Powell’s NXT Spring Breakin’ Hit List: Carmelo Hayes vs. Grayson Waller for the NXT Title, Indi Hartwell vs. Roxanne Perez vs. Tiffany Stratton for the NXT Women’s Title, Bron Breakker vs. Andre Chase, Josh Briggs and Fallon Henley vs. Brooks Jensen and Kiana James, Tony D’Angelo and Stacks Lorenzo vs. Pretty Deadly in a Trunk Match

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

NXT Spring Breakin’ Hits

Carmelo Hayes vs. Grayson Waller for the NXT Championship: A very good match. I’m not sure if Waller’s leg gave out when he went for his rolling Stunner finisher or if he was selling the way Hayes targeted his knee with kicks and other moves. Hopefully Waller is okay, but that confusing spot wasn’t enough to ruin an otherwise top notch first title defense for Hayes. At this point, it feels like Waller has done everything there is to do in NXT with the exception of winning a title belt. He’s an excellent talker and has proven that he can go in the ring. Hopefully his name is called during the WWE Draft because he seems more than ready. Hayes is more than ready as well, but he’s in the midst of an NXT Championship match and it’s hard not to fear that his heigh would be an issue with Vince McMahon once again involved in the creative process.

Oba Femi vs. Oro Mensah: Femi made a good first impression with his power moves and dominant in-ring style. It’s a shame that he wasn’t ready because he could have been a great challenger during Bron Breakker’s title reign. I was a bit surprised to see Mensah in the fall guy role since it seemed like he was in line for a push at one point, but it’s not like he can’t bounce back from one loss.

Josh Briggs and Fallon Henley vs. Brooks Jensen and Kiana James: Kudos to the production team for the excellent video package that recapped the long history of the storyline involving these four wrestlers. The match went well. Briggs has repeatedly proven that he can go in the ring, and Jensen really rose to the occasion with a good performance of his own. Fallon and Henley continue to show upside as well. As much as I go back and forth on the saga of the horny virgin cowboy, I am surprised that Jensen’s heel run seemed to end before it really got started. Did they wrap up the feud because someone involved is going to be called up?

Bron Breakker vs. Andre Chase: While I’m not feeling the “Meaner Than Evil” slogan, I am enjoying heel Breakker thus far. The match gave him a decisive win over a popular mid-card wrestler, and then he looked badass during the angle with Carmelo Hayes. I’m happy they are going back to Hayes vs. Breakker because I still have issues with the crap finish of their previous match. Hopefully we’ll get a clean finish and a better overall match the second time around.

Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo vs. “Pretty Deadly” Kit Wilson and Elton Prince in a Trunk Match: While I rolled my eyes at the “sleep with the fishes” footage at the end of the show, the actual match was silly WWE hardcore fun. Wilson and Prince taking the loss and that needless scene at the end of the show strongly indicate that Pretty Deadly will be called up via the WWE Draft. They are a terrific team and are more than ready for the opportunity.

Lyra Valkyria vs. Cora Jade: A decent match with a mildly surprising win for Jade. I still don’t get the Valkyria character even though I enjoy her in-ring work.

NXT Spring Breakin’ Misses

Indi Hartwell vs. Roxanne Perez vs. Tiffany Stratton for the NXT Women’s Championship: This was a rough match before Hartwell injured her ankle. Perez did her best to keep this from going off the rails, but this was really rough. I’m high on Stratton’s long term potential, but her performance in this match was a reminder of just how inexperienced she is. While I continue to believe that Stratton will become a main roster star, this is the type of match that could lead to the decision makers thinking twice about her calling her up. The story of the match was Hartwell’s injury, the awkwardness that followed, and the heart that Hartwell showed by limping back to the ring to finish the match. I don’t know how long Hartwell’s reign will last or whether that ankle will end up sidelining her, but she showed the type of grit that fans are sure to remember and appreciate. As smooth as Perez is in the ring, she sounded like a ten year-old girl when she spoke about the ribbons in her hair representing the young girls in the crowd. As much as it’s wise to play to that demographic, Perez came off so childlike that it could turn off the adult viewers.


Readers Comments (6)

  1. Last night was terrible.

    I’m going to double down on my proposal of making NXT a true “AAA” show. The dozen trainees who are ready can be in programs with people like Ali or Apolo who are “sent down” from the main shows because they are losing matches and need to “earn” their way back to RAW or SDL

    All the other wrestlers being trained need to be on level up or working house shows. These super green men and women do not belong on national television. When someone is deemed ready, put them in a few old school squash matches and create longer term characters via vignettes.

    I’d also like to see even more emphasis on cruiserweights like Lee/Dragonov/axiom/
    JD/Dragon Lee as there is a place for that kind of action and if Wwe won’t commit to it on the main shows NXT is a fine place to highlight them

    NXT also has a bunch of vets (pretty deadly. Waller. Dijak) who are more than ready to be mid carders on the main shows. Bring them up. NXT does not need 40-50 people on the roster and they don’t need to be in stupid skits and 1980s style programs that are cringy and insulting to the viewer. That program with the country boys and Fallon went on far too long and ended in a terrible match. The family killing Pretty Deadly recalls bad moments on impact. These are two examples of many

    I generally like NXT (it’s usually the most entertaining show of the week) but this was so incredibly bad I think the entire concept of developmental needs to be retooled

    • I didn’t dislike the show as much as you did. I think they have a bit of the AEW issue of having too many people. They had a lot of people before they brought over the UK talent. I’ll be surprised if there’s not a round of cuts soon. Cuts combined with others being called up it will help with that problem.

  2. Re: Roxanne Perez, “ten year old girl” vibes seem to be considered a plus in WWE – see the continued efforts to make Liv Morgan a thing.

    • I think so too, but I just don’t see it working. Kids may like it and fetish freaks may really like it, but I think it’s going to turn off a lot of normal adults.

  3. @Jason. Who was in charge of the Uk promotion because those folks (men and women) seem to spin circles around the regular NXT talent

    • Hunter and Shawn from afar. They had a modest training facility, but most of the NXT UK talent who work for NXT now were successful on the UK indy scene. So it’s comparable to a lot of the Black & Gold success with most of the meaningful talent coming from the U.S. indy scene.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.