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NXT 2.0 - 9/14/2021


Dolfan in NYC
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Steinercito, being able to see the fans, Creed Bros mauling geeks - thumbs up

Steinercito's dumb name, all of the booking, the seizure-inducing colour scheme - thumbs down

Got a very strong EVOLVE-ish feel from this show so far

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For the most part, this was fucking terrible. Like, NXT has been stagnant for nearly 3 years now, which I think is when all of the Johnny Gargano shit started where he'd act all concussed and was feuding with Ciampa. That era was fine at first, but man, you can only take so many supposed epic matches. My all time favorite period of NXT was when you had TUE, the Authors of Pain, Sanity, a re-building of the women's division, etc. I still liked the NXT roster, but it had gotten so stale and the move to two hours was a real monkey's paw scenario. I wanted the show to be two hours long. Then it was and a stagnant program over one hour is tolerable. Two hours is borderline torture.

I'm just going to go with my initial impressions and where I wound up with the show so this is borrowing some from what I was typing out on Discord.

At first, I really dug the new logo. In fact, I still like that logo, even though it's the quickest spin art looking shit you could cook up in Illustrator in about five minutes. WWE has an entire graphics department and this is purely jealousy, but it's fucking aggravating to know they keep churning out easy shit like this and make way more than I do. Whatever though. 

Colors are great though! NXT got too dark, too dungeony. It was like, "Here's NXT brought to you by Kink.com!" We all like colors, right? It's a good thing when your color palette is broad.

And then they cut to the arena. On my first look I thought, wow, this is really bright, but it's a nice change of pace. Then, and not piggybacking off of what anyone else said because this was the legitimate thought that came to me at the time, same as everyone else, it looks so much like a Nickelodeon game show. Basically, Double Dare. Then some other aesthetics started popping out. I mean, really standing out. There's no guardrails, which immediately tells me we're not going to get any wild shit on the outside of the ring. Ok, fine, learn stuff in the ring. I started paying attention to the outside of the ring more, and I wish I could screencap this when I'm at work (my phone also won't let me screencap the YTTV app, which is...weird), but the people in the crowd weren't doing anything. Just, nothing at all. At the risk of sounding crude, the first rows on the hard cam side looked like they had people bussed in from the nearby nursing home and rehab facility. Just a bunch of broken down looking people.

The biggest issue with all of those people though, and this is the whole crowd, is that they were doing nothing, and the arena was FILLED with crowd noise. They're literally pumping in canned audience sounds for this regardless of what the crowd was doing. You can easily notice this at the start and during the first match.

Plus sides for the new appearance though, is that the entrance is cooler. Going with the bright and colorful theme, it's more inviting and attractive. I love how the end of the entryway really widens out to the ring. My personal preference is having people right on top of the folks coming out, like in ECW or UFC, and the next best is a WCW/NJPW/AEW style ramp. This was still cool though. So I guess if any crazy shit happens, that's where it will go down.

The ring sounds fucking amazing. This is by far the best sounding ring WWE has ever had. It does look a little bouncier, which is whatever, but man, it just sounds so fucking good.

Then the show gets going. First they change the amazing name of Rex Steiner to Bron Breakker. BRON. BREAKKER. You thought Braun Strowman was a shitty random name generator name? Holy shit. BRON. BREAKKER. is fucking atrocious. WHY ARE THERE TWO Rs IN HIS NAME? The fuck is going on here? Then you have the announcers all but calling him a Steiner. WWE's obsession with owning every little bit of a person is so fucking stupid. Know what else is even dumber? Jobbing out one of the contenders in the main event in the opening fucking match AND THEY'RE NOT THE PERSON REPLACED IN THE MAIN EVENT? Like, what are we even doing here. That was maybe the worst bit of booking I have ever seen. It was the type of shit a junior in high school running an efed would come up with. I know WWE shit rarely makes sense, but this was just all time dumb. It's up there with a DQ in a Hell in a Cell and a DQ in a No DQ match.

And the show is still a slog. I'm going to give them a break on that one until the find themselves, but this was a little too much old OLD NXT for my tastes. Again, that's perfectly tolerable when the show is an hour long. At two hours it's just unbearable. It's just bad TV. Next week is going to be even worse because this week we at least had a very long wedding to close the show. Next week is going to be even more green dudes and dudettes wrestling. Some of that shit is going to work, some isn't, but again, it's the two hour run time that hurts more than anything else.

Let's look at it like this. I would probably have zero complaints if you had a show with an exciting opener with Rex Steiner not facing LA Knight, one of the tag team squashes, the main event with a more valid reason for replacing KOR and replacing him with someone who actually looks cool, and the wedding segment. That's an hour long show that I would be thrilled with. This was just a mess from one segment to the next with a couple things hitting and most things not.

NXT has missed an AOP like team for awhile so these new dudes feel like they fill that void. I'm game for that. The wedding was amusing and was like the best stuff you'd see from TNA. Rex Steiner is awesome, but has a dud for a name and I can't trust that they'll book him well. Ciampa fills the role of the vet champion well while the young upstart chases him. And that's about all I liked. 

This was bad. This was really bad. And part of the reason it was really bad is that you did have good things happen on this show. but everything else is such a mess that it's all forgettable and regrettable.

