SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT 2.0 TV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 6, 2022
WINTER PARK, FLA. AT THE CAPITOL WRESTLING CENTER
AIRED 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 a video recap of Worlds Collide from Sunday afternoon into the early evening (late morning to early afternoon for me). Carmelo Hayes, Pretty Deadly, Mandy Rose, and Bron Breakker won their respective championship matches, the latter three unifying the NXT and NXT UK titles.
TYLER BATE IN-RING PROMO
They showed crowd shots as Vic Joseph welcomed viewers for the “global fallout” of Worlds Collide. Tyler Bate’s music hit to a loud pop, still coming out looking like an extra from A Knight’s Tale. Joseph and Wade Barrett put over his effort in the match against Breakker. He took a mic and said he wanted to thank the fans from the bottom of his heart. The fans responded in kind with a “Thank you Tyler” chant. He thanked anyone who watched, live or at home, those who supported UK, and Breakker. He said Breakker proved he is Breakker by name and nature. Bate added, after a pause where he said they created magic, that he’s grateful to have shared that magic with the people. He said his name will forever remain in the history books as the first and last NXT UK Champion and he hopes he represented UK to the very best of his abilities.
Gallus’ music hit as Joe Coffey immediately berated Bate. Mark Coffey and Wolfgang said Bate should be apologizing to everyone back home because he let them down, and the whole locker room down. Mark said he let the whole UK down. Joe asked whatever happened to the big strong boy. Bate admitted the outcome wasn’t what he hoped, but then said they didn’t keep their end of the bargain, either. He said he thought it was Gallus boys on top. Joe entered the ring, calling him “son,” and said to look around: there’s three of them and one of him. Bate beat Coffey to the punch, but Gallus jumped him and they took out security. They beat on him until Breakker’s music and he ran down, taking out Wolfgang outside and then the Coffeys in the ring. Bate hit Bop-and-Bang to Joe to send them out. Tag match coming, six-man maybe? Breakker took a mic and said worlds unify tonight as he said he would stand with Bate as they’re going to kick Gallus’ ass. Security led Gallus to the back.
-They showed Pretty Deadly with both sets of titles, asking which one’s best and it’s like choosing between Brad Pitt and Chris Hemsworth. They went over their accolades, then Elton Prince asked if they’re the greatest tag team of all time. They did their shtick as Lash Legend appeared in an amazing sarcophagus dress or something. She said that some of the boys (I think) were criticizing them, then they complained, then asked Legend to hold the UK version of the titles (I didn’t hear who as I got lost in the design on her dress). They took the others and angrily walked away.
-Toxic Attraction’s music hit, this time in an ensemble of black and yellow. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: Can we just have one promo to start the show that isn’t interrupted? Bate was doing well, the fans were receiving his promo well, and then Gallus came down only to have their main point thrown right back at them. It did not make Gallus look good. I feel like Bate might actually be the one to dethrone Breakker now that the unification is over. Usually, tag teams like this tend to lead to a rivalry or at least a one-off match. This could be the way to build the rivalry without actually having Bate defeat others in singles action, protecting them. Breakker’s bit of the promo was short, but it was choppy. Still, he showed that fire that helps to cover a lot of the promo deficiencies.)
-They returned with a digital exclusive where Roxanne Perez gave her respect to Meiko Satomura, who told the off-camera interviewer she was disappointed. Cora Jade approached her and challenged her, but Satomura said she couldn’t accept. Jade said she knows The Final Boss is scared, but Satomura said she already has a match against a very respectable Perez. Jade’s acting here was very, very bad until the very end in her reaction to Satomura walking off.
-They hit the ring and showed a Mandy Rose as Shawn Michaels with the titles photo from poolside. Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H. entered next. I couldn’t tell if the boos were legit or piped into the arena. They showed how TA’s interference led to the other team’s loss on Sunday.
