5/17 NXT 2.0 results: Moore’s review of Tony D’Angelo vs. Santos Escobar, Cameron Grimes and Solo Sikoa vs. Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams, The Viking Raiders vs. The Creed Brothers, Wes Lee vs. Xyon Quinn, the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament continues

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

NXT 2.0 TV 
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live May 17, 2022 on USA Network

[Hour One] The intro video focused on last week’s NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament matches…

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett were on commentary. Alicia Taylor was the ring announcer…

Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams made their entrance for the opening match. Trick and Melo cut a promo on the way to the ring to hype up Melo’s match at In Your House…

1. Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams vs. Solo Sikoa and NXT North American Champion Cameron Grimes. Grimes and Solo quickly took down Trick and Melo with kicks. Solo and Trick started out the match with Solo hitting Trick with a running Senton. Solo worked on Trick with kicks to keep him on the ground, followed by a body slam. Solo tackled Trick to his corner to tag in Grimes. Grimes hit Trick with a basement Claymore for a two count. Grimes worked on Trick with a body stretch. Trick escaped and hit Grimes with a front kick and flying lariat.

Melo tagged in and was tossed by Trick to hit Grimes with a crossbody.  Solo and Trick tagged in with Solo continuing to dominate. Solo hit Trick with the Umaga hip attack in the corner. Hayes hit Solo with a gamengiri which allowed Trick to hit Solo with a neckbreaker. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Hayes caught Solo with a slingshot elbow drop. Trick tagged in. Solo avoided a lariat and tagged in Grimes. Grimes cleaned house with clotheslines. Grimes took out both opponents with a double Frankendriver. Grimes hit Trick with a PK. Grimes caught Melo with a crossbody. Solo tagged himself in when Grimes was going for a Cave in on Melo. Trick and Melo swarmed Solo with kicks. Hayes caught Grimes with a springboard lariat. Solo hit Melo with a hanging uranage. Solo hit Melo with a Uso Splash while Grimes hit Trick with the Cave-In. Solo picked up the pin on Melo.

Solo Sikoa and Cameron Grimes defeated Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams via pinfall in 9:57.

Solo yanked the North American title away from the referee. Solo then handed it to Grimes. Grimes posed with the title to end the segment…

John’s Thoughts: Nice opening tag match from two teams we don’t see wrestle too much. Grimes and Solo are a makeshift team between rivals, but we surprisingly don’t see too much of Trick and Melo teaming (and I was super impressed by them early in the 2.0 run when Melo was teasing cashing in his title shot on the tag titles). It’s smart to keep Trick in a tag team to prevent him from exposing his inexperience, but so far he’s done a decent job in what little we see of him in-ring. Again, he is stellar on the mic though, so he’s better served in the hype-man role. Solo’s extremely popular with the Performance Center crowd. Grimes is good, but I feel like NXT hasn’t done a good job presenting his soft reboot. They never gave him video packages or anything, he just started talking about his late father out of nowhere without context. The consequence of not properly introducing him is mixed reactions from the performance center and that is emphasized by Solo having the built-in credibility of being Jimmy and Jey Uso’s brother.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed NXT Tag Team Champions Kit Wilson and Elton Prince, Pretty Deadly, about facing The Creed Brothers at in Your House in a title defense. They joked about and laughed off their opponents. They worked in their catchphrases like “Yes Boy” and “Sideplate Check”…

Lash Legend made her entrance for the next match…[c]

An introductory vignette aired for Thea Hail, who talked about her WWE Performance Center tryout. She talked about how she hasn’t even graduated High School yet and will graduate next week…

John’s Thoughts: Wowzers! So she’s 17 or 18? I talked about Jade, Jacobs, and Perez last week being so young and refined. WWE’s pipeline for women’s wrestlers is promising and youthful.

