WWE NXT 2.0 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from December 21December 22, 2021
WWE NXT 2.0 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from December 21
The December 21 edition of WWE NXT 2.0 looked to end the year on a high. From major grudge matches to a surprise AJ Styles appearance, this night promised a little bit of everything.
Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai once worked together as friends, but now only a street fight could end their rivalry. This looked to be the final match between two of NXT's veterans.
Grayson Waller cannot help but frustrate everyone. He went after AJ Styles on Instagram, which convinced The Phenomenal One to head to NXT 2.0.
Dexter Lumis was finally set to get his hands on Trick Williams. Tony D'Angelo called his shot with Pete Dunne, and he had to face the consequences in a match with The Bruiserweight.
The Creed Brothers have feared no one on the rise to the top, getting on the nerves even of the Grizzled Young Veterans, setting up a match this week to settle their dispute.
NXT 2.0 has been seeking a firm identity. This week continued that search, selling fresh and familiar feuds that could continue into 2022.
Tommaso Ciampa Sets the Date for His Rematch with Bron Breakker
Tommaso Ciampa called out Bron Breakker, mocking him for thinking he could ever defeat The Blackheart. The NXT champion accepted a match against Breakker at New Year's Evil, though he made clear he felt Breakker was not ready to hold the title that was carried by so many great veterans.
The rookie finally broke from the taunting, lifting up the NXT champion for his finisher. He stopped himself, setting Ciampa down. He promised he would defeat him at New Year's Evil.
Ciampa has always been a great promo. However, the change in attitude for The Blackheart was awkward. He played scared the moment Breakker got him in hand.
With how much story has been put behind this rivalry, rushing into a dynamic shift made no sense. Breakker is clearly the focus of NXT 2.0. He will shine no matter what. There is no reason to bring Ciampa down to build him up.
Street Fight: Raquel Gonzalez vs. Dakota Kai
Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai battled backstage, throwing each other around with no mercy. Both women went hard into the cement walls. Officials had to remind them that the match would only start once they got to the ring.
Big Mami Cool pulled out a series of weapons from below the ring that The Captain of Team Kick gladly used against her. She trapped Gonzalez in a trash can and smashed her with a double foot stomp.
Gonzalez sent Kai hard onto the steel steps. She then pulled her back into the ring to hit a Chingona Bomb on a trash can for the win.
Afterward, Gonzalez called out Mandy Rose. Cora Jade interrupted to make her case for a title match. God's Greatest Creation agreed to a Triple Threat against both women before Toxic Attraction laid out the two challengers.
Gonzalez def. Kai by pinfall.
From the moment these two started brawling backstage, it was clear this was going to be great. The two fought hard to sell this as the final moment of this long-running rivalry, and every moment made it feel like it deserved a far bigger stage.
If this is the end of this story as it should be, Kai needs something fresh to build her back up. She was never going to win a feud with Gonzalez, but she has more than earned a major run sooner rather than later.
The Triple Threat at New Year's Evil is a smart way to protect Jade in a big moment. She is probably not ready for a singles title match at that level, but she can look good working off two veterans.
The Creed Brothers (w/ Malcolm Bivens) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans
Joe Gacy and Harland "apologized" to Brian Kendrick for putting him in harm's way. Kendrick announced that he has resigned as a coach, challenging Harland to a match next week.
James Drake was impressed by The Creed Brothers' preparation for this match, but Zack Gibson told him to focus on what they do better together. Drake protected Gibson and set up for the Grizzled Young Veterans to isolate Julius Creed for a moment.
Brutus Creed tagged in and took a vicious combination backbreaker/springboard elbow drop. Jacket Time arrived with their own announce table to watch this closely. Julius got the hot tag and hit an impressive dropkick that changed the momentum of the contest.
Drake hit a suicide dive into the announce table and the fighting broke down, causing a no-context as Jacket Time got into a furious brawl along with Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen.
Creed Brothers vs. Grizzled Young Veterans goes to a no-contest.
The no-contest finish was disappointing, but the match that got there was surprisingly effective. The Creed Brothers played the faces well in this moment, and Grizzled Young Veterans got to look dangerous by outsmarting and isolating them.
The four teams in the brawl at the end are in a similar position in the division. Imperium needs a clear challenger to emerge from this group, though it's likely all these teams will get a shot sooner rather than later.
Dexter Lumis vs. Trick Williams
Carmelo Hayes refused to believe Trick Williams was afraid of Dexter Lumis, though both men ran out fast when The Tortured Artist popped up on a nearby screen.
Diamond Mine appeared on the stage to watch this match closely, led by an angry Roderick Strong. Lumis caught Trick sliding and superkicked him. Strong and Hayes began brawling to the back, leaving Williams to fight alone.
