May 28th, 2023
By: John Siino
Tsongas Center in Lowell, MA
Commentary: Vic Joseph & Booker T
NXT North American Championship: Wes Lee (c) vs. Tyler Bate vs. Joe Gacy (w/ Ava)
Right away, all three men go for pin attempts before having a standstill, circling each other. Wes Lee & Tyler Bate make a pact to double-team Joe Gacy, but Lee questions him when Bate doesn’t join in. Gacy tries telling Lee he was right about Bate before Lee tosses Gacy to the outside and starts to go at it with Bate. Gacy taunts them both, so instead, they follow him outside and bring him back in. Lee and Bate start fighting each other as they get in the ring and finally go to blows before Gacy takes them out with a dive. Lee breaks up Gacy & Bate by sunset flipping Gacy into a two-count. Lee follows with a hurricanrana into a pin on Bate for another two. Bate goes after Gacy, hitting a suplex, before hitting one to Lee followed by a standing Shooting Star, that Gacy breaks up the pin attempt for. Bate puts Gacy on his shoulders and spins him around, before catching Lee and continuing the pin while having Lee in a Giant Swing, before dropping Gacy onto Lee. Lee & Bate start exchanging punches before Gacy grabs Lee into a powerbomb, picks him, and powerbombs him onto Bate. Bate heads to the top rope, but Gacy grabs him and Bate and takes them both down. Gacy starts stretching out Lee with the Rings of Saturn, but Bate ends up breaking up the submission. Bate misses a Shooting Star, and Gacy puts the Rings on him next that Lee breaks up. Gacy & Bate start double-teaming Lee, but he is able to dodge them as they crash into each other, follows this with a double Cardiac Kick and gets two counts on both Gacy & Bate. The crowd starts chanting for tables for some reason, as Lee goes after them both in the corners. Lee puts a sleeper on Gacy, but he breaks it up by cannonballing in the corner, getting a two count on Lee as Bate breaks it up. Bate hits a Tyler Driver ’97 on Gacy, which Lee breaks up, followed by a Meteora on Bate that Gacy breaks up. With Gacy on the top rope, Lee hops over him and dives onto Bate on the outside. Incredible. Back inside, Gacy & Lee go back and forth before Lee dodges Gacy’s springboard lariat with a Cardiac Kick to get the pin in a fantastic opener.
Winner: Wes Lee by pinfall at 11:59, to retain
NXT Heritage Cup Championship: Noam Dar (c) (w/ Oro Mensah) vs. Dragon Lee (w/ Nathan Frazer)
Dragon Lee might be one of the few people on this card having history here at the Tsongas Center, having wrestled in Lowell a bunch with Ring of Honor. Nathan Frazer comes out to be Dragon Lee’s corner man, as Noam Dar comes out on his own after failing to get Oro Mensah earlier on the kickoff. Round one starts with a 3-minute clock as Lee goes after Dar with kicks before they take it to the mat. Dar starts messing with Lee’s mask while attacking his hands. Dar starts working on Lee’s knee but gets kicked off. Booker T starts going off about how much he loves Dar’s name and nickname as Dar is able to dodge a big kick from Lee. Lee punches Dar to the outside and kicks him off the apron as the first round ends. As Lee goes to his corner with Frazer, Mensah runs out and says he’s here now for Dar and reluctantly hands him a towel. Lee goes right after Dar, taking him down with headscissors, kick in the corner, and diving kick, springboarding from the apron. Lee hits another dropkick in the corner, for a two-count. Dar goes right after Lee and rolls him up to get the first fall, ending round two at 5:02.
Dar starts complaining to Mensah but round three starts going right after Lee. Dar gets on the ropes and taunts the crowd. Lee hits a high knee to Dar, followed by a kick and a hurricanrana to Dar off the apron to the floor. Lee hits a suicide dive to Dar to the outside, and sends him back in, hitting another knee for a two. Lee keeps kicking and punching at Dar as round three comes to an end but not before Dar knocks out Lee with a spinning back elbow. Dar stays on top of the dazed Lee during round four, until Lee rolls up Dar for a close two count. Dar tries to put an arm bar on Lee, but Lee turns it into a pin attempt. Lee follows with a crescent kick and puts on a Texas Cloverleaf. Dar asks for some help, as Mensah pushes the rope for Dar to grab. Frazer gets in Mensah’s face, just for Mensah to push him into the steel steps. Lee takes advantage and goes after Dar hitting a head-scissor driver, to get the second fall at 11:24.
