The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT 2.0 – 10.19.21
Live from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett & Beth’s empty seat because she’s on vacation. It honestly took me half an hour to even notice she was gone.
So NXT is once again pre-empted in Canada due to some kind of ice based sports endeavour. I was going to wait until tomorrow and review it on the Network instead because there’s no Dynamite anyway, but then I read a preview and saw that tonight we discover if Bron Breakkker can co-exist with Tommaso Ciampa and I was like…
And so, once again I’m using the new Sportsnet Now replay of the show online. I can’t watch it on my 85” 17.5K HDR1000 TV, lovingly crafted by RCA, but I’ll live.
Carmelo Hayes joins us to start, and TWITTER WAS BUZZING last week about Hayes “executing his championship opportunity”, a phrase that the announcers repeat a bunch of times in perfect WWE-speak before they even make it to the ring. Trick clarifies that if you’re looking for humble, you can find it in the dictionary right after “Hell no”. I don’t know what kind of jacked up dictionary he’s using but I’m pretty sure those aren’t right after each other. Hayes is now the leader of the new school and the North American title is now the “A Title”. But then Johnny Gargano interrupts their rather dull promo and wakes up the crowd. He’s been having fun with honeymoons and weddings, but now Austin Theory is off to RAW and he’s lost his WAY. I see what he did there. Johnny wants a shot at the title, but Trick gets all clever by saying that Indi Hartwell has been “all up in his DMs”. Just like the kids say! But then Dexter Lumis appears from behind them and he’s not happy about his wife being besmirched, and chases off the heels. But can Johnny and Dexter co-exist? Anyway, this was a reasonably fun by-the-numbers talk segment.
Odyssey Jones v. Andre Chase
Chase grabs a headlock and gets nowhere with that, as Jones bowls him over, but misses a blind charge. Chase goes up with a dropkick and stomps him down, and a short DDT gets two while the announcers again tell the big lie that wins and losses mean something in NXT 2.0. Jones makes his big comeback at 2:00 into the match and gets the big splash for the pin at 2:54. Well that was a waste of time. ½*
Meanwhile, Malcolm Bivens is tired of hearing about people asking for championship opportunity, so now they’re gonna take their championship opportunity.
Imperium v. The Creed Brothers
Brutus gets double-teamed by Imperium in their corner to start but he slams Barthel to escape. Brutus with an overhead suplex on Barthel and they trade forearms, but Barthel gets a PK on him. Julius comes in and Barthel beats on him as well and goes up, but Roddy trips him up and Julius gets a powerslam to take over. Why are the Creeds even being put in the position to sell at this point in their career? Brutus comes in for a double-team on Barthel and that gets two, and Julius goes to a neck vice. Barthel makes what seems like a hot tag to Aichner. Are they…babyfaces? I’m very confused. So I guess that was supposed to be a heat segment on Barthel? Brutus gets a gut wrench for two and this brings Jiro and Kushida out to brawl with Diamond Mine, but Aichner rolls up Julius for the distraction pin at 5:45. I’m really not OK with the Creeds already selling like that and then doing a clean job already. They’re gonna start making these new guys seem like second-rate geeks when they should still be protecting them heavily. At the very least this should have been a DQ finish based on their own booking patterns. And then MSK attacks Imperium because I guess Imperium are heels again now. This was a giant mess that made the Creeds look really green unnecessarily. *
Meanwhile, Von Wagner and Kool Kyle O’Reilly learn to co-exist in the woods, doing woodsman stuff like chopping trees and drinking beer. Von’s a lumberjack, and he’s OK!
Meanwhile, Joe Gacy continues spewing buzzwords and apparently makes an alliance with Harland, who we still don’t know anything about.
Legado Del Fantasma joins us, and Escobar is cursing the name of Carmelo Hayes. And this somehow leads to Cora Jade.
Elektra Lopez v. Cora Jade
Lopez gets some slams and beats her down with CLUBBING FOREARMS, but Cora gets a rollup for two. Lopez clotheslines her down again, but Jade gets a small package for the pin at 1:50. I’m assuming Jade will now get a championship opportunity since she’s 2-0 and wins and losses mean so much in NXT. DUD
Meanwhile, Bron and Ciampa are still unable to co-exist. Hopefully they can co-exist in the main event, leading to Bron’s championship opportunity.
Io Shirai v. Persia Pirotta v. Jacy Jayne
Speaking of championship opportunities, the winner of this match gets to spin the wheel next week to determine the stipulation for the execution of the championship opportunity at the tag team championships. Pirotta overpowers both of the others and slams Io in an awkward spot, but she gets sent to the floor and Jayne follows with a dive that’s completely embarrassing, as she barely clears the ropes and lands flat on her face, knocking herself out. “Horrible!” quips Wade before correcting himself and covering by saying it was almost a horrible injury. So we take a break and they take Jayne out of the match. THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T PUT GREEN ROOKIES ON LIVE TV DOING THIS SHIT. Frankly I’m surprised someone hasn’t been hurt already. Back with Pirotta working over Io in the corner, and a clothesline gets two. Pirotta gets a powerbomb for two, but Shirai fights back with forearms and the 619, and then SHE blows a spot, slipping on the top rope while trying a springboard dropkick. Io with a crossface while Pirotta has an extended conversation right on camera. Shirai with a german suplex that nearly goes horribly wrong, and the moonsault ends this disaster at 9:38. * Pirotta barely even looks like she knows how to take basic bumps. I mean, bless the “crowd” because we know they’re basically 200 people acting out a role and everyone knows what they’re supposed to be cheering and booing, but it came across as so fake and inauthentic when these women were out there having a complete trainwreck of a match and they’re just clapping along for Io Shirai like a WCW Worldwide taping audience in 1994. It doesn’t help anyone learn to get over in front of real crowds when it’s the same group of people that are basically the Impact Zone week after week. So the champs get to spin the wheel and determine if it’s going to be a hardcore match, street fight, or no-DQ. And so they spin it right after the match and it’s a ladder match. Someone’s gonna die. Who in their right mind would put those 6 people in a ladder match on live TV after seeing this match? They should have gimmicked the wheel to land on “pillow fight” or something a bit more safe.
