3/15 NXT 2.0 results: Moore’s review of NXT Champion Dolph Ziggler on Miz TV, Cameron Grimes vs. Santos Escobar in a qualifier for the ladder match for the NXT North American Title at NXT Stand & Deliver, A-Kid vs. Kushida, Indi Hartwell vs. Persia Pirotta, Sarray vs. Tiffany Stratton

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

NXT 2.0 TV 
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live March 15, 2022 on USA Network

[Hour One] Before the WWE Signature, they aired an “In memory of…” graphic in honor of the late Razor Ramon Scott Hall…

The opening teaser recapped last week’s NXT main event where Dolph Ziggler became the new NXT Champion. Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett were on commentary…

NXT opened up with The Miz making his entrance to host Miz TV. Miz was cheered until he mentioned Logan Paul as Miz went on to hype his Wrestlemania match. Miz then introduced Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode to the show. NXT Champion Dolph Ziggler made his entrance to join the Miz on Miz TV. Ziggler talked about how being the champion “just feels right”. Miz said he respects how Dolph goaded Bron Breakker into putting his title on the line. Miz then had the production truck show Bron Breakker’s day at the WWE Performance center via security cam and roaming cameras. Breakker couldn’t find Ziggler and was sent home by the WWE coaches. Miz said Dolph doesn’t have to worry about Breakker mess up Miz TV.

Dolph said he is a fighting champion. Before Dolph could get his next sentence out, LA Knight made his entrance. Knight started out with his “let me talk to ya” catchphrase. Knight congratulated Ziggler for becoming new NXT Champion. Knight said if Breakker can’t make it, then Ziggler should defend his title against Knight. Ziggler said he’s a fighting Champion, but he only fights superstars so Knight would just have to wait. Miz said he thinks that Knight will be a big deal someday, just not now. Knight said he’s not just a superstar, he’s a megastar. Knight said that Ziggler claims that this is his show but this is LA Knight’s show.

Knight said that if Ziggler thinks this is his show “then show me”. Ziggler said he only wrestles in main events and whenever Knight discovers the main event then he’ll find him there. Miz announced that this week’s main event will be Dolph Ziggler vs. LA Knight for the NXT Championship…

John’s Thoughts: An okay promo segment, but what was even better was seeing Dolph Ziggler in a main event position. A bit ironic, that the last time Dolph was in the main event, back in 2016 was when he was feuding with Miz in a Career vs. Title feud. Knight continues to shine as a babyface, despite never winning big matches. His promo abilities allow him to get his heat back, but hopefully they don’t have the guy lose too much to the point where he can’t talk his way back. I say that, and we all know he’s taking the loss to LA Knight at the end of this show.

Cameron Grimes and Legado Del Fantasma were shown at different parts backstage heading to the ring. Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams made their entrance to watch the Santos Escobar vs. Cameron Grimes match…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Cora Jade about attacking Mandy Rose last week. Jade noted that Raquel Gonzalez is going to be out of action for 4 to 6 weeks. Jade noted that she was going to avenge Raquel and she knows that Toxic Attraction will come after her. Jade revealed that she stole the women’s title belts that Toxic Attraction has. Jade said she thinks Toxic Attraction will be pissed…

Grimes and Escobar were already in the ring. Trick and Melo joined Vic and Barrett on commentary. Melo claimed that he sent Pete Dunne packing forcing Dunne to change his name. Barrett said he respects Melo because Barrett also defended his IC Title in a ladder match…

1. Cameron Grimes vs. Santos Escobar (w/Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza, Elektra Lopez) for a spot in the North American Championship Ladder Match at Stand and Deliver. Escobar got the first takedown and a one count. Escobar worked on Grimes with his usual methodical offense. Grimes tried to come back with Muay Thai roundhouses, but Escobar hit Grimes with a gamengiri, leading to Escobar going back to the methodical offense. Grimes managed to land a huracanrana on Escobar. Wilde stood in the way of Grimes’ PK which allowed Escobar to trip Grimes on the apron. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Escobar continued to dominate Grimes with methodical offense. Grimes made a comeback with a frankendriver and a few running tackles. Grimes dumped Escobar to ringside in front of Melo and Trick. Grimes managed to avoid Wilde and nail Escobar with a cannonball. Escobar blocked a dive with a reverse Lungblower for a two count. Grimes hit Escobar with his signature Spanish Fly Power Slam for the two count. Escobar hit Grimes with a knee. Grimes escaped a Thrill of the Hunt attempt and nailed Escobar with a superkick. Grimes went for a Cave In, but Escobar caught Grimes and hit Grimes with a Thrill of the Hunt for the win.

Santos Escobar defeated Cameron Grimes via pinfall 11:30 to qualify for the North American Championship Ladder Match at Stand and Deliver. 

Escobar and Melo jawed with each other from a distance. Trick said Escobar is first in line to get laid out by the A-Champion…

John’s Thoughts: A good match between two professionals who don’t have creative direction at the moment. If Ciampa and Dunne (a.k.a. “Butch”) are completely done with NXT, then Escobar and Grimes are two wrestlers NXT should consider featuring in a more prominent position because they are two extremely experienced wrestlers compared to the plethora of inexperienced talent showcased on NXT 2.0. That said, Escobar definitely deserves to be featured prominently on the main roster. The guy is like Randy Orton if Randy were a better talker (Orton’s a decent talker, I’m just saying Escobar is more eloquent). Not to mention, he should be everything WWE wants in a main event star that can appeal to the Latin fanbase. Another highlight from this match, Trick and Melo. Trick and Melo are really coming into their own on the microphone. I don’t think Trick Williams has to wrestle because he’s already pretty good as Melo’s personal hype man.

Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray cut a promo about how they were coming after Toxic Attraction after they win the Dusty Cup…

Wendy Choo was chatting with Dakota Kai were chatting backstage. Toxic Attraction showed up looking for their title belts. Kai got in Rose’s face about how they didn’t need Toxic Attraction’s help. Mandy Rose said they did it because they can. Toxic Attraction left with Rose saying that they’ll leave pieces of Cora Jade that Kai can pick up after…

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in from ringside. They sent the show to an introductory vignette which hyped up A-Kid’s debut…[c]

Kushida and Ikeman Jiro got a televised entrance with A-Kid already in the ring…

2. Kushida (w/Ikeman Jiro) vs. A-Kid. The match started off with Kushida dominating the technical chain wrestling. Kid came back with a springboard armdrag. Both men went back to the chain wrestling. Kid blocked a Juji Gatame attempt. Barrett noted that Kid used to be a Soccer player that played with famous players like Zidane and Ronaldo. Kushida hit Kid with a body slam and put him in a Boston Crab. Kid got to the bottom rope for the break. Kushida slammed Kid to the mat and got a two count. Kid came back with a bridged Northern Lights for a two count.

Kushida hit Kid with an enzuigiri to the arm. Kid came back with his own enzuigiri. Kid hit Kushida with a few chops and punches from the shortarm position. Kid hit Kushida with a springboard armdrag into a DDT for the victory.

A-Kid defeated Kushida via pinfall in 4:58.

The commentary team hyped A-Kid vs. Grayson Waller in a ladder match qualifyer for next week…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Santos Escobar. Esocbar said Stand and Deliver will be his time and he’ll be the new North American champion because he’s the greatest luchador of all time. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio showed up. Escobar shook hands with Mysterio. Wilde and Mendoza started to fanboy over Rey. Dominik said the best luchador is Rey. Rey said the man to take Lucha Libre into the next generation is Dominik. Wilde and Mendoza laughed it off. Dominik said he’d fight whoever is willing to step up. Mendoza seemingly accepted Dominik’s challenge…

John’s Thoughts: The crossover continues. There’s a part of me that really wants to see Escobar vs. Rey because Rey’s agility is a good complement to Escobar’s methodical style. I wonder if they crossed paths in Lucha Underground because Escobar might have been injured during most of Rey’s run there. Dominik vs. Mendoza? Eh, less excited, but Dominik could use a run in NXT to gain experience after being immediately put on main roster TV. Kid vs. Kushida, too short. It was good for the time given, but we know these two can do better. I haven’t seen too much of A-Kid, but he has a good look and is smooth in the ring. Reminds me a bit of a Bryan Danielson, which is a comparison most people seek. I feel bad for Kushida. He goes from being the most protected star on the brand to a gatekeeper on NXT Level Up where he’s losing every week. Kushida is the Dolph Ziggler of NXT (ironic because Ziggler’s getting that main event push.

Sarray was about to make her entrance but was beaten up by Tiffany Stratton. Stratton beat up Sarray to ringside and therefore Sarray wasn’t able to henshin. Vic Joseph actually let out the line “Sarray wasn’t able to transform”

3. Tiffany Stratton vs. Schoolgirl Sarray. Stratton dodged a wrecking ball kick and hit Sarray with a corner splash. Stratton hit Sarray with a corkscrew Vader Bomb for the victory.

Tiffany Stratton defeated Sarray via pinfall in 0:54.

