5/23 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of Tiffany Stratton vs. Roxanne Perez and Lyra Valkyria vs. Cora Jade in NXT Women’s Championship tournament semifinal matches, Noam Dar vs. Nathan Frazer, Hank Walker vs. Tank Ledger, Axiom vs. Dabba-Kato, Eddy Thorpe vs. Tyler Bate


By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live May 23, 2023 on USA Network

[Hour One] The show started off with promos from Cora Jade, Lyra Valkyria, Tiffany Stratton, and Roxanne Perez all staking their claims at the NXT Women’s Championship…

Vic Joseph and Booker T were on commentary. Alicia Taylor was the ring announcer…

1. Lyra Valkyria vs. Cora Jade in a semi-final match of the NXT Women’s Championship Tournament. Cora tripped Lyra and pointed laughing at her like she was Nelson from the Simpsons. Lyra dominated the next chain wrestling sequence. Jade came back with a knee and crucifix chop. Cora hit Lyra with a crucifix shotgun dropkick for a two count. Jade rolled up Lyra into a grounded curb stomp for a two count.

Cora hit Lyra with a slingshot double stomp for a two count. Lyra turned the tables back with a Missile Dropkick. Lyra hit Cora with an Axe Kick combo and Northern Lights Suplex. Jade rolled through the pin with a clinch and knee. Lyra reversed a corner knee into a scary looking suplex for a two count. Lyra dodged a basement elbow. Lyra hit Cora with a Crescent Kick for the victory.

Lyra Valkyria defeated Cora Jade via pinfall in 3:41 to advance to the finals of the NXT Women’s Championship Tournamen. 

Cora blocked Lyra after the match. Cora grabbed a kendo stick and hit Lyra’s leg with a Home Run Swing to leave Lyra writhing in pain…

John’s Thoughts: That win and post match “out” sets up Stratton as the favorite to both advance and win the tournament in my opinion (though a face vs. face matchup won’t be too bad. Better than heel vs. heel.). Cora Jade was my personal wish to win because I think she can boost and be boosted by the title. The injury angle might get Lyra out of the finals, but I don’t think they’re going to go that route. This match was fine and Lyra is starting to look better. That said, I think Lyra needs a new finisher. That Crescent Kick she performs looks pretty weak compared to some of her other offense. It felt like even the announcers were underwhelmed by the finisher.

Axiom and Dabba-Kato were shown in different parts of the Performance Center heading to the ring. A Tale of the Tape graphic aired which showed the physical mismatch between Axiom and Dabba…[c]

Dijak entered the backstage area of the Performance Center. Ilja Dragunov flew in out of nowhere and blasted Dijak with a Yakuza Kick. Ilja tried to replicate the scene from a few weeks ago where Dijak smashed a garage door on his chest, just with Dijak on the ground this time. Referees and Performance Center staff ran out to drag Ilja away…

Entrances for the next match took place. A replay aired of Axiom exposing “Reggie” as Scrypts. Booker T called out Vic Joseph for playing dumb and not knowing it was Reggie from the beginning…

2. Axiom vs. Dabba-Kato. The size difference really stands out between Axiom and Kato. Axiom played footsies by keeping Kato at knee’s distance with kicks. Kato ended Axiom’s rally with a chop to the chest. Axiom was sporting kinesio tape on his shoulder. Kato smashed Axiom with a chest slap into the announce desk.

Kato gave Axiom a Military Press to send him back in the ring. Axiom turned the tables by giving Kato a Dragon Screw on the ropes. Axiom got Kato to his knees with roundhouse kicks. Kato recovered and turned Axiom inside-out with a lariat. Dabba Kato hit Axiom with a Sky High for the victory.

Dabba Kato defeated Axiom via pinfall in 1:56. 

