Welcome one and welcome all to the NXT 2.0 review for Nov. 16th, 2021. Now, the observant among you may have noticed that there was no WWE RAW review yesterday. This had nothing to do with the fact that this week’s WWE RAW was a horrible mess of a show – because it was – but down to circumstances beyond my control. But what the hell, I figure with the amount of content I put out each week, I deserve a break once in a while.
Suitably refreshed – after about an hour of using mental floss to forget that I’d just watched the legendary Rey Mysterio be treated like a rag-doll by Bobby Lashley just so big Vinnie could get his weekly sweaty man jollies – I sat down to watch this week’s NXT 2.0 with plenty of optimism to keep me company.
I’ll never learn, will I?
Tony D’Angelo vs. Dexter Lumis
It’s a good job that Tony D’Angelo can wrestle, because his current gimmick is not only terrible, but offensive to anyone of Italian descent, and I should know as I’m half Italian on my father’s side. This smacks of Vincent Kennedy McMahon so badly, that you can almost see the bull-honky leaking out of your TV screen.
“Hey there, Joe Ariola, isn’t it?”
“Yes sir, Mr. McMahon, sir.”
“Not anymore, pal. From now on you’re Tony D’Angelo and you’re going to be a Chicago mobster whose family works in ‘waste management.'”
This push is going to last exactly as long as it takes for Big Vinnie to stop laughing at the idea of an Italian-American mobster fighting in one of his rings. Which I guess is gonna be in about a month.
The match itself was alright. D’Angelo picked up the win with an unseen poke to the eye followed up by his finisher, and as soon as the bell had rung, Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams hit the ring to lay a beating on Lumis. The first of the night. After they’d bust up his hand with a chair, Johnny Gargano made the save. Better late than never I suppose. This eventually led to a Triple Threat Match being made for next week’s show between himself, Hayes, and Pete Dunne for the NXT North American Championship, which almost makes up for the stereotypical racism I’d just had to sit through.
But not at all.
Winner: Tony D’Angelo
Six-Man Tag Team Match: The Diamond Mine vs. Jacket Time and Odyssey Jones
I said last week that I hated how the WWE used its Asian talent, and this did nothing to change that. Jacket Time were there for one reason and one reason only. To take a kicking and allow Odyssey Jones to look awesome when he got the hot tag and cleaned house. Which he did, there can be no denying that, but just once I’d like to see the Yankee Doodle Dandies take the whipping so another country could make the save. Guess that ain’t happening until Vince jacks it all in.
A pretty decent showing overall from The Diamond Mine. I like The Creed Brothers, and Roderick Strong could drag a decent match out of a mop, but with the aforementioned pointlessness of having Jacket Time involved, and the fact that a huge chunk of the bout was lost to commercial break, this could’ve been a hell of a lot better.
Winners: Jacket Time and Odyssey Jones
Andre Chase vs. Xyon Quinn
Not as much of a squash match as I was expecting here. Surprisingly, they allowed Andre Chase to get in a small amount of offense before he was dispatched by Quinn with his trusty Jackhammer, but after the match, Legado del Fantasma rushed the ring and gave the winner a kicking, due to him refusing Fake Beyonce last time out.
So that’s two post-match beatdowns for those of you keeping score.
Winner: Xyon Quinn
A Poker Match Between Cameron Grimes And Duke Hudson
Yep, you read that right. In the middle of a wrestling program, we took 10 minutes out to have a poker game. This was f*cking pointless, annoying, and went on for far too long. There have been some stupid moments throughout the history of WWE TV, but this ranks up there as one of the dumbest of all time. Especially because after Hudson snapped and put Grimes through the table – which was the only f*cking entertaining bit of this schtick – he cut off most of Grimes beard.
So we got a poker game and a f*cking makeover segment all rolled into one.
Winner: Not Us, That’s For Bloody Sure
Tag Team Match: Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs vs. Von Wagner and Kyle O’Reilly
Kyle O’Reilly is gone when his WWE contract runs out in January. This is now obvious to anyone who watched this. If you know your history, you’ll know that any wrestler who even so much as thinks about stalling on inking a new deal with the company gets put into a situation where they’re either ridiculed, go on a losing streak, or used as cannon fodder. This is done so that when they walk, their character and career are supposed to take a hit, meaning that they’re damaged goods that companies might think twice about hiring.
Here, KOR was used as a punching bag by two guys who didn’t even get their own entrance. He was pummeled relentlessly and it was only due to his partner that the team picked up the win. They then did a segment with Imperium afterward, claiming they didn’t see them as a threat, which they shouldn’t as Von Wagner is now on Smackdown and KOR is out the door when his contract runs out.
The problem that the WWE has is that this tactic might’ve worked 10 years ago, but these days fans are more clued into how good a wrestler is, and there are more than enough companies around who will give so-called damaged goods a chance to rehabilitate themselves. And besides, he’s AEW bound to team up with Adam Cole (Bay Bay!) and Bobby Fish to form The Undisputed Era 2.0.
At least, that’s what my boss reckons.
Winners: Von Wagner and Kyle O’Reilly
2-on-1 Handicap Match: Gabby Stephens and Jenna Levy vs. Persia Pirotta
What was initially supposed to be a tag match, became a 2-on-1 Handicap Match after Indi Hartwell chose to spend time with her injured husband, Dexter Lumis. Pirotta made quick work of her opponents – including hitting a very impressive Samoan Drop on both of them at the same time – and that was that.
Winner: Persia Pirotta
Raquel Gonzalez vs. Dakota Kai
And then our Main Event got ruined by yet another beatdown. If you count the poker match ass-whupping – which I do because I had to sit through the goddamn thing – that makes four beatdowns, on a show with the grand total of six matches and that dumbass segment. That’s over half. Jesus wept, is it really a wonder that most wrestling fans are turned off by anything that contains the letters WWE.
This is a shame, as this was shaping up to be my Fight of the Night as both Gonzalez and Kai laid into each other with great relish. And occasional mustard. There were some pretty stiff-looking shots, as well as some very acrobatic moves, but in the end, Toxic Attraction ran down to cause the DQ and they were eventually chased off by the combined might of Cora Jade, Io Shirai, and Gonzalez.
It seems that we’re now getting these teams facing off at War Games, but for the love of Lou Thesz, can we have just one Main Event that doesn’t descend into a Brawl for All?