1/18 NXT 2.0 results: Moore’s review of Walter vs. Roderick Strong, Julius Creed and Brutus Creed vs. Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament match, Kay Lee Ray vs. Ivy Nile, Tony D’Angelo’s memorial service for Pete Dunne

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

NXT 2.0 TV 
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live January 18, 2022 on USA Network

A red car drove up to the WWE Performance Center parking lot. LA Knight emerged and headed to the ring, chatting with wrestlers along the way…

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett were on commentary…

LA Knight made his entrance to the WWE Performance Center ring. Knight and the crowd traded “Yeah” chants. Knight said it was time to get to business. He called out Grayson Waller. Waller wouldn’t come out. Knight said he expected that he only shows up when Knight turns his back. Knight said Waller has to understand that every time he comes out every week he hears “Grayson Sucks” from the crowd. He said that as much as that chaps his ass is the name of the man who’s going to drop him on his head with everybody chanting “LA Knight”.

Knight brought up Waller sabotaging his car at Halloween Havoc and not getting the job done. Knight said that Waller did one move at War Games and didn’t get the job done. Knight said that woman one time turned Waller down because she knew Waller couldn’t get the job done. Grayson Waller made his entrance in ring gear. Waller said he had a restraining order so Knight can’t touch him. Waller said Knight was a dork last week for attacking him for no reason at all. Waller said his lawyers said for his and Knight’s safety, the restraining order had to happen. Waller handed Knight the restraining order and said that if Knight gets in 50 feet of him, he’s arrested.

Waller mocked Knight’s “Yeah” catchphrase and mocked the distance of the restraining order by doing his crossover thing. The crowd chanted for Knight to rip the restraining order. Knight said he may have a restraining order against Knight, but not “him”. Dexter Lumis’s entrance theme played. Waller expected Lumis to appear from the entrance but Lumis appeared from the ring area. Waller escaped Lumis’s choke. Knight said Waller can either dissolve the restraining order and get his head dropped on by Knight, or get choked out by Lumis. Vic Joseph said Waller will have to make a choice after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Good performances from Knight and Waller. Knight has come a long way as a babyface from his “Rising” days (when he entered TNA right after his first WWE release). Knight was very solid here and did a good job getting the crowd engaged. This guy is main roster ready, but the one thing going against him may be age (he’s 39, but he also might be the same age as Damian Priest). Waller continues to take the ball that WWE has given him and run with it. He’s a wonderful pest heel. Now it’s time to give this pest heel some in-ring credibility because fans need to see this guy as a threat to thwart their heroes.

1. Grayson Waller vs. Dexter Lumis. Joseph noted that Waller chose to keep the restraining order active so he has to wrestle Lumis. Lumis dominated for a stretch with power moves. Waller got the advantage after targeting Lumis’s left arm. Lumis came back with a suplex and neckbreaker. Waller hit Lumis with a neckbreaker and then wrenched Lumis’s left arm over the top rope. Waller hit Lumis with a baseball slide into a lariat. The show cut to Picture-in-Picture.[c]

Waller locked Lumis in a cravate which Lumis escaped. Lumis came back with lariats (while selling the left arm lariats). Lumis hit Waller with a backdrop. Lumis hit Waller with a deadlift Suplex followed by a kip up into a leg drop. Lumis hit Waller with a sitout uranage. Waller escaped Lumis’s submission by rolling to ringside. Waller shoved Lumis into the barricade. Suddenly, a random long haired wrestler in a suit showed up. The large man shoved Lumis around and tossed him back in the ring. Waller hit Lumis with the rolling stunner for the win.

Grayson Waller defeated Dexter Lumis via pinfall in 10:01. 

Highlights from the match aired. After the highlights, Waller said the big man was his insurance policy…

John’s Thoughts: Odd for them to not to mention that Lumis has a grudge against Waller due to Waller beating up his “father”-in-law Johnny Gargano (Even if Gargano’s not coming back, they used Gargano to put heat on Waller. Why not let that heat simmer?). That said, the match was still solid. Waller’s upside is not only as a heel on the mic, but his offense is very innovative and stands out as different from other high flyers like him. It does look like they might be leaning more “pest” with Waller though, given that they gave him an “Insurance policy”. Lumis is fine in the gatekeeper role. He’s almost a modern day Kane, in gimmick and role.

