Powell’s NXT Stand & Deliver Hit List: Trick Williams vs. Carmelo Hayes, Ilja Dragunov vs. Tony D’Angelo for the NXT Title, Lyra Valkyria vs. Roxanne Perez for the NXT Women’s Title


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

NXT Stand & Deliver Hits

Oba Femi vs. Josh Briggs vs. Dijak in a Triple Threat for the NXT North American Championship: A hell of a match. Briggs clearly put in the work to get himself in the best shape of his career. His character is still a work in progress, but his performance in this match gave him a big boost of credibility with the fans. Dijak always makes the most of his PLE opportunities and it’s a shame his push has been so inconsistent over the years. I was surprised when they showed that Dijak would have pinned Femi had it not been for Briggs pulling the referee out of the ring. I like it because as much as Femi’s act is about domination, showing occasional signs of vulnerability will keep his title defenses interesting.

Bron Breakker and Baron Corbin vs. Nathan Frazer and Axiom for the NXT Tag Team Titles: A hot opening match with a mildly surprising results. I think many of us assumed that Breakker would wrap up his NXT run this weekend given that he’s already debuted on the main roster. They can obviously change the titles on television in the near future, but Frazer and Axiom seemed like a good team to move the titles to. That said, no complaints about getting more of the Wolf Dogs, as their chemistry in and out of the ring continues to be a pleasant surprise.

Trick Williams vs. Carmelo Hayes: They started the match with the the type of intensity that the storyline called for and they did a good job of maintaining it throughout the match. The finish felt a little abrupt, but the right guy went over. Williams continues to be the hottest star in NXT, so it would have been a mistake to have him lose on the big show in his hometown. It will be interesting to see what comes next for both men in terms of whether they could be called up to the main roster.

Lyra Valkyria vs. Roxanne Perez for the NXT Women’s Championship: A very good match aside from the needless spot with Tatum Paxley. They told a good story with Perez targeting the shoulder of Valkyria and eventually forcing her to tap out to the crossface. Still, I was surprised to see the babyface drop her title by submission. Perez is doing nice work since transitioning into her heel persona. Hopefully Valkyria can figure out whatever it is that’s preventing her from truly connecting with the fans because she can really go in the ring.

Thea Hail, Kelani Jordan, and Fallon Henley vs. Jacy Jayne, Kiana James, and Izzi Dame: The women brought it. The match went a bit longer than it needed to, but it featured some impressive spots that got the live crowd invested. Henley looked like she was bothered by Hail getting so much attention after the match. Henley has been a terrific babyface who has shown the ability to make some campy creative work. Are they working toward Henley’s first run as a heel?

NXT Stand & Deliver Misses

Ilja Dragunov vs. Tony D’Angelo for the NXT Championship: A soft Miss despite strong match quality. It felt like the live crowd liked both wrestlers and yet didn’t feel strongly enough about either man to actually choose. It took the tease of a table spot to wake up the crowd and I thought they might finally get behind one wrestler, but it just never happened. The creative forces got cute with the build and left it up to the fans to decide. There are time when that approach works and creates a fun dynamic where the crowd is split. And then there are times like this when the fans mostly sat back and never seem to fully invest in either wrestler.

Kickoff Show: They teased a surprise appearance that turned out to be Ridge Holland, who “retired” less than two weeks earlier. The match between Joe Gacy and Shawn Spears was fine, but they continue to force feed Gacy to an audience that doesn’t seem interested. Everything they did during the pre-show could have been accomplished in 30 minutes rather than going with the needlessly long full hour, especially during such a packed weekend.


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