NXT Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly def. Diamond Mine (Roderick Strong and Damon Kemp) (Non-Title)
Pretty Deadly received a pretty aggressive push right out of the gate in NXT, but I feel like they've barely been featured over the last month. Rather, the focus has been entirely on the dissension within Diamond Mine heading into In Your House. Strong and Kemp attempted to give Diamond Mine a momentum boost before Saturday's NXT Tag Team Championship match but came up short. This was a very enjoyable opener and Kemp and Strong had quality chemistry as partners. Kemp will greatly benefit from being a part of Diamond Mine (for however much longer it lasts, that is). I'm digging the Diamond Mine story they're telling right now.
Cora Jade def. Elektra Lopez
This stemmed from Jade and Lopez getting into a bit of a verbal battle backstage a week or two ago. Lopez is just abysmal in the ring and she seemingly hasn't improved a whole lot in the last six months. Jade is far from a seasoned veteran, but she was at least to carry Lopez to a competent contest. This was perfectly passable and gave Jade a much-needed win following her hard-fought loss to Natalya earlier this month.
Wes Lee def. Xyon Quinn
This has been advertised a time or two before but had to be postponed due to Quinn not being cleared to compete. I'm going to assume Quinn is a heel by this point, but either way, he hasn't been compelling as a character at all yet in NXT despite having potential in the ring. That was evident in this outing, which was a fun sprint while it lasted. Lee winning in fluky fashion leaves the door open for a possible rematch as well. I've been a fan of Lee's new serious side following Nash Carter's departure.
Wendy Choo, Katana Chance and Kayden Carter Attacked NXT Women's Champion and NXT Women's Tag Team Champions Toxic Attraction in a Championship Summit
I don't know what about this was a "championship summit" exactly, but what I do know is that it was terrible television. The constant screaming and talking over each other was unbearable and did nothing to get me excited about either title match on Saturday. The tag titles are pretty pointless and Wendy Choo being in a position of prominence right now makes zero sense to me. This was a major miss of a segment.
Solo Sikoa def. Duke Hudson
Hudson took exception to Sikoa claiming to be next in line to challenge for the NXT North American Championship after In Your House. Hudson has been completely directionless since his pairing with Persia Pirotta abruptly ended and virtually had no chance of winning here, but they worked well together nonetheless and had a solid match. Needless to say, Sikoa is a star on the rise.
Grayson Waller def. Josh Briggs
I appreciate the attempt to give Briggs television time on his own while Brooks Jensen is out injured, but I haven't been into anything he's been involved in. Meanwhile, Waller has been spinning his wheels since Stand & Deliver and needs a notable feud to get back on track. The good news is that he won here in what was a fine match. It looks like we're going to get Briggs vs. Von Wagner out of this and I am not looking forward to that in the slightest.
Ivy Nile def. Kiana James
After hearing speak Nile a few times lately on NXT and NXT UK, I think it's safe to say she should have a mouthpiece. She's an impressive specimen and has gotten over with this crowd, but it still feels like she lacks charisma. As for James, the "sexy librarian" gimmick is awful and she needs a lot of work in the ring. This was an acceptable squash for Nile and the post-match angle furthered Pretty Deadly vs. Creed Brothers going into In Your House. Strong said earlier that if they lose, they're out of Diamond Mine.
NXT North American Champion Cameron Grimes def. Nathan Frazer (Non-Title)
I didn't think this would be positioned as the main event, but I'm glad it was because it was easily the best thing on the entire show. Frazer is such a blast to watch. I didn't expect him to beat the champion right before In Your House, but they had an entertaining, fast-paced main event and he had the chance to look credible in defeat. Grimes vs. Carmelo Hayes should be a barn burner if given enough time.
I now look at NXT for what it is: a televised developmental show. I realize it's technically always been developmental for the main roster, but that's more apparent than ever these days. My favorite parts of this show were the opener and the main event. Everything else in the middle was just sort of there, and it feels like the brand is getting progressively worse as far as the storylines and in-ring action are concerned. Not everything is atrocious, mind you, and some of these people have potential, but it's a tough two hours to sit through most weeks and this episode was no exception. We'll see if In Your House on Saturday is as strong as NXT 2.0's previous specials.