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NXT 2.0 TV REPORT
APRIL 5, 2022
WINTER PARK, FLA. AT THE CAPITOL WRESTLING CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY BRUCE LEE HAZELWOOD (@B_Lee253), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
NXT Commentators: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett
Ring Announcer: Alicia Taylor
Backstage Correspondent(s): McKenzie Mitchell
Tonight after the show, join the PWT Talks NXT self-proclaimed “gang of idiots” to break down the show with calls and emails.
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(The big news coming into tonight’s show is Bron Breakker beating Dolph Ziggler last night in a match that was hyped only hours before to become a two-time NXT Champion. Rumors are that Rick Steiner is also in the building tonight. Let’s see what transpires.)
-The show began with a highlight package from Saturday’s Stand & Deliver and Breakker’s victory last night in a ho-hum match.
-Breakker’s music hit as they cut to the Capitol Wrestling Center. He was introduce as and his lower third said “NEW NXT CHAMPION.” Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett discussed him being at the Hall of Fame for his father being inducted as well. They mentioned the new title, which has the iridescent glow that the Women’s Championship now has. Breakker took a mic. As he started, the crowd started a “We want Ziggler!” “No we don’t!” chant as he said it was one of his biggest honors to induct his father and The Steiner Bros. into the Hall of Fame. He said he failed at Stand & Deliver. He said he was able to watch “great Superstars” like Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch, Kevin Owens, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (a “Cody!” chant started). He said he’ll headline the show one day and transitioned to beating Ziggler last night.
Imperium’s new music hit as Gunther and the former Tag Team Champion entered. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel were dressed to compete, but not Gunther. They flanked Gunther as he took a mic and said it was a nice little story, but nobody cares about that. He said all he cares about is that title and what that title stands for: being the best in NXT. He said the issue is he cannot call himself the best until he steps in the ring with “The Ring General,” Gunther. Breakker said tonight, he’s got it. They posed at each other to end the segment. They cut to break as The Creed Brothers entered. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: Why tonight? Gunther should absolutely NOT lose to Breakker so quickly. I smell shenanigans in the main event, probably Imperium attacking Breakker. I just thought everything was set for Gunther to challenge a little further down the line. Right now, it’s lose-lose. If Breakker wins, Gunther is defined down after being so dominant. If Gunther wins, then why even put the title back on Breakker in the first place? They should have just had Ziggler weasel his ways to victory until Gunther couldn’t take it anymore and stood up as “The Ring General.” I’m just really not sold on this, but again, let’s see how the main event plays out…)
(1) IMPERIUM (Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel) vs. THE CREED BROTHERS (Brutus Creed & Julius Creed w/Malcolm Bivens) – Tag team match
The match was in progress as they returned, so match time is time televised. Julius Creed suplexed Barthel, then tagged in Brutus, who hit a sliding knee to the side. A gator roll, then another, followed. Aichner made a sneaky tag and hit an arm drag to Brutus. It seems liked Gunther went to the back. Aichner flew off of the ropes and hit a headbutt to the gut. The NXT Championship match was made official during the match, as well as the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship rematch.
Brutus hit another gator roll on Barthel, then hit a spiking one! Interesting. Julius tagged in and hit a gutwrench on his brother, right onto Barthel. Apparently, Julius has eight staples in his head. Barthel landed a big slap and tagged in Aichner. Julius hit a headlock takeover, but Aichner used the momentum to roll into his own headlock. He then caught Julius on his shoulders, squatted, then rose to hit a rolling senton. Aichner landed a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and tagged in his partner. Julius picked the leg and tagged in Brutus. They kep targeting Barthel’s midsection, but he landed an enziguri and tagged in Aichner. Brutus tossed Barthel over, but Aichner hit a bodyslam into the ropes as they cut to break. [c]
They returned with Aichner working the left leg of Brutus, which ws injured in the bodyslam before the break. Brutus countered with a gutwrench suplex, then crawled to his brother as Aichner made the tag on their side. Creed hit a big dropkick to knock off Aichner, then a front chop block to Barthel’s knee. He then deadlifted Barthel with a butterfly suplex, but Aichner broke up the cover and landed a huge lariat. Barthel went for a double team, but Aichner just left. Barthel was also bleeding from the forehead. Julius landed a big slam, then Brutus tagged in with his big gutwrench. Julius tagged back in, landed a double team, then Julius hit their big sliding lariat for the victory.
