By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Carmelo Hayes promo: This was the most important promo of Hayes’s career and he did came through in a big way. I like the tease that he was going to speak to open the show only for him to say not yet. Hayes dressed like a star and it was a great idea to have him seated in the ring while speaking into the hard camera. There are certainly flaws with the story that was told and there was no explanation for why Hayes waited so long to pull the trigger on his turn, but that doesn’t change the fact that he came through with a strong performance during a crucial promo.
Axiom and Nathan Frazer vs. Malik Blade and Edris Enofe: This was a pleasant surprise. As someone who loves good tag team wrestling, it was a treat to see the show opening with a competitive 17-minute match. Both teams really brought it and both teams gained something even though Axiom and Frazer went over clean. I just hope Blade is okay after he came up holding the back of his knee after taking an odd landing when he was shoved off the top rope to the ringside floor.
Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen: The brief segment was compelling in that Jensen admitted that he’s struggling with Briggs and Fallon Henley, yet Briggs showed no compassion and instead laid into Jensen with a good tough love speech. I’m not sure where this is going. The Briggs, Jensen, and Henley trio really grew on me, so I hope that all three of them find success as solo acts.
Roxanne Perez vs. Lola Vice: A soft Hit for a solid match until the lousy finish. Tatum Paxley wandering out with the NXT Breakout Tournament contract that Vice already cashed in at Vengeance Day was a cheap way to avoid having a clean finish.
NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov vs. Dijak in a non-title match: They had a good angle that led to the match with Dragunov calling out Carmelo Hayes only to be confronted by Dijak. They lost me with the finish of Joe Gacy doing his smiling crazy man routine by hiding under the ring and hitting Dijak with a cheap shot, which led to Dragunov scoring the pin. I wish they would do more with Dijak in NXT, but he hasn’t been pushed consistently strong enough to have the NXT Champion need help to beat him, even if Dragunov was unaware of Gacy’s involvement. The post match attack by Hayes closed the show the right way with the featured player of the night standing tall over the NXT Champion.
Lexis King vs. Riley Osborne: It’s hard to care about a lovestruck babyface who is more concerned with where his love interest is than actually winning a match. For that matter, it didn’t really do anything for King to win the match because Osborne was distracted by looking for Thea Hail in the crowd.
Lash Legend and Jakara Jackson vs. Fallon Henley and Wren Sinclair: A decent match, but it also felt rather pointless. The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions rarely appear in NXT, so it’s hard to get invested in any of the NXT women’s tag teams.