WWE NXT Review (September 28, 2021)

Welcome to the WWE NXT review. It’s the third week of the new NXT 2.0 brand of the show. There are three title matches advertised for this week.

This episode is taking place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Check out my WWE NXT review archive here. Let’s get to it.

The NXT 2.0 intro video aired to begin the show. The crowd was shown at the WWE PC as the announcers welcomed us to the show. The commentary team of Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett and Beth Phoenix were there to call the action.

B-Fab made her entrance with her Hit Row buddies. The fans like them even though they initially started as a heel group. Ashante Thee Adonis said tonight is all about the ladies. Adonis mentioned Raquel Gonzalez vs. Franky Monet for the NXT Women’s Championship later in the show. Top Dolla mentioned that Zoey Stark & Io Shirai defend the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships against Toxic Attraction. Dolla was gonna say a bad word, but they stopped him. “Swerve” Scott said that his title is not on the line again because nobody is trying to come for it. Scott mentioned Roderick Strong defends the Cruiserweight Title against Grayson Waller. B-Fab said she’s going to beat Elektra Lopez like she owes her money. The line “if you didn’t know, now you know” ended it. Elektra Lopez was up next with the Legado del Fantasma guys with her.

Analysis: They used Hit Row to promote what was coming up in the show. It felt a bit awkward and unnatural, but they got through it fine.

No Disqualification Match: B-Fab (w/Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Top Dolla & Ashante Thee Adonis) vs. Elektra Lopez (w/Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza)

Lopez and B-Fab got into a brawl on the floor, then into the ring and the match began. B-Fab hit a back kick to the head and dropkick. That looked a bit off like they were thinking of something else, but got through it. Lopez worked over B-Fab with punches. Lopez got a trash can from under the ring, but B-Fab managed to send her down by the hair. Lopez shoved B-Fab into the steel steps. Mendoza tried to attack big man Top Dolla with a trash can, but Dolla punched the trash can to knock it out of his hands. The six guys at ringside got into a brawl on the floor, so referees showed up to break it up.

(Commercial)

When the match returned, the six guys at ringside were in the back. Lopez was in control of B-Fab in the ring, then Lopez left the ring for a table and she hit B-Fab into the ribs. B-Fab sent her into the ring apron two times. B-Fab slammed Elektra’s left leg into the floor. B-Fab sent Elektra’s left leg into a table leg. Lopez was in control again, she sent three chairs into the ring along with a kendo stick. Lopez with a body slam on a steel chair. B-Fab with a shot to the ribs, then a chair to the ribs and B-Fab hit Lopez with three kendo sticks to the body. B-Fab opened up a steel chair and Lopez hit a cross body block onto a chair. No pin attempt. Lopez got another chair and slammed B-Fab ribs-first onto the edge of the chair. Lopez with a Blue Thunder Bomb for the pinfall win after about 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Elektra Lopez

Analysis: **1/4 It was just an average match. They aren’t polished workers and it shows in the lack of little things. The lack of pinfall attempts hurt the match. At one point, Lopez hit a cross body block through a chair, was on top for a pin attempt and just got up. You need to try to tell the audience that you are going to try to win and go for pins. They were able to do some spots with weapons, so that helped them get through it. I think if they had a regular match at the same length then it would have been worse.

There were videos shown of Dexter Lumis and Indi Hartwell on their honeymoon at some beach. They put “INDEX” on the sand on the beach. Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae were there spying on them with binoculars. Indi was shown in slow motion in her bikini going in the water. There was a “shark” in the water, it was actually Gargano wearing a shark hat and scaring them out of the water.

Analysis: The segments aren’t that funny really, but it’s a way to further the INDEX story, I guess.

Joe Gacy was shown backstage and was told he’s up next.

