The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT 2.0 – 09.21.21
Well, I didn’t super-enjoy the first episode, but I think we all know about my transparent desire for pageviews and money, so here we are again with episode 2 because you maniacs actually hit 250 comments for the first one.
Live from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix & Wade Barrett
Last week: The show is young and hip and phresh because of all the colors and hip-hop beats and suchlike.
Tommaso Ciampa joins us to start with a bunch of the new geeks in the ring, probably desperately trying to remember whether they’re “Brooks Jensen” or “Jensen Brooks”. On the bright side I at least recognize everyone but the guy in the back who looks like Kevin Owens Jr. So Ciampa lets us know that it was worth the neck surgery and 908 day wait to regain the belt. He puts over all the hard-working talent in the ring, some of whom have two or even THREE weeks of experience, I bet. So this brings out Cameron Grimes and then LA Knight and then Pete Dunne and they all jibber-jabber and say nothing and then everyone randomly brawls for no adequately explored reason.
Meanwhile, a bunch of women also randomly brawl in the back for no adequately explored reason. And then they just go back to the ring again without following up who these people are and why they’re fighting.
Back in the ring, Circuit Breakker challenges Pete Dunne and Ridge Holland to a tag team match because reasons. You know, it’s not typically enough to just have a bunch of stuff happen to fill time, you usually need a POINT. Like what did any of this tell us? They didn’t even bother to introduce the guys standing in the ring for newer viewers.
Cruiserweight title: Kushida v. Roderick Strong
They take it to the mat to start and Kushida takes him down with an armbar attempt and then switches to a hammerlock. And we take a break. Man, I really enjoyed not having commercial breaks interrupt the matches last week and I’m disappointed they’re immediately going back to that trope again. Back with Kushida hitting Strong with an atomic drop and forearms, but he walks into a shot from Roddy and they fight to the top rope. Kushida takes him down with an armbar takedown from the top and they trade knee strikes, and Strong follows with the Angle Slam for two. Strong hits him with elbows while the announcers talk about the exhausted Strong running low on gas at this point. The match is barely 5:00 in at this point, by the way. Kushida tries for the Hoverboard lock, but Strong powers up and Bivens puts his foot on the rope to break anyway. And then all the Diamond Mine geeks run in while the ref is distracted, and take out Kushida to allow Strong to get the pin and the title at 7:30. Kushida was beat up by THREE PEOPLE while the ref was talking to Bivens. Come on, that’s RAW booking nonsense. Match was too short and the finish was complete garbage. ** And then Strong’s celebration is interrupted by Grayson Waller, who was last seen randomly managing Drake Maverick last week with no explanation. So he challenges Strong to a title match next week, which I guess would be exciting if anyone had any explanation of who Grayson Waller is and why we should care.
Meanwhile, Tony D’Angelo tells us about business and family. Guys, I think he might be hiding criminal enterprises behind his wrestling career. Just a hunch.
Meanwhile, we go to a bar where we learn about how Generic Redneck Team #1 met and put themselves over as fighters who never quit, despite them doing a 3 minute squash job to Imperium last week.
Kay Lee Ray v. Amari Miller
Kay Lee goes for the attack but Miller takes her down with a neckbreaker for two. Kay Lee dropkicks her for two and Miller looks SUPER green while selling. Kay Lee pounds on her, but Miller creates separation, only for Kay Lee to hit her with a Gory Bomb for the pin at 1:34. Why even give the new girl promo time if you’re squashing her in a minute? She shouldn’t have been on TV yet. ½*
Meanwhile, Ball Breakker and Ciampa have some words before their tag team match later tonight.
Earlier today, more people I don’t know get into an altercation. There’s, like, a guy and he’s putting the moves on two women, but someone else cuts in front while he’s holding the door open, and that means TROUBLE. I have no idea who any of the people involved in this segment are.
Trey Baxter v. Dante Chen
I should note that Chen’s entire backstory was a quick shot of Singapore before the break with Dante looking mysterious. He’s from SINGAPORE, guys. That’s the character, I guess. Well, more than what other people have gotten tonight. If his finisher isn’t the Singapore Sling, then what are we even doing? Baxter snaps off a german suplex to start and goes to the top, but Chen cuts him off, so Baxter gets a small package for two instead. And then Chen hits a cradle jawbreaker for the pin at 0:58. Um, Ok.
Meanwhile, Andre Chase is apparently a teacher and people are voluntarily attending his university class. So his lesson is that Odyssey Jones lost, and one of his students points out that Chase lost to Jones in the tournament, and Chase flips out and throws him out of the class. I don’t even understand what the internal logic of this was supposed to be.
Joe Gacy is apparently the guy who looks like Kevin Owens, and he’s in the ring talking now and his gimmick is that he’s WOKE. Oh my god this is like the worst episode of 1993 Superstars I’ve ever seen.
