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NXT 2.0 TV REPORT
MAY 31, 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.
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-The show began with Diamond Mine walking out, Damon Kemp in tow, as Roderick Strong turned and told The Creed Brothers and Ivy Nile that they have the night off and they reacted as expected. Nile: “What is going on?” Strong and Kemp made their entrance. Kemp was smiling the whole way. Pretty Deadly made their entrance.
(1) PRETTY DEADLY (c) (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson) RODERICK STRONG & DAMON KEMP – Non-title tag team match
Wade Barrett said this was how Strong was going to teach a lesson to Diamond Mine by defeating Pretty Deadly. Prince took control early with strikes and a hard Irish whip into a corner. The crowd chanted “Pretty ugly!” Wilson tagged in and they hit a double vertical suplex for a one-count. Strong was forced into a corner and hit with a big chop. He responded with his own strikes, blocked a neckbreaker, and hit a stiff leg lariat. He grabbed Wilson and hit forearms across the chest. Kemp tagged.
Wilson retreated as Kemp looked on and Prince tagged in, immediately hitting a sprawl and mocking Kemp’s wrestling ability. Strong yelled that he’s better than that and hit Kemp with a HUGE slap. Kemp then hit a series of suplex variations with a fury, then a flying shoulder tackled, and finally a strong side headlock. Strong tagged in and and hit a big chop to Prince, then to his back then back to the chest. Prince hit a knee to the thigh and stomped away at Strong in their corner, tagging in his partner.
Wilson kicked Strong outside, then rammed him into the apron. He tossed Strong back inside and hit a chop. They traded strikes, but Wilson grabbed a front facelock and Wilson tagged in, hitting a vertical suplex for a one-count. Prince tagged in Wilson, but Strong was able to tag in Kemp. Kemp hit a German suplex, then a twisting vertical suplex, then a slingshot spear from the apron. Strong came in and took out Prince, then they hit stereo pendulum backbreakers. [c]
They returned with Kemp in a modified seated cobra clutch from Wilson, then beat on to prevent his comeback. Wilson then locked in a rear chinlock, laying out at one point, as Kemp struggled. Wilson poked the eye, then reapplied the hold. Kemp rose to his feet quickly and hit body shots to break the hold. Kemp reached out to Strong, but Wilson held him back. Kemp dodged a corner attack, then Prince as he tagged in, and tagged in Strong.
Strong hit a series of chops to Prince, then a uranage backbreaker. He hit a fireman’s gutbuster, then a backbreaker to Wilson. He hit Wilson with strikes and went for the Stronghold, but then beat on both men, tossing Wilson into Prince. Prince finally hit a back elbow and tagged in Wilson, but Strong hit him with a belly-to-back. On the outside, Prince shoved Kemp into the steps. Strong and Wilson then hit double clotheslines to floor each other.
Prince came in with a title belt, which distracted the ref. Julius shoved away Strong as Wilson attacked with the title, taking the strike. Strong hit an O’Conner roll for a two-count, then was hit with Spilled Milk as Pretty Deadly won. Barrett blamed The Creed Brothers for being a distraction.
WINNER: Pretty Deadly at 13:22 (Spilled Milk)
-They showed Cameron Grimes warming up in the back as Solo Sikoa approached and said he had Grimes’ back tonight because after Grimes beats Carmelo Hayes, Sikoa has next. Duke Hudson approached and said they’re only next if they mean the North American Championship since he beat Bron Breakker last week. Siko said he only won by DQ and needed Joe Gacy’s help. Hudson said Sikoa’s not on his level. Sikoa said if he’s not on Hudson’s level, then he’s not ready for title matches, huh? He challenged Hudson to a match tonight.
-An “Earlier Today” video was briefly showed, hyping Tony D’Angelo and The Family (I think?) as they cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: A solid match. Kemp was able to show a lot of his wrestling acumen, but he has – predictably – a long way to go in terms of facial reactions and not making it so obvious he’s waiting to hit a spot and needing to be in a certain area. The distraction is going to interesting in how it plays out between the members in Diamond Mine since when Strong interfered, The Creed Brothers won whereas here, Strong loses; how will Strong vocalize his mind games here?)
-They returned with another video from earlier today where Grayson Waller was in the kitchen-like area in the back complaining to the women about Roxanne Perez, then running down the women (and some men) about not being like Tiffany Stratton even if some of them have no athletic ability. He ran down Fallon Henley, then Joshua Briggs appeared behind him and challenged him to a match. Waller played the scared yet cocky heel in response.
-A Special Olympics video played on the decades-long partnership between Special Olympics and WWE. They then introduced the Team Florida athletes in the audience. A “USA” chant started. Cool.
-Barret and Vic Joseph were standing ringside as Joseph shifted to the D’Angelo-Santos Escobar meeting. D’Angelo, Channing Lorenzo, and Troy Donovan entered a yacht. Escobar and the rest of Legado del Fantasma then appeared. Elektra Lopez told the captain to take them somewhere nice. Escobar asked what business D’Angelo has, or should they wait for A.J. Galante? D’Angelo said they both knew this would turn into a turf war. He said he doesn’t trust nor respect Escobar, then said he wouldn’t give Escobar a lick of water if he was dying in the desert. Escobar he’s not afraid since he made it to the top by stabbing everyone in the front and stepping on their backs on his way after. He said he can see a snake in the grass, but he’s a python. The cronies started getting heated, but both bosses told them to stop. Lopez asked what’s in it for Escobar since he already beat D’Angelo.
He called her “senorita” then complained about the brass knuckles. D’Angelo then “raised the stakes” for a six-man tag team match, called Escobar a “prick,” then made the stipulation that the winner gains the other team as members in their family, under the direction of the victors. He said as a Don, you make moves that others can’t see. Escobar said he only sees three new members of LDF. D’Angelo said the streets are going to be discussing how Tony D gained some more foot soldiers for The Family. They shook on it and ended the meeting as amicably as one could, I guess. Joseph said the match is official. Their only billing them as Stacks and Two Dimes and I still have no idea who’s who.
-Cora Jade made her entrance. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: That was…interesting. I like that they’ve at least tried to be different with the build to this match and having these straight-out-of-the-movies scenes. The other five people in the scene weren’t very strong as actors and this was carried by Escobar’s confidence and, I guess, D’Angelo’s characterization? The stipulation is a bit befuddling because this makes it seem like there actually won’t be an end to this feud IF they go through with the actual stipulation from the video. It’s notable that the stipulation wasn’t on the match graphic they showed after, whatever that means. Is NXT turning into New Japan with all of these factions? I’m joking, I’m joking.)
-They returned with Lopez in the ring at the end of her entrance.
(2) CORA JADE vs. ELEKTRA LOPEZ – Singles match
Jade hit a go-behind to begin, but Lopez hit a switch and slammed Jade to the mat. Lopez then hit a go-behind, but Jade hit a switch. Jade ate an elbow, but rolled out to hit a pump kick. She went for a wheelbarrow, but Lopez bumped weird and it didn’t land well. Jade was caught on another wheelbarrow attempt, and Lopez slammed her to the mat face-first. She then choked Jade across the middle rope, then hit a back elbow and a biel to Jade. She took Jade down into her full guard and just beat on her with ground-and-pound. She then dragged Jade across the ring by the hair, hit a bodyslam, but Jade slipped another.
Jade hit strikes, but Lopez dodged her knee in the corner. She then pulled Jade away from the corner and hit a stiff basement dropkick for a two-count. Lopez then locked in a modified single crab. Jade reached the ropes, then was sent outside with a sloppy head scissorsLopez came back inside, but was hit with a tilt-a-whirl head scissors, then a shining wizard, then a rope-assiseted double stomp to Lopez for a two-count. Lopez responded with a sit-down powerbomb, but Jade reached the rope. Lopez took Jade to the corner, but Jade, who was on the apron, hit a lifting knee. She climbed to the top and hit a senton for the victory.