Dabba Kato attacked Axiom after the match. Suddenly Reggie flew in from the side of the ring and dumped Kato to ringside. Referees ran out to drag Dabba to the back. Reggie tried to help up Axiom but Axiom slapped Reggie’s hand away due to their feud in the past…

John’s Thoughts: Dabba Kato’s best match in NXT to date in that they didn’t have him go back and forth as he has in the past to smaller opponents. Defeating Axiom means something given how HBK and crew protect him. Axiom looked strong in defeat too despite it only being under 2 minutes. Axiom managed to dominate just enough to look credible. The Scrypts character was gawd awful. Newly inserted into the WrestleCrap Hall of Fame. It was so bad, that I’m going to give Reggie coming back a shot. Can we get him back his wine bottle and wine educational degree?

Security Footage was shown of Tony D’Angelo in an “interrogation room” (which may or may not be a random room in the Performance Center, not the police office). The “investigator” talked about receiving anonymous tips of Tony’s criminal activity. The officer said they received a tip from an “informant”. Tony assumed it was a “rat”.

The cop showed Tony a video of the crime and Tony said the video was too grainy to prove it was Tony. A bad actor, i mean, another officer walked in and told the interrogating cop that they just got more incriminating evidence against Tony. The interrogator left the room and Tony put his head on the door to hear what both cops were talking about…

John’s Thoughts: Ugh, this was Undead Realm low budget bad.

A Bron Breakker promo package aired where Bron hyped up his upcoming match against Carmelo Hayes. He recapped losing at Stand and Deliver. The B-roll footage was the series of events leading up to today. Bron talked about how he did his best to be a company guy, doing promotional material, doing media, doing press conference, all to lose to a guy he’s better than.

Bron said it’s time to burn this bitch down. Bron pointed out how the NXT Title has his singlet colors on it from the redesign. Bron said anyone can beat “Him” but no one can beat “me”. Bron bragged about spearing Melo through a wall and out of the sky in recent weeks. He said he’s not coming to Lowell to witness a homecoming, but he’s coming to Lowell to dish a masacare in front of Melo’s friends and families. Vic Joseph did a plug to sell tickets for Battleground…

Joe Coffey, Mark Coffey, and Wolfgang were in the ring to cut a promo. They had a green tinted light on for some reason. Joe said that Battleground is a stacked card. All three men mocked their last challenger, Tony D’Angelo, for losing to them and getting arrested. Gallus’s promo was cut off by Julius and Brutus Creed making their entrances with mics. Julius joked about Gallus being afraid of a challenge.

Julius noted that he’s challenging them to their faces at Battleground. Mark said he gets it, the Creeds are hyped up. Mark said Gallus is a different animal. Brutus talked about how they were screwed over when Joe Coffey interrupted. Wolfgang said something about dinner. Brutus said he likes dinner. Julius said Gallus has bellies that makes it look like they like dinner too. Julius reiterated their challenge. Joe asked if the Creeds like to throw hands.

The Creeds agreed. Gallus and The Creeds brawled. Gallus had the numbers advantage initially. Stacks ran out to even the odds. The Creeds and Stacks dumped Gallus to end the segment….

John’s Thoughts: Segment dragged a bit. The combination of them being a bit bland, combined with their thick accents make their promos a bit hard to follow. Joe Coffey’s good and overcomes his strong accent. They should probably have him cutting the promos while Mark and Wolfie look intimidating in the background.

McKenzie Mitchell interveiwed Wes Lee about getting jumpped by Schism last week and having a divide put between him and Tyler Bate. Lee said he’s angry that Bate may be backstabbing him. He said he might not trust anyone anymore. McKenzie brought in Tyler Bate to help mend their friendship. Lee told Bate that Bate doesn’t have to act like a friend anymore because he has a title shot.

Lee walked off. Bate said he doesn’t want the North American Title to ruin his true friendship with Lee. Bate said Joe Gacy is a different kale of fish. He said he has Eddy Thorpe to worry about tonight…

Eddy Thorpe made his entrance…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Eh. This whole forced Bate and Lee friendship divide feels forced and fabricated. They were only on-air friends for like a month. This story would make a lot sense it involved the released Zackary Wentz.