WINNER: The Creed Brothers at 11:35 televised (sliding lariat)
-After the match, the hooded and masked figures attacked with chairs. It was Pretty Deadly, tipped off by the blonde hair showing through, though they weren’t named. They said Elton Prince (?) and Kit Wilson (?), but they’re still Pretty Deadly by name.
-McKenzie Mitchell was in the back with Toxic Attraction. Gigi Dolan blamed that “pajama-wearing freak” Wendy Choo as Jacy Jayne said she wants to vomit every time they see Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai with their titles. Mandy Rose said their tagline.
-They showed Cameron Grimes heading to the ring in a suit. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: So a name change for Lewis Howley and Sam Stoker. They did it to such an established act like Gunther, so it’s not surprising here…though Aichner, Barthel, James Drake, Zack Gibson…you get it. Wrestling’s weird. That Aichner walkout was so awkward and timed oddly that I completely missed what caused the miscommunication. Now the question I have is what does this mean for Gunther and the main event?)
-They returned with a stat touting over one billion views for WrestleMania across social media.
-They showed Lash Legend warming up in the back, then Nikkita Lyons I think meditating before screaming and unleashing a spin kick. Cool.
-Alicia Taylor stood in the ring and introduced the new North American Champion. Grimes walked out looking happy, but not hyperbolic, just taking it in as he walked to the ring.
CAMERON GRIMES NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING IN-RING PROMO
Grimes took a mic and a “You deserve it!” chant started; there was a slight, but noticeable “No you don’t!” Grimes said we did it; he looked right into the camera. He said he made good on his promise and he knows his dad is looking down, smiling ear-to-ear, because his boy did it. He talked about climbing the ladder to success, saying he did just that. He said he’d be lying if he didn’t say that time stood still on top of that ladder as thoughts of his father, a single parent, who gave his blood, sweat, and tears to the business and to raise him into the man he is today. He said for the past three years he busted his ass so he could prove his father right, and it feels so good to say Cameron Grimes is the new North American Champion. He said he’s not going to get complacent. Solo Sikoa’s music hit.
Sikoa hit the entrance, looking around at the fans with disdain, maybe, then congratulated Grimes. He said now comes the hard part: Grimes has to hold onto the tile. Sikoa said he came to face the best and championships run all through his bloodline (he said it!). He said a champion needs challengers, and that challenger is him. Grimes said he respects Sikoa because he can in Sikoa’s eyes that he’s fought to be here. He said uce, you’re on. They shook hands as Sikoa brought him closer and glared at him. Grimes said that’s what he wants and laughed respectfully.
-Joe Gacy was with Harland in the back. He said the world is dark, but the one true beacon of light is family. He said having someone you trust is the most important things in life, who knows your deepest thoughts and your foremost vulnerabilities. He said if you don’t have family, it only leads to self-destruction. Well, that’s a bit much, no?
-Draco Anthony was in the locker room watching as Xyon Quinn advised Anthony not to pay attention to them. Anthony said stop telling him what to do. Quinn said he just has his back, but Anthony yelled he doesn’t need his backing. Quinn said Anthony needs a lesson in respect; the latter walked away.
-The announcers shifted to a video package on the In-Dex and Dusia thing from the weekend. It’s not for me, but I can see why it works for others. In-Dex won in a landslide, by the way. The couples made their way to ring as Dexter Lumis is set to face Duke Hudson. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: I was hoping for a standard post-championship babyface promo like Belair last night, but the interruption had to happen. Here’s a face/face match, which I’m fine with. I did notice that Sikoa had a cadence to his promo as he would stop every few words, then say the rest of his sentence after the pause. Maybe it was because he was walking? Still, I’m glad they’re giving him the time and space, even in short spurts, to gain that promo experience. It should be a good match, probably tonight, but Grimes should win easily.)
-They returned with a photo montage from Stand & Deliver.
