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NXT recap & reactions (Dec. 14, 2021): Welcome to the deep end

Bron Breakker and Roderick Strong battle for legitimacy. But is this the type of attention either man wants? Come find out.

One more Tuesday before the jingle bells get really loud. NXT 2.0 is on your airwaves, live from Florida. Duh, where else?

Show Claire some love for all she does, and then come back here for more NXT 2.0 cheer.

Let’s talk NXT!


Hard Knock Life

Bron Breakker is a freak. Some might say of the genetic variety, though I hear that designation is already taken. That athletic ability isn’t enough to get what he wants from Tommaso Ciampa. At least not yet.

Bron knows this, so he eagerly accepted Roderick Strong’s challenge. Strong, wanting to get his own shine, issued the challenge knowing Bron is big time and an automatic main event spot. Both men used each other to move to bigger and better things. Unfortunately, they both got more than they bargained for this week.

Bron showed he can handle a match with one of the very best. Strong didn’t take it easy on him and probably underestimated his younger opponent. In another example of old school vs. new school, Roderick figured the technique and skill that took him to great heights in NXT might work against an inexperienced Bron.

Nah ah, as Steve Austin used to say.

Bron survived everything, even the Stronghold, and put on a clinic of his own with a shoulder tackle, belly-to-belly suplex, Frankensteiner, and then finally, his favorite military press powerslam.

Strong did get more eyes on him, including Carmelo Hayes. But he took an L for his troubles. Bron did prove he’s not a flash in the pan and can beat someone with experience. But he ended the show on his back after Ciampa attacked him post match and trash talked him in the process.

“Welcome back to the deep end. Just remember Bron: Sharks swim here.”

And Ciampa finished it with a kiss on the cheek, Don Corelone- style.

Ciampa wants another match with Bron, but he wants to embarrass him first.

Eventually, we’ll get a changing of the guard. Stevie Wonder can see that. Before we get there, the champ wants to build Bron into what he believes is a worthy opponent.


Extracurriculars

Man on the Moon

Cameron Grimes danced with Duke Hudson in a No Holds Barred (brother) match. Grimes won the show opener and revealed that, shock of all shocks, Hudson is newborn baby bald underneath that ridiculous wig.

A fun opener that Hudson dominated until his attitude and cockiness got the better of him. Grimes capitalized and hopefully both men can move on now.

Me Against the World

Grayson Waller didn’t set my world on fire with his promo, but it was effective. The NXT faithful barely let him get a word in edge wise as he played the typical notes a heel in his position plays. He’s better than us, we’re all envious of his success, and he’s a star on social media. He tried getting the fans on his side but now he doesn’t care and doesn’t need us. Well, guess what Grayson? We don’t need you either.

Grayson found himself ostracized by the locker room before beating up LA Knight, then stealing his car and (apparently) his date. It’s not doing a lot for me even though I get what they’re going for.

Hardcore

At a certain point, Ivy Nile needs to challenge for the NXT Women’s Championship, right? They’re keeping her away from all the big players for some reason and letting her beat up on everyone else. She was in a bit of jeopardy this week with Amari Miller, but the end was never in doubt. Even though Miller got an entrance!

If we’re building Nile into a killer, she needs to hunt bigger game sooner rather than later.

Death Certificate

Harland finally hit the ring and, obviously, made proper quick work of his opponent. This weird thing between he and Joe Gacy is just that, weird. I’m not into it but I’m curious? Weird, right? Harland finished his night tossing Brian Kendrick down a flight of steps. They’re doing a lot to make this the wrestling version of fetch.

BUT, shoutout to Westside Gunn, who was front row to see Harland’s debut. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!

Midnight Marauders

Another lesson from MSK’s Shaman, more development for two cats finding their way back to tag team glory after losing the titles. Randy Orton will not be happy with Riddle’s detour, but I’m coming around on these segments. They’re giving MSK an interior life, which always helps for investment.

Queen

Cora Jade and Dakota Kai put on a rough match this week. Dakota is dope as always but Cora still needs more polish. Jade got the lucky win after Dakota bit off more than she can chew and went for the shovel. Wasn’t like she needed to go for it but hey, that’s what she did.

Mandy Rose was on commentary and after the match, her Toxic Attraction sisters, along with Raquel Gonzalez, came ringside with their own agendas.

Raquel has her sights on Dakota for revenge, but eventually she and Cora will deal with each other since they both want the title. Before their match, Dakota told Cora to watch her back as long as Raquel is standing behind her, but the rookie wasn't hearing it. Me thinks she’ll rue the day she ignored that advice.

And before we exit this segment, let us acknowledge the word “simp” was said on a WWE program, followed by “simpin’ ain’t easy.” That is all.

Goodfellas

Tony D’Angelo and Andre Chase put on a competitive match. Chase never had a shot because he’s pure comedy right now, but it served to get Tony D more over and further his story with Pete Dunne.

Speaking of the bruiserweight, Dunne made his presence known when Tony D got on the mic and called him out. A scuffle ensued, tough words were thrown, and Dunne got his mouthguard back.

Wish that was the prize at the end of the rainbow for Dunne rather than the thing he gets before the two even lock up.

Unpredictable

Not sure what they’re doing with Edris Enofe. He got one of those personal video packages WWE excels at, lost his first match against Solo Sikoa, then lost his match this week against Boa. Sikoa was backstage watching for what I assume was to keep an eye on a guy he respects. That guy is Enofe, not Boa. Two losses in a row, especially after picking this fight with Boa, isn’t a good look.

Strictly Business

Jacket Time got the W over Grizzled Young Veterans in a good tag match. The Creed Bros. showed up to scout the competition, distracting GYV, and allowing Jacket Time to go home happy.

I like the idea of different teams scouting every week. Makes the division feel alive and connected rather than just disjointed matches happening for the sake of it. While Imperium rules the roost, NXT is doing all it can to prove several worthy teams can knock them off any given Tuesday. Or Sunday.


Good show! What I like most about NXT 2.0 is the wrestlers have interior lives. They’re fleshing them all out and giving them more than just monikers or catchphrases. NXT 2.0 is home to legitimate honest-to-God characters who just so happen to wrestle.

Grade: B

That’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.