By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Julius Creed vs. JD McDonagh: An impressive opening match. McDonagh continues to be among the most consistent in-ring performers in NXT, so it’s probably no coincidence that Julius had his best singles match while working with McDonagh. Even so, Julius continues to stand out as one of NXT’s elite young prospects.
Wes Lee vs. Tony D’Angelo for the NXT North American Championship: An entertaining main event with some good back and forth action. The distraction finish with Dijak grabbing Stacks was underwhelming, but it wasn’t enough to ruin what was a quality match.
Joe Gacy, Jagger Reid, and Rip Fowler vs. Edris Enofe, Malik Blade, and Odyssey Jones: A good time-filling six-man tag match with a cool Double Doomsday Device spot prior to the finish. The Schism going over was the right move. The addition of Ava Raine has breathed new life into the group, but they seem to lack a storyline purpose. That said, it would be a shame if the talented duo of Reid and Fowler don’t get a match with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods during their NXT run.
Drew Gulak Invitational: A solid segment. Gulak did a nice job of acting like a caring teacher before showing off his vicious side by holding Myles Borne in a submission hold long after he tapped. Hank Walker continues to be a likable common man, and it will be interesting to see if Charlie Dempsey is actually aligned with Gulak or if this is going in a different direction.
Wendy Choo vs. Cora Jade: A solid match with a mildly surprising outcome. I thought NXT creative would give Jade a big push now that they are down a top singles heel following the release of Mandy Rose. Of course, this is only one match and they can still do more with Jade in the new year. The Choo character continues to be a turnoff how matter how many times the broadcast team tells us that we’re seeing a new side of her character.
Scrypts vs. Ikemen Jiro: Apparently, Jiro couldn’t just grab another one of the seemingly dozens of jackets from his closet. No, he needs the jacket that Scrypts stole from him. I feel like this match stole four minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.
Fallon Henley vs. Kiana James in the Battle for the Bar: All of that just for Henley to keep the bar? Um, okay? The match never got out of second gear and didn’t feel as intense as it should have given the amount of time the creative forces invested in the bar storyline. And while I appreciate Henley’s attempts to sell, she’s going way overboard by screaming in agony after nearly every move she takes. Henley has upside potential, but she should really save the screams for key moments.
Lyra Valkyria vs. Lash Legend: The match was decent until the scary DDT spot. Valkyria followed up with a rough looking kick that preceded her top rope splash for the win. There’s only so much stock that one can put into the reactions of a live crowd that sat through back to back tapings, but it’s worth noting that the fans didn’t seem to have much interest in this match. Only time will tell whether it was just the circumstances or if it’s a sign that the Valkyria isn’t connecting.
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