(1) TOXIC ATTRACTION (Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne) vs. DOUDROP & NIKKI A.S.H. – Tag team match
A.S.H. and Dolin began the match with A.S.H. rushing her foe. Doudrop tagged in and hit a falling elbow for a two-count. A.S.H. tagged in and hit a rolling neckbreaker to a seated Dolin for a two-count, but Dolin forced A.S.H. into their corner and Jayne tagged in, rolling up A.S.H. for a two-count and then flooring her with a boot. A.S.H. fought back, gaining control with a bulldog and a two-count. A.S.H. had a sub in and turned it into a neckbreaker. She climbed to the top of a neutral corner close to the announce table, but was shoved off and to the outside. Jayne followed, hitting a rolling senton from the apron to a standing A.S.H. Doudrop came over to tell off Jayne, but was hit with a big PK from Dolin from the apron. [c]
Dolin had A.S.H. in a modified seated Americana, then rammed her into their corner and tagged in Jayne. They hit a corner double team that ended with a bronco buster and a corner cannonball for a two-count. Jayne had A.S.H. in a front face lock…for a long time, like, maybe a minute, then a side headlock as the tag match setup in the opening segment was made official with a graphic. Jayne then hit a neckbreaker to floor her opponent, but missed a running senton. Jayne tagged in Dolin as Doudrop tagged in. She ate a superkick, then took it to Dolin. She then slammed Jayne onto Dolin and hit a running senton onto both women for a two-count on Dolin.
Doudrop set for another corner cannonball and hit, then went for a Vader bomb and hit, but Jayne broke up the pin. A.S.H. came in, but Jayne threw her out. A.S.H. then trapped Jayne in the apron cover and pounded away. Dolin was caught by Doudrop, who hit her Michinoku Driver then a running splash to a seated Dolin for the victory. Doudrop’s nose was bloodied, maybe from a Jayne kick.
WINNER: Doudrop & Nikki A.S.H. at 10:45 (running splash)
-They showed a vignette of Apollo Crews walking into a marina or something with a journal, discussing Grayson Waller as he wrote and then narrated the video. He brought up the eye pokes from last week, the second of which I missed as I was typing, and said Waller tried to blind him. He said it’s not a clear picture as the camera zoomed in on his left eye and shoed blurry images. Crews then turned with a blood red right eye and directed a challenge at Waller.
-J.D. McDonagh’s music hit for his match with Wes Lee. Lee entered next in a Connor’s Cure shirt.
(2) J.D. McDONAGH vs. WES LEE – Singles match
This should be a great TV match. Lee and McDonagh, the latter of whom is slightly taller, squared off as McDonagh took a side headlock, then a side headlock takedown. Lee responded with a chop and then a cartwheel into a backflip counter, leaning against the ropes to taunt his opponent. However, McDonagh hit the apron and used Lee’s twists to bring him down to the mat to regain the advantage. Barrett discussed Lee’s trying year as Lee hit an inverted monkey flip and a dropkick to send McDonagh outside. Lee set for a tope and hit a tope con hilo, landing on his feet. [c]
McDonagh was in control as they returned, using a modified standing crucifix to a laid out Lee, wrenching on the left arm and hand before Lee reached the bottom rope with his legs. On the feet, Lee hit a series of strikes, including a flurry of body shots, before an enziguri to the face against the ropes, and then a kicking combo that ended with a superkick to a seated McDonagh and a double stomp to the back. McDonagh rolled outside and near the announcers only to eat a tope that sent him tumbling onto and over the announce desk and into the barricade. McDonagh grabbed Joseph’s leg, who reacted like he was in a horror movie, “GET HIM OFF ME!” Barrett said Joseph’s crying again, “Shut up,” said Joseph.
Back in the ring, Lee hit a metoera for a two-count, then got hit with a counter short hook, but he hit back. He countered a powerbomb, then a knee counter to Devlin’s Side, but ate a headbutt. Lee countered again with a sunset flip, but McDonagh kicked out and held onto the hand, using it to kick Lee in the face. A Devlin’s Side later and McDonagh earned the clean pin.
