2/22 NXT 2.0 results: Moore’s review of Tommaso Ciampa vs. Dolph Ziggler for a shot at the NXT Title, LA Knight vs. Grayson Waller, and Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray vs. Amari Miller and Lash Legend, and Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley vs. Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro in Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic matches

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

NXT 2.0 TV 
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live February 22, 2022 on USA Network

[Hour One] A highlight video aired recapping last week’s Vengeance Day themed show…

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett were on commentary…

NXT Champion Bron Breakker made his entrance in street clothes for an in-ring promo. Breakker talked about NXT going back on the road to Texas for the Stand and Deliver show happening WrestleMania weekend. Breakker said he’w walking into the show as champion and will walk out as Champion. Dolph Ziggler made his entrance to cut off Breakker. Ziggler said that Breakker shouldn’t make promises he can’t keep. Ziggler said that Breakker will make it to Stand and Deliver, but he might not make it to that show as Champion.

Ziggler talked about how he is going to beat Ciampa and then take care of Breakker. Breakker asked for Ziggler to enter the ring so he can respond to that superkick that Ziggler gave him last week. Ziggler said Breakker being a hothead is in his “genes”. Ziggler mocked Breakker’s denim clothes for looking like jeans and like a “Canadian Tuxedo”. Ziggler said that Breakker is “The guy… in Orlando”. Ziggler asked Breakker to take the night off and not interfere in his match against Ciampa. Ziggler said that Breakker needs to sit back and watch Ziggler do what he does better than anyone in the business…

John’s Thoughts: Nothing too special in terms of content. The goal was to announce the NXT Stand and Deliver show which is great news (fingers crossed that we get a NXT show back in LA or San Jose again so I can see what this 2.0 thing looks like on the road). What does stand out as a positive is Dolph Ziggler getting a chance to look higher-profile as opposed to his usual foregone-conclusion gatekeeper self. Ziggler is solid on the mic when given a shot. He’s going to make Bron Breakker look great (because he’s that damn talented in making his in-ring opponents look great).

A sponsored recap aired of last week’s LA Knight and Grayson Waller segment…

Entrances for the next match took place. Vic Joseph plugged the Corey Graves and Carmella YouTube show…

1. LA Knight vs. Grayson Waller (w/Sanga). Waller kept his distance from Knight, stalling to start the match. Knight managed to tag Waller with a clothesline and draped knee. Knight hit Waller with a slingshot shoulder block. Waller hit Knight with a Muay Thai clinch knee. Knight crotched Waller on the top rope and punched him to ringside. The show cut to picture-in-picutre.[c]

Sanga distracted Knight at ringside which allowed Waller to toss him into the ring steps. Waller worked on Knight with methodical offense. Waller went for his finisher stunner but Knight reversed it into a back suplex. Knight hit Waller with a series of backdrops. Knight gave Waller stomps was the crowd chanted “yeah” to every stomp. Knight hit Waller with a cutter. Knight went for the Blunt Force Trauma, but Sanga held Waller’s arm over the rope to keep Knight from landing the finisher. Waller rolled up Knight with a hand full of tights for the victory.

Grayson Waller defeated LA Knight via pinfall in 9:58. 

Knight put the boots to Waller. Sanga tried to cut in, but Knight laid him out with the Blunt Force Trauma. Knight hit Waller with the Blunt Force Trauma as well. Knight’s theme played as Knight exited…

Dakota Kai walked up to a sleeping Wendy Choo, complaining about Choo not telling her that she signed them up for the Dusty Cup. Choo said she told Kai’s [invisible] Friend. Kai said she’s not good with friends (referencing her past partners Tegan Nox and Raquel Gonzalez). Choo said things should work out because Choo is different. Choo left and Kai continued to talk to herself…

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in from ringside. Barrett joked taht Joseph was dressed up as the Fonz. Joseph ran through the Women’s Dusty Cup brackets…

Toxic Attraction were shown heading to the ring…[c]

John’ s Thoughts: Waller steals another win. I guess that means they’re stretching out the feud? There’s a part of me that wants them to move on from this because Waller and Knight have been feuding for a long time and it would be good to see them move on. It would be good if they can also maybe give Knight a win against Waller for once. What does stand out as a positive, in addition to Waller continuing to stand out positively as a heel, is LA Knight really clicking as a babyface.

Cora Jade took Raquel Gonzalez to an “adventure park” for this week’s training segment between the two. Gonzalez talked about having a fear of heights. A training montage aired…

John’s Thoughts: Didn’t WWE already do this formula with Kyle O’Reilly and Von Wagner not too long ago? They really need to freshen things up in terms of building “reluctant” tag teams. Speaking of Wagner, where the hell is that guy? His bad promos (not his fault. I Blame WWE Creative) are a guilty pleasure.

McKenzie Mitchell joined Toxic Attraction in the “Toxic Lounge” which is an area in the crowd with a couch that was set up like a club VIP booth. Jayne and Dolan mocked Jade’s training montage. Rose had Jayne and Dolan’s back and said that  Jade and Gonzalez are dumber than they look if they think they can beat Toxic Attraction…

Entrances for first Women’s Dusty Classic match aired. Kay Lee Ray and Io Shirai got televised entrances while their opponents were already in the ring…

2. Kay Lee Ray and Io Shirai vs. Amari Miller and Lash Legend in a first round match of the Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Shirai hit Legend with a 619. Legend recovered and hit Shirai with forearms. Shirai hit Legend with a missile dropkick. Miller tagged in. Shirai used matrix dodges to elude Miller. Shirai tagged in Ray and the two hit Miller with tandem moves. Legend tagged in and took a Gory Bomb from Ray. Shirai tagged in and gave Legend a moonsault for the victory.

Kay Lee Ray and Io Shirai defeated Lash Legend and Amari Miller via pinfall in 2:44 to advance to the semi-finals of the Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. 

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Dante Chen about facing Duke Hudson later on. Chen said last week may have been Vengeance Day, but this week he will get his vengeance. Chen said that Hudson can’t sweep Persia Pirotta off her feet if he doesn’t have feet to stand on…[c]

Josh Briggs had a camera and said he was going to help Brooks Jensen recover from being in the friend zone. He said he was going to record Jensen so he can get on dating apps. They showed Jensen failing at recording a dating video…

Duke Hudson made his entrance. His video wall no longer has pokers stuff in it. Dante Chen attacked Hudson during his entrance. The bell rang once both men were in the ring…

3. Duke Hudson vs. Dante Chen. Chen slammed Hudson’s leg into the ringpost several times. Hudson ended Chen’s momentum by pulling Chen into the ringpost. Chen got Hudson off his feet with a flurry of strikes. Chen hit Hudson with a DDT for a two count. Hudson tripped Chen off the rope and took down Chen with a Big Boot. Duke hit Chen with a Razor’s Edge for the victory.

Duke Hudson defeated Dante Chen via pinfall in 2:20. 

Trick Williams and North American Champion Carmelo Hayes were shown walking backstage…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Simple and swift win for Duke Hudson here. I’m glad they didn’t tease an upset, by having Chen overcome his bully. Chen will have his day one day. He has a good look and can be a positive east Asian representative on WWE TV. Now is not his time though. It’s Duke’s time. WWE finally has Duke in a character that should carry him well on the main roster. His first main roster run was bland (in the proto-Hurt Business) and his poker thing was stupid. Now he’s a brutal and intellectual badass. There’s shades of Wade Barrett in him and Wade Barrett was someone who would have totally have been a top tier world champion in WWE (if he weren’t snakebitten by injuries). Hudson has similar upside and this current iteration of his character is one that WWE should ride with in the long run.

A Black History Month video aired, featuring Booker T doing community service…

Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams made their entrance. Melo reiterated his “when I shoot, I don’t miss” catchphrase. Hayes said it was time for a “Melobration” (which sounds very close to Carmela’s “Melabration”). Melo recapped his win last week and said that nobody was talking about Bron Breakker, the Creeds, or Pete Dunne last week due to what Melo did in the ring. Trick brought up Stand and Deliver being on the road again. Williams said that America’s Champion will be in the same city as America’s Team (the Cowboys).

Pete Dunne made his entrance and said that Melo is claiming to have beaten everyone, but hasn’t beaten Dunne. Melo said he sees what Dunne is trying to do, but he can’t make everyone famous. Dunne asked Melo for a match next week. Trick cut in and said that Dunne is sounding woozy from the cage match last week and that Melo simply said no. Melo cut in and said he doesn’t walk away from a fight. Trick continued to act like a hype man. Cameron Grimes came out of nowhere and jumped Melo. Melo and Trick recouped at ringside…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Well, since NXT is booked like Main Roster now, I’m assuming we get Dunne and Grimes vs. Trick and Melo after the break. This will be an interesting feud between Dunne and Melo if that’s going to be the Stand and Deliver feud. Dunne and Melo are two of the most protected wrestlers in NXT so either man losing would mean something. On top of that, Melo and Dunne consistently put on the best matches on NXT cards so putting the two together should be a formula to a great match.

[Hour Two] The match was joined in-progress…

4. Cameron Grimes vs. Trick Williams (w/Carmelo Hayes). Grimes dominated Williams back from the break. Hayes recovered and slammed Grimes to the mat. Williams hit Grimes with a dropkick for a two count. Williams hit Grimes with a circle kick for a two count. Williams worked on Grimes with methodical offense. Grimes tossed Trick into the corner and hit him with a dropkick. Trick dodged a dive from Grimes and hit Grimes with a pump kick. Grimes reversed Trick into a side slam for a two count. Grimes went for a cave in, but Trick rolled  to ringside.

Grimes hit Williams with a superkick at ringside. Grimes hit Williams with a crossbody to the face. Grimes hit Williams with a Cave In for the victory.

Cameron Grimes defeated Trick Williams via pinfall in 6:06.

The show cut to Briggs and Jensen again. Jensen was saying bad pickup lines to the camera…

Tommasso Ciampa was lifting weights backstage. Bron Breakker wished Ciampa luck. Ciampa told Breakker that they both have one win against each other. Breakker said he’s looking forward to the rubber match…

Nikita Lyons will debut after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Well, they didn’t go with the tag match. I wonder what they have planned for Grimes at Stand and Deliver because it looked like they were setting up Melo and Dunne on a collision course. Maybe they’re going with a Triple Threat? I’m not a huge fan of that because it takes away from the clash of two wrestlers that don’t lose often. Maybe that’s the point though and they want Grimes to take the pin so Dunne and Melo don’t have to. Look out for Trick Williams in the future though. He’s still green in the ring, but he’s looked pretty solid the limited amount of times we’ve seen him with good athleticism. Where he does shine is as the manager/hypeman of Melo and that’s already starting his wrestling career off to a hot start.

A WWE 2k ad aired where Stephanie McMahon hyped the new GM mode…

An Andre Chase University skit aired. He said this week’s lesson is “intentional fortitude”. Chase talked about Von Wagner not having the balls to face him. One student talked about Chase possibly losing to Wagner. Chase cursed out the student. Bodhi Hayward cheered on Chase…

Nikita Lyons made her entrance, now wearing military swat themed gear…

6. Nikita Lyons vs. Kayla Inlay. Lyons hit Inlay with a hip toss. Inlay ate a hook kick form Lyons. Lyons hit Inlay with a superman punch. Inlay pulled the rope into the throat of Lyons. Inlay hit Lyons with a series of knees. Lyons rolled up Inlay for a two count. Lyons grounded Inlay with a gut punch. Lyons no sold a suplex attempt by Inlay and reversed it into a German Suplex. Lyons hit Inlay with a high kick followed up by a splits heel drop for the victory.

Nikita Lyons defeated Kayla Inlay via pinfall in 4:03. 

Duke Hudson was in the locker room. Persia Pirotta tried to congratulate Hudson, but Hudson pulled her in and made out with her. Indi Hartwell walked in and said it was gross. Pirotta walked off. Hudson said that Hartwell used to love those kisses. Hartwell said that was a long time ago between them. Hudson said “It doesn’t have to be?”. The camera panned over to Dexter Lumis who hung his head in sadness. Lumis walked away. Hartwell said it’s not what it looks like. Hartwell left saying she despises Hudson…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Lumis hanging his head was cartoony, but it cracked me up. As for the Lyons debut? It was fine, but I think they went three minutes too long with it. Lyons seems to have a powerhouse offense, but she gave away too much offense to the enhancement wrestler. I do think they have something in Nikita as she performed the moves fine and it’s cool seeing someone use CQC as a primary moveset. Another thing that confuses me a bit is her gimmick. So the vignettes said she was a Pop-R&B performer who grew up with a rockstar dad. She comes out looking like an ode to the Marines. Not sure what they’re going for with her? She almost seems to be using the gimmick that never saw the light of day for

Robert Stone and Von Wagner were shown in front of a black backdrop. Stone said taht Chase is stupid for challenging Von Wagner. Stone said that Chase is going to leave out of his match next week filing for perminent disability. Stone said this is Von Wagner’s world. Wagner said “and you’re just living in in” (in the most cheesy voice possible)…

John’s Thoughts: Again, I don’t blame poor old Cal Bloom for the situation WWE is putting him in, but he does crack me up.

Alicia Taylor introduced The Dusty Rhodes Classic Winners, The Creed Brothers. The Creeds and Malcolm Bivens made their entrance. Bivens talked about Imperium being good, but not having NCAA or Olympic accolades like the Creeds. Bivens talked about how Imperium claim to be fighting champions, but haven’t defended the titles in weeks. Bivens said that Imperium are turtleneck wearing and Weinersnitzel eating bitches.

Gunther, Marcel Barthel, and Fabien Aichner made their entrance. Gunther told Bivens to show Imperium respect. Bivens called Gunther, “Gonna”. Gunther said it’s pronounced “Gunther”. Imperium entered the ring. The Creeds brawled with Barthel and Aichner. Gunther was about to attack Bivens. Solo Sikoa showed up and knocked out Gunther with a superkick. Bivens gave Solo a nervous thumbs up…

John’s Thoughts: Not the best promo segment, but it’s easy to see them set up the Creeds and Imperium for a future match with the Diamond Mine settled as de facto babyfaces in the feud. Interesting to see them throw Solo Sikoa into the mix? I’m curious as to where they are putting Solo Sikoa in the whole main event mix. He isn’t set as a main eventer yet, but they have him flirting around with the main event the last two weeks.

Fallon Henley met up with Briggs and Jensen, who were still failing at recording Jensen’s dating video. Henley said all you need is a profile picture for the dating app and not a video. Jensen asked Briggs why he went through all the effort of putting a video together when they didn’t have to. Briggs said that Jensen’s bad love life is an odd form of entertainment to him…

Dolph Ziggler was shown getting ready for his match against Tommaso Ciampa…[c]

John’s Thoughts: The shoehorned country-boy gimmick doesn’t do anything for me, but they are starting to get a little characterization with these skits.

McKenzie Mitchell showed Joe Gacy and Harland footage of Draco Anthony working out at WWE Performance Center at 2:39am in the morning. Gacy and Harland showed up to antagonize Draco. Gacy downplayed their interaction…

Entrances for the next dusty cup match aired. Toxic Attraction were back in their VIP section…

7. Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter vs. Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley in a first round match of the Women’s  Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Catanzaro and Carter cut the ring in half on Paxley. Joseph joked that Barrett was giving dating advise like a simp. Nile tagged in and hit Catanzaro with a back kick for a two count. Nile and Tatum cut the ring in half on Catanzaro. Carter tagged in and hit Nile with a superkick for a two count. Nile hit Carter with a gamengiri.

Paxley and Nile hit Carter with a modified Magic Killer. Paxley hit a standing kick on Carter. Catanzaro broke up the pin. Catanzaro and Carter hit Paxley with their signature 450-DDT finisher for the victory.

Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden carter defeated Tatum Paxley and Ivy Nile via pinfall in 3:26 to advance to the semi-finals of the Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. 

Nile locked Paxley in a modified Dragon Sleeper while Roderick Strong was slapping hte mat in approval. Nile was about to choke Paxley some more, but Strong told Nile to let her go…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Solo Sikoa. Sikoa talked about how he dropped Gunther on his ass. Malcolm Bivens showed up and told Solo to take out Gunther next week. Bivens wanted a high five and said “you got the juice Oose'”). Solo left Bivens hanging and said he didn’t do that for Bivens, he did it for himself…

Dolph Ziggler made his entrance for the next match…[c]

John’s Thoughts: I’m glad they didn’t decide to move forward with Tatum in Diamond Mine. It wouldn’t have fit. She played her role well as Ivy Nile’s cannon fodder piece of meat though.

LA Knight cut a promo about how Waller cheated his way to another win, but Waller and Sanga were left lying by L-A Knight… yeah….

