Before we get into this week’s NXT review, a little housekeeping is needed.
If you’ve been following my musings here on 25YL, you may have noticed that I’ve implemented a brand new rating system for each show.
The idea is that at the end of each show, I give my final thoughts and then a grade to let you know what I thought of it overall.
Good idea, right?
Well, it would be except, I hate it.
Instead, I’ve decided to go another way, with a brand brand new system.
It’s called the 10 Count Rating and is as follows.
1: I’d rather watch Sycho Sid
2: I’d rather watch James Ellsworth
3: I’d rather watch Dana Brooke
4: I’d rather watch Nia Jax
6: Pretty Solid
7: Pretty Damn Good
8: This Is Awesome
9: Holy Shit! Holy Shit!
10: Oh My God! They’ve broken him in half!
As I go through my review I’ll be grading every bout this way and take an overall average, as I feel that this is the fairest way to decide how good whatever program I’ve been watching is.
Will it work?
Well, there’s only one way to find out, it’s time to lace up our boots and head to the ring for the NXT Review for Feb 19.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match: Jordan Devlin vs. Lio Rush
10 Count Rating: 7
Straight off the bat, I should be completely honest with you here, nearly every match I review is going to peak at seven on the 10 Count scale.
This is because it’s going to take something really special to go above that grade, and something entirely out of this world to hit the full 10, and though this was a pretty damn good match, it didn’t quite meet those requirements.
It was, however, hell for leather from the first bell to last and allowed both Devlin and Rush to prove they’re both worthy of the recent hype that’s been surrounding them.
I’m a lot happier with this version of the M.O.T.H than I ever was of the one that they called up to the main roster far too early and now that he’s back on the black and yellow brand he can really cut loose.
His skill-set is one of high spots and breakneck speed and here, with Devlin as his opponent, he shone brighter than he has in a long time.
As for Devlin, this guy is the future of NXT UK and the sooner they strap a rocket to him, the better. I just hope he doesn’t get stuck in the Cruiserweight Division as 205 Live is the kiss of death for any pure talent, just ask The Bastard PAC.
It did strike me as odd when this match was announced for this week’s episode as it seemed to be shooting the bolt before they’d had the foreplay, but with the announcement of NXT UK: TakeOver Dublin being set for April 26, it all makes sense now.
I would like to take credit for this as it was only last week I was complaining that there weren’t enough UK TakeOver’s and hey presto, we’ve got another, meaning that someone within the WWE reads my reviews.
Or it’s just a massive coincidence.
Tommaso Ciampa Murders Austin Theory
10 Count Rating: 7
So there I was all ready to run the rule over Austin Theory’s match when Tommaso Ciampa appeared from the back and it became obvious that it wasn’t going to happen.
Feeling put out, as I hate this sort of shit as you will see later, I was going to stick the boots to this and mark it low, right up to the point where Blackheart straight-up murdered Austin Theory.
Jesus, this was brutal.
When he tried to blindside Ciampa all he got for his troubles was a boot to the face, followed up by being bounced off the guard rails about a gazillion times, before finding himself discarded like a soggy tissue.
It’s set up a match between the two for next week, but as Ciampa wants to end Johnny Gargano, I’d think twice before I stepped through the ropes, if I was Austin Theory.
Tag-Team Match: Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans
10 Count Rating: 6
This was a pretty straight forward, serviceable bout.
The GYV came out, put on a solid match with Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde, picked up the win and then cut a scathing promo on how all American’s are fat and stupid.
Like I said, a pretty straight forward and serviceable bout.
Winners: The Grizzled Young Veterans
Tag-Team Match: The BroserWeights vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch
10 Count Rating: 6
This did exactly what the previous match did.
Not really a lot more to say about it, to be honest, other than Matt Riddle actually made me laugh with the line about the Dusty Rhodes Classic Trophy violating the WWE wellness policy.
I might not like his “Bro” schtick but that did make me chuckle.
Winners: The BroserWeights
Keith Lee vs. Kona Reeves
10 Count Rating: 4
Well, this was f*cking pointless.
Kona Reeves came out to interrupt Keith Lee before he could start celebrating his win at NXT: TakeOver Portland, only to get destroyed in around five seconds flat.
Bull-Honky of the highest order.
In fact, the only reason this didn’t get a lower rating was that Dominik Dijakovic showed up after this crap and demanded a re-match, which Lee agreed to.
Winner: Keith Lee
Kayden Carter vs. Chelsea Green
10 Count Rating: 1
And then this shit happened and I died just a little inside.
When they first signed Chelsea Green, the WWE were beside themselves with how big a deal she was and how big a deal she was going to become, but in the space of just two matches, they’ve stuck her with Robert Stone and buried her career.
Don’t believe me?
Well then, explain why Bianca Belair was allowed to get into the ring while the match was still bloody going to cut a promo on Charlotte?
This would eventually lead to Green getting her win back, but f*ck me gently with a chainsaw if she can recover from this terrible, terrible booking then she deserves a f*cking medal.
Winner: Chelsea Green
The Velveteen Dream vs. Roderick Strong
10 Count Rating: 5
For a match that was supposed to be a grudge bout, this just felt off.
I put it down to ring rust on Dreams part, as there were far too many mini-botches through-out for this to be anything more than a “meh” kind of fight.
Which is a shame as the build-up has been perfect over the past couple of weeks, with The Velvet One doing whatever he could to get under Strong’s skin, especially by having his wife and kid sprayed on his ring tights, a trick he’d repeat here, meaning this should’ve been a Slobber-Knocker.
Sadly, it fell short.
There was the standard beat down after the bell from the Undisputed Era and Dream did hit a sweet dive off the top turnbuckle just before that, but overall it was just a flat way to close the show.
Winner: Velveteen Dream
If it wasn’t for the opening two segments of this week’s NXT, then this show would’ve been a lot further down the rating scale, but I’ll stick by the average even though it doesn’t tell the whole story.
Perhaps it was a hangover from the excellent NXT: TakeOver Portland the previous Sunday, but this episode just felt like so much filler, as well as one truly terrible piece of booking that someone should get fired for.
Preferably out of a cannon.
Into the sun.
Hopefully, NXT UK can claw back some of the respect that I lost for the black and yellow brand this week, but if not then I’ve always got SmackDown to look forward to.