NXT Roadblock Hit List: Carmelo Hayes vs. Tony D’Angelo for a shot at the NXT Title, Kabuki Warriors vs. Lyra Valkyria and Tatum Paxley for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles


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

NXT Roadblock Hits

Tony D’Angelo vs. Carmelo Hayes for a shot at the NXT Championship at Stand & Deliver: A good main event that moved D’Angelo from the tag team division to the role of challenger for the singles championship on the WrestleMania weekend premium live event. I was lukewarm and D’Angelo and Stacks as a tag team, so this is a welcome move that freshens up the main event picture. Of course, it also frees up Hayes to have his Stand & Deliver showdown match with Trick Williams, who remains the most over wrestler on the NXT roster.

Baron Corbin and Bron Breakker vs. Andre Chase and Duke Hudson for the NXT Tag Team Titles: A strong tag team match. Breakker debuting on the main roster has added a sense of mystery to the Wolf Dogs’ title defenses. My guess is that they drop the titles at Stand & Deliver, but the lack of certainty added suspense to this match. I wonder if Corbin will follow Breakker to the main roster once they drop the tag titles. I enjoy their team, but I’m guessing they want Breakker to be a singles act, so perhaps he and Corbin will feud at some point.

Dijak vs. Joe Gacy in an Asylum match: An enjoyable gimmick match. My only major complaint is that Dijak’s moonsault off the top of the cage was good for litlte more than a mid-match two count. It popped the crowd and yet it still felt like a big risk move like that should be positioned in a way that it actually played a pivotal role in the match. I’m still not sold on Gacy’s crazy man gimmick and I don’t like the way they seem to be ignoring his history with NXT general manager Ava. On the plus side, it’s good to see Dijak stringing together some meaningful wins as opposed to being the big man who always loses key matches.

No Quarter Catch Crew and William Regal: The idea of NQCC all defending the NXT Heritage Cup does nothing for me. It gets more rounds style matches on the show, but it waters down Charlie Dempsey’s first title reign. William Regal making a surprise appearance and talking about what the Heritage Cup means to him gave the struggling title a nice boost. I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes between him and his real life son Dempsey. Speaking of which, it was comical when the crowd chanted “That’s Your Dad” at Dempsey.

Shawn Spears vs. Uriah Connors: This wasn’t the debut I expected from Brogan Finlay, who apparently combined his love of the seventies rock band Uriah Heep and tennis legend Jimmy Connors when he came up with his new name. Does Uriah Connors sound better than Brogan Finlay? No, but like most WWE names it will eventually start to feel normal. Anyway, Spears attempting to make Ridge Holland embrace his rage is a bit clunky, but hopefully it will somehow lead to the struggling Holland getting on the right track.

Overall Show: I was really down on the state of NXT coming out of last week’s episode and I was not surprised when the show took a hit in the ratings. This themed edition was just what NXT needed, as it caused the creative forces to focus more on the key players while not cramming in so many newcomers. Here’s hoping they don’t go right back to overloading the show when they go back to having regular episodes next week.

NXT Roadblock Misses

“The Kabuki Warriors” Asuka and Kairi Sane vs. Lyra Valkyria and Tatum Paxley for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles: The match was fine, but it was annoying to see Valkyria and Paxley get a title shot for no good reason. My bigger concern is the angle they did after the match with Roxanne Perez taking out Valkyria’s arm. The fans seem ready for a Valkyria heel run, but NXT creative doubled down on what is starting to feel like an obsession with getting Valkyria over as a babyface. Maybe it will work this time. If not, will they give in and pull the trigger on a heel turn?

Blair Davenport vs. Fallon Henley: A soft Miss. This felt fairly random and was capped off with the return of Sol Ruca. It was good to see Ruca again following her ACL surgery, but the move she used on Davenport was off, and it was also strange to see the babyface win due to outside interference. I remain high on the likable Henley, who is among the best personalities in the women’s division. Henley has been placed in some oddball skits that she managed to make better than they had any right to be.


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