What went right/wrong at NXT: Vengeance Day, including 3 title matches


A day removed from Valentine’s Day, the NXT 2.0 crew decided to treat us with NXT: Vengeance Day, a supercard that featured three championship matches, a weird weapons-filled cage match, and the finals of the men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.

Oh, and the usual weird angles and skits happened because that’s what these shows are obligated to have now. As a result, this show featured the usual NXT 2.0 mix of good in-ring action and unwatchable (for most) skits to fill the rest of the time.

So, which moments were responsible for the good and which were responsible for the bad? To answer that let’s take a deep dive into Tuesday’s show.

Here’s what went right and wrong at NXT: Vengeance Day

Right: Carmelo Hayes vs. Cameron Grimes

Of all the announced matches, the Cameron Grimes vs. Carmelo Hayes North American Championship match seemed like the safest bet for Match of the Night given the parties involved, and the two didn’t disappoint. Grimes and Hayes’ athleticism and tight workrate was on full display for nearly 16 minutes.

The creative team also kept Trick Williams’ interference to a minimum, which doubly benefitted this match when factoring in the shenanigans that took place during the NXT Championship match. That said, there was enough tomfoolery from Williams to protect Grimes in defeat while not overshadowing Hayes’ performance. Good work all around.

Wrong: So many “I need to find a partner/building chemistry” angles

With the women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic starting next week, WWE discovered a problem: it didn’t have enough tag teams for the tournament. So, it sought to solve this problem by cramming a bunch of team-up storylines onto these shows.

Between Wendy Chu randomly asking Dakota Kai to partner up, Raquel Gonzalez waking Cora Jade up at the crack of dawn to train, and Kay Lee Ray convincing Io Shirai to break some things with a bat, WWE dedicated a lot of time to essentially saying “hey, we got some tag teams, don’t worry about it.

Of course, filling the tournament with a bunch of thrown-together teams makes the Dusty Cup feel less important, but this is the bed that WWE has made.

Right: Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic

There aren’t many hot takes to muster for this Creed Brothers vs MSK match to determine the 2021 men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic winner; the match lasted about 10 minutes, was pretty good, and the right team — the Creeds — went over in the end.

That’s the best you can ask for when it comes to a tournament final.

Wrong: Continued romance angles

I missed a couple of these NXT episodes due to some medical issues, so it was disappointing to see it continuing with some of these contrived romance angles, particularly the Josh Briggs/Brooks Jensen/Kacy Catanzaro/Kayden Carter nonsense, which continued on with a poorly-acted pretaped segment this week.

Next. Five must see Stone Cold Steve Austin matches for new fans. dark

It’s been said before in these pieces, but it bears repeating: just because the Indi Hartwell/Dexter Lumis angle worked (and even then, I wasn’t a huge fan) doesn’t mean that throwing every romantic storyline you can at the wall will work, even if one of those stories somewhat includes Hartwell.