Guess what? NXT 2.0 is coming live! Claire is on duty on the blog as usual, so show her the right amount of love and then come back here to browse the show with me.
Let’s talk about NXT!
I get Grayson Waller’s schtick. I don’t find it exciting or interesting, but I understand it. Waller is the young cat who denounces everything and everyone who came before him. And while that doesn’t work for me, man is despised in Florida with the intensity of 1000 suns.
But the man had a good match with AJ Styles because unless your name is Omos, it’s hard to not have a good game with AJ. Grayson, as a character and a wrestler, never looked out of his depth. Waller hooked up with AJ step by step and wasn’t completely embarrassed. Has he lost? Of course he did. Duh. But there’s no shame in losing to AJ Styles, especially when you put him to work and AJ rubs a bit at the end.
Thankfully, AJ has rebounded from back-to-back shoots on national television. Styles played the role of an idiot for weeks, so this match meant as much to him as it did to Waller. Which was a good idea.
The key moment of the match was what happened next. Like I said, AJ gave Grayson his props. But then the Phenomenal One introduced Grayson to his friend, LA Knight. Looks like Knight was last seen months ago. With his head spin done, he’s now ready to finally engage with Waller and set in motion their delayed feud. This thing with AJ always seemed like a detour or a replacement for what was supposed to happen with LA, which is probably why AJ and Grayson reeked of silliness.
LA is now one of the last remnants of the Black and Gold team. With Tommaso Ciampa defeated, Johnny Gargano ‘retired’ and Pete Dunne sleeping with the fish (spoiler for those who haven’t skipped this section), I’m curious about Knight’s position in NXT and within WWE in general. . If Vince et co. truly believing in Waller, then Knight collapses. If they’re not sure or if Vince changes his mind because he doesn’t like the way the sun hits his dear car tomorrow morning. then Grayson is retooled and Knight lives another day.
But I digress. AJ and Grayson played the best game of the night and it wasn’t even close. And believe me, that’s not as much of a compliment as you might think if you hadn’t watched the show.
That girl is poison
Poor Xyon Quinn. The man looked away from Santos Escobar to have what he thought was a little moment with Elektra Lopez. I say thought because after Ms. Lopez stroked Xyon’s arms and told her to get back in the ring, she kicked Quinn in her lower regions. Santos picked up the pieces – not literally – and finished Xyon.
Solid match, nothing breathtaking. It was a bit too slow at times and it felt like the two men understood each other. But the story does not seem to be over here. Xyon will want revenge and of course the world wants an explanation from Ms. Lopez. Was it really a revenge for Quinn who had rejected his initial invitation to join LDF?
Cameron Grimes says 2022 is the year he finally goes “to the moon” with NXT gold by his side. Damon Kemp was, to use a phrase from Shaq, barbecue chicken tonight. Grimes roasted it, broiled it and burned it to a crisp.
BUT, the most interesting case was the appearance of a certain Malcolm Bivens. Was he looking for Grimes? Or maybe it was Kemp? With the diamond mine on the decline of a limb thanks to the recent “season of the deavors,” so it’s clear that Malcolm is looking to put himself back together. While the game wasn’t much – by design – the real intrigue is what Mr Bivens has up his considerably long sleeves.
The Fields are there
The new NXT champion kicked off the show this week. In typical Bron Breakker fashion, it was a lot of bark. lots of bass in her voice, and a claim that it’s now her court. He’s challenged anyone behind the back, but let them know whatever they’re doing, he’s doing more. It was standard fare but really disappointing that no new challenger showed up immediately. Here we are in a week with the new guard in NXT 2.0 and the new champion is rudderless.
Oh but he’s not the only one who’s spoken to the NXT loyalists. Carmelo Hayes stepped into the ring ahead of this week’s main event and did what Bron did earlier. Melo rubbed Roderick Strong’s injuries and also told the locker room he’s ready, champion A etc you know how it goes.
Remember when I said Cameron Grimes was going for gold this year? Of course it does, I just said it. I mean, it’s right above that section. Grimes met Melo and Trick before the main event bell and told the champion he wanted a North American Championship game. We’ll see how Melo reacts next week. I suppose.
Not exactly a dusty classic
The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic play-in match ended with a DQ. Why do you ask? I’m glad you did. Harland went too far, refusing to obey the referee’s count of 5. As a result, Edris Enofe and Malik Blade move on. Harland and Gacy’s story so far means it was the right move, even if it cost us a good game. Enofe and Blade are walking the path of many before them: a whole new team with little to no experience as a unit wishing for a star to go far. We will see.
But I don’t think the play-in match for such a prestigious tournament comes in the form of a throwaway. Makes a horrible tone and leaves a not so good taste.
Bagwells and crowbars and chairs, Oh My
First of all, the idea of anything “on a pole” conjures up memories of late-era WCW to me. Not to mention the worst aspects of this whole era of professional sports wrestling. That said, props to Tony D’Angelo and Pete Dunne for having a match-worthy brutal and violent affair featuring a creepy crowbar as a valuable possession.
Dunne’s ability to fight all styles came into hand. Tony isn’t going to chain wrestling and stage a technical masterpiece; it doesn’t suit his character and he’s a brawler. With that in mind, this game is definitely not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Especially if you’re a die-hard black and gold NXT. The ending, with Tony D hitting Pete’s fire with the crowbar, will likely rub a lot of people the wrong way as well.
It might be me, but this match also feels like a changing of the guard for 2.0, with Tony asserting himself as the brand’s new muscle.
We have a few vignettes highlighting the toxic attraction. And at first, I didn’t know why. Obviously, they’re running the women’s division of NXT right now. These are the roosters of the promenade if you will. But don’t we already know? Notable for their absence are Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne. The tag champions are MIA, so maybe that’s a way to keep them fresh in our minds?
As for Mandy, Kay Lee Ray took note that the Champion isn’t in the building for anything other than taking pictures for IG. With a bat in her hand, she destroyed the cameras and made it known that she wanted to give Rose a shot.
Six women enter a ring …
Not much to say here, except Indi Hartwell who finds his rhythm. Indi, Persia Pirotta and Wendy Choo faced off against Amari Miller. Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter. Seriously, the match barely started before it ended. Indi got the pin for his team, while Briggs and Jensen watched backstage because they smelled of Kacy and Kayden.
Oh it’s not over mom …
I knew this was not the end of Solo Sikoa and Boa. This match seemed too sudden and was not the right place for the evil blood that flowed between the two. The double count finish makes perfect sense. But a night without a lot of wrestling, it’s another lost game.
Let’s go: it wasn’t a fun way to spend two hours on a Tuesday night. It was the least enjoyable two hours since NXT 2.0 became a thing, with very little wrestling and a surprisingly slow show that lacked meaning and energy. I understand AJ Styles is a huge deal and needs to be a main event, but the brand new champion needs to appear in more than one segment. The play-in match for the Dusty Rhodes Classic needs meaning and does not exist as fodder for Joe Gacy and Harland’s madness. I could go on but if they weren’t making the effort, why would I?
For the first time in forever, NXT 2.0 felt like a bland episode of Raw Where Smack down. Maybe that was the plan from the start.
It’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.