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9/21 NXT 2.0 results: Moore’s review of Kushida vs. Roderick Strong for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship

By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

NXT TV 
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live September 21, 2021 on USA Network

Highlights from last week’s NXT aired followed by the Wale NXT opening theme…

Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary with Alicia Taylor as the ring announcer…

Random WWE developmental wrestlers were in the ring (names like Odyssey Jones, Bron Breaker, Trick Williams, Carmelo Hayes, etc). NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance wearing a tank top and cargo pants. Ciampa milked the crowd for “Ciampa” chants. Ciampa talked about how he took his spot at the top of the mountain after 908 days and how he never even lost that spot in the first place. Ciampa said told the fans that it was an honor to say that “Tommaso Ciampa is your NXT Champion!”.

Ciampa told Goldie the belt “I missed you too”. A “2.0” chant ensued for NXT 2.0. Ciampa said the new faces in the ring are about to show the world how great they are. Ciampa named off Carmelo, Odyssey, and Breakker as people who are going to stand out. Ciampa said you can call this place 2.0, but the passion of the people haven’t changed. Ciampa said Alicia Taylor is still NXT, Vic, Bad News, and Auntie Beth are still NXT. Ciampa said the fans are also NXT.

Ciampa said they are the reason why Ciampa is in the ring and why Ciampa does what he does. Ciampa said he’s so damn happy to be here. Ciampa said with Ciampa holding the title, NXT is the A show. Ciampa told the crowd that the crowd better scream loud and make the world hear because “We are NXT!!!”.

Cameron Grimes made his entrance and said he’s fired up. Grimes said the NXT Championship will be the fuel that makes his rocket go “to the moon”. Joe Gacy tried to cut off Grimes, but Gacy was cut off by LA Knight making his entrance. Knight said all the incels in the room should be chanting that Knight deserves a title shot. Knight was cut off by Odyssey who pointed out Knight lost twice last week.

Pete Dunne and Ridge Holland made their entrance. Dunne had the mic and pointed out that there were fresh new faces in the ring. Dunne said they should take his advise and make a name for themselves, but all Dunne sees are a bunch of geezers in the ring afraid to throw the first punch. Ciampa threw the first punch at Dunne and a brawl ensued in the ring. Eventually Dunne and Holland were left in the ring with Ciampa and Breakker (I assume this will be a tag team match down the road). Dunne and Holland were dumped from the ring. The camera cut to some women wrestlers brawling backstage. Back in the ring, Breakker and Ciampa dumped Dunne and Holland to ringside. Breakker called Holland and Dunne “a couple of bitches” and challenged them to a tag match against himself and Ciampa…

Vic Joseph hyped up the advertised Cruiserweight title match for later in the show…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A bit condensed and hectic but I really liked the segment and this segment was carried in huge part by Tommaso Ciampa as world champion. Ciampa cut an AMAZING 1st promo for a world champion. He essentially cut the Paul Levesque “We are NXT” promo, but at the same time he did a stellar job at it. Ciampa is wonderful. He’s a badass in the ring, he makes a strong heel when he has to be heel, but as a babyface he can flip the switch and be someone that can be a flagbearer for a brand. Awesome stuff from Ciampa. Breakker continues to show a lot of upside and is picking up the promo style of his quirky uncle Scott. Whenever Samoa Joe comes back we better get Breakker cutting a math promo on Joe, just like uncle Scott when Scott had a 133% chance of beating Samoa Joe at TNA Sacrifice.

Entrances for the Cruiserweight title match took place. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring introductions for the championship match…

John’s Thoughts: Taylor doing the formal in-ring introductions gives me a bit of hope that Hunter’s NXT isn’t totally dead.

1. Kushida vs. Roderick Strong (w/Diamond Mine) for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Strong and Kush started the match with technical chain wrestling. Kushida had a nice transition of a hip toss to a Juji Gatame. Kushida hit Strong with a nice fallback butterfly snap. The show cut to regular commercial.[c]

Kushida hit Strong with a shoulderbreaker. Strong recovered and hit Kushida with a backbreaker and Angle Slam for a two count. Strong hit Kushida with a few driveby elbows. Kushida reversed a hip toss into a armdrag. Strong blocked a Hoverboard Lock attempt. Kushida used a bodyscissors to lock in the Hoverboard Lock. Malcolm Bivens got Strong’s foot on the bottom rope for the rope break. Bivens got on the apron for the distraction. The Creed Brothers surrounded Kushida. Ivy Nile hit Kushida with a nice looking Superman Forearm. The Creed Brother dumped Kushida in the ring. Strong hit Kushida with End of Heartache for the victory.

Roderick Strong defeated Kushida via pinfall in 5:42 of on-air time to become the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion. 

The commentary team stressed Diamond Mine stealing the win from Kushida. Just as diamond mine was celebrating, they were cut off by Grayson Waller, who had generic hip hop entrance music. Waller said that after what happened to Drake Maverick last week, he found out that NXT 2.0 is a jungle. He said he is someone who can survive that Jungle.

Waller challenged Strong to a cruiserweight championship match next week. Bivens said how dare Waller interrupt the champion’s celebration. Waller asked Strong if he had to check with daddy first. Bivens mocked Waller in a winey voice. Bivens said that Waller will find out how powerful Diamond Mine is next week…

John’s Thoughts: Not much from an in-ring perspective. It was fine, but they deserved ten more minutes to show what they can do. Strong had to go over here to continue Diamond Mine’s forward momentum (as opposed to their old iteration that stumbled right out of the gate with a ton of losses and no character). I hope WWE doesn’t give up on Kushida in the new NXT because Kushida is one of the best technical wrestlers in the world.

We got this week’s Tony D’Angelo vignette promo. He talked about how his uncle told him how important business and family was to life. He said you can add something else to that importance list, success in WWE. D’Angelo is still coming soon…

Kay Lee Ray made her entrance…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Using “WWE” in the speech was better than last week’s “the money is in NXT line”. That said, D’Angelo still comes off as a stereotype as opposed to a character. Maybe he’ll prove us wrong? Maybe he’ll magically lose his accent (like Kofi Kingston, Reggie, and sometimes Mansoor).

Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs were in a bar. Briggs talked about meeting Jensen in the bar after he lost in the Breakout Tournament. Briggs said he and Jensen bonded in the bar over beating up people in a bar fight…

Amari Miller made her entrance. Miller cut an inset promo about how she’s going to showcase her skills…

2. Kay Lee Ray vs. Amari Miller. Miller gave Ray forearms and a suplex for a two count. Ray came back with a forearm and dropkick. Ray put the boots to Miller and got a two count. Ray hit Miller with a front suplex for a two count. Miller went for a back kick, but she was caught. Ray hit Miller with a Gory Bomb for the victory.

Kay Lee Ray defeated Amari Miller via pinfall in 1:35. 

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Bron Breakker about teaming with Ciampa later in the show. Breakker said he was honored to be in the ring with three of the best wrestlers in the world. Ciampa walked in and asked if Breakker was ready. Breakker talked about how he’s ready to kick ass with Ciampa tonight. Breakker did an awkward pause in his promo (which may be intentional?) and slapped Ciampa on the shoulder…

A graphic said that Dante Chen was debuting after the commercial break. Wade Barrett noted that Chen is the first WWE wrestler form Singapore…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Good to see the polished talent in NXT continue to be pushed. Kay Lee Ray is very solid and has a lot of upside in WWE. I think she needs to get more promo and vignette time. In the ring, I like that they’re having her dominate in quick squashes so far to acclimate her to the NXT US audience. Amari Miller looked good too in the ring and in her entrance. There was a good energy to her and I can see her being a strong “girl next door” type of babyface if they want her to down the road.

Xion Quinn was shown walking into the WWE Performance Center “earlier today”. He was flanked by two random women. Quinn pulled a random WWE developmental wrestler aside to let the girls in first. Quinn said that the guy should know how to show respect to women. Quinn left the guy lying…

Trey Baxter was already in the ring. Dante Chen got a nice entrance…

3. Dante Chen vs. Trey Baxter. Baxter fended off Chen with boots. Baxter got a two count off a small package. Chen turned the small package into a Sitout Atomic Drop for the victory.

Dante Chen defeated Trey Baxter via pinfall in 0:59.

The show cut to a skit at “Andre Chase University”. Chase was teaching a class in front of random students. Chase cut to the projector that showed Odyssey Jones highlights. Chase said that Jones is a loser and he doesn’t know how to win. One random student named “Steve” pointed out that Chase lost in the first round of the Breakout Tournament. Chase threw a fit and said that Steve needs to get the “f–k” out…

John’s Thoughts: That was kinda like a lame version of Brian Myers’ (from Impact) “How to become a professional” skits.

Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix checked in on commentary. Beth gave a (kayfabe) health update on Kyle O’Reilly and said that he is week to week with a re-aggravated rib injury. They then cut to a Triple H tweet where Hunter said he was recovering well and can’t wait to get back to NXT…

Cameron Grimes will be in action after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: We didn’t see much from Chen, but I like the presentation of the guy and he does look like an athlete. Most Asian wrestlers emanate from Japan, so it will be cool for a non-Japanese Asian or Asian-American make it in pro wrestling. Looking forward to more from Mr. Chen. Trey Baxter on the other hand, I keep hearing this guy get hyped up a lot, but I’ve seen this guy wrestle a ton in Impact and NXT and haven’t been impressed so far. He’s okay? But I’m not sure why he’s getting more hype than people like Carmelo Hayes.

[Hour Two] Joe Gacy was already in the ring in casual clothes and sitting on a chair. He said the ring was a safe-space. Gacy said that NXT is filled with hate where people settle their differences. He said hes coming into the environment looking for non-aggression. He said he understands that life isn’t fair. He said he here to achieve peace in this safe space and it starts tonight. Cameron Grimes made his entrance…

4. Cameron Grimes vs. Joe Gacy. Gacy wrestled in a dress shirt and slacks. Grimes took down Gacy with an armdrag and told Gacy to kiss his grits. Grimes hit Gacy with a nice roundhouse. Gacy came back with a Yakuza Kick and corner splash. Gacy hit Grimes with a belly to belly. Gacy locked Grimes in a sleeper. Grimes came back with a few forearms to Gacy. Gacy came back with a handstand into a lariat. Gacy hit Grimes with a forearm. Grimes came right back with a Cave In for the win.

Cameron Grimes defeated Joe Gacy via pinfall in 2:49. 

Highlights from the match aired. Gacy asked Grimes for a handshake after the match. Gacy then gave Grimes a wholesome hug. That left Grimes looking confused…

John’s Thoughts: I’m not sure what to think of Gacy’s new self-righteous gimmick, but as the match went on I was starting to buy into it as something with potential. It reminds me a bit of Dr. Stevie Richards from back in TNA, but I think that NXT can do a good job taking all of the cringe parts of the act (similar to what NXT did with Dexter Lumis’s old TNA gimmick). The hug after the match has me wondering if Gacy is going to continue to be involved in a program with Grimes. If Gacy can level things up and become a darker version of what looks like a dorky character at the moment, I hope that it can lead to Grimes finally becoming a serious wrestler after all these years.

Highlights from the wedding of Dexter Lumis and Indi Hartwell aired (Austin Theory and Ikeman Jiro were still my MVPs of the segment)…

The commentary team checked in and hyped the In-Dex honeymoon for next week…

Santos Escobar and Elektra Lopez made their entrance…[c]

A vignette aired for Von Wagner where he was pushing around tires and swinging sledge hammers in a backyard for a workout. He said his journey in NXT 2.0 has just begun…

Legado Del Fantasma were all in the ring…

5. Elektra Lopez (w/Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza) vs. Anna Scheer. Lopez took her time taking off her jacket. Lopez took down her opponent with a few shoves. Lopez hit her opponent with a delayed body slam. Lopez caught her opponent and hit her with a side slam. Lopez hit her opponent with a Suplex into a Blue Thunder Bomb for the victory.

Elektra Lopez defeated Anna Scheer via pinfall in 1:27.

Escobar got in the ring and said we got class, elegance, sophistication, fuego, and willpower to command silence and respect in Elektra. Escobar said this was all under the umbrella of one word, famillia. Escobar said Lopez completes Legado Del Fantasma. Elektra said you got the first taste of what the first lady of Legado is going to unleash on B-Fab and NXT 2.0.

Elektra said B-Fab can keep talking, but that’s all it is, and if she doesn’t like things, she can get her skinny ass out here. Top Dolla, Ashanti Adonis, and Isaiah Scott made their entrance. B-Fab showed up from behind and blindsided Elektra. A brawl between the two women ensued. Hit Row and Legado separated the two. A “let them fight” chant ensued. B-Fab broke away a bit, but Top Dolla dragged her back…

Trey Baxter met up with Cora Jade backstage. Jade said that she’s known Baxter for a long time and he needs to cheer up Jade said Baxter is like a superhero. Jade kissed Baxter . Jade left the locker room. Baxter stared at the camera and said “superhero”…

Odyssey Jones made his entrance…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Simple reflection of last week to set up Elektra as the opposite of B-Fab. Not looking forward to that singles match given how not-ready Fab is for the ring (maybe they should do a street fight or cinematic to hid Fab’s weaknesses. Work your magic Borash!). The Trey Baxter and Cora Jade thing has be both intrigued and afraid. Intrigued in that I thought Jade came off really natural and a wholesome tomboy. I wouldn’t mind seeing a wholesome relationship presented on screen between Baxter and Jade. What has me afraid was the “superhero” line. I sure hope we aren’t getting another damn superhero gimmick on WWE TV. We already have Nikki Cross running around as one. We don’t need another cheesy kid’s gimmick.

An ad aired for Connor’s Cure…

Franky Monet ran into Raquel Gonzalez in the hallway. Gonzalez said that she already took care of it and she got Regal to book Gonzalez vs. Monet for the Championship next week. Gonzalez left. Some random lady named Lash Legend showed up and said she was debuting a talk show next week…

6. Odyssey Jones vs. Cary Millman and Darren Chiappetta in a tornado handicap match. One guy grabbed Odyssey on the leg while the other on the head. Jones shrugged both men off and tackled them into the corners. Andre Chase showed up to distract Jones a bit. The jobbers gave Jones clubbing blows. Jones took out both opponents with a flying crossbody. Jones hit one guy with a shoulder breaker. Jones slammed one guy into the other in the corner. Jones piled both guys on each other and took them both out with a frog splash.

Odyssey Jones defeated Cary Millman and Darren Chiappetta via pinfall in 2:40. 

Chase tried to hit Jones with a chair, but Jones caught the chair and tossed it aside. Chase backed down as Jones’s theme played…

Random developmental wrestlers were chatting around backstage. One of the guys was Grayson Waller. Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams showed up to taunt Waller. Waller and the random wrestlers left. The Toxic Attraction (Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolan, Jacy Jayne) walked past Trick and Melo. Melo said those girls looked fine. Trick said they look damn fine…

Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolan, and Jacy Jayne made their entrance heading into break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Much better showing for Jones this week as opposed to his past appearances in the Breakout Tournament. He was put in an odd spot to wrestle an extended match in those matches which made him look really green. This was short and sweet. He needs to work longer matches in order to get to that next level, but for now, it’s good to build him up to that level. Moving on to Toxic Attraction, I’m gonna have to agree with Trick and Melo! Hell, Rose and Dolan by themselves are main roster ready and will definitely be pumping up those YouTube views.

An Ikeman Jiro promo vignette was shown where he introduced us to his waredrobe. Jiro said a lot of people think of Japanese Wrestlers as Strong Style, but with Jiro it’s Style Strong. Jiro talked about how Ikeman means “Handsome Man”. Jiro said a handsome man has handsome suits. Jiro showed off a few of his jackets…

John’s Thoughts: Yo! To quote Austin Theory. “Jiro’s my guy!”. Jiro is one of those guys I want to see more of on TV. He just has such a positive and fun energy about him. Not to mention, the guy has low-key one of my favorite entrance themes in all of pro wrestling (which we only got to hear one time on NXT TV and it totally won me over. So posititive). Jiro’s energy is so good that I can see him as NXT’s next No Way Jose, and I was really high on Jose as a strong undercard hype wrestler. Jose is one of the best pro wrestlers in terms of hyping up a hot tag, and I think Jiro can be the same. Just as long as Vince doesn’t give this guy a damn conga line.

Mandy Rose and Toxic Attraction were in the ring. Rose said she came to NXT to be the gift of the fans, to be a goddess. She said the division is in need of her. She said no one will get with her, but they will like to look at her. Rose said things took a turn when the fans turned on her after her face got broke. Rose said the fans did absolutely nothing and it was disgusting. Rose said she didn’t like being a GIF that was replayed when she got hurt. Rose said the fans treated her like they did to Gigi and Jacy. Rose said Gigi and Jacy don’t give a damn about what people think.

Rose said they showed Rose that behind the beauty, a beast is ready to be unleashed. Rose said you’re looking at the future of the NXT women’s division. She said she’s ready to take over the greatest women’s division in all of Sports Entertainment. Gigi took the mic and said her past pain was always her aggression. She said she got that out of Rose. Gigi said together they will be unbeatable and taken to the top of NXT 2.0.

Rose said Toxic Attraction aren’t just pretty faces in the crowd and if you thought they were going to sit in the back like the rest of the broads in the division waiting for an opportunity, you were wrong. Jacy said that they want the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships. Jacy said Stark and Shirai are in store for an ass kicking and they aren’t going to like what’s coming to them…

McKenzie Mitchell asked Stark and Shirai backstage about a response to the promo. Shirai said she doesn’t like Toxic Attraction so they’re on. Stark said maybe they should discuss things. Shirai asked if Stark likes Toxic Attraction. Stark said no. Shirai said it was settled then. Some random woman who claimed she was Indi Hartwell’s best friend said she and Hartwell will like to go after the tag titles once Hartwell is done with her honeymoon. Shirai and Stark looked confused at this random woman…

Pete Dunne and Ridge Holland made their entrance for the next match…[c]

John’s Thoughts: An advantage the new NXT has over the old NXT so far is the promo time they’re giving all the wrestlers. This is what NXT should have been doing when they moved from one hour to two hours. The huge weakness is still the downgraded star power and need to introduce a lot of green talent. That said, I really liked the introduction of Toxic Attraction. Mandy Rose has really grown as a wrestler and came off as a strong Alpha here. Dolan was actually the one that was rough on the mic, but I’ll chalk it up to it being a rough night. Dolan’s good on the mic and I even credit her for making me care about Jimmy F’n Havoc for the first time after I thought Havoc was boring.

Zoey Stark and Io Shirai vs. Toxic Attraction for the tag titles, Raquel Gonzalez vs. Franky Monet for the NXT Women’s Championship, and Roderick Strong vs. Grayson Waller for the Cruiserweight Championship were hyped for next week…

John’s Thoughts: Better hype this week. Good to hype matches in advance and three championship matches nonetheless.

Tommaso Ciampa and Bron Breakker made their entrances…

7. NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa and Bron Breakker vs. Pete Dunne and Ridge Holland. Breakker took down Dunne with a Power Slam. Breaker took Holland in the corner and tagged in Ciampa. Dunne tagged in and worked on Ciampa with joint manipulation. Vic Joseph compared the joint manipulation to what Shayna Baszler did to Nia Jax this past week.

