Hey gang! So last Tuesday night was no normal episode of NXT 2.0 and was instead a special event in Halloween Havoc. That event was impactful, to say the least, as three different titles changed hands, thus changing up the power structure in NXT. How will that new landscape look going forward? We will find out as the newly-crowned champions find out who will be their first challengers and set the stage for weeks to come.
The new NXT Women's Champion Mandy Rose hits the ring to open this edition of NXT 2.0. She cuts a lifeless, repetitive promo here and when she calls out to her Toxic Attraction partners, we see them backstage in the locker room assaulting Zoey Stark. She challenges anyone to stop them, which brings out Io Shirai.
Shirai tells Rose she wants to fight her right now, but Rose stalls and then sucker-punches Shirai. She beats her up and taunts her a bit, but Shirai responds and pounds Rose into the mat and all around the ring until Jayne & Dolin arrive to jump her from behind and it's a three-on-one beating.
Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter run in to help Shirai and run-off Toxic Attraction. This was odd all around and didn't have any logic. I'm more than happy to see Shirai back challenging for the Women's title, but everything around it was odd.
Toxic Attraction heads backstage and finds Dakota Kai looking like a complete psycho by herself. Kai tells Rose she didn't do what she did last week to help her, but to get back at Raquel Gonzalez.
We now go to Duke Hudson's Poker Room, where Cameron Grimes buys his way into a game. REALLY bad comedy ensues as this is a recurring skit throughout the show. You know how this goes: Hudson is over-confident, Grimes is a goofball, and eventually, Grimes wins, enraging Hudson. This is such a waste of these guys, who are two of NXT's best all-around performers. This whole thing is overproduced, badly written, and painfully unfunny.
Dakota Kai vs Cora Jade
Pretty much a total squash here, as Kai just jumps Jade right off of the opening bell. Jade gets some strikes, a Headscissors, and some pin attempts in on Kai, but Kai plants her with a running boot to the face to end things quickly.
Winner: Dakota Kai
After the match, Kai drags Jade out of the ring and around the ringside area by her hair, before laying a table on top of her and acting like she would jump from the apron onto it, but instead just placing Jade's skateboard on her and walking away.
We now go to MSK sitting on the side of the road, bitching about losing the NXT Tag Team titles last week. They talk about needing guidance and looking for the man who created MSK. As they're about to describe him, a bus shows up so we can't hear it.
This was another truly stupefyingly bad skit that made zero sense and came off as nothing but annoying. When have they ever said they were trained/created/inspired by some MSK guy before? If they were that inspired by him, why have they never seen him and why does Wes Lee know nothing of him? Why do they need to take the bus? God damn it, this show is not going well…
We now head back to the ring, where Robert Stone has demanded a confrontation with Xyon Quinn after Quinn chokeslammed him through a table last week. Stone challenges him to karaoke and proceeds to dance and sing like a complete fool to Franky Monet's theme song.
Quinn grabs the mic and says he wants to kick Stone's ass, but Stone then taunts him into singing Shawn Michaels' theme song, as he dances and tosses Stone around. Stone slaps him and the bell rings and we have a match now?!
Xyon Quinn vs Robert Stone
Quinn throws Stone like 10 feet into the air at least to kick things off. He then tosses and beats Stone around like a literal rag doll before hitting a Jackhammer for the pinfall.
Winner: Xyon Quinn
Okay, so let's dive into this complete mess. I will say that Stone performs his ass off here and tries his best to get this embarrassing spectacle over. But who the hell wrote this shit and has clearly never watched wrestling before? They've spent weeks building Quinn as this stoic tough guy badass and then they have him explode into song and dance? That's not how this works.
You have Stone come out and be as annoying and ridiculous as possible, just as he did. You have Quinn stand there and absorb it all, just as he did. But instead of the Broadway routine they broke out into, you just have Quinn beat the ever-loving shit out of Stone. That's it! It worked with Steve Austin, it worked with The Undertaker, it worked with Batista, it just works. You want to get a badass over? You don't have them dance and sing, especially when you have the obnoxious heel standing next to them doing the same damn thing.
Here's a very similar segment that hits on all the same beats, but is done correctly and lights the crowd up the way I described:
Ugh… moving on…
We get a video from Joe Gacy where he highlights all of the world's problems and where he speaks about social media driving us all apart (he's not wrong there). He then moves on to criticizing how everyone has called Harland a monster because he looks a certain way and says that the two of them are going to change the world together.
Next, we see Legado del Fantasma crossing paths with Xyon Quinn backstage. This one is weird for two reasons. One, where is Santos Escobar, the leader of the faction? This leads me to two, which is that Elektra Lopez is shown as the leader here, as she scouts Quinn and says he's "something she can work with" as if she's the manager of the whole thing. Whatever, nothing makes a lick of sense tonight.
Von Wagner & Kyle O'Reilly vs Legado del Fantasma
A fine match here. Everyone in the ring (including the young Von Wagner) knows what they're doing and hits their spots well. It's also worth noting that they're given time to work here. Lately, on NXT, the matches have largely been under five minutes and have been given no time to really breathe and try out some pacing (This is ultimately developmental right? Like, shouldn't match pacing be more important than fitting as much whacky shit into a TV show as possible?), so it's nice to see a match go over 10 minutes and actually have some back and forth storytelling.
