By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
NXT 2.0 Hits
Worlds Collide go-home show: NXT did a great job of giving Sunday’s event a last minute push by having numerous main roster stars with NXT and NXT UK history make unadvertised appearances. The interest the main roster wrestlers showed in the rivalry between the two brands and the respective title belts was a really nice touch and was the best thing they could have done to make the ridiculously rushed Worlds Collide event feel meaningful.
Carmelo Hayes and Ricochet: The show closing angle served as one more final push for Worlds Collide with the last second addition of a hot match for the NXT North American Championship. Ricochet hasn’t clicked on the main roster, but the WWE Performance Center crowd gave him the big star treatment when he showed up unexpectedly.
Grayson Waller vs. Apollo Crews: The show opened strong with a quality match that concluded with a mildly surprising outcome. Crews was protected with Waller gouging his eyes before beating him, but this still felt like a big win for Waller and it served as a good way to continue to feud.
“Diamond Mine” Julius Creed, Brutus Creed, and Damon Kemp vs. “Gallus” Joe Coffey, Mark Coffey, and Wolfgang: An entertaining six-man tag match and a good in-ring debut for the Gallus trio. Diamond Mine will benefit from working with them.
Kayden Carter and Katana Chance vs. Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles: I’m not sure what Nile and Paxley did to earn a title shot, nor why this wasn’t listed as a tag title match in the advertising leading up to the show. It turned out to be a solid title defense for the new champions. The post match angle with Nikki ASH and Doudrop jumping in and getting a title shot also felt random, but I get the idea of having a couple of UK wrestlers challenging for the titles on the Worlds Collide event. Is it too much to ask that Nikki finally ditches the superhero outfit and Doudrop reverts to her Piper Niven name on Sunday?
Charlie Dempsey vs. Andre Chase: Chase going over was disappointing. I was hoping that Dempsey would be introduced as a dominant badass. To be fair, he actually has been, but I could have done without him taking a loss in his fist NXT television match. Even so, he did take the bulk of the offense and was given an out for losing the well worked match.
Zoey Stark vs. Kiana James: A nice bounce back win for Stark following her recent loss to Mandy Rose. Stark continues to shine in the ring, and James has a bright future if she can overcome the bad character she’s been given (more on that later).
NXT 2.0 Misses
Joe Gacy and The Dyad: I’m not going to pile on. Nothing has changed. The faction remains ice cold because its leader hasn’t recovered from being poorly booked during and after his feud with Bron Breakker. I’m happy they didn’t add Cameron Grimes to the faction, but I’m not really sure why they feel the need to work Grimes’ late father into so many storylines.
Kiana James skits: James is doing the best she can with the skits. They just feel so low budget and GLOW-like. It’s hard enough to believe that she’s a business leader by day and an NXT wrestler by night. Even worse is that the office set looks so low budget that these skits look like the beginning of a porn scene. Er, um, or so I’ve heard.
Josh Briggs, Brooks Jensen, and Fallon Henley vs. Lash Legend and “Pretty Deadly” Elton Prince and Kit James: Jensen wearing jeans rather than the awful cut-off shorts was a plus. Adding Legend to the Pretty Deadly act hasn’t really helped anyone involved. The feud between these camps just isn’t doing much for me. Even so, Pretty Deadly feels like a team that works best when they have title belts and other teams are chasing them, so I wouldn’t object to them winning the tag titles on Sunday.