Welcome one and welcome all to the NXT 2.0 review for Nov. 9th, 2021. If you read my RAW article from yesterday, then you’ll know I have a love-hate relationship with the WWE. But the one thing I’ve always been able to rely on – the one show that kept me coming back – was NXT. This was because inside the madcap, soap opera existence of Vince McMahon’s insane mind, he had nothing to do with it. It was Big Vinnie free, and this meant that it could be an honest to goodness wrasslin show, without the fear of a deranged septuagenarian suddenly deciding that what we really needed was a bra and panties match, and by God, isn’t this still 1998?
Yet, I have been away from the WWE and NXT for a few months now and I’d heard all about the supposed Big Vinnie and The Stamford Mob takeover of the show of Take-Over’s, and going into the first NXT 2.0 review, I was naturally apprehensive. Would I return to the fold, only to question the validity of wrestling as a spectacle, or would I be pleasantly surprised to find that Vince had realized what he had on his hands and had decided to leave it alone? Honestly, it’s a little from column A and a little from column B.
It’s not as good as the original NXT. That’s just a fact. But neither is it the epic cluster-f*ck of B Grade stars squashing young talent on the rise, which is what I was really expecting. Though if you’re an Asian talent, it looks like you ain’t going to be allowed to get over. Think that’s harsh? There were six – count em, six – Asian wrestlers on the card for this show, and not one of them picked up a win. Proving, yet again, that if it hadn’t been for JR convincing Vince that Asian Porn was a thing, he’d have nothing to do with any wrestlers that didn’t come from the Good Ol’ US of A.
Well, maybe Brits and Russians as the heroes have got to have their bad guys.
Six Women Tag Match: Toxic Attraction vs. Io Shirai, Kacy Catanzaro, and Kayden Carter
NXT 2.0 kicked off with a six women tag match that saw the NXT Women’s Champion and the NXT Women’s Tag Champions take on the combined might of Io Shirai, Kacy Catanzaro, and Kayden Carter. Overall it was a good solid match. Everyone got their spots in, the action was fast-paced enough that you could forgive it for not being finely tuned – after all, a majority of these wrestlers are still learning the ropes within the WWE system – and Mandy Rose hit a Spinebuster that should really become her finishing move.
I’ll hold my hands up here. I was one of the many who thought that Mandy Rose just couldn’t wrestle, but it seems as if she’s now going out of her way to prove the likes of me wrong. And good on her. She seems to be reveling in her new surroundings and this can only be beneficial in the long wrong. A happy worker is a productive worker, after all. I’m a big fan of her teammates as well. Especially Gigi Dolin, who at the tender age of 24 has so much promise that I can’t see anything but greatness in her future. On the other side, both Catanzaro and Carter showed that they could go and as for Io Shirai…well, she’s Io Shirai, what else would you expect except one of the best in the game?
I didn’t like the ending, however. The old distraction bull-honky that plagues the WWE like cancer reared its ugly head, and not for the only time tonight. I get it, you want to keep everyone strong, but for the love of God, you use distraction finishes like I use toilet paper after a night on the Guinness and both that s*it – geddit ? – needs to stop.
Winners: Toxic Attraction
Kay Lee Ray vs. Sarray
Out NXT – God, I’m funny – was Kay Lee Ray as she was set to face Sarray. I am a massive mark for Kay Lee Ray and I don’t care who knows it. Part of that is down to the fact that she’s a Brit and part of it is to do with her being an ass-kicking machine. She always delivers and tonight was no different, though I was surprised at how competitive a bout it was.
Sarray got more than her share of offense in and instead of a squash match unfolding, I found myself engrossed in a too and fro battle, that would see Kay Lee Ray have to nail her opponent with a couple of KLR Bomb’s to pick up the win. This was the right booking as it showed that Saray should be taken seriously as a threat within NXT and that Kay Lee Ray will always be one.
Winner: Kay Lee Ray
Boa vs. Joe Gacy
This was either smart, strange, or sodding stupid. I’m not sure which yet. A rather entertaining match suddenly came to a screeching halt after the lights in the studio went funny, and Boa seemingly became possessed. He then locked in a Choke Hold that he refused to let go of, forcing the ref to DQ him.
As I said, either smart, strange, or sodding stupid. He’ll either now become some sort of Demon character that stalks NXT 2.0 with a reign of destruction or Alexa Bliss will show up and we’ll find out that he’s now controlled by the spirit of Lily. I have a sneaking suspicion it may be the latter.
Winner By DQ: Joe Gacy
The Creed Brothers vs. Jacket Time
This was a much better outing than the one we’d just had to sit through. By a country mile. The Creed Brothers look the real deal. Mixing ‘real’ wrestling with a little MMA and some show-stopping moments, they could be built up to a mega tag-team. Sadly, they just happen to be in a company that doesn’t give a rats ass about tag-team wrestling, but if that were to ever change, then I’d like to think that the very talented duo would be at the forefront of the Tag-Team Revolution. Hmmmm…perhaps I should put a copyright on that slogan…
Jacket Time seems decent enough as well, but they were never gonna get the win here, and unless they ditch the goofy gimmick they’ll never get the win anywhere in the WWE – mainly because Vince hates comedy that isn’t mean spirited – though there is a massive Independent scene that would greet them with open arms, should they ever choose to ply their trade elsewhere.
Winners: The Creed Brothers
Ru Feng vs. Cameron Grimes
Cameron Grimes squished Ru Feng, just so they could set up an angle between himself and Duke Hudson for NXT – nope, not tired of that gag yet – week, where the two will face off in a poker game. As that’s going to be riveting TV.
Winner: Cameron Grimes
Triple Threat Match: Solo Sikoa vs. LA Knight vs. Grayson Waller
A triple threat match that saw the heels – Knight and Waller – team up, but eventually end up bickering so badly it would cost either of them the victory. Again, this was always going to happen. it’s booking 101.
It’s obvious that Solo Sikoa is going to have a rocket strapped to him and it seems to be a no-brainer. He’s got the look, is good in the ring, and can be the cool face/heel that NXT hasn’t had since Balor got moved around. He seems like a legitimate tough guy as well – always a bonus in the testosterone world of WWE – so I fully expect him to go on quite a long undefeated run.
Winner: Solo Sikoa
Erica Yan vs. Elektra Lopez
Lopez murdered Yan, then flirted with Xyon Quinn. Pure, unadulterated Vincent Kennedy McMahon BULL-HONKY!
Winner: Elektra Lopez
Carmelo Hayes vs. Pete Dunne
Thank the sweet baby Jesus for Carmelo Hayes vs. Pete Dunne. Having nearly thrown up in my mouth, seeing Big Vinnie’s fantasies played out on the screen – muscley lady and muscley man get sexy, then have muscley babies – Hayes and Dunne put on a clinic in pro wrestling. No stop was left unpulled, no floodgate was left unopened, this was a goddamn master class in how to ‘sports entertain’.
Hayes is one of the most agile wrestlers I’ve seen since a young Rey Mysterio first graced my screen back in the 90s and Pete Dunne always – and I mean always – puts his body and soul on the line whenever he steps through the ropes. Again, quite literally this time as he ended the match with a bust face, spilling blood for the masses as he’s done so many times before.
Yes, the distraction ending was terrible, but that should in no way take away from the genius we saw in the ring. If you only watch one match from this week’s NXT 2.0, then make sure it’s this one. My Fight of the Night.