Hey gang! We're on the road to NXT Halloween Havoc (taking place live in two weeks on October 26) and we have a big title match with big implications to look forward to in tonight's main event. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott is the reigning NXT North American Champion, but he and his team Hit Row were drafted to SmackDown in last week's WWE Draft so the lingering question is will he be bringing NXT gold to Friday nights when he is officially a member of the SmackDown roster starting next week? Not if Santos Escobar has anything to say about it, as he will be challenging Swerve for his title tonight. Enough out of me, let's get to tonight's NXT 2.0!
We open with a pretty shocking event, as Santos Escobar and Legado del Fantasma jump Swerve, B-Fab, and Top Dolla as they enter the building earlier in the day and drag B-Fab and Top Dolla into a car and speed off.
Next, we go to Joe Gacy sitting in the ring, where he cuts a promo on Tommaso Ciampa and calls him "toxic masculinity" and "championship privilege". Gacy also refers to his fans as "his snowflakes", so I guess subtlety is out the window now…
Tommaso Ciampa vs Joe Gacy
An ok, hard-hitting match here. They have decent in-ring chemistry and there's some good back and forth action.
We see Harland again sitting in the crowd and staring at Gacy tonight.
Eventually, the champ takes it though when he hits the Fairy Tale Ending for the pinfall.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
As Ciampa is making his way up the ramp, he's wiped out by Harland, who then chokes Gacy when he runs over, but Gacy does some weird Black Widow/Hulk thing to him and he runs away.
Toxic Attraction now makes their way to the ring literally on top of the last segment. The trio makes it clear they're hunting for NXT gold, as Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne challenge Io Shirai and Zoey Stark for the NXT Women's Tag Team titles at Halloween Havoc, while Mandy Rose challenges Raquel Gonzalez for her NXT Women's Championship.
Now Xyon Quinn heads out for his match, again stepping on the previous segment. When Quinn enters the ring, you can see the three microphones from the previous segment just laying in the ring. Are they really short on time tonight or is this an odd creative decision? Either way, it's odd and distracting.
But first, there's a spooky video set in a cemetery where a mysterious person talks about "burying the past". If I had to guess, this is either Ember Moon or Dakota Kai here.
Xyon Quinn vs Malik Blade
Quinn again looks like a potential star here. He's a powerhouse with speed and agility. Quinn plants Blade with the flying forearm for the pinfall in what is essentially a quick squash.
Winner: Xyon Quinn
We now head backstage for an interview with Ciampa, where he says he's focused on defending his NXT title in two weeks against Bron Breakker, but he's interrupted by Grizzled Young Veterans, who mock him and say he's about to lose his title to a rookie. That brings over the said rookie, as Breakker takes offense and he & Ciampa face-off GYV.
Swerve is interviewed backstage about what happened to his teammates earlier and how Ashante Thee Adonis is still missing. He gives a passionate response about defending himself and his team and promises he's bringing the title to SmackDown. Great emotional promo from Swerve here.
Ivy Nile vs Valentina Feroz
It's Nile's NXT debut match and she looks like a total machine here with many feats of strength, including a great spot where she catches Feroz's attempted crossbody and turns it into a vertical suplex.
She finishes things with a squatting Torture Rack for the submission.
Diamond Mine keeps on rolling with these new finds.
Winner: Ivy Nile
After the match, Malcolm Bivens cuts a promo in the ring where he hypes up the members of his team. Roderick Strong then grabs the mic but is interrupted by Ikemen Jiro, who appears to be challenging Strong for his NXT Cruiserweight title.
Julius Creed has his teammates exit the ring while he talks down to Jiro, but Jiro socks him with a jacket punch and runs as Diamond Mine freaks out over it. Pretty good stuff from all involved and it appears we have a singles match right now with Jiro vs Creed.
Ikemen Jiro vs Julius Creed
Jiro has some offense to start here, but Creed is too big and way too powerful, as he proceeds to lay waste to the charismatic Jiro with huge suplexes and slams. Jiro is able to respond with some disorienting attacks, but Creed rallies and plants Jiro with a Cartwheel Spinebuster, followed by a grounded lariat for the pinfall.
Winner: Julius Creed
After the match, all the members of Diamond Mine jump in the ring and stomp on the defeated Jiro. This brings out Kushida, who clears the guys out, but stops short of hitting Nile. This allows the others to jump him and stomp on him with Jiro. Strong then hits Kushida with the End of Heartache for good measure as Diamond Mine continues to stand strong.
We now go to a taped promo from NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez, where she trash-talks Mandy Rose and says they will spin the wheel to determine what kind of match they will have at Halloween Havoc.
