FEBRUARY 15, 2022

Watch: SyFy

Meet The Reviewers

Sean Sedor: So Sean has two quick messages for everyone. Firstly, be smart and don’t get phished, because it is NOT fun. Secondly, be sure to watch the Daytona 500 this coming Sunday on FOX! You can follow Sean on Twitter @SASedor2994. If you’re interested in some other stuff he does, you can check out his YouTube channel (just search his name) if you’d like to see him play the Formula 1 game, and you can also check out his Extreme Warfare Revenge thread on the Be The Booker forums (if you’re into those kinds of games). 

Griffin: “Mr. Tuesday Night” Griffin has become a, as the kids would call it, WWE NXT 2.0: Óye, Mariano’s On His Way stan. It’s dope! Follow him on Twitter @hollywd12.

Weaponized Steel Cage Match
Pete Dunne def. Tony D’Angelo

Sean: Our opening contest comes to us straight from TNA Hard Justice 2008, with a bunch of weapons inside of a Steel Cage (gold star if you remember who was in that match on Hard Justice 2008). Pete Dunne gets the “already in the ring” jobber treatment while Tony D’Angelo enters in a Maybach. The bell rings and Dunne immediately starts beating the crap out of D’Angelo with a chair. D’Angelo would soon fight back and nail a falcon arrow on a trash can for a nearfall. A singapore cane, a wrench, and a fire extinguisher were all used at various times until D’Angelo tied Dunne’s arms behind his back with zip ties.

Dunne managed to fight back (after D’Angelo cut off the zip ties to break the submission) and put D’Angelo through a table. After they traded finishes, Dunne hit D’Angelo with a crowbar before hitting a second Bitter End for the win. This was a perfectly solid WWE style hardcore match with decent action. D’Angelo did get a win over Dunne previously in the Crowbar On A Pole Match, but Dunne ultimately won the feud. Seems like a strange move if you’re trying to push D’Angelo as a new star. Alas, it’s not worth anyone’s time to question the booking in NXT 2.0, or WWE in general. Trying to deeply analyze this crap isn’t worth the effort. ***

Griffin: Pete Dunne had a jobber entrance. The opening minutes of the match were fine but they were the paint-by-numbers weapons spots featuring a kendo stick, chair, wrench, and fire extinguisher. D’Angelo tied Dunne’s hands together with zip ties. He used a hammer to stretch Dunne’s lips but Dunne eventually made a comeback to put Tony through a table and hit the Bitter End for a nearfall. Pete used the cricket bat but that didn’t finish things so he used a crowbar (the weapon, not the WCW wrestler) to get the advantage. A Bitter End soon thereafter finished the match. The fake NXT crowd was hot but this was very boring. I don’t get why Pete went over if Tony is getting a push. Oh well, this is WWE NXT 2.0 and nothing matters except for Toxic Attraction’s opening segment. **1/2

NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship
Toxic Attraction (Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne) © def. Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta

Sean: Seems like the perfect time to mention that the show opened up with this….wild video package showing all three members of Toxic Attraction in a text thread talking about tonight’s show. It very much fit the larger theme of NXT 2.0 (trying desperately to appeal to a younger demographic). The heels jump Indi and Persia before the bell, but that advantage disappears as soon as the bell rings as the two Australians show off their power. Mandy Rose tried to interfere at one point. However, this led to her getting ejected.

We come back from the commercial break and Persia goes on the attack after a hot tag. She once again shows off her power as she lifts up both members of Toxic Attraction simultaneously for a Samoan Drop. Unfortunately for Persia, she got sent into the steel steps a few moments later, leaving Indi to be double teamed by Gigi and Jacy, who retained their titles. A very bleh match. I honestly couldn’t remember anything about two minutes after it ended, which says a lot, I suppose. Persia looked ok when they let her show off her power, which was really the only thing of note. **

Griffin: Toxic Attraction hit a sneak attack on the faces before the match and then did some double team moves to gain the early advantage with some Mandy Rose interference – who is no longer in a bikini. Oh no, Mandy Rose was then ejected from ringside. The match then went to a very long commercial break. Persia went on the offensive after a hot tag but was quickly taken out by being thrown into the ring steps. Toxic Attraction then hit the most basic wrestling moves on Hartwell and thankfully ended this match. Most of the match happened during the commercial break. Persia looked good when they featured her with the double Samoan Drop. The match though? Not good. **

NXT North American Championship
Carmelo Hayes © def. Cameron Grimes

Sean: Feels like we’ve finally reached the part of the show that should feature some good matches. Things got off to a slow and methodical start, but the pace started to pick up a bit after Grimes connected with a big back body drop. Carmelo would gain the upper hand after a timely distraction from Trick Williams, and nailed Grimes with a reverse springboard leg drop. Carmelo slowed the match to a crawl during the picture-in-picture, but the pace picked up again when they returned. Grimes connected with his standing moonsault fallaway slam….thing, and this leads to a fun nearfall exchange as both men go back and forth. Grimes came close on a few occasions, but in the end, Hayes would retain his North American Title after hitting a top rope leg drop on Grimes (the same leg drop that John Cena used). This was easily the best match on the show up to this point. It was definitely slow early on, but they really picked up the pace after the commercial break, and we were treated to some fun action between these two in the closing stretch. Trick Williams played his role at ringside very well, and as a whole, this was a pretty good contest. ***1/2 

