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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 1.18.22

January 18, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 1.18.22  

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Hello my fellow NXT watchers! It’s Tuesday night, and that means we are ready for another episode of WWE NXT. I’m Jeremy Thomas, here with you as always, and tonight the men’s Dusty Tag Team Classic kicks off with two big tag team matches. The Creed Brothers will face Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs while Legado del Fantasma battle Malik Blade and Edris Enofe, and elsewhere Ivy Nile will find her toughest competition yet in Kay Lee Ray. Oh, and lest I forget — WALTER battles Roderick Strong in the main event! That should be an absolute barn burner, and I hope you’re as excited for it as I am.

We’ve had a hell of a week here in ol’ Thomas household as the 411 Wrestling Year-End Awards finished up, just in time for me to start my Movies Year in Review! You can check out the start of my worst movies of 2021 list at the link. In happier movie news, I’ve been a busy watcher this week. Over the weekend I went out and saw Scream, which I’m happy to say as a franchise fanatic was an absolute delight. I also revisited a couple of solid horror films in American Mary (Give Katherine Isabelle all the roles forever) and Lords of Salem, I watched The Tragedy of Macbeth which was a stellar bit of Shakespeare filtered through German expressionism, and Netflix’s Oscar-favorite The Power of the Dog which was quite powerful. I also watched a couple horror documentaries in All the Colors of Giallo on Shudder which was a nice look into the Italian slasher genre, and Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster.

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’re LIVE at the Capitol Wrestling Center as LA Knight arrives! Knight asked Andre Chase and whats-his-name if they’ve seen Grayson Waller because he’s about to go kick his ass. He has a brief hello with Brooks and Jensen before making his way out to the ring.

Knight gets a mic and calls for his music to cut. The crowd chants for him and it’s weird to realize how quiuckly he became a babyface. He quiets the chants and then gives a few call and response “Yeahs.” Knight says he’s getting right to business: Grayson Waller, go ahead and bring your scrawny ass out here so he can finish what he started last week!

No Waller appearance, and he says that’s about what he expected. What does he have to turn his back to get Waller out here? Bottom line is this: Waller has to understand that week after week, he hears “Grayson Sucks!” but as much as that chaps his ass, there’s one sound that haunts him and it’s the name of the man who’s going to drop him on his head with everyone saying “L.A. Knight.” Knight goes back to Halloween Havoc where he tried to sabotage Knight, and then he did one cool move at War Games but he still couldn’t get the job done. So next week a chick-a-dee turns him down in favor of Knight, because she knew he couldn’t get the job down. So now —

And here comes Waller. Waller takes off the shirt but he’s got a mic. He tells Knight he has a restraining order, which saw Knight can’t touch him. There’s nothing Waller would like more than to get in there and fight Knight, especially after last week. But his lawyers advised him that for their safety, this is what has to happen. Waller walks up (likely violating the order) and leaves it for Knight. If Knight gets within 50 feet of Waller, he gets arrested immediately.

Knight says this is impressive even for Waller and it’s real big. He asks the crowd what they think and they boo, then chant “Rip that Shit!” Waller dares him to do it, and he says he has something better. He has a restraining order against Knight, but not against…HIM!

Dexter Lumis’ music plays and Waller backs up — but Lumis is under the ring! He attacks Waller who backs up. Knight says he can lift the restraining order or face Dexter Lumis, because he’s getting his ass kicked either way. And we’re on break.

Grayson Waller vs. Dexter Lumis

We’re back with the match in progress as Waller chose Lumis during the break. Lumis slams Waller into the corner and charges in, Waller gets the boot up but Lumis catches it and clotheslines him down. Waller with a jawbreaker and a single-arm DDT to turn it around, he grabs Lumis and sends him shoulder-first into the corner, then wraps the left arm around the ropes and wrenches it. Kneee lifts and a shot to the arm, Lumis kicks Waller a couple of times but Waller with a cheap shot and he goes right back to the arm.

Waller gets Lumis on his shoulders but Lumis slides off, pushes Waller into the ropes for a pop-up uppercut. Neckbreaker by Lumis, and then he picks Waller up for another one. The crowd chants for one more time, and Waller delivers before covering for two.