Meanwhile, Legado Del Fantasma has moved on from beating up Hit Row every week and now is attacking Cora Jade’s boyfriend backstage instead.
Meanwhile, Tony D’Angelo is next.
Next week, Solo the Samoan debuts. Apparently he’s also a member of the Uso family, but they had to change his name as well. Even though “Uso” is a fake name and WWE owns it already. I give up trying to figure this out.
Meanwhile, Kushida and Jiro have a wacky meeting in the bathroom. See, it’s funny because Kushida was PEEING.
Tony D’Angelo v. Ru Feng
D’Angelo takes the guy down with a headlock and works on that and then finishes with the neckbreaker deal at 1:45. And then Tony denies all knowledge of kidnapping the producer last week and pays off the interviewer.
Meanwhile, Duke plays poker and says all kinds of poker terms so you know he’s good at poker. Just call him the House, because the House always wins! Except for the times he lost. Because wins and losses matter so much, you see.
Meanwhile, we are nearly robbed of the match between Legado and the rednecks because the heels attack them before the entrance. But then we take a break and learn that they’re fine. This show is a real roller coaster of emotions.
Legado Del Fantasma v. Joe Bobby & Bobby Joe
The bar fighters recover from their attack and double-team Wilde to start, chasing him out of the ring, but Escobar runs Briggs Jensen into the apron and the heels take over on him. Legado gets corner clotheslines on him and Mendoza goes up with a flying splash for two. Briggs makes the crawl for the hot tag, and he can’t even convincingly CRAWL, and Baby Bull comes in and beats on Wilde with corner clotheslines of his own. Even this crowd isn’t buying it and he gets booed out of the building, and Legado finish him with their double legsweep at 4:55. The wrestling on this show is excruciating this week. ½*
LA Knight v. Grayson Waller
The winner of this one gets to host the show next week. Do we need stipulations for EVERYTHING? Who gives a shit who’s hosting, as long as they bring back Shotzi Blackheart in the cat suit? And of course we do LA’s entrance, and then take a break and return with another promo for the mystery person returning at Halloween Havoc, and then go back to the locker room as Carmelo and Trick find a challenge in their locker to some kind of match with Dexter. Waller gets a rollup for two while the announcers talk about how hosting the show last year made Shotzi in a huge star on Smackdown. When was the last time she was even on Smackdown? Serious question. They trade more rollups and Knight stomps him down in the corner and beats on him, then slingshots in with a shoulderblock for two. Waller comes back and goes up with something that misses, and Knight finishes with a DDT at 2:50. So LA is the host of the show next week.
Speaking of which, they run down the card and literally every match advertised is a “Spin the Wheel” match, except for the main event. Like, do we need Imperium v. MSK to be a gimmick match? What even is the issue in the Mandy v. Raquel title match?
Tommaso Ciampa & Bron Breakker v. The Grizzled Young Veterans
Breakker absorbs all of Drake’s best shots and takes him down with some mat wrestling, then hits him with a powerslam and refuses to tag in Ciampa. OH MY GOD CAN THEY CO-EXIST? Doesn’t seem likely at this point. Ciampa tags himself in and runs wild on them with the corner clotheslines and we take a break. Back with the Veterans now getting the heat on Ciampa as Drake holds a chinlock, but Ciampa escapes that with a suplex, only for Gibson to take out Bron and prevent a tag. Oh man, if I’m Ciampa I’m sure not co-existing with my partner after getting betrayed like that! Clearly this is going to have ramifications on Bron’s execution of the championship opportunity next week on NXT 2.0 live on USA Network and maybe on Sportsnet 360 in Canada if there’s nothing better for Rogers to air instead like hockey or poker or whatever! Ciampa gets beaten down in the corner and Drake gets a submission attempt with a headscissor, but Ciampa rolls out of it. Ciampa fights back with a DDT and tags Breakker, but yells at him in a manner decidedly not peaceful co-existance, so Bron gets all fired up and cleans house on the Veterans. Non-Steiner Recliner follows on Drake, but Gibson saves, so Breakker gets a powerslam instead and pins Drake at 10:33. Clearly champion and challenger were not co-existing there, and really made me want to see them executing their championship opportunity next week as a result. Unlike all the other geeks on this show you can clearly see that they know EXACTLY how to protect Bron. **
I don’t know if I’ve expressed lately how much I hate this show but I feel like I need to stress the point again. I HATE THIS SHOW. This did not do anything to make me the least bit interested in Halloween Havoc next week and in fact if anything it made me even more terrified for the lives of everyone in the women’s tag team title match.