– The 2023 WWE NXT Heatwave special opens up on the USA Network with NXT Tag Team Champions Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo hanging out at the pool. They hype tonight’s matches, and are joined by male and female friends. The Family ends the segment by toasting to another great summer. We’re now live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida as Vic Joseph welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by WWE Hall of Famer Booker T.
Ilja Dragunov vs. Trick Williams
We go right to the ring for tonight’s opener as Ilja Dragunov makes his way out. Alicia Taylor does the introductions as Trick Williams comes out next. Fans chant “Whoop that, Trick!” now.
The bell rings and Ilja explodes at Trick. They go at it now. Ilja with big chops as they go from corner to corner. Trick fights back with lefts and rights. They go on and Ilja drops Trick with a big kick.
Ilja takes control and beats Trick around the ring now, chopping and kicking. Trick fights back with big forearms as fans rally. Ilja with a shot to the throat but Trick dropkicks him. Ilja goes for the big rebound lariat but Trick rocks him. They end up on the floor and Ilja hits a big German suplex. Ilja brings it back in and stomps on Trick as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Ilja continues to dominate. Trick fights out of a corner but Ilja beats him down with a flurry of offense. Trick grabs him and yells in his face, then unloads with strikes as fans cheer him on. They end up colliding with strikes and both go down. Fans chant “NXT!’ now.
Ilja strikes first as they both get up and trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Trick drops Ilja. Trick boots Ilja while he’s on his knees. Ilja wants more and Trick kicks him again. Ilja takes Trick down and works on the leg now. Trick with a big Flapjack, then a big jumping knee strike to the face for a close 2 count.
Ilja counters a slam with a big DDT, then another DDT to spike Trick into the mat. Trick kicks out at 2. Fans chant “this is awesome!” as Ilja takes Trick up top. Trick fights back. Trick counters up top and hits a super Uranage but somehow Ilja kicks out. Trick and fans can’t believe it.
Trick waits for Ilja to get up. Ilja catches the spin kick and hits a big German suplex, then a stiff kick. Ilja with a powerbomb in the middle of the ring, then the falling forearm. Trick kicks out and Ilja can’t believe it. Ilja drags Trick over to the corner, then flies off the middle rope with a big falling right hand to get the pin to win.
Winner: Ilja Dragunov
– After the match, Dragunov stands tall as the music hits and we go to replays while fans give them a standing ovation. Ilja looks down at Trick trying to get up, and nods at him in a show of respect.
– NXT Heritage Cup Champion Nathan Frazer approaches Tyler Bate backstage. Bate mentions how Dabba-Kato put a hurting on him last week, but he’s stretching the pain out. They talk about tonight’s Heritage Cup match and Bate agrees to have Frazer’s back and go with him to ringside. Frazer promises Bate will be the first to get a title shot after tonight. Bate is all for he and Frazer taking out Meta-Four tonight.
Ava vs. Ivy Nile
We go back to the ring and out comes Ivy Nile. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we see NXT North American Champion Dominik Mysterio and WWE Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley backstage warming up. Mustafa Ali interrupts and wishes them good luck tonight… he hopes Mysterio breaks a leg so he can leave NXT and we can have a real North American Champion. Dominik doesn’t care about NXT, only his Mami. They have some more words until Ali leaves. We go back to the ring and out comes The Schism – Ava with Joe Gacy, Rip Fowler, Jagger Reid and their masked followers. This is Ava’s TV singles debut.
The bell rings and Nile goes down first as The Schism’s followers taunt her. Ava counters an attempt and slams Nile twice. Ava with shots in the corner now to keep Nile down.
Ava with a backbreaker for a 2 count in the middle of the ring. Nile dodges a shot and unloads with punches and kicks now. Ava with a Scorpion kick for another close 2 count. Ava rag-dolls Nile now, slamming her face into the mat and then choking her on the middle rope while The Schism taunts her.
Ava with a running kick to the face to keep control. Ava looks to follow up but Nile counters and applies the Diamond Chain Lock Dragon Sleeper from out of nowhere and Ava quickly taps out for the finish.
Winner: Ivy Nile
– After the match, Nile stands tall as the music hits. She holds Ava in the hold as The Schism and their followers hit the apron. Nile drops Ava and starts fighting The Schism’s followers, hitting strikes and a German suplex. Two of the masked followers pull Ava to safety as some fans chant for The Creed Brothers.