The show cut to the video that appeared on WWE’s twitter where Malcolm Bivens was about to call Imperium a bunch of bitches, but then called them body guys when WALTER showed up and shoved him against a locker. This led to Roderick Strong showing up and saying he’s not scared of WALTER. This would lead to this week’s main event, Roderick Strong vs. WALTER…

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in from ringside to introduce the men’s Dusty Classic. A video aired to introduce the Dusty Tag Classic tag teams…

Entrances for the first Dusty Rhodes Classic match aired…[c]

Wes Lee and Nash Carter, MSK, were backstage watching the match. They said they were hype to wrestle Jacket Time next week. Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza showed up and said that if MSK can make it to Jacket Time they will get beat by Legado Del Fantasma. Carter said that Legado better not look past Enofe and Blade…

John’s Thoughts: Hmmmm… I hope they didn’t foreshadow LDF advancing with that last segment (LDF advancing would have meant more if they didn’t air that segment). The reason being, is I think that Enofe and Blade looked great last week and this tag division is in need of fresh and fun tag teams. I’d be ok with the swerve of Enofe and Blade upsetting Legado.

2. “The Creed Brothers” Julius and Brutus Creed (w/Malcolm Bivens) vs. Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen in a first round Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Match. Jensen gave Brutus a knee to the face, which knocked out his mouth guard. Jensen took down Brutus and worked on him with methodical offense. Briggs tagged in and the two country boys did tandem move. Brutus managed to tag in Julius. Briggs tackled Julius to his corner and tagged back in Jensen to continue the advantage. Brutus tagged in and the Creeds managed to backdrop Jensen to ringside.

Julius planted Jensen with a sick spinebuster. Brutus tagged in and Julius Gutwrench Suplexed him on Jensen. Julius tagged back in and tackled Jensen into the second rope. Jensen sidestepped, sending Julius, throat first, into the rope. Briggs tagged in and gave Julius a series of moves. Briggs dumped Julius to ringside and gave Brutus a chokeslam. Julius broke up the pin. Julius tackled Jensen into the barricade, breaking the barricade. Brutus gave Briggs a press slam which Julius seamlessly connected with a basement lariat to give Julius the win.

The Creed Brothers defeated Briggs and Jensen via pinfall in 5:33 to advance to the semi-finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. 

A Dante Chen interview aired. Chen talked about being the first Singaporean to debut in WWE in September last year. He said he’s been off TV due to a leg injury. He said he had to watch his friends and co-workers compete while on the sidelines. He said his father passed away two months ago. He said he’s glad his father was able to see his debut match. He said he’s going to do his father and country proud and as of right now he’s back…[c]

John’s Thoughts: The Creeds won as expected, but I’m still not a fan of them selling so much to scrub tag teams. Jensen and Briggs can be a good tag team, but in their caricature gimmicks, they’re scrubs (Also, is there a reason why Briggs has to wear that unflattering country cosplay? Maybe someone backstage isn’t a fan of his tattoos). I think the longer match would have worked better for the semi-final or final, but the Creeds really need to get built back up as dominant, kinda like how WWE built up the Authors of Pain. Following that, I did like the Dante Chen interview to show us why he was gone for so long. He came off as personable and the promo really reminded me of the NXT 1.0 character pieces that did a good job acclimating the wrestlers to the fans.

Walter, Marcel Barthel, and Fabian Aichner were chatting with each other in a foreign language (German?). Walter talked about how Barthel and Aichner have been proudly waving the Imperium flag while he’s been oversees but now it’s time for Imperium to take over. They spoke a bit more. WALTER then ended the conversation by saying that to imperium the ring is sacred…

3. Dante Chen vs. Guru Raj. Raj dominated the early chain wrestling sequence. Chen dumped Raj to ringside and hit him with a plancha. Duke Hudson showed up and gave Chen a big boot. He also tossed aside Raj.