Trick trapped Lumis in a headlock, but he could not do serious damage to his rival. Williams tried to bash him with a shoe, but The Tortured Artist ducked it and hit The Silence for the submission.
Grayson Waller laid out Lumis with a steel chair shot to the back.
Lumis def. Williams by submission.
It was great to see so much of NXT 2.0 building stories forward this week. Hayes vs. Strong has finally reached the brawling stage. Lumis has put Trick behind him with a clean victory.
While he might be a future title contender for Melo, his immediate focus has shifted to Waller. This is a great story for these two men to tell given what Waller did to Johnny Gargano.
Grayson Waller Backs Down from a Match with AJ Styles
Grayson Waller mocked Indi Hartwell, and only Persia Pirotta could stop her from taking a shot at the loudmouth. AJ Styles finally arrived after Waller laid out Dexter Lumis.
The Phenomenal One said he was impressed by some of the talent in NXT 2.0, but not Waller, who felt like he was mimicking Styles' style. Waller threatened to lay out Styles but backed off the moment it got heated. The rookie told The Phenomenal One he wanted next after Styles lost to Omos.
NXT 2.0 is supposed to be about building stars, and one great way to establish that talent is bringing in known stars from Raw and SmackDown to test them. With Styles turning face, he is a great veteran to help Waller take that next step.
While Waller vs. Dexter Lumis should be the story for the long term, the immediate idea of Waller learning to focus on winning by fighting The Phenomenal One is a great idea. The two seem to have chemistry already.
Von Wagner vs. Edris Enofe
Riddle convinced MSK to call out Imperium next week, and he promised he would be there with them for the challenge. Imperium refused to see MSK as a threat, warning that the group had a "general."
Robert Stone watched this match from ringside, which seemed to distract Von Wagner. He was overconfident, and it cost him the match on a surprise roll-up. The big man laid out Edris Enofe afterward then shoulder-checked Stone.
Enofe def. Wagner by pinfall.
WWE needs to come up with new story beats. The upset win on an overconfident heel followed by a beatdown is so common that it was just silly. Enofe should have gotten in more offense if he was going to get this win.
Wagner losing here sets him up to need Stone, but he should be better protected after defeating Kyle O'Reilly clean. This just made the supposedly dangerous heel look like a fool who can be easily tricked.
Io Shirai vs. Elektra Lopez
Io Shirai stood up to Legado del Fantasma as the trainers were checking up on Zoey Starks' knee. Elektra Lopez declared that she had no fear in fighting The Genius of the Sky.
Shirai clearly had the edge against Lopez, hitting a missile dropkick into a corner double knee strike to get a near-fall. As both women were recovering, Xyon Quinn blasted Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza, then pulled out mistletoe.
Santos Escobar tripped Quinn, but the distraction was too much for Lopez. Shirai caught her with an open-palm thrust and the Over-the-Moonsault for the win.
Shirai def. Lopez by pinfall.
This should have been a more complete challenge for Lopez. She was up against one of the best women's wrestlers in WWE. This should have been a memorable test. Instead, it barely got going thanks to the silly drama at ringside.
Credit to NXT 2.0 for making the story of Lopez and Quinn unpredictable, but it is important that both Quinn and Lopez be allowed to compete against their opponents before interruptions. Lopez certainly needs the experience.
Pete Dunne vs. Tony D'Angelo
Tony D'Angelo talked smack about Pete Dunne, which did not impress The Bruiserweight.
The rookie showed his talent early by throwing Dunne hard on his neck. Dunne responded by dodging the suplex of D'Angelo and sending him to the floor. The Bruiserweight began stomping on the fingers of his opponent, gladly transitioning to technical offense for further damage.
D'Angelo seemed to hit his second gear when Dunne slapped him in the face. He sent The Bruiserweight hard into the corner. However, D'Angelo gave him too much time to recover, and Dunne made him pay. He fired back with a flurry of knee strikes and a running snap kick.
D'Angelo pulled in a crowbar, but Dunne pulled him into an armbar. The rookie fought back by pulling at the mouth of Dunne and ripping out his mouth guard. The Bruiserweight reversed D'Angelo's finisher into a finger snap and the Bitter End for the win.
Afterward, the brawling continued as D'Angelo laid out Dunne with a swinging neckbreaker outside then used the crowbar to break the fingers of The Bruiserweight.
Dunne def. D'Angelo by pinfall.
This was the biggest test of D'Angelo's career, and he passed with flying colors. His collegiate background really showed through in an intense and physical match. It was good to see what he can do in a main event.
While the gimmick may always be a little too ridiculous for a top spot, he has the charisma and talent to transition over time into a big name. He just needs to keep showing he can compete at this level.
Dunne vs. D'Angelo is clearly far from done, which is good as it is just starting to get interesting.