8/9 NXT 2.0 results: Moore’s review of Santos Escobar vs. Tony D’Angelo meet for the last time, Cora Jade vs. Zoey Stark, Wes Lee vs. Trick Williams in a Rounds Match, Nikkita Lyons vs. Kiana James

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

NXT 2.0 
Live from Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired August 9, 2022 on USA Network

[Hour One] NXT started up with an opening teaser which showed highlights from last week as well as featuring promos to hype up matches on this week’s show…

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

Footage from eariler in the day was shown of Nikkita Lyons and Zoey Stark hyping each other up for their upcoming match in the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship tournament…

1. Nikkita Lyons vs. Kiana James. James tangled Lyons in the corner and gave her an elevated stomp to the left shin. James gave Nikita’s leg a blockbuster flip. James worked on the injured left leg of Nikkita for a few minutes, which included a modified deathlock. Lyons rallied back with a few leg lariats and a German Suplex. Lyons spiked Kiana’s head into the bottom buckle when Nikkita’s butt flattened her off a cannonball. Nikitta hit Lyons with a nice 360 Tae Kwon Do Spin Kick. James followed up with her signature splits pin for the win.

Nikkita James defeated Kiana James via pinfall in 4:10. 

Apollo Crews and The Creed Brothers were going over match footage at the Diamond Mine dojo. Roderick Strong showed up acting jealous at the Creeds hanging out with Crews. The Creeds asked Roddy where he was last week? Roddy said he didn’t mean to be at the show because he wanted to put the Creeds through a test and the Creeds passed. Roddy then got mad at Crews for acting like he was coaching the Creeds. Roderick challenged Crews to a match later in the show…

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in from ringside. Joseph sent the show to a graphic that laid out the Rounds Match Rules. The match has 6 rounds, each round ends with a time limit, a round ends when someone scores a pinfall or submission. The winner is the person who picks up 2 of 3 falls. If there’s a Knockout or DQ, it overrides the points. If the time limit runs out the person with a fall wins (I forgot the overtime rules). For NXT UK viewers, these are the rules to the NXT Heritage Cup matches (which is kinda like ROH’s Pure Championship in that it’s contested under specialized rules). Shawn Michaels was the person in charge of NXT UK and is bringing it here…

Wes Lee made his entrance wearing boxing gloves…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Good showcase for Nikkita. I actually continue to be impressed by Kiana James, who is the former Kayla Inlay and was a student of current UpUpDownDown co-host Tyler Breeze. James is very smooth in the ring, I’m not a fan of the vocational secretary gimmick. I hope her face is ok after having Nikkita’s booty smash it. Lyons moveset is ok, but I’d like to see her maybe integrate some of her Tae Kwon Do into her moveset a bit more seamlessly. I’d actually hope she finds a way to check out Speedball Mike Bailey from Impact, who has the same TKD experience as Nikkita (and thus moveset) but he does an amazing job integrating the TKD chamber moves into pro wrestling.

Lash Legend was chatting with Malik Blade backstage. It was purposefully hard to keep up with because she was just saying random stuff…

Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes made their entrance with Trick and Melo also wearing gloves to match the boxing motif. Vic Joseph noted that this isn’t a boxing match. Alicia Taylor introduced the rules of the match. A tale of the tape graphic aired…

2. Wes Lee vs. Trick Williams (w/Carmelo Hayes) in a Rounds Match (NXT Heritage Cup Rules). There was a score graphic and timer on the screen. Trick and Wes treated it like a boxing match. With Trick punching and Wes weaving. Wes ended up getting gut punches. Trick got a nice double leg takedown. Wes Lee ended up getting counter punches on Wes when they were standing. Trick staggered Wes with a Muay Thai knee. Lee made a final comeback with a flurry of punches. Trick crumpled and the first round ended.

