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The John Report: WWE NXT 11/02/21 Review

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This week’s NXT 2.0 episode is a follow up to last week’s Halloween Havoc show that featured three title changes.

The three title changes saw Mandy Rose become the NXT Women’s Champion while her Toxic Attraction teammates Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne are the new NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions. Also, Imperium because the NXT Tag Team Champions. The main event of NXT Halloween Havoc saw Tommaso Ciampa successfully defend against the impressive rookie Bron Breakker.

This episode is taking place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Check out my WWE NXT review archive here. Let’s get to it.

Let’s Hear from Mandy Rose

The show began with the lovely Mandy Rose making her entrance as the new NXT Women’s Champion after her win last week. The fans were happy for her, so they greeted her with “Mandy” chants. Rose said it felt good. Rose said she told us that she was on a whole other level with fans chanting “you deserve it” and Rose said she didn’t need their approval. Rose said she told us week after week that she would become champion because she’s a woman of her word. Rose bragged about how she beat the unbeatable, unstoppable Raquel Gonzalez and became the new NXT Women’s Champion. Rose said she’s still the baddest bitch in this whole goddamn company. Rose said that this title looks so good on her and better than anybody else has ever worn it before. Rose said that Toxic Attraction had a hell of a Halloween Havoc. Rose said: “Damn, I’m hot.” Rose asked where are her ladies? There was a video shown of Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne attacking the left leg of Zoey Stark. Referees showed up, so Gigi and Jacy left. Rose said that they run NXT and there isn’t a woman, tag team, group or faction that is going to stop them.

Io Shirai made her entrance as a former long-term NXT Women’s Champion. Shirai said she saw what happened. Shirai said she didn’t like Zoey, but she likes Mandy even less, so she wants the leader of Toxic Attraction. Shirai said she wants Rose right here and right now.

Rose said that everybody back there used to be scared of Shirai, but Rose isn’t scared of her. Rose called for a referee, but then she cheap-shotted Shirai with punches and tossed Shirai out of the ring. Rose whipped Shirai into the ring post and then back first into the ring apron. Back in the ring, Rose did a promo saying this is NXT 2.0 and you will never look like Rose, so then Shirai tripped up Rose and beat her up with punches. Shirai with a German Suplex across the ring followed by a double knee attack. Shirai went up top, but Dolin and Jayne showed up to attack Shirai. Io managed to send Dolin out of the ring, then she put on a submission on Jayne and Rose saved Jayne. Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter showed up to save Shirai, so the faces cleared the ring.

Analysis: I thought Mandy’s promo was fine. She is a confident heel that believes in herself a lot and it shows in what she has to say. I think she’ll have a long run as champion, which is certainly fine with me because Rose is a favorite of mine. The interaction with Shirai, Catanzaro and Carter will lead to a six-woman tag team match next week, which is cool with me. I want to see Kacy and Kayden getting more TV time. They’re a fun babyface team to watch.

The NXT announce team of Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett and Beth Phoenix were shown at ringside calling the action as usual.

The Toxic Attraction trio was shown walking backstage where they went up to Dakota Kai. Dakota told Mandy she didn’t do it to help her, Dakota did it to end Raquel.

Dakota Kai entered for a match. She has pink hair now.

(Commercial)

Duke Hudson was shown in his Poker Room playing poker with some random people. Cameron Grimes sat down, Duke liked that because Grimes is rich and Duke told him it was Texas Hold ‘Em even though Grimes thought it was Blackjack. Anyway, more poker later.

They showed last week when Dakota Kai attacked Raquel Gonzalez last week to cost Raquel the NXT Women’s Title against Mandy Rose.

Dakota Kai vs. Cora Jade

Kai ran over Jade with a clothesline and shoved Jade out of the ring. Kai with a jumping kick and she pulled back on the left arm in a submission. Jade came back with clotheslines, a hurricanrana and a running knee against the turnbuckle for a two count. Jade with a flipping pin for a two count. Kai powered out of a move like back body drop slam. Kai lifted up Jade, who went for a sunset flip, but Kai got out of it and hit a Scorpion Kick. Kai hit a running kick to the head for the pinfall win after two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dakota Kai

Analysis: *1/2 Kai is the bigger name, so it was a way to put her over in a dominant manner. Kai is very good while Jade is only 20 years old with a very bright future.

Kai attacked Jade after the match by slamming her head first into the mat on the floor. Kai grabbed a table from under the ring, laid it across Jade’s upper body and Kai went to the apron to think about a move, but then Kai went down to the mat. Kai grabbed Jade’s skateboard, put it on Jade’s waist and Kai left.

Analysis: Kai is doing a gimmick where she’s lost her mind a bit, so she teased doing some big moves with weapons here and then ended up doing nothing instead of a vicious attack.

They showed a clip from Halloween Havoc when Xyon Quinn gave Robert Stone a Chokeslam through a table. On Twitter, Stone challenged Quinn to a match on NXT this week.

(Commercial)

There was a video featuring the MSK duo of Nash Carter and Wes Lee outside. They talked about how they are going to a guy that helped them. Wes wanted to know about the name MSK, so Carter told him, but then a bus went in front of them, so we didn’t hear what MSK stands for. That’s the joke. Carter asked Lee if he wanted to walk, so they just walked.

Xyon Quinn was in the ring with Robert Stone, who did a promo saying that Quinn is jealous of Robert Stone. Robert did some bad dancing and singing to a song with the fans booing him. Quinn just stood there doing nothing. Stone claimed the fans loved that performance.

Xyon Quinn called for some music, so he did some dancing to the theme song of Shawn Michaels. Stone tried to attack, but Quinn caught him. When Stone charged again, Quinn lifted him up and Stone slapped Quinn in the face. The bell rang.

Analysis: The dancing to HBK’s theme song was a way to show some personality for Quinn, but it wasn’t a good segment.

Xyon Quinn vs. Robert Stone

Quinn tossed Stone across the ring two times. Quinn hit a running back elbow on Stone. Quinn hit a spinning slam off the shoulders. Quinn hit a Jackhammer slam for the pinfall win in under one minute.

Winner by pinfall: Xyon Quinn

Analysis: 1/2* A squash win to put over Quinn. Stone used to be a wrestler, but he’s just a manager in NXT now.

Joe Gacy did a promo talking about how on social media people are too negative and they make judgments based on how somebody looks. Gacy didn’t like that Harland is called a monster because he’s tall with tattoos and a shaved head. Gacy said that stops now because they will change the world…together. Harland was shown with Gacy.

Analysis: I like the Gacy character. It’s different and he’s a great talker that commands your attention when he’s on screen. I’m glad they are doing a slow burn for Harland’s in-ring debut.

Legado del Fantasma were shown walking backstage with Elektra Lopez. They walked up to Xyon Quinn so Lopez said that she didn’t know he had that side to him. Quinn said he had many sides to him. Lopez said that is something she can work with.

Analysis: I guess that counts as flirting? Sure. I’m not sure if it will lead to anything.

(Commercial)

Kyle O’Reilly & Von Wagner vs. Legado Del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza) (w/Elektra Lopez)

Wilde battled Kyle on the mat, Mendoza tagged in and Kyle hit him with a shoulder tackle. Kyle went for a submission on the left arm. Wagner tagged in with two waistlock takedowns. Mendoza jumped off the ropes, Wagner with a backbreaker and a fallaway slam. Kyle tagged in leading to Wagner hitting a splash onto Mendoza’s lower back. Kyle with a running knee to the ribs. Wagner was back in with headbutts on Mendoza. Mendoza dropkicked Wagner into the ropes, Wilde tagged in and Wagner hit a double clothesline. Wagner suplexed both opponents at the same time. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

The heels were in control until Wager made the tag to O’Reilly. Kyle tagged in with knees to the body of Mendoza as well as a sweep kick. Kyle with a kick to the left leg. Lopez went on the apron, Kyle was distracted and Mendoza hit Kyle in the back. The Legado boys did their spot where they did repeated clotheslines, Mendoza with a suplex and Wilde hit a somersault dive onto a standing Kyle for a two count. Kyle sent Mendoza out of the ring, Wilde held onto the foot and Wagner managed to reach to tag in. Wagner with a jumping Triple H knee and a flatliner slam for a two count. Wilde with an arm drag, but Wagner came back with an Angle Slam. Kyle tagged in with a kick for two with Mendoza making the save. Kyle tossed Mendoza out of the ring. Kyle tried to talk to Wagner to do a move. Mendoza took out Kyle with a dropkick and then Wilde did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Wagner for the pinfall win. Wagner’s foot was up against the rope, but the referee didn’t see it. It went about ten minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Legado Del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza)

Analysis: *** A pretty good match here. Legado always has quality matches as long as they get time. The story at the end was that Kyle tried to instruct Wagner to do some double team move, they didn’t know what to do or how to do it, so Legado capitalized with the dropkick and rollup to win. I think the finish was a beat weak, but I think it’s done that way to protect Wagner and Kyle as faces while also telling us that they still need to grow as a team.

Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Trick made her say that Hayes was the “A” Champion of NXT. Hayes said that he doesn’t miss. Andre Chase showed up saying he had their back tonight. Mitchell said that there was chatter on social media about Chase being a coward, so Chase yelled about how he’s not a coward and he’s going to deliver an ass-kicking now. Chase left so that’s after a break.

(Commercial)

Duke’s Poker Room was shown with Cameron Grimes going on a roll with beginner’s luck. Duke was frustrated by it, so he wanted to play some cards, so they kept on going. Some other people at the table ended up quitting and Duke told Grimes he had no shot with a woman as well as no shot with Duke in poker.

Andre Chase did a promo with a microphone that didn’t work, so he tossed it down. Chase had a new microphone saying there were people on social media trashing him for calling him a coward. Chase said now we have a “teachable moment.” Chase said that he fears nothing and the only thing to fear around here is Andre Chase. Andre invited somebody to get a PhD in getting their ass kicked, so come on down to get your ass kicked.

It’s Bron Breakker time. The big man was ready to go wearing the colorful singlet again.

Bron Breakker vs. Andre Chase

Breakker blocked a clothesline, then he hit a belly to belly suplex and a clothesline. Chase went running around on the floor, so Breakker hit him with a clothesline. Chase with punches, then knees to the body and Breakker came back with a shoulder tackle. Breakker with a belly to belly slam. Breakker picked up Chase for the popup powerslam for the pinfall win after two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bron Breakker

Analysis: *1/4 It was yet another short match on this show with Breakker having to self for a bit before putting away Breakker easily.

Bron Breakker did a promo saying he failed in the biggest match of his life at Halloween Havoc. Breakker said Tommaso Ciampa took advantage of his inexperience. Breakker said that Ciampa is the man in NXT. Breakker said that nothing pisses him off more than losing. Breakker said he’ll beat Ciampa for that NXT Championship or he’ll die trying.

Analysis: Bron sounds so much like uncle Scott Steiner. Anyway, I’m glad that he’s still a babyface because I think that’s the best role for him.

Imperium were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell as the new NXT Tag Team Champions. Marcel Barthel spoke in German while Fabian Aichner spoke in Italian. Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne showed up with their titles saying they have a six-woman tag next week and told Imperium to watch them. Imperium checked out the ladies as they left. Barthel: “The mat is sacred, but American has its benefits.” Well played.

Lash Legend’s talk show is up next.

(Commercial)

Lashing Out with Lash Legend

Lash was on the stage talking about WWE NXT things including last week’s Halloween Havoc show. She mocked some of the looks of people while saying she was the only host on NXT. Lash welcomed Tony D’Angelo as her guest. Lash said the producer “Mark” was missing. Lash said that “Mark” is in the studio today and this poor guy had his right arm in a sling. Mark said hi to his wife at home. Tony talked about Mark’s two sons at home and Mark said hi to them. Mark told Lash that it’s fine and nothing happened because Tony told him to say that. Tony mentioned some guys in NXT saying he’s tougher than them. Tony gave Lash some money and left.

Analysis: It just furthered the mobster character of Tony D’Angelo by forcing poor Mark to say what Tony wanted him to say.

Solo Sikoa vs. Jeet Rama

This is Solo’s first match in NXT. Solo worked over Rama with punches and kicks. Solo with a whip into the turnbuckle followed by a backsplash. Solo with a running hip attack against the turnbuckle like Umaga and The Usos do it. Solo with a kick to the head. Solo went up top and hit a Superfly Splash (Uso Splash) for the pinfall win in under two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Solo Sikoa

Analysis: 3/4* A squash win for Solo using the same Superfly Splash that his brothers The Usos use as well. That top rope splash looked very impressive.

Boa and Mei Ying were shown backstage with Boa saying “it’s time” and when he looked back at Mei Ying, she pointed ahead.

LA Knight was on commentary sending us to break.

(Commercial)

Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen were shown talking about sports, making steaks and beating guys up that they end up in the hospital. Briggs and Jensen said that they might not always win, but they will make you second guess getting in the ring with them.

Boa vs. Grayson Waller

LA Knight was on commentary since he’s got a minor feud with Waller over the last few weeks. Waller got a couple of pin attempts on Boa early on. Boa blocked a kick, sent Waller into the turnbuckle and stomped on the chest. Boa grounded Waller in a submission while pulling on the arms. Waller back up, Boa walked into an elbow, Waller with a clothesline and a leg lariat. Waller with a forearm to the face. Waller to the middle rope, Knight distracted, Boa kicked the rope to knock Waller down and Boa hit a roundhouse kick for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Boa

Analysis: *1/4 It was another short match on this show. A cheap finish to cost Waller and give Boa a win. It should set up a Waller match against Knight.

