WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from September 21
WWE NXT 2.0 debuted last week with the arrival of several new stars, including Bronn Breakker, Von Wagner and Trick Williams, and Tommaso Ciampa winning the NXT Championship. The September 21 edition of the show promised to keep that momentum going.
Kushida returned to challenge Roderick Strong. The leader of Diamond Mine has had major momentum lately, but the NXT cruiserweight titleholder has his own build that has carried him as champion. Only one man could emerge with gold.
Breakker got in Ciampa's face to end the night, but The Blackheart knew there were plenty more men targeting him and the belt on his shoulder.
Mandy Rose revealed a new look before she, Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne picked up a huge win as a trio. Now named Toxic Attraction, this stable needed to address the women's division as a whole.
This show had a lot to live up to as the brand continues its rebirth. New talent would only thrive if NXT 2.0 treated them properly and without overshadowing those the fans care about.
The Present and Future of NXT 2.0 Clash
Some of the new stars of NXT 2.0 were in the ring to start the night, including Carmelo Hayes, Williams, Odyssey Jones and Breakker. Ciampa put over the new talent after coming out and savoring his return to the top of the brand.
The Blackheart wanted it to be clear that NXT 2.0 was still the same show but also better than ever. Cameron Grimes walked out to request a championship match, but Joe Gacy took offense. LA Knight wanted his own bout, but Jones told him to shut up after losing twice in one night.
Pete Dunne arrived to give some friendly advice to the young stars, which sparked a brawl that ended with Ciampa and Breakker in the ring. Bron challenged Dunne and Ridge Holland to a tag team match against him and the NXT champion.
This was a solid but chaotic start, as NXT 2.0 set up a variety of matches for the rest of the night between the present and future of the brand. Some arrivals felt a bit contrived, but it was a better way to announce these makeshift matches than trying to sell them beforehand.
Ciampa put over several names in the action while others felt out of place. The end goal was clear: Ensure that these newer stars can work right alongside the stalwarts. The results of the matches to follow would define the success of this opener.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Kushida (c) vs. Roderick Strong
Roderick Strong started on the ground with Kushida. When the champion got back to his feet, he tried to turn the contest into a strikefest.
The Messiah of the Backbreaker answered kicks with forearms before planting Kushida with a backbreaker for the first near-fall.
Kushida rolled Strong into the middle of the ring for the Hoverboard Lock for almost a minute, but Malcolm Bivens got the challenger's foot on the ropes to force a break-up. Bivens then distracted the referee while Ivy Nile took out Kushida outside with a running forearm.
Back in the ring, Strong won with a running knee and the End of Heartache.
Grayson Waller interrupted the celebration. He wanted an NXT Cruiserweight Championship match next week. After consulting with Strong, Bivens accepted the challenge.
In a pre-taped interview, Tony D'Angelo promised to turn his Chicago upbringing into success in WWE. Josh Briggs explained that he got into a bar brawl with Brooks Jensen, and they gained enough respect for each other that they had to fight together.
Strong def. Kushida by pinfall to become the new NXT cruiserweight champion.
Strong and Kushida competed at a high level, though they deserved more time and the main event spot. These men could go twice as long without breaking a sweat. Both are technically focused but also can get into a strike war.
Diamond Mine was clearly a huge priority for the new NXT. It was no surprise to see Strong win. He will likely dominate the cruiserweight division for a while, but hopefully that won't come at the expense of Kushida.
The Japanese Superstar has massive upside and should move to the NXT North American Championship or NXT Championship scene. He has so many great matches to still have in NXT.
Kay Lee Ray vs. Amari Miller
Backstage, Kay Lee Ray got knocked down briefly by Amari Miller, and B-Fab and Elektra Lopez brawled until officials broke up the action between all four.
Before her match, Miller cut a pre-taped promo about her focus in WWE. While she tried to keep up with KLR, the former NXT UK women's champion put her down quickly with the KLR Driver.
Ray def. Miller by pinfall.
This seemed like it might be more than a squash given the setup, but it was barely even an opportunity for Miller. She was quickly overwhelmed and laid out by KLR in a match that lasted barely 90 seconds.
Ray is picking up win after win to set herself up for a challenge to Raquel Gonzalez. She is in the best position at the moment to dethrone the NXT women's champion, but nothing is set in stone with NXT 2.0.
Dante Chen vs. Trey Baxter
Two women walked toward the arena with Xyon Quinn, who showed chivalry by letting them to walk inside first, but another man pushed his way past. Quinn laid him out after pulling him out of the way of the women.
Dante Chen arrived as WWE's first Singaporean Superstar. He had an impressive presentation and quickly overwhelmed Trey Baxter. He planted him with an inside cradle drop for the victory.
Cora Jade cheered Baxter backstage afterward with a kiss, telling him he was fighting a superhero and would win again soon.
Chen def. Baxter by pinfall.
This was a poor debut from Chen, who is clearly still not ready to be on TV. Baxter struggled to get in position for him, wasting his talent in a 90-second loss. Baxter may quickly find he signed with the wrong company at the wrong time, as he does not have the size or look it wants.
Hopefully, Chen has more in him going forward. For the moment, he has a strong presentation but lacks experience. He will likely remain in NXT for a while, giving him time in the Performance Center to find his stride.