At the beginning of round 2, they gave up on the boxing and Wes dominated with arm drags and lucha moves. Lee caught Trick with a plancha at ringside. Melo tripped up Wes Lee while the ref wasn’t looking. Trick caught Wes Lee with a pump kick to win the first fall of the match.  The rest period ensued and the show cut to picture-in-picture.

Trick Williams earns a point via pinfall to go up 0-1.

The fourth round started off with Trick Williams wearing a glove that may or may not be loaded. Lee avoided the punches from the left hand glove. Lee got the 2nd fall of the match after a crucifix rollup. Trick punched Lee with the glove after the bell. The referee waited until Lee recovered to start the next round.

Wes Lee earns a fall via pinfall to tie the match 1-1. 

Trick hit Lee with a flying lariat once the 5th round started. Trick hit Lee with a pop up punch for a two count. Williams hit Lee with Three Amigos suplexes for a two count. Trick hit Lee with a running backbreaker for a two count. Lee dodged a Tornado Kick and hit Trick with some gamengiri kicks. Lee hit Trick with gut punches and an uppercut. Lee hit Trick with a bulldog. Lee put on a glove and punched Williams for the pinfall win.

Wes Lee defeated Trick Williams via pinfall in round six to win the rounds match. 

The show cut to Andre Chase mediating a dispute between Ariana Grace and Thea Hail. Grace claimed that Hail messed up her makeup somehow. Chase said that they can settle their differences via a match. Grace said she wants to sue hail. Chase said that at Chace U they handle their g-damn matches in the ring. Chase said he can book this match because the dispute happened on Chace U grounds. Grace left while Hail thanked Chase for her first NXT 2.0 match…

A Bron Breakker and JD McDonagh spotlight package was hyped for later in the show…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A pleasant surprise. When both men started the match as a “boxing match” I was afraid it was going to be cheesy and we were going to see two inexperienced not-fighters try to “play boxer”. Both men actually looked good. Lee’s CQC meshed well at the beginning and Trick didn’t look bad during the boxing portion. I liked the possible loaded glove later and the wrestling portion. Kept the match dynamic. I can understand if someone didn’t like the match due to it being a bit much, but I liked the variety shown. It also allowed Trick to get experience without counting on him to carry a long portion of a match. As for the rounds match thing, I wonder if Shawn Michaels is thinking of bringing that to the US, maybe by even bringing the Heritage Cup title over? I wouldn’t be against trying it out.

Carmelo Hayes was pacing in the ring, claiming that Wes Lee cheated in the last match. Melo then talked about how Nathan Frazer tried to take the title from him last week in the open challenge. He said that Frazer stepped up and got stepped on. Melo bragged about still being champion. As Melo was leaving, Nathan Frazer’s theme played. Instead of coming to the ring from the ramp, Giovani Vinci appeared behind Melo, even doing his goofy photograph thing.

Vinci recapped how Frazer took the open challenge away from Vinci last week. Vinci said Frazer saved Melo from Vinci. Vinci asked Melo to reopen the challenge for a match between him and Melo at Heat Wave. Melo said Frazer actually saved Vinci from Melo. Melo said he agrees to a match. Both men brawled. Vinci was about to hit the Spirit Bomb, but Melo slipped out of the move and referees ran out to separate the two…

John’s Thoughts: Odd that they keep booking these heel vs. heel matches for Melo’s title heading into themed shows. Should be a good match because both men are experts in the ring. Vinci is still not the best on the mic, but he was better than usual this week. Still, I really think the guy would benefit for having a valet. He’s not Von Wagner bad, but he does come off as nervous sometimes (which doesn’t work with his confident character.

The show cut to a JD McDonagh spotlight package, which showed clips of The Bron Breakker and JD McDonnagh feud up to this point with McDonagh sound bites. The package then cut to Bron Breakker pumping iron in a gym. He talked about how JD McDonagh is driven by pain. JD said that Bron is a caveman that trains like a monster. JD said he trains in isolation, away from people. JD was shown ding cryo training and getting acupuncture. Both men talked about how they were coming out of Heat Wave as champ…[c]

Lash Legend continued to talk to Malik Blade with Blade struggling to keep up. Edris Enofe showed up and also had to endure her ranting…

Thea hail got a televised entrance for the next match…

3. Thea Hail (w/Andre Chase, Bodhi Hayward) vs. Ariana Grace. Grace worked on Hail with methodical heel offense. Hail deadlifted Grace into a backpack slam to escape a headlock. Hail hit Grace with a leaping dropkick and a blockbuster. Hail did the Ultimate Warrior rope shake. Hail hit Grace with a standing moonsault for a two count. Grace claimed her eye was hurt and used the distraction to hit Hail with a Wasteland (which Wade Barrett liked) for the victory.

Ariana Grace defeated Thea hail via pinfall in 3:49. 

John’s Thoughts: Ok match. I’m actually more impressed by the 18 year old Thea Hail than the daughter of Santino Marella. Hail is very smooth in the ring and way smoother than most of the NXT 2.0 roster even though she’s the youngest person in WWE. Grace is very green and not TV ready. Her playing a brat beauty queen is also very close to Tiffany Stratton and Stratton plays the character WAY better than Ariana. One side highlight for me was Wade Barrett on commentary in awe when Grace used his finisher.

Apollo Crews was walking in the hallway. For some reason, the camera tapped into what I assume are Apollo’s precognition powers. For some reason, I guess in the future Roderick Strong and the Creed Brothers were writhing in pain in a ring. There was a green screen filter because I guess that’s the color Apollo sees things in when he uses his “powers”…

John’s Thoughts: Ok, hear me out on this, and I know I’ll get crap for it. I actually get a kick out of Apollo Crews’s goofy ass precog powers. Part of it is wrestlecrap, but I actually don’t get groans from this (unlike Sami Callihan’s nonsense hacker wizard powers) because it doesn’t come off as public access low budget. This isn’t spielberg or anything, but I don’t mind seeing where they go with it. I also liked Lucha Underground and understand that it’s a niche taste.

[Hour Two] Footage from last week’s Solo Sikoa vs. Von Wagner match from last week. Solo was then in a trainer’s room where the doctor told him that he’s going to miss 4 – 6 weeks with a leg injury. Cameron Grimes showed up and congratulated Solo. Solo said it means a lot to him to get grats from a respected member of the locker room like Grimes. Solo said he’s going to be paying attention to the North American Title match next match so he can take the title from the winner and win gold for homies like he and Grimes. Grimes walked away crestfallen because he doesn’t have gold…

Entrances for the next match took place…

4. Apollo Crews vs. Roderick Strong. Roddy stalled at the beginning of the match. Crews slapped around Roddy a bit to mock him. Both men shoved each other. Roddy grounded Apollo with a wristhold. Roddy then put Crews in an arm triangle. Crews recovered, did some agility, and hit Strong with a dropkick. Strong hit Crews with a signature backbreaker to regain momentum. Strong rallied at Crews with chops and knees. Strong grounded Crews with another backbreaker.

Crews went for a dive, but Strong swatted him out of the air with a nice dropkick.  Crews blocked a German Suplex off the apron by holding the ropes. The show then cut to regular commercial.[c]

John’s Thoughts: Odd to not do picture-in-picture here with the guys who you want to watch during breaks instead of most of the inexperienced talent.

Crews got a window of opportunity after hitting Strong with a vertical suplex. Strong crotched Crews off the top rope and got a two count. Crews caught Strong with a gamengiri and a series of lariats. Crews hit Strong with a corner splash and top rope blockbuster for a two count. Crews hit Strong with chained German Suplexes. Strong escaped with back elbows. Crews came back with a wheelbarrow German for a two count.

