7/19 NXT 2.0 results: Moore’s review of a 20-woman battle royal for a shot at the NXT Women’s Title, JD McDonagh vs. Cameron Grimes, Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs vs. Pretty Deadly for the NXT UK Tag Titles, Roderick Strong vs. Damon Kemp, Axiom debuts, The Schism reveals their identities

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

NXT 2.0 
Live from Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired July 19, 2022 on USA Network

[Hour One] The opening video focused on the friendship between Roxanne Perez and Cora Jade which led to the Cora Jade heel turn at the end of last week’s NXT show…

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

Entrances for the opening match took place…

1. Cameron Grimes vs. JD McDonagh. JD got to keep his old NXT theme. Grimes blocked a double leg takedown early on, leading to the first break. Grimes got control after a waist takedown. JD came back with  kick to the shin. Grimes hit JD with a spinning roundhouse. Grimes took down JD with a stiff roundhouse. Grimes worked on JD with methodical technical offense. Grimes dominated for a few minutes.

JD made a comeback with a modified leg scissors takedown and corkscrew slingshot plancha. McDonagh locked Grimes in a single leg crab. Joseph pointed out that McDonagh has been focusing on the shins and legs of Grimes. Grimes escaped and hit McDonagh with a high flying crossbody. Joe Gacy showed up doing his creepy smile from the crow’s nest. The show cut to picture in picture.[c]

Grimes took down McDonagh with a basement leg lariat. McDonagh blocked a suplex from the apron. McDonagh slammed Cameron’s lower leg into the ringpost. JD put Grimes back into a half crab, focusing on the injured left knee. Grimes came back with axe handle strikes and a black hole slam. JD staggered Grimes with a kick to the injured knee. Grimes blocked an apparent dragon screw with an Enzuigiri. Grimes fired up with a flurry of strikes.

McDonagh got to his feet and hit Grimes with a headbutt. JD then ate a knee to the jaw, leading to both men crumpling. JD managed to trip Cameron on the apron, causing Cameron to get his injured leg tangled in the ropes. JD put the boots to Grimes while he was tangled. McDonagh hit Grimes with the Devlin Side (Saito Suplex) for the victory.

JD McDonagh defeated Cameron Grimes via pinfall in 13:25.

Joe Gacy shook his head in disappointment from the crow’s nest…

John’s Thoughts: Great matchup. The finish wasn’t in question because JD is making his NXT return and they’re telling a story about Grimes being down on his luck. Devlin told a good story by focusing on the left knee. What I don’t like is they are seemingly tossing Grimes into creative hell by putting him in a program with cheesy ass Joe Gacy. Bron Breakker’s momentum was halted when he feuded with Gacy. I’m already looking froward for that feud to end and it’s barely started. Is this going to lead to Grimes wrestling in a bath robe?

Nikkita Lyons cut a promo about how she wants to win the advertised number one contender’s battle royal…

Cora Jade was shown walking backstage with her NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship…[c]

An ad aired to focus on Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar appearing on Smackdown this week…

Tiffany Stratton cut a promo to hype herself in the Women’s battle royal…

Cora Jade made her entrance to the Performance Center ring. Her video wall now has broken skateboard graphics. She walked looking dismissive of the crowd. Jade said the first thing the people have to do is shut up if they want to hear what she has to say. She said she stabbed her friend in the back last week and she should have done it sooner. She said she’s been the face of the NXT Women’s Division, on all the advertising, and picked by the fans to be the next breakout star. She talked about her big dive at War Games.

She talked about how she wanted her best friend to enjoy this success with her. She said the moment she brought Roxanne into WWE, the attention immediately shifted away from Cora and onto Roxanne. She talked about finally becoming a champion with her best friend. Jade talked about Roxanne cashing in for a Women’s Title shot no sooner than 30 minutes later after winning the tag titles. Jade said she wanted to make the tag titles the most important in WWE, and Roxanne was already moving on so soon. Jade said the fans and Roxanne could go to hell.

