NXT TV RESULTS (5/14): Hazelwood’s live report on Ruca vs. Dame & Nile vs. Legend in qualifiers. Dempsey vs. D’Angelo for Heritage Cup, Dar vs. Evans, more



MAY 14, 2024

NXT Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T

Ring Announcer: Mike Rome

Backstage Correspondent(s): Sarah Schreiber, Kelly Kincaid



-The show began with a shot backstage of Noam Dar lying backstage being checked on officials. A “Moments Ago” graphic aired. Equipment was strewn about as well.

-They played a hype video for the Women’s North American Championship and highlights from the combine last week. How did they even make a combine look so fake? They showed the top 12 overall scores and matches and it was too fast for me to see especially since I missed last week’s show. Remember, I’ve picked Fallon Henley since the title was announced.

-They showed Kiana James, no longer on NXT, hyping up IzzI Dame for her qualifier with Sol Ruca. Ruca made her way to the ring and said she ranked number one at the combine and she will ride the wave all the way to becoming the first champion. She handstand walked her way to the entrance which was cool I guess. I mean, I can’t do that. Dame entered next, sans James.

(1) SOL RUCA vs. IZZI DAME – Women’s North American Championship qualifying match

They circled to begin the match and then locked up, Dame using her power early. Ruca hit a shoulder tackle and Dame was mad. Dame then shifted to working the left arm while also mushing Ruca’s face into the mat. She thwarted a Ruca escape attempt by slamming her to the mat and holding onto the arm. Ruca kipped up and then flipped out into a nifty backbody drop to break the hold. She hit a kick to the face and the gut, and then a somersault facebuster from the second rope that completely missed, but Dame bumped anyway. Dame rolled outside and ate a PK and then a running moonsault off of the second rope, Ruca landing on her feet. She rolled her back inside for a two-count. Dame was able to counter Ruca, sending her outside and hitting her face on the steps. Outside, Dame slammed her onto the announce table, Booker T smoothly moving his drink aside. Dame rolled her back inside the ring, confidence on her face, and hit a one-armed pendulum backbreaker for a two-count. She wrenched back on the neck to ground Ruca, who m ah have had blood coming down from her elbow after the outside spots. Dame then hit a big flapjack and falling elbow to the back for another two-count.

Dame went right back to wrenching on the neck. Ruca worked to her feet, but was sent into the corner. She flipped out of another backbreaker attempt, dodged a kick, and hit a few shoulder tackles and bottom rope springboard lariat, then a Samoan throw rather than drop and standing moonsault for a two-count. Ruca went for a springboard from the apron, but Dame moved. Ruca rolled aside, then landed on her feet on a backbody drop, but crumpled. She looked OK, but ate a huge kick for a two-count. Dame worked Ruca a bit, then sent her into the corner. Dame caught Ruca’s legs on her shoulders, but when she flipped her up, Ruca came down with Sol Snatcher.

WINNER: Sol Ruca at 5:37 (Sol Snatcher) to qualify for Women’s North American Championship ladder match at Battleground

-Ava was in her office angrily telling The Family that the match last week didn’t count after the events that led to it and the outcome. Adriana Rizzo was dressed as nicely as Tony D’Angelo and they threatened Ava about false advertisement. She decided to fine D’Angelo $20,000, and Rizzo pulled out an envelope with that amount. D’Angelo said Ava is tough, but fair. He said there will be no funny business tonight. They showed Edris Enofe and Malik Blade in the locker room. Enofe had the lucky rabbit’s foot and Blade was trying to hype him up. Blade said he’d take the lead tonight. Brinley Reece appeared and took the foot away from Enofe.

-O.T.M. made their entrance. [c]

-They returned with Sarah Schreiber in the back with Shayna Baszler and Lola Vice. They cut her off and Baszler reminded everyone that she held the Women’s NXT Championship for more days than anyone in history and everyone knew it was “Tap, Nap, or Snap.” Vice said when she becomes the champion, she’ll break every record in the back. Right when Baszler was about to retort, Karmen Petrovic and Natalya attacked. Babayfaces attacking the heels, on NXT?! Never?!

-Blade and Enofe were already in the ring.