Chinlock by Lumis to wear Waller down, Waller gets to his feet and hits another jawbreaker but gets tossed to the apron. Lumis swings but gets his arm snapped on the ropes. Waller back in and hits a baseball slide clothesline as we go to PIP break.

Waller is still in control when we get back from break, but Lumis shoves him into the corner and starts to floor him with punch uppercut after uppercut. Irish whip into a back bodydrop, then he picks Waller all the way up for a back suplex, kippup into a leg drop! Lumis is looking a little craxy, he hits the uranage and goes for the Silence, but Waller gets to the ropes right away. Lumis follows and locks in the Silence on the outside, but Waller gets him against the announcer booth and rolls in. Some big guy in a suit attacks Lumis and takes him out, then rolls him into the ring. Waller with the Stunner for the pinfall.

Winner: Grayson Waller (9:55)
Rating: ** 3/4
Thoughts: Pretty decent outing from both of these guys, who worked well together. The quick cut to break didn’t help, but the end result was expected and we got Waller his Diesel-like bodyguard.

* We get a video from this past weekend where Malcolm Bivens was talking about how the Creed Brothers were going to run through the division and talked shit about Imperium when WALTER showed up and grabbed Bivens. Strong walked up and they had some words, with Strong saying he’s not scared of WALTER which led to the match.

* Up next is a vignette hyping the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and introducing the teams: Grizzled Young Veterans, The Creed Brothers, Briggs & Jenson, Jacket Time, Bodhi Hayward & Andre Chase, Legado del Fantasma, Blade & Enofe, and MSK.

* Before the match, MSK say this bout is going to be an absolute banger like theirs will be against Jacket Time. Legado walk in and say they’re last year’s Dusty Cup winners — key word, “last year’s.” If they win they’ll face Legado in the finals. Lee says they should focus on Malik and Edris, and Wilde says that’s light work before walking off.

Dusty Tag Classic First Round Match
The Creed Brothers vs. Briggs & Jensen

Brutus starts off with Jenson and gets him into the ropes, then slams him down amateur-style. Jensen backs off and Brutus charges in — RIGHT INTO A KNEE that knocks Brutus’ mouthpiece out! Jensen sent into the ropes and he comes off over Brutus before kicking him. Briggs tagged in and he slams Brutus down, but Brutus manages to back him in the corner and tag in Julius.

Briggs batters Brutus and tags in Briggs, double clothesline to Julius and then they slide out of the ring to uppercut Julius through the ropes. Headlock by Jensen but Brutus gets him against the ropes and tags in Brutus. Briggs whipped into the ropes and gets caught by Brutus — German Suplex out of the ring!

Jensen beck in, Julius tagged in and both Creeds hit knees on Jensen. Julius slams Jensen down and tags in Brutus, gutwrench suplexing him onto Jensen. Another quick tag, Brooks gets a shot and Julius backs him into the corner, he charges in but Jensen moves and Julius is hung on the ropes! Brutus tagged in, Briggs tagged in and he goes wild! He takes out both Creeds, slams Brutus down, clotheslines Julius over the ropes. Chokeslam to Brutus and a cover but Julius breaks it up. Jensen sends a Creed to the outside and follows but gets laid out, that leaves Briggs alone and the Creeds take him out with a double-team maneuver for the win.

Winner: Creed Brothers (5:33)
Rating: ** 1/4
Thoughts: It wasn’t the smoothest match, but it delivered some good hard-hitting stuff. The right team won, even if it wasn’t a particularly memorable bout.

* We get a vignette from Dante Chen talking about making his debut in September. But we haven’t seen him since because of a leg injury and he says it’s been hard seeing his colleagues have success from the sidelines. He says his father would keep pushing him to get back on TV but he lost his dad two months ago. Chen says he has a father to make proud and a country to represent, and he’s ready to compete. He’s up next.

* WALTER says that Aicher and Barthel have done well here, and they say they’re going to keep it up and this is the year of Imperium. WALTER says today is the day they start their mission. They dominated the UK, and today the rest begins with Roderick Strong.

Dante Chen vs. Guru Raaj

Quick show of respect and then a lockup, Chen into the ropes and gets hit with a dropkick, cover for one. Raaj with a headlock but gets sent into the ropes, they run the ropes a bit and Chen sends Raaj to the outside, then dives out onto him. He’s about to pick Raaj up when Duke Hudson attacks.

