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NXT 2.0 TV REPORT
JUNE 21, 2022
WINTER PARK, FLA. AT THE CAPITOL WRESTLING CENTER
AIRED TAPED ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY KELLY WELLS (@spookymilk), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
NXT Commentators: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett
Tonight after the show, join me, Bruce Hazelwood and Nate Lindberg to break down the show with calls and emails.
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-In Memory of Tim White: 1954-2022
-Earlier today, Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams arrived! Elsewhere, so did Tony D and the gang.
(1) SOLO SIKOA vs. GRAYSON WALLER
Sikoa entered to a good pop, and Waller entered with a mic. He did some basic slimy heel work and said he was tired of censoring himself and would be telling Sikoa and the fans what he thinks of them. He said “first of all” and immediately Sikoa flew into frame and attacked. They brawled on the outside for a bit before hitting the ring for the bell. Sikoa dominated early but Waller surprised him with some rights. He threw Sikoa’s head into the turnbuckle, and Sikoa no-sold it under the old maxim that Samoans have hard heads. Sikoa hit a back suplex as the crowd chanted his name. He put up Waller in a fireman’s carry and Waller yanked off a turnbuckle pad. Sikoa tossed Waller to the mat and chopped, then stomped him. Sikoa hit a shoulderblock, then ran the ropes for a big lariat. He covered for two.
Sikoa no-sold a couple of kicks and hit another lariat. He kicked Waller in the back and threw some rights. Waller got back into it by stomping Sikoa’s bare foot. He dumped Sikoa, posed a little, then slid to the outside and missed a lariat. Sikoa laid out Waller with a back elbow as the match, a near shutout to this point, went to split-screen. [c]
Waller had Sikoa grounded with a headlock upon return to full-screen after a heat sequence. Sikoa broke it but Waller nailed him with a spinning heel kick for two. He covered again for the same result. Waller worked slow offense with some punches and kicks, then messed with the crowd as he slowly got into position for a second-rope elbow drop. Sikoa popped up before he could attempt it and dumped him to the outside. Sikoa brought Waller in and threw hands, then hit a corner splash. Waller fell to a seated position and Sikoa hit him with a hip attack. Sikoa set up his finisher but Waller slipped free and attempted his running cutter from the outside, but Sikoa turned it into a Samoan drop. Sikoa got shoved into the exposed turnbuckle and Waller hit his finisher this time and it was good for three.
WINNER: Grayson Waller at 12:18.
(Wells’s Analysis: I was starting to get the feeling that Waller had been deemphasized in order to get him out of storylines and onto the main roster in short order, but this result flies in the face of that. Sikoa takes a loss at a strange time, and now has a larger hill to climb. Decent formulaic match)
-McKenzie Mitchell talked with Tony D’Angelo and the large family (still including Two Dimes, as this was taped before his firing just like last week’s show. He said Legado had a chance to get back into his good graces in a tag match tonight. He looked for Santos Escobar’s agreement, and Santos subtly condescendingly agreed with D’Angelo.
-Kayden Carter and Katana Chance made their entrance ahead of the next match. [c]
-Jordan Devlin segment. He said he wouldn’t leave home unless it was for a damned good reason. His new name, per the screen, was JD McDonagh.
(2) KAYDEN CARTER & KATANA CHANCE vs. YULISA LEON & VALENTINA FEROZ
Leon did a little dance and Carter flew in for a dropkick and a quick near-fall. Leon got in a couple of shots and made the tag. Feroz worked with Leon on a corner spot, then tagged again. Leon planted and covered Carter for two. Carter got back in it with chops and made the tag. The babyfaces traded shots on Leon and Chance covered for two. Leon worked a leg submission and Chance reached the rope. Blind tag to Carter, who threw repeated knees to Leon. Another tag and the faces worked together on a corner dropkick. Chance covered for two. Combo kicks by Chance and another two count. Carter tagged in and worked a double wristlock. Leon tried to reach the corner and finally hit an enzuigiri that showed light and Feroz took control. She hit just a couple of moves before tagging again. Leon and Feroz double teamed for a big flatliner and Leon covered for two, broken up by Carter. Feroz tagged in again and the faces made another blind tag. Leon broke up the next pin attempt. The faces neutralized Leon and hit their finisher on Feroz.
WINNERS: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance at 5:25.
