Powell’s NXT Hit List: Charlie Dempsey vs. Tony D’Angelo for the NXT Heritage Cup, Sol Ruca vs. Izzi Dame, and Ivy Nile vs. Lash Legend in NXT Women’s NA Title qualifiers, Je’Von Evans vs. Oro Mensah

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

NXT Hits

Wes Lee, Oba Femi, Ivar, and Josh Briggs: A good segment with Lee delivering a solid promo before he was repeatedly interrupted. It was surprising to see Femi balk at the idea of defending his title in a four-way. I prefer the idea of going with a Triple Threat to set up an actual singles match for the championship. And it’s logical that a champion would prefer to face one man. Even so, it was a little surprising that the badass Femi character didn’t go with the take on all comers approach.

Je’Von Evans vs. Oro Mensah: Evans continues to stand out early in his NXT run. As much as I was looking forward to the advertised match between Evans and Noam Dar, this was an enjoyable match. It also works out in the sense that Evans beat the lower member of Meta Four and can still face the faction’s top man somewhere down the road. It was also a nice touch to use NXT Champion Trick Williams to give Evans a rub.

“OTM” Bronco Nima and Lucien Price vs. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade: A good showing from both teams. Neither team has received a sustained push yet, but perhaps that will change, especially now that OTM showed they can work a longer match. The bit with Enofe’s boot coming loose protected his team and perhaps created the need for a rematch.

Sol Ruca vs. Izzi Dame in a NXT Women’s North American Championship ladder match qualifier: There were some hiccups, which is to be expected given the level of experience of both wrestlers. Ruca’s Sol Snatcher is a great finisher. Even if there are some rough spots in her early matches while she gets in-ring reps, the Sol Snatcher is the thing that most viewers will remember about her matches.

Lola Vice vs. Carlee Bright: A simple showcase win for Vice followed by a post match angle that set up next week’s Vice and Shayna Baszler vs. Natalya and Karmen Petrovic tag match.

NXT Misses

Charlie Dempsey vs. Tony D’Angelo for the NXT Heritage Cup: A Hit for match quality, as this was one of the better Heritage Cup matches held in the U.S. version of NXT. Unfortunately, there’s been so much damage done to the Heritage Cup title that it didn’t feel like a moment when D’Angelo won it. The live crowd seemed happy that D’Angelo won, but it’s not like they were hanging on every move because they were anxious to see him capture the championship. Dempsey’s run with the title didn’t help. It was cool when he won the cup, as it felt like it was going to be the start of his first sustained pushed. But they immediately went with the lousy gimmick that any member of No Quarter Catch Crew could defend the championship. If the popular D’Angelo can’t make fans care about the cup, then perhaps it’s time to abandon the concept.

Lash Legend vs. Ivy Nile in a NXT Women’s North American Championship ladder match qualifier: A brief match that was fine while it lasted. But the booking of Nile on Raw and now in NXT is disappointing. The fans were receptive when she was pushed in her past NXT run. But now she plays second fiddle to Maxxine Dupri on Raw, and just lost a four-minute match on NXT television. It should pack more of a punch when Nile loses. Rather, it feels routine and therefore Legend didn’t get as much out of this win as she should have.

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