By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Isaiah Scott vs. Leon Ruff in a Falls Count Anywhere match: A very good match and not just in terms of the execution of the moves. Both men played their characters to perfection. Ruff has his underdog act down, and Scott is really starting to thrive in his cocky heel persona. This was a treat to watch and a terrific way to open the show. I’m all in for the new Scott-led faction.
Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart vs. Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae in a Street Fight for the NXT Women’s Tag Titles: A wild match with plenty of weapons and big spots. The title change legitimately surprised me, but I actually like it a lot. Hartwell and LeRae need the titles more than Moon and Blackheart. For that matter, I’m anxious to see Moon and Blackheart eventually get back to working singles matches. On a side note, Hartwell improves with each match and has a chance to be something special.
Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher vs. Zack Gibson and James Drake: A meaningful win for the team of Ciampa and Thatcher. They have more star power than the Grizzled Young Veterans in the U.S., but the Veterans are the more established tag team.
Sarray vs. Zayda Ramier: A good outing from the NXT newcomers. The post match angle backstage was a simple and effective way to keep the feud between Toni Storm and Zoey Stark fresh in the minds of viewers.
LA Knight vs. Jake Atlas: A quick and decisive win for Knight. The match was fun while it lasted, but I continue to look forward to Atlas eventually getting a push and having longer matches with the wrestlers who are beating him now.
Cameron Grimes vs. Asher Hale: A spotlight style win for Grimes. The latest Ted DiBiase comedy bit was fun and I hope there’s more to come.
Raquel Gonzalez vs. Mercedes Martinez build: The verbal exchange between the two was solid. The problem is that the build to their title match feels so rushed. Martinez was a heel going into last week’s match and it’s a shame the creative forces didn’t give her more time to establish a veteran babyface persona. I really hope they surprise me by doing something to stretch things out next week so that they can tell a better story before Gonzalez presumably goes over, but I’m not holding my breath. Either way, it looks like a very good match on paper.