By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT 2.0 TV
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live November 2, 2021 on USA Network
[Hour One] No intro this week, the show started off with new NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose making her entrance. Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary…
Rose got dueling “You deserve it” and “no you don’t” chants. Rose said she doesn’t need the fans to tell her that she deserves the title. Rose bragged about defeating the unstoppable Raquel Gonzalez. Rose said she’s the new Women’s Champion and the baddest bitch in the entire company. Rose talked about how the rest of Toxic Attraction had one hell of a night last week after also winning the tag titles. Rose said people are wondering where Gigi and Jacy are. The camera cut to the locker room where Gigi and Jacy beat down and left Zoey Stark lying. Rose said Toxic Attraction and there ain’t noone who’s gonna stop them.
Io Shirai made her entrance in her ring gear holding a mic. Shirai said even though she doesn’t like Zoey, she likes Mandy less. Shirai said she wants the leader of Toxic Attraction right here right now. Rose said everyone in the back was scared of Shirai but now Shirai is in her world. Rose called for a referee, but when Shirai turned her back, Rose blindsided Io and beat her around the ring. Rose said this ain’t the old NXT, this is NXT 2.0 and “you’ll never look like me”. Before Rose could finish her promo, Shirai recovered and beat up Rose. Shirai hit Rose with a German Suplex and corner meteora.
Shirai went for her moonsault, but Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne dragged down Shirai. Shirai managed to dispose of Dolan and put Jayne in a rear Naked Choke, but Rose gave Toxic Attraction the numbers advantage. Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter ran out to even up the numbers. The babyfaces stood tall as the heels retreated…
Still shots aired from Halloween Havoc. The commentary team checked in and hyped upcoming segments…
Toxic Attraction walked into Dakota Kai backstage. Kai said she didn’t do what she did to help Mandy, she did it to hurt Raquel…
Dakota Kai made her entrance…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Rose’s promo was a bit dry, but at least she had confidence delivering it. What was the better part was all of the brawling. All of the run-ins and beatdowns gave the show a frantic feel in a good way. It will lead to a formula trios match, but at least they got there in a natural way.
The show cut to a “Duke’s Poker Room” skit where Duke Hudson was playing poker with random people. Cameron Grimes showed up and wanted to play cards. Grimes asked Hudson to “hit me” despite it being Holdem. The poker game started and the graphic said “Too be continued”…
John’s Thoughts: Ugh, this gimmick makes Swinger’s Palace look Academy Award worthy. Seriously, Swinger’s Palace is ass (and a waste of Johnny Swinger’s immense comedy talent), and this is a “Boring” Swinger’s Palace!!! Yuck.
Cora Jade made her entrance…
1. Dakota Kai vs. Cora Jade. Kai quickly started the match with a lariat and beatdown on Jade. Jade managed to get a clothesline rally and huracanrana. Jade hit Kai with a high knee. Jade got a couple of rollups for two counts. Kai reversed Jade with a back body drop. Jade rolled up Kai with a sunset flip to reverse the Go to Kick. Kai botched a Scorpion Kick by missing. Kai hit Jade with a corner Yakuza Kick for the victory.
Dakota Kai defeated Cora Jade via pinfall in 2:26.
Kai dragged Jade to ringside and faceplanted her. Kai dragged a table over the face of Jacde and walked over it to get on the apron. Kai kept flashing conflicted or slightly deranged facial expressions. Kai put Jade’s skateboard over Jade’s downed body. Kai headed to the back, lightly convulsing…
John’s Thoughts: Interesting stuff. Jade’s a plucky, girl next door, babyface so this loss won’t derail her one bit. I like that Kai is doing something a bit different and that we don’t know the full extent of her current character yet. She teased injuring Jade, but then had second thoughts. Her subtle facial expressions sold that she has a conscience, but she’s also losing it. This has me excited to the storytelling that’s going to lead to her match against Raquel Gonzalez.
The commentary team hyped O’Reilly and Wagner vs. Legado Del Fantasma for later in the show. They also showed a replay of Robert Stone getting chokeslammed by Xyon Quinn. Robert Stone then challenged Quinn to a match via twitter…[c]
The show cut to a MSK cinematic skit. Wes Lee and Nash Carter were a random bus stop. They were waiting for someone that Carter claimed was the man who came up with the legend of MSK. Nash was about to explain what MSK means and stands for, but a bus pulled up and blocked the audio from us from hearing. Lee said they missed their bus. Carter then gave Lee a piggy back ride to get to where they were going…
John’s Thoughts: not much substance, but a great cinematic to get the MSK duo’s personalities over. Why haven’t we gotten much of these since their debut?
Xion Quinn made his entrance and was wearing a formal dress clothes for his match. Robert Stone was wearing a romper like he was about to go to the country club. Stone cut a goofy promo. I guess this is a dance contest now. Stone danced to Franky Monet’s entrance theme, harkening back to his bad Robbie E days, just acting grating. Xyon Quinn took the mic and said Stone was interesting. Quinn said he didn’t come here to dance, but he came here to kick Stone’s Ass. Stone called Quinn a chicken and dared him to sing. Quinn asked them to turn on some music. Shawn Michael’s theme played and Quinn actually didn’t suck (he wasn’t great, but wasn’t tone death). Quinn actually did some fun Ballroom Dancing moves on Stone when Stone tried to attack him. Eventually a match started..
2. Xyon Quinn vs. Robert Stone. Quinn slammed Stone and hit him with the Jackhammer for the victory.
Xyon Quinn defeated Robert Stone via pinfall in 0:48.
The show cut to a Joe Gacy cinematic promo. Gacy talked about how toxic social media is and how it’s bringing people down. He talked about how people are aleniating people like Harland by making fun of his appearance. Gacy said we will change the world together…
Xyon Quinn ran into Elektra Lopez and the two flirted a bit…[c]
John’ s Thoughts: Mixed thoughts on the Quinn segment. I thought the Quinn part was actually well done, but the problem was Stone reverting into bad Robbie E Bromans mode. It’s probably just PTSD for me, but I had to suffer reviewing that guy’s segments for years and he was sooooooo grating and unproductive. I kinda wish that Stone try something that isn’t as hokey. Look at Joe Gacy taking a different gimmick and making it work! Gacy has been a standout in NXT and this character is really winning me over with the layers they are trying to add to him.
Legado Del Fantasma were already in the ring while O’Reilly and Wagner got a televised entrance to O’Reilly’s theme…
3. Kyle O’Reilly and Von Wager vs. “Legado Del Fantasma” Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza. O Reilly and Wilde started off the match with technical chain wrestling. Mendoza tagged in and took a shoulder tackle from O’Reilly. O’Reilly blocked a Sunset Flip and reversed it into a Juji Gatame. Mendoza got to the rope for the brak. Wagner tagged in and gave Mendoza a few Belly to Back suplexes. Wagner gave Mendoza a back body drop. O’Reilly tagged in and Wagner gave Mendoza a leapfrog senton.
O’Reilly gave Mendoza elbows to the back. O’Reilly gave Mendoza a basement knee drop. Wagner tagged in and Mendoza managed to rally back a bit. Wagner took down both opponents with a flying shoulder tackle. Wagner hit both opponents with a double suplex. The show cut to picture in picture.[c]
O’Reilly worked on Mendoza with Muay Thai knees and a sweep. Elektra Lopez got on the apron for the distraction. This allowed Mendoza to chop block O’Reilly. Wilde and Mendoza traded quick tags to keep O’Reilly in their corner. O’Reilly dumped Mendoza to ringside and tagged Wagner. Joseph noted that Wagner’s length came into play during the tag. Wagner hit Wilde with an elevated Flatliner for a two count. Wagner hit Wilde with an Angle Slam. O’Reilly tagged in and kneed Wilde.
Mendoza broke up the pin attempt. O’Reilly signaled for a finisher with Wagner, but Mendoza dumped O’Reilly to ringside with a missile dropkick. Wilde rolled up Wagner with a small package for the clean win.
Legado Del Fantasma defeated Wagner and O’Reilly via pinfall in 11:00.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams. Hayes said they aren’t here for games this week. Andre Chase showed up and Trick was surprised that he wasn’t dead. Chase said that he has Trick and Melo’s back tonight. Melo and Trick left. McKenzie said people were calling Chase a coward. Chase said somebody is going to get an ass kicking now. McKenzie assumed Chase was going out for a match…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I still don’t know what to think about Von Wagner yet. He’s okay in the ring, but nothing about him really stands out other than his bad promos and unique forehead. The match was actually really good by the end, especially when O’Reilly, Wilde, and Mendoza were involved. I like Legado Del Fantasma getting the clean win over the presumed favorites to win the match (though Joseph did try to sell it as a dirty pin, but the camera never really caught any dirty tactics).
The show cut back to Duke’s Poker Room, where Duke was shocked that Grimes was winning every hand. Grimes thought he lost the current hand, but he had a diamond flush. After a timeskip, Duke eliminated one of the girls. Grimes and Duke eliminated everyone at the table. Duke called one of the women “a loser” and Grimes defended her….
[Hour Two] Andre Chase made his entrance for an in-ring promo. Chase said he’s not a man who responds to baseless rumors. Chase said he did hear that people are calling him a coward online. He said that lead to him making a teachable moment. Chase then challenged anyone to a match. The Scott Steiner sirens blared and Bron Breakker made his entrance in ring gear…
4. Bron Breakker vs. Andre Chase. Breakker hit Chase with a Belly to Belly and lariat. Chase caught Breaker with a elbow and boot. Chase hit Breakker with cravate knees. Breakker escaped and rallied with a shoulder block and lariat. Breakker hit Chase with a Belly to Belly. Breakker hit Chase with the Military Press Power Slam for the victory.
Bron Breakker defeated Andre Chase via pinfall in 1:42.
Breakker took the mic and said he had the biggest match of his life last week and he failed. He said he fell for each and every one of Ciampa’s traps. Breakker said experience won out and Tommaso Ciampa is the man in NXT; but nothing pissing Breakker off more than losing. Breakker swore that he will either take the NXT Title or die trying.
John’s Thoughts: A simple bounce-back for Breakker. As big as it would have been to rush the title on Breakker, I feel like their is more growth potential by giving Breakker a bit of a journey. Ciampa put Breakker over strong in Breakker loss, so it will mean that much more when he takes things to another level to become champion in the end of the road.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Imperium and pointed out that they were tag team champions before and are getting a lot of buzz in Europe with their current run. Imperium spoke in their home languages about being proud to be the new champions. Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne walked in and said that Imperium should watch their match. (In German, subtitled) Barthel said the the ring is sacred, but America has it’s benefits (welp, Marcel is horny)….
The show cut to Lash Legend, who said that Tony D’Angelo will be appearing on her talk show…[c]
The show cut to the pre-taped Lashing Out with Lash Legend talk show. Lash gave her thoughts on the costumes the NXT wrestlers wore at Halloween Havoc. Lash introduced Tony D’Angelo to the show. Lash berated D’Angelo for making her producer disappear. Lash said that “Mark” was in the studio now to appear on the show. Producer Mark showed up with an arm cast, looking crestfallen. D’Angelo passively aggressively intimidated Mark. D’Angelo told Mark to take a walk. Mark left. D’Angelo talked about how he was tougher than most people on the NXT roster and even called out Tommaso Ciampa. D’Angelo handed Lash some money and left. Lash said she needs to get her lashes done soon. The talk show ended…
John’s Thoughts: This talk show did nothing for me, but I do like the charisma I’m seeing from Lash Legend. Lash has a lot of personality an stage presense.
Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix checked in from their commentary table. Beth Phoenix noted that Zoey Stark was sent to the hospital after the attack from today (yes, they used the word “hospital”). They thanked Wale for providing the new NXT theme. Solo Sikoa, the blonde version of Jay and Jimmy Uso, made his entrance. His opponent was Jeet Rama.
