By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ilja Dragunov vs. JD McDonagh: Excellent storytelling with Dragunov fighting through an injury and coming off like he put up a hell of a fight before McDonagh put him away. Dragunov gained something in defeat and the match was effective in playing into McDonagh’s merciless persona. Dragunov is special. He’s among my favorite wrestlers to watch in the business right now.
Ava Raine revealed as the newest member of The Schism: The Rock’s daughter debuting as a Joe Gacy cult member is a big Hit just for single night shock value. That said, it’s hard to feel any sense of long term optimism when the Schism is been among my least favorite acts. I hope that the addition of Raine can turn things around for the talented trio of Gacy, Rip Fowler, and Jagger Reid. I’m just not convinced that it can.
“Pretty Deadly” Elton Prince and Kit Wilson vs. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade for the NXT Tag Team Titles: Prince and Wilson continue to thrive as vulnerable heel tag team champions. They made Enofe and Blade look great with some terrific near falls before they ultimately came back and won the match.
Kayden Carter and Katana Chance vs. Nikkita Lyons and Zoey Stark for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles: A completely nonsensical restart wasn’t enough to ruin an otherwise enjoyable match. Think of all the crazy things that have happened when a referee has been bumped in WWE, and yet a missed tag prompted the head referee to overrule the in-ring referee? The wrestlers worked hard and the bad restart spot at least gives Lyons and Starks a good reason to pursue a rematch. I also liked the emotion that Starks showed in her backstage interview, as her anguishing over the loss makes the women’s tag team titles feel important.
Indus Sher attacks Julius Creed and Brutus Creed: The Creeds have had better nights on the mic. Brutus was especially wooden and felt like his lines were forced. But the Indus Sher attack was solid, and Sanga acting conflicted by his own actions was an interesting development. Will Sanga embrace the hate or will his latest tag team run with Veer Mahaan will be short-lived?
R-Truth, Grayson Waller, and Wes Lee: Lee started this off with an endearing promo following his feel good North American Title win. The live crowd was thrilled to see R-Truth, and he and Waller did a nice job of playing off one another. I was actually disappointed to see Waller on the show. He strikes me as main roster ready and I was hoping that his casket match loss to Apollo Crews at Halloween Havoc was his NXT blowoff.
Indi Hartwell vs. Sol Ruca: A soft Miss for a forgettable match that felt like it happened just to set up the return of Elektra Lopez. I still feel for Lopez, as the last time we saw Legado Del Fantasma in NXT, it looked like she was joining them on the main roster. Although being left behind has to sting in the moment, getting more in-ring reps in NXT could turn out to be the best thing for her long term. Lopez wasn’t main roster ready from an in-ring standpoint, and now she has a chance to work on her game and make a name for herself.
SCRYPTS: So now they’re airing the phone messages left by that dude who smeared his own feces on WWE Performance Center’s exterior wall several years back? Wait, it’s not the same guy? Oh, never mind.