NXT Recap & Reactions (November 22, 2022): Wes Lee Might Not Like Being Him

NXT Recap & Reactions (November 22, 2022): Wes Lee Might Not Like Being Him

Are you Him?

Wes Lee and Carmelo Hayes hosted a clinic this week. There’s something special about these two cats together that creates magic. They are so similar in the ring but polar opposites outside of it. These different philosophies provide plenty of storytelling possibilities, but a proven one-upmanship always gets the job done. After all, they don’t call it “tried and true” for nothing.

I use those words for a few games but it’s appropriate here: recap it doesn’t do it justice. I’m not saying it’s the greatest thing of all time, just that it’s damn dope and nothing I say will elevate it in the eyes of a reader. Talking about the counters at the start of the match, the neck-breaking pace in the middle, and Trick Williams’ place in the final act just seems silly when the match as a whole is worth all your time. Especially when it came to Wes, a man who needed this win more than anything else. Even as the North American champion, Wes felt a bit inferior to Hayes. And he never pinned Hayes for the title, so there’s that too. Wes not only did that, but he knows Hayes so intimately that he’s used a lot of his own tricks — no pun intended — against him. He countered Nothing but Net, overpowered Williams and pinned Melo in the middle of the ring. That he did all this against a man wearing a shirt that just said “HIM”. made it even sweeter.

Where does Melo go from here? I am not sure. He can no longer clown around Wes or call him a paper champion. I don’t know if he can even go back to the hairdresser after that. There’s no more room for Bron Breakker’s dance card, as shown tonight through separate vignettes with Apollo Crews and Bron himself. They play into the idea that Bron is a bit underwater right now. If Crews or JD knocks him off his perch, that might be the opening for Melo. More? He’s not going after the NXT Championship after all this time, he feels a bit silly. Wes is a better champion because of this match and because of all the shine put on this title, thanks in part to Melo.

Speaking of Wes, Dijak is his next challenge. The big man returned to the black and gold brand, with no trace of RETRIBUTION. After weeks, we finally know that the man who promised his own “brand of justice” would soon rule NXT. I don’t see them taking the belt off Wes yet, but Dijak brings a very different element to Melo or anyone Wes has faced so far.

Count on me.

Extracurricular activities

Almost nice

Eliminate this early, but I’m very disappointed that WWE2K22 is 67% off for Black Friday instead of 69 for obvious reasons. Such a wasted opportunity for immature people everywhere. The Sigh, WWE & 2K. The sigh.

The hunt

Not only one of my favorite Foxy Brown songs, but iconic of where Chase U found thresmevels this week in the middle of a Tag Team Championship game. And we got here because Pretty Deadly insulted Chase U earlier during the show. The NXT Tag Champions, along with Grayson Waller, think Duke Hudson is full of it. You know what “it” is in this case. Grayson thinks the whole Chase U thing is a ruse, while Pretty Deadly is a little insulted that Duke is donning the shirt and hanging out with people they consider inferior. A fight broke out and Duke spoke with Andre Chase about a Tag Team Championship match.

Andre Chase scores with everything he’s doing in NXT right now. His struggle is no different. Chase is the nice friendly guy so everything he does is filled with emotion and it’s fun to root for him. Pretty Deadly and Duke are no slouches, which is why the match went so well, but Chase just does more for me.

The story here is whether or not Duke is really sabotaging Chase U from the inside. He does tricks regularly to make anyone doubt his allegiance. This week? After getting the hot tag and going after the champions, Duke tagged Andre, who clearly had no business in the ring while he caught his breath and recovered. The two attempted a double team maneuver but Duke inadvertently hit Chase with a big boot instead. Or was it inadvertently?

Pretty Deadly picked up the win with Spilled Milk and Chase U looked united in defeat. But when does Andre Chase or Thea Hail ask the same questions posed by Waller and Pretty Deadly?

All wet

Cora Jade and Wendy Choo struggled this week and the ending baffles me. The match itself was pretty good, with both women showing off their skills and Wendy impressing just as much as Cora. But that ending…

Cora went for her kendo stick because of course, and Wendy blocked her attack. The predictable part was the referee pulling the stick out of the ring and missing something. No problem with that since it comes with the territory. But the referee missed Cora who threw Wendy’s cup in Cora’s face. Cora goes for the ph as the ref counts three as her hand splashes in several puddles.

I know if the referee doesn’t see it, it didn’t happen, but it’s obvious. Obviously, this feud isn’t over with Cora cheating for the win, but I wish they’d taken a different route to get there.

rough diamonds

Ivy Nile versus Kiana James was going well. A few tough times, including Hurricane Ivy which caused a belated reaction from Mrs. James. But regardless, Ivy got the W here in a relatively quick match that also saw Fallon Henley get in front of Kiana. I’m more interested in that because of the personalities involved.

The post-game is where things got interesting if you’re a Diamond Mine fan. The Creed Brothers celebrated Ivy’s victory and accepted Sanga & Veer’s challenge. Ivy, who still considers herself Sanga’s friend, staged a small protest. Nothing crazy but she clearly stated her objections to Brutus & Julius. Although I love Diamond Mine in theory, the team hasn’t been the same since Stokley ditched diamonds for jade. If this is the beginning of the end, that’s fine with me.

So much…

Scrypts is Reggie. Right? We all agree on that? We should. He looked good because Reggie’s aerial skills are second to none. A little time in NXT might be good for him.

I’m not sure what I think of the gadget. It’s a lot, and not all in a bad way. On one side is the entrance, which is really dope with the portraits surrounding the arena. On the other hand, there is the calling card he leaves on his fallen opponent’s chest. You’re not Spider-Man, Reggie. It’s his part.

And just when you thought it was safe…

Here’s Nikkita Lyons to ruin Zoey Stark’s day. Zoey defeated Sol Rocca. Sol continues to improve and it was his best game so far. Letting her rely on her personality until she sorts out wrestling issues seems like a good idea, but hey, I don’t work for Shawn Michaels. It’s not a game worth watching if you missed it, especially since the story is that Lyons heads for Zoey after the bell.

Toxic relationships

Toxic Attraction kicked off the show jubilantly as usual. And with good reason. Jacy Jayne made me laugh when she called Alba Fyre a “fire bat”. Jacy & Gigi Dolin called Katana Chance & Kayden Carter because they want “their” titles back. The tag champions happily agreed, a war of words ensued and the champions found themselves outnumbered because 3 > 2. But they found their third wife in Nikkita Lyons, who forged a bond with the champions and offered her help for a six-woman match.

Color me shocked if Zoey Stark doesn’t intervene somehow.

We often notice in our Slack channel that NXT does a lot in two hours. It was definitely one of those shows where they stuffed a lot of stuff into two hours, but only part of it really connected. The main event? Absolutely. Chase U stuff? Sure. Even the vignette of Bron on a boat discussing the weight of the crown caught my eye because it’s a different side to a barking guy in the ring. But some matches, along with the handful of behind-the-scenes segments, plus Schism taking the time of everyone’s life to berate us about commercialism and Thanksgiving, made for a chaotic show with no real rhythm. NXT is at its best when slowing down and moving methodically.

It was not this.

Grade: C+

This is my note and I stick to it. Your turn.