She said that Roxanne used her to get into WWE and is a selfish bitch. Jade said Roxanne was so delusional that she couldn’t see who attacked her in the parking lot, Cora Jade. She talked about how she was supposed to beat Mandy Rose last week, but the injured Roxanne had to take that moment from her. She said if felt so damn good to hit Perez with the title. She said Roxanne’s face was precious, like a puppy dog. She said that Roxanne is not at the building tonight and no one will stop her from winning the battle royal. Cora Jade said the tag titles are a lie to her . She said she’s wired differently these days and a new generation of Jade will begin. Jade then dropped the tag title belt in a trash can and walked away…

John’s Thoughts: A bit of an exposition dump, but Cora Jade delivered her first heel promo very well. It was solid and easy-to-hate delusional heel logic with her being clouded by jealousy. Looks like we might have seen the last of the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships, at least for now. If they are going to have tag belts, maybe they should do what they were initially doing when they had the women’s main roster tag titles being able to float onto NXT. Either that, there’s nothing wrong with “less titles” because having too many titles can stretch a roster thin. We’re still wondering what they’re going to do with the vacant main roster women’s tag titles too.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Xyon Quinn. Quinn said it’s not a we business, but a me business. He said he was congratulating Jade for thinking about herself. McKenzie pointed out how he interfered in Apollo Crews’s match last week. Quinn joked about Crews saying he can see the future, but he didn’t see the attack coming. He said he’s gong to get the biggest win in his career when he beats Crews. He ran through Crews’s accolades and said that Crews couldn’t cut it out on the big leagues. Quinn said he has the X Factor and next week the X Factor will be on full display. Interesting note, Wade Barrett called Crews a “Raw superstar” when hyping up the Quinn and Crews match for next week…

Roderick Strong made his entrance. Vic Joseph noted that Strong ordered Diamond Mine to stay in the back for his match against Damon Kemp…[c]

Indi Hartwell hyped up how she wants to win the women’s battle royal…

Damon Kemp made his entrance…

2. Roderick Strong vs. Damon Kemp. Kemp took down Strong with a side headlock takedown. Strong countered with a side headlock of his own. Kemp caught Strong and hit him with a swinging power slam. Kemp hit Strong with an elbow drop. Strong low blowed Kemp by slamming the 2nd rope into it. Barrett noted that Strong hit Kemp in the “Tally Wacker”. Strong worked on Kemp with methodical offense. Barrett said that Strong is a benevolent dictator and a lot of other people come off as snowflakes.

Strong dominated for a few minutes. Kemp rallied back with lariats and a flip lariat. Kemp hit Strong with a slingshot spear for a two count. Kemp and Strong took each other out with lariats. Tony D’Angelo appeared on the big screen showing that he, Stacks, Wilde, and Del Toro were putting the boots to the Creed Brothers. Kemp wanted to run to the back to go check on the Creeds. Strong caught a distracted Kemp with a high knee for the victory.

Roderick Strong defeated Damon Kemp via pinfall in 5:55. 

Strong raised his hands like he had a big victory. He then ran to the back, saying that he needs to check on the Creeds. Kemp stumbled around up the ramp, following Strong to check on the Creeds…

Pretty Deadly were shown in the locker room. They were talking about how they are going to beat Briggs and Jensen. They put on cowboy hats to mock Briggs and Jensen. The show cut to Briggs and Jensen hyping up defending the titles and how Fallon Henley will win the Battle Royal. Henley said that Briggs and Jensen should remain focused…

John’s Thoughts: Kemp (Bobby Steveson) is still a bit rough, but he gets better during every match and Strong carried him well in this short match. Kemp’s strength in-ring so far is his fired up rallies, which he actually executes really well. I’m also getting a kick out of Strong being a delusional taskmaster. He’s re-invoking some of his funny quirks that he had in Undisputed Era.

Brutus and Julius Creed were helping each other up. Roddy showed up and berated the Creeds for not being able to handle Tony D’Angelo and the Legados. Roddy then yelled at Kemp for not getting here quick enough. Strong yelled, yelling about how he was going to take care of Tony D’Angelo…

John’s Thoughts: Roderick Strong as sorta turned things around as a character. It seemed like he was on his way to AEW, looking out of place in Diamond Mine. This new pissed off Roddy character has really won me over. Him yelling at everyone for no reason was a riot. The best part was him yelling at Damon Kemp for being late to the party, despite the reason he was late being Roderick Strong knocking him out with a finisher. I never knew I’d get into Roddy as a personality, but he’s doing a great job.

Pretty Deadly made their entrance in cowboy themed gear. Their high cut shirts were actually cow spotted. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in ring championship introductions. For some reason, a “USA” chant ensued…

3. Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen (w/Fallon Henley) vs. “Pretty Deadly” Elton Prince and Kit Wilson for the NXT UK Tag Team Championships. Prince slapped Jensen which fired him up. Jensen rallied back with corner strikes and a backdrop. Wilson got a blind tag in and saved Prince from a suplex. Wilson worked on Jensen with forearms. Prince tagged in and Jensen fended off both Pretty Deadly members. Briggs tagged in. Briggs and Jensen hit Pretty Deadly with stereo baseball slides into right hands. Briggs caught a flying Prince with a body slam. Wilson blind tagged in. Briggs dumped Prince to ringside which sent him into Fallon Henley. The show cut to regular commercial.[c]

