By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Grayson Waller vs. Dragon Lee vs. JD McDonagh vs. Duke Hudson in a four-way for a shot at the NXT Championship: An enjoyable four-way main event. WWE and NXT are guilty of overusing stolen pin finish in multi-person matches, but it worked nicely for Waller’s character to win in that fashion. With Waller’s title shot occurring in two weeks and the main roster draft teased for around that time, I wonder if the loser of Waller vs. Carmelo Hayes will be moving up.
Eddy Thorpe vs. Javier Bernal: My only complaint is that we didn’t get a pre-match promo from Big Body Javi. Seriously, it only takes a minute for Bernal to generate heat, so why not give it to him? The match was well worked and perhaps even more competitive than I anticipated for a brief spotlight match.
Joe Coffey vs. Tank Ledger: A quality match that gave a boost to both wrestlers. This was probably the first time that a lot of the NXT television viewers saw Coffey in action, so it was necessary to have him go over strong. But Ledger’s character showed a lot of heart and also made a good first impression.
Ilja Dragunov vs. Von Wagner: My favorite moment in the match was Wagner hitting Dragunov with some of lightest punches you’ll ever see, which Dragunov responded to with a stiff clothesline. Wagner has lost most of his recent matches and now he’s lost his manager per the match stipulation. You have to wonder what this means regarding Wagner’s future in NXT. I’m not rooting against the guy, but the creative forces have clearly soured on him after giving him a big push in the early days of NXT 2.0. On a more positive note, the simple post match angle with Dijak confronting Dragunov set up what should be a really good match.
Pretty Deadly: The NXT Anonymous footage of Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo attacking Elton Prince and kidnapping Kit Wilson was another eye-rolling mafia moment that went nowhere. But I liked the violent beatdown that Prince and Wilson put on D’Angelo and Lorenzo later in the show. The Pretty Deadly duo do a lot of fun, quirky comedy in NXT, so this segment was important in terms of establishing that Prince and Wilson have a mean streak and are more than just pest heels.
Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn vs. Kiana James and Fallon Henley for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles: An in the middle segment. The ring work was solid, but the new champions felt a bit overshadowed by the never ending drama involving the horny country boy virgin. The spot with Brooks Jensen wanting Henley to use James’s bag as a weapon was a groaner. Fortunately, the post match angle with Jensen shoving tag team partner Josh Briggs forwarded the storyline in an interesting and unexpected way.
Cora Jade promo: It was impossible to ignore the way the live crowd lost interest as the promo dragged on. Why would they care about Jade’s take on various wrestlers in the women’s division? Lyra Valkyria came off like an angel of mercy for interrupting this needlessly long promo.
Tiffany Stratton vs. Sol Ruca: A soft Miss. This wasn’t bad for a true developmental match. Stratton and Ruca have worked a combined 75 matches (per Cagematch.net). They both showed top notch athleticism and possess major upside potential. So while there were too many clunky moments to put this in the Hit section, both wrestlers are headed in the right direction.
Scrypts: Yawn. I can’t believe they put the latest Scrypts video at the top of the second hour.