WWE NXT 2.0 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from December 28December 29, 2021
WWE NXT 2.0 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from December 28
Just one week before New Year's Evil, WWE NXT 2.0 had a contract signing and some big matches planned for the night of December 28.
Raquel Gonzalez would team with Cora Jade against the NXT women's tag team champion Toxic Attraction while Mandy Rose watched closely.
Under the supervision of Wade Barrett, Carmelo Hayes and Roderick Strong would sign the contract for their winner-takes-all bout with both the NXT Cruiserweight Championship and NXT North American Championship on the line.
After injuring trainer Brian Kendrick last week, Harland stood waiting in the ring for his next fight. Kendrick would return for one night to make Joe Gacy's monster pay.
Grayson Waller has been a nuisance for many, and he refused to shut up. This week, he wanted to talk about his surprise appearance on Monday Night Raw while awaiting his next challenger.
This episode of NXT 2.0 did not look big on the surface, but with a major show rapidly approaching, it needed to deliver.
Grayson Waller vs. Odyssey Jones
Grayson Waller talked up his arrival on Monday Night Raw, mocking AJ Styles. Since Dexter Lumis was unable to compete tonight, Odyssey Jones came out as a suitable replacement. Waller tried to walk out, but Jones taunted him back into the ring.
While Jones threw around Waller with ease, the loudmouth used every trick in the book to get an advantage. He accidentally exposed the turnbuckle then sent Jones hard into the steel. He followed up with a rolling cutter for the win.
The Phenomenal One appeared on the titantron and told the world he wanted Waller at New Year's Evil.
Waller def. Jones by pinfall.
Jones has yet to show he can compete at a high level. He is a talented big man, but he needs his opponent to push him. Waller is not yet the kind of talent who can elevate wrestlers in the ring.
Ultimately, this served its purpose. NXT 2.0 had to quickly make up for Lumis missing the show, and Jones made sense within the story. Also, with his size and strength, it was an impressive win for Waller, who does not have many of those yet.
Styles vs. Waller next week will be a huge test for the young heel, who is running with his new heat. If he can rise to The Phenomenal One's level, he may head to Raw sooner rather than later.
MSK and Riddle Challenge Imperium for New Year's Evil
Riddle was only able to appear by titantron, telling MSK to challenge Imperium. Fabian Aichner and Marcel laughed at the challenge of Wes Lee and Nash Carter. WALTER arrived on the titantron, and he and Riddle argued until they decided on a six-man tag team match for New Year's Evil.
Riddle interrupting WALTER on the titantron was the best part of this segment, which absolutely served its purpose. The Ring General and The Original Bro will return to the NXT ring next week, and it should be fantastic.
MSK have been missed so much that the crowd is back behind the team. While it does not make sense for Lee and Carter to recapture the titles soon, it is nice to see a serious tag team feud in NXT again.
Harland vs. Andre Chase
Brian Kendrick did not come out for his match with Harland. Joe Gacy grabbed a microphone and told Harland that Kendrick was too afraid to confront his mistake. Andre Chase interrupted to give Gacy and Harland a teachable moment, only to find himself as Kendrick's replacement.
Chase came out with a few boots, but Harland was hardly fazed. He beat down Chase repeatedly until the referee called for the bell. Afterward, Harland grabbed one of Chase's students and carried him to the back.
Harland def. Chase by referee stoppage.
NXT's card was set last week, but it is clear most of the promised matches are no longer happening. Replacing Kendrick with Chase was disappointing but likely unavoidable. At the least, Gacy sold it by explaining Harland's hatred of teachers.
The squashes continue. Harland will one day get a chance to compete against serious competitors. For now, the story continues as Gacy falls more and more into a manager role.
Tiffany Stratton vs. Fallon Henley
Tony D'Angelo warned Pete Dunne to stay gone after the beatdown he suffered; otherwise, The Bruiserweight would face a much worse beating.
Tiffany Stratton finally made her debut. She threw around Fallon Henley and pulled off an impressive series of flips to set up an elbow. Daddy's Little Girl finished it off with a reverse STO.
Stratton def. Henley by pinfall.
Everyone has to start somewhere, but this was bad. Stratton just looked uncomfortable in the ring both competing and playing her character. It was as obvious a test match as possible for a rookie still learning her craft.
If the plan is for Stratton to make something of her natural athleticism, she needs to be comfortable with the basics first. She shouldn't be doing handsprings before she can execute a clothesline.
Roderick Strong and Carmelo Hayes Sign the Contract for Unification Match
Wade Barrett introduced Roderick Strong and Diamond Mine. Malcolm Bivens assumed Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams would not show up. Trick arrived with Melo to warn Diamond Mine to back off.
