DeMarco: Dave Meltzer Is Right About Trick Williams (And That’s Okay!)

Dave Meltzer drew the ire of many fans online with his comments about WWE NXT star Trick Williams–but he wasn’t wrong. Thing is, that is totally okay!

Over the past 12 months, Trick Williams has seen his star rise at an insane pace. I had him pegged for a breakout 2023, and it’s now impossible to say I was wrong. And throughout that year, many jumped aboard the bandwagon for Trick (and I have no issue with that–there’s plenty of room!).

Now he has (twice) vanquished Carmelo Hayes at both NXT Stand & Deliver, and inside a steel cage on NXT last Tuesday. He moves on to Ilja Dragunov, a man who I don’t believe I have seen have a bad match, at the first night of NXT Spring Breakin’, where many expect him to capture the NXT Championship.

Trick Williams WWE NXT
Trick Williams: Future WrestleMania Main Eventer (credit: WWE)

Do I? I’ll tell you in a bit. That’s actually not what this column is about!

On the road to Spring Breakin’, Dave Meltzer made news (he usually does) for his comments about Trick Williams’ in-ring acumen.

On a recent Wrestling Observer Radio, Bryan Alvarez commented that he felt like the aforementioned steel cage match fell short (in his opinion). Meltzer responded with the following:

“Trick isn’t that good, that’s the reality. He’s got incredible charisma, but you put him in a main event match. Granted he did look really good against Ilja, but Ilja is one of those people that gives you a false perception of the ability of the other person, it’s like wrestling Ric Flair or a tag team wrestling the Young Bucks, you always look better. You see all these tag teams against the Young Bucks and think these guys are great, but they’re never great against anybody else, and Ilja is the same way.”

Credit for the transcription goes to Inside The Ropes.

“Of course Dave referenced The Young Bucks.”

Very easy, and warranted, criticism of Dave’s comments is the love he immediately showed for The Young Bucks. basically making them out to be the tag team equivalent of Ric Flair. That’s absolutely asinine at worst, laughable at best. Ric Flair was no circus act, he was the “Dirtiest Player In The Game” and one of the greatest to ever do it. The best equivalent to Ric Flair, in terms of modern-day tag team wrestling, would be FTR.

But let’s not ignore the fact that Dave did also make a Ric Flair comparison for Ilja Dragunov. It’s not fair to compare ANYONE to Ric Flair, but I can stomach that over The Young Bucks. But what I do find interesting–and maybe you guys can provide your thoughts in the comments–is that he jumped to Dragunov making Trick look good, meaning Carmelo Hayes didn’t? Interesting thought to potentially explore at another time.

But if you simply isolate his comments on Trick alone, his poor choice of words shouldn’t mask the truth.

Dave Meltzer Is Right About Trick Williams.

Don’t get it twisted, I am not saying Trick is bad. That’s why I referenced Dave’s “poor choice of words.” The man literally said “Trick isn’t that good,” and that is not an accurate statement.

Allow me to present to you comparable talents to WWE NXT star Trick Williams:

  • John Cena
  • Batista
  • Roman Reigns
  • Steve Austin (Stone Cold variety)
  • The Rock
  • Hulk Hogan

Notice I said John Cena… not Randy Orton. Batista… not Eddie Guerrero. Roman Reigns… not Seth Rollins. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin… not Shawn Michaels (nor “Stunning” Steve Austin). The Rock… not Kurt Angle. Hulk Hogan… not Bret Hart.

And of everyone I have named, Trick Williams most directly correlates to John Cena. That ain’t bad.

In fact, dating back 40 years, 5 guys are responsible for leading the WWE’s financial peak era on the men’s side of the roster. They are, in order: Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, The Rock, John Cena, Roman Reigns. None of them–ZERO–would be considered “in-ring technicians.” They were/are amazing storytellers. And that, at the end of the day, is what brings ’em into the building more than anything else. And as insanely bold as it might sound, Trick Williams has that level of potential.

Trick Williams doesn’t NEED to be Carmelo Hayes or Ilja Dragunov in the ring. Nor does Bron Breakker. They have undeniable charisma–that much needed “IT Factor,” That happens to be the one thing you can’t teach in the WWE Performance Center. But it resonates in crowds of 500 or 5,000 or 15,000 or 75,000 and so on. It is THE ingredient that gets someone to the highest level possible in this business. Both Trick and Bron are going to be huge stars.

Even Ric Flair, who Dave Meltzer mentioned, is known for his trademark “WOOOOOO!” along with his catchphrases and his immaculate selling of an opponent’s offense like it was the most brutal he’d ever felt. Because Ric was always about telling a story, first and foremost.

So while Dave Meltzer is an easy target for a million and a half different reasons, this simply ain’t one of them. He’s exactly right–Trick Williams doesn’t have an amazing moveset. But he IS amazing in the ring–because he tells a story that sucks the fans in. NXT commentary has even labeled him a street fighter. Well, Jim Ross used to sell John Cena’s offense as “unorthodox.” It’s no different. That’s why they had Cena and Trick interact when John Cena appeared on NXT.

We have many years of “WHOOP THAT TRICK!” ahead of us, and a future WrestleMania main eventer who can’t pull off a 5-star classic with a broomstick. But he will be selling out arenas and stadiums. And that’s what matters.

Bonus Time!

I have been labeled both an “E-drone” and an “AEW Stan” by members of the IWC, and sometimes the same individual will label me as both at different times, because I call it as I see it. Well here’s a perfect example:

Much like I said about Dave Meltzer above, there are plenty of reasons to criticize AEW (WWE too, by the way). But this isn’t one of them. I likely wouldn’t have a chance to write about this before Wednesday, but Moxley vs Hobbs being for the IWGP Championship (not the NJPW Championship as I said in my tweet–although it DOES serve as the NJPW Championship) is perfectly fine and should cause no issues for anyone. New Japan will go through spells of not defending their titles, so Moxley being a fighting champion is totally good by me,

Come See My Wrestling Show

3D Sports Cards & Collectibles presents IZW Shot Through The Heart on May 11th at Bull Shooters in Phoenix, Arizona. And if you are in or around Arizona, you should be there!

We have some of the best talent in the southwest, and a special appearance by WWE Hall Of Famer “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase. This is a night you don’t want to miss.

As a special bonus for my NoDQ readers, you can get $5 off your tickets by visiting and using the promo code NODQ. Or click the image below:

Will Trick Williams Win The NXT Championship?

I promised you a prediction, and to me it’s obvious. Trick Williams is challenging Ilja Dragunov on NXT, and his put his NXT tenure on the line. Now WWE might be thinking this will cause some doubt since the WWE Draft starts on Friday, but for me it makes it more obvious.

Trick Williams is undoubtedly winning the NXT Championship on Tuesday. He’s been on a meteoric rise for the past year, and with both Bron Breakker, Carmelo Hayes, and (most likely) Ilja Dragunov headed to the main roster, the likes of Trick, Tony DeAngelo, and others will be carrying the NXT brand onto The CW and across the next 12 months.

Until next time, follow me on Twitter @gregdemarco44 and Always Use Your Head!