The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT 2.0 – 11.23.21

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT 2.0 – 11.23.21

Oddly, there seems to be some actual desire from people to discuss the soul-sucking demon that is WWE Champions on the blog.  Granted I waste far too much of my time and money on it, but if it’s actually generating interest then maybe I’ll do some kind of weekly discussion deal for the goings-on.  And also I’m down to 15,000 MLC points away from maxing the month and getting Stacy Keibler so I should have it wrapped up this week for the second month in a row.  Although once again, I cannot stress enough that it is NOT WORTH IT to get involved with the game.  I’ve been playing since the original beta and I’m something like 5 years into it now so there’s a whole sunk cost logical fallacy thing messing with my mind and I’m well aware that it’s just chasing the dragon at this point.  But please, for your own sanity, stay far away from Scopely and their bile.  Oh and my faction is BulletClubRJD if you want to join, but it’s typically full so there’s not usually spots available.

Speaking of bile spawned from soul-sucking money-hungry demons, it’s NXT 2.0!

Live from Orlando, FL

Your hosts are Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix & Wade Barrett

Grayson Waller joins us for a cold open in the ring, continuing to call out Ciampa and bitching at the fans for chasing John Cena and the Rock away to Hollywood, and now he’s wearing a pink jumpsuit as he goes from gimmick to gimmick flailing for anything as a character.  Like what is he even going for with this?  He hates the veterans but then hates the fans for supposedly chasing away the other veterans?  I don’t understand what it’s supposed to be.

Tommaso Ciampa v. Grayson Waller

I guess this is a non-title match.  So now it’s getting really noticeable that there’s even less people in the stands this week and they have the big fake video wall of “fans” across the back wall.  Ciampa beats Waller down in the corner and hits a running boot, then chases him to the floor and chops him in a chair.  That was a weird cut, because we didn’t actually see Waller leaving the ring while the camera was focused on Ciampa, and he just kind of teleported there.  Back in, Waller gets a cheap shot and slugs away to take over with some generic offense.  Spinebuster and he follows with his version of the People’s elbow, but that misses and Ciampa comes back and clotheslines him to the floor.  Ciampa throws him over the announce table and we take a break.  Back with both guys out in the ring, but Ciampa gets a DDT and Waller reverses to a rollup for two.  And then Ciampa hits him with a knee strike, but Waller gets a spinebuster for two.  Waller goes up and Ciampa brings him down with the Air Raid Crash for two.  Ciampa with a backslide, but Waller comes back with a bizarre inverted Regal Roll that looked really bad and that gets two.  Flying elbow gets two.  Waller tosses him and follows with a dive, but Ciampa rolls him into the draping DDT and puts him away with a Fairy Tale Ending at 11:32.  See, if they’d let Waller do this kind of stuff instead of giving him 18 gimmicks every week, he might go somewhere.  Really good match to open with a simple and effective story of wily veteran overcoming arrogant newcomer.  ***1/2

Meanwhile, LA Knight is unimpressed with Waller’s performance, but Joe Gacy interrupts to project bullshit into the show as usual and a match will be happening later.  STOP LETTING THIS GUY TALK.

Last week, noted poker expert Duke Hudson loses at poker to noted hillbilly simpleton Cameron Grimes.  Again.

Earlier today, Toxic Attraction are walking and POSING, and they’re pretty sure Cora Jade is a poser (they’re ones to talk) who doesn’t even know Tony Hawk.  Huge if true.  Oh and Kay Lee Ray has apparently smashed up some stuff with a baseball bat, because why not.

Cameron Grimes joins us with newly trimmed beard and haircut after last week, and he relates his history of coming from a small town in North Carolina and kept his hair and beard to remind himself of his previous life, even after he struck it rich.  And now Duke Hudson took his hair and humiliated him, and made him angry.  So Duke joins us from a barber chair, unwilling to sports entertain with Grimes tonight, so Cameron accuses him of being gutless and nutless, which sets up a hair v. hair match at WarGames.  See, that’s a match with actual stakes.  I approve.

Meanwhile, Pete Dunne is pretty sure he’s getting the North American title tonight.

Meanwhile, Indi and Persia reveal that Dexter injured his metacarpals and he’ll be out for a while. But Indi will persevere anyway.

Meanwhile, we meet Tiffany Stratton, playing yet another spoiled blonde heel.  That’s original.

Indi Hartwell & Persia Perrotta v. Kayden Carter & Kacy Catenzaro

Kayden tries a headlock on Persia and gets overpowered, but Indi is all mopey and just not into the match.  But she tags in anyway and has to act like she’s selling while being distracted and honestly that’s asking a lot of the poor girl.  It’s like when you see people in sci fi movies giving logical contradiction riddles to robots and making their robot heads explode.  Indi and Persia kind of double-team Kacy, with only Persia really into it, I think, and Persia misses one charge and crawls dramatically to the corner like she’s only got one leg.  So Indi comes in and stares longingly at her ring finger, but the TikTok Twins put her away with a double splash at 3:39.  Well I was enjoying the first half hour or so of this show before they managed to ruin it with stupid nonsense, so that’s something.  ¼*

Meanwhile, Santos Escobar is untouchable, or so he says.

Meanwhile, Cameron Grimes shows up at Chase University and tells off Andre Chase.

Santos Escobar v. Malik Blade

Oh man, poor Malik Blade.  The only guy in the promotion without a wacky gimmick and he just gets killed week after week as a result.  Someone pull character traits out of a fishbowl and give him something!  Have him take a blow to the head and wake up thinking he’s Danny Glover from the Lethal Weapon movies, trying to solve crimes backstage while proclaiming that he’s too old for this shit.  Blade gets a cartwheel to evade Escobar, but Santos beats him down for a bit before Blade gets a sunset flip for two.  Escobar suplexes him into the corner and finishes with the Phantom Driver at 2:29.  Well maybe next week for Malik.  *  So then Legado del Fantasma does a promo about being at full strength, but the awesome team of Kool Kyle and Von Wagner interrupt and somehow pulling his hair back gives him even MORE of a protruding forehead ridge.  And then Imperium interrupts from the balcony deal and they’re filled with disdain for everyone below them.  So they tell them to battle and the winners will face Imperium at the PPV.  OH GEE I WONDER HOW THAT MATCH WILL END?  Double DQ?  Double countout?  Double pin?  Take your pick.

Meanwhile, the women’s WarGames team just can’t co-exist, but Cora Jade tells them all to co-exist.  This was pretty awful.

Meanwhile, Tony D’Angelo tells the interviewer to call his guy Hesh and get a nicer ring.

Mandy Rose v. Cora Jade

Cora almost skateboards down the ramp a bit, so she’s approaching the level of the Dynamic Dudes in 1989 at least.  Cora shows some MOXY according to Vic, who is apparently a 1940s radio personality now, but Mandy gets a spinebuster for two.  Mandy puts the boots to Cora in the corner and follows with a suplex for two before going to a chinlock and a bodyscissors.  Cora with a small package for two and she makes a patented WWE Developmental Comeback, running back and forth on the ropes while yelling COME ON so you know she means business.  Cora goes up and misses what appears to be an attempt at a butt drop, but Kay Lee Ray comes down with her baseball bat to provide a distraction, beating up an innocent laptop and allowing Cora to roll up Mandy and pin her at 4:13 in a complete “slip on a banana peel” finish.  And then they cut away before it can even mean anything.  ½*

Meanwhile, Carmelo Hayes does his usual promo and I still don’t know why he volunteered to put the title up against two guys.

Meanwhile, Joe Gacy won’t shut up.

Meanwhile, the babyface women celebrate Cora’s big win, but Kay Lee Ray offers her services as the fourth person on their team.  Why would they issue the challenge if they didn’t have a fourth person for the team?  That’s just stupid.

Joe Gacy v. LA Knight

No match, as Grayson Waller runs out and brawls with Knight to the back, so we’re graced with another promo from Gacy instead.  But then Diamond Mine interrupts and Gacy suddenly wants to challenge Roderick Strong as Cruiserweight champion because it’s “weight shaming”.  Wasn’t he literally wanting to join the group last week?  Anyway, I guess they’ve having a match at WarGames and it’s for the title?  In what universe is JOE GACY qualified to wrestle for the 205 pound title?  This booking literally makes no sense and actually punishes you for paying attention.  So are we just done with the Odyssey Jones and Jacket Time thing now?  What the hell was even the point of that?

