By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT 2.0 TV “Vengeance Day”
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live February 15, 2022 on Syfy Network
[Hour One] A Valentine’s Day themed intro video aired for the Vengence Day themed show. The video featured Toxic Attraction texting each other and showing off their sex appeal…
Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett were on commentary…
Entrances for the opening match aired. Tony D’Angelo pulled up to his match in a car…
1. Pete Dunne vs. Tony D’Angelo in a Weaponized Cage Match. Dunne manhandled D’Angelo against the cage upon his entry. Dunne then broke a steel chair by hitting it on the back of D’Angelo. D’Angelo made a comeback with a double leg takedown. D’Angelo hit Dunne with a Falcon Arrow on a trash can. D’Angelo hit Dunne with a nice kendo stick strike to the back. D’Angelo tried to get something out of the tool box, but Dunne stomped on the lid to smash D’Angelo’s hand. Dunne bent D’Angelo’s fingers with a wrench.
D’Angelo made a comeback after spraying Dunne with a fire extinguisher. D’Angelo hit Dunne with a tightrope superplex against the cage. D’Angelo took out zip ties to handcuff Dunne. D’Angelo fishhooked Dunne with a hammer. A handcuffed Dunne gave D’Angelo a headbutt and then he got a handless triangle choke. D’Angelo reversed the hold with a power bomb and DDT. Dunne kicked out at two, still handcuffed. D’Angelo tried to power bomb Dunne through a table, but Dunne managed to use his handcuffed arms to put D’Angelo in a guillotine choke.
D’Angelo escaped by using pliers to set Dunne free from the zip tie cuffs. Dunne gave D’Angelo a gamengiri and then power bombed him through a table. D’Angelo kicked out at two. D’Angelo tried to go for the crowbar, but Dunne stompped on it and smashed a cricket bat on D’Angelo’s back. Dunne hit D’Angelo with the Bitter End. D’Angelo kicked out of Dunne’s finisher. D’Angelo low blowed Dunne and hit Dunne with a twisting Fisherman buster for a great nearfall.
Dunne found a hidden crowbar against the cage. Dunne smashed D’Angelo twice with a crowbar. Dunne hit D’Angelo with the Bitter End for the win.
Pete Dunne defeated Tony D’Angelo via pinfall in 9:52 to win the Weaponized Cage Match.
John’s Thoughts: Another great match between Dunne and D’Angelo. Again, I’m astonished that D’Angelo is this good this quick in his wrestling career. His series against Pete Dunne has been a treat to watch and it’s shocking that D’Angelo is still in his first year of pro wrestling. This guy is my early pick for 2022 End of the Year Rookie of the Year in pro wrestling. This was a fun hardcore match, and usually Lethal Lockdowns don’t do much for me. This was creative and Takeover worthy. Dunne goes over strong and D’Angelo gains something for being one of the few people to kick out of the Bitter End. If this were a Takeover, in my opinion, this match would have been a great opener for a Takeover show (or a high-energy buffer).
A video aired of Raquel Gonzalez waking up Cora Jade early in the morning to head to the WWE Performance Center to train for the Dusty Classic. A training montage aired. For some reason, Gonzalez got mad when Jade ate a pop tart. Jade was playing the role of plucky little best friend. Both women did random Judo training in a park. Gonzalez told Jade that they will be training like this every day…
Wade Barrett and Vic Joseph checked in on commentary. Barrett joked that Joseph was dressed like Joe Burrow and that Burrow is a loser like Joseph. They sent the show to McKenzie Mitchell who hyped up the Creed Brothers vs. MSK Dusty Classic Finals. The show cut to Malcolm Bivens and The Creeds cutting a promo, stating their case to win the Dusty Classic. They then cut to Wes Lee and Nash Carter stating their case to win…
Entrances for the women’s tag team championship match. Toxic Attraction jumped Pirotta and Hartwell during the face team’s entrance. Jayne and Dolan gave their opponents cannonballs. The bell rang once Pirotta and Jayne were alone in the ring…
John’s Thoughts: I give Dolan credit for coming off very authentic in terms of how she carries herself as a personality, but Jacy Jayne is really coming into her own in that field to. She always seems to be having a lot of fun ever since she got her push. The character comes off as extremely happy and it’s making her come off well on TV.
