NXT recap & reactions (April 19, 2022): What is this, NXT?

Guess who’s back? NXT. NXT is back, tell a friend.

With that out of my system, welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. Claire, my other great co-host, is on top of the blog and play-by-play as per usual.

I’ve got the analysis, insights, and half witticisms for your delight.

Let’s talk NXT!

What in the World?

Normally, I try to come up with clever references for these sections. They entertain me and hopefully entertain you. Some of them are pop culture references, song titles, or just quick observations designed to be just that. But then there are moments when I truly don’t know what to say, hence the title you see a couple sentences above.

What exactly was this mess with Bron Breakker and Joe Gacy? Not going to mince words here, but what I saw was stupid from beginning to painful end. The show starts with Joe Gacy asking Bron what he’s willing to sacrifice to get back his father’s Hall of Fame ring. Bron comes to the arena through the crowd, for basketball reasons, and calls out Gacy.

We’re then treated to a ridiculous game of cat and mouse all night between the two as Bron not only falls for an obvious recording of his father’s voice from weeks ago, but walks into an office of mirrors. Someone really spent their Party City budget on that one, and I’m guessing it wasn’t Gacy, who appeared like the Ultimate Warrior — just Warrior at the time— did during a comically stupid moment in WCW.

At this point, I wondered why this is happening. Besides the fact that I contend the most interesting story is Bron’s dad getting kidnapped and watching Bron chase him down, it misses the initial point I made weeks ago: Bron doesn’t back down to challenges! There’s no need to kidnap his father, steal jewelry, insult his moms, or rip his favorite jean jacket in two.

If you step to Bron and want a title shot, he’ll give it to you. And, I’m sorry, but someone’s life is a much higher stake than a ring, no matter how emotionally valuable said ring is. If Bron is their next big thing, I question the wisdom in having him involved in something this nonsensical and slapdash.

Then the show’s closing segment happened and I rolled my eyes hard enough to get them stuck. Gacy finally reveals himself on the platform in the audience. Bron comes out and Gacy gives him back the ring on one condition: Gacy wants a championship match at Spring Breakin ‘. Again, if he asked Bron for that two weeks ago, he gets it, no questions asked and no fathers or rings harmed in the process.

Then, in the most ludicrous moment of the week — it’s only Tuesday — Gacy tells Bron to take a leap and pushes him off the platform. Guess what or whom is standing at the bottom of the platform waiting for Bron?

If you said Christmas presents, then you didn’t watch the show. Also, it’s April.

If you said mysterious druids draped in robes, then you saw what I saw.

What. Is. This?

Gacy can do spooky ish now? Are these members of his cult he recruited off screen? And what’s the plan after they mob Bron while he screams as the show fades to black? The fact NXT 2.0 makes swings less wild and has meh-level follow through is disconcerting because this calls for, nay, demands an incredible payoff, along with a solid explanation. And Bron suddenly turning gullible and stupid is a bad look for him.

From start to finish, this was indicative of an episode that never found a rhythm, missed the mark for the most part, and worst of all, was boring.


Gangster’s Paradise

Shocker, but Carmelo Hayes and Santos Escobar put on a dope match. A really dope match, actually. It’s so unsurprising that it really doesn’t merit a lot of words but from a purely analytical perspective, Melo needed the win. After losing his championship at Stand & Deliver, Melo needed the juice back. And at Spring Breakin ‘he gets his match with Cameron Grimes for the title.

It wasn’t all fun and games for the champ though, as Solo Sikoa came through for his revenge after last week’s Melo and Trick-sponsored chicanery. I liked this because it’s logical and in-character. And guess what? Melo and Grimes have Solo to content with as the championship match is now of the triple threat variety.

That said, the ending of the match was both piss and poor. Two gents in bowlers, who are supposed to be rolling gangsters with Tony D, attacked Santos when the ref’s back was turned. Why is Tony D running with cats dressed like John Steed from The Avengers. And if you’re thinking that’s a Marvel reference, the link provided will prove otherwise.

It’s incongruent, even if I understand what they’re going for. Le boo all around for that.

But then it got worse: Tony D slapped a boot on their truck and left a Sicilian message on the hood.


During her match with Sarray, Tiffany Stratton asked, “Why won’t you stay down ?!” Despite that brief moment of frustration and good character work, Tiffany controlled most of this match minus a few moments during the second act when Sarray caught fire. Sarray’s technical wizardry wasn’t enough to beat the princess.

Damn good match too.

Waller is a Cockroach

Grayson Waller defeated Sanga somehow. The dude just survives. Their impromptu match is a result of Waller giving Sanga his walking papers last week, so Sanga was out for blood. Sanga is a big bruiser who moves pretty well for a man his size. Waller’s weasel schtick made Sanga look good but I’m perplexed by the ending. Waller doesn’t need a clean victory over Sanga; Waller doesn’t need clean victories at all. Let your heels do heel things. The match was merely okay but that ending makes no sense. Let Waller really put the big man over by being underhanded.

Shoutout to the cat in the crowd rocking the My Bloody Valentine t-shirt. I see you.

Nattie in the House

I refuse to call Natalya that word that rhymes with moat. But she easily handled Tatum Paxley this week. Tatum stepped up last week and told Nattie she wanted some. Well, she got all that she could handle in a match that didn’t thrill me one bit but served its purpose.

Later, Nikkita Lyons told Nattie she wants that action. AND, she’s flexible enough to withstand the Sharpshooter.

I believe I speak for the entire audience, everyone reading this, and Cageside as a whole when I say … whatever is in my head because it can’t be repeated.

Legado Still Runs the Bingo

Everyone wants a piece of Pretty Deadly. Grizzled Young Veterans want all of the smoke with the new tag champs, especially since they weren’t invited to last week’s tag team gauntlet. The problem with that? Legado del Fantasma want those tag titles too.

The show kicked off with all three teams talking trash to each other, with LdF doing most of the talking with their fists. And feet. And elbows. This led to an entertaining tag match between GYV and LdF. GYV got caught up playing LdF’s game: Running fast break offense at 100 mph. There was one miscue that thankfully didn’t lead to any repercussions. Legado got the W and move closer to the front of the line for a tag title match.

Speaking of Pretty Deadly …

Remember last week when Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta suggested their men team up for the tag titles? Well, we got that this week when Dexter Lumis and Duke Hudson formed like Voltron for a championship match.

It was an okay match illustrating the difference between one team who always works together rand another that can’t even speak to each other without an intermediary. And, to the surprise of no one, Pretty Deadly one. Because they’re the new tag champs and should win.

The match was fine but by this point in the show, it didn’t feel worthy of a main event.

Roxanne, Roxanne

Roxanne Perez won her NXT 2.0 debut. Her first match was a week early thanks to Toxic Attraction being themselves and challenging her. Jacy Jayne was the pick to take down the rookie. And she almost did until Wendy Choo showed up on the big screen after wrecking TA’s dressing room. It’s wrestling, so you know how the distraction goes: Roxanne used it to get the W.

X Marks the Spot

There’s an interesting story to tell with Wes Lee. His partner is gone, his titles are gone, and now he’s all alone. Xyon Quinn offered some confusing advice, Wes said being in the ring brings peace so they wrestled.

And Quinn won. Cool, cool.

I enjoyed about three moments from this show and only two of those were matches. The energy of this show was lacking, especially after last week’s damn fine gauntlet match that brought all the joy.

The worst sin of all? It was a boring show.

Grade: D

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

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