By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
NXT 2.0 Hits
Bron Breakker and Cameron Grimes: Was Grimes supposed to be the more likable and relatable of the two? Grimes said pro wrestling was a backup plan for Breakker, and also suggested that Breakker would be fast tracked to the main roster if he lost the title. Breakker failed to deny it. If Breakker is supposed to be the face of NXT, then he needs to make viewers feel that NXT is the most important thing in his world and not just a quick stop before he goes to Raw or Smackdown. Ultimately, though, the segment was effective with Breakker suffering the arm injury and Grimes licking his chops in anticipation of exploiting it next week.
Roxanne Perez and Cora Jade vs. Kayden Carter and Katana Chance for a shot at the NXT Women’s Tag Titles: A good opening match to set up Perez and Jade challenging for the tag titles next week. It’s interesting that Perez spoke about cashing in her NXT Breakout Tournament title shot for the tag title match and yet they opted to take the No. 1 contenders match route instead. In other words, Perez still has the title shot and will presumably end up using it by challenging for the NXT Women’s Championship. Meanwhile, the frustration that Carter and Chance showed both last week and this week is an interesting development. Are they turning heel or simply developing some edginess as babyfaces?
Kiana James vs. Indi Hartwell: A solid match and a nice win for James. Her smart girl glasses gimmick is generic and yet it’s also helpful in that she stands out unlike some of the other newcomers who feel interchangeable.
Tony D’Angelo writes off Two Dimes: Okay, so he never mentioned Two Dimes by name, which would have been helpful. But at least an attempt was made to explain why the Two Dimes character is no longer on the show. There’s nothing worse than meaningful pro wrestling characters just disappearing without explanation. It’s something that just doesn’t happen in any other form of scripted entertainment.
Giovanni Vinci vs. Ikemen Jiro: Vinci looked impressive in his latest spotlight match. The former Fabian Aichner is a talented wrestler and I’m not entirely sold on his new gimmick or the clunky entrance, but I’m curious to see where it goes. Jiro does a nice job of making his opponents shine, but the jacket gimmick stopped being cute after his third appearance (and I’m being generous by two appearances).
NXT 2.0 Misses
Joe Gacy and The Dyad vs. Roderick Strong, Brutus Creed, and Julius Creed: Make it stop. Gacy’s character had so much potential before his awful program with Bron Breakker. He’s sadly become one of the few NXT acts that I truly dread seeing. The Dyad wrestling in robes makes it so much worse. They look low budget and just plain ridiculous. On the plus side, the dynamic between Diamond Mine is holding my interest heading into The Creeds defending their tag titles against Strong and Damon Kemp next week.
NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose vs. Nikkita Lyons in a non-title match: A forgettable match. The finish with Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne interfering for the DQ was obviously meant to make viewers want to see Lyons get a rematch. Can we take a raincheck? Lyons has potential, but it feels like she’s being pushed above her current abilities in this championship program.
Sanga vs. Xyon Quinn: A plodding match that just didn’t do anything for me. Quinn might have something as an egomaniacal heel, but he loses so frequently that he never sustains his heat. Meanwhile, Sanga comes off cooler out of the ring than he does in it.