WWE NXT 2.0 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from September 20
Change has come to WWE NXT 2.0. The brand introduced a fresh gold-and-white logo without much explanation at the end of last week's program. This set the stage for a new NXT on the September 20 edition.
The show would feature longtime NXT UK rivals clashing as Tyler Bate would fight JD McDonagh to crown the next No. 1 contender to Bron Breakker's NXT Championship.
Axiom and Nathan Frazer would continue their Best of 3 series. Cora Jade looked to silence Wendy Choo. Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley wanted revenge against Toxic Attraction.
Von Wagner would fight Sanga in a battle of big men. Carmelo Hayes was likely to respond to losing his NXT North American Championship to Solo Sikoa. Mandy Rose, Pretty Deadly and more were also expected to be in attendance.
This was not the biggest card on the surface, but it set the stage for change and evolution throughout the brand.
Match 2 of Best of 3: Axiom vs. Nathan Frazer
The show started with Shawn Michaels stripping Solo Sikoa of the NXT North American Championship because he was not a sanctioned challenger last week. HBK told Melo he would face four men in a ladder match at Halloween Havoc to crown the next champion.
Axiom had control in the second matchup between these rivals, but Nathan Frazer showed what he learned from their first match. He sent Axiom to the mat and hit him with a Phoenix Splash to win.
Stripping Sikoa of the NA Championship was one of the worst booking decisions from any WWE program in months. It made no sense and invalidated last week's main event.
Following up with a ladder match announcement did not help since we saw that match five months ago. At least fresh talent should get a spotlight such as Axiom and Frazer.
Once again, these two have fantastic chemistry and told a different story this time in the ring as Axiom dominated. It was a great performance that showed why both men should be heavily featured in the new NXT. Frazer had to win to make sure we got one more match.
Frazer def. Axiom by pinfall to even up the series 1-1.
A (for the match, definitely not the opening segment)
- Axiom went for the Golden Ratio, but Frazer caught him running with a superkick.
- Frazer moonsaulted toward Axiom but got pulled into a sleeper. Frazer fought out then planted his opponent with a superplex and spinning neckbreaker.
Toxic Attraction vs. Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley
Toxic Attraction did not give Ivy Nile and Tatum Paxley much credit, and they took some tough shots from Nile for it. However, Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne still put them away quickly with a High-Low finisher on the Diamond Mine star.
These women have serious potential, but this showed the inexperience on all sides. It was an inconsistent and sloppy effort where the match ended sooner than it should have given the story between the teams.
Dolin and Jayne should be able to lead matches like this, given their standing. As a firmly established women's tag team, they could help the main roster soon.
However, this did not come off as worthy of the main roster against two women who have shown they can be better with the right opponents. The result was obvious as Toxic Attraction prepares to challenge Katana Chance and Kayden Carter once again.
Toxic Attraction def. Nile and Paxley by pinfall.
- In a pre-taped interview, Alba Fyre gave Mandy Rose a warning about her upcoming challenge, but the NXT women's champion was unimpressed.
- Nile got the hot tag and went off on Jayne with kicks and a gut-wrench suplex.
The Dyad vs. Edris Enofé and Mailk Blade
The Schism told Cameron Grimes that he had made a life-altering mistake by refusing to listen to Joe Gacy. Edris Enofé and Mailk Blade stormed the ring. While they looked good, The Dyad put away their rivals with the Ticket to Mayhem.
Rip Fowler and Jagger Reid remain as good as ever in the ring. While it is still hard to buy The Schism in NXT, the talent is obviously there. This was a strong tag team match featuring two rising teams in the division.
This was sold by the hot start and the crowd's appreciation for the faces. It gave legitimacy to a match that was always going to end one way. Hopefully, Grimes can help elevate Enofé and Blade in this feud with The Schism when the three inevitably work together.
The Dyad def. Enofé and Blade by pinfall.
- Enofé and Blade caught Fowler with an impressive spinebuster/Famouser combo.
- Reid jumped off the back of Fowler into a Canadian Destroyer on Enofé.
- Grimes later promised Gacy that he would end this rivalry next week.
Cora Jade vs. Wendy Choo
Cora Jade had some trouble with the unique offense of Wendy Choo. However, she never lost control of the action and won with a DDT. Afterward, Lash Legend planted Choo with a big boot.
For a match between two established women, this was far too short. The intention was to build up Jade, but it did not need to happen at the expense of Choo.
The work in the ring was solid but unspectacular. Hopefully, there will not be too much more delaying for the rematch of Jade vs. Roxanne Perez. That should help push both women forward.
Jade def. Choo by pinfall.
