NXT – November 16, 2021

NXT
Date: November 16, 2021
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Beth Phoenix, Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett

We’re back to whatever NXT has become but this time it’s all about WarGames. Somehow NXT thinks they have a matchup that will work there, though I’m almost scared to know who is going to be included. Maybe we find that out tonight, plus get what should be an obvious setup for Breakker vs. Ciampa II. Let’s get to it.

Tony D’Angelo vs. Dexter Lumis

Fallout from D’Angelo suggesting Lumis was about to get whacked. Lumis has a drawing for D’Angelo, showing him asleep in a school of fish. D’Angelo bails away to start and gets caught with a Thesz press. Back up and D’Angelo gets in a few shots of his own to take over and we hit the chinlock. Lumis fights up again but D’Angelo snaps his throat across the top. With Lumis staggered, D’Angelo grabs the easel the drawing is sitting on, which is quickly taken away. That’s all D’Angelo needs as he pokes Lumis in the eye behind the referee’s back. The fisherman’s neckbreaker finishes Lumis at 3:05.

Rating: D+. I’m trying to get into D’Angelo but he’s so straight out of central casting that it’s almost impossible. He feels completely out of place around here and it’s a really jarring thing to see. Having him pin Lumis is a way to go, but egads I’m really not sure how much of a future there is in someone doing the corniest mobster deal imaginable.

Post match here are Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes to go after Lumis. They throw in a Pillmanizing to the hand, with Johnny Gargano getting in for the save a moment too late.

Post break, Gargano says we don’t need to see any replays. He wants Hayes out here right now but gets Pete Dunne instead. Before that can go anywhere, here are Hayes and Williams in the balcony to interrupt. Williams talks trash about Gargano but Dunne wants to know who these people are. Dunne says he’s the same age as Hayes with ten years more experience, plus with a win over him. Hayes doesn’t like this so let’s make it a triple threat match for the title next week. Hayes loads up the Melo Don’t Miss catchphrase but gets cut off by telling him how much he does miss. Gargano says you don’t want to miss the title match.

The Diamond Mine is warming up when Joe Gacy comes in. He likes the idea of a leader and seems to be interested in joining. Malcolm Bivens says the tryout is in a few weeks and that’s going to be 837 dollars. Gacy does at least get a business card.

LA Knight talks about how he has all kinds of things but he’s still the same person without them. He was ready for the NXT Title but then Grayson Waller came in to get in his way. Waller can talk all he wants, but there is one superstar around here and it isn’t him.

Diamond Mine vs. Odyssey Jones/Jacket Time

Strong and Kushida start things off, with Strong hitting Jones in the face on the apron. That’s enough to bring Jones in but it’s off to Julius Creed, who jumps on his back. Jones breaks that up so Brutus comes in and gets flipped over for his efforts. Jiro comes in to start on the arm but it’s off to Strong, who gets to face Kushida

The basement dropkick rocks Strong and Kushida takes out the Brothers for a bonus. A cheap shot from Strong takes Kushida down though and we take a break. Back with Julius working over Jiro and handing it off to Brutus to hammer away. That’s broken up and it’s back to Jones, who gets Olympic Slammed to give Strong two. Everything breaks down and Jones splashes Strong for the pin at 8:39.

Rating: C. I’m still not sure what the point is in having Jones feud with Strong, but at least it is something for both of them to do. Bringing Jacket Time (because their name really is Jacket time) is a good thing, but you’re only going to get so far with these three against a pushed team like the Diamond Mine. The match was fine though, which shouldn’t be a surprise.

The Grizzled Young Veterans have stolen the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles but call Gibson’s grandmother to brag. She’s proud of their win, which should be enough to get him the lion’s share of the inheritance. They even have a board labeled Nana Con. I have no idea why the team needs a gimmick like this, but I don’t get a lot of this NXT.

MSK get to the airport but get caught with, ahem, supplies. Then they take separate flights to meet the Shaman, whoever that is. They get wherever they’re going and are off to find him.

Xyon Quinn vs. Andre Chase

Chase takes him down to start and grabs a running neckbreaker for two. The chinlock goes on but Quinn powers up and throws Chase down with ease. The Jackhammer finishes Chase in a hurry at 3:08.

Rating: D+. This was what it should have been as there was no reason to have Chase be a threat to a monster like Quinn. They have something with Quinn and having him dispatch Chase (with an upgraded finisher) is a good sign for what he’s doing. Now just get Quinn something more serious to do and see what you have with him.

Post match Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde jump Quinn from behind. Quinn fights them off but Santos Escobar comes in to jump him from behind. Cue Elektra Lopez to say no one say no to Elektra Lopez (But didn’t she just say it?). Quinn gets planted on the ramp.

Raquel Gonzalez talks about how much she loved being champion but one shovel to the back took all of that away. Now she has to look at Mandy Rose holding her title, but tonight she’s burying Dakota Kai with that shovel.

It’s time for the Poker Showdown between Duke Hudson and Cameron Grimes. We actually go over the rules for the game and Hudson talks about how luck is for losers. Grimes says he played Hudson and now it’s time for poker. They play out the hand, with the pot getting to nearly $20,000. Hudson requests that the fans be quiet before calling.

The final card is dealt and Grimes goes all in, with Hudson being scared despite having the best hand. Hudson loses it and thinks that Grimes has him beat and folds, with Hudson grabbing the cards to find out he was bluffed (you don’t do that in poker). Grimes thinks it’s hilarious and gets kicked in the head, setting up a powerbomb through the table. Hudson grabs some scissors and cuts Grimes’ beard and hair. This was long but the ending was a step forward for the story.

