Date: January 18, 2022
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett
It’s a new era in NXT as we have a new monster around here. Walter is making his full time debut this week, as he is scheduled to face Roderick Strong. Other than that we have the fallout of the return of LA Knight to deal with Grayson Waller. Now if only they can avoid doing some dumb things. Let’s get to it.
LA Knight arrives and tells some people to watch what he does in the ring. That brings Knight to the arena and he wants to talk to us. He also wants Grayson Waller out here right now so they can finish what they started last week. With Waller not showing up, Knight recaps everything that got us here, including a few weeks ago when a good looking woman picked Knight over Waller.
Cue Waller, and he has a restraining order. Waller: “If you come within fifty feet of me, you get arrested, YEAH!”. Knight thinks this is pitiful even for Waller, but he knows someone who doesn’t have a restraining order against them. Cue Dexter Lumis, and Waller gets to pick which one he fights.
Grayson Waller vs. Dexter Lumis
Joined in progress with Lumis in control, including dropping a leg. Waller gets in a shot of his own for a breather but gets dropped again without much trouble. Lumis hits a neckbreaker to put Waller down, then hits a neckbreaker to put Waller down, followed by a neckbreaker to put Waller down.
Using WWF War Zone rules, Waller fights back and knocks Lumis outside for a running clothesline. We take a break and come back with Lumis fighting out of an armbar and taking it to the floor. Waller manages to get inside…and here is a large man to send Lumis into the barricade. Back in and Waller’s Stunner finishes at 10:03.
Rating: C-. The Waller push continues as Knight is still stuck in NXT to make him look good. On the plus side, at least Waller has some muscle to beat people up, because this company doesn’t have enough enforcer characters just yet. Waller needed the win after last week so this does make sense, even if I’d rather have Knight on Raw every week.
Malcolm Bivens is hyping up the Creed Brothers but Walter comes in to get in his face. Roderick Strong pops in to say he isn’t afraid of Walter. A match seems to be set.
Video on the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, complete with a look at the teams and the brackets:
Malik Blade/Edris Enofe
Legado del Fantasma
Josh Briggs/Brooks Jensen
Grizzled Young Veterans
Andre Chase/Bodhi Hayward
MSK is ready for the Dusty Classic but Legado del Fantasma comes in to say if MSK beats Jacket Time, they’ll be losing to Legado. MSK doesn’t seem impressed.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round: Josh Briggs/Brooks Jensen vs. Creed Brothers
Brutus takes Briggs down to start but gets hit in the face so hard that his mouthpiece comes out. A double slam puts Brutus down again and it’s Jensen coming in to work on an armbar. Brutus takes Jensen into the corner though and it’s off to Julius coming in to wrestle down. A chinlock sets up a spinebuster to plant Briggs and Brutus suplexes Julius onto him for a crash. Briggs fights up and drives Julius into the corner so the hot tag can brings in Jensen. The chokeslam gets two on Brutus with Julius making the save. Everything breaks down and Jensen is fed into a torture rack slam. Julius’ sliding lariat finishes Jensen at 5:42.
Rating: C. These are two of the teams who have been established over the last few months and the better one moves on in the tournament. That’s about all you could ask for and now the Brothers are probably the favorites to win the tournament. Granted they won’t, but at least they have started moving forward.
Dante Chen (he’s still from Singapore) is back and ready. His father has passed away since we last saw him around here and it is motivating him even more.
Imperium, through subtitles, is ready to dominate.
Dante Chen vs. Guru Raaj
They show some respect to start and head outside….where Duke Hudson jumps both of them for the double DQ at 58 seconds.
Hudson beats Chen up and says stay out of his way.
Joe Gacy says he and Harland could be in the tournament but Harland lost his temper. Cue Odyssey Jones, on crutches, to say that’s nonsense. Gacy thanks him for his feedback and opens the door so Jones can walk through it. Gacy wants Harland to think about things.
Bron Breakker knows everyone, including a great performer like Santos Escobar is coming for him. Elektra Lopez comes up to praise Breakker but he isn’t buying it. Escobar comes in to say Breakker isn’t ready for this level. He’s coming for the title so Breakker is ready to fight, only to have Escobar back off.
It’s time for Tony D’Angelo to present the Pete Dunne Memorial Service. Dunne needed to be taught a lesson and that was done by any means necessary. It’s a closed casket service, because no one wants to see Dunner after he took a crowbar to the face. D’Angelo is on to bigger and better things though, like the North American Title.
As luck would have it, Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams pop up on the balcony, saying don’t say that. D’Angelo threatens them with members of the family, but Williams says they know all about them, like Ben & Jerry, Larry, Curly and Mo. Not that it matters, as they all look like Vic Joseph.
Violence is threatened but here is Cameron Grimes to say D’Angelo is going to have to go to the back of the line. He challenged Hayes last week, but all he got back was a call from Orlando Car Rentals. Hayes and Williams insist that it’s THEIR car and not a rental. Hayes says Grimes and D’Angelo can fight for the title shot (maybe) so D’Angelo jumps him, only to get Dunne’s portrait smashed over his head.
Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs say they’ll be ok but here are Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter to say they all need to go out for some drinks. Wendi Choo is on top of the lockers, saying the guys like them. Briggs starts babbling and hints that he likes Jensen more, sending the girls off on their own. Choo might be the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen in wrestling.
Video on Valentina Feroz/Yulisa Leon. Feroz has a martial arts background and Feroz won weightlifting championships.