Barrett took control of the situation, asking to hear from Melo and Strong. Hayes talked himself up with confidence for New Year's Evil, while The Messiah of the Backbreaker promised to have the greatest night of his life.
The two men signed the contract. Bivens taunted Williams into staying in the ring, and The Creed Brothers sent him through the signing table.
The end of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship is upon us. No matter who wins at New Year's Evil, the NXT North American Championship will be the title that survives the unification. It is a shame that the title's legacy will end with so little fanfare.
This segment was fun for multiple reasons, but Bivens was especially in his bag. He taunted and played Trick repeatedly. Strong felt most dangerous when his manager was speaking for him.
Melo was great in his brief promo. He sold why he should be the champion at the end of his match with Strong. He is a star who continues to deliver in every aspect.
Santos Escobar vs. Solo Sikoa
NXT showed a vignette for a future Fatal 4-Way match to determine the next No. 1 contender to the NXT Tag Team Championships: Grizzled Young Veterans vs. The Creed Brothers vs. Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs vs. Jacket Time.
Xyon Quinn challenged Elektra Lopez to choose him or Legado del Fantasma. Santos Escobar, Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde tried to question Lopez about that challenge, but Solo Sikoa interrupted. Escobar and Sikoa agreed to a match for later.
Sikoa dominated early until Wilde and Mendoza distracted him. This allowed Escobar to hit a running knee that sent the Samoan Superstar hard into the steel post. The Samoan Superstar found a second wind and sent Escobar reeling.
Xyon Quinn arrived, and Escobar took him out with a suicide dive. The distraction allowed Sikoa to hit a superkick and splash for the shocking win. Boa then attacked Sikoa backstage.
Sikoa def. Escobar by pinfall.
Sikoa is polished. While he still needs to find a way to differentiate his offense from The Usos, he certainly knows how to compete with the best. He and Escobar had a good match.
The win for Sikoa keeps him well protected. WWE has done a lot to make clear that he is immediately ready to compete with the best. Boa can benefit from this win perhaps even more as he will be the next one to fight the Samoan Superstar.
Quinn and Lopez are heading to a conclusion in their story. Lopez and Quinn together would be a nice change of pace in NXT, though Legado del Fantasma still needs a female member.
Von Wagner vs. Mailk Blade
NXT aired a vignette on Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bron Breakker, questioning whether the rookie could avoid the one mistake that cost him last time.
Von Wagner told Edris Enofe that he got lucky. Malik Blade arrived to promise Wagner he would beat him too. While Blade came out swinging in their match, Wagner overpowered him at every turn.
Robert Stone watched on commentary as the big man beat Blade into the mat with forearm strikes. He connected on a vicious clothesline but missed a second that allowed his smaller opponent to fight back with a dropkick and diving crossbody.
Wagner nearly got rolled up, but he escaped the pin and hit the double underhook spin-out side slam for the win. Edris Enofe saved Blade from taking more of a beating after the bell.
Wagner def. Blade by pinfall.
Wagner is still awkward in the ring. This was meant to be a showcase of Blade's resilience, but Wagner struggled often to be in position for Blade's comeback moments. It was not an impressive performance from a star who is supposed to be ready for more.
This feud with Enofe could have potential, but Wagner needs Stone to speak for him as soon as possible. The big man is just not interesting enough at the moment to get away with mistakes in the ring.
Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade vs. Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray
Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray confronted Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade, with both wanting the next title shot. Mandy Rose changed the match for the night, pitting the four women against each other to determine which two women would challenge the NXT women's champion at New Year's Evil.
Jade found herself in trouble against the veterans on the other side of this match. KLR trapped her in a single-leg Boston crab then tried to transition into the KLR Bomb. Jade barely escaped, and Gonzalez managed to pull her partner to safety.
Ray took out Gonzalez with a suicide dive, then Shirai hit a missile dropkick on Jade for a nearfall. Jade ducked the double knee strike in the corner then hit Ray with an enzuigiri to get the hot tag to Gonzalez.
Gonzalez hit KLR with the Chingona Bomb, but Jade took the blind tag. As Gonzalez and Jade argued, Jade rolled up Ray for three. The two winners argued about the finish as Rose mocked them from the titantron.
Gonzalez and Jade def. Shirai and Ray by pinfall to earn the shot at the NXT Women's Championship at New Year's Evil.
While it was a shame for Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne to miss a main event, this was definitely the more interesting match to sell the night. It had plenty on the line, and four of the best made clear how much it meant to them.
Given the chemistry on display, it might be worth considering making these more permanent tag teams. The NXT women's division could use them both. Jade is a fine replacement for Dakota Kai as Gonzalez's smaller partner, and Shirai and KLR are firecrackers together.
Jade and Gonzalez needed to win as the more interesting immediate challengers to Rose. Shirai and KLR should also get title shots before Rose loses the gold.