By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT 2.0 TV
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live March 22, 2022 on USA Network
[Hour One] The show started off with NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams driving up to the WWE Performance Center Parking Lot. They got out of the car and hyped up the upcoming Ladder Match qualifier matches.
Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett were on commentary…
Roderick Strong got a televised entrance with Solo Sikoa already in the ring…
1. Roderick Strong (w/Malcolm Bivens) vs. Solo Sikoa for a spot in the North American Championship Ladder Match at NXT Stand and Deliver. Strong focused on chain wrestling while Solo focused on strikes. Strong’s holds had the upper hand to start the match. Solo managed to get Strong on his pack with a punch and shoulder tackle. Solo worked on Strong with Muay Thai combo strikes. Solo hit Stront with a body slam and running headbutt for a two count. The crowd showered Solo with Uso chants. Strong managed to trip up Solo and the work on Solo with ground and pound offense. Strong then transitioned to using methodical strikes.
Strong locked Solo in a modified Camel Clutch. Solo powered up and escaped the hold. Strong slammed Solo to the mat and hit Solo with a PK for a one count. Solo tried to rally back with strikes, but Strong ended the rally with his signature backbreaker for a two count. Solo grounded his weight to block a suplex, but Strong quickly staggered Solo with a punch and knee combo. Solo rallied back with a few punches. Strong fended off Solo with boots. Strong gave Solo a Tae Kwon Do roundhouse for a two count.
Solo escaped a shoulder stretch. Strong came back with a knee to the gut and an Angle Slam for a two count. Santos Escobar walked out to ringside in a formal coat. Solo hit Strong with a front suplex. Solo used his arm and head to pummel Strong. Solo grounded Strong with a Samoan Drop for a good nearfall. Strong staggered Solo on the top rope with an enzuigiri. Solo punched and shoved Strong off the top rope. Solo hit Strong with a Uso Splash for the victory.
Solo Sikoa defeated Roderick Strong via pinfall in 9:18 to qualify for the North American Championship Ladder Match at NXT Stand and Deliver.
John’s Thoughts: Wrestling-wise, the match was very good. I really like styles clashes like this and Solo Sikoa having such a unique Muay Thai moveset causes a majority of his matches to be style clashes. What did take the match down a bit is Roderick Strong clearly being a gatekeeper who loses all of the time, so the finish was barely in question. They need to give Strong wins over credible opponents if they want his well-wrestled matches to mean something. He’s already at that “foregone conclusion” level of being cannon fodder.
Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta were arguing about Hartwell making headlines on TMZ for her makeout session with Dexter Lumis last week. Pirotta tried to brag about Duke Hudson being better than Dexter Lumis. Both women continued to bicker about their respective boyfriends being better than the other…
Tony D’Angelo made his entrance for the next match…[c]
Dexter Lumis made his entrance with Indi Hartwell. Duke Hudson were at ringside watching the match. Vic Joseph noted last week’s makeout sessions producing an extraordinary amount of views on Tik Tok and Youtube…
2. Dexter Lumis (w/Indi Hartwell) vs. Tony D’Angelo. D’Angelo took down Lumis with a Belly to Back suplex. D’Angelo escaped Lumis’s cravate with elbows and hit Lumis with a Belly to Belly suplex. Lumis ran the ropes and hit Tony with a Thesz Press. Lumis worked on D’Angelo with his signature methodical offense. The commentary team hyped Bobby Roode vs. Bron Breakker. Lumis hit D’Angelo with a Fallaway Slam. Lumis went back to his signature methodical offense. Joseph compared D’Angelo calling out Tommaso Ciampa to Wade Barrett calling out John Cena when Barrett started out in WWE as leader of the Nexus.
D’Angelo got a moment of respite after hitting Lumis with a jawbreker. Lumis methodically beat up D’Angelo at ringside. D’Angelo turned the tables after tripping Lumis off the steel steps. D’Angelo mocked Lumis’s self back pat.[c]
D’Angelo had Lumis in a headlock when the show returned from break. Lumis escaped a back suplex and hit D’Angelo with his signature stikes. Lumis hit D’Angelo with a bulldog. Lumis hit D’Angelo with a back suplex and kiped up into an elbow drop. D’Angelo used elbows to break out of Lumis’ Kesa Gatame. D’Angelo and Lumis took each other out with stereo lariats. Duke Hudson distracted Lumis. Hartwell tried to take away D’Angelo’s crowbar from ringside. Pirotta took away the crowbar. D’Angelo yaked the crowbar away from Pirotta and hit Lumis with it, with the referee supposedly not seeing it. D’Angelo hit Lumis with a Fisherman Buster for the win.
Tony D’Angelo defeated Dexter Lumis via pinfall in 7:15 of on-air time.
D’Angelo took a mic and talked about how he’s going to become the new “don of NXT” after Stand and Deliver. Tommaso Ciampa’s entrance theme played. D’Angelo expected Ciampa to come down the ramp. Ciampa blindsided D’Angelo and hit him with the Fairy Tale Ending. Cimapa took the mic and said that Stand and Deliver may be his final chapter in NXT, and if it is Ciampa’s going to write his own fairy tale ending. The segment ended with Ciampa dropping the mic…
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Bobby Roode who was standing with NXT Champion Dolph Ziggler. Roode recapped how he was a former NXT Champion and how he helped NXT get to where it is. He said he paved the way for people like Bron Breakker. Ziggler told Roode to pummel, pound, and humble Breakker. Ziggler said that he’ll pick up the scraps. Ziggler said Breakker will find out he can’t measure up to the former NXT Champ in Roode, and the current champ in Ziggler…
Elektra Lopez made her entrance…[c]
John’s Thoughts: D’Angelo isn’t the most crisp in the ring, but I have to say he’s pretty good despite his inexperience. The shoot fighter background helps, but I enjoy watching his gritty fighting style. Looking forward to see what Ciampa brings out of him.
Grayson Waller hyped up his match against A-Kid in a video package…
Fallon Henley was already in the ring. She is wrestling in street clothes now for some reason. Barrett and Joseph continue to discuss the story of Brooks Jensen’s everlasting virginity…
3. Fallon Henley (w/Brooks Jensen, Josh Briggs) vs. Elektra Lopez (w/Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza). Lopez hit Henley with a flapjack on the top rope. Lopez dominated for a stretch of time. Lopez hit Henley with a wheelbarrow slam for a two count. Lopez womanhandled Henley by the hair. Henley powered out of a butterfly stretch, but Lopez booted her into the bottom ropes. Briggs and Jensen ended up brawling with Legado Del Fantasma. Henley came back with a series of forearms. Henley hit Lopez with a running uppercut.
Henley hit Lopez with a bulldog for a two count. Lopez shoved Henley into the ropes and hit Henley with a Blue Thunder Bomb for the victory.
Elektra Lopez defeated Fallon Henley via pinfall in 3:33.
John’s Thoughts: It was what it was. Lopez’s finisher looked better this time at least. Still not fully impressed with her. I’m also confused as to why Henley is wrestling in street clothes? Is this a result of her new WWE contract?
Draco Anthony was getting ready in the locker room and was constantly declining phone calls. Xyon Quinn showed up and assumed he was hanging up on Joe Gacy calls (why won’t he just block him). Anthony opened up a video text where Gacy told Anthony to open his mind. Quinn said that Anthony knows what to do and that he has Draco’s back if he needs him. For some reason Quinn felt the need to shoehorn his “ride it straight” catchphrase in there…
Bobby Roode made his signature NXT Turntable entrance to his old Glorious Theme…
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Wendy Choo and Dakota Kai. Choo talked about Kai winning the Dusty Classic with her friend last year and how Choo’s her new best friend. Kai cut in and acted a bit nervous. She talked about how she and Wendy are winning the Dusty Cup…
Bron Breakker made his entrance for the next match. Dolph Ziggler randomly grabbed the announcer headset to make a Beer Money reference…
4. Bron Breakker vs. Bobby Roode (w/Dolph Ziggler). Roode took down Breakker with a shoulder tackle to start the match. Breakker came back with a shoulder tackle of his own. Roode came back with methodical strikes and pressured Breakker into the turnbuckle. Breakker and Roode showcased their agility. Breakker planted Roode with a spinebuster. Roode tried to retreat to Ziggler, but was chased by Breakker, who kept up his punches on Roode.
Roode caught Breakker with boots when he tried to reenter the ring. Roode hit Breakker with a suplex. Ziggler tried to distract Breakker from the apron but the referee saw it and ejected Ziggler from ringside. The show cut to picture-in-picture. [c]
[Hour Two] Roode had the advantage for a stretch with calculated offense. While Breakker was on the ground, Roode mocked Scott Steiner by doing Steiner’s signature bicep curl. Breakker made a comeback after hitting Roode with a Frankensteiner. Roode ended the momentum with a spinebuster for a two count. Breakker escaped a Glorius DDT and hit Roode with a lariat. Roode hit Breakker with a knee, but Breakker fought through and hit Roode with a spear for a two count.
Roode escaped Breakker’s Military Press and hit Breakker with the Glorious DDT for a good nearfall. Roode and Breakker traded fatigued punches. Roode tried to hit Breakker with a dive from the top rope, but Breakker caught him and hit him with a running power slam for the victory.
Bron Breakker defeated Bobby Roode via pinfall in 15:14.
While Breakker was celebarting at the top of the ramp, Dolph Ziggler surprised Breakker with a superkick. Ziggler taunted the fallen Breakker while he was knocked out…
John’s Thoughts: Great match between the young Steiner and Bobby Roode. Roode’s plodding “Triple H like” style may not be for all, but it leads to dramatic finishes. Roode in particular is criminally underutilized. The guy can wrestle at a main event level, yet WWE’s counting on him to make younger stars look good. Credit to Breakker though. He continues to shine against a plethora of opponents. He was tasked with going 15 minutes here. Part of it is Roode’s masterful pacing, but Breakker doesn’t embarrass himself (he does have some botch moments, but you shouldn’t blame the guy. The guy’s a natural and still picking things up).
Hartwell and Pirotta were with Lumis and Hudson backstage. They both continued to argue about who’s boyfriend was better. Dexter Lumis went to a canvas to draw something. Lumis drew a caricature painting of Gunther to imply that he wants to see how Duke Hudson does against Gunther…
Kay Lee Ray and Io Shirai were getting ready backstage…
Grayson Waller made his entrance for the next match…[c]
The show cut to Bodhi Hayward and Andre Chase standing in front of Chase’s class. Hayward was giving a speech about how he’s going to avenge his teacher against Von Wagner. One of the students tried to ask to speak and Hayward started to curse him out. Chase asked Hayward who taught him to be so disrespectful. Hayward said that Chase taught him to be disrespectful. Chase said he was proud. Chase and Hayward went on to curse out the random student…
A-Kid made his entrance…
5. A-Kid vs. Grayson Waller (w/Sanga) to qualify for the North American Championship Ladder Match at NXT Stand and Deliver. Kid hit Waller with an armdrag and dropkick. Kid rolled up waller for a few two counts. Waller slammed Kid to the mat and got a two count. Joseph announced Hudson vs. Gunther for later in the show. Kid dropkicked Waller to ringside and hit Waller with a tope. Waller went for his finisher but Kid reversed it into a Rear Naked Choke. Kid converted the move into a Guillotine Choke. Kid went for a springboard move but Waller reversed it into a Russian Legsweep. Waller hit Kid with the rolling Stunner for the victory.