John’s Thoughts: That was a bit goofy. Well? I gues Sarray is protected due to not being able to henshin. I got a laugh out of Vic Joseph saying “Sarray wasn’t able to transform” with a straight face. What was good from the match was Stratton showing a bit of a mean streak, which came off well. Look at ol’ Tiff, doing what every Power Ranger villain should have done. Beat up the hero before they morph (though Tommy did fight demons in the dark dimension and roundhouse a T-Rex in his un-henshined human form).

LA Knight met up with Dominik Mysterio’s larger doppelganger, Gunther. Gunther said that Knight talked his way to a title match and didn’t use skill. Gunther said Knight is an embarrassment to the sport. Knight said his mouth gives him charisma and Gunther needs to find some. Knight said he has a match to prepare for… yeah…

Tommaso Ciampa was heading to the ring from backstage…[c]

Jacy Jayne was looking for Cora Jade backstage. She found her title belt and pulled it down. Pulling the belt triggered a door trap which trapped Jayne in a cage. Jade taunted Jayne…

John’s Thoughts: Never split up when looking to jump fools. Never leads to success.

[Hour Two] Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance to the Performance Center arena. Ciampa sat on the turnbuckle and soaked in “Ciampa’s house” chants. Ciampa said he loves the crowd and wants to talk to everybody about “gratitude”. He said he “this is my life”, being here in NXT. Ciampa said he’s been doing this for 17 years and when he was on the indies he wanted to find a place where people believe in him. A place where they believe that he can be the guy. Ciampa said he had a chance to run with the ball, and that was in NXT which is a part of WWE, the biggest company in the world.

He said that is gratitude what NXT has given to him. Ciampa said the good things in life don’t come easy. Ciampa started to get emotional as he soaked in “Thank you Ciampa” chants. He talked about how he was in DIY, Bobby Roode’s Glorious Bomb guy, Tag Team Champion, Blackheart, and the greatest NXT Champion of all time in the last 7 years. Ciampa said he’d love to say this was a Do It Yourself story, but he never had to do it himself because he had the NXT crowd behind him. Ciampa talked about how the crowd were there to cheer and boo him.

Ciampa recalled the Takeover show where he got a large amount of boos during his feud with Johnny Gargano. He said it’s been a long journey of ups and downs, setbacks, surgeries, and the show transition to 2.0. Ciampa said the constants were Ciampa not leaving and the crowd not leaving. The crowd chanted “please don’t go”. Ciampa said he actually doesn’t know where he’s going. Ciampa said he’d thought he’d know when the end of his run in NXT would come, when he’ll get his “fairy tale ending”. Ciampa said that the perfect fairy tale ending should have been walking into Stand and Deliver as NXT Champion, but that opportunity is gone.

Ciampa said he was supposed to walk into Mania weekend as champion before but had to relinquish the title due to injury. The crowd chanted “one more match” to Ciampa. Ciampa said he honestly doesn’t have the answer to his future. He said he’s here to say thank you before it’s too late. He said he means it from the bottom of his heart, to everyone, thank you. Tony D’Angelo randomly showed up behind Tommaso Ciampa, holding a crowbar. D’Angelo dropped the crowbar and grabbed a mic. D’Angelo said he could have hit Ciampa with a crow bar, but he respects Ciampa.

D’Angelo said he was wondering the last few weeks, who he has to beat to put himself in the history books. D’Angelo said he sees Ciampa as that guy. D’Angelo said Ciampa has been the man of NXT for a while and it would be an honor for he and Ciampa to wrestle at Stand and Deliver. Ciampa shook D’Angelo’s hand. D’Angelo pulled Ciampa in and kneed him in the gut. D’Angelo grabbed Ciampa by the head and said after he beats Ciampa he’ll become the new don of NXT. D’Angelo kissed Ciampa and left him on the mat…

Persia Pirotta and Indi Hartwell were shown arguing backstage…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Looks like they might be signaling the end of Ciampa’s run in NXT. Good promo here and of  course Ciampa deserves the Johnny Gargano farewell treatment. Ciampa and Gargano were the heart and soul of NXT and deserve all the pomp and circumstance for their departures from NXT. D’Angelo is a bit of a random opponent for Ciampa’s final match, but I do have some high hopes for a potential show stealer. Ciampa’s a talented vet and D’Angelo proved he can wrestle at a Takeover level in his feud with Pete Dunne.

Indi Hartwell both made their entrance at the same time, both trying to get in each other’s faces…

4. Indi Hartwell vs. Persia Pirotta. Pirotta gave Hartwell a knee to the gut. Pirotta hit Hartwell with a dropkick for a two count. Pirotta hit Hartwell with snake eyes and a corner splash. Pirotta tried to rip off Hartwell’s wedding ring. Pirotta taunted Hartwell about Lumis not talking to Hartwell. Hartwell hit Pirotta with a bulldog for a two count. Duke Hudson showed up to distract Hartwell. Pirotta lifted Hartwell into fireman carry, but got distracted when Dexter Lumis showed up from under the ring. Hartwell rolled up Pirotta for the victory.

