Powell’s NXT Hit List: Bron Breakker and Carmelo Hayes vs. “Pretty Deadly” Kit Wilson and Elton Prince, Ilja Dragunov vs. JD McDonagh, Tiffany Stratton vs. Indi Hartwell and Lyra Valkyria vs. Ivy Nile in NXT Women’s Championship ladder match qualifiers, the Chase U and The Schism debate


By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

NXT Hits

Bron Breakker and Carmelo Hayes vs. “Pretty Deadly” Kit Wilson and Elton Prince: WWE loves to have a champion team with his/her challenger before they meet in a big showdown match. We saw a version of it on Monday when Bianca Belair teamed with Asuka. This was a better version with Breakker and Hayes working well together while still showing a lot of tension. The build to Breakker vs. Hayes has been strong thus far and I’m looking forward to seeing how they close things out with the final push on next week’s go-home show.

Ilja Dragunov vs. JD McDonagh: The usual top notch work from the storyline rivals. The no-contest outcome didn’t bother me because the brawl that broke out was an effective build to the five-way match for the NXT North American Championship.

Tiffany Stratton vs. Indi Hartwell in an NXT Women’s Championship ladder match qualifier: A solid match with the right person going over. I suspect the ladder match is being set up to serve as the breakthrough moment for Stratton. I’ve avoided spoilers for next week’s show, but Hartwell stands out as the favorite to win the last chance qualifier due to her having more experience than opponents Ivy Nile and Sol Ruca.

Wes Lee and challengers segment: The enthusiasm of the Lee character is winning me over. There have been times when he comes off a little too happy go lucky, but his excitement over facing the best competition has helped to establish him as a likable fighting champion. As much as I’d prefer to see a strong singles match, the five-way is loaded with talent and looks really good on paper even with one slot to fill. On a side note, I keep waiting for Axiom’s character has to snap over not getting the title shot that he’s been asking for.

Johnny Gargano, Grayson Waller, and Javier Bernal: Gargano having no patience for Bernal’s antics was a logical development after he was left lying on his front lawn by Waller the week before. Gargano asking for an unsanctioned match made sense for his character, just as Waller dictating the terms for him signing the contract was fitting for his character. It will be interesting to see if Bernal ends up being more than just a fall guy in this segment. I could see Bernal being a fun lackey for Waller.

NXT Misses

The Chase U and The Schism debate: A strange segment that was used to set up an eight-person tag match for control of the Chase U. I get a kick out of the Chase U act, but it’s pretty far fetched even by pro wrestling standards to ask viewers to believe there’s an actual Chase U that could be taken over by the heels.

Lyra Valkyria vs. Ivy Nile in an NXT Women’s Championship ladder match qualifier: While I’m fine with Valkyria advancing to the ladder match, I don’t get the idea of having her do it so quickly at the expense of Nile. The creative forces had something when Nile was cast as a no nonsense fighter. I’m not even sure what her character is at this point, but surely they could have found someone else to lose to Valkyria in less than three minutes.


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