Grayson Waller defeated A-Kid via pinfall in 2:51.
John’s Thoughts: A bit surprising. I know Waller’s getting the push and spotlight, but they were talking about A-Kid being a sensation. Weird? Maybe he wins the 2nd chance match, but I’m not even sure he gets through that because they looked to be telling a story with Cameron Grimes as well.
Carmelo Hayes took the mic and announced a 2nd chance match between A-Kid, Cameron Grimes, and Roderick Strong for the final spot in the North American Championship Ladder Match. Melo said that A-Kid may be A-Kid, but he’s not the A-Champion. Trick said he wants to take out A-Momma tonight. Kid gave Trick an enzuigiri
Robert Stone and Von Wagner were chatting backstage. Wagner talked about how he’s going to take care of Ikeman Jiro tonight and take care of Bodhi Hayward next week. Robert Stone walked away to chat with the random female that he was chatting with last week…
The Creed Brothers made their entrance for the next match…[c]
The GYVs made their entrance. Gibson cut his usual promo on the way to the ring. He talked about how he and Drake did not attack the Creeds in the parking lot. The GYVs got the jump on the Creeds to start the match…
6. “The Creed Brothers” Julius Creed and Brutus Creed vs. “The Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake. Julius ended up getting control and working on Drake with knees. Drake locked Julius in a headlock. Gibson tagged in. Julius recovered and hit Gibson with a Belly to Belly suplex. Gibson escaped Julius’s Stretch Muffler. Drake tagged in and hit Julius with an enzuigiri. Drake ran off Gibson’s back and hit Brutus with a Poetry In Motion dropkick. Gibson tagged in and worked on Julius with methodical offense.
Drake tagged in and Julius escaped a Doomsday Device attempt. Julius hit Drake with a chop block. Brutus tagged in and hit Drake with an Argentine Press slam. Brutus hit Drake with a basement lariat for the victory.
The Creed Brothers defeated The Grizzled Young Veterans via pinfall in 4:14.
The lights darkened and showed two men in hoodies ransacking the Diamond Mine training area. One of the hooded figures texted the screen saying that the Creeds can’t find them, but they’ll find the creeds…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A showcase for the Creeds. Not the biggest fan of them sacrificing the GYVs at the heels of the creeds, but I understand the purpose. At least they’ve given up on the lame GYV con man repackage.
7. Gunther (w/Marcel Barthel, Fabien Aichner) vs. Duke Hudson (w/Persia Pirotta). Gunther dominated early on with a headlock and shoulder block. Gunther hit Hudson with a delayed body slam. Hudson fought back with punches. Hudson fought back Gunther with a back elbow. Gunther sent Hudson to the mat with a powerful chop. Indi Hartwell showed up at ringside. Gunther hit Hudson with a series of strong chops, which left marks on Hudson’s chest. Hudson managed to escape a sleeper and take down Gunther with a big boot. Hudson hit Gunther with a slingshot German Suplex for a one count.
Gunther regained control after a lariat. Gunther hit Hudson with strikes and flattened him with a power bomb for the win.
Gunther defeated Duke Hudson via pinfall in 3:52.
Gunther called out LA Knight after the match. Knight made his entrance. Gunther told Knight that when he talks, Knight listens. Gunther talked about how Knight can talk himself into title matches, but he can’t win them. Knight said that if Gunther shuts him up one more time he’ll knock Gunther’s head off Gunther’s dad bod. Knight called Gunther a dumb son of a bitch.
Knight said that he wants to set up a match with Gunther at Stand and Deliver with words, but he’ll use his fists because Gunther doesn’t want him to use words. Knight and Gunther brawled with Imperium having the numbers advantage. Wes Lee and Nash Carter ran out to clear Barthel and Aichner from the ring. Knight hit Gunther with a power slam to send Gunther into retreat…
John’s Thoughts: I don’t see the purpose of this? Duke Hudson was looking great coming off the repackage from being the generic poker player. One thing that stood out in a good way was Hudson looking imposing standing next to the imposing Gunther. Knight vs. Gunther came out of nowhere? Maybe something changed from their initial plans once they decided to pivot to Dolph Ziggler as NXT Champion.
