11/16 NXT 2.0 results: Moore’s review of Raquel Gonzalez vs. Dakota Kai, Dexter Lumis vs. Tony D’Angelo, Odyssey Jones, Kushida, and Ikemen Jiro vs. Roderick Strong, Julius Creed, and Brutus Creed, a poker showdown with Cameron Grimes and Duke Hudson

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

NXT 2.0 TV 
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live November 16, 2021 on USA Network

Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary…

Entrances for the opening match took place. Beth compared Tony D’Angelo threatening Lumis’s family to Seth Rollins threatening Edge and Her’s family. Lumis revealed a canvas which had a caricature painting of D’Angelo “sleeping with the fishes”…

1. Tony D’Angelo vs. Dexter Lumis. D’Angelo ran away from Lumis to start the match. Lumis caught D’Angelo with a throat punch and thesz press. D’Angelo managed to lock Lumis in a headlock and follow up with a Body Slam. D’Angelo tossed Lumis’s portrait canvas in the ring after escaping Lumis’s choke attempt. The referee got distracted by tossing the canvas away. D’Angelo thumbed Lumis in the eye and gave Lumis a Fisherman Backbreaker for the win.

Tony D’Angelo defeated Dexter Lumis via pinfall in 3:06.

D’Angelo ran away when Lumis sat up. Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams attacked Lumis from behind and put the boots to Lumis. Melo pilmanized Lumis’s hand by doing a top rope stomp to a chair. Johnny Gargano ran out chase the heels away from the ring…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Nothing much intriguing here. Interesting decision to shoehorn Tony D’Angelo here. I didn’t think he clicked well here. They’re trying to tell a story involving Melo, Gargano, and Lumis. D’Angelo not clicking here shows that there is limitations to his very one-note gimmick. D’Angelo might not be ready for longer matches either because he barely did anything here against the long time veteran Lumis.

Footage of during the break showed Indi Hartwell and Johnny Gargano helping an injured Lumis to the back…

Johnny Gargano was in the center of the ring where he talked about Carmelo Hayes making things personal. He said all he wanted to do is prove he was a better wrestler by beating Melo for the title, but now he’s messing with Johnny’s Son-in-law. Johnny said when you screw with Johnny’s family, Johnny will kick your teeth down your throat. Pete Dunne made his entrance. Dunne said that Gargano is trying to weasel his way into a title shot even though it was Dunne that beat Hayes last week. Gargano pointed out that he helped Dunne win last week.

Carmelo Hayes’s theme played as Melo and Trick appeared at a balcony area in the Performance Center. Trick made a few rhymes. Dunne asked who Trick was. Gargano said Trick is the man that carries Melo’s bags. Melo talked about being the king of the new school. Dunne told Melo to shut up. Dunne said he’s the same age as Melo, except Dunne has 10 years more experience than Melo. Dunne said he also has a win over Melo.

Melo said Gargano and Dunne can have their title shot at the same time. Melo said the North American title is the most important title in NXT and he’ll defend it next week. Melo did his “don’t miss” catchphrase. Gargano acknowledged that he knows that Melo doesn’t miss. Gargano said Melo has been here 6 months, but Gargano has been here 5 years. Gargano said when he’s in the ring, the match is “can’t miss”. Gargano said you aren’t going to want to miss the triple threat match next week…

Vic Joseph hyped up the Duke Hudson vs. Cameron Grimes “Poker Showdown”…

John’s Thoughts: Really good promo segment here involving the North American Title picture. Melo’s kinda right, ever since he won the title, he actually elevated the prestige of it (as great as Swerve Scott is, he did hold the title hostage in favor of wrestling a trios feud). With Dunne, Gargano, and Melo, NXT’s NA title picture looks more intriguing than the world title picture at the moment which is on pause after the Ciampa and Breaker match. Another positive in this promo segment was Dunne and Melo looking better on the mic. Dunne in particular has struggled with promos, but has gotten better over the last 6 months or so.

Malcolm Bivens and Diamond Mine were in a locker room. Diamond Mine were sparring while Bivens was hyping up his team with a promo. Joe Gacy showed up and talked about how he shares common ground with Diamond Mine. Bivens said that Gacy has to participate in a tryout if he wants to join diamond mine. Bivens handed Gacy a business card and said that if he wants to do business with him then to call him…[c]

An LA Knight video package aired. Knight talked about not needing watches or jewelry to be a megastar. He said his goal in NXT is to be the new NXT Champion. Knight talked about Grayson Waller showing up to get in his way. Knight cut a bit of a promo and said Waller isn’t no megastar…

John’s Thoughts: If I were the higher ups in NXT 2.0, I’d try to find a way to elevate Knight to the main event. The guy is money! He’s amazing on the mic, and people underrate that this guy is actually damn good in the ring. Not to mention, Knight upped his promo game by dropping his Rock-lite mannerisms.

Diamond Mine were in the ring. This was followed by one of my favorite entrance themes in pro wrestling today, the Ikeman Jiro theme. Odyssey Jones mad his entrance after Jacket Time…

2. “Diamond Mine” Roderick Strong, Julius Creed, and Brutus Creed (w/Malcolm Bivens, Hachiman, Ivy Nile) vs. Odyssey Jones and “Jacket Time” Kushida and Ikeman Jiro. Strong and Jiro started the match. Strong dominated the collar and elbow and taunted Odyssey Jones. Jones tagged in. Strong tagged in Julius to avoid Jones. Jones hit Julius with a lariat. Jones and Jacket Time traded quick tags to keep the numbers advantage over Julius. Julius managed to catch Jiro with a butterfly suplex to fight out of the corner.

Brutus tagged in. Brutus planted Jiro with a Gutwrench Suplex. Strong tagged in. Jiro escaped Strong’s hold and tagged in Kushida. Kushida hit Strong with his handstand dropkick combo. Kushida cleaned house with all three Diamond Mine members. Strong clubbed Kushida with a northern Lariat. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Julius hit Jiro with a body slam. Diamond Mine cut the ring in half on Jiro with methodical offense. Jiro managed to hot tag in Odyssey Jones. Jones cleaned house. Strong staggered Jones with a enzuigiri. Strong then impressively tossed around Odyssey Jones with an Angle Slam. Kushida and Jiro gave Strong a punch combination. Jones recovered and hit Strong with a running crossbody for the win.

Odyssey Jones and Jacket Time defeated Diamond Mine via pinfall in 8:42.

Vic Joseph noted that this should be considered an upset. The replay showed that Biven’s distraction backfired which allowed Strong’s opponents to triple team him…

John’s Thoughts: Not much action to this match because it was mostly behind the picture in picture. Diamond Mine is still way better than when they first debuted, but I’m shocked they’re handing them so many loses still. At least this time they can absorb some losses, but hopefully they don’t pile up because there’s only so many losses this team an take before going back to being irrelevant. As much as I like Jiro’s gimmick and entrance theme, I feel like he’s really holding Kushida back like an anchor. If they are going “Back to the Future” with Kushida going back to his Marty McFly gimmick, can NXT sign Alex Shelley so we can get the return of the Time Splitters? Wishful thinking on my part…

James Drake and Zack Gibson were holding onto the NXT Women’s Championships for some reason. Gibson faced time his Grandmother presumably and bragged about how the GYVs are the tag team champions. Gibson said they only did it to get the family inheritance. Gibson said they now have to get the titles back to Toxic Attraction…

Andre Chase made his entrance for his next match…[c]

The show cut to MSK at an airport. Not a cinematic this week, as the video was taken from a camera phone. They’re still looking for their “Shaman”…

Entrances for the next match took place. Wade Barrett said Xyon Quinn is a “Himbo” (wut? Ok! That got a chuckle out of me Wade!)…

3. Andrew Chase vs. Xyon Quinn. Chase managed to take down Quinn with chain wrestling. Quinn caught Andre’s kick and gave him an atomic drop. Quinn hit Chase with a series of lariats. Chase came back with a neckbreaker for a two count. Quinn put the boots to Quinn and did a cheerleading routine at the same time. Chase worked on Quinn with Elbows. Chase reversed an elbow into a Murphy’s Law. Quinn hit Chase with the Jackhammer for the win.

Xyon Quinn defeated Andre Chase via pinfall in 3:06.

Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza ran out to attack Xyon Quinn. Quinn managed to fend off Wilde and Mendoza. Santos Escobar clubbed Quinn in the back of the neck to give Legado the advantage. Legado held Quinn in place so Elektra can tell him “no one says no to Elektra Lopez”. Santos Escobar slammed Quinn into a metal floor plate at ringside….