Dante Chen vs. Guru Raj ended in an apparent no-contest in 0:58.

Duke Hudson now has a buzzcut. Duke Hudson gave Chen a Power Bomb in the ring. He then followed up with ground and pound. Referees ran out to tell Hudson to head to the back. Hudson went to the camera and said “Duke hudson’s back! So stay out of my way!”…

Joe Gacy was chatting with Harland talking about how they could have been in the Dusty Classic. He said he’s a bit disappointed. Odyssey Jones walked up to Gacy and said that a lot of what Gacy says is a bunch of crap. Gacy noticed that Jones was on crutches and wondered how Jones was doing. Jones said it was just a training injury and he’ll be back in a few weeks. Gacy held the door open so Odyssey could go through. Gacy gave Harland a few words of encouragement. Harland stared at the door that Jones walked through…

Tony D’Angelo was walking backstage holding a reef. Joseph hyped D’Angelo’s “memorial” of Pete Dunne for after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Nice simple beatdown of Chen by Hudson. Hudson looked badass. I hope his simpler look means he dropped the generic poker guy gimmick.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed NXT Champion Bron Breaker about how he’s feeling as NXT champion. He said he’s feeling it and he’s ready. McKenzie pointed out Santos Escobar being a potential first opponent. Elektra Lopez tried to talk to Breakker, but Breakker cut her off and said he’s not interested in what she’s going to say. Santos Escobar showed up and said that while Breakker is Champion he’s not ready to carry the brand on his shouldesr. Escobar said NXT 2.0 will look better with the championship around his waist. Breakker got in Escobar’s face and told him to give him an excuse to kick his ass. Escobar called Breakker a “young champion” and that Breakker needs to learn that they will end up fighting on Escobar’s time, not Breakker’s…

[Hour Two] Tony D’Angelo was in the ring with a casket. There was a picture of Pete Dunne doing his signature shrug. D’Angelo said it was a funeral to celebrate the career of the Bruiserweight Petey “Poppins”. He said that Petey didn’t listen to nobody and had to be taught a lesson by D’Angelo. D’Angelo talked about his cousin telling him to take care of business by any means necessary. Tony said this was going to be a closed casket service because nobody wants to see Pete’s face after he got smashed in the skull. He said we can’t mourn forever so we can move on to bigger and better things.

D’Angelo said he beat one of the most decorated champions in NXT history and is now looking for is own gold around his own waist. He said he’s going after the North American Championship. Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams appeared from the Crow’s Nest. Melo talked about how his memorial service of the Cruiserweight title was better last week. Trick said he thought Tony and Melo were boys. Tony said he had his own boys, as he listed a bunch of generic mafia names. Trick mocked the names by saying Tony knows people like Ben, Jerry, Larry, Moe, and Joe and that they’re all skinny like Vic Joseph. Melo said that Tony better keep Melo’s business out of his mouth or else they’d be a closed casket memorial service for Tony.

Cameron Grimes made his entrance. Grimes said that Tony has to go to the back of the line. Grimes said he looked Melo in the eyes last week and told him he’s coming for the North American Championship. Grimes talked about how the rental company called Grimes to pay for damages on the car. Trick yelled that he and Melo own that car. Melo proposed that Grimes and D’Angelo wrestle for a chance to maybe challenge for the North American title. Grimes said he’d challenge anyone because he’s a rocket that’s going to the… D’Angelo tried to blindside him, but Grimes saw it coming. Grimes smashed the Pete Dunne picture over the head of D’Angelo to leave him on his behind. Grimes left the ring with his theme playing…

Brigg and Jensen were disappointed backstage. Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter were backstage cheering them up and asking them to go hang out at the bar for drinks. Wendy Choo was sleeping on the top of a locker saying that Jensen was in love. Jensen acted nervous and tried to talk himself out of the claim…[c]

John’s Thoughts: The “memorial portion” of the promo was a bit generic, but I like the title picture they set up for the North American Championship. I mentioned for several weeks that Trick has continued to shine on the microphone, going from incomprehensible to extremely witty. Bonus points for him calling out D’Angelo on some of the generic parts of his gimmick. Grimes was fine, but I didn’t like that he reverted back to his comedic tone this week. I liked last week when he would shift between serious and comedic, and I feel going full-comedy is just going to continue to hold him back.

