Powell’s NXT Hit List: TNA Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace vs. Stevie Turner, Trick Williams and Ethan Page, Tony D’Angelo vs. Damon Kemp for the NXT Heritage Cup, Thea Hail vs. Jazmyn Nyx

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

NXT Hits

Trick Williams and Ethan Page: A good segment that effectively explained why Page is getting a title shot despite having never wrestled in NXT before. Page’s character attacked Trick Williams last week and then exploited the situation by including a title shot at Sunday’s NXT Battleground among his long list of contractual demands. Page performed well on the mic and it was fun to watch him bark at the live crowd, which kept them engaged even as things got a little wordy during his exchange with Ava. While I wouldn’t want to see this brief of a build for future title matches, it has been effective both in terms of creating an interesting title match while also establishing Page as a main event player right out of the gate.

TNA Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace vs. Stevie Turner in a non-title match: A spotlight match for the Knockouts Champion. It was surprising to see this match in the opening segment given that it felt like one of the bigger hooks for the show. Grace looked good and I’m looking forward to her NXT Women’s Championship match with Roxanne Perez at Battleground.

Sol Ruca, Jaida Parker and Michin vs. Lash Legend, Kelani Jordan, and Fallon Henley: A six-woman tag match that spawned from the rough women’s summit segment. Should we read anything into Ruca beating Legend in this match? Typically, the winner of a preview match does not go on to win at the PLE. I continue to hope that Henley will become the first NXT Women’s North American Champion.

Wendy Choo: The tease for a darker version of the character was a nice hook for her return.

Natalya vs. Izzi Dame: More of an in the middle than a Hit or a Miss. The match was fine, but it didn’t seem much of a purpose beyond killing some television time.

NXT Misses

Tony D’Angelo vs. Damon Kemp for the NXT Heritage Cup: The match was well worked, but I just don’t care about the Heritage Cup. I was excited when NXT brought it over from NXT UK and then they did a lot of damage by going with Noam Dar as the first champion. Dar is extremely talented, but his NXT character is comedic and most of his title defenses featured outside interference. The cup has not recovered and it’s going to take some real discipline from the creative team to make the cup mean something. The straight forward approach was a good start, but there’s a lot of work to be done. Meanwhile, as much as I am high on the potential of the No Quarter Catch Crew, the presentation of the trio has been a mess. It’s only getting worse with Charlie Dempsey mimicking D’Angelo’s Italian lines and leadership style in a corny gag that has yet to show any sign of connecting with the audience.

Jazmyn Nyx vs. Thea Hail: A clunky match, particularly when the wrestlers weren’t on the same page and Hail ended up slamming her own head on the mat twice for no good reason. They call it developmental for a reason. Hail did her best to make this work while Nyx simply needs more reps.


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