The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT 2.0 – 12.28.21

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT 2.0 – 12.28.21

Saw the trailer for the sparkly vampire Batman movie.  SOLD.

Live from Orlando, FL

Your hosts are Vic Joseph & Wade Barrett

Grayson Waller joins us to start as this insane overpush continues.  So apparently he was on RAW, the only show I hate more than this one, and we get highlights of that appearance.  For those who keep beating the drum about how this is a developmental show and we shouldn’t expect main roster quality, doing crossovers with the main roster shows makes it seem like they’re presenting it as a main roster level.  Which it’s clearly not.  Anyway, apparently Dexter Lumis is “injured” (COUGH, COUGH, know what I mean?) and so Odyssey Jones will be replacing him tonight.  I was just wondering if he’d ever be on this show again.

Grayson Waller v. Odyssey Jones

Jones throws Waller around and hits a corner splash, then steps on him to counter a drop-down.  Sideslam gets two and we take a break.  Back with Waller in control with a series of kicks and a flying elbow gets two.  Jones bowls him over a few times to make the comeback, but he misses a charge and Waller slugs away in the corner.  Jones takes him down with a powerbomb for two while Waller pulls off a turnbuckle while trying to hang on, but then misses another charge and hits the exposed turnbuckle, and Waller finishes with the stunner at 8:11.  Not much to this one and most of it took place during the break, but the finish was reasonably clever.  **  Honestly I wish they’d worry more about fundamental development and less about wacky finishes.  And then AJ Styles appears on the screen to make a match for next week’s special show.  I’m still not really clear on what the issue between them is based on, but AJ should be able to get a good match out of him.

Meanwhile, Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade are doing an interview about their upcoming title match, but then Mandy Rose interrupts on the TV screen behind them, as they all have to stop and watch the screen while looking at the camera, and Mandy books a tag match with Raquel & Cora v. Io Shirai & Kay Lee Ray, with the winners being the ones getting the title match next week.  They could just book the match and build it up, but I suppose that would be too easy.

Meanwhile, Tiffany apparently debuts TONIGHT.

Meanwhile, Xyon Quinn woodenly tells Elektra that she has to choose between him and Legado TONIGHT.

MSK joins us, and Riddle appears on the screen with a pre-taped promo to pump them up for their tag team title match next week.  So they call out Imperium and then complain that they don’t speak English.  MSK wants a title shot RIGHT NOW, but WALTER appears on the screen to interrupt on his team’s behalf.  What is with all the remote promos tonight?  Oh yeah, Covid.  And then Riddle interrupts with a split screen and challenges Imperium to a six-man next week instead of a title match.  MSK is very excited about this for some reason.  I’m confused, didn’t they have a title match before?  Maybe that was just an assumption on my part.  Anyway, the match should be awesome, so that’s good.

Meanwhile, Edris Enofe does a promo about his big win over Von Wagner, but Von interrupts and yells at him until some other guy interrupts and also wants a piece of Von.  “Who the hell are you?” yells Von.  I’m wondering the same thing.

Harland v. The Brian Kendrick

Apparently Kendrick is a no-show (COUGH COUGH, know what I mean?) so Andre Chase comes out instead.

Harland v. Andre Chase

Chase notes that they take negatives and turn them into positives at his school.  Yeah, that’s the whole problem they’re having, too many negatives turning into positives.  I wonder if Chase is part of the Delta Omicron frat house?  That would actually be halfway clever.  Harland murders him and the ref stops the match at 1:00.  For ramming his head into the mat a bunch of times?  This was awful.  DUD  Harland comes back for more punishment and Chase’s blond student tries to protect him, so Harland kidnaps him.

Meanwhile, Legado del Fantasma has no comment and tells the camera to get lost, but it stays there anyway to film their private conversation.  And then Solo Sikoa interrupts and that’s apparently a match tonight.

Tiffany Stratton v. Fallon Henley

Stratton’s entrance is an instant disappointment after all the buildup.  After all the promos making her out to be the WWE version of MJF, suddenly she’s just every other blond airhead character they’ve ever done.  Kelly Kelly 2021 basically.  Stratton works an armbar to start and then switches to a headlock, and she literally does some tumbling and adds a terribly mistimed handspring elbow before finishing with a flatliner at 2:40.  This was a complete flop in every way.  She didn’t show any charisma or star presence whatsoever and the crowd of trained monkeys wouldn’t even buy into it.  DUD

Meanwhile, Tony D’Angelo talks about how he deals with bullies:  Smash their face in until they don’t come back.

Roderick Strong joins us for the contract signing with Carmelo Hayes, and Malcolm Bivens has to provide translation for Hayes’ promo in a funny bit, and then translates back to Carmelo.  Wade doesn’t know what either of them are talking about.  That’s how I feel watching this show all the time.  And then they jibber jabber too long at each other but they probably have to stretch it out because everyone has Covid.  Bivens picks a fight with Trick Williams and he goes to protest, so the Creeds put him through a table because it’s a contract signing and someone has to go through a table.  This was a contract signing, all right.

