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NXT 2.0 “SPRING BREAKIN'” TV REPORT
MAY 10, 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” (including me) to break down the show with calls and emails.
•STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 15 MINUTES AFTER THE SHOW CONCLUDES
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(So, beginning tonight, there will only be one report for NXT 2.0 moving forward. Kelly Wells and I will be alternating weeks with me taking this week and Kelly next week. However, we’ll still be doing PWT Talks NXT every week, so you’ll get to hear our thoughts there.)
-The show began with a recap of Bron Breakker defeating Joe Gacy last week, but then Gacy and his druids abducting Breakker. Breakker was shown in the back of a vehicle with Gacy holding a cellphone as a camera. Breakker had a burlap sack on his head as the druids and Gacy (I guess) dropped him somewhere in the dark (where’s Tom Stoup when you need some Florida geography?)
-Toxic Attraction made their entrance for what Alicia Taylor announced as a Women’s Tag Team Championship match even though it was advertised as a non-title match. Roxanne Perez entered next, then Wendy Choo. Perez distracted them as Choo hit a crossbody on the women before the match began.
(1) TOXIC ATTRACTION (Gigi Dolan & Jacy Jayne w/Mandy Rose) vs. ROXANNE PEREZ & WENDY CHOO – NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship match
Choo started, then tagged in Perez as they worked Dolan’s left arm. Another quick tag led to Choo attacking the arm, then tagging in Perez. Perez hit a seris of arm drags and rolled up Dolan for a two-count. Jayne made a sneaky tag on a Perez O’Connor roll, then beat on Perez after a neckbreaker. She gave Choo a crotch chop. Dolan tagged in as they worked Perez. Jayne tagged back in and put in a sub, wrenching Perez’s arms back. Perez fought to her feet and flipped Jayne over, then tagged in Choo. Choo hit an overhead belly-to-belly after an Irish whip, then hit a handspring splash in the corner. She then sent both women outside, held open the bottom two ropes, and allowed Perez to hit a lope as they cut to break. [c]
Part of the split-screen played where Dolan and Jayne took it to Choo throughout. Choo tried fighting back, but Jayne stopped her with a knee to the gut and locked in a seated modified cobra clutch. They came back fully as Jayne hit a short-arm clothesline. In another O’Conner roll spot, Choo fought off the tag from Dolan and tagged in Perez. Perez hit some running forearms and then a Thesz Press to Dolan. Perez kept up the speed as the crowd chanted for her, hitting a side Russian leg sweep for a two-count. Perez tagged in Choo, hit her twisting back handspring splash, then Choo hit her Nap Time splash for a two-count that was broken up by Jayne, who was quickly deposited outside by Perez. Perez tagged in again.
Rose came into the ring and shoved Dolan out of the way as Perez leaped at her. Choo took it to Rose, but as Perez tried hitting the Code Red, Jayne hit her with a superkick. Dolan covered for the victory. That was some bad, bad refereeing by D.A. Brewer. After the match, Choo came in to attack, but Rose hit her in the back with the title. The three women beat on her. Rose stood over Choo and said, “You will never look like me!” I don’t think Choo’s ever made any indication that she’s jealous of Rose’s look, so that was a weird, weird line.
WINNER: Toxic Attraction at 9:57 (superkick)
-Vic Joseph then threw to a video package of Grayson Waller and Tiffany Stratton going on a shopping trip. Stratton said shopping is the best medicine as Waller held all of the bags. Waller and Stratton railed on Chase U, calling it a school for losers and Waller says the girls “look like wildebeests.”
-They showed Gacy in the back with two druids and a red light. They cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: The match was fine. It’s a bit awkward when it’s clear that the challengers, in-ring, are on another level than the champion. The match was clearly designed to build to that Perez hot tag and give her some furious offense. The Rose interference was just weird – as was her line after – but I guess at least it wasn’t your typical distraction finish? With Perez in the Breakout Tournament, it probably didn’t make sense to have her become champion here, but with the bracket laid out, she’s either winning the tourney or losing to Lyons in the final.)
-They returned with Roderick Strong punching a dummy in the back as The Creed Brothers approached wanting to talk. The Creed Brothers were upset that their win was tainted by Strong’s challenge. Julius said when they were digging deep, Strong interjected. Brutus said it’s about how they won, and they’re going to win the right way next week. Strong said he believes in them so much he’s bringing in someone who wants to be in Diamond Mine: Damon Kemp (Bobby Stevenson). Julius said new members are a group decision and poked Strong before leaving.
JOE GACY IN-RING PROMO
For the second consecutive week, the USA player keeps messing up on me and won’t actually load after doing well in the first match, so if I miss anything, it’s because I’m trying to get the stream to work. Gacy entered with his two druids, this week wearing red velvet robes.
Gacy took a mic and, as part of the crowd turned their backs on him, said as he left Breakker in the wilderness last week, he told him he must face the next chapter of his journey all alone. Gacy said his personal journey started months ago, opening the door to inclusion for everybody. He said two men separated themselves from the pack, and the rest are no more. He said these two proved their worth to him and to themselves, going above and beyond, being committed to his cause. The crowd chanted, “Shut the f**k up!” He said his cause and his message has been received, and these are the faces of change. He said their expansion has begun and change takes place one person at a time.
He made an appeal to Breakker, a personal invitation. He implored Breakker to join them and be a part of the change as the result is eternal joy. He had a deranged look on his face as he said affliction and hardship awaits those who resist. He glared into the camera as his music played and the camera zoomed into his eyes.
-They showed Bodhi Heyward massaging Ander Chase in the locker room as Sarray burst in, speaking Japanese with subtitles. She said she wants to make it a mixed tag team match. Chase said he had no idea what she said, but Heyward translated. Chase asked if Heyward knows Japanese, and he said of course; he’s in Japanese 202. She said in Japanese that’s a teachable moment. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: Well, Gacy at least showed layers to his character in his facial expressions in that promo, but I wonder if the verbiage makes it more difficult to buy him as some uber sadistic heel. His cadence also seemed a bit awkward at times, but I have two main questions – where are all the other druids, and who are those two with Gacy?)
-A promo aired for the July 4th Las Vegas event with Cody Rhodes at Allegiant Stadium, Money in the Bank. Rhodes said explicitly it’s for the “opportunity to main event WrestleMania.”
-They returned and shifted to the inaugural Ivy Nile Challenge. They shifted to a video where the first event was push-ups. She led them and after some cuts, dudes started dropping out around 85. She said by the end of the night, she’ll be the last one standing. I thought it would be different, but it’s a good way to help build Nile’s character.
-They shifted to the entrance where all eight women in the tournament were standing as they showed the bracket. Nikkita Lyons, Arianna Grace, Roxanne Perez (still selling the match from earlier), Kiana James, Lash Legend, Tatum Paxley, and then the first match, Sloane Jacobs and Fallon Henley, were introduced in that order.
(2) FALLON HENLEY vs. SLOANE JACOBS – First round match in the Women’s Breakout Tournament
Henley gained the quick advantage, but then Jacobs hit a series of different pinning combos for two-counts before Henley landed a dropkick. Jacobs leaped out of the corner on a Henley attack, then landed a dropkick that showed a good bit of light. Brooks Jensen and Joshua Briggs appeared at ringside to cheer on Henley. Jacobs hit a misdirection kick to Henley, who grabbed the rope to break the pin.
Henley landed some kicks and then a running facebuster followed by a basement dropkick. She slid outside and hit the right hand that her partners hit, then pinned for a two-count after high fiving her two partners at ringside. Henley then begn working the left arm with a modified arm lock, but Jacobs rolled out and hit a jawbreaker.
Henley responded with a spinning back elbow before both women ran at each other and did the grab each other’s head and slam into the mat spot. Jacobs hit a rana out of the corner, then hit some running back elbows to Henley. She hit a neckbreaker for a two-count. She lifted Henley to her shoulders, but Henley countered and laid her out with a clothesline. She hit a shining wizard for the victory. Looks like our prediction that these first round matches wouldn’t last five minutes is accurate after one match.
WINNER: Fallon Henley at 4:28 (shining wizard) to advance in the Women’s Breakout Tournament
-McKenzie Mitchell was in the back with Legado del Fantasma. She asked what went wrong with the peace agreement with Tony D’Angelo. Santos Escobar said A.J. Galante should never have been at that table, but since he was, he became fair game. He said D’Angelo’s crew is going to learn the hard way that you don’t get involved in LDF’s business and walk away, much less walk again. He told Cruz del Toro to start the car.
-An Alba Fyre vignette played about her heritage. It was a truncated version of the ones shown previously. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: Jacobs was clearly unsure of some spots, which made Henley the ring general in this match. It could have gone worse for sure, but Jacobs is not ready to have matches on TV. The first half of the match, especially, was clunky for her as you could see her thinking through and trying to hit her spots. I also just am not a fan of the shining wizard being a finisher, particularly since so few people land it in a believable way.)
-del Toro was making his way to the SUV and as he entered, D’Angelo appeared in front of the SUV. His goons pulled him out, with one in the car already, then they beat on him as D’Angelo yelled that “his boy” did this to him, not D’Angelo. D’Angelo opened the trunk of their Camry, saying they’re sending a message, and one of his goons drove with the other two in the car. Another kidnapping!
-Amari Miller was in the ring as they replayed her injury suffered in the match against Legend. Fyre made her entrance in a rather sinister looking getup, a black trench coat looking thing with her bat behind her.
(3) ALBA FYRE vs. AMARI MILLER – Singles match
Fyre’s gear is also different, looking like a mix between Scottish garb and rocker garb. Miller held onto a headlock as they showed the Ivy Nile Challenge, this time burpees. Miller kept landing some quick pin combos, not giving Fyre space to land offense. She landed another pin combo for a two-count.
Miller lagged in the corner, but Fyre responded and landed a superkick. Miller blocked the KLR Bomb (now Fyre Bomb?) and rolled up Fyre for a two-count. Miller landed a lot of offense with some kicks and another two-count. She blocked a superkick, but then Fyre hit a headbutt like Drew McIntyre, hit the Fyre Bomb (Joseph called it that), then a top rope swanton for the victory.
WINNER: Alba Fyre at 3:01 (swanton)
-They shifted to the parking lot where Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams showed up in a white Bentley. Solo Sikoa then locked the door on them, saying not today boys. Williams, “Who’s he calling ‘boy?'” HAHA nicely done, Williams. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: Miller looked far better than I remember her performing in the past, and I’m surprised at how much offense she landed. Still, the right person went over, but I’m intrigued at the development of Miller. Fyre seems to really be into this character, and that, more than anything, can be the key to it succeeding or not; I’m betting on success.)
-They returned with Mitchell in the locker room with Jade. She said she’s ready for Natalya and she’s not that little girl who took a picture with Natalya. She said she’s going to prove to everyone that she can hang in the ring with a future Hall of Famer.
SOLO SIKOA IN-RING PROMO
Sikoa made his entrance for I think a promo. I said last week I don’t think Sikoa will be on 2.0 much longer; he’s ready to be a player on Monday or Friday nights. Sikoa played to the crowd a bit before his music ended with the crowd chanting his name. He said they’re damn right. He said this is supposed to Hayes’ and Williams’ time, but it’s his time now. He said they were going to come out here and talk about the North American Championship, but we already know what happened last week. He paced a bit. His timing seems thrown off by the enthusiastic response from the crowd.
He said if Hayes wants that one-on-one title shot, it’s fine because he’ll be watching from right there (the announce table). He said he’s letting everyone know he got next and he doesn’t care if it’s Grimes or Hayes. Grimes’ music interrupted
Grimes said he respects Sikoa just like the crowd does, however, at In Your House it’s going to be Grimes vs. Hayes as the crowd chanted, “You got lucky!” He said have no fear that after he beats Hayes, Sikoa has his word that Sikoa will be next. Grimes extended his hand for a shake, but Sikoa didn’t shake and left the ring.
Suddenly, Williams took out Grimes with a chop block and beat on Grimes. Sikoa didn’t turn his back, but when he did, he just looked on until he entered the ring to take out the two heels. He hit the running hip attack in the corner to Williams, then turned to Hayes. Hayes looked frightened as hell as he left the ring to avoid the damage. Sikoa and Grimes then glared at each other before Sikoa grabbed the title; Grimes snatched it from him.