Cameron Grimes cut a promo in his normal voice. Grimes talked about how he feels like he ‘s disappointing his father by not having the most success in NXT. Grimes reiterated his story from last week about how he was proud to tell his dad he got signed to WWE and how he promised to make his ;ate dad proud. Grimes said next week is the most important match of his life. He said he’s going to show his dad that he has what it takes…
Wendy Choo and Dakota Kai made their entrance for the next match…[c]
After Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray made their entrances, Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring introductions for the Dusty Cup finals. Toxic Attraction watched the match from their VIP lounge..
8. Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray vs. Wendy Choo and Dakota Kai in the finals of the Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Choo and Kai cut the ring in half on Ray to start the match out. Shirai tagged in and kicked Choo from the apron. Shirai dumped Kai to ringside. Ray hit Choo with a suicide dive. Shirai hit Kai with a suicide dive. The show cut to picture in picture. [c]
Choo hit Ray with a back elbow and elbow drop for a two count. Choo tossed Ray into Shirai to knock Shirai off the apron. Ray tried to go high risk but Kai hit her with a Yakuza Kick. Choo hit Ray with a Superplex to give Kai a two count.
[Overrun] Shirai tagged in and gave Kai a flapjack. Shirai hit Kai with a 619. Ray tagged in and hit Kai with a top rope cannonball. Kai escaped Ray’s Gory Bomb attempt and hit Ray with a Code Red Backstabber. Kai hit Ray with a double stomp. Choo tagged in and hit Ray with a Vader Bomb. Shirai broke up Choo’s pin by giving Kai a missile dropkick onto Choo. Shirai hit Kai with a Underhook Shoulder breaker. Ray hit Choo with a Gory Bomb. Shirai tagged in and hit Choo with a moonsault for the victory.
Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray defeated Wendy Choo and Dakota Kai via pinfall in 10:22 to win the Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Confetti fell from the sky as Shirai and Ray posed in front of the Dusty Cup. Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolan, and Jacy Jayne entered the ring. Rose told them to stop the music so she can speak. Rose congratulated Kai and Shirai and said that Kai and Shirai are sadly mistaken if they think they can beat Jayne and Dolan. Ray said when she and Shirai entered the Dusty Tournament their one goal was to destroy Toxic Attraction. They said to do that they had to go after the leader.
Shirai claimed that they can cash in their title shot on any champion (what?). Ray said they were cashing in their title shot on Mandy to make the Stand and Deliver match a fatal four way. Rose tried to attack Ray and Shirai. Cora Jade ran out to even up the numbers. The face team dumped Toxic Attraction. Vic Joseph assumed that the Stand and Deliver match for the Women’s Title was now a fatal four way. NXT closed…
John’s Thoughts: A well wrestled match, but the logic and booking at the end was all over the place and a bit contrived. If they wanted to get to this point, why not have Mandy Rose interfere and cost Shirai and Ray the Dusty Cup (to continue off the story where they eliminated Gonzalez and Jade from the tournament)? Choo and Kai actually have a story going on and I wouldn’t mind them winning as it gives the talented Dakota Kai something to do. That could have easily led to Shirai and Ray being inserted into the title match due to Rose running roughshod. Instead, they had Shirai pull out some retcon BS out of her ass in saying that they can cash in their title shot for a main singles title. Why make the prize for the “tag team” tournament a singles title match? What’s even more weird, is they might even book Dolan and Jayne in a match against Choo and Kai anyway.
A middle of the road episode of NXT. Highlight of the show being the Breakker vs. Roode match. The thing that really took down the show was the illogical and overbooked main event segment.