NXT HITS & MISSES 4/15: Balor vs. Aichner, The Queen Speaks, Scott vs. Tozawa, Dexter Lumus vs. Miles, Fish & Strong vs. Riddle & partner, Ciampa

By Nate Lindberg, PWTorch contributor

Finn Balor (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)


Finn Balor vs. Fabian Aichner – HIT :  Looks like the Walter/Balor feud continues, even with them confined with an ocean between them. Saxon and Phillips on Commentary put the feud over strong during entrances, so they are definitely not shying away from the angle as they seemed to last week. In a way, I’m surprised that they are continuing with this feud at this present time, considering the circumstances of the world. I would almost expect them to return to it after travel bans are lifted and have Imperium and Balor feud with different people on their respective brand. It could be months before travel returns to normal. Will they really try to drag the feud out that long? Though, and this is pure speculation, Linda McMahon’s current employer could certainly be feeding her information that other companies may not have. I wouldn’t put it past the WWE to gain an advantage in the market nor would I put it past the current US administration.

The match between Aichner and Balor was very enjoyable. In this new world of wrestling without an audience, I’ve been personally finding it hard to get invested in a match. Between the commentary duo of Saxon and Phillips stepping their game up to almost be talking throughout the entire match and Balor and Aichner telling a great story in their match, I almost forgot that there wasn’t anyone in attendance. Truthfully, I was not too jazzed about having to tune into wrestling tonight. I just haven’t been enjoying it as things currently are. But by the time Balor got his win, I was in full-on “YEAH, WRESTLING!” mode.

The Queen Speaks – HIT : There was a backstage video package put together where Charlotte talks about why she came to NXT. She ran through the best that the main roster had to offer, so she came back to run through the next generation. She said that Mia Yim will get the first shot at her title, since her and Yim go way back in NXT. This was probably one of the best promo packages/interviews that I’ve seen Charlotte in. I actually started getting excited about her being back on the Black and Gold brand, where I was not high on her returning when it was announced after the Rumble.

Xia Li vs. Aliyah – HIT : A few weeks ago, Aliyah was responsible for a backstage attack on Xia Li, taking her out of the #1 Contender tournament. This was Li’s chance at revenge for that attack. I’ll give it a HIT, but I will admit I’m being a bit generous. Xia Li is probably one of my favorite female competitors on the NXT roster for her in-ring ability. Aliyah, not so much. It wasn’t a bad match, but it won’t be making history books either.

NXT Interim Championship Tournament – Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Akira Tozawa – : My man Swerve is my pick to take this home. I have a feeling we’re going to wind up with Kushida and Swerve in the finals to this tournament, though time shall tell! Swerve losing tonight definitely doesn’t bode well for that prediction. I’m also questioning why they are choosing to do this interim championship tournament for the Cruiserweight division, but not for the Tag division where Dunne is also stuck overseas like Devlin is. Would anyone really notice if the Cruiserweight title wasn’t defended?

This was a great match to kick the tournament off. A very athletic contest between two great cruiserweights. Swerve may have lost tonight, but this round robin, Best Of Super Juniors-esque format, he still has more than a fighting chance.

Tegan Nox vs. Raquel Gonzales – HIT : Continuing the Nox/Kai saga, Nox was in action against Kai’s heater in Gonzales tonight. Similar to Aichner and Balor earlier in the night, I loved how much trashtalk and verbal dialogue found its way into this match. It helped mitigate the eerie silence where the crowd should be. Shotzi interjecting herself on Nox’s behalf certainly got me to pop! Shotzi has had issues with Kai and Gonzales of her own, so to see an opportunity to align with Nox is a great kayfabe move by Shotzi. And I’ll take any chance I get to see Shotzi on TV. There’s just something about her that screams “Superstar” to me.

Dexter Lumis vs. Tehuti Miles – HIT : Wade Keller always jokes about Tom Phillips being a robot. I’m not joking, I think Lumis might be a terminator. Emotionless, brutal and couldn’t be taken down. I am 100% on board with Dexter Lumis right now. He’s so stoic yet explosive, creepy yet intriguing.

The Dream Will Not Be Ignored – HIT : All night long, we saw Velveteen Dream sitting on a couch backstage as we were told Cole and Dream would be face to face tonight. Before this segment, Cole was shown in his backyard saying that nobody was worthy of a title shot and he wasn’t going to show up for someone like Dream. Dream made his way to the ring and cut a promo on Cole telling him that his dream is over. Finn Balor, appeared behind Dream as he was talking and said that Dream called Cole the best NXT Champion of all time when he should have said that Balor was. The two quickly called each other out and a match between these two was made for next week!

NXT Tag Team Championship – Matt Riddle & ??? vs. Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong – HIT : Earlier in the night, Riddle was shown talking on the phone to Dunne, wondering who Dunne chose as his replacement. He seemingly didn’t know who his partner was until he walked through the curtain. That man was the former Evolve Champion, Timothy Thatcher. Before NXT aired, Tom Stoup of the PWT Talks NXT Dailycast and I were taking guesses at who the partner could be, and Thatcher was not even on our radar. Thatcher is someone I know by name, but hadn’t seen much of his body of work. However with his accolades in Evolve, after reading in February that he signed, I wondered where he would slot in the card.

I really liked what Thatcher brought to the table. His ringwork isn’t pretty, but that’s what I love about it. It looks effective. This was a very physical match between these two teams. Now that Thatcher is an NXT Tag Team Champion, I wonder what happens when Dunne is able to return after the travel ban is lifted. Will Thatcher give up the belt? Will they fight for it? I’m intrigued, that’s for sure!

Ciampa, Man of his Word? – HIT : Ciampa appeared on screen in a selfie promo saying that he was done with Johnny and Candace. He said that Johnny was the better man before getting brutally attacked by Killer Cross. I didn’t think we’d see Ciampa feuding with Cross, I assumed it would be Gargano and Candace considering Scarlett Bordeaux’s affiliation with Cross. Maybe it will be one giant feud with Ciampa involved as well. Regardless, I’m hooked and can’t wait to see where this goes!

RECOMMENDED: 4/15 NXT ON USA REPORT: Wells’s report on Riddle & mystery partner vs. Fish & Strong, Cruiserweight championship league beginning

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply