7/12 NXT 2.0 REPORT: Wells’s report on Mandy Rose vs. Roxanne Perez, Apollo Crews vs. Giovanni Vinci, Solo Sikoa vs. Von Wagner, more

by Kelly Wells (@spookymilk), PWTorch Contributor

PHOTO CREDIT: WWE

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

NXT 2.0 TV REPORT
JULY 12, 2022
WINTER PARK, FLA. AT THE CAPITOL WRESTLING CENTER
AIRED LIVE 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.

STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 15 MINUTES AFTER THE SHOW CONCLUDES
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[HOUR ONE]

-A video package ran down the highlights from last week’s Great American Bash, using some time to promote tonight’s Women’s Championship match. It ended with Bron Breakker’s spear on Cameron Grimes to retain, and the debut of JD McDonagh, FKA Jordan Devlin.

To continue with Mandy Rose’s proclamation last week that “we’ll see if Roxanne even makes it to the match,” Roxanne was attacked in (of course) the parking lot. Cora Jade and a bevy of officials were checking in on her. Vic laid it on thick that it was obviously Toxic Attraction. Is tonight the night Cora Jade turns, or is that the red herring?

(1) APOLLO CREWS vs. GIOVANNI VINCI

Vinci’s snapshot entrance reached its peak so far, as Wade and Vic were in the shot on the final photo, and Vic did a kissy-face model pose in the camera along with Vinci’s pose.

Collar and elbow. Vinci worked a front chancery into a headlock. Escape and a headlock takeover by Crews, reversed again by Vinci. Rope run and a block by Vinci, but Crews didn’t back down. Dueling chant was about 75% Crews. Rope run again, and Vinci took down Crews with a block this time. The two had a chop exchange. Vinci ran into a Crews dropkick. Crews chopped and whipped Vinci. Middle buckle blockbuster got two by Crews.

Vinci reversed a slam and dumped Crews. Vinci went out and dropped Crews on the barricade, then chopped him a couple of times and the match went to split-screen. [c]

Crews threw Vinci off from a front chancery. Crews threw some body shots, but Vinci threw chops. Vinci tried a springboard, but Crews caught him with a dropkick. Vinci missed in the corner and Crews hit an enzuigiri, ten a couple of hard lariats. Crews kipped up and fired up to cheers. German suplex by Crews, then another. Vinci elbowed out for a moment but Crews hit a third and covered for two. “Suplex city” chant as both guys sold.

The two exchanged blocks until Vinci hit a hard lariat. Vinci tried to close in as the referee checked on Crews. Crews came back with a slam, then jumped from the top. Vinci caught him, and even though he let Crews down halfway, he was still able to deadlift him and hit the delayed suplex. Unreal. The two tussled and Crews was dumped. Vinci got into it with a “fan” in the front who was trying to take a picture of him. Vinci took the camera and tossed it in the ring, distracting the ref. Xyon Quinn jumped the railing and attacked Crews, then rolled him in for Vinci to hit the powerslam and win.

WINNER: Giovanni Vinci at 12:08

(Wells’s Analysis: A very good opener. The idea of the finish worked for me, although the execution was pretty rough thanks to the comically bad overacting from the guy with the camera (and his overexcited friend) in the front row. It didn’t seem like either guy should take a loss at the moment, so this protected finish makes sense as Xyon Quinn finally sinks himself into a feud and Vinci keeps momentum strong as he moves up the card either for a run at the Championship or in preparation for the main roster)

-Cora Jade talked with McKenzie Mitchell. Jade said she knew she and Perez should’ve come to the show together tonight and she didn’t even see the attack. She hoped Perez would be cleared, but if not, “those three bitches” would have hell to pay. [c]

-Tiffany Stratton got her nails done. She complained to the nail stylist a lot about Wendy Choo. She left and said to the woman at the front desk, “She wasn’t, like, the greatest of all time, but I’ll spare you the bad review.”

-Cameron Grimes sauntered to the ring, clearly in a funk after his loss last week. He waited out some cheers, and a small “To the moon” chant. He said he really wished he could come out and give an excuse as to why he didn’t win the NXT Championship. “You got robbed” chant. He said he didn’t get robbed. He said he even hit the Cave In, but he didn’t get the three. He said you can do everything the right way and it’s still not good enough. He said last month he lost the North American Championship and that’s just life. He said he lost this one and he must just be a loser. He said he was going to go to the moon but he crashed into the sun.

JD McDonagh’s music played. “I hate to come out and kick a man when he’s down, but I’m going to come out and kick a man while he’s down real quick.” He said Grimes showed heart last week and nobody could take that away, but he wanted the pity party to end. He said he became old news around here and the game changed when the Irish Ace debuted. Grimes invited McDonagh to try to jump him from behind. He said the people here would agree he’s just an Irish Asshole. McDonagh threw a cheap headbutt. Grimes passionately jawed at McDonagh as he went up the ramp. I’m about 80% sure I heard Grimes yell
“motherf(*&er” at McDonagh, though I can’t go back right now.

-Damon Kemp and the Creed Brothers watched the film of their match. They all agreed it was a great match and Kemp said he’d be happy to run it back. The Creeds left and Roderick Strong showed up, killing the video. He went at Kemp about being so agreeable with the Creeds and said he’d embarrass him in a one-on-one next week.

-Kayden Carter, with Katana Chance, was introduced ahead of her match with Tatum Paxley. [c]

-A SmackDown spot promoted Liv Morgan as well as a Madcap Moss-Theory match.

-McKenzie talked to Grayson Waller, who went off about his moment being stolen by Wes Lee last week. He said just because his life sucks doesn’t mean he has to make Waller’s suck. He said “Back to you, idiots” to end the interview.

(2) TATUM PAXLEY vs. KAYDEN CARTER (w/Katana Chance)

The announcers threw to last week where this was set up, including Ivy Nile inviting Paxley to the Diamond Mine Dojo. Paxley worked an early chancery and rolled up Carter for one. Rope run and Carter put on the brakes and stomped Paxley. Double stomp for two. Carter stomped Paxley to the mat again and then basement dropkicked her out of the ring. Ivy Nile headed to ringside and tried to pump up Paxley.

Paxley entered again and Carter threw some shots. Irish whip, then a miss by Carter. Paxley hit a dropkick with serious air. Cover for two. Paxley went to the corner and hit three headbutts, making a point to whip her hair as much as possible. Carter hit a figure four and Paxley fought her way to the rope where Nile stood to break. Carter tried to suplex Paxley, who redirected and rolled her up for the flash pin. Paxley celebrated with Nile as Carter and Chance complained.

WINNER: Tatum Paxley at 3:31.

(Wells’s Analysis: Pretty good stuff here in a small dose. I’ve been liking Paxley’s progression, and Carter of course can hold her own. Carter and Chance have been moving more and more in the heel direction, and I’m wondering if it’s to beef up the heel side on the main roster)

-Joe Gacy promoted an appearance later in the show.

-Sanga laughed with Yulisa Leon and Valentina Feroz about the “cannonball” thing last week. Duke Hudson showed up to get in his face because he was embarrassed last week. They’re up next. [c]

-Earlier today, Briggs and Jensen partied with some PC talent at a redneck bar. Pretty Deadly showed up in metro cowboy gear and got in their faces about the NXT UK Tag Team Championships. Jensen said they had walked into the wrong bar. The two sides were going to go, but Fallon Henley jumped up on the bar and said this wasn’t happening in their bar. They could settle it next week.

(3) SANGA vs. DUKE HUDSON

Hudson controlled early with some basic strikes, but Sanga caught him and darted him on the top buckle. Big block by Sanga, who fired up as Hudson exited the ring. Hudson baited Sanga to try to reach him through the ropes, and he yanked Sanga’s beard and threw rights. He entered and clubbed Sanga. A corner graphic promoted McDonagh vs. Grimes next week.

The announcers talked about Hudson saying he’s got Maximum Male Models potential, perhaps foreshadowing his debut. Hudson snuck out of a fireman’s carry and threw a boot. Sanga caught him with a chokeslam to finish.

WINNER: Sanga at 3:01.

(Wells’s Analysis: No-frills power squash here. Hudson has some real potential from a character standpoint, but only if he gets away from NXT and up to the main roster soon, because he’s been squashed a lot here)

-Mr. Stone, Sofia Cromwell and Von Wagner spoke. Stone hyped Wagner and Cromwell gave it her best shot, but she’s pretty bland and unsure of herself on the mic. Wagner took over and cut a promo on Solo Sikoa that was…okay by his standards. Sikoa got a response video and kept it strong and straightforward. [c]

-McKenzie talked to Toxic Attraction. McKenzie said TA must be feeling pretty good after attacking Roxanne Perez in the parking lot. TA pushed back on that, although they said “sucks for her” sarcastically. McKenzie pushed harder and Rose said that when you’re the champion, sometimes things just fall into place for you. Rose, always an enigma on the mic, was pretty good in this scene.

[HOUR TWO]

(4) SOLO SIKOA vs. Von Wagner (w/Mr. Stone & Sofia Cromwell)

Sikoa attacked Wagner during his entrance. Sikoa put Wagner’s head into the mat on the apron a few times. They hit the ring and the bell sounded. They briefly locked up, then reset. Another lockup ended in a stalemate. Both guys shoved the other. ANother lockup led to a waistlock by Sikoa. Wagner elbowed out and worked a headlock. A corner graphic promoted Pretty Deadly vs. Briggs & Jensen for the NXT UK Tag Team Championships next week.

Sikoa worked a headlock next. Rope run and a block didn’t stagger Wagner. A second one put him on the mat, as did a third. Body slam by Sikoa, who hit a diving headbutt to the midsection. He covered for two. Running senton by Sikoa. Wagner bailed to his mates as the match went to commercial. [c]

Wagner had Sikoa grounded with a headlock. Sikoa escaped but ran the ropes into a big boot for two. Wagner stalked Sikoa and occasionally threw forearms down at him. Sikoa got up in the corner and Wagner hit a corner lariat, then did the same in the opposite corner. He missed a third and Sikoa hit a back suplex. Sikoa threw rights and a big uppercut. He no-sold a knee and screamed in Wagner’s face. Samoan Drop by Sikoa. He hit a block in the corner, then the hip attack when Wagner slipped to the floor.

Wagner bailed. Wagner threw Sikoa’s head against the announce table, and of course Sikoa no-sold. The two did the cheesy countout brawl up the ramp.

DOUBLE COUNTOUT at 10:26.

(Wells’s Analysis: Very slow power vs. power match and not the most thrilling of finishes, but I also can’t particularly argue with it at this stage for either guy. I look forward to one or both working with smaller talent, where both seem to do their best work)

-Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams hit the town with four very attractive ladies. They hit a rooftop party, both with a woman on each arm. They went up on a couch and looked down on the city and said it was theirs. They went to a pool and Williams pumped himself up until Melo slowed him down and got the last words. Not exactly a lot of meat on it, but it was good stuff.

-Lash Legend hyped herself up ahead of her match with Indi Hartwell. She rolled her basketball away from her and walked in the other direction. The camera followed the ball, which came to rest as someone (obviously an unseen Alba Fyre) stopped it with a baseball bat. Vic remarked on it heading into commercial. [c]

-SummerSlam spot. Man, I love that logo. It’s 18 days away.

-This week, Chase U visited London. Andre Chase, Bodhi Hayward and Thea Hail hit the town. Chase also did some voiceover as if it was a commercial for his university. They passed by some landmarks and briefly recreated the Abbey Road album cover. Later on, Chase of course devolved into a cursing fit at someone who prepared some cue cards for him. I don’t know why that scene existed, but I’m grateful it did.

(5) INDI HARTWELL vs. LASH LEGEND

Legend powered Hartwell to the mat, then threw her to a corner. Hartwell fought her way out and tried a suplex, which was blocked. Hartwell hit a lariat and Legend fell, very awkwardly, between the ropes and through to the floor. Legend took control when she reentered and stomped Hartwell’s head to the mat. Legend draped Hartwell over the top rope and yanked her back, then kind of tossed her the rest of the way over in another not-so-pretty spot. Legend worked Hartwell into a sort of torture rack and tried to use the ropes to add some strikes in a weird spot (she’s done it before, and I’m surprised it hasn’t been tweaked or dropped). Indi managed a side slam for two.

The two went up in the corner. Legend spotted Alba Fyre on the perch, holding her baseketball. Legend got thrown to the floor. Hartwell went for a jump from the top rope, but she slipped and fell into the ring in a really unfortunate spot. The two attempted to save it as Legend rolled Hartwell up, then Hartwell reversed the rollup to finish.

WINNER: Indi Hartwell at 3:43.

Fyre hit ringside and brawled with Legend.

(Wells’s Analysis: Not sure what to say. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.)

-A number of women had a passive-aggressive conversation in a room somewhere in the building, and Von Wagner and Solo Sikoa came through, still brawling.

-Tony D’Angelo said he didn’t give the order for Roxanne Perez to get attacked. He and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo headed to the ring for a tag match with Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde in their corner. [c]

-Von Wagner nd Solo Sikoa continued brawling outside. Norman Smiley and Steve Corino appeared to try to break it up. Nobody could calm Wagner down until Sofia Cromwell gave it a shot. Mr. Stone got in Solo Sikoa’s face, and Solo had enough of him and tossed him in a dumpster.

(6) EDRIS ENOFE & MALIK BLADE vs. TONY D’ANGELO & CHANNING “STACKS” LORENZO

Enofe and Lorenzo started. Quick action was dominated by Enofe. Blade tagged in and hit a back elbow for two. Wade said Blade was straightforward but Enofe was a “homey hopper.” Interesting…? Both guys tagged and D’Angelo took over with some basic offense. He and Stacks made a couple of tags and threw strikes at Enofe and kept him in their corner. Stacks entered and hit Enofe with a snap mare. He lifted Enofe up, who threw some rights and tried to tag, but got cut off. Stacks worked an abdominal stretch. Wade said there’s more pressure on Stacks of late or else he’ll “sleep with the fishes too.”