-They shifted to the other members of LDF as they made it to the SUV. They reacted in shock as they realize del Toro was missing. Escobar called D’Angelo as they were counting money. The exchange wasn’t acted well, but they both feigned ignorance as to what happened to Galante and del Toro. Escobar said word on the street is D’Angelo’s consiglieri is in rough shape. D’Angelo reacted angrily, but then said they can meet next week “to settle things like men.” D’Angelo threatened Escobar with a lot of harm as Escobar just smiled and said, “Hey Tony, f**k you!” and hung up. D’Angelo upended their table that they had counted their money.
-Stratton made her entrance for what is now a mixed tag team match. Waller followed in matching pink gear. [c]
-Mitchell was in the back with Nathan Frazer, who said he’s excited for the 200th episode of NXT UK. He said he’s still on cloud nine after beating Waller last week. He said he’s cheering for Chase and Chase U as Xyon Quinn yet again interrupted a backstage interview. Frazer asked what “run it straight” means. Wes Lee then appeared (without a PC shirt!). Frazer said he was genuinely curious as to what it meant as he left. Lee said why doesn’t Quinn run it straight with him. Lee told him to be medically cleared for their next encounter.
-Sarray made her way with Chase and Heyward behind her. They entered after her, not seeing her transformation until after entering the arena. Heyward had on a wig like Sarray’s hair pre-transformation, and a crop top. Chase had on a baby blue Chase U sweater.
(4) TIFFANY STRATTON & GRAYSON WALLER vs. SARRAY & ANDRE CHASE – Mixed tag team match
Waller and Chase began the match with Chase using some technical grappling to frustrate Waller, then worked the arm. Waller countered and taunted Chase. Waller took the left arm of Chase, but Chase countered and hit a shoulder tackle as Joseph said Natalya vs. Jade will be the main event. Chase hit a hip toss and mocked Waller with Waller’s taunt. He hit a side headlock takedown.
Waller broke out and landed a right, then tagged in Stratton, hiding behind her. Sarray came in and Stratton screamed and ran away, landing a right as they reentered a ring. Sarray countered and spanked Stratton a bit before working the legs. She then locked in a last chancery, but Stratton escaped by pulling Sarray’s hair. Chase cutoff Waller, then the two landed the Chase U stomps on their respective opponent. They did the teachable moment taunt as they cut to break. [c]
They returned with Waller in control, landing a discus forearm to drop Chase. Stratton then took out Sarray before hitting an assisted moonsault on Chase. Waller then climbed to the second rope and hit his behind the legs elbow drop. Sarray broke up the pin as Waller angrily asked the ref for a DQ. Chase then hit an inside cradle for a two-count, but he missed an enziguri as Waller looked to lock in a rear naked choke, instead switching to a rear chinlock.
Chase fought off and hit a sleeper, then a belly-to-back on the transition. I think Chase is wearing some Jordan’s in the match. The women tagged in as Sarray hit a backbody drop to Stratton, then landed a series of strikes and two dropkicks. Stratton met her with a forearm against the ropes, but Sarry met her on the other side with a wicked dropkick. Waller pulled Stratton outside and entered the ring, but Chase took him out and held him for Sarray’s sunray dropkick.
Stratton reentered the ring and hit a bodyslam off of the distraction, hitting her springboard twisting splash. Sarray got her foot on the rope as Heyward hit the air horn. Stratton hit a crossbody onto Heyward, but Sarray rolled her up back inside for the victory.
WINNER: Sarray & Andre Chase at 10:21 (rollup)
-Joseph shifted back to the Ivy Nile Challenge, this time lunges with Bulgarian bags strapped to their shoulders on the outside. The men just kept dropping out as Nile didn’t look tired at all, this time two men.
-Mitchell was in the back with Mr. Stone and Von Wagner as she asked about Wagner intentionally injuring Ikemen Jiro and Jensen. Mr. Stone said Wagner will continue demolishing, but Jiro attacked. Officials separated the two men.
