By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Bronn Breaker and Grayson Waller: Waller’s character getting the better of Breakker is a simple and effective way of making viewers want to see the champion get his hands on the obnoxious heel challenger. Waller continues to shine on the mic. I just wish the creative forces were giving him more in-ring credibility by giving him meaningful wins on the road to his title match.
NXT Women’s Championship Summit with Roxanne Perez, Jacy Jayne, and Gigi Dolin: I like the approach of teasing massive issues between Jayne and Dolin only to have them attack Perez in a sign that they are actually on the same page heading into the Triple Threat at Vengeance Day. The idea of Perez facing the heel duo is more intriguing than it being every woman for herself, even if I’ll be surprised if the Jayne and Dolin alliance survives the match. Perez came off better on the mic than usual with her fiery speech prior to being attacked.
JD McDonagh vs. Andre Chase: A good match. McDonagh interrupting Thea Hail’s award ceremony was unexpected and yet it worked really well. Chase U continues to be a fun undercard gimmick despite my early reservations. Chase is fun as the leader, and Hail’s over the top enthusiasm makes her a likable personality. The mystery of whether Duke Hudson is truly invested in Chase U or out for himself continues. Just when it looked like it might be coming to an end when Hudson walked out on this match, his character redeemed himself by getting him and Chase added to next week’s Triple Threat for the final spot in the four-way NXT Tag Team Title match at Vengeance Day.
Katana Chance and Kayden Carter vs. Alba Fyre in a handicap match for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles: The advertised match of Fyre challenging for the tag titles in a handicap match was a groaner, but I get what they were going for with Ruca stepping up and becoming her partner at the last minute. The champions beating rookie Ruca clean with their finisher was the right move. It was interesting to see Isla Dawn come out afterward only to have Fyre walk past her without any physicality between the two. Are the rivals becoming allies?
Julius Creed and Brutus Creed vs. Drew Gulak and Hank Walker: A fun match with the Creeds showing off some impressive offense against the student and teacher team. Walker had a good outing and continues to do nice work in his role as the security guard turned aspiring wrestler. The story of Gulak leaving Walker to fight alone while he bickered with Charlie Dempsey at ringside left me hopeful that my suspicion that Gulak and Dempsey are working together is still in play. That said, I certainly won’t complain if we get a feud between Gulak and Dempsey.
Fallon Henley and Kiana James vs. Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley: A solid tag team match that saw the Henley and James characters get along well enough to win their first match as a team. I’m happy to see Henley and James get spots on the Vengeance Day card, but it is absurd that they were given a tag title shot after winning just one match together. Meanwhile, I don’t understand why Nile took the loss for her team, nor am I a fan of her teaming with Paxley. Nile strikes me as a singles wrestler, and there’s still no sign of chemistry between her and Paxley.
Tiffany Stratton vs. Indi Hartwell: A soft Miss for a decent opening match that concluded with a fake injury finish that made Hartwell look bad for buying it. Stratton’s spoiled princess role feels too mid-card for someone with main roster main event upside potential.
Elektra Lopez vs. Wendy Choo: A well worked match, but the live crowd’s flat reaction was telling. As much as I praise Choo for playing her strange character so well, the character has never worked for me and I don’t get the sense that it’s ever truly caught on.