By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Adam Cole, Keith Lee, Finn Balor, Johnny Gargano: There was a lot of NXT star power in this segment, which set up a Triple Threat for the North American Title next week with the winner challenging Cole for the NXT Championship in a winner take all match on July 8. I like the dynamic between these four in that there are no friends or alliances.
Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles: A really fun main event. There was no reason to think that the challengers would take the titles going into the match, but they were given so much offense that they likely turned some fans into believers down the stretch.
Damian Priest vs. Killian Dain: A quality big man match. Priest playing up a back injury made the outcome feel a little less predictable and gave him something to overcome. It’s unfortunate that Dain has slipped into an enhancement role. It seemed like they had a good thing going with him when he returned to NXT following his forgettable main roster run with Sanity, but he never seems to meaningful wins in NXT.
Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel vs. Tyler Breeze and Fandango for the NXT Tag Titles: A good title match with the right team going over. I would have put Aichner and Barthel over stronger to help establish their in-ring credibility with American NXT viewers, but at least they went over. The Indus Sher brawl with Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch was fine in terms of setting up an eight-man tag match or simply to feature the bulk of the tag teams in the division.
Santos Escobar and Drake Maverick: A nice showcase for the new Escobar led faction. The Maverick character showed more heart than brains when he tried to take on all three men.
Dakota Kai vs. Kayden Carter: A brief, yet entertaining match that served as a showcase for Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. As always, Carter had a couple of nice moments and looked good in defeat.
Bronson Reed vs. Leon Rush: A nice squash win for Reed. I’m still baffled by the decision to make him a nice guy with the Thicc gimmick when he looks like a badass and executes impressive power moves, but I liked the way his character stepped up and challenged Karrion Kross to a rematch.
Timothy Thatcher: The production team did a really nice job of finding the right environment for Thatcher. His straight up promos are hit or miss, but he was intense, menacing, and believable while playing the abusive coach in the training session.
Xia Li vs. Aliyah with the Robert Stone angle: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but how did Robert Stone know what I was like after the Minnesota Vikings lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game in January 2018? Anyway, the Stone is coming off minor league and the vomit gag felt like it was written for the main roster’s audience of one. The actual match had a rough finish with Li kicking out when she wasn’t supposed to.
Roderick Strong goes to therapy: Strong running off at the end was comical, but the idea that we’re seeing a therapy session and that it Kyle O’Reilly was playing the doctor was cutesy sports entertainment that felt like something that belonged on Monday or Friday night.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Mike McMahon of PWTorch.com discussing his background and podcast work, plus a long chat regarding Impact Wrestling coming out of Slammiversary, including a breakdown of the notable additions to the roster, and more...