Powell’s NXT Hit List: Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher vs. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel for the NXT Tag Titles, Finn Balor vs. Cameron Grimes, Isaiah Scott vs. Jack Gallagher and Jake Atlas vs. Tony Nese in Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament matches

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

NXT Hits

Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher vs. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel for the NXT Tag Titles: As much as this was about setting up Riddle vs. Thatcher, I really like the surprise title change. Aichner and Barthel came off as Walter’s henchmen before this win. They are actually a very good team and this title win is the credibility boost they needed on the main NXT show. Speaking of Walter, can we at least get a Skype appearance from the Imperium leader?

Matt Riddle vs. Timothy Thatcher: I was legitimately surprised that they actually went ahead with this match on the same night as the breakup. I was even more surprised when Thatcher lost their first match, but the post match attack was well done and created the need for a rematch. Riddle and Thatcher worked really well together and I am already looking forward to the rematch.

Karrion Kross and Scarlett: A cool, dark video package with the perfect musical accompaniment. WWE has used the song in the past, but it really meshes well with these characters. Kross and Scarlett are getting the big star treatment and rightfully so.

Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez video: Kai used good heel logic while talking about her motivation, which summed up her character nicely. I don’t recall hearing much from Gonzalez in the past, so it was a pleasant surprise to learn that she can be more than the strong, silent type. If NXT introduces women’s tag belts, these two would be excellent tag champions.

Undisputed Era video chat: A Hit for including Kyle O’Reilly. I don’t understand why wrestlers who aren’t working the Raw and Smackdown tapings during the pandemic are never even mentioned on television. I’m happy that counterproductive approach isn’t happening in NXT.

Finn Balor vs. Cameron Grimes: Damian Priest attacking Balor and revealing himself as the mystery attacker was the story of the match. Grimes getting the win due to interference was a surprise, but the follow-up is the key. Is this a loss that Balor will avenge with a clean win or will Grimes move on now that Balor is feuding with Priest?

Jake Atlas vs. Tony Nese in an Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament match: A nice five-minute match with the right guy going over. The pre-match interview with Atlas acknowledging that he needed Drake Maverick to beat Kushida to force a tie was a pleasant surprise. Aside from this, there hadn’t been much sports-like talk about what the wins and losses meant in terms of the big picture of the tournament, so this was a welcome change. I wish the broadcast team was encouraged to spend time talking about the various scenarios.

Tegan Nox vs. Indi Hartwell: A good showcase win for Nox that also turned out to be a nice outing for Hartwell in defeat. It will be interesting to see if this leads to more opportunities for Hartwell. Nox has such a likable personality, but she needs to be put in positions to put that on display whether it’s in the form of promos or video packages.

DX announce NXT Takeover: In Your House: A cute skit with Triple H being the butt of Road Dogg’s joke. The theme of the show is timely and it’s a fun touch of nostalgia for longtime fans.

NXT Misses

Isaiah Scott vs. Jack Gallagher in an Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament match: The jacket that Gallagher wears to the ring looks like something The Miz would wear if he were a Wildling in Game of Thrones. Anyway, the pre-match attack by Tony Nese gave Scott an out for losing, and it’s nice that Gallagher didn’t go winless in tournament matches. That said, it’s hard not to feel underwhelmed by the way Scott was booked to lose to Gallagher and Akira Tozawa in the tournament, and I’m even less enthused about his a Scott vs. Nese feud. The matches should be well worked, but Nese has been booked to be a loser aside from his brief run with the cruiserweight title. It’s a shame because Nese actually did a nice job as the champion, but he once again finds himself slotted in the role of generic muscular heel who comes off like he cares more about his abs than his win-loss record. So this Miss is more about the way Scott and even Nese have been booked than the actual match.

Kayden Carter vs. Aliyah: A forgettable match and angle. I really want to like the Robert Stone manager character, but he hasn’t said or done anything memorable yet. It also doesn’t help that his only client Chelsea Green hasn’t been booked strong out of the gate. In this case, Stone rejected Aliyah after she lost to Carter. The interesting thing about this is that Carter also scored an upset win when Green and Stone were getting started on television back in February. Will Aliyah mention that to get a second look from Stone or was Green’s loss to Carter just a coincidence?



The Best of The Boom features Eric Bischoff joining Jason Powell in this March 20, 2019 discussion on whether there are similarities between Verne Gagne's booking during the AWA's dying days and Vince McMahon's WWE booking today, AEW, a Turner network shakeup, and more...


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