Winner: Gura Raaj by DQ (0:58)
Rating: N/A
Thoughts: All about the angle.

* After the “match,” Hudson gets Chen in the ring and powerbombs him before being waved off by officials. He says he’s back and stay out of his way.

* Joe Gacy is talking with Harland about how they didn’t get into the Dusty Cup. He’s not mad, just disappointed. But this is an opportunity for growth and development. Odyssey Jones says he doesn’t believe the words coming out of his mouth? Gacy says he appreciates the feedback and asks how he’s doing with his injury. Jones says he’ll be back in a couple of weeks, and Gacy holds the door for him. Gacy with some more words for Harland about not being negative and he walks off as Harland looks after Jones.

* McKenzie is backstage with Breakker and asks if it’s set in, and he says it has. She asks about his interaction with Santos Escobar and Elektra shows up. Breakker says he’s not interested, but Escobar walks in and says he just has to be interested in him. He says Breakker’s not ready to carry NXT and NXT 2.0 is going to look better with the title on his shoulder. Breakker asks Santos to give him a reason to kick his ass, and Santos says things are done on his time.

* Tony D’Angelo is in the ring with a coffin and sad Italian music playing. He says we’re gathered here today to celebrate the career of the Bruiserweight, Petey Poppins. Petey didn’t listen to anyone so he needed to be taught a lesson by Tony. And he tried, but Petey didn’t listen so he had to do things the hard way. Tony says for the sake of everyone in here it’ll be a closed casket service, because no one wants to see Pete after he cracked the crowbar over his noggin. But we can’t mourn, and Tony’s onto bigger and better things. He just got done beating one of the most decorated champions in NXT history so it’s time to add some gold to his collection. He’s got his eyes on the NXT North American Championship.

That of course brings out Melo and Trick but they’re at the podium. Melo says he’s happy for Tony and will let him finish, but last week they had one of the greatest memorial services of all time. Melo tries to get serious, and Trick says he thought they were Boys. Tony says they were teammates but not boys. He stumbles at naming off his Boys.

Trick mocks him over his crew and says they’re all skinny and look just like Vic Joseph. Melo says the title is his business and the next memorial service will be Tony’s — and it’ll be closed casket too.

Out comes Cameron Grimes, who says Tony’s going to have to wait at the back of the line. He says last week he walked up to Melo and looked him dead in the eye and said he was going after the NA Championship, and the only thing he’s heard is how he scuffed their rental. Trick says that’s their car, not a rental. He suggests Grimes and Tony battle to see who gets a shot and Grimes is okay with that. D’Angelo tries to attack and gets Pete Dunne’s portrait slammed over his head.

* Briggs and Jenson aren’t happy backstage, but Briggs says they’ll be alright. They just have to get back to work. Kacy and Kayden come in and say tonight they’re partying hard together. Wendy Chu is laying on top of the locker room and says Jensen likes Kayden. Jensen tries to play it off and oversells it. Everyone leaves except Jensen, who eventually goes himself.

* Feroz and Leon get a vignette where they talk about Feroz’s Jiu-Jitsu stars and Leon talks about her weightlifting. They say they’re two badass women who fight hard and play hard. They have different nationalities and backgrounds, but the same goals in NXT: the NXT Women’s Championship. McKenzie asks them about competing in the women’s Dusty Cup and they’re excited — until Dakota Kai walks up laughing and says they’re adorable. She plays the “Nothing divides frenship more than success” card again. Feroz asks what her problem is, and Kai says she’ll make it her problem. We end up with a match between Kai and Leon.

Kay Lee Ray vs. Ivy Nile

The two circle and lock up, jockeying for position, and KLR drags Nile down. Recircle, KLR with a waistlock but Nile with a back elbow, and she rolls through into an elbow lock. Ray counters out and they chop each other, Ray with an Irish whip and dropkick for two.

Ray grabs Nile and goes for a suplex, but Nile blocks it and lays in some shots to the site, then suplexes Ray. Charging kick and an enzuigiri, cover for two.

Nile with some stomps and then a snapmare into a headscissor submission. KLR nearly stands up but gets flipped over back onto the hold. Ray gets to her feet and handstands out of the hold. Clothesline to Nile and another, front suplex and cover for two.

Ray goes to grab Nile but gets tripped, Nile grabs Ray with a modified leg DDT for two.Bivens directs traffic as Nile gets Ray on her shoulder, but Ray slides off and hits a superkick. KLR Bomb but Nile slides out, and Rose comes down to the ring. Ray takes a swing, then goes for the KLR bomb on Nile but Nile counters with a roll-up for three.

Winner: Ivy Nile (4:23)
Rating: ** 1/4
Thoughts: It was too short to get going, but we saw glimmers of good stuff and the right person won, as Nile would be hurt too bad by a loss right now. And it advances Ray’s feud with Rose, so that works for me.

Rose attacks after the match and KLR gains control, but Gigi and Jacy come out and take KLR down, then double superkick. Mandy is going for the attack but Indi and Persia grab her and pull her out, then go after the tag champs! Jacy gets snake eyed into the turnbuckle and then superkicked by Ray.

* Backstage, Harland assaulted Odyssey Jones and is told to back off by officials. He looks at Gacy, who grins like a demon, and they leave.

* We get a vignette from Sarray who says her 2021 didn’t go as planned, and she returned to Japan to recover both physically and mentally. She found a necklace her Grandmother, her hero, gave her as a little girl. Her grandmother told her never to give up and thanks to finding the necklace she feels like she can conquer the world. Inside the ring she’s the warrior of the sun and she’s returning to NXT with passion and energy.

Dusty Tag Classic First Round Match
Legado del Fantasma vs. Malik Blade & Edris Enofe

Wilde and Blade start off, with Wilde shoving Blade into the ropes and mocking him. Blade leaps in and gets grabbed in a wristlock. Blade arm drags Wilde a couple of times and whips him into the corner, splash and Enofe in. Standing moonsault, cover for one.

Enofe whiped into the corner and goes to the outside, he hits Wilde and comes in for a modified bulldog for two. Mendoza gets a tag off the ropes and they take Edris out, double team tree splitter and a cover by Mendoza for two.

Chop by Mendoza to Enofe and an Irish whip across the ring, he charges but Enofe moves. Mendoza is able to cut Enofe off from the tag but Enofe eventuallt gets the hot tag and Blade with a big dropkick and then a kick to the jaw. He comes off the ropes but Escobar trips him — and the referee ejects him! Escobar is arguing with the ref — and BREAKKER grabs him off the ropes and carries him back! Blade rolls Wilde up for the pin!

Winner: Malik Blade & Edris Enofre (3:17)
Rating: **
Thoughts: Another match that was all about the angle. They sold Blade and Enofe as the underdogs so hard giving them the loss would have been a horrible move, so right choice I suppose.

* Strong shadowboxes as Bivens talks about how the Diamond Mine is 2 for 2 and will become 3 for 3 after Strong wipes the mat with WALTER. He says WALTER thinks the mat is sacred but it’s not; it’s a revenue generator. He says WALTER is big and strong, but tonight the mat belongs to Roderick Strong and Diamond Mine.

* Solo says last week Boa took things to the next level with his fireball, and he’s wearing a bandage on his face. He’s all charred and he says next week he doesn’t care where they go. Next week they go to war.

Dakotai Kai vs. Yulisa Leon

Lockup, Kai gets Leon in the corner but gets shoved out. Kai is laughing and they go back into a lockup, with Kai taken down and controlled in a headlock. Leon rolls Kai up for one.

Leon runs at Kai in the corner but gets tripped by her into the turnbuckle. Kai chokes Leon against the ropes and then stomps on her back, cover for one. Apparently Wade Barrett plays Wordle, by the way.

Kai gets Leon in the corner and chokes her with her boot, then smacks Leon a couple times before a snapmare and cover for one. Kai talks to the air and then whips Leon into the corner, comes off the ropes with a kick to the face, cover for one.

Kai is getting frustrated and Leon fires back with shots, but gets kicked hard in the face. Kai rolls Leon out of the ring and comes face to face with Feroz, who dodges until Leon takes her out. Both women back in, Leon with a gutwrench suplex and then a fallaway slam and bridge cover for two!

Kai comes back with a Scorpion Kick and covers for three.

