Let’s not bury the lede: We’re getting the rematch between Becky Lynch and Tiffany Stratton at No Mercy. And if you read the title to this recap, you know it’s not just any match.
Let’s rewind to this week’s tippy top-no pun intended. Becky opened the show triumphantly and did a little rhyme shouting out the women’s division. Props for stringing all that together but a she needed a bit more rhythm at the end to truly make it sing. But points for cleverness and creativity. She also shouted out Tiffany for giving it all she had and said she gets a rematch any time and any place.
Tiffany, never one to let her name go mentioned without showing up, did just that. No Mercy is the place because she wants her rematch on the biggest stage.
This is where I interject and mention the fact that Tiffany can’t hang on the mic with Becky and they do her no favors putting her in that position. Becky even commented on it before throwing the first punch. I never think any wrestler commenting on the fact another wrestler can’t match them on the microphone particularly helps, unless of course it’s the heel being a jerk and going against reality. But when it’s the face saying what I’m thinking as a fan, I cringe, if only a little.
But I digress. Kiana James showed up to the fight. She and Tiffany beat up Becky and the Man challenged them to a two-on-one match in the main event.
I liked Roxanne Perez volunteering her services as Becky’s partner after she took a beating during her match. It showed her fortitude, newly found fire, and her respect for Becky. It also gave Becky a chance to show her love for Roxanne as well. And, of course, it established Becky’s got more guts than brains because wrestling two women after going one-on-one with Natalya 24 hours ago sounds silly. Especially when one of those women is the former champ who just took Becky to her limit last week.
It also set someone up for a rub because there’s no way Becky comes to NXT without squeezing some of her limelight onto another woman.
Enter Lyra Valkyria. These two have history and it made sense that Lyra came to her side. Especially since Tiffany and Kiana aren’t on her Christmas card list.
I like Becky and Lyra together. They look like an actual team an move like one. Their gear even meshed together. Kiana & Tiffany did the usual heel things but I paid more attention to Lyra here. This is a huge spot for her coming after the other huge spot with Rhea Ripley a few weeks ago. She met the moment with crispness and never looked lost. Working with Rhea before and Becky now makes her better.
That theme continued when Lyra got the pin and W for her team after Becky tagged her in to finish the job once she hit the Manhandle Slam on Kiana.
As the two celebrated, Tiffany went off with a steel chair. She went Aaron Judge on both women and left the champ crawling on her knees towards the ropes. That’s when Becky called for a microphone and bellowed that their rematch is now an Extreme Rules match.
This is another huge match for Tiffany, regardless of the outcome. I hope she acquits herself as well as she did in their first one-on-one.
Walk with me a for a bit because there’s a lot happening with Carmelo Hayes vs. Dirty Dom.
For a few weeks, NXT danced around Melo and Trick Williams getting into a thing. This week, they telegraphed it with a bullhorn. First, Dom got into Trick;s head with his usual tricks. The best moment from that segment came when Trick noted he’s in nobody’s shadow because he “can’t fit in no shadow.” Great line and I want it on a t-shirt not now but right now.
What’s left of Schism invited Trick into their fold. He declined because duh, but their words about his bond with Melo stuck in his head.
Now, if I’m writing it, Melo vs. Trick is Melo’s NXT swan song. Nothing finishes his story better than passing the torch to his best friend on his way out and battling with the guy who gave Melo his swag back after winning the NXT Breakout tourney. But Trick isn’t ready for the belt yet so I prefer we do that down the line.
And that brings us back to Melo vs. Dom. Once again, Dom flexes his improvement. Melo did what Melo does so we got a solid match. Solid because the match had bigger goals in mind than a one-on-one between two champs. With Ilja Dragunov ringside for commentary, Dom found a way to get under Ilja’s skin and pick up a DQ win over the NXT champion. He planned it that way so he’ll surely crow about it once he’s done with Dragon Lee. Speaking of Mr. Lee, he kicked Dom’s teeth down his throat afterward, foreshadowing their match next Monday. But before that, Dom pulled Melo in front of Ilja’s rage and the challenger accidentally nailed the champ with a Torpedo Moscow. And the segment ended with the champ and the challenger jawing at each other with promises of future ass beatings.
And that takes me back to Trick. With him feeling insecure about his friendship with Melo, I see him showing up at No Mercy and possibly costing Melo the title. I don’t want that, I don’t need that, but I foresee shenanigans that don’t bode well for the true A champion.
Here’s what I really dug about this match between Tyler Bate and Butch: they truly made it an even battle. Last week, both men talked about how well they knew each other and we know their shared history. When presenting the match on that level, the results should backup that talk.
They battled until the actual last minute with neither man gaining an advantage. They reversed one another’s finishers and also used them. Not until Butch hit the Better End did everything fall into place the Brawlin’ Brute. Everything about this match worked and felt logical. That also puts Butch as the Group A winner, which comes as a very pleasant surprise.
Extra points for Meta Four kicking back in their lounge while doing Matrix cosplay. I don’t know about you, but Noam Dar is forever “Neo Dar” now.
As for Duke Hudson vs. Joe Coffey? As predicted, Duke defeated Joe and gave us a three-way tie in Group A. The match went quicker than a hiccup too. Quick finish leading to a three-way tie with all three men in the building. So you know what that means....
Triple threats are always wild and this one fit the bill. Mostly because of clashing styles. Duke and Joe are similar but Nathan Frazer presents a very different element. The big news out of the fun match? Joe Coffey got the W. I wanted that from jump and I’m giddy. Joe vs. Butch screams “violence” and I can’t wait. Even the way he won this match just feels different for the Heritage Cup. He let Nathan do the heavy lifting on Duke, threw him out of the ring, and then hit his finisher on Duke for good measure. Beautiful.
Lola Vice impressed me. She seamlessly integrated her MMA background into her wrestling work and held her own against a former champ in Roxanne. That’s no easy thing and yet she made it look effortless. Lola has a personality too, so with more time in the ring and more exposure on the mic, NXT may have a new competitor in the ranks.
Shawn Michaels and co. clearly feel that way too. They booked the match where Roxanne barely survived a match that Lola controlled. Lola caught the former champ off guard and she nearly took an L for sleeping on her competition. A win is a win but we’ll see if this has any future consequences.
This was a fun Tuesday. Everything moved quickly, not a single meh match in the bunch, and we moved all stories forward. Eddy Thorpe challenged Dijak to a strap match, Thea Hail continues her move into adulthood with lots of shopping, and Von Wagner’s status remains unchanged (not good). The tag team scene took a mini backseat this week but for good reason. Now we move forward to the last NXT of the month.