Tatum Paxley made her entrance. She had new ring gear and got a picture in picture promo…

2. Lash Legend vs. Tatum Paxley in a first round match of the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament. Lash hit Tatum with a crossbody for a two count. Tatum tried to jump over Lash, but Lash caught her. Tatum countered into a huracanrana takedown. Tatum got a two count. Tatum’s legs went out when she went for an electric chair. Lash slammed Tatum’s leg into the ringpost. Lash reversed a sunset flip into boots. Lash worked on Tatum’s left leg with methodical offense.

Paxley escaped a submission but her legs gave out again from the electric chair. Paxley hit Lash with a suplex. She sold her leg. paxley hit Lash with a standing moonsault for a two count. Paxley’s legs gave out yet again for a third time. Lash hit Paxley with a pump kick for the victory.

Lash Legend defeated Tatum Paxley via pinfall in 3:50 to advance to the Semi Finals of the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament. 

John’s Thoughts: A bit of a snail’s pace, but what more should you expect from two of wwe’s more greener developmental prospects. I thought they did fine for what you should expect from them. I like the improvements from both women I see on a week-to-week basis. Both women got cooler ring gear that I thought  worked for them. Paxley was a bit generic when they introduced her early on, but I thought her few segments with Diamond Mine have acclimated her to the viewers a bit. I think there’s something there. Both women have a lot of potential. Hopefully Lash gets a chance to wrestle some veterans though. Hopefully NXT touring Florida can give her the reps she needs to work longer matches.

The show cut to Tony D’Angelo cutting a promo in front of a brick wall backdrop. He was flanked by his goons. They cut a promo to hype up D’Angelo’s match against Santos Escobar…[c]

An ad aired for WWE’s Clash at the Castle in Cardiff, Wales aired. Barrett talked about how he grew up in Wales…

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in from ringside and hyped up NXT going back on tour June 10th. An ad aired to hype up NXT’s upcoming Florida tour…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Duke Hudson. Hudson said he doesn’t care about what the NXT fans want. He said he took a break the last few weeks to clear his mind. Hudson was cut off by Bron Breakker walking past him on his way to the ring…

NXT Champion Bron Breakker made his entrance to the Performance Center ring. Breakker noted that Gacy dumped him like a piece of trash in a random field and now Gacy wants Breakker to join him. Breakker brought up Gacy having two enforcers with him now. Breakker said Gacy can kiss his ass. He said Gacy should have finished the job in the field because Breakker’s going to leave Joe Gacy unconscious. Joe Gacy’s theme played as Gacy appeared at the NXT Crow’s Nest, he was flanked by his druids.

Breakker said he doesn’t trust Gacy and is ready. Gacy cut off Breakker, saying that Breakker is predictable because he’s consumed by rage. Gacy said he can see the fire in Breakker’s eyes. Gacy proposed a one-on-one match against Breakker. Breakker agreed. Gacy talked about how he roughed up Bron’s father and disrespected his family. Gacy said he wants to up the stakes. Gacy reiterated everything he’s done to Breakker up to this point. Gacy proposed a standard match, where if Breakker gets DQ’d, he loses the championship. Breakker said “You’re on”…

John’s Thoughts: Ugh. I’m not AT ALL into this feud. These segments are just not good. The wrestlers are good. Gacy and Breakker are trying their best to deliver crap; but it’s crap nonetheless. For some reason, WWE doesn’t know how to write dark and nuanced characters (though I’d tell them to go back to the stellar Aleister Black vs. Velveteen Dream feud from a few years ago as a template on how to write a nuanced character).