Winner: Dakota Kai (4:06)
Rating: **
Thoughts: Not enough time to get going, but Leon is pretty solid and Kai is always good.

Kai attacks Feroz after the match but Leon saves her.

* McKenzia is backstage with Raquel Gonzalez and asks what’s next? Raquel says she could stand and complain about not being complained, and how Rose needed Dakota Kai. But she doesn’t make excuses and she’s still coming after Mandy’s title.

Cora Jade says so is she, but she asks if Raquel wants to be back-to-back Dusty Classic champions. Raquel says she likes Cora but don’t get in her way again. Thanks, but no thanks. She walks off, and Cora says she’ll convince her.

* Edris and Malik celebrate and Bron comes up. He says he didn’t do anything, it was all them. He leaves and they say no matter who they face next, they’ll be ready.

No DQ: Solo Sikoa vs. Boa
North American Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Grimes vs. D’Angelo
– Ollie Jayy performs
– Toxic Attraction vs. Indi Hartwell, Kay Lee Ray, & Persia

WALTER vs. Roderick Strong

They circle and lock up, WALTER just chucks Strong across the ring. Strong goes for the leg but WALTER catches him and stretches the leg, they jockey for position and Strong ends up against the ropes but manages to back WALTER off. They feel each other out some more, WALTER with a wristlock takedown.

WALTER in control now, Strong manages to break the hold into a headlock but gets backed into the ropes. Strong ducks a chop and goes for one of his own, but WALTER just blocks it! They talk some trash and then go back in, Strong with a headlock and he cinches it in.

WALTER forearms out of it and gets Strong on his shoulder, but Strong slides off. Big chop from Strong, MEGA-CHOP from WALTER that floors Strong! WALTER with a stomp and he takes control — vicious headwrench from WALTER! Strong is trying to battle back with forearms but WALTER kicks him right in the head!

WALTER grabs Strong and hits a Europ uppercut, then goes after Bivens! Strong chopblocks WALTER and gets him out of the ring, he leaps at WALTER but gets CAUGHT and slammed on the apron! We’re on PIP break.

We’re back with Strong fighting back! He gets an enzuigiri and leaps to the top for a dropkick. Big chop to WALTER and another, he goes for the Angle Slam but WALTER blocks it and locks in the sleeper! Strong manages to break it, but WALTER locks it right back in! Strong with some Dunne-like joint manipulation to break the hold.

Strong comes off the ropes with forearm after forearm, he ducks a chop and starts in again but gets clotheelined to the mat. Both men slow to get up, but they end up on the top rope. WALTER chops Strong off it but Strong goes right back in with an enzuigiri! Strong goes up top, he’s going for the superplex — HE HITS IT! Strong rolls over cover — near fall!

They’re up now and trading forarms, Strong starts in with kicks and comes off the ropes with a shot, he’s off every rope and he hits a front leaping kick for two!

Both men are up, they grapple and WALTER with a HUGE chop! He goes for the powerbomb but Strong gets out of it, Strong goes for a piledriver but no love! WALTER counters, powerbomb finishes it.

Winner: WALTER (12:17)
Rating: *** 1/2
Thoughts: These guys delivered huge in barely over 12 minutes; imagine what they could do with 20. Great match, great main event, and a strong finish for the show to announce WALTER’s arrival.

WALTER interrupts the ring announcer and says the winner of the match is “Gunther!” as Barthel and Aichner attack Strong. The Creed Brothers come in and it becomes a full pier 6 brawl as we fade out.

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

The final score: review Good
The 411
It was a tale of two NXTs this week. One NXT had WALTER vs. Roderick Strong, which was a banger, and some solid stuff with the Waller vs. Knight and North American Title feuds. We also got some more personality for some of these less prominent guys, and I have to applaud WWE for at least trying to do the work here. On the other hand, the other NXT had Dante Chen -- who was given a vignette -- attacked after a minute of wrestling by Duke Hudson as well as excruciatingly short matches, pointless segments like the Briggs & Jenson/Kacy and Kayden thing, and WALTER declaring his name to be Gunther, which is...certainly a choice. All in all I the show leaned much more on the positive, but it also felt longer than the two hours it was and I can't help but comment on that.

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WWE NXT, Jeremy Thomas