Powell’s NXT New Year’s Evil Hit List: Grayson Waller vs. Trick Williams, Lyra Valkyria vs. Blair Davenport for the NXT Women’s Title, Oba Femi vs. Riley Osborne in the NXT Breakout final


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

NXT New Year’s Evil Hits

Ridge Holland sit-down interview: I still despise the recent angle that felt like it played on Big E’s legitimate injury and the way NXT made Ilja Dragunov’s health status a cliffhanger. Putting that aside, this was a really strong segment that humanized the previously one dimensional Holland character. It turns out that the guy who rarely spoke in the past actually has the gift of gab.

Carlito, Cruz Del Toro, and Joaquin Wilde vs. Drew Gulak, Myles Borne, and Damon Kemp: The surprise appearance of Carlito got a nice rise out of the live crowd. Wilde was the match standout with the crazy spot where his partners launched him from the middle rope and onto his opponents on the floor. He also hit a big corkscrew dive from the top rope onto two opponents at ringside later in the match.

Grayson Waller vs. Trick Williams: It was a letdown that the advertised title match between Williams and Ilja Dragunov was pulled from the lineup. Waller showing up was a pleasant surprise, but it didn’t make up for the lack an NXT Title match. Fortunately, they also had Kevin Owens make a quick cameo to help soften the blow.

Lyra Valkyria vs. Blair Davenport for the NXT Women’s Championship: A Hit for a well worked, physical match. The issue remains that neither one of these characters has fully connected with the fans despite their in-ring talent. The post match angle with Lola Vice teasing a cash-in her Money in the Bank, er, Breakout tournament contract was an eye roller.

Oba Femi vs. Riley Osborne in the NXT Breakout final: A solid match and the right guy went over to win the tournament. Femi has a bright future. I’m not crazy about the MITB style approach for the Breakout tournament contract, but I am looking forward to seeing Femi challenge for the NXT Championship at some point.

Roxanne Perez vs. Ariana Grace: The mean streak that Perez seemed to be developing may actually be setting up a heel turn. She’s been over the top with her anger and it cost her this match when the referee reversed his decision. The actual match was solid and I’m curious to see what’s next for the Perez character.

Tiffany Stratton vs. Fallon Henley in a loser becomes a ranch hand or a servant for a day match: The needless protection of Stratton at the end of the match was a turnoff, but the overall match was entertaining. Stratton slipped while performing her finisher and fortunately she was able to land on her feet and avoid doing any damage.

NXT New Year’s Evil Misses

None: I wasn’t blown away by New Year’s Evil as the lack of Misses may seem to suggest. The matches ranged from solid to good. It was an enjoyable episode, yet the only the Ridge Holland sit-down interview felt memorable.


Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


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