The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT 2.0 – 01.18.22
Live from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Vic Joseph & Wade Barrett
LA Knight shows up looking for Grayson Waller and just walks on down to the ring for our opening segment! For some reason they have the crowd all the way on the floor tonight, pretty much right up against the ring, which somehow makes the show look even more low rent and tiny. There was a lot of legitimate problems with the show that could have been addressed, the placement of the crowd wasn’t one of them. So Knight calls out Waller with no results for a while, but then he answers with a restraining order. I wish I could take out a restraining order against this show. So apparently if Knight touches Waller, he gets arrested IMMEDIATELY. Well that’s one more thing he can rip off from Steve Austin then. But then Dexter Lumis appears from under the ring and there’s no restraining order against him.
Grayson Waller v. Dexter Lumis
Waller works on the arm and beats on it in the corner, but Lumis pops him up into an uppercut. Dexter with a pair of neckbreakers for two. He goes to a chinlock, but Waller takes him to the floor for a clothesline and we take a break. Back with Waller working on a top wristlock in the ring, but Lumis slugs back and hits a backdrop suplex and legdrop to make the plodding comeback. Oh, and apparently WALTER is facing Roderick Strong later tonight. THAT IS INFORMATION THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YESTERDAY. They head to the floor and Waller runs him into the railing, and then some new guy in a suit heads down and runs Lumis into the post, allowing Waller to hit the stunner and finish at 9:24. Yay, another new character to not care about. Is that the Veer guy who has been coming to RAW for weeks? A very dull match. *
Meanwhile, WALTER goes to abuse Malcolm Bivens, but Roddy makes the save to set up the match they already announced earlier in the show. Nice to see they’ve finally come up with a bracket after talking about the tournament for weeks.
Dusty Classic 2022 video as we meet the teams, including the one that backed into the tournament with a DQ win after getting their ass kicked for the entire match.
Meanwhile, MSK and Legado jibber jabber at each other.
Dusty Classic Round One: The Creed Brothers v. Briggs & Jensen
Brutus tries a takedown on Jensen and gets stopped with what I think was supposed to be a knee but didn’t really come off well. Briggs comes in and slugs away on Julius in the corner, and they do a double sliding punch from the outside but can’t even do that in unison properly. The Creeds dump Jensen to the floor in the tiny area between the ring and the railing to take over, and Julius goes to work on him in the ring and adds a spinebuster. Maybe lighten up a bit, guys. Julius misses a charge and manages to clothesline himself on the middle rope, and Briggs comes in and runs wild while flailing his arms around a lot. Maybe watch a Stan Hansen match once or twice and learn how to work that style. Jensen gets run into the railing and the Creeds finish Briggs with a double team slam at 5:30. This was really sloppy. *1/2
Meanwhile, Dante Chen reveals that he suffered a leg injury after his first match and he’s been done ever since, and also his dad died. I mean, sucks for him, but he had one match four months ago and then disappeared. I wasn’t exactly wondering what happened to him.
Meanwhile, WALTER gives his men a peptalk in German, the most inspiring of all the European languages!
Dante Chen v. Guru Raaj
Raaj gets a dropkick for two right away, but Chen sends him to the floor and follows with a dive. But then Duke Hudson runs in and attacks both guys for the DQ at 1:00. So glad they gave us the big video package on Chen before doing that shitty finish where he looked like a complete geek.
Meanwhile, Joe Gacy and Harland bump into Odyssey Jones, who is on crutches after an injury. So…are they ever going to follow up on the Brian Kendrick thing again?
Meanwhile, Bron Breakker has his promo interrupted by Elektra Lopez and Santos Escobar, setting up the next program.
Tony D’Angelo joins us with a funeral for the career of Pete Dunne, who is shrugging even in his death portrait. So Tony is moving onwards to the North American title, which brings out Carmelo Hayes on the balcony. Tony clarifies that they’re not boys, because he already has boys. And then Cameron Grimes interrupts and he also wants a title shot, so Carmelo suggests that he faces Tony for the title shot. Usual jibber-jabber segment here that ended up having nothing to do with the funeral gag.
Meanwhile, the BJs and KCs have an awkward meet up backstage while Wendy Choo watches from on top of the lockers. Really really bad.