Strong hit Crews with a boot after reversing a suplex. Strong hit Crews with a knee. Strong hit Crews with a backbreaker on the apron. Strong put Crews in a Stronghold (The Walls of Jericho version). Crews escaped. Crews planted Strong with a Power Slam. Strong escaped a Military Press and hit Crews with a backbreaker. Crews reversed a high knee into a Military Press gutbuster. Crews hit Strong with a Uranage for the victory.

Apollo Crews defeated Roderick Strong via pinfall in 11:55 of on-air time. 

Roderick Strong threw a fit at himself at ringside, yelling about wanting to know where Diamond Mine was…

Lash Legend was still ranting in front of Enofe and Blade. Enofe tried to shut Legend up. Pretty Deadly showed up to have Legend’s back. Enofe and Blade said they’d see Pretty Deadly in the ring…

The show cut to the cinematic camera with Santos Escobar talking to someone from Legado Del Fantasma on the phone, saying he had to be alone in the next match. He was driving in a car (and probably not THAT alone, because there was a camera person in the front seat. I get it… 4th wall). Escobar said he’d call for help if he needs it…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Great match that stood out even more because it was the first match on the show with main roster level talent while the rest of the show had more developmental types in the matches. I’m surprised this match got the regular commercial because I’m sure this is the match everyone would want to watch nonstop.

Sanga was hanging out with his two best friends, Valentina Feroz and Luisa Leon, backstage. Leon and Feroz were disappointed that they lost in the tag team tournament. Katana Chance and Kayden Carter showed up and said as fighting champions they’d be honored to defend the titles against Feroz and Leon. Chance and Carter left. Feroz and Leon were down on themselves and said they don’t thing they’re ready. Sanga said Feroz and Leon remind him of Chance and Carter, who were also losing a lot but fought enough to become champions. Sanga said Leon and Feroz can get to that level. He said they need to clear their minds and join him next week in finding peace and tranquility…

Damon Kemp, Julius Creed, and Brutus Creed was analyzing their loss against the D’Angelo family. Roderick Strong showed up and threw a fit. Julius yelled that he thinks that Roddy may be the problem with Diamond Mine. Roddy said the problem is Apollo, for some reason. Roddy threw the laptop on the ground and stormed out of the room…

Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in from ringside. Joseph advertised Carmelo Hayes vs. Giovani Vinci for the North American Championship for next week’s Heat Wave themed show. Barrett sent the show to the D’Angelo vs. Escobar One Final Accord cinematic…

Santos Escobar and Tony D’Angelo in “One Final Accord” (cinematic sitdown). Both men met in the middle of a courtyard. They sat across from a pro wrestling covered table (in that it was pretty cheap, I’d expect a fancy wooden table or something). They talked about how their agreement fell apart. D’Angelo said that Escobar is supposed to work for him. Escobar asked if D’Angelo is a champion? D’Angelo said he may not be a champion, but he’s the boss.

Escobar continued to cut off D’Angelo. Escobar talked about how he built Legado off hard work. D’Angelo said Escobar san take his pride and pointed out how Legado ended up having to work for D’Angelo. Escobar said the only reason why D’Angelo is “The Don” is because he sent Ciampa packing. Escobar proposed a match where if he wins, Legado is free from the D’Angelo family, and if Escobar loses Escobar leaves NXT and D’Angelo gets to keep Wilde, Mendoza and Lopez. D’Angelo said that it’s going to be a street fight. Both men shook hands and D’Angelo said he’s going to get rid of Legado Del Fantasma for good next week…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Oh, I thought this was going to be the match and that it was going to be a cinematic. Instead, it looks like we’re going to get a more traditional in-ring affair next week (in that it’s not going to be cinematic and drone cameras). This has to be the end of Escobar’s time in NXT right? He’s been long overdue for the callup. What is odd is that they explicitly put it in the stipulation that Wilde and Mendoza have to stay in NXT no matter what? Mendoza is a great wrestler and Wilde is a long time veteran (the guy was once my most hated wrestler in the world due to his buh buh buh buh crap, but the guy is wonderful especially after he dropped the bro man crap). In terms of cinematics, this segment was pretty mediocre and low budget. It was probably shot in one of the courtyards they use regularly in cinematics. What stood out the most as low budget was the wooden table with the cheap black cloth on it. Maybe the D’Angelo family is going through tough financial times…

