19th Aug2021

‘WWE NXT’ Review (Aug 17th 2021)

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s NXT review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and after writing a Raw review with Elvis, I’ve decided I’m Elvis now. F–k off, Leo Sayer! F–k off Lynn Anderson! F–k off, Judy Collins! F–k off, Van Morrison! F–k off, Michael Johnson! F–k off, Vangellis! F–k off, Minnie Riperton! F–k off, Walter Egan! F–k off, Santa Esmeralda! F–k off, Marvin Gaye! F–k off…NXT!

Match #1: Ilja Dragunov b. Roderick Strong

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

An injury to Kushida prompted an open challenge from The Diamond Mine, and it was one The Mad Russian gladly accepted. Roderick Strong took advantage of a distraction by Hachiman to smash Ilja Dragunov into the ring steps to take control. A battered Dragunov dug deep to land a Torpedo Moscow and delivered a brutal message to WALTER ahead of NXT TakeOver 36.

The Verdict: 8 out of 10

Match #2: Cameron Grimes b. Josh Briggs

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

LA Knight was dishing out cash ahead of NXT to find someone to take out Cameron Grimes and tapped on the towering Josh Briggs to do his bidding. Briggs put his strength on display, but the hard-hitting butler landed a crushing Cave In for the win. The Million Dollar Champion took matters into his own hands after the match with uncalled for cheap shots to Ted DiBiase and Grimes.

The Verdict: 3 out of 10

Match #3: Indi Hartwell & Dexter Lumis b. Jessi Kamea & Robert Stone

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Indi Hartwell & Dexter Lumis looked to convert their burning love into in-ring chemistry against The Robert Stone Brand. Robert Stone spent much of the match trying to avoid Lumis, but Franky Monet’s attempt to enter the fray resulted in her being ejected from ringside. Hartwell stole the show by using Lumis’ Silence to force a tapout from Jessi Kamea and then dropped jaws with a stunning proposal.

The Verdict: 3 out of 10

Match #4: Carmelo Hayes b. Duke Hudson – NXT Breakout Tournament Semifinals Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Duke Hudson had plenty to talk about heading into his NXT Breakout Tournament Semifinal matchup, but Carmelo Hayes pulled out all the tricks. Hayes shifted the match with a huge DDT and then went flying off the top rope to punch his ticket to the Finals. As Hayes celebrated, Odyssey Jones rolled into the ring to remind him of what awaits next week.

The Verdict: 5 out of 10

Match #5: (Main Event) MSK b. Imperium – NXT Tag Team Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

MSK came out flying from the opening bell, but Imperium stopped them in their tracks with impressive shows of strength. Nash Carter & Wes Lee eventually showed why they’ve ascended to the top of NXT and demanded more respect with another impressive win. WALTER brought post-match fireworks as he rolled in to level Dragunov and the NXT Tag Team Champions.

The Verdict: 6 out of 10

Final Verdict: 4/10

In terms of atmosphere, this show was great, but this isn’t called professional atmosphere, it’s professional wrestling. The best match was the opener, without question. Ilya has quickly become the ace of NXT and they ought to keep him around this brand if they can. The match with Roderick was fantastic, from the grappling to the tension in the countering to the slow, deliberate pace of the offense itself. It felt like a contest between two athletes. Ilya is so intense that you think he’s about to explode. I love how wild Ilya looks from moment to moment as well. Roderick is just too damn good to ignore. Having Ilya as his opponent was the perfect compliment to Roderick’s incredible skills. I absolutely loved that opening match. It’s a shame that the rest of the matches weren’t that good. Apart from the average yet exciting main event (however stunted it was by the booking of the finish and a lack of proper time), it was our opener that gave us the entertainment value. Fortunately, Ilys and WALTER did get a chance to brawl in the aftermath of the main event, so that’s something.

There were promos here, like Indi Hartwell proposing marriage to Dexter Lumis and him saying yes to the ring she put on his finger, or Samoa Joe and Karrion Kross brawling all around the arena and destroying half of it in the process. KUSHIDA was not cleared to compete, which is how the Roderick/Ilya match happened, so the Cruiserweight Title match will be rescheduled. Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai did their interview where they picked each other apart before they fight at Takeover. LA Knight attacked Cameron Grimes and Ted Dibiase. If you’ll notice, I’m really talking about just one great match and a bunch of promos. For a two hour wrestling show, that’s pathetic. They did another Prime Target vignette for Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly. Isn’t that great? The WWE is obsessed with promos and as long as Vince is in charge, NXT will have to follow that mandate. That being said, I wish Vince was more obsessed with great matches, since this is professional wrestling. Well, Takeover happens this weekend, along with SummerSlam and more major events from a few other wrestling leagues at least. Takeover has a lot of potential this time out, so I hope it is a hit. However, if this show is an indication on it’s own, I’d worry a bit about Takeover 36’s chances. In any case, at least we have that opening match to enjoy. Okay. I’ll see you next time.


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