12/28 NXT 2.0 results: Moore’s review of Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade vs. Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray for spots in the Triple Threat for the NXT Women’s Championship, Solo Sikoa vs. Santos Escobar, Grayson Waller vs. Odyssey Jones, Harland vs. Andre Chase, Tiffany Stratton vs. Fallon Henley

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

NXT 2.0 TV 
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live December 28, 2021 on USA Network

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

Grayson Waller made his entrance and took the mic for a pre-match promo. He bragged about having a good Christmas and how he treated himself to front row seats at Raw. Waller talked about how Styles wanted the “Grayson Waller rub” that night. A replay aired of Waller’s Raw appearance. The WWE PC crowd chanted for AJ. Waller said he doesn’t get why people support AJ over him. Waller attacked the fans by saying they struggle to get out of their seats due to their fat asses.

Waller noted that Apollo Crews and Commander Aseez prevented him from putting AJ on the shelf. Waller said he’s supposed to face Dexter Lumis, but Lumis is not medically cleared to wrestle. Waller called Indi Hartwell a catfish and said while she may be a 10 to Lumis she’s a 3 in Grayson Waller’s book. Waller asked for his replacement to come out. Odyssey Jones made his entrance. Waller left the ring like he was going to refuse the match. Jones took the mic and said while Waller may call himself a star, he’s just a bitch. This fired Waller enough for him to accept the match…

1. Grayson Waller vs. Odyssey Jones. Jones dominated the early match with his power moves. Jones planted Waller with a nice sidewalk slam. The show cut to picture in picture.[c]

Waller worked on Jones with cravate clinch knees. Waller took down Jones with a superkick.  Waller hit Jones with a crossover elbow for a two count. Jones shrugged off a side cross knee. Jones hit Waller with a belly to belly suplex. Jones lifted Waller into a power bomb and planted him. While Waller was being lifted he ripped off the top of the turnbuckle pad. Waller sidestepped Jones, sending Jones into the exposed turnbuckle. Waller hit Jones with a rolling stunner for the victory.

Grayson Waller defeated Odyssey Jones via pinfall in 7:35. 

AJ Styles appeared on the Titantron. Styles noted that Waller got the wrong type of attention on Raw last night. Styles said he’s coming to NXT next week and he’ll see Waller at New Years Evil…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Cora Jade and Raquel Gonzalez. Jade assured Mitchell that she’ll coexist with Gonzalez. Before Gonzalez could speak, Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray showed up to ask Gonzalez to be first in line once they take the belt off Rose. Rose appeared on the monitor and set up a tag team match between Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray vs. Cora Jade and Raquel Gonzalez for later in the show with the winner facing Rose at New Years Evil…

Grayson Waller cut a promo backstage saying that  he has no problem showing up Styles next week. Waller crossed paths with Wes Lee and Nash Carter and said  “Screw You”…

A vignette aired for Tiffany Stranton…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Good momentum building win for Waller and Jones continues to improve the more reps he’s given. He didn’t look bad here, but you can tell he’s still building up experience which isn’t a bad thing. I still think that Jones’s weakness is the same weakness as similar big men like Big Show or Mark Henry in that he limits himself by being so happy and jolly. Jones will elevate to a future main event star once he develops that believable mean streak. Waller on the other hand, WWE is high on NOW and he’s getting put in all the high profile spots. What’s reassuring is they’re giving him the ball and he’s making their investment in him worth it. Waller’s a great heat magnet, but he’s also really really good in the ring with very innovative offense.

After being off TV for a while, USA aired the LA Knight and Ric Flair Car Shield commercial…

Xyon Quinn cut a promo saying that Elektra needs to choose between him or Legado tonight….

John’s Thoughts: Ugh, this weird love story feels so forced and they are starting to take away Quinn’s cool factor. He’s starting to look very sappy.

MSK, Wes Lee and Nash Carter, made their entrance to the WWE PC ring. They were wearing RK-Bro shirts. MSK actually got a positive MSK chant. They talked about how they were down when they lost the titles.

Matt Riddle cut a promo on the Titantron saying he apologizes that he had a change of plans and couldn’t be with them this week. He assured them that he’ll be with them soon. Riddle asked them to challenge Imperium and reach their destiny. Wes Lee told Imperium to “bring dat ass here”. Fabien Aichner and Marcel Barthel made their entrance.

Aichner spoke in Italian while Berthel talked in German. Barthel said he can see based off looks that MSK look uncultured. Barthel said MSK will never be able to touch Imperium. He said Imperium is the best tag team this division has seen. Carter asked Imperium for a match right here right now. Walter appeared on the Titantron. Walter said Marcel and Fabien are great champions that treat the titles with dignity and respect. He said they don’t need a title match, they need a beating with Walter’s right hand. Riddle appeared on the Titantron. Riddle proposed Riddle, Lee, and Carter vs. Walter, Fabian, and Marcel. Walter accepted and ended the promo by saying Imperium’s catchphrase of the ring being sacred…

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in from the commentary table. They recapped [The] Brian Kendrick getting shoved down the stairs by Harland. The show cut to Harland and Joe Gacy outside. Gacy told Harland that Kendrick called him a “freak” but to Gacy, Harland is no freak…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Wow! They’re really loading up New Years Evil with big matches and main roster talent. Any show WALTER is on is must see, so that already elevates New Years Evil to another level. The show definitely won’t be a Takeover show, but hot themed shows aren’t bad either. While most of the NXT tag division is damaged at the moment, Imperium and MSK are two teams that can carry things while they fix some of the undercard tag teams. Imperium might finally be clicking after a rough first few years in NXT. Part of it is their fun matches, but another part is Barthel and Aichner improving in terms of promos. I’m curious, I wonder if the selfie promos and advertised wrestlers not being able to be on the show is a part of the whole outbreak WWE was having?

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Edris Enofe about his big win over Von Wagner. Enofe talked about how he was happy to end the year wtih his first WWE win. Von Wagner showed up to randomly yell at Enofe. Malik Blade showed up to defend Enofe. Wagner yelled at him and had to be held back…

Harland was in the ring for his match. “The” Brian Kendrick’s Man with a plan theme played, but no one came out. Gacy took the mic and said that even when people talk a big game they end up not showing up. Andre Chase showed up and said he was here for a teachable moment. He said they don’t quit at Chase University. Gacy said they admire the work Chase does at his university. Gacy said Harland was enrolled in schools before, but he was unfairly and unjustly expelled. He said he thanks Chase for being Kendrick’s replacement…

2. Harland (w/Joe Gacy) vs. Andre Chase. Harland manhandled Chase around the ring. Harland smashed Chase into the mat until the referee called for the bell.

Harland defeated Andre Chase via ref stoppage in 1:00. 

Harland was about to go back to the ring to attack Chase again, but Chase was covered up by one of his students, the one with the long blonde hair. Harland dragged the student, put him on his shoulders, and dragged him to the back…

Vic Joseph hyped up Tiffany Stranton’s debut for later in the show…

John’s Thoughts: Yep, NXT is short staffed too. Yet another advertised match not coming through. That said I thought the simple and effective beatdown was good for Harland so young in the wrestling career. I’m always a fan of putting over monsters with ref stoppages. We’ll see if Harland pans out to his billing as the “Next Brock Lesnar”, but it’ll be interesting seeing his journey there.

The unseen interviewer tried to interview Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Raul Mendoza. They tried to shoo off the cameraman. Elektra Lopez showed up and Escobar wanted to know her deal with Xyon Quinn. Solo Sikoa showed up because he heard commotion. This would lead to a Escobar vs. Sikoa match later on…

3. Tiffany Stratton vs. Fallon Hanley. Stratton  shoved down Hanley early in the match. Joseph said that Stratton calls herself a “buff barbie doll”. Stratton hit Hanley with a split legged armdrag into an armbar. Hanley put Stratton into a headlock, but Stratton reversed it. Stratton took down Hanley with a shoulder tackle. Stratton ran the ropes and shoed a bit of athleticism while also acting like a valley girl. Stratton hit Hanley with a body slam. Stratton hit Hanley with the Dana Brook flip elbow (and drew boos due to botching it a bit). Stratton hit Hanley with a Flatliner for the win.

Tiffany Stratton defeated Fallon Hanley via pinfall in 2:37. 

Vic Joseph hyped up the Carmelo Hayes and Roderick Strong contract signing for later in the show…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Decent debut, but I’m still not feeling like Stratton has the chops for this gimmick they’re handing her. She seems to be decently athletic in the the ring, so there’s some promise there. I’m just not sold over her portrayal of the whole Daddy’s Girl Valley Girl routine. Part of it is her expression. It seems like she’s trying to go for an RBF face, but it’s coming off more like she’s just tired and stoneface. It also doesn’t help that she’s essentially playing the role that Taya Valkyrie has played to perfection for years, and WWE had Taya and didn’t do anything with her. It’s hard not to make the comparison.

Tony D’Angelo cut a backstage promo (the audio seemed off for some reason). D’Angelo bragged about his post match beatdown on Dunne. D’Angelo talked about how Dunne looked to be in pain when he was on the floor. He said that Dunne should do what D’Angelo’s Grandfather advised him to do, and not confront the bully that beats you down…

[Hour Two] Wade Barrett was in the ring with a contract signing table. The North American and Cruiserweight titles were on the table. Barrett introduced Roderick Strong first. The entire Diamond Mine made their entrance. Malcolm Bivens took the mic and said he didn’t see Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes backstage. He said he understands that gas prices are high and they couldn’t make it. Bivens was cut off by Melo and Trick making their entrance. Trick said that Strong is the B Champion because he won’t be champion much longer. Trick said that roddy has never been bout it bout it.

Malcolm said he’ll translate Trick’s talk for the viewers at home. Bivens code changed and translated what Williams said. Strong told Bivens to translate to Williams that Strong will kick their ass. Bivens code changed again and told Williams that “ey bruh, if you come at the king you best not miss”. Bivens talked about bucking knucks and that Melo and Trick are outnumbered. Williams said he’s never been outnumbered. Bivens said he doesn’t get paid enough to translate what everyone is saying. Wade Barrett said he doesn’t understand what anyone is saying. He asked for Roddy and Melo to start speaking and asked Melo to speak first.

Melo said that when he says “when I shoot I don’t miss” it’s not a catchphrase, it’s a lifestyle. He said he got aim like Denzel and he is the equalizer. He said he’d put Strong on a T-Shirt. Melo said Strong is not different from all the other victims he put down. He said he takes what he wants and he’s taking the Cruiserweight title by any means necessary. He said he will be the A Champion of NXT. He said that’s all it is and that’s all it’s going to be.

Strong said that it was impressive that Melo said that to his face. Strong said as much potential as Melo has, both he and Melo are going to have a live changing experience. He said he’s going to have the biggest moment of his career by becoming a two time North American Champion, while Melo will be carried out as “Humble Hayes”. Barrett said it was time to sign the contracts. Both men signed the contract. Melo took off his shirt while Strong dared him to come at him despite having a 5 on two advantage. Melo and Trick walked away.

Bivens took the mic and said that Dexter Lumis whooping Trick’s ass last week is what’s “bout it bout it”. Trick ran back and got in Malcolm’s face. When Trick tried to leave, the Creed Brothers lifted up Trick and power bombed him through a table…

Solo Sikoa was shown kickboxing a kicking bag backstage…[c]

John’s Thoughts: That was a pretty entertaining contract signing with a lot of fun talkers on the mic (the weak link obviously being Roddy). Trick has gotten way better on the mic since a rough first couple of weeks. You used to not be able to understand what Trick was saying, even if you are black. Speaking of black, I loved the code change promo exchange with Bivens translating between Roddy and Trick. Bivens is amazing on the mic and definitely deserves to be a big time manager in WWE for years to come. Because of how witty he is, I kinda want to see Bivens have a promo battle with Konnan somehow (Konnan is also a very underrated manager out there that needs to be utilized, but I understand that he’s also running one of Mexico’s biggest wrestling promotions).

