By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT 2.0 TV
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live December 7, 2021 on USA Network
[Hour One] Highlights from NXT Takeover War Games aired…
Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett were on commentary. The steel cage was set up in the ring for the opening match. Kyle O’Reilly attacked Von Wagner during Wagner’s entrance.
1. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Von Wagner in a steel cage match. O’Reilly dominated early on. Wagner suplexed O’Reilly and slowed down the action. Wagner tried to boot O’Reilly against the cage, but O’Reilly held Wagner’s leg against the cage to stop the stomps. O’Reilly made a bit of a strike rally, but Wagner body slammed O’Reilly. Wagner kept a rear waist lock locked in for a few minutes. O’Reilly escaped with back elbows. O’Reilly hit Wagner with a dragon screw. O’Reilly worked on Wagner with footsie roundhouse kicks.
Wagner caught a roundhouse and turned it into a lariat. Wagner tried to power bomb O’Reilly into the cage. he tapped O’Reilly on the cage, but when he went for a consecutive bomb, O’Reilly hit Wagner with a DDT heading into picture-in-picture.[c]
O’Reilly worked on Wagner with clinch strikes and a running knee to the head. O’Reilly locked Wagner in a Guillotine Choke. Wagner powered through and gave O’Reilly a swinging suplex. O’Reilly recovered and took down Wagner with a forearm smash. Wagner recovered and brawled with O’Reilly to the top rope. O’Reilly smashed Wagner’s head into the cage to send him to the floor. O’Reilly hit Wagner with the diving knee finisher. Wagner kicked out at two. Wagner low blowed O’Reilly. Wagner smashed O’Reilly and hit him with a Dragon Suplex for the victory.
Von Wagner defeated Kyle O’Reilly via pinfall in 14:19.
Vic Joseph noted that the crowd was showering Wagner with a lot of hate. After the match, Wagner put O’Reilly in a Tree of Woe next to the cage door. Wagner smashed the door into O’Reilly’s face three times.
Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in from the commentary table. Joseph sent the show to a Sam Roberts twitter video where he recorded Johnny Gargano telling the fans post-WarGames that he’ll reveal his future on Tuesday’s NXT. Vic Joseph then hyped Johnny Gargano addressing his future for later in the show…
Bron Breakker was shown marching around backstage…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Pretty good cage match for the first 3/4ths of the match. Wagner showed that he is decent in the ring at least. Not great, but not horrible. The match finish was a bit dull though and you knew where they were going immediately after Wagner kicked out of O’Reilly’s finisher. They did fly by that finish real quick because Wagner’s series of moves to lead to his win were pretty rudimentary. I guess this is the end for Kyle O’Reilly in NXT given how his last two nights on NXT went. In the very small chance that O’Reilly stays, which I see very unlikely and hope that he doesn’t stay, they can go back to a feud between O’Reilly and Wagner. Wagner is still missing something. Right now he’s the generic angry big man, but that can only go so far. He reminds me of Shad Gaspard or Big Cass becoming heel after turning on their partners and then having bland heel giant runs (and not Shad or Cass’s fault. Heck, Cass is a great heel right now after he turned things around in his life).
Joe Gacy was standing next to Harland in a dark room. He talked about how he’s trying to break down barriers and trying to change the name of a show that promotes exclusivity (205 live?). Gacy talked about Harland facing adversity and braking down barriers. Gacy hyped up Harland’s in ring debut next week…
John’s Thoughts: Looking forward to Harland’s debut. Harland came into WWE with a ton of hype. Paul Heyman even dubbed Harland the next Brock Lesnar.
Bron Breakker made his entrance for a promo. Breakker’s left bicep was covered in KTape. Breakker talked about how he has the utmost respect for Team Black and Gold, but he did pin Ciampa at War Games which makes things 1 and 1 between them. Breakker challenged Ciampa for a match. Instead of getting Ciampa, he got Diamond Mine making their entrance. Malcolm Bivens called Breakker “Lebron Breakker”. Bivens said Breakker is the real deal but so is Roderick Strong who cleared the division. Bivens said that Roderick Strong is ready to fight anyone and that the 205 weight limit is lifted.
Breakker threatened to chuck Bivens into the crowd. Bivens said the Creed Brothers will prevent that from happening. Bivens said that Strong is “The” champion in NXT and has his eyes set on Breakker. Strong wasn’t here this week. Bivens challenged Breakker on Strong’s behalf. Breakker accepted…
As Bron Breakker was leaving the ring, Briggs and Jensen made their entrance to face The Creed Brothers…[c]
John’s Thoughts: So? Was that WWE’s way of saying that the Cruiserweight title is no longer a cruiserweight title? If so, they need to come up with a new name (not sure if I heard Bivens right, but it sounded like the weight limit was lifted for good according to him). What’s cool is that Strong vs. Breakker should be a good match if worked right. There is no chance in hell that Strong’s winning, but Strong does really well against powerhouse big men. He should have a great match, potentially, against the naturally talented Rex Steiner.
The ad hyping the debut of MSK’s “Shaman” aired…
2. “The Creed Brothers” Brutus Creed and Julius Creed (w/Malcolm Bivens, vs. Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen. The Grizzled Young Veterans joined the commentary table. Imperium showed up on the Crow’s Nest. Brutus and Jensen started out the match. Jensen dominated Brutus for a bit. Briggs and Julius tagged in. Briggs took down Julius with a hip toss and running splash. Jensen tagged in and caught Julius with a sliding punch. Brutus tagged in and suplexed Jensen. The creed brothers gave Jensen tandem knees to the gut. The Creed Brothers traded quick tags to isolate Jensen.
Jensen tried to fight his way out of the corner with right hands, but got dumped to ringside after taking a lariat from Brutus. Julius tagged in adn gave Jensen a suplex at ringside. The referee was distracted by the action and one of the Grizzled Young Veterans unbuckled the turnbuckle. Julius put Jensen in a stretch muffler. Jensen escaped and couldn’t tag in because the GYVs didn’t unbuckle the turnbuckle, but rather they stole the tag rope. That didn’t matter because a distracted Julius got rolled up by Jensen for the loss.
Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs defeated The Creed Brothers via pinfall in 5:50.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Von Wagner and said we’ll get a medical update on Kyle O’Reilly later. Wagner asked McKenzie what she thought would have happened? Wagner then cut a promo about how his war games has just begun. Wagner left and McKenzie ended the interview. Robert Stone was in the camera shot for some reason…
Vic Joseph hyped up the newly head-shaved Duke Hudson after the break…[c]
John’s Thought: Not a great tag match. NXT has been booking the Creed Brothers as very vulnerable as of late. It’s not doing them any favors. They were looking amazing when they were being built similar to the Authors of Pain. Now they’re becoming like any other tag team on the show. I hope they find a way to put heat on the Creed Brothers. I also don’t like what they’re doing with the Grizzled Young Veterans. This random ass lame con men gimmick is lame.
Xyon Quinn was shadowboxing backstage.
Duke Hudson made his entrance wearing a goofy blonde wig. Wade Barrett continued his man crush on Hudson by saying that Hudson looks fabulous. Hudson said you shouldn’t believe what you read on the internet about Hudson losing his hair. He said he trimmed his hair and recolored it so it looks fine. Hudson tried to trash talk Grimes, but was cut off by Grimes making his entrance.
Hudson put on wrestling headgear to protect his wig. Grimes said everybody saw that Hudson was shaved bald, but for some reason Hudson is denying it. Grimes talked about Hudson embarrassing him, cutting Grimes’s hair and power bombing him through a table. Grimes said he came back like a man and Hudson is just afraid of losing. Hudson tried to claim that Grimes cheated. Grimes cut a confident promo and challenged Hudson to a no holds barred match. Hudson agreed. Hudson tried to get the jump on Grimes, but Grimes saw it coming and beat down Hudson. Hudson ducked away to ringside to avoid
Briggs and Jensen and Jacket Time, Ikeman Jiro and Kushida, bonded over not liking the Creed Brothers backstage. The Grizzled Young Veterans showed up to argue. Briggs and Jensen followed Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter who offered them free concert tickets. Gibson and Drake attacked Jacket Time for snitching on them last week when they were trying to rob Briggs and Jensen. Behind the counter, a random lady in pajamas sat up and then went back to sleep…[c]
John’s Thoughts: I think that might have been former ROH standout and former Mei Ying, Karen Q. Are they going full Su Yung with Karen? I was starting to say that Mei Ying was coming off as a rip off of Su Yung. Is Karen Q’s new character a rip off of “Susie” Yung, the grown woman who acts like a 10 year old? We’ll see. Hudson keeps getting recycled WWE setpieces and he tried to do his best with the classic Kurt Angle post lost to Edge segment, complete with the head gear and dorky wig. This just came off as a lame retread. At least Hudson is playing his character fine. I also like that Cameron Grimes continues to play his character more seriously than he’s ever been. This is the longest stretch in time over the last 6 or 7 years where I’ve seen Grimes not revert to being a undercard goofball.
[Hour Two] Grayson Waller tried to hit on a random female developmental wrestler. He asked her out on a date. She told Waller that he was going out on a date with “him”. She pointed at and got in the red car or LA Knight. Knight said “who do you like that view? Yeahhhhhh”. Knight drove off…
3. NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes (w/Trick Williams) vs. Dexter Lumis in a non-title match. Carmelo Hayes had his ribs taped up due to War Games. Joseph noted that Trick Williams was supposed to wrestle but was claiming an eye injury. Lumis dominated Melo for a stretch with methodical offense. Melo came back with punches. Lumis came back with punches. Lumis ripped off the rib tape off Melo. Lumis chased Trick to the announce table. Melo tried to blindside Lumis, but Lumis saw it coming and gave Melo a throat punch.
Lumis tackled Melo into the corner. Melo ran the ropes and gave Lumis a springboard lariat. Melo sold his injured ribs. Melo got a one count on Lumis. Melo stomped on Lumis’s injured hand which made Lumis start to wince. Melo worked on Lumis with the joint manipulation. Lumis whipped Melo away and gave Melo a Thesz Press. Lumis moved his focus back on Trick Williams. Hayes blindsided Lumis with a dropkick heading into regular commercial.[c]
Hayes dominated Lumis back from Break. Joseph noted that Hayes was focusing his offense on Lumis’s broken hand. Lumis tried to make a comeback, but Hayes regained the advantage after focusing his attack on Lumis’s hand. Williams tried to trash talk Lumis, but Lumis did the Undertaker sit up to freak out Williams. Melo hit Lumis with a pump kick and went for a suplex. Lumis reversed Melo with a suplex. Lumis had a bit of a rally. Lumis hit Melo with a back suplex and leg drop for a two count. Lumis went for his submission, but Hayes powered to the ropes. Trick Williams punched Lumis in the face for the DQ.
Dexter Lumis defeated Carmelo Hayes via DQ in 9:10 of on air time to win the non-title match.
Dexter Lumis quickly put Williams in the Kata Gatame. Hayes dragged Williams to the ramp and the two heels retreated. Alicia Taylor announced Dexter Lumis the winner via DQ…
Wade Barrett and Vic Joseph checked in from the commentary table. Joseph hyped Johnny Gargano getting all the time he needs to address the NXT fans. He then sent the show to the reveal of “The Shaman”…
The show cut to the reveal of “The Shaman”. The Shaman was Matt Riddle. Riddle took them to some random candles to meditate. Wes Lee and Nash Carter recapped their run in NXT so far. Riddle talked about how he misses his former tag team championship partner “Stallion” Pete Dunne. Nash Carter wondered if they should stop goofing off. Riddle said they should be MSK all night and all day. Riddle said MSK will climb up to the mountain again. Riddle said he’s going to be there every step of the way. Riddle then asked MSK what was in the bag? Riddle opened the bag and was really excited by the contents (implied to be ganja)…
Vic Joseph acted shocked that Riddle was the Shaman. Mandy Rose told Vic to shut up and cut a promo, with Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolan, backstage. Toxic Attraction was heading to the ring…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Matt Riddle was on my list of potential stoners that would have been MSK’s shaman, but I had him on the list of “let downs”. This was a letdown as RVD would have been a bigger reveal. As much as a letdown as Riddle is as the Shaman, I’m curious to see if he’s going to be double duty on NXT now? He did say he was going to follow MSK every step of the way on their road back to the NXT tag team championships? That could be intriguing. Riddle will still be a goof, but his comedy always felt more natural in NXT than the main roster.
Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta were chatting backstage. Hartwell was excited that Dexter Lumis was back. Pirotta said she’s more excited that Hartwell can focus on her matches more now. Pirotta talked about how Hartwell fought hard in Australia to make it to WWE and she wants to see that plucky Indi back. Hartwell dragged the attention back to Dexter Lumis. Lumis showed up and picked up the happy Hartwell. Johnny Gargano hugged Lumis and Hartwell and said that he’s happy to see the family back together…
Entrances for the next match took place. Joseph advertised the way you can get tickets for the NXT 2.0 show at the WWE Performance Center…
4. NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions “Toxic Attraction” Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne (w/Mandy Rose) vs. Valentina Feroz and Yulisa Leon in a non-title match. Feroz rolled up Jayne for a one count. Leon and Dolan tagged in. Dolan worked on Leon with methodical offense. The crowd was behind Gigi. Gigi caught Leon with a Yakuza Kick in the corner. Jayne tagged in and hit Leon with a cannonball for a two count. Leon reversed Jayne and put her in a Fireman Carry. Leon hit Jayne with a modified Death Valley Driver. Dolan and Feroz tagged in.