-Mitchell was with Tiffany Stratton, who requested the time. She said it was the biggest weekend of all time, but she reminded people about the schoolgirl Sarray causing her the match last week. Mitchell corrected her on the nickname, and Stratton said correcting people is so rude. She did some more, spoke slowly at the end (but not that slowly), and stormed off.
-In-Dex made their entrance. The other team was in the ring already.
(2) DEXTER LUMIS (w/Indi Hartwell) vs. DUKE HUDSON (w/Persia Pirotta) – Singles match
Hudson attacked as the ref called for the bell even though Lumis was helping Hartwell out; referee incompetence! Lumis then landed a Thesz Press and some diving forearms. Barrett called Ezekiel, Elias’ “brother,” “Pink Zeke!” Hudson lifted and slammed Lumis with a corner uranage that looked nothing like Samoan Joseph’s. He then hit a running back elbow for a one-count, then mounted Lumis and drove his knuckles into the head before some punches.
Hudson had a rear chinlock, then took down Lumis as he tried to rise to lock it in again. Lumis rose and hit a belly-to-back suplex to break the hold, then kipped up into a leg drop. Lumis landed several rights, then a running clothesline and bulldog combo. He hit a big Triple H spinebuster. Lumis pinned Hudson, who put his foot on the rope, but Hartwell pushed it off; he kicked out as Barrett called it out.
They went outside and fought in front of the announcers. They got caught trying to pull each other into the post. Hartwell and Pirotta came over to assist. However, both women slipped, and that caused each man to hit the post. They were counted out.
WINNER: Double count out at (4:55)
(Hazelwood’s Take: Well, that was an incredible waste of time.)
-Mitchell was with Gonzalez and Kai in the back (the crowd was chanting “That was stupid!” in the background after the double count out). Gonzalez said they’re the most dominant females in the division.
-Toxic Attraction made their entrance for the Women’s Tag Team Championship rematch. [c]
-They returned with Barthel yelling at Gunther in the locker room. Gunther told Barthel to get his head together and that he’ll restore order by winning the NXT Championship. He told Barthel there can be no more distractions.
-Gonzalez entered first, then Kai, who still had her yelly music. They showed replays of Saturday’s match. Taylor gave formal introductions from ringside.
(3) DAKOTA KAI & RAQUEL GONZALEZ (c) vs. TOXIC ATTRACTION (Gigi Dolan & Jacy Jayne) – Women’s Tag Team Championship match
Gonzalez and Jayne began the match. Jayne went right after her foe, then Dolan tagged in. She was caught on a crossbody, but slipped out and hit some leg kicks. Gonzalez then hit a spinning slam, tagged in Kai, and assisted Kai with a double stomp into Dolan for a two-count. Dolan countered Kai’s offense with something, then tagged in Jayne (it looked awkward). Dolan tagged in and whipped Kai into a big lariat from Jayne, then rolled Kai up for a two-count.
Jayne tagged back in as they cut off the ring. Dolan then tagged back in and they kept working Kai in their corner. Kai fought out and tagged in Gonzalez. She laid out Jayne, then hit a fallaway slam. She climbed, but was distracted. This allowed Jayne to hang her up by her “injured knee.” She then hit a handspring kick basically into the knee. They cut to break. [c]
Jayne was working the leg as they returned, but was forced out of the ring. Kai reached and finally made the tag. She hit a scorpion kick to Dolan, who tagged in, then took out Jayne. She hit her running boot wash to a seated Dolan, then her running one to a standing Dolan in the corner for a two-count. She tagged back in Gonzalez (why?), then hit a double stomp from the top. Gonzalez hit a Vader Bomb, but Jayne broke up the pin.
Gonzalez threw out Jayne, then put Dolan in their corner and tagged in Kai. After some reversals, Jayne made a sneaky tag and hit a running neckbreaker to Kai. She then kicked out Gonzalez’s knee. Dolan tagged in and they landed a double team, but there was some miscommunication on the pin I guess as the ref didn’t count right away. Gonzalez broke up the pin, then hit a running kick to Jayne and collapsed as all four women laid on the mat. Gonzalez worked to the corner and tagged in, but Dolan hit a stunner counter on an Oklahoma Slam. Wendy Choo tried to distract, but Rose attacked her immediately. Dolan turned into a Chingona Bomb, but Rose distracted the ref so Jayne could hit a chop block. They took out Kai and then hit Toxic Shock on Gonzalez for the victory.
WINNER: Toxic Attraction at 12:11 (Toxic Shock) to become two-time NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship
-They showed Tony D’Angelo making his way as he called folks “paisans.” [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: The booking of Saturday is even more suspect after last night and tonight.)
-They returned with Gacy and Harland again. He said chaos defines you as a person and when chaos erupts, you reach out to your family. He asked what happens when you can’t control the chaos?
TONY D’ANGELO’S “MADE MAN” CEREMONY
-They cut to the ring as A.J. Galante was in the ring. He introduced the “man of the hour,” Tony D’Angelo (guy had as much charisma as Gable Stevenson). D’Angelo made his entrance in an all-black suit and bowler. He said everyone thought Tomasso Ciampa was going to run right through him, but they all saw what happened. Galante said on this table, there was a card with D’Angelo’s blood to symbolize that he’s ready to take on the role of the don of NXT. He said you enter this oath on your feet, but if you betray it, you’ll leave it on your back. Galante lost his place a bit from the heckling and told the fans to shut up. He turned back and said the code of silence could never be broken. D’Angelo looked at the card, smiled, and accepted his position. Galante put on a gold ring to D’Angelo’s finger to officially christen him “The Don of NXT.” His Tron now reads “TONY D’ANGELO THE DON OF NXT.”
-Mitchell was in the back with MSK. They overacted a bit, but said they appreciate them now more than the first time. Wes Lee said to all the teams to come and get it. Grayson Waller – arm in a sling – with Sanga approached, saying no one’s talking about MSK. Lee said Waller did make a lot of noise as he hit that ladder. They said he can be happy doing that while they remain champions. Sanga yelled that they won’t remain champions for long. Waller challenged them when he’s healthy.
-Lyons made her entrance. [c]
-They returned with another photo montage.
-Kai was in the back just upending tables and throwing ladders as she found the camera and said Rose isn’t safe.
-Legend made her entrance.
(4) NIKKITA LYONS vs. LASH LEGEND – Singles match
They went right after each other, their height really standing out compared to most other women in NXT. They both kipped up simultaneously. Lyons landed a head kick, then a running clothesline. She missed a kick in the corner, then ate a big pump kick from Legend. Legend then hit a big running elbow drop to the back of Lyons for a two-count. Legend put on a rear chinlock and said, “What?!” in shock as the crowd chanted for Lyons. Joseph put over her NCAA-record rebounding total in a women’s tournament game I believe it was. Legend then hit a cartwheel into a moonsault for a two-count. She slightly overshot the moounsault, but it looked good.
Lyons fought back with a release German suplex. The NXT crowd tonight has been insufferable, by the way. Both women rose to their feet and began trading rights. Lyons then land some stiff leg kicks and a stiff spin kick to the head. She forced Legend into the corner with shoulder thrusts and raised her to the top. Lyons climbed for a superplex and hit from the second rope. She crawled over for the two-count.
Legend countered with a bridging jackknife cover. Lyons knocked her off of the ropes and hit her cyclone kick that was not hit well. She then walked to her preferred side to hit her jumping split leg drop for the victory.
WINNER: Nikkita Lyons at 4:40 (split leg drop)
(Hazelwood’s Take: That went well, considering the wrestlers involved. It could have been much worse. The only real bit of miscommunication seemed to happen on the cyclone kick. I know Kelly and Tom just love how Lyons has a preferred side for her kick that isn’t also the same for her finisher. Seeing her having to walk over like that is just not a good look. I’m higher on Legend because her character seems to come more naturally whereas Lyons’ seems forced. Physically, both seem to be at around a similar level from my untrained eyes.)
-They showed D’Angelo and Galante leaving. They came across Legado del Fantasma. Santos Escobar congratulated him on becoming a Don. He offered advice from a boss himself: keep out of LDF’s business and everything will be OK.