John’s Thoughts: I’m surprised they had Quinn dominated so much by Chase for a stretch, but he still managed to go over strong in the end with the Jackhammer. I don’t have high hopes as to the Quinn and Elektra Lopez story, but I have to say that I am a bit intrigued because I don’t know where they are going with this. It could be as simple as a Quinn vs. Escobar match down the road (and Escobar’s methodical ring-general style might be able to carry Quinn to a stellar encounter). I don’t think Quinn will “go to the dark side” because they seem to be building him up to be a white meat babyface, especially with the whole “cool gentleman” persona.

The commentary team checked in from ringside. Vic hyped up the Grimes vs. Hudson poker game…[c]

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Raquel Gonzalez about facing Dakota Kai later in the show. Gonzalez talked about how important the title was to her and how Dakota took it away with a shovel shot to the back. Gonzalez said Kai was jealous of Gonzalez’s success because Kai couldn’t beat Gonzalez. Gonzalez said Kai better bring her shovel to the match, because she’s about to bury Kai with it…

Alicia Taylor moderated the “poker showdown” between Hudson and Grimes in the ring. This was actually going to be actual Texas Holdem. Alicia Taylor read out the rules to No Limit Texas Holdem…

4. Cameron Grimes vs. Duke Hudson playing Texas Hold’em. Hudson called everyone a loser. Hudson said he’s making Grimes his bitch. Grimes said those were big words, but Hudson looks nervous. Grimes said that Hudson looks like Shaq at the free throw line. Grimes talked about how Hudson got played at the poker room. Grimes had King-3 Spades to start the game. He put out a $500 bet. Hudson raied to $1000, which Grimes called. Hudson had a pair of 5’s Club Diamond.

The Flop revealed 5-Jack-10 all heart suited. More betting ensued. A queen of spades was revealed which gave Grimes a potential straight draw. More betting ensued. The river was a 7 of hearts which gave Hudson the technical win with a 3 of a kind 5. Grimes taunted Hudson, talked about Hudson’s balls, and made an All In bet. Hudson got nervous and said that Grimes’s smile revealed that he has a flush draw with the hearts. Duke folded.

Cameron Grimes won a game of poker against Duke Hudson via bluffing in 6:52.

Hudson took Cameron’s hand and was shocked that he lost due to Cameron’s bluff. The crowd showered him with a “you got played” chant. Hudson gave Grimes a Yakuza Kick and then put the boots to Grimes. Hudson power bombed Grimes through the poker table. Before leaving the ring, Hudson trimmed Cameron’s beard and ponytail (trimmed, not shaved off)…

John’s Thoughts: Ugh. What? I just reviewed a pro wrestling poker segment. Why? Poor Brandon Vink. Dude wrestles for a world class Tag Team in Pro Wrestling Noah in TMDK, then goes to being generic poker guy in WWE. Silver lining here for me is that it seems like WWE is somewhat still high on Grimes. I kinda wish WWE will flip the switch on both of these guys. Give Hudson a gimmick that doesn’t SUCK, and make Grimes a serious pro wrestler with a comedic edge.

Kyle O’Reilly was backstage with Von Wagner. O’Reilly joked about wagner being Adam Pearce’s body guard. They talked about handling business after the break…[c]

5. Kyle O’Reilly and Von Wager vs. Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen. O’Reilly fended off Jensen with Muay Thai kicks. Jensen came back with a body slam. Brooks tagged in and took down O’Reilly with a shoulder tackle. Imperium were watching the match from backstage (and they weren’t standing sideways next to the TV). Wagner tagged in and had a face off with Briggs. Wagner took down Briggs with a flying forearm.

O’Reilly tagged in and worked on Briggs with strikes. O’Reilly hit Jensen with Yakuza Kick. Briggs hit O’Reilly with a Yakuza Kick. Briggs and Jensen traded quick tags to cut the ring in half on O’Reilly. Wagner tagged in and hit Jensen with a Gutwrench Suplex. Wagner hit Jensen with a Flatliner. O’Reilly dumped Briggs to ringside and hit Briggs with a diving knee. Wagner hit Jensen with a Twisting Butterfly Suplex (which looked a bit clunky) for the win.

Von Wagner and Kyle O’Reilly defeated Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs via pinfall in 5:00.

Imperium talked to each other in foreign languages. The subtitles told us that they were talking about how O’Reilly and Wagner aren’t at Imperium’s level even though they are impvoving…

John’s Thoughts: Eh. The word “eh” pretty much sums up O’Reilly and Wagner as a tag team. Kyle O’Reilly, Mr. Tag Team specialist, Mr. ROH and New Japan standout. He’s money. Wagner is out there green as hell and looking like a lost child and he has zero chemistry with O’Reilly. Talk about Anchors, call him Von Anchor.