An introductory vignette aired for Valentina Feroz and Yulisa Leon. Feroz is a Judo and Jujitsu black belt and champion from Brazil. Leon is the first female Mexican Born WWE star. Leon also talked about how she won weight lifting championships and was supposed to go to the Olympics. They talked about how they are coming after the tag team championships…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Feroz and Leon. Before they can get a sentence out, Dakota Kai showed up to laugh at them. Kai repeated what she told MSK last week in that success will break up friendships. Leon and Feroz didn’t like that. Kai challenged them to a fight later on. Leon accepted…

Kay Lee Ray made her entrance. A replay aired of Ray smashing up Mandy Rose’s photoshoot set. Ivy Nile was already in the ring…

4. Kay Lee Ray vs. Ivy Nile (w/Malcolm Bivens). Nile and Ray had a stalemate during the initial collar and elbow. Nile rolled Ray into a shoulder lock. Ray escaped and gave Nile chops. Ray gave Nile a dropkick and got a two count. Nile gave Ray a snapmare and jump kick for a two count. Nile locked Ray in a headscissors which she kept held for a stretch. Ray used a cartwheel to escape the move. Ray gave Nile a front suplex for a two count. Joseph noted that Ray was rooting for fellow Scot, Doudrop, in her upcoming WWE Raw Women’s Title match against Becky Lynch.

Nile hit Ray with a modified pile driver for a two count. Ray came back with a superkick. Ray went for the Gory Bomb, but Mandy Rose got up on the apron for the distraction. Ray knocked Rose off the apron. Ray went back for the Gory Bomb, but Nile rolled up Ray for the win.

Ivy Nile defeated Kay Lee Ray via pinfall in 4:25.

Ray beat up Rose for a bit. Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne ran out and beat down Ray. Persia Pirotta and Indi Hartwell ran out to beat down Dolan and Jayne. Pirotta gave Jayne a Snake Eyes. The segment ended after Ray gave Jayne a superkick. The faces stood tall in the ring to taunt Toxic Attraction…

The camera cut backstage to show Harland standing over an injured Odyssey Jones. Harland was holding a crutch and presumably attacked Jones. Jones was yelling that his knee was hurt. Harland and Gacy walked away calmly…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A tricky match too book because they’re pushing Ray as the next contender for the title and Ivy Nile is being presented as an up-and-coming buzzsaw. They did they best they can with the circumstances, protecting Ray with the interference while keeping Nile’s undefeated streak intact. Given the sample size of this match, Nile isn’t quite ready for a longform Takeover match quite yet, but she’ll get there. She’s solid, and has a unique look and presentation that will carry her to success.

A Sarray promo package aired. She now is sporting pigtails and has more of a “schoolgirl” look. She talked about how 2021 didn’t go as planned. She said she returned to Japan to recover mentally and physically. Sarray said she found a medallion that her grandma gave her. She said her grandma told her to never to give up and that her grandma was her hero. She said the necklace reminded her of where she came from. She said in the ring she’s the Warrior of the Sun and outside of the ring she’s Sarray. She said she’s going to return to NXT with new passion and energy…

John’s Thoughts: Wow! That was actually really good. Ever since Sarray debuted, I’ve been criticizing her for being very bland and generic. The dark hair and schoolgirl look really works for her over the “Happy to be here babyface” look. Her promo was actually really good in the video with great enunciation. I’m excited to see Sarray return, and this is coming from the person that said she was EXTREMELY overrated based on the way NXT pushed her. Other note, I do like her whole medallion as it explains her whole “warrior of the sun” thing.

Legado Del Fantasma made their entrance.

