By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
NXT 2.0 Hits
Bron Breakker and Tommaso Ciampa vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode: NXT officials made a wise call to open with this match given that the second hour of the show ran opposite the State of the Union Address. It was a hot tag match with a surprising outcome. I assumed Ziggler would be protected until he faced Breakker for the NXT Championship, so Ciampa pinning him clean was unexpected. It made more sense later when they announced a Triple Threat match for the NXT Championship for next week’s show. It could be as simple as Breakker pinning Ciampa in that match, but it also left me wondering if they might go with Ziggler pinning Ciampa to win the title, to set up Breakker challenging for Ziggler for the title at NXT Stand & Deliver.
Carmelo Hayes vs. Pete Dunne for the NXT North American Championship: Another hot North American Championship match. Both wrestlers obviously deserve credit, but Hayes is on a roll and is elevating the North American Championship. I assume that all of the talk about him being the A Champion will eventually lead to a title vs. title match. It won’t happen at Stand & Deliver, as he announced that he’ll defend his championship in a ladder match.
Gunther vs. Solo Sikoa: A good match. The rock solid broadcast team of Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett did a really nice job of helping tell the story that Sikoa had Gunther reeling before he went all in with his top rope splash finisher that Gunther avoided. Gunther came back strong and won clean and decisively, but Sikoa took only a minor hit while eating his first loss on NXT television.
Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta vs. Wendy Choo and Dakota Kai in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament first round match: This was framed as an upset with the odd couple team going over, but it’s no surprise given that Hartwell and Pirotta seem to be on the verge of splitting up. There were some clunky moments, but there was more good than bad.
NXT 2.0 Misses
Lash Legend vs. Amari Miller: The match was rough and the finish was botched. Legend has size, charisma, and good verbal skills, but nothing about her early matches suggests that her ring work is ready for prime time.
Von Wagner vs. Andre Chase: Wagner got off to a rough start in NXT. The heel turn and the addition of Robert Stone to his act gave him a fresh start. At a time when he should be plowing through opponents, it came off like he needed Stone’s distractions to beat the cartoonish Bobby Knight throwback wrestler.
Cora Jade and Raquel Gonzalez vs. Yulisa Leon and Valentina Perez in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament first round match: It seemed like the wrestlers were overly ambitious at times and struggled to execute some of the bigger spots. I can appreciate the effort, but it’s better to properly execute basic moves than it is to struggle while attempting to execute bigger spots.
Nikkita Lyons: The wooden promo was one thing, but the Lyons character requesting that Lash Legend bring back the Lashing Out talkshow is unforgivable. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.