By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
NXT 2.0 Hits
Bron Breakker and Tommaso Ciampa vs. Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza: A good television main event with the current champion and the man he defeated to win the title working together to beat two members of Legado Del Fantasma. The match was further proof that Wilde and Mendoza are a good tag team who should be positioned as such rather than simply playing henchmen for Santos Escobar. That said, the build to the Breakker vs. Escobar match has been solid, but the creative forces should be doing more to make Escobar feel like a bigger threat to beat the new champion.
“Imperium” Gunther, Fabian Aichner, and Marcel Barthel vs. “Diamond Mine” Roderick Strong, Julius Creed, and Brutus Creed: I’m not crazy about the Diamond Mine wrestlers taking another loss, but the outcome was never in question once this match was announced. Imperium already felt like the strongest heel faction in the promotion and this just cemented it. I suspect that the plan is for Gunther to challenge Breakker for the NXT Championship at the NXT Stand & Deliver event.
Mandy Rose and Kay Lee Ray: A good show-long build to Ray challenging Rose for the NXT Women’s Championship next week. Rose has been featured prominently since she returned to NXT, so it was logical for Ray to get the better of her on this night to help set up their title match.
LA Knight vs. Joe Gacy: An entertaining match with a finish that furthered the feud between Knight and the interfering Grayson Waller. I am still underwhelmed by the Gacy character. He plays his part really well with some great facial expressions. But it’s time for him to do more than flash sinister looks. We need to actually see him committing more sinister acts while that the man behind the PC persona is a hypocrite.
Sarray vs. Kayla Inlay: This falls in the Hit section simply because they put a twist on the schoolgirl look that Sarray debuted last week. I’m not crazy about Sarray’s medallion or the idea that she may actually have some type of power that triggers a wardrobe change right before she makes her entrance, but at least she’s not a stereotypical schoolgirl character and nothing more.
Andre Chase vs. Draco Anthony: A showcase win for Chase heading into what I assume will be his destruction at the hands of Von Wagner next week. I’m still not sold on the Chase University gimmick or the campy visual of watching him wrestle in a college sweater, but it was smart to build him up for a week before the match with Wagner. Meanwhile, I like the more serious approach that Robert Stone has taken. Wagner has improved his look and has upside potential, but he’s really struggled on the mic, so it’s good to see him aligned with someone who can handle the bulk of the talking for him.
NXT 2.0 Misses
Raquel Gonzalez vs. Cora Jade: Jade seems to care more about the women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament than anyone else in NXT. No one has bothered to announce the list of teams, let alone the brackets, but Jade’s character has been borderline obsessed with convincing Gonzalez to team with her in the tournament. She finally got her wish with Gonzalez committing last night, so one can only assume that the tournament will start soon. While I could be mistaken, it feels like the outcome of the tournament has already been telegraphed by making these two the only wrestlers who are talking consistently about the tournament.
Wendy Choo vs. Amari Miller: Well, that didn’t take long. I’ve noted in the past that the Choo gimmick struck me as a cute sports entertainment act that would have a short shelf life. It’s quickly losing its appeal with this viewer.
Nikkita Lyons vignette: A good introductory vignette leaves viewers anxious to see a new character get in the ring. This vignette left me hoping that I don’t have to see Lyons wrestle, rap, or sing ever again. It can only get better from here, right?