(2) O.T.M. (Lucien Price & Bronco Nima w/Jaida Parker) vs. EDRIS ENOFE & MALIK BLADE (w/Brinley Reece) – Tag team match

Blade and Bronco Nima began the match. They locked up and went around the ring a bit before Blade dodged a highly telegraphed punch from Nima. Still, Nima took over with some power, but Enofe made a sneaky tag and hit a reverse slingblade on Nima. Enofe hit a few falling elbows, then on the third, danced bit and took off his shirt, and still hit the third. Nima was mad and just rammed Enofe into his corner and Lucien Price tagged in. Price tossed Enofe in the corner, then hit heavy blows to drop Enofe. Nima tagged in for a double suplex, but Blade came in to help his partner. The two big men threw them but they hit a do-si-do or whatever it’s called. Price and Nima then went for a super collider, but rana counters thwarted that. They went for simultaneous tope con hilos and Blade massively missed, but Nima helped. Jaida Parker created a distraction that allowed Nima to hit a big spinning elbow. Reece went after Jaida Parker and the four men broke them up. [c]

Enofe was slammed to the mat as they returned from break. Somehow, the ref didn’t toss Reece and Parker as they were still ringside and then went at it again. A gaggle of refs came down and separated the two, taking Reece to the back it appeared. Price tagged in and they hit a double team in the corner on Enofe. The crowd was more into the fights between Reece and Parker than the actual match. Price hit a big slam, almost like the old Freak Accident. Enofe crawled to a corner while Price, the former football player, lined up and hit a rushing lariat in the corner. He then readied Enofe for a wheelbarrow, no he had him in position and then wrenched on the face with a sub, then lifted him. Enofe elbowed his way out, but right in to Nima, who tagged in and went at him with elbows. Vic Joseph noted the left boot for Enofe was coming undone, but he was able to escape and tag in Blade, who went at both men with fire including a standing blockbuster. He hit a top rope crossbody across both men and then tagged in Enofe for some reason, who was still adjusting his boot. Nima booted Blade out of the ring, and Enoef dropkicked Price outside. He went for a run, but the boot slipped. He turned right into a thrust kick from Price. Nima tagged in and they nonchalantly hit a vertical suplex into spinebuster combo thing.

WINNER: O.T.M. at 10:45 (assisted suplex-spinebuster)

-They showed Dar in the back nursing his shoulder with Oro Mensah and Jakara Jackson by him. Legend was readying for her match and they asked her why they don’t think it was Trick Williams. Nile’s music hit and Legend said she had no time for this, calling Jackson over to accompany her to the match.

(Hazelwood’s Take: O.T.M. is looking much better in the ring. They just went almost 11 minutes after all, when it wasn’t clear they could go half that just a month ago. It’s been great to see their improvement. Obviously, the boot situation for Enofe was storyline, tying back to the “luck” aspect that Joseph not-so-subtly stressed. Is this leading to a breakup, or to an improbable title run?)

-They returned with Triple H leading a video about WWE being on fire and oh, it was an ad for WrestleMania in Las Vegas next year.

-They showed the Strip as they hyped travel and Priority Pass packages for Vegas. Then, Axiom and Nathan Frazer (who I forgot were Tag Team Champion) were in the locker room talking to Ridge Holland. Holland seemed to be in good spirits. The Good Brothers then walked in and Karl Anderson said the champ keep ducking them. They then told Holland he’s a main roster talent who needs to leave NXT. He said at least he started in NXT, unlike those two. Anderson said Holland has no reason to talk to them like that. Luke Gallows challenged Holland to find a partner for tonight.

-Legend and Jackson made their entrance to a modified entrance of Meta-Four with just the yellow (Jackson) and green (Legend).

(3) LASH LEGEND (w/Jakara Jackson) vs. IVY NILE – Women’s North American Championship qualifying match

Legend immediately hit a running uppercut to an unsuspecting Nile. She hit a short-arm shoulder tackle, then another, then rammed Nile into the middle turnbuckle shoulder-first. Nile rolled outside and Legend followed, hitting a hammerlock suplex kind of, having Nile land on her arm on the apron, then slamming her to the ground. Jackson tried to talk down Legend for something, but this allowed Nile to dodge and Legend went right into the steps. Nile took over and intimidated Jackson before hitting the top rope. She hit a crossbody, then hit a roundhouse kick to the head before a tilt-a-whirl rana. She then hit a her running kick into the corner, but Legend then caught her and tossed her aside before hitting a corner avalanche. She went for the ten punches, a bit comical considering Nile’s head just reached above the top turnbuckle, but Nile escaped and attacked Legend on the top rope. Nile climbed to the second rope and looked for something, but Legend caught her and went for a top rope chokeslam, but Nile turned it into a bulldog midair for a two-count as Legend just kicked out. Nile went for the Dragon Slayer, but Jackson grabbed her foot. She attacked Jackson, but then turned into a boot. Legend then hit a big pump kick for the victory.

