Powell’s NXT Hit List: NXT Tag Champs Bron Breakker and Baron Corbin vs. Otis and Akira Tozawa, NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov vs. Channing Lorenzo in a non-title match


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

NXT Hits

Prime Target on Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes: An excellent production piece that recapped the history between the two while also including a lot of personality driven footage. It was a really nice touch to include comments from CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Johnny Gargano, and others, as it helped make the match feel big time. In fact, I suspect this could be a rare case where a non-title match headlines an NXT PLE. Even if that’s not the plan, Williams vs. Hayes certainly feels like the main event.

Dijak vs. Shawn Spears: The show peaked from an in-ring standpoint with the opening match. Although the crowd chanting “fight forever” was a bit much, it was an enjoyable match that concluded with a clean win for Dijak to get him ready for the NXT North American Championship Triple Threat at Stand & Deliver. Unfortunately, Joe Gacy’s crazy smiling antics continue to be eye-rolling material.

NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov vs. Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo in a non-title match: It was a logical move to showcase the champion beating his challenger’s sidekick heading into Stand & Deliver. Dragunov did a nice job of selling the damage that Stacks did to his fingers during and even after the match. I’m not a biggest fan of all of the off-site D’Angelo storytelling skits, but they did a nice job of creating a bit of intrigue when it comes to where the Dragunov and D’Angelo meeting will occur on next week’s show.

NXT Tag Champs Bron Breakker and Baron Corbin vs. Otis and Akira Tozawa in a non-title match: The match has a nice little hook thanks to the stipulation that an Otis and Tozawa win would give them a spot in the NXT Tag Team Title match at Stand & Deliver. I’m happy they didn’t go there. Barring some shenanigans next week, we’ll be getting a traditional tag team title match.

Josh Briggs vs. Duke Hudson: A soft Hit for a competitive match that set up Briggs for the NXT North American Championship Triple Threat at Stand & Deliver. I like Briggs thanks to the work that he did with Brooks Jensen and Fallon Henley, but Briggs has come off a little plain since his singles run started. I hope he finds whatever it is that he seems to be missing.

Ridge Holland “retirement” promo: Another well delivered promo from Holland. The crowd seemed quiet and disinterested initially, but he was able to win them over by the end. It’s hard to say where this is going, but I hope he abandons the Sad Dad act once he returns. Holland has upside potential. He just needs to find a way to truly connect with the audience.

Roxanne Perez promo: Good heel mic work. I’m still not sold on Lyra Valkyria in the babyface champion role. That said, Valkyria and Perez looks like a very good match on paper and perhaps that will turn the tide.

Overall show: The PLE build was strong and this episode really increased my level of interest in Stand & Deliver. It’s a positive that being this close to the PLE forces the creative team to showcase the event’s storylines as opposed to trying to find room and roles on the crowded television show for the newer developmental wrestlers.

NXT Misses

Thea Hail vs. Jasmyn Nyx: A soft Miss for the unnecessary silliness at ringside. Nyx did pretty well for being a developmental wrestler this early in her television run. Hail continues to be a popular act. There’s a childlike aspect to her character that should connect with younger viewers. It’s quite the contrast to have her paired with the foul-mouthed Andre Chase and yet it works.

Lola Vice vs. Natalya: It was a nice treat to see Natalya on WWE television for the first time in 2024 (not counting WWE Main Event). But this came off like a quick showcase win for Natalya with no indication that she will be sticking around in NXT. I’m not saying that Vice should have pinned Natalya, but I’m surprised they didn’t use Natalya to give someone a boost as opposed to just having her win clean and move on. Of course, the point is moot if Natalya is actually going to stay in NXT long enough to have a program. And why not? It’s not like they are doing anything with her on the main roster.


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