[Hour Two] Briggs hit Prince with a spinning wheel kick. Wilson blind tagged in and the heels cut the ring in half on Jensen with isolation offense. Jensen managed to escape a headlock with a jawbreaker. Wilson and Prince traded quick tags to continue the isolation sequence. Jensen avoided a corner splash to get the tag to Briggs. Briggs cleaned house. Briggs hit Prince with a body slam and took him down with a running splash. Wilson and Briggs took each other out with stereo crossbodies. Briggs got a two count on Wilson with a backslide. Briggs and Wilson took each other down with a lariat. Prince handed Briggs the tag title to try to fool the referee. Wilson tried to hit Briggs with the title belt while the ref was distracted, but Henley made sure Wilson wouldn’t use the title belt. Briggs and Jensen hit Wilson with a High Low Combination for the victory.

Briggs and Jensen defeated Pretty Deadly via pinfall in 8:15 of on-air time to retain the NXT UK Tag Team Championships. 

The show cut to Joe Gacy and his bath robe ninjas. He said it was time for them to reveal their identities. Gacy took off their hoods to reveal the Grizzled Young Veterans, James Drake and Zack Gibson. Drake was now Jagger Reed. Gibson was Rip Fowler. Both men were clean shaven. For some reason Gibson/Fowler has a eye contact that has no iris. Drake/Reed has contacts that give him heterochromia.They talked in Gacy’s usual rhetoric. Fowler said they are now ready “to be recognized” (a play off his old catchphrase). Gacy told both men, welcome home…

Bron Breakker was shown looking for JD McDonagh in the parking lot…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Ok, I was distracted a bit at Gibson’s eye contact. That wasn’t as bad as I expected with the reveal. At least they changed up their look for the gimmick. I always thought that Drake needed to change up his look from his sad-emo-kid days from Progress, and the clean shaven look works. Gibson looks like a completely different person and that eye’s going to be distracting. Beats bath robes. The UK Tag Title match was well wrestled. Pretty Deadly are main roster ready, from being good characters to telling good stories in the ring. Jensen is improving. Briggs has the potential to be a singles star big man on the main roster. He has that Diesel/Kane/Doc Gallows quality to him. His country boy look is looking better these days too. It’s still cheap looking, but at least it doesn’t look like they took his costume from the 99 Cent Only store.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Wes Lee and noted that a lot of people are talking about him these days due to his various feuds. He talked about finally getting his vision back from Trick’s rubbing alcohol attack. Wes Lee said he’s going to go after Grayson Waller first and then go after Trick Williams right after…

NXT Champion Bron Breakker made his entrance. He was wearing a tank top and had his right shoulder in Kinesio tape. Breakker noted that he went toe to toe with one of the best in NXT against Cameron Grimes. He said Grimes made it personal, but he respects that Grimes faced him head on. He then pointed out JD McDonagh putting him through a table. He said he understands that it’s the usual next-challenger thing. He said he knows about JD, the Irish Ace. He said that JD go this attention and JD is going to pay. JD McDonagh appeared on the big screen in front of a mannequin. The mannequin had arrows pointed at the shoulder. JD talked about how he was dominating in the UK. He said a lot of people face Breakker, but he’s going to dissect Breakker. Breakker then talked about the science behind a shoulder joint. He said he’s going to disable Breakker.

He talked about how he’s going to tear tendon away from bone. JD pointed that out on teh mannequin. JD said there’s only so much trauma the brain can go through before shutting off. JD asked Breakker if he’s gong to risk his health. Breakker said that JD needs to make his way to the ring and if he needs balls, he can borrow them from the mannequin. JD said one day, but not today. He said that Breakker’s future changed at the Great American Bash. He said the necessary evil has arrived. Breakker said if JD rips off his shoulder, he’ll take it back and beat JD’s ass with it. Breakker made his exit…

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in from ringside and sent the show to footage from Smackdown last week which happened backstage. Solo Sikoa was attacked by Von Wagner. Wagner beat up Solo in front of the Amway Center. He said he just put the street champ on his ass…

An Axiom Vignette aired which was styled like a Marvel Comic Book. It said that he was making his debut after the break…

John’s Thoughts: Decent promo exchange between McDonagh and Breakker. Breakker does need to evolve a bit from mimicking his dad and uncle, or at least he needs to find a nuanced way to do it. JD was fine in his psycho promo. Hey, and at least he’s more menacing than Joe Gacy.

