NXT HITS & MISSES 11/16: Kai vs. Gonzalez, Lumis vs. D’Angelo, Hudson & Grime’s Poker Showdown, Diamond Mine vs. Jones & Jacket Time, Quinn vs. Chase, Briggs & Jensen vs. KOR & Von Wagner, more.

By @NateLindberg - PWTorch Contributor




Fuhged-aboudit. Love him or hate him, Tony D’Angelo continues to get a showcase spot each and every week. Tonight, he acted as a punching bag for NXT stalwart, Dexter Lumis. Lumis took the majority of the match with D’Angelo getting a cheap win afterwards.

D’Angelo has a great trajectory upwards and I could see him easily slotting in as a midcard heel in a similar spot on the main roster to Sami Zayn.

Lumis was prominently featured on TV during his feud with Gargano and the Indi Hartwell love angle. Now that NXT 2.0 is here, Lumis has been seen less frequently and the marriage to Hartwell seems to be more forgotten about as the weeks progress.Thankfully, they did come back to the marriage later in the night when Indi went to the medical facility to check on her husband, but this love story feels so minor compared to pre-2.0.

Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes attacked Lumis after the match and injured the drawing hand of the tortured artist, Lumis. Gargano tried to make the save but was too little too late. The partnership with Gargano continues to have focus, but the lack of association with Hartwell leads me to wonder if we’ll ever get some great InDex moment ever again?

Verdict: HIT

DIAMOND MINE (The Creed Brothers & Roderick Strong) vs. ODYSSEY JONES & JACKET TIME

Jacket Time. Ikeman Jiro likes jackets and Kushida likes Back to the Future – time. The meaning of the name hit me just as I started this match. Anywho…

Another great showing for Diamond Mine, the Creed Brother’s standing out once again as a fantastic power tag team. Jacket Time served as fodder, building to the hot tag when Odyssey Jones finally came in and cleared house for the win.

Finally, Jones gets a win over Diamond Mine. A win that incensed Malcolm Bivens. I have a feeling that this isn’t the end of the feud for these six men, though I would like to see the Cruiserweight champion get back to defending against… you know… cruiserweights.

Verdict: HIT


Two “2.0” talents that continue to catch my eye each week. Andre Chase for his hilarious angry professor gimmick and Xyon Quinn for his presence and in-ring persona. While a quick match in Quinn’s favor, Chase was able to get his stuff in and entertain the audience.

After the match, Mendoza and Wilde attacked Quinn for refusing to join Legado del Fantasma last week. Quinn managed to fend off the two cronies but was taken out from behind by the boss, Santos Escobar. Elektra Lopez commanded them to slam him into metal flooring, and they left him laying.

I’m not sure what this means for Legado del Fantasma. Is Escobar still the boss or is Lopez calling the shots? Why focus on a roster member who didn’t want to join them rather than focus on recapturing gold?

Verdict: MISS


This is exactly the type of thing I do not want to see on NXT. Main roster-y, non-wrestling, in-ring segments. Cameron Grimes and Duke Hudson did the best with what they had, but I couldn’t care less about this segment. I’m not a poker player and I find watching poker on TV to be extremely boring. Why would I want to watch two people play cards? When I could be watching these two… wrestle?

It did, however serve its purpose. Hudson isn’t as cool as we thought, and Grimes is still one of the best things on NXT TV. Grimes bluffed Hudson to fold when he had no chance of winning. Hudson completely lost it and put Grimes through the table before pulling out a pair of scissors and cutting the beard and hair of Grimes.

You can mess with a man’s career. You can mess with a man’s family. But as a bearded member of society myself, you do NOT mess with a man’s beard. Grimes now has no choice but to send Duke Hudson packing.

Verdict: MISS


KOR & Von Wagner still seems like such an odd pairing, but if this is what they’re giving us then I guess I’ll roll with it. I don’t buy Von Wagner as the monster they want him to be. He has his moments where he shines, but just as many moments where he looks like a video game create-a-wrestler come to life, not knowing how to act in the real world. During his entrance tonight, he awkwardly threw his arms up in the air like Ryback and had a look on his face like he’d never entered an arena before. I feel like he’s either trying too hard or he’s nervous.

Briggs & Jensen are one of my least favorite “2.0” talents. Their good ol’ boy gimmick has been done to death over the years and their generic style doesn’t make them stand out to me.

Von Wagner is the one they are pushing, so him getting the win makes sense. But I would rather see KOR in a more meaningful story than this.

Verdict: MISS


Indi Hartwell sat this match out to check on her husband, leaving Pirotta on her own against these two jobbers. Robert Stone made his way to the ramp during the match, scouting for some talent. Pirotta made some quick work out of Levy and Stephens, performing a double Samoan Drop on her opponents before scoring a quick win.

Pirotta not only impressed me during the match, but Robert Stone as well. I’d love to see Stone get involved between Lumis, Gargano, Pirotta and Hartwell. Gargano and Stone could have some hilarious segments together.

Verdict: HIT


First thoughts? A travesty that the first match between these two took place on NXT TV and not a special. This story had a long build and deserved a spotlight on a big show.

That said, this may have been Raquel’s best match to date. She came across as a believable monster and a lot of the green-ness (attire aside) that I’ve seen in the past seemed to disappear in the ring against Kai. The newfound craziness of Dakota Kai also started becoming more apparent with her smiling during the bulk of Gonzalez’s offense.

This was the only match on the card that felt like it mattered, that felt like there was heart behind it. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a satisfying conclusion, as Toxic Attraction rushed the ring and helped Kai assault the former women’s champion. Cora Jade came to Raquel’s aide, but was flattened for her efforts. Zoey Stark came out on crutches and brought out Io Shirai. She handed Shirai a crutch, and then Shirai proceeded to turn the tables in Jade and Gonzalez’s favor.

Shirai then shouted “War Games!” as the show went off the air. Even with two additional women added to this match later to make it a traditional 4v4, I’m glad that this is the feud that is getting a War Games match in the women’s division. If we can’t get Kai vs. Gonzalez in a satisfying one on one, then I’m okay with seeing them clash on opposite War Games teams.

Verdict: HIT

1 Comment on NXT HITS & MISSES 11/16: Kai vs. Gonzalez, Lumis vs. D’Angelo, Hudson & Grime’s Poker Showdown, Diamond Mine vs. Jones & Jacket Time, Quinn vs. Chase, Briggs & Jensen vs. KOR & Von Wagner, more.

  1. It’s sad Raquel lost her only friend, because no friend would tell her that green attire is in any way flattering on her or probably anyone else

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