Reviews by Dave
By David E Houston II
Show air date: June 22, 2021
NXT on USA had a lot of good wrestling but maannnn, they had some big-time ‘Who wrote this 💩?’ moments.
Adam Cole defeated Carmelo Hayes
Adam Cole kicks things off with an in-ring promo (it is WWE, after all) about his Great American Bash match with Kyle O’Reilly. The first match was unsanctioned, this is just a regular match. Booking backward is the hotness in 2021. This episode had a couple of AEW tropes going for (against) it. Carmelo Hayes gave a good accounting of himself in his match with Adam Cole. It’s Zoey Stark all over again: it’s not good to book debuting new talent with losses to top talent. Hayes needs a win next week and a good one. None of that “distraction” nonsense. Hit his finish–whatever it is–and pin/submission.
Io Shirai Doesn’t Like Zoey Stark
I’m with Io Shirai: that’s a dick move to be putting the bad mouth on your tag partner before your match, after some mutual respect the last couple of weeks and not even good bad mouth from Stark.
The Way defeated Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan
Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory–the male half of The Way– cut an alright promo, thankfully cut off by Pete Dunne and Oney Lorcan. They’re booked in a tag match later.
NXT has done such a bad job elevating top faces, all the heels are fighting. The Way beat Dunne and Lorcan in a good tag match but this match could have said: ‘Produced by Nick and Matt Jackson’ how ridiculous and convoluted it got. Good to see EVOLVE Austin Theory for the second week. NXT champion, Karrion Kross, popped Gargano in the back of the head because no one talks about his leather jacket and lives. Ain’t it June in Florida?
Io Shirai and Zoey Stark defeated The Robert Stone Brand
Any match with Aliyah is not a way to tell everyone you have “the greatest women’s division in the world.” She lived down to expectations as she and Jessi Kamea (not good herself but promising) lost to Stark and Shirai in a match that went too long. Tag champs, Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell, as well as NXT Women’s champ Raquel González and Dakota Kai surround the ring only to be halted in this beatdown by some Bast-awful talking by Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart (that 💩 was horrible) before a big brawl broke out.
Franky Monet defeated Elektra Lopez
Elektra Lopez got in some offense but this was a good squash by Franky Monet (with her dog, Mr. Mundo).
Hit Row defeated Ever-Rise
Hit Row won. Ever-Rise is trash. They need a new finish though. That joint looked dangerous. Hit Row running up on North American champion Bronson Reed was the only truly good talking on the show.
Main Event: Kyle O’Reilly defeated KUSHIDA
O’Reilly beat Cruiserweight champion KUSHIDA in a non-title match in the best wrestling match of the week so far. Nothing says “trash title” than top guys not even wanting shots at it.
They have a ROH flashback before Cole comes out (they must have forgotten they did the “he’s not in the building” trick already) and gets into a brawl with O’Reilly while KUSHIDA is attacked by some hooded men, who reveal themselves to be Malcolm Bivens (welcome back) new Diamond Mine group: Tyler Rust, the debuting Hideki Suzuki and the returning Roderick Strong. That’s what this show needed: another heel group. This wasn’t the Wednesday show?
A lot of good wrestling and that’s great. Bad storytelling but that’s expected. It is WWE.
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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.