WINNER: Cora Jade at 5:05 (top rope senton)
-McKenzie Mitchell was in the back with Wes Lee and she asked about challenging Xyon Quinn. Lee said he’s been waiting on this match for weeks and Quinn’s finally cleared. He said he knows the last few weeks haven’t been good to him, but he can’t pass up the opportunity since Quinn could throw out his back getting out of bed tomorrow morning. Sanga approached and said Lee should fight like he fought him. He said Lee isn’t a ten-foot tall guy, but he’s a guy with giant heart. He wished him luck as Lee’s music hit. [c]
-They returned with a vignette about Roxanne Perez and showed footage of her at 13-years-old on Total Divas, meeting Natalya and I think Nikki Bella. Perez said she competes in the biggest match of her life next week, but she’s been preparing her whole life. She said while her friends were watching Pretty Little Liars and Stranger Things, she was watching Raw and Smackdown and took ten-hour rides to train with Booker T. She said she missed hanging with friends, concerts, and her prom for wrestling. She said the one person who knew how she felt was Jade and they showed photos of the two together. She called Jade her big sister, then shifted to Stratton, who she called twice her size and ten times as strong. Perez said winning the contract next week would change her life.
-Quinn was entering the ring as they cut back to ringside.
(3) WES LEE vs. XYON QUINN – Singles match
This is a rematch of Lee’s first singles match after Nash Carter’s release. Lee went straight at Quinn as they toppled over each other. Lee then kind of landed on his feet on a biel and took it to Quinn with leg strikes. He went for a sunset from the apron, but Quinn caught him and hung him stomach-first on the top rope, slinging him back into the ring with a show of force. Quinn grabbed the left arm and just toyed with Lee with strikes, then slamming him into the mat. The women’s championship summit is up next according to Joseph, and Barrett is the host. Quinn kept a hold of the hand, but didn’t look like he actually knew what to do after. Lee rose to his feet and punched Quinn, but Quinn floored him with a shoulder tackle, corner splash, and bodyslam for a two-count.
Barrett said it pays to know your limits and Lee doesn’t know his limits, bringing up Lee’s inexperience as a singles wrestler (hey, sounds like something I’ve been saying they should do!). Lee tried hitting a moonsault from the corner, but Quinn caught him and then ran and lawn darted Lee into the opposite corner. Quinn set for his finisher, but Lee countered with a rollup for the three-count and his first singles victory.
WINNER: Wes Lee at 3:40 (rollup)
-Strong was in the back, yelling at The Creed Brothers about not following instructions. Nile said Pretty Deadly almost hit them with the title and Julius took the shot for him. Strong asked if that was true and Julius said yeah, Diamond Mine forever, but Strong said he would have won by DQ if he was hit. He said he knows what’s best for Diamond Mine and that’s them beating Pretty Deadly on Saturday. He said failure’s not an option and if The Creed Brothers don’t win, they’re out of Diamond Mine.
-They showed the six women involved in the summit as they cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: While I do think they could have extended his losing streak further to make a bigger deal out of his first victory, this works for Lee since Quinn is someone who probably isn’t hurt or helped either way with a victory or defeat. We pretty much know where he’s going to be slotted. Sanga told Lee to be himself, and coupled with Barrett being so heavy about Lee’s inexperience, I have to think they’re going with the “finding his self as a singles wrestler” story that I’ve been advocating and if that’s the case, I’m excited for this journey with Lee.)
-They returned with a Gacy vignette, flanked by his two druids. He said it was fitting that it’s In Your House as it was in Breakker’s house where that fire was lit as he went over Rick Steiner’s accomplishments and how Breakker and his two brothers would allow his sons to pick up where his father left off by fighting each other. He said it was also survival of the fittest at the kitchen table, then taking his uncontrollable rage to the gridiron. Gacy then said Breaker knew his aggression needed a better home, the squared circle. He said the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as he learned the info from spending time with his father. He said Breakker’s family settles things with fast and he told Breakker to lash out and be the man he truly is, letting the anger he has for Gacy to consume him. He said revenge against him is more important than winning the match and that one way or another, the NXT Championship is coming home with him. He laughed maniacally.