WINNER: Lash Legend at 3:54 (pump kick) to qualify for Women’s North American Championship ladder match at Battleground

-Je’Von Evans made his way and was met by Schreiber. She asked if he attacked Dar. He was taken aback and said he doesn’t know, but he knows that Mensah is about to get it next and “it’s about to get bouncy!” [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: Neither of the qualifying matches thus far have had surprising outcomes. Legend and Nile were able to pack a good amount of action into sub-four minutes, and Legend just keeps coming along in the ring and as a character. She has tremendous potential and look for her to have at least two or three signature moments in the ladder match in a few weeks.)

-They returned with Ava being stopped outside of her office by Carlee Bright, who said she wanted Vice tonight. She tried putting over herself; Ava said she was 14th in the combine and mentioned she was faster than Tatum Paxley, who creepily was watching from Ava’s office. Ava took a call before she entered, but made Bright vs. Vice official (Bright Vice).

-Evans made his entrance. Mensah made his entrance and for some reason all four colors came out even though it was just him and Jackson.

(4) JE’VON EVANS vs. ORO MENSAH (w/Jakara Jackson) – Singles match

Mensah attacked before the bell. Legend came down to the ring to also cheer on Mensah. Evans took over with a basement dropkick after I guess a legmare. However, Mensah grabbed the dreads and the rubbed Evans’ face across the rope before hitting a springboard moonsault. He went for a vertical suplex, but Evans hit a knee to counter. He escaped from the corner, slipped in from the apron, and then hit a second rope rana and big dropkick for a two-count. Evans went for a rope-assisted rana, but Mensah instead used the momentum to toss him over and outside. [c]

Mensah was in control as they returned, raining down punches. They showed him hitting a thrust kick from the top rope during the break. Mensah caught Evans with an overhead kick, then hit one of those powerbombs where he keeps going and Evans lands on his face for a two-count. I haven’t played 2K in so long that I forget all these move names. Evans, from the apron, was able to drop Mensah with a big right hand. he climbed to the top rope, but Mensah met him. They both fought on the top rope. Evans fell to the apron, but then hit an enziguri to knock Mensah to the mat. He hit a huge crossbody lariat to Mensah, then hit a series of punches and chops. A superman punch followed, but Mensah caught him with a big elbow.


Evans dodged a Mensah springboard moonsault and hit a springboard cutter. Mensah rolled outside, but Evans launched himself clean over the top with a running splash that they caught from the overhead camera. Back in the ring, Jackson distracted the ref and Legend went for a chair. Williams then made his way and Legend dropped the chair, looking conflicted. Mensah just beat on Evans for a bit, hitting a discus forearm. He set for a powerbomb, but Evans fought out and hit a spin kick to the face. He ate a superman punch, but hit a thrust kick to floor Mensah. Evans hit his double springboard corkscrew splash that I don’t know the name of and scored the victory. Williams entered the ring and rose the hand of Evans as Meta-Three regrouped outside.

WINNER: Je’Von Evans at 10:11 (double springboard corkscrew splash)

-Kelly Kincaid was in the back with Charlie Dempsey asking about the catch clause not being in effect and asked where his partners were. He said they were on their way. He also said he’s going to fight and said the Heritage Cup is staying with the “NQCC” as he beats D’Angelo to within an inch of his life.

-They showed Wes Lee making his way to the ring. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: Is Mensah ever going to be more than a fall guy? Evans’ abilities are ridiculous and it’s amazing how much air he gains. I don’t think Evans was the one who attacked Dar, but then again, I missed last week so I guess I’m not the best person to ask. I’m just going to say Noam Dar attacked Noam Dar. Also, I’m assuming we’re going to see Williams & Evans vs. Dar & Mensah at some point.)

-They returned with Lee making his entrance to a great pop, probably the biggest of the night.


