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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 1.11.22

January 11, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE NXT AJ Styles Image Credit: WWE
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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 1.11.22  

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Hello my fellow NXT viewers! We’ve made it to Tuesday once again, and as such it’s time for another episode of WWE NXT. I’m Jeremy Thomas, here with you as always, and tonight we have AJ Styles taking on Grayson Waller in a match that has been built up on both NXT and Raw. Plus, Pete Dunne will face Tony D’Angelo in a Crowbar on a Pole Match (yup), Santos and Xyon Quinn battle for the heart of Elektra Lopez, Solo Sikoa seeks revenge against Boa and more. It should be a fun episode, so let’s strap in and hope there’s a lack of Lashing Out on tonight’s show.

Here at the old Thomas abode, I’ve been wrapped up in the 411 Wrestling Year-End Awards and you can see our latest Award, Most Overrated Performer of 2021, at the link. Meanwhile I’ve been catching up on 2021 movies, seeing some real gems. The Green Knight, The Vigil and The Last Duel were all fantastic, while I liked but didn’t love Don’t Look Up and Lamb. I also caught the documentary Finding Kendrick Johnson on Starz which is well worth watching, went to HBO Max for the insanity of the documentary Class Action Park, and ventured my toes into 2022 film with the very fun and wonderfully-acted home invasion thriller See For Me.

Anyway, we’re gonna have a lot to cover tonight so let’s hop right in.

As a reminder, the GoFundMe for Larry’s daughters is still active and if you can make a donation, that would be awesome. Thank you so much to everyone who’s done so thus far.

* We kick off with a recap of Bron Breakker winning the NXT Championship from Tommaso Ciampa in a music video-style format, complete with nameplate change on the title.

* We’re LIVE in the Capitol Wrestling Center, and we’re welcoming the new NXT Champion to the ring. Bron comes out with the title looking good around his waist. Breakker gets a mic and waits for the “You Deserve It” chants to stop. He tells Ciampa “Thank you” and calls him an unbelievable athlete and great performer, but most importantly an outstanding human being. He says after the match he stood up and said “Congratulations kid, it’s your time” before paying respects to Bron’s father. He says he has big shoes to fill but is ready for this. And he loves that NXT doesn’t have bye weeks, people have to be ready week after week. He issues an open challenge but says every day he’s already trained, and if people are watching film he’s already watched it. He’s NXT Champion and he’ll prove why he earned it each and every week.

Bron tosses the mic and walks out, posing with the title — and here comes Legado del Fantasma! (Without Elektra Lopez.) Santos and Bron share a moment before heading to the ring for the Battle For Elektra.

Battle For Elektra
Santos Escobar vs. Xyon Quinn

Quinn attacks to start the match and he starts battering Santos around the ring. He throws Escobar back in the corner and lays in with an elbow to the back of the head. Santos pushes Xyon back but gets clotheelined down. Elektra watches from above as Xyon throws Escobar into the corner and headbutts him.

Quinn picks Esobar up and Snake-Eyeses him into the turnbuckle, sending him to the mat, and locks in a chinlock before running Santos’ face against the ropes. He drives his shoulder into Santos’ gut and sends him sprawling into the near corner, then flings him across the ring! And we’re on PIP break.

Xyon was battering Santos on the outside during the break until Joauin Wilde came over and caused a distraction, allowing Escobar to take Quinn out. They’re back in the ring now and Esobar’s been working the legs, and has him in an elevated kneebar. He falls to the mat and kicks at the knee, the lets the hold go and comes off the ropes to take out the knee. Cover for two.

Elektra is now at ringside as Santos kicks and stomps on the knee. He talks some trash and knocks Quinn back, then picks him up and puts him in the corner, setting the knee up. Santos backs up and runs in for a front dropkick to the knee. Escobar picks Quinn up, setting him in the corner, and hits a slap and an enzuigiri. He backs up, prepares, and charges in BUT GETS RUN OVER.

Quinn batters Escobar and knocks him down, then splashes him as he gets up before flinging him across the ring. Santos up on Quinn’s shoulders and Mendoza distracts the referee. Quinn goes after him and gets run over by Escobar, knocking him out of the ring. Escobar picks Quinn up but Elektra stares at him and distracts him — Quinn runs him over! Quinn is distracted by Lopez, but he has the presence of mind to turn and deck Esobar as he runs the ropes and goes for a dive. Lopez makes seductive eyes at Quin, who turns around and GETS LOW BLOW KICKED! Quinn rolled in by Wilde, Phantom Driver, that’s it.

Winner: Santos Escobar (10:37)
Rating: ** 3/4
Thoughts: Good match. There was some fuckery at the end but that was a given. Quinn looked really good other than being fooled, and the match was a solid starter for the show.

* Tony D’Angelo says there’s 16 ways to use a crowbar and tonight he’s only going to need three. He tried to be nice and only broke Pete Dunne’s hand, but tonight it’s the end. He says Dunne is like his dog — tonight, Tony D is in charge.

* We get a recap of Grayson Waller trying to get attack AJ Styles last night which backfired. They do battle tonight.

* We get a highlight vignette of Cameron Grimes, recapping last week’s video where he teased chasing gold. He’s in action next.

* In a vignette, Mandy Rose is celebrating her NXT Women’s Championship defense by doing a photo shoot by the pool. She says she arrived in style at New Year’s Evil and left with her title. She makes the NXT Women’s Championship look hot and that NXT 2.0 is all about Mandy. “So keep watching, keep staring. I know you will!”

Cameron Grimes vs. Damon Kemp

Kemp is Bobby Steveson, by the way. They circle and do some counter-wrestling, Kemp grabs the leg but Grimes turns it around and then locks in an elbowlock. Malcolm Bivens is watching as Grimes kicks out of a headscissors, taunts Kemp and kicks him a couple of times. Irish whip, Kemp grabs Grimes and sends him head first into the corner. Grimes charges but gets tossed, and Kemp with a headlock.

Grimes snapmares out and runs Kemp over a couple of times. Big leaping kick in the corner and a top-rope crossbody. “TO THE MOON!” He hits the Cave In and gets the pin.

Winner: Cameron Grimes (2:18)
Rating: N/A
Thoughts: RIP Mr. Kemp.

Cameron Grimes says he’s coming for the gold after the match.

* Joe Gacy says he and Harland want to express their gratitude in participating in tonight’s Dusty Rhodes Classic Play-In match and they won’t squander the opportunity. They’ll remember it for the rest of their lives and plan to use the platform to demonstrate that no matter anyone’s size, skills or experience, anyone can succeed in the tournament. Malik and Edris are in a safe space tonight, he says.

* We’re back and look back at Von Wagner’s assault of Andre Chase, the Chase U guy and a “member of the NXT Universe” before being escorted out. Vic Joseph says Wagner has been fined and suspended because of it.

Dusty Classic Play-In
Malik Blade & Edris Enofe vs. Joe Gacy & Harland

Edris and Gacy start off, with Gacy backing Edris into a corner. He swings but Edris ducks, they go into a running the ropes sequence which ends with Gacy decking Enofe and hitting a spinning uranage for two. Gacy goes to tag Harland, but Edris blocks it. Gacy with a knee to the gut but gets rolled up for one.

Edris with a knee to Gacy and he tags in Blade, who hits a big dropkick. Blade dicks a clothesline, takes Gacy down and tags in Enofe. Gacy out of an Irish whip, there’s a lot of flippy stuff, Enofe with a leaping neckbreaker and cover for two. Enofe with a leaping slash but Gacy ducks, he tags in Harland and Enofe tags in Blade. Harland manhandles Blade and hits a knee to him in the corner, drags Enofe in the ring and beats him before throwing him out. He beats on Blade past the five count and the ref calls for the bell.

Winner: Malik Blade & Edris Enofe (3:19)
Rating: * 1/2
Thoughts: The match was too short to mean anything and certainly didn’t do Enofe and Blade any favors. It was what it was.

After the match the ref tries to call Harland off and he approaches the ref, but is stopped by Gacy. Gacy gets Harland to back off.

* We get a vignette for Imperium talking about their principles and dedication to hard work, integrity, and honor while Americans are gluttons and snobs.

* Backstage, Pete Dunne and Tony D’Angelo are heading to the ring for their match, which is next.

