HEYDORN’S NXT 2.0 RECEIPT 1/25: Strong in-ring action leads to entertaining show top to bottom

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

NXT 2.0 ratings increase with Spring Breakin

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

This week’s episode of NXT 2.0 has wrapped. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the madness.

-The Jacket Time act is garbage times 1,000, but they and MSK had a really excellent opening contest as part of the Dusty Tag Team Classic. MSK have a ways to go, but making progress. Like Riddle, they are able to protect themselves from overly comedic characters with crisp ring work.

-A good promo from Santos Escobar, but almost too good. As a heel, he was dangerously close to being too passionate and likable. The audience started to buzz for him, but never fully got into cheer mode. Opposite Bron Breakker, who is currently still working to find his footing as the top guy of the brand, Escobar will need to be careful not to overshadow him.

-Breakker has a knack for using his intensity to generate a positive response. A feud with Escobar is the right call for his early run as champion.

-A good match with a beautiful finish between Solo Sikoa and Boa. Sikoa remains polished and showed grit and aggression during this match. With such a high upside it’s hard to see him in NXT for too much longer.

-Not a fan of the Gunther name. Shocker. Name aside, it should be encouraging to Walter fans that he continues to get spotlighted with vignettes. There seems to be an investment there.

-Duke Hudson lost a lot of credibility after the losses to Cameron Grimes. Grimes has significantly more upside, so the booking was correct, but it leaves Hudson searching for viability with the confidence of his con-man-esque gimmick stripped away.

-Toxic Attraction continues to impress from a presentation perspective, but they are in need of depth as characters and as a team. The good-looking women story can only go so far so many times before it runs its course.

-Von Wagner has a manager and therefore won’t be talking as much. This is a smart development for him as his talking negatively impacted the monster he was trying to play. Robert Stone is talented enough to make this work.

-Io Shirai, on behalf of NXT brass, I apologize. Good work carrying Tiffany Stratton to a passable match. This was a weird pairing, but such is life in NXT 2.0.

-Tony D’Angelo showed he could hang in the main event with Cameron Grimes and it was a very good match. Sure, the action was on the shoulders of Grimes, but D’Angelo was where he needed to be to make it all click. Grimes vs. Hayes should be wonderful.

-A fun show top to bottom, but the new talent is still being protected by veteran workers. The true test of the rebranding of NXT will come when it’s Bron Breakker vs. Von Wagner someday.


CATCH-UP: HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 1/24: Royal Rumble go-home episode lacks hype on major Rumble stakes

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