8/9 NXT 2.0 REPORT: Wells’s report on Zoey Stark vs. Cora Jade, Wes Lee vs. Trick Williams in a Rounds match, Santos Escobar vs. Tony D’Angelo, 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
AUGUST 9, 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
•CALL: (515) 605-9345

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: pwtorchnxt@gmail.com
•IF YOU DON’T LISTEN LIVE, DOWNLOAD OR STREAM THE FULL SHOW POST-RECORDING


[HOUR ONE]

-Last week’s recap centered on the four-way for the vacant Women’s Tag Team championships.

-Trick Williams promoted the Rounds match he’ll be part of tonight, and Wes Lee had a short counter as well. Cora Jade, Zoey Stark and Tony D’Angelo all got a moment to promote their matches. The gimmick of the segment was that each wrestler would cover the camera with their hand at the end of their segment, and the edit would reveal the next person. Decent idea.

(1) NIKKITA LYONS vs. KIANA JAMES

James, perhaps the owner of the most ham-fisted gimmick on the brand, faces the most confused gimmick on the brand. Lyons is still doing all the lip-synching and the roar, despite how bad her entrance remains. Both wrestlers shoved the other to start. Lyons swatted James, then missed a charge and James thumped her on the back of the knee with a stomp. James wrenched Lyons’s leg over the apron, then tried again but got shoved. Lyons charged James at the steps but James moved and Lyons sold the bad knee.

Back inside, James worked the knee of Lyons by cranking her leg around James’s own. Lyons tried to get back into it with forearms and kicks. German suplex by Lyons was better than in the past. Corner splash by Lyons, who covered for two; James broke by grabbing a rope. James tried to roll up Lyons and use the ropes but got caught. Lyons hit a spin kick and her splits finisher to win.

After the match, James brained Lyons with her briefcase.

WINNER: Nikkita Lyons at 4:11.

(Wells’s Analysis: Lyons is improving, albeit slowly, in the ring. What’s strange is that her entrance is a laughable mess and her splits finisher doesn’t look like it causes any impact, but they’re plowing through with both like they aren’t things to work on. The match was free of sloppy moments, which was no given with these two at this stage of their careers, so it should be considered a win)

-The Creed Brothers and Apollo Crews were watching film from last week. Roderick Strong showed up to ask why they were together. The Creeds wanted to know where Roddy was last week. Roddy said his absence was a test, and the Creeds called him a liar. The scene devolved until a match was made pitting Crews against Strong for tonight. [c]

-Backstage, Lash Legend accosted Malik Blade and talked his ear off about…nothing, really.

(2) WES LEE vs. TRICK WILLIAMS (w/Trick Williams) – British Rounds match

Alicia Taylor explained the rules of the match. Both guys had boxing gloves on, so it isn’t exactly the same as the usual. Round One began. Dancing around to start. Williams begged off to his corner a couple of times. Lee backed away from a few shots and the two connected a few times. Williams took down Lee for some ground and pound (why the gloves?). Back to their feet, the two exchanged shots. Williams took Lee to a corner for repeated shots, and Lee reversed and did the same. Williams struck a few more times but Lee took Williams apart and was about to knock him out as the round ended.

After the twenty-second rest period ended, both guys threw their gloves off. Lee dumped Williams and hit a plancha. Lee tossed Williams back inside and Hayes held back Lee long enough for Williams to get a pump kick in. He covered for the three to win the second round. The twenty second rest period started and the match went to split-screen. During the break, time expired on the third round with no decision rendered. [c]

Round four started without commercials. Trick had put on one glove, most likely loaded. Trick reversed an Irish whip. Williams missed a few shots and Lee managed a crucifix for the win to tie 1-1. Williams struck with his loaded glove to knock Lee out after the decision and for some reason wasn’t disqualified.

The fifth round started and Williams hit big moves for last-moment kickouts by Lee. Vertical suplex, then another by Williams. Cover for two. Williams covered again and again. Williams missed a spin kick and got hung up on the top rope, so Lee nailed him with an enzuigiri. Lee threw body shots and a European uppercut. Bulldog by Lee. Lee threw on his glove, threw a big haymaker and got the win at two falls to one with no sixth round necessary.

