The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 07.27.21
Taped from the Capitol Wrestling Center
Your hosts are Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett & Beth Phoenix
Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher v. Oney Lorcan & Pete Dunne
Thatcher goes for a hammerlock on Dunne to start and they tie each other up on the mat and trade submission attempts. Over to Lorcan and Ciampa and they exchange chops in the corner before Ciampa puts him on the floor with a kneelift. The babyfaces haul the heels into the ring and beats on them, and then toss them into the railing as we take a break. Back with Dunne and Lorcan getting the heat on Thatcher in their corner, as Dunne gets a surfboard and Lorcan chops Thatcher’s exposed chest. Thatcher fights out of that and exchange some manly slaps, and it’s hot tag Ciampa and he runs wild with corner clotheslines on both guys and a double clothesline to put them down. Our heroes psyche themselves up and start throwing strikes like crazy, and Ciampa slugs it out with Dunne. But then Dunne stomps the fingers, so Ciampa takes him down with an armbar while Thatcher takes out Lorcan. But then Ridge Holland returns from exile, causes a distraction, and Dunne hits the Bitter End on Ciampa for the pin at 12:42. I barely remember Holland but he seems mean and British so that’s a good combination. And the heels lay out the babyfaces, no doubt forming yet another heel faction in NXT, in case we didn’t have quite enough. A very fun match. ***
Meanwhile, Carmelo Hayes is a person who exists and will be competing later. Apparently he used to be named CHRISTIAN CASANOVA and someone thought “Carmelo Hayes” was a better name.
Meanwhile, Hit Row demonstrate their Spanish trash-talking skills.
Samoa Joe joins us, and tonight he’s being proactive even though Karrion Kross is a gutless coward who is too scared to be in the building. Maybe he heard Jeff Hardy was going to be there? So Joe calls out William Regal with a solution in three easy steps. STEP 1! Joe quits NXT effective immediately. STEP 2! Regal signs a paper reactivating Joe as a wrestler again. STEP 3! Profit? No, I guess it’s Kross defending the NXT title against Joe at Takeover.
Meanwhile, Josh Briggs is another guy we know nothing about.
Earlier Today, LA Knight goes golfing while Cameron washes his balls for him. LA has to explain what a “driver” is while Grimes wants to place side-bets on the shots, and poor Knight hits it into the rough as a result of the tomfoolery. But at least his balls are nice and clean.
Breakout tournament: Carmelo Hayes v. Josh Briggs
Briggs is a generic tatted white guy and he overpowers Hayes to start, but Hayes slugs away in the corner and dropkicks the knee. Briggs backdrops him on the floor, but Hayes fights back in with a springboard legdrop for two. He goes for a guillotine and Briggs powers out of that and puts him down with a back elbow and we take a break. Back with Briggs holding a chinlock as we get the added excitement of DUKE HUDSON on commentary. Briggs with a splash for two and he goes for the powerbomb, but Hayes awkwardly escapes with a rana and comes back with a springboard forearm. Briggs tries a chokeslam and Hayes counters to a codebreaker for two. Briggs puts him down with a big boot and gets a chokeslam for two and we get SHOCKED TWO COUNT FACE from Briggs. Hayes comes back with a tilt-a-whirl into an armbar takedown, and then goes up and finishes with a guillotine legdrop at 10:33. This was just two fellas having a match. **
Meanwhile, Kacey and Kayden interrupt Franky Monet and scoff at her idea of going after the NXT Women’s tag titles. I don’t even know who the champions are, tell you the truth.
Earlier Today, Cameron Grimes has to fetch LA Knight’s wet balls from the water hazard, but Ted Dibiase does a cameo and gives Grimes a pep-talk.
Meanwhile, Ridge Holland takes his bag and leaves, pledging to smash other people later on. Wait, why did he even have a bag? He was literally just there in street clothes doing a run-in.
Raquel Gonzalez joins us, and she wants to know who’s next for Big Mommy Cool. So Dakota calls out anyone to face Raquel at Takeover and gets no takers, and the finally decides to turn on her and claim the title shot for herself. I don’t think anyone buys Dakota as a serious threat to the title, but it’s something.
Meanwhile, Adam Cole doesn’t think much of Bronson Reed’s challenge.
Meanwhile, Io Shirai and Zoey Stark are apparently Wacky Tag Team Champions Who Hate Each Other. So I guess they’re the tag champs. Good to know.
Meanwhile, Mandy Rose is recruiting people, no doubt for another heel faction in NXT.
Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro v. Franky Monet & Jessi Kamea
Holy shit, I was getting worried that we weren’t gonna get another match for a while there since there’s been about 20 minutes total of wrestling thus far. Kacy and KC double-team Kamea to start and Kacy gets two off a senton, but Kamea puts Kayden down with a high kick and it’s over to Monet. She hits Carter with a DDT and Kayden gets double-teamed in the corner, as Money puts the furry boots to her and slugs away on the mat. So Robert Stone throws in his loaded man-purse, but Monet won’t use it, and the babyfaces hit their double-team 450 finish and pin Monet at 3:32. Didn’t they JUST put these goofs together as a team two weeks ago? I don’t know what they’re even doing with Monet at this point. I guess she’s a comedy geek after all that buildup? *1/2
Meanwhile, more talking, as Wade sits down with Roderick Strong and his new manager Malcolm Bivens, as apparently his target is Kushida’s Cruiserweight title, but first he’s gotta meet Bobby Fish next week in a big money match. Even though Fish already did a 2 minute job to that Rust kid a couple of weeks back.
Coming at Takeover: WALTER defends against Ilya Dragunov again! I’m all over that one. Might even be a title change, too.
Earlier tonight: Dakota Kai turns on Raquel Gonzalez and then storms out of the building with her bag. Do they have official NXT luggage that everyone has to use?
Imperium v. Hit Row
Ashanti hits Barthel with a dropkick to start, but Barthel pounds him down and adds a tilt-a-whirl slam, but Aichner comes in and Ashanti gets a neckbreaker for two. Fabian gets a clothesline in the corner, so Top Dolla comes in and puts Aichner down with a high knee, and Ashanti dropkicks Aichner off Dolla’s shoulders for two. Imperium tries to double-team Adonis in their corner, but B-Fab runs interference and Adonis gets a spinebuster for two as we take a break. Back with Imperium finally able to double-team Ashanti for two, setting up the European Bomb, but Ashanti escapes with a rana and crawls for the tag, before Barthel cuts him off with an anklelock. Random WWE-speak annoyance of the week: Why do they always talk about title reigns in days instead of months or years? When you say “800 days” to describe WALTER’s title reign, then I have to do math and I was told there wouldn’t be any. Just say two and a half years like a normal person. Imperium hauls Adonis back to their corner and works him over some more, but finally it’s hot tag to Top Dolla. Dolla splashes Aichner in the corner and drops a baller elbow on him for two, but Barthel saves. Adonis comes in with a flapjack , but then Escobar’s guys run in for the distraction and Imperium gets their double-team on Adonis for the pin at 12:09. I love how they finally get someone over as babyfaces in this sea of heels and they immediately have them do a job. To Imperium of all teams, who are floating around and doing nothing. Were Ever-Rise unavailable to come back for this show and go over Hit Row instead? Gotta get the heat I guess. Match was OK but mostly pretty dull with a dead crowd. **1/4
Meanwhile, Papa John hangs out with his girls, but Indi gets a painting from Dexter Lumis because he wants to join the family. So Indi suggests a match between Dexter and Johnny, and if Johnny wins, no more Dexter. We should be so lucky.
Meanwhile, the golfing adventures continue, as Knight and Grimes run into the Grizzled Young Veterans and they talk shit about LA’s golf skills. So Knight takes a $20,000 bet from them, but hits the ball into the water again, forcing Grimes to pull out his special gold ball and win the day with a hole in one after accidentally knocking LA Knight out and then blaming it on the Veterans.
Bronson Reed v. Adam Cole
Cole immediately tries to clip Reed’s knee and works it over on the ropes, but he tries a rana and Reed swats him down. Reed gives him a press slam and drops an elbow on him, and they fight to the apron before Reed tries a suplex back into the ring. Cole reverses out and kicks out the knee and we take a break. Back with Cole working the knee, but Reed slugs back and drops a senton on him for two. Cole superkicks him for two and puts the boots to him, but Bronson fights back with chops in the corner until Cole hits an impressive Panama Sunrise for two. Reed blocks the Last Shot with a lariat and follows with a powerbomb, but he goes up and misses the splash and Cole finishes him off with the Last Shot at 11:30. Impressive showing by Reed, but you’ve gotta reheat Adam Cole for the millionth time after 5 years on top in NXT. What are you gonna do, use NXT to make new stars? Please. ***1/4 And then the show keeps going as Kyle O’Reilly attacks Cole and runs him into the stairs and we finally wrap it up after a 10 minute overrun.
THIS SHOW WAS SO BORING. It just feels ice cold right now with the same people going round and round with each other. Although Cameron Grimes going golfing with LA Knight was a delightful highlight of the show, I’ll give it that.