12/21 NXT 2.0 results: Moore’s review of AJ Styles responding to Grayson Waller, Raquel Gonzalez vs. Dakota Kai in a street fight, Pete Dunne vs. Tony D’Angelo, Dexter Lumis vs. Trick Williams, Julius Creed and Brutus Creed vs. Zack Gibson and James Drake, Von Wagner in action

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

NXT 2.0 TV 
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live December 21, 2021 on USA Network

[Hour One] Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett were on commentary. Alicia Taylor was the ring announcer…

Tommaso Ciampa opened up the show already in the ring. Ciampa addressed last week’s attack on Bron Breaker. Ciampa said he’s the hunter and Bron’s was hunted last week. He asked Breakker to come to the ring because what he has to say to Bron, he has to say face-to-face. Bron Breakker made his entrance to the WWE PC ring. Ciampa said Bron doesn’t need a microphone because he knows what Brekkker already is going to say.

Ciampa said Breakker is going to brag about the statement he made at War Games by winning the match and pinning the champion. Ciampa said Breakker didn’t just want a title shot, he earned a title shot. Ciampa said that Breakker thinks he’s going to get a match at New Years Evil. Ciampa said he agrees and hopes Breakker doesn’t drown like last time. Ciampa said Breakker will get his 2nd opportunity at New Years Evil when some people don’t even get one opportunity. Ciampa said Breakker earned it. Ciampa said he did expose Breakker last time for inexperience, not just in the ring, but in life.

Ciampa said there’s no replacement for time. Ciampa said Breakker looks great, but he’s not ready to be a champion in “my” NXT. Ciampa mentioned greats like Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor, and others as people who homed in on their craft for years before WWE and putting in years in WWE before reaching the top. Ciampa said he’s not sure if Breakker can handle all the weight of the world. Ciampa talked about how a simple slip off the rope can cost Breakker the title.  Ciampa jokingly mentioned how the Steiners will celebrate with Breakker when he wins. Ciampa slapped Breakker and said that reality will hit him in the face during that celebatory dream. Breakker lifted up Ciampa into a Military Press, but calmly put him down against the ropes.

Breakker said at New Years Evil the blood is in the water, the shark will eat Ciampa alive, and “see ya in two weeks… champ”. Breakker shoved the title belt into the chest of Ciampa and Ciampa hugged his “Goldie” to end the segment with Breakker leaving…

John’s Thoughts: Great stuff from Tommaso Ciampa, with Ciampa playing the role of the proud torchbearing champion. They continue to tell the story of Bron’s inexperience and that he may be biting off more than he can chew, but the steady progression of Bron Breakker shows character growth and allows the audience to be on the ride with Bron as he goes to the top as opposed to taking away that journey from the fans.

The twitter video aired of Grayson Waller mocking AJ Styles for being older and for AJ’s haircut (he called it a “mom haircut”). Vic Joseph hyped AJ Styles appearing later in the show…

Raquel Gonzalez was shown walking backstage, but was attacked by Dakota Kai. Both women ended up slamming each other into the production equipment. Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett clarified that the match hasn’t officially started and won’t start until both women are in the ring. Gonzalez ended up using some scaffolding as a battering ram to send Kai into a crate. Kai avoided a crate and then chucked a trash can into Gonzalez a few times.

Kai set up a plastic table while referees were trying to tell her that the match won’t start until they make it to the ring. Gonzalez recovered and put Kai on a dolly. Gonzalez shoved the dolly into the garage doors. Both women brawled to the parking lot heading into picture-in-picture.[c]

John’s Thoughts: Nice transition to the street fight that you don’t see too often. Very organic to have the street fight started in the back and dragging to the ring.

1. Dakota Kai vs. Raquel Gonzalez in a street fight. Dakota Kai slammed Gonzalez around ringside. Joseph noted the match started during the break. GOnzalez recovered and both women traded advantages. Gonzalez hit Kai with a scary looking Snake Eyes onto the spine of a steel chair. GOnzalez set up a table in the corner. Kai dumped Gonzalez to ringside with a huracanrana. Kai wrapped a trash can on Gonzalez and gave the can a double stomp. Gonzalez reversed Kai’s move and then power bombed her on the steel stairs.

The bloodthristy fans chanted “one more time”. Gonzalez choked Kai on the announce table and called her a “selfish bitch”. Kai shook up Gonzalez with a kick. Gonzalez came back with a Big Boot. Gonzalez hit Kai with a Chingona Bomb through a trash can.

Raquel Gonzalez defeated Dakota Kai via pinfall in 5:37 of on-air time. 

Vic Joseph noted that Gonzalez may have Kai in her rear view mirror now. Raquel Gonzalez called out Mandy Rose for her title rematch, right now, and that she’s not going to leave the ring until she gets it…

John’s Thoughts: A great brawl and it could have been Takeover-worthy if they didn’t have the picture-in-picture break. I liked the match starting in the back and spilling to the ring. Once they got to the ring area, both women introduced some good hardcore spots and even a few gaspworthy spots. The women in NXT have been doing a good job with hardcore matches in recent months (hopefully NXT in general, tones down having too many hardcore matches though). It’s a bit odd that they keep booking Dakota Kai to introduce these good characters, yet she gets dispatched so quickly. Are they thinking of calling up Kai and Gonzalez, yet again?

A sitdown promo aired where Tony D’Angelo hyped up his upcoming match against Pete Dunne…

Raquel Gonzalez was still waiting in the ring. Instead of getting Rose, Cora Jade made her entrance. Jade said she knows that Gonzalez is calling out Mandy. She said that she understands that Gonzalez deserves a title rematch. Jade said that she wants Toxic Attraction to pay for trying to rip her arm out her socket. Jade said they all need to take the head off the snake by taking the title off Rose. Gonzalez said she’s homies with Jade and that they went to war together, but the title is every woman for herself. She said she hasn’t been the same since Halloween Havoc.

Gonzalez said she’ll go through anyone to get the title, even through a friend like Jade. Rose appeared poolside on the Titantron. Rose trash talked both women. Rose challenged both Jade and Gonzalez to a triple threat title match at New Years Evil. Rose talked about how Jade and Gonzalez will also get an ass whooping this week. Queue Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolan with Kendo Sticks attacking Gonzalez and Jade. They dumped Jade to ringside and tossed Gonzalez through the table…

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in from ringside wearing casual sweaters. Joseph wore a Drew McIntyre sweater while Barrett wore a Becky Lynch sweater. They recapped Harland tossing The Brian Kendrick down the stairs last week…

Joe Gacy appeared on the screen and said that Harland is shaken up from last week’s situation. He said they want to apologize, but given everything that Harland has gone through, Kendrick triggered an emotion that Harland was trying to contain. He said that Kendrick used offensive language by calling Harland a freak. Gacy said he’s not going to say that Kendrick can blame no one but himself, but he hopes everyone can grow from this unfortunate event…

The show cut to Zack Gibson and James Drake watching the Creed Brothers train on a computer tablet. Drake was impressed. Gibson said he doesn’t like wrestlers like the Creeds. He said they can’t beat the Creeds physically , but with their brains…[c]

John’s Thoughts: I almost thought they were going to book Rose vs. Gonzalez in an impromptu match on this Week’s NXT to rush Gonzalez to the main roster. I’m ok with the triple threat match for New Years Evil. It saves the singles match for a upcoming Takeover/Kinda-Takeover PPV. It also should allow Rose to sneak out of the match with the title.

Persia Pirotta walked up to Indi Hartwell and informed her that her match later in the show is postponed. Grayson Waller showed up to gloat and Hartwell was mad at Waller for what he did to Papa John. Pirotta told Waller that he should worry less about them and more about AJ Styles. Waller continued to gloat and Hartwell wanted to attack him. Pirotta had to hold Hartwell back…

Both tag teams were already in the ring for the next match…

2. “The Creed Brothers” Julius Creed and Brutus Creed (w/Malcolm Bivens) vs. “The Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake. Both Creeds traded quick tags to initiate tandem moves and power moves on Zack Gibson. Drake used his body to block Gibson from taking an Irish whip in the corner. Drake tagged in and gave Julius an axe handle strike for a two count. Vic Joseph noted that LA Knight was still injured and will be out of action indefinitely.

