clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NXT recap & reactions (Aug. 8, 2023): Mami does daddy dirty

The Family gets new challengers, Trick puts his money where his mouth is, and Dirty Dom finds his courage on this week’s NXT.

Poppa Was a Playa

I always love anything between Dirty Dom and Rey Mysterio. Besides the obvious tension between father and son, they’re so different and perfect foils for one another. Absolutely perfect. Even Rey’s presence gets Dom off his axis, and daddy dearest definitely kept himself busy this week.

Rey gave props to Roxanne Perez and Thea Hail, which led to another frosty exchange between the latter and Andre Chase.

While Rey handed out advice, Lyra Valkyria visited Dom & Rhea Ripley. Now, keeping it real, I didn’t understand why she came for Rhea. Lyra accused Rhea of manipulating her and then challenged her to let Dom win on his own. Why? She’s not wrong, but why all the hostility towards Rhea suddenly? More to the point, why does she care whether Dom wins or loses? Following the main event between Dom and Dragon Lee, it became obvious why that particular plot point played. But it still makes little sense.

After a fun main event—which Dom won thanks to Rhea—Lyra showed up and attacked Rhea. She teamed aligned herself with Rey and Dragon, who just watched Dom skate away from losing again, despite their best efforts.

This match did a lot for Dom’s character. It showed, despite the cheating, he has heart. He took Dragon’s absolute best and hardest hits but kept kicking out. They’re not only telling the story that says the kid comes with two aces up his sleeve, but he won’t go down easy either. That makes Dom not only dirty, but dangerous.

A program with between Dom, Rhea, Lyra, and Dragon has merit. I still think how they picked the messiest route for Lyra to get there, but hopefully the ends justify the means.


Tyson vs. Ali

Whew. For a little less than 15 mins, Mustafa Ali and Axiom tore it down. That’s it. I mean, I don’t know any other words for it. They raised the bar like Method Man in a cypher, setting the stage for everyone else.

They told a story about two evenly matched cats where Ali only got the advantage when he “accidentally” went for Axiom’s mask. I put quotes around that because while Ali reacted like he didn’t do it intentionally, his NXT persona plays both sides on that good and bad spectrum. Axiom reacted like any masked wrestler would, and Ali took advantage.

One 450 later and Ali won the opening contest, then declared himself the number one contender for the North American championship. Dope match with big implications.

Watch it now.

The only complaint on my mind is Reggie showed up with his goons in tow. It’s not that they showed up that bothers me but that they didn’t do anything. They didn’t affect the match at all. They caught Axiom’s attention for a couple seconds and then...nothing. So, yeah, less of that.


A few things before I get into this “Heritage Cup match.”

First, I love Meta-Four’s entrance. It makes them look like anime villains and it’s a cool aesthetic that gives them their own flavor.

Secondly, with all that said, Noam Daar is a weak link; he’s a charisma vacuum. I like him in the ring but outside the ring? He’s human Zquil.

Thirdly, Geno posed a great idea in our Cageside Slack: Put the Women’s tag titles on Jakara Jackson & Lash Legend. I gotta agree with that; they’re the most interesting duo in the women’s division and exhibit the most personality. They need some excitement on the women’s tag team scene, so yeah. Why not?

As for the match itself, another solid Heritage Cup matchup. They really figured these out after the first one and found a rhythm that keeps them compelling without sacrificing the inherent purity. And the found a way that kept Meta-Four involved as a whole without interfering or giving Noam the cheap W. In fact, he lost. Tyler later gave up the fake cup after Nathan gave Noam what he wants: a rematch for the real cup. But only after admitting the other cup isn’t genuine. Interesting that Noam threw Oro Mensah under the bus. He’s not wrong, but one wonders...

On My Own

I like what they’re doing with Trick Williams but I found the promo segment between him and Ilja Dragunov lacking. Trick sounded rushed and not his natural self. To be fair, Ilja didn’t give him much on the other end but this whole thing is a work in progress. NXT is developmental and part of this whole story is Trick developing. He wants a match with Ilja at Heatwave and I want to see it. Trick put a lot of pressure on his shoulders, which creates dramatic tension. He needs this win. What happens if he loses?

Big Ego’s

A match between Bron Breakker and Von Wagner does nothing for me. I never once thought Von might win, nor did I feel like he made Bron sweat. After Bron won, he added insult to injury and Von put him through the commentary table. Which, is exactly what Von promised before the match.

I suppose this keeps the thing going because there’s no way Bron lets that go. Meh.

Intruder Alert

Schism ran roughshod this week. They beat up any and everyone for information on the Creed Bros. Hank & Tank found themselves on the wrong end of their wrath, which put them out of action for their scheduled tag match against Drew Gulak & Charlie Dempsey. Damon Kemp, once again, asked for their hands in partnership. Of course they said no. Jensen & Briggs stepped up and accepted their challenge.

Solid tag match while it lasted but Damon interfered and ruined a good thing. He slammed Jensen on the floor and Drew & Charlie took advantage. They got the W and walked away with a new friend.

Damon does nothing for me, but I do give him props for dressing like someone from Mugatu’s Derelicte campaign.


Ivy Nile vs. Kiana James got weird. On one hand, it’s the logical conclusion to Schism’s search for Julius & Brutus. But having a bunch of people emerge like ghouls in the Thriller video and circle the ring looked weird. Then they all smoked the canvas during the match which just took away all my attention from the action in the ring. Kiana won but it also didn’t matter since she wants Gigi Dolin and the Schism chicanery took priority over everything else.

Schism circled Ivy since she must know where her friends are, but Tony D’Angelo & Stacks made the save, connecting dots back to a backstage confrontation between Schism and The Family.

I like the logic there although, again, the Schism stuff borders into the silly aspect I don’t like in my professional wrestling entertainment.

So I ask...why?

They throw so much against the wall in NXT. This week alone, we got Dijak coming for Melo with Wes Lee intervening, a segment with Los Lotharios connecting over text message about their deceased grandfather, all the Schism stuff, plus a match between Kelani Jordan and Blair Davenport that segued into Dana Brooke vs. Blair next week.

They do the most in two hours. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes it falls right in the middle. This is the last thing. Not a show that particularly thrilled me but it didn’t bore me either. But I prefer weeks when NXT focuses on a through line and objective rather than swinging at every pitch thrown its way.

What say you, Cagesiders?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats