The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT 2.0 – 12.21.21
Live from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Vic Joseph & Wade Barrett
Tommaso Ciampa joins us to start and explains the difference between the hunter and the hunted, and he even invites Bron Breakker to come interrupt him before Bron can interrupt him. And then he still acts annoyed when Bron interrupts him. So then Ciampa does Bron’s promo for him about big stages and earning title opportunities. So they’re having another title match at New Year’s Evil and Ciampa tells him all about the former NXT champions who spent decades working their way to WWE, and Ciampa thinks it’s too soon for Bron. But if Bron wins it, he’ll be going home to celebrate and the whole family will be barking at him because they’re so proud, and then Ciampa hauls off and slaps him and Bron chases him into the corner and tells him that the shark is coming after blood. He’s a shark now?
Meanwhile, Grayson Waller is suddenly going after AJ Styles and his haircut now. Apparently this stems from something on Twitter. Yeah all the 65 year olds watching this are no doubt following wrestling Twitter. No wonder everyone hates Waller, AJ’s haircut is iconic.
Meanwhile, Dakota and Raquel begin their street fight early in the backstage area and use a variety of loud clanging metal poles on each other. But then Dakota uses a trash can, which apparently hurts more than the loud clanging metal poles, and that puts Raquel down while the referees plead with them to go to the ring and start the match. So we take a break and finally make it to the ring for the street fight.
Street Fight: Dakota Kai v. Raquel Gonzalez
Thankfully they’re in the ring now, because otherwise how can you have a street fight outside of the ring? That wouldn’t make any sense! Dakota manages to ram Raquel’s head into the stairs, but Raquel rams a table into her and we get the usual assortment of tables and chairs and garbage cans scattered in the ring. They head to the floor again and Dakota traps Raquel in a trash can, leaving her helpless to escape the confining force of aluminum cylinders, and then stomps the can to squash it. Raquel somehow survives this and powerbombs Dakota on the stairs, not really selling much at this point, and they head into the ring again for a powerbomb on the can for the pin at 4:28 as Dakota jobs yet again to presumably end the feud. Same cookie cutter smoke and mirrors brawl we’ve seen a million times. **
Meanwhile, Tony D’Angelo has words for Pete Dunne.
Cora Jade joins us to interrupt Raquel’s challenge of Mandy Rose and she also wants the Women’s title, but Raquel doesn’t care if she goes through enemies or friends. You can almost see someone standing there holding up the cue cards for them to read off. All that’s missing is a TV in the background that they have to watch while facing the camera. And then Mandy Rose interrupts on the screen while cutting a promo at her pool and books a triple threat match for the title, and then Toxic Attraction come out and lay out the babyfaces and pose while Mandy poses on the screen. Is Mandy in quarantine or something? What was with the weird remote promo?
And then in an amazing moment, Vic and Wade show a replay of the Brian Kendrick bump from last week, and some woman is literally SLEEPING in the front row behind them! I envy her.
Meanwhile, Joe Gacy sort of apologizes on behalf of Harland.
Meanwhile, the Grizzled Young Vets watch the Creed Brothers on Instagram as they lift weights.
Meanwhile, Grayson Waller is also hated by Indi and Persia.
The Grizzled Young Vets v. The Creed Brothers
The Creeds double-team Gibson and Julius slams Brutus onto him, but the Vets double-team Julius in their corner. BREAKING NEWS: There is no timetable on LA Knight’s return after whatever happened to him at the hands of Grayson Waller in whichever of the 18 Waller segments it occurred. Brutus comes in and the Vets hit him with a double team elbow on the floor, but then Jacket Time bring out their own announce table and we take a break. Back with Drake working a chinlock, but now BJ and JB come out and they also distract the Vets while Jacket Time pretends to do Japanese commentary. Julius gets a hot tag and Brutus powerslams Drake for two and then everyone argues on the floor and it’s a double DQ at 10:09. The match went nowhere and the finish was atrocious. *
Meanwhile, Trick ain’t no punk and is not afraid of Dexter Lumis, but Dexter appears on a TV screen as if by MAGIC and stares at him. WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?!?
Meanwhile, Legado del Fantasma get into an argument with Zoey and Io at whatever rehab clinic they’re at. Lopez nearly sticks her boobs in Io’s face trying to be intimidating.
Dexter Lumis v. Trick Williams
Speaking of Dexters, the new season of Dexter is actually really good, mostly because it has very little to do with the last few seasons of the original show and doesn’t have 18 subplots going on. Lumis beats on Trick and drops an elbow on him, but Trick beats on him and tosses him. Dexter traps Trick in the apron, helpless to fight back due to the unbreakable force of inertia, and Roderick Strong runs down and brawls with Carmelo for reasons I’m not entirely clear about. Back in the ring, Trick slams Dexter for two and goes to a chinlock. That goes on for a while until Dexter fights back with a bulldog and slugs away in the corner. Trick takes off his shoe and tries to use it as a weapon, but Lumis puts him out with the sleeper at 5:45. Honestly, who throws a shoe? And then Grayson Waller attacks Lumis with a chair to continue the Dusty-like push of Waller as he’s apparently booked in EVERY SEGMENT ON THE SHOW this week. ½* And then AJ Styles shows up as we take a break.
Back with Waller yelling at the crowd and complaining about people who thank the fans when they’re inducted in the Hall of Fame. But then RAW SUPERSTAR AJ Styles interrupts because of reasons I’m still not entirely clear about but it’s something with Twitter. So AJ thinks that Waller is ripping him off for some reason and challenges him to a match, but Waller doesn’t want to do it tonight and walks off.
Meanwhile, Diamond Mine challenges Carmelo Hayes to a title v. title match at New Year’s Evil. I don’t even know where this feud came from and now we’re just unifying the titles? I mean, fine, the Cruiserweight title is beyond useless now anyway and needs to go.
Meanwhile, Matt Riddle continues mentoring MSK, because a scooter is like a journey to a destination. So they check out the magic bag again and find RK-Bro merch. But then they scoot off and get hit by a truck, and the whole two months is revealed to be a dream at the bus station. But then it’s not and Riddle is back again with scooters.
Von Wagner v. Edris Enofe
Enofe hits him with a dropkick, but tries a crossbody and gets slammed. This brings out Robert Stone to make “manage me” eyes at Wagner, but Enofe gets a small package for two. Wagner hits him with knees, but Enofe gets a fluke rollup for the pin at 1:15. But then Wagner beats the shit out of him anyway to make sure we know who the jobber is. This was every stupid main roster bullshit booking crutch in one match, which is impressive.
Meanwhile, Imperium speaks evil foreign languages against MSK, who have apparently earned a title shot by not wrestling for 8 weeks. Honestly that gives them as much of a claim as anyone else on this show. Also the interview teases a WALTER v. Riddle match, which I’m pretty sure is already better than any match in the history of this show just by being a possibility.
Meanwhile, a bunch of lucky kids get presents from NXT superstars. Not even real main roster stars, but developmental ones. Who’s the lucky kid who gets to meet Andre Chase? Must be the thrill of a lifetime for them. Also the event appears to draw better than the NXT taping.
Elektra Lopez v. Io Shirai
Lopez charges and Io stomps her down in the corner, but Lopez chokes her out on the ropes and they slug it out. Lopez goes to a chinlock, but Shirai fights out and hits a running knee in the corner. And then Xyon Quinn comes out and beats up Legado before presenting Lopez with mistletoe, at which point Santos Escobar attacks Quinn and Lopez gets all distracted, allowing Io to moonsault her for the pin at 4:00. Can you somehow manage to have a terrible Io Shirai match? Surprisingly, yes, you just need 17 people interfering and fake mistletoe leading to the finish. DUD
Meanwhile, Brian Kendrick has resigned as a coach and will be facing Harland NEXT WEEK. I didn’t even know he was a coach or even a character on the show until last week, so this wasn’t a particularly effective declaration on his part. See, this would be the kind of thing where you would want to actually introduce him as a backstage character for a couple of weeks before having him dramatically come out of retirement.
Next week: A contract signing! Frankly I’m shocked we made it this long without someone booking one of those.
Alleged main event: Tony D’Angelo v. Pete Dunne
They trade wristlocks to start and Tony catches him with a back suplex, but Dunne fights back with chops. Dunne kicks him to the apron and drops a knee on his hand and we take a break. Back with Dunne throwing more kicks, but D’Angelo gets fired up and comes back with a northern lights suplex. Dunne traps him in a triangle, but Tony powers him into a suplex for two. Tony suplexes him into the corner, but Dunne goes after the arm again and hits a heel kick for two. They slug it out and D’Angelo hits a falcon arrow for two and both guys are down and crawling around. This allows Tony to find his trusty crowbar in the corner, but Dunne takes him down and puts him in the armbar. But Tony counters by stealing the mouthpiece again and tries for his neckbreaker. Dunne snaps the finger and hits the Bitter End at 11:53, however. Just kind of a basic match that felt it was stretched out to make sure there was an 8 minute overrun, and I don’t really get having D’Angelo do the job this soon. **1/2 And then of course Tony lays him out afterwards to get his heat back and smashes his hand with the crowbar so THIS FEUD MUST CONTINUE.
Ugh. This show. Merry f’n Christmas to me.