Meanwhile, the various geek teams fighting for the next chance to lose to Imperium do promos.  This show has had SO MUCH filler.  Are they actually having a four-way match or something?  We never find out.

Solo Sikoa v. Santos Escobar

Really, why is Escobar even down in NXT at this point?  They’re constantly looking for a good worker who can speak English and be their big Latino star on the main roster.  There he is!  The Legado storyline is long past the point of outliving its usefulness anyway.  Santos tries a takedown and then rolls him up, before going to a hammerlock. The crowd chants “Uso” for the guy not named Uso.  Doing a hell of a job with the branding there, NXT.  Santos ties him up on the mat, but Solo escapes with a hiptoss while the crowd keeps chanting for someone named Uso.  Solo gets a corner splash and clothesline, then follows with a slam and headbutt as this thing is taking forever to get going.  They head to the floor for a brawl and we take a break.  Back with Santos working the leg with a half crab, but Sikoa makes a comeback and then goes after Legado, allowing Santos to SWEEP THE LEG and oh yeah Cobra Kai tomorrow night baby, you know it.  Santos takes him to the top for a rana, but now Xyon Quinn sticks his nose into the match and Escobar takes him out.  Back in, this allows Sikoa to superkick him and get the big splash for the pin at 11:43.  Yay, distraction finish.  This was a dull, plodding style clash.  *  Oh and after the ultimatum given about how Elektra has to make a decision TONIGHT, no decision is made.

Meanwhile, we clarify that AJ Styles is not actually wrestling Grayson Waller next week, he’s CONFRONTING him.

Meanwhile, Harland threatens to throw the blond guy off the roof, but then doesn’t.  Well what’s the point then?

Meanwhile, Boa attacks Sikoa and then magically loses his evil facepaint when the camera angle changes.

Meanwhile, we take a look at the rematch between Ciampa and Breakker as we get more filler with no new information this week.

Von Wagner v. Malik Blade

Oh yeah, the other guy was Malik Blade I guess.  Wagner immediately beats on Blade in the corner, somehow even more boring since turning heel.  Big boot misses but he recovers with a slam while Robert Stone watches in the back.  Wagner with a sloppy gut wrench while Wade Barrett is the guy to finally call Von a CAVEMAN on national TV.  Von with a clothesline, but Blade comes back with dropkicks and a springboard crossbody.  Wagner catches him with a flatliner but Blade gets a sunset flip for two.  Crowd:  “This match sucks!”  I agree with them for once.  And if even THOSE GUYS are turning on your product, you’re putting on a shitty match.  Wagner is actually getting worse by the week, wrestling like Octodad or something and barely in control of his limbs.  Wagner finishes with his slammy-do at 4:00 to end an absolutely atrocious squash.  -*

Raquel Gonzalez & Cora Jade v. Io Shirai & Kay Lee Ray

Cora actually manages to skateboard up the aisle this week, so at least someone’s improving on this show.  So this was supposed to be Toxic Attraction against Raquel & Cora, but they’re absent, COUGH COUGH, if you know what I mean.  So instead we get an overly complicated stipulation where the winning team faces Mandy in the triple threat match next week.  So that’s a clean sweep of all three advertised matches tonight not happening.  But we’ll still get an 8 minute overrun because GOD FORBID we end this at 2 hours even if they can’t deliver any of the matches. Io hits Cora with a faceplant, but Raquel gets a big boot for two.  Over to KLR and we suddenly get this giant trainwreck where everyone misses their cue, and then we get a bunch of dives instead as we take a break.  Back with KLR trying for an anklelock on Cora but that goes nowhere, so she switches to a half crab.  Kay Lee tries the Gory Bomb, but Cora reverses for two and KLR takes out the knee again.  Io tries the moonsault, but Raquel pulls out Cora to save.  Back in, the camera cuts in tight on Io for some reason, before she hits Cora with a seated dropkick and a missile dropkick for two.  Io misses the double knees and Raquel gets the hot tag and drops KLR on the top rope in an ugly spot.  Raquel goes up with the senton and hits the chokeslam, but Cora accidentally tags herself in and then tries for the pin on Kay Lee, which upsets Raquel for some reason and she breaks it up.  But then Kay Lee rolls up Cora and Raquel pushes them over by accident and Cora gets the winning pin anyway at 9:00.  Why would they care who gets the pin?  Also Raquel is getting worse every week.  ** And then Mandy Rose does another poolside remote promo to end the show, phoning in her performance like everyone else on this week’s show.

This had to be clearly the worst ever episode of this terrible show, and it’s not even close.  Covid decimated the roster this week, sure, but this was all filler and absolutely nothing happened of any importance. At the VERY LEAST they could have done away with the overrun.  Honestly they should be kind of embarrassed that most of this episode even made it onto TV, and this makes a strong case for cutting the show back to an hour and taping it in advance like in the old days.