Persia Pirotta told Indi Hartwell that their match was next but Indi said that she has to stay in the back because they are taking Dexter Lumis to a local medical facility to check on his hand. Persia said that she can handle the tag team match by herself so Hartwell can be with her husband…[c]

The show cut to Lashing Out with Lash Legend. While Lash tried to talk about Kay Lee Ray crossing paths with Toxic Attraction last week, Grayson Waller showed up to “spill the tea”. He talked about how LA Knight said that Waller didn’t pay his dues to be an NXT superstar.

Waller said it is right that WWE called him after his reality TV show experience while others have to grind for their careers (Well, to his credit, LA Knight also competed on Dwayne The Rock Johnson’s reality show). Waller mocked indie wrestlers and got booed. Waller said it’s about Likes and Follows now. Waller left and Lash closed the show…

John’s Thoughts: A bit clunky to get here, but I do like that they are seemingly turning Waller heel. He was getting a bit annoying and annoying works better as a bad guy. Does this make LA Knight the “indie darling babyface”?

6. Persia Pirotta vs. Gabby Stephens and Jenny Levy in a handicap match. Persia fended off both opponents. Robert Stone showed up at the top of the ramp. Persia caught one opponent with a Yakuza kick. Persia gave teh other opponent a forearms. Persia put both opponents in the fireman carry and hit them with a Samoan Drop. Persia hit one opponent with a sitout F5 for the win.

Persia Pirotta defeated Gabby Stephens and Jenny Levy via pinfall in 1:50.

Robert Stone was clapping at ringside…

John’s Thoughts: Not much here other than a tease for Pirotta getting recruited by Robert Stone. With Stone back in annoying Robbie E mode, that tease does nothing for me. I’ve also gained a bit of respect of Pirotta. She is a bit green, yes, but she really put in a lot of hard work in that impromptu situation a few weeks ago when Jacy Jayne fell on her head during the match and she had to improvise a 10+ minute match with Io Shirai. She also really carried her weight in the women’s ladder match at Halloween Havoc. Pirotta is someone I’m rooting for due to her pluckyness.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Dakota Kai about a response to Gonzalez’s interview earlier. Kai joked about hitting McKenzie with a shovel saying that it felt good when she hit Raquel with it. Kai said she was lost ever since wrestling Gonzalez at Takeover. She said she has to get rid of the past, which means she has to get rid of Raquel. Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolan, and Jacy Jayne showed up to confront Kai. Kai said Rose will owe her twice after she takes out Gonzalez. Kai walked off.

James Drake and Zack Gibson showed up to hand back the tag titles to Toxic Attraction. Toxic Attraction acted disgusted and walked off. Zack Gibson talked about how they are so skilled because they just got away with a lie…

John’s Thoughts: Ugh? What did they do to the Grizzled Young Veterans. Gibson is one of the biggest heels in the UK. NXT 1.0 then makes these two guys bland and generic. NXT 2.0 then gives them some crappy gimmick that I’m not even sure what it is?

Tommaso Ciampa cut a promo backstage. He talked about carrying Goldie with integrity. he said there is a lack of respect in the locker room. He said he’ll explain that when he gets in the ring…

Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter talked about how they are ravers now and how they go to EDM festivals…

John’s Thoughts: Well, at least it’s better than being the “Tik Tok Tag Team”. That said, why is NXT 2.0 airing all their brainstorming instead of experimenting gimmicks behind closed doors and at house shows?

NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance with a mic. He said he was here to vent. He said people like Carmelo Hayes are running around saying they have the A Title. Ciampa said that if Melo shoots in his direction he’ll shoot a damn airball. Ciampa then called Grayson Waller a Bitch Ass (for some reason I agree with this). Ciampa talked about Waller mocking the indies. Ciampa was about to call out Tony D’Angelo, but Bron Breakker made his entrance.

Breakker did the Rick Steiner bark on his way to the ring. Breakker talked about how people like Waller or Hayes are pissing off Ciampa, but that means nothing to Breakker because Breakker only cares about taking the NXT Championship from Ciampa. Ciampa asked the production truck to show the ending of Halloween Havoc. The footage showed Ciampa beating Breakker at Halloween Havoc. Ciampa said Breakker has a 33 1/2 percent chance to beat Ciampa for the NXT title.

