By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
“Pretty Deadly” Kit Wilson and Elton Prince vs. Bron Breakker and Wes Lee for the NXT Tag Team: A good main event with an interference finish that made sense. Wilson and Prince getting fluky wins plays in perfectly to their roles as vulnerable heel champions. Carmelo Hayes interfering and costing Lee the match obviously sets up a future NXT North American Championship match. The post match angle with Von Wagner taking out Breakker with a big boot was pretty basic. I like the idea of Breakker facing a bigger challenger after working with several cruiserweights in recent months. And it will be interesting to see how Wagner performs in his highest profile feud to date.
The Schism interview: A well done segment. Vic Joseph was really good in his role as the interviewer. His questions were logical and he showed just the right level of uneasiness with the cult-ish faction. All eyes were on Ava Raine and she came through with a good performance. She delivered her lines with confidence and displayed angst without ever going too far over the top.
Zoey Stark vs. Indi Hartwell: Interesting storytelling with Stark showing frustration and more of a mean streak than usual. Tag team partner Nikkita Lyons talked Stark out of powerbombing Hartwell through the broadcast table, which led to Hartwell beating Stark once they returned to the ring. One can only assume that things will boil over if Stark and Lyons come up short in their NXT Women’s Tag Title match next week. I’m actually a little surprised that Lyons isn’t the character showing frustration while veteran Stark attempts to rein her in. Even so, it’s a intriguing story to follow.
Mandy Rose celebration for one year as NXT Women’s Champion: A solid segment to acknowledge Rose’s full year as champion and the success that the Toxic Attraction trio has been. The creative forces showed discipline by keeping the belt on Rose for a year, and she definitely deserves credit for the in-ring improvements she’s made throughout her return run in NXT. The Toxic Attraction act continues to feel main roster ready. Alba Fyre attacking the trio felt a little flat. The crap finish to her title match with Rose at Halloween Havoc didn’t do their feud any favors, but hopefully they can find a way to heat it up again.
Grayson Waller vs. R-Truth: The match was cut short due to R-Truth suffering an injury, so it’s not really a Hit or a Miss. Here’s wishing Truth the best. As unfortunate as the situation was, I did come away impressed by the way that Waller kept his composure. Whether it was showboating while the medics checked on Truth during the commercial break or the brief post match promo, Waller kept his cool and handled the situation like a pro.
Thea Hail vs. Kiana James: The match was nothing special, but both wrestlers showed improvement. Chase U won’t be the same without Bodhi Hayward. It doesn’t mean that it can’t work without him, but he definitely added to the charm of the act. It’s nice to see the underutilized Duke Hudson getting regular television time.
Odyssey Jones vs. Javier Bernal: A soft Miss for a basic and fairly forgettable return match for Jones, though it was good to see him back from a long injury layoff. Although Jones is a charismatic babyface, NXT has a shortage of big heels to work with Bron Breakker. In other words, there may come a time when it makes more sense to turn Jones to help fill that need.
Cora Jade vs. Valentina Feroz: A bounce back win for Jade after she lost what seemed to be the blowoff match in her feud with Roxanne Perez. The crowd was pretty lifeless and it feels like Jade really cooled off during her disappointing feud with Roxanne Perez. Jade needs to get her heat back and it’s hard to believe that being butt of the joke that feuding with Wendy Choo often requires will get the job done.