The show cut to Indi Hartwell cutting a promo about being rock bottom. She said she’s tired of being kept down. She said she’s solo for the first time in her career. She said it’s sink or swim time. Hartwell called out Mandy Rose. Hartwell said Mandy calls herself the measuring stick of the women’s division, but she can take that stick and shove it up her ass…

Erik and Ivar, the Viking Raiders, made their entrance…[c]

McKenzie Mitchell informed Wes Lee that Xyon Quinn was not medically cleared to wrestle Lee. Lee said that Quinn was ducking out. Lee said whenever Quinn gets cleared, he’ll know where to find Lee. Nathan Frazer showed up and politely asked Lee for a match. Lee said he has a lot of pent up rage against Quinn and doesn’t want to take it out on Frazer. Frazer said he’d be up to the challenge nonetheless…

The Creed Brothers, Damon Kemp, and Roderick Strong made their entrance. A replay aired of Roderick Strong interfering in the Creed’s last win…

3. “The Creed Brothers” Julius and Brutus Creed (w/Roderick Strong, Damon Kemp) vs. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar. The Creeds dumped the Vikings to ringside. Erik managed to tackle Julius to his corner to tag in Ivar. The Vikings cut the ring in half on Julius. Brutus managed to tag in and take down Erik with clubbing blows. Brutus hit Erik with a deadlift German Suplex. Brutus deadlifted Ivar to the top rope to allow Julius to nail him with a high dropkick. Brutus hit the Vikings with an innovative Cannonball Drop. The show cut to commercial with Brutus selling his knees.[c]

[Hour Two] The Creeds cut the ring in half on Erik. Erik dumped both Creeds to ringside. Julius and Ivar tagged in with Ivar having the momentum. Ivar hit Julius with rapid back elbows. Ivar hit Julius with a power Bronco Buster for a two count. Julius and Erik tagged in. Brutus hit Erik with an assisted spinebuster for a two count. Erik tossed Brutus to ringside and tagged in Ivar. Ivar gave Julius a seated senton.

Ivar was handed Julius on the top rope. Ivar hit Julius with a Super World’s Strongest Slam. Brutus broke up the pin. Julius escaped and hit Erik with a German Suplex. Julius jumped to the top rope like a cat but was shoved off by Ivar. Julius avoided a top rope splash. Erik broke up Julius’s pin with a punt kick.

The Creeds and Vikings staggered to their feet and had a slugfest. They all took each other out with strikes. Damon Kemp distracted the referee. Julius shoved Roderick Strong away when Strong tried to interfere. Ivar hit Julius with a back hook kick. The Viking Raiders hit Julius with a double team Spinebuster for the win.

The Viking Raiders defeated The Creed Brothers via pinfall in 9:30 of on-air time. 

The Creeds argued with Strong with Damon Kemp trying to play peacemaker…

John’s Thoughts: We’re so used to seeing most tag team matches be fast paced spotfests to the point where it’s easy to grow numb to them. That makes seeing great matches between powerhouses that much more unique. This was a fun clash between powerhouses and even better than the last time they faced each other. The Creeds are really coming along as babyfaces, better than expected. Roderick Strong is starting to become a bit interesting too. This petty and quirky version of Strong reminds me of Undisputed Era Roddy, which was probably the most he’s shown personality-wise in his long career.

Santos Escobar was standing with Legado Del Fantasma. Escobar hyped up his match against Tony D’Angelo. Escobar noted that he’s going to leave Legado in the back. Cruz Del Toro demanded that he’d be at ringside to avenge his kidnapping. Escobar brought up how he always talks about never letting emotions get in the way of business. Escobar said that Wilde and Del Toro know “exactly” what to do to help…

Grayson Waller was shadowboxing while Tiffany Stratton was hanging out with him. Stratton wanted Waller to take care of Andre Chase…[c]

The unseen interviewer interviewed Bron Breakker about accepting Joe Gacy’s stipulation. Duke Hudson showed up to interrupt and challenge Bron Breakker to a match. Breakker accepted. Hudson said the match sounds good… next week…

Grayson Waller was already in the ring while Andre Chase got a televised entrance.  Sarray, in schoolgirl mode, was hanging out with Chase’s “students” in the crowd. She was the unofficial flagbarer of Chase U for this week…

4. Andre Chase (w/Bodhi Hayward) vs. Grayson Waller. Chase dominated early on. Chase hit Waller with European Uppercuts. Waller came back with a Yakuza Kick and some ground and pound. Waller got distracted by the Chace University section. Waller hit Chase with a snap suplex for a two count. Chase hit Waller with a knee and sunset flip for a two count. Waller hit Chase with a bicycle cross kick for a two count. Chase hit Waller with a catapult.

Chase followed up with axe handle strikes and an atomic drop. Chase hit Waller with his signature Chase U kicks. Chase dumped Waller to ringside, but accidentally on top of Hayward. This distracted Chase enough for Waller to nail Chase with his rolling stunner finisher.

Grayson Waller defeated Andre Chase via pinfall in 4:12.

John’s Thoughts: An entertaining and productive match that got both guys over. Waller continues to roll as a strong pest heel with in-ring credibility. I’m starting to warm up to both Sarray and Andre Chase. Is Sarray a college student now as opposed to High School? I kid. The Magical Girl genre is very popular (think Sailor Moon, Kill La Kill, or Madoka Magica as some solid Magical Girl series) and I think if done right they might have some marketing opportunities with Sarray (but because this is WWE, this can also go totally wrong). Chase is very valuable to NXT. He’s sorta in the undercard Heath Slater role where he’s comedy gold along with being very good at making his opponents look good. I hope the former Harlem Bravado is impressing the WWE officials with his intangibles.

Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne were watching Katana Chance and Kayden Carter trash talk about them on YouTube. Mandy Rose showed up. They talked about Chance, Carter, and Hartwell talking trash about them. Dolin said there needs to be more respect put on Toxic Attraction’s name. Rose said that will start with Indi Hartwell..

Roxanne Perez made her entrance for the next match…[c]

An Asian and Pacific Islander month video aired featuring Xia Li and Tamina…

The Creeds walked out of the locker room on Roderick Strong. Strong sent Damon Kemp to bring them back. Pretty Deadly showed up to taunt Roddy. Roddy challenged Pretty Deadly to a match with them against he and Kemp…

Kiana James made her entrance and got a picture-in-picture promo. She’s sporting a “sexy secretary” gimmick…

5. Roxanne Perez vs. Kiana James in a first round match of the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament. The match started off with chain wrestling. James landed a shoulder tackle. Perez showboated a bit and hit James with a few armdrags. Perez hit James with a shotgun dropkick for a two count. James managed to tangle Perez in the ropes and hit her with a backbreaker. James put Perez in a bow and arrow stretch. Perez rolled up James for a two count. James recovered and worked on Perez with methodical strikes.

John’s Thoughts: One thing I notice about women wrestlers with no combat background, and this is dating back to 90s pro wrestling, is that a lot of times their kicks look horrible due to lack of proper stance. They do that whole, flailing arms low boot thing (think of throwing kicks as Stacy Keibler or Kelly Kelly on the WWE video games). I think one thing that would really help a lot of wrestlers (men included) is if they learn proper kick stance in addition to punch stance. Nikkita Lyons is an example of someone who can properly throw kicks and punches and that comes from her Taekwondo background. Maybe they should do jab and roundhouse lessons in the Performance Center, just a thought.

Perez escaped a Boston Crab initially, but James managed to lock it in. Perez rolled up James for a one count. Barrett noted that Perez’s weakness is her small size. James hit Perez with a backbreaker. Perez hit James with a huracanrana for a moment of respite. The crowd chanted “Let’s go Rok-C”. Perez rallied with axe handle strikes and a thesz press. Perez hit James with a Russian Legsweep for a two count. James hit Perez with a sidewalk slam for a two count. Perez hit James with a Code Red (which they’re calling “Pop Rocks”) for the win.

Roxanne Perez defeated Kiana James via pinfall in 5:15 to advance to the Semi Finals of the NXT 

John’s Thoughts: Perez is as solid as usual, but Kiana James hung in there pretty well. She wasn’t mind-blowing or anything, but she seemed to have more experience than your usual performance center prospect. Hopefully they give her something with more depth than just being a generic sexy secretary (I’m reminded of the time when Michelle McCool did the “sexy teacher” gimmick from back in the day).