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed The Creeds, Strong, and Kemp. Julius took the mic and challenged Tony D’Angelo. Brutus said they got jumped. HE said that Diamond Mine is a family, and when you jump one of them, you jump all of them. Strong said you’re looking at the strongest family in NXT. Julius said Tony accept the challenge and gets his ass beat or they find Tony and his family and they still get their ass beat…

Axiom (a.k.a A Kid) made his entrance. His video wall was math themed. He wore all black superhero lucha gear. They also did this weird effect where they give him an afterimage blur to make it look like he’s The Flash. Poor Dante Chen was already in the ring (remember when they were giving this guy somewhat of a huge push on TV? He did get that halted due to injury though). Joseph called Axiom “the modern day mathematical superhero”…

John’s Thoughts: Well? That was a thing. Hey, at least it’s better than what they have in Giovani Vinci’s entrance…

4. Axiom vs. Dante Chen. Axiom missed a enzuigiri early on. Barrett noted that if Axiom uses formulas to fix things, then he needs to do the impossible and find a match problem to fix the Cleveland Browns. Axiom got a one count off a rollup. Chen hit Axiom with a backbreaker for a two count. Axiom hit Chen with a pop up tornado DDT. Axiom staggered Chen with a Pele Kick. Axiom hit Chen with a high crossbody. Axiom hit Chen with a dropkick to the jaw for the victory.

Axiom defeated Dante Chen via pinfall in 3:00. 

John’s Thoughts: An ok debut, but nothing to write home about. I think part of the problem was wrestling with developmental wrestler Dante Chen, who isn’t too experienced yet. He also seemed to struggle to integrate his new superhero gimmick into his moveset. It seemed like he would stop at points to try to squeeze in a superhero pose or something. He needs to be more natural, which we know he can be. A Kid is an amazing wrestler. This looked like A Kid toned down.

Lash Legend did her promo to hype up winning the women’s battle royal…

The commentators hyped up a Carmelo Hayes barber shop segment for after the break…[c]

Footage was shown of a woman asking Giovani Vinci for a selfie. Vinci refused to take a picture with the woman and instead just took a picture of himself. All of a Sudden, a Flixbus popped up with Thea Hail, Bodhi Hayward, and the Chase U students showing up to annoy Vinci. After Chase U left, Vinci complained about the bus being in the way of his car…

The show cut to Trick and Melo at the barber’s shop. They were bragging about hanging out with the shawtys last week. They then recapped Wagner and Solo brawling. Trick talked about Apollo Crews coming after Melo’s title. Before he could get out a thought, Melo got a text talking about how Wes Lee was talking trash about Trick. Trick and Melo continued to run down their potential opponents…

Grayson Waller vs. Wes Lee and Apollo Crews vs. Xyon Quinn was advertised for next week…

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed the Toxic Attraction trio. Mandy Rose joked that she assumes Tatum Paxley will win. They mocked McKenzie and called everyone else losers. Ivy Nile showed up and said that she’s going to take the title from Rose. Kiana James showed up and talked about match. Alba Fyre then showed up to talked about how she’s going to take down Toxic Attraction. This led to Alba Fyre making her televised entrance for the Battle Royal. Wade Barrett noted that his favorite to win is Alba Fyre due to her being a former NXT UK Women’s Champion…[c]

This week’s QR code took the viewers to a video this time. The video focused on boots walking through a dark room…

Some unseen interviewer (that sounded like Jeremy Borash) wanted to interview Cameron Grimes, but Grimes snapped and ranted, saying that he wants to go home. Grimes walked away with luggage. Joe Gacy tried to comfort Grimes, but Grimes walked away saying, so more…

John’s Thoughts: Jeremy Borash and [bath robe] Ninjas around? Grimes is definitely getting kidnapped in the parking lot (Last time when Samoa Joe was crestfallen, carried his luggage, and was trying to be interviewed by Jeremy Borash, he was kidnapped by Ninjas… BY NINJAS!!!).

McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Tony D’Angelo who accepted Diamond Mine’s challenge. Elektra Lopez and Cora Jade got televised entrances. Toxic Attraction were sitting in their ringside Toxic Lounge. Zoey Stark made her return from injury with a televised entrance. Joseph noted that Stark was gone since November. Wade Barrett noted that Stark was the person behind the QR codes…

John’s Thoughts: Really? Good to see Stark back, but I kinda expected more from the cool QR code gimmick. I can’t even connect the random numbers to Zoey Stark, so the reveal feels unsatisfying. I kinda hope that the QR Codes were for someone else, but Barrett made it seem like it was for Zoey Stark. Hey, Io Shirai would have been more intriguing.