5. “Legado Del Fantasma” Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza (w/Elektra Lopez, Santos Escobar) vs. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade in a first round match of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Blade took down Wilde with an armbar. Enofe tagged in and hit Wilde with a crossbody for a two count. Mendoza tagged in and hit Enofe with a gamengiri. Legado hit Enofe with a double spinebuster and dropkick to give Mendoza a two count.

Enofe escaped a suplex and tagged in Blade. Blade rallied against Mendoza with strikes. Escobar tried to get on the apron for the distraction but Bron Breakker dragged him down to distract Wilde and Mendoza. Blade rolled up Mendoza for the win.

Malik Blade and Edris Enofe defeated Legado Del Fantasma via pinfall in 3:17 to advance to the semi finals of the Dusty Rhodes tag team classic.

Vic Joseph noted that this was a Bracket-Buster because Legado were the hands-down favorites. Escobar was sitting on the ramp, yelling at Breakker…

Roderick Strong was shadowboxing backstage. Malcolm Bivens talked about how Diamond Mine is 2-0 tonight and Strong will end the night beating the leader of Imperium. Bivens hyped up the NXT main event…

John’s Thoughts: I’m glad they decided to go with Enofe and Blade moving on and they found a way to utilize that to spark the Breakker vs. Escobar feud. Here’s hoping they don’t try to get to fancy with it (like that stupid love storyline involving Elektra Lopez). Just allow Breakker and Escobar to tell a serious story which both guys excel at. We saw Breakker can handle his end in his feud with Ciampa and Escobar is one of the best overall wrestlers in the world.

Solo Sikoa talked about how his bloodline came from warriors and he’s not the only person who can call upon the past. He took off his bandage to reveal burns on the right side of his face. He painted lines on the left side on his face and said he’s going to war next week…

5. Dakota Kai vs. Yulisa Leon (w/Valentina Feroz). Leon took down Kai with a belly to back suplex. Leon rolled up Kai for a one count. Kai slammed Leon’s face into the second buckle. Kai gave Leon an axe kick. Kai worked on Leon with methodical offense. Kai hit Leon with a face wash kick for a two count. Kai punched Leon in the jaw to send her ringside. Feroz yelled at kai and dodged a few strikes from Kai. Leon tossed Kai back in the ring.

Leon hit Kai with a series of lariats. Leon hit Kai with a gutwrench suplex. Leon hit Kai with a nice bridged Fallaway Slam. Kai hit Feroz with a Scorpion Kick and corner Yakuza Kick for the victory.

Dakota Kai defeated Yulisa Leon via pinfall in 4:05. 

Kai attacked Feroz after the match. Leon dragged Feroz up the ramp to safety…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Raquel Gonzalez about her next steps after losing at New Years Evil. Gonzalez said she’s not going to make a big deal over not being pinned at New Years Evil because she’s the Chingona and is not going to make excuses. Cora Jade showed up and asked Gonzalez if she wants to be back-to-back Dusty Classic Champion. Gonzalez said she likes Jade, but Thanks but No Thanks. Gonzalez left. Jade said “I’ll convince her, you’ll see”…

WALTER made his entrance…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Hmmm… The whole “reluctant partner” storyline with Jade and Gonzalez seems forced, but we’ll see if they can make it work. What’s odd is Dakota Kai is directionless. They just have her wandering around backstage talking to random tag teams about breaking up. Tough, because she’s on of the top workhorses in all of WWE.

Enofe and Blade were ecstatic backstage. They thanked Breakker for his help but he told them it was all them…

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett announced the following segments for next week: Boa vs. Solo Sikoa in a No-DQ match, Cameron Grimes vs. Tony D’Angelo in a number one contenders match for the NA Championship, musician Ollie Jay having a musical performance, and Toxic Attraction vs. Indi Hartwell, Persia Pirotta, and Kay Lee Ray.