Edris Enofe and Malik Blade were in bad cosplay, acting like Santos Escobar and Tony D’Angelo for some reason. Stacks and Two Dimes, D’Angelo’s goons, showed up to challenged Enofe and Blade to a match next week…

Nathan Frazer was heading to the ring. He crossed paths and glared at Sofia Cromwell backstage (Welp, I’m assuming Von Wagner’s going to beat him up in the near future)…[c]

John’s Thoughts: The cosplay was bad, but that’s only a step below Tony D’Angelo looking like he’s a cosplayer (not D’Angelo’s fault, just WWE’s lack of creativity).

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Roxanne Perez and Cora Jade. Perez talked about how she and Jade were friends before WWE. Jade congratulated Perez for advancing in the tournament. Elektra Lopez showed up to trash talk a bit…

Wes Lee made his entrance for the next match followed by Nathan Frazer. Frazer’s entrance now has a meteor graphic (Essentially Adrian Neville’s entrance, without the scary pop)…

6. Wes Lee vs. Nathan Frazer. Lee and Frazer started the match with chain wrestling. They moved to a Lucha exchange where both men traded pin attempts and landed at a stalemate. The crowd gave the stalemate an ovation. Lee caught Frazer off guard by rubber banding the top rope into his face. Lee gave Frazer a Plancha. Frazer came right back with a suicide dive. Lee blocked a dive and hit Frazer with an Enzuigiri. Lee got a two count off a bridged deadlift German Suplex.

Frazer caught Lee on the top rope with an Enzuigiri. Lee countered a Superplex with a crossbody for a two count. Frazer caught Lee with a superkick. Lee avoided a Phoenix Splash. Lee and Frazer took each other out with stereo crossbodies. As expected, Von Wagner showed up and gave Frazer a Big Boot for the DQ.

Nathan Frazer defeated Wes Lee via apparent DQ in 4:21. 

Wagner dumped Frazer to ringside. Lee managed to land a few good hits on Wagner. Wagner took down Lee with a big boot. Wagner then gave Lee a Military Press slam from the ring to the announce table at ringside. Robert Stone and Von Wagner stood tall in the ring…

Tony D’Angelo and Santos Escobar were shown in different parts of the Performance Center, on their way to the ring…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A nice indie-style match between two of NXT’s more athletic wrestlers. I see upper-tier potential with both guys. Lee has shown he’s a blue chipper in the past. Frazer is smooth like butter. They gave him PAC’s entrance, but I see him like PAC but better initially in terms of personality (Pac eventually got there, but Frazer seems more comfortable on camera off the bat). Hey, talk about warming-up, Von Wagner is starting to look good in a serious sense finally. They’re finally hiding his weaknesses and accentuating  his strengths. I’m really liking the signal of his attacks too, where he attacks anyone that glares at Sofia Cromwell. The whole Cromwell, Stone, and Wagner act is meshing together well and I like the slow burn character development.

Wes Lee and Nathan Frazer staggering backstage. Sanga told Lee and Frazer that he felt bad for what happened when a large man like Wagner attacked them. Lee acted offended and thought that Sanga was mocking them for being small. Frazer said he didn’t take it that way. Frazer walked away saying he wasn’t going to be mad like Lee. Lee demanded that Sanga not disrespect him. Sanga said that fighting isn’t necessary. Lee said that he’s going to prove that you don’t have to be 7 feet tall to be successful here. Sanga stood up and nodded…

John’s Thoughts: Nice subtle character stuff, especially between Sanga and Lee. Sanga has potential to be one of the better Indian wrestlers in WWE and is getting better week to week. Lee is playing a character that’s in depression very well (grieving over his tag partner being released from WWE). It’ll be interesting to see where he ultimately ends up?

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett advertised the following segments for next week: Bron Breakker vs. Duke Hudson in a non-title match, Mandy Rose vs. Indi Hartwell in a non-title match.

