By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
NXT 2.0 Hits
Kayden Carter and Katana Chance vs. Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin vs. Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley vs. Yulisa Leon and Valentina Perez in a four-way elimination match for the vacant NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles: Carter and Chance have been together long enough that they are the veteran duo of the NXT women’s division. They’ve been saddled with an odd party girls gimmick, cowboy dates, and one bad name change. I’m no Axiom, but I’m guessing they’ve lost more matches than they’ve won over the years. I’m not big on cliche “you deserve it” chants that follow title changes, but it was a quality match with a feel good victory for a duo that has put the work in.
Solo Sikoa vs. Von Wagner in a Falls Count Anywhere match: A good brawl that started in the ring, spilled into the WWE Performance Center parking lot, and then returned to the ring area for the finish. Sikoa continues to impress and it would be a lot of fun to see him set up as a challenger for Bron Breakker at some point, even if it is a battle of babyfaces. I assume he’ll be going after Carmelo Hayes first given that he shoved him into a car when his brawl with Wagner spilled out of the WWE Performance Center. Wagner was featured on television before he was ready, but he is making gradual progress with each outing.
Carmelo Hayes vs. Nathan Frazer for the NXT North American Championship: Frazer stealing the open challenge spot from Giovanni Vinci made it feel pretty obvious that Vinci was going to cost Frazer the match. It was still fun while it lasted and hopefully a feud with Vinci will lead to the Frazer character developing more of a mean streak. There’s the likable boy next door that you root for and then there’s the overly eager to please boy next door that you just roll your eyes at.
NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose vs. Sarray in a non-title match: A clean and decisive win for Rose in what was essentially booked to be a warmup match for her title defense against Zoey Stark. Her post match attack with the chair looked really soft, but it set up Stark running out to make the save. I thought things might get better for Sarray given the management shakeup in WWE and perhaps they will, but it didn’t happen on this night.
Axiom vs. Duke Hudson: My inner bully was pulling for Hudson to continue beating up the masked math nerd. I’m not sold on the Axiom gimmick and I continue to wish that NXT would do more with Hudson, but they told a nice story with the smaller wrestler getting the better of his larger tormenter.
Alba Fyre vs. Lash Legend: Legend still isn’t ready for prime time, but this was her best television match to date. Granted, that’s not saying much considering how bad some of her previous outings were, but progress is progress. If Legend’s in-ring skills can eventually catch up with her charisma and mic skills, she will be a main roster star.
NXT 2.0 Misses
Julius Creed and Brutus Creed vs. Tony D’Angelo and Stacks for the NXT Tag Titles: The match quality was solid, especially when you consider how early the Creeds and D’Angelo are in their in-ring development. Unfortunately, the match also served as a reminder of how tiresome the D’Angelo crime family gimmick is. D’Angelo is a standout talent, but his schtick of being a mob boss who wrestles for no good reason is too much. It was good to see Santos Escobar return. Hopefully it’s just for a brief stay, as he, Joaquin Wilde, and Cruz Del Toro are more than ready for the main roster. Next week’s meeting between Escobar and D’Angelo is billed as the final accord, so here’s hoping they write off Legado Del Fantasma and they are promoted soon.
Joe Gacy vs. Brooks Jensen: It’s a shame that Paul Levesque didn’t take over creative sooner, as he may have spared the former Zack Gibson and James Drake from becoming clean-shaven, single contact wearing weirdos. As someone who was high on Gacy early on, his act is so damaged that the NXT creative forces should really consider pulling him from television, scrapping the inclusion silliness, and trying again in a two or three months. His character is courting Cameron Grimes, so I’m not getting my hopes up. Meanwhile, it’s tough to get behind a chronic masturbating virgin cowboy who dresses in cut-off jeans. To Jensen’s credit, though, he is a likable enough personality to overcome a lot of that baggage.