WINNER: Wes Lee at 12:42, including rest periods.

(Wells’s Analysis: The boxing bits weren’t particularly thrilling, but at least the gloves figured into two important spots. Competent match that feels like it could be a lot more down the road as Williams continues to improve)

-Andre Chase was talking to Arianna Grace about something she had a problem with. Apparently she got hit with a football to the face from Thea Hail. Hail showed up and got super excited. Chase told them to settle their differences with a match tonight. Grace said she was thinking more about a lawsuit, and Chase threw a fit and cursed as usual. Hail jumped up and down and overacted a lot. [c]

-Carmelo Hayes came out to talk about his North American open challenge lsat week, where he turned back Nathan Frazer. Hayes stared at the tron as Nathan Frazer’s music played. Angle on Hayes as Giovanni Vinci appeared behind him and posed to the camera. He said he would take care of Nathan Frazer when the time was right, but in the meantime, he asked for Hayes to open up the challenge again for Heatwave. Hayes said they could do it at Heatwave, but he’ll put him on a t-shirt (he was wearing a shirt made to look like Wes Lee crying). The two started to go at it and refs broke them up.

-Hype segment for JD McDonagh vs. Bron Breakker. Both guys sat and created soundbytes in between shots of them brawling over the past few weeks, set to music. The segment ended with McDonagh smirking as Breakker looked at his bloody hand during the contract signing last week. [c]

-Lash Legend was still boring Malik Blade about her previous matches as Edris Enofe showed up and got trapped in the same situation.

(3) THEA HAIL (w/Andre Chase) vs. ARIANNA GRACE

Hail took down Grace a couple of times with tosses. Grace caught and darted Hail into a corner, then rammed her face intoit again. Judo throw by Grace followed by her shoving Hail’s face into the mat. Hail covered up as Grace went for some ground and pound. The audience was cheering a lot for Hail. Hail threw a kick to the back of Grace’s head for a moment’s respite, but Grace went to an armbar. Grace continued to grind against Hail’s face with her arm. Hail stood up with Grace on her back, then slammed backward to finally break.

Hail tookdown Grace with chops, then hit a corner splash and another. Basement dropkick by Hail followed by a neckbreaker. She shook the ropes and yepped like Ultimate Warrior. Hail hit a standing moonsault (sort of) for two. Hail threw a right and the ref got in between them. Grace used the opening to hit Wasteland, which obviously thrilled Wade Barrett.

WINNER: Arianna Grace at 3:48. [c]

(Wells’s Analysis: This company has a bundle of energy who’s naturally lovable in Hail, and whether it’s her ties to the defined-down Chase U or not having anyone in her corner yet, she’s now 0-1 as they desperately try to force Nikkita Lyons down our throats as a babyface conqueror. Comparisons to Alexa Bliss could be natural for Thea Hail, and like Bliss, I think she has real potential that’s thus far untapped. The match came together decently, though Grace’s offense will get smoother) 

[HOUR TWO]

-Cameron Grimes and Solo Sikoa talked in the back. Sikoa tried relating to Grimes as he worked his bad knee; Grimes gave a basic “okay, Solo” in the end and Sikoa watched him walk off.

(4) APOLLO CREWS vs. RODERICK STRONG

The announcers mentioned Diamond Mine not showing up in Strong’s corner. Headlock takeover by Strong, reversed into a wristlock by Crews. Wastlock, standing switch and a waistlock takedown by Crews. Crews tried a front chancery but Strong escaped and yanked Crews’s arm. Headlock takedown by Strong. Crews used a headscissors to take control and Roddy twisted around to escape, and swatted Crews on the back of the head. Strong begged off in the corner as Crews charged. Reset.

Crews yanked Strong’s arm and slapped at his head a few times to cheers (and one guy being sure to be heard booing). Strong grappled Crews to the mat. Crews escaped. Rope run and Crews hit a dropkick, then threw some corner shots and a chop, then another. Roddy threw a forearm to Crews’s back followed by his wonderful backbreaker. The two exchanged shots and chops. Another backbreaker by Strong.

Strong charged Crews in a corner. Crews shoved him off, then went up for a flying move but Strong dropkicked him out of the air. Crews went to the apron and the two fought for position. Roddy spilled to the apron and tried something there. Strong couldn’t manage a sunset flip from the apron so he instead yanked Crews from the apron to take control heading into commercial. [c]

Strong controlled with a neck hold. He released when Crews didn’t tap and Crews hit a delayed suplex. Crews went high but Strong shoved him off the top. Strong worked an abdominal stretch, grounding Crews. Crews threw body blows and Strong charged and missed in the corner. Repeated lariats by Crews laid Strong out. Crews kipped up and was mostly cheered. Second-rope blockbuster by Crews got two. “This is awesome” chant. Crews hit a German suplex, then held on for a second. Strong fought off a third with elbows, but he unwittingly jumped into a third anyway. Crews covered for two.

Strong dumped Crews to the apron, then hit him with a flash knee. Strong went to the apron and nailed Crews with a backdrop; Crews landed poorly after clipping himself on the rope on the way down. Back inside, Roddy covered for two. Boston Crab by Strong. Crews escaped and shoved off Strong, who bailed to the outside, then ran in and charged right into a powerslam by Crews. Crews tried a gorilla press but Strong caught him with a backbreaker. Strong jumped at Crews, who managed a lungblower. Crews nailed Strong with his finisher.

WINNER: Apollo Crews at 15:27.

(Wells’s Analysis: No surprise that this was one of the best matches all year on NXT TV. Of course, both guys have the in-ring part of things figured out; it’s the work outside of the ring that continues to need development.)

-Back to Legend, Blade and Enofe. Enofe finally tried to stop Legend from talking and she threw a mini-fit. Pretty Deadly showed up and took her side, and said not to worry – they’d mop the floor with them next. [c]

-Valentina Feroz and Yulisa Leon complained to Sanga about their loss last week and asked for advice. Katana Chance and Kayden Carter showed up and said they’d be fighting champions, and when the time was right, they’d be ready for them. The champs left. Sanga said Leon and Feroz remind him of Chance and Carter, who never gave up and now they’re champions. He said next week, they can join him to “find balance.”

-The Creeds and Damon Kemp watched film to find whatever Apollo Crews warned them about during their eight-man. Roderick Strong stormed in and demanded to know where they were during his match. Brutus quipped “It was a test. You passed.” Julius got in Strong’s face and said he was going to watch the film again to be sure, but if he was right, he’d be dealing with someone real soon.

-Santos Escobar vs. Tony D’Angelo – the Final Accord. The two met outside at a table; both made sure the other came along. D said he was the boss and he dictates things. Escobar said D must know by now that it wasn’t going to work. D said Escobar could do the hard work in his ivory tower with his pride, but look where it got him. D said he called the meeting to get Escobar’s head on straight, because it was still up his ass. Escobar said the only reason D is the don is because he sent Ciampa packing. He said there would be one final match next week – D wins and Escobar leaves NXT. D said if he wins, he also keeps Escobar’s “sheep.” If Escobar wins, everyone is free. D’Angelo made it a Street Fight. Ugh. They made the deal and shook hands. D told Escobar to say goodbye to his Legados. A drone shot watched the two step away from the table. Good work by both guys here. [c]

-Tiffany Stratton went to her dressing room, where she entered and Wendy Choo was behind her with night-vision goggles. She turned off the light and beat Stratton with a chair, then turned on the light and left. So Choo is back to committing crimes again!

(5) EDRIS ENOFE & MALIK BLADE vs. PRETTY DEADLY (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson)

Enofe and Blade made quick tags early to dominate Prince. Prince fought off Blade and Wilson managed a European uppercut for two. Prince tagged back in for a tandem lungblower for two. Pretty Deadly did their “Roll Tide” taunt and posed outside the ring. Behind them, Josh Briggs, Brooks Jensen and Fallon Henley showed up, their poor feelings apparently hurt. They stood outside the ring and Enofe managed a flying elbow on Wilson for two, broken up by Prince. Prince shoved a chair into the ring but he got laid out on the outside. Wilson tried to use the chair and Briggs took it from him, but Wilson shoved Enofe into the chair and it also hit the rednecks on the rebound. Fallon Henley checked on her boys, and Lash Legend jumped and assaulted her.