2. “Toxic Attraction” Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne (w/NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose) vs. Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships. Pirotta gave Jayne a fallaway slam early on. Hartwell tagged in and gave Jayne a lariat. Dolan tagged in and hit Hartwell with a Yakuza Kick to knock her off the top rope. Rose tossed Hartwell back in the ring. The ref saw it and ejected Rose. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
Hartwell hit Jayne with a facebuster for a moment of respite. Pirotta and Dolan tagged in with Pirotta having momentum. Pirotta hit Dolan with Snake Eyes and a German Suplex. Jayne tried to put Pirotta in a sleeper but Pirotta put her on the top rope. Pirotta lifted Jayne and Dolan at the same time and hit them with a Samoan Drop. Pirotta got a two count off Dolan. Hartwell hit Dolan with a spinebuster. Jayne broke up the subsequent pin.
Jayne tosssed Pirotta into the steel steps. Pirotta tried to hit her finisher, the slingshot elbow drop, but Jayne tripped Hartwell off the slingshot. Dolan hit Hartwell with a Question Mark Kick for a two count. Jayne and Dolan hit Hartwell with a high low combination (Sweep and Yakuza Kick) to give Jayne the win for her team.
Toxic Attraction defeated Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta via pinfall in 7:54 to retain the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships.
Rose returned to the ring and all three women posed with their title belts…
Amari Miller and Wendy Choo were chatting backstage. Choo asked Miller if she has a tag partner for the Dusty Classic. Miller told Choo that Choo was late and that she already picked a tag partner. After Miller left, Choo walked up to Dakota Kai and called Kai a loser. Choo asked Kai to be her tag partner. Kai was talking to herself like a crazy person. Choo said she’d wait until Kai figures things out…
Grayson Waller and Sanga were outside with police officers that looked like they might be indie wrestlers. You could tell they were police because of the police lights. Joseph wondered if we were going to see the public arrest of LA Knight…
An ad aired for WWE’s 205 Live replacement, NXT: Level Up, aired…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A really fun women’s tag team match. This was a good win for Toxic Attraction to give them some credibility. They are borderline stooges for Mandy Rose, so it can only benefit them to get some credible wins on their own in competitive matches. Hartwell and Pirotta always look solid, but it wasn’t their match to win. Hartwell needs a story to sink her teeth into because she’s been on ice since her wrestling wedding with Dexter Lumis. Side note, Jacy Jayne has really benefited from the Toxic Attraction repackage. What stands out with her is she always seems to be having the time of her life out there during her entrance and exit, and in the ring she emotes very well. Jayne might be a dark horse person to look out for in the future. Gigi Dolan, of coruse, has already proven on the indies that she has it in the ring, and especially on the mic.
A Briggs and Jensen skit aired where they hung out at a bar. Apparently, Jensen failed on his date because he let Kayden Carter pay for her own meal. He also got friend zoned with Carter calling him a “brother”. NXT Wrestler Fallon Henley was the bartender of the bar. Briggs recapped Jensen’s recap. Henley confirmed that Jensen got friend zoned. Jensen let out a loud “nooo!”…
John’s Thoughts: These Briggs and Jensen skits don’t do much for me, but I thought this was one of the better ones. Jensen is still a dork, but Briggs and Henley added some character to this skit.
LA Knight made his entrance in street clothes for a promo. Before he could say anything, Grayson Waller made his entrance. He was flanked by “Police”. Waller ordered the police to arrest Knight. Waller showed the cops footage of what set up the restraining order, Knight attacking Waller after Waller’s match with AJ. Waller then said he got anxiety after Knight attacked him last week. Knight took Waller’s envelope. Knight said even though he has the right to remain silent, he has the right to defend himself. Knight said he knew that Waller would bring his own “evidence” and he has his own evidence against Waller.
Knight had the production truck show Waller attacking Knight two weeks ago with a rolling stunner. Knight noted that on page two of the restraining order it says that Waller was not allowed to touch LA Knight. Knight said the order was now not worth the paper it is written on “you dumb son of a bitch”. Waller said in Australia these deals are usually one way. The cops walked off. Waller pleaded that he tripped on the barricade, not attack Knight. Waller then came to his senses that the restraining order was void. Knight gave Waller ground and pound and put the boots to him. Knight knocked Sanga off the apron and tossed Waller into him. Knight then said that next week Waller will face him… yeah…
Persia Pirotta was consoling Indi Hartwell backstage. Pirotta said they can get another chance in the Dusty Classic. Hartwell hugged Dexter Lumis and walked off with him. Pirotta looked a bit peeved. Duke Hudson showed up and escorted Persia Pirotta out of the room…
Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were shown getting ready in one room. Cameron Grimes was shown also getting ready…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A paint-by-numbers segment where you have to turn your brain off in terms of wrestling logic. That said, it was fine for what it was to get to the expected Knight and Waller match.