5. Solo Sikoa vs. Jeet Rama. Wade Barrett claimed that Solo’s family left him as a child and he had to fend for himself (what? Rikishi, Jimmy, and Jay are assholes if that’s the case! I kid I kid) Solo worked on Jeet with Muay Thai strikes. Solo hit Jeet with the Umaga hip attack in the corner. Solo hit Jeet with a top rope splash.
Solo Sikoa defeated Jeet Rama via pinfall in 1:30.
The show cut to Boa and Mei Ying in their dark room. Boa said “it’s time” in Mandarin…
The show cut to LA Knight, who was in the crowd hyping up his appearance after the break…
John’s Thoughts: Okay debut for the third Uso brother. It’s funny that, Just like Rex Steiner, they’re going above and beyond to not associate the wrestler with his famous family. Maybe this is a Joe Henig/Curtis Axel situation where they’ll eventually get the family name once they get called up. At least Solo Sikoa is a better name than Bron F’n Breakker. I did like that his in-ring style was cool. He had the usual Uso signature moves, but combined with Muay Thai.
The show cut to a Josh Briggs and Brooks Jenson vignette where they were making steaks, playing cornhole, and tossing horseshoes. The promo was edited where they were in two different locations and completing each others’ sentences
John’s Thoughts: The star of that vignette was the medium done steak. I want steak now!
Entrances for the next match took place. LA Knight joined for guest commentary…
6. Boa vs. Grayson Waller. Waller got a two count off a backslide and crucifix rollup. Boa came back with a roundhouse and rebound stomp. Boa worked on Waller with methodical offense. Waller recovered and went high risk, but LA Knight got on the apron for the distraction. Boa dragged Waller back and beat Waller after a regular kick.
Boa defeated Grayson Waller via pinfall in 2:29.
The show cut back to Duke’s Poker Room where both men were face to face. Hudson went all in in the final hand and Grimes called it. Grimes won with a full house of 2’s against Hudson’s Aces. Grimes said the drinks were on him and he was taking everyone to the moon…
The camera showed Tommaso Ciampa walking around backstage…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Hudson continues to lose, even with the new gimmick. I hope they get rid of the “generic poker guy” gimmick soon because it sucks. I also think that they really need to give Grimes that serious transformation because quirky Trevor Lee has run it’s course.
A Kay Lee Ray vignette aired where she was breaking dishes…
The camera cut to Boa in the random throne room. Mei Ying was gone. Boa put his face on the throne (okay). Somehow his face got facepaint and he blew powder at the camera…
John’s Thoughts: Sooooo, Mei Ying’s farts can turn you into the Kiss Demon from WCW?
Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance for an in-ring promo. Ciampa talked about all the titles changing hands last week other than his. Ciampa said the one thing that is certain is that Ciampa is the “God of NXT” (nice reference to the Kratos costume last week). Ciampa’s promo was cut off by Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams making their entrance. Hayes said he had to come out here to put Ciampa in check. He said it’s not about Ciampa anymore, it’s about the new school that Hayes is the leader of.
Ciampa said as long as Hayes is North American champion, Ciampa will take a back seat. Hayes said he’s the A Champion of NXT, that’s how it is, and that’s how it’s goin’ be. Trick tried to get in Ciampa’s face but Ciampa left him lying with a right hand. Ciampa made his exit with Trick and Melo looking nervous…
As Ciampa was exiting, his old tag partner, Johnny Gargano made his entrance to The Way’s theme. Vic Joseph talked about the history between Gargano and Ciampa. Gargano and Ciampa mildly jawed at each other heading into commercial…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A good segment to elevate the North American Champion while also giving Ciampa TV time. When Swerve Scott was Champion, it kinda felt like he held the North American Title hostage because he never defended it and would instead compete in a Trios feud against Legado. Hayes is treating the title seriously and is looking good with his character elevation. Nice Gargano-Ciampa throwback/tease too. If Gargano is indeed leaving NXT, the best swan song for him would be an epic final match at Takeover. Another thing of note, there has been a lot more focus on promos and melodrama since Shawn Michaels took over from Paul Levesque. Interesting that Shawn is more of a promo guy while Hunter really pushed for indie-style workrate.
