1/4 NXT 2.0 results: Moore’s review of Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT Title, Walter, Fabian Aichner, and Marcel Barthel vs. Riddle and MSK, Mandy Rose vs. Raquel Gonzalez vs. Cora Jade for the NXT Women’s Title, Carmelo Hayes vs. Roderick Strong in a title unification match, AJ Styles confronts Grayson Waller


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

NXT 2.0 TV “New Year’s Evil”
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live January 4, 2022 on USA Network

[Hour One] NXT started off with a intro video for the New Years Evil themed show, focusing on the feuds spotlighted on the show…

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

Entrances for the North American-Cruiserweight championship unification match aired. Both champions got the intro usually reserved for the world title matches, where the camera follows both challengers backstage heading to the ring…

1. NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong (w/The Diamond Mine) vs. NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes (w/Trick Williams) in a championship unification match. Melo dominated the early chain wrestling after he landed a dropkick on Strong. Melo dominated the subsequent chain wrestling sequence after landing a Pele Kick. Strong finally got Melo on the mat with a knife edge chop. Strong had a rally of chops on Melo. Strong went for his driveby elbows but Melo flowed with the elbow and hit Strong with a gamengiri.

Melo hit a draped strong with a seated senton. Melo hit Strong with a nasty looking slingshot DDT on the ring apron. Strong got a moment of respite and a great nearfall after turning melo inside out with a lariat. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Strong hit Melo with a few signature backbreakers. Melo reversed an Angle Slam and hit Strong with a modified La Mistica. Strong reversed a Crossface. Melo reversed Strong’s Boston Crab with a Boston Crab of his own. Strong escaped and locked Melo in the Stronghold (Liontamer). Melo escaped, but Strong quickly planted Melo with a backbreaker for a two count. Strong and Melo traded rapid slaps. Strong hit Melo with a back elbow combo.

Strong rallied with his signature driveby elbows and an Angle Slam for a good nearfall. Melo recovered and hit Strong with a Final Cut for a two count. Strong got a two count off an inside cradle. Melo escaped an End of Heartache and hit Strong with a superkick. Strong used a gamengiri to prevent Melo from diving into his finisher. Strong hit what looked like a botched superplex (which Vic called an X Plex, maybe Roddy was trying to go for a Super End of Heartache?), that said, the ugliness helped make the move look devastating. Strong got the worse of it which allowed Melo to hit his diving scissors kick for the victory.

Carmelo Hayes defeated Roderick Strong via pinfall in 15:29 to become the unified NXT North American Champion.

Melo and Trick celebrated Melo’s win…

John’s Thoughts: A great back and forth with some decent engagement from the cornermen of both wrestlers. Trick and Bivens played the roles of coaches very well, with Hachiman doing his one-and-only job which is to nod his head every once in a while. Going into the match, I didn’t think Strong had any chance of winning, but the back and forth was able to get me to suspend my disbelief at least a little bit. Good stuff and could have been Takeover worthy if we cared about Roderick Strong’s character more.

Bron Breakker was shown entering the WWE Performance Center…

Tommaso Ciampa and AJ Styles chatted a bit with Styles saying that he was going to confront Grayson Waller in the ring…[c]

A hype video aired for the NXT Men’s and Women Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament. The graphic noted that the Men’s tournament will occur in two weeks while the Women’s one will start in February…

AJ Styles made his entrance. The commentary team acknowledged AJ losing in the last 24 hours to his former tag partner Omos. Styles soaked in the AJ Styles chants from the Performance Center crowd. Styles thanked the fans for showering him with cheers. Styles talked about winning many championships but he does have regrets. He noted that he debuted at the Royal Rumble and never made a stop in NXT. He said there’s something special about NXT. Styles said NXT has passion, the passion of the fans, the passion of the superstars.

Styles said he doesn’t care if it’s black and gold or 2.0, passion is what makes NXT run. He said he’ll be damned if someone tries to take away his passion. He brought up Grayson Waller feeling he’s bigger and better than this place. Styles was cut off by Grayson Waller’s entrance. Waller talked about how Styles is laying things thick, pulling on people’s heart strings. Waller said Styles is deflecting, throwing shade at Waller to cover up the fact that he lost to Omos last night. Waller said people say that Waller is green or inexperience, but he’s a student of the game.

