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Epic nights of WWE action are usually defined, and remembered, by their main events.
Once in a while, though, there comes an event that culminates in so many storylines and so many feuds that it seems like every single match is main event worthy. It feels like the emotion and drama have reached a maximum level in the hearts of every competitor inside the ring and a must-watch in the minds of the WWE Universe.
NXT Heatwave is one of those events.
Sure, tonight’s event is headlined by two massive bouts with Bronn Breaker defending the NXT Championship against JD McDonagh and Mandy Rose going one-on-one with Zoey Stark with the women’s title on the line.
However, the following three matches, while arguably not going to get the attention that the two huge title matches are bound to get, are not to be overlooked due to their potential for star-making performances.
First, an old-fashioned grudge match between Cora Jade and Roxanne Perez.
It’s a tale as old as time. When you’re part of a tag team, you’re either around long enough to win the championship or you’re around long enough to eventually do battle against each other.
In the case of these two women, they did both.
After winning the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships, the WWE Universe undoubtedly expected Cora Jade and Roxanne Perez to defend the titles against all comers en route to becoming one of the most decorated tag teams to walk the hallowed halls of the Capitol Wrestling Center.
Well, they never got the chance to get even close to that end game because Cora Jade decided to turn her back on Roxanne Perez and the tag team they built by throwing her half of the tag titles in the trash.
And just like that, the team was no more.
Cora blamed the fact Roxanne didn’t seem focused on defending their newly-won titles as a reason for splitting up the team and costing Roxanne a match against NXT Champion Mandy Rose. That logic sounded iffy at the moment and it sounds even more nonsensical as Cora herself has devolved more and more into a self-centered, delusional force of nature that's cockier by the day.
If Cora Jade has shown her true colors, let’s be honest, the tag team didn’t stand a chance to begin with.
Nevertheless, Roxanne Perez gets her chance at redemption as she takes on Cora Jade one-on-one tonight at Heatwave.
It’s safe to say Cora’s actions have thrown Roxanne for a loop. When it was announced she would be stripped of her half of the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships, she seemed almost relieved.
When Roxanne wasn’t involved in the tournament to crown new champions over the past month, the WWE Universe didn’t hear a word from her about it. Her silence over these pressing matters speaks volumes. Has Cora gotten into her head so badly that she’s lost her identity and passion?
But maybe she’s just focused on giving Cora Jade the beatdown she deserves.
Fans can also look forward to the street fight between Santos Escobar and Tony D’Angelo.
While the grudge match between Roxanne Perez and Cora Jade will be the first time those two Superstars have met in the ring, the Street Fight scheduled between Santos Escobar and Tony D’Angelo will act as a culmination of their longstanding rivalry that has lasted throughout their respective NXT careers.
There has been no love lost between these two competitors ever since Escobar made his return to NXT earlier this month, and it’s all built up to one final match between them. A match that essentially has no rules, where weapons are not only allowed but encouraged and where a winner is all but guaranteed.
Sometimes a feud is so personal that both competitors demand high stakes in a final match like this.
The stipulations are simple — if Santos Escobar wins, his Legado Del Fantasma allies who have been taken under the wing of D’Angelo’s “family” are free of their obligations to him and his dirty dealings.
If D’Angelo wins, however, then Santos Escobar has vowed to never return to NXT again.
With stakes this high, one has to wonder what kind of stops these two Superstars will pull out in a match they both desperately need to win.
The WWE Universe knows to expect the unexpected in a match like this, so we’re not even going to wager a guess on who comes out victorious. The reality is that after a match like this, neither Escobar nor D’Angelo will ever be the same again.
Next we have the NXT North American Championship between Carmelo Hayes and Giovanni Vinci.
Whenever you put two of the best wrestlers in the world in the same ring, magic is bound to happen. When you add the NXT North American title into the mix, the ante is upped even more.
Sometimes the story is as simple as one man wanting the championship that currently is around another man’s waist, and the only way to settle it is by getting into the ring and seeing who the better man is.
Giovanni Vinci, on a tear since he started focusing on moving up the NXT ladder, has his sights set on the gold currently held by Carmelo Hayes. Hayes himself is more focused on establishing himself as the premiere in-ring performer in NXT. After all, his two runs as North American Champion trails only the legendary Johnny Gargano for most reigns with that particular title.
What is special about this match is it has the opportunity to absolutely steal the show tonight. While the other matches on the Heatwave card have a decidedly personal slant to them, the North American Championship match is all about athleticism, physicality and proving you’re one of the very best to walk through the ropes on any given night.
As Drew McIntyre said last night on RAW: “We’re wrestlers in a wrestling ring. Let’s just freaking wrestle!”
That’s exactly what Carmelo Hayes and Giovanni Vinci intend to do. Whoever ends up the champion at the end of the evening will have deserved it, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a handshake between the two when the dust has settled.
These matches, as well as the much-anticipated matches for the NXT Championship and the NXT Women’s Championship, happen tonight, live on USA Network! Don’t miss out!
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