The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 08.24.21
Taped from the CWC, although they’ll have to sell off the “Capitol” on eBay soon to cover the remaining contracts.
Your hosts are Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix & Wade Barrett
Cameron Grimes and Ted Dibiase join us to start, as I explain the basic story of Grimes to my wife: He was a hillbilly who got rich off Gamestop stock and now he wears sparkly vests. Dibiase explains that he was looking for someone strong of body, strong of mind, and most importantly strong of heart, and now he’s the Million Dollar Champion. Ted clarifies that he was just testing Cameron when he was tormenting him earlier. But Cameron wants to know where they go now, which is of course TO THE MOON. And then they spray official Cameron Grimes Bucks into the crowd. I’d laugh pretty hard if Grimes and Dibiase were fired by Nick Khan for cost-cutting reasons now. FUN FACT: The very socks I am wearing tonight are dollar-themed, given to me by my family as a Father’s Day gift.
Meanwhile, at Takeover, stuff happens on the ‘cock.
Ridge Holland v. Timothy Thatcher
Ridge beats on him with forearms and grabs a headlock, but Thatcher throws his own shots and takes Ridge down for some ground and pound. They exchange more shots and fight over a backslide, but Holland slams him and drops a knee for two. Thatcher fights back, but walks into an elbow that gets two. Thatcher comes back with a belly to bely for two and works for the armbar, but Ridge escapes with an overhead suplex. Thatcher tries for another armbar but gets tossed onto the floor as we take a break. Back with Thatcher making a comeback with a slam before going for the ankle, but Holland makes the ropes. They trade shots, but Holland swats him down and puts him down with a headbutt and powerslam to finish at 8:57. This prompts a brawl with Ciampa and Pete Dunne getting involved, but Danny Burch returns and teams up with Oney Lorcan for a beatdown on Ciampa. But Thatcher still has fight and hauls Holland to the floor for more punishment, until Dunne distracts him and Holland nails him in the throat with the club gimmick. This was all very fun and I assume sets up a tag match where they will also hit each other hard. **3/4
Meanwhile, Carmelo Hayes sits down with the new interviewer in advance of the Breakout tournament finals tonight. He’s gonna take it one match at a time and give it all he’s got.
Meanwhile, Indi and Dexter announce their wedding, which will happen on September 14, and just happens to fall on a Tuesday.
Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro v. Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolan
I’m not really clear on what the gimmick is supposed to be with Dolan and Jayne, as they’re using a generic version of Marilyn Manson’s “Sweet Dreams” but dress like they’re groupies for Poison in 1988. Did they escape from GLOW? The heels double-team Kacy and Jayne gets a cannonball in the corner for two. Dolan whips Kacy around the ring and sends her into the corner, and a clothesline gets two. Kacy manages to run away and make the tag to Carter, and she runs wild with a dropkick in the corner. Running boot on the ropes gets two. Jayne hits a pump kick for two, but Kacy saves and they hit the double team 450 on Jayne for the pin at 4:10. Well good thing that Jayne got that hype video last week. Also the replay pretty clearly shows Jayne’s boob popping out while she’s getting pinned, so I’m not sure why they didn’t use a different angle. This was all right. ** The babyfaces are likeable enough but they just never do anything with them.
Raquel Gonzalez thinks it’s not over with Dakota Kai, and she’s been waiting for Kay Lee Ray to come challenge her. And then Franky and her crew of geeks interrupt and also issue a challenge.
Meanwhile, Odyssey Jones is also ready for the Breakout tournament finals and talks about what a positive guy he is. He also will not commit to what he’s doing if he wins. Well both of these guys were pretty dull.
Kay Lee Ray v. Valentina Broyce
The poor enhancement girl doesn’t even get a graphic so I hope I’m spelling it right. They talk about how impressive it was that KLR was the longest reigning NXT UK Women’s champion of all time, although it’s less impressive when you put in the context of there only being four people to hold the title, and most of her title reign occurred when NXT UK was shut down by Covid. Kay Lee controls Valentina before she comes back with a dropkick, but Kay Lee finishes the squash with a Gory Bomb at 2:45.
Meanwhile, Mandy Rose recruits Dolan and Jayne.