Waller said the reason Styles lost is because Styles was thinking about Waller. Styles said Waller is right. Styles said he’s hurt and not 100% now. Styles said he’s never had a match in NXT. Waller cut off Styles and said that we’re not on Styles time, we’re on Waller time. Styles said Waller needs to grow a sack and do something. Waller teased a brawl and then said he would prefer they have a match as the main event of next week’s show. Waller said it’ll be the biggest moment of his career. Styles said it would be the biggest embarrassment of his career. Styles and Waller brawled. Styles got the upper hand after a Pele Kick. Waller rolled away and backed up the ramp to avoid a Phenomenal Forearm…

John’s Thoughts: Strong promo from Styles and I prefer this form of AJ over his over-the-top Good Brothers schtick he tends to pull out when he’s a heel. He was strong in turning the fact that he bypassed NXT to a good story. Waller continues to shine as a strong foil.

A Pete Dunne promo aired where he addressed Tony D’Angelo’s attack on him after their match two weeks ago. Dunne dared D’Angelo to confront him next week and try to finish the job. Dunne said to bring the crowbar too because he’s going to need it…

The Imperium trio of WALTER, Fabian Aichner, and Marcel Barthel made their entrance and did their pose in the ring…[c]

Amari Miller chatted with Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter. Kayden and Kacy talked about how they are going to win the tag team tournament. Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta took exception to this and challenged Miller, Catanzaro, and Carter to a match next week. Hartwell pointed out that Pirotta really likes handicap matches.

Pirotta said they can find a third person. They tried to ask Tiffany Straton if she’d join them, but she refused and walked off. Carter and Catanzaro recommened they ask the repackaged Mei Ying character who was sleeping next to the production crates. Karen Q’s new character introduced herself as Wendy Chu…

MSK and Riddle made their entrance. They had a private DJ. Riddle came out to his regular theme…

2. “Imperium” WALTER, Marcel Barthel, and Fabian Aichner vs. Wes Lee, Nash Carter, and “The Shaman” Matt Riddle. Imperium dominated early on on Carter. Carter landed a huracanrana on Aichner to tag in Lee. Lee hit Aichner with a thrust kick. Aichner took down lee with a lariat. Lee avoided Aichner and tagged in Riddle. Joseph noted that Riddle was last in NXT May 2020. Walter tagged in. Riddle hit Walter with Roundhouse Kicks. Walter took down Riddle with a signature chop. Aichner tagged in and worked on Riddle with methodical offense.

Riddle got both MSK members tagged in who cleared Aichner and Barthel with their signature quick tandem strikes. Walter ran through both MSK members. Walter held Lee in place for Aichner and Barthel’s stereo Tree of Woe dropkicks. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Nash Carter took out Marcel Barthel with a single leg dropkick. Walter tagged in and prevented Carter from getting to Riddle. Walter worked on Carter with heavy stomps. Carter slipped away, but the two other Imperium members pulled down Lee and Riddle from the apron. Carter managed to hit Walter with a huracanrana to tag in Riddle. Rittle hit a plethora of strikes on Walter.

[Hour Two] Riddle hit Walter with an Exploder Suplex and running senton. Riddle escaped a German Suplex from Walter. Riddle hit Walter at ringside with a PK. Riddle and MSK hit stereo flip dives on the Imperium members. Riddle hit Walter with a bridged Deadlift German Suplex for a two count. Riddle teased an RKO, but got distracted when the other Imperium members attacked MSK. Walter folded Riddle with a power bomb. Riddle kicked out at two. Barthel tossed Riddle into Aichner’s brute strength to lead him into a deadlift suplex.

Carter broke up Aichner’s pin on Riddle. Imperium traded tags for tandem offense. Riddle escaped a European Bomb and hit Barthel with a high knee. Riddle hit Walter with a German Suplex. MSK hit Aichner iwth a Doomsday Blockbuster. Riddle hit Aichner with a corkscrew senton. Riddle hit Barthel with a RKO out of nowhere for the win.

Matt Riddle and MSK defeated Imperium via pinfall in 13:50. 

John’s Thoughts: A really fun trios match with teams that work really well together. I’m pretty sure Riddle has had a lot of experience working with Walter and Barthel during his time in Progress. The ending sequences were well done with a lot of solid nearfalls. Only detractor was the picture-in-picture as I felt like we could have gotten more of this great match if there wasn’t a commercial. I can’t wait until we somehow get the Riddle vs. Walter singles match down the road. MSK also really benefited from being out of the ring for such a long time as their offense seemed very fresh.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Joe Gacy and Harland about almost tossing Andre Chase’s student off a roof. Gacy said that Harland is working through things. He talked about people treating him bad in the past. Gacy said Harland has been showing more restraint over the last few weeks. Gacy said He and Harland winning the Dusty Cup will give Harland peace, joy, and happiness. He said they don’t want handouts and get more privileges than an established tag team. Gacy said he and Harland will prove that they are a viable tag team.

John’s Thoughts: I’m actually in favor of this tag team. I’m still not 100% sold on the “next Brock Lesnar” being handed a caricature gimmick and Joe Gacy is starting to oddly remind me of Dr. Stevie Richards, but these two have had a solid amount of character development combined with Gacy’s stellar portrayal of the character WWE handed him. Not to mention, these two sure beat the hell out of the revamped-GYVs, Briggs and Jensen, and Jacket Time.

The show cut to Mandy Rose arriving to New Years Evil via a helicopter…[c]

McKenzie Mitchell told Elektra Lopez that everybody wants to know the deal between her and Xyon Quinn (are people really wondering that?). Lopez talked about how she’s attracted to success. Lopez said that the winner of the match between Santos Escobar and Xyon Quinn next week will get to walk out with her…

John’s Thoughts: Ugh. I felt like the forced love story was unnecessary. Couldn’t they have just gone with the more mafia angle that Legado was built around while keeping Quinn as a streamlined badass. Now Quinn comes off as a sappy, lovesick dope.

Entrances for the women’s title match took place. Raquel Gonzalez rode to the ring on a motorcycle. Mandy Rose made her entrance dressed as a black-winged angel…

3. Mandy Rose vs. Cora Jade vs. Raquel Gonzalez for the NXT Women’s Championship. Gonzalez dominated Jade and Rose with power moves. Rose cleared Gonzalez from the ring with a few high knees. Jade hit Rose with a huracanrana. Gonzalez blocked Jade’s La Mistica. Jade rolled up Gonzalez for a two count. Joseph noted that WWE signed Jade a few months ago when she was only 19 years old. Jade hit Gonzalez at ringside with a cannonball. Rose tossed Jade into the ring steps.

Gonzalez broke up a few pin attempts. Rose shoved Gonzalez into the steps. Jade got a small rollup on Rose for a two count, broke up by Gonzalez. Gonzalez managed to put Jade and Rose into a Fireman and planted them both with a Samoan Drop. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Jade got a two count off a Sunset Flip on Rose. Rose took down Jade with a lariat for a two count. Gonzalez hit Rose with a body slam. Jade caught Rose with a boot and caught Gonzalez with a huracanrana. Jade hit Rose with a huracanrana. Jade hit Gonzalez with a high knee. Gonzalez escaped Jade’s cravate with a backbreaker. Gonzalez military pressed Jade to ringside. Rose tried to run to the back, but was tossed back into the ring by Gonzalez. Barrett joked that Rose forgot her keys in the Helicopter.

Gonzalez hit Rose with a forearm to the chest. Rose hit Gonzalez with a Codebreaker for a two count. Gonzalez sent Rose throat first into the second rope. Gonzalez hit Rose with a delayed Chingona Bomb. Jade broke up Gonzalez’s pin with a diving senton. Gonzalez tried to hit Jade with a Superplex, but Jade shoved Gonzalez off the top rope. Jade tried to pin Rose, but Rose adjusted her weight to get Jade’s shoulders on the mat for the win.

Mandy Rose defeated Cora Jade and Raquel Gonzalez via pinfall in 12:33. 

Rose posed after her title defense…

John’s Thoughts: Solid women’s title match. The match did get a bit rough when Rose was involved in a few moves, but I feel like Jade and Gonzalez’s experience made up for those rough spots. Jade and Gonzalez were particularly good. I’m still astonished that Jade is 20 but way beyond her years in the ring. Again, future WWE Women’s Champion if they don’t screw things up. If I remember, didn’t WWE put the rocket ship on a 20 year old Paige back in the day? Rose going over clean here was the right way to go because she does need to build up her in-ring credibility.

Boa was talking to himself in a mirror while washing his face. He talked, in Mandarin, about how he’s going to beat Solo Sikoa. He also talked to himself that he can’t control the Mei Ying power. Boa’s alter ego, the facepainted one, appeared behind him in the mirror…

John’s Thoughts: So Boa’s not only the Great Muta, but he’s also Norman Osborn.

Riddle congratulated MSK at the parking lot. Riddle drove off on his scooter. MSK noted that they need to go for the tag titles now. The Creed Brothers, Julius and Brutus Creed, showed up to taunt MSK…

Wade Barrett and Vic Joseph checked in from the commentary table…

Andre Chase made his entrance. Chase said he was grateful for his student protecting him last week and he’s also grateful that Harland didn’t throw him off the roof. Chase said he wanted to recognize this student publically. The student got a “you deserve it” chant. Chase gave the unnamed student a full-ride scholarship to his university. Von Wagner made his entrance. Vic Joseph joked that Wagner wants a scholarship. Wagner said he’s the real star of NXT. Harland said he hears the boos and negative comments, but when he gets in the ring he’s everyone’s favorite superstar (Really? I mean, to me his bad promos are a guilty pleasure).

He said people want to tune into the Von Wagner watchparty to see who he tunes out. He started yelling and said that he’s everyone that you’re not. Chase tried to call this a teachable moment, but he was attacked by Von Wagner. The unnamed blonde haired student yelled at Wagner. Wagner tossed the student. Von Wagner then attacked what I assume are planted fans in the crowd. Barrett noted that Wagner is acting more crazy than Antonio Brown. Wagner was escorted to the back…

John’s Thoughts: In all seriousness, even though every Von Wagner promo feels like he’s struggling to read a script off a teleprompter, I get a kick out of it in a bad train wreck kind of way. “The Von Wagner Watchparty”? I love it!

A hype video aired for the Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bron Breakker match…

Bron Breakker and Tommaso Ciampa were shown on their way to the ring…[c]

A replay aired of Von Wagner assaulting “fans”. Vic Joseph used his somber voice to apologize on behalf of WWE that fans shouldn’t get attacked…

Von Wagner was escorted out of the building. Wagner tried to taunt Roderick Strong but Ivy Nile got in his face. Wagner was escorted to the back and he said “what are you going to do to me girl”…

A Cameron Grimes vignette aired talking about he’s going to the moon in 2022…

The following matches were announced for next week: AJ Styles vs. Grayson Waller, Xyon Quinn vs. Santos Escobar, and Pete Dunne vs. Tony D’Angelo in a crowbar on a pole match.

Entrances for the main even ttook place. Vic Joseph noted that the main event will be commercial free. Bron Breakker made his entrance where he kicked a giant foam X in half. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in ring introductions. The match started with 18 minutes in allotted time on the DVR…

4. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT Championship. Joseph pointed out that Ciampa was playing mind games with the Steiner tie dye colors on his tights. Breakker hit Ciampa with a nice delayed vertical suplex. Ciampa rolled to ringside to recollect. Ciampa then walked right into another delayed vertical suplex. Ciampa caught Breakker with a back elbow. Ciampa then hit Breaker in the head with a boot rake. Breakker escaped the 10 punches in the corner with an atomic drop.

Breakker ran the ropes and walked into a dropkick from Ciampa. Joseph noted that its rare to see Ciampa do a dropkick. Breakker went for a crossbody, but Ciampa simply ducked it. Ciampa gave Breakker a knee to knock him off the apron. Ciampa then hit Breakker with a corkscrew plancha, which the commentary team pointed out was uncharacteristic to Ciampa. The crowd had dueling Psycho Killer and Stiner bark chants. Breakker backdropped Ciampa for a moment of respite during a sleeper.

