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    Saturday, February 6, 2021

    The NXT Fanboy (2/3/21): The Show Gets Rated R

    Edge, Finn Balor, and Pete Dunne on WWE NXT

    The big headline that came from this week’s episode of NXT is the Rated-R Superstar showing up to give props to and stake his potential claim in the current NXT Championship scene. Outside of this, the black and gold brand put on a fantastic show with just straight-up good freaking wrestling.

    Let us see what NXT this week has to show us.

    Dusty steals the show

    What is up with the Dusty Cup this year? Why is every match consistently not just decent but really good? I can’t provide you the answers but what I can say is that the American Dream is surely smiling at how good his booking still is. In this episode alone, we had moments like Raquel González spiking Catanzaro through the canvas and Adam Cole and Tomasso Ciampa rekindling a storied rivalry.

    The highlight from the tournament this week was the Lucha Libre love letter which was Lucha House Party versus Legado del Fantasma. If you want someone to get into the Mexican style of wrestling, just put on this match and get them instantly hooked. It is easy for people to characterize Lucha as just “a lot of flips.” With matches like this, it is clear that flips with a purpose can be as engaging as any style can be.

    Curt Stallion shows up

    I have said it before in my own circles but it is time to make it clear. Santos Escobar might be the best thing to happen to the cruiserweight division since the days of Neville and Enzo Amore. All due respect to everyone that’s held the title since then, all top-tier wrestlers. However, due to bad booking, none of their reigns were able to truly shine in order to feel important.

    Enter Santos Escobar, a mafia boss character with the legacy and the skill to back him up. Put him up against anyone and you get a main event level match. His match with 205 Live standout Curt Stallion was no exception. If someone tells you cruiserweight wrestling is just flipping, this match basically tells those people to screw themselves. 

    The two men brought out the best in each other with hard strikes and throws. It is legitimately difficult to watch at times in the best way possible. Stallion's comebacks were played out so well that the near falls legitimately shocked you. After the match, Stallion’s babyface role was somehow reinforced as Escobar had to deal with the wrath of Karrion Kross, one of the men he called out last week.

    Kross versus Escobar on Takeover? Yes, please.

    Edge puts the show on notice

    What a moment. What started as just a run-of-the-mill promo between challenger and champion turned into possibly the most significant moment on WWE TV in 2021 so far. Edge showing up and staking his claim to a possible NXT title match at the Show of Shows would have been bonkers, enough but his promo put it over the top.

    How I describe it is Edge talking to younger versions of himself—and arguably his greatest rival John Cena. Describing Pete Dunne as someone who’s willing to do whatever it takes and saying that Balor operates on an entirely different level makes me feel that he was referring to his older programs with Cena, where Edge constantly was trying to figure out and get the number of Cena by any means necessary. My theories aside, the moment made everyone in the ring look like a million bucks further pushing the NXT title as one of if not the most coveted pieces of gold in the industry.

    NXTea: With amazing moments and amazing wrestling, this episode of NXT was a delight from start to finish. Edge's appearance was the cherry on top to performance after performance from wrestlers who know each other and know what they want to prove. 

    Grade: A-


    Image from WWE

    Jacob Tambunting is a freshman at the Ateneo de Manila University currently studying BS Psychology. In his high school years, he authored plays for competitions, essays for projects, and fan fiction for fun. He currently lives with his two parents, his two siblings, and his two dogs, and is probably writing something angsty on his 10-year-old laptop. He breaks down SmackDown and writes The Supercard, where he presents a three-match card of wrestling matches from different promotions based on a certain theme.
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    Item Reviewed: The NXT Fanboy (2/3/21): The Show Gets Rated R Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jacob Tambunting
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