The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT 2.0 – 01.25.22
Live from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Vic Joseph & Wade Barrett
Dusty Classic quarterfinals: MSK v. Jacket Time
Now they’re making up social media headlines because no one actually watches this show. BRACKET BUSTERS! Actually they should probably just make that the name for Enofe & Blade, it’s no stupider than Jacket Time. MSK double-teams Kushida to start, but Jiro comes in and they double-team Lee with kicks to the arms. Jiro and Lee trade showboating and Jiro puts him down with a clothesline. So apparently the goal in moving the audience right beside the ring is to prevent the trainees from doing dives. Couldn’t you just, I dunno, tell them not to do dives? Isn’t that why they hire agents? Jiro runs Lee into Carter and teases a dive, but Carter trips him up and Lee gets a kick from the floor as we take a break. Back with MSK double-teaming Jiro, and Carter SWEEPS THE LEG and follows with a shooting star for two. Lee tries a sunset flip from the apron, but Jiro blocks him with a Strong Zero for two. Jacket Time with a double kick on Lee for two. They dump Carter and go for the finish on Lee, but Jiro misses the swanton and Carter gets a hot tag. Kushida blocks a moonsault, however, and gets the Hoverboard Lock, but MSK reverses him into the blockbuster for the pin at 11:20 to advance. Oh man, it’s gonna be MSK v. GYV for the second year in a row, isn’t it? Good all-action opener. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Zoey Stark sadly informs Io Shirai that she’ll need to find a new partner for the Dusty Classic, but Tiffany randomly comes in and does a terrible promo about their match later tonight. They need to just pull the plug on that character and go back to the drawing board with her. Also, do they even have enough women to make up 8 teams? I think they literally do not. Plus Io is getting called up anyway.
Meanwhile, Carmelo and Trick arrive with Ollie Jay, who apparently got her name from being a J-Cup.
Santos Escobar joins us, and he is sick of Bron Breakker and his family’s “poor math skills”. Why do they keep bringing up his family if they won’t ever acknowledge who his family is? Bron of course interrupts, but Santos isn’t ready for a fight at the moment. So Bron beats up his henchman and sends them packing.
Meanwhile, Boa can’t control his powers. He should join the X-Men, I’ve heard Professor X was good with fixing that.
Street fight: Boa v. Solo Sikoa
Oh boy, a street fight, haven’t seen one of those on this show in what, two weeks? We were due. I really liked Dave Meltzer’s take on the show last week on the weekend radio show, calling them a bunch of people “cosplaying the Attitude era”. That’s the best summation of the show I’ve heard yet. Boa attacks in the aisle and uses a kendo stick to beat on Sikoa, then throws in some chairs and garbage cans, making this almost as hardcore as the GCW show from this past weekend. Boa gets the chair and beats on Solo with that before suplexing him onto a garbage can for two. So they head to the back and fight amongst the clanging bars and Solo runs him into the rolling garage door for two. And then Boa sends him outside, but Solo manages to lock the door from the outside and Boa can’t follow. This allows Solo to somehow find a fire extinguisher in the street and spray Boa with it. Man, if only he had that back when Boa was throwing fireballs. Could have avoided the whole thing. Back into the ring, Solo throws him into chairs and goes up to finish, but Boa crotches him and they fight over to the announce desk now. The table doesn’t break, so they use another table and Sikoa splashes him through that table for the pin at 8:07. This match was hardcore that Sikoa’s facial burns actually fell off like magic! Nice to see them already blowing off the feud in the first match. Also why the fuck are they doing flying splashes off the top rope and through a table on the floor if they don’t want dives? Just the usual lazy street fight. *
Duke Hudson v. Guru Raaj
Thankfully Raaj gets a chance at revenge for Duke’s attack last week. So Duke quickly squashes him and hits a side slam and finishes with a Razor’s Edge at 1:05. And then Dante Chen also comes out for revenge, and Duke takes out his leg and makes him look like a complete geek all over again.
Meanwhile, WALTER is now Gunther for some reason. Yeah, we know.
Meanwhile, Indi and Persia are one step closer to winning the NXT tag team titles. What about the Dusty Classic? I thought everyone wanted to win THAT?
Meanwhile, Legado wants a match with Bron Breakker, and apparently it’s going to be a 2-on-1 match because Bron has no friends.
