Powell’s NXT Hit List: Spring Breakin’ Night One with Ilja Dragunov vs. Trick Williams for the NXT Championship, Roxanne Perez vs. Lyra Valkyria vs. Tatum Paxley for the NXT Women’s Championship


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

NXT Spring Breakin’ Night One Hits

Ilja Dragunov vs. Trick Williams for the NXT Championship: The presentation of the match was truly excellent with various main roster wrestlers, legends, and several NXT wrestlers chiming in with their predictions or words of encouragement. The backstage interviews with the dramatic music playing as the champion and challenger were on the verge of making their entrances was a really nice touch (I popped for Damian Priest giving Sarah Schreiber the “how you doin’?” line). The actual match lived up to the top notch hype and it felt like a special moment when Williams captured the gold. It’s going to be very interesting to see how Williams does as champion, and perhaps even more interesting to see how Dragunov fares on the main roster.

Roxanne Perez vs. Lyra Valkyria vs. Tatum Paxley for the NXT Women’s Championship: They kicked off the two weeks of Spring Breakin’ with a strong championship match. Perez and Valkyria are the two best workers in the NXT women’s division, and Paxley impressively held up her end of the match. The finish was really well executed with Paxley hitting a 450 splash on Valkyria only to have Perez swoop in and pin Paxley. This was a PLE worthy match.

Natalya and Lola Vice contract signing: The Hit goes to the great “welcome back” reaction that the crowd gave the deserving Shayna Baszler. It brought back good memories of her awesome run in NXT. The way the company failed to push her properly on the main roster is criminal. I could have done without Karmen Petrovic dropping Baszler with a kick, but we’ll see where it goes.

Jaida Parker vs. Fallon Henley: “I don’t need it.” That’s what Parker said after her weave came off and she just chucked it aside after getting the pin. She’s right and good for her for keeping her cool during what could have been an awkward moment. While the match was a little choppy at times, Parker continues to show upside potential. As high as I am on Henley, it was the right call to build on Parker’s momentum. Henley hasn’t been featured consistently in the NXT Women’s Title picture, but she feels like one of the more well rounded performers in the division with her good in-ring work and strong mic skills. Could Henley be main roster bound via the draft?

Blair Davenport vs. Sol Ruca in a Beach Brawl: The silly beach themed hardcore match typically isn’t my style, but the wrestlers worked really hard and produced a much grittier match than anticipated. You had to know there was no way surfer Ruca was going to lose a Beach Brawl.

NXT Spring Breakin’ Night One Misses

Tony D’Angelo, Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo, and Luca Crucifino vs. “No Quarter Catch Crew” Charlie Dempsey, Damon Kemp, and Myles Borne: The match had a couple of clunky moments, particularly when D’Angelo took a hot tag from Stacks, but it was good for the most part. The Miss goes to the No Quarter Catch Crew taking another loss. I get that D’Angelo’s win was meant to set him up with a shot at the NXT Heritage Championship, but it didn’t feel necessary. D’Angelo is well established and his trio would not have missed a beat had they lost the match. Conversely, the NQCC taking another loss this early in their run as a faction defines them down.

Lexis King vs. Baron Corbin: A soft Miss for some rough moments, including the neckbreaker finisher that looked a bit off. I wonder if Corbin taking the pin means he’s heading back up to the main roster via the draft.

Ridge Holland and Shawn Spears: Holland said Spears can’t rile him up. There’s a difference between long term storytelling and just dragging out an uninteresting story. Cut to the chase already.


Readers Comments (3)

  1. Jason, I often concur with you, so I dont feel too badly saying we dont agree on Perez. I think she has really regressed since her initial push and is so slow she looks like she is wrestling under water. I often wonder if she is at a significant disadvantage due to her petite size.

    Lyra on the other hand we do agree on, she is an outstanding worker! Sooner than later they should have her come to the main roster as Becky’s official protegee (and eventually of course turn on her)

    I worry about Dragonov on the main roster. While a tireless performer, I am just not sure his gimmick will click. I hope they are patient because in time, he could have a real Daniel Bryan-type run.

    • To each their own on Perez. The decision makers in WWE love her. I thought last night’s match was strong and I can’t point to many bad matches she’s had. As I always point out, they did her a disservice by rushing her first title win, just as ROH did. Both companies had her reach the peak too soon, which takes the fun out of that type of babyface character. It’s not the perfect comparison, but imagine if they had rushed Bayley into winning the NXT Women’s Title.

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