(Commercial)

Joe Gacy was in the ring for a seated promo in the chair. Gacy said that this is still our safe space. Gacy said last week he made a huge impact and he has not been canceled. Gacy noted that he made a bigger impact than superstars like Tommaso Ciampa, Roderick Strong and Bron Breakker using his words. Gacy stated that he didn’t throw one single punch while adding that he speaks for a generation that nobody understands – The Enlightened Ones. Gacy said that the others live in a dark world. Gacy stated that last week he saw triggered faces in the locker room while adding that he is inclusive and we can solve all of our conflicts with simple discussion and resolution. Gacy added that no one person can change the world, but he is there to usher in the world to a “new normal.” Gacy said he didn’t want to take too much time because he knows there was a match coming up, so he thanked us for our open minds.

Analysis: There were false reports that the gimmick was canceled after last week. It’s not. They did remove the clips from Gacy’s speech from Youtube last week, though, so that aspect of the reports was real. Gacy talking about how nobody understands him, saying words like the “Enlightened Ones” and triggered are ways to get people wound up. I don’t mind a gimmick like that. It will get him heel heat.

Xyon Quinn vs. Oney Lorcan

Quinn is a Samoan with tribal tattoos all over his upper body. Quinn shoved Lorcan out of the ring, then back in and Quinn hit a back elbow. Lorcan with a running uppercut. Quinn shoved Lorcan out of the corner, but then Lorcan did a shot to the throat. Lorcan with a headlock, Quinn came back with a headbutt, atomic drop and clothesline with Lorcan doing a flip bump. Quinn with a running shoulder tackle followed by a Samoan Drop. Quinn hit a running forearm to the head for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Xyon Quinn

Analysis: ** I like Quinn in terms of his look, his presentation and the way he executes his moves. The running forearm for the finish was executed well, but I wouldn’t call it a move that looks devastating. It’s a safe move that he can do against anybody, though, so it works in that sense.

Grayson Waller did a promo about being a risk-taker and he takes chances. Waller said that his first singles match in NXT is for the Cruiserweight Champion and after tonight everybody will know the name Grayson Waller.

MSK made their entrance as the NXT Tag Team Champions. Some fans in the crowd that was behind them were doing thumbs down for them. I don’t know why some fans are against these guys.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear from MSK

The MSK duo of Wes Lee and Nash Carter were interviewed by Samantha Irvin in the ring. Carter said that they will keep smoking the tag team division and said that they aren’t content. Lee said that they will remain the fighting champions that they said that they were going to be. They didn’t care if it was about the old bulls of NXT or the new cats.

The Grizzled Young Veterans duo of Zack Gibson and James Drake appeared in suits. Drake wondered where is their two on two title opportunity? Gibson said that this title reign means nothing until they defend against GYV.

Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were up next with Melo saying he had the golden ticket. Melo said that he may be in the mood for some Tag Team Titles. Williams tried to take Hayes’ contract, but Hayes stopped him. Gibson told them that the line starts behind them. MSK told them to shut their asses up. Lee and Carter said that they have already proven that they are the better tag team against GYV. Gibson didn’t know why everybody talks in riddles.

Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen were next for a promo. Briggs said that they heard them talking about those titles. Williams told them to get their ass out of there. Jensen said he wanted to get into a fight with whoever crossed him today, so he punched Williams. That led to a brawl around the ringside area. MSK hit dives onto four of the guys on the floor.

Analysis: It’s a way to remind us about the tag team division and how MSK is going to have to deal with several teams in the future. I thought MSK’s promo was fine. I like them a lot as a team. I don’t think Hayes/Williams are going to be a regular team, but it was a way to get Hayes on the show with his contract. GYV is a polished heel tag team that could probably be on Raw or Smackdown at any time and they would do well if they got a chance.

Raquel Gonzalez, the NXT Women’s Champion, was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Raquel said that Franky Monet is a good opponent and she’s not overlooking her. Raquel said that Franky will learn how you fall and then Toxic Attraction walked by. Mandy Rose said that the title looked good on Raquel, but it would look a lot better on her.

Analysis: There’s the tease of the Raquel/Mandy feud. Not surprised by that. I’m all for it. Good for Mandy especially.

The Toxic Attraction trio of Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne entered for tag team action. They get the close up camera angles for the entrance. That’s a good thing too.

(Commercial)

The champs were already in the ring.

NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships: Io Shirai & Zoey Stark vs. Toxic Attraction – Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne (w/Mandy Rose)

Shirai did a couple of athletic moves and then hit a dropkick on Dolin to knock her down in the corner. Jayne tagged in with a chop, so then Shirai punched her and knocked her down. Stark wit ha legsweep on Jayne and then they exchange pin attempts for multiple nearfalls. Jayne with a roll through into a pin attempt. Stark to the apron, hook kick to Jayne and then Stark hit a splash over the top onto Jayne for a two count. Jayne with a jumping knee. Dolin tagged in with a running kick. Dolin has some short shorts that will make her popular with some fans. Just saying. Stark with a clothesline on Dolin, Rose with a distraction, then all four women got involved and the champions each hit missile dropkicks. Dolin smashed Shirai with a forearm to the head, but then Stark jumped onto Jayne on the floor. Dolin went up top and hit a somersault dive on Stark to take her out. Shirai went up to and hit a moonsault onto both opponents.

(Commercial)

Dolin hit an impressive headscissors into the ropes and Jayne hit a knee to the face for two. Jayne with a suplex on Shirai. Shirai with a kick to the head, then Stark tagged in with kicks to the body of Jayne and a German Suplex. Stark with a sliding dropkick on Jayne, but Dolin broke up the pin. Stark with a clothesline that sent Dolin out of the ring. Jayne with a forearm. Stark avoided a kick, Stark with a rolling senton and Stark went for a top rope splash, but Jayne moved and hit a neckbreaker. Shirai got the tag, she was on fire against the heels, she hit the 619 kick against the ropes and a missile dropkick on Dolin for two. Shirai grabbed both opponents and applied a Crossface submission on both of them. Rose put Jayne’s foot on the rope to cause a break. Stark back in, Jayne kicked Shirai down and Dolin hit a bridging German Suplex for a two count. That was a great nearfall leading to a “this is awesome” chant. Jayne with a superkick on Stark, but then Stark flipped her over and hit a knee to the head. Shirai with a running dropkick on Dolin and Stark hit a dive onto Dolin on the floor. Stark got in Rose’s face with Mandy telling her to calm down. Shirai with an uppercut palm strike on Jayne. Shirai hit the Over the Moonsault off the top on Dolin for the pinfall win after 13 minutes. Stark was holding Rose to keep her from interfering.

Winners by pinfall: Io Shirai & Zoey Stark

Analysis: *** This was pretty good. Solid tag team wrestling throughout the match. Shirai is so great at everything while Stark is very athletic and hits a lot of cool moves. I was a bit surprised that Mandy didn’t get more involved as a heel on the outside of the ring. Dolin and Jayne worked well together as heel controlling most of the action in the match before the faces made the comeback. Shirai’s aerial skills continue to amaze me. She’s so great.

Shirai and Stark celebrated with the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles. Meanwhile, Toxic Attraction looked angry at ringside.

Bron Breakker Video

A video package aired about Bron Breakker saying he’s a high energy, high intensity and high impact. Breakker said in the ring he’s trash talking, his veins are bulging, heart rate is off the charts and it’s a white knuckle thrill ride. Breakker said he knows the locker room is full of studs, but here’s there to whip ass (and there’s the TJRWRESTLING logo on the screen!). They showed other websites with headlines about Breakker being so impressive in the last two weeks. Breakker: “If that’s harsh, I don’t give a shit!” It was not bleeped. “You want a friend? Go get a dog. Make no bones about it because my goal is to be NXT Champion. Tommaso, I’m not a patient guy.” They showed a video of him in the ring with NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa last week.

Analysis: Great video. Saying “shit” on the show is new, but that’s NXT trying to be edgier. We have seen AEW saying that word a lot on TNT, so I guess WWE figured they can do it too. I’ve praised Bron Breakker a lot in the last two weeks. They opted not to put him in a match this week, which is okay so they can showcase others, but I hope he’s back in the ring next week.

Boa entered with Mei Ying.

(Commercial)

There was a video about Royal Rumble 2022 being in St. Louis.

They said that NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa Facetime’d into the show. It looked like he was home at his gym. Ciampa responded to Bron Breakker for the video package and the first two weeks. Ciampa said maybe we don’t have to put Breakker in the Hall of Fame just yet. Ciampa said that message received loud and clear. Ciampa said that it took him 908 days to get this title back, and it’s a title that he never lost before. Ciampa said that he knows Breakker vs. Ciampa is going to happen sooner rather than later, but when it does, Breakker is going to drown in an ocean of an experience. Ciampa kissed the title to end it.

Andre Chase made his entrance wearing his “Chase University” sweatshirt. Chase tried to talk to Mei Ying, but there was no reaction.

Boa (w/Mei Ying) vs. Andre Chase

Chase was in control with an armbar on the left arm. Boa delivered knees to the ribs and a stomp on the hand. Chase avoided a kick and hit a neckbreaker. Chase went for a chinlock, Boa back up and Chase slammed him down by the back of the head. Boa delivered three kicks to the chest to knock Chase out of the ring. Chase stared at Ying, who sprayed something in his eyes. Boa capitalized with a forearm into a reverse DDT for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Boa

Analysis: *1/4 A short match to put over Boa once again as they have done in the past with him. Chase’s gimmick as a teacher and wrestling in a sweater looks ridiculous, but it also gets him cheap heel heat too. Boa needs a rivalry instead of these short matches.

The honeymoon of Dexter and Indi was shown. Candice asked Johnny where did they go and asked what’s the worst that can happen? They looked at Candice’s pregnant belly. Johnny said that they need protection. Johnny asked a woman dressed like a hotel worker if he could go into a room because he forgot something, so she opened the door and Johnny found many condoms in Dexter’s luggage saying he didn’t need that many. Indi and Dexter were shown walking into the room with Johnny still in there. The happy couple was in the bedroom with Indi in her bikini. They were hitting eachother with pillows and took a nap. Gargano was hiding in the closet, he got out, then Dexter gave him a thumbs up, Gargano did a thumbs up back and Dexter showed his many condoms.

Analysis: I don’t recall a WWE show with that many condoms shown in a segment like that, so it was history making in that regard. It’s more of the silly comedy that they like to do with this storyline. Gargano is cheesy in his role, but he pulls it off. I prefer Gargano in the ring, though.

Roderick Strong was in the ring for his Cruiserweight Title defense. Waller attacked from behind with a Thesz Press and punches. Waller knocked Strong out of the ring and hit a suicide dive. The match will start after a break.

(Commercial)

NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Roderick Strong (w/Malcolm Bivens, Hachiman, Julius Creed, Brutus Creed & Ivy Nile) vs. Grayson Waller

Strong had all his Diamond Mine buddies at ringside. Waller with an STO trip takedown. Waller went to the middle ropes, but then Strong shoved him over the top to the floor. Strong worked over Waller with chops, kicks and a backbreaker. Waller came back with a quick rollup for two, Strong countered a pin and got a two count leading to more pin attempts by both guys. Strong hit a backbreaker for two and then a suplex got a two count. Strong went for a superplex, Waller fought back with forearms and a missile dropkick connected. Waller with a kick to the chest, then a forearm to the head and Waller hit an elbow drop off the middle rope for two. Waller got some good hangtime on that move. Waller with a kick to the gut, then a kick to the head to knock Strong out of the ring and then Waller hit a somersault dive over the top on the floor. Back in the ring, Waller hit a Stunner for two! That was close. The fans thought that was it as they chanted “NXT” for them. Waller went for a leg drop on the back of the head, Strong avoided it and Strong hit a knee lift to the face for the pinfall win after about seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Roderick Strong

Analysis: *** A fast-paced, exciting match here. Strong was aggressive for most of it and Waller showed off his athleticism in making the comeback. More time would have been nice since it’s a title match, but NXT 2.0 is about having shorter matches for the most part and not necessarily going 15 minutes in title matches like we have seen in the past. That sequence from Waller with the kick out of the ring, then the dive on the floor and the Stunner in the ring was a great sequence for a two count. It took just one move from Strong to finish him off.

LA Knight was interviewed backstage by Mckenzie Mitchell. Knight has challenged Odyssey Jones to a match next week. Knight said he won’t let a newbie spew BS about him. Jones showed up behind Knight with Jones saying he may be new, but you’ve never seen somebody like him. Andre Chase walked into the scene saying “that was bullshit, that should have been a disqualification” and then Knight hit Jones with some punches and kicks when Jones wasn’t ready.

Analysis: There’s another swear word with Chase saying “bullshit” so that’s two swear words on the show.

(Commercial)

A video aired about Dante Chen representing Singapore and its people. Chen said that his journey has just begun. Chen got a win last week.

Cora Jade and Trey Baxter are a couple that was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Cora is only 20 years old and is so excited about her match next week. Baxter told her not to do anything like he did (when he lost). Jade said that she won’t do anything like that and they kissed. They left.

The announcers were shown with Barrett calling them attention seekers. Beth asked who hurt him? That was funny.

Lashing Out with Lash Legend

Lashing Out with Lash Legend was a pre-taped talk show. Legend mentioned the WWE Draft starts this Friday. Lash said she got a rebound record in a single game with 27 rebounds, which earned her a WNBA draft spot. Lash mentioned Cora and Trey kissing in the locker room. Lash said a real man looks like this and it was Ikemen Jiro. Lash ripped on Andre Chase saying he was a “Pee Wee Herman look-alike” and said he yelled at his students. Legend said he won’t do that to her because she will whoop that ass. The crowd cheered.

Analysis: It was a different kind of segment since she was seated and had an audience in a room instead of doing a talk show in a ring. It was just Lash Legend talking trash about stuff that happened last week on NXT.

Ridge Holland was making his entrance with Pete Dunne, but then Kyle O’Reilly attacked Holland. That led to a brawl with referees breaking it up.

(Commercial)

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Ridge Holland

Holland was in control using his power advantage with a waistlock takedown. Holland hit an overhead suplex. Holland with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Kyle got some offense going with a tight headlock, then a sunset flip attempt and Kyle came back with a kick to the leg. Kyle with a palm strike to the head along with a kick to the body. Kyle with a leg whip followed by a knee to the chest. Holland countered a submission attempt with a slam into the turnbuckle. Holland with a tilt-a-whirl powerslam for two. Holland with a Powerbomb for two. Kyle tried to fight back, but Holland punched him to the face. Kyle with a chop block, then a forearm to the head and Pete Dunne showed up at ringside to distract. Kyle countered Holland’s attempt at a slam, he sent Holland into Dunne and Kyle got a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Holland to win after about six minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kyle O’Reilly

Analysis: **1/2 It was fine for a shorter match. A lot of power moves by Holland while Kyle kept on kicking out. The story was all about Holland using his power to wear Kyle down for several minutes until Kyle made the comeback to get the win. Kyle getting the win made sense since he was taken out by Holland/Dunne two weeks ago, but it was not like was a decisive win since it was only a rollup.

Post match, Dunne and Holland beat up Kyle. Von Wagner ran out for the save and he helped Kyle clean house. Kyle and Wagner stood tall in the ring while the heels escaped. Wagner is a tall dude that has a lot of potential. Kyle nodded at him.

Analysis: That’s a smart way to book Von Wagner in a babyface role.

Tony D’Angelo doing his promo for his mafia gimmick. Tony makes his NXT 2.0 debut next week.

Raquel Gonzalez, the NXT Women’s Champion, made her entrance for her title match in the main event.

(Commercial)

Next Tuesday on NXT 2.0 live:

* Odyssey Jones vs. LA Knight

* MSK and Briggs & Jensen vs. Grizzled Young Veterans & Hayes/Williams

The talented Franky Monet was in the ring with her allies Robert Stone and Jessi Kamea for this title match. Kamea had a “FUTURE CHAMP” sign in her hands.