Grizzled Young Veterans vs. The Creed Brothers vs. Jacket Time vs. Briggs and Jensen was advertised for a number one contenders match. Each team got a few words in to hype themselves up as future champions…

Solo Sikoa was in the ring already for the next match. Legado Del Fantasma got a full entrance and now sport Latino World Order themed graphics. Vic Joseph noted that this was Solo’s biggest match in WWE to date…

4. Solo Sikoa vs. Santos Escobar (w/Elektra Lopez, Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza). Escobar made sure to keep his distance early on. Sikoa blocked Escobar’s sunset flip attempt. Sikoa went into a Muay Thai pose. Escobar locked Solo into a hammerlock. Solo escaped with a half leg takedown. Escobar managed to take down Solo and put him in a rear guard hold. Escobar converted the hold to an octopus hold. Solo slammed Escobar to the mat, which invoked U-So chants from the crowd.

Solo hit Escobar with a shoulder tackle and lariat. Solo hit Escobar with a body slam. Solo hit Escobar with a diving fist for a two count. Wilde and Mendoza distracted Solo at ringside which allowed Escobar to give Solo a meteora into the ringpost. The show cut to regular commercial.[c]

Escobar dominated Sikoa with his signature methodical offense. Escobar got a one count after a nice snap basement dropkick. Escobar put Solo into a armbar and got another one count. Solo reversed Escobar’s suplex with a front suplex. Solo came back with lariats and a muay thai combo. Solo hit Escobar with a Samoan Drop. Legado distracted Solo which allowed Escobar to chop block and give Solo a Frankensteiner. Xyon Quinn showed up which caught Escobar’s attention. Escobar gave Quinn a suicide dive.

Solo gave Escobar a superkick in the ring. Solo hit Escobar with the Uso splash for the win.

Solo Sikoa defeated Santos Escobar via pinfall in 10:15 of on-air time.

Quinn and Legado Del Fantasma had a staredown…

McKenzie Mitchell hyped up New Years Evil backstage. She ran through the advertised card…

McKenzie Mitchell was interrupted. The camera cut to Harland and Joe Gacy teasing throwing Andre Chase’s student off the WWE PC Rooftop. Gacy spoke in Harland’s ear and Harland put the man down. The student was on the floor in fear….

John’s Thoughts: A really good television match and Solo’s best in ring match to date. Again, not for everyone given Escobar’s methodical style, the he continues to prove why he’s so good bell-to-bell. Solo didn’t disappoint on his end. He matched up well with Escobar’s methodical style with his Muay Thai strikes. It’s pretty fun seeing Solo separate himself from his brothers by adding martial arts on top of the usual Uso offense. As for Escobar, he’s the perfect person to be working with a lot of younger wrestlers. Dude’s one of the best overall wrestlers in the world.

The unseen interviewer tried to interview Solo Sikoa, but Sikoa was attacked and choked by Boa. There was a weird camera cut and the camera showed that Boa’s face, which was at first facepainted, was unpainted, which Boa looking confused…

Vic Joseph hyped up New Years Evial and sent the show to a highlight package to hype the Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bron Breakker rematch…

Entrances for the next match took place…

5. Von Wagner vs. Malik Blade. Wagner tackled Blade into the corner. Wagner dominated Blade for a stretch. Blade came back with a few shortarm kicks. Wagner came back with a body slam. Robert Stone was watching the match from the back. Wagner went back to dominating. Wade Barrett called Von Wagner a modern day caveman. Blade managed to come back with a rally and dropkick. Blade hit Wagner with a slingshot crossbody. Wagner caught Blade and hit him with an elevated flatliner.

Blade reversed a power bomb into a victory roll for a one count. Wagner hit Blade with an Olympic Slam. Wagner hit Blade with a modified Tiger Driver for the win.

Von Wagner defeated Malik Blade via pinfall in 4:02. 

