EARLIER TODAY, LEGADO DEL FANTASMA JUMP HIT ROW AS THEY ARRIVE AT THE BUILDING AND KIDNAP EVERYONE BUT ISAIAH SCOTT- didn’t like it
I know it’s wrestling, but can we avoid kidnapping people? If you want them incapacitated for the main event, just have the heels beat them up and have them be injured.
JOE GACY PROMO- the usual terribleness
IF GACY WINS, HE IS ADDED TO THE NXT TITLE MATCH AT HALLOWEEN HAVOC: Joe Gacy vs. Tommaso Ciampa- 6.25/10
This was a good match that I probably would have cared about a lot more if Gacy wasn’t such a ridiculous straw-man. Ciampa won clean.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- meh
The large man who Gacy had a stare-down with last week attacked Ciampa on the ramp. Gacy went over to him and he goozled Gacy, but Gacy caressed his face with the back of his hand, and the guy let him go and just ran off towards the ring… and I guess he ran into the crowd or something because he completely disappeared.
Gacy went over to Ciampa to help him up, but Ciampa shoved him. Gacy smiled.
Then Toxic attraction came out, because I guess we’re going that thing the main roster was doing for a while where people cross each other on the ramp at the end of a segment.
TOXIC ATTRACTION PROMO- Look… their deliveries were good for what I’m sure they were asked to do and the words they were scripted to say, but this was just so painfully scripted and full of generic heel crap that it was hard to take them seriously. Any time the promo you are righting includes the line “we do what we want, when we want,” you need to go back to the drawing board.
They’re getting title shots at Halloween Havoc. Have they even been winning matches? (*goes to check Cagematch.net*) Mandy won her match last week, and they won a six-woman tag last month, but other than that, they haven’t won at all. In Jacy’s case, that’s quite literal. Gigi managed to win a singles match over a nobody two months ago. Gigi and Jacy’s most recent match was a clean loss for the very championships they now say they are challenging for at the big show.
Are there just no commercials tonight? Once Toxic Attraction finished talking, Xyon Quinn came out, and by the time he had gotten into the ring, Toxic Attraction had disappeared (but they weren’t nice enough to take their microphones with them.
Wait... no… here’s a commercial. Why would you have Quinn enter before the commercial break when having him enter afterwards would make the show feel less scripted (by having the clearly arrogant heels be good little girls and disappear once the next person’s music played).
XYONN QUINN vs. MALIK BLADE- squash
MCKENZIE MITCHELL INTERVIEWS TOMMASO CIAMPA, THEN THE INTERVIEW GETS INTERRUPTED- fine
Ciampa cuts a fine promo to build up his title defense again Bron Breakker. Grizzled Young Veterans showed up to be mean to Ciampa and say that he will lose to a rookie. Bron Breakker happened to be walking by so he got involved, challenging GYV to a match. They declined because they weren’t dressed to fight. Breakker told Ciampa he would have his back for now because he wanted him to be at his best when he took the title from him.
OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH- As I do every October, I implore you to go to a site like Charity Navigator to find a list of breast cancer charities that will do a lot more helpful things with your money than Susan B. Komen will.
MCKENZIE MITCHELL INTERVIEWS ISAIAH “SWERVE” SCOTT- great
Apparently in addition to the earlier kidnapping that we saw, Ashantee Thee Adonis is also missing.
Scott cut a great promo building up his match and vowing to defend his title despite the adversity because that’s what his teammates would want him to do.
This interview, of course, took place between Nile’s entrance and the beginning of the match.
VALENTINA FEROZ vs. IVY NILE (w/the Diamond Mine)- squash
Nile won with a Torture Rack. The problem is that they wanted to show off her strength so they had her hold Feroz in the submission and do squats… which server to undermine the submission because the jobber survived it for so long before she had to tap.
MALCOLM BIVENS PROMO- great!
As soon as he passes the mic off to Roddy, Ikemen Jiro came out. Julius Creed grabbed the mic and cut a great little promo saying that if Jiro wanted a match against Roddy, he would have to earn it by going through him. Jiro responded to a “what are you gonna do about it?” by punching Creed in the face. Creed went down, but was immediately back up, and Jiro bailed because not only was Julius coming for him, but Brutus and Roddy as well. We went to a commercial, and when we came back, we got…
IKEMEN JIRO vs. JULIUS CREED (w/the Diamond Mine)- 4/10
They let Jiro get in a lot more offense than I was expecting.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- fine
The heels beat on Jiro. KUSHIDA came out to try to make the save, but the heels laid him out.
RAQUEL GONZALEZ VIDEO PACKAGE/PROMO- I was greatly enjoying this until she challenged Mandy Rose to Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal. This seems like a terrible idea for someone who has no friends and is facing someone who has a stable behind her.
LASHING OUT WITH LASH LEGEND- bad
They’re showing an actual audience this time. What is her purpose here? Why do we need a late-night talk-show monologue on a wrestling show?
Apparently Tony D’Angelo tried to get booked on her talk show that never has any guests, but her booking agent lied and said there were conflicts, and this person was dumb enough to admit that on TV. I assume he’ll be waking up with his pet’s head in his bed.