Kyle O’Reilly doesn’t seem happy with Von Wagner appearing on Smackdown but they’re cool for tonight.

Josh Briggs/Brooks Jensen vs. Kyle O’Reilly/Von Wagner

O’Reilly ducks Jensen’s clothesline and kicks away before grabbing a headlock. Briggs tags himself in though and it’s a double shoulder to take him down. We see Imperium watching in the back as O’Reilly gets over for the tag to Wagner. That means the power standoff with Briggs, who can’t shoulder Wagner down. Wagner powers him into the corner so O’Reilly can come back in for the kicks. That earns him a bearhug but O’Reilly slips out, allowing the tag back to Wagner. Everything breaks down and O’Reilly takes Briggs down on the floor. That leaves Wagner to hit a double underhook swinging slam on Jensen for the pin at 4:58.

Rating: C. I was really hoping that O’Reilly and Wagner could be done but NXT sees something in them. I’m not sure what that is, but it seems to be continuing. Jensen and Briggs continue to be the easiest team in the world to set up, yet they have almost no success at all. Is Wagner really that great of a prospect?

Imperium is impressed, but not that impressed.

Indi Hartwell is worried about Dexter Lumis’ hand. Persia Pirotta will wrestle on her own, but she doesn’t seem happy.

It’s time for Lashing Out with Lash Legend (dang it I hoped they had dropped this stupid thing) and this week she doesn’t like Kay Lee Ray. Grayson Waller pops up to be the guest and talks about all of the veterans who have made it this far. Then Waller was a success on reality TV and made a video to get on here. The business has changed because it’s no longer about how many stars you get but how many followers. Lash: “The tea has just been spilled!” This continues to be the dumbest thing on a show full of dumb things.

Persia Pirotta vs. Gabby Stephens/Jenna Levy

Persia cleans house to start as Robert Stone is in the aisle. The jobbers are cleaned out and Pirotta puts them both on her shoulders for a double Samoan drop. A sitout F5 finishes Leavy at 1:49. Total domination.

Stone is impressed.

Dakota Kai seems a bit off but says she needs to purge Raquel Gonzalez. Toxic Attraction pops up to scare her off but here are the Grizzled Young Veterans to give them their titles back.

Tommaso Ciampa is ready to face anyone….and he’ll just address them in the ring.

Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro went to a music festival and danced a lot. They want to bring the party to everyone. More vignettes like this, just to give us an idea of who these people are, even if they’ve been around.

Here is Tommaso Ciampa for a chat. He doesn’t like a lot of these new people, including Grayson Waller mocking old wrestlers working the indies for a hot dog and a handshake. Cue Bron Breakker to cut him off to say Ciampa must be upset over these new talents popping up. Ciampa reminds him of the loss at Halloween Havoc and we even see a clip. Ciampa says Breakker has less than a 33 1/3% chance of taking the title, because he is just a puppy instead of the champ.

Raquel Gonzalez vs. Dakota Kai

Before the match, Gonzalez points to Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Tamyra Mensah-Stock in the front row. The beating continues in the corner, with Kai smiling while Gonzalez unloads on her. An over the shoulder backbreaker makes it worse until Gonzalez sends her outside. This time Kai gets in a shot of her own and we take a break.

Back with Kai hitting a running boot against the ropes for two. Kai goes up and shoves Gonzalez off for daring to try a superplex. Another kick to the head keeps Gonzalez in trouble but she fights back, albeit with a bottom turnbuckle being pulled off. A Vader Bomb gives Gonzalez two but Kai breaks up the Chingona Bomb.

Instead, Gonzalez grabs a stretch muffler and spins Kai around for a crash. Kai is able to send her face first into the exposed buckle though and now it’s time for the shovel from Halloween Havoc. Gonzalez takes it away without too much effort…and here is Toxic Attraction to jump Gonzalez for the DQ at 11:45.

Rating: C+. This was pretty easily the best match on the show and I think you know where the ending is taking us. How Gonzalez isn’t on the main roster yet is beyond me, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see WarGames as her big NXT finale. Kai’s new character is certainly weird and I’m not quite sure what they’re doing with her. This was pretty good action for a bit though and that’s better than most of this show.

Post match the beatdown is on but Cora Jade makes the save with her skateboard. Mandy Rose cuts that off though and Jade gets beaten down. Cue Zoey Stark, with her leg in a cast, but Io Shirai runs out and grabs the crutch to clear the ring. The big brawl continues as fans chant for WARGAMES as Gonzalez and company clear the ring. Shirai issues the WarGames challenge to end the show, because Toxic Attraction needs to be in ANOTHER dangerous match.

Overall Rating: C-. I wasn’t feeling a lot of this show and that shouldn’t be a surprise. They have certainly settled down, but nothing feels overly big and Toxic Attraction does not feel like they belong in a WarGames match. This show is a bad mixture of goofy and people who aren’t ready yet. That works fine on local TV where you can get away with more, but at two hours a week on the same channel as Raw, it makes for a downright bizarre experience.

Results
Tony D’Angelo b. Dexter Lumis – Fisherman’s neckbreaker
Odyssey Jones/Jacket Time b. Diamond Mine – Splash to Strong
Xyon Quinn b. Andre Chase – Jackhammer
Kyle O’Reilly/Von Wagner b. Brooks Jensen/Josh Briggs – Double underhook swinging slam to Jensen
Persia Pirotta b. Gabby Stephens/Jenna Levy – Sitout F5 to Leavy
Raquel Gonzalez b. Dakota Kai via DQ when Toxic Attraction interfered

 

 

 

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