2.0 airs tonight (Sept. 20) live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, so let’s break it down and list it out and then get to talking about what we’ve got, shall we?
- Sanga vs. Von Wagner
- Ivy Nile & Tatum Paxley vs. Toxic Attraction (Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne)
- Cora Jade vs. Wendy Choo
- Axiom vs. Nathan Frazer (Best of 3 Series Match 2)
- JD McDonagh vs. Tyler Bate (NXT Championship #1 Contender’s Match)
Before we dive in, a reminder that SPOILERS for this pre-taped episode are out there, including here. If you’d like to discuss them, please either do so in the SPOILER post, or use the SPOILER tag.
2.0 No More?
Last week, the show ended not with a huge main event angle or a title change or even just a barnburner of a match (although to be fair Sikoa/Hayes did indeed feel huge, tear the house down, and see a title change), but with “Heartbreak Man” Shawn Michaels solemnly presiding over a video package that seemingly ended the color-spattered reign of NXT 2.0 and ushered the black and gold back to prominence, all while promising that NXT would stand for the future in the same way it always has.
But what does that actually mean for the show?
Certainly all the matches we’ve got on deck have been built over the past months. The majority of talent here are NXT 2.0 mainstays. Even the graphics on WWE’s website and the ads during Raw were still rainbow spattered! But surely they’d have something new and exciting lined up for us to kick the year off right...
...except our #1 contender’s match is mired in cast-away UK talent looking to shore up their position on the NXT mothership. To be clear, McDonagh vs. Bate had ought to at worst be a solid match and whoever wins will have a fine second chance to take Bron Breakker’s NXT Championship from him, but it’s hardly a sea change or even a callback to NXT’s black-and-gold glory days.
The UK invasion was a fine stopgap during a transitional period, and has added plenty of talent to the roster, but a new era calls for something more than reheating a title match we’ve seen already this year.
I’d think Mr. H’s and ol’ HBM should have some kind of big shakeup angle to get people talking tonight, or
NXT 3.0 2.1 1.2 3.1 for Workgroups the new-look NXT will come off like business as usual.
Solo Sikoa: Does He Even Go Here Anymore?
Our NXT North American Champion is officially a member of the Bloodline and the SmackDown roster now, and Carmelo Hayes has gotta be fighting mad for a chance to reclaim his title and prove once again that he is the A Champion of NXT, plus there’s the matter of Wes Lee, who earned a title shot via fan vote that he couldn’t collect on because Hayes and Trick Williams beat him up.
Sikoa has defended the title once on SmackDown already, successfully fending off a challenge from Madcap Moss (who I would totally have bought as somebody who could come back down to NXT for a title reign), and presumably the Street Champion is in it for the long haul, nevermind the way a loss would upset the Head of the Table.
Just how is NXT going to sort this out?
And the rest
- Our women’s tag match has more moving parts to it than it might seem at first glance— Nile and Paxley are attached to Diamond Mine and all the drama that they’ve been entangled in, plus Alba Fyre is coming for the NXT Women’s Championship and might well see Dolin and Jayne as an easy way to get at Mandy Rose. Things could get messy fast.
- Comic book lads go toe-to-toe in the match that’ll decide whether this series goes to a third or will end with Axiom up 2-0. It’s pro wrestling and I’d bet on Frazer hanging in there one way or the other.
- Cora Jade thinks she’s done with Roxanne Perez and we’ll know by the end of the segment her match against Wendy Choo is in if that’s accurate or if the groundhog says six more weeks of winter.
- Von Wagner sucks and Gentleman Sanga defending Yulisa Leon and Valentina Feroz’ honor against the terror that is... (checks notes) ...swearing? is a weak reason for a match, but hey maybe clubberin’ a boy bigger than he will bring out the best in ol’ Von. (Seriously, “don’t swear in front of women” in 2022? Oof.)
- Joe Gacy made a big move last week sliding in as Cameron Grimes’ tag partner against his wishes, and they got the odd couple win before Grimes again rejected the Schism and got laid out in the aftermath. Cameron’s gonna need to find an ally soon or reconsider Gacy’s offer or he’s going to end up finding himself unwanted. (Yeah we’re closing with a shoehorned-in Unwanted reference, Evolve 4 life baby!)
There you have it, folks
Anything piqued your interest for today’s episode of NXT, Cagesiders?