(Wells’s Analysis: Another NXT tag special where the supposed faces break up pins and the heels get worked on for a heat segment and make a stereotypical hot tag. I’m sure it’s to see what they have before making final decisions on where the teams should land, but it’s jarring. This was an occasionally disjointed low-level spotfest)
-Wes Lee walked backstage. Vic said “It’s not about wins and losses, it’s about Wes Lee finding himself.” [c]
-Lee entered the ring and Wade said Lee was dealing with real-life issues and at this time, it was bigger than wins and losses. He told the crowd it was an honor to still be there and feel the love. “You deserve it” chant. He said he appreciated it, and he’s gone from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. He said he had gone from being two-time tag team champion to losing his best friend and brother and his world crumbled. He shouted through very real tears. He said he was consumed by anger and said he was just trying to prove himself from Xyon to Sanga. He said he was standing on his own two feet and doing what he needs to do.
Trick Williams’s music played and he told Lee to shut up. He said nobody wanted to hear about Lee’s lows. He said maybe he left his brother behind and he wasn’t who he was supposed to be. Lee yelled that Trick had no idea how he was there for “that man.” He said Trick doesn’t understand because he’s just second fiddle to his homeboy. Lee wondered if Trick had any hype left over for himself. Trick said his time was money, and when he was ready, he’d let him know. He said for now he’d do what Lee’s old friend did…and leave.
(Wells’s Analysis: This was a surprisingly large amount of references to Nash Carter, minus his name, that will get people thinking about a possible return. A very surprising segment)
-Tiffany Stratton did a sit-down segment from backstage. She had a lot to say about Wendy Choo. She said she’d end Wendy’s Peter Pan act soon.
-Roderick Strong and Damon Kemp entered ahead of the next match. [c]
(3) JOAQUIN WILDE & CRUZ DEL TORO (w/The Family) vs. RODERICK STRONG & DAMON KEMP
Wilde and Strong opened things. Strong grounded Wilde with an armbar and held Wilde down with a knee. Wilde fought his way free, made the tag, and Legado double-teamed. Del Toro covered for two. Strong made a tag and Del Toro and Kemp did some mat stuff. Del Toro got the better of it and Strong demanded “What the hell was that?” and slapped Kemp from the apron, which got a big “whoaaaa.” Kemp took it out on Legado, destroying both guys for a few spots.
Strong tagged back in and hit a couple of chops. Wilde tagged in, ran the ropes and took down Strong. Kemp had made a blind tag but Wilde got the better of him as well. Strong surprised Wilde with a backbreaker and Kemp covered for two after a hard sliding lariat. Kemp hit a body slam but missed an elbow drop. Both guys tagged. Del Toro dominated and put Strong down with a rana, then hit a missile dropkick for two. Wade said “Del Toro has waited a long time to get into this match,” apparently forgetting that he’s already been in it.
Del Toro continued to dominate with kicks. He ran the ropes and Two Dimes tripped Del Toro with a cane, opening him up for Strong to finish.
WINNERS: Strong & Kemp at 4:58.
(Wells’s Analysis: Two Dimes was the instigator in the spot in a story he won’t be around to finish. A shame we won’t get the intended tag blowoff. Another decent formulaic match)
-Giovanni Vinci talked to McKenzie Mitchell. He said he made a statement to everyone in the locker room last week. Ikemen Jiro flew into frame in a great mood and said he wanted to know how strong Vinci really is. He left, and Vinci spoke in Italian for a moment.
-Toxic Attraction walked together backstage. [c]
-Another Apollo Crews segment. He wondered if people would accept him. He said he was going to stop doubting himself and live fearlessly. He heard a few punks attacking one guy and someone warned him “Hey man – I wouldn’t go down there. Nothing but trouble.” He got into his head and saw himself beating up all three guys. It flashed back to the moment with the warning, and just like last week, he just repeated what he saw in his mind and entered the fracas. What’s the point of the dream sequence if he just goes through with exactly what we see in it?
-Toxic Attraction went to the ring for a talk segment, surely to thrill the crowd. Mandy Rose talked down Roxanne Perez, followed by both others doing the same. Jayne said she should buckle under the pressure like her friend Cora Jade, and suggested she go home and put posters of real heroes like themselves on her wall.
