By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Wes Lee vs. Bronson Reed vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Cameron Grimes: The idea that Dominik Mysterio was able to choose three opponents that Lee had to beat in order to earn a shot at the NXT North American Championship was illogical and also made the match feel needlessly predictable. Nevertheless, the actual match was top notch and the live crowd clearly enjoyed the homecoming of the three main roster wrestlers. Ivar showing up to brawl with Reed was a good way of removing Reed from the match while also heating up his main roster program.
NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov vs. Nathan Frazer in a non-title match: The backstage drama was a quick and effective way to create conflict between the two, which led to a good match with a clean and decisive finish. I’m sure they could have tore the house down had they been given more time, but they made good use of what they had. The post match angle with a laid back Baron Corbin calling out the stressed out Dragunov was another piece of what’s been a solid build to their title match at NXT Deadline.
Tony D’Angelo and Channing Lorenzo vs. Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo for the NXT Tag Team Titles: The show opened with a good tag team title defense for Stacks and D’Angelo. There’s been a lot of speculation that Garza and Carrillo are main roster bound as allies for Santos Escobar, so having them lose to the tag team champions on their way out of NXT would be a good call.
Bron Breakker vs. Eddy Thorpe in an Iron Survivor Challenge qualifying match: A good win for Breakker. Thorpe came off as resilient while working through an injury, and Breakker looked ruthless for showing no remorse while targeting Thorpe’s ribs.
Lexis King vs. Brooks Jensen: King stirring the pot during the backstage segment with Jensen, Josh Briggs, and Fallon Henley was nicely done. I like the way his character has quickly become a divisive force. The match was solid and I’m pleased that we’re seeing more of the likable trio of Jensen, Briggs, and Henley on NXT television lately.
Ariana Grace vs. Karmen Petrovic: It’s a shame that Joe Gacy didn’t steal the ring bell during the Jordan vs. James match (more on that in a moment). More of an in the middle for a decent match by developmental match standards. I’ve mentioned before that Grace’s character feels like a WOW gimmick. It strikes me as a little one-dimensional, but it’s also helped her stand out from the other developmental wrestlers while also making it easy for fans to recognize that she is a heel.
Kelani Jordan vs. Kiana James in an Iron Survivor Challenge qualifying match: A lousy finish with Roxanne Perez distracting James by hitting the ring bell before she could hit her finisher. The creative forces are throwing Jordan and Lash Legend into the deep end by having them qualify for the Iron Survivor Challenge match. I’m very curious to see how they do.
Chase U scandal: Well, at least they finally explained to viewers why the sports entertainment school is under investigation. This type of storyline doesn’t do much for me, but Andre Chase deserves credit for continuing to make the best out of whatever material he is given. I assume we’ll get a big development soon given the way that Duke Hudson seemed to have an epiphany while Chase was heading up the mock press conference.