7. Tony D’Angelo vs. Santos Escobar. The match started off with an amateur wrestling exchange with D’Angelo making it to the rope for a break. After an exchange, D’Angelo landed a neckbreaker. D’Angelo worked on Escobar with methodical offense. Escobar managed to get a breather after hitting D’Angelo with an Enzuigiri. Escobar went for an Arrow from the Depths of Hell, but D’Angelo caught Escobar with a right hand. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

D’Angelo got the advantage after a spinebuster. D’Angelo worked on Escobar with methodical offense.

[Overrun] Escobar rallied back with a series of dropkicks. Escobar caught D’Angelo at ringside with the Arrow from the Depths of Hell dive. Escobar followed up with a slingshot senton in the ring. Escobar put D’Angelo into a grounded chickenwing. D’Angelo got to the rope for a break. Escobar tagged Escobar in the jaw with a dropkick. Joseph noted that Escobar was targeting a left arm injury on D’Angelo. D’Angelo rallied back with shortarm punches and lariats. D’Angelo hit Escobar with a a series of Belly to Belly Suplexes.

Escobar fended off D’Angelo with boots. Escobar escaped a delayed vertical suplex and punched D’Angelo on the top rope. Escobar caught D’Angelo with a Frankensteiner. The audio feed was cutting out at points. D’Angelo crawled to ringside to find his crowbar. Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde showed up and pulled away the crowbar. D’Angelo’s goons showed up to brawl with Wilde and Mendoza. Escobar hit D’Angelo with a right hand punch (or power of the punch) for the win. Escobar hid something in his tights after the pinfall.

Santos Escobar defeated Tony D’Angelo via pinfall in 12:49.

A replay showed that during the commotion, Escobar pulled out brass knuckles from under the ring covering…

The show cut to Joe Gacy with his druids. Gacy continued to talk his rhetoric as he hyped up his match against Breakker at In Your House. A drone shot aired as Joe Gacy laughed menacingly to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: This feud has been oddly booked between a heel don and another heel don. Not to mention, the cinematics sometimes remind me of Impact Wrestling’s ghetto cinematic department (don’t get me wrong, Impact Wrestling is actually really good these days, their cinematics just tend to suck). Despite the things going against them, they had a nice match with each other. Extra points for D’Angelo for being so naturally gifted in pro wrestling despite having less than a year of experience. People talk about Dustin Rhodes being “The Natural” but this guy Tony D’Angelo is already having great matches with wrestlers who have decades of experience. I’m really excited to see where this guy ends up two or three years from now if he’s already having matches this great.

I’ve been saying for years that Santos Escobar (a.k.a. El Hijo Del Fantasma) is one of the best technical wrestlers in the world with the added perk of being very eloquent in cutting English speaking promos. Why isn’t he on the Main Roster? The clock is ticking with him too. He’s not the youngest, he has had injury issues in the past, but since his last injury he’s been a bit of an ironman in staying on TV for a long stretch. Escobar’s money. They need to move him over ASAP (I say this, but Hit Row was can’t miss, and WWE didn’t even allow them to do anything once they made it to Smackdown). NXT is a really well written show and very entertaining, WITH the exception of a single feud. That crappy ass Bron Breakker and Joe Gacy feud. Seriously, Druids? Darkness? Spookiness? Eh. Get Bron Breakker away from that ASAP. Gacy’s actually playing the character well, it’s just the writers who are just doing the most basic stuff with him.

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. TheGreatestOne May 17, 2022 @ 8:32 pm

    Roxanne Perez is awful. Having her beat the bigger, fitter, and clearly better worker is the kind of thing that HHH’s high budget indy show would have done. NXT 2.0 should be better than that.

    • Well, you seem to have some sort of prejudged bias against some people on TV. She’s only 20 and can go anywhere in her career. Not to mention she’s very good at not looking bad. What more can you ask for?

      I think you have the same criticism against Cora Jade for some reason? Jade and Perez just have “more knowledge” than a lot of people on the roster still trying to attain that knowledge. What’s wrong with being ahead of the class?

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