Vic Joseph hyped up WWE being at the top of the Box Office with John Cena being at 1st this week for being in Fast X, while Batista was in Guardians of the Galaxy 3…

John’s Thoughts: Guardians 3 is a great movie! Bring tissues if you’re a big animal person.

Tyler Bate made his entrance. Wes Lee joined the commentary table, continuing to act depressed…

3. Tyler Bate vs. Eddy Thorpe. Bate and Thorpe traded chain wrestling. Bate and Thorpe ended the chain wrestling sequence at a stalemate. Bate hit Thorpe with a dropkick. Bate hit Thorpe with a few knife edge strikes. Thorpe hit Bate with a high hanging crossbody. Bate got a nearfall off a Small Package. Bate sold a chop to the chest (which left a red mark on Bate’s chest). Thorpe put Bate in an armbar. Thorpe turned the move into an abdominal stretch.

Bate escaped and hit Thorpe with a few European Uppercuts. Thorpe came back with a back kick. Bate hit Thorpe with a knee and a diving uppercut. Bate hit Thorpe with an Exploder and Standing Shooting Star for the two count. Thorpe escaped a Tyler Driver attempt. Thorpe blocked Bate’s rebound lariat. Bate recovered, rechambered, and hit Thorpe with the rebound Lariat. Bate hit Thorpe with a Tyler Driver 97 for the win.

Tyler Bate defeated Eddy Thorpe via pinfall in 5:03. 

Joe Gacy ran out and put the boots to Bate. Lee ran in for the save but accidentally nailed Bate with a right hand. Gacy hit both Bate and Lee with a handstand lariat to stand tall with the North American Title in hand…

John’s Thoughts: Ooof. The character stuff here was awful. The commentary team and Wes Lee were really struggling to sell this story. I don’t blame them. It feels unnatural. The match was ok, but I’m surprised they had Torpe lose in such a short match? Especially with his indie background. As I mentioned before, his character never really impressed me back from his Daly City days, but he won me over with good matches. I believe he’ll get over in WWE if he’s allowed to show the audience his good in-ring work.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Lyra Valkyria and asked for an injury update. Lyra said she has brusing and swelling, but no tears. She said she’ll be ready for Battleground. McKenzie asked Lyra who she wants to face. Lyra said everyone usually says they’ll face anyone, but she wants to face Roxanne because Roxanne is the best in NXT…

Nathan Frazer and Noam Dar were shown heading to the ring from different parts of the Performance Center…[c]

Footage from “during the break” was shown where Tyler Bate and Wes Lee had a shoving match…

Entrances for the next non-title match took place…

John’s Thoughts: Nathan Frazer came out to his normal theme. I was afraid for a sec that he’d come out to news show music to match his new John Oliver character. That’d only happen on NXT 2.0.

4. NXT Heritage Cup Champion Noam Dar vs. Nathan Frazer in a non-title match. Frazer and Dar started out even during the initial chain wrestling. Frazer dominated with a side headlock takedown. Frazer ducked a roundhouse kick and Frazer dragged Dar back down with a side headlock takedown. Frazer maintained control with Side Headlock Takedowns.

Frazer flipped out of the corner and dodged Dar’s moves by stopping on a dime. Frazer dropkicked Dar to ringside. Dar crawled to have a conversation with his heritage cup heading into break.[c]

[Hour Two] Frazer avoided a tackle. Dar used a roundhouse to trip Frazer off the slingshot. Dar hit Frazer with a draping PK to the chest for the two count. Dar worked on Frazer with methodical roundhouse kicks. Frazer came back with a Scorpion Death Dropsault. Frazer rallied with right hands. Frazer saw the roundhouse coming and hit Dar with a slingshot shove.

Frazer hit Dar with a Final Cut for the two count. Dar avoided a Phoenix Splash. Dar countered a Enzuigiri into an Ankle Lock. Frazer escaped and gave Dar an enzuigiri. Dar gave Frazer a Question Mark Kick. Dar dragged Frazer into a Juji Gatame. Frazer broke the hold with a pin. Frazer hit Dar with a Superkick (Joseph miss-called a Superkick, which Booker actually called him out on). Dar hit Frazer with a Judas Effect for a two count.

