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NXT 2.0 TV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 13, 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.
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-Vic revealed that the WWE Universe chose for the opening tag team championship match to be decided in a cage.
(1) THE CREED BROTHERS (Julius & Brutus) vs. PRETTY DEADLY (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince) (c) – NXT Tag Team Championship steel cage match
The Creeds got the audience off to a hot start as they entered. Pretty Deadly had significant heat, as usual. A ref locked them in. Vic said Pretty Deadly wasn’t happy with the fans for choosing a steel cage match. Vic acted like it was obvious that there would be no need for tags as all men were legal, though tag matches don’t guarantee tornado rules. In a very gutsy spot, Prince nearly hopped out to the floor while Julius kept him from falling by holding one of his arms as he dangled. Back inside and to the mat, the Creeds tossed both guys into the chain link cage repeatedly. The Creeds remained on the offensive as they battered Pretty Deadly, but PD got back into it with a tandem spot that ended with a lungblower on Brutus and a count of two. Shortly after, Brutus powerbombed Prince into one side of the cage. Refreshingly, USA didn’t feel the need to try to censor a brief “holy shit” chant.
Brutus and Wilson went to the top of the cage and, straddling it, exchanged forearms. Wilson slipped back into the cage but pulled Brutus with him. Julius managed a modified Spanish Fly on Prince as the match went to split-screen. [c]
Back to full-screen, Julius was trying to fight off both of Pretty Deadly up on a turnbuckle. Julius fought his way up to the top of the cage, but Pretty Deadly hit him with a superplex. The irritating, often mistimed censoring of the fans was back. On the floor, Brutus got back into it and suplexed both of PD a few times, then went up in a corner. Wilson and Prince went for a superplex on him as well, but Julius instead went and lifted one member each on his shoulders, and Brutus laid them out with the Butterball.
Damon Kemp stormed the area to boos and climbed the cage. Julius kicked Kemp through the cage, but Kemp baited Julius and handcuffed him to the cage and laughed as he went up the ramp. Brutus fought off both of PD, then went up and tried to assist Julius in breaking him free. Pretty Deadly went for the door and Brutus flew down and hit both with a cross-body. He covered Wilson for two, and then held Prince and yanked him back inside. Pretty Deadly hit Spilled Milk on Brutus for two. The heels worked Brutus over by bashing him into both sides of the cage as Julius kept trying to get free. Pretty Deadly took turns bashing Brutus into the cage as he was between it and the ropes. They hit Spilled Milk on him one more time.
WINNERS: Pretty Deadly at 14:58.
(Wells’s Analysis: Loads of protection for the Creeds here as Pretty Deadly continue their reign and I wonder how much more seasoning the Creeds could possibly need before they get called up to the main roster. A good match with cool spots and psychology)
-McKenzie Mitchell was with Von Wagner, Wes Lee and Joe Gacy. Mitchell announced that Lee had won the fan vote to face Carmelo Hayes tonight, obviously. Wagner stormed off. Gacy shook Lee’s hand and said he accepts the results of the vote. Lee sold surprise, then wiped his hand on his shirt after the handshake and left. Gacy said to Mitchell, “It’s alright. There are things to be done tonight.” [c]
-A commercial aired for the new NXT trading cards set. I opened a box last night and got an Asuka autograph, so I’m on board.
-Vic threw to a hype video about the first year of NXT 2.0, showing off some of the biggest matches and moments. Pieces of the embarrassing pool party aired, but otherwise I can’t argue with anything that was shown. It got a good four minutes or so.
(2) FALLON HENLEY (w/Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen & Mason “The Night Howler” Ramirez) vs. LASH LEGEND
Ramirez is a young boy representing Connor’s Cure. He beamed as he stood with Briggs & Jensen about halfway up the ramp. Legend sucker punched Henley early and dominated outside, then took Henley back inside and laid her out. Henley broke free of a backbreaker and fell awkwardly, then kicked up at a charging Legend. Henley back elbowed Legend in a corner, evaded a spear, then hit Henley with a KO to finish a shockingly quick match. She celebrated on the ramp as the boys held up Ramirez.
WINNER: Fallon Henley at 2:15.
(Wells’s Analysis: It was kept short, but was still pretty clunky. The two have worked some mistake-free matches but this didn’t click)
-Yulisa Leon exited a training room and she told Valentina Feroz and Sanga that her recovery would be nine months. They all sighed and Sanga said it’s Feroz’s time to shine. Von Wagner and Mr. Stone showed up to mock the proceedings.
-Briggs, Jensen & Henley happened upon all three members of Toxic Attraction. It devolved quickly into a gag about Mandy Rose being “in a lot of” Jensen’s dreams. [c]
-Toxic Attraction was in the ring and Mandy had a mic. She said this was her show, and when NXT Europe shows up, if she feels like it, she’ll run that too. Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne got in some lines about elevating the tag titles. Jayne said the titles were on a loan to the champions. Rose was wearing a plain brown sleeveless bodysuit that was…odd, to say the least. She told the audience to put some damn respect on her name, and right at the end of that line, Alba Fyre’s music played and she walked down the ramp. She said Mandy doesn’t know a thing where she came from. She said Scots didn’t go on and on about themselves, they just let their hard work do the talking. She stormed the ring and said when Mandy looks at her, she can see the new NXT Women’s Champion. She fought off Gigi & Jacy with her bat, then caught and slammed Rose. She went up for her senton, but Mandy’s mates pulled her to safety to boos.
-The screen said “I didn’t change. You just didn’t know me. -Cora Jade.” Jade narrated a hype package defending her bad behavior. She talked about gaining Natalya’s respect, then transitioned to Roxanne Perez trying to steal her spotlight. She said she didn’t need the approval of the fans. She said her shoe has more personality than Zoey Stark. She ran through reasons she doesn’t like all the key players in the women’s division. She spent a decent amount of time on Wendy Choo, suggesting a match soon. Jade is, ever so slowly, starting to deliver lines sounding like a real person.
-McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Choo, who powered quickly through a bland promo until she was interrupted by Lash Legend. Choo got all sassy then as she warned her about the last bimbo who stepped to her and got the lights turned out. Choo was pretty bad in the first half of this but showed a good amount of fire and personality once she had someone to cut a promo on. [c]
(3) QUINCY ELLIOTT vs. SEAN GALLAGHER
I caught it at the last moment and may have the wrong first name for Gallagher. Elliott got a pretty good response for his flamboyant entrance. Elliott confounded Gallagher with his personality. Elliott showed off his personality in basic offense, then laid out Gallagher and took him to a corner, did a Goldust-like taunt, and hit a Banzai Drop and covered for the quick win. The fans chanted “Super Diva.”
WINNER: Quincy Elliott at 1:19.
-Mitchell interviewed Cameron Grimes, who said he was going out there with the only man he trusted: Cameron Grimes. Vic said it was an apparent handicap match coming after the break. [c]
-Wes Lee got ready for his match near the lockers. Trick Williams showed up to distract him and Hayes flew in with a superkick. The pair beat down Lee and slammed his head in a locker. Some officials broke it up and yelled for help as the heels walked off.
(4) CAMERON GRIMES vs. TONY D’ANGELO & CHANNING “STACKS” LORENZO
Grimes started the match alone, though I doubt that’ll stick. He opened against Stacks and took him down with a waistlock. Shoulder block by Grimes, followed by a knee to the midsection and a thrustkick to the back of the head. D’Angelo tagged in to boos. He kicked and punched Grimes as the audience loudly chanted that he sucks. Grimes took brief control but D put Grimes’ head in the corner buckle. Stacks tagged in and threw some rights and then stomped a mudhole in the heel corner. The heels tagged a few more times and got quick shots in. D bodyslammed Grimes, then looked to the ramp and saw all three of The Schism making their way to the ring. Gacy stood in the corner, silently declaring himself the partner of Grimes. Gacy reached for a tag but Grimes turned back around and got beat down some more.
D mocked Grimes and said “You wanna tag this guy?” He blocked Grimes into the heel corner and tagged. Grimes managed his two-for-one rana and tried to fire himself up. Stacks back-body dropped Grimes, who fell into his own corner, where Gacy tagged himself in and destroyed the opposition. He fired up as if he was a babyface. Grimes demanded to know why he was there. Things broke down and Grimes ended up doing his twisting powerslam on Stacks. He hit the Cave In on D’Angelo and Gacy hit his finisher on Stacks.
After the match, Gacy hugged Grimes. Grimes threw him off and said he didn’t need him. Grimes backed up and The Dyad laid him out, then held him in place for Gacy’s finisher to boos.
WINNERS: Joe Gacy & Cameron Grimes at 5:36.
(Wells’s Analysis: Tony D seemed like a big deal not that long ago, but he’s merely a prop here to lose for the sake of a storyline he isn’t involved in. No-frills action here, but the latest step in the Grimes-Gacy feud was at least somewhat interesting)
-JD McDonagh was getting a shave and he talked about the importance of hygiene in a short scene that evoked American Psycho’s opening monologue. The unseen barber (it was a buff dude with tattoos, so likely a PC talent) accidentally cut him. McDonagh sent him off and then admired the blood in his hand. [c]
-Connor’s Cure spot was followed by Vic promoting the drive.
-Earlier this week, Vic sat down with NXT Champion Bron Breakker. Breakker said he was “scared shitless” (bleeped) for his first match. He said he thought he was going to win in his first shot at the Championship, but losing taught him to deal with adversity. Vic moved on to Breakker’s win and what it meant to have his dad, Rick Steiner, in the audience. They talked about Bron inducting the Steiner Brothers to the WWE Hall of Fame. Less than 12 hours later at Stand & Deliver, he lost his championship to Dolph Ziggler. He talked about the match on Raw where he won his title back, then had the screwy match with Gunther. Vic transitioned to Bron’s feud with Joe Gacy, and Breakker said the feud taught him how to deal with the mental part of wrestling. Up next was Tyler Bate to combine the NXT Championships. Vic wondered aloud what was next for Bron Breakker.
-Tyler Bate was with McKenzie Mitchell. He said respectfully, he’s looking for a rematch. He said a familiar face in JD McDonagh stands between him and his divine purpose. He says if McDonagh wants a shot, he’s going to have to go through him.
(5) ZOEY STARK & NIKKITA LYONS vs. KIANA JAMES & ARIANNA GRACE
Lyons was introduced first and her music played briefly before Stark entered and the team finished their entrance to Stark’s music, positioning her as the bigger of the two. The heels entered to James’s music. Grace made exaggerated poses as James tried to keep it classy. James and Stark opened and exchanged headlocks. Armbar takedown by Stark, who tagged in Lyons to a mixed reaction. Nikkita hit a snap suplex and kipped up. James bailed and threw a tantrum. All four went into the ring and jawed as the match went to commercial. [c]
Grace had Lyons grounded upon return. Wade went back to the official WWE line of social media being abuzz every time Lyons wrestles. Lyons escaped trouble and made the tag. Belly-to-belly by Stark. James tagged in and went for a lariat that missed. Stark dominated her with chops and back elbows. James bailed to the ramp side and took down Stark with a clothesline. She rolled Stark back inside and hooked the inside leg for some reason on a cover and got two. James put knees to Stark and hit a backbreaker that looked like it almost went wrong. Two count. Stark dragged herself to the face corner but couldn’t reach for a tag. James shoved Lyons to the floor and Stark had nobody to tag. Grace tagged in and Stark took control with clotheslines and combo kicks. Rope run and a kick by Stark. Big boot by Grace got two.
360 knee by Stark. Lyons tagged in and hit her finisher.
WINNERS: Zoey Stark & Nikkita Lyons at 9:04.
(Wells’s Analysis: The extreme limitations of Lyons were masked by having her shown for perhaps 30 total seconds as the legal woman in the ring. James is kind of finding herself as a whining spaz, though her offense is still iffy. Grace is a create-a-wrestler at this point with just the hints of a personality forming. Stark, of course, was the one standout in the match)
-Outside, a guy in a hoodie was trying to convince Edris Enofe and Malik Blade into voting for Joe Gacy to face Carmelo Hayes. They weren’t having it, and the Dyad charged. The two tag teams brawled until they were pulled apart.
-Wes Lee was shown being worked on by a trainer as Vic wondered what would happen in the main event. [c]
-McKenzie said all week, fans have been voting on the biggest star of NXT 2.0. Grayson Waller showed up, sure he was the winner. The final four, announced by Mitchell, were Toxic Attraction, Carmelo Hayes, Nikkita Lyons and Bron Breakker. Waller stormed off.
(6) HANK WALKER vs. JAVIER BERNAL
Walker walked to the ring without music and sold nerves. He didn’t have wrestling gear. The audience chanted “Hank” and he fired them up. Bernal was unimpressed. Walker broke free of an arm wringer. Bernal got a strike in on Walker’s blind side and Walker missed an extremely slow lariat. Headlock by Bernal, but Walker picked him up and took him to a corner. Walker broke clean and Bernal slapped his face. Walker fired up and bealed Bernal into the corner, and then the center of the ring. Basement dropkick by Bernal put Walker’s head into a buckle. Kicks by Bernal. Walker threw a punch that showed nearly a foot of light.
Front chancery by Bernal, but Walker tossed him forward to the mat. Bernal tried to put Walker’s head into the corner but couldn’t manage. Thesz press by Walker, who ripped off his shirt to reveal a dad bod. Running back elbow finished. Walker sold surprise as he celebrated.
WINNER: Hank Walker at 3:23.
(Wells’s Analysis: Tom Stoup has said Walker is very rough around the edges, so I guess they’re working that into his gimmick. It might work out alright but I don’t know where they go after the novelty wears off)
-Another hype segment showed some of the best ring entrances of the year for NXT 2.0.
-Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams cut a promo into the camera. Hayes said you can’t vote on greatness. This is not a game, and you’re about to find out. [c]
-Sol Ruca. She’s a surfer. She doesn’t take things too seriously, but when she gets to the Women’s Division, it won’t be another day at the beach. (She actually said “Woman’s” Division, which is a strangely common thing on this brand)
-The winner of the vote of 2.0 Superstar of the Year is, of course, Bron Breakker. Vic just threw it out there casually and there was no segment to celebrate it.
-Trick and Melo entered. Trick said they were too good to be this humble. Hayes said he did Wes Lee a favor and he doesn’t know what it’s like to be in this position. He said heavy is the head that wears the crown, and he has the biggest crown and the heaviest head. They were doing their taunt when Solo Sikoa’s music played. Sikoa went to the ring and said “Like I said before: I got next.”
(7) SOLO SIKOA vs. CARMELO HAYES (w/Trick Williams) (c) – NXT North American Championship match
That was a genuine surprise, but I have to question the sense in having main roster hot heel Sikoa coming to NXT to work one more babyface match. Big back elbow by Sikoa. Corner lariat by Sikoa followed by another charge, but Williams yanked him out of trouble. Sikoa tossed Hayes out at Williams and the match went to split-screen. [c]
Sikoa had Hayes in a nerve hold. Hayes escaped by Sikoa laid him out with a headbutt. Hayes bailed and Sikoa followed, threw a right, and put Hayes back in the ring. As Sikoa entered, Williams charged Sikoa’s knee into the mat. Hayes used the opening to hit a springboard back elbow. Hayes snapped Sikoa’s leg back as Sikoa sold the knee. Hayes covered for two. A corner graphic promoted Frazer vs. Axiom for next week as well as Nile & Paxley vs. Dolin & Jayne.
Hayes continued to work Sikoa’s leg with a half-crab. Sikoa fought his way to the rope and finally succeeded to break. Sikoa kicked away Hayes, blocked some rights and threw body shots. Thrustkick by Sikoa, followed by a Samoan Drop. Corner hip attack by Sikoa, who yanked Hayes up into a fireman’s carry. Williams distracted him again for a cutter. He charged for another but Sikoa caught him in a Samoan Drop for two. “That was three” chant. Sikoa caught Hayes with a uranage and went up for a frog splash, which he hit for the shocking win and the title. Unless they say otherwise, I’m expecting a vacation of the title, and a callup to the main roster for Hayes.
WINNER: Solo Sikoa at 10:02.
(Wells’s Analysis: Well, that’s a belt for every member of the Bloodline. Heel Sikoa working face here still didn’t strike me as a wise choice, but it does allow Sikoa to hold a championship along with the rest of the Bloodline on SmackDown if that’s what they want to do, or vacate the title and free up Hayes if that’s the play. These two match up pretty well, but we only got about six minutes of this on full screen and it just seemed to be getting going)
-Shawn Michaels narrated a spot for NXT. He said NXT is constantly evolving with a focus on the future. He said the message to the fans will never change: We Are NXT. The screen flashed the NXT symbol, which was stylistically the same as the current one, but it was black and gold.
FINAL THOUGHTS: On a night where main roster talent Solo Sikoa won the North American Championship, the biggest news is arguably the return/shift to black and gold. I don’t expect the aesthetic to look exactly as it did before, but I’ve wondered aloud if this change would come, and now that it’s on the way, I wonder what it means as far as released talent returning or if it’s simply a facelift to try and regain some lost fans.
Next week’s episode is taped, which is curious given the new logo and possible reversion of the aesthetic. Will things be changed for the show I believe is being filmed immediately after this show?
This was a very top-heavy night of NXT, with the bookend matches delivering, and everything else being a squash, an angle, or a match leaving a lot to be desired. I don’t think I’ll have a problem finding things to be both high and low on for the podcast tonight. Check out PWT Talks NXT recording soon or stream tomorrow. Cheers.