NXT HITS & MISSES 5/9: Women’s Tournament Quarterfinals Matches, Breakker vs. Williams, Dyad vs. Gallus, Bernal vs. Hudson, Thorpe vs. Kemp. Dragunov vs. Dijak, more

By: Nate Lindberg - PWTorch Contributor



Coming into this match, Dolan had her shoulder taped up to sell the attack from Jacy Jayne last week. The announce team immediately began talking about it as the match started, and Stratton wisely worked on the shoulder throughout.

This was an easy tell that either Stratton was going to win cleanly, or Jayne would somehow interfere and cause Dolan to lose. Plus, with Stratton’s trajectory as of late it’s hard to believe she’d lose in the first round.

The match was relatively short and saw Stratton win cleanly over the former Toxic Attraction member. While it was predictable, it was a halfway decent match and showed us that Dolan is actually a competent competitor when she’s not opposite Jacy Jayne.

With Stratton picking up the win, I’d expect to see Perez get the win over Jayne next week to set up Stratton vs. Perez.

Verdict: HIT


Last week, Joe Gacy managed to talk Joe Coffey into a singles match in which if Gacy won the Dyad would get a shot at Mark Coffey and Wolfgang’s tag titles. Gacy won, and one of the great rivalries from NXT UK was revisited.


Obviously, The Dyad were the Grizzled Young Vets back then and the announce team barely even mentioned their epic matches across the pond. Regardless, we got some great tag team wrestling out of these two talented teams (okay, it would have been more amazing if they were still GYV).

Only Ava accompanied Dyad to the ring with Gacy nowhere to be found, again one of the first things that the announce team mentioned. We also saw Diamond Mine and D’Angelo & Stacks watching the match at various points throughout. Ivy Nile wound up attacking Ava at ringside causing enough of a distraction to allow Gallus to retain. With Gacy MIA, I expected him to factor into the finish, but he never did show up.

Verdict: HIT


Big Body Javi besmirched the good name of Duke Un… I mean, Chase University earlier in the night, leading to this match against Hudson. Bernal will probably never make it past the midcard, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Not everyone can be on the top. I feel like he’s embraced that, giving us a fantastic comedic character.

In typical Chase U fashion, Hudson spent the majority of the match on the defensive before “hulking up” and taking charge. Generally we’ll see Andre Chase do the same, though his comeback rarely ends with a victory in his favor.

Thea Hail was probably the best part of this match as far as I’m concerned. She spent the match outside the ring with a megaphone cheering Hudson on. Well, more screaming Hudson on. Her energy is divisive, as some people find it annoying. But I think she pulls off the overly hyped character extremely well.

Verdict: Meh, this existed. Wasn’t great, wasn’t bad either. 


For weeks now, we’ve seen Kemp and Thorpe have some words with one another backstage. Tonight, the two technical wrestlers clashed in the ring.

While I wasn’t familiar with Thorpe’s work prior to his NXT debut, I’ve since gone down a bit of a YouTube rabbit hole. I think he has the potential to be a big star in the WWE bubble if he stays healthy and on this trajectory.

Damon Kemp is also another proven commodity in the ring. What he needs work on is his mic work. While he’s certainly improved compared to his debut, he still has a long way to go in that department. I’m confident he’ll get there, or at least very close. If he’s able to hone his mic skills to better connect with the audience, I could see Kemp as a mainstay heel in this company for years to come.

Thorpe picked up the win after a pretty hard fought battle. While Kemp really does need a few more victories under his belt for me to really buy him as a credible threat, Thorpe is still very fresh in the company. I think it’s more important to keep him strong right now as he came into the promotion with a strong push to begin with.

Verdict: HIT


We’ve seen Dijak and Dragunov at each other’s throats for weeks, with the feud finally making it between the ropes. Dijak vowed to break Dragunov in half, but Dragunov wouldn’t go down without a fight.

The beginning of this match was explosive, with Dragunov showing Dijak what happens when he sees red. Dijak was being manhandled by the much smaller Dragunov until he was able to biel him across the ring and deliver a big boot. It wasn’t the finish, but it definitely turned the tide of the match. Or at least it could have if Dijak didn’t get himself DQ’d (and probably ‘fined’, if I had to guess) by attacking a referee, then Dragunov with a chair. Dijak continued the assault, after the match and used the steps to “crush” Dragunov. Even though it was very clear that Dragunov had more than enough room to survive under the steps.

The match itself was fantastic, and while I would have preferred a clean finish I think this showed the audience how desperate he is to beat the scrappy Dragunov.

Verdict: HIT


With Gulak in Dempsey’s corner and the North American Champ, Wes Lee in Bate’s we finally got a Joe Gacy sighting. During the banger of a match, Gacy came out and caused a distraction between Lee and Gulak. While the ref was distracted with the two of them, Gacy clocked Bate and allowed Dempsey to hit a dragon suplex for the win.

A very short match, but a lot of storyline development for all of the men involved. Potentially leading to some sort of multi-man match for the North American title perhaps?

Verdict: HIT


Hank & Tank. If that chant doesn’t catch on soon, I’m gonna be severely disappointed in the Florida crowd.

Briggs and Jensen didn’t seem to miss a beat after their brief split, but the real standouts to me in this match were Hank & Tank. Two newbies on the losing side tonight, but they looked like total badasses out there. Especially when Tank lost a tooth after a hit to the face, and he picked it up and put it in his singlet. Something straight out of the Mick Foley book of wrestling.

Verdict: HIT



The EIGHTH match of the night brought us another quarterfinals contest in the NXT Women’s title tournament.

While Kiana James has certainly been in the spotlight quite a bit as of late, I feel like they look at Valkyria as the bigger potential star. Valkyria has been pushed to the moon (Trademark: Cameron Grimes) since her debut, while James had to work her way up from a jobber to an upper midcarder.

After a lengthier match than the first quarter final, we saw Valkyria come out on top. Looking at the bracket, we have Cora Jade vs. Fallon Henley next week. Unfortunately, this win also foreshadows next week’s winner, as I can’t imagine they’ll have Henley face Valkyria.

Verdict: HIT


With Carmelo Hayes “out of action” after being speared through “a wall” last week, Williams looked to get his hands on Breakker to avenge the fallen NXT Champion.

Trick Williams may be in the shadow of Melo right now, but Williams has all of the makings of a star. His in ring work is spot on and he has just as much charisma on the mic as Melo does.

As a heel, I’ve been digging what Bron Breakker has been doing lately. His promos, while still Steiner-esque, are lightyears ahead of what he would deliver as a babyface. And he’s leaning into the heel persona in the ring, laying his offense in even more than he did as champion. At least that’s how it comes across to me.

Trick came out on the losing end of the match, as expected. But he absolutely looked like he could hang with the former champion. Melo made his way to the ring after the match, trying to make the save. But he wound up on the wrong end of a spear, and Breakker closed the show by standing tall over both Williams and the Champ.

Verdict: HIT

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