Meanwhile, MSK get pulled over and hilariously carrying drugs while doing 7 miles per hour.  I’m from Canada, is that a lot?  More importantly, ARE THEY EVER GOING TO WRESTLE AGAIN?

Ivy Nile v. Yulisa Leon

Another dominant squash from Ivy, who throws Leon around and uses a figure four choke while doing situps and flexing.  She’s no Bryan Danielson.  Leon powers out and gets a rollup, but Nile finishes with a sleeper at 2:30.  Nowhere near as impressive as her first squash, mostly because Leon didn’t really sell very well for her and tried to get her own shit in.  Not the time or place.

Meanwhile, Solo Sikoa might look and act and talk like an Uso, but he’s SOLO. Good to know.

Meanwhile, the Vets steal someone’s wallet while LA Knight and Grayson Waller continue brawling in the back with the refs helpless to stop them.  No wonder that guy was able to attack Seth on Monday night.  I heard they signed him after the show and then Nick Khan cut him on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Boa switches between his personalities and blows mist.

Grizzled Young Veterans v. Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen

Brooks has a giant “BJ” spray-painted on his shirt, which is an unfortunate fashion choice.  Apparently they want to be “part of the conversation” for the tag team gold.  The conversation would go “HAHAHAHAHA, no.” by my reckoning.  Billy Joe and Ricky Bobby double-team Drake with sliding punches on the ropes and Drake runs away to his corner, but Gibson comes in and hits Jimmy Dean from behind to take over.  Gibson with the headlock on John Boy while we cut to the back for further brawling between Knight and Waller like they’re Jim Duggan and Harley Race at the Slammies in 1987.  Meanwhile Drake cuts off the ring while Billy makes the hot tag to Bart and he runs wild while yelling a lot.  He’s giving reversible denim vests a bad name with this gimmick.  Drake claims a knee injury, but then forgets which one, and the cowboys finish with a high low at 4:42 because they’re cowboys and it’s just the rule that you have to use that move.  This was really fucking bad and they need to get Hank and Bobby Hill off TV and retool them or something.  DUD

NXT North American title:  Carmelo Hayes v. Pete Dunne v. Johnny Gargano

Dunne and Gargano trade rollups to start, but Hayes takes them both out from behind and puts the boots to them.  Dunne takes the other two down and puts them in a wacky double half crab, which I guess maths into a full crab via science, but Hayes makes the ropes.  Dunne works on Johnny’s arm before Hayes flies in and breaks it up, and gets two on Gargano.  You know, since they’re all about cross-promoting with movies, they’re missing an obvious one here, as Pete Dunne could change his name to Pete DUNE and wear blue contacts while talking about the Spice.  They can even give him a giant worm sidekick or something.  THEY’LL MAKE MILLIONS.  Golden egg millions!  Yeah I know you were all waiting for one of those references, don’t lie.  Anyway, Gargano cleans house and we take a break and if we’re being honest, I’m not particularly into this match after the rest of the show got my hopes up and then crushed my spirit so convincingly.  They do some stuff and Gargano gets a DDT on Dunne for two and everyone is laying around while the announcers hype Joe Gacy’s “All Inclusive Invitational” next week because they’re just gonna keep going all in on Joe Gacy like a golden egg until the vein in my forehead ruptures with annoyance.  Apparently this match is still going and hopefully they get to the finish where Dunne takes out Gargano and Hayes steals the pin so I can get to bed.   Oh hey, Dunne hits Johnny with the Bitter End, but Tony D’Angelo pulls out Dunne and Hayes steals the pin at 10:30 to retain.  I’M HERE ALL WEEK, TRY THE VEAL.  Time for bed.  This show sucks.

And then everyone brawls and we conveniently have four babyfaces and four heels so there’s another WarGames match.  Did I mention that this show sucks?  Do I want to see Tony D’Angelo in a WarGames match at this point in his career?

This show sucks.  I hope you’re all happy for destroying my soul with this garbage week after week for your petty amusement while my brain dies a little more from having to watch and figure out what the fuck is going on with this stupid television program written by senile old men for idiots.


But the first 30 minutes was pretty good this week.  You have to give them that much.