John’s Thoughts: Hey! Isn’t Petey Williams reportedly working with WWE these days? Let’s bring back the Steiner Bros with Rex Steiner and Little Petey Pump! Nah, let’s not. I kid. But I do like the continual references they are throwing out there to the Steiners. You can go wrong with Scotty’s Samoa Joe math promo. Speaking of Joe, where the hell is that guy?

Ciampa said Breakker can bark up the tree all he wants, but he’s just a puppy while Ciampa is the NXT Champion. Ciampa’s promo played to end the segment…

John’s Thoughts: Interesting promo by Ciampa. Are they setting up a NXT 1.0 vs. New Blood feud for War Games? This reminds me of the ECW Originals vs. New Blood feud from WWEECW (which was actually done pretty well imo). What would be odd is if Breakker is on the New Blood side because they are clearly positioning the NXT 2.0 wrestlers as heels. Heck, they are positioning LA F’n Knight as a babyface on team veteran.

Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix checked in from the commentary table. Beth Phoenix noted that Dexter Lumis was being sent to a “local medical facility”. Vic Joseph announced next week’s main event as Carmelo Hayes vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Pete Dunne for the North American Championship…

Raquel Gonzalez made her entrance…[c]

USA Gold Medalist Tamyra Mensah Stock was shown in the crowd…

Dakota Kai made her entrance. Her entrance now has screams and a bit of distortion to it…

7. Raquel Gonzalez vs. Dakota Kai. Gonzalez womanhandled Kai at ringside. Gonzalez sent Kai flying with a pounce. Gonzalez hit Kai with another pounce at ringside. Gonzalez gave Kai a press slam on the ring apron. Gonzalez gave Kai an elbow from the throat. Vic Joseph noted that it was odd that Kai was smiling despite getting beaten up.

Gonzalez continued to dominate Kai around the ring. Gonzalez gave Kai a Gory Torture Rack and body slam into the ringspost. Kai dodged, sending Gonzalez tackling into the ringpost. Kai caught Gonzalez with a Yakuza Kick at ringside heading into picture-in-picture.[c]

Kai hit Gonzalez with a dragon screw and face wash kick against the 2nd rope. Kai worked on Gonzalez with a few shortarm boots. Kai and Gonzalez traded headbutts on the top rope. Kai slammed Gonzalez on the bottom buckle and gave her a Face Wash for a two count. Gonzalez recovered and gave Kai a Chokebomb. Gonzalez rallied back with running strikes. Kai took off the bottom buckle pad and took a body slam from Gonzalez. Gonzalez hit Kai with a twisting Vader Bomb for a two count.

Kai escaped Gonzalez’s Chingona Bomb attempt. Kai rolled up Gonzalez for a two count. Kai blocked a Scorpion Kick and gave Kai a helicopter spin. Kai gave Gonzalez an STO into the exposed turnbuckle. Kai was a out to hit Gonzalez with the shovel, but Gonzalez kicked Kai away and grabbed the shovel. Toxic Attraction showed up and beat down Gonzalez for the DQ.

Raquel Gonzalez defeated Dakota Kai via apparent DQ in 11:50.

Kai gave Gonzalez a buzzsaw kick. Cora Jade showed up and attacked Jayne and Dolan with a skateboard. Rose managed to blindside and take down Jade. Zoey Strike made her entrances, but was hobbling on crutches. Io Shirai borrowed one of Stark’s crutches and beat down the heels in the ring. The babyfaces cleared the heels from the ring. Io Shirai took the mic and yelled “War Games”…

John’s Thoughts: More of an angle to set up war games than an actual match and I’m okay with that. Save the actual Kai vs. Gonzalez singles match for a bigger takeover/PPV show. NXT tends to do a solid job building towards their version of Survivor Series because the War Games matches are built around actual stories. Yes, it’s still a bit rushed, but at the same time the two teams have a good reason to hate each other.

Last week’s NXT was better than this week because of the good combination of match quality and story development. This week’s show did have a goal though and it was to start the build towards War Games. The women’s War Games match is seemingly already set up. I wonder if the last member of Team Babyface is Kay Lee Ray? The Men’s build is interesting. This is the first year NXT will be without Undisputed Era for War Games. It looks like they might be building towards a NXT 1.0 vs. NXT 2.0 match? What’s interesting is that they are making all the 2.0 guys heels (according to the list Ciampa was listing off). I wonder if they have Breakker team up with the old school guys because of Breakker’s family lineage. Heck, is Samoa Joe available for War Games? Ciampa mentioning Scott Steiner’s Math Promo about Samoa Joe actually made me wonder where the hell Joe was.

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