TORONTO — On tap at Scotiabank Arena is NXT’s finest as they present Heatwave, the third installment in the revived event moniker from the developmental brand. Heatwave is a pretty fitting show to have in Toronto this July, as the weather in the city has been quite humid as of late. Although it’s not as bad as last night’s Money in the Bank PLE, that’s for sure. For a second consecutive night,’s Amos Mina was on the scene at Scotiabank Arena, but from a different viewpoint this time around.

View from Section 104 at the Scotiabank Arena for NXT Heatwave on July 7, 2024. Photo courtesy Amos C. Mina.

For Money in the Bank, I was seated up in the press box, which is stationed at the very top of Scotiabank Arena. For tonight’s NXT PLE showcase, I’ve been redirected to the 100s level, directly adjacent to the ring and entrance stage. It’s going to be a totally different fan experience compared to last night, and I’m intrigued to see if Toronto brings the heat (pun intended) for the guys and gals from the developmental brand.

One thing I noticed right away, and it’s completely understandable, this show is probably the least crowd-drawing in WWE’s three-day lineup. In all honesty, I’m kind of surprised they booked Scotiabank Arena for NXT… We’re not in 2019 anymore. Both bowls on the hard cam side were tarped off, and seats in the upper bowl were largely empty. You could tell the arena was relocating folks on the camera view side to help make the crowd look more full. It sure is a far cry from Takeover Toronto in 2019, where I can recall a full house. I would’ve thought the Coca-Cola Coliseum over by Exhibition Place was more fitting, but I’m guessing it was easier to just book the same arena for three nights. You can’t expect everyone to clamor for talent a lot of casual fans wouldn’t recognize. As far as the hardcore, die-hards go? They’re here in full force.

First up on the night is pre-show tag team action as the hometown girlies, Karmen Petrovic and Arianna Grace, go up against the two jezebels, Jacy Jayne and Jazmyn Nyx. Very strong Toronto crowd reaction for their own two ladies, the dynamic duo of a sword-wielding one and NXT’s resident pageant queen. Strong “Arianna” chants in the Scotiabank Arena to start things off. Jacy Jayne mocks Grace with her signature taunt, much to the crowd’s dismay. I like Karmen Petrovic’s style and very strong ring presence for someone relatively new in WWE. Grace isn’t too shabby either, she clearly takes after her father’s fantastic character work. Petrovic gets the hot tag on Grace and this hometown crowd erupts with joy. The two Torontotonians pick up the roll-up win, and the crowd cheers in unison clapping.

Just before the show gears up to go live on-air, a couple of “I believe in Joe Hendry” and “Whoop That Trick” chants break out. Nothing too crazy though, just a couple of fans trying to hype up for the big show.

The match opener on the NXT Heatwave main card is the North American Title throwdown between champ Oba Femi and ex-champ Wes Lee. Femi comes out in all his aura, the guy will have the main roster rocket strapped to his back in no time. He’s an insanely intimidating force, poor little Wes Lee looks like no match for Oba. Seems like Toronto is behind Oba Femi too, as his entrance reaction easily eclipsed Wes Lee. You can tell this match is a classic David vs. Goliath-type tale, much like the Zayn-Breakker match last night. Except the roles are reversed, the challenger is the underdog, whilst the champion is the unstoppable force.

Goddamn. Oba sends Wes Lee high up into the sky with an F5-like maneuver, which gets the crowd chanting a fitting “Holy S***”. The fans are fully behind the big cat, Oba Femi, even though he’s supposed to be the bad guy. Dueling “Let’s go Wes Lee” and “Oba Femi” chants follow shortly afterward. “This is Awesome” chants too after Oba slapped the living piss out of Wes Lee’s chest on the apron. Oba sets up a blockbuster pop-up, sit-out powerbomb, for the win. Excellent match from both competitors. Really engaged the crowd and kept them on their toes.

I’m surprised this match got put on next, but it’s the Women’s North American Title match between Kelani Jordan and Sol Ruca. This was the contest I was looking forward to out of all the matches at NXT Heatwave. I’m a huge believer in both these women involved, and I’m sure they’ll deliver here on the big stage. Two of the most athletic Superstars in the entire WWE, regardless of gender. “Let’s go Lani” and “Let’s go Sol” start the fan chants at Scotiabank Arena. It’s always a fun dynamic when you have two cookie-cutter babyfaces going head-to-head, and it’s a plus when they’re two athletic high-flyers. The range of moves and spots is insane. Like a Springboard 450 off the ring ropes or a Running Moonsault off the apron from Sol. The fans love it as they chant “This is Awesome” once again. Kelani retains with a Split-Legged Springboard Moonsault. Strong match from the two ladies, who share a hug in the ring as the PLE feed goes to commercial break.