-They showed Grace and Lyons preparing in the back for their Breakout Tournament match. This seems all setup for Lyons to win either against Legend in another rematch or against Perez, with Toxic Attraction costing Perez the final. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: So, maybe not a popular opinion, but I really liked the dynamic of each mixed tag team and their dynamic with each other. I wonder if Sarray will team with Heyward next after the air horn spot tonight.)
-They returned with a promo for the Special Olympics and how to volunteer.
-They showed Indi Hartwell in the lounge as Toxic Attraction approached. Rose said she just wanted to check on her and has never been in her shoes before, so she can’t imagine what Hartwell is going through. They laughed as Rose said it’s because no man has ever left her as Jayne said Rose leaves the men. They called Hartwell a loser and walked off.
-Lyons was in the ring as they cut back. Her gear is slightly different, but somehow it looks worse. Grace then entered, getting a full entrance, surprising considering I would think they’d give it to Lyons instead. A pre-recorded promo from Grace played where she said she’s competed in judo, jiu jitsu, and of course, beauty pageants (of course?).
(5) NIKKITA LYONS vs. ARIANNA GRACE – First round match in the Women’s Breakout Tournament
Lyons hit a gator roll, but Grace grabbed an arm as Joseph mentioned her judo and jiu jitsu background. Lyons took down Grace, but Grace shifted to a (sloppy) armbar where Lyons kept her arm extended for Grace to grab. Grace then shoved Lyons into the turnbuckle shoulder-first and wrenched on the left arm in the ropes. She then hit a few knees to the left arm, though if she really hit them at that angle, Lyons’ arm would have broke.
Grace locked in an Americana, but Lyons fought it off a bit as Grace couldn’t get enough leverage with Lyons’ size and power. Lyons fought to her feet, but Grace broke the hold. Lyons then countered and sent Grace into the corner. She hit a running splash in the corner, then a kick to the chest and another to the head that showed a lot of light. She then hit her sloppy, sloppy German suplex. She hit a spin kick, then WALKED over to her preferred side to hit her leaping split leg drop rather than just hitting it from the side she was on for the victory.
WINNER: Nikkita Lyons at 3:08 (split leg drop)
-They shifted to Nile, this time with battle ropes and pull-ups. Only one man made it to the pull ups. They put heavy chains around their necks and did pull-ups, with Nile not looking tired at all. The winner of the inaugural Ivy Nile Challenge: Ivy Nile!
-A sponsored video played on Jade, talking about writing out her dreams in math class and showed the pic she took with Natalya as a kid. They showed Natalya slapping the hell out of Jade several weeks ago and locking in the sharpshooter. Jade said Natalya is “deadass” wrong about her future being bleak (she should not be saying deadass because it sounds so awkward coming out of her mouth.) [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: Lyons and Grace both had some bad looking moves there. Lyons winning is expected, and she’ll probably win the whole thing even though Perez should win, but TA will cost her the final, if not her first round match next week. For a Breakout Tournament, the two matches didn’t even combine for ten minutes. The positive is that outside of Perez, I don’t know if I’d trust the other seven women to go longer. The negative is that they’re only going to get better if they actually get time.)
-They returned with The Viking Raiders in the back, saying they respect The Creed Brothers for not wanting to accept a tainted victory. They said respect and honor will be put to the side next week as they had never before tasted defeat in NXT and they won’t again. They just yell way too damn much, including in the ring, especially Erik.
-They ran through next week’s card: D’Angelo vs. Escobar and Breakker’s returns to answer Gacy’s invitation.
-Jade made her entrance. Natalya made her entrance next in black and purple as they hyped her WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship for Friday.
(6) NATALYA vs. CORA JADE – Singles match
They locked up as Natalya just forced Jade into the ropes with disdain, then pushed her. She grabbed a side headlock and took down Jade. Natalya taunted Jade as Jade tried to look nonplussed. Natalya grabbed the left arm, Jade flipped out using the ropes (almost falling over), and Natalya did her own flip out of the arm wrench before Jade hit an arm drag.
