WWE NXT 2.0 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from December 7
In the wake of NXT WarGames, the December 7 edition of WWE NXT 2.0 was a chance for stars to ride the wave of momentum as well as the potential final stand of certain great stars of the brand.
Kyle O'Reilly has not been able to trust anyone for a long time. When push came to shove, Von Wagner was not worthy of his confidence, and he beat the big man down for trying to betray him. The two would settle their sudden feud inside a steel cage.
Santos Escobar returned last week to make Xyon Quinn pay for turning down an offer to join Legado del Fantasma. This week, he would teach him a lesson in the ring.
Bron Breakker and Cora Jade won WarGames for their respective teams. It was an important moment for both Superstars, who should now be on track to challenge for gold.
Johnny Gargano may have made his last appearance at a major NXT event. He promised to speak out following his team's loss at WarGames. His son-in-law, Dexter Lumis, would also seek revenge in a match against Carmelo Hayes.
Tuesday night had the air of a new beginning for NXT 2.0. With speculation of contracts ending for top stars and the future of the brand winning big on Sunday, it had a chance to put a focus on the future.
Steel Cage: Kyle O'Reilly vs. Von Wagner
Kyle O'Reilly attacked Von Wagner as he walked to the ring. He sent him into the steel cage and shut the door to start this off. While he was hot, he found himself trapped in the steel with the aggressive Wagner, who threw him around with ease.
KOR struck back with elbows and technical holds, but it did not seem to faze his bigger opponent. That was until O'Reilly sent Wagner hard into the steel structure.
KOR hit a big running knee and a series of running forearms before locking in a guillotine. The big man powered out into a suplex. KOR nearly took the win with a diving knee, but Wagner kicked out and low-blowed O'Reilly and followed with a double underhook side slam for the win.
The big man decided he was not done yet. He smashed O'Reilly's head repeatedly with the cage door.
Backstage, Wagner said his win was inevitable and he would soon carve a war path through NXT 2.0.
Wagner def. O'Reilly by pinfall.
This was a physical match between two men trying to sell a rushed story of hatred. Since KOR is likely on his way out after Tuesday night, he went out putting over Wagner, and it worked. The big man looked absolutely dangerous throughout.
It was smart to make the match pinfall-or-submission only as it forced the two to focus on the story that came into this match. Both wanted to brutalize each other and not get away.
The post-match attack could have been better, though. If that was the end of KOR, Wagner should done most of the damage himself rather than using the cage.
The Creed Brothers vs. Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen
Joe Gacy talked about the future of NXT 2.0 and the next step being Harland's in-ring debut next week.
Bron Breakker challenged Tommaso Ciampa for a rematch, but Diamond Mine walked out instead to set a challenge. Roderick Strong wanted to fight Breakker next week, and the young star accepted.
Imperium arrived to watch this match from the stage. The Grizzled Young Veterans joined commentary, eventually stealing the tag rope from Josh Briggs to keep Brooks Jensen fighting solo. In the chaos, Jensen caught Brutus Creed with a roll-up for a shocking win.
Kushida and Ikemen Jiro celebrated the win backstage with Jensen and Briggs until GYV walked in. An argument ensued that led to a brawl between Kushida, Jiro, Zack Gibson and James Drake.
Briggs and Jensen def. The Creed Brothers by pinfall.
This was an odd way to give The Creed Brothers a loss. Brutus and Julius dominated and then inexplicably lost what had become a handicap match. They blamed Grizzled Young Veterans, who only helped them.
This seems to be about setting up the next challengers to Imperium. The Creeds remain the most interesting possibilities, but their dominant streak just got ruined. Jensen and Briggs will likely get the next shot but are certain to lose.
Carmelo Hayes (w/ Trick Williams) vs. Dexter Lumis
Duke Hudson came out in a fake wig. Cameron Grimes mocked him and challenged him to a No Holds Barred match for next week.
Grayson Waller tried to chat up a woman in the parking lot but she already had plans with LA Knight, leaving him angry and alone.
Trick Williams was clearly spooked by Dexter Lumis early while The Tortured Artist went after the bandaged ribs of the NXT North American champion. It was clear that Melo's WarGames injuries had left him at a major disadvantage against his rival.
However, Hayes found his own target in the injured right hand of Lumis. He stomped on the palm of his opponent and began to dominate. Lumis tried to pull out the Silence, but Melo battled through. When Lumis got it locked in, Trick cheap-shot him to cause a disqualification.
Afterward, Lumis tried to choke out Trick, but Hayes pulled him to safety.
Lumis def. Hayes by DQ.
Melo does not miss but he doesn't have a perfect match history. This was slow and clunky. Even as the action seemed to ramp up, it ended in an unfortunate disqualification. The best part of all this was Trick's reactions to The Tortured Artist.