Lee took a mic and said the last time that he was in the ring with a mic, things were a bit different. He said he was in one of the darkest times of his life and didn’t know if he’d make it back out here. He said everyone knows how much he loves NXT, but everyone knows how much the Men’s North American Championship means to him. He said losing it set off a chain reaction of events that led him to wonder if his career was over completely, “but this, ALL of this, I missed this!” The crowd chanted “we missed you” before he could speak next. He said two days after his major surgery, he was able to walk again and in the gym a few weeks after. He said he struggled and it was hard, but he was focused on getting back to NXT. He said he was supposed to miss nearly a year, but he fought to be back in the ring in six months feeling amazing energy. He said he honestly doesn’t know what to say. He paused, then paused again, but then Oba Femi’s music hit.

The current North American Champion made his way to the ring and spoke as he walked. He said he was very, very impressed with Lee and has always been, speaking to the heights that Lee took that title. He said Lee has taken it as far as he could and it’s time for him to sit back and watch Femi take it to heights Lee was never capable of. Femi said Lee has the heart of a lion, the spirit of a warrior, but HE is an actual warrior, “a mountain you cannot climb and you cannot conquer.” Femi said Lee wants a title opportunity and he’ll get one by proving he deserves one. Lee said Femi has the size, speed, strength, and freakish athleticism and “COME ON” as Ivar’s music interrupted.

Ivar said everyone is excited to have Lee back, including him, because he knows what it’s like from a “vareer-ending” injury. He said they even have the same spinal surgeon and shouted him out. He said when he came back, he had to fight for everything he got and said he knows Lee isn’t afraid to fight for everything. He said he wants a shot at Oba- and Josh Briggs’ music hit. He made his way and said they’re in a bit of a pickle as they’re all just so “emotional” with Lee’s comeback story of the year and Ivar showing the world who he really is behind the paint and Viking calls, but he said this is a man’s game. The crowd was booing him mercilessly. He said he and Femi stole the show at Stand & Deliver, but they both know how close he was to taking the title with broken ribs. He said they’re healed and they should run it back. He said once he’s champion, he’ll throw them a bone. Femi said they all have very compelling arguments, then Lee challenged him to make it a fatal four-way if he’s “really the ruler” he says he is. Femi said that’s why he is the champion and Lee isn’t: “Fight amongst yourselves, the winner will get an opportunity against me.”

-They showed Holland in the back and Kincaid approached, Kincaid said we’ve seen him do this before and asked if he was going to take on The O.C. alone. Chase U approached and Andre Hudson said Riley Osborne should be the partner. Thea Hail said it’s like a teachable moment.

-The Good Brothers made their entrance. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: Oba Femi not making it a fatal four-way makes him the wrestler of the year and downright intelligent champion. Why make it harder on yourself? Make the others fight over the “right” and then pick apart what’s left, at least that’s how I would think a kayfabe Femi approached this. I’m thinking we do see Femi vs. Lee as it’s the one match we haven’t seen among the possibilities, and bubba, let me tell you, just take my money now.)

-They returned with a snoring noise and an alarm clock, so Wendy Choo is coming back!

-They showed Lexis King in the kitchenette area with some folk I don’t know except Dion Jordan and started talking about himself. Jazmyn Nyx appeared with a get well soon card for Jacy Jayne. Everyone else said no and walked away. King called her a lovely lady and decided to sign the card even though he got her name wrong. She looked at and he wrote Jackie. She called him an idiot.

-Chase U made their entrance with Holland.

(5) THE GOOD BROTHERS (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) vs. RIDGE HOLLAND & RILEY OSBORNE (w/Chase U) – Tag team match

Holland just happened to be in his red and black gear to match Chase U (but only one kneepad for some reason) while The Good Brothers were in black and red. Holland and Gallows started with some power offense against each other, but Holland hit a big running shoulder tackle to gain the advantage. he tagged in Osborne and they started working the left arm, but Gallows just overpowered him and tagged in Anderson, who in turn targeted the left arm of Osborne. Hey, Giants City Connect night against the Dodgers! Osborne used his speed to evade Anderson and hit a dropkick, then a springboard one to knock Gallows off of the apron, the a running shooting star to Anderson for a two-count. Joseph asked if it was OK for Chase to take charge and volunteer Osborne as Anderson hit his amazing spinebuster. Gallows tagged in and worked him in their corner. Gallows then slammed down Osborne and hit a bunch of elbows to the face before hitting the rear chin lock. Joseph I believe just said the Heritage Cup match will be the main event. Anderson tagged in and whipped Osborne hard into the corner, then a second time, Osborne exploding out of the corner each time. Back to their corner, Gallows tagged in.