WINNER: J.D. McDonagh at 9:38 (Devlin’s Side, though they enunciated it more as Devil Inside)
-They showed Tony D’Angelo in the back with Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo as Pretty Deadly walked by. Kit Wilson thanked them for their congrats and D’Angelo offered them an espresso. Prince said they’ve never had one, but they are the champs. D’Angelo how much it cost to get Damon Kemp to turn on Diamond Mine, then reacted in shock that it was free. Wilson reacted in shock to his first espresso as they berated the other two and walked off.
-Perez’s music hit for her match with The Final Boss. Her ring gear said “Prodigy” on the back; at least it’s not “The Prodigy” like a certain failed Republican gubernatorial candidate here in Hawai’i…
(Hazelwood’s Take: The first two matches have been just fine TV matches. A commercial break in each breaks up the flow, though. Still, Lee and McDonagh worked a slower pace than one might expect, but I think this is just leading to their all out – no pun intended – rivalry-culminating match. Doudrop and A.S.H. get the victory, which already broke my prediction that they wouldn’t be around longer. What the end goal for them is I’m not sure, but it may lead to a triple threat for the titles involving TA and Kayden Carter and Katana Chance.)
-A commercial aired about one year of NXT 2.0, happening next Tuesday. Joseph and Barrett said you could vote for the superstar of the year. Satomura’s music hit to nary a reaction from the crowd, which is just disappointing. Once her music started getting more intense and she made her walk, there was some reaction.
(3) MEIKO SATOMURA vs. ROXANNE PEREZ – Singles match
I fully expect some Jade shenanigans in this match, who they showed watching a screen in the back actually kind of facing the screen! Shocking! Joseph said Perez was taking deep breaths to collect herself as Barrett said Jade looked petrified (she did) after slipping on the way up because of the legend of The Final Boss. Satomura immediately took a left arm, but Perez worked to her own hammerlock that was quickly thwarted by Satomura, but Perez took a side headlock. They hit shoulder tackles, but neither budged. Satomura then hit a spin kick to the gut and a flying shoulder tackle. She hit a elevated double knees to the gut for a two-count, then looked for an armbar. Jade fought out, hitting an arm drag.
They squared off after that sequence, showing respect. Perez went for her twisting head scissors rollup, hitting for a two-count, then hitting a victory roll and capturing the legs only for Satomura to kick out directly into a rear naked choke. Perez then transitioned into a crossface counter as the two showed great chain wrestling and submissions. Satomura broke the hold, then hit a stiff forearm only for Perez to hit a basement dropkick. Perez then hit a lope to Satomura on the outside as Jade looked on, frustrated in the back, then left. [c]
They returned with Satomura hitting her cartwheel knees on Perez, her knees nearly hitting Perez in the back of the head for a believable near-fall. Satomura held a sub on Perez in the middle of the ring, wrenching on both arms.
Satomura forced Perez back down to the mat, but Perez fought back to her feet. The two women traded uppercuts, I guess a Japanese uppercut and a U.S. uppercut. Perez came off of the ropes and hit a Polish hammer, then another, then a dropkick. She hit a running uppercut in the corner, but then ran right into a Mirko Cro Cop-like head kick. However, Perez hit a side Russian leg sweep for a two-count, then transitioned into a Koji Clutch. Satomura stacked her, then stomped on her to break the hold. She nailed a spinning heel kick to Perez, then climbed to the top. Perez met her, landing a series of strikes, then hit an avalanche rana for a two-count. Perez blocked a head kick, but was nailed with a big Pele kick. Satomura set in the corner, then hit Scorpio Rising (step-up axe kick) for the victory. Satomura shook hands with Perez, the two bowing to each other. Satomura left the ring, so here comes the Jade attack from behind with the kendo stick and yup, it happened right after Satomura left the ring. Satomura chased off Jade. Satomura then raised Perez’s hand in victory, which seemed to genuinely shock Perez.
WINNER: Meiko Satomura at 11:18 (Scorpio Rising)
-They shoed Breakker and Bate warming up in the locker room as Bate thanked Breakker for helping him (the camera isn’t there!). Breakker said they’re going to kick ass tonight and walked away as Bate looked directly into the camera. Ha!
