NXT 2.0 Recap 12/28: Setting The Stage For NXT New Year's Evil

Hey gang!  Last week we saw Raw superstar AJ Styles come to NXT to try and teach brash young Grayson Waller some lessons in how to be a proper WWE superstar.  The lessons clearly didn't take, as not only did Waller shake off everything Styles told him, but he returned the gesture by appearing at Raw this past Monday in an effort to further antagonize Styles and get even more views for himself.  Waller summarizes everything he does that garners attention as "The Grayson Waller Effect", but the effect is wearing thin with his peers and it seems nearly everyone in NXT is gunning for him.  How will he navigate the increasingly rough waters he's created for himself?  Let's find out.

NXT 2.0 Recap 12/28:
Cora Jade and her tag team partner Raquel Gonzalez on the 12/28 episode of NXT 2.0, courtesy of WWE.

And it's Grayson Waller to kick us off tonight as he enters to a chorus of boos from the audience.

He cuts a promo where he calls himself the breakout star of the year and then explains his version of what happened this past Monday on Raw, where he mocks AJ Styles and says he doesn't get why anyone likes him.

He then turns his attention to Dexter Lumis, who he's supposed to be facing tonight, but says he's not cleared to compete tonight.  He then says someone else has been chosen, but he doesn't know who it is.  This brings out Odyssey Jones to face Waller right now.

Waller immediately tries to walk off, but Jones gets on the mic and calls him a bitch, which has him turn right back.

Grayson Waller vs Odyssey Jones

The match isn't a fast-paced one, but each man plays his role well here and they each get over in their own way.  Jones gets his powerhouse moves in, while Waller plays all of the heel notes, while also looking like a viable threat in the ring.

Eventually, Waller exposes the turnbuckle and is able to smash Jones into it, before hitting him with the leaping Stunner for the pinfall.

Winner: Grayson Waller

After the match, AJ Styles appears on the Tron and challenges Waller to a match next week at NXT Year's Evil next week.

We now go to a backstage interview with Cora Jade and Raquel Gonzalez ahead of their tag team match tonight against the NXT Women's Tag Team Champions, Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne.  They say that even though they'll be facing each other for the NXT Women's title next week in a Triple Threat Match, tonight they can co-exist as partners.  They're interrupted by Io Shirai, who says no matter who wins, she wants the first shot at the new Champion.  Kay Lee Ray then comes in and says she wants to be the first challenger.

Mandy Rose then appears on a video monitor behind them and says she'll be giving her teammates the night off and instead the four of them can face each other in a tag match and the winning team will be her opponents next week in the Triple Threat Match.

Ok, so that's two straight segments now where matches have been changed and Mandy Rose hasn't physically been on NXT 2.0 for two weeks now.  [Reads newspaper] 45% COVID-19 infection rate in the Orlando area, eh?  Oh…

We now get a video saying we will see the in-ring debut of Tiffany Stratton tonight.

Next, we get a video promo from Xyon Quinn where he demands that Elektra Lopez choose between him and Legado del Fantasma tonight.

MSK now hits the ring and are cutting a promo when they're joined on the Tron by Riddle, who encourages them to challenge Imperium for the NXT Tag Team Championship, which they do.  Imperium heads out and speaks down to them before Walter appears on the Tron and calls MSK a disgrace who doesn't measure up to Imperium or the titles.  Riddle then re-enters and sets up a six-man tag match of himself and MSK vs Imperium at NXT New Year's Evil next week, which Walter accepts.

We now go backstage to an interview with Edris Enofe where he talks about his first win last week against Von Wagner, who then interrupts him and we get a dumb shouting match here.

Harland and Joe Gacy are in the ring for Harland's match with Brian Kendrick, but Kendrick doesn't appear when his music hits.

Gacy cuts a promo saying Kendrick is a coward and then they get interrupted by Andre Chase, who gets in the ring with them to rant about something and then Gacy turns it around on him as Harland starts a match with him.

Andre Chase vs Harland

This only lasts maybe a minute as Harland destroys Chase and the match ends when Harland slams Chase's head into the mat repeatedly.

Winner: Harland

After the match, one of Chase's students is checking on him and Harland yanks the guy out of the ring and knocks him out, before throwing him over his shoulder and walking off with him.  Later we see Harland and Gacy bring the guy to the roof of the building and as Harland is about to throw the guy off, he instead just puts him down and they leave.

We now go backstage, where Legado del Fantasma is confronting Elektra Lopez about what's going on with her and Xyon Quinn.  Solo Sikoa accidentally walks in and as he leaves, they try to get in his face and demand an apology, so Sikoa challenges Escobar to a match tonight.

Fallon Henley vs Tiffany Stratton

The debut of Stratton here and she appears to be a character right out of Clueless.  Stratton is clearly incredibly green in the ring as pretty much the entire very slow-paced match is doing basic wristlocks, side headlocks, power-ups, and reversals that you'd see as introductory routines at a wrestling school.  To her credit though, she's staying in character the whole time and adding little flourishes to give a bit of life to the boring match.

She throws Henley into the corner and tries a backflip strike thing, but botches it pretty badly and the crowd lets her hear it.  She hits a Reverse STO for the pinfall to end this one.

Winner: Tiffany Stratton

We now get a taped promo from Tony D'Angelo where he brags about smashing Pete Dunne's hand with a crowbar last week.

Title Unification Match Contract Signing

NXT 2.0 Recap 12/28:
Carmelo Hayes and Roderick Strong have a contract signing ahead of their title unification match next week at NXT New Year's Evil, courtesy of WWE.

Wade Barrett is in the ring to host the contract signing between NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes and NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong.

Strong heads out surrounded by Diamond Mine and Malcolm Bivens, who says he hasn't seen Hayes all day and doesn't think he'll show.  This brings out Hayes and Trick Williams, who immediately insults Strong on his way to the ring.

The Champions sit across the table from one another as Williams and Bivens handle all of the talking.  A racial element comes into play here as Bivens has to translate things to and from the white Strong to the black Williams.

Hayes and Strong finally speak for themselves and each cut promos guaranteeing they'll win next week at NXT New Year's Evil.

They each sign the contract and as Hayes and Williams are leaving, Bivens mocks Williams for losing last week before the Creed Brothers hit Williams with a double Spinebuster through the table.

We now go to a video package where Jacket Time, Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen, GYV and The Creed Brothers each make their pitch as to why they should be the next NXT Tag Team Champions.

Solo Sikoa vs Santos Escobar

This was a good one and it all comes down to pacing here and the psychology behind that.  Every time the heel Escobar is in control, he works incredibly slow as he targets limbs with holds and stretches.  This antagonizes the crowd and builds anticipation for Sikoa to explode, which he does with high-impact moves and a much-faster offense.

Xyon Quinn eventually shows up at ringside and as he's speaking with Elektra Lopez, Escobar hits a running dive to the outside to take him out and then beats the hell out of him with punches.  When he gets back in the ring, Sikoa plants him with a Superkick followed by the Uso Spalsh from the top rope for the win.

Winner: Solo Sikoa

Next, as Solo Sikoa is walking backstage, he's attacked by a face-painted Boa, who chokes him out as refs try to pull him off.  He then strikes the cameraman and we switch to a different camera, but now as everyone screams at him, Boa has no facepaint and looks confused as to what's happening…..what?  Ok, so…. what?!  How is this supposed to make any sense?

We now get a video package hyping up the NXT title match between Champion Tommaso Ciampa and Bron Breakker next week at NXT New Year's Evil.

Von Wagner vs Malik Blade

This one's a total squash as Wagner demolishes Blade.

Winner: Von Wagner

After the match, Wagner tries to get more from Blade, but Edris Enofe pulls Blade from the ring just in time.

Raquel Gonzalez & Cora Jade vs Io Shirai & Kay Lee Ray

Ok so, this was a fine tag match until the very end, where some stuff goes down that defies any sort of logic.  Gonzalez hits her Powerbomb as Jade tags her from behind.  As Gonzalez handles Shirai on the side, Jade goes for the pin, but Gonzalez pulls her off.  They then scream at each other, with Gonzalez yelling "do I have to do everything here?"  Do what exactly, you big dumbass?  You just cost a win.

They then shove each other before Ray pushes Jade into Gonzalez, knocking her out of the ring and Ray rolls up Jade, only for Gonzalez to run in and push her over, allowing Jade to roll up Ray for the pinfall.  What the hell was all that nonsense necessary for?  It was all a logicless mess of an ending just to get more shit in there and we wind up in the exact same spot we were to start.  Just awful.

Winners: Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade

After the bell, the two of them argue some more, before Mandy Rose appears on the tron to mock them.

And that's that for NXT 2.0 tonight.  It wasn't a bad show, despite some really stupid moments.  The show lacked star power tonight and it was pretty easy to see that their roster is just as badly hit by COVID-19 as the main rosters are, seeing as so many announced matches were changed on the fly here tonight.  In the positive column, there were no silly comedy sketches or any of that here, but that's likely because Vince McMahon was nowhere near the building.

On to NXT New Year's Evil next week!

Till next time friends!

12/28 NXT 2.0

NXT 2.0 Recap 12/28:
Review by Ryan Fassett

4.5/10
Not bad, not great, just fine. It was a noticeably depleted roster for this show and they made the best of what they had. Nothing particularly memorable, but there also wasn't any horrendous comedy, so that's something.

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About Ryan Fassett

As a lifelong fan of movies, comics, wrestling, and collectibles, Ryan is excited to share his thoughts on all of it with you. He is also an active filmmaker and published comic book writer, along with being a connoisseur of soda.
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