Ultimately, LdF is able to sneak out a win when Mendoza hits a surprise roll-up on Von Wagner as he and O'Reilly attempt a double-team move. Von Wagner's foot is on the ropes, but the ref misses it and that's the match.
Winners: Legado del Fantasma
We now head backstage for an interview with the NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams, where they correct McKenzie Mitchell that he is to be referred to as "the A Champion of NXT".
Hayes hypes them up for tonight until they're interrupted by Andre Chase, who wishes them good luck tonight and says he has their back. McKenzie then asks Chase about people on social media calling him a coward after last week, which enrages Chase, who storms out to challenge someone to a fight.
Chase hits the ring and rants about people calling him a coward. He challenges anyone to come out and get their ass kicked and unfortunately for him, that person is one Bron Breakker.
Bron Breakker vs Andre Chase
Breakker absolutely destroys Chase here, but at least this is a squash that makes sense and works for a character. He finishes Chase off with the Gorilla Press Slam for the win.
Winner: Bron Breakker
After the match, Breakker grabs a mic and cuts a short, but sweet promo about losing to Tommaso Ciampa last week. He admits that Ciampa was better than him last week, but promises it was a learning experience and he will take the NXT Championship from him someday soon. See kids? Promos don't have to be long to be effective! They just have to be passionate and get your message across.
Next, we head backstage again where McKenzie is interviewing the new NXT Tag Team Champions, Imperium. They answer her questions in German but are interrupted by Toxic Attraction, who flirt with them and Imperium takes notice.
It's time for another edition of Lashing Out with Lash Legend and while I've been very hard on this segment over the past few weeks and have demanded it be canceled and said it can't get worse, I'm here to say that a real man admits when he is wrong and I, here and now, admit I was wrong. I was! It did in fact get worse and it's far beyond even as bad as I assumed it was.
This is garbage, plain and simple. Hot garbage. Steaming garbage. Easily amongst the worst crap WWE has ever put on their programming in 40 years and you're damn right I'm counting Mae Young and Mark Henry's baby hand and Katie Vick and Al Wilson on that list. It's that bad. If the shit I just mentioned are the Mount Rushmore of bad WWE moments, this is Teddy god damn Roosevelt right there in the middle.
Tony D'Angelo is a legit talent to watch, but here he is, being forced to swim in toxic waste. And of course, he's doing his best and is the only positive thing of note here, but it's all for not, as this is as dogshit a segment as there has ever been on NXT.
PLEASE KILL THIS RECURRING SEGMENT NOW!
Solo Sikoa vs Jeet Rama
Another quick squash here, as Sikoa kicks the hell out of his opponent for a minute before hitting the Uso Splash from the top rope for the pinfall.
Winner: Solo Sikoa
Next, we go to a video of Briggs & Jensen grilling and drinking and bragging about being dumb rednecks and hurting people. Surprisingly, there's no mention of them storming the Capitol this past January, but maybe they're working up to that?
Grayson Waller vs Boa
LA Knight is on commentary for this one, as it appears he's in a feud with Waller now. I can't say enough how frustrating it is to see this guy relegated to pointless feuds with nobodies on NXT while he could easily be on SmackDown right now and be one of the top stars in the company. He's better on the mic than virtually anyone in WWE right now, he looks like a million dollars, and he's good in the ring. What's the issue?
Anyway, another short match here. They basically just punch each other while it lasts, until Knight distracts Waller, allowing Boa to get the win.
We now get another video from Kay Lee Ray where she's all pissed off and threatening.
Next, we see Boa at Mei Ying's throne, but she's missing. He kneels in front of it and when he turns around, he has her facepaint on and spits smoke at the camera.
NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa heads to the ring now, where he says that Halloween Havoc marked a shift in NXT. He acknowledges all of the new champions, but says how he was the one to hold onto his title and that he is now "the god of NXT".
He is interrupted by Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams. Hayes tells him he's here to keep him in check and that Ciampa is taking a backseat to him. Ciampa asks him to challenge him and when Williams tries to calm Hayes down, Ciampa knocks him out. As Ciampa is leaving, his old partner/nemesis Johnny Gargano heads out and the two have a staredown on the ramp.
Johnny Gargano & Dexter Lumis vs Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams
A very gimmicky spotfest type of match, but it's not a bad thing necessarily here. It doesn't make a viewer take the action very seriously, but it's also entertaining enough.
Lumis hits the Silencer on Hayes, but as the ref is busy with Gargano, Williams clocks Lumis with his shoe. Gargano takes out Williams at ringside, but Hayes hits Lumis with the top rope Famasser for the pinfall.
Winners: Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams
Well, that's it folks and it wasn't pretty. This whole episode reeked of the same awful comedy-infused creative that sinks Raw and SmackDown week after week. Enough of the skits and video packages! This is supposed to be showing the development of up-and-coming WWE superstars, not showing how WWE creative can shovel another two hours of shit programming onto TV each week. Just have matches and a couple of promos. That's it! Stop trying to be a crappy variety show like the other garbage they do.
Easily one of the worst episodes of NXT in recent memory.
Till next time friends!