Frazer goes after Mensah in the ring, as the referee ejects them both before round five starts. Lee tries another hurricanrana off the apron but gets power bombed to the outside with a nasty fall. Dar stays on top of Lee, hitting another spinning back elbow, but Lee kicks out at two. Dar starts kicking away at Lee, but Lee comes back with a snapping German Suplex, a high knee, and a sit-out powerbomb for a two-count. Jakara Jackson runs into the ring distracting the referee, as Lash Legend runs out and attacks Lee with the bucket. Dar hits the Nova Roller on Lee to get the second and final pin at 14:22. Dar stands tall celebrating with Mensah, Legend, and Jackson as a very intriguing faction might be upon us.
Winner: Noam Dar (2-1) at 14:22, to retain
Last Man Standing Match: Dijak vs. Ilja Dragunov
As Dijak is heading to the ring, he tells his wife to get their kids out of there as they don’t need to see this. As soon as the bell rings they go right after each other. Ilja Dragunov tries the Constantine Special, just to get booted to the outside. Dijak brings steel steps inside the ring but ends up suplexing Dragunov onto another set of steps on the outside after kicking Dragunov in the jaw as he was flying off the tops. Dijak gives the Lowell people what they want by grabbing a table from under the ring, but Dragunov flies right through it, as Dijak crashed into the barricade. As we see Dragunov he is gushing blood from his mouth possibly from the piece of wood bouncing back into his face when ramming through it. The referee starts counting them out by they are able to get up at 8, as Dijak rolls into the ring. Dragunov follows him back inside and tries a German Suplex, but Dijak prevents it by holding onto the rope as Dragunov ends up crashing back first into the steel steps that are still placed inside. Dijak tries to chokeslam Dragunov onto the steps, but he counters that with a DDT to the steps. We see a close-up of Dragunov’s cut as it looks like his chin was slashed open. Dragunov picks up the steel steps and rams it into Dijak who is in the corner. Dragunov places the steps on Dijak in the corner, heads to the top rope, and hits a Coast to Coast, as Dijak looks knocked out. The referee starts counting Dijak, but he’s able to get up by holding the ropes at 9. Dragunov starts chopping away at Dijak, but he comes right back with a big chop and a kick. Dragunov starts hitting machine gun chops, with one last one knocking them both down. Dragunov gets up and continues the chops at a seated position as the crowd chants ‘This is awesome’. Dragunov hits a release German on Dijak, but he gets back up while screaming as Dragunov and the crowd loves it. Dijak brings Dragunov to the apron and chokeslams right onto it, sending him bouncing to the outside. Dragunov gets right up at 9, holding on to the apron and going face-to-face with Dijak. Dijak grabs him and hits Feast Your Eyes, but Dragunov bounces into the ropes and is able to hold himself up which only angers Dijak even more. Dijak grabs a Kendo Stick from under the ring and starts attacking Dragunov with it, while he’s in the corner asking him if ‘he feels alive’. Which each Kendo shot, Dragunov shows more and more pain as the crowd seems to feel it as well. Dijak wipes the blood off of Dragunov with the stick and shows Dragunov asking him to ‘not let him do this’ as he keeps attacking Dragunov with it until the stick is destroyed. Dijak now grabs a chair and starts choking Dragunov with it. Dragunov tries to chop his way out, but Dijak attacks him with the chair. Dragunov comes right back with the Torpedo Moskau and a jumping punch. Dragunov stands on top of the steel steps (in an upright position) and hits a diving forearm to the back of Dijak. The referee starts counting them both out, as Dragunov gets up at 9 and Dijak does not. What a spectacle as Dragunov proves why he continues to be my favorite wrestler out there today.