Blade made the hot tag and dominated Stacks. He hit the sitting lariat through the ropes and then dumped Stacks. Stacks entered and Blade hit him with a suplex for two. Outside, the others brawled. Stacks dropped Blade and tagged. D’Angelo hit his finisher.

WINNERS: Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo at 5:24.

D’Angelo demanded Cruz and Wilde attack Blade after the match. Reluctantly, they did so.

(Wells’s Analysis: D’Angelo’s offense still isn’t very thrilling, but the match was fine enough otherwise.)

-Nikkita Lyons spoke with McKenzie Mitchell. She said people were accusing her online of the attack, but it wasn’t like her, because if she has a problem with a person she’ll go right up to them. No earth-shattering content here, but Lyons was so far ahead of where she’s been on the mic to this point, it’s hard to believe it was the same person. Genuine improvement. [c]

-Axiom segment. He said when he was a kid, comics were his escape. He wondered if he could emulate his idols. He could be whatever he wanted to be. He said he remains anonymous because it’s not about him – it’s about everyone else. He had a black and gold mask. He “debuts” next week.

-Earlier, a QR Code briefly showed up on the screen. I didn’t catch it, but @KatieWrasslin13 did. It’s a Wordle-style run of wrestler names, with no solution. I note that “Havoc” could be the answer based on what hasn’t been guessed, but I didn’t look for long yet.

-Toxic Attraction hit the ring. The dorks chanted “Mandy” and she said “Thank you…okay, that’s enough out of you peasants.” She talked down Roxanne for “trying to get out of” the match tonight. “Shut the hell up”/”let her talk” dueling chant. She soaked it up for kind of a while. She said nobody can challenge her because she runs NXT. Cora Jade’s music played. She hit the ramp and said Mandy could shut the hell up. She said her night wasn’t over yet because [the fans] were promised an NXT Women’s Championship match. She said if Roxanne can’t go, she’ll take her place. Mandy said it was hilarious and she’ll give Roxanne until the count of three. Perez’s music played and she went to the ring. Jade tried to talk her out of it, but Perez hit the ring anyway.

(7) ROXANNE PEREZ vs. MANDY ROSE (c) – NXT Women’s Champioship match

Rose took over after a short flurry from Perez, who sold her earlier rib injury. Rose blocked Perez in the ribs a couple of times against the ropes. Perez managed a dropkick. Rose dropped Perez on the top rope to continue the targeted attack, and followed her out. Rose charged Perez into the apron, then did it again. The match went to split-screen. [c]

Perez fought back into it with a diving back elbow. Rope run and an ax-handle by Perez. Running back elbow in the cornerby Perez. Russian leg sweep by Perez got two. “That was three” chant by the crowd. Pop Rox was thwarted, and Rose charged but missed in the corner, then bailed to the outside. Perez hit her with a tope, then cleared the threat of the other two Toxic Attraction members. She hit Pop Rox on the outside, and Jade told her to roll Rose in and finish it. Jacy Jayne took the ref’s attention on the other side of the ring, and Jade blasted Perez with the belt from behind as she tried to get back into the ring. Rose hit her finisher to retain.

WINNER: Mandy Rose at 9:13.

After the match, Jade threw a tantrum and went at Perez, breaking her board over her back (I was typing and didn’t see this at the time, but apparently the board broke before the impact. Oops). “I brought you here! I made you!” she yelled as the show went dark.

(Wells’s Analysis: Wade said “Who saw this coming?” Well, everyone, given how they kept spelling it out right up until the moment Jade turned. Jade’s overwrought “evil” looks were a little much, but that’s Cora for you. Her babyface act was sputtering, so it isn’t a terrible time to give this a shot. I also predicted last week that this may be a way for NXT to write off the Women’s Tag Team Championships; I think they’ll be gone before long. The match was fine given the injury angle)


FINAL THOUGHTS: NXT has pulled off some pretty amazing heel turns over the years, but this won’t go down as one of them, between the predictability and Jade’s acting. That said, I look forward to seeing what she can do on the other side of the ledger. Lash Legend and Indi Hartwell had an unfortunately memorable match, but beyond that, this was a pretty strong outing of NXT, with a lot of new directions and little things to like, after what I found to be a disappointing PLE-Lite last week. I’m still thinking we’ll see a spate of callups soon, as the main roster could certainly use it, and it seems plenty of talent is waiting in the wings for more TV time. We’ll cover the show tonight on PWT Talks NXT, or you can stream tomorrow. Cheers.

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