Feroz gave Dolan a few armdrags. Feroz got a two count off a crossbody. Jayne got the blind tag and gave Feroz a neckbreaker. Jayne gave Feroz a Cyclone Kick for the victory.
Toxic Attraction defeated Valentina Feroz and Yulisa Leon via pinfall in 3:47 in a non-title match.
Mandy Rose took the mic and called Toxic Attraction the baddest bitches in town. She said they stand tall with all the gold. Rose said everybody wants a shot but when you’re that damn good, the attention is expected. Rose said she was telling all challengers to bring it on. Rose called out Cora Jade, Io Shirai, and Raquel Gonzalez as potential opponents. Cora Jade made her entrance to interrupt the promo. Jade had her arm in a sling.
Jade talked about beating Rose in a match a few weeks ago along with winning War Games. Jade asked Rose if she wanted to handle business face to face. Rose told Jade to get her ass in the ring to settle things right now. Raquel Gonzalez made her entrances with a steel chair. That forced Toxic Attraction to run in retreat…
The latest Tiffany Stratton vignette. Clips of Tiffany’s Gymnastic’s career aired and she said her father put her in the best gymnist schools. She said she made it to Team USA but is now on her way to NXT…
John’s Thoughts: I’m not going to sell Tiffany short by any means, but at the same time they’re essentially giving her the White Chicks esque debutante character that Taya Valkarie has been cultivating for years. It’s going to be tough for Tiffany to live up to Taya who was sooooooo good as the rich daddy’s girl snob. NXT had Taya too and did NOTHING with her.
McKenzie Mitchell asked Tony D’Angelo about his beef with Pete Dunne. D’Angelo said Tiffany Stratton was pretty nimble. D’Angelo then showed off how he has Pete Dunne’s mouthguard in a glass case. Andre Chase showed up to buddy up with D’Angelo, but D’Angelo wasn’t having any of it. D’Angelo challenged Chase to a match next week…
Santos Escobar made his entrance next. Vic Joseph advertised a Nickelodeon show that Xavier Woods is hosting…[c]
Cora Jade and Raquel Gonzalez were chatting backstage. Jade talked about how she’s aspiring to be a champion one day. Raquel told Jade to calm down about those high dreams, in a respectful way. Kay Lee Ray showed up and gifted Jade a metal bat, saying that she’s going to need the protection given the injured state she’s in…
Xyon Quinn made his entrance….
5. Xyon Quinn vs. Santos Escobar (w/Elektra Lopez, Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza). Quinn tossed Escobar around the ring early on. Quinn gave Escobar a snake eyes on the buckle. The camera focused on Elektra Lopez staring at Quinn. Quinn dominated Escobar with methodical offense for a stretch. Escobar ended Quinn’s momentum with a high knee. Escobar retreated to ringside to recover heading into PIP break with Quinn recovered in the ring.[c]
Escobar hit Quinn in the back with a meteora. Escobar put Quinn in a armbar. Quinn escaped and gave Escobar a headbutt. Quinn chucked Escobar across the ring. Legado distracted Quinn causing Escobar to rally back with kicks and punches. Escobar gave Quinn a meteora. Quinn escaped a Phantom Driver attempt. Quinn hit Escobar with a modified Murphy’s Law. Escobar caught Quinn’s attention again. Quinn put Escobar on the top rope. Quinn teased a power slam, but Escobar slid out. Escobar and Quinn tightroped to the top rope, leading to Escobar hitting an impressive Frankensteiner on Quinn.
Elektra Lopez slipped brass knuckles on the hand of Quinn. The referee saw it and it caused the ref to berate Quinn. Quinn punched Joaquin Wilde with the knuckles. Escobar caught the distracted Quinn with a Phantom Driver for the victory.
Santos Escobar defeated Xyon Quinn via pinfall in 10:38.
