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Kevin’s WWE NXT Review 5.4.21

May 6, 2021 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
WWE NXT Candice LeRae Indi Hartwell The Way
7.5
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Kevin’s WWE NXT Review 5.4.21  

WWE NXT

May 4th, 2021 | Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, Florida

Falls Count Anywhere: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Leon Ruff

I was really looking forward to this. Both guys are really good and it has been built as an intriguing TV rivalry. I loved how Swerve took his time to start, playing mind games with the aggressive Ruff. It’s exactly what his character should do. He used that to his advantage and I liked the fire Ruff showed to rally, with his hanging dropkick looking really good. During the break, they fought towards the gym area and really made good use of the stipulation. The reverse rana off the apron was one of the best spots I’ve seen in a while and looked fantastic. The same goes for the rebound Confidence Boost off the plexiglass. Ruff went for a big dive but was caught by AJ Francis, a member of Scott’s entourage. He crushed him with a DVD onto the guardrail. Inside, Swerve hit the JML Driver to win in 15:24. I loved that this got the time it deserved and they delivered. Ruff showed exactly the kind of fire he needed to, while Swerve got the win he needed. [****]

The Way interrupted a meeting William Regal was having with Scarlett. Johnny Gargano said he was the #1 champion and looked right at Scarlett as he said it. Austin Theory said something about Scarlett having “huge” and possibly” fake” things but was discussing her nails and not her boobs.

Asher Hale vs. Cameron Grimes

TO THE MOON. For the most part, this was a squash though Asher Hale got in a bit more offense than expected. The Cave In ended this in 3:04. [NR]

Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter were interviewed in the back. They’re over the Xia Li/Tian Sha drama and are putting it behind them, to focus on the Tag Team Titles. Franky Monet interrupted to say that they’re adorable.

Backstage, Cameron Grimes celebrated with Ever-Rise but then left to NXT’s apparent VIP room.

Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa

I see the atrocious Drake Wuertz is still on TV. It’s like, I know Thatcher and Ciampa are good and I think they work as an angry duo but I just can’t seem to get into them. I love GYV though. The match itself was solid from start to finish. With both teams kind of being mean dudes, it made for something hard hitting. Stuff like chops, strikes, and knees were all delivered with an extra little something. I also found it interesting how they didn’t do traditional tag formula. I’d say Drake was more of the guy in peril than anyone. Things broke down late and it became a big slugfest. They played into the “SHOES OFF” gimmick as someone took Wade Barrett’s and threw it inside. Thatcher used it and then won with the Fujiwara Armbar in 14:27. Good tag team wrestling. [***¼]

The Way found Regal to complain about Johnny vs. Bronson next week but Regal kept it on and then booked Theory vs. Kross.

Backstage, Swerve and his entourage bragged about the victory.

NXT Champion Karrion Kross and his slightly more interesting better half Scarlett were out for promo time. The champ said stuff about wanting to fight. Kyle O’Reilly interrupted to say that this is the match he wants because Karrion is champion. Another superior wrestler in Pete Dunne arrived to say that he doesn’t care about any of this, he just wants the NXT Title. Finn Bálor then interrupted to say that he’s “been there, done that” with both Dunne and Kyle before hitting Kross. It led to a brawl with everyone getting involved. Dunne bailed and Kyle was held back by security, letting Kross and Finn mostly go at it. Kross cleared the ring for the most part but The Way attacked from behind. He managed to suplex Theory but ate a superkick from Gargano. They used a pair of them to keep him down and then Johnny hit him with the title.

Sarray vs. Zayda Ramier

Both ladies had successful debuts, with Ramier beating Toni Storm and Sarray besting Zoey Stark. Here, they had some solid back and forth in a match that was kept relatively short. Sarray got to showcase a few impressive move, including a sweet fisherman suplex and missile dropkick. She won with a snap Exploder in 4:39. [**¼]

Via tablet, WALTER scolded Imperium and an upset Alexander Wolfe walked off.

In the back, Sarray checked on Ramier and then Toni Storm and Zoey Stark had an intense staredown.

Jake Atlas vs. LA Knight

Another match where there’s not much to discuss. Knight was the focal point here but it wans’t a squash as Atlas got in a fair amount of offense. Knight won with a Bulldog Driver in 3:05. [**]

In their locker room, Candice LeRae tried to get Indi Hartwell to focus. She hid a drawing made by Dexter Lumis and closed the blinds on him holding roses.

Toni Storm got to do a great “talk to the camera” promo. I miss these and want a mix of them with typical interviews. Anyway, Toni said that Zoey’s “flavor of the month” aura is fading. She’s a global superstar and Zoey is a global nobody. She will take her out of this business.

Legado del Fantasma were in the ring for a promo. Santos Escobar said last week was part of a premonition as he’d get his title back. Joaquin Wilde said MSK won the titles but didn’t pin them like they did last week. Raul Mendoza issued a Tag Title challenge. KUSHIDA interrupted on the screen and challenged Escobar for next week, offering to defend the title.

Time for a sitdown, split-screen interview with Raquel Gonzalez and Mercedes Martinez. Raquel said the title makes her the baddest in the division, while Martinez said she isn’t scared of her. She paved the road for women like Raquel who never went through the grittiness that she did. Martinez called her “cookie-cutter” so Raquel said that she accomplished more in a year than Martinez has in her whole career. Ouch.

Franky Monet’s dog was found in Shotzi and Ember’s tank. Though they felt he was cute, the dog pooped in the tank so they can’t drive it out.

Ah, the VIP Room is apparently some kind of club. Cameron Grimes tried to get in but was stopped because the venue has been rented out by someone. Of course, a limo pulled up and out stepped Ted DiBiase, who is the guy who rented it out. I could watch these segments all day.

KUSHIDA/Escobar next week is 2/3 Falls, while Raquel/Mercedes is also next week.

NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship Street Fight: Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart [c] vs. Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell

Loved Ember and Shotzi coming out dressed as Freddy and Jason. NXT has seemingly been doing a good job with bookending their shows. Like the opener, this delivered. They made sure to do the Street Fight concept well, using various weapons from ladders to tables to trash cans. They incorporated interesting offense like Ember’s Facebuster onto chairs off the guardrail. Shotzi took a rough bump using her senton off the top onto a ladder. She took a worse brunt than Candice. Soon after, Candice hit a quebrada onto a ladder and Ember took a spinebuster onto one for close calls. Shotzi took out Indi with a splash through the announce table off of tower structure they have in the CWC. At least, I thought they were out. Both returned to the main action surprisingly soon, with Indi hitting a springboard elbow that put Moon through the table. Candice used brass knuckles and the Wicked Stepsister onto a chair to win the gold in 15:38. Hell of a main event though some of the late stuff seemed a bit rushed. Still, it was wild, had bit spots, and Candice FINALLY has her title. [***¾]

7.5
The final score: review Good
The 411
As usual, another very good episode of NXT. They started and ended with strong matches, which is always helpful. The tag match in the middle was good and I loved the Cameron Grimes bit. A few of the promos felt a bit long-winded at times though.
legend

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NXT, Kevin Pantoja