Griffin: This started very slow until Grimes hit a back body drop. The match went to commercial as Carmelo got the upperhand via a distraction from Trick Williams. Once again, this was a super long commercial break so most of the match was not aired. This picked up after the commercial and started getting really good. Carmelo hit a beautiful springboard clothesline. This guy is money and should become the face of the brand. They traded some nice superkicks and other kicks and then Grimes went on a flurry and took out Trick outside the ring before getting a nearfall. Trick had a great spot when he pulled the bottom rope away from a struggling Grimes who was trying to break a submission. This quickly led to Carmelo hitting a jumping legdrop from the top rope for the win. This was pretty fun and Trick Williams did a great job at ringside. I wish we had more matches like this every week on WWE NXT 2.0. ***1/2

Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals
The Creed Brothers (Brutus Creed & Julius Creed) def. MSK (Nash Carter & Wes Lee) 

Sean: The Creed Brothers had a pretty good match against Grizzled Young Veterans in the semi-finals, so I came into this bout confident that they could have another solid outing against another veteran tag team. MSK really had the edge early on, as they connected with a series of double-team moves before Wes Lee nailed a big dive to the floor. The Creed Brother quickly gained the upper hand after Lee was sent flying into the announcer’s table. Diamond Mine worked over Lee during the commercial break, and when they returned, Lee was finally able to make the hot tag to Nash Carter.

Carter ran wild after his hot tag, and it looked as though MSK were on their way to winning the Dusty Cup for the second year in a row. They nailed their assisted Shooting Star Press to the floor, and really took over in this closing stretch, but the Creed Brothers managed to survive this offensive flurry, and eventually put away MSK to win the 2022 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament. Not as good as the North American Title bout that came before, but a solid tag team contest for sure. While The Creed Brothers still have a long way to go, they proved once again that if they’re in the ring with a good tag team who can carry them, they’re capable of having good matches, which seems like a solid step in the right direction in terms of their development. ***1/4 

Griffin: They had a DJ remix MSK’s theme with Dusty Rhodes’ American Dream theme. Malcolm Bivens had the John Cena “Never Give Up” towel during the Diamond Mine’s entrance. MSK came out hot and Wes Lee did everything he could to make the Brothers Creed look dominant, including being shoulder checked from the apron to the announce desk with a loud thud. As has been the norm this show, this went to a very long commercial break. MSK were very good and bumped like maniacs for their young opponents but the Creed Brothers aren’t that good – at one point the one Creed brother dumped himself on his head doing a slam. That led to the finish where Nash was pinned after getting hit with a clothesline. MSK should have won and should jump to a company that actually cares about tag team wrestling. They are human highlight reels. Creed Brothers will challenge for Imperium’s NXT Tag Team titles in the future. **3/4

NXT Championship
Bron Breakker © def. Santos Escobar

Sean: So apparently they decided to pass down the Latino World Order logo from WCW to Legado Del Fantasma. Whatever. Every time I see Santos Escobar (who’s wearing Eddie Guerrero tribute gear tonight), I have to remind myself that this guy used to be King Cuerno in Lucha Underground (boy does that feel like an eternity ago or what?). Meanwhile, we’ve got Bron Breakker lighting the Vengeance Day logo on fire…..ok then. Escobar managed to hit a dropkick in the early going, but Breakker would respond with a delayed vertical suplex and a clothesline. The other LDF members provide a timely distraction, which allows Escobar to take control after hitting his signature running dive to the floor.

Escobar worked over Breakker for the next few minutes, and at this point….I kinda want this show to be over. Breakker finally starts to mount a comeback before LDF gets involved yet again. Fortunately, this sets up a great nearfall as Dolph Ziggler comes in from out of nowhere and nails Breakker with a superkick. The crowd finally woke up for that spot! Breakker kicks out as Ciampa comes out to chase off Ziggler. A frog splash attempt is avoided, and Breakker nails a very Goldberg-esque spear, and nails his military press into a powerslam for the win. It says a lot that the biggest crowd reaction in this entire match was for a Dolph Ziggler run-in. Aside from that, this match was pretty freaking boring. A long control period from Escobar mixed in with interference from LDF. They didn’t let Breakker do much in this one, and he actually seemed to get some boos by the time the finish came. As a main event title bout, this fell pretty flat and was largely uninteresting. **

Griffin: Santos Escobar used to be a big deal in AAA as Hijo del Fantasma. Nowadays he’s an afterthought in Bron Breakker’s story with Tomasso Ciampa and Dolph Ziggler. This started a lot slower than I was hoping for considering they have approximately 10 minutes or so before the end of the show. It picked up a bit after Breakker hit a nice delayed vertical suplex and a clothesline but then slowed down when Escobar threw him into the ring steps outside the ring and then targeted the back. Every time this started to pick up, it went right back to being slow. Pacing is weird. They did a really weird submission attempt on the far side ring steps and it was awkward for Bron, Escobar, and the viewer. This led to long chinlock that could cure insomnia. It never picked up from there. Breakker did some shoulder blocks as his comeback but then had to deal with the distraction from Wilde and Mendoza. Oh and the Elektra Lopez distraction allowed for Ziggler to come in and hit a superkick that led to a nearfall. Ciampa and Ziggler fought to the back because they overshadow this boring title feud. Breakker nearly snapped Santos in half with a Spear and hit his finish for the win. That was a very boring first title defense for Breakker that had a ton of the same spots that were done in the prior matches. **1/4