Brutus managed to tag in and hit Drake with a Belly to Belly. Both Creeds gave Drake knees to the gut. Brutus hit Drake with an elevated Uranage for a two count. The Grizzled Young Veterans hit Brutus with a double team plancha at ringside. Jacket Time showed up at ringside and set up a Jacket Time themed podium.[c]

Kushida and Jiro got headsets and were playing the role of the Japanese Announce Team. Drake and Gibson traded quick tags to cut the ring in half on Brutus. Briggs and Jensen showed up at ringside. Brutus managed to power his way into a backdrop on Drake to get the tag to Julius. Julius hit Drake with a chop block and knocked Gibson off the ropes. Brutus tagged in and hit Drake with a slam for a two count.

Drake caught Brutus at ringside with a Suicide Dive. Gibson got distracted by Kushida and Jiro. They teased sending Brutus through the table. The Creed Brothers recovered. The GYVs shoved the Creeds into Jacket Time and a brawl ensued, calling for the bell.

The Grizzled Young Veterans vs. The Creed Brothers ended in an apparent no-contest in 7:04 of on-air time.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Carmelo Hayes about Trick Williams facing Dexter Lumis. Melo said that Trick is fearless, unlike some like the fake “A” champion Roderick STrong. Trick tried to hype himself up, but then backed down in fear when Lumis’s head appeared on the monitor. McKenzie sent the show to commercial…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Ugh. The match was actually wrestled well, but they are totally all over the place in a bad way with the presentation of the tag team division. You have tag teams like the Grizzled Young Veterans and Briggs and Jensen running around out there with some bootleg-ass lame gimmicks when they can be presented in a less cartoony matter. As fun and Jiro and Kushida can be, Kushida deserves way more than just being in a comedy tag team. Can NXT bring in Alex Shelley (I know they won’t)?  They’re even blowing it with the Creeds a bit. The Creeds came in as badasses, now they’re selling the hell out of everyone and these two monsters haven’t won a match in a hot minute.

Footage aired of Io Shirai and Zoey Stark jawing with Raul Mendoza, Joaquin Wilde. Elektra Lopez showed up setting up a match between Shirai and Lopez for later in the show…

John’s Thoughts: One thing that remains consistent. NXT really like so give TV time to Zoey Stark. The week they signed her the immediately featured her and a featured player on NXT. Now they’re continuing to have her participate in angles even though she has a serious leg injury.

[Hour Two] Everyone was already in the ring for the next match. Carmelo Hayes was at ringside looking like a Santa Clause themed male stripper (I kid I kid)…

3. Trick Williams (w/Carmelo Hayes) vs. Dexter Lumis. Lumis dominated Trick with methodical shoves. Lumis locked Williams in a cravate. Williams escaped and kicked Lumis to the mat. Williams clammed Lumis several times into the mat. Malcolm Bivens and Ivy Nile were shown at the Crow’s Nest. Lumis trapped Williams in the apron during a baseball slide. Melo tried to distract Lumis, who gave him a thumbs up. Roderick Strong appeared and brawled with Melo to the back.

Williams recovered and dragged Lumis to the ring. Williams hit Lumis with a body slam for the two count. Lumis ended up escaping a chinhold. Lumis tackled Williams several times. Lumis hit Williams with a back suplex followed by a Kip up into a leg drop. Lumis hit Williams with precision strikes. Williams tried to hit Lumis with a shoe, but Lumis saw it coming. Lumis put Williams in the Kata Gatame to make Williams pass out.

Dexter Lumis defeated Trick Williams via submission in 5:37. 

