Yesterday, completely out of the blue, NXT Superstar Troy Donovan was released. Two Dimes was part of Tony D’Angelo’s crew and had only just gotten started, maybe not even having a dozen appearances to his name yet.
So far, the only reports about this are vague, saying he was released due to “a policy issue” and that the door could be open for his return in a year or so. What in the world does that mean? He did something so wrong that it was grounds to fire him outright, but it’s not bad enough that they wouldn’t bring him back after some time settles? Huh?
The confusion about that notwithstanding, that leaves the current storyline in a bit of a pinch. While the next two weeks have already been taped in advance, giving WWE some time to think, it felt as though this was heading in a particular direction. To no surprise, Legado del Fantasma aren’t getting along well as subordinates to Tony D’Angelo, and both sides are screwing each other over in matches. My guess is the plan was to have another six-man tag team match at Great American Bash to settle the feud once and for all.
You can’t do that with it being two against three. Even if you have D’Angelo take out Cruz Del Toro or Joaquin Wilde to even the odds, that still humbles the match’s worth. It won’t feel like the true end of the story by any means.
What you can do, though, is spin this into a positive for the newest character in NXT, Giovanni Vinci.
All we’ve seen so far from the repackaged Fabian Aichner is that he’s being touted as an Italian (because, well, he is) super rich socialite of sorts. He has an expensive watch, fancy cars, etc. Normally, this would be grounds to pair him with Tiffany Stratton, if anyone. She’s spoiled rotten and would want to capitalize on his money. But she’s already with Grayson Waller, and I like that pair quite a bit.
Judged by how quickly people are pushed out of NXT lately and how many Superstars are repackaged after just a few weeks (remember when Xyon Quinn was the uber babyface who would stand up for people and now, he’s just another big bully?), I don’t have much faith the creative team will be able to balance out D’Angelo’s super Italian mobster persona with Vinci’s Italian socialite and not just give up on one or the other soon enough.
Merge them. Combine your efforts. Have it be that after the miscommunication issues in the coming weeks, D’Angelo has decided that Two Dimes wasn’t cutting it. He was a weak link that needed to be taken out to make this group stronger. But when you take someone out of a team, you need to bring in someone else to help fill in the gaps. Vinci can be the financier of sorts to D’Angelo. He’s a guy who normally stays out of the gritty work and leaves that to D’Angelo, but with their current situation, they’re in a bit of a bind. He’s also more than capable of handling himself, which is how he got into that position of power as it is.
It’s a bit of a stretch, but it is an attempt to preemptively avoid Vinci looking like “just some guy” and it will help the angle, too. Santos Escobar thinks he’s getting one over on D’Angelo, only to see that there are more people who can be brought in to fix that problem. Vinci can be positioned strong, as a much bigger threat than Two Dimes ever was, and can lead the charge in taking out Legado del Fantasma for their insolence.
Whether it takes place at Great American Bash or they have to drag it out a little longer, the ultimate end goal here would be Vinci, D’Angelo and Stacks (Channing Lorenzo) against Escobar, Wilde and Del Toro in a Street Fight with the stipulation that the losers leave NXT. There isn’t enough room on the brand for both organizations.
Obviously, Vinci gets the pinfall for his team. He comes off looking like a major threat to Bron Breakker for the future, and Legado del Fantasma can join the Raw or SmackDown roster after leaving NXT, since there’s not much left for them to do there, realistically. Elektra Lopez can stay or go. I don’t think she’s anywhere near ready for the main roster, but sometimes, you should just let someone sink or swim. If you want to keep her on NXT, have her turn on Legado and link up with Vinci because she’s attracted to his obvious success, power and wealth.
Ideally, Two Dimes wouldn’t have been released. I was interested to see where his career could go. But now that this is the situation NXT is in, I see no better way to circumvent the story, with the only alternatives being a weaker execution or a flat out ditching of the angle.