The two traded different pinning combos before Natalya almost trapped Jade in an armbar, much better than Grace’s attempt earlier (but that’s expected). Jade hit a rana after springing off of the second rope and maybe went for the sharpshooter, but couldn’t even get close as Natalya slithered outside. [c/ss]
During the split-screen, Natalya regrouped on the outside, but was rolled up back inside. She then lured Jade into the corner. Natalya then hit her snap suplex before cinching in a rear chinlock. Natalya then slammed Jade to the mat and stepped onto her chest only for Jade to roll her up. However, Natalya quickly hit a clothesline to floor Jade. She then beat on Jade before locking in an abdominal stretch. Jade reversed into her own stretch as they returned, but Natalya countered with a snapmare.
Natalya went for a surfboard stretch and hit! I’ve always liked the visual of the surfboard stretch. Jade rolled out of it from the elevated position and hit a basement dropkick. Natalya pushed her away, but Jade just slapped the hell out of Natalya. Natalya was mad and lifted her for a Canadian backbreaker, but Jade turned it into an arm drag. Jade seems to be thinking through her spots here. Jade hit a running knee to Natalya in the ropes, then hit a tornado DDT, using the ropes for a near-fall two-count.
Jade climbed to the top rope, but Natalya met her with punches and climbed to the second rope for a superplex. Jade fought a bit and knocked her off, but then Jade rolled through. She went for sliced bread #2, but Natalya countered only for the sharpshooter to be turned into a rollup Natalya hit her Nattie by Nature (discus clothesline) for a two-count.
Natalya then suplexed Jade into the ropes, leg snapping on the rope. Natalya then hit a chop block to the left leg and then slammed the leg into the mat, softening it up. In the corner, Natalya went outside and slammed Jade’s leg into the post (will she go for the figure four on the post?). She slammed Jade’s leg again into the post, then broke the count before heading back out. Yes, she went for the figure four, but Jade kicked her and then forced Natalya into the post shoulder-first.
Back in the ring, Natalya was selling the shoulder as she went to suplex Jade, but Jade hit an inside cradle for a two-count. Jade hit a step-up enziguri, then using the rope to hit a double stomp on Natalya’s back for a two-count. Jade’s selling of the knee only happens after she hits moves rather than when she’s moving as well. She hit sliced bread #2 for a two-count and went for a jackknife cover that Natalya turned into a sunset pin.
Jade then went for and locked in the sharpshooter to Natalya, but just like when wrestlers did it to Bret Hart, she easily broke the hold as Joseph said the knee buckled on Jade, causing the break. Jade climbed to the second rope, but got caught by Natalya into the sharpshooter in the middle of the ring. Jade fought and cried out in agony, but eventually (and badly) passed out.
WINNER: Natalya at 14:10 (sharpshooter)
-After the match, Natalya approached Jade and extended her hand. They shook and hugged as the show ended.
(Hazelwood’s Take: The ending just took me out of it because you could see Jade talking to the ref about how much time they had left and then so suddenly passing out. However, that aside, that was probably Jade’s best match in NXT even if I can’t buy most of her offense; it helps when Natalya is in there with you! Tatum Paxley’s best match also came with Natalya. For Natalya, she said she wants the NXT Women’s Championship which she almost won against Charlotte Flair after Paige made her Raw debut what, eight years ago now. Natalya nabbing that will mean, like Flair and Banks and Bayley, they’ll have won all of the modern WWE titles for women – not counting Divas Championship, and she won that, too. Who does she work next in this regard? Does she go straight for Rose, or someone like Hartwell or Nile? Hartwell makes more sense than Nile and could begin a Lee-like “finding yourself” story for Hartwell.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This is the rare, rare episode where there wasn’t one match that was men’s only with the mixed tag team match coming closest. Five of the six matches were women’s matches, which might be the most women’s matches on any WWE show since Evolution. The Breakout Tournament matches went as expected, both in terms of outcome and match length, and I’m hoping there is more time dedicated to these matches net week and beyond. I’m really high on Lee’s character and his eventual singles push, but Quinn’s character is just…rude and no one knows what “run it straight” means. I’m very intrigued by what’s next for Stratton/Waller and Sarray/Chase/Heyward, as well as Miller’s continued development. Coming off of Spring Breakin’, this was about as good an episode as you could have hoped for considering the state of 2.0