10th Apr2020

‘WWE NXT’ Review (April 8th 2020)

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s NXT review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we’ve got the big Gargano/Ciampa blow-off match to get to, so let’s rock n’ roll.


Match #1: Io Shirai def. Mia Yim, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Candice LeRae, Chelsea Green – NXT Women’s Championship No. 1 Contender’s Ladder Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Io Shirai will get a chance to step to The Queen. Ascending over five other Superstars, The Evil Genius of The Sky won the Ladder Match to become the No. 1 Contender for Charlotte Flair’s newly won NXT Women’s Championship. Shirai prevailed in a battle of attrition, with each competitor perfectly willing to sacrifice her body in pursuit of that cherished opportunity. Raquel González looked as though she might be the X-factor like she has been in so many of Dakota Kai’s previous encounters since joining forces with The Captain of Team Kick at NXT TakeOver: Portland. Kai’s enforcer knocked over a ladder that Shirai was climbing, but the “Joshi Judas” caught herself on the top rope momentarily before unleashing a springboard plancha on four opponents outside of the ring. González even resorted to hoisting Kai on her own shoulders in an attempt to lift her to victory, but Tegan Nox and Mia Yim combined for a massive Chokeslam-powerbomb to send González through a table and netraulize her from playing any further role. Effectively eliminating Nox from the competition was her arch-nemesis Kai, whose facewash kick sent Nox crashing through a ladder. Chelsea Green’s decision to use a steel chair against Yim backfired in painful fashion. Yim smashed the chair over Green’s right knee while it was hung up on the ladder, hobbling her for the rest of the match. Not to be deterred was Green’s agent Robert Stone, who tried to will Green up a ladder while scaling the opposite side. Stone’s plan blew up when Shirai and Candice LeRae tipped the ladder over and sent both him and his client flying. With only LeRae left to fight off, Shirai sent her final opponent plummeting onto a ladder straddling the second rope, allowing The Evil Genius of Sky to claim victory.

My Opinion: 3.3 out of 5 – This was far too short of a match for what this was meant to be and just too short for a Ladder Match, which needs time to make the risks taken feel like risks at all. Having no crowd did make the spots with the ladder feel more grueling and brutal, so that’s a good reason to watch this. Still, this match was a disappointment, because with another six minutes the action could have been given a better rhythm, which went out the window in favor of cramming the stunt into around ten minutes. All in all, I liked what was here, but I lamented that there was not more of it in a longer span of time.

Match #2: Indus Sher def. Ever-Rise

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Rinku and Saurav made an immediate impact by assaulting Matt Riddle in their debut last month. But committing a two-on-one mugging is one thing, and succeeding in legitimate competition is another. Indus Sher proved they could do both, picking up an impressive win over Ever-Rise. Though Ever-Rise used nifty teamwork to temporarily down Rinku, their efforts ultimately proved futile as Malcolm Bivens cheered on his brutish duo. After flooring Chase Parker with a massive big boot, Saurav hit a pendulum backbreaker, keeping Parker draped across his knee for Rinku to drop a devastating flying elbow for the win.

My Opinion: 1.1 out of 5 – The jobbers were better than the main attraction. Oh, this was a squash that didn’t know when to end.

Match #3: (Main Event) Johnny Gargano def. Tommaso Ciampa – Hardcore Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Tommaso Ciampa was once referred to as the “chief puppet master” during his run as NXT Champion, accused of using Johnny Gargano as his marionette. But it was Gargano pulling the strings in devious fashion in his latest epic against Ciampa, walking away from a vacant building victorious thanks to his sinister plot made possible by wife Candice LeRae. The archrivals quickly surpassed the immense brutality of their storied past encounters. Gargano was more methodical than we’ve ever seen him, smashing Ciampa’s surgically repaired right knee against the ring post multiple times. As vicious as he was surgical, Gargano also used a steel chair to target his opponent’s shoulder and neck — both also included in Ciampa’s litany of injury-forced operations over the years. The Blackheart turned his fortunes around when he sent Gargano face-first into a chair propped up in the corner. It was Ciampa’s turn to verbally lambast Johnny Wrestling as he punished him around ringside with his signature camouflaged crutch and powerbombed him through a table. Gargano found respite by moving to the parking lot and luring Ciampa after him, slamming his face into a semi-trailer. They ascended atop the trailer, pummeling each other with the fury of a rivalry steeped in three years of agony and deceit. After making their way back inside the building, Johnny Wrestling escalated the war of words, calling Ciampa a “failure” as a man, husband and father while brutalizing him with his own crutch. But invoking Ciampa’s daughter’s name — Willow — was a mistake as Ciampa completely snapped and overwhelmed Gargano with unbridled aggression. Moments later, Ciampa hit Willow’s Bell on the ring’s wooden boards — which he exposed earlier, conjuring images of their Chicago Street Fight two years ago. But referee Drake Wuertz was unable to count, having been knocked out when Gargano evaded Ciampa’s running knee. Both men appeared completely spent after striking each other simultaneously with broken pieces of Ciampa’s crutch. Gargano’s wife, LeRae, entered the ring, tearfully pleading with both men to stop. Declaring that she’d finish this if Ciampa couldn’t, she stunningly delivered a low blow to her husband. LeRae’s shocking actions spurred remorse for The Blackheart. Refusing to pin Gargano, he instead tended to his former best friend and tag team partner, finally telling him he was sorry. But it all proved to be a ruse. LeRae reemerged with a kick below the belt on Ciampa, letting Gargano reveal he had worn a protective cup. Gargano hit Ciampa with his own Fairytale Ending on the exposed wooden boards, adding further insult to injury for good measure before covering him for the three-count. Basking in the afterglow of a perfectly executed plan, Gargano and LeRae slipped away into the night, victorious.

My Opinion: 3.4 out of 5 – They did this with the movie camera angles, but it looked terrible (just like every cinematic wrestling match so far). The action was good when they weren’t doing that story bull-s—. Next time, just wrestle the damn match and let the action do the talking, instead of cutting promos every five moves. These two guys brawled and made it look good, but the booking got in the way. Over-all, this was good stuff, but was also further evidence that cinematic wrestling just doesn’t work.

News Of The Night:

  1. Killer Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux were in a car as Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae left the arena.

Final Verdict: 3/5

I’m being a bit generous here, but there was some good wrestling action on here, so I won’t piss all over this.


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