Grayson Waller showed up behind Lumis and attacked him with a steel chair. Waller stared at the Titantron which showed that AJ Style arrived to the WWE PC parking lot. Waller opened the chair to wait for Styles…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Solid stuff between Lumis and Williams. Lumis gets a win and Williams doesn’t lose much since he is presented as the fall guy for the North American Champion. Strange that they have Melo feuding with Strong while Williams is feuding with Lumis, meaning he’s not really taking the fall for Melo. It’s fine though and it gives Williams some on-air reps. Smart to have Waller attack Johnny Gargano’s kayfabe Son-ish in Law. I wonder if them bringing AJ to NXT is similar to what they’re doing with Matt Riddle doing presumably double duty (hey, if you’re going to lose Gargano and O’Reilly, Styles and Riddle are two really good in-ring replacements. Seeing is believing though as to how involved main roster wrestlers will be in NXT. I’m kinda setting my expectations low. As in cameo appearances).

A Pete Dunne sitdown promo aired where Pete Dunne hyped up his accolades and upcoming match against Tony D’Angelo. Dunne pointed out that he’s the same age as the people coming in as “2.0”…

Waller was continuing to heel it up in the ring with the mic. He questioned why the WWE Hall of Famers would thank the lame fans during their induction speeches. Waller said when he is in the Hall of Fame he’ll say “you’re welcome, I told you so”. AJ Styles made his entrance to cut off Waller’s promo. Waller took credit for bringing AJ Styles to NXT. Styles told Waller to shut up now. Styles talked about how people are calling Waller the biggest Jackass in NXT. Styles wondered if Waller is feeling high about himself now.

Waller bragged about being just a guy a few months ago and now getting all the attention. He wondered why Waller is here tonight, to help teach the young guys or he might be here because his meal ticket left him last night (Omos). Waller said he’s more of a singles wrestler and won’t team with styles. Styles talked about how he is impressed by Waller’s matches, but he thinks that Waller is ripping off Styles with things like his moves and even the gloves. Styles said he sees people like Breakker, Melo, D’Angelo, and others as stars, but the jury is still out on Waller.

Styles said that Waller would rather look good and lose than look bad and win. Waller talked about taking his team to a win. Styles said that Waller cares more about swipes and likes more than wins and losses. Waller sid Styles shouldn’t be so brave without Omos in the ring. Styles dared him to attack and said that Waller doesn’t know what it is like to be phenomenal for 20+ years. Waller took off his Hawaiian shirt and teased a fight, but then did the chicken heel move of dropping to ringside. He said he’ll let Omos have Styles first, “I’ll be next”…

John’s Thoughts: The content of Styles’s promo was a bit weird (I’m pretty sure that Waller can at least be seen as more impressive than D’Angelo), but at the same time it was solid and the star power of Styles being on NXT elevates NXT a bit. This isn’t the first time WWE has took this approach. Back when NXT was FCW, they would bring in wrestlers like The Usos, John Cena, or Dave Batista to FCW to have mini-feuds with wrestlers. Waller continues to shine in WWE and making WWE’s investment in him look good.

Malcolm Bivens and the Diamond Mine were backstage. Bivens cut a promo, challenging Carmelo Hayes to a match on behalf of Roderick Strong. Bivens ended the promo by saying, “Merry Christmas ho… ho… ho”…

The commentators hyped up a Matt Riddle and MSK skit for after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Welp, RIP NXT Cruiserweight Championship. There was nobody challenging for that thing anyways so this had to happen. I totally expect Melo to win this.

Wes Lee, Nash Carter, and Matt Riddle were in a random public area. Riddle talked about how important the scooter was to their development. He said the scooter was like a tag team partner. Lee and Carter agreed. Riddle told Lee to check out their bag. They opened it to pull out a bunch of RK-Bro merchandice. Riddle told MSK to call out Imperium next week and he’ll be with them for it. A montage aired of MSK and Riddle driving around the town in a scooter. They didn’t look both ways and all three men got run over by a car.

Lee and Carter woke up at the bus stop where their first skit was located, implying that the whole Shaman saga was a dream. Carter said they should tone down on their “supplies”. They opened their bag and there was an RK Bro hat in it. The bus showed up and Riddle came out of it. Riddle reiterated calling out Imperium next week. Riddle magically teleported scooters for them. They then drove around. This time they looked both ways when crossing the street…

Von Wagner made his entrance…

4. Von Wagner vs. Edris Enofe. Enofe hit Wagner iwth a dropkick out of the gate. Wagner caught Edris and hit him with a body slam. Robert Stone showed up to scout from ringside. Edris rolled up Wagner for a two count. Barrett said that with a little bit more seasoning, Wagner can be the next Sheamus or McIntyre. Wagner went for a power bomb on Enofe, but Enofe rolled up Wagner with a Victory Roll for the surprise win.

