NXT HEATWAVE
JULY 7, 2024
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA
SCOTIABANK ARENA

Watch: Peacock

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Suit Williams: You can read Suit’s long-form previews and reviews of wrestling from around the world here at Voices of Wrestling. You can also find his weekly reviews of AEW Collision over at F4WOnline. Check out his brand-new wrestling blog Williams Watches Wrestling, where he’ll engage in watch projects and review requests. Follow Suit on all social media platforms @SuitWilliams.

WWE spent the Fourth of July weekend doing the most American thing possible: sending work out of the US to maximize profits! After Money in the Bank last night, WWE finished up the big weekend with NXT Heatwave.

NXT HEATWAVE KICKOFF SHOW
ARIANNA GRACE & KARMEN PETROVIC DEF. JACY JAYNE & JAZMYN NYX

This was a good version of an NXT TV match. Keep an eye on Petrovic; she has a good look and strong strikes. Jayne is a solid hand, although her odd gimmick of two protective facemasks over her recently broken nose. Nyx is fresh out of the PC and Grace is a gimmick, but Petrovic has real potential to develop into something. Grace reversed a Nyx roll-up to give Petrovic the cover and the win. **

NXT NORTH AMERICAN TITLE MATCH
OBA FEMI (C) DEF. WES LEE

I have reviewed every WWE PPV since WrestleMania of last year, so I feel like I can say this next statement with authority. This is the best straight-up singles match that WWE has run on PPV in 2024. Wes Lee has been one of the best workers in NXT since his forced singles run began, but I want to talk about Oba Femi.

With all the necessary caveats added (good health, keeps his head on straight), Oba Femi is going to be a massive star on the main roster. He is everything they want in a top guy, but he’s got the presence and the swagger to match it as well. He reminds me of a version of Sid, where he’ll do some big power spot and then take a beat to sit with how cool the spot was. His promos match his energy, as he delivers them with the confidence of a dominant force. Femi has the goods, and with more experience – as this was only the 42nd match of his life – his potential feels insanely high.

Lee was very good here fighting from underneath as he usually does, trying all these big moves only for Femi to catch him and fling him into the air as punishment. This wasn’t a perfect match, as Femi got gassed towards the end and the finish got clunky. But this was the most fun I’ve had watching a WWE match in a long time. Femi caught Lee on a Cardiac Kick and turned it into a powerbomb before hitting a sit-out powerbomb for the win. ****1/4

NXT WOMEN’S NORTH AMERICAN TITLE MATCH
KELANI JORDAN (C) DEF. SOL RUCA

I understand what these two were going for here, as they’re both hyper-athletic gymnasts going out there to do a bunch of cool spots. And for the most part, they hit them. It’s ambitious, and I appreciate what they were going for. But these are two freshmen taking a class meant for seniors. These two have a base level grasp of the basics, but they’re going out and trying to do a high-level spot match while discounting that.

Instead of the seamless transitioning that you would get with an Ospreay/Ricochet or a Malenko/Guerrero, you get a lot of stutter steps that make you realize that these two are trying things that are out of their depth. Again, I credit these two for trying to go above and beyond, but neither of them are at that level. It would be unfair to expect them to be as smooth as the four men I just named at this level of experience, but when you try their spots, I gotta make those comparisons. With all of that said, this wasn’t any kind of trainwreck. It’s two women trying to do cool stuff and doing it at about 70-80% effectiveness. It was a decent Wrestlemania Weekend match that you would see in the GCW building on the Friday afternoon show.

Jordan hit Ruca with a top rope poisonrana before hitting the split-legged moonsault to retain. ***1/4




NXT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
AXIOM & NATHAN FRAZER (C) VS. CHASE U (ANDRE CHASE & DUKE HUDSON) (W/RILEY OSBORNE & THEA HAIL)

This was good. Axiom and Frazer are a very good team, and Chase U was super over to this NXT crowd. They did a ton of nearfalls and hot action. The end of the match saw miscommunication between Axiom and Frazer almost cost them the titles, but they were able to get it together to retain the titles. Axiom pinned Chase with the Golden Ratio. You might be more into this if you’re more into Chase U, but Andre Chase working in a sweater and track pants along with Thea Hail being the most annoying act in wrestling took some steam off of this one for me. ***3/4

NXT WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH
ROXANNE PEREZ (C) DEF. LOLA VICE

This match was mid, as the kids would say. Roxanne Perez is becoming a complete non-starter for me, as there is nothing impressive about her. She’s a bad talker, her work is middling at best, and her presence as a heel is laughable. Then there’s Lola Vice. I don’t know what to make of her. She might be a Weird Science project come to life, where she’s a tough MMA fighter but she’s also hot and will shake her ass all the time, then she’s cutting these weepy promos about how she got into fighting to help her sick mom. There’s just so much she’s trying to be that I don’t know what to do with her.

Vice was the babyface here, with Perez getting the heat after Vice backfisted the ringpost. You know she hit the post because the ringpost display board went static and blacked out. This was followed by Perez hitting a hammerlock bodyslam where she just…let go of the hammerlock. Vice helpfully held her hand behind her back anyway to do the spot.

Perez did basic arm work before Vice fired up with back kicks. Perez hit her Code Red for a nearfall, then freaked out and did it on the announce table. Vice kicked out, so Perez put her in a crossface before hitting a bunch of Code Reds in a row to put her away. They got a little ahead of themselves and fucked one of them up before resetting for the last one. They’re pushing Perez as this prodigal talent head and shoulders above everyone else in NXT, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. **




NXT TITLE FATAL FOUR WAY MATCH
ETHAN PAGE DEF. TRICK WILLIAMS (C), SHAWN SPEARS, JE’VON EVANS

Yes, Ethan Page is the NXT Champion. He joins such illustrious names as Dolph Ziggler, Karrion Kross, and Bo Dallas on the list of people who stick out like sore thumbs on the NXT Championship Wikipedia page. The idea may be for Williams or Evans to chase the undeserving champion Page, but Page is struggling to get over to the kindest fanbase in wrestling in the Performance Center. Sticking the title on him to try and give him a boost is…daring, to say the least.

The match itself was a fun four-way, highlighted by the athleticism of Evans and his incredibly high springboards. Evans is lined up for a career of doing cool spots in Money in the Bank and not actually getting pushed beyond that, but he’ll have cool matches on NXT in the meantime. Trick was still the most over person on the show, with the crowd behind him throughout the match. Shawn Spears was also there.

The finish came when Trick hit Evans and Page with Trick Shot knees. Page’s unconscious body fell on top of Evans, and Spears pulled Trick from the outside, making him unable to break up the incidental cover. Page won the NXT Title by getting hit with the champion’s finisher. The show finished with an image of Joe Hendry on the screen, setting up a blockbuster Ethan Page/Joe Hendry match that you couldn’t force me to watch at gunpoint. ***1/2