The SmarK Rant for Worlds Collide – When Cruiserweights Collide! (04.17.19)
Anyone else have a Simpsons flashback when reading that title?
So this is part two of the series of shows taped in Brooklyn for Fan Axxess. This show’s theme is pretty easy to figure out, I’m pretty sure!
Brought to you by…
Taped from Brooklyn, NY
Your hosts are Tom Philips & Aiden English
The Brian Kendrick (205 Live) v. Tyler Bate (NXT UK)
I literally didn’t even know Kendrick was still employed. Bate quickly goads Kendrick into a test of strength, and that goes badly for Brian since Bate is a big strong boy. Or so I hear. Kendrick grabs a hammerlock and Bate does an entertaining reversal into a wristlock of his arm. Kendrick quickly makes the ropes while begging for mercy off that. Kendrick with the headlock, but Bate sends him to the apron to escape that. Kendrick stops to chide the front row for not warning him about Bate’s strength, and Bate chases him back in before falling victim to a Greco-Roman eyepoke. He tries another one in the corner, but Bate even has a counter for that and gets his own. Kendrick stops to plead with the ref and Bate slugs him down, showing what a big strong boy he is, and a series of forearms get two. Bate tries another eyepoke and Kendrick blocks it this time with the Three Stooges counter, but makes the mistake of pointing to his head to indicate intelligence, and Bate outsmarts him by poking him in ONE eye instead. Kendrick unsuccessfully tries a “USA” chant, but then gets a cheapshot and chokes Tyler out in the corner to take over. Snap suplex out of the corner gets two. Kendrick goes to a surfboard and really wants that “USA” chant because he’s a dick, and a neckbreaker gets two. Kendrick slugs away and Bate gets FIRED UP and snaps off a rana and an exploder to come back. Standing shooting star press gets two. Kendrick counters the Tyler Driver into a rollup for two, but Bate backslides him for two. Kendrick misses Sliced Bread and Bate hits him with the right hand and suplexes him from the apron. Kendrick lands on his feet and rolls into the Captain’s Hook choke, but Bate powers him into the AIRPLANE SPIN to escape and they’re both dizzy as fuck and land on the floor. Both just beat the count and Bate fires away with forearms, but walks into a big boot before hitting a rolling kick on the way down. Kendrick blocks a handspring clothesline with a spinkick, but Bate counters the Captain’s Hook and hits the second try at it, and finishes with the Tyler Driver at 14:05. Tremendously entertaining stuff. ***1/2
Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster (NXT UK) v. Mike Kanellis & Ariya Daivari (205 Live)
You’d think that Webster’s “Modfather” gimmick would be right up Vince’s alley, since it’s from the 60s and is also reminiscent of Austin Powers, a movie released in 1997. Daivari and Kanellis waste time by arguing over who starts the match and tagging in and out. Finally Daivari comes in to start with Andrews and works the arm, but Andrews takes him down with his own armbar. Finally Kanellis comes in against Flash, who takes him down with a rana out of the corner and goes to a facelock. The Brits double-team Kanellis with stereo splashes and Flash comes off the top with a double stomp on Kanellis’ arm, but he runs into a cheapshot from Daivari and the heels take over. Kanellis with a low dropkick for two. Daivari with a neckbreaker for two. Kanellis with a corner clothesline and a big boot on Webster gets two. Daivari works the back and goes to a chinlock, but Webster escapes with a twisting splash off the middle rope, and it’s hot tag Andrews. Enzuigiri off the power slide sets up the standing moonsault for two. Tornado DDT and an assisted standing 450 splash get two off that. The 205 heels get tossed and the UK guys follow with a dive on them. Back in, Webster goes up and Daivari crotches him, allowing Kanellis to come in with a spinebuster for two. Small package gets two, but he accidentally superkicks Daivari and the Brits finish with a stunner from Andrews into a senton from Webster for the pin at 13:11. Just a match for the most part, but the finish was really hot. ***
Albert Hardie Jr. (NXT) v. Gran Metalik (205 Live) v. Ligero (NXT UK)
I was like “Who the hell is Albert Hardie?” but it’s just ACH in his new NXT persona. That new name isn’t exactly an upgrade. Everyone evades each other to start and shows some gymnastic prowess, with Ligero getting dumped so Hardie can do his thing with Metalik. Seated dropkick gets two and he goes to an abdominal stretch, but Ligero breaks it up and Hardie throws some nasty chops on him in response. Enzuigiri gets two and Metalik saves there, but Hardie tosses him and follows with a dive. “Why do they have to chop each other so hard?” whines English as he cringes along with the victims. Aiden’s pretty good on commentary, actually. Hardie gives Ligero another monster chop in the corner and the crowd wants more, so he goes to an abdominal stretch instead. “I do what I want!” he yells in explanation. That’s fair. Ligero and Hardie trade chops until Metalik springboards in with an elbow on both of them and bulldogs Ligero. Ligero escapes the Metalik Driver, so Metalik nails Hardie with a dive instead and then comes back in with a flying splash on Ligero for two. Hardie returns and walks into an enzuigiri from Metalik, and the Metalik Driver gets two. Ligero baits Metalik into a blind charge, which misses, and Ligero hits him with a stunner and then tosses him for a dive. Ligero’s chest is just a MESS thanks to the chops. Hardie gets a german suplex for two on Ligero and takes out Metalik, but Ligero comes back with a tornado DDT out of nowhere for the pin on Hardie at 11:11. Good action here, but I don’t think ACH is going anywhere in NXT. ***1/4
Akira Tozawa (205 Live) v. Jordan Devlin (NXT UK)
Devlin gets a couple of leg kicks and Tozawa LOUDLY sells them, and they do a nice reversal sequence as they work for the armbar on each other. Tozawa gets the low kick into the senton for two and stomps away in the corner, and a kick to the back gets two. Devlin clips the knee and tosses Tozawa for a shot into the railing, and back in for a backbreaker to take over. Tozawa fights back, but walks into a uranage and standing moonsault for two. Devlin with a chinlock and into a bodyscissors, but Tozawa loudly escapes, perhaps channeling the spirit of Iron Mike Sharpe, and a shining wizard follows. Tozawa goes up and Devlin bails to escape, so Tozawa hits him with a dive and back in for a missile dropkick that gets two. Tozawa spins into an Octopus hold, but Devlin breaks with a backbreaker and both guys are down. They slug it out and Tozawa wins that battle, but Devlin hits him with a pump kick, so Tozawa gets an enzuigiri and both are down again. Tozawa up first with the deadlift german for two and he goes up again, but Devlin crotches him to bring him down. Tozawa fights him off, though, and tries the senton, but Devlin gets the knees up and hits a Saito suplex to finish at 13:10. This felt really long and Devlin looked pretty generic. **1/2
Pacing was a bit of an issue for this one, as it ran 70 minutes instead of the more punchy 60 minutes of the first show, and kind of suffered for it. The cruiserweight show should have had shorter, more explosive matches and I really only thought Tyler Bate came across as a big star worthy of getting all that time. Everything else seemed kind of like midcard geeks doing long matches to fill time.
On the scale of Burn It / Avoid It / Skim It / Watch It / Binge It, I’d give this one SKIM IT. I’d check out the Bate match and everything else is OK as background noise, but it’s not worth devoting much time to.