[Hour Two] Entrances for the North American Championship match aired. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in ring introductions…
3. Carmelo Hayes (w/Trick Williams) vs. Cameron Grimes for the NXT North American Championship. The match started off with an extended chain wrestling sequence. Both men traded advantage off armdrags and armbars. Grimes got the advantage after a roundhouse kick and a backdrop. Trick distracted Cameron which allowed Melo to nail Grimes with a thrust kick. Melo took down Grimes with a running lariat. Grimes dumped Melo to ringside. Trick distracted Grimes which allowed Melo to recover and trip up Grimes off his signature PK. Melo slammed Grimes to the mat heading into picture-in-picture.[c]
Melo worked on Grimes with methodical offense back from the break. The replay showed that Trick Williams got cheap shots in on Grimes during the break while Melo distracted the ref. Grimes got a moment of respite after hitting Melo with his signature Spanish Fly Power Slam. Melo and Grimes traded fighting spirit punches. Melo hit Grimes with a throat punch. Grimes came back with a Frankendriver. Grimes hit Melo with a few axe handle clotheslines. Grimes hit Melo with a sidewalk slam for a two count.
Melo reversed a Superman Punch into a Codebreaker. Melo got a two count off Grimes. Melo tried to taunt Grimes. Grimes caught Melo with a superkick for a two count. Grimes tried to hit Melo with a few roundhouse kicks but Williams got on the apron. Grimes tossed Melo into Williams and hit Melo with a Poisonrana. Grimes hit Melo with a high crossbody for a good nearfall. Melo rolled to ringside to avoide a cave in. Grimes hit Williams with a cave in from the apron. Melo tossed Grimes into the barricade.
Melo talked to the NA belt and said “I’m not leaving you”. Melo hit Grimes with a La Mistica slam for a two count. Melo put Grimes in a crossface. Williams pulled the rope back to prevent the rope break. Grimes rolled up Melo for the break. Melo whiplashed Grimes against the rope and hit Grimes with his top rope scissors kick for the win.
Carmelo Hayes defeated Cameron Grimes via pinfall in 15:57 to retain the NXT North American Championship.
Highlights from the match aired…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Great match between two smart in-ring technicians. This match didn’t quite hit the final gear that I think these two are capable of, and that’s a good thing because I would like to see these two get a chance to tear things up on a Takeover show. What did take this match a step back from being “great” was the Picture-in-picture, which breaks the pacing of matches in general. That said, these two did a good job and the final series of moves were pretty compelling. I wouldn’t mind seeing these two getting a bigger Takeover stage because you can trust these two to put on a great match. One thing they do have to work on, is getting Grimes more serious because he really needs to shed some of this “To the moon” schtick.
Kay Lee Ray was smashing random dishes with her bat in her smash room. She convinced Io Shirai to smash some dishware with the bat. Zoey Stark showed up with a coffee mug, which Io Shirai took and threw on the floor…
John’s Thoughts: No joke, they always find a way to give Zoey Stark tv time, even when she’s hurt. They were putting her on TV day one, literally the day after she got signed (which was the same time wrestlers like Cora Jade and Gigi Dolan were signed).
MSK got a custom entrance with a DJ at the top of the ramp (I’m getting bad flashbacks of my most hated act in pro wrestling, the “wrestling DJ” Zima Ion, a.k.a. Joaquin Wilde). The Creed Brothers made their entrance to their own theme as opposed to Roderick Strong’s theme…
4. “MSK” Wes Lee and Nash Carter vs. “The Creed Brothers” Julius Creed and Brutus Creed (w/Malcolm Bivens) in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. The Creeds traded quick tags to hit Carter with their unique tandem power transitions. Carter flipped out of a suplex and tagged in Lee. Lee and Carter hit Julius with their signature sequenced kicks. Lee taunted Brutus and hit Julius with a Tope Con Hilo. Lee went for the waterfall kick, but was swatted by Julius. Julius rolled Lee into a toss into the rope. Julius shoulder bashed Lee which sent Lee into the table for a good bump. The show cut to Picture-in-picture.[c]
Carter ran through Julius off the hop tag. Carter hit Julius with a flapjack. Julius took down both Creeds with thrust kicks. Carter hit Julius with a Hot Fire Flame from the apron. Carter hit Julius with a Swanton and hit Brutus with a dropkick. Lee blind tagged in and hit Julius with a Spiral Tap for the two count (I do miss when that finisher was protected for AJ Styles). Lee took down Julius with a chop block and catapulted him into Carter’s stomp. Brutus broke up the subsequent pin attempt by Lee.
