By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Roxanne Perez and Blair Davenport verbal exchange: This was the highlight of the night. Perez finally showed real fire as opposed to the usual sugary sweet babyface persona. The segment easily could have ended with Perez’s fiery comments, but Davenport getting the last word worked out really well. I was lukewarm on this feud going into this segment and completely invested by the time it was done.
Wes Lee vs. Dominik Mysterio for the NXT North American Championship: Dom-Dom won his first singles championship. This wasn’t a pretty match and that spot where Dom dumped Lee on his head was downright scary. But you won’t hear any complaints from me about Dom winning the title or even the heavy interference that caused it. As much as I typically dislike outside interference, Dom is a false bravado heel. His character isn’t good enough to get the job done on his own. There’s great heat in an undeserving character winning matches with outside interference and then acting like he did it all on his own.
Nathan Frazer and Dragon Lee vs. “Los Lotharios” Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo: Congratulations to Los Lotharios for regaining their last name and finally returning to the ring. They showed no signs of rust from the long layoff and put together a quality match with Frazer and Lee. I was surprised to see Carrillo turn on Garza after the match. It feels rushed in that I think they would have benefitted from reintroducing the characters for a few weeks before going right to the split.
Oro Mensah vs. Eddy Thorpe: The match was enjoyable, but Noam Dar was the real star of the segment with his comatose act at ringside.
Tony D’Angelo’s homecoming: I have no doubt that this segment wasn’t for everyone. Hell, the entire saga of D’Angelo being in jail and being saved by Stacks did nothing for me. But this segment served as a reminder of just how good D’Angelo is. As ridiculous as it is to have a character that is a crime family leader turned developmental wrestler, D’Angelo is always able to win over the live crowds with his charm and charisma. Shine box!
Axiom and Scrypts vs. Bronco Nima and Lucien Price: We didn’t learn much about Nima and Price from an in-ring standpoint, but I did enjoy Scrypts turning on Axiom. With Scrypts walking off with Nima and Price afterward, it left me wondering if the plan is to have the former Reggie slide into a manager type role. His acrobatic style just hasn’t clicked for him as a wrestler, but I’m open to the idea that he could enhance someone else’s act by sprinkling in some occasional acrobatic interference spots.
Thea Hail vs. Elektra Lopez: A quick showcase win for Hail that further established her use of the kimura lock. The post match angle with Tiffany Stratton was a mixed bag. Hail has her character down. She goes all in with her hyperactive character and does it in a way that makes it feel genuine as opposed to someone just playing a part. Conversely, Stratton always feels like she’s playing a character rather than being herself. She hasn’t found her voice yet and her character continues to feel one dimensional. For that matter, Stratton tapping out twice to Hail’s finisher has helped to set up their submission match, but it’s also made Stratton feel like a soft champion.
Carmelo Hayes and Ilja Dragunov: It’s not like I can point to anything that was wrong about their show opening verbal exchange as much as I can simply say that it was an afterthought by the time the show was over. While some of that may have been due to the early placement of the segment, there was just nothing about it that really stuck with me. I am genuinely looking forward to their NXT Championship match at Great American Bash, but that’s due to the wrestlers involved, not because of the storyline. They really need something strong on the go-home show to hook the masses and not just those of us who expect a great match.
Kiana James vs. Gigi Dolin: A brief match with a lousy finish that involved Dolin and the referee playing tug of war with Kiana’s bag. One of the tough things about this feud is that both wrestlers desperately need wins.
Kelani Jordan and Dana Brooke: There was some porn level acting on display before their oddball gymnastic workout. Would these two characters spar on the mat if they were training for a gymnastics meet?