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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 11.16.21

November 16, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE NXT 11-16-21
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Jeremy’s WWE NXT Review 11.16.21  

Hello my NXT peeps! It’s another Tuesday night, and that means another episode of WWE NXT. I’m Jeremy Thomas, here with you as always, and tonight we’re hoping for a little bounceback after a lackluster episode last week. There are certainly some good options to deliver including Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai reigniting their feud, Odyssey Jones and Jacket Time vs. the Diamond Mine, and Duke Hudson vs. Cameron Grimes.

Meanwhile, I’ve had a busy and (mostly) rewarding week in terms of my entertainment. I saw No Time to Die and Red Notice, both of which were passably fine. I liked Eternals, even if I didn’t love it, and saw a trio of good-to-great horror films in the Director’s Cut of Doctor Sleep, the underwater haunted house film The Deep House, and a rewatch of Candyman for the Blu-Ray release (check out my review here!). Then I went to go watch Dear Evan Hansen today, apparently because I hate myself. I also hate everything and everyone ever now. Expect to see that high on my list of the worst films of the year.

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 in the Capitol Wrestling Center and starting with Tony D’Angelo vs. Dexter Lumis.

Tony D’Angelo vs. Dexter Lumis

Dexter has a painting of Tony sleeping with the fishes that he unveils before sliding into the ring. Tony ducks out when the bell rings and Dexter chases him. They get back in and Tony goes on the attack with punches and an Irish whip, reversed by Dexter. Tony grabs the ropes but gets knocked down, and Dexter with mounted punches and an elbow drop off the ropes. D’Angelo into the corner and gets beat up for a moment before being taken to another rope for kicks.

Whip across the ring, D’Angelo escapes and hits a belly to belly followed by stomps and a chinlock. Dexter to his feet and elbows out but gets bodyslammed down. D’Angelo jaws with the crowd and then wags his finger in Dexter’s face, Dexter with a hold and he sends Tony into the corner, Tony gets to the apron and gets grabbed but drops Dexter against the ropes. Tony grabs the easel and throws it into the ring, the ref removes it and Tony with a thumb to the eye followed by his finisher for the pin.

Winner: Tony D’Angelo (3:05)
Rating: * 3/4
Thoughts: It was okay for what it was. It didn’t get enough time to excel but it got D’Angelo the win which is what it set out to do.

After the match, Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes jump Lumis fromo behind and Trick with a Codebreaker followed by a takedown from Melo. Trick gets a chair and Melo puts Lumis’ hand into it, Hayes up to the second rope and jumps down onto it. Here comes Gargano and officials, and they run Trick and Melo off.

* We get a recap of the attack on Dexter by Melo and Trick, and see Lumis leaving with Indi Hartwell. Gargano is in the ring and says obviously Melo has made things very personal. He originally just wanted to beat him for his title so he could prove he’s better than him, but Melo screwed with his family and he’s going to kick his teeth down his throat. He challenges Melo to come out and face him, but Pete Dunne comes out and says Gargano isn’t going to worm his way into a title match. Dunne says he beat Hayes last week, and Gargano says it was with his help.

Dunne says he didn’t need his help, but Hayes and Williams are out now in the audience. Trick says Snow White is missing two dwarves, but they’re in the ring bickering. He says they make him sick. Dunne asks who he is, and Gargano says he thinks he knows: that’s the guy who carries Hayes’ bag. Hayes says let’s keep it real; if it wasn’t for him leading with the title, neither of them would be relevant. Dunne shuts him up and says he’s got more experience and has already beat him, but talk his talk. Hayes says they can run it back and Gargano can get his shot all at the same time. They’re doing it next week. Gargano says Hayes has only been there six months, but he’s been there five years and Gargano in the ring is the real “can’t miss.” And next week, the three of them for the title? We don’t want to miss that.