Brutus took down Lee with a pump kick. Carter took down Brutus with a kick. Carter went for a Suicide Dive on Julius but Julius caught Carter and hit Carter with a Cartwheel slam at ringside (he looked like he might have spiked his head on that one). Julius hit Carter with a basement lariat in the ring for the victory.
The Creed Brothers defeated MSK via pinfall in 9:36 to win the 2022 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Wade Barrett noted that the Creed Brothers might have earned themselves a spotlight match against Imperium at the WrestleMania weekend [Takeover] “Stand and Deliver” card. The Creeds and Bivens posed next to the Dusty Cup as confetti flew down…
John’s Thoughts: A fun Dusty Rhodes Classic final with the right team going over. The Creed Brothers are really coming into their own the last two weeks with good showings against two credible veteran teams in the Grizzled Young Veterans and MSK. The Creeds’ selling this time makes sense as opposed to them getting the snot kicked out of them by teams like Jacket Time for no reason. I loved the story Brutus was telling last week with the throat thing and both Creeds looked good this week in selling against the defending Dusty champs. MSK are fine after the loss and even gain sympathy. They’re plucky babyfaces and can absorb this. Not to mention, this role fits them better than them steamrolling through the entire tag division, which is what happened after their Dusty Rhodes Classic win last year.
The latest Nikita Lyons vignette aired. Lyons talked about how her father told her stop randomly beat people up as she grew up because she’s supposed to bring people together. She said she sent a message to her dad by looking at him. She then did a choreographed dance routine. The said the dancing can be compared to landing knockout blows in the ring. She said she’s a whole lot of woman who’s going to do a whole lot of whoopin’. She said she’s not going to hide it, deny it, or apologize for it. She said next week you better look out for this “Lyon’s” Roar…
Gunther, Fabien Aichner, and Marcel Barthel were in the ring. Gunther corrected Alicia Taylor on how to pronounce his name. The crowd chanted “Walter”. Barrett said the crowd must be deaf. Aichner talked about The Creed Brothers being next in line for Imperium after winning the Dusty Classic. Barthel said to understand what Imperium stands for you must persevere through suffering, anguish, and the misery that you are not prepared to endure just yet. Gunther said Marcel and Fabian have brought honor to this great sport. Gunther said for himself he’s setting his eyes on championship gold in NXT. He said he’s watching Bron Breakker vs. Santos Escobar with the closest interest. Before Gunther could get out his Imperium/Ring Kampf catchphrase, he was cut off by Solo Sikoa making his entrance.
Sikoa said he knows Gunther’s catchphrase about the ring being sacred. He said he doesn’t care about the mat because on the island you find the biggest and baddest dude and smack the taste out of his mouth. He said he’s about to do that now. He said he doesn’t care how you pronounce Gunther’s name because he’s about to wipe the mat with the ring general and make him his bitch. Vic Joseph noted that it sounds like a challenge…
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Dolph Ziggler about getting a drink thrown at him by Tommasso Ciampa last night. Ziggler was randomly wearing a Toxic Attraction shirt. Ziggler talked down about Ciampa and hyped up his match against Ciampa next week on NXT. Ziggler noted he’s watching the Breakker vs. Escobar match closely…
Santos Escobar made his entrance…[c]
John’s Thoughts: An interesting title picture in NXT. In the end, I see Bron Breakker standing tall in the end, but they are setting up some entertaining matchups involving Gunther, Dolph Ziggler, and Tommaso Ciampa down the road for Breakker. Good bit of promo from Sikoa who came off as authentic as his brothers usually do on the mic. Jimmy and Jay have proven that they can be extremely credible if put in the main event as singles wrestlers. This has me excited to what little bro kickboxer can do in the future once he gets his main roster spotlight.
Trick and Melo were chatting backstage. They walked into Pete Dunne. Dunne congratulated Melo and said that he’s still North American Champion, “…for now”
Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett announced the following matches for next week: The beginning of the Women’s Dusty Classic, LA Knight vs. Grayson Waller, and Tommaso Ciampa vs. Dolph Ziggler…
Before making his entrance, the camera showed Bron Breakker with a road flare. Breakker activated the flare and burned a WWE Vengeance PPV logo prop. Bron Breakker made his entrance wearing tiger striped ring gear. Alicia Taylor handled the formal Championship in-ring introductions with five minutes left at the top of the hour. Vic Joseph did note that there will be no commercial interruptions for the title match…
5. Bron Breakker vs. Santos Escobar (w/Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza, Elektra Lopez) for the NXT Championship. Breakker had the power advantage early on. Vic Joseph noted that it was the anniversary of Eddie Guerrero winning his first WWE Championship. Breakker dominated the early stretch of match with his power advantage. Escobar got his first clean shot in with a dropkick on Breakker. Breakker came back with an alligator roll into a delayed vertical suplex. Escobar tried to run the ropes but was taken down by a lariat from Breakker. Wilde distracted Breakker from the apron which allowed Escobar to nail him with a clubbing blow to the back. Escobar hit Breakker with an Arrow from the Depths of Hell Suicide Dive.
