By Darren Gutteridge
NXT TV Hits
American Alpha vs. Enzo and Cass: Both teams did a nice job of balancing out this babyface vs. babyface match. It could be argued that the two most popular teams on the NXT roster should have put on a hotter match, but I think their primary goal was to make American Alpha look strong in their first match as champions, and they did just that.
No Way Jose vs. Alexander Wolfe: The usual “debuting act amnesty” applies for the first few weeks of No Way Jose, so consider this an “in the middle entry”. On the plus side, he did get the crowd on-side during his match. On the negative side, there is more than a whiff of Adam Rose about this gimmick – fun on the surface, but lacking any depth or longevity.
NXT TV Misses
Samoa Joe vs. Apollo Crews: With the calibre of talent in the ring, I expected more. I can’t put my finger on what exactly was wrong – the slow start, Joe’s dominance, or the flat crowd – but ultimately this match felt like a safe house show run-out as opposed to a TV main event. I’m interested as to why they are keeping Joe looking so strong after two back to back NXT Title losses, but Crews should be so glad he got out of NXT when he did – he had somehow become an also-ran. Though I fear the same thing will happen to him on Raw sooner rather than later if his character work doesn’t improve.
Nia Jax vs. Deonna Purrazzo: Jax just isn’t getting better. Squash matches are not what she needs right now – she needs to be working with ladies who can improve her in-ring game, both in terms of the action and connecting with the fans as a heel. Deonna is also failing to impress in her appearances so far, even in her role as a loveable loser with a lot of heart.