By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
NXT 2.0 Hits
Santos Escobar vs. Carmelo Hayes: The best match of the night despite the odd heel vs. heel match. There’s too much of that happening in NXT right now, but it looks like they are in the midst of moving some acts to the babyface side. For instance, it appears Legado Del Fantasma are going babyface in the oddball mob family feud with Tony D’Angelo and his new goons.
“Pretty Deadly” Elton Prince and Kit Wilson vs. Dexter Lumis and Duke Hudson for the NXT Tag Titles: An enjoyable match involving the new champions and the latest odd couple tag team. I had soured on Lumis and Hudson due to their cheesy romance storylines with Indi Hartwell and Persia Perotta, but they meshed nicely as a tag team.
Tiffany Stratton vs. Sarray: A wealthy daddy’s girl snob heel should be repulsed by fans, not high-fiving one her way to the ring. That said, this was an entertaining match once the bell rang and the best outing of Stratton’s young career. Sarray showed good intensity while dominating the majority of the match before Stratton caught her with what seemed like it was intended to be a flukey headbutt that set up her finisher. The comic book story of Sarray’s grandmother’s pendant is ridiculous, but her new in-ring look is great.
Grayson Waller vs. Sanga: Waller played his pest heel role really well by showing fear of Sanga before and during the match. Waller bumped all over for the big man, who looked more poised in the ring than he has in past outings. I was surprised to see Waller score a clean pin, but perhaps I shouldn’t have been considering that Sanga hasn’t been protected in NXT.
Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro vs. Drake and Gibson: A good match between two teams that have undergone name changes since the last appeared on television. Oddly enough, Wilde, who was most in need of a name change, was the only one of the four to keep his full name. It was strange to see Wilde and Del Toro working as babyfaces out of the blue without an actual babyface turn.
Roxanne Perez vs. Jacy Jayne: A good match until the crap distraction finish via the Wendy Choo character, which continues to be more over with the NXT creative forces than it is with the actual NXT audience. Perez was a clean finish win away from having a great debut. The distraction finish moved it down a notch, but it was still a good debut for the former Rok-C.
Xyon Quinn vs. Wes Lee: The build to the match was poor with Quinn once again offering advice to someone who didn’t ask for it. The actual match was well worked. Lee was given an out in that his slip on the rope turned the tide and set up Quinn going over.
Natalya vs. Tatum Paxley: Main roster Natalya has been beaten down and often feels like a comedy heel. NXT Natalya is an arrogant veteran who is a force to be reckoned with. More of NXT Natalya, please.
NXT 2.0 Misses
Bron Breakker and Joe Gacy: What the hell is happening at the WWE Performance Center? There’s a hostage cell and a room with funhouse mirrors? Anyway, I have been begging to see the Gacy character inserted into a meaningful program, but this is not what I had in mind. I liked the Gacy character before this feud started because he came off as sinister without being over the top campy. Over the last few weeks, Gacy has morphed into a cartoon villain. Breakker spent the entire show enraged while searching for Gacy, as he’s still seeking revenge for Gacy kidnapping his father (yes, really). Once Breakker finally caught up with Gacy, he just stood there and listened to him talk? And then all it took was a basic shove to knock the mighty Braun Breakker off a platform to the floor below where he was then surrounded by Gacy’s version of the druids, who hovered over Breakker like zombies hover over a character who is being killed off on The Walking Dead. Did the druids eat the NXT Champion?!? There’s no cannibalism in pro wrestling!