Roderick Strong made his entrance with Malcolm Bivens…

6. WALTER vs. Roderick Strong (w/Malcolm Bivens). Strong went to the ropes for separation early on. Strong fended off Walter with an octopus defense. Walter managed to drag Strong down and get a knee on Strong’s back. Strong got to his feet and put Walter in a headlock. Walter no sold Strong’s chop to the chest. Strong ran to the ropes for separation again. Strong put Walter in a side headlock. Strong hit Walter with a strong chop. Walter slammed Strong to the mat with one of his powerful chops. Walter twisted Strong’s head with a headscissor.

Walter took down Strong with a Yakuza Kick. Walter dragged Bivens to the apron for being annoying. Strong gave Walter a chop block and baseball slide. Strong went for another baseball slide, but Walter gave Strong a back suplex on the apron heading into picture-in-picture. [c]

[Overrun] Strong fended off Walter with a big boot. Strong sent Walter into the corner with a missile dropkickk. Strong hit Walter with a few chops. Walter adjusted his weight to block an Angle Slam. Walter locked Strong in a sleeper. Strong escaped with a Jawbreaker. Walter locked back in the headlock. Strong escaped with joint manipulation and a mule kick. Strong hit Walter with his driveby elbows. Walter countered a driveby elbow with a lariat.

Walter chopped Strong off the top rope. Strong staggered Walter on the top rope with an enzuigiri. Strong hit Walter with a Superplex. Strong got a hand on Walter and got a two count. Walter and Strong traded strikes. with Strong getting the upper hand. Strong hit Walter with driveby elbows and a running knee for a two count. Walter recovered and slapped the spit out of Strong with a chest slap.

Strong went for a Butterfly suplex, but Walter slammed Strong into the buckle and followed up with a backdrop. Walter hit the power bomb for the victory.

WALTER defeated Roderick Strong via pinfall in 12:15. 

Highlights from the match aired. Walter cut off the ring announcer and announced himself as winner. Barthel and Aichner ran out to beat down Strong. Julius and Brutus Creed ran out to even the numbers. Diamond Mine and Imperium brawled to close the show…

Writer Update: After the match, Walter cut off the ring announcer to announce his new WWE Copyright Name, “Gunther” (Well? Couldn’t they have just spelled WALTER as “Walter” and then copyright the non-all-caps version? Oh! Or go back to his old indie name of “Big Daddy WALTER”!!! Do we call him GUNTHER?)

John’s Thoughts: Great spectacle as usual when Walter shows up in the US. Now that Walter is full-time in the US, I hope they still keep his singles matches rare. Part of the legend and attraction of WALTER is that they don’t overexpose him to the audience and all his matches feel special. Though we all know Strong has no chance (as he usually does), he’s protected a bit here because noone usually stands a chance in Walter singles matches. I do hope NXT does what Impact is doing with Chris Sabin in terms of Gatekeepers. Sabin picks up wins against main eventers there, thus making matches where he has to job seem more compelling. I don’t wanna see Strong fall into the Kassius Ohno role where he has good matches, but the matches are pointless due to being a foregone conclusion.

A pretty good overall show of NXT tonight. Nothing was cringeworthy and NXT got to push forward some stories. Having a Walter match on the show already makes it must see and Walter delivered as usual. It’s interesting too. Walter sold a lot, but didn’t look weak because his opponents look like they have to give it their all, just to get a few shots in on him. The Dusty Rhodes Classic matches were solid too. My favorite is the Creeds to go over because I see that as a way to give them back their mojo after taking a handful of losses in recent months.

NXT 2.0 Poll: Grade the January 18 edition

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. WALTER v. Bron Steiner, I mean Breakker at.. umm is there a Mania Takeover this year?

  2. WALTER is just different. He feels like the perfect mesh of the classic foreign heel with a modern take that just fits him.

    The best thing about NXT 2.0 is you don’t have 30 of the same guys working the same style and cutting the same promo every week. It’s not a great show, but this is the closest thing to classic pro wrestling in years.

  3. Next to Page/Danielson
    WALTER/Strong match of the year so far.

  4. Nile vs. Ray was difficult to book? Nah, just have a distraction followed by a roll-up. Nobody ever gets bored of those!

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