By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
NXT 2.0 Hits
Bron Breakker vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT Championship: A very good main event. I speculated in last week’s Hit List that Ziggler could win the title in this match and then drop the title back to Breakker at NXT Stand & Deliver. I’m at least half right on that prediction, and I like the move because Breakker trying to take the belt back from Ziggler feels bigger than Ziggler challenging Breakker for the title again. It’s been nice to see Ziggler involved in something meaningful, and working with him can only be beneficial to Breakker’s development.
LA Knight vs. Grayson Waller in a Last Man Standing match: A hot match that brought the crowd to life. Knight showed great fire while working over Waller and Sanga. The Waller elbow drop from the top rope that put Knight through the broadcast table was fantastic. I loved the finish of Waller crawling onto the back of Sanga, who then stood up to get Waller on his feet. This was the perfect type of win for Waller’s weasel persona, and Knight’s character put up such a strong fight that he didn’t lose anything in defeat. Great stuff.
Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade vs. Dakota Kai and Wendy Choo in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament semifinal match: A surprising outcome with Kai and Choo not only winning, but pinning Gonzalez. Even when Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne interfered, I wondered if the plan was simply to put heat on them to set the table for Gonzalez and Jade winning the tournament and then challenging the Toxic Attraction duo for the NXT Women’s Tag Titles.
Kay Lee Ray and Io Shirai vs. Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament semifinal match: A competitive match that made the actual tag team look good despite putting over the two singles wrestlers. The near fall spot off the Poison Rana was terrific. With heels holding the titles, Ray and Shirai now feel like the heavy favorites to win the tournament over the odd couple duo of Dakota Kai and Wendy Choo.
NXT 2.0 Misses
Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel vs. MSK for the NXT Tag Titles: This was advertised as Aichner and Barthel defending the titles against The Creed Brothers. Instead, they did an angle where the Creeds were left lying in the parking lot, and MSK stepped in as the challengers. The match was fun while it lasted, but the Creeds showing up and attacking both teams roughly five minutes in was disappointing, albeit understandable for the story. I suspect this is leading to a three-way tag title match at NXT Stand & Deliver.
Tiffany Stratton vs. Fallon Henley: The ol’ puff of smoke distraction finish that was first used during an Edouard Carpentier vs. Mad Dog Vachon match in Chicago back in 1971. Okay, so I may have made that part up. Anyway, it’s tough for the Daddy’s Girl character to gain momentum and heat when she loses every other match on NXT television. Henley has upside and while it was nice to see her get her first win, the outcome felt like it was more about Stratton and Sarray. Why is Henley hanging out with the horny country boy and his buddy?