5. Battle Royal for a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship. Jade went through the 2nd rope and ran away from Ivy Nile who chased her. Joseph noted that no one was eliminated because it’s an over-the-top-rope battle royal. Ivy Nile took out Amari Miller with a kick. Barrett compared Ivy Nile to Luna Vachon. Ariana Grace (Santino Marella’s daughter) was eliminated by a big boot from Indi Hartwell. Lash Legend and Alba Fyre eliminated each other when Fyre hit Legend with a huracanrana. Wendo Choo acted like she eliminated herself by falling asleep, but she fell on a pillow at ringside. Barrett said it was a Kofi Kingston moment.

Zoey Stark eliminated Luisa Leon by dumping her off the top rope. Valentina Feroz took Stark on the apron with a headscissors. Feroz fell onto Leon, but Stark followed up with a right hand to eliminate Feroz. Kia a used a boot to the rope to shake Fallon Henley off the apron to eliminate her. Tiffany Stratton eliminated Wendy Choo by hitting her with Choo’s cup. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Sloane Jacobs and Elektra Lopez were eliminated during the break. Chance and Carter eliminated Ivy Nile. Nile pulled Chance down. Lyons eliminated Carter. Chance and Carter put the boots to Nile. Tatum Paxley eliminated herself via a plancha to Chance and Carter to save Nile. Stratton pulled down the top rope to eliminate Hartwell. James, Lyons, Stratton, and Stark with the final four in the ring with Cora Jade presumably hiding backstage.

[Overrun] Lyron hit James and Strattton with back sentons. She hit Stark with a German Suplex. Lyons hit James with a cyclone kick and eliminated her. Stratton eliminated Lyons. Stark dumped Stratton over the top rope, who skinned the cat to avoid elimination. Stark dumped Stratton to ringside with a lariat, but both feet didn’t touch the floor. Stark hit Stratton with a Half and Half suplex. Stark punched Stratton off the apron with a right hand to eliminate her.

The commentators acted like Stark won, forgetting that Cora Jade was still in the match. Cora Jade showed up and tried to eliminate Stark, but Stark backdropped Jade to quickly eliminate her.

Zoey Stark won the women’s battle royal in 13:13 to become the number one contender to the NXT Women’s Championship. 

Stark jawed at Mandy Rose from a distance to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: A decent enough battle royal that suffered due to the problem of TV battle royals, trying to stuff too many people in a time-constrained match. As expected, some of the spots worked, but a lot of the spots didn’t work due to the wrestlers trying to be a bit too cute with creating standout moments. Next time they do this, they should consider maybe making it a ten person battle royal because having too many people made it feel even more rushed than it already was. The Cora Jade fakeout at the end wasn’t even well done because no one forgot she was still in play, making Vic Joseph have to play dumb.

This week’s episode of NXT was underwhelming. A lot of it due to them trying to do a lot more experimental stuff again, and a lot of things missing the mark. One “positive” highlight was the reveal of the Grizzled Young Veterans under their new looks (and even that wasn’t great, I just got a chuckle out of it. Joe Gacy still pisses me off with his dry gimmick). What is a positive is we don’t have to watch men fumble and bumble as they wrestle in bath robes. Axiom didn’t wow me. The highlight of the show was early on with the great JD McDonagh vs. Cameron Grimes match.

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. Pretty certain now that the women’s tag team division across the board is done. Sasha and Naomi were right – even though the way they handled it wasn’t. There wasn’t enough interest in it by WWE. It has cost them two wrestlers, maybe three if Bayley decides not to come back from her injury which is possible in the circumstances (she’s been gone for a year now). It was after all Pam who drove the re-introduction of the titles at the beginning. Cora’s action not only drew from Madusa’s WCW act, but it also reflected on the whole situation as though it was now closed. Expect WWE to quietly de-activate both titles.

  2. After Sasha and Naomi left, WWE should have held the tournament for the belts and had a mystery team get a pass straight to the semi-finals. That team being Toxic Attraction who would win the whole thing, unify the belts and defend them across all three brands.

  3. TheGreatestOne July 20, 2022 @ 9:12 am

    I’m already over the influx of short, scrawny NXT UK donks showing up on Tuesday nights. I don’t care who these guys are, they’re all under 6′, under 200 lbs, and are making it look like HHH really is back and turning NXT back into a glorified indie show instead of a good developmental territory. Get the vanilla midgets out of here.

  4. I rather enjoyed the battle royal. While some of the females are still green I think this batch of wrestlers is far more athletic than most of the current main roster. If they don’t get saddled with terrible gimmicks (no guarantees there) the female division could really be one to watch 2-3 years from now

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