The unseen interviewer met up with Malcolm Bivens and Diamond Mine backstage. Bivens tried to hype up Strong as “The” Champion of NXT. Carmelo Hayes showed up to say that he is the top champion in NXT. Bivens talked about how Strong defeated Odyssey Jones and Joe Gacy and how he’s going to beat heavyweight Bron Breakker. Melo said that Roderick Strong is one of the last remining pillers standing from the old NXT, but he’s not the “A” champion like Melo. Melo left and Bivens threw a fit about everybody being disrecpectful…
Vic Joseph hyped up Duke Hudson vs. Cameron Grimes in a no-holds barred match for next week…
Candice LeRae was standing with her dog backstage. Johnny Gargano gave her a kiss and headed to the ring…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A good first chapter match for the Quinn and Escobar feud. A bit of a slow-paced match, but that tends to be the pace of Escobar matches for years to allow the match to build. He’s methodical, and a methodical match allows big moments and stories to stand out. I like the question as to weather
Boa cut a promo in Mandarin calling Edris Enofe. Smoke passed by his face and he went into Mei Ying mode where he said he was coming next week…
[Overrun] Johnny Gargano made his entrance to his Rebel Heart theme. Vic and Wade gave Johnny a standing ovation. Gargano high fived fans on his way to the ring. Gargano soaked in “Johnny Wrestling” chants. Gargano said “Heartbreak” (Shawn Michaels) gave him all the time he needs to talk. The crowd showered Johnny with “Please don’t go” chants. He said it’s not going to be his most eloquent “promo” because he didn’t want to think about what he says, but rather live in the moment. He said he should have enjoyed things more because he was always worried about having the perfect match and perfect promo.
He said the fans deserved good wrestling and he wanted to give the crowd that. He said he was first in the PC in 2015 at a WWE Tryout where he was told he would NEVER be in NXT. He said William Regal brought him back for a dark match against Apollo Crews and the crowd chanted Johnny Wrestling so loud that they kept bringing Johnny Back without a contract. Johnny said the fans brought him here and he thanks them. Johnny said the fans helped him get to takeover main events, video games, and merchandise.
He said in his heart is the same chubby 8 year old wrestling fan. Johnny said he had self-confidence issues his entire life and is even doubting himself at this moment, but the only time he ever felt confident was in the ring in front of the NXT crowd. Gargano said people ask him why he’s been in NXT for so long and it’s because he loves this place. The crowd gave Gargano a “We Love You” chant. Gargano said high to his blood family in Cleveland, OH and joked that his dad is probably sleeping.
Gargano said that he thanks Hunter and Shawn. He said he also has other family in the back like Matt Bloom, Terry Taylor, Vic Joseph, Sara Amato, Jeremy Borash, Steve Corino and others. Gargano mentioned that there were so many people who helped him produce The Way skits. He thanked everyone. Gargano said Chance is scary but sometimes change has to happen. The crowd chanted “no”. Gargano said he wants to tell the crowd that you will never fail if you bet on yourself.
Gargano said he doesn’t know what his immediate future holds, and it’s up in the air. Gargano said he knows for sure that in February that he’ll start the most important career in his life, being a dad. The crowd gave Gargano a “Papa John” and “Daddy Wrestling” chant. Gargano said his son is going to watch this later and love it. Gargano said he’s going to teach his son to be the best man he can be. Grayson Waller showed up and hit Johnny in the back with a steel chair. Waller wrapped Gargano’s neck in a chair and tossed him into the steel steps. Waller cleared the table and power bombed him through it. Waller said to the camera “you want views, you come to Grayson Waller”.
Waller gloated over the fallen body of Johnny Gargano. The show closed with the crowd showering Waller with “Piece of shit” chants…
John’s Thoughts: A hot promo that lived up to the hype. Gargano spoke from the heart and that resonated through the audience. As I predicted, the promo read off as Gargano still being in negotiations, but with the added point that he’s definitely stepping away from all wrestling in February to go on paternity leave. He did talk about “doing something here and there” so we might see Johnny pop up in places like New Japan Strong, Noah, Impact, MLW, GCW, and other indies. Yo! Battle For Los Angeles 2022 is in January right?!? Right before Gargano’s paternity leave? Yo! This promo sold me on heading over down to my hometown to watch that PWG show!
I feel like he won’t sign with WWE or AEW until he comes off his paternity leave, so he can put off negotiations and see how both AEW and NXT are at that point. AEW doesn’t need him at the moment, they are too oversaturated. WWE needs him more, but NXT 2.0 isn’t exactly the “place to be”, but maybe things are in a upswing come March or April? Let’s not overshadow things, good use of using Johnny to put heat on Grayson Waller. Formula, yes, but Waller played the role well and he’s been very solid since turning heel. What I like is that he is in fact an indie-spotfest guy with his moveset but he twists it so well in his promos to come off as the cocky Sports Entertainment guy (Jack Evans played this type of character in Lucha Underground and told me that this character model was influenced by Steve Corino). Overall, a good show that was carried by the main event overrun segment.