– Wes Lee is backstage when Ilja Dragunov walks in. Dragunov is feeling good now that Trick Williams is no longer an issue, and now nothing is in the way of his destiny. Ilja goes on but Lee interrupts and says Ilja knows he will be the new NXT Champion after tonight. Lee says this title that Dragunov wants so badly will be on his shoulder. Lee goes on about how he made his own destiny. Lee can see he will have to go against The Mad Dragon soon, but as the NXT Champion, and he looks forward to it. Lee walks off.
NXT Heritage Cup Match: Noam Dar vs. Nathan Frazer (c)
We go back to the ring and Meta-Four is out – Noam Dar with Oro Mensah, Jakara Jackson and Lash Legend. NXT Heritage Cup Champion Nathan Frazer is also out, with Tyler Bate to be his corner-man. The announcers show us the British Rounds Rules.
The bell rings and Dar locks up with Frazer, taking him down by his arm. They tangle and then break, and talk some trash as fans rally. Dar takes control and drops Frazer for a quick pin attempt. Frazer counters with a headlock takedown now. More back and forth for a quick stalemate now.
Dar slaps Frazer but Frazer drops him. Frazer is scrambling for the pin but Dar rolls around to avoid him. The timer goes off to end the first round. They head to their corners as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Bate is down at ringside while officials and Frazer tend to him. We see how Dabba-Kato came down and slammed Bate on the apron during the break. The match is at 0-1 with Dar up. The bell rings to kick off round three as Dar attacks the distracted Frazer, who watches officials help Bate to the back.
More back and forth now. Frazer lands hard on the apron, then Dar hits a draping DDT for a 2 count. Dar kicks Frazer while he’s down, then works him around the ring with uppercuts while talking trash. Dar dominates but Frazer tries to mount offense. Frazer breaks a hold by sending Dar to the floor, then flying out and bringing him back in. Frazer unloads and hits a standing Shooting Star Press but Dar kicks out. Dar avoids Frazer as the bell hits.
Frazer is hit with a cheap shot as the round ends. The fourth round begins as Frazer attacks. Frazer ends up catching Dar in a powerslam for 2. Dar avoids a Phoenix Splash but Frazer comes right back with a close 2 count. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and the round is almost over as Frazer flies off the top to take down Mensah and Dar on the floor. Lash holds Frazer’s leg as he brings it back in and Dar kicks out. The round ends but not before Frazer hit the Final Cut for a pin.
The bell hits for the fifth round as we’re at 1-1 now. They go at it and trade big strikes. Dar drops Frazer and shows off some but Frazer rocks him. Dar kicks the knee out and goes up top but lands hard on his leg. Frazer kicks the knee and nails another big kick. They tangle and Dar applies a knee bar but Frazer hangs on.
The hold is finally broken. Frazer drops Dar and goes up top, but has to kick Dar away, then kick Mensah off the apron. Dar dodges the Phoenix Splash, and Frazer lands hard. Dar hits the Nova Roller for the pin to win the title.
Winner and New NXT Heritage Cup Champion: Noam Dar
– After the match, Dar stands tall and celebrates as the music hits and we go to replays. Meta-Four celebrates with the Cup now.
– We go backstage to Ava and the two followers that saved her earlier. She says thanks to their bravery and loyalty, she is able to stand under The Schism’s tree. Ava addresses Ivy Nile and says she tried to end her career but failed. She says Ivy is a failure just like The Creeds and The Diamond Mine. Ava tells Ivy to come prove her wrong, you know where to find her.
– We see NXT Women’s Champion Tiffany Stratton walking backstage. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and NXT Women’s Champion Tiffany Stratton is in the ring with a mic. She talks about her successful summer and how she’s going to make things much better… but how could things get better than this? Stratton says she’s basically the perfect champion… the word perfect scares some people but when you’re her, perfection comes easy. She says the title is not going anywhere, she’s the best champion of all-time. Fans boo as Stratton goes on about how she’s better than Bayley, Asuka, Becky Lynch, and even Charlotte Flair. She says the list could go on and on but for now, she will remain at the Tiffy Top.
