Powell’s NXT Hit List: 20-woman battle royal with the final four competing in a four-way match for a shot at the NXT Women’s Title, Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament matches


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

NXT Hits

Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes vs. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament match: The show got off to a strong start with Williams and Hayes advancing to the semifinals. The match was strong, but there was a scary spot when Blade performed a flip dive and Williams did a nice job of moving into position to save him from a nasty landing. Yes, it looked rough to have a wrestler moving into a dive but safety first. Williams agreeing to face Ilja Dragunov for the NXT Championship at Vengeance Day on the same night that he and Hayes could also end up in the finals of the tag team tournament was an interesting development. While it could be as simple as Williams and Hayes losing in the semifinals, I also wonder if NXT is doing their own version of MJF defending the ROH Tag Team Titles on AEW undercards before he defended the AEW World Championship in pay-per-view main events.

Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro vs. Riley Osborne and Duke Hudson in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament match: The LWO duo have really shined in their most recent NXT appearances. It was good to see them pick up a meaningful win and advance to the semifinals of the tournament.

20-Woman Battle Royal and four-way to determine the No. 1 contender to the NXT Championship: I really wish they would have televised brief entrances for all of the participants rather than leave viewers struggling to figure out who some of the entrants were. The creative forces put some thought into many of the eliminations as opposed to making them feel random until they reached the final four. I’m not a fan of the New Japan Ranbo ending with four men in the ring or AEW’s Dynamite Diamond Ring ending once they get down to men and then in both cases saving the showdown matches for future shows. It was so much better to get the four-way that match produced immediately as opposed to having an anticlimactic battle royal finish to set up a four-way match for next week. Roxanne Perez going over sets her up with the NXT Women’s Championship match that I thought they might save for Stand & Deliver. Lyra Valkyria has struggled to connect with her mic work, but she and Perez are sure to produce a strong match together. Perhaps the idea is to hope that Valkyria can win over fans with her in-ring performances.

JBL and Josh Briggs: A nice cameo appearance with JBL telling Briggs that he needs to figure out who he is. This left me curious to see what comes next for the talented Briggs.

Lyra Valkyria and Tatum Paxley vs. Lola Vice and Elektra Lopez: A solid match. I still don’t know what to make of Paxley’s stalker gimmick, but so far she seems to be a, well, friendly stalker? Is that the character or will things take an ugly turn if she ever feels rejected by the NXT Women’s Champion? Was this it for Vice and Lopez as a team after their falling out in the battle royal?

Dijak vs. Trey Bearhill: Bearhill showed heart before Dijak pinned him clean. The post match with Lexis King attacking Bearhill was a good way to put some heat on King heading into their eventual match. Bearhill had a solid in-ring showing, but his backstage acting would have inspired a second take on even the most low budget porn set.

NXT Misses

Oba Femi promo: A very wordy promo with key points that didn’t draw the intended reaction from the live crowd. The fans had fun with Oba’s entrance theme and clearly saw him as a babyface. I was surprised that they positioned him as a heel, but there is a need for strong heels in NXT and they should be able to turn the crowd against him. It may take an entrance theme change if the chants from last night start to grow.

Ridge Holland vs. Joe Coffey: It was sad to hear the live crowd’s flat reaction to Holland after his excellent sit-down interview two weeks ago. The match was a basic showcase for Holland. There was a time when I would have complained about Coffey being squashed, but Gallus just hasn’t clicked outside of NXT UK.

Bron Breakker: The Breakker character lost twenty IQ points since the previous episode. Was it because he was wearing his father’s jacket? The exchange he had with Baron Corbin did have some entertaining moments and I continue to like the idea of the two of them teaming together. But the character Breakker played in this segment was a big departure from badass persona that he normally plays. The simpleton act has its charm, but it doesn’t feel as big time as Breakker’s usual persona.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. Maybe Josh Briggs’ new character will be a loudmouth bully who gets knocked out by anybody who stands up to him?

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