* Diamond Mine is backstage and Bivens says tonight they show why they are the most dominant unit. As a team, not as individuals. In comes Joe Gacy, who says he enjoys when people unite under a common bond. He says Strong has a responsibility to grant new opportunities. Bivens says there’s a tryout soon and he can holla at him. Gacy takes the card and thanks them for their generosity. The six-man tag match is next.

* We get a vignette of LA Knight talking about how he doesn’t need his riches because he’s a megastar no matter what. We can label him 2.0, 1.0, it doesn’t matter. He came here to be NXT Champion and he hasn’t done it yet. He said that Grayson Waller came in thinking he would host Halloween Havoc, but no. What does he have to do to Grayson? Beat him up, and Waller can TikTok or Instagram about it and it doesn’t matter.

Diamond Mine vs. Odyssey Jones & Jacket Time

Jiro and Strong start off and circle, they lock up and Strong shoves him down and then chops Jones. Jones wants in and gets tagged, and Strong tags in Julius. Julius goes for the leg and gets Jones to his knees, then gets on his back but gets snapmared. Kushida tagged in and he hits a shot off the second rope, Jones tagged in for his own second-rope move. Jiro tagged in, he goes up top and leaps off but Julius dodges him and flips him over.

Brutus tagged in, he gets Jiro up but Jiro slides off his back. Jiro thrown into the corner and then picked up with a gutwrench slam. Strong tagged in, he gets Jiro up in a fireman’s carry but Jiro slips down and tags in Kushida, who takes Strong down. Brutus in and gets knocked down, Kushida with a handstand springboard back elbow to Julius but Strong attacks from behind as we go to break.

Back from break and Jiro has turned it around, kicking Julius and then knocking Strong off the ropes. Julius takes control though and just beats on Jiro before tagging in Brutus for more of the same. Leaping kneedrop to Jiro, Brutus tries it again but Jiro moves. Strong tagged in and he stops Jiro from making the tag, but Jiro kicks him off and tags in Jones! Jones throws Strong and takes out Brutus, but that distraction allows Strong to take over and he hits a BIG Olympic Slam! Jacket Time are in and this has broken down, Jones with a big crossbody for three!

Winner: Odyssey Jones & Jacket Time (8:39)
Rating: ** 1/2
Thoughts: Decent match that had some impressive moves, but would we expect less from these guys? I have nothing to complain about here, except wishing these guys could have gotten a touch more time.

Bivens is furious after and the babyfaces celebrate and laugh at Diamond Mine.

* Grizzled Young Veterans are Facetiming with their Nana, who say that he heard they’re NXT Tag Team Champions. They say yes and say they have to go. They are actually holding the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles by the way, and Gibson says that should put him first in line for inheritance.

* We’re back and MSK are at the airport, where Lee worries about getting through security. They shove their bag of contraband at each other, but make it through security. Lee talks about getting a whole bunch of benefits and is switching flights, but Carter says they need to go together. The plan lands and they meet back up, saying they missed each other. Lee says Carter won’t believe who he sat next to on the flight. Someone who knows the master, and the master is a master of tag teams. They go to find him.

Xyon Quinn vs. Andre Chase

Chase and Quinn circle and lock up, Chase with an armlock and Quinn quickly reverses. Chase escapes and takes Quinn down with a leg hook, doing some amateur spinning on Quinn. He kicks at Quinn, Quinn catches the leg and hits an atomic drop followed by shoulder blocks. He charges at Chase in the corner but Chase moves and hits a neckbreaker for two.

Chase with mounted punches and he gets up, then pulls Quinn to his feet for a snapmare. Stomp to Xyon’s chest and a few more, then a measured one to the jaw. Chinlock by Chase but Quinn gets Chase on his shoulder and stands. Chase shuts it down and lays in elbows, Quinn gets him into the ropes and picks him up for a DVD. Quinn warms up the elbows, he picks Chase up and hits the jackhammer for three.

Winner: Xyon Quinn (3:03)
Rating: * 3/4
Thoughts: Another perfectly fine not-quite-squash. I don’t dig Chase’s character, but the match was alright for a three-minute affair.