Crowbar on a Pole Match
Tony D’Angelo vs. Pete Dunne

Tony dodges to go for the crowbar and then turns and decks Dunne as he charges. Dunne with some shots but D’Angelo fires back; Dunne turns a front chancery into a neck submission attempt. He stomps on Tony’s head and goes for the crowbar but gets caught by Tony, who decks him a few times. Dunne gets Tony back to the ground and stomps his head AGAIN before going back for the crowbar and getting caught again.

Tony sends Dunne into the corner and hits an Exploder suplex out of it, then climbs for the crowbar. Dunne grabs him and pulls him down, then puts his head on the turnbuckle and repeatedly stomps on it! Dunne has his hand on the crowbar but Tony stops him. They’re fighting over the ropes until Tony picks Dunne up and hits a Falcon Arrow as we go to break.

We’re back and Tony is in control of Dunne, picking him up and slamming him to the mat. Tony talks trash but gets kicked in the head, stomped and then another kick from a standing position. Neckbreaker from Dunne, who twists Tony’s hand in position and stomps on the upraised elbow. Dunne grabs Tony’s hand, puts it over his shoulder and snaps it down, then kicks Tony and stomps on his head.

Dunne goes for the crowbar but Tony gets up and stops him, then pulls him down into a release German suplex. Tony goes up and gets the crowbar! He comes down and goes in but Dunne dodges a shot and another, kicks Tony and gets the crowbar! D’Angelo dodges out of the ring and off the apron from blows. He pulls Dunne off his feet and out of the ring, then slams him on the apron. He gets the crowbar, lays Dunne out against the booth and tries to smack the hand, but Dunne moves! He hits a double kneedrop on Tony, rolls in to break the count, then back out.

Dunne rolls D’Angelo in and comes in with the crowbar, then applies a crossface with it. Tony to his feet and he backs Dunne into the turnbuckle, then hits a crowbar-assisted neckbreaker. Cover for two. Dunne has his hand on the crowbar and Tony stomps the hand, then grabs the crowbar and grinds it into the hand. He goes for another crowbar neckbreaker but Dunne counters, hits a couple kicks in the corner and drops the knees across Tony’s back. Tony goes for a German suplex but Dunne dodges, he fully locks in the crowbar crossface but Tony gets out. Tony goes for the chair but it gets pulled away and Dunne locks in a submission, but Tony gets his foot on the ropes.

The two trade shots and Tony knocks Dunne down on the chair. He sends Dunne into pole/corner, nails him with the crowbar and covers.

Winner: Tony D’Angelo (13:11)
Rating: ** 1/2
Thoughts: This was fine. I hate “On a Pole” matches because they always result in repetitive sequences going for the item in question, and that was the case here. But they worked hard and while it wasn’t exactly brutal, it was a solid effort.

* McKenzie is backstage with Grayson and asks about the match with Styles. Grayson says it’s in the main event where he’s destined to be, and he’ll stay there after he beats Styles tonight. He says maybe he should go to Smackdown and slap Reigns and Nakamura. Everyone else tries for WrestleMania moments, but he creates Grayson Waller moments.

* Up next: Indy, Persia, and Wendy Choo vs. Kacy, Kayden, and Amari Miller.

* We get another Mandy photo shoot, this time played into a vignette with Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne. They say the thirst for TA is at an all-time high and they kick ass in the ring, plus break hearts out of it. They say there isn’t a tag team in the world that can touch them. Mandy says they aren’t just Toxic Attraction, they’re THE attraction.

Indi Hartwell, Persia Pirotta, & Wendy Choo vs. Kacy Catanzaro, Kayden Carter, & Amari Miller

Indi and Amari start off and lock up and JFC, Wnedy is laying down on the apron. Amari kicks Indi and she rolls out of the ring, she goes through the ropes and tags after which Kacy, who tagged in, tags in Kayden. Kayden leaps on Indy, and Kayden leaps onto Persia.

