Many wrestlers from the black & gold era of NXT that survived the transition over to the rainbow-splattered era of NXT 2.0 have found themselves in either an entirely new position or as an entirely new character. One talent who has survived the brand's evolution and come out of the other side relatively unscathed, if not even better, is the North American Champion, Carmelo Hayes. A multi-time North American Champion now, Hayes has proven himself as one of the must-see young stars of NXT, and with the improvements he's made in his character and his promos, he looks well on his way to the main roster. But what of his current standing on the NXT roster and the title he currently holds? Well, we might have found an answer to that.
Giovanni Vinci stepped up to "the A-Champ" last night, talking down to him before throwing down the challenge for his North American title at next week's NXT Heatwave event. Hayes accepted before the two men came to blows, eventually being separated by NXT officials.
Vinci, the former Fabian Aichner of Imperium, didn't get the call-up to SmackDown with his two former stablemates, despite being the standout performer in most of their big matches in the months before. This all may have worked out for the best, though, as he is now forging a singles career for himself with a new character in Vinci that better highlights his good looks and charisma, while also putting the spotlight squarely on himself and his good in-ring work. Hayes and Vinci should have a good bout next week at NXT Heatwave, and we have to wonder if Vinci will take the title, allowing Hayes to then move up to either Raw or SmackDown.
In match results from last night's NXT 2.0:
Nikkita Lyons def. Kiana James
Wes Lee def. Trick Williams in a Rounds Match
Arianna Grace def. Thea Hail
Apollo Crews def. Roderick Strong
Pretty Deadly def. Malik Blade & Edris Enofé
Zoey Stark def. Cora Jade
And in non-match action last night on NXT 2.0:
Some Chase U. Drama With Thea Hail
Cameron Grimes Congratulates Solo Sikoa
Sanga encourages Yulisa Leon and Valentina Feroz
More Conflict Between Roderick Strong and The Creed Brothers
Some More Wendy Choo and Tiffany Stratton Nonsense
Tony D'Angelo and Santos Escobar Agree To A Street Fight at NXT Heatwave
Joe Gacy Tries To Lure Cameron Grimes
A Toxic Attraction Video Package
Grayson Waller Threatens Apollo Crews
A Preview of Bron Breakker and JD McDonagh's NXT Title Match at NXT Heatwave
And that's that for this week's episode of NXT 2.0 on the USA Network. It's hard to really grade or review NXT 2.0 at this point because it kind of just is what it is until Triple H and his team can get around to reworking it into more of what he wants it to be. His focus is obviously dominated by the main roster right now and getting that settled and back on track, so it feels like NXT 2.0 is kind of just in cruise control. That doesn't make for great weekly TV viewing.
Till next time friends.