-Joseph and Barrett then shifted to a Kemp video as he discussed, happily, that the whole world was talking about him on Sunday as he turned on Diamond Mine. They showed his introduction to Diamond mine as Roderick Strong introduced him to the group. He said The Creed Brothers became dominant, but he got no thanks. He said Strong never put him in the singles ranks as Strong told him to be in reserve. He said Brutus doesn’t like him because he whooped Brutus’ ass in college and Julius is jealous of him because Strong likes him. He said turmoil happens when you put two alphas together and it was hard to keep a straight face. He said he gave them one last chance, but he shot them down and knew that was the moment. He said the sound of the steel chair hitting Julius’ back signaled the end of Diamond Mine. He said it’s not Diamond Mine forever; it’s Damon Kemp forever.
-Ricochet’s music hit for his match with Trick Williams. I still miss Ricochet’s original NXT music. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: That was the best match of the night thus far. Very fine effort put forth by both women. There were still a few moments where you could see Perez’s inexperience, but she was forced to hit harder and faster in there with Satomura. The legend was amazing, as always, and didn’t hold back. This is the type of opponent Perez needs to really figure out how to add that edge to her arsenal while still being a face. Also, see, face vs. face can work! They did that well here tonight, and I believe we’re likely to see more face-face and heel-heel matches with Triple H in charge of creative overall.)
-They returned with Schism giving what looked like a convention presentation as Kiana James walked by wit her assistant who I do not know. James said she doesn’t do free sponsorships and told her assistant to trash their smiley face button. She got on the phone and berated someone about Duncan. They showed Arianna Grace saying her schedule was too full to another assistant as James approached about Zoey Stark and Nikkita Lyons. It seems like we’re getting a tag team match.
-Williams was on the apron and entered for his match.
(4) RICOCHET vs. TRICK WILLIAMS (w/Carmelo Hayes) – Singles match
This match is a continuation of the Ricochet-Carmelo Hayes feud after their fantastic match on Sunday involved Williams. Hayes joined commentary. Ricochet immediately hit a rising knee. Williams rolled outside, then ate a baseball slide in front of Hayes. “Hey, give him a chance!” Rick talked some smack to Hayes, then reentered the ring and worked the left arm of the bigger Williams. Barrett said Hayes needs to slow down on his victories as the arena is going to lose space for all of the jerseys (ha!). Williams hit a big standing kick to floor Ricochet, then hit a hard Irish whip chest-first to Ricochet (he actually put effort on the whip, nicely done). A big corner splash followed with a pop-up straight right to the face for a two-count. Ricochet tried to fight back with a springboard, but Williams hit the rope and caused Ricochet to fall outside. Williams commentated as Williams slammed Ricochet’s head into the announce table thrice.
Back in the ring, Ricochet hit a quick possum inside cradle, but Williams kicked out and then hit some sort of swinging neckbreaker for a two-count. Williams posed like he was Great Saiyaman, but missed and allowed Ricochet to bounce back with a springboard crossbody. Ricochet then hit a springboard elbow to a standing Williams. Hayes said Ricochet is full of himself as Ricochet hit the Recoil. Ricochet climbed to the top as Hayes said they’ve been practicing this counter. Unfortunately, Williams didn’t move like they practiced as Ricochet hit a beautiful shooting star press for the victory.
WINNER: Ricochet at 5:13 (shooting star press)
-Cameron Grimes walked in the back, right into D’Angelo and Lorenzo. Lorenzo readied an espresso for Grimes. Grimes said he doesn’t know Italian, so he’s going to say this very slowly to them: the answer is no. He said he doesn’t need them. D’Angelo said the other two guys to say no aren’t here anymore because he ran them out. Grimes said he’s not like them. Lorenzo said it’s because people actually respected them. Grimes threw the espresso into Grimes, but D’Angelo gave him an uranage through a table.