Winner: Ilja Dragunov at 15:54
No Crying in WWE
We see a Chase U segment where Duke Hudson tells the class they all did very well except Ricky, who ‘sucks’. Hudson says being a substitute teacher here has been consuming so he brought in two special guests to teach the art of catch wrestling in Drew Gulak & Charlie Dempsey, as Thea Hail doesn’t look too pleased. Gulak says today they will focus on what not to do when the bell rings, as Dempsey cuts to footage of Hail losing to Kiana James. Gulak says not all Chase U students have to fail like Hail does, as she storms off. Hudson gets upset at how they had Hail crying and leaving and says nobody does that to any of his students and tells them they better have a better lesson planned for next week.
We see Noam Dar, Oro Mensah, Lash Legend & Jakara Jackson celebrating as Dar says they made history by defending the Heritage Cup in American soil for the first time. Dar says they are now at the top as they walk away to the party. Already loving this new stable.
The Great American Bash
They announce that The Great American Bash returns Sunday, July 30th from Cedar Park, Texas.
NXT Tag Team Championship: Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) (c) (w/ Joe Coffey) vs. The Creed Brothers (Julius Creed & Brutus Creed) (w/ Ivy Nile)
Wolfgang and Julius Creed start the match, but Mark Coffey & Brutus Creed quickly both tag into the match within the first minute. All four men have a face-off as the referee tells the illegal men to go the apron, which they do but not before Julius knocks Wolfgang to the outside. Julius tags in as he and Brutus go after Mark with knees and a belly-to-back suplex for a two-count. Brutus hits a double axe handle on Mark and starts ‘Hulk’ smashing him until Wolfgang distracts him to stop the onslaught. Gallus stays in control, double-teaming Brutus. Julius is able to distract Wolfgang, before tagging in and taking out Gallus with a flurry of suplexes, hitting three belly-to-back suplexes on both Wolfgang and Coffey. Julius follows with one more on Wolfgang, and one more on Coffey, for a total of eight back-to-back suplexes, not before hitting a Shooting Star, as Brutus hits a moonsault on Coffey for a two-count. Gallus starts double-teaming on Julius as Brutus hits the Brutus Bomb taking out Gallus which Booker T wants to call a cannonball. Vic Joseph told him they’ll talk about the differences later. The Creeds start telling each other they love each other and say it’s time to get the titles back as they face off with Gallus who claims they are on top. All four start brawling until it’s just Coffey and Julius as Julius takes Coffey down. Joe Coffey tries to interfere, but Ivy Nile trips him followed by Julius clotheslining Joe over the top rope. As Nile has her back turned, Ava runs out and attacks her distracting Julius. Gallus comes back and hits their finisher on Julius, as Mark Coffey gets the pin.
Winners: Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) by pinfall at 9:33, to retain
Who is the Mystery Attacker?
We see a video of the mysterious attacker watching footage of her attacks with a distorted voice saying that this Tuesday she’ll be revealing herself.