[Overrun] Escobar worked on Breakker with methodical offense in the center of the ring for a few minutes. After about five minutes of taking Escobar’s methodical holds, Breakker blocked a punch form Escobar. Breaker returned fire with right hands and shoulder blocks. Mendoza and Wilde got back on the apron and were tossed around by Breakker. Lopez distracted the referee. This alloweed Dolph Ziggler to come out of nowhere and hit Breakker with a superkick. Bron Breakker kicked out of Escobar’s pin at two (and the crowd bought into the false finish). Ziggler threw a fit at ringside.
Tommaso Ciampa ran out and brawled with Ziggler. Escobar hit Berakker with a Tornado DDT. Escobar pointed at the sky to honor Eddie Guerrero. Breakker dodged a frog splash attempt. Escobar went for a Thrill of the Hunt, but Breakker escaped and nailed Escobar with a Spear. Breakker hit Escobar with a Military Press Power Slam for the victory.
Bron Breakker defeated Santos Escobar via pinfall in 12:05 to retain the NXT Championship.
Bron Breakker posed with the title belt to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: Given that this wasn’t a Takeover and Escobar is Breakker’s first championship feud, we knew going in that Escobar had zero-to-no chance to win the title. We do know that Escobar is a great in-ring technician, so he’d be able to carry the young Steiner to a good first match, and that he did. I think it’s time to call up Escobar “Ahora!”. He isn’t necessarily the youngest wrestler in WWE, so they’re wasting a lot of his potential by having him on the developmental show leading green talent to good matches. This guy is money and has the potential to be what WWE is looking for in their next big hispanic star. He’s not only one of the best technical wrestlers in WWE, but he has that x-factor in being able to cut fluent and affluent English promos. Heck, you can put this guy in a cowboy suit or put a dead deer on his head (his two past gimmicks) and he’ll come off as a pure badass.
NXT continues to deliver with these themed shows. Even with rookies like Tony D’Angelo or Bron Breakker, top to bottom this show was a good wrestling show. I’d argue that Breakker and D’Angelo would be able to have great matches on Takeover. We knew that Breakker was catlike smooth in the ring and he showed that in his match against Escobar, but D’Angelo is someone to look out for. D’Angelo’s amateur background is probably causing him to acclimate so fast. Breakker is expected, he grew up with wrestling his entire life with his crazy dad and uncle. The rest of the show, solid as well. A nice return to form for NXT.
Jobberweight Jimmy wins the garbage match and I feel like I just spent 15 minutes watching a bad indy show. NXT 2.0 should be better than this.
Come on man! You couldn’t come up with “Punyweight Petey”? Up your pun game, son!
I kid, I kid… but I don’t see what you don’t see in Dunne. He’s great!
Toxic Attraction doesn’t need competitive wins to gain credibility. They’re trashy hot and can wrestle well enough, so they’re already over. Pirotta could be a star once she splits from Hartwell.
LA Knight is Rob Conway cosplaying as Steve Austin, but it works well enough here since Grayson Waller can draw really good heel heat.
Ok… I’ll give you that one on the Eli Drake-Rob Conway comparison. I always respect me a reference to the Michael Keeton “Con”-man.
There’s nothing wrong with being Trashy Hot and scrappy. There’s just too many chicken heels out there where being credible will make them stand out as opposed to being a flavor of the week
The best thing about the Creed Brothers and Breakker this early in their careers is how well they sell. It’s almost as if having legitimate athletes who have probably been in real fights makes it easier for them to catch on to how to make it look good.
A top 6 of Breakker, Escobar, Gunther, Ciampa, Sikoa, and Ziggler (at least temporarily) is a really nice mix for the time being.
Outside of that terrible opening match this was another fun show and NXT 2.0 is now light years better than the last 6 months or so of the Bland and Godawful show.
You like sucking them giant grapefruits, dont you, oh lamestone. You need some knee pads?