The commentary team advertised the following matches for next week: Gunther vs. Solo Sikoa, Von Wagner vs. Andre Chase, Draco Anthony vs. Harland, and Carmelo Hayes vs. Pete Dunne for the North American Championship next week…

Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance for his match against Ziggler…

8. Dolph Ziggler vs. Tommaso Ciampa for a title shot at the NXT Championsip. Both men started the match in a virtual stalemate. Ziggler got the rollup for a two count. Ziggler worked on Ciampa with methodical offense. Ciampa fought back with a stiff chop and a few lariats. Ciampa hit Ziggler with a discus forearm. Ziggler avoided Ciampa’s knee. Ciampa avoided a Zig Zag. Ciampa knocked Ziggler off the apron with a running knee heading into the picture-in-picture.[c]

Ziggler worked on Ciampa with methodical offense back from the break. Ciampa fought back with right hands. Ciampa blocked a huracanrana and countered into a catapult. Ciampa took down Ziggler with a lariat. Both men traded right hands and chops. Ciampa hit Ziggler with CQC and stomps. Ziggler revered a knee into a dropkick. Ciampa came back with a strike. Ziggler came back with a Fame-asser for a two count.

[Overrun] Ciampa countered a superkick with a Yakuza Kick. Ciampa hit Ziggler with Project Ciampa for a two count. Ciampa hit Ziggler with a DIY knee. Ziggler got his foot on the bottom rope for the rope break. Ziggler recovered and shoved Ciampa into the ringpost at ringside. Ziggler hit Ciampa with the Zig Zag. Ziggler tossed Ciampa back in the ring to break the count (why?).

Joseph noted that Ciampa’s left arm looked dead. Ziggler rolled up Ciampa with a hand full of tights for a two count. Ziggler put Ciampa in a rear naked choke. Ciampa broke the hold with a backpack slam. Ciampa got a nearfall off the move. Ziggler and Ciampa traded fatigued strikes on the apron. Ciampa had the rally with chops and a yakuza kick. Ciampa hit Ziggler with a sick Air Raid Crash on the apron. Ciampa tossed Ziggler back in the ring but the “cameraman” hit Ciampa with his camera. Ziggler hit Ciampa with a superkick for the victory.

Dolph Ziggler defeated Tommaso Ciampa via pinfall in 15:37 to earn a future title shot at the NXT Championship. 

Ziggler nodded in the direction of the hooded Cameraman. The cameraman unmasked to reveal that he was Bobby Roode. Roode and Ziggler hugged in the ring. Roode and Ziggler put the boots to Ciampa in the ring. Bron Breakker ran out to clear Roode and Ziggler from the ring. Breakker challenged Roode and Ziggler to a match against him and Ciampa next week. Breaker said he actually would like to have the match now. Ziggler and Roode ran back and agreed to the brawl. Referees ran out to pull apart both teams.

John’s Thoughts: Great TV main event and clever usage of Bobby Roode as the masked cameraman. It helps that in an era of COVID masks, that you can pull something like this where you can hide someone in plain sight. I expected Roode to get involved at some point of Ziggler’s run in NXT, but it was clever of WWE to not have Roode heavily integrated into Ziggler’s NXT feud with Breakker and Ciampa. As for the match, it was your usual Ciampa formula match that starts slow and builds to an epic end. Ziggler added the nice touch of telling a great bell to bell story. Only thing I thought was a bit weird was Ziggler helping Ciampa beat the 10 count.

I’m interested to see what they do with Roode in NXT if he’s staying past next week’s presumed tag team match. Triple H’s not-so-young doppelganger was great in NXT and really had an underrated run as their top heel champ. Roode was essentially playing the role of Triple H, but Triple H was a great heel and Roode carried the H’ness well (He did a good job being Hunter in Impact too). The main event really stood out on this show filled with a lot of rookie and green talent, to see the show almost completely different once you get two veteran professionals in the ring. The main event match was worth it. The rest of the show did a decent job setting the groundwork for their new feuds heading into WrestleMania season.

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Readers Comments (3)

  1. Io Shirai might be the worst female worker in the company now that Nia Jax is gone. She can’t even hit half of her high spots consistently.

  2. Melo and Trick are just so good together.

    She’s as green as her suit, but Lyons actually has something. There’s a certain amount of presence and charisma that you can’t teach. Give her another year and she’s going to be a main roster player. She might even have 4 Horsewomen type potential.

  3. Good show outside of those rough women’s tag matches. 8 women involved and other than Nile and Ray they were awful.

    Bonus points for the Von Erichs/Freebirds t-shirt.

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