By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Tiffany Stratton vs. Becky Lynch for the NXT Women’s Championship: This was the best match of Stratton’s career. She had some awkward moments, but most of what she did looked crisp. Lynch deserves a lot of credit for giving the rookie as much of the match as she did before beating her. Stratton lost the title, but she gained in-ring credibility with a competitive performance against one of the best in the business.
Wes Lee vs. Ilja Dragunov for a shot at the NXT Championship: A great match on paper and in execution. NXT couldn’t have gone wrong with either man challenging Carmelo Hayes for the championship at the No Mercy PLE, but Dragunov come off as a bigger threat to actually win the championship. The story of Lee leaving the building while indicating that he’s finished with NXT was an interesting development.
Tyler Bate vs. Axiom in a Heritage Cup tournament match: A good match. Bate’s quirky persona limits him, but he’s one hell of a wrestler. I’m a fan of Axiom’s work. The mathematical element of his character was a bust and I’m happy they abandoned it, but he and the creative forces really need to come up with an actual character for him.
Lyra Valkyria vs. Dana Brooke: A quality match with the veteran putting over the up and comer. Valkyria is very talented. She’s been endorsed by Becky Lynch and Rhea Ripley on NXT television. But there’s still something about her babyface persona that hasn’t fully clicked. Meanwhile, Brooke’s character is more interesting now that she’s on the verge of a heel turn.
Damon Kemp, Drew Gulak, and Charlie Dempsey vs. Brooks Jensen, Josh Briggs, and Myles Borne: The match was solid. I wasn’t a fan of Borne turning on his partners and sticking with the crew that treats him like dirt. They had something with Borne being a sympathetic figure. I hope they didn’t squander it just for a throwaway turn on two guys he was never aligned with.
Nathan Frazer vs. Akira Tozawa in a Heritage Cup tournament match: Two losses on NXT Level Up followed by a loss on the main show. Thanks for coming, Tozawa. No complaints. Tozawa is positioned as a comedy figure on the main roster, so he should be used to put others over in NXT. Overall, it was a fine match without any sense of mystery regarding the outcome.
Julius Creed and Brutus Creed vs. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade: A brief spotlight win for the Creeds. They should learn a lot from their upcoming program with Angel and Humberto.
Baron Corbin and Bron Breakker: This was an interesting segment when it looked like Corbin was legitimately bothered by what Breakker did to Von Wagner last week. It went off the rails once Corbin revealed that he found it humorous. It made the serious injury angle feel like a joke when some of the fans were laughing along with Corbin and Breakker. The idea of Corbin turning babyface was actually intriguing. Now we’re left with a heel vs. heel match at No Mercy, though it’s possible that Wagner returns and makes the match a Triple Threat.