The SmarK Rant for WWE Network presents NXT v. NXT Alumni

The SmarK Rant for Worlds Collide: NXT v. NXT Alumni

Taped from Brooklyn, NY.

Your hosts are Tom Philips & Percy Watson

This is an hour long show taped on Wrestlemania weekend for Fan Axxess, which showed up on the Network yesterday, so why not? The idea is that we get current NXT guys facing RAW & Smackdown guys and it gives everyone not involved in WM and Takeover something to do. Sounds fun! I found it under “New to the Network” on the main page, but I have no idea where it’s being filed away. Probably under “Originals” somewhere.

Geeky technical note: The WWE Network app for Windows finally works for me after repairing my computer drama last night, and it’s SO much better than the web version! It works faster, looks better, and the window actually SCALES when you resize it! Sure, it doesn’t provide 8K content on my ridiculously expensive 82 inch QLED television, but they’re a cheap and lazy company so what can you expect?

(Note:  I’m kidding about the 82 inch TV.  My house literally wouldn’t have a wall that could fit a TV that size.)

Kassius Ohno v. Aiden English

Aiden’s been a commentator and manager since October, so he might be a tad rusty. KO warns Percy he should probably rescue Aiden now before any pain is delivered, so Aiden attacks in the corner and charges in with an elbow. He goes up and Ohno dumps him to the floor, and back in for some elbows to take over. Ohno boots him in the corner for two, but English goes to a chinlock for a bit and boots him to the floor, then follows with a nice dive. The arena is so small that he literally lands at the entrance! Back in, English with the swanton for two. Ohno comes back with the big boot and elbows him in the back of the head, and that finishes at 5:57. Fine little match. **

Dominik Dijakovic v. Harper

Wait, I thought Harper had his first name again? The ring announcer calls him “Luke Harper” but the graphics disagree. Harper is way over here, either way, and he’s playing total babyface and using his Wyatt gear instead of the Bludgeon Brothers suit. He actually raised some eyebrows with a Twitter post where he was complaining about being put in this position, but vowed to make the most of it. I still hate Dijak’s new name. Why not just call him “Dijak” or “Dyjak” or some variation as a single name? Easy to remember and you can trademark it. They bow up on each other to start and Harper slugs him to the floor as a result, and back in for a suplex attempt that Dijak blocks. Dijak beats on him in the corner with elbows and hits a SICK drop suplex/slam for two. That was cool. Dijak beats on him to take over and does the suplex slam again for two because he’s awesome. Into the corner for some trash talk and chops, but he tries the suplex a third time and Harper comes back with a DDT and some clotheslines. Slingshot senton and big boot get two. Bossman slam gets two. Harper goes up and Dijak chokeslams him off for two. They head to the apron and Dijak gives him more smack talk and welcomes him back with elbows, but Harper fights back with a Michinoku Driver from the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING. Dijak beats the count at 9, but Harper hits him with a half nelson suplex for two and Dijak bails again. Harper follows him out with a dive into the limited ringside space, but misses the discus lariat in the ring. Dijak roars at him and Harper superkicks him, but Dijak hits him with a roaring elbow for two. Dijak goes up and Harper follows him up with a german, but Dijak lands on his feet and superkicks him to the floor, then follows with a Fosbury Flop onto him. Back in, Dijak with a springboard elbow for two. He goes up again with a moonsault this time, and that gets two. Dijak pulls him up by the BEARD and that’s a party foul (“Not the beard!” yells the crowd) , so Harper kills him with the discus lariat and pins him at 11:53. You don’t mess with the man’s beard! This was a HOSS FIGHT and I loved it. Definitely check out this show just for the match. **** And then Harper offers a handshake because they’re both real men. Great stuff.

Sanity v. Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly

Kyle tries some technical work on Wolfe and gets completely shut down, so Fish comes in and throws kicks before Wolfe slams him for two. Dain comes in with a crossbody for two and Sanity double-teams Fish for two. O’Reilly runs in to save, takes a suplex, and then does a funny sell by falling to the floor while giving his war cry. And then he takes out the leg from the floor to redeem himself. Good for you, Kyle. The Era takes over on Wolfe and O’Reilly works the knee. Wolfe fights back and Fish takes out the knee again to cut that off, but Wolfe fights off both guys for more comedy bumps from the heels. Over to Dain and he cleans house and slams both UE guys at the same time and dropkicks Fish. Senton for O’Reilly and he hits a slingshot splash for two. Wolfe gets dumped and the Era double-teams Dain in the corner as a result, with Fish hitting an exploder for two. O’Reilly gets tossed out this time and Wolfe gets a senton off Dain’s backstabber on Fish, for two. Wolfe goes out again and the Era double-teams Dain, and the High Low finishes at 9:03. Not a great showing from Sanity, who weren’t over, and the finish was basically one guy getting thrown out and the other team double-teaming for a two count over and over. *1/2 The Era tries for a beatdown, but Eric Young (who ironically is looking anything but young here) cleans house and makes the save.

Roderick Strong v. Tyler Breeze

Breeze is back in full supermodel gear for this, playing babyface. Kind of hilarious hearing Percy Watson talking about how you have to push yourself to be a great athlete and all this stuff. What did PERCY WATSON ever accomplish in the sport? Strong mocks Breeze’s selfies for a bit and works the arm before controlling with a headlock, but walks into a dropkick from Breeze. Breeze blocks a charge with a catapult into the corner and goes up, but Strong puts him on the floor and BRINGS THE CHOPS out there. Back in with a backbreaker and Strong goes to work with a neck vice, but Breeze fights up before walking into a dropkick that gets two. Strong with a backbreaker for two and he goes to a rear chinlock, then an Angle Slam for two. Strong with the Gory Special to bend him, but Breeze fights back with a jawbreaker and dumps Strong. Roddy slides back in, so Breeze hits him with an enzuigiri for two. Breeze tries a superkick and Strong bails to evade it, so Breeze backdrops him into the ring and gets the superkick for two. They slug it out and Breeze gets a crucifix for two, but Strong puts him down with another backbreaker for two. Breeze tries the Unprettier, but Strong reverses him into the Stronghold and Tyler boots out of it. And then Strong just UNLOADS on him with boots to the face, and a high knee into a facebuster gets two. NOT IN THE FACE! That’s the moneymaker! Strong throws more strikes and goes for the finish, but Breeze reverses into a small package for two. Enzuigiri into the Unprettier gets the upset pin at 13:12! Good for Breeze, and this was a good match. ***1/2 And just like that, we’re out.

Hey, for those looking for a no-bullshit wrestling show, this was as little bullshit as you can possibly get. Four matches, no promos and minimal setup. On the scale of Burn It / Avoid It / Skim It / Watch It / Binge It, this one gets a solid WATCH IT, especially if you’ve got an hour to kill and want an easy and simple show with some good wrestling and no backstory needed.