-Mitchell approached Breakker in the locker room and asked about the video. Gacy’s laugh and flickering lights. Breakker was angry, lifting up the flat screen, but set it back down. He said maybe Gacy’s right and he is predictable, but he’s going to rip Gacy apart.
NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP SUMMIT w/TOXIC ATTRACTION AND WENDY CHOO, KAYDEN CARTER, & KATANA CHANCE
-Barrett was in the ring and introduced the summit as he sat at a long table separating the six women. Katana Chance interrupted Gigi Dolan and said they’re sick of hearing them and seeing them with the titles. She said they knock Toxic Attraction off of the top of the mountain this Saturday. Dolan laughed them off and said there is a long list of women who challenged them who can’t even show their faces here anymore, or left, or weren’t talented enough to hang with them. Jacy Jayne said they understand the butterflies in the opponents’ stomachs as it was their first “premium live event.” She said as they were out making cringy Tik Toks and playing DDR at the club (they were at arcades, though?), they were running the division. Kayden Carter furiously went at them and said they’re the only team that has beaten them. Jayne went with a munchkin joke that angered both Carter and Chance.
Rose quieted everyone and said the superstar with the most pressure (Wendy Choo yelled again to just sign the contract) is her because – she told the crowd to shut up as they chanted “Sign the contract” – and Rose said it’s because she will do whatever it takes, then derided Choo for her look (that wasn’t a legitimate reason, Rose). Rose said she became champ at Halloween Havoc and everyone thought her title reign would be short, but it’s at 200 and counting. She said put some respect on her name, then signed the contract. Choo then shot a spitball at Rose, who responded with a kick and things broke down. Chance and Carter cleared the ring and dropped Rose with a superkick. Choo climbed to the top as the other two grabbed Rose and set her on a table, holding her down as Choo hit her Naptime elbow from the top and through the table. They held up the heels’ titles as they cut to break. [c]
-They returned with Nile doin pushups in the locker as Kiana James approached and asked if all Nile does is workout. She then asked if Nile will still be talking to The Creed Brothers after Saturday since they’ll lose; Nile said they’ll win and it’s Diamond Mine forever. James said her numbers only give them a 12 percent chance to beat Pretty Deadly. Nile shoved her against a locker and asked what her numbers say about Nile beating her ass. James calmly responded the same as her boys. Nile walked off.
-Sikoa made his entrance. Barrett said Rose called him “honey,” but Joseph said no one saw that. Hudson was already in the ring.
(4) SOLO SIKOA vs. DUKE HUDSON – Singles match
Hudson forced Sikoa into the corner, but Sikoa took over with a punch. Hudson tried responding, but it jus infuriated Sikoa. Sikoa came off of an Irish whip in the corner with a big clothesline, but Hudson went after the leg. Siko hit a headbutt to the chest, then a running hip attack in the corner. Hudson fell to a seated position, but escaped before Sikoa could hit another attack. Sikoa had his neck draped across the top as Hudson came in with a slingshot German suplex to Sikoa from the apron into the ring. Hudson then went after Sikoa with a flurry of strikes. Hudson hit a back elbow and galred at the crowd, but I couldn’t make out what they were chanting. Hudson hit an overhead suplex and mocked Sikoa.
Siko responded with punches, but Hudson hit a throat chop and another overhead suplex for a two-count. He cinched in a neck crank to a seated Sikoa as the crowd chanted for Sikoa. Hudson then went for a powerbomb, but Sikoa blocked and rammed Hudson into a corner. He hit a big backbody drop to Hudson, then sidestepped Hudson and hit a bunch of strikes and a Samoan drop. Sikoa hit a running corner splash and a superkick and this time, hit the running hip attack to a seated Hudson. Sikoa climbed to the top for the big splash and hit for the victory.
