By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Julius Creed and Brutus Creed vs. Jagger Reid and Rip Fowler: The Creeds lost a little momentum in recent months, so this clean and decisive win was helpful. While there’s not a lot of mystery regarding the outcomes of Reid and Fowler’s matches now that they’ve asked for their release, but they continue to deliver in the ring and the Creeds will benefit from working with them.
Roxanne Perez vs. Jacy Jayne in a first round match of the NXT Women’s Championship tournament: The better of the two tournament matches. The match suffered a bit from predictability due to the fact that Tiffany Stratton already advanced to the semifinals and would face the winner. Even so, the match was well worked and Perez’s Pop Rocks finisher looked good.
Cora Jade vs. Fallon Henley in a first round match of the NXT Women’s Championship tournament: A solid television match with the expected outcome of Jade advancing to the semifinals to face Lyra Valkyria. Henley continues to impress in the ring and has proven to be a good performer in numerous talking segments. Henley is a likable babyface, but when she shows anger or frustration, it’s easy to see that she will have the versatility to play a strong heel role when the time is right.
Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams vs. Charlie Dempsey and Drew Gulak: A solid television win for the NXT Champion and his sidekick. The early use of Dempsey continues to be disappointing. I realize that he’s young and his time will come eventually, but he’s clearly further along than a lot of the developmental wrestlers who are being pushed more aggressively.
Thea Hail vs. Kiana James: A bounce back win for James after she lost in the NXT Women’s Championship tournament last week. It also gave the creative team a chance to work in Duke Hudson being too distracted to care about Hail’s match.
Carmelo Hayes and Bron Breakker: A forgettable segment on the road to their rematch at Battleground. I could have done without Breakker heeling on the Boston sports teams. I get that Battleground will be held in the area, but it’s not like they’ve even bothered to establish Hayes as being loyal to Boston teams. The bigger issue is that the verbal exchanges between these two continue to leave out the obvious talking point that Hayes won his championship with help from Trick Williams. I get that Hayes is now the babyface and Breakker is the heel, but the creative forces should have thought of that when they booked that lousy finish to the title change.
Wes Lee, Tyler Bate, and Joe Gacy: Gacy and Ava actually outsmarted Lee and Bate by pointing out that Bate has the audacity to want an NXT North American Championship match. This story was as bad as Gacy’s new sunglasses.
Noam Dar’s Supernova Sessions with guest Dragon Lee: NXT creative is trying to reintroduce Dar while also introducing most U.S. viewers to Dragon Lee and the NXT Heritage Cup all at the same time. Ultimately, I think these two will be fine once the bell rings because they are good enough to win over viewers with their ring work, but the build is making for some awkward television with quiet crowd reactions. I’m surprised that NXT isn’t having Dar work an NXT Heritage style enhancement match just to give unfamiliar viewers a better feel for the format.
Dijak and Ilja Dragunov: NXT is doing bondage cinematics now? I hope they’re at least getting a pretty penny from the creepers who pay for custom videos.