Edris Enofe defeated Von Wagner via pinfall in 1:08.

Wagner dragged Enofe back in the ring and hit Enofe with a shortarm lariat. Wagner marched to the back and shoulder checked Stone…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner. Both men cut promos in German and Italian. When they switched to English, they said MSK may have a Shaman, but they have a “General”…

The commentary team ran through the advertised matches for New years Evil: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT Championship and Mandy Rose vs. Cora Jade vs. Raquel Gonzalez for the Women’s Championship…

Elektra Lopez was shown heading to the ring. When she left the camera shot, you could see a spotlight on Xyon Quinn in the distance backstage…[c]

John’s Thoughts: General? Are they teasing a potential Matt Riddle vs. WALTER match? That would be Amazing!!! Either that, or it’s just a tease that Riddle and Walter will be cornermen (Yo! Can we get a Riddle vs. Walter Fight Pit? Can someone take the Fight Pit away from the MIA Timothy Thatcher?). Interesting that they had Enofe pick up the fluke win over the man that ran off Kyle O’Reilly. I like it as it gives Enofe a credible win and Wagner can absorb the loss because he’s so raw on TV. They’re definitely saying he’s missing something and saying that Robert Stone may be that missing piece. I wonder if the reason WWE is high on Wagner is because they see him as the next Drew McIntyre or Sheamus based off Barrett’s comments. He definitely has the size, but it could also just be Barrett name dropping the names of his two best friends.

A video aired of the WWE NXT Wrestlers doing community service at the Boys and Girls Clubs and Seaworld…

John’s Thoughts: I’m a huge fan of community service and like what NXT is doing for the community. I wouldn’t show people breaking storylines. It showed heels being kind to kids. They also showed the “injured” LA Knight looking totally fine.

Entrances for the next match took place…

5. Io Shirai vs. Elektra Lopez (w/Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza). Lopez body slammed Shirai early on and hit Shirai with a corner shoulder tackle. Shirai turned the tables and stomped on Lopez in the corner. Lopez used a boot to block a Vader Bomb stomp. Shirai and Lopez traded forearms in the center of the ring. Lopez hit Shirai with a spinebuster for a two count. Shirai set up and hit Lopez with a 619. Shirai followed up with a missile dropkick. Shirai hit Lopez with a meteora for a two count.

Lopez blocked a moonsault by tripping Shirai off the top rope. Xyon Quinn walked to ringside. Mendoza tried to attack Quinn but he was tossed into the barricade. Quinn hit Wilde with a flapjack. Quinn brought mistletoe to the ring and held it over him and Lopez. Santos Escobar showed up and dragged Quinn to the ground. Quinn tossed Escobar into the steel steps. Lopez was pulled by Shirai and given a stomp. Shirai then hit Lopez with the moonsault for the win.

Io Shirai defeated Elektra Lopez via pinfall in 4:04.

Quinn taunted Lopez with the mistletoe from ringside…

Carmelo Hayes was in the locker room talking about being the A-Champion. Melo accepted Biven’s challenge…

Tony D’Angelo made his entrance for the main event of NXT…

John’s Thoughts: Weird storyline between Quinn and Lopez. Effort was put into the storytelling, but the Lopez character doesn’t seem intriguing enough for viewers to care about her. The whole mistletoe thing was a bit much. She also doesn’t have in-ring credibilty as the match was all Io and the commentators were hyping up Io as dominant (which is what they should be).

Brian Kendrick cut a selfie promo wearing a neck brace. He said he resigned as a coach and signed a waiver. He said that Harland can get an apology from Kendrick in the ring next week…

John’s Thoughts: Eyyyy! A The Brian Kendrick in-ring sighting. I know he was in 205 Live, but he kinda underwhelmed there with his creepy hobo thing. Kendrick is one wrestler I say could have been a big deal, especially when he won the WWE World Title for like a minute in the Scramble Match that one time. I always like seeing Kendrick return.