Meanwhile, Feroz and Leon want to be Women’s tag team champions. Perhaps winning a match would be a good start. So then after a video package, we get a backstage interview where Dakota Kai interrupts and she’s still all crazy. I’m not even doing justice to how awful this was. I mean, sure, push new people, but you need to be able to cut a promo or show some charisma for people to care.
Kay Lee Ray v. Ivy Nile
Are they seriously going to beat Nile already?! Nile gets a rollup into a wristlock, but Kay Lee hits her with chops and a dropkick for two. Nile backdrops her into the corner and follows with an enzuigiri for two. Ivy goes to a headscissors on the mat, but KLR rolls out of it and comes back with clotheslines. Gourdbuster gets two while the announcers are busy talking about whatever’s happening on RAW and the Royal Rumble. Ivy tries a fireman’s carry, but Kay Lee reverses out. This brings Mandy out for distraction, and Ivy gets the rollup for the pin at 4:33. This never went anywhere. *1/2 And then Ivy’s “win” is immediately negated because Toxic Attraction brawls with Kay Lee until Persia and Indi make the save and Ivy just vanishes to the back.
Meanwhile, Harland attacks Odyssey Jones in the back.
Meanwhile, Sarray has apparently gone back to Japan and found a magic necklace. Yes. A magic necklace.
Dusty Classic Round One: Malik Blade & Edris Enofe v. Legado del Fantasma
The jobber team double-teams Wilde to start and Enofe gets a slingshot splash for two, but LDF double-teams him and Mendoza gets a dropkick for two. Mendoza misses a charge, but still cuts off the tag, but then Blade gets the tag anyway. He does some stuff, but gets tripped up by Escobar, who is then taken out by Bron Breakker, allowing Blade to hit a second distraction rollup finish in a row for the pin at 3:20. This has been an epic tournament thus far. *
Meanwhile, Malcolm Bivens notes that the mat is not sacred, it’s a revenue generator for Diamond Mine.
Meanwhile, Solo Sikoa is all burned and stuff. But he’s facing Boa next week anyway.
Dakota Kai v. Yulisa Leon
Leon gets a rollup for two, but charges and hits the corner, and Kai takes over with choking on the ropes. Kai whips her into the corner and hits the running boot for two. They end up on the floor and Kai goes after Feroz, but that allows Leon to make the comeback in the ring with a fallaway slam for two. And Kai just boots her down again and pins her at 4:05. So they did the promo for these girls and then completely squash them? Makes sense.
Meanwhile, Raquel Gonzalez is still coming after Mandy Rose, but Cora Jade interrupts and they tease TENSION. I bet we’ll have to find out if they can co-exist as a tag team!
Meanwhile, Enofe & Blade are really pumped to move onto the semi-finals.
WALTER v. Roderick Strong
WALTER tosses Strong around and takes him down for a wristlock, but Strong fights out and throws the first chop. WALTER doesn’t even acknowledge that, but Strong tries it again, so WALTER just ENDS him with a chop and goes to work on him. Bivens gets involved, so WALTER teaches him a lesson and then drops Strong on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING. We take a break and return with Strong making a comeback with a missile dropkick and running chop in the corner. WALTER counters him with a sleeper, but Strong escapes with some SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION. WALTER heads to the apron and cuts off the running forearms with a clothesline from out there. WALTER goes up and Strong follows with an enzuigiri and manages to hit a superplex. My house had been creaking from what I thought was the cold weather earlier, but obviously it was due to that move. They slug it out and Strong goes crazy with forearms and gets two. WALTER chops him down again and tries the powerbomb, but Strong reverses to his own, so WALTER turns that into an Air Raid Crash and hits the powerbomb to finish at 12:42. I approve of this. ***1/2 And then you know what I DON’T FUCKING APPROVE OF? WALTER announcing afterwards that his name is now “Gunther”. Yes. A real thing that happened. Maybe he’ll go to Austria next and start wearing lederhosen to really get him over. What the fuck is with this company, seriously? They think THAT’S what was lacking in his act to get him over? Changing his name to GUNTHER?
I can’t even with this show. I know I say it so much that it loses all meaning at this point but WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH VINCE MCMAHON?