Dragon Lee walked up to pose next to the Heritage Cup. This distracted Noam Dar who shoved Lee. This allowed Frazer to hit Dar with a Suicide Dive. Frazer dumped Dar back in the ring and hit him with a Phoenix Splash for the victory.

Nathan Frazer defeated Noam Dar via pinfall in a non-title match in 12:56.

Dragon and Nathan mocked Noam by treating the Heritage Cup like a human baby…

John’s Thoughts: Really good match, and I didn’t expect Noam Dar to lose heading into his title defense against Dragon Lee. Weird decision to have him lose. I get that long-time WWE viewers may remember that he’s a vulnerable chickens*it heel, but that needs to be introduced to new viewers who probably never have seen him since he’s been in NXT UK for so long. Frazer continues to lead wrestlers to their best matches in NXT. That’s a trait he seemingly shares with his senpai Seth Rollins. He’s also starting to develop the good talking ability of his senpai.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Ilja Dragunov in a full locker room about his and Dijak’s upcoming Hold Harmless contract agreement and his attack from earlier. Ilja said he wanted to give Dijak a preview of the pain. Ilja said last week was torture, but he’s still standing. Dijak entered the locker room and a pull-apart ensued…

A Carmelo Hayes promo package was hyped for after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: This week’s Dijak and Ilja hype is simple and effective. Less weird compared to last week’s weird BDSM escapades in Dijak’s sex dungeon.

Vic Joseph thanked the bad Pvris for providing the song “Animal” as the theme song for Battleground…

A video package aired of Carmelo Hayes doing the rounds at his hope state, doing local radio and news interviews. Hayes hyped out how important it was to be a champion in front of his people. Hayes was shown also eating at his favorite Asian restaurant at Lowell. Hayes hyped up his upcoming title defense…

Hank and Tank made their combined entrance for a match against each other…

5. Hank Walker vs. Tank Ledger. Hank and Tank started the match no selling each others’ shoulder tackles. Tank got the advantage with strikes in the corner. Hank turned the corner and gave Tank tackles and clubbing blows to the chest. Booker and Vic fumbled a bit on the mic, to the point where Vic started making fun of Booker ordering Doordash that one time during the show. Both men traded methodical strikes.

Hank gave Tank a corner splash. Both men took each other out with Stereo Crossbodies. Walker recovered first and gave Tank a pin for the win.

Hank Walker defeated Tank Ledger via pinfall in 2: 41. 

Bron Breakker ran in and gave Hank a spear. Breakker then hit the recovering Tank with a spear. Bron told Melo via the camera that he’d see Melo on Sunday, “champ”…

The Creeds and Ivy Nile were hanging out at the PC kitchen. Stacks showed up. Brutus joked about the law catching up with Tony. Stacks said he and the Creeds have a common enemy. Stacks said with Tony detained, maybe he can have the backs of Diamond Mine. Julius said thanks but no thanks because they have been stabbed in the back before. Stacks agreed and shook hands with Julius…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Hank and Tank actually put on a quality match for the time given. We’ve seen B-Fab vs. Elektra Lopez and several Parker Boudreaux matches on NXT 2.0, so the bar has been set low for NIL types. Hank and Tank were solid! Both seemingly have good personalities too, so the sky’s the limit. Bron Breakker was splendid in his post match attack. His heel evolution continues to look great! With Tony D talking about “a rat” earlier, it’s easy to see that they are setting up Stacks as the “informant” or undercover cop.

Gigi Dolin made her entrance in street clothes. She also had her signature black rose in hand. Joseph noted that Gigi has been having a rough year. Gigi said she’s not shy about her broken home she grew up in, or the fact that she learned about bad addictions via her parents. She said she thought she found a friend, but Jacy Jayne tore everything down. She said she would have done everything for Jacy, but now she’ll do everything to Jacy.