Tiffany Stratton walked into a room where the lights were turned off. We could hear Wendy Choo presumably beat up Stratton. the lights turned back on and Stratton was shown lying while Choo stood tall…

Entrances for the next match took place. The Pretty Deadly purple attire inspired Wade Barrett to sing the chorus of Prince’s, the singer, Purple Rain song…

5. “Pretty Deadly” Elton Prince and Kit Wilson vs. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade. Blade and Enofe traded tags early on to cut the ring in half on Prince. Prince managed to get a tag after giving Blade a flapjack. Pretty Deadly cut the ring in half on Blade with quick tags and methodical offense. Pretty Deadly mocked Briggs and Jenson’s signature baseball slide punch. Briggs, Jensen, and Henley showed up to chase Pretty Deadly back to the ring. Enofe got the hot tag and cleaned house.

Enofe planted Wilson with a bulldog. Enofe hit Wilson with a top rope elbow. Prince broke up the pin. Prince handed Wilson a chair, but ate a Tope Con Hilo from Blade. Briggs tried to take the chair away, but Prince tossed Enofe into it when Briggs held the chair up. Prince tagged in and Pretty Deadly hit Enofe with Spilled Milk for the pinfall win.

Pretty Deadly defeated Enofe and Blade via pinfall in 4:37. 

Lash Legend showed up out of nowhere to nail Henley with a dropkick. Pretty Deadly and Legend left…

Cameron Grimes was leaving the performance center where some random devlopmental wrestler was mocking him. Grimes was about to attack the random guy, but a developmental wrestler named Hank stopped him and Grimes calmly walked away. Joe Gacy and the Dyad showed up. Gacy asked Grimes where he was going. Grimes said he was going home. Gacy asked “to where”…

Cora Jade made her entrance with new hard rock heel music…

Nikkita Lyons wished Zoey Stark well in her upcoming match while Stark was warming up…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A decent showcase tag team match. I was afraid that they were going to have Pretty Deadly put over the younger tag team, but glad they got to pluck out a win in their usual heel fashion. I’m still not a fan of them feuding with Briggs and Jensen and I’m not a fan of NXT bringing over another set of tag titles to the US for no reason? If anything, they might have considered bringing the Heritage Cup over because at least that would add something new to the show.

A Toxic Attraction spotlight package aired where Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne talked about how important the tag team titles were to them, and how they ended up losing last week. Jacy Jayne talked about how she’s a fan of rock music because it represents who she is. Jayne was shown  in a record store while Dolin was drinking cocktails in a bar. Dolin ended the promo by saying that Toxic Attraction shatters reality…

McKenzie Mitchell congratulated Apollo Crews for winning his match. Crews was excited and talked about how he’s stacking up wins in NXT. Grayson Waller showed up and claimed that Apollo Crews was taking opportunities from him. Waller said he ran one guy out of NXT (Johnny Gargano) and he might chase someone else off. Waller left with Crews being up for the challenge..

Joseph and Barrett ran through the following matches for next week’s Heat Wave themed show: Carmelo Hayes vs. Giovani Vinci for the North American Championship, Santos Escobar vs. Tony D’Angelo in a Street Fight with Escobar’s NXT career on the line, and Bron Breakker vs. JD McDonagh for the NXT Championship…

Zoey Stark made her entrance. Mandy Rose joined Barrett and Joseph at the commentary table…

6. Zoey Stark vs. Cora Jade. Stark went for quick rollups and armdrags early on. Jade tripped up Stark and put the boots to her. Stark regained control with belly to back suplexes. Stark got a two count after a Fisherman Suplex. Stark tripped up Jade and hit a nice slingshot corkscrew senton. Jade came back with a rope-assisted high knee. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

[Overrun] Jade had the advantage back from the break. Stark avoided a basement elbow. Jade kicked out of Stark’s Jackknife pin attempt. Jade put Stark in a arm trap neck hold. Stark escaped. Stark blocked a high knee and yanked Jade to the mat. Jade pulled out a black kendo stick from ringside. Stark ducked a stick shot and gave Jade a German Suplex. The ref tossed the kendo stick away.