Leon and Feroz are ready to win but Dakota Kai comes in to say success ruins friendships. The team isn’t impressed and walks away.
Kay Lee Ray vs. Ivy Nile
Nile rolls her up to start and grabs a quickly broken top wristlock. Nile takes her down again and grabs a headscissors, with Ray not being able to power out. Some spinning does get her out though and it’s a gordbuster to drop Nile again. Back up and Nile wraps her leg around Ray’s head, setting up a DDT (that’s a new one). Ray fights up again but here is Mandy Rose for a distraction, allowing Nile to counter the KLR Bomb into a rollup for the pin at 4:24.
Rating: C. I can go for Nile getting a win but Ray losing isn’t the best sign. It’s bad enough that she is going to have to tone it way down for the sake of Mandy Rose, but she has to lose too? Ray is someone else who seems like she could be moved up to the main roster almost immediately, but it would be nice if she could do something down here first.
Post match the fight is on, with the rest of Toxic Attraction coming in to take Ray out. Persia Pirotta and Indi Hartwell run in for the save and take out the champs, with Ray getting up for a superkick of her own.
Harland has attacked Odyssey Jones.
Sarray talks about how her first year here wasn’t great, but now she has found a necklace her grandmother gave her. Now she is ready to return better than ever. This is the second person in an hour making a return after being inspired by something involving a family member.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round: Malik Blade/Edris Enofe vs. Legado del Fantasma
The rest of Legado is here too. Blade takes Wilde does to start and Enofe hits a standing moonsault for two. A headlock has Wilde in trouble but Mendoza comes in off a blind tag and it’s a double spinebuster to put Enofe down. The double teaming continues but Enofe gets over for the tag to Blade. Santos Escobar grabs a leg and gets ejected, with Bron Breakker coming in to carry him off. The distraction lets Blade grab a rollup for the fluke pin at 3:14.
Rating: C-. That is your second match in a row to end with a distraction rollup as NXT continues to feel more and more like the main roster shows from a few years back. I can go for the surprise, though it wasn’t quite shocking after what Legado was saying earlier. They telegraphed this fairly badly, but at least they are giving someone else a little something.
Malcolm Bivens says Roderick Strong is ready for Walter. The mat isn’t sacred, but rather a way to make them money, so they can get the deluxe apartment in the sky. Dang it now the theme song is going to be stuck in my head.
Solo Sikoa is mad at Boa for burning him with a fireball and revenge is promised.
Dakota Kai vs. Yulisa Leon
Valentina Feroz is here with Leon. Kai knocks her into the corner and hammers on Leon, setting up the running kick to the face for one. They head outside where a Feroz distraction lets Leon take over with clotheslines and a gutwrench suplex. A tabletop suplex gets two on Kai but she’s back up with a kick to the face for the pin at 4:03.
Rating: C-. Build people up, have them lose an hour later. That’s how things work in WWE and I can’t say I’m even a bit surprised these days. Kai needed to be rebuilt a bit here so at least the win makes sense, but maybe they shouldn’t have tried to turn Leon and Feroz into a thing earlier in the same show.
Post match Kai goes after Feroz but Leon makes the save.
Raquel Gonzalez is ready to move on but Cora Jade comes up to offer an alliance. Gonzalez is good though and leaves.
Malik Blade and Edris Enofe are fired up over their win. Bron Breakker comes in to say good job and go win that cup.
Here’s what’s coming next week, including a musical performance.
Walter vs. Roderick Strong
Feeling out process to start with Walter taking him down by the arm. Back up and Walter misses a chop, allowing Strong’s chop….to be easily blocked. Now the real chop can connect to knock Strong silly and a big boot makes it even worse. Walter grabs Bivens but gets his leg taken out, allowing Strong to hits a baseball slide through the ropes. That earns him a belly to back drop onto the apron and we take a break.
Back with Walter running him over but getting caught in the ropes so Strong can hit his running shots to the face. Walter knocks him down but gets caught on top, meaning it’s a top rope superplex for two. They strike it out with Strong getting the better of things, only to get blasts with a clothesline. Walter powers out of a double underhook and hits a kind of Beach Break. The powerbomb plants Strong for the pin at 12:16.
Rating: B. I’m as shocked as you are that these two had the match of the night by a few miles. These two beat each other up until Walter got a win over one of the bigger names remaining around here. I don’t know what Walter is going to do around here and it would be nice (in theory) to see him on the main roster, but for now I’ll take him stealing the show whenever he is around.
Post match Walter declares himself the winner, drawing in Imperium for the beatdown. The Creed Brothers come in and it’s a big brawl to end the show. Sweet goodness I don’t remember the last time I saw one of those on a WWE show but well done.
Overall Rating: C. This show had to be saved by Walter, as he and Strong were the only things that you needed to see on here. The rest of the show felt like a bunch of leftover ideas from Raw and that shouldn’t be a surprise given who is now in charge. Now it’s bad booking tropes with developmental wrestlers, making this quite the weak show to watch at times. Just be glad for Walter before they screw him up too.
Grayson Waller b. Dexter Lumis – Stunner
Creed Brothers b. Josh Briggs/Brooks Jensen – Sliding lariat to Jensen
Dante Chen vs. Guru Raaj went to a double DQ when Duke Hudson interfered
Ivy Nile b. Kay Lee Ray – Rollup
Edris Enofe/Malik Blade b. Legado de Fantasma – Rollup to Wilde
Dakota Kai b. Yulisa Leon – Running boot to the face
Walter b. Roderick Strong – Powerbomb
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