Powell’s NXT Hit List: Joe Hendry and Trick Williams vs. Ethan Page and Shawn Spears, Tony D’Angelo vs. Lexis King for the NXT Heritage Cup, Sol Ruca vs. Fallon Henley, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows vs. OTM

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

NXT Hits

The Rascalz reunion: Wes Lee laid it on so thick when he teased leaving NXT. And just about the time I was rolling my eyes at how melodramatic it came off while Lee was acting like he was the only wrestler to ever lost a big match, it all made sense when Zachary Wentz and Trey Miguel walked out to give him a big pep talk. This made my night. Wentz did something stupid when he was younger and paid a hefty price by losing his NXT job. I was happy when TNA gave him another chance and it was really cool to see him make it back to NXT television. Likewise, Miguel has told the story that he opted against signing with WWE due to family reasons, so it was great to see him pop up on NXT television for the first time.

Joe Hendry and Trick Williams vs. Ethan Page and Shawn Spears: Okay, so what’s going on? Did TKO secretly acquire TNA? Williams lost the NXT Championship on Sunday and then played second fiddle to another promotion’s wrestler during and after this television main event to the extent that Hendry got the pin and his music played during their post match celebration. I’m not suggesting that there’s anything sinister at play and I’m being mostly facetious about TKO acquiring TNA. I’m just not used to seeing WWE spotlight another company’s wrestler ahead of one of their own to this degree. I get that it’s a new era under TKO. This still caught me by surprise, though not in a bad way. Good for Hendry and good for TNA. The working relationship between the two companies is beneficial to both sides. The actual match was entertaining and the live crowd was really hot for Hendry. As for Williams, it was only one night and I’m curious to see what comes next for him. On a side note, I liked Page’s opening promo. I just wish he strived to look the part of a strong heel champion by dressing like a top guy more often.

“OTM” Bronco Nima and Lucien Price vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson: A soft Hit for giving OTM an upset win. Unfortunately, it didn’t come off as feeling all that special. It was a very basic match that didn’t build to a crescendo as much it just sort of ended in a way that felt anticlimactic despite the upset.

Karmen Petrovic vs. Arianna Grace: More of an in the middle than a Hit or a Miss. It was a basic match between two developmental wrestlers that had a couple of clunky moments.

Thea Hail vs. Izzy Dame: Another in the middle match with Hail going over because Dame was consumed with Tatum Paxley popping up at ringside.

NXT Misses

Tony D’Angelo vs. Lexis King for the NXT Heritage Cup: Eddie Thorpe’s wrestling DJ gimmick just plain sucks. I don’t care if he does legitimate DJ work off-camera or it’s just a gimmick, it’s not working either way. I wouldn’t want Trick Williams to show up television and randomly play a banjo if that was a hobby of his. On second thought, that actually sounds so ridiculous that it might be fun, but you get the point. The actual match was fine, but Thorpe performing in between rounds made this feel campy, which is saying a lot given that I can look past the match involving a mob boss who chooses to wrestle in WWE’s developmental system during his free time.

Sol Ruca vs. Fallon Henley: A soft Miss. The match fell apart late when it seemed like Ruca wasn’t sure what to do next. Henley’s heel turn has been a big disappointment. It’s been bad enough that I wouldn’t complain if her character simply apologized and she went back to playing the likable babyface role that she played so well. Henley has a lot of talent and I think she could be a fine heel, but creative did her no favors by turning her in a way that didn’t even set up a feud.

Mark Coffey and Wolfgang vs. Tyson Dupont and Tyriek Igwe: The Gallus duo did their best to carry the rookie team. It wasn’t all bad, but they lost me when Joe Coffey held down the top rope in what was meant to catch Dupont off guard. Dupont simply dove face first over the top rope while taking his bump without looking the least bit surprised. Gallus typically wins before they are fed to another team, which in this case should be The Rascalz on next week’s show.


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