Gigi Dolin interrupts and asks Stratton to shut the hell up. Dolin looks ahead to the fall of Stratton and says she is the next challenger. Stratton says Dolin is shooting her shot but she is now shooting it down because Dolin does not deserve a title match. They have more words until Kiana James interrupts. She knocks Dolin for thinking she deserves a match, and says she is the next challenger to the title. Blair Davenport is out next and she also makes the case for a title shot. They all argue and Stratton says it’s time to leave. Roxanne Perez comes out and reminds Davenport about The Great American Bash. Perez then addresses Stratton but punches her to set off a brawl. Stratton escapes while the others fight.
– We go to Damon Kemp and Charlie Dempsey training while Drew Gulak looks on. Myles Borne shows up and Gulak taunts him. Dempsey ends up applying a Sleeper on Borne and making him tap out. Gulak knocks Borne and says they do not tap out.
– Back from a break and Ava is at the same location with two of The Schism’s followers. She taunts Ivy Nile some more until Nile shows up. Nile tells “the boys” to get her, and the two masked men are revealed to be Brutus Creed and Julius Creed. Nile beats Ava down now. The Creeds look into the camera to speak to The Schism – if they want to see Ava again, then give The Creeds a match with The Dyad. If The Creeds win, they are reinstated to NXT. This will be a Steel Cage match. The Creeds are ready to end The Schism.
– We go backstage to Meta-Four celebrating Noam Dar’s NXT Heritage Cup win. They aren’t back, they’re just better. A woman from the Heritage Cup Committee shows up to serve papers to Dar. Oro Mensah reads them for him. The Committee congratulates Dar but in order to find a worthy opponent, next week they will begin the NXT Global Heritage Invitational. This will be an 8-man tournament to determine Dar’s challenger for NXT No Mercy. Dar is thrilled at not having to defend for 8 weeks. He tells Meta-Four they’re going to California for No Mercy and they continue celebrating.
NXT North American Champion Dominik Mysterio and WWE Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley vs. Dragon Lee and Lyra Valkyria
We go back to the ring and out comes The Judgment Day’s NXT North American Champion Dominik Mysterio and WWE Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley to boos and cheers. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Dragon Lee and then Lyra Valkyria. They head to the ring together. The bell rings as Dominik and Dragon go at it to start.
Both teams put up a lot of back & forth offense and pin attempts with signature offense. At one point Mysterio worked Lee over but missed 619. Lee turned it around and hit a sitdown powerbomb for 2. Lyra sent Mysterio to the floor and went for a hurricanrana off the apron but Ripley intercepted her and launched her into the barrier.
Raquel Rodriguez then ran out and attacked Ripley for a big pop. Raquel unloaded on Ripley but Ripley fought back and they continued brawling to the backstage area. Lee took advantage and hit a distracted Mysterio with Destino for the pin to win.
Winners: Dragon Lee and Lyra Valkyria
– After the match, Lee and Valkyria celebrated. Lee says he wants another shot at the NXT North American Title.
– NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes is backstage preparing for the main event when Trick Williams walks in. Trick asks Hayes if he’s ready, and he is. Trick gives him some words of support and says tonight started with him, and will end with Hayes. Trick says this will be Hayes’ first big title defense without Trick at his side. Hayes brings up what happened with Trick and Ilja Dragunov at The Great American Bash, and how he wants no doubts tonight. There’s some tension between the two as Trick asks if Hayes is blaming him for what happened. Hayes says no, he just wants no one to be able to question his win. Trick hands the NXT Title belt to Hayes and they do their handshake. Hayes walks out as Trick looks on.
– McKenzie Mitchell is backstage with NXT Women’s Champion Tiffany Stratton now. Stratton says her mentions are going off thanks to the Twitter trolls… she says she knows Becky Lynch was never champion in NXT, despite what she said earlier. Stratton says Lynch might be Big Time Becks to the fans, but to Stratton she is irrelevant. Stratton asks Mitchell if she saw what happened in the ring earlier. She says that is not how she wanted the Summer of Tiffany to end, so now those wannabes have to fight it out to earn a chance at her and the title. Mitchell confirms the Fatal 4 Way for next week with Gigi Dolin vs. Blair Davenport vs. Kiana James vs. Roxanne Perez. Toodles, as Stratton walks off and we go back to commercial.