He hit a big uppercut and then tagged in Anderson as they cut off the ring. Osborne caught them with a counter springboard out of the corner and made the tag. Holland came in and took out Anderson, then Gallows, then hit Anderson with an arm-capture overhead belly-to-belly. He hit basically an Emerald Flowsion, but Gallows broke up the pin. He then took out Osborne, but Holland hit him. He lifted Anderson into an Alabama slam, but Gallows dodged a leaping Osborne, who hit Holland and caused the pin.

WINNER: The Good Brothers at 5:13 (leverage pin)

-They played a Carlee Bright highlight package from Lvl Up. [c]

-They returned with Bright making her first NXT entrance proper I believe. She was in all hot pink as Joseph confirmed it’s her NXT in-ring debut. Vice then made her entrance with Baszler alongside.

(6) LOLA VICE (w/Shayna Baszler) vs. CARLEE BRIGHT – Singles match

They squared up and Vice hit a leg kick that immediately dropped Bright. Vice then picked the leg and hit a leg trip, but Bright turned it into a rollup and then crucifix and the la magistral, Vice kicking out at one each time. Bright blocked a hip toss, flipped out of a counter, and hit a standing crossbody for a two-count. Vice sent her to the apron and then kicked her across the chest as she tried to come back in, then an axe kick to the back. They showed Petrovic and Natalya watching, the former pacing and then leaving, the latter following. Bright caught Vice with a backslide, but Vice kicked out and hit a big body shot. Vice then hit some muy thai plumb knees to the gut. She stepped on the stomach and shook her butt for a bit before Bright finally rolled her up for a two-count. Bright then hit a comeback sequence, including a cartwheel kick in the corner, then standing moonsault as Joseph touted her cheer background. Bright set on the second rope, but got caught with a kick to the gut and then a spinning backfist. Baszler entered and Vice shook her ass some more, Baszler visibly mouthing “You don’t always have to do that.” The “faces” made the save and cleared the ring. Natalya took a mic and mocked Vice and Baszler. Petrovic angrily grabbed the mic and challenged them to a tag team match for next week. “Make it happen!”

WINNER: Lola Vice at 3:10 (spinning backfist)

-Holland was walking in the back as Chase U caught up with them. Osborne apologized. Holland said he knows it was an accident and nothing but respect. He said he hopes they can trust him. Hail hugged him and Osborne shook his hand. Did Ridge Holland just make a friend?!

-Joseph hyped the main event, coming up next. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Take: I know their backgrounds are different, but a flippy blonde girl wearing pink gear is going to draw immediate comparisons to Tiffany Stratton in NXT. That’s not to say she didn’t show promise and I can see why they’ve moved her from Lvl Up to the main NXT show. This little feud will seemingly end next week, but I also see a Vice-Baszler feud coming based off of their interactions tonight. Vice should go over if Baszler is leaving, but if she’s staying, then “The Queen of Spades” should defeat Vice and reassert herself at the top of the division.)

-They returned with Joseph hyping Battleground at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. He then recapped the Dar attack to start the show. Joseph then asked why and who attacked Dar. Joseph then hyped next week’s matches including Henley vs. Hail in a qualifier, Reece vs. Parker in another qualifier, a triple threat #1 contender’s match between Lee-Ivar-Briggs, and the aforementioned women’s tag team match.

-Joseph went over the Heritage Cup rules. Time will be elapsed in my report. The Family made their entrance. Dempsey next, no second as both Myles Bourne and Damon Kemp were absent. Mike Rome gave formal ring introductions.

(7) CHARLIE DEMPSEY (c) vs. “THE DON OF NXT” TONY D’ANGELO (w/The Family) – NXT Heritage Cup match

D’Angelo immediately took Dempsey down and hit a gator roll for a quick one-count. Joseph put over D’Angelo being a high school national champion and Division I amateur wrestler, something I keep saying he needs to channel more in his matches. He used it more to frustrate Dempsey, doing what his dad did so well and kicking the bottom rope in frustration. D’Angelo then lifted and slammed Dempsey to the mat, finally using more of his mat wrestling to ground his opponent. A rounds match is a great match to utilize this style. Dempsey held onto a cravate and almost scored a pin, then held on through multiple roll through attempts. However, D’Angelo broke it and hit a big hip toss. Dempsey was able to reapply the lock, though, and then hit a few shoulder tackles. he blocked another hip toss, but D’Angelo rolled him up in a victory roll for the first fall. [c]

Tony D’Angelo up 1-0

60 seconds remained in Round 2 as they returned, Dempsey just being manhandled by a methodical, stalking D’Angelo. The two then traded blows, including running varieties, before Dempsey put him in a standing butterfly lock and then into armbar, but the bell rung. Dempsey held on just a bit after the bell rung.