-Nathan Frazer made his entrance. [c]
-They returned with a vignette of Sol Ruca surfing, just saying coming soon…
-McKenzie Mitchell was in the back with Diamond Mine as Brutus interrupted and said he wants to break Kemp’s face. He said Kemp is tough in a studio discussing a match that happened five to six years ago. Pretty Deadly approached and said they beat them on Sunday, but the people don’t believe it, so they’re going to change that. They said the “WWE Universe” will pick the stipulation for their title match against Diamond Mine. Julius Creed said everything that’s happened, all the rage he’s been building inside, he takes out on their “bitch asses” next week. They looked shocked.
-Axiom made his entrance with the time-lapse super speed.
(5) NATHAN FRAZER vs. AXIOM – Match one in a best-of-three series
Well, this is probably going to be a hell of a time to recap depending on the pace of these two. This is going to be like a mini-version of the fatal four-way tag match from Sunday. They locked up and then immediately traded chain wrestling holds, a very British start to the match. They shook hands quickly, then again locked up. Frazer hit a big shoulder tackle, then went for a backslide, but Axiom rolled out and into a sub, no, Frazer turned that into a pin, and then they just started trading pins way too quickly for me to keep track haha. They locked hands, then Axiom took Frazer down. Frazer dodged a couple of attacks, building up speed on rope runs, then hit a shotgun dropkick to send Axiom outside. He hit a fast tope through the middle rope, but his legs caught. He was still able to hit Axiom and avoid anything catastrophic. [c]
Axiom was in control as they returned, having slowed the pace and worked the left arm of Frazer. Frazer rose to his feet and hit some back elbows, but Axiom hit a standing kick to the left shoulder, then slammed the arm across his shoulder, then momentum sending Frazer out by the announcers. Axiom hit a tope, rolled Frazer back in, then hit a high crossbody from the top for a two-count. He locked in a Kimura, but didn’t have the leverage for what is considered a strong person’s sub, like Brock Lesnar. Axiom held on as he sat on Frazer, then hoked his legs around Frazer’s body for more leverage, but Frazer turned it into a vertical spinning neckbreaker.
Frazer hit a combo, then an A.J. Styles-like moonsault-DDT from the second rope for a two-count. Axiom tried a quick inside cradle for a near-fall, but Frazer kicked the knee and then hit a high sling blade. He went for a standing shooting star, but Axiom put the knees up and locked in a triangle armbar, then transitioned to a Rings of Saturn, but Frazer hit the ropes before he could lock it in, so Axiom just stomped on the back. Frazer rolled through a kick, holding onto the legs for a Boston crab. Frazer went to a single leg, then a high angle elevated knee lock until Axiom grabbed the rope. Axiom hit a quick Superman forearm for a two-count, then hit his leaping superkick for the clean pin.
WINNER: Axiom at 11:44 (leaping superkick) to go up 1-0 in best-of-three series
-They showed security in the back, Hank Williams telling security to be ready for Gallus. “Big Body Javi” Javier Bernal called them Paul Blart rent-a-cops as Williams yelled at him to go away. Bernal said he’s a big-time superstar while Williams is just security. Williams said he may just be security, “…but I’ll beat your ass any day of the week, you prick.” Gallus’ door opened for their entrance, so Williams had to go off with security. I’m liking how they’re building Williams as a no-nonsense character, but I haven’t heard good things about his in-ring work. Gallus made their entrance. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: Whew, the first part of that match was incredibly difficult to track, but it slowed down after the break. A really good setup for the three matches as you can’t have all three just be fast-paced sprints as one might expect with these two. They fused in just enough of that to leave you excited for the ultimate match, which hopefully Kelly will be covering instead of me. I like Axiom’s finisher as it just gives a little bit extra and something different to a typical superkick. He really does look like a hero or martial arts character in a movie just flying through the air with that kick.)
-THE SUPER DIVA VIGNETTE! YES! This time, Quincy Elliot was on a bedazzled moped, I kid you not, a bedazzled moped as he rode through town waving at “people.” He said nothing is cuter than a boy in his scooter and he’s bringing all of it to NXT. He debuts next week.
-Mitchell was with Hayes and Williams in the back. Williams said he’s disappointed, but he’s still taller, smarter, and more good looking. Mitchell asked about the one-year anniversary as Hayes it’s been the year of Melo. She brought up an opponent next week as he reacted incredulously. She said the WWE Universe will vote on his opponent. He said they don’t get to decide, he gets to decide. In the line of the night, Mitchell said, “You can vote.” They walked off in anger.