- Damon Kemp explained the rest of his plan to take down Diamond Mine, taking Tony D'Angelo's money and injuring Roderick Strong to silence him.
- Perez and Meiko Satomura talked about their match and their growing respect. Perez promised to bring the same fight to her next match with Jade.
Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams vs. Andre Chase and Bodhi Hayward
Carmelo Hayes complained about the injustice of last week, but he was interrupted by Andre Chase. A fight broke out that turned into an impromptu tag match including Trick Williams and Bodhi Hayward.
The A Champion confidently jumped off the second rope toward Chase but found himself caught in a leg-trap pin for the three.
This was a chaotic few minutes. It was almost too fast as it was hard to process the shocking upset. Chase pinning Melo should put him in the running for a shot at the NXT North American Championship ladder match.
The A Champion may be paying his dues a bit now that he is off the title. He has been heavily protected so far, so a loss like this does not hurt too much. However, if it continues into future matches, he may drop down the card.
Chase U def. Melo and Trick by pinfall.
- Melo and Trick tried to stop Chase from saying "teachable moment," but he would not be silenced.
- Chase got the hot tag and planted Trick with a combination inverted Atomic Drop and bodyslam, but Trick ducked his attempted diving splash.
Von Wagner vs. Sanga
Von Wagner was unstoppable in a battle with Sanga. After a timely distraction from Robert Stone, Wagner lifted up Sanga and planted him with a fireman's carry slam for the victory.
As a way to quickly reheat Wagner, this worked. He looked like a monster against someone who could match him in size and power. It was more or less a squash, but he needed it.
Wagner has lost significant heat in recent months due to weak booking. If he is going to be the star WWE presented him to be a year ago, he must first build up a streak again.
Wagner def. Sanga by pinfall.
- Stone tried to get involved and nearly got chokeslammed. Wagner saved him and sent his opponent repeatedly into the steel steps.
Ladder Match Qualifier: Grayson Waller vs. Oro Mensah
Grayson Waller wanted to be the welcome committee for Oro Mensah, but he found himself distracted by the return of Apollo Crews. Mensah caught him with a corner spinning heel kick to win.
This was a surprising result, but the distraction protected Waller. It does seem as if NXT is repeatedly uncertain about fully committing to the loudmouth heel, keeping him out of another big match.
Crews vs. Waller was awkward the first time. Hopefully, the sequel can be better. Mensah has a chance to prove himself in the ladder match after a capable first outing. Once he works longer matches, we will have a greater idea of his potential.
Mensah def. Waller by pinfall to qualify for the North American Championship ladder match.
- Before the match, Mensah explained what winning would mean to him.
- Mensah dazed Waller with a rolling kick but got goozled on the ropes. Crews appeared and showed a bleeding eye, which stopped Waller from hitting his finish.
- Wes Lee told everyone he refused a free spot and would qualify for the NXT North American Championship ladder match only after defeating Tony D'Angelo.
No. 1 Contender for NXT Title: Tyler Bate vs. JD McDonagh
In a wild battle of two longtime rivals, JD McDonagh was the better man when it mattered most. Tyler Bate tried to hit a top rope Tyler Driver 98 but instead took a top rope Spanish Fly into the Devil Inside, sealing the win for The Irish Ace.
The show ended with a shocking return as former NXT UK champion Ilja Dragunov headed to the ring and stared down both men.
After promising a new NXT last week, this whole night was more of the same. The pace was rushed from the opening contest right up to the final match.
Luckily, the main event got what it needed. The sequences in this matches were wild, showcasing two fantastic athletes with a desire for gold. The chemistry on display may be unmatched in NXT.
If there is a small quibble, though, this match was more Jordan Devlin than The Irish Ace's newly formed NXT persona. McDonagh needs to be able to sell his NXT persona if he is going to be seen as a real challenger to Breakker.
That may not be a problem though if the real next challenger to Breakker is The Czar. Dragunov is an incredible performer who can give the NXT champion his best match to date.
McDonagh def. Bate by pinfall to become the No. 1 contender to the NXT Championship.
- In an interview, Breakker put over both Bate and McDonagh as great challengers.
- The NXT champion walked out Landon "The Conqueror" Chase, another beneficiary of WWE's Connor's Cure. Breakker would join commentary.
- Bate and McDonagh traded pinfall attempts back and forth for a full minute until colliding with clotheslines.
- The Big Strong Boy dived into The Irish Ace on the announce table, leaving McDonagh laid out but laughing at Breakker, who looked on from commentary.
- The Irish Ace planted Bate with a moonsault outside followed by a 450 splash and brainbuster for nearfalls.