesting happenings amongst the chaos. The Brawlin’ Brutes and Out the Mud got into it after SCRYPTS unwittingly got both teams eliminated. The Brothers Creed more than likely got on a couple teams’ hit list. First Gallus, and, finally, Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo. It’s twofold with that team so let me explain.

The Creeds legally eliminated Angel & Humberto. BUT, because the refs had their hands full with the Brutes and Out the Mud, they completely missed it. Since this is wrestling, you can guess what happened next. The Creeds protested but the refs saw what they saw. That left us with Chase U vs. Angel & Humberto for a shot at The Family.

I liked the action and even liked Thea Hail & Jacy Jayne coming down with pom poms in hand. And everything ran smoothly for Angel & Humberto until the Creeds came back for their revenge. They ran interference, Andre Chase took advantage, and we got new number one contenders.

Oh and before I go, shoutout to The Family sitting in the crow’s nest eating pasta and sipping wine. Hilarious and a great touch.

Chase U vs. The Family sounds like a fight more so than a wrestling match. I’m not mad at that. In fact, part of me wishes we had a gimmick or stipulation attached but hey, can’t get everything we want.

Break Fool

There’s potential with Jaida Parker and Karmen Petrovic. We didn’t get the longest match from them but they both utilized offense that fit with their characters. Also? They both actually have characters. Jaida’s attitude led to aggressive offense. Karmen’s aggression came from her martial arts training. Both used their feet but in very different ways.

I’m digging the women in this breakout tournament. Like I said, short match, but effective for what it was.


Tegan Nox vs. Lyra Valkyria served a couple masters. One, get these two some more action before big upcoming matches. B, give Lyra a win, and finally, further this thing between Lyra, Nattie, Piper Niven, and Cheeeelsea Green.

Tegan takes the L thanks to a distraction and immediately moved into a brawl with the women’s tag champs. Lyra got on the mic and did the typical young babyface promo but with some extra fire. Becky Lynch showed up and basically taught a masterclass on how to cut a promo. Becky sold her passion for her championship but also put Lyra over in a major way. Becky wants this match not because they’ll make history as two Irish women fighting for a championship but because Lyra is that damn good. She’s just not better than Becky.

I’m really looking forward to this match and Becky got me more excited. And they added more intrigue when the show ended. How? Well, since you asked....

Hopefully this teasing is over next week. Please? Can we please end it and just put her on a show? Thanks!

Deliver Us From Evil

Shotzi Blackheart got involved in Kiana James’ business last week. So, of course they wrestled. Kiana also has beef with Roxanne Perez, so both of those things came to a head during this brief matchup.

I like this continued progression from Roxanne’s character. The girl has it in the ring but I always hoped she had another gear with her character. She’s more proactive now rather than waiting for things to happen or waiting for her enemies to attack. She snuck ringside and took the brick out of Kiana’s bag. That caused a whole bunch of commotion and Shotzi took advantage.

Continuing her character growth, Roxanne spun the wheel and made the deal. It’s her vs. Kiana at Halloween Havoc in a Devil’s Playground match. I don’t completely remember what this match entails but it sounds quite demonic. So I’m down.

This was a purposeful and action packed two hours. We got another breakout match (Arianna Grace cheated for the W because of course she did), Rhea Ripley saved Dirty Dom from Nathan Frazer embarrassing him, and Gigi Dolin spun the wheel for a Lights Out match against Blair Davenport at Halloween Havoc. Oh, and Mr. Stone challenged Bron Breakker to a match at Halloween Havoc, so I fully expect Von Wagner’s return.

Overall, this show pleased me on many levels.

What say you, Cagesiders?

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