Johnny Gargano and Dexter Lumis were sharing a high five on the ramp…
7. Johnny Gargano and Dexter Lumis vs. NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams. Gargano and Lumis did rock paper scissors to find out who would start. Lumis beat Gargano’s rock with a Thumbs Up. Trick teased starting, but tagged in Melo. Lumis talked Melo around the ring. Trick tagged in and tried to blindside Lumis, but Lumis quickly pummeled Trick with ground and pound. Vic Joseph announced Ikeman Jiro and Kushida vs. The Creed Brothers for next week.
Gargano and Lumis dominated Trick with quick tags and tandem offense. Melo tagged in. Gargano and Melo had a cruiserweight stalemate. Gargano got the upper hand after hitting Melo with his signature slingshot spear. Lumis tagged in and hit Melo with a dropkick. Melo and Trick retreated while Gargano and Lumis did Lumis’s snake crawl. Joseph talked about how the father and son were on a roll heading into the picture in picture.[c]
Hayes and Williams sent Gargano into the corner with an Irish Whip. Gargano gave Williams an Enzuigiri. Melo dragged Lumis off the apron to prevent the tag. Williams took down Gargano with a flying Shoulder Tackle. Trick tossed Melo into a legdrop on Gargano to give Melo a two count. Gargano used a sunset flip to crawl under Trick’s legs and tag in Lumis for the hot tag. Lumis slammed Melo and tossed Trick to ringside. Sumis gave Melo a back suplex and lariat.
Lumis hit Melo with a rebound suplex for a two count. Melo escaped a suplex and tagged in Trick. Gargano tagged in. Gargano ducked a roundhouse and tossed Melo into Trick. Gargano put on the Lumis Glove and tagged in Lumis. Gargano and Lumis hit their opponents with stereo punches and superkicks. Melo broke up Lumis’s pin on Trick. Gargano and Melo tagged in. Both men traded chops. Melo gave Gargano a double throat chop. Both men traded strikes and strike counters.
Gargano turned Melo inside out with a lariat. Lumis tagged in and hit Melo with a sitout chokeslam. Lumis put Melo in the Kata Gatame. Gargano dumped Trick to ringside. While the referee tried to get Gargano back to his corner. Trick took off his shoe and slapped Lumis in the head with it (it was a good slap too). Melo hit a recovering Lumis with the top rope dropkick to the back of the neck to pick up the pinfall win.
Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams defeated Dexter Lumis and Johnny Gargano via pinfall in 12:29
Vic Joseph handled the outtro to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: A fun and well worked tag team match. Gargano is a tag team master and can tell a good story with any three different people in the ring. I didn’t think I would get into a Gargano/Lumis tandem, but so far they are clicking as the new father-son duo of NXT. Don’t get me wrong, nothing will ever beat Johnny Gargano x Austin Theory as pro wrestling’s most wholesome Father and Son (Take that Ray and Dom!), but Lumis and Gargano are playing to each other’s acts in a fun way. Hayes and Williams come out with the win, so that will keep them boosted. I’m curious where they go with Gargano because his contract is coming up soon right? I think he should stay because as tempting as AEW is, they are a bit crowded at the moment (heck, I think Gargano would be a better fit for MLW or Impact). Will NXT go with Gargano-Hayes soon then right to Gargano-Ciampa?
This week’s show was solid and I’m wondering if this current style of NXT is the brainchild of Mr. Michael Hickenbottom (When I go to NXT conference calls, do I need to call Michaels, Mr. Hickenbottom?). I’m curious if we’ll start seeing his nerddom likes appear on the show like how Hunter would plaster Heavy Metal all over the show for no reason. The focus seems to be a lot more on in-ring promos and less on indie-workrate epics. We’ll see how this goes, but hopefully Vince McMahon and crew keep their influence away because the main roster product is stale as hell