Perez and Jade hit the ramp with mics of their own. Perez, in street clothes, looks barely old enough to be out of middle school. She said she knows she earned ever bit of being able to live her dream, and it’s even better when you get to share them. She said after last week, she got to thinking that as much as it would mean to her to be NXT Women’s Champion, winning the tag championships with her best friend would be even sweeter.
Kayden Carter and Katana Chance hit the ramp also. Carter said the line starts behind them. Sniping picked up and a lot of valley girl insults flew. The two ostensible babyface teams brawled on the ramp.
-McKenzie Mitchell talked with Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams. Hayes said he was going to take care of business, no matter how many guys were out there. That’s all it is, and that’s all it’s gonna be.
-Cameron Grimes entered ahead of the next match. [c]
-McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Indi Hartwell. Kiana James showed up immediately. She wears glasses because that’s what all intelligent people do. She said she deals in facts and figures, not emotions, because facts don’t lie. She said Hartwell was setting the women’s movement back. It degraded to Hartwell calling James a bitch and walking off.
(4) EDRIS ENOFE (w/Malik Blade) vs. CAMERON GRIMES
Mat stuff to start. Grimes grounded Enofe with a double wristlock, and held on when they stood. Enofe twisted out of trouble and the two exchange big misses, and Enofe managed a rollup for two. Grimes got one of his own. More quick reversals and a reset. Rope run and a dropkick by Enofe. Cover for two. Grimes hit a Frankensteiner and Enofe bailed, just to get hit with a PK and rolled back in. High cross-body by Grimes got two. Grimes stalked Enofe, then hit him with a running boot. Hard kick to the chest by Grimes, then another. Enofe begged for more. He absorbed a few more, then took over on offense and hit a jumping knee. Both guys sold for a moment. “NXT” chant.
Enofe draped Grimes over a rope and hit a running knee, dumping Grimes. Enofe flew over the top rope with a rolling senton. Back in, Enofe missed from the top and Grimes hit a uranage. Cave In finished. Grimes stared intensely into the camera. Afterward, Grimes gassed up Enofe and shook hands with both Enofe and Blade.
WINNER: Cameron Grimes at 5:37.
(Wells’s Analysis: Perfectly good quickie as Grimes moves forward as the next challenger for Bron Breakker. Grimes apparently won’t actually be turning heel but will tap into the harsher version of himself. I expect this to be near the end of the road in NXT for Grimes)
-Thea Hail was excited to join Chase University. She introduced herself to her new roommate, Bodhi Hayward. She was a bundle of energy as she set up her bed. Hail psyched up Hayward and said they should go get some food. What she lacks in natural acting ability, she makes up for with a boundless fearlessness. This was cringy at times, but I think she’s one to watch. [c]
-Nikkita Lyons segment. She said this was the Women’s Division’s seven-day notice.
(5) BROOKS JENSEN vs. VON WAGNER – allies barred from ringside
Wagner hit some offense early, but Jensen got into it with some punches followed by a spinning heel kick. Jensen rolled outside and threw a pretty poor right to a draping Wagner. He entered and got laid out. Wagner yanked Jensen in for a few blocks. Rope run and a big boot by Wagner, after which Jensen rolled awkwardly and in the opposite direction the spot would suggest. Wagner took Jensen to the corner and smashed Jensen’s digits against the steel on the turnbuckle.
Jensen fought back with back elbows, but Wagner used the bad arm to yank Jensen to the mat. He covered for two. Wagner worked the wrist, then the arm. He wrenched the arm, then wrenched it over the top rope to boos. Jensen fought back with rights and a corner lariat. Big lariat laid out Wagner, and he did the leg slap but it clearly didn’t connect. Jensen hit a DDT from the second buckle for two. Jensen went up to the top but Wagner…caught?…him with a shot. Wagner hit his finisher.
WINNER: Von Wagner at 4:45.
(Wells’s Analysis: This was pretty rough to watch, and it was seemingly Jensen with the miscues as far as I could tell. His tag work has been perfectly standard, so I don’t know what happened here if not as simple as nerves)
-Bron Breakker happened upon Cameron Grimes in the back and said he liked the version of Grimes he saw today. Grimes said maybe he shouldn’t, because if this Grimes shows up at Great American Bash, he’ll be the new champion.
