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NXT recap & reactions (Nov. 7, 2023): Royal pain

Andre Chase has a secret, Iron Survivor Challenges get their first contestants, and more questions than answers from Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams on this week’s NXT.

King Back

What of Lexis King? Last week, he hinted that he did something. He didn’t say what, hence the hint, but he made it clear he threw a monkey wrench in something. Right then and there, I knew it concerned Trick Williams & Carmelo Hayes. I figured he attacked Trick even though Melo’s actions pointed in the obvious direction.

Now? No more clarity than before other than the fact Lexis inserted himself into the drama.

I thought the segment between Trick, Melo, and then Lexis went on a little too long. While two best friends need that time to get everything off their chests, it just beat around the bush a bit too much for me. If anything, it felt like stalling for time. But I liked Trick explaining the sacrifices he made for his boy. It illustrates the one-sided nature of their relationship and explains why Trick wants that same support now. He’s not asking Melo to put his career aside for him, but just wants to feel like his best friend has his back. Those are human things and relatable.

Lexis showing up added a different energy. Melo and Trick played everything seriously while Lexis seemed irreverent and chaotic. He raised a good question though: Are we sure Melo did it and not someone else trying to make a name for themselves?

However, I’m confused. If Lexis did it, does he just want Melo and Trick to tear each other apart while he sits back and laughs? If he didn’t do it, why does he care? He can’t “make a name for himself” if he’s just the guy telling us Melo did it.

Lexis pissed off Trick just enough that Trick swung on him, missed, and hit Melo instead.

I don’t really know what to make of Melo’s look as the show ended. He hugged Trick after waving him off at first, but looked hurt. Or angry. Or something. Did they add too much to this angle? I doubt Lexis is hear just to throw everyone off, but I can’t put my finger on what he’s actually doing.

I left the show confused and not in a good way. Which, if I’m correct, is exactly what I said last week.


Town & Country

Tiffany Stratton threw Fallon Henley through ring ropes. Not over but through. I mention that because it looked great and it’s also the moment the match changed. That’s when Tiffany brought it back to last week and wrapped Fallon’s knee around the turnbuckle. I like them working most of the match before going back to that spot, but I don’t like Tiffany taking her time targeting the same body part she almost destroyed a week ago.

Fallon lost the match at that point, and sold the agony well. Tiffany damaged that knee enough that Fallon stood no chance. Literally.

Tiffany moves on to Iron Survivor Challenge at Deadline, which is the right call given her resume and Fallon’s. But Fallon gets an out with her injured knee along with more juice for a rematch when/if she gets it.

And Then What

I really don’t like how they booked Bron Breakker vs. Von Wagner. Besides the fact I think the match needed more length and more violence since they set the stage for that, it didn’t differ much from a previous encounter with these two. And didn’t like that either. Bron gets the W but Von puts him through the commentary table so it’s all good. That’s such half-hearted booking and doesn’t do much for either man. Given their positions in the territory, that doesn’t put Von any closer to Bron. Not even close.

Give Bron the L; he can take it right now. Give the crowd something real with Von. He comes back from a serious injury, defends his friend, and still loses the match? Nah.


Teaming Kelani Jordan with Roxanne Perez feels like a good move. They have matching energy and Roxanne looks like a good teacher for her. Crazy that Roxanne is now the master schooling someone else.

They teamed against Lola Vice & Elektra Lopez, which put Kelani and Lola against each other one week after their big match. Kelani took the brunt of the beating, which I still say works for her. Especially as she gains more experience. Lola keeps impressing me too. Her moves match her personality and she delivers everything with a little extra sting.

To that point, Lola didn’t take the pin for her team. Roxanne hit the Pop Rox on Elektra, but Kelani got the pin for her team. A good moment that gives he back some momentum.

Can U Keep a Secret

Andre Chase has a secret. Jacy Jayne knows that secret. Oh, and Tony D & Stacks know it too since they sent him a manila envelope with said secret inside. Whatever it is, they blackmailed him into a tag team title match next week. The Family gets their rematch but do we get the secret?

Sound of Da Police

Dijak puts on fantastic matches. He did so again tonight against Tyler Bate. I don’t like the man’s gimmick at all and it feels dated in a terrible way. But he turns it on in the ring and shows out every single time. They got physical, complemented each other extremely well, and it looked like an actual fight. That’s the best for any wrestling match, especially with a spot in the Iron Survivor Challenge on the line.

I didn’t touch on the The Alpha Academy shenanigans. Not because I don’t like them; I love the Academy. But I’m not sure what their purpose in NXT is at the moment. I enjoyed the matches (Akira Tozawa vs. Noam Dar, Otis vs. Drew Gulak) but I’m not emotionally invested in them. And I’m holding out until they do. On the flip side, Xia Li and Lyra Valkyria? Very interested in that especially considering what Xia did to Becky Lynch. I predict her involvement and maybe not in a way that pleases Lyra.

This was a fine show. Dijak and Tyler Bate won the night while the ending just slowly moved that ball forward again. Maybe it feels that way because the outcome seems obvious. Either way, not my favorite episode of NXT nor is it one I’ll look back upon.

What say you, Cagesiders?

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