The 2023 WWE Draft left 11 free agents on the market, including Baron Corbin and Mustafa Ali, who surprise appeared on tonight’s episode of NXT. Their intentions are set on NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes and North American Champion Wes Lee respectively, competitors who are holding down the fort following a very successful and well-received Battleground event in Lowell, Massachusetts on Sunday.

Gigi Dolin vs Jacy Jayne – Weaponized Steel Cage Match

Tonight’s episode opens with a rivalry package between the Toxic Attraction members who held the NXT women’s division hostage for a year, but the climax happens now. Jayne blindsides Dolin during her entrance, but the latter is in her bag with immediate weaponry like straps and garbage cans. Despite being attacked by chairs and chains, Dolin looks most comfortable under these stipulations – compared to straightforward wrestling that led to very underwhelming performances. She sends Jayne through a table from the top rope, earning the victory in a solid showing for both competitors and presumably putting this feud to rest.

Winner: Gigi Dolin


After an NXT Battleground recap, North American Champion Wes Lee is interrupted by The Dyad but backed by Tyler Bate. “We’re still mates, and I still got your back,” the latter says.

Mugshots are shown of Tony D’Angelo, and it’s time to start the hashtag: free The Don. NXT Tag Team Champions Gallus mock him before Channing Lorenzo accuses them of ratting, but the three-on-one is too much.

NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams enter the building as heroes, but cutting them off is NXT Heritage Cup Champion Noam Dar with his new stable of Oro Mensah, Lash Legend, and Miss Jackson. It’s a battle of brash, and Hayes ultimately accepts a challenge with his title on the line.

Ivy Nile steps up to Cora Jade in the locker room with the background women’s wrestlers reacting like it’s The View. Later, Axiom remains weary of Reggie, who claims “his people” called him Scrpyts, but the latter still thanks him for opening his eyes.

The Dyad vs Tyler Bate and Wes Lee 

Booker T accuses Bate of being the “scourge of this world,” which is weird after a quick Google search. The duo impresses with athleticism before Orlando erupts as free agent Mustafa Ali appears in the crowd. He spectates on commentary preceding an expectedly great North American Championship feud as Lee and Bate hit simultaneous Spiral Taps, and the latter connects with Tyler Driver 98 for the win. Meanwhile, Nile attacks Ava Raine at ringside as The Creed Brothers fend off The Dyad. In comes Joe Gacy, but Ali pops the crowd big with a save.

Winners: Tyler Bate and Wes Lee


Drew Gulak and Charlie Dempsey are training Chase University students, and Thea Hail attempts to prove herself. Cameras cut away, and Dempsey might’ve tied her into a knot.

A deserved celebration segment coronates new NXT Women’s Champion Tiffany Stratton, who invites the locker room out to announce a number-one contendership battle royal next. Balloons and confetti are interrupted when the girls gang up on her, tainting her moment. But the celebration was roughed up anyway with Stratton’s awkward delivery – as if she was reading a hidden teleprompter.

Lash Legend, Miss Jackson and Oro Mensah approach Trick Williams, who is “watching all of y’all tonight.” But Dani Palmer is still in the ring demanding to know who the mysterious attacker is, revealed to be the predicted, returning Blair Davenport. “The top gaijin is back in NXT,” says commentary.

Footage from last week shows Eddy Thorpe being consoled by Edris Enofe and Malik Blade. Rival Damon Kemp rubs salt in the wound after a loss, and the two will compete next week.

Joe Coffey vs Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo 

Mark Coffey and Wolfgang are banned from the building following their backstage brawl with Stacks, who comes in heated at the bell. Coffey gains control after picture-in-picture as Booker T explains to Vic Joseph that “they don’t have cable in prison,” so Tony D’Angelo isn’t watching this. Coffey eventually hits a spinning lariat for the victory, but Stacks put up a fight as per usual.

Winner: Joe Coffey


More footage from last week shows Mr. Stone telling Von Wagner that he has “serious anger management issues” and asks him to go to therapy. After, a beautiful documentary-style video follows the Sunday of Ilja Dragunov, who was victorious in an absolute war against Dijak.

Cora Jade vs Ivy Nile

“She’s like Hansel and Gretal – you gotta follow the breadcrumbs, man!” states Booker T when Jade fakes an eye poke to gain control. She inadvertently chops Nile in the mouth, Ava Raine provides a distraction, and a DDT gives Jade the pinfall victory. 

Winner: Cora Jade


Hank Walker and Tank Ledger are “tighter than ever” after their match last week and finish each other’s sentences. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade fail to do the same. Later, referees and officials scramble to keep apart Schism and Diamond Mine, who challenge their opposition to matches next week.

Noam Dar vs Carmelo Hayes (c) – NXT Championship

The ring cannot contain the swagger in tonight’s main event, as Trick Williams encourages a “lock it in” chant spanning all chain-wrestling sequences. Hayes connects with a fadeaway leg drop proceeding picture-in-picture, but Dar turns the tide thereafter as commentary mentions the Sunday wear-and-tear. Miss Jackson and Lash Legend bait Williams into punching Oro Mensah, and the champion’s cornerman is ejected as Dar cinches a kneebar. They exchange strikes before Mensah interferes, but Dragon Lee and Nathan Frazer provide backup for Hayes to hit Nothing But Net for the victory.

Winner: Carmelo Hayes


Hayes stands tall with the lower-third signalled until Baron Corbin blindsides the champion. He hits End of Days and raises up the NXT Championship as “bumass Corbin” chants fade to black.


NXT 5/30/23

Orlando, FL

Main-roster competitors with brief stints in NXT have had very intriguing rivalries in the past, and the Mustafa Ali versus Wes Lee match will be great. Carmelo Hayes is good enough to make a Baron Corbin feud work too, and this was a very entertaining follow-up to Battleground despite some lulls.