WINNER: Solo Sikoa at 4:44 (top rope splash)
-They played a Stratton vignette as she said she corrected the biggest injustice in the universe since there was a breakout tournament without her. She said everyone feels bad for Nikkita Lyons, but who cares? She said she has a room full of trophies and showed footage and pictures from her in bodybuilding and gymnastics. She said Perez’s story is such an eyeroll, as boring as a cardboard box. She chided Perez for riding a bus for ten hours instead of using a plane and missing her prom because “she probably didn’t have a date.” She said she’s going to become the next NXT Women’s Champion. The final of the breakout tournament is next week.
-Waller made his entrance. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: Pretty much the type of match you expect in NXT now. Hudson had believable offense, partly due to his size, but it was just enough. Sikoa looked strong, recovering from some cunning offense by Hudson to overcome his size and tactics with the clean victory. It seems like he’s either going to beat Grimes/Hayes or lose and move to Monday or Friday nights. I do think he facial reactions during the backstage segment earlier were a bit too much, but at least it’s about pulling it back with him than getting him to that point in the first place. He’ll be fine regardless of where he ends up.)
-They returned with a video showing Thea Hail graduating with a 4.0 GPA. She sat down like a big time recruit video with the hats of Notre Dame, University of Alabama, and University of North Carolina hats. She grabbed the Irish hat, then tossed it aside, same with the other two, and grabbed an Chase U hat and donned it, making the Chase U crowd in a pre-recorded video explode.
-Briggs made her entrance. Waller said it isn’t fair three-on-one, so he told “horse face…and Fallon Henley” to get to the back.
(5) GRAYSON WALLER vs. JOSHUA BRIGGS – Singles match
Briggs hit a shoulder tackle, then a big forearm across Waller’s back. He sent him down with another shoulder tackle, then hit is sliding fist. Waller backed into the ropes, then used the ref to land some strikes. Waller locked in a cravate, mocked the crowd, then ate a big slap to the chest. Briggs then hit a gourdbuster, but missed an elbow. A big welt was forming on Waller’s back from that strike at the beginning of the match. Waller forced Briggs into a corner and landed an elbow, then dodged a corner rush and hit a leg lariat for a two-count.
Waller mocked the Southern identity of Briggs with a dance number, but ate a belly-to-back for his troubles. Suddenly, Mr. Stone and Sofia Cromwell came down the entrance and stood ringside as Briggs took it to Waller. He hit a pounce, then kicked away Von Wagner on the other side. He turned right into Waller’s rolling stunner.
WINNER: Grayson Waller at 3:32 (rolling stunner)
-Wagner immediately attacked, dragging Briggs into a ring post. Brooks Jensen ran down and prevented more from Wagner.
-They showed Nathan Frazer in the back, warming up as they cut to break. [c]
-They returned with Nile in the ring. James made her entrance next.
(6) IVY NILE vs. KIANA JAMES – Singles match
The crowd chanted “Ivy’s gonna kill you.” Nile worked her with some holds, a takedown, then worked the left arm. She landed a stiff leg kick, but James flipped out and hit a forearm. She dodged an attack and landed more, but Nile turned around and landed a punch. James goaded her into the the corner, dropping her and hitting a running shoulder attack to the gut, then a delayed sidewalk slam for a one-count. James went for a hold, but Nile prevented it and threw James off. She then hit a rolling ankle pick, some more kicks, then an enziguri. Nile hit a Dakota Kai-like running kick into the corner, but this was a running pump side kick for a two-count.
James powered Nile into the corner, yelled she couldn’t learn that in the gym (but that’s precisely where you learn it), then dodged Nile’s finisher. Nile responded with a stiff lariat, then mounted punches. She hit two chest kicks and a modified World’s Strongest Slam for the victory.
WINNER: Ivy Nile at 3:36 (modified World’s Strongest Slam)
-Pretty Deadly came out and said it’s too bad The Creed Brothers can’t celebrate in her jubilation this Saturday after they get kicked out of Diamond Mine. They hit the ring and asked what she’s going to once Diamond Mine Closes. The Creed Brothers hit the ring and Pretty Deadly said, “We’ll see you Monday” I’m pretty sure, but then they were brought inside the ring by their challengers, who posed with the Tag Team Championship after.