WINNERS: Pretty Deadly at 4:36.

(Wells’s Analysis: Some decent action at times, but a ton of moving parts to move stories forward)

-Cameron Grimes tried to leave the building and someone tried to rile him up. He fought the urge to fight with the help of the doorman. Joe Gacy and Dyad showed up and Gacy asked where Grimes was going. Grimes said he was going home. Gacy said “To who?” and Grimes looked at him and left. Gacy laughed. [c]

-A video package recapped the tag four-way last week. Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne narrated about losing and said when you lose something so big, you can either wallow or rebel. Jayne went to a record store and talked about her love of rock music while picking up a copy of Zeppelin IV. Dolin went to a bar, downed a drink and threw the glass down. I’m not sure what the scene was to signify, but it was well produced and the women spoke their lines well.

-McKenzie Mitchell, wearing a hair extension that went below her midsection, tried to interview Apollo Crews. Grayson Waller showed up and got into his face and they jawed their way to a probable match next week. Waller is in a weird position where his appearances almost all involve him interrupting someone else.

(6) ZOEY STARK vs. CORA JADE

Vic tried to introduce Mandy Rose on commentary, but Wade took over. This experiment didn’t go overly well next time. Jade shoved Stark, who blocked Jade to the mat. Rollup by Jade, and another two by Stark. Arm drags by Stark, and Jade begged off into the ropes. Jade stomped Stark and covered for one. The announcers almost completely ignored the match as they talked about Rose’s reign. Waistlock takedown by Stark, then another, and the crowd went into a loud dueling chant that was probably 60-65% Stark.

Springboard senton by Stark got two. Jade stopped a charging Stark by grabbing her hair and she threw her to the mat as the match went to split-screen. [c]

[OVERRUN]

Jade controlled throughout the break and covered upon return for two. She sent Stark against the ropes and charged and missed. O’Connor roll by Stark got two. Jade worked a headlock and the irritating “Loudest fan contest” continued to produce an endless dueling chant. As Stark tried to regroup and the ref checked on her, Jade grabbed her cane. She swung and missed. Stark hit a German suplex with a release, and the diminutive Jade went flying further than expected and landed poorly. Luckily it looked like she didn’t suffer a stinger. Less than a minute later, Stark hit a gut-wrench suplex and again Jade landed oddly. Stark covered for two.

Jade threw a boot to Stark’s jaw and Barrett called it a “receipt.” Stark threw one of her own and got two. Rose, who’s gone almost completely quiet, said “C’mon, Cora…”

Hammerlock DDT by Jade got two. Sliced bread by Jade got two and Rose sighed again. Rose went for her cane but Roxanne Perez had taken it. Stark hit her tilt-a-whirl knee finisher.

WINNER: Zoey Stark at 11:06.

After the match, Perez chased off Jade. Rose charged the ring but Stark saw it coming and laid her out. Stark posed with the belt as the show ended seven past the hour.

(Wells’s Analysis: Some mildly scary moments and occasionally iffy footwork by Jade, but most of the match was pretty good. Stark gained something here even as Jade didn’t lose much, since Perez distracted her and they moved that story forward also. The work done to promote Rose-Stark, including Rose going quiet other than to bemoan Stark dominating the match, was very strong)


FINAL THOUGHTS: This was likely my favorite weekly TV by NXT in a good number of months. There were things to work on all over the show, as expected on a developmental show, but the episode was a pretty strong show to build to Heatwave next week and had a lot of positives. Anyone who’s been tuning into WWE TV over the past week to see if the shows are injected with new vibrancy have got to be encouraged by the effort going into the product. Check out PWT Talks NXT tonight or stream tomorrow. Cheers.

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