Legado attack Quinn immediately after the match, he throws them out of the ring but they pull him out. Quinn is holding his own and he beats and kicks Wilde and Mendoza until Santos Escobar attacks from behind. The trio give Quinn a boot party and then pick him up for Elektra Lopez. Lopez says no one says no to her and Legado pick him up, then slam him into the steel grate. Lopez stars back at Quinn as Legado leaves, then moves to follow.

* McKenzie asks Raquel what to expect from her match tonight with Dakota, and she says she hasn’t had a good night’s rest in forever. Being champion is grueling and it just took one shovel shot from Dakota to take it all away from her. She says Kai was jealous of her success because she could never beat her, but tonight Raquel will beat the hell out of Kai. She says bring the shovel, because she’s gonna need it.

* Alicia Taylor is presiding over the Poker Challenge, which is under Texas Hold ‘Em rules. Duke laughs and says luck is for losers, like Grimes. He says that while it’s not his Poker Room, it’s his ring and his chips. And tonight, he makes Grimes his bitch.

Grimes says those are big words, but everyone can see he’s nervous and sweating like Shaq at the free throw line. He gets the crowd chanting “You Got Played!” and Duke says to deal. First action goes to Grimes who has a King and a 3 of Spades. He starts with $500. Duke has a 5 of Clubs and a 5 of Diamonds, and he raises to $1,000. The flop is a 5, Jack, and 10 of Hearts. Grimes says that flop looks good, and raises $1,000. Duke makes if $4,000. Grimes says that’s his problem; Duke tries to intimidate him, but he’s afraid of nothing. The pot is $10,000.

The turn card is the Queen of Spades. Grimes throws in $2,000. Duke asks for silence when making his decision, so of course the crowd boos loudly. He calls and the pot is now $18,000. The River Card is a 7 of Hearts. Grimes says he has everything he needs to be a big-time player, but he always drops the ball. And right now is his chance to change that and show everyone how big his balls are. Grimes is all in. Duke thinks about it, and Grimes asks if his balls are raisins or cantaloupes. The crowd chants “Raisins!” and Duke says he’s trapping him. He says Grimes smiled the same way when he had his flush before. Grimes says make the right call, and Duke says he’s not going to get him again. He folds and Grimes wins the hand. Grimes didn’t even know he could fold. Duke wants to see the cards, and he sees that Grimes was bluffing. Grimes laughs his ass off and “You Got Played” chants begin again. Duke kicks Grimes and starts in with the stomps, then rips his jacket off before more beating goes down.

Hudson picks Grimes up and powerbombs him through the table. He exits the ring, then goes under the apron for a took box. He considers a hammer but gets the scissors and cuts Grimes’ beard and hair. The officials come in and break it up, and Hudson exits as Grimes comes to and realizes what happens. He’s pissed.

* Backstage, KOR mentions Von Wagner’s Smackdown appearance and says he’s not worried about it. It’s Tuesday and it’s time for them to go to work. Out they go for a match.

Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen vs. Kyle O’Reilly & Von Wagner

KOR starts off with Jensen, who takes O’Reilly down but KOR with a kick and he gets back up, laying in some feet. Jensen with a bodyslam, KOR off the ropes and Briggs tags in to run Kyle over. Briggs and Jensen slide out of the ring together and hit Kyle with a double shot as Imperium watch from the back. Briggs back in the ring and Wagner tags in, they lock up and Wagner powers through,m sending him in the ropes. Body block and neither budge, Briggs with some fists and they come off the ropes again, Von with a diving shoulder tackle. KOR tagged in and they alternate kicks, shots, and headbutts.