Indi Hartwell defeated Persia Pirotta via pinfall in 2:24. 

Hartwell and Lumis confronted Pirotta and Hudson. Both couples started making out. Pirotta and Hartwell then gave their men Thesz Presses for some grounded makeout sessions. Barrett said that Hudson should watch where he’s placing his hands because this is a PG show…

Gigi Dolan jumped into a dumpster to retrieve her title belt. Cora Jade trapped Dolan in the dumpster by putting a fork lift fork over the lid…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Looks like they’re setting up for a mixed tag feud between the two couples. Not too excited to see it because I would like to see the new Duke Hudson in a more serious feud. Hey, but at least he’s not a random poker player anymore.

Legado Del Fantasma were already in the ring. Dominik Mysterio got a televised entrance…

5. Dominik Mysterio (w/Rey Mysterio) vs. Raul Mendoza (w/Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, Elektra Lopez). Dominik and Raul started off with lucha chain wrestling. Dominik hit Mendoza with a springboard armdrag. Mendoza yanked Mysterio off the top rope. Mysterio powered out of a headlock with an armdrag. Mysterio hit Mendoza with a springboard crossbody and huracanrana. Lopez distracted Mysterio which allowed Mendoza to nail Dominik with a enzuigiri. Fallon Henley showed up to distract Elektra.

Briggs and Jensen confronted Elektra and Wilde. Rey punched out Escobar. Dominik set up and hit Mendoza with a 619. Dominik then hit Raul with a frog splash for the win.

Dominik Mysterio defeated Raul Mendoza via pinfall in 3:05. 

John’s Thoughts: Not the cleanest of matches because Dominik is still developing as a wrestler. He’s not bad though. he has the moves down, he just needs to clean up the moves and put them together in logical fashion bell to bell. That’s one thing he really needs to adopt from Rey. I do hope that Dominik shows up on NXT 2.0 more because some time in developmental could do him some good. He also might need a way to refine his look because he kinda looks like a 12 year old version of Gunther and he could use a little more polish.He sorta bypassed the Black and Gold iteration due to his legendary father. Now… can we get to Escobar vs. Rey? That has the potential to be Takeover worthy.

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett talked about it being a sad week due to Scott Hall passing away. They sent the show to a Scott Hall memorial video package…[c]

Cora Jade was in the parking lot with Mandy Rose’s NXT Women’s Championship and a paint spray can. She decided to not use the can and decided to go in the driver’s seat of Rose’s car with the title belt. For some reason there was already a cameraman in the passenger seat. Mandy Rose appeared from the back seat and beat up Cora Jade. Rose picked up the paint can and spray-painted the back of Jade…

The Creed Brothers were in the ring yelling for their attackers to show up and face them. MSK made their entrance. Barrett said he totally thinks MSK did it. MSK wore NWO shirts. MSK noted that they didn’t do it and even offered the Creeds first crack at the title. Bivens noted that the Creeds beat MSK in the Dusty Classic. Imperium made their entrance from the crow’s nest. Barthel said they are all fighting for something they are never going to obtain. Bivens dared Imperium to come down and give them the title shot they deserve. Wes Lee said MSK deserve a title shot as much as the Creeds (why?). Aichner said they don’t see either team as worthy. Aichner proposed a triple threat match at Stand and Deliver. Barthel said that Bivens like to talk about “reality and perception” and the perception makes it seem like triple threat matches put Imperium in a disadvantage, but Imperium fears no one. The segment ended with the teams facing off…

Cameron Grimes was all sweaty and interviewed by McKenzie Mitchell. He said he’s disappointed he won’t get a chance to wrestle at NXT big show. He said the last thing he told his father before his father passed was that he signed to NXT and was going to be a champion. Grimes said it’s been three years and all he’s been is disappointing…

Vic Joseph hyped Solo Sikoa vs. Roderick Strong and Grayson Waller vs. A-Kid for next week in Ladder Match qualifying matches…

LA Knight made his entrance. Vic sent the show over to a WWE 2k commercial…[c]

John’s Thoughts: That was a bit odd. Why do MSK deserve to be in the title match? They lost in the Dusty Classic and talked their way into the Creeds’ deserved match. I’m not the biggest fan of the MSK boo birds (due to the boos being for a petty reason), but this segment was a good one to get their cheered.