Joe Gacy v. Cameron Grimes
Grimes needs to get the hell out of this dumpster fire of a show and go to the main roster. Gacy wrestles in a full dress shirt and pants like IRS, by the way. They trade headlocks and Gacy blocks a rollup, so Grimes puts him down with a high kick. Gacy hits him with a corner splash and follows with a uranage and then goes to a chinlock. Grimes is BUILDING MOMENTUM with his comeback, but Gacy hits a handspring into a lariat for two. Grimes escapes a powerbomb and hits the Cave In to finish at 2:48. Grimes seems pretty aimless already since the Knight feud ended. *
Last week: Dexter Lumis marries Indi Hartwell in the wedding of the century. Next week, the honeymoon! I tell ya that the honeymoon for THIS show is already over.
Elektra Lopez v. Anna Scheer
Beth notes that Lopez has been “a powerful force since she appeared on the scene”. Hasn’t she only been around for like a month? Has she even had a match yet? Lopez throws Scheer around and gets a spinning uranage and then spinning powerbomb to finish at 1:30, apparently a student of 2005 WWE. All we need is someone using Roll the Dice and Play of the Day to complete the set. Not a particularly impressive squash or anything. These one minute matches just don’t tell you anything about the new people. Afterwards, she calls out B-Fab as apparently this feud is continuing to drag on well past the best before date. So B-Fab attacks from behind and they have a HORRIBLE brawl, like that episode of Dynamite with the infamous Dark Order brawl, before Hit Row pulls her off.
Meanwhile, the guy Baxter from earlier meets someone who I guess is his girlfriend but is not introduced, and she inspires him to be a superhero in a skit that cannot possibly have a good ending.
Seriously, are they ever going to follow up on the women brawling at the start of the show? Was that just a fever dream caused by sensory overload from this Russo nightmare of a show?
Meanwhile, Franky Monet and Raquel Gonzalez set up a title match next week, but another new person interrupts and her name is Lash Legend and then we immediately go to something else. This is thrilling TV.
Odyssey Jones v. Cary Millman & Darren Chiappetta
Someone seriously named themselves after a CHIA PET? Jones takes out both geeks with a clothesline and tosses them around the ring, but that brings out Andre Chase, so I guess Chase University is pretty close. Jones hits both guys with a crossbody and then stacks them in the corner while they lay there like dorks, and Jones splashes and pins them in 2:40. Jones was just doing generic big guy stuff. *
Meanwhile, Ikeman Jiro is wacky.
Toxic Attraction joins us in the ring, which is the name for Mandy Rose and her crew. So Mandy does the “I’m hotter than you” bitchy thing and talks about how fans betrayed her? What? Meanwhile Gigi and Jacy make mean faces and this DIES. And they keep talking to no reaction from the crowd and apparently they’re going after the Women’s tag team titles. And then they make mean faces at the hard cam and stand there posing dramatically. Spectacularly terrible. Whatever this group is aiming for in terms of their character, they missed. Badly.
Meanwhile, Zoey and Io seem to accept the challenge, but another woman comes out and challenges them on top of the original challenge. WHO ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE? I’m feeling very overstimulated by this show and not in a good way. They just keep throwing out new person after new person with no time for anyone to make any kind of impression. I can barely remember the names of the guys in Legado del Fantasma as it is and they just keep piling on more and more and more characters. SLOW THE HELL DOWN. Remember last week they had one of the new guys in the main event and made a big deal of him? HE’S NOT EVEN ON THE SHOW THIS WEEK.
Meanwhile, they announce three title matches for next week, which should fill about 5 minutes of TV time!
Pete Dunne & Ridge Holland v. Tommaso Ciampa & Jaw Breakker
Ciampa and Dunne trade takedowns on the mat, and then Holland comes in for a power match with Breakker. Breakker gets a powerslam and the faces double-team in the corner before Ciampa goes to a chinlock. Dunne comes in and works the arm with some SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION, and everyone brawls on the floor as we take a break. Back with Dunne working on Ciampa’s arm some more before Holland comes in and beats on the neck. Ciampa fights back with a suplex and it’s hot tag Ice Breakker, who gets a good reaction, probably the only guy on the show so far to make a difference. He cleans house with suplexes and uses the STEINER RECLINER on Dunne, but Dunne bends the fingers to escape. Holland comes in with an Alabama Slam for two, but Ciampa saves and they all brawl again. Dunne grabs his club and Ciampa saves again, but now Kool Kyle runs out and hits Holland with the club, allowing Brick Breakker to hit his powerslam for the pin at 11:57. Good match with another trash finish. ***
Yeah so this show was like Vince Russo built a time machine and went back to 1993 to open a wrestling school for bodybuilders that produced a live two hour episode of WWF Superstars on the USA Network with a coked up Herb Abrams writing the script. I didn’t like it, is what I’m trying to say here. Although the reboot episode wasn’t boring, this was worse than boring, because it was so breakneck and segment-segment-segment that I could barely keep up with the 30 different people who were introduced and couldn’t tell you any of their names or gimmicks when it was over. I’m fine with new people, but this was ALL OF THE NEW PEOPLE and it was too much to absorb in one shot. This was, no joke, one of the worst TV shows I’ve sat through in years. YEARS. I HOPE YOU MONSTERS ARE HAPPY FOR MAKING ME WATCH THIS.