Von out and Kyle batters Briggs, he gets sent toward the hostile corner and kicks Jensen but Briggs runs into him from behind. Brooks tagged in and he starts taking it to KOR, clothesline in the corner and he comes off the ropes with a drop, cover for two. Briggs with a bear hug on O’Reilly, he slams Kyle into the corner and tags in Briggs who does the same. They alternate again with the bear hug and KOR with an ear clap to get out. He goes under the legs and tags in Wagner, who comes in hot. Gutwrench suplex to Henson and then an elevated DDT. Briggs comes in and charges but Von ducks and KOR pulls the ropes down. KOR takes out Briggs, Von wipes out Jensen and gets the pin.

Winner: Kyle O’Reilly & Von Wagner (4:59)
Rating: ** 1/2
Thoughts: Another fine match for the time it got. I know I feel like a broken record here, but it’s a running theme. Briggs and Jensen are having their potential wasted a bit and I’m still not sure where they’re going with Wagner and O’Reilly, but this worked I guess.

* Imperium talk about how they’re getting better but not good enough, saying they’ll never beat them.

* Indie is worried about Lumis and say he’s getting sent to get checked out. Persia says she’s got this regarding their match and tells Indi to go be there for her man.

* Oh good, it’s time for another episode of Lashing Out with Lash Legend. She says she needs to address the elephant in the room: KLR interrupting Toxic Attraction’s celebration. She says Kay Lee needs to recognized there’s three of them and one of her.

And here comes Grayson Waller to interrupt. He says he has some tea to spill and says LA Knight claims he never paid his dues. Why, because he didn’t drive 500 miles to a high school gym? All he had to do is survive on reality TV and put out a video, and WWE came calling to him. He says this industry isn’t about wins and losses anymore (you don’t say!) and it’s about likes and tweets. The game has changed, and it’s his now. Waller leaves, and Lash says the tea has been spilled.

Persia Pirotta vs. Gabby Stephens and Jenna Levy

Persia knocks opponent #1 down, and she is distracted by how Robert Stone is looking at her from the outside. The two attack her from behind but she throws one of them out and dominates the other. Whip into the corner and a big boot, and she pulls her toward the center of the ring but gets kicked. The other girl gets tagged in and goes up, but Persia picks one up and then the second and hits an awkward double Samoan Drop. She hits one of them with an F5 and gets the pin.

Winner: Persia Pirotta (1:49)
Rating: N/A
Thoughts: Did what it needed to.

* McKenzie asks Dakota about Raquel’s comments, and Kai asks if McKenzie is best friends with Raquel. She implies she might hit McKenzie with the shovel and says she’s been lost since she lost to Raquel. The only way to purge that is to get rid of her past by ending Raquel. Kai says it all started at Halloween Havoc —

And Mandy comes in with TA saying it all ends tonight. Kai says she’s like that, wouldn’t they? She walks off and Grizzled Young Veterans walk in with the Women’s Tag Titles. They try to say it was some other team and hand the titles off. They think they got away with it.

* Tommaso Ciampa talks about how he’s defended his title in the status and in the UK, and has defended it with prestige. He says there’s a lack of integrity and — you know what, screw it. He’ll address it in the ring. And that’s where he heads as we go to break.

* We get a quick vignette of Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter talking about how they want to bring the party to everyone.

* And here comes the champion! Ciampa says he needs to vent because there are guys in the back like Melo, who tries to convince himself that he’s actually holding onto the A Title. But he says, let’s be real — Melo isn’t going to take a shot at him because he’ll miss. Then there’s “bitch-ass” Grayson Waller talking about how guys of his generation went around the country for a hot dog and a handshake like there’s seomthing wrong with that. He says he’ll tell Grasyon what he can do with his hot dog. Then there’s Tony —

But here comes Bron Breakker! Bron comes out to the ring with a mic. Bron says that Tommaso is out here calling out guys who have done the same thing he did to make it to the top. He bet it pissed Ciampa off that there’s a new crop of guys here, but the only person he needs to worry about is Bron because he’s going to run through Tommaso and take the championship!

