HomeTelevisionNXT Gold Rush 2023: Night One - Cameos, Crowd Turns & Championships

NXT Gold Rush 2023: Night One – Cameos, Crowd Turns & Championships

Every NXT title on the line (and then some) as NXT Gold Rush begins. After a quick recap of all the backstories, we get underway with a banger.

Tyler Bate vs Wes Lee (c) for the North American Championship (special referee: Mustafa Ali)

Weeks of expressed mutual respect has turned to professional tension as these two have teamed up as much as they have stared each other down. Adding to the friction is fellow title hunter, Mustafa Ali, who seems ready to make a quick count on either of them from the get go.

It goes the way you’d expect two of NXT’s best crowd pleasers to make it. The Big Strong Boy leans toward his European mat base but isn’t afraid to leave his feet. The rascally champ bounces like a superball and does some inspired counter grappling. Neither is shy about kicking or clotheslining the other out of their socks. A lot of ten counts started the crowd but, when Bate is lying on the mat and Wes Lee on the outside, it’s Ali who pulls each to their feet and slaps them awake.

Tyler Bate is ready for action but not for Wes Lee’s Cardiac Kick. Both men looking bewildered at the guest referee when the champion’s hand is raised.

Winner and still North American Champion: Wes Lee

Gigi Dollin spends a few minutes contemplating some street art and her history with Jacy Jayne. Kiana James lets McKenzie Mitchell know that she sees Gigi the same as the graffiti; Trash.

Duke Hudson presents a pep rally for Chase U’s star pupil, Thea Hail. He asks all of in attendance to get on their feet for the future youngest ever NXT Women’s Champion! Thea is nothing if not enthusiastic. She thanks Andre Chase, Duke, and Charlie Dempsey and Drew Gulak before the champion comes out to put them all down. Duke gets the crowd behind Thea as she goes full on submission Scrappy Doo on Tiffany and sends her running.

A check in with Schism sees them living up to their name with infighting while Diamond Mine is bonding with some good-natured ribbing.

Lyra Valkyria catches up to Jacy Jayne about some of her recent trash talk. 

Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen (w/ Fallon Henley) vs Tank Ledger & Hank Walker vs Malik Blade & Edris Enofe for a title opportunity vs NXT Tag Team Champions, Gallus

Enofe & Blade are the outliers here as a pair of Porsches playing demolition derby with four trucks. Gallus watches on the monitor as everyone gets out of their comfort zone. Blade and Enofe brawl with the country boys. Tank & Hank fly to the outside onto their opponents. Briggs & Jensen have to deal with opponents that they can’t manhandle in Tank & Hank.

Tank is a house on fire but gets hosed down by Jensen. Briggs and Jensen hit him with the Hart Attack but Blade steals the pin with a frog splash!

Winners: Malik Blade & Edris Enofe

Gallus feels good about their chances but Angel Garza and Humberto stop by to let them know it won’t be done if they survive Enofe & Blade.

Eddy Thorpe is playing with his turntables when Damon Kemp finalizes the stipulations of their upcoming match: Raw Underground returns on NXT! No sooner does he agree than we see action then and there as Roxanne Perez has to be peeled off of Blair Davenport.

Nathan Frazier stops by the locker room where is congratulated by Seth Rollins on his “giant cup that he has to carry around.” Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams come by to show their respects.

Cora Jade vs Dana Brooke

Dana is in control early on with a methodical pace but Cora turns it around before jawing with the live crowd. Dana starts a comeback but twists her knee in the ring ropes. She can’t pull off her handspring elbow and the referee calls for a ring medic while Cora calls her a faker.

The training team starts fitting Dana for a brace and get her on a stretcher as Cora taunts her and accuses her of faking the injury. It gets to be too much for Dana and she opts out of treatment and goes after Cora Jade. Jade goes right after the right knee. Dana fights through a single leg crab once but not twice. Even though she doesn’t cave to the crowds chants of “Tap! Tap! Tap!” the referee calls the match.

