By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
NXT 2.0 Hits
Apollo Crews vs. Roderick Strong: The match looked good on paper and it delivered. Wade Barrett was accurate when he labeled this an NXT match of the year contender. I also loved the heel logic that Strong used when he blamed the rest of Diamond Mine for costing him the match because he was thrown off by them not being at ringside.
Santos Escobar and Tony D’Angelo’s final accord: I’m not a fan of the mob family storyline and there are times when I wish Lucha Underground never existed simply due to the way other companies have emulated the show’s cinematic approach. LU created a unique storyline universe that was consistent for all of its characters. Other companies emulate the style by creating special storyline universe rules for certain characters. That said, both men have done a good job with the material they’ve been given. The stipulation for next week’s match was well done in that Escobar is finished in NXT if he loses, yet he and the rest of Legado Del Fantasma are free of D’Angelo if he wins. My guess remains that LDF is main roster bound, but the stipulation for the match doesn’t give away anything in particular.
Cora Jade vs. Zoey Stark: A decent match. It fell below my expectations for these two, but the match got better as it went on and the right person went over with Stark challenging for the NXT Women’s Championship next week. Furthermore, the involvement of Roxanne Perez also added to the build of her showdown match with Jade.
Wes Lee vs. Trick Williams in a Rounds Match: Was it fun for what it was? Yes. Do I want to see this match style used on a regular basis? Not even a little bit.
“Pretty Deadly” Elton Prince and Kit Wilson vs. Malik Blade and Edris Enofe: A solid tag match with Pretty Deadly doing a lot of selling before stealing the win. I continue to enjoy the throwback style of Prince and Wilson, who feel main roster ready.
Nikkita Lyons vs. Kiana James: A decent opening match with the popular Lyons going over.
NXT 2.0 Misses
Apollo Crews’s visions: Actually, the problem isn’t that the character has visions. Rather, it’s that viewers magically see his visions. NXT creative should follow the lead of David Zaslav by cutting the comic book movie, well, approach in this case. I actually love a good comic book movie, but I prefer a realistic pro wrestling product. The Crews’ visions and Sarray’s magical pendant feel completely out of place. While I’m sure there’s an audience that enjoys these elements, I suspect that they are outnumbered by those who want a more traditional approach.
Thea Hail vs. Ariana Grace: The match was nothing special, though both young wrestlers have made progress. Hail is a likable personality who fits in surprisingly well with the Chase U crew. Grace’s character feels a little too similar to Tiffany Stratton.