-Gunther made his entrance for the main event. [c]
-They returned with a video of Kushida telling Von Wagner, in Japanese with subtitles (yes!), that Wagner made the worst mistake of his life. It wasn’t just that he attacked Kushida, it was that he attacked his friend, Ikemen Jiro, and destroyed his jacket. He said Wagner’s time is up. That was good!
-They ran through next week’s card: Grimes vs. Sikoa title match, Rose vs. Kai title match, and MSK vs. Waller and Sanga title match.
-Breakker made his entrance, this time wearing the more recognizable Steiner-themed gear which I think he should have done last night. All you people in my mentions trying to show how smart you were missed the point. Taylor gave formal introductions from ringside.
(5) BRON BREAKKER (c) vs. GUNTHER – NXT Championship match
The bell rung with just under 12 minutes until the top of the hour. A “Not my Champion!” “Yes he is” dueling chant began. The to traded tie ups and side headlocks. Breakker hit a side headlock takedown and held on, but Gunther rose to his feet. A slow pace to begin, which I like, but the insufferable crowd is restless. Breakker held on when Gunther tried shoving him off, but the second time he was shoved off. They met in the middle, but then Gunther delivered a big chop. They stared at each other, then Gunther threw Breakker off of the ropes and landed a huge boot right to the face after a leap frog. I mean, that hit RIGHT on the face.
Gunther hit a snap mare and kicked the shoulder area (safely). Breakker then shoved Gunther into the corner and hit shoulder thrusts, then ducked a chop and landed punches. He caught Gunther on a leap frog and slammed him to the mat. However, Gunther tried for a sleeper, but Breakker shoved him off and landed a spear. Breakker dropped the straps and went for his finisher, but couldn’t lift Gunther. Barrett said it’s from the matches the last three days. Breakker told the ref he couldn’t lift his arm. Gunther landed a chop that sent Breakker out, then shoved him shoulder-first into the steps. [c]
Gunther hit a headbutt to the back as they returned, then went back to working the left arm as Joseph put over how Gunther has never been in the ring with someone like Breakker. He held onto the arm even as Breakker hit punches, then hit a big chop and another to Breakker, then a third that dropped Breakker. Gunther readied for another in the corner, but Breakker blocked only to get hit with an exploder variant. Breakker then responded with a release German suplex. They traded blows and then Breakker hit a running clothesline to down both men.
Breakker went for a vertical suplex, but couldn’t lift with the injured left arm. Gunther chopped the shoulder, then hit a standing Kimura, but he couldn’t leverage it all the way. A graphic showed Kushida vs. Wagner for next week. Breakker countered with a front-falling slam, then an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. As he turned, Gunther hit a big dropkick. Gunther then landed a powerbomb with his folding cover for a two-count that was not a surprise. Gunther then quickly climbed and hit a top rope splash for another near fall. Gunther wailed away, then hit a big short-arm lariat for another near fall. Gunther went for another splash, but Breakker hit a spear in mid-air.
Breakker then set, but ate a big chop. They traded blows with chops and punches (Breakker). Gunther then cinched in the standing sleeper, but Breakker got to a side headlock angle and hit a jawbreaker. He went for and hit his military press slam for the victory. Welp.
WINNER: Bron Breakker at 13:07 (military press slam) to retain the NXT Championship
-After the match, Rick Steiner was on the Tron and said he’s proud of Bronson. They zoomed out to show him tied up and in a cage. Gacy appeared and mentioned family again. He said let’s see if they could teach an old dog new tricks as they cut to black.
(Hazelwood’s Take: You know, they could have just had that last angle without SACRIFICING GUNTHER FOR A NO HYPE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH ON TV. What was the point of not just that, but the sudden and seeming breakup of Imperium? I’m just baffled at the booking surrounding the NXT Championship the past four days. Ziggler was also nowhere to be seen after suffering defeat last night. Look, Gacy is great as a title foe because he isn’t going to win and people want to see him get his ass kicked, but what the hell was all this tonight?)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Simply put, since I began covering 2.0 at the start of the year, this is hands down the worst episode I’ve covered. It seemed like they thought they were still up against Dynamite and booking at 330 miles per hour. It was just an episode filled with befuddling decision after befuddling decision.