-Alba Fyre was introduced ahead of her match. Do these moments retain viewers or are they as much a waste of time as they seem? [c]
-Joe Gacy and the Dyad segment. He said the Dyad offered themselves to him and left their old lives and family. He took us to exposition hell, as he explained to two men things they would obviously already know. He said they were ready to take over the world. He said they may have tasted gold before, but now it will taste better as the two have come together under his guidance.
(6) ALBA FYRE vs. LASH LEGEND
Fyre stared daggers at Legend as she postured and posed. Fyre dominated early and hit a missile dropkick for a one count. Palm strikes and chops by Fyre. Legend hit a thrustkick to take over, then choked Fyre on the second rope, then the bottom one until the count of four. She covered for one. Combo punches by Fyre, who went for a Gory Bomb, but Legend fought it off. Legend leaned on Fyre in a corner until Fyre fought her off with a back elbow. Thrustkick and a tornado DDT by Fyre for another one count. Stiff kicks by Fyre, who ran the ropes and got hit with a spinning powerslam for two.
Legend shoved Fyre to a corner and missed a pump kick. Gory Bomb by Fyre, who went up for the Fyre Keep, apparently the name for her senton, but Legend moved. Legend swung Fyre’s baseball bat at her for the DQ.
WINNER: Alba Fyre by disqualification at 3:31.
(Wells’s Analysis: Competent work as Legend looked to sharpen her skills against a skilled opponent. I’m not against a DQ finish extending the short feud a little more)
-The Family walked backstage. [c]
-A graphic promoted a match next week between Carter & Chance and Jade & Perez for the #1 contendership for the women’s tag team titles. Uh…Perez has a title match literally any time she wants it. Are they hoping we forgot? Also next week, Sanga faces Xyon Quinn.
(7) CARMELO HAYES (c) (w/Trick Williams) vs. TONY D’ANGELO (w/The Family) – NXT North American Championship match
Alicia Taylor handled formal intros. A real clash of styles here as exciting meets boring. D’Angelo shoved Hayes to a corner and posed. Santos Escobar looked on interestedly. Lots of stalling before more contact. Neither guy landed a move as they reversed frequently. All guys from the outside hit the apron to drive home the numbers difference. They went back to the floor and they reversed a few times before Hayes laid out D with a lariat. Things spilled to the outside and Hayes tripped D on the apron. Hayes considered the many guys on that side of the ring, but they didn’t attack. D’Angelo tossed Hayes to the steps heading into split-screen commercial. [c]
Slugfest upon return. Hayes chopped D’Angelo in a corner and hit a…kind of sling blade. Ground and pound by Hayes.
Dueling chant. Both guys sold for a bit. Hayes missed a pump kick and D’Angelo slammed him for two. D’Angelo yelled in Hayes’s face and said he was the champ and the don. He threw a few more rights, then a hard slap. D charged the corner but Hayes tripped him into it. Jawbreaker by Hayes got two. Hayes went up to the second buckle and D’Angelo crawled away. D’Angelo rolled through a takedown and tossed Hayes over his shoulder. This match somehow warranted an “NXT” chant.
Escobar handed Hayes a pair of brass knuckles as D’Angelo begged for them. D yelled at Escobar and Hayes nailed D with them away from the sight of the ref and got the win. Escobar and Legado went to the top of the ramp and smirked at the rest of The Family, who yelled and complained as the show ended.
WINNER: Carmelo Hayes at 10:37.
(Wells’s Analysis: The match was more D’Angelo’s pace, which made for a very underwhelming main event, but the angle with the Family continues to work well enough. The problem, of course, is the firing of Two Dimes, so any planned six-man or standard tag is out the window. Hayes more or less played the babyface here, but I think it was a one-time thing and a device to get D’Angelo a loss in a match with stakes to make the angle hit harder.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: The wrestling was pretty uneven tonight, and some of the angles are nonsensical (Perez having a title match of her choosing but having to earn it again for some reason) or simply poorly conceived (dream sequences that merely telegraph what exactly is coming) but ultimately, I felt entertained by much of what I saw. A big part of the reason this show can be a drag is that talent is on TV well before they should be, but it would seem that focus is currently on talent with some genuine upside (I’ll leave the jury out on Kiana James). Jordan Devlin got bit by the name change bug, but hey, at least his initials are in his new name. Join me, Nate Lindberg and Bruce Hazelwood on PWT Talks NXT tonight or stream tomorrow. Cheers.