These two have so much better to show, and hopefully Lumis' technical victory will give them that chance. Set the pace faster, and let Melo unleash like only he can in the ring.
Toxic Attraction vs. Valentina Feroz and Yulisa Leon
MSK finally met The Shaman, who was revealed to be Riddle. He told Wes Lee and Nash Carter to be themselves.
Meanwhile, Mandy Rose explained that Toxic Attraction still ruled NXT and had everyone's attention no matter who won at WarGames. While Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne were bandaged up, they still competed and dominated their opponents on Tuesday night.
Toxic Attraction seemed to enjoy laying it on but could not quite put this away by isolating Yulisa Leon. Leon hit a running rolling fireman's carry to get to Valentina Feroz. Still, Jayne and Dolin stopped her hot tag flurry and won with a springboard spinning kick.
God's Greatest Creation talked down every challenger but was interrupted by Cora Jade, who was wearing a sling. Raquel Gonzalez then arrived with a steel chair, and Toxic Attraction ran back up the ramp. Backstage, Kay Lee Ray gave Jade a baseball bat to protect herself.
Toxic Attraction def. Feroz and Leon by pinfall.
Toxic Attraction are not built to look good in a squash. This was a messy match that was short and still felt too long. Dolin and Jayne have yet to prove it as a tag team against top competitors, and this did not change that.
Jade continues to tease a rivalry with Rose, but the sling on her arm could protect her from getting into that contest too soon. If the win is going to matter, Rose needs to successfully defend her title a few times first.
As a side note, the reveal of The Original Bro as The Shaman for MSK was awkward. After so many months of build, it was an anticlimax that served no purpose.
Santos Escobar vs. Xyon Quinn
In the latest Tiffany Stratton video package, she talked up her gymnastics background.
Meanwhile, Xyon Quinn promised to make a statement in his match with Santos Escobar, while Boa warned Edris Enofe that he would face the wrath of his power when he learned to control it.
Bacj in the ring, Quinn's power was showcased early as he stopped Escobar with his chest and forearms. The Emperor finally took control after sending his rival hard into the steel steps. Escobar pinned Quinn to the mat with a focused attack on his arm.
Quinn fought back and hit a rolling fireman's carry, and the two battled to the top rope. The Emperor then sent him careening to the floor with a Frankensteiner.
Elektra Lopez slipped brass knuckles on Quinn's hand, causing a conflict with the referee, which allowed Escobar to hit the Plantom Driver for the win.
Escobar def. Quinn by pinfall.
While Escobar has had many better matches, this was Quinn's moment...and it was a career-making performance. He worked at a top level against one of the best in NXT, and he did not look like he lost control or had to be carried along the way.
It is important to give the rising stars chances to prove themselves like this. Quinn looked far better in his test match than Joe Gacy did at WarGames, and it is still tough to say what Tony D'Angelo, Solo Sikoa or Boa will do in that spot.
The story continues with Quinn and Lopez. Whatever comes of it, this is a great way to keep these young stars in the spotlight.
Grayson Waller Interrupts Johnny Gargano's Possible Final Speech to NXT
Carmelo Hayes told Diamond Mine that Roderick Strong was not a better champion than The A Champion. Persia Pirotta asked Indi Hartwell to finally refocus with Dexter Lumis back, and she promised to do so. However, when Lumis arrived, she jumped into his arms, and Johnny Gargano hugged them both.
The Rebel Heart arrived to his classic theme and a standing ovation from the crowd. He promised that his speech was completely unscripted and not fully thought out.
He went over his history, thanking William Regal and the fans for giving him this opportunity with NXT. He also put over the many people backstage who had helped him along over the years.
As he finally got to the point, Grayson Waller blasted him in the back with a steel chair. He then sent Gargano through the announce table and gloated over his impact.
This was classy from NXT. Gargano got his time to say goodbye to NXT. It is rare that WWE lets anyone break through the fourth wall and speak for themselves. It was a touching speech that made clear the impact he has had on the brand.
No matter what happens next, NXT was defined by Johnny Wrestling more than anyone else. He made this show special. His matches defined an era that is over, but it is unclear what that means. What is certain is that Gargano and, by extension, Tommaso Ciampa are no longer the centerpieces.
Of course, this is wrestling, and ultimately the wheels keep spinning. Waller laying out Gargano gets him more heat than anybody else in NXT right now. The crowd will now forever hate him, and the question now is whether Gargano will seek his revenge.
It is customary for a wrestler to take the loss at the end of their time, and this may have been all it was. Waller gets that heat to move forward in NXT. However, it could also mean that The Rebel Heart re-signed with WWE and is ready to be a part of building young stars.