NXT Women’s Championship: Raquel Gonzalez vs. Franky Monet (w/Robert Stone & Jessi Kamea)

The fans were chanting for both women. Monet with a spin kick to the gut and then Gonzalez used her power for a lifting slam. Gonzalez with a forearm, Monet with some slaps to the face and then Gonzalez delivered a fallaway slam across the ring. Monet to the floor, Gonzalez with a slap and Gonzalez sent Monet back in the ring. Gonzalez with a spinning slam for a two count, so Monet left the ring. Gonzalez left the ring too and Monet slammed her off the steel steps. Monet shoved Gonzalez back first into the ring apron for two. Monet with a running knee to the back followed by a suplex for two. Monet wrapped up the legs, pulled on the arms and then stepped on the back into the mat. Monet wrapped her legs around the waist. Monet with a knee to the face and a knee to the back for two. Gonzalez made the comeback with punches, a clothesline and a kick that knocked Monet down. Gonzalez delivered an elbow drop off the middle rope for two. Gonzalez tried her Powerbomb, but the back was hurting and Monet followed up with a double stomp for a two count. Raquel’s left strap on her top broke off, so she had to deal with that. Monet charged at Gonzalez, but Raquel caught her and hit the Chingona Bomb (mostly one arm Powerbomb) for the pinfall win. It went about seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Raquel Gonzalez

Analysis: **1/2 It was a solid match. Once again I think if they had more time it would have been a lot better. Monet got a lot of offense in, she worked on the back a lot and Gonzalez sold it well when she tried a big move late in the match. When Monet tried a running kick, Gonzalez caught her and that was it. I thought there might be a title change since Raquel is a candidate to get drafted to Raw or Smackdown over the next week, but maybe she’ll stay in NXT for a few more months. I don’t know. I like Franky a lot as a fellow Canadian and I know she’s talented after watching her in other promotions, so I think she can bounce back and get back in the title picture again down the road.

Raquel Gonzalez celebrated with the NXT Women’s Champion while Monet was frustrated as he left with Stone and Kamea. However, there were more women that showed up. It was Toxic Attraction.

The Toxic Attraction trio of Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne showed up. They attacked Monet, Kamea and Stone from behind, so they beat them up with punches and kicks. Rose, Dolin and Jayne surrounded Gonzalez in the ring with Barrett saying this reminded him of Nexus. Gonzalez went after Dolin, but then Jayne and Rose went after Gonzalez. Rose worked over Gonzalez with punches, then Jayne with punches and Dolin with a chop block to the back of the left leg. Jayne and Dolin held Gonzalez leading to Rose hitting a running knee. Rose picked up the NXT Women’s Champion and held it over her head. The fans booed. Toxic Attraction’s music hit and the heel trio stood tall with Rose holding the NXT Women’s Title. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: I liked that ending. Toxic Attraction is working really well as a trio and they made it clear that Mandy Rose is going after the NXT Women’s Title. Since Mandy has never held a title in WWE before, it would make a lot of sense for her to be the one to beat Gonzalez for it especially since Rose has allies helping her. The crowd booed it since they like Gonzalez now, so it was a smart way to end the show in terms of getting heat on the heels.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Io Shirai & Zoey Stark
  2. Roderick Strong/Grayson Waller
  3. Raquel Gonzalez

Toxic Attraction had a good showing too.

 

The Scoreboard

This week: 6.75 out of 10

Last week: 6.75

2021 Average: 7.29

 

Final Thoughts

I thought it was a pretty good effort. Week one was a bit rough, week two had some good spots and this week was about the same as last week. The three title matches made the show feel like a bigger deal. As I said in writing about the matches, they are getting less time, so I’m still getting used to that aspect in the new NXT, but at least they are treating the titles as a big deal.

They continue to try to be a bit edgy with Bronson Breakker saying “shit” and Andre Chase saying “bullshit” while the women on the show were featured heavily with some of them wearing shorter outfits. There were reports of that being the plan a few weeks ago, so you can see that they are trying to push the limits a bit more.

Some different people got TV time this week. It’s a fairly deep roster and they are mixing in the new faces well with the veteran wrestlers.

The TJRWrestling logo being on the show was clearly a highlight. No question about that! Loved it.

===

Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Rams. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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