Ciampa says wow, that was powerful. He says he doesn’t know how this works, but maybe there’s a guy who can pull up footage of the end of Halloween Havoc. He calls for the footage of his beating Breakker at the show. He says that was 1, 2, 3. He’s no math major, and by the sounds of it Bron isn’t either, but he says the way he sees it Bron has less than a 33 1/3% chance of ever taking the NXT Title from him. He says at the end of the day Bron’s just a puppy, and he’s the NXT Champion. Ciampa walks out as Bron looks amused.

* Medical update: Lumis was taken to a medical facility. Meanwhile, the NXT North American Championship Triple Threat is confirmed for next week.

Raquel Gonzalez vs. Dakota Kai

Raquel attacks at the bell with a big boot and beats on Kai in the corner, she whips Kai across the ring. Kai goes to the outside and Gonzalez follows, slamming her into the3 barricade before rolling her in. Kai off the ropes and gets shoved into the air to land hard, she rolls back out. Raquel is out and she charges at Kai, picking her up and dropping her on the floor. Slam into the apron and she gets Kai on her shoulders, dropping her onto the apron.

Kai gets a kick and stands up to kick Raquel in the head. She tries to take over but Raquel knocks her down, gets her in the corner and throttles her and slams her in the corner. Kai is laughing. Kai fights Raquel off and ends up in the corner, Gonzalez is just dominating her and pulls her up into a rack across one shoulder. She runs into the corner and slams Kai into it, setting her on the ropes. She says “Look me in the eyes, Dakota!” and knocks her down, then charges but Kai rolls out and Raquel hits the corner hard. Both women out and Kai with a charging kick to the jaw as we go to PIP break.

Back from break and Kai is still in control, hanging Raquel on the bottom rope and paintbrushing her. Cover gets two. She kicks at Raquel’s head through the ropes, then pulls Raquel up and hits her from the top rope. Raquel fights back with repeated headbutts and gets up top, but Kai grabs Raquel and leaps all the way to the floor, sending Gonzalez crashing sternum-first into the top turnbuckle. Kai back in and she pulls Gonzalez into the center of the ring, cover for two.

Kai is laughing as she pulls Raquel up and screams at her, but Raquel grabs Kai and picks her up for a choke lift slam. Gonzalez with clotheslines and then an overhead shot tot he back, she pulls Kai away from the ropes and the ropes break a bit. Kai with a Vader Bomb, cover gets two. She goes for the choke slam but Kai slips out, crucifix for a nearfall. Gonzalez pulls Kai up out of a stretch muffler attempt and spins her around. She picks Dakota up and tries to suplex her, but Kai blocks it and sends Raquel face-first into the exposed bottom corner where Chekov’s turnbuckle came off.

Kai out of the ring and she’s got that shovel! She slides back in and prepares to swing, but Raquel kicks her in the gut. She gets the shovel and Kai looks terrified! Raquel is about to nail her when Toxic Attraction comes in and attacks, causing the DQ.

Winner: Raquel Gonzalez (11:45)
Rating: ***
Thoughts: Good match with an eh ending, but considering this is setting up WarGames I’m fully ookay with it.

Toxic Attraction and Kai team up to beat on Raquel when Cora Jade comes in for the save! She wipes out Gigi8 and Jacy and Kai with her skateboard and then flings it out of the ring, but Mandy takes her down. TA and Kai beat on the two until Zoey Stark comes out on crutches and with a brace. And here’s Io! She takes Zoey’s crutch and lays waste to everyone! Cora is helping her out and Cora nails Mandy with her skateboard. Raquel dumps the last of the heels and Io gets on the mic, calling “WAR GAMES!”

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

The final score: review Average
The 411
This was a massive improvement from last week. Sure, there's still some dumb stuff going on but this felt like a more well put-together show. The matches were not the best on the whole, but with some feuds to focus on everything felt less scattered and directionless. That's a big lift for me and while it's still not exactly must-see TV again yet, I didn't mind this episode on the whole.

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WWE NXT, Jeremy Thomas