Round 3 began with D’Angelo favoring the left arm. Remember, Dempsey said earlier that No Quarter Catch Crew would be there tonight. D’Angelo lifted Dempsey into a fireman’s carry, but Dempsey grabbed the arm to break the hold and shoved him into the corner, then repeatedly attacked the left arm. D’Angelo tried to fight back, even taking down Dempsey, but Dempsey quickly transitioned into an armbar attempt. D’Angelo stacked him into a pin, then lifted him, but Dempsey countered into a falling Fujiwara armbar. 1:45 remained as D’Angelo broke the hold, but suffered more strikes to his arm. Dempsey hit a backslide, but D’Angelo reversed the pin attempt again, and then basically one-handed hit a few tosses. He rushed Dempsey in the corner, who dodged so D’Angelo hit the corner and then Dempsey hit a bridging German.

Tied 1-1

Round 4 began with both men looking ragged. Dempsey hit a running uppercut and then kept attacking the left arm. He rained down some elbows and then hit the Baszler stomp to the elbow. D’Angelo tried to work out the feeling in his arm, but Dempsey just kept at it. D’Angelo tried right hands, but a throat shot stopped that. Dempsey then hit a modified inverted keylock or something, holding on through counter attempts. D’Angelo stacked him and almost had the pin, but Dempsey kicked out while holding on into a triangle attempt. D’Angelo finally broke it by lifting him and down into a powerbomb. Dempsey slapped D’Angelo and that sparked him. He hit a bunch of strikes and then a belly-to-belly, then another, and went for Forget About It with 10, then a big spinebuster after Dempsey countered, but the bell to end the round hit.

Round 5 began with about two minutes left in the usual overrun. D’Angelo immediately hit a running forearm into the corner, then a big German. NQCC did appear suddenly and took out Stacks and Luca Crusifino outside. D’Angelo joined them and took out Kemp, then Bourne in the ring. He turned to strike Dempsey, then tossed Bourne outside. He just kicked out of a bridging pin and then hit Forget About It just like that.

WINNER: Tony D’Angelo at 14:16 (Forget About It) to become NEW NXT Heritage Cup Champion

-They cut to the back where Lee, Briggs, and Ivar were all taken out, pipes and tools strewn about. Gallus appeared and said surprise, surprise, and that this is just the beginning.

(Hazelwood’s Take: The ending came suddenly because of the overrun cutoff. It was their usual seven- or eight-minute overrun as opposed to the 15-minute overrun. This match was a physical story of attrition as both men looked physically drained as the match wore on. D’Angelo kept selling that arm, but then it didn’t seem to play a role in the finishing sequences anyway. I do think it was a rather unceremonious way to take the Cup off of Dempsey, but as soon as the match was announced, the outcome was inevitable based on their respective places on the card. D’Angelo fought for the main men’s championship what, six weeks ago? This is a nice little gift to The Family who I’m sure will use the Freebird Rule/Catch Clause as well, giving Stacks and Crusifino some much-needed main event and championship match experience.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: You know, it’s been a long time since I feel like I’ve watched an episode of NXT and thought, “That was a bad show.” Today was an eventful show with the attacks, qualifiers for a new championship, setting contenders for another title, crowning a new champion, debuting a new wrestler, and possibly forming a new tag team while also signaling the return of at least two acts (Choo, Gallus). Wrestlers like Petrovic, Legend, Vice, Osborne, and Evans keep showing why the decision makers highlight them as their improvement speaks for itself. Having the veteran presences of people like Natalya, Baszler, Ivar, and The Good Brothers has worked out well because they’re not overpowering or overshadowing the developmental acts that NXT is ostensibly about and rather assisting them in their development. I rather enjoyed tonight’s show and that probably has as much to do with an absence of irritants as it does the show being solid from start to finish.

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