-They played another vignette for Giovanni Vinci as he entered a red Ferrari. They showed footage of the car being driven, him skiing down slopes, as the subtitles called him a man of style, class, and athleticism. A commenter said last week this could be Fabian Aichner and that fits!
-Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams joined the commentary team as Grimes made his entrance. [c]
-They returned with rundown of Saturday’s card with Breakker vs. Gacy and the DQ stipulation, Rose vs. Choo for the Women’s Championship, and LDF vs. D’Angelo, Stacks, and Dimes.
-Grimes was posing in the ring as they returned. Frazer’s music hit as he made his entrance with about seven minutes until the top of the hour. He came up a little elevator it looked like after a lightning bolt and sound rang out.
(7) CAMERON GRIMES (c) vs. NATHAN FRAZER – Non-title match
Hayes was in a Boston Celtics cutoff at the announce desk as Grimes and Frazer traded holds. Grimes picked an ankle and used it to get the left arm. Grimes held on as Frazer tried throwing him off. This time Frazer flipped Grimes, then both men faced off to applause. Grimes hit a big shoulder tackle, but Frazer came back with a dropkick. Grimes rolled outside, but came back in and cutoff Frazer with an uppercut. Frazer responded and hit a running rana to Grimes, sending him back outside. Frazer set again and this time made it through, but Grimes dodged and Frazer landed on his feet. Grimes hit a superkick as they cut to break. [c]
They returned with Grimes in control of Frazer, having slowed the pace and working a rest hold. However, Frazer hit a flatliner into the middle turnbuckle to buy himself some time. He landed on his feet on a German attempt by Grimes, then hit a springboard moonsault into an inverted DDT position that he then hit an elbow to Grimes with. The two men then traded strikes on the feet before Grimes took control with a big gourdbuster and running forearms.
Grimes went for a corner attack, but Frazer hit a loud superkick. Frazer went for a running shooting star, but Grimes got his knees up. Frazer countered a German with a victory roll. Grimes caught Frazer in a big uranage, recovering from what I think was supposed to end up being Collision Course. They started trading strikes from their knees then to their feet. Grimes got the better with a chest kick, but Frazer came with quick attacks and a superkick. Grimes hit a big lariat, but Frazer countered a powerbomb with a snap rana pinning combination for a close two-count. Frazer then hit his fast tope through the middle rope to Grimes, rolling him back inside the ring. Frazer recovered outside the ring, then climbed to the top rope. He was backwards, as if going for a moonsault, but Grimes ran up and hit an avalanche German which turned Frazer over, then hit Cave In for the victory. Hayes and Williams attacked, but Grimes fought them off as Williams saved Hayes from Cave In.
WINNER: Cameron Grimes at 10:10 (Cave In)
FINAL THOUGHTS: A show with a good bit going on heading into Saturday’s premier live event. I liked the vignettes for both Perez and Stratton as it really blended kayfabe and real life with their accomplishments, footage and pictures, and channeling their characters. I also think it was a good night for Sikoa, Hudson, and Lee if I had to pick a top three. The summit was interesting to say the least as there was a lot going on between the six women. Jayne was trying too hard, Choo had great timing, and Carter and Chance both showed a fire we haven’t seen from them in the past. I think it was interesting that the men’s NXT Championship was only furthered through a vignette and backstage segment whereas literally every other title on the line on Saturday received some sort of in-ring segment to further the build. I don’t think that’s a good sign for Breakker, but it could have just as much to do with Gacy, if not more, than it does with him.
“A commenter said last week this could be Fabian Aichner and that fits!”
Ermagerd I’m famous! LOL!
I thought it was obvious – in both vignettes, there were references to Vinci “leaving his past behind” which means this is someone we already know/knew. And Aichner is Italian, and WAY too good to not be onscreen (I have no idea why he wasn’t kept with Imperium and moved to SD).