– Still to come, Von Wagner vs. Baron Corbin. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see how Thea Hail lost to Jacy Jayne last week, then yelled at Andre Chase. We also see post-show footage of Hail complaining to the referee and asking him to change the decision. He said the result counts, then walked off. Hail was not happy as she ranted about how this is all Chase’s fault, and how her life sucks now, and she lost all momentum because of Chase. Hail is now backstage when Jayne walks up. Jayne says the beast she wrestled last week was not the same Hail she faced in the past. Jayne says if it makes you feel better, we’ve all been let down before. Jayne says Hail will get through it… people like us always get through it. Jaye walks off, leaving Hail in thought.
Von Wagner vs. Baron Corbin
We go back to the ring and out comes Von Wagner with Mr. Stone. Baron Corbin suddenly attacks and beats Von down while Stone yells at Corbin.
Corbin fights Von to the ringside area and sends him into the steel ring steps. Corbin with a flying clothesline off the apron. Von fights back and rams Corbin into the edge of the apron. They trade strikes now. Corbin tries to send Von into the ring post but Von counters and sends Corbin into the post. Corbin comes back and sends Von into the steel ring steps. They continue brawling until Von sends Corbin into the steps now.
Von looks to put Corbin through the announce table as he takes the top off. Corbin decks him from behind and hits a big back suplex on the floor. Corbin looks to suplex Stone but Von makes the save. They go on and Von clears the table so he can powerbomb Corbin through it, but but Bron Breakker attacks from out of nowhere, hitting Von with a big Spear. Bron, wearing a “Best Spear In The Business” shirt, stands tall over Von and Corbin now to mostly boos.
– We go backstage to Joe Gacy and The Dyad, who are furious with The Creed Brothers. Gacy says they will agree to the earlier demands in order to get Ava back. They comment on how The Creeds think the Steel Cage will keep The Schism’s followers out, but they should be worried about who is in the cage with The Creeds. They are ready to end this thing once and for all.
– We see NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes walking backstage. We also see #1 contender Wes Lee walking backstage. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a video showing how Eddy Thorpe cost Dijak a shot at the NXT Title last week. Dijak speaks and says the NXT Title is why he came back to NXT, and Thorpe distracted him. Dijak goes on and says there’s no need to look at the stars and do a ritual dance to see your fate because Thorpe has just one week before Dijak breaks his bones and his spirit.
– Vic shows us a tweet from Becky Lynch, who responded to NXT Women’s Champion Tiffany Stratton. Lynch said she hasn’t been champion in NXT… yet.
NXT Title Match: Wes Lee vs. Carmelo Hayes (c)
We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event and out first comes Wes Lee. A graphic is then shown with Lee’s jersey going up in the rafters, then burning up as “HIM” replaces Lee’s last name. Out next comes NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes to a pop. Alicia Taylor does formal ring introductions.
The match started with back & forth counters, then a stalemate. They traded more offense, then kip-ups. They tangle again and Lee hits a Spanish Fly as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Hayes mounted offense to set up the Fade-Away leg drop but Lee stays in there. They trade right hands in the middle of the ring now, then Hayes unloads with kicks and a flurry of signature offense but Lee still kicks out at 2. Hayes is frustrated now.
More back & forth now. Lee ends up hitting a Meteora for a close 2 count. Lee with more offense now, including a Michinoku Driver and a Spiral Tap for another close 2 count. Lee with more big moves but Hayes hangs in there, then counters the Cardiac Kick with a Final Cut. Hayes goes on and hits a Codebreaker but Lee still kicks out.
Lee goes to the floor but Hayes follows. Lee with a big back elbow but Hayes kicks him onto the announce table. Hayes ends up putting Lee through the table with a modified Fade-Away. They bring it back in and Hayes climbs up top for Nothing But Net but Lee dodges it. Lee comes back with a Cardiac Kick but the champ rolls to the floor to avoid the pin.
Lee is frustrated now as he yells out, then goes for a suicide dive. Lee’s legs hit the rope and he lands hard at ringside, hitting his head on the barrier. Hayes goes back in the ring, and Lee follows just in time to avoid the 10 count. Hayes seems a bit concerned for Lee but he goes back up top to hit Nothing But Net for the pin to win and retain.
Winner: Carmelo Hayes
– After the match, Hayes stands tall as the music hits and we go to replays. Hayes celebrates with the NXT Title now as Lee tries to recover. NXT Heatwave goes off the air as Hayes poses with the title in the air.