Powell’s NXT Hit List: Keith Lee vs. Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano for the NXT North American Championship, NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar vs. Jake Atlas in a non-title match, Karrion Kross vs. Bronson Reed, Damian Priest vs. Cameron Grimes, Rhea Ripley vs. Aliyah

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

NXT Hits

Keith Lee vs. Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano in a Triple Threat for the NXT North American Championship: A solid match with Lee going over strong and generating momentum heading into his title vs. title match with Adam Cole. As much as I’ve enjoyed Cole’s reign and Undisputed Era, it feels like it’s time for a change or at least time to start the program that will result in that change. So whether it’s Lee or Karrion Kross, I’m ready for a new NXT Champion.

Karrion Kross vs. Bronson Reed: Kross showed excellent intensity and his suplexes looked awesome against the super heavyweight Reed. There appeared to be a botch that was covered up in post production given the way the cameras awkwardly cut to Scarlett at one point. Even if that’s the case, this was still a good win for Kross, and Reed scored some points with fans last week by simply stepping up and challenging the dominant Kross to this rematch.

NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar vs. Jake Atlas in a non-title match: With secondary and tag team champions losing non-title matches on television nearly every week on Raw and Smackdown, it still feels like a treat to see a champion actually win a non-title match on NXT. This was a good match that gave Escobar an impressive win that helps build him up as a strong champion, while Atlas was competitive enough that he gained a little something in defeat.

Damian Priest vs. Cameron Grimes: A brief, yet entertaining match that gave Grimes a win while protecting Priest via the pre-match attack. I continue to hope that Grimes will graduate from being a false bravado heel to playing a truly confident money heel when the time is right.

Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez vs. Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro: The heel team gets the win while the plucky babyface underdogs had their moments. Here’s hoping that NXT is building to an upset win followed by a push for Carter and/or Cantanzaro at some point in the near future.

Malcolm Bivens: “I’m pissed to the highest level of pisstivity.” This line is a Hit to the highest level of Hittivity.

NXT Misses

Rhea Ripley vs. Aliyah: Only time will tell whether Ripley’s loss to Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania and her loss in the Triple Threat title match at Takeover In Your House will somehow lead to bigger and better things, which Paul Levesque has implied. Presently, it feels like she went from being the hottest act on the NXT brand to working a throwaway undercard feud.

Dexter Lumis vs. Roderick Strong: This was a Miss of a match, but it ended up making sense once it was revealed to be a set-up for next week’s strap match.


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