66. Pretty Deadly (c) vs The Creed Brothers (NXT Tag Team Championship Match, NXT : In Your House)

It may be crass to say it, but NXT : Stand and Deliver did not deliver for me. There was nothing terrible on the show, but it was not a spot on any NXT 1.0 Takeover (well, there may have been a few terrible matches, but I didn’t watch them all!). I only remember enjoying the multi-man ladder match, and the main even between Dolph Ziggler and Bron Brekker. However, it’s safe to say that NXT: In Your House was a far, far better event, almost approaching those halcyon days of NXT 1.0 Takeovers. The match of the night, however, had to belong to the Tag Team Championship match (closely followed by the North American Championship match!).

The Creed Brothers and Pretty Deadly are just some of the wrestlers I’ve never seen in NXT 2.0. I only watch a few matches on the Premium Live Events, and never watch the weekly show. I have no idea of the identities/characters of most of the wrestlers! But, should you be able to enjoy a match without knowing any of the backstory or the wrestlers? Well, I bloody enjoyed this one! Wade Barrett is brilliant on the commentary, and thanks to him I understood the story between the two teams, and the story behind the Creed Brothers. Two pure wrestlers, in the mould of Kurt Angle. Simple, hey? And Pretty Deadly? Two heels who’ll stop at nothing to win a match. And that’s all I needed to know…but I would have enjoyed the match sans commentary.

The two teams tell a simple story: the strong, powerful babyfaces who are outwitted and cheated by the heels. The heels know they can’t win by tackling their foes head on, so resort to underhand tactics. The Creed Brothers look the part, and each have a great moveset (enough to distinguish the two similar-looking brothers), but credit must be given to the heels. They huild to each hot tag with aplomb, really milking the crowd for all the heat they can get before pulling the plug and allowing one or both of the Creed Brothers to clear house.

True, there’s nothing spectacular here, nothing that could convince me to put it into a list of Match of the Year contenders. It stops just short of being great, for reasons I cannot really tease out. Did I need to know the backstory between them? Did I need to know their characters? Perhaps I did. It may not even remain in my memory at the end of the year. But this is a tag team match that ticks all the right boxes, a template for (but not) the perfect tag team match.

Hammy’s Rating: **** (out of 5)

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