Rant time. NXT 2.0 has been mostly garbage, but WWE manages to make it worse every week. Tonight’s episode was mostly mediocre to straight-up bad all throughout, but the main event—which saw Cora Jade turn on Roxanne Perez—takes the cake on multiple levels. It also proves even more how WWE hates the women’s tag team division across all brands.
For those who didn’t watch this episode, this is what you need to know.
Nikkita Lyons was the standout in the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament, easily poised to win. An injury took her out of the running. Eventually, Roxanne Perez took home the contract for a title opportunity of her choosing at any time.
For some reason, she was then booked in an entirely separate No. 1 contender’s match alongside Cora Jade to set them up to face Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship. They beat Katana Chance and Kayden Carter to earn that opportunity, and it was specifically stated multiple times that the contract was still in play. This was just a bonus tag team title match that they somehow earned for arbitrary reasons. Essentially, “Shut up and stop asking questions.”
Jade and Perez won the tag team titles at Great American Bash. Perez was quick to say she’d keep the train rolling and wanted to use her contract for an NXT Women’s Championship match on this edition of NXT to take that title off Mandy Rose.
Then, tonight’s episode started with Perez laying down in the parking lot, having been attacked. This has happened MULTIPLE times this year alone. It has become a crutch, where NXT’s writers just have someone attacked “by someone” and try to create a mystery throughout the night of “who did it?!!!?!?” It never ends up being a worthwhile surprise.
After some really poorly done teases of it possibly being people like Amari Miller (Why the hell would it be her?) and Nikkita Lyons, the scheduled title match went ahead. Perez fought, despite how she very easily could have just said “Fine. I’ll take you on next week, as my contract is still in play”—but we’re not supposed to follow logic in WWE.
Then, surprise surprise, Jade interferes and costs Perez the match.
— WWE (@WWE) July 13, 2022
She follows this up by trying to hit Perez with her skateboard, which laughably broke before she even hit her. WWE isn’t going to show you that footage, but here you go:
LMAOOO THE SKATEBOARD BREAKING pic.twitter.com/6lXdYomWqC
— 𝙅ay (@TOXlCATTRACTlON) July 13, 2022
It was an absolute wreck. And that’s on a night that saw Indi Hartwell botch the end of her match and a ton of promo/talking segments that were as bland as could be. Needless to say, this was an episode that would have been better off not existing, as it did no favors for anyone involved.
Remember How the Women’s Tag Team Division Started?
As frustrating as it is to see so many stupid things waste my time for 2 hours, what I want to focus on even more is how absurdly bonkers ridiculous it is that WWE decided to do this heel turn now of all times, and how poorly that reflects on the women’s tag team division.
It has been long known that WWE doesn’t prioritize the tag team division when it comes to the men. The women didn’t even have a division at all until a few years ago, when it seemed Vince McMahon was dragged kicking and screaming into creating those belts just to give Bayley and Sasha Banks something to do.
You remember Sasha Banks—the woman who was thrown into a random tag team earlier this year because there was nothing better for her to do, again, so they gave her and Naomi the tag titles and promptly did fuck all with them? Then, when Banks and Naomi were upset that they were supposed to just randomly go into singles competition to put over the Raw and SmackDown women’s champions, thinking “Why aren’t we doing something with these tag titles?”, they just up and left? Remember that?
Well, if you look at the history of the main roster women’s tag titles, you’ll see that virtually none of those reigns matter. WWE just gave the belts to two random people for between 40 and 130 days at a time. Like clockwork.
After Banks and Naomi left, these titles have been completely MIA since May 20. WWE said there would be new champions crowned, then promptly pushed that all to the side.
But if you recall, those tag titles were originally supposed to be cross-branded not just between Raw and SmackDown, but also NXT. However, WWE NEVER followed through with that outside of what, one match over a year or two since their inception?
So instead of having a healthy women’s tag team division that could utilize four different rosters of Superstars, WWE decided to keep it on Raw and SmackDown and put the bare minimum amount of effort into it as possible, treating it like they do the booking for Main Event. The titles are there, just like Main Event is a show, but you’re not supposed to actually give a damn about them, or you’re a moron setting yourself up for failure.
Then, NXT Gets Their Titles
With all these problems in mind, how does WWE solve them? Of course, they don’t. Instead, they double it up by creating the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship. Now, they can’t be cross-branded with the main roster, and that splits the difference with less possible pairings to compete for two sets of belts.
Keep in mind, NXT UK hasn’t even crossed over with the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship. Mind-boggling, right?
The first women to be crowned champions were Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez (now Rodriguez). They lost the titles that very same day.
55 days later, after a lackluster run, Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart drop the belts to The Way’s Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell. They only hold the titles for 63 days, before Io Shirai and Zoey Stark are randomly paired off.
112 days later, WWE is itching for new champions, as the main roster’s belt history proves. Dolin and Jayne win for Toxic Attraction’s first run.
Hey, 158 days later, guess what happens? It’s time for a title switch! WWE gives the belts back to Dakota and Raquel. Maybe this time, they’ll get a legitimate reign?
Nope. They drop the belts 3 days later, right back to Toxic Attraction.
91 days after that, we’re where we are now, with Jade and Perez winning the titles and then breaking up as a tag team ONE WEEK LATER.
Look at that. Kai, Moon and LeRae are gone from WWE. Indi is no better off than she was before (and her previous tag team partner, Persia Pirotta, is gone). Shotzi’s struggling on the main roster. And now, Jade and Perez couldn’t even have a single title defense before their team was tossed aside.