Winner: Cora Jade

Mr. Robert Stone sits down with Von Wagner to talk about the picture of him as a baby. Wagner was born without a soft spot in his skull. His parents did right by him but the other kids and their parents made him feel like a monster. Stone thinks about his kids and how it would make him feel.

Eddy Thorpe is in the locker room watching Raw Underground matches with Axiom and Scrypts. They try to think of how to simulate Damon Kemp in training. The answer presents himself — Gable Steveson!

Baron Corbin and Carmelo Hayes have a moment in the ring. Corbin says Melo’s showmanship won’t keep his title. Melo brings up “Happy” Corbin but Corbin brings up his bank account from being a Wrestlemania moment member of the main roster. Melo comes back with the fact that Corbin isn’t that guy anymore, meanwhile he’s been the man of the black and gold house. Baron says that Melo keeps having to convince himself of that because he’s not really “him.” He cuts off the comeback and says that the lesson is over.

Yulisa Leon & Valentina Feroz are limbering up when Dragon Lee and Nathan Frazier stop by to give them props. Frazier thanks them all for having his back as of late and offers the first crack at his Heritage Cup to Dragon Lee.

Joe Coffey is separated from the rest of Gallus to take a phone call when Stacks Lorenzo pulls up and plays him a little trunk music. Bada bing! He’s ready to get some answers about Tony D’Angelo’s legal predicament.

Jakara Jackson & Lash Legend (w/ Noam Dar & Oro Mensah) vs Valentina Feroz & Yulisa Leon

Feroz and Leon start throwing down before any of them even get to the ring. When the Feroz has Lash Legend on the ropes, Oro Mensah tries to trip her up but get handled by a flyin’ lion. Damage done though and Legend hits Feroz with a big boot that levels her for a three count.

Winners: Lash Legend & Jakara Jackson

Bron Breakker vs Seth “Freakin” Rollins(c) for the WWE Heavyweight Championship

Seth tosses Bron to the outside fairly quickly and takes time to conduct the orchestra too. He takes a little too much time, though, and Breakker goes after him like a schoolyard bully. The Frankensteiner gets dusted off and Bron gets to take Rollins to Suplex Subdivision. Seth has answers for Bron’s moves but is hampered by the injured ribs.

The workhorse of WWE gets fired up for some tope suicida action and contemplates using the announce table. Bron’s got the same idea. Not fast enough. Diving splash onto Bron through the table!

Wrong time for picture in picture but we go on. Bron throws uppercuts to the ribs and tries for another Frankensteiner but gets buckle bombed! A little more back and forth but Rollins misses a frog splash and the Recliner is locked in! Champion makes his way to the rope. Top rope Frankensteiner and the press powerslam! Two count!? He goes for the spear but runs right into a knee. Pedigree for the… two count! Spear connects for another two count. Only one thing is going to end this match.

Bron goes up top but gets caught on the way down. Two curb stomps and it’s over.

Winner and still WWE Heavyweight Champion: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

As the champion walks to the back, Finn Balor attacks him! A steel chair and a Coup de Grace that gets stopped by Melo and Trick at the last second. A staredown as we fade out.

The Good: 

Andre Chase hasn’t been on TV since the draft but “The U” is going strong. Thea Hail is becoming something very quickly.

Baron Corbin is doing a great job of making and NXT angle feel like a main roster, big four PLE lead up.

Rollins and Breakker was likewise a main roster PLE level championship match.

The Bad:

It’s unclear on just why the audience is supposed to care a lot about Blair Davenport’s return and seeing Roxanne Perez enraged make want to give her an apple juice and some Nila wafers.

For an event that was supposed to be centered around the championships, it was far too busy. There was a lot of lower tier performers getting time that could have been used to set up their next TV cycle.

The Ugly (Truth): 

Somehow, they are managing to make a fairly stagnant character like Von Wagner care-about-able. Did not see this coming. Still not sure where it can go, though.

They managed to protect Dana Brooke while getting Cora Jade some heat. It still seemed like a waste of both their time.

NXT Gold Rush Night One is now streaming Peacock.


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