By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
NXT 2.0 Hits
NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose vs. Roxanne Perez in a non-title match: An entertaining match with the newcomer pushing the champion to the limit before taking her finisher and losing clean. The post match angle was a huge Miss. More on that later.
Wes Lee video package: A good sign that the creative forces are behind Lee as a singles act. He’s a talented guy and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for him now that the MSK tag team is no more.
The Viking Raiders vs. Malik Blade and Edris Enofe: A well worked match. The Viking Raiders returning to NXT is a welcome move and I am looking forward to their match with The Creed Brothers.
Solo Sikoa vs. Trick Williams: A good showcase win for Sikoa heading into next week’s Triple Threat for the NXT North American Championship. Williams needs a lot of reps, but he showed signs of improvement since the last time he worked on NXT television.
Nathan Frazer and Grayson Waller: As much as I was looking forward to seeing Frazer’s first match in NXT, I don’t mind waiting a week to see him have it against Waller. This was a solid angle that showcased Waller’s mic skills and also let Frazer perform a small dose of his explosive offense.
Joaquin Wilde, Cruz Del Toro, and Elektra Lopez vs. Josh Briggs and Fallon Henley in a handicap match: This was a better than expected match thanks most to the work of the Wilde, Del Toro, and Briggs. They handled the heavy lifting and made this work despite the handicap and mixed tag rules.
Katana Chance and Kayden Carter vs. Valentina Feroz and Lusia Leon: More of an in the middle for the basic showcase match for Chance and Carter.
NXT 2.0 Misses
Wendy Choo: Choo, who wrestles while wearing pajamas and slippers, came out with squirt guns and sprayed Toxic Attraction with water following the main event. And then she magically knew right where Toxic Attraction would stop on the ramp, as she was able to push a button to trigger a net that fell on top of them. And just when it seemed like it couldn’t get any worse, Choo and Roxanne Perez actually shot silly string at the NXT Women’s Champion and the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions. Make it stop.
Joe Gacy: The stank of last week’s atrocious show-closing angle was still on him and it didn’t help that he was once again surrounded by masked druids. They really need to move on from the PC aspects of his character. It hasn’t evolved since the character was introduced, and it feels like a burden for him and creative to work in those elements that never seem to get a reaction from the fans. Meanwhile, Rick Steiner was previously kidnapped and held prisoner in the bizarre WWE Performance Center jail cell, and this week he was held captive by druids. The ghosts of WCW at its worst seem to be haunting the poor guy.
Tony D’Angelo vs. Von Wagner: A clunky match that did get better as it went on. It was originally scheduled to be D’Angelo facing Xyon Quinn, who was pulled from the show on Tuesday due to medical reasons. I wonder if the lack of preparation time had something to do with the match quality. Of course, it could just as easily be a case of two inexperienced wrestlers working together rather than working with match-leading veterans. By the way, is D’Angelo a babyface again? I thought Legado Del Fantasma were turning babyface to feud with him, but I’m not so sure who they want viewers to root for in this oddball feud of crime families who wrestle in their down time.
Nikitta Lyons vs. Lash Legend: Another rough match between the inexperienced duo. To their credit, this was the best match of their series, so some progress has been made. It will be interesting to see how they fare once they start working with veteran talent rather than working against one another. The post match angle with Natalya and Cora Jade was kept simple and was fine in terms of setting up next week’s tag team match.