This segment was apparently deemed more important than showing the entrances for…
PETE DUNNE & RIDGE HOLLAND vs. KYLE O’REILLY & VON WAGNER- 7/10
Good stuff with Kyle as the babyface in peril. Wagner pinned Holland for the clean win.
CHASE UNIVERSITY- meh
I find him cursing at the students mildly entertaining, but on the whole, this stuff is stupid. Are we supposed to believe that this is a real class in a real college somewhere?
TONY D’ANGELO PROMO- Lash Legend’s producer is apparently tied up in his trunk. Vic Joseph said “this is why you don’t want to do business with D’Angelo,” but it seems to me that this is a reason why you should do business with him. The producer specifically not]/i] doing business with D’Angelo is what got him in this situation.
GRAYSON WALLER IN-SET PROMO- good
He’s a former Golden Gloves boxer. Maybe you should have mentioned that before spending the past few weeks making him into clown?
DUKE HUDSON vs. GRAYSON WALLER- 2/10
Hudson won a short match with illegal leverage.
SANTOS ESCOBAR PROMO- good cocky heel stuff
He promises to leave Legado del Fantasma in the back for tonight’s title match.
IMPERIUM PROMO- good
The usual stuff. MSK are a disgrace; the mat is sacred.
INDI HARTWELL & PERSIA PIROTA vs. AMARI MILLER & SARRAY- 2.25/10
A short but clean win for the… heels, I think? Indi is a heel, right?
NXT WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TITLE SEGMENT- bad
Persia says she wants to win the tag titles with Indi. Io Shirai and Zoey Stark come out and do the usual shtick where Io likes no one and Zoey is sad that Io doesn’t like her. Toxic Attraction came out because they want the titles, too. Fight broke out that the babyfaces won.
CAMERON GRIMES IS ENVIOUS OF GRAYSON WALLER’S WAY WITH WOMEN- terrible
Waller seduced a woman who was randomly backstage in the kitchen area. He seems very happy, so I guess he doesn’t really care about having been screwed out of a match. The woman left to wait for him elsewhere while he showered, but before he could head to the shower, Cameron Grimes showed up to ask him how he was able to seduce the buxom brunette.
Grimes points out that Waller should be sad about losing, but Waller tells Grimes “it’s not about wins and losses; it’s about likes and swipes.” In other words, it’s not about logical storylines or building or effectively building up characters and matches; it’s about getting attention. Thanks, Vince and Kevin. How has that been going for you? Have those social media followers and poorly-written fawning stories you get in the mainstream news translated to a rise in viewership or live gate attendance or WWE Network views/subscriptions?
I didn’t think so.
Well… if Grayson Waller doesn’t care about winning or losing, then I guess I shouldn’t care if he wins or loses, either.
Waller tells Grimes that if he wants to pick up chicks, he needs to shave his unsightly chest hair and trim his beard. He then starts showing Grimes a dating app, and we were supposed to believe that Cameron Grimes, who, in storyline, got rich by investing in a video game company using a stock-trading app, had never heard of a dating app.
SOLO SIKOA IS COMING SOON- fine
NXT NORTH AMERICAN TITLE MATCH: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott(c) vs. Santos Escobar- 8/10
This was a great match (almost certainly the best since NXT 2.0 started), with Swerve really showing off how great of a babyface he can be, even with this sort of more angry character that the Hit Row Isaiah Soctt has been.
The big moment came when the dudes from Legado del Fantasma came out to try to interfere. If you’re wondering why Elektra Lopez didn’t come out as well, it’s because the booking called for them to be taken out by Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams, and we can’t have man-on-woman violence, so… Vince/Prichard/whoever just decided to be lazy and not have her come out, as opposed to just letting Scott win without any interference.
Hayes and Williams started to celebrate with Scott, but then attacked him so Hayes could cash in his Breakout Tournament contract, resulting in…
NXT NORTH AMERICAN TITLE MATCH: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott(c) vs. Carmelo Hayes (w/Trick Williams)- no rating, fine segment
Alicia Taylor introduced this match not with any sort of formal announcement of the match, but with “Carmelo Hayes is instituting his championship opportunity right now.” “Instituting?” That’s not how that word works. And, of course, we had to say “championship opportunity,” because G-d forbid we introduce it like a real wrestling match.
I think this show is a good example of what this show is going to be for the foreseeable future: The guys who are good will give us some good performances when given the time, and everything else will be frustratingly short, with bad booking (results being irrelevant, title matches given away like Halloween candy), and new gimmicks pretty much all bring cringeworthy, resulting in bad attempts at comedy or heat.
And it’s a damn shame, because if your goal is to develop new talent for TV, this show isn’t what those wrestlers need. What they need is the Grapefruit Loop. And I understand that you might not want to bring that back because of COVID, but there is still a better option for them than this, and that option is to have them to dark matches in front of the crowd before and after the live show, so that they can be in the ring in front of a crowd for more than just three minutes every week or two.
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