The SmarK Rant for NXT–08.28.19

The SmarK Rant for NXT – 08.28.19

I kinda wanted to watch this episode, so I’m gonna step on Tommy’s toes a bit and give it a look. Plus I’m likely gonna be recapping this when it switches channels in three weeks anyway, so I might as well get back into it.

Taped from Full Sail in Orlando, FL

Your hosts are Mauro, Nigel & Beth

Io Shirai v. Cami Fields

Cami looks pretty jobberific, and again Io is delightfully hot and evil as a heel. Shirai tries a tiger driver, but Fields backdrops out, so Io lands on her feet and gives her a SHOTAY before hitting a moonsault for two. But she picks up poor Cami and then finishes with a submission hold called the Harajuku Clutch at 1:19 instead. And then she grabs a kendo stick for fun, smiling as all great heels do, but Candice LaRae saves the poor geek and chases Shirai off. In any sane world, Shayna Baszler would have been called up to the main roster months ago and let Io Shirai rule the division as champion. But it’s Vince’s world we live in, not a sane one.

KUSHIDA is on the way. Or already here. Time travel is always confusing that way, especially now that Hulk ruined everything I thought I knew about it.

Keith Lee v. Dominik Dijakovic

Hey, Dijak is back! He pounds Lee with elbows to start, but Keith overpowers him and the fans are basking in his glory. Lee charges and Dijak boots him in the face and pounds away in the corner. He tries a suplex but Lee is too glorious to be bound by physics and fights it off, then beats Dijak down with elbows. He tries to run him into the corner and Dijak out-hosses him as Lee has a shocked look on his face, but recovers with a springboard bodypress for two. Lariat gets two as they’re just hitting each other and bumping like cruiserweights. PHYSICS AND GRAVITY CAN JUST FUCK OFF. They fight on the apron and Dijak takes a run at him, but Lee counters with a chokeslam onto the apron, the HARDEST PART OF THE RING. We get another double countout tease, but Lee is unwilling to accept that, and they head back in after punching each other in the face on the apron, but then Dijak superkicks him to the floor and follows with a Fosbury Flop. Well, he made contact with the top rope so I can’t give him full points, but a giant man flew over the top with a dive so he still gets an A+. He comes in with a missile dropkick, but Lee catches him in mid-move and tries to hurk him down with a powerbomb, which Dijak counters by landing on his feet. This time he does get that suplex on Lee and he goes up with a moonsault for two. So Dijak goes up to the top again, because that’s totally what 6’7” monsters should be able to do, and this time Lee slugs him down and they fight on the top in a terrifying scene out of a monster movie. The crowd chants “Please don’t die”, but Lee hits a top rope Spanish Fly anyway…and gets TWO?!? Lee has had enough and goes up again, but Dijak cuts him off and they fight up there again. This time Lee elbows Dijak to the mat and tries a moonsault, but Dijak crotches him and finishes with a GTS out of a torture rack at 11:18. This was a motherfucking HOSS FIGHT DELUXE. ****1/2

Meanwhile, we take a look back at the NXT career of Johnny Wrestling thus far.

Last week: Shayna and her goons offer Mia Yim a spot in the Horsewomen, but that goes badly. So Mia confronts Regal in the parking lot, demanding another title shot. Regal rightly points out that she already lost her shot, and then attacked the Horsewomen, so what did she expect?

Shayna Baszler is out to discuss Mia Yim further, but Rhea Ripley interrupts and notes that Shayna HASN’T BEATEN HER, bitch! If that’s the direction they’re going, good on them!

Pete Dunne does what he wants and has everyone on notice. Woo ha, he’s got them all in check, you might say.

NXT tag team titles: The Street Profits v. The Undisputed Era

Fish takes Ford down and works a headlock on the mat, and O’Reilly comes in and also cranks on the headlock. Dawkins comes in and gets his own takedown on Kyle and rides him on the mat. Fish comes in and Dawkins takes him down as well, and Ford comes in with a dropkick before Dawkins slams his partner onto Fish for two. Ford bails to the apron and hits Fish with a high kick out there, and slingshots with a crossbody for two. Ford works the arm, but runs into a cheapshot from O’Reilly and the Era take over in their corner. Kyle gets a nasty dragon screw off the apron and starts beating on the knee, but can’t secure the STF. So Fish works on the knee a bit more, but Ford makes a comeback and slugs away on O’Reilly. Fish slingshots in with a senton for two, however. Ford finally fights out again and makes a hot tag to Dawkins, who takes them out with clotheslines and an exploder on Fish. He gives them both corner splashes and spears Fish for two. Kind of a shocking lack of heat for this thus far. Dawkins with a release german on Fish, but O’Reilly clips the knee and they hit Chasing the Dragon for two. Crowd still isn’t buying in. O’Reilly with a kneebar on Dawkins, but Ford makes the save. They all slug it out and Dawkins hits Fish with a spinebuster and O’Reilly with a capture suplex, but Kyle counters in mid-air into a triangle. Dawkins powerbombs him into the turnbuckle to break and Ford comes in with the Rock Bottom to set up Dawkins’ frog splash for two. The Era bails and Ford follows with a dive, almost overshooting, and they brawl in the ring. Ford misses a flying splash and the Era finishes him with the High Low at 11:30 to regain the tag team titles. I approve of this booking move and I’m shocked they didn’t just do it at Takeover. Match was pretty disappointing compared to their last one, though, with a dead crowd and pretty uninspired work. ***

Well, I showed up for the tag title match, but the Lee-Dijak HOSS FIGHT was an unexpected treat that I didn’t even know about. A very fun show that left me wanting to watch more, which I will surely do once they go to USA.