Cameron Grimes vs. Joe Gacy
Joe Gacy explained that he wanted the ring to be a safe space for conflict resolution. Cameron Grimes gladly had a friendly fight with the big man with a new look on life. The Technical Savage ended it with the Cave-In.
Afterward, Gacy hugged Grimes in thanks for a good match.
Grimes def. Gacy by pinfall.
So far, the transformation of Gacy has made little impression. He had a unique look coming into NXT, so it felt unnecessary to make him such a one-note character. This could work with time, but Grimes turned him into a joke to start.
The Technical Savage made a name for himself late in the run of NXT 1.0, but he has a ridiculous enough character to work with this new crop of talent as well. Hopefully, his size does not hold him back with such a defining personality.
Elektra Lopez (w/ Legado Del Fantasma) vs. Anna Scheer
Elektra Lopez took her time after the bell rang, but once she charged forward, Anna Scheer was completely outmatched. She threw her opponent around with ease then hit a spin-out side slam into a bridging suplex and spin-out powerbomb for the win.
Santos Escobar put over the newest member of Legado del Fantasma. She made clear she was La Madrina, and she was not afraid of B-Fab. This brought out Fab, who got into a brawl with Lopez.
Lopez def. Scheer by pinfall.
This was a better squash than her rival's last week. Lopez is still unrefined, but she has a variety of moves in her arsenal that make her more exciting to watch. She clearly has experience that will serve her well as she develops into a new star in NXT.
While the fans are excited for Fab vs. Lopez, it will take more time for them to have the match worthy of the hype. Hopefully, NXT does not rush them to the finish. The two have a No Disqualification match set for next week, but that is likely to use many bells and whistles to hide their flaws.
Odyssey Jones vs. Cary Millman and Darren Chiappetta
Andre Chase held a class on how to be a winner, making fun of Odyssey Jones. A student asked Chase about losing to Jones in the Breakout Tournament, and Chase lost his cool and yelled at the student.
The big man decided to answer Chase by defeating two men at once. Chase came out to watch closely as Jones planted both men with a second-rope splash for the win. Afterward, the heel tried to attack his rival with a steel chair, but Jones broke it with just a hand.
Jones def. Millman and Chiappetta by pinfall.
While Jones certainly needs wins, squashing multiple opponents at once is a cliche for a bigger wrestler. At no point did he look any more impressive than he has against stars in the NXT Breakout Tournament.
His feud with Chase is all about furthering the legend of the big man. Eventually, Odyssey will face a worthy challenger, but that will likely take time. This was another example of NXT 2.0's focus on quantity over quality wrestling.
Toxic Attraction Put the Women's Divison on Notice
Raquel Gonzalez walked out of William Regal's office right into Franky Monet to give her the news that they would fight for the NXT Women's Championship next week. Lash Legend told The Brand that her debuting talk show "Lashing Out" was a bigger deal than the women's title match.
Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams reminded Grayson Waller that Hayes could cash in on him if he defeated Roderick Strong next week. Toxic Attraction walked by the action, leaving Hayes and Trick struck silent.
Mandy Rose led the charge with Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne. They made it clear that they planned to take over all of NXT 2.0. God's Greatest Creation credited her friends for helping her evolve into the woman who could take over the best division in the world.
Io Shirai accepted the challenge of Toxic Attraction, which caused some argument with Zoey Stark. Persia Pirotta interrupted them to make clear she and Indi Hartwell were going after the titles when the latter's honeymoon was over.
Toxic Attraction has been built well into a dangerous trio, the first real all-female stable in NXT. Rose works as the experienced leader while Dolin and Jayne are the bad influences turning God's Greatest Creation into someone far more dangerous.
Dolin and Jayne could legitimately dethrone Shirai and Stark. No NXT women's tag title reign has lasted through multiple defenses, and Toxic Attraction have more momentum and hype behind them in NXT 2.0 than the champions.
The big positive is that this week set the stage for the more female-focused show next week. Two women's title matches will define that show and hopefully make for a stronger episode.
Tommaso Ciampa and Bron Breakker vs. Pete Dunne and Ridge Holland
Ikemen Jiro showed off his jacket collection that helped define him not as a wrestler of "strong style" but "style strong." Von Wagner showed off his outside workout regimen that would take him back to the top again soon.
Bron Breakker left Pete Dunne and Ridge Holland shocked early, forcing the heels to find a way to isolate the NXT champion. The Blackheart battled back, sending The Bruiserweight over the announce table, but Holland shoulder-blocked him over the table in response.
Ciampa finally got enough separation to give Breakker the hot tag. He ran over both heels, making Holland look mortal with his sheer power. The young star locked The Bruiserweight in a Steiner Recliner to nearly get Dunne to tap out.
Holland saved Dunne from a Military Press but rolled outside right into Kyle O'Reilly, who hit him with his own baton. Ciampa hit the Willow's Bell, and Breakker struck a powerslam for the win.
Breakker and Ciampa def. Holland and Dunne by pinfall.
This was a solid tag team match for the main event, but it was fairly formulaic. The focus was always about putting over Breakker. Dunne and Holland did their part, and Ciampa remained dangerous throughout but not enough to feel like he can defeat Breakker when the time comes.
It depends on how long NXT is willing to wait, but it seems the next champion is already poised to be crowned. He is impressive and can do it all in the ring. He is the ideal physical specimen for NXT 2.0, which could not ask for a better future representative.