Powell’s NXT Hit List: Ilja Dragunov and Trick Williams meet before Vengeance Day, Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams vs. Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic semifinal match


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

NXT Hits

Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams vs. Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic semifinal match: A hot tag team match opener and another momentum building win for Williams. Wilde and Del Toro continue to shine despite not advancing to the finals. They were lost in the shuffle on Smackdown, so it’s been good to see them thrive since they returned to NXT.

Ilja Dragunov and Trick Williams: A solid face-to-face meeting before their NXT Championship match at NXT Vengeance Day. With Vengeance Day being the final NXT premium live event before Stand & Deliver, I assume there will be some major storyline developments between Williams and Carmelo Hayes.

Roxanne Perez vs. Tatum Paxley: A brief showcase win for Perez over Lyra Valkyria’s Single White Female sidekick. I hope this ends with Valkyria turning heel, as she may have an easier time finding her voice in that role.

Ariana Grace vs. Fallon Henley: A soft Hit for a decent match that gave Grace a cheap victory while setting up Henley with future matches against Lash Legend and Jakara Jackson.

Chase U: The girls of Chase U calendar saves the day? It’s all silly sports entertainment, but the only thing that matters is that the fans continue to get behind the Chase U crew.

NXT Misses

Noam Dar vs. Von Wagner for the NXT Heritage Cup: Wagner seems to be getting over thanks in part to his cute friendship with Mr. Stone’s kids. The Miss is due to the Heritage Cup being a joke due to the constant cheating that takes place during Dar’s matches. I get it. Dar is a heel and heels cheat at times, but they’ve gone so overboard with it and the title lacks a real identity beyond his cheating to keep it.

Ridge Holland vs. Lexis King: The referee standing by and watching Holland fight off all three Gallus members before King took advantage of the distraction was weak. Granted, Holland beat them up and they never got a single shot in, but even Vic Joseph questioned whether this was actually legal. King is an opportunistic character, but the way this was done didn’t even put any heat on him for stealing the pin. Holland was so good in his recent sit-down interview, but it just hasn’t clicked for him since then. Perhaps it’s a little thing, but comes off like he might as well be walking into an empty arena during his entrance. He doesn’t play to the fans and shows real enthusiasm. In other words, he’s not giving the audience live crowd anything to latch onto.

Dijak and Joe Gacy: One of the things I liked about Dijak’s previous NXT persona is that he came off like a real person. This law and order character he’s playing feels forced and cartoonish. Meanwhile, the creative forces are trying to breathe new life into Gacy after saddling him with the bad cult leader gimmick for far too long. The verbal exchanges between Dijak and Gacy were tough to watch, but I also won’t be surprised if they end up competing for match of the night at Vengeance Day.

Lola Vice vs. Elektra Lopez: A clunky match. They did a nice job of setting up the match with Lopez’s hard hitting promo last week, but any mystery regarding the outcome was taken away once Lopez showed up on Friday’s Smackdown.


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