By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Tyler Bate vs. JD McDonagh for an NXT Title shot: The main event and the best match of the night. The idea of Bron Breakker defending the NXT Championship against either man felt flat because he’s already beaten them, so the post match appearance by Ilja Dragnunov was a welcome surprise.
Axiom vs. Nathan Frazer in a best of three series match: A good opening match with the predictable outcome of Frazer evening up the series at one win each. The first two matches of the series were both entertaining and yet they left room for the final match to shine.
Oro Mensah vs. Grayson Waller in a qualifier for a spot in the ladder match for the vacant NXT North American Championship: Waller’s value as a heel was on display. There was no telling whether the fans would take to Mensah in his NXT debut match (following his run as Oliver Carter in NXT UK). By booking Mensah against Waller, it essentially guaranteed that the fans would side with Mensah or at least root against Waller. The finish with Apollo Crews distracting Waller with his bleeding eye was underwhelming. Sure, it gave Waller an out for losing, but it took the focus away from Mensah winning his first match.
Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams vs. Andre Chase and Bodhi Hayward: Chase scoring the upset win over Hayes was truly surprising. Chase pinning Williams wouldn’t have meant anything, and Hayes is talented enough that he won’t miss a beat when the time comes for him to bounce back from his back to back television losses.
Von Wagner vs. Sanga: Wagner put over Tyler Bate to make him look strong heading into the NXT and NXT UK title unification match at NXT Worlds Collide. Wagner needed a big bounce back win and he got one over fellow big man Sanga.
Cora Jade vs. Wendy Choo: A good clean win for Jade. The post match angle featured Lash Legend hitting Choo with a big boot, meaning Choo is being handed the tough assignment of working with the green Legend. Choo did a great job with Tiffany Stratton, so hopefully she can help Legend improve.
Rip Fowler and Jagger Reid vs. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade: A Hit for match quality. That said, Joe Gacy’s cult is still awful, and Blade wearing an argyle sweater while he wrestles isn’t any better.
Shawn Michaels strips Solo Sikoa of the NXT North American Championship: Michaels, Sikoa, and Carmelo Hayes delivered good performances in this show opening segment. I like the idea of Michaels playing the new on-air authority role that was vacated when the company released William Regal. But the logic of his first ruling was silly in that Sikoa was allowed to work last week’s title match, win the title, and take it to Smackdown, only to be stripped of the belt on this episode because the fans didn’t vote for him to be last week’s challenger. Sikoa winning the title was one of the most surprising and intriguing moments on NXT television this year and it was disappointing to see it wiped out a week later.
Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne vs. Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley: This was a brief bounce back win for Dolin and Jayne following their recent loss to Nikki ASH and Doudrop. Unfortunately, it was a rough match and the Dolin and Jayne finisher looked bad.
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