NXT is back on the road as they head to California for No Mercy. This is the kind of thing that makes NXT feel like such a bigger deal as it is such a bigger stage than that little studio in Florida. The card happens to be stacked and it’s one of the better looking NXT cards that I have seen in a good while. That has been the case before but they have some more work to do. Let’s get to it.

Pre-Show: Blair Davenport vs. Kelani Jordan

This was announced after NXT went off the air this week so there isn’t much of a build here. That being said, Davenport has been a monster heel in recent weeks and Jordan is someone who had been looking up to Dana Brooke before Brooke’s release. In other words, there isn’t much of a reason to believe this is going to be overly competitive, but there might be one reason to believe otherwise.

I’m going to go with what should be the obvious pick in Davenport, but I can’t shake the feeling that Gigi Dolin will interfere to cost Davenport the win in a big embarrassment. Dolin vs. Davenport has been set up for a long time now and it would be interesting to see Dolin get one back on Davenport after she attacked Dolin earlier this week. I’ll go with Davenport here, but a Dolin inspired upset wouldn’t shock me.

Bron Breakker vs. Baron Corbin

Sometimes you need to let two power guys beat the fire out of each other and that is what we are going to be seeing here. These two got the big go home segment to end this week’s NXT as they literally went through a wall during their fight. Corbin can do rather well when he is given the chance and having a fired up Breakker could do just that. Breakker could use the win too and I think you know where this is going.

There is no reason to buy Corbin winning here so I’ll take Breakker getting another big win over a stronger name. Breakker has been kind of floating for the last few weeks but having him beat Corbin up for a little while, survive some big moves and then win is a smart way to go. It might even be a fun match on the way there, but Breakker wins here, as there isn’t much of a reason for anything else to happen.

Tag Team Titles: Tony D’Angelo/Stacks(c) vs. Lucien Price/Bronco Nima vs. Creed Brothers vs. Humberto Carrillo/Angel Garza

As is the case with most title matches, this was set up through a nice Italian dinner. The tag division has started a nice little rebuild, but at the end of the day, the Creed Brothers feel like they’re that much better than anyone else. I’m not sure if that’s going to be enough to get them to win the titles though, as it’s hard to fathom the Creeds being in NXT that much longer.

For now, I’ll take the champions retaining, though there is a case to be made for giving the titles to anyone but the Creeds. Carrillo and Garza are a more experienced team and need something to make them feel more special, while Price and Nima could get a heck of a rub by winning the titles so soon into their run. The good thing with a four way is that you still have contenders coming out of the match as only one team gets beaten, and we’ll say the champs get to do said beating here.

Heritage Cup: Noam Dar(c) vs. Butch

This is the result of a nearly month long tournament to crown a new #1 contender and that makes things interesting. It’s kind of hard to imagine Butch coming up short after that long. The problem here could be having Tyler Bate in Butch’s corner, which feels like a way to set up some kind of screwy finish. At the same time, it’s hard to imagine it’s hard to imagine having another main roster star winning an NXT title.

That being said, having a tournament go on that long with Butch winning, only to lose here and keep the title on Dar doesn’t make a ton of sense. Dar has been either champion or right there next to it for months now and I don’t see the need to keep it on him. Butch has been needing a win to get himself back up and I’ll say he wins here, though I have quite the feeling that I’m wrong on this one.

North American Title: Dominik Mysterio(c) vs. Trick Williams

So this one is a bit more interesting as you have Williams replacing the suddenly released Mustafa Ali. Williams has felt like someone who is being groomed for the next big step up the ladder, with a Carmelo Hayes match feeling like it’s on the horizon. That being said, it would be a big deal to take the title from Mysterio, who is quite the big deal in his own right on the main roster.

I can’t imagine Mysterio losing here so we’ll go with him retaining the title. Williams is someone who could become a big deal rather quickly but Mysterio losing the title so soon doesn’t feel right. At the same time, Mysterio losing the title without Rhea Ripley being involved doesn’t feel right. Mysterio retains here, likely with some interference to keep Williams looking strong.

Women’s Title: Becky Lynch(c) vs. Tiffany Stratton

This is Extreme Rules and a rematch from earlier this month when Lynch took the title from Stratton. That makes things all the more interesting, as Lynch already has everything on Monday Night Raw and she isn’t going to be the champion long term. At the same time though, I’m not sure I can imagine her losing the title here. Stratton feels like she is going to be a big star, but I’m not sure we’re at that point yet.

I’m not feeling overly strong on this one, but I’ll take Lynch to retain here. Stratton certainly has a lot of the tools needed to step up sooner than later, but beating Lynch is one heck of an upgrade. There’s a chance that Stratton wins here, though I’ll go with Lynch retaining after a better fight than the previous edition. Lynch goes over here, but after getting quite the test from Stratton.

NXT Title: Carmelo Hayes(c) vs. Ilja Dragunov

This is a rematch from Hayes beating Dragunov at the Great American Bash where Dragunov was sent into a chair. That makes the question whether or not Hayes can win on his own here, and we could be in for a heck of a fight. Dragunov knows how to bring up the emotion with some outstanding near falls and selling the pain he’s going through, which should be the case again here. I’m just not sure how it’s going to end and that’s confusing.

I’ll go with….geez I guess Hayes here, as it doesn’t feel like he’s ready to lose the title here, but dang it’s hard to imagine Dragunov losing another big match. Hayes needs to win here to prove that he’s the big star and he has Williams waiting on him sooner or later. That match doesn’t necessarily need to be for the title, but for now we’ll say the title stays with Hayes after a better match than their first showdown.

Overall Thoughts

The more I look at this card, the better it’s looking. NXT has figured itself out in recent months and that has made it a good show to see again. Now they need to figure out how to make the big shows work, but the pieces are all there to have a successful night. I’m excited about this show and that’s a nice feeling to have, though having it actually be a good show is what matters most.

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You can find more from Thomas Hall at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.

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