WWE NXT 2.0 New Year's Evil Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and HighlightsJanuary 5, 2022
WWE NXT 2.0 New Year's Evil Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
WWE NXT 2.0 was ready to ring in the new year with a huge show on January 4. The brand presented NXT New Year's Evil with a card that could have been set for a major premiere live event.
Bron Breakker has been fighting since day one to capture the NXT Championship. While he failed his first time challenging Tommaso Ciampa, the big man learned from his loss and has shown he is more ready than ever to dethrone The Blackheart.
Mandy Rose has not defended the NXT Women's Championship so far, so she wanted to get rid of two challengers at the same time to avoid overworking herself as champion. She agreed to fight Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade in a triple threat for the title.
The final title bout confirmed for the show was a unification match. NXT North American champion Carmelo Hayes and NXT cruiserweight champion Roderick Strong agreed to a fight in which the two would prove who was the better champion.
Imperium has taken over the NXT tag team division after dethroning MSK, which forced Wes Lee and Nash Carter to search for guidance. They found "The Shaman" Riddle, who agreed to team with them against Fabian Aichner, Marcel Bartel and WALTER.
Grayson Waller has turned everyone against him, but he may have finally bit off more than he can chew. He insulted AJ Styles until The Phenomenal One decided to head to NXT 2.0 to confront him. The two would meet in the ring at New Year's Evil.
While most episodes of NXT 2.0 have struggled to find a consistent voice, special events like this allow the talent to shine above all else.
Championship Unification: Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Roderick Strong (c)
Carmelo Hayes came out in a T-shirt that heralded the end of Roderick Strong's title reign and confidently threw it off and stepped over it on his way to the ring. The two traded early strikes. Melo especially took over after hitting the springboard reverse leg drop.
The Messiah of the Backbreaker fought back and pulled out the Stronghold after a few counters from The A Champion. After Melo got to the ropes, he took a series of running forearms into an Olympic slam for a nearfall.
The two battled to the top rope where Hayes hit an avalanche X plex followed by a diving leg drop to seal the win.
Hayes def. Strong by pinfall to become the unified NXT North American champion.
Unsurprisingly, this absolutely delivered. Hayes is an unreal athlete that delivered in spades to further establish his dominance for NXT. The only real problem was how predictable this was. Strong never even felt like he had a chance.
It was a fun showcase of two great wrestlers giving their all, even without the drama of most unification matches. The right man is now the undisputed champion. Melo will continue to carry NXT for years to come, and I just hope he can translate that when he make the jump to Raw or SmackDown.
Grayson Waller Sets the Date for His Match with AJ Styles
NXT announced the return of the Dusty Tag Team Classic, beginning in two weeks. AJ Styles and Tommaso Ciampa spoke backstage, both ready for fights to come.
Persia Pirotta and Indi Hartwell challenged Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro as well as Amari Miller to a match, but Hartwell did not want to fight a handicap match. Tiffany Stratton blew them off, leaving only the sleepy Wendy Choo as their future partner.
Styles praised the fans and the impact they have on this business, especially in making NXT special. He called out Grayson Waller for devaluing the fans. Waller came out to demand a match with Styles but only next week in the main event where the biggest win of his career could be celebrated.
No one should doubt the impact of Styles. He never had a run in NXT, yet he was welcomed like a hero in a way only the NXT originals have been by the NXT Universe. He is as good a face as he is a heel, and it's going to be fun to see what he can accomplish in NXT.
He has helped carry forward the heat that has defined Waller's recent heel run. The young heel is making the most of the spotlight and just needs more time before he becomes a household name. He already feels bigger than many heels on the main shows.
Imperium vs. MSK and Riddle
Pete Dunne challenged Tony D'Angelo to a rematch next week and warned that his new rival would need his crowbar to survive.
Marcel Bartel wore down Nash Carter early, but Riddle managed to get the big tag. WALTER stopped The Shaman cold with a chop. Fabian Aichner nearly lost control of the match, but The Ring General laid out Wes Lee with help from Bartel.
Riddle sent WALTER reeling with a series of knee strikes then MSK and The Shaman teamed up to take out Imperium with a combination double suicide dive and springboard moonsault. Riddle hit a German suplex for nearfall. WALTER responded with a powerbomb for a nearfall.
Aichner and Bartel laid out Riddle with an elevated brainbuster for a pin that had to be broken up by Carter. Riddle battled out of the Imperium corner. MSK hit a double team finisher on Aichner followed by a Riddle rolling moonsault. The Shaman hit an RKO on Bartel to win.
In the parking lot, Riddle rode off into the darkness, and The Creed Brothers told MSK they would never let Lee and Carter beat them in the Dusty Tag Team Classic.
Riddle and MSK def. Imperium by pinfall.