Samoa Joe joins us after winning the NXT title, but he did come to celebrate tonight. Apparently there’s no time to celebrate in the land of savages. Mostly because Nick Khan can fire you at ANY MOMENT. So he throws out an open challenge, and Pete Dunne answers it. And LA Knight, who is pretty sure he could beat Kross in 43 and a half seconds. And then Kyle O’Reilly comes out and he’s all wacky, calling out “La Knight” and “Samoa Joseph”, but before he can finish his promo that is hip to the kids’ lingo, Ridge Holland lays him out from behind and then Ciampa attacks “Peter Doone” and Joe chases off LA Knight. This didn’t really clarify anything but I’m assuming it’ll lead to one of their lazy four-way matches while they figure out an actual direction.
Meanwhile, Grimes and Ted leave for the evening, but Grimes decides that he doesn’t need the Million Dollar Championship and tries to give it back. But Ted’s not having it back and gives it back…only for Grimes to reveal that he got a fake replica belt for one last Million Dollar Bazinga.
Breakout Tournament finals: Carmelo Hayes v. Odyssey Jones
Hayes offers a handshake and then grabs a headlock, so Jones throws him across the ring and out to the floor. Back in, Hayes throws kicks, but Jones catches him on a bodypress and slams him as we take a break. Back with Jones in control, but Hayes tries a sleeper and goes to a facelock to wear him down. Hayes hits him with more pump kicks and a knee strike, and an axe kick gets two. Jones puts him down with a shoulderbreaker and Hayes rolls to the floor to escape, and dodges a charging Odyssey back in the ring before going up with a top rope axe kick. Jones won’t stay down and comes back with a splash for two, but Hayes rolls him over for the pin at 10:05 to win the tournament. Both guys were just like “Aw shucks, just happy to be here!” and this didn’t really feel all that important or compelling as a result. The match was all right, but didn’t really feel like it went anywhere and didn’t have any kind of storyline. **1/2 And then Hayes celebrates with William Regal, but still won’t say who he wants to face for his title shot. Well that’s thrilling.
Meanwhile, the mean British people threaten Ciampa and Thatcher. Yup, another heel stable.
Boa v. Xyon Quinn
What the fuck kind of name is “Xyon”? Was he named after a generic blood pressure medication? Boa beats on him with kicks in the corner, but Quinn gets a forearm out of the corner for the pin at 1:05. Having never seen Boa before I’m assuming this is a huge upset. The creepy old lady on the throne seems upset with this result. Perhaps she had money on Boa.
Meanwhile, Johnny Gargano wants the wedding to be cancelled, but can’t convince Regal to make it so. And then LA Knight also barges in and Regal kicks them both out. This leads to a match for next week.
Hit Row v. Legado del Fantasma
I’m assuming Swerve Scott is actually going to defend his title at some point during his reign. Because I’m pretty sure he hasn’t even worked a match since winning it in June. Fantasma attacks to start and they triple-team Top Dolla, but Swerve and Ashante save, allowing Dolla to beat on Escobar. Over to Wilde, and Hit Row works him over in their corner, with Adonis throwing monkey flips and dropkicking them to the floor. Fantasma regroups on the floor and we take a break. Back with Swerve Scott getting triple-teamed in the heel corner as they all switch in with corner clotheslines and then Wilde gets a nice springboard splash for two. Neckbreaker gets two. Mendoza hits him with knees, but Scott fights back with a clotheslines and blocks a sunset flip to make the hot tag to Top Dolla. He runs wild with a corner splash on Escobar and a sideslam to set up his elbow drop for two. It’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA and Top Dolla stacks all three guy son his back and carries them around before slamming them all. They try the double-team neckbreaker on Escobar, but he escapes that and now they go to work on Adonis again and double-team him. Mendoza gets a missile dropkick and hits a package driver on Adonis for two, but Scott makes the save. He comes in and hits a flatliner on Escobar and goes up with a 450 for two. They fight to the floor and Escobar lays him out on the apron, but B-Fab attacks, only to come face to face with her non-union Mexican equivalent, who is apparently named Electra Lopez. And Escobar gets a distraction rollup on Scott for the pin at 14:39. They were acting like we were supposed to know who Lopez is, but I’m guessing we don’t. But hey, she’s got a name, that’s a start. A good match that felt like it went a bit too long and why the hell is Hit Row doing all these jobs? ***1/4
A pretty boring show where not much happened. Welcome to the new NXT.