Wagner was about to attack Blade more after the match, but Edris Enofe ran out to drag Blade to the back. Robert Stone was shaking his head backstage in disapproval…

The commentary team hyped up the main event tag team match…[c]

The commentary team ran through the New Years Evil card. This week’s show has 7 minutes slotted for overrun according to the DVR…

6. Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade vs. Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray with the winners facing Mandy Rose next week at New Years Evil for the NXT Women’s Championship. Shirai and Jade started off the match. Both women started out the match with chain wrestling. Jade hit Shirai with a high knee. Gonzalez tagged herself in and hit Shirai with a boot for a two count. Gonzalez used her size to block a sunset flip. Ray came in and gave Gonzalez a series of chops. Gonzalez took down Ray with clubbing blows. Shirai sent Gonzalez to ringside with a shotgun dropkick. Ray hit Gonzalez with a top rope cannonball, Shirai hit Gonzalez with an Asai moonsault heading into the picture-in-picture.[c]

Ray hit Jade with a body slam. Ray worked on Jade with methodical offense. Jade used a half crab to prevent Gonzalez from tagging in. Jade used a victory role to block a Gory Bomb for a two count. Shirai tagged in and went for a moonsault, but Gonzalez dragged Jade to ringside. Ray hit Gonzalez with a low suicide dive.

[Overrun] Shirai hit Jade with a dropkick. Shirai hit Jade with a missile dropkick. Jade sidestepped a meteora in the corner. Ray tagged in and ate an enzuigiri from Jade.

Jade managed to get the hot tag in on Gonzalez. Gonzalez dominated for a stretch. Gonzalez hit Jade with the twisting Vader Bomb. Gonzalez hit Ray with a Chingona Bomb. Gonzalez dumped Shirai to ringside. Jade tagged in and was pinning Ray, but Gonzalez broke up the pin since she thought she deserved credit. After a bit of clunky scrambling, Jade somehow ended up in a jackknife pin situation on Ray for the win.

Cora Jade and Raquel Gonzalez defeated Kay Lee Ray and Io Shirai via pinfall in 10:54 to earn a title shot at the NXT Women’s Championship. 

Rose appeared on the Titantron and talked about how she’s going to erase both Jade and Gonzalez from the championship picture. She pointed out how she expects both of her opponents to be selfish. Rose kissed the title and the show closed…

John’s Thoughts: Again, I’m guessing they had to book this match due to not having Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne on hand this week. I actually prefer this because it either would have prevented the women’s tag champions from eating a loss (and coming off as stooges), or it saved us from yet another situation where reluctant partners fall apart (which doesn’t do Jayne and Dolan favors either).  That said, this match was a bit clunky too. There might have been an injury during the suicide dive spot (I’m not sure, but WWE did that thing where they zoomed into Shirai’s face to prevent us from catching what was happening at ringside). The ending was also a bit rough in execution where maybe simpler would have been better.

This was a solid episode of NXT where the writers did their best with a seemingly shorthanded staff. It was a bit rough with all the selfie promos from home to start off the show, but they ended up filling the time pretty nicely. What I’m really looking forward to is New Years Evil, which hopefully will remain in tact. It seems like they assume New Years Evil will happen as they expect it because they didn’t really change any pieces today. Heck, we’re getting a WALTER sighting next week.

NXT 2.0 Poll: Grade the December 28 edition

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. Taya is just old and getting chubby these days. It makes perfect sense to replace her with a younger, fitter woman who looks like a hotter version of Velvet Sky. Taya was never going to draw money while Stratton is still 22 and has plenty of upside. WWE made the right move there.

    It looks like we’ve got at least 1 more good Samoan and in an era where everyone works way too fast, it’s a pleasure to watch Escobar work a match.

  2. “You used to not be able to understand what Trick was saying, even if you are black.”

    Are you black? If not, just assuming black people cannot understand him does not come off well here.

  3. Tiffany’s debut was fine. Would Taya have the character perfected at the age of 22? The clapping for herself every time she does a move is a nice touch to her heel persona. Only time will tell if the daddy’s girl gimmick will be her ultimate wrestling gimmick. The botch at the end was unfortunate. By the way, I believe they recently signed her opponent and instantly gave her a WWE name. I wonder if, like Cora Jade, she will now disappear for a bit as they flesh out a character for her.
    The “winning team gets added to the triple threat match for the title” stipulation was a strong hook. Why didn’t they go with this from the start? The outcome wouldn’t have been predictable if this was the originally designed match.

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