WWE NXT Review (8/31/2021) by Anthony S. DiSalvatore
It’s time for my obligatory coverage of NXT. I can remember a time when everybody used to say how good this program was. To me, it always seemed like the indies on a budget, unless Walter was in the ring. At this point, fanfare has largely died down. There’s not much point in going into too much detail on this show anymore, since nobody seems to be watching now. I’ll stick to the bullet points from now on with this program, while only briefly covering or omitting entirely the stuff nobody cares about or wants to watch. It should save readers a ton of time!
The first ten minutes of this show is a ten-minute girls’ match, featuring Mandy Rose and Sarray. It ended in a countout after Mandy took an errant dropkick to the face. Rotten! If they don’t do something good before this show ends, it may be the last time I watch NXT altogether. Let’s see if they can save this thing!
Duke Hudson vs. Kyle O’Reilly
This one should at least technically sound. Hudson is new at this, but at least has confidence. Kyle should be able to carry him to a decent match, although everything about him is dry. Kyle’s body is heavily taped from his match with Adam Cole at Takeover, which I missed because I knew nothing on that card would top Walter vs. Ilya. Hudson is the more powerful of the two, which is immediately evident. Kyle tries for a sleeper, but gets flung down easily. He wants a heel hook, but he can’t get it yet. Hudson continues to work over Kyle’s ribs. Kyle takes a huge backbreaker, and it almost looks like he can’t continue.
After a long commercial break, Kyle’s still taking all the heat. He starts trying to chop down Hudson with leg kicks, and he’s successful! Kyle puts on a guillotine choke, but Hudson’s able to power out and give him a suplex instead. Kyle does the Bobby Eaton knee drop off the top rope, then puts on the heel hook for the submission win. This match was fine, but it was a drag. Hudson is in good shape but needs more seasoning. Kyle’s one of the biggest examples of a guy who can do all the moves well, but nobody cares because he has no personality. This match is followed by a promo for CHUCKY, which will simulcast on SyFy and USA starting October 12!
Ilya Dragunov Shows Up!
This will get its own segment in this review, since it may be the most interesting thing that airs this week. Ilya is the brand new NXT European champion, and he assures us he’s still alive after beating Walter! He assures the crowd that he likes it here and he’ll be back soon. He says the ring general has fallen, and he’s the czar now. Great promo! Can anybody on this roster beat him? Probably not! He kicked Walter’s ass, so it’ll be a long time before he loses. This dude could be a star anywhere. The Babyfaced Assassin!
Imperium vs. Grayson Waller & Drake Maverick
This shouldn’t take long! There’s a pre-recorded promo from Waller and Maverick before this match starts, and they both look like goons. Destroy them! Waller is wearing boxing shorts and tries to throw hands, but it has no effect. Maverick tags in and tries to fire up, which looks ridiculous. There’s a miscommunication between Maverick and Waller, and Imperium lays out Waller with their combination uppercut and powerbomb. I love that move! I’ll try to come up with a clever name for it. This match was short, but it still felt too long. Nice to see Walter’s men get a victory! The next match is Johnny Gargano against LA Knight. Knight is great and I’ve been a fan for years, but I know I wouldn’t be able to enjoy this with Gargano involved in it, so I’m skipping it. That guy sucks!
Tomasso Ciampa vs. Ridge Holland
After almost an hour of nonsense that wasn’t worth talking about, we’ve finally reached the main event! I like both of these guys for different reasons. Ciampa’s here to fight for his good friend Timothy Thatcher, who was put on the shelf by Ridge and his men last week. Ciampa backs down from no one, but I think he’s making a mistake this time. Hopefully, this match doesn’t go for very long, or Ridge will be exposed. He’s still new at this! Ridge has to bail to the floor early, but Ciampa follows and goes on a big run. Ridge’s men stand around with their dicks in their hands. Feel free to jump in any time guys!
After the break, Ridge is in control, as he should be. A guy this size should rarely if ever leave his feet, and his matches should always be short. Ciampa does a comeback and sets up for his version of the pedigree, but he gets an Alabama slam instead. He gets slammed hard, and he looks to be a mess. The ref thinks about calling it, but decides ultimately to let the match continue. Ridge continues to pound Ciampa’s kidneys. Ridge is a lot more impressive when he’s able to physically dominate his opponents. The match goes to the floor and Ridge smashes Ciampa into the barricade wall. He tries to use his beating stick, but Ciampa’s able to block it. Ciampa gives Ridge Randy Orton’s DDT off the ropes for the win. What the hell? Ridge’s men get the jump on Ciampa after the match is over, but this was a huge mistake. The match was too long, Ridge was exposed, and then he lost anyway! Ciampa’s primarily a tag team guy now, so he didn’t need the win. This show was mostly painful to watch. It’s clear NXT isn’t trying anymore. No promises about coming back next week. I may have better things to do.