-Joseph and Barrett ran through some matches for next week’s anniversary show.
-Bate made his entrance, pointing his finger in anger at Gallus. Breakker then entered with about eight minutes until the top of the hour.
(6) BRON BREAKKER (c) & TYLER BATE vs. GALLUS (Joe Coffey & Mark Coffey, w/Wolfgang) – Tag team match
Joe and Breakker began the match. Coffey taunted Breakker, who responded with a big shoulder tackle. He hit a bodyslam, tagged in Bate, and let Bate use him to hit the shoulder-assisted senton. Coffey countered Bate with an uppercut and tagged in his brother. They hit a double chop and the Mark hit an arm drag only for Bate to hold on with a side headlock. Bate used his unique offense to extend his leg and then bring it back to kick Mark while in the headlock, then tagged in Breakker. Breakker went for a suplex, kicked Joe who tried to interfere, then Brekker and Bate both hit slightly delayed verticals, kip ups, and standing moonsaults. Breakker and Bate did the old Steiner Brothers taunt with Breakker barking on all fours. [c]
They returned with Bate turning the tide on Mark, sending him outside and hitting a leaping splash that cleared the top rope, right in front of Joseph and Barrett. Joe walked over only to be cutoff by Breakker, but this distracted ref D.A. Brewers, allowing Wolfgang to shove Bate into a post. In the ring, Joey took it to Bate with his power offense. Mark tagged in, weathering some strikes to land his own. He tagged in his brother, who landed a sliding elbow drop for a two-count.
Joseph confirmed that Walker will face “Big Body Javi” next week with a graphic as Joe hit a snap suplex for a two-count. He then locked in a bearhug as Barrett discussed the next jersey to be hung next week after Hayes wins. Barrett said, “We know what’s going to happen: Melo wins,” which leads me to believe he’s going to lose next week, most likely to Ricochet. Joe broke the bear hug to hit a forearm to the back, then locked it in again. Bate went for a sunset flip counter, then kicked away Joe. Bate was able to evade Joe and tag in Breakker, who hit his leaping shoulder tackles and catching slam. He kicked Joe into the ropes, but Mark tagged in. Breakker countered mark and hit a big spinebuster. He pulled down the straps, tagged in Bate, and went for a Stenier Dog and they hit with Mark on Breakker’s shoulders. Joe broke up the pin, then Bate hit Bop-and-Bang to Wolfgang, standing on the apron. Breakker intercepted Joe with a spear as Joe tried to attack Bate, then Bate hit his rebound lariat and the Tyler Driver for the victory.
WINNER: Bron Breakke r& Tyler Bate at 10:53 (Tyler Driver ’97)
-After the match, McDonagh attacked both men, sending Breakker outside and hitting Devlin’s Side to Bate. He escaped into the crowd as Breakker reentered the ring.
(Hazelwood’s Take: A solid, but not spectacular main even tag match. The Gallus boys have a distinct style that commercial breaks do no service to, honestly. However, it was still a good showing and I’m wondering why the Coffey brothers teamed instead of the usual team of Mark and Wolfgang. Still, that was a definitive victory and I’m guessing Gallus moves off to another team, like Briggs and Jensen – again. Joe will probably be a mid- to upper-card singles heel. Bate and Breakker showed good chemistry, and it’s going to have that much more of an impact when they do implode and Bate challenges again for the now-unified title.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: A solid follow-up show. I wonder if the anniversary snuck up on them as I feel like there would have been more advertising for the show than just one week out. They still did a good job of making next week’s show feel slightly more important than others from scheduling some high profile matches to seeking the input of fans in determining matchups and stipulations. The only must-see match of the night is Satomura-Perez, and even then, the highlights should suffice. However, there was a lot of story building tonight, which is something that 2.0 has really focused on over the past few months, to their benefit.
Tune into PWT Talks NXT to hear more detailed thoughts!