NXT Women’s Championship Tournament Final: Lyra Valkyria vs. Tiffany Stratton
Tiffany Stratton gets a pretty strong reaction during their introductions, as Lyra Valkyria gets some boos. They lock up and start pushing each other until Lyra takes Stratton down with a headlock takeover. Lyra keeps Stratton down with wrist control until putting on a crucifix pin for a two-count. They go back and forth with roll-up attempts before they go back to locking up. They run the ropes, as Lyra trips up due to the brace on her left knee during a leapfrog. They go at it again, until Lyra sends Stratton to the outside and teases jumping onto her, but possibly stops short due to her injury. Lyra tries a dropkick to the outside, but Stratton catches her and drops her on the apron. Stratton starts targeting Lyra’s knee, by ramming it into the ring post twice. Stratton rips off Lyra’s brace and sends her back inside and continues attacking the knee, with whips. Stratton starts stretching Lyra’s knee back while clutching Lyra’s neck back, but she’s able to break out of it as Stratton covers for a two-count. They start smacking each other before Stratton slams Lyra’s knee down. Stratton applies the Stretch Muffler, but Lyra kicks her off. They fight in the corner, where Lyra hits a missile dropkick. Lyra continues the attack, hitting two back-to-back Northern Lights Suplex. Stratton stops a third attempt, but Lyra knocks her to the outside with an enziguri. Lyra follows her with a crossbody off the apron, sends Stratton back inside, and heads to the top rope. Stratton holds on from a cross-body attempt and puts Lyra on her shoulders, just for Lyra to hold on to a crucifix bomb for a two-count. Lyra heads to the top rope, but Stratton kicks her down and hits her twisting elbow drop for a two-count. They go back and forth with offense and pin attempts, but Lyra catches Stratton into a release German. Lyra tries a roundhouse kick, but her knee buckles and she crashes down. Stratton slams her down but misses the Prettiest Moonsault Ever. Lyra hits her spinning kick, but Stratton is able to put her foot on the bottom rope as the crowd chants ‘NXT’. Lyra heads to the top rope, but Stratton meets her up there. Lyra tries a powerbomb, but Stratton hits her with a hurricanrana, slams her down, and hits the Prettiest Moonsault Ever to get the pin and the win.
Winner: Tiffany Stratton by pinfall at 16:01, to become NEW NXT Women’s Champion
NXT Championship: Carmelo Hayes (w/ Trick Williams) (c) vs. Bron Breakker
Bron Breakker comes out wearing a ‘dog-face’ mask with an accompanying graphic, sporting somewhat of a new look. Trick Williams introduces Carmelo Hayes while showing all the championships that Boston has won in NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, and now NXT as Carmelo Hayes comes out to a huge reaction wearing a ‘Welcome to Melochusetts’ t-shirt. Hayes goes right after Breakker as the bell rings, kicking away at Breakker’s legs. Hayes knocks Breakker loopy, sending him outside with a pump kick, before diving onto him. Hayes starts chopping Breakker against the barricade, but Breakker rams Hayes into the apron. They run the ropes, but Breakker stops Hayes’ momentum with a Steiner-like spine buster. Breakker continues to stay in control while taunting the crowd. Trick causes a bit of a distraction as Hayes attacks Breakker on the ropes, hitting the Fadeaway leg drop. Hayes continues attacking Breakker’s left knee, putting on a Half Crab that Breakker is able to kick his way out of. Breakker regains control clotheslining Hayes down and yelling ‘Boston sucks’. Breakker takes Hayes down with a belly-to-back suplex, but instead of going for the pin decides to do push-ups to a chant of ‘You suck’ as Breakker brings the ‘Heat’ here in Boston. They head to the top rope where Breakker hits a Frankensteiner for a two-count. Hayes is able to mount a comeback with chops and punches, but Breakker stops him with a release German suplex. Breakker goes to apply the Steiner Recliner, but Hayes kicks his way off, then reverses a suplex into a DDT. Hayes comes back with a crescent kick, pump kick, and a springboard forearm, but Breakker kicks out before the referee can even count to one. They go back and forth a bit until Hayes heads to the top rope, but Breakker dodges the Nothing But Net attempt. Hayes tries to springboard off the ropes again, but Breakker stops him with a spear for a two-count. A bit more of back and forth, with Hayes hitting a flurry of kicks and springboard DDT, before heading back to the top rope where he hits Nothing But Net for the pin and the win.
Winner: Carmelo Hayes by pinfall at 14:15, to retain
Quick Thoughts: I know most people were probably watching the ‘other’ show tonight with AEW, but I highly recommend this show as every match was strong, with the Gallus/Creeds match being the weakest one, if you had to skip one. If you can only watch ONE match, then please watch Ilja Dragunov vs. Dijak, as this has already made my list for one of the top matches of the year (a recurring theme for Dragunov), and I’m sure many others once they watch it. After seeing much of their work on NXT Level Up, I can only predict gold material for Noam Dar’s new alliance. Call me crazy, but I’m still sticking to my guns that Mandy Rose will be revealed as the mystery attacker, and possibly in the Weaponized Cage Match between Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne this coming Tuesday.