Jacy interrupted the promo from the upper deck. She called Gigi’s promo “emo talk”. Jacy said she’s standing there at their old Toxic Lounge area. She said Gigi was always riding shotgun to Jacy’s career. Jacy said she was tired of carrying Gigi on her back and she refuses to let Gigi drag her down. Gigi said Jacy doesn’t want to move on, but she’s doing her best not to be remembered as the third wheel.

Jacy said the way she remembers it, Jacy beat Gigi. Jacy said she embarrassed her in front of her brother. Gigi talked about leaving a mark with eight stitches on her face. Gigi talked about winning at Roadblock. Gigi said they need another match right now to break the tie. Jacy talked about how Gigi panders to her troll fans, the ones that read her instagram stories.

Jacy asked for a match next week. Jacy wants it to be a steel cage match. Gigi said she doesn’t pander, she wears her heart on her sleeves. She said she is as real as it gets, unlike Jacy Jayne, a fake ass bitch. Gigi said she wants to up the ante and make it a “Weaponized” Steel Cage Match. Jacy agreed…

A man was shown exiting a courthouse. It was Luca Crucifino who hyped up an upcoming match against Von Wagner. Apparently the law will be involved somehow. He stumbled a bit with his words…[c]

John’s Thoughts: “Weaponized” Cage Match is WWE’s rebranding of Impact’s Lethal Lockdown match. Simply a cage match with weapons hanging off the walls. This promo dragged, but that’s because the feud has dragged. Mostly due to consequence because their last two matches were shortened due to two injuries. Maybe third times the charm? Was the “Instagram” story Jacy mentioning was Gigi saying how she wants to be Priscilla Kelly again? If so, I hope it’s the MLW Priscilla Kelly and not the Tampon Priscilla Kelly.

A Heritage Cup video package aired that laid out the history and rules of Heritage Cup rounds matches. The package also hyped Dar vs. Dragon for the title…

NXT Anonymous was creeping around the backstage filming stuff. They filmed Noam Dar trying to beg Oro Mensah to have his back on Sunday. Oro refused. Lash Legend and Miss Jackson showed up.

Luca Crusifino showed up to the People’s Court theme. Not a remix. I guess it’s public domain? Von Wagner and Robert Stone made their entrance…

6. Von Wagner (w/Robert Stone) vs Luca Crusifino. Von Wagner dominated Luca with clubbing blows and a corner splash. Von laid out Luca with a big boot. Luca avoided a stinger splash and worked on Von with strikes. Luca hit Von with an impressive Hip Toss Neckbreaker for a two count. Von Wagner recovered and hit Luca with clotheslines. Luca dumped Von to ringside.

Luca went to Robert Stone and took the injured Baby Von picture out of Stone’s jacket. Luca called Von a freak. A “you messed up” chant ensued. Von gave Luca clubbing blows on the ropes. Von wouldn’t break the hold, prompting a DQ.

Luca Crusifino defeated Von Wagner via pinfall in 2:38. 

Von tossed Luca into the barricade. Von was about to power bomb Luca into the announce table, but Stone convinced him to not do it. After contemplating a bit, Von power bombed Luca. The crowd fired up and asked for One More Time…

John’s Thoughts: The match was what it was. To NXT’s credit, that was the best crowd reaction Von Wagner has received in his WWE career. I get that he was sticking to the script, but the crowd was so fired up that he should have went through with a 2nd power bomb.

The show cut back to the security cam of Tony D in the interrogation Room. Tony said he needs to take his mom to the grocery stone. The cops arrested Tony D again and dragged him away…

Tiffany Stratton made her entrance…[c]

An ad aired for Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes at WWE Night of Champions…

Jacy Jayne vs. Gigi Dolin in a “Weponized” Cage Match was hyped for next week…

Roxanne Perez made her entrance. Vic Joseph said it’s odd to call Roxy a seasoned vet, but it’s true. Booker T talked about training her since she was 16 and she is legit a seasoned vet…

7. Roxanne Perez vs. Tiffany Stratton in a semi-final match of the NXT Women’s Championship Tournament. Tiffany dominated the early Test of Strength. Perez got a two count off a jackknife pin. Tiffany blocked a huracanrana with a cartwheel. Perez went for a few rollups. Roxanne worked on Tiffany with armdrags. Tiffany escaped and worked on Roxanne with wristhold slams.