Kelani Jordan and Sol Ruca in the ring at NXT Heatwave in Toronto at Scotiabank Arena on July 7, 2024. Photo by Amos C. Mina.

The tag straps are next up as Chase U battles Nathan Frazer and Axiom. The crowd is fully behind Chase U, happily and loudly chanting their name. Thea Hail and Riley Osborne are excellent hype men (or in Thea’s case, hype girl). Let’s just say hype students instead. Again, it’s a “may the best man” win type of atmosphere in this match, as both teams are good guys. But, Toronto is leaning Chase U heavy here. A Razor’s Edge attempt by Duke Hudson gets countered into a turnbuckle face bump and the crowd cheers. The fans chant “NXT”. HOLY CRAP! Biggest spot of the night thus far, Axiom hits the Avalanche Spanish Fly, and Frazer hits the Phoenix Splash. Did somebody say, Andre Chase? Well, he did. He comes in and hits a huge Canadian Destroyer and the crowd goes nuts. Axiom hits a huge kick on Andre Chase to retain the belts for his team, in an absolute nail-biter of a match. Hats off to all four men involved. The crowd loved it.

Andre Chase in the ring with Axiom and Nathan Frazer at NXT Heatwave in Toronto on July 7, 2024. Photo by Steve Argintaru, Twitter/IG: @stevetsn

It’s time for the NXT Women’s Title to be defended at Heatwave as “The Prodigy” Roxanne Perez puts her crown on the line against Lola Vice. Weird they showed a live shot, or at least what I assumed to be a live shot, of the Toronto skyline at night. The funny thing is, the sun was still out at around 8:15 when they showed it. But hey, who’s watching that closely? Well, us over at SLAM! Wrestling, that’s who. Roxanne gets a very loud reaction from the Toronto faithful, Lola has her fair share of supporters too but not up to par with the champ. Lola’s supposed to be the hard-hitter in the contest, judging her MMA and taekwondo background. Very faint “Let’s go Rok-C” and “Let’s go Lola” chants. Wait, it picked up after a few desperate tries, haha. The once bubbly Roxanne taps into her dark and vicious side, targeting Lola’s arms, as the crowd boos. Roxanne hits a trifecta of Code Red’s, one outside on the announce table, a botched attempt in the ring, and one to finally seal the deal. Not a terrible match, but definitely the worst one of the night thus far. Lola still has light years to go before she’s ready for the big time. She gets a standing ovation from the Scotiabank crowd though, despite her defeat. Could she be on her way to the main roster? I don’t think so, but stranger things have happened.

Lola Vice and Roxanne Perez in the ring at NXT Heatwave on July 7, 2024. Photo by Steve Argintaru, Twitter/IG: @stevetsn

With that, there’s only one match left and it’s the Fatal-4-Way main event for the NXT Championship. The competitors make their way out and as expected, the rowdy fans in Toronto chant “Whoop That Trick” as the champ makes his way out. Shawn Spears gets a “10” chant from the crowd as his name is called. “All Ego” gets a decent crowd response too, albeit with a smug look on his face. But the fans are definitely riding the Trick Williams bus here in Toronto. Page wants nothing to do with the action to start but the bouncy boy Je’Von hits him with a suicide dive. The two Canadian boys have a spot in the ring but it’s intercepted by Trick and Je’Von. The fans chant they want tables and start a little “Canada” chant too. The “Chairman” Tye… I mean Shawn Spears, hits everyone in sight with his chair. The crowd oohs and ahs, justifiably so. The four men lay waste in the ring as the crowd stands up to clap and cheer “This is Awesome”. The crowd is super into this main event. Trick killed Je’Von. He yeeted him into the announce table, as the crowd chanted “Rest in Peace”.

HOLY MOLY! What a finish! Trick hits All Ego straight into a pin on Je’Von, as Page shockingly wins the NXT Title from outta nowhere. The crowd is shocked. Stunned. Bamboozled. That’s one way to win a title. The cocky and smug, proud Hamilton-native, Ethan Page closes NXT Heatwave as the new champion. I believe four out of the five matches delivered, but a super-strong night of action. And just like that, Toronto’s star-studded three-day weekend in the Six ends. The NXT experience differed greatly from being in the press box for MITB, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

A victorious “All Ego” Ethan Page poses in the ring after winning the NXT Championship at NXT Heatwave on July 7, 2024. Photo by Amos C. Mina.