SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
PRETTY DEADLY vs. CREED BROTHERS – STEEL CAGE MATCH
One year of NXT 2.0 is in our rear view mirror, as the Creeds and Pretty Deadly kicked off this anniversary show in a cage. Somewhere, somehow you were able to vote on the stipulations for tonight’s matches. Yet, they never really promoted HOW to vote for them leading up to tonight.
Pretty Deadly unified the NXT and NXT UK Tag belts at Worlds Collide and the former NXT Tag Champs, the Creeds, looked to reclaim their gold by any means necessary.
Julius Creed was the stand out in this match, even at one point lifting both members of Pretty Deadly onto his shoulders for a double team move. He was also targeted by Damon Kemp, who ran to the ring and handcuffed him to the cage mid match.
Brutus tried freeing Julius multiple times, leading to some unique offense by the Creeds. Ultimately, Pretty Deadly took advantage of the situation and took Brutus down for the count.
LASH LEGEND vs. FALLON HENLEY
For weeks, Lash Legend and Fallon Henley have clashed back stage and in multi-person matches. Tonight they finally try to settle the score in the ring.
Legend might be one of the most improved members of the 2.0 roster over this past year. She went from a directionless reality show host who was extremely green in the ring, to a loud-mouthed badass… who’s only somewhat green in the ring! While she has a lot to learn between the ropes, she’s drastically improved from where she was a year ago. On the mic, she’s become one of the best in the female division.
Which is why I found it surprising that she lost to Fallon Henley in just a couple minutes without much fanfare. Nothing against Henley, as I’m high on her as well. But it just seemed like Legend was on a different trajectory than staring at the lights in just minutes after a lengthy build in this feud.
QUINCY ELLIOT vs. SEAN GALLAGHER
Quincy Elliot is my new favorite thing on NXT, hands down. The “Super Diva” and his flamboyant antics are extremely entertaining and reminiscent of Goldust meets Velveteen Dream. For a big guy, he moves super quickly in the ring and clearly has an “it” factor that will hopefully get him far in this business.
THE D’ANGELO FAMILY vs. CAMERON GRIMES & MYSTERY PARTNER?
Cameron Grimes went into this match with the intent of getting a mystery partner, but before the match took place he revealed that plan didn’t quite pan out. So, he began the match as a handicapped bout between he, Stacks & D’Angelo.
Grimes started the match out on the offensive, but as time went on the D’Angelo family wore him down. That is until Schism made their way to the ring, and Joe Gacy stood on the apron acting as Grimes’ partner. Grimes noticed Gacy on the apron, and refused to make the tag to the cult leader and opted to continue to get beaten down by D’Angelo and Stacks.
Gacy eventually tagged himself in and cleaned house. He handily took D’Angelo and Stacks to school before Grimes started screaming at Gacy that he doesn’t need Gacy’s help. No sooner did he say that, they both happened to work in unison perfectly to defeat the D’Angelo family.
Once Grimes refused to embrace Gacy after their win, the Grizzled Young Cult Followers helped Gacy decimate Grimes. Part of me thinks that Grimes will still wind up joining their faction before long, as Grimes hasn’t been doing anything of importance as of late. But, I’d rather see him called up to the main roster. I think joining Schism could be a kiss of death for Grimes as a main event player.
ZOEY STARK & NIKKITA LYONS vs. KIANA JAMES & ARIANNA GRACE
Stark and Lyons return to NXT TV after a month long hiatus due to injury saw them taking on the smartest woman in NXT, Kiana James and her protégé, Arianna Grace.
Glad to see Stark back in action, but I could have used another month long hiatus for Lyons. I’m still in the camp that she’s not good enough to feature on TV as of yet. However, she still gets the hot tag and came in for the win. She barely was in the ring for 10 seconds of the match while Stark handled everything.
Frankly, if that’s how all Lyons’ matches go in the future… I can probably tolerate them.
Verdict: Lukewarm HIT
JAVIER BERNAL vs. HANK WALKER
Hank Walker is supposed to be a security guard who was accosted by Bernal last week, leading to this match. I kind of liked the angle of a non-wrestler security guard trying to take on an actual wrestler. And holding his own at that! Walker tossed Bernal around like a bouncer tossing your drunk cousin out of the local bar.
Walker handily picked up a win, embarrassing Bernal in the process.
Maybe someone should offer this guy a contract?
CARMELO HAYES vs WES LEE… I mean… SOLO SIKOA – NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP
Earlier in the night, Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams attacked Wes Lee in the locker room leaving us wondering if Lee would even be able to compete. That question was answered when the newest member of the Bloodline, Solo Sikoa returned to NXT and challenged Hayes for the North American title.
Match. Of. The. Night.
The energy levels from both Sikoa and Hayes were off the charts. Hayes played a tricky heel perfectly, sneakily escaping offense left and right. Sikoa looked like a monster threat to Hayes, and his main roster rub made him feel incredibly important.
What I didn’t expect was Sikoa to beat Hayes for the title. With Sikoa on the main roster now, the Bloodline adds more gold to their ranks. Sami, get on that man. You need to win the 24/7 title or something.
Verdict: HIT HIT HIT