Malcolm Bivens questioned the Grizzled Young Veterans and Enofe and Blade if they attacked The Creed Brothers. Enofe and Blade said they were busy creeping on Mandy Rose. Zack Gibson said Enofe and Blade sound like simps. The Creed Brothers showed up to yell at everyone. Gibson said they didn’t attack the Creeds but if they knew how easy it was to get a title match they would have jumped the Creeds three weeks ago. Bivens challenged the GYVs on behalf of The Creed Brothers for a match next week..

The commentary team ran through the advertised Stand and Deliver lineup so far. Barrett announced Mandy Rose vs. Cora Jade for the NXT Women’s Championship being added to the show…

Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode made their entrance. Alicia Taylor handled the formal championship in ring introductions. The match started with five minutes left at the top of the hour with 7 minutes allocated for overrun..

John’s Thoughts: With Bobby Roode being Triple H’s not-so-much-younger doppelganger, does Roode and Ziggler count as NXT’s version of Shawn and Hunter?

6. Dolph Ziggler (w/Bobby Roode) vs. LA Knight for the NXT Championship. Knight hit Ziggler with a shoulder tackle to start the match. Ziggler wrestled Knight into the ropes and gave him a boot to the gut. Ziggler hit Knight with a snapmare into a side headlock. Ziggler worked on Knight with methodical strikes. Knight ended Ziggler’s momentum with a neckbreaker. Joseph pointed out that Knight was selling the ribs. Barrett noted that the injuries came from the Last Man Standing match. Knight hit Ziggler with a delayed powerslam heading into picture-in-picture.[c]

[Overrun] Ziggler had Knight in a headlock. Knight escaped but was taken down with a dropkick. Ziggler put Knight in a rear naked choke. Knight escaped by ramming Ziggler into the ringpost. Knight reversed a Fameasser with a front suplex. Knight clocked Ziggler with a series of punches. Knight then hit Ziggler with his “yeah” boots. Knight hit Ziggler with a power slam (which is similar to Bron Breakker’s finisher). Knight hit Ziggler with a high elbow drop. Speaking of Breakker, the cameras showed that Bron Breakker returned to the WWE Performance Center.

Ziggler punched his way out of Knight’s superplex attempt. Knight crumpled due to one of the punches hitting the injured rib. Knight did his cat pounce to the top rope, and hit Ziggler with a Superplex. Knight continued to sell the ribs. Ziggler kicked out at two. Knight went for a Burning Hammer, but was distracted by Roode. Ziggler tried to superkick Knight, but Knight reversed it into a Burning Hammer. Roode put Ziggler’s leg on the bottom rope for the break. Knight blocked a Zig Zag attempt but was shoved into the turnbuckle. Ziggler hit Knight with a superkick for the victory.

Dolph Ziggler defeated LA Knight via pinfall in 11:48 to retain the NXT Championship. 

The Steiner sirens went off as Bron Breakker made his entrance. Breakker said he’s not going to wait and he wants his title rematch at Stand and Deliver. Roode tried to blindside Breakker, but Breakker saw it coming and punched him out. Ziggler got in Breakker’s face and agreed to Breakker’s challenge. Breakker’s theme played to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: Good first title defense for Ziggler and efficient use of time by both wrestlers. Both men were put in a bit of a spot with only about 8 minutes of on-air time to put together a match, but both men managed to tell a good story. Knight was solid in selling his ribs throughout the match and good on him for selling the effects of the match from a week ago. Ziggler seems to be having a good time being able to wrestle longer matches as a top guy compared to the cookie cutter main roster formula of matches.

More main roster crossover this week that ever on NXT. Sorta makes NXT feel like a “Third show” to Raw and Smackdown for the first hand. On one hand, that’s a good thing in that it elevates the prestige of NXT by having more experienced wrestlers on the show. On the other hand, NXT used to be an alternative and giving this show a main roster feel can be repetitive. Too much of the same thing leads to diminished returns.

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. I want to see Escobar and Rey too – but it can’t be at Stand and Deliver because Rey’s Mania match is on Night 1. I doubt they’d get him to work two matches inside 12 hours, and he also needs to be right because with Logan Paul in there Rey will have to carry the match more than usual to protect Dominik.

  2. Which goes into my initial point of Escobar needing to be on the main roster already. I’ve been singing this guy’s praises for years since 2015. You would think he has everything WWE wants and he tends to tower over most of the wrestlers that WWE deems “cruiserweight”. Rey vs. Escobar/Fantasma should be a good one because these guys have worked together in the past in both AAA and LU. Not sure if they actually had a program because Escobar had a handful of injuries during Rey’s free agent stints, but I did see them together in the practice rings a lot.

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