NXT HITS & MISSES (5/21): Wes Lee vs. Coffee vs. Briggs, Natalya Petrovic vs. Baszler & Vice, Henley vs. Hail, plus Lexis King, Chase U

By Jason Goodspeed, PWTorch contributor


Let me start off by saying that You Tube TV recorded the entire episode with a blue tint, making everyone look like Smurfs or folks from Avatar. It was extremely distracting, but I’ll try and get through the episode!

Fallon Henley vs. Thea Hail: Hit

These two work well together. I’m still adjusting to heel Henley, but she’s good and will eventually win me over with the new attitude. Small gripe: I know it’s par for the course with a heel turn, so I’d like to see Henley change her outfit to a more dark color (at least I think it’s still the gold one: the blue tint makes it hard to tell). The darker colors always seem to accentuate a heel turn.

Gallus: Hopeful Hit:

These three (especially Joe Coffee) have been criminally underutilized in NXT. I watched them in NXT UK and they were treated a dominate force, but stateside they’ve lost more than they’ve won. I’m hoping that THIS time they are presented as a powerful faction. I also like that Coffee has been featured in both the North American title chase and the NXT Championship chase.

Nathan Frazier & Axiom vs. Stacks Lorenzo & Luca Cruscifino: Hit

A well-worked tag team match with plenty of near falls and the expected distraction finish. As with Gallus, The No Quarter Catch Crew has appeared lackluster non-dominant over the past couple of months. I like the aggressive edge shown, but if this will just lead to another feud lost, their shine will be pretty much tarnished. Gallows & Anderson will make for great challengers to Axiom & Frazier and I wouldn’t mind a run by the duo in NXT. (By the way, the A-Kid crack about The Heritage Cup was a great little nod to NXT UK, with Axiom dropping his old moniker since coming stateside. It got a chuckle out of me!)

Wes Lee vs. Joe Coffee vs. Josh Briggs: Hit

The match-up was nice enough, but with an unusual finish. I guess it makes sense, but pins to me were always pinning your opponents shoulders to the mat, but I guess it was never explicitly stated you had to be draped across the shoulders. I’m not sure if this will lead to a one on one between Coffee and Lee or set up a triple threat. I thought it was strange that Oba Femi, who wanted a wanted a one on one with the winner of this match, would laugh over the fact that there are two winners for his to face. I’ll hold my reservations to see where they go from this…Okay, now I know. I write these as I’m watching the matches and all it took was a commercial break to determine that it will be a Triple Threat at Battleground.

Brinley Reece vs. Jaida Parker: Minor Hit

Matches between the rawer developmental talents are hard to rate sometimes, as there is a bell curve to factor in inexperience, but these match exceeded my expectations. Parker looked the best I’ve seen her and Reece is another of those plucky underdogs. I’m still not sure where this will lead with her Blade and Enofe, but it interests me more than The Chase U / Ridge Holland stuff (more on that in a bit)

Lexis King vs. Dante Chen: Hit

Okay, this was an adequate match, but Hit goes more for Dante Chen AND the extremely positive reaction he got from the audience. I know he’s been a Level Up guy predominantly and to be honest, I was even sure he wasn’t part of the recent NXT cuts. Great win for Chen and I really like the pairing with he and Mr. Stone.

Chase U / Ridge Holland drama: Miss

As someone who has enjoyed every storyline Chase U has been a part of, this one does nothing for me. I liked Ridge as part of the Brawling Brutes, but he’s become stale lately and this “will he or won’t he” mystery seems to be stuck in first gear.

Karmen Petrovic & Natalya vs. Shayna Baszler & Lola Vice: Minor Miss

There wasn’t anything wrong, per se, with the match, it was more than two of these acts (Baszler and Natalya) are cold right now. I remember Basler being the dominant force in the women’s division and now spends most of her time tag teaming. I know who we were supposed to cheer for during the match, but the post-match scrum was confusing. Baszler seemed more of the face in helping Vice up and the attack by Vice seemed very heel-like, but unfortunately she’s always going to get cheered for shaking her hips and backside. I think Baszler could benefit from a babyface run and Vice (outside of her dancing) has a natural heel vibe to her. I would’ve preferred a Fight Pit announcement, as we have just seen an Underground match, but who knows: maybe these two can pull it off better than Vice & Natalya did. Petrovic looks good in the ring, but her character development has been lacking. I’ll probably go back and watch the match a little later through possibly less jaded eyes, but I just couldn’t get invested in this main event.

Here’s hoping to a less blue-tinged episode next week as they continue their countdown to Battleground

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply