The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT 2.0 – 12.14.21
OK let’s see if I can get through this week’s episode without destroying the blog.
Live from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Vic Joseph & Wade Barrett
Apparently I missed Grayson Waller attacking Johnny Gargano and sending him out of NXT last week. That’s a shame. Maybe they’ll be able to settle on a character for him now.
Meanwhile, a “crowd” of planted “fans” boos Grayson Waller as he arrives at the “arena”.
No Holds Barred match: Cameron Grimes v. Duke Hudson
So their first match was a hair match that the heel already lost, and now we’re moving onto the garbage brawl rematch on free TV. THEY’RE FIGHTING OVER A POKER GAME. Grimes immediately puts a trash can on his head and punts it, which is one of the spots I would happily excise from wrestling if given the power to do so someday. Covering yourself with metal offers protection from blows. It’s called ARMOR. People in the Middle Ages had a whole about it. Grimes controls in the ring, but they head to the floor again and Duke gets a cheapshot and throws away the stupid kendo sticks, thankfully. Grimes goes for the wig but is unable to remove it. Is it like Mexico where you can’t put it back on again if unwigged? Duke flips back into the ring for a german suplex in a nice move and then we get more chairs on the floor until Duke pokes him in the eye. And then poor Vic has to shoehorn the RAW storyline of Bobby Lashley and the Day One PPV into the call of the action in a manner so smooth you’d think Vince was in his ear yelling at him. Back in the ring, Duke slams Grimes onto an open chair for two and we take a break. Back with a poker table suddenly in the ring as they fight for a superplex, but Grimes gets a flying bodypress for two. Grimes hits him with kicks, but Duke rolls him up for two. Duke tries for a Razor’s Edge and Grimes escapes and tries a rana, but Duke powerbombs him through the poker table for two as Duke gives us SHOCKED TWO COUNT FACE. Well he’s got that down pat. OK, discounting the fact that it’s such a stupid trope in the first place, but Duke Hudson is literally playing a CHAMPION POKER PLAYER as his gimmick. Shouldn’t be an expert at hiding his emotions? Instead they have the announcers yell about “THE RIVER! THE FLOP!” and that’s the extent of the work that they put into the character. Duke goes for the clippers, but Grimes gives him the Cave In onto the chair and pins him at 10:01. And then Grimes pulls off the wig to give us that payoff as well. This was the lazy modern era booking in a nutshell, the millionth garbage-can-and-kendo-stick brawl we’ve had recently on this show and I’m over it. ½*
Meanwhile, Cora Jade has unfinished business with Dakota Kai, apparently, mostly because they just told us so rather than any developments we’ve seen in the show. Dakota comes in acting all CRAZY and Cora tell her “thanks mom!” and Dakota doesn’t take that well. Which is of course ironic because Cora Jade is supposed to be the character that the young hip viewers are relating to, when in fact their actual fanbase is mostly older than both Kai and Jade combined.
Meanwhile, the BJs and KCs hang out at some kind of county fair and listen to country music. And the writers are all like…
Grayson Waller joins us talking about his social media presence and how he’s got “all the views.” Yeah and Twitter nerds go nuts for Hook too but that didn’t help Rampage’s ratings on Friday. So he brags about ending Gargano’s career and hanging with celebrities, and then he tries to bully the announcers as well because apparently we now care about Vic Joseph. Spoiler: We don’t. WWE announcers are like goldfish that you flush down the toilet and replace for $1.29 at the pet store two days later. So they spent all that effort putting Waller over last week and the big payoff is him going out and being an ass the next week. Thrilling.
Meanwhile, Diamond Mine is ready for Bron Breakker later tonight.
Lashing Out with Lash Legend. I thought they forgot about her, actually. It’s been about a month since they did one of these. Her guests this week are Jacket Time, who make threats to Grayson Waller in Japanese while Lash looks confused. BRUTAL.
Ivy Nile v. Amari Miller
The crowd is already hip to the room and chants “Ivy’s gonna kill you” while Amari does her bubbly smiling babyface act. Nile takes her down a couple of times and chokes her out in the corner before dropping an elbow and doing pushups on her back. Miller gets a pair of rollups for two and some kicks in the corner while Nile’s gear is self-destructing, but Ivy gets a spear and a dropkick, and then rolls her into a neck crank to finish at 3:43. This was really, REALLY bad and Nile looked completely lost out there once it went past the first minute. If they’re gonna keep putting her on TV, they have to keep it Goldberg-length or she’s gonna get exposed even more. -*
Meanwhile, Xyon Quinn is doing an interview, but then Robert Stone interrupts for no reason, and then CAVEMAN VON interrupts for his robotic promo. This show is a complete mess that’s just a bunch of stuff happening with no reason. Even moreso than usual.
Meanwhile, MSK and Riddle do some wacky prop comedy with a magic bag that contains a baseball bat, traffic cone, and John Cena’s spinner US title. Plus Riddle’s scooters, which are apparently going to help MSK regain the tag team titles.
Harland v. Guru Raaj
Oh boy, another big tattooed guy to push. Harland slams Raaj around and finishes him with a slam at 1:10. This is the exact same generic scary monster character we’ve seen a million times and he’s not bringing anything new to it.
Meanwhile, LA Knight shows up an hour into the show and does a walking promo on Grayson Waller, who is apparently now the focus of the entire promotion.
Meanwhile, Harland throws some guy down the stairs.
Cora Jade v. Dakota Kai
Cora gets a really bad headscissors and an Erik Watts dropkick to start. Kai is like 4 feet tall, how can you not get up to her head level? My knees are so shot that I can barely get out of bed and I can probably do a dropkick that would look better. Cora goes up and Kai shoves her down and takes over on the floor and they head back in for a top wristlock. Kai works the arm and runs her into the corner, but she misses the corner kick and Cora sends her to the floor. Back in, Cora with a rana and she goes up with a missile dropkick for two, but Kai gets a backbreaker for two. Kai gets a running boot in the corner for two and follows with some kind of neckbreaker for two. So then she goes and grabs the shovel, and Cora rolls her up for the banana peel pin at 6:29. Does Dakota EVER win a match on this show? This was a match. *1/2 And then Raquel runs out and chases off Dakota and they disappear in about 3 seconds, which leads to Toxic Attraction coming out and POSING to distract Jade, allowing Mandy Rose to leave the commentary desk and lay her out.
Meanwhile, the show long story of everyone hating Grayson Waller continues, as Io Shirai also rants in Japanese.
Meanwhile, Raquel and Dakota continue fighting amidst the leftover garbage cans and kendo sticks that were apparently thrown into the alley after the opening match and have been sitting there for an hour. Where did they come from? You know what, never mind, that’s the least stupid thing about this episode.
Tony D’Angelo v. Andre Chase
Tony takes him down and runs him into the turnbuckle a bunch of times and then throws him out of the ring and back in again. Chase takes over with a cheapshot and gets a neckbreaker for two. Tony fights back and Chase gets a legsweep for two and goes to a chinlock. D’Angelo gets a couple of takedowns and a northern lights suplex and the neckbreaker to finish at 4:12. He just looks like any other green indie guy in there when he’s not doing the goofy mafia gimmick. ** Best of the show thus far, I guess. And then Pete Dunne interrupts and Tony continues to hold the mouthpiece over his head. Is it a special mouthpiece given to Dunne by his grandfather or something? Just go to the sporting goods store and buy a new one for $10. And then Dunne just beats him up and takes it back anyway. Well good thing no one was invested in THAT storyline.
Meanwhile, Bron Breakker has no time for Grayson Waller, either.
Meanwhile, we learn that it’s Brian Kendrick that got thrown down the stairs by Harland. He’s taken worse, he’ll live.
Boa v. Edris Enofe
Boa hits him with a high kick and a backdrop suplex for two. And we cut to the back as Solo Sikoa has to watch TV while looking at the camera, which is a valuable skill to learn for the main roster. Boa with a butterfly suplex for two and he goes to a chinlock, but Enofe fights back with a fisherman’s suplex for two. He goes up and gets kicked on the way down and the Tongan Death grip and a spinkick finishes at 3:03. Was that supposed to look impressive? This gimmick is death. Enofe, however, has a really good look so I will helpfully use the internet to create a winning gimmick for him. His new name will be Tsagadai Sharma, and he’s a sensitive, generous and adventurous interior decorator with a catchphrase of “Why would you want to put yourself through something like that?” BOOM. Money.
Meanwhile, Raquel Gonzalez has made her way back into the dressing room to ran about Dakota Kai, as apparently they’re going to have a street fight next. I bet there’s going to be garbage cans and kendo sticks! I thought they said it was Cora Jade who had the unfinished business with Dakota Kai? Is their business now finished since Kai did the job as usual? I know what you’re thinking, we just had a street fight this week, but that was a NO HOLDS BARRED match, which is apparently totally different. You’re welcome. Also we can probably pencil Dakota in to do the job again next week.
Jacket Time v. The Grizzled Young Veterans
The faces double-team Drake in the corner, but Gibson trips up Kushida and pulls him out of the ring for a dive from Drake. Back in, Drake goes to a chinlock, but Kushida fights out of the corner and makes the tag to Jiro, who runs wild for a bit and gets a german suplex out of the corner. Drake quickly cuts him off in the corner, but Jiro brings Kushida back in for a double-team and Kushida tries the Hoverboard lock, but Gibson counters with a brainbuster for two. Kushida sends the GYV to the floor, where the Creeds have appeared, and this allows the faces to hit a stereo dive. Back in, Jiro finishes Drake with a senton at 6:12. So are the Creeds babyfaces? I don’t particularly understand who is what.
Meanwhile, Carmelo Hayes confronts Roderick Strong on his way to the ring.
Bron Breakker v. Roderick Strong
Bron overpowers him and gets a delayed suplex, but they head to the floor and Strong sends him into the desk as we take a break. Back with Strong in control with a facelock as Carmelo and Trick have already come and gone from the balcony gimmick. Strong gets a lungblower for two. Stronghold follows, but Bron powers out of it and puts Strong on the floor, and then hits him with a powerslam. Bron comes back with clotheslines and a Frankenbreakker and belly to belly for two. Strong comes back with a suplex for two and chops in the corner and they fight to the top, where Strong brings him down with a superplex for two. Powerbomb gets two. Bron catches him on a bodypress attempt and slams him again, then pulls down the straps and hits the press slam powerslam for the pin at 7:23. Strong is awesome and Bron is fine, so this was pretty good. ***1/4 And then Ciampa interrupts the replay and lays out Bron with the draping DDT on the NXT title. I guess he’s the heel now? I dunno, whatever, they should just put the belt on Bron and get it over with.
This show was a complete waste of my time and the world is a little bit worse off for it existing.