Powell’s NXT Vengeance Day Hit List: Ilja Dragunov vs. Trick Williams for the NXT Title, Lyra Valkyria vs. Roxanne Perez for the NXT Women’s Title, Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic finals


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

NXT Vengeance Day Hits

Ilja Dragunov vs. Trick Williams for the NXT Championship: A hell of a match. The crowd saw Williams work earlier in the night, so they didn’t start out as hot for the main event as they would have had it been Trick’s first appearance of the night. This actually made it all the more impressive to see the crowd slowly but surely invest in the match and eventually get worked into an absolute frenzy when it looked like Trick was on the verge of winning. The crowd was deflated when Draunov retained, but they closed the show with the memorable Carmelo Hayes turn. I came away wondering if Williams didn’t win the title because he and Hayes are main roster bound after Stand & Deliver. Either way, I look forward to hearing Hayes explain his actions in what needs to be a home run promo on Tuesday. I’m also curious to see if they go with Draunov vs. Hayes vs. Williams in a Triple Threat at Stand & Deliver. If that’s not the plan, no one really jumps out as an obvious challenger to Dragunov for NXT’s WrestleMania weekend event.

Baron Corbin and Bron Breakker vs. Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic final: A good opening match and a nice finish one of the better Dusty Classic tournaments. I’ve been lukewarm on the tournament in recent years, but this year’s version was a pleasant surprise. Breakker is main roster bound and they positioned him as a singles powerhouse by giving him the Brock Lesnar spot in the Royal Rumble. There’s been no sign of Baron Corbin when Breakker has appeared in main roster segments, so I’m guessing the Wolf Dogs won’t be staying together long term.

Oba Femi vs. Dragon Lee for the NXT North American Championship: Another impressive performance from Oba Femi. The fans clearly want to cheer him and it will be interesting to see if the creative forces really lean into that. If this was Lee’s last match in NXT then it was logical to have him take a clean and decisive pin.

Dijak vs. Joe Gacy in a No DQ match: This lived up to expectations in terms of it being a big brawl. I wasn’t a fan of the way they took the piss out of the finish by having Gacy smile after he was pinned. I get what they are going for with Gacy’s character and it worked on that level, but the jury is still out as to whether Gacy is actually going to click with the audience.

NXT Vengeance Day Misses

Tony D’Angelo, Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo, and Adriana Rizzo vs. Bronco Nima, Lucien Price, and Jaida Parker: Perhaps the idea behind the OTM trio losing was that they didn’t want to make things complicated with Corbin and Breakker being next in line for a tag title match. Regardless, the OTM tag team has taken too many losses. More than anything, this felt like a match that belonged on television as opposed to being held on a premium live event.

Lyra Valkyria vs. Roxanne Perez vs. Lola Vice for the NXT Women’s Championship: Lola Vice cashing in her Breakout Tournament contract was weak. She looked foolish for cashing in at a time when neither opponent seemed all that weary. If the idea is that she wanted a fair fight, then why didn’t she just cash in prior to the match? There some good in-ring action, but the whole thing felt like a weak way to extend the Valkyria vs. Perez feud so they can have a rematch at Stand & Deliver.


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