SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Honestly, not really. Don’t get me wrong, NXT Battleground has some solid matches and has been built up successfully across the board. The show fades into the background opposite a regular AEW event. That said, NXT is pulling out some major matches like the Carmelo Hayes vs. Bron Breakker rematch to try and compete. Can they? We’ll find out.
Call this a preview, a calm look into the distant future, or a gaze into a wondrous crystal ball; just don’t hold me to anything, ok?
Tiffany Stratton vs. Lyra Valkyria – NXT Women’s Championship
It’s going to be Tiffany Stratton’s time. She’s winning here, but is she ready? I’m not sold on that yet. I still see a one note character and a one note promo. She can do quite a bit in the ring and that will help her start the title run on the right foot. Valkyria is too underdeveloped from a character point of view to win this thing. Seems like doing Stratton vs. Perez in the finals would have been the smarter route if NXT really wanted there to be genuine wonder about the finish.
Gallus vs. The Creed Brothers – NXT Tag Team Championship
A sneaky match of the night hiding in the grass. Both teams are excellent and haven’t worked with each other much. I’m taking Gallus.
Noam Dar vs. Dragon Lee – Heritage Cup
Dragon Lee has been given the NXT top notch presentation and production and Noam Dar has been given basically nothing. This is a match that will be excellent from an in-ring perspective, but clearly exists to help get Lee over. Dar just isn’t a priority and doesn’t have the upside that Lee does. Lee takes it and takes it definitively.
Wes Lee vs. Joe Gacy vs. Tyler Bate – North American Championship
Not a fan of triple threat matches where the heel gets the sympathy of being on the wrong end of a 2 on 1 advantage. This issue is exacerbated with this match because Lee and Bate are friends with a relationship that haven’t shown any real signs of cracking. Expect loads of athleticism in this one and some pesky interference from Schism. In the end, it’s not time for Lee to lose the championship, as its done a nice job of giving him a major purpose on the show each week. He retains.
Dijak vs. Ilja Dragunov – Last Man Standing
A paint by numbers build for a match between two guys that have already reached their NXT ceilings. There will be a ton of action in this. Dijak needs the W badly. He is hanging on by thread in terms of credibility and has a slightly higher upside overall due to his size.
Carmelo Hayes vs. Bron Breakker – NXT Championship
Bron Breakker has transitioned nicely to a heel and the same goes for Hayes with the babyface turn. This match already has more depth because there are clearly defined heels and babyfaces with the audience clearly rooting for Hayes all the way. That foundation gives these guys a million different directions to go and the match will work better than the first because of it. It may be tempting for HBK the gang to go back to Breakker as champion because of how well its gone for him as a heel, but that would do some damage to Hayes. Carmelo Hayes retains here after the match of the night.