NXT HITS & MISSES 6/7: Crews & Sikoa vs. Hayes & Waller, Stratton vs. Perez, more

By: Nate Lindberg - PWTorch Contributor (@NateLindberg)

NXT 2.0 hits and misses analyzed




Von Wagner put Josh Briggs’ partner, Brooks Jensen, on the shelf for the immediate future and Briggs looked to get some retribution tonight. Von Wagner has been progressing as a heel, and I think he may have finally started to find his stride. His ring gear still leaves much to be desired, it’s far too generic. That said, his demeanor lately is closer to what I think the NXT brass is looking for. Coupled with Mr. Stone and Sofia Cromwell, he’s starting to feel like a bigger deal. That said, having two managers does seem redundant and I wonder if we’ll see Cromwell start to try and push Mr. Stone out of the group. If so, then one wonders what could happen to Mr. Stone. Does he become a performer again? Does he get future endeavored?

Briggs is the stand out from his tag team. He has a better look, he moves better in the ring, and he is better on the mic than his partner. Whether Jensen’s injury is legit or not, I think splitting Briggs off for a couple singles spots was a good call. It’ll make him feel like a bigger deal when the team eventually splits.

The match itself was on the better side of fine, which is what I would expect out of these two talents. Nothing was done that set the world on fire, but the fundamentals were there. Briggs getting the win over Wagner by using the cast from Jensen’s wrist was not something I saw coming, but I am looking forward to seeing where this takes us.

Verdict: Lukewarm HIT


Earlier in the night, Legado del Fantasma was shown waiting in the parking lot for Tony D’Angelo and the Family to arrive. Once they did, D’Angelo informed Escobar he had a match tonight. He never revealed the opponent. We didn’t even know who the opponent was until Frazer made his ring entrance before the 2nd commercial break of the night.

Escobar entered the arena to D’Angelo’s music accompanied by both Legado and The Family. Escobar was totally off his game tonight, distracted by The Family and the situation he finds himself in, having to bow down to D’Angelo.

I’d love to see this match when the story isn’t Escobar being distracted. Frazer and Escobar have very similar styles and I think they’d absolutely tear it up. Instead, D’Angelo kept interjecting in the match, telling Escobar what moves to do and what to remove from his repertoire.

It was still entertaining storytelling, don’t get me wrong. But I was definitely disappointed that we didn’t see an absolute banger of a match due to said storytelling.

Verdict: MISS


Certainly not the final match that I anticipated going into this tournament. I was expecting to see Lash Legend vs. Nikkita Lyons in the finals, which still may have been the planned finale that was scrapped due to Lyons’ injury. Stratton vs. Perez wasn’t even an option going into the tournament as Stratton was added after Lyons had to remove herself from the tournament. Stratton vs. Perez was almost certainly a better matchup than anything Lyons and Legend could have come up with.

That said, this still wasn’t a breakout finals worthy match. I don’t know if the two of them didn’t have chemistry with one another or what, but there were some sloppy transitional moves and some unbelievable (in the sense that it wasn’t believable) offense, like watching Stratton barely hit the ropes before trying to hit a move. In each and every breakout tournament up until now, the finals have been an amazing contest between the finalists. This really just felt like a normal Tuesday night matchup that was given a few extra minutes.

Perez was the right choice to win this matchup as far as I’m concerned. Stratton is already over, she didn’t need the win. She can actually use her loss going forward to garner heat from the crowd. Perez on the other hand is still brand new to the roster, and this win should help cement her as a star on the brand.

Verdict: MISS


Bodhi Heyward was supposed to join Andre Chase in this matchup against the former NXT Tag Champs, but he was attacked backstage and rendered unable to compete. Andre Chase stormed to the ring with a purpose and took on Pretty Deadly on his own.

Chase started the match strong, but ultimately wasn’t able to overcome them on his own. Newest recruit, Thea Hail, joined Chase and she jumped onto the apron as his partner. She never managed to tag in before Pretty Deadly hit Spilled Milk for the win.

I think this was a great story building match. It elevated Pretty Deadly and showed them on a vicious streak after losing their titles. It also helped to elevate Chase U as that scrappy underdog team that looks to have great things coming for them down the line.

Verdict: Lukewarm HIT


Mostly an enhancement match to showcase Alba Fyre. However at the end after she picked up the win, she offered a hand to Tatum Paxley to help her get up off of the mat after the pin. She shook Paxley’s hand showing a clear sign of respect, and walked out of the ring.

To me, this signals that something is in the works for Tatum Paxley. She’s someone that I’ve been somewhat high on recently, and I think it’s about time that she gets a more significant story. Getting a rub from an established, veteran talent is typically an indicator that there is a plan for that performer.

Verdict: Lukewarm HIT


Well, I’ll admit that I didn’t think I’d be talking about Apollo Crews in NXT — but here we are! Earlier in the night, Apollo Crews made his re-debut on NXT in a segment where he confronted NXT Champion, Bron Breakker. Crews didn’t immediately challenge for the title, but did tell Breakker that he’s got a feeling that they’ll create some magic in the ring a little bit down the road. I like the fact that Crews came in and didn’t immediately challenge for the title. Instead, they’re giving him a few other things to do first before that inevitable match.

One of those things was teaming up with Solo Sikoa to take on Hayes & Waller. Earlier in the night, Sikoa challenged Waller and Hayes to a handicapped match after Waller, Hayes and Trick Williams beat Sikoa down in the ring. Before the match started, Crews made his entrance alongside Sikoa. The commentary team stated that Crews had beef with Waller & Hayes, but didn’t quite elaborate. That was my only real nitpick for this story. Why not just say that Crews saw some bullies beating down someone three on one and wanted to step in to help? Or something like that. Instead, we’re now to believe that there is some sort of heat between Crews and Hayes without any explanation as to why?

Easily the match of the night. Sikoa, Hayes & Waller are all main roster ready as far as I’m concerned. They have the charisma, the look, and the in ring skills to graduate from developmental and make an impact on Raw or SmackDown. Where they are all so polished, Crews included as he just came from the main roster, this match was at least 4 notches above anything else on the card.

Crews picked up the win for his team, which I think was the right choice. If you are going to have someone debut (or redebut) on the brand, have that debut be strong. Otherwise, the perception of that talent by the audience is going to dwindle.

Verdict: HIT

CATCH-UP: 6/7 NXT 2.0 REPORT: Wells’s report on the Women’s Breakout Tournament finals, Josh Briggs vs. Von Wagner, main roster talent confronts Bron Breakker, more

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