SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
KATANA CHANCE & KAYDEN CARTER vs. ZOEY STARK & NIKKITA LYONS – NXT WOMEN’S TAG CHAMPIONSHIPS
Chance & Carter have held the NXT Womens Tag Titles for nearly three months now with very little TV time given to them, a shame after their journey to the top. Going into this match, it just felt as if the current champs were fodder for Lyons & Stark who are on their ways to promising single careers within NXT.
Stark pinned Chance to win the titles, and it looked like we had new champions. All of a sudden the match was restarted after it was deemed that there was a blind tag and that Chance wasn’t the legal competitor. I liked this swerve, as Chance and Carter deserve more of a run with the titles. Lyons and Stark got the visual win, but in the end the champions rightfully retained.
SHOTZI vs LASH LEGEND
At Halloween Havoc, Lash Legend interrupted the host segment featuring Shotzi and Quincy Elliot leading to this match tonight.
Great to see Shotzi back competing in an NXT ring. I’m liking the main roster talent coming down to NXT every so often, gives the more veteran talent some time to work with the younger talent. Shotzi is pretty decent in the ring and Legend’s ring work is continuing to improve, but this was not a good match by any stretch. There was no chemistry between Legend and Shotzi, I think I’ve seen more cohesive matches on the lower card of my local wrestling promotion.
Shotzi picked up the win, as she should as the veteran. But her getting the clean win felt like this match only happened to get Shotzi on NXT two weeks in a row. Lash Legend didn’t come out any better for this short feud.
PRETTY DEADLY vs. EDRIS ENOFE & MALIK BLADE
Our second Tag Team Championship bout of the night pit another underdog team against a powerhouse team. This time, the challengers were the underdogs. Enofe and Blade have been on fire as of late, finally finding their lane as both characters and as a team. Coming into this match, they still felt like an undercard team albeit on the rise.
Pretty Deadly have been enjoyable champions, partly with their schtick backstage and partly with their fantastic work in the ring.
The match itself was just as you would expect out of these two teams, energetic and entertaining. Malik Blade was a standout in the match for me. His partner, Edris Enofe, has come off as the Shawn Michaels of the group with Blade playing the part of Marty Janetty. Tonight, Blade was able to get his moment with some great high flying offense while Enofe was laid out.
While Enofe & Blade didn’t get the victory tonight, they showed us all that they could hang with the champs.
SOL RUCA vs INDI HARTWELL
Sol Ruca’s second match in NXT was against NXT veteran, Indi Hartwell. As quickly as this match started, it was over. I think Indi squashed Ruca faster than Braun Strowman squashed James Ellsworth back in the day.
Elektra Lopez returned to NXT, shocker considering Zelina Vega is with Legado del Fantasma on the main roster. She took out both Indi and Ruca before walking to the back. Lopez was not good between the ropes in the few matches that she’s had to date. A longer stay in NXT was inevitable for her when LDF was called up.
ILJA DRAGUNOV vs. JD MCDONTGOOGLEME
I couldn’t resist. That joke at the expense of JD McDonagh by Kevin Owens at Halloween Havoc was pure gold. The two losers of Halloween Havoc’s main event squared off in a bit of a grudge match.
Dragunov and McDonagh have fantastic chemistry together and know how to bring out a great match out of one another. McDonagh played into his sadistic, sociopathic character to a T, attacking the taped up ribs of Dragunov. They played it up on camera by having the medical staff check on Dragunov before going to a commercial break.
This helped to build sympathy on Dragunov while building more heat on one of the more interesting heels that NXT has to offer. Dragunov had to fight from underneath through the entire match and showed a ton of heart to overcome McDonagh. In the end, Dragunov passed out from a submission hold and the referee stopped the match. McDonagh wiped the obviously fake blood off of Dragunov’s face and smeared it across his chest after the victory. I loved that visual, it just showed how unhinged McDonagh really is.