NXT 2.0 returns tonight (Dec. 14) live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando!
Advertised for the show:
- Bron Breakker vs. Roderick Strong
- Duke Hudson vs. Cameron Grimes in a No Holds Barred match
- Core Jade vs. Dakota Kai
- Andre Chase vs. Tony D’Angelo
- Harland’s in-ring debut
As usual, here are our five questions about NXT tonight:
1) What will Von Wagner & Grayson Waller do with the rubs Kyle O’Reilly & Johnny Gargano gave them?
This question should probably be more like “what will NXT creative have Wagner & Waller do?” But in situations like this with us wrestling fans, there’s always an element of “were these the right guys to have O’Reilly & Gargano give their exit(?) rub to?” They’re intertwined, and both of the answers have to be the right in order to create a star.
My subjective take on if Kyle & Johnny put over the right guys on their way out the door? Ehhh, I guess? Wagner doesn’t do much for me, but it’s easy to see why the company thinks he’s worth a flier. He’s big, and while green, he’s not bad in the ring. There’s definitely potential there. On the stick, it’s a little rougher. Step one would be to stop looking like he’s reading off a teleprompter during interviews. Waller is more polished all the way around, and is more comfortable playing the kind of comedic heel WWE loves these days. He needed something to stand out as more than an Austin Theory clone, however. Taking Gargano out may have been that thing.
As to what they should next? Part of the problem with NXT trying to establish so many new acts at once is that since we’re unfamiliar with so many of these people, it doesn’t mean as much when one of them fights or beats another. And the list of guys with a track record of success is dwindling.
Roderick Strong is one of those guys, but he’s going to keep Bron Breakker busy for a bit before Breakker’s next NXT title shot. It would make sense for the champ to want to avenge his old #DIY tag partner, especially after he and Gargano met in the middle at WarGames. Since round 2 with Bron isn’t going to happen until New Year’s Evil at least, having Tommaso Ciampa step to Waller would work. They already did it in the build to last month’s streaming special, but [shrug emoji].
A good option for Wagner might be Pete Dunne. Both as a kayfabe “meaningful” opponent and a useful real world learning experience, the Bruiserweight could help the big former football player. The storyline mechanics are a little clunkier, but Dunne could always say no one should have taken out his old Undisputed ERA rival but him. Or just have Von pick a fight.
Neither guy needs to be rocketed into the main event. They don’t even need to win their next feud. But they should do something that feels big — both so we can see how they handle that spotlight, and to make the jobs Gargano and O’Reilly did worthwhile.
2) How will Harland look in an actual match?
Another guy WWE probably has plans for will make his in-ring debut tonight. Harland figures to squash somebody (or a few somebodies) while Joe Gacy triggers people by talking about the importance of not triggering people. So we probably won’t really get an answer to this question for a while.
It will be interesting to see how his dynamic with Gacy works in a match. Does the Woke One still call all the shots? Or will there be no safe spaces once his monster is off the leash?
3) Is it ever not funny to see a wrestler in a bad wigs?
WWE doesn’t think so.
And I’m not necessarily proud to admit it, but they get a giggle out of me every time.
Really not sure why Cameron Grimes vs. Duke Hudson didn’t end with their hair vs. hair match, but maybe Grimey will give the big Aussie a reason to wear that wig for a lot longer if he can finish giving him a trim after tonight’s No Holds Barred match.
4) When will Dakota Kai get another win?
Her last one came against Cora Jade in early November. Which isn’t that long ago, but it seems pretty clear what Kai’s role is in 2.0. And while that bums me out a bit as a big fan of her work, it’s understandable given WWE’s made it pretty clear they don’t see her as a top star. But if Dakota’s going to be valuable to them as more than an in-ring coach, she should pick up a few wins along the way. And since it doesn’t seem likely she’ll beat Jade now that she’s working her way towards a title shot, those wins will need to come from somewhere else.
5) What is Sarray coming back to?
9ヶ月振りの日本— SARRAY（サレイ） (@SarrayWWE) December 12, 2021
She’s returning to America, and most of the same questions I had when she left still apply. The only thing I’m sure of is she’ll return on a show with a five minute Toxic Attraction promo... because all episodes of NXT 2.0 have a five minute Toxic Attraction promo.