By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Velveteen Dream vs. Roderick Strong: A soft Hit. When Mauro Ranallo touted this as a grudge match, it was hard not to compare it to what we’ve seen from Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox. The women’s feud has featured a couple of high energy brawls, including the hardcore style fight at Takeover. This was a well worked match, but it lacked the intensity one would expect given the storyline.
Jordan Devlin vs. Lio Rush for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship: A good match. While WWE has yet to sell me on their weekly 205 Live show (due in some part to the abundance of pro wrestling options), they have made the cruiserweight championship feel meaningful since it started being featured on NXT television. Devlin, Rush, and Angel Garza have made the most of the belt being spotlighted and deserved the bulk of the credit for making it matter.
Tommaso Ciampa promo: Ciampa stating that in order to get his life back it means that there can be no Johnny Gargano in NXT could be setting up a loser leaves NXT match. The match sounds great if that’s the direction they are going in, but it’s hard not to worry about how the loser would be booked on either Raw or Smackdown. I’m taking a wait and see approach on Ciampa interrupting and then attacking Austin Theory. There are plenty of wrestlers who are lower on the card who could have been slotted to take that beating. But what if Theory ends up aligned with Johnny Gargano?
Chelsea Green vs. Kayden Carter: A soft Hit for Green getting her win back thanks to interference by Robert Stone. Only time will tell whether it’s unfounded, but my early concern is that the NXT creative forces are trying to get over two newer acts at once, which rarely seems to work out as intended. Bianca Belair cutting off the match to deliver her message to Charlotte Flair was good for her, but it didn’t do Green or Carter any favors.
NXT Tag Champions Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch in a non-title match: Riddle is arguably the most charismatic wrestler on Wednesday nights, which is really saying something. The odd couple act between Dunne and Riddle continues to be fun and they always deliver in the ring.
Keith Lee vs. Kona Reeves: Lee’s star continues to shine brighter by the week. A simple squash win is an easy way to keep his momentum going. The post match angle with Dominik Dijakovic caught me by surprise. I thought they’d be going separate ways after their Takeover match. I’ll never complain about seeing a Lee vs. Dijakovic match, but I am curious to see what will be done creatively to freshen up their rivalry. Perhaps Robert Stone will add a male client?
Zack Gibson and James Drake vs. Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde: A soft Hit. It was a pleasant surprise to see the Grizzled Young Veterans extend their stay in NXT beyond the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. NXT is short on meaningful tag teams at the moment. I thought Gibson and Drake might be sticking around just long enough to have a tournament finals rematch with new champions Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne, but it appears they are moving into a program with the suddenly patriotic Forgotten Sons.
None: It’s usually tough to find Misses for the NXT television show. It is a very logically booked and well worked television series. Yet while I enjoy the hell out of both Wednesday night shows, the last two episodes of NXT haven’t measured up to AEW Dynamite in terms of feeling must see. The AEW crowds were larger and hotter, and most of the matches felt bigger. So while NXT can always be counted on to be a sound show without logic gaps, AEW has simply been the hotter show the last two weeks.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Brian Fritz of Sporting News and Between The Ropes discussing WrestleMania 36, WWE television from the empty WWE Performance Center, his own travel woes, NFL free agency, and more...