John’s Thoughts: This is a bit overt. The commentary team is acknowledging the main roster storylines more often these days in the 2.0 shows.

Ciampa tossed Dunne into Holland and tripped him with a baseball slide. Ciampa tossed Holland into the steel steps and tossed Dunne into the announce table. Ciampa did his signature self back pat. Holland blindsided Ciampa heading into regular commercial.[c]

Ciampa fended off Dunne with boots. Holland tagged in and hit Ciampa with a clubbing blow. Ciampa blocked Holland’s suplex and hit Holland with a suplex. Dunne and Breakker tagged in. Breakker got the hot tag momentum and took out both heels with power moves. Breakker hit both opponents with nice looking Belly To Belly Suplexes. Breakker put Dunne in the Steiner Recliner. Dunne escaped the Steiner Recliner with joint manipulation and an elbow stomp.

Holland tagged in and gave Breakker an Alabama Slam after Dunne gave Breakker a buzzsaw kick. Ciampa and Dunne traded boo yay punches. Ciampa got Dunen to the mat with a forearm. Holland gave Ciampa a Belly to Belly. Breakker gave Dunne a Belly To Belly. Breakker and Holland no sold each other’s lariats and took each other with a running lariat. Dunne tried to bring Holand’s club into the ring but it was kicked away by Ciampa. Dunne tossed Ciampa to ringside.

[Overrun] Kyle O’Reilly showed up and hit Holland with the club when the ref was distracted. Ciampa hit Dunne with Willows Bell. Breakker hit Holland with the Military Press Power Slam for the victory.

Bron Breakker and Tommaso Ciampa defeated Ridge Holland and Pete Dunne via pinfall in 9:47 of on-air time. 

Breakker and Ciampa stood tall on the corners of the ring to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: That was a really fun main event and WWE is doing an amazing job allowing Bron Breakker to shine (aside from his gawd awful name that’s not Rex Steiner). Best moment of the match was Breakker continuing to ode to his good ol’ Uncle Scott with the Steiner Recliner. Ciampa continues to do a good job as the flagbarer of NXT, so good showcase for him too. It is interesting to see Ridge Holland taking a handful of losses recently, but at the same time he had to be the guy given how NXT’s priming Dunne for the world title shot down the road. I don’t think Dunne has been pinned or submitted in about a year. Dunne is flying under the radar as being someone that NXT goes out of the way to protect. Cool to see O’Reilly pop back up on TV. Gives me hope that NXT is going to play the long game of making him their top babyface.

This week’s NXT 2.0 was much better in my opinion overall. Yes, its still feels like a downgrade over Paul Levesque’s NXT in terms of importance and star power, but they are starting to do a better job at introducing new talent and producing promos. Last week felt like they were trying to shoehorn a bunch of new wrestlers in where this week we got proper introductions for people like Toxic Attraction, Joe Gacy, Dante Chen, Xion Quinn, and others. Praise aide, this can only work so much. NXT needs to slow down in terms of introductions and start getting into telling serial storylines with all these new characters. I hope we haven’t seen the end of Takeovers either. Keep the TV shows for the squashes and character development, and use the Takeovers to showcase 15-plus minute in-ring epics. I’ll be by in a bit with my members exclusive audio review.

NXT 2.0 Poll: Grade the September 21 edition

 
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Readers Comments (3)

  1. Give Ciampa the universal title now. That speech was fire!

  2. It has thst 2012-2013 pre wwe network feel of there are some stars to more new talent trying to become stars.
    one main difference is they’re on cable tv all over the world not just florida tv and somebody posted a link to the show.

    Yeah if close your eyes you thought it was big poppa pump talking on that mic in the ring.

  3. “I hope WWE doesn’t give up on Kushida in the new NXT because Kushida is one of the best technical wrestlers in the world.”

    I hope they get as far away as they can from guys who can’t cut promos and are the size of children.

    We still need to see where things go long term, but the first two weeks of NXT 2.0 have been a breath of fresh air.

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