Reviews by Dave
By David E Houston II
Show air date: December 21, 2021
NXT 2.0 Episode 651 is in the books. A real mixed bag. It was booked like Tuesday Night Raw but a lot of matches like WWE DARK.
The Most Raw Thing
I remember Tommaso Ciampa, reigning NXT champion, being a good promo but on this episode, he just seemed to be talking and talking and talking. I lost interest. This was the most Raw thing they do on NXT now. Bron Breksteiner pressed him over his head. Okay. We already knew he could do that. Completely skippable.
Raquel Gonzalez defeated Dakota Kai
In a Street Fight
I love Dakota Kai jumpstarting her scheduled Street Fight with Raquel Gonzalez (and the show) in the back. No lockup here. Pretty typical WWE “street fight” with all the normal spots and weapons but it’s the most memorable match either woman has had in a while. I was glad to see it. The highlight was Kai’s double stomp on Gonzalez while she was laying prone with her head in a trash can.
Gonzalez won so that should be the end of the only Women’s feud across WWE that had good matches and solid booking. She then challenges Women’s champion Mandy Rose and frankly, Rose should have given it to her right then. Gonzalez just had a street fight with Kai. Give her what she asked for.
They don’t come right back to that from the commercial. They do a Tony D’Angelo video first. No sense of urgency. Cora Jade saw Liv Morgan on Raw and said ‘I can beat that’ and gave us nothing, confronting Gonzalez.
Then both of them got beat up by Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne, who sneak attack better than they ever Sexy Walk.
Diamond Mine vs Grizzled Young Vets
The match between the Diamond Mine’s Brutus and Julius Creed (with Malcolm Bivens) and Zack Gibson and James Drake–the Grizzled Young Veterans–was going pretty well. Fine tag match. Then they involved Jacket Time–KUSHIDA and the insufferable Ikemen Jiro–and Brook Jensen and Josh Briggs and it was a no-contest with a dull brawl at the end.
Dexter Lumis defeated Trick Willams
Hopefully, this is the last week of Trick Williams’ “Oh Lawdy! Ize scared!” act with Dexter Lumis. Lumis-Williams was a lot of nothing. Went too long. Lumis won.
There was a scuffle with North American champion Carmelo Hayes (some title matches would be nice) and Roderick Strong (no one cares about the cruiserweight title so I expect it to go away at New Year’s Evil) and Grayson Waller smacks Lumis with a chair after the match.
I Knew It Was Time to Hit FF
Right then, I knew it was time to hit fast forward, even when AJ Styles showed up. Waller is at least 3 yrs from being ready to be in the ring with AJ so I guess Styles is about to earn a bonus for carrying him into something resembling decent.
Edris Enofé defeated Von Wagner
Nice for Edris Enofé to get his first TV win over Von Wagner, even if it’s more of that bizarre booking they do. Wagner then beat the hell out of him and shoulder-checked Robert Stone, who was standing ringside.
There is No Instant Translation
Add “closed captioning” to things WWE doesn’t understand. There is no instant translation like they’ve been doing for Imperium’s interviews. It just reveals they’re working off a script. Lazy.
Io Shirai defeated Elektra Lopez
I was thinking “Hm. Ladies are bailing out this hour too” as Io Shirai and Elektra Lopez of Legado del Fantasma were having a solid bout but like nearly every other match, there was a silly, overbooked, messy finish involving Xyon Quinn, some mistletoe, and Santos Escobar with Shirai pinning Lopez. This is a real patience tester this week.
Pete Dunne defeated Tony D’Angelo
Pete Dunne beat D’Angelo in the main event. It was okay. They probably have a better match if D’Angelo did some of that legit wrestling he can do and have that kind of technical match-up as opposed to him doing nothing but suplexes like he’s the other Steiner son/nephew.
Another recurring theme of the night saw D’Angelo beat Dunne up after the match, even rapping Pete across the knuckles with his crowbar.
Not a great show. In desperate need of some streamlining and an editor so they aren’t doing the same thing repeatedly in the same episode.
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David E Houston II he’s attended small independent shows with less than 100 people and large stadium shows with over 20,000 fans and live worldwide pay-per-views.