Ring POP – NXT 2.0 8/2/2022

Rob HinesShow Review, TelevisionLeave a Comment

Solo Sikoa and Von Wagner pose in front of a multicolored background

The kids of NXT are tiptoeing into the new era of WWE, and we should see some changes in the air, although it may be less noticeable as the main roster shows. Let’s take a look at what happened this week. We start with…

THE BIG POPS!

Tag Teams, Back Again!

We’re starting big on NXT with a Four-Way Elimination women’s tag match for the vacant titles. Katana Chance and Kayden Carter are out first and they are ready to be champs, but they’ll have to deal with Leon and Feroz, Tatum Paxley and Ivy Nile, and former two-time champs Toxic Attraction (Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne). If I had money to bet, I would have placed a large amount on Toxic Attraction and a slightly smaller amount on Chance/Carter. These two duos are established and have been spotlighted going into this match, while the other two just don’t have much identity as teams.

The opening moments do some decent business though, as Leon and Feroz have a few great moments, including a couple nice aerial spots. Give them more airtime, and maybe a team name, and they could be contenders. Meanwhile, Nile and Paxley dispatched them first to cut the teams to three.

Time to move on to Ivy and her “mentee” (?) Tatum Paxley. I get the storyline, but Nile is too much of a persona on her own, and there’s no need for her to team with anyone. They are merely a speed bump between the obvious showdown between Chance/Carter and Toxic Attraction.

I will hand it to the NXT crowd (sorry, there just aren’t enough people there to call them a “Universe”). They were really into the match once it was down to two teams. I really had no idea who would be taking the titles at this point, but a nice 450 Splash/Neckbreaker combo brought us new champs in Katana and Kayden.

This match was very quick for a four-way elimination, (like VERY quick), but the crowd was into it, and the result makes a lot of sense. Toxic Attraction is likely to be Chance/Carter’s primary challengers for a bit before they (along with Mandy Rose) make their way onto Raw or Smackdown. But there are plenty of ladies on the current roster that could form teams and make the division very interesting.

They Say It’s Your Birthday…And They Won’t Stop Saying It

Joe Gacy and the Schism tried to confront the NXT UK tag champs backstage but the audio was a bit distracted by the NXT crowd singing Happy Birthday to Carmelo Hayes before the North American Title open challenge.

Giovanni Vinci appeared to be taking the opportunity, but his patented freeze frame entrance allowed Nathan Frazer to jump the line and take the spot. Vinci took it in stride and just hung out on commentary to insult Vic. The match was a good showcase of Carmelo’s athleticism, and he is another one I would expect to see on Mondays or Fridays soon. Annoyingly, the crowd really did insist on celebrating Mr. Hayes’ birth throughout the match. Finally, Vinci interfered which allowed Carmelo to defeat Frazer with a top rope legdrop, retaining the NA title and ending the party. Vinci enjoyed a final freeze frame with a fallen Frazer.

Commercial break

SOLO SIKOA IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY SONIC! AFTER YOU GET YOUR HEAD KICKED IN BY A BADA$$ SAMOAN, GET YOURSELF THE NEW GRILLED CHEESE DOUBLE BURGER FOR JUST $3.49 AT SONIC!

The Sadistic Summit

JD McDonagh and Bron Breakker are sitting at a table with Wade Barrett and a contract for their match at Heatwave. That table should probably just break itself and get it over with. JD is working hard to play the sadist here, but the crowd doesn’t seem to be into it. Then JD has to go and do a quick finger stick (gotta check those sugar numbers) before smearing his blood on the Heatwave contract. JD gleefully extends his hand but Bron knows there is still a pandemic going on and declines the gesture.

Thankfully, no tables were harmed in this segment.

Let’s Take This Outside…Then Back Inside.

Von Wagner vs. Solo Sikoa – Falls Count Anywhere

Sikoa is a star in the making, and Wagner is a monster so this match had a lot of promise. The question was if the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation would make this more interesting or if it would just create a mess. Aside from one venture to the notorious NXT Parking Lot, this played a lot more like a simple No DQ match. Sikoa gets the win after a huge splash that put Wagner through the announce table. The monster build continues for Solo and if he doesn’t join the Bloodline on Smackdown, he should be making a beeline for the NXT title soon.

Honorable Mentions
  • Tiffany Stratton promos are basically TikToks without the copyrighted music.
  • Duke Hudson bullies Axiom for being a small, smart person. But their tights are color coordinated so why can’t they be friends? Even Ogre ended up being part of the Nerds. Anyway, Axiom demands a match, and after a nifty counter to the Razor’s Edge, Axiom scores a quick roll-up victory.
  • Joe Gacy’s match with Brooks Jensen turned out to just be a vehicle to showcase three of the 6,043 tag teams in NXT, and Wade Barrett said it right when he stated there was too much going on there. I never thought I’d say it but maybe there are too many tag teams right now. SIDENOTE: The Gacy character is pretty great now that he has moved away from the “inclusive heel” angle. And in BREAKING NEWS, he has confirmed on Twitter that no, he does not like pineapple on pizza.
  • Coming off a big eight-man tag match last week, the D’Angelo Family vs. Creed Brothers (FOR THE TITLES!) should have been a more intense match, but the story here was mostly the absence of Roderick Strong and an earlier backstage pep talk from Apollo Crews. Predictably, the Creeds won, but it was thanks to a surprise return by Escobar who interfered and seemingly busted up the Family. These two teams were basically like “Yeah, we can have this match, but we have our own stuff going on right now.”
  • Alba Fyre and Lash Legend fought picture-in-picture next to dish soap, cat treats, and Dunkin Donuts. Fyre gets the win, but I really thought the cat treats had a chance.

This episode was solid, but NXT isn’t designed to be amazing. These are supposed to be up and comers learning the business so I can’t evaluate this show the same way I look at Raw or Smackdown. No grades for NXT, but I enjoyed this week’s episode and I think they are moving in a good direction as the talent we didn’t know are starting to establish themselves on a national stage.

Until next week!

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Rob HinesRing POP – NXT 2.0 8/2/2022