Wade Barrett noted that he’s moderating a Roderick Strong and Carmelo Hayes championship contract signing next week. Vic Joseph hyped Grayson Waller vs. Dexter Lumis for next week. Barrett hyped Toxic Attraction vs. Jade and Gonzalez in a non title match for next week.

6. Pete Dunne vs. Tony D’Angelo. Dunne went for his joint manipulation early on. D’Angelo backed to the corner. D’Angelo managed to put Dunne in a headlock. Both men ran the ropes and D’Angelo managed to give Dunne a pumphandle suplex. Dunne went at D’Angelo, but D’Angelo reversed Dunne with a suplex. Dunne fought back with chops. D’Angelo hit Dunne with a German Suplex. Dunne used a flip to block a German Suplex. Dunne hit D’Angelo with a running Gamengiri. Dunne gave D’Angelo’s hand a knee heading into picture-in-picutre.[c]

Dunne had D’Angelo locked in a bow and arrow stretch. Dunne worked on D’Angelo with shortarm stomps. D’Angelo no-sold Dunne’s chops and took down Dunne with a double leg takedown (a bit out of position because the bottom rope caught the back of Dunne’s neck). Dunne managed to recover and lock D’Angelo into a Triangle Choke. D’Angelo deadlifted Dunne and hit him with an Exploder Suplex for a two count.

[Overrun] Joseph hyped up Harland vs. The Brian Kendrick for next week. D’Angelo gave Dunne a suplex into the turnbuckle. Dunne sidestepped D’Angelo and was taken to a knee. Dunne hit D’Angelo with a knee and followed up with a leg lariat. Dunne hit D’Angelo with reverse curb stomps. Dunne and D’Angelo traded stiff forearms. D’Angelo reversed an X Plex into a Falcon Arrow. Dunne blocked a pin attempt. Both men struggled to get to their feet. D’Angelo pulled a magic trick by revealing a crowbar.

Dunne call it coming and dragged D’Angelo to the ground into joint manipulation. D’Angelo escaped the wishbone spot with a fishhook to Dunne’s jaw, also taking Dunne’s mouthpiece. D’Angelo tossed Dunne into the corner. D’Angelo went for his finisher but it was blocked. Dunne did the wishbone finger break spot to D’Angelo. Dunne hit D’Angelo with the Bitter End for the victory.

Pete Dunne defeated Tony D’Angelo via pinfall in 12:49.

Highlights of the match aired with the commentators praising D’Angelo for hanging in there with Dunne. D’Angelo tried to attack Dunne after the match but Dunne saw it coming. Dunne dumped D’Angelo to ringside. D’Angelo recovered and hit Dunne with an Olympic Slam to leave Dunne lying. D’Angelo used a crowbar to pin Dunne against the announce table. D’Angelo hit Dunne in the hand with the crowbar to leave Dunne writing in pain to close the show….

John’s Thoughts: A great match and the come-out party of Tony D’Angelo as a player in NXT. D’Angelo vs. Dunne was a questionable main event on paper given that this is like D’Angelo’s 5th or 6th match in front of a crowd, but WWE is putting D’Angelo out there on national TV and he’s not disappointing them. Pete Dunne is one of the best in-ring wrestlers in the world, I get that, but D’Angelo hung in there with Dunne and not looking like a wet noodle. D’Angelo held his end of a European Style Strong Style match, one of my favorite wrestling styles to watch. This match showed me that WWE really needs to take their time developing him because if he’s grown this far this fast, then more investment means they have a future main roster star on their hands. (Again, I’m not saying he’s definitely going to be a star, but I give the man credit for not having pro wrestling experience prior to NXT).

A solid episode of NXT that set the table for New Years Evil. NXT is doing a good job telling stories and taking a handful of their interesting characters and running with them. There are still weird characters running around like the revamped GYV and Briggs and Jensen, but the characters that are clicking are given meaningful development.

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