Toxic Attraction v. Indi Hartwell, Persia Pirotta & Kay Lee Ray
Mandy lets Jacy Jayne start the match, and the babyfaces double-team her in the corner. Dolan comes in and Indi rolls her up for two, but the heels work her over in the corner and Mandy comes in with a suplex. Indi elbows her down and Persia comes in with a backbreaker on Mandy for two. Kay Lee comes in and chases the heels to the floor and knocks them all down with a dive. Back in, the faces work on Jayne in the corner, but Indi gets beat up again as this drags on and we get 18 different shots of Indi desperately looking towards her corner for a tag. And we take a break. We’re back and Indi is still taking a beating as Jayne gets a neckbreaker for two. Finally she gets the hot tag to Persia, who suplexes Dolan for two. So they all fight in the ring and Kay Lee grabs her baseball bat and chases Mandy to the floor, which is somehow not a DQ, and they just leave. This leaves Persia alone with Dolan, and she gets the pin with the TKO at 13:04. Waaaaaay too long for everyone involved. *1/2
Meanwhile, Enofe and Blade are still shocked that they’re in the semifinals. And also they’re gonna ask out the Toxic Attraction chicks.
Meanwhile, Cora Jade continues pestering Raquel about being a tag team partner. Apparently the tournament is “round after round of grueling matches”, which leaves Cora out.
Dusty Classic quarterfinals: Grizzled Young Veterans v. Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward
To Raquel’s point, the tournament is so prestigious that one of the people entered didn’t even have a NAME until this match. Chase manages to reverse a wristlock on Drake and gets a legsweep, and then does a spot where he stomps on Drake while spelling out “Chase U”. That could actually get over. Bodhi comes in with a sunset flip on Drake for two, and Chase does the whitest ever version of Flip Flop and Fly, but the Vets double-team him with a shoulderbreaker on the floor. Back in, Chase gets a backslide on Gibson for two and makes the hot tag to Bodhi, who does some football stuff, but he walks into a double codebreaker and gets pinned at 5:07. Just a match. ** And then Von Wagner comes in and beats up the Chases, now managed by Robert Stone. And wasn’t the world just waiting for that.
Meanwhile, Grayson Waller introduces us to his new bodyguard, who is apparently named Sanga.
Io Shirai v. Tiffany Stratton
Tiffany flips out of a wristlock and does some tumbling, which is complete babyface stuff. Io bails and comes back in with a flapjack and dropkick for two. Tiffany takes her down with the hair and goes to a sleeper on the mat, but Io fights out, so Tiffany gets a handspring elbow for two. So now Stratton has gone from disconnected droning about “daddy” to yelling out trash talk in the ring, but Shirai boots her down and finishes with a moonsault at 4:20. This was so weird, like they completely changed the Stratton character between matches, and then jobbed her out clean. They need to get her off TV for a while and figure out what the character is supposed to be, because she’s completely miscast right now. *
Meanwhile, Diamond Mine are unimpressed by Imperium.
Ollie Jayy joins us to sing a song, and I fast forward.
Meanwhile, Tiffany gets into a confrontation with Wendy Choo.
North American title championship opportunity eliminator: Cameron Grimes v. Tony D’Angelo
Tony takes him down and works the arm, but Grimes gets some armdrags and tosses him. This is gonna be tricky because people actually like D’Angelo and probably don’t want him to lose. So I’m betting on a double DQ or double countout so they can just do a three way and avoid the whole problem. Back in the ring, Tony comes back with a belly to belly and a backbreaker for two and we take a break. Back with Tony slugging away and he goes to a bearhug on the mat, but Grimes makes a comeback until D’Angelo cuts him off with a german suplex out of the corner. Grimes with a small package for two and they slug it out, leading to Grimes getting the bodypress for two. Tony hurls him into the corner with an exploder, which gets two. I think the people on this show need “how to not kill your opponent” lessons, starting with Tony D and the Creeds. Poor Grimes is covered in welts from getting thrown around like a sack of potatoes. Grimes goes up with a moonsault that goes badly, and then goes up again with a bodypress for two. D’Angelo bails, but Pete Dunne returns from the dead and hits him with a board, allowing Grimes to finish with the Cave-In at 12:10. Well I guess Pete’s main roster tryout didn’t go great. This was a mess despite Grimes’ best efforts. **
And finally, Legado del Fantasma tries to attack Bron Breakker in the parking lot, but Ciampa makes the save, revealing himself as the mystery partner for next week in a non-shocking reveal.
The opener was pretty hot, but the rest was very much “just a show”, pretty dull and very skippable this week, even by NXT’s low standards.