Powell’s NXT Hit List: Karrion Kross vs. Finn Balor for the NXT Championship, Franky Monet’s in-ring debut, Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai vs. Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon for a shot at the NXT Women’s Tag Titles, Pete Dunne vs. Bobby Fish

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

NXT Hits

Karrion Kross vs. Finn Balor for the NXT Championship: A quality main event. NXT did a good job of building up the match and making it feel like a big television main event. I can’t say that the match completely lived up to the hype, but it was an enjoyable match with some good back and forth action. There’s a lot of speculation that Balor is heading back to the main roster. If so, I hope we get more of the NXT version of Balor on Raw or Smackdown rather than the return of th Smiling Finn character.

Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai vs. Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon for a shot at the NXT Women’s Tag Titles: A good match involving two of the brand’s most entertaining tag teams. Gonzalez destroying Blackheart after the match left me wondering if they were also planting seeds for future NXT Women’s Championship matches.

Pete Dunne vs. Bobby Fish: A very well worked match between a pair of top notch veterans. I was pleasantly surprised to see a clean finish with Oney Lorcan standing at ringside. Given the post match attack, I assume that Fish will get a bounce back win over Lorcan as soon as next week.

Franky Monet vs. Cora Jade: A fun debut for Monet. With Beth Phoenix pointing out that Monet’s Road to Valhalla finisher is basically the same as her own Glam Slam finisher, it sure would be fun to eventually get a match between Monet and the WWE Hall of Famer at some point.

Mercedes Martinez vs. Zayda Ramier: Martinez did a nice job of making Ramier look good in defeat while still going over strong in the end. And just about the time I was starting to wonder if NXT was shifting away from Tian Sha, we got teases that Martinez will be their next target. This should be welcome news for Xia Li, as she is sure to benefit from being in the ring with the talented veteran.

NXT Misses

William Regal announces a Triple Threat for a shot at the NXT Championship: The announcement that Kyle O’Reilly, Pete Dunne, and Johnny Gargano will compete in the match to determine Karrion Kross’s challenger at Takeover felt underwhelming. O’Reilly and Dunne have both come up short in title matches this year, and Gargano just dropped the NXT North American Championship. I’m sure the Triple Threat will be a very good match and any of the three have the ability to work a quality Takeover main event with Kross, but it’s just hard to buy into any of them as a threat to actually beat the NXT Champion. In fact, it’s the same issue that I have with the AEW Championship match set for Sunday’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view.

The Million Dollar Face-Off: I get a kick out of the silly dynamic between Cameron Grimes and Ted DiBiase. Unfortunately, this segment just wasn’t as fun as their previous encounters. The involvement of LA Knight came out of nowhere and seemed to be an attempt to transition away from the Grimes and DiBiase comedy.


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