7 Ups And 3 Downs From NXT Stand And Deliver 2023


3. Not The Best Debut

It feels a bit unfair to criticize and mark a “down” for a wrestler’s first match, but if you’re going to have someone debut at a major event, the company should make sure that person is indeed ready to meet the moment.

Ava joined her Schism stablemates in an eight-person tag match against Chase U & Tyler Bate, with control of the university on the line. Ava’s involvement was kept to a minimum, as she has not competed in a match before, but even her limited action didn’t look all that impressive. She at one point attempted a Wasteland slam on Thea Hail and instead looked like she gently deposited Hail on the mat.

Truthfully, the blame for this falls at the feet of NXT leaders, who should be looking out for her best interests and making sure she’s ready before throwing her out there in an arena with thousands in attendance. What should have felt like a big deal – the Rock’s daughter making her in-ring debut – instead felt like a poorly performed afterthought.

Of course, a year from now we could be talking about her rapid ascension to the top of the NXT women’s division and how she’s a breath of fresh air. One bad performance – especially at this embryonic stage of her career – should not be a huge negative, but a stepping stone for Ava.


Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.