It's time for another edition of Lashing Out with Lash Legend and it's just as obnoxious and pointless as last time, if not more so. I don't feel like wasting time writing about it, while you probably don't feel like wasting time reading about it. It's garbage.
Kyle O'Reilly & Von Wagner vs Pete Dunne & Ridge Holland
A pretty good fast-paced, hard-hitting tag match here. Everyone gets their moments to shine in this one and there doesn't feel like a moment that anything gets slow, like everyone is running full-throttle throughout and that really helps the action with these guys.
There are some nice save moments and some good brawling on the outside, but it all comes down to Von Wagner and Holland in the ring and Von Wagner gets him with the twisting double-underhook slam for the pinfall.
Winners: Kyle O'Reilly & Von Wagner
We now head to Chase University again for some more ranting, screaming, and foul language from Andre Chase. Ok so, there's something there with these segments and with Chase. They are humorous. The problem is Chase's delivery and performance. It's not completely awful, but he needs some acting lessons where they'll teach him to change up his facial expressions and tone depending on what he's saying. His delivery is very flat and that undercuts the potential here.
Next, we have a video promo from Tony D'Angelo, where he brags about his big debut win last week. This character is growing on me and that has a lot to do with the performance. He's very good and very charismatic and if his match last week was any indication, he's going to match that with good in-ring work as well.
Duke Hudson vs Grayson Waller
A good one here from two Australians with a lot of potential. The thing that struck me here is how invested they both are in selling, which is a lost art in modern wrestling. They do some creative little things here, but Hudson gets the pinfall with a tights-grabbing roll-up. This was good but way too short of a match. I wanted more from this as I was enjoying it, but we got what we got. Oh well…
Winner: Duke Hudson
We now go backstage to the locker room, where Santos Escobar is getting ready for his match, surrounded by his teammates. He mocks Swerve for being all alone and promises that his team will remain in the locker room and it will be one on one.
Next, we get a taped promo from Imperium where they make it clear they're coming for the NXT Tag Team titles.
Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta vs Sarray & Amari Miller
I guess The Way is no more, seeing as Austin Theory was called up in the WWE Draft, both Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae have been absent from tv for weeks, and Indi Hartwell seems to be solely invested in her tag team with Persia Pirotta.
Anyway, another very short match here. Nothing particularly impressive or memorable, but Hartwell & Pirotta look solid enough as a team and wipe out their opponents in a couple of minutes.
Winners: Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta
After the match, Pirotta grabs the mic and says they should challenge for the NXT Women's Tag Team titles, which brings out the current champions, Shirai & Stark, who storm the ring. They keep up the comedy schtick with Shirai where she keeps saying she doesn't like everyone, cause you know, it's not an Asian wrestler under Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard unless they're being played for laughs.
Toxic Attraction heads out now to make their case for the titles and it all winds up in a donnybrook.
Backstage, Grayson Waller chats up some ladies, which impresses Cameron Grimes, who wants to know how to attract women. Waller then introduces him to the world of dating apps.
We now get a video teaser for a new superstar, Soli Sikoa (who is actually Sifa Fatu, son of WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi and brother of The Usos), who appears to be a Samoan street fighter, and learn he will be coming soon.
Swerve vs Santos Escobar – NXT North American Championship
This one's a heated brawl right from the start! Great action throughout from two of the best wrestlers in NXT. The important thing is neither loses sight of telling the story with their faces at any point in this match. Everything they do is heated and with feeling and that really elevates the action, which is already good. There are numerous guys on the main rosters that don't do this nearly as well as these two.
Lot's of great near-falls towards the end, especially after Escobar hits a Frog Splash and after Swerve hits a 450 Splash.
Wilde & Mendoza make their way out to distract the ref, but Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams run in to take them out.
Swerve breaks out of the Fantom Driver and hits Escobar with the JML Driver for the pinfall.
Winner and still champion: Isaiah "Swerve" Scott
Swerve celebrates the win in the ring with Hayes and Williams but is clotheslined down by Hayes. Hayes then cashes in his Championship contract and we've got another NXT North American Title match now!
Swerve vs Carmelo Hayes – NXT North American Championship
Hayes immediately hits the Springboard Forearm, but only gets a two-count. Swerve tries to fight back, but Hayes plants him with a Scissor Kick and heads to the top turnbuckle to hit a flying Axe Kick for the pinfall.
Winner and new NXT North American Champion: Carmelo Hayes
Hayes and Williams celebrate his title win in the ring as NXT ends.
A really great match followed by a good twist ending. Can't argue with that!
Not a bad night for NXT 2.0, as the attention was focused mostly on wrestling, which on a developmental show, is how it should be.
Till next time friends!