NXT No Mercy delivered with every match and was a great example of what makes professional wrestling so enjoyable.
NXT No Mercy was an amazing showcase of professional wrestling. From top to bottom, this was an excellent card that elevated the entire brand, gave Match of the Year quality contests, and created new stars. The anticipation may not have been high as the card rolled out, but when the show ended it was clear that this PLE deserves to be recognized as one of the top shows in 2023.
NXT No Mercy featured at least two matches that will be in the conversation for Match of the Year. Ilja Dragunov versus Carmelo Hayes and Tiffany Stratton versus Becky Lynch were two amazing presentations of wrestling. The last 40 minutes of the show were near-perfect wrestling matches.
Dragunov and Hayes went at it for 21 minutes. The story about whether Hayes could contend with Dragunov’s intensity and if he had the confidence to overcome his biggest challenge was front and center. By the end of the match, it was clear that Dragunov’s overwhelming force was the final piece in the equation to end Hayes’s run as champion. But what was more important was what this match did to further the developing story between Trick Williams and Hayes. This looks like the start of the culmination of Hayes’s time in NXT and it’s going to be an interesting story to watch.
Lynch versus Stratton showed why women’s wrestling deserves the spotlight. For 20 minutes these two ladies beat the heck out of each other in their Extreme Rules match. Stratton proved that she deserves to be considered one of the top young prospects on the WWE roster. Lynch put the spotlight back on the women’s division which was one of the brand’s biggest offerings during the original days of the Four Horsewomen. Who is the woman who will get the rub of taking that NXT Women’s Championship from Lynch? That’s the moment that will show who is “up next” for this women’s division.
The rest of the card delivered as well. The tag team Fatal four-way highlighted the tag team division, a group that doesn’t get all the attention it needs in WWE. This was a step in the right direction and hopefully, a showcase that proves that WWE has a stacked tag division. Noam Dar and Butch showed they are two of the best wrestlers on the roster. Baron Corbin picked up a big victory and gave yet another reason for Breakker to get moved up to the main roster. Blair Davenport versus Kelani Jordan helped put the spotlight on the upcoming Women’s Breakout Tournament.
This NXT card had everything. This is the type of showcase that WWE needed to build faith in what the future of creative will be for the long term. NXT No Mercy deserves to be recognized as one of the top cards in all professional wrestling in 2023.