This was a ton of fun. All six men brought energy to this match, though WALTER vs. Riddle was clearly the big highlight. The two battled like main event acts, trading blows at every turn while ordering their partners into the best position to succeed.
WALTER losing his first match as a full member of the NXT roster was disappointing, but the story made sense. This was about establishing MSK once more as a viable challenger to Imperium. The Shaman brought out an extra energy in the challengers.
Hopefully, we'll get to see both MSK vs. Imperium and Riddle vs. WALTER as separate matches before this is over.
NXT Women's Championship: Mandy Rose (c) vs. Raquel Gonzalez vs. Cora Jade
Mandy Rose arrived in a helicopter with black wings on her back. Cora Jade rode down on her skateboard. Raquel Gonzalez came out on her motorcycle. Big Mami Cool took over the ring at first until the three women battled to the outside. Jade took down Gonzalez but then got sent hard into the steel steps by Rose.
Jade tried to steal the win with an inside cradle, but Gonzalez broke it up and laid out both women at the same time with a Samoan drop. As God's Greatest Creation felt the match slipping away, she grabbed a kendo stick and laid into Gonzalez.
Rose tried to isolated Jade, but Big Mami Cool recovered and threw Jade to the floor, turning this into a one-on-one battle. Rose tried to escape repeatedly, but she only delayed before she took a Chingona Bomb. Jade broke up the pin with a diving senton.
The young star sent Gonzalez to the outside then dragged herself for a pinfall only to get stacked up for three.
Rose def. Jade and Gonzalez by pinfall to retain the NXT Women's Championship.
Gonzalez was on fire in this match, and she delivered in spades. It was clearly her match from start to finish, selling her as the dominant force even if she could not win. This was smart booking as Jade was especially not quite ready for this moment.
The young wrestler is clearly a future star for NXT, but she had a tough time in moments keeping up. The finish was awkward as Rose and Jade could not get on the same page.
It makes sense for Rose to retain as it was only her first-ever defense. However, she has not shown yet that she is up to task as a long-term champion for NXT's talented division.
Von Wagner Lays Out Andre Chase and Attacks Fans at Ringside
McKenzie Mitchell asked Elektra Lopez about Xyon Quinn, and Lopez announced that she would leave with the winner of Santos Escobar vs. Quinn next week. Boa struggled with the power that controlled him, asking that he be allowed to fight Solo Sikoa on his own.
Cameron Grimes made his intentions clear for 2022. He wanted gold.
Von Wagner interrupted Andre Chase in his attempt to give the student that protected him last week a full scholarship. He took out Chase then attacked the student and even ripped a member of the NXT Universe out of his seat.
This was not a bad use of Wagner or Chase, but it did not feel like it should have happened on such a big show. Chase has been building up his prize pupil, who is likely to be making an in-ring arrival sooner rather than later. It was more interesting to see Wagner attack "a fan" at ringside.
The big man is starting to find his voice and personality as a heel, though he needs serious help on the mic. Whatever story NXT is trying to tell, many wrestlers are being introduced in interesting ways in recent weeks.
NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Bron Breakker
Bron Breakker broke an X on his way to the ring to symbolically show how he was ending the former era of NXT. The big man looked dominant early, but The Blackheart began ducking the rookie while hitting a big dropkick and corkscrew plancha.
Breakker fought back and went to the top rope, but Ciampa tripped him into the tree of woe for more stomp and a running low dropkick. The rookie answered with a spinebuster and standing moonsault for two. He again went to the second rope but hesitated, allowing The Blackheart to send him outside.
Once again, Ciampa tried to send Breakker hard into the unprotected cement, but Breakker answered by sending him into the announce table. The rookie followed up with the military press powerslam, barely broken up by Ciampa grabbing the rope.
The Blackheart caught Breakker between the legs with the rope and hit two running knees into the Fairy Tale Ending for a crazy nearfall. The two fought on the second rope, and Breakker fought back to hit a bulldog then locked in the Steiner Recliner for a tap out.
Afterward, Ciampa gave a nod of approval to the young star earning his win.
Breakker def. Ciampa by pinfall to become the new NXT champion.
With no commercial breaks, this match showcased the full story of the talented rookie vs. the wily veteran. For every powerful move from Breakker, Ciampa had to answer with multiple moves to keep him off his feet. Breakker made small mistakes but always responded with massive offense.
It was clear once against that Ciampa was the rare man that could truly beat this dominant combination of power and speed. However, Breakker was just a little bit better tonight, and that was the difference.
Breakker proved so much in the ring tonight, and it is clear that he was ready for this. He feels like an absolute stud, ready to carry NXT for much of 2022. It will be interesting to see if anyone can truly challenge the young man soon.
This was the biggest moment NXT 2.0 has produced to date, and it was the first true match of the year contender of the new year. The future looks bright for this brand finding its voice and stars slowly but surely.