And yes, Wendy’s now asleep on the turnbuckle. Carter with a slam of Indi in the corner and covers for two. Kayden tries to pull her away, she gets whipped toward the corner but dropkicks Persia. Kayden with a roll-up for two, then Indi and Kayden hit each other. Amari and Choo tag in, and Choo delivers strikes and kicks. Release German suplex to Miller and a handspring splash, suplex and cover but Kacy breaks it up. Persia in and powerbombs Kacy, it breaks into chaos and Amari takes Indi out. Wendy asleep in the ring and Amari goes to pin, but she gets kicked. Persia tags in, she takes Miller out, Indi in for the pinfall.

Winner: Indi, Persia, & Wendy (3:39)
Rating: * 1/4
Thoughts: Come on. This gimmick is dumb, though at least she got to look good when she wasn’t sleeping. The match was too short and too focused on Choo’s antics to mean anything at all.

* MSK are backstage when they see the Dusty Classic Cup and get excited. They talk about running through all the tag teams, and Dakota Kai comes up and says she won the cup. “WE won it!” She says nothing divides friendship more than success and walks off.

* Solo Sikoa doesn’t care which Boa shows up. He’s headed to the ring.

* Kay Lee Ray walks up to where Mandy Rose is doing her photo shoots and says she can show up to do photo shoots but won’t defend the title? She lays waste to the photo shoot are and then destroys the camera as well.

Boa vs. Solo Sikoa

The match starts abruptly and Solo strikes Boa, though Boa comes back and lays in some kicks before sending Solo out of the ring. Solo back in and dodges a kick, takes Boa down and batters him repeatedly. Solo picks Boa up and chops him, shot to the throat and Boa rolls out of the ring.

Solo follows and Boa decks him, then sends him headfirst into the ringside post. Kicks to the back of Solo’s knees, stomp to the gut and then an Irish whip into a short-arm kneelift and two more for good measure. Double underhook suplex, cover gets two.

Solo is bleeding from the mouth and Boa locks in a chinlock. Boa also has a busted open part at his temple. Both back up, Solo blocks a kick and starts to strike. He trips Boa and hits a senton, then goes over the ropes with Boa with a clothesline. Boa sent hard into the ringside steps, Solo goes to throw him into table but Boa counters. The ref hits 10 and the fighters don’t care.

Winner: Double Countout (3:41)
Rating: * 1/2
Thoughts: Really?

The two beat each other into the back.

* McKenzie asks AJ Styles about what just went down and he says that’s what he loves about NXT: the passion that these Superstars have. Everyone except Grayson Waller, who is the opposite. He says Waller has nervous confidence and has to step to the plate. The Waller Effect ends tonight, and he’s going to ride his momentum into the Royal Rumble. It all starts with Waller tonight.

* We get a recap of Carmelo Hayes winning the North American and Cruiserweight Title unification match.

* Melo and Trick Williams drive up to the building and get out, handing the keys to the security guy. Melo addresses the NXT Universe next.

* Backstage, Solo Sikoa and Boa are still beating each other up in the warehouse and throwing each other into things. Sikoa throws Boa over a production cart and leans over it before catching a fireball to the face. Boa is now Face Paint Boa.

* Vic Joseph says Von Wagner’s suspension has been lifted and his fine has been paid. That was quick.

* Here come Melo and Trick to the ring. Trick tells everyone to get out of their seat and make some noise for the champion. Trick says he’s happy for Melo because when Melo has gold, they both have gold. They go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly, Shaq and Kobe, Trick and big booty women.

Melo tells Trick to set up the thing and gets on the mic, saying he had his toughest match last week against Roderick Strong. He says it’s time to take a moment of silence for Roderick Strong’s campaign and pours one out before saying it’s time to celebrate. He calls for some noise from the crowd and gets little. He talks shit up and says he has more accomplishments than months in the company. Numbers don’t lie, Melo don’t miss. He says he’s the most scintillating champion ever in NXT. He says we can call the title whatever we want, but because it’s around his waist, it’s the “A” Championship. That’s what it is, and that’s all it’s ever gonna be.

Melo’s music is cut off by AJ’s music, and the Phenomenal One comes down. He faces off with Melo and Trick for a moment before heading to the ring.

* Melo and Trick walk out and try to get their keys, but Grimes has them. He says in 2021 he would be doing donuts in the car, but in 2022 he’s just going for the championship. He tosses the keys at Melo and walks off.

Set For Next Week:
– 1st Round of Dusty Tag Team Classic

Grayson Waller vs. AJ Styles

AJ and Grayson talk a bit of trash before circling. Waller mocks Syles and pretends to offer a free shot before backing up. Lockup, Styles pushes Waller into the corner and they break. Another lockup, AJ with a headlock and we have competing Waller/Styles chants. Waller reverses the headlock, snapmares AJ and covers for one.

Waller showboats and gets a laugh out of AJ before he knocks Waller down. Waller sent into the turnbuckle and then Styles grabs the leg to kick under the knee. Backbreaker by Styles, followed by a headslam into the corner and another into the next corner. Styles with a bodyslam and a knee drop off the ropes. Cover gets one.

AJ walks toward Waller but gets pulled headfirst into the second turnbuckle. Waller takes over and hits a couple of chops, then gets thrown into the corner for some chops of his own. Waller escapes a hold and hits a jab, but comes off the ropes into a dropkick and gets sent to the outside. Styles leaps into the apron but gets tripped by Waller, who goes in the ring and hits a hangman neckbreaker on AJ into the second rope. Baseball slide into a clothesline and we’re on PIP break.

We’re back from PIP break with Waller in control of AJ via a sleeper, but AJ fights out of it. Waller plows him over with a high knee, and then mockingly shoves him with his foot. Waller picks AJ up and talks shit, so AJ fights back. He’s whipped into the ropes, catches himself, slides off a Samoan Drop attempt and kicks Waller down. Big splash in the corner, takedown and a cover for two.

AJ looks to be cut in the mouth and he goes for the Styles Clash, but Waller gets the ropes and pulls out onto the apron. He drops to the floor and AJ leaps over onto him. Styles grabs Waller and rolls him in, he preps for the Phenomenal Forearm but Waller rolls to the apron. AJ in, he gets hung on the ropes and Waller takes him down with a hard clothesline! Waller with an elbow drop off the second rope for two.

Waller lies in wait, AJ gets to his feet, Waller dives in but AJ moves! German suplex, countered by Waller, but AJ turns it into a Calf Crusher! Waller scrambles and eventually reaches the ropes. Waller slowly to his feet, AJ grabs the leg and knees him in it, but Waller with a roll-up for two. Waller with a powerbomb for a nearfall! Waller is going for the Styles Clash — but AJ backdrops him out of it! AJ charges in and gets sent to the apron, big punch! He goes for the Forearm, Waller dodges to the outside. He comes back in, Stunner! Cover gets two.

Waller gets AJ up and lays in a couple knees. He puts AJ on the top turnbuckle and climbs up, going for a superplex but AJ slips out! Kick to the gut, but Waller counters out of the Styles Clash. Pele Kick by AJ, followed by a brainbuster. AJ goes outside and preps for the Forearm. He leaps and hits it! That’s a cover for three.

Winner: AJ Styles (14:14)
Rating: *** 1/2
Thoughts: Okay, this was a match that did Waller a LOT of good. Yes, he lost to AJ but AJ sold really well for him and it looked like Waller might actually win this once or twice. Great match and main event.

After the match, Styles gets on the mic and says he loved giving him that asskicking. He’s good, but not Phenomenal. But his night isn’t over yet: he wants to introduce him to a friend: LA KNIGHT IS HERE! Knight is not looking happy. Waller runs into the ring and gets laid out by Knight, who batters him in the corner and knocks him out of the ring. Waller sent over the announcer’s table and they end up in the ring, where Knight clotheslines him out of the ring. Waller goes running and AJ and LA embrace in the ring before posing for the crowd.

And with that, we’re done for the night!

6.0
The final score: review Average
The 411
Tonight's great main event and a couple really good promos were counteracted by some stupid-ass stuff. The Crowbar on a Pole match was hampered by its gimmick, Wendy Choo and Boa are ridiculous characters with no chance of getting over, the Dusty Classic Play-In was mostly meaningless. On the flip side, the Quinn vs. Escobar match was decent considering we knew that was going to end in a screwy finish. All in all, I can't be completely mad at this show and I highly recommend the main event and Breakker's promo. The rest is merely okay to best skipped.
legend

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WWE NXT, Jeremy Thomas