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Saw the last half hour live and went back to watch some other stuff. Like the new arena set up and colours. Like them aggressively trying to introduce new talent. Always like when they use that crane deal as their main camera. The wedding was a bit of whatever for me but Indi Hartwell rules. If anything, sticking with Ciampa is too safe and too much like old NXT. Put it on RIck's kid immediately. Let's get weird.

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Hate the name Bron Breakker, but think he looks like a million dollars. That's the guy Vince saw and said "there's my next big thing" and rightfully so. Nice job by him to keep LA up for the gorilla press slam. Didn't catch all of the show, but I like the overall looks/aesthetics and colors. Despite it maybe looking a little Nickelodeon, I personally really liked it. I don't know if it will be appointment television, but a nice little thing to watch here and there.

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Can WWE not copyright "Rex Steiner"?  I keep hearing vague comments about that (and Meltzer apparently thinks the rename was a last-minute decision), but "Steiner" isn't his legal surname, though it is close.  Is that the issue?

I feel like acknowledging he is Rick's kid and a second-generation wrestler would be an easy and effective way to get him over as a big deal.  I feel like they need to do something to establish the new faces, even if it's only for a few weeks.  Von Wagner being hot-shotted into the main event for no reason and Bron teasing that he's coming for the belt at show's end was a bit too much for my liking.

Annndddd... I just realized that they named two of the new guys on the show "Von" and "Bron".  Erkk.  How will I ever tell them apart?

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I think this is the first time I've watched a WWE show start to finish since WrestleMania in 2019, so you can take my opinion with a grain of salt here, but...

I dug it... ?

I dunno. The way the set was dressed was aesthetically pleasing to me, and I don't much care about how much of the talent was new because they were almost all new to me. I liked Rick Steiner's kid. More grapplebeef like that please.

The wedding was cute!

I dunno. Nothing felt objectionable. I don't know if it'll convert me into being a regular watcher but I'll give it a go again sometime.

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That wedding (and last week's bachelor/bachelorette parties) is probably the best bits of WWE comedy written in years. So stupid, but silly enough that it was highly entertaining. I think my favourite part was when they said cut to the chase and Andre Chase said "Did someone say Andre Chase" and Gargano loudly said "No one said that!"

I would like to see Gargano re-sign in NXT, because I think he and Ciampa could basically be the vets who mentor and feud with the younger talent. 

I do like the shocking Mandy Rose return was that she no longer has blonde hair.

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8 hours ago, HumanChessgame said:

Did they even mention El Hijo Del Steiner as being a second generation wrestler? As much as they like to lean into that you'd think it would be mentioned rather than sticking to the godawful NXT name generator. Regardless of that, he looked great in the ring. Like everyone else has said, Knight agreeing to a match with him before having a world title show made zero sense.

Vic Joseph did say that Breakker looked like a "Dog-Faced Gremlin" in the ring. So they're going the subtle route initially.

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I don't know. I liked last night's episode about as much as I've enjoyed any other recent episodes of NXT. They paint the whole "new direction" but it still felt like what it's been, which might be worse than if the show was actually worse than usual since then at least you can see what the changes would have been.

I did kind of like the master troll job of sticking Van Hammer (forgot his name, don't feel like looking it up) as a sub for Kyle with all the talk of how NXT is going to be about bigger dudes like with that we thought there was a real chance of "Shit, they're actually going to do that...." The wedding was fun, about as much as a wrestling wedding could be. Indi and Dexter have a really fun chemistry and I hope this lasts a while. When this whole thing first started I figured Indi was going to end up tied up in a crawl space somewhere but hey happy ending!

I guess The Creed brothers are cool, been some quality squash matches out of them and that keeps up for a while, totally the best part of the show for the past two weeks. After NXT's glory days though, kind of sad that I lump NXT with Impact. I enjoy both but really only to the extent of "Well there's nothing else on tonight."

Oh, positive, the Wale theme is pretty good!

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Quote

Tuesday night's launch of "NXT 2.0" averaged 770,000 viewers on the USA Network, up 28.1 percent from last week. It's the best audience for the show since April 20. 

In the 18-49 demo, NXT finished 10th on cable with a 0.21 rating, up 50 percent from last week. So, the gain with younger viewers was much greater than with the overall audience.

 

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I hope Bron is a Curtis Axel fan because that's about as high up the card as he is getting with that name. Even Axel needed to be a Heyman guy. Yeesh.

Also I'm assuming this name is the real reason that Bronson Reed and Braun Strowman were cut. 

It would have made more sense for Steiner to take LA's spot in the match and then win the title.

You want fresh and new? BAM! There it is.

Also we need regular 6 man tags with Steiner and the Creeds just MDKing people.

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I was thinking about them inserting Beverly Khali into the main event last night, and it wouldn’t surprise me if “we’re not going to have a single match on this show that doesn’t have a developmental talent in it” was one of those Vince mandate deals.

Which I’m not even complaining about as that’s a concept I can get behind, but feels like something like that and then the writers dropping the ball on a creative way to get there.

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10 hours ago, AxB said:

NXT didn't do a good enough job of telling us who Von Wagner was. They should have included a 30 second video of his highlights from other matches. Only an idiot would put an unknown guy in a main event spot like that.

I was just wondering about this 🤣💯

Didn't catch it but the WO recap says 6 new wrestlers debuted on NXT last night 

 

My immediate thought: Did they give intro/background videos for all SIX so we would know why we should give a fuck about them appearing on the program? 

/s

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