Breakker recovered and hit Ciampa with a corner splash. Breakker reversed Ciampa with a spinebuster. Breakker went for a Frankensteiner, but he was crotched and put in the Tree of Woe. Ciampa put the boots to Breakker and gave him a baseball slide. Breakker lowered his weight to block a Fairy Tale Ending. Brakker planted Ciampa with a spinebuster. Breakker hit Ciampa with a sweet standing moonsault for a two count.

Breakker went for a dive but he was chopped off the top rope. Ciampa hit Breakker with a running knee. Ciampa was bleeding from the eye at this point. Ciampa dragged Breakker in the ring and hit him with a knee. Ciampa went for another knee, but walked right into a spear. Breakker and Ciampa traded fatigued strikes. Ciampa got the upper hand with a combination. Breakker reversed a knee into a standing Frankensteiner for the two count.

[Overrun] Breakker went for his finisher but Ciampa escaped and hit Breakker with Willow’s Bell for a two count. Ciampa put Breakker in a half crab and Joseph noted that Breakker might have an injured leg from a trip earlier in the match. Ciampa pulled off the floor mat to expose the concrete. Breakker escaped a Willow’s Bell and then gave Ciampa an Alabama Slam through the table. Breakker hit Ciampa with his Military Press Power Slam finisher. Ciamp got a hand on the bottom rope to break the pin.

Ciampa held on to the ropes for a moment of respite. When Breakker went for a kick, Ciampa slingshotted the rope into Breakker’s balls. Ciampa gave Breakker Two running knees to soften him up. Ciampa hit Breakker with the Fairy Tale Ending. Breakker kicked out at two. Ciampa went for a top rope air raid crash, but Breakker shoved Ciampa off. Breakker hit Ciampa with a diving bulldog. Breakker put Ciampa in the Steiner Recliner. Ciampa tapped out for the loss.

Bron Breakker defeated Tommaso Ciampa via submission in 15:27 to become the new NXT Champion.

Highlights from the match aired. Joseph noted that it’s rare to see Ciampa tap out. Joseph noted that the pup has become a dog faced gremlin and the new face of NXT. NXT closed…

John’s Thoughts: Amazing match that could have gone either way. To reiterate, Bron Steiner has less than a year of pro wrestling experience and has only been wrestling in front of crowds for just a few months. Breakker does have the advantage of having a legendary wrestling uncle and father, but he’s picking things up way too quickly and that’s fun to watch. Heck, Charlotte Flair didn’t pick things up in NXT this fast. Back to the match composition, it was stellar, and I would have been ok if they went with Ciampa playing dirty to win (which they teased with the ropes to the balls). I hope we get one more match between these two via Ciampa’s rematch.

If this match was that good, how good would a 3rd act be? Either that or they remove the moth balls off of Samoa Joe and get Joe back on TV. Overall, this was a really good themed episode of NXT. Every advertised segment delivered and NXT stepped back from doing anything experimental. I’ll be by in a bit with my member’s exclusive audio review.

NXT 2.0 Poll: Grade the January 4 New Year’s Evil edition

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Readers Comments (3)

  1. Another really good show and the right decision for the future of NXT/WWE.

    Steiner will be a star in the business for as long as he wants to be.

  2. Solid show. Does wwe call them a ‘trios’ match?

  3. There wasn’t one part of this show that I hated. Wagner certainly needs some work but I like the character. Sometimes I have to remind myself that some of these talents wouldn’t yet be on TV during the Black and Gold days. I have to expect some roughness as not everyone is a natural like Bron.

    But this special was what it should be – mostly the talents who have shown polish highlighted in the ring. I like that this adds incentive to those not yet being extensively featured, If you work hard and show something, someday you can have a big match on New Year’s Evil, Halloween Havoc, etc.
    I just can’t believe how young Cora Jade is and how much real potential she has. If she stays healthy and motivated, she can be a mainstay for 10-15 years. It will be I fun watching her character evolve, as that is another part of the equation. Anyway, Mandy winning made perfect sense as Toxic Attraction must continue to look strong. I assume Dolan and Jayne are away for COVID reasons. I wonder if the ultimate plan is to keep them as a group or for one of them to get “belt envy” and turn on Mandy.
    Carmelo vs. Bron has to happen before either is promoted to the main roster.
    Overall, NXT 2.0 is starting to find its groove a bit.

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