Perez took Tiffany to ringside with a headscissors. Tiffany blocked a Suicide Dive with a Fireman Carry. Perez escaped and gave Tiffany a huracanrana into the apron. Tiffany tripped Roxanne off the apron with a lariat. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Perez dumped Stratton to ringside with a shotgun dropkick. Roxanne hit Tiffany with two suicide dives. Stratton rolled through a diving crossbody and hit Roxanne with Rolling Senton. Perez avoided a Prettiest Moonsault Ever and worked on Tiffany with running uppercuts. Tiffany came back with a Sky High for a two count. Tiffany dragged Roxanne to the top rope.

Perez recovered and hit Tiffany with a Frankensteiner for a two count. Perez hit Stratton with clubbing blows. Stratton turned the tables by slamming Perez to the mat. Perez reversed a power bomb into a huracanrana. Both women traded rollups. Perez hit Stratton with a knee and Legsweep for a two count. (The camera flashed black (maybe a waredrobe malfunction?).

Stratton reversed Pop Rocks into Snake Eyes. Stratton hit Perez with a Rolling Senton. Stratton then hit Perez with the Prettiest Moonsault Ever (Chris Daniels’s Best Moonsault Ever) for the clean win.

Tiffany Stratton defeated Roxanne Perez via pinfall in 9:39 to advance to the finals of the NXT Women’s Championship Tournament.

[Overrun] Vic Joseph and Booker T ran through the advertised card for Battleground. Lyra Valkyria and Tiffany Stratton were jawing near the Women’s Championship on a podium. Suddenly the masked and hooded hacker woman ran out and attacked Roxanne Perez. Lyra Valkyria ran off the attacker…

John’s Thoughts: One or two rough spots from Tiffany, but I felt like they still had a really good match. Give them 3 or 4 minutes, and I think these two women can have a great Takeover style encounter at a future PLE. Tiffany is now the favorite to go over at Battleground given that it just makes the most sense. As for the attacker, my guess is that it’s either Stevie Turner or Blair Davenport. My hope is Blair, but my fear is Stevie doing some form of Sami Callihan’s crappy hacker wizard gimmick.

Dijak made his entrance after Perez and Valkyria went to the back. Ilja ran out and jumped Dijak. Dijak recovered and tossed Ilja over the barricade. Dijak grabbed Vic’s Hold Harmless Agreement and signed it. Ilja recovered and both men continued to brawl. Ilja sent Dijak over the barricade with a flurry of stiff chops. Ilja signed the contract.

Referees ran out to pull back Ilja. Dijak hit Ilja with a big boot. Dijak tried to choke Ilja with the steel steps again, but Ilja tripped up Dijak, leapt off the step and hit DIjak with a flying forearm smash. The referees separated both men as the segment ended with both men growling and making angry faces at each other…

A NXT Battleground hype package aired to close the show….

John’s Thoughts: A simple and effective segment to continue the battle over “pain” feud. A bit odd that they decided to make this midcard match get the go-home segment as opposed to the women’s match or the world title match? The NXT crew must really like this feud because most of this and last week’s show was based on building towards Dijak vs. Ilja. Hey, with all that hype expect a banger. Give these guys 20 minutes to beat the ever living crap out of each other.

A solid, but nothing to spectacular, in terms of a go home show. The only thing that really stood out as bad was Wes Lee’s forced dismay at Tyler Bate. An odd decision to go with Dijak vs. Ilja as the show closing angle? Looking forward to the PLE though. I’ll be back this Sunday with my live review of NXT Battleground. This is going to be a ridiculous weekend with way too much wrestling Friday to Tuesday.

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. And Perez was attacked by the masked woman.

  2. “Von gave Luca clubbing blows on the ropes. Von wouldn’t break the hold, prompting a DQ.

    Luca Crusifino defeated Von Wagner via pinfall in 2:38.


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