Stark rallied with lariats and a back elbow combo. Stark hit Jade with a basement knee for a two count. Stark hit Jade with a Butterfly Suplex for a two count. Stark blocked a Sliced Bread and hit Jade with a superkick. Jade kicked out at two. Jade dodged a slingshot move and hit Stark with a rope assisted knee. Jade hit Stark with a hammerlock DDT for a two count. Jade hit Stark with Sliced Bread #2 for a two count.

Cora Jade tried to go for the Kendo Stick, but Roxanne Perez took it. Stark dragged Jade back and hit her with the Tilt A Whirl GTS for the victory. Stark pointed at Mandy Rose during the pinfall.

Zoey Stark defeated Cora Jade via pinfall in 11:05. 

Roxanne Perez taunted and backed down Cora Jade with the kendo stick. Jade ran to the back with Perez cahsing her. Mandy Rose tried to blindside Stark, but Stark saw it coming. Stark gave Rose a superkick and a Tilt A Whirl GTS. Zoey Stark posed with the NXT Women’s Title to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: The match wasn’t anything to write home about to start, but I thought it got better the longer it went on. What did stand out was a handful of those suplexes looking like it hurt. I like the nice slight tweaks in Jade’s presentation, even her theme went from Pop Punk to Punk Rock. I don’t feel like she’s fully fleshed out what she’s going to do with the new character yet, but we’ll see that develop. I don’t think her feud with Perez has mounted to much yet, but maybe we’re seeing an early chapter next week that will culminate at a not-Takeover. Zoey Stark looked good back from injury. I really like her cool looking GTS finisher.

I still haven’t noticed much difference in NXT yet with the new Paul Levesque regime in place. I mean, Shawn has been here forever, but now he has to book towards Hunter’s tastes as opposed to Vince and Laurinatis’s. One small change is him bringing the Heritage Cup match over, but this week it was more of a trial run as opposed to something that he wants to bring over full time. He did bring over the UK tag titles for some reason, but why? Why does NXT US need two sets of tag titles? Next week’s Heat Wave show should be fun. Here’s hoping we start seeing those Paul Levesque changes soon. Maybe it might need them bringing in more talent? This week’s show actually felt more “developmental” than recent weeks. That stood out with Roderick Strong and Apollo Crews stealing the show just via their experience alone.

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Readers Comments (6)

  1. TheGreatestOne August 9, 2022 @ 7:19 pm

    The opening match is what NXT should be. Then Roddy Strong started talking and I tapped out for the night. Let him go play with his loser friends in AEW.

  2. There are elements of NXT 2.0 I do like (for example i think most of the womens division is really well booked)but it’s just simply not a show I can get into week after week. I think I find the presentation (the colors. The non stop flashing lights. The loud noises drowning out the natural crowd sounds) all far to distracting

  3. So I was in Hopkins, MN for an Ring of Honor show oh back in 2015 where a triple threat with Roddy Strong, AJ Styles, and Kyle O Reilly were in a triple threat for the main event. I was in the front row and Strong late in the match hit just a filthy sick kick on the outside of the ring right in front of me. That’s how AJ didn’t factor into the finish as he was a special attraction but he was definitely laying there, holding and checking his jaw to make sure his teeth were in place after that shot.

  4. Apologies for my sentence structure; I have a habit of rearranging my wording and then forgetting to delete accordingly.

  5. “Fleshed out” was tge phrase you were looking for.
    “Flushed out” is a Freudian slip!

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