NXT HITS & MISSES 5/10: Jade vs. Natalya, Stratton & Waller vs. Sarray & Chase, Miller vs. Fyre, Jacobs vs. Henley, Lyons vs. Grace, Toxic Attraction vs. Wendy Choo & Roxanne Perez

By: Nate Lindberg - PWTorch Contributor (@NateLindberg)


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

TOXIC ATTRACTION vs. WENDY CHOO & ROXANNE PEREZ – NXT WOMEN’S TAG CHAMPIONSHIP

Kicking off the show this week saw the newly formed team of Roxanne Perez and Wendy Choo take on Jacy Jane and Gigi Dolan for the NXT Women’s Tag Titles. Choo & Perez started the match by outsmarting Toxic Attraction. Wendy Choo’s music hit, but she came out of the crowd and climbed to the top turnbuckle. She gave all three members of Toxic Attraction a cross body from the top, giving them a bit of an edge from the get go.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad match per se. But, it was far from a five star classic. Plenty of mistimed spots and slightly botched moves could be found throughout this championship match. Of course, Mandy Rose interfered, allowing the champions to retain. Frankly, I’m fine with it as I’d rather not see Wendy Choo move up the card.

Verdict: Lukewarm HIT

SLOANE JACOBS vs. FALLON HENLEY – NXT WOMEN’S BREAKOUT TOURNAMENT

It’s time, once again, for a Breakout Tournament! One of my favorite tournaments in NXT, showcasing the stars of tomorrow. Fallon Henley has been on my radar for a few months now as someone to keep an eye on. She’s competed on NXT and Level Up, and impresses me each time she steps inside the squared circle. Sloane Jacobs has been used as enhancement talent on NXT and Level Up in the past, but she hasn’t had much time in the spotlight. Jacobs had impressed me in the first few matches that I’ve seen her in. However, each match she has she seems to lose a step in the ring. Chalk it up to nerves, perhaps? Tonight’s match started out okay, but by the end it was clear that she’s still a work in progress.

This was a relatively short match with a predictable outcome, as Henley has had far more screen time and seems to be more of a polished product than Jacobs.

Verdict: Lukewarm HIT

AMARI MILLER vs. ALBA FYRE

After a scary neck injury during a match with Lash Legend, Amari Miller returned to action to take on the newly repackaged Alba Fyre, FKA Kay Lee Ray. To quote a line from one of the most iconic entrance themes of all time, Amari Miller had “No Chance In Hell” in this matchup.

Fyre was a top NXT performer before the repackage. Now, with the repackage, it would make sense for her to go over in her first few matches with her new persona to keep her strong.

Miller is one of the better talents to come out of the 2.0 class, but you could easily tell that Fyre is at a much higher level. For the third time in a row on this show, a women’s division matchup somewhat disappointed me with the overall wrestling and made me long for the days of Io Shirai, Candace LaRae, Mia Yim, Kairi Sane, Shayna Baszler, etc.

Verdict: Lukewarm HIT

TIFFANY STRATTON & GREYSON WALLER vs. SARRAY & ANDRE CHASE

Greyson Waller and Andre Chase have been feuding as of late, with Chase also starting to form a bond with Tiffany Stratton. Stratton and Sarray have been embroiled in a feud for months now, so why not put all four in a mixed tag?

Personally, not a fan of mixed tags in the WWE environment. I’m a proponent of intergender wrestling. I feel like in 2022, we should be able to see and celebrate a match between a man and a woman. Sure, I can understand why they don’t do it. But it breaks the flow of the match when one gender tags out forcing the other gender to tag in for both teams. Mixed tags operate more like two completely separate matches that happen to be going on at the same time.

That’s kind of how I felt about this match. Granted, there was some interaction between the men and women here, I still felt like I was watching two matches taking place at the same time with breaks in between.

Verdict: Lukewarm HIT

ARIANNA GRACE vs. NIKKITA LYONS – NXT WOMEN’S BREAKOUT TOURNAMENT

And for the match I was least looking forward to, Nikkita Lyons advanced in the Breakout Tournament with a win over Arianna Grace. However, for me, the takeaway from this match wasn’t Lyons win. The takeaway was that Arianna Grace could potentially have a great career in NXT/WWE. She’s still green, sure. But her size, in ring talent and charisma won me over. I’m looking forward to seeing what she brings to the women’s division in the near future.

We all know that Lyons is probably going to win this tournament, making it kind of hard for me to invest in this tournament. Partly because I feel like Lyons is nowhere near ready for the spotlight, partly because it’s not fun investing in something that’s super predictable.

Verdict: MISS

NATALYA vs. CORA JADE

Never meet your heroes, right?

The story they’re telling is that Cora Jade grew up idolizing Nattie. Nattie came to NXT a few weeks ago and immediately attacked Jade, culminating in this singles matchup tonight.

For me, this was easily the match of the night. Cora Jade, while still very young, is arguably one of the most solid female talents to come out of the 2.0 class. Paired with a future WWE Hall of Famer like Nattie makes for a great combination. Nattie plays a great heel, making giving 10x more sympathy to Jade than she would wind up getting from any other woman in NXT.

Since the inception of NXT 2.0, it’s been clear that they’re strapping a rocket to Cora Jade and this feud is more proof that is most likely the case. If they continue to book Jade as a scrappy underdog who overcomes the odds when it matters, I could see Jade getting over in a similar vein to Bayley back in 2015/2016.

Natalya did a great job getting heat from the crowd and staying on the offensive for the majority of the matchup. Nattie slapped a sharpshooter on Jade after spending some time working Jade’s leg. Jade did everything she could to escape, but ultimately took a page out of Stone Cold’s book. Austin didn’t tap from Bret Hart’s sharpshooter at WrestleMania 13. Instead he passed out from the pain. Jade did the same thing tonight, passing out rather than tapping. This allows Jade to continue to look strong even in defeat, and also allows Nattie to stay strong. Nattie is a main roster act, and losing that easily to an NXT act may not be that believable. If Jade wasn’t going to win, this was probably the best way to book the finish.

Verdict: THE ONLY “TRUE” HIT OF THE NIGHT!

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