Duke’s Poker Room was shown again as he faced off with Cameron Grimes. Duke flipped over some cards, Grimes called and then Duke put it all in. Grimes put it all in too. Grimes had pocket 2’s for a full house. That led to Grimes saying “to the moon” and Duke was mad.

Analysis: I guess that should lead to a match between Grimes and Hudson due to poker heat? Sure. It’s not that interesting.

Tommaso Ciampa is up next.

(Commercial)

A video aired about Kay Lee Ray saying everybody is going to pay and next week she starts to rage.

Boa was shown in his darkened room with no sign of Mei Ying in the chair. Boa put his head down against the chair, then turned around he had facepaint. That must be Boa’s new look.

Let’s Hear from Tommaso Ciampa

The NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance holding Goldie (the NXT Champion) in his arms. Good reaction for Ciampa as the fighting babyface champion. Ciampa talked about how the new champions that were crowned at Halloween Havoc, but nobody told Ciampa that Bron Breakker was going to become the NXT Champion. Ciampa showed that he is the God of NXT. Ciampa said that with that title comes great responsibility because there’s a target on his back and this is usually the time…here’s the interruption.

It was Carmelo Hayes, the NXT North American Champion, with Trick Williams. Hayes said he’s the one that needs to put Ciampa in check. Hayes said there’s a new school on the rise and Hayes is the leader of it. Hayes said that as long as he’s on this show with this title, Ciampa will take a backseat to Hayes. Melo said he’s the “A Champion” of NXT and that’s all it is and that’s all that it’s going to be. The fans chanted “Ciampa’s gonna kill you” and Ciampa mentioned it. Ciampa said he looked into Melo’s eyes and thought that he didn’t believe a word he was saying. Ciampa told him to jump if he’s feeling froggy. Trick spoke up saying they’re in the main event, so Ciampa decked him with a punch. Ciampa and Hayes faced off as Tommaso’s music played again.

Analysis: That’s a nice tease of a Ciampa match against Hayes match coming soon as the two main champions in NXT. I like how Hayes always shows a lot of confidence. Ciampa’s very likable as the babyface champion.

Johnny Gargano made his entrance while his former best friend/rival Ciampa was there holding the NXT Title. Gargano had a staredown with Ciampa as the show went to break.

Analysis: That’s an even better tease of a match between Ciampa and Gargano. I don’t know if that’s the plan for a future feud or what they might be doing in the future with Ciampa’s title, but I wouldn’t mind a Ciampa/Gargano since it’s been a few years since the last time. That’s the greatest story/rivalry in NXT history.

(Commercial)

Johnny Gargano & Dexter Lumis vs. Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams

Lumis took down Trick with a Thesz Press followed by punches. Gargano tagged in with a double axhandle to the arm. Lumis jumped off the top leading to an uppercut punch to the face. Hayes tagged in, Lumis caught the boot and tagged in Gargano. The fans chanted for both guys as Hayes and Gargano did some quick moves leading to Gargano hitting a slingshot Spear. Lumis tagged in and they hit a double arm drag as well as a double dropkick to clear the ring. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with the heels working hard to prevent Gargano from tagging out. Hayes pulled Lumis off the apron and Williams hit Gargano with a leaping clothesline. Hayes and Williams with a double shoulder tackle followed by Hayes hitting an assisted leg drop off the middle rope. Gargano tried to get a tag, Williams caught him, Gargano with a sunset flip and Gargano broke free to bring in Lumis. Punches by Lumis on Hayes followed by a clothesline and a bulldog. Lumis tossed Williams over the top to the floor. Lumis with a leg drop. Lumis with a slingshot suplex off the ropes for two. Williams tagged back in, pump kick on Lumis, Gargano tagged in and hit a superkick. Lumis tagged in, Gargano put on a leather glove, they each did an uppercut and a double superkick. Lumis jumped off the top with an elbow drop for a two count since Hayes made a save. Hayes faced off with Gargano again, so fans chanted “this is awesome” for it. Gargano and Hayes exchanged strikes, then they each blocked kicks and Hayes with a jumping kick. Gargano bounced off the ropes with a clothesline leading to Hayes selling it with a flip bump. Lumis hit a sitout Rock Bottom, Gargano knocked Williams out of the ring. Williams hit Lumis in the head with a shoe that the referee didn’t see. Gargano hit a suicide dive on Williams. Hayes went up top and hit an impressive leg drop to the back of the head for the pinfall win after about 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams

Analysis: ***1/4 This was a pretty good tag team match full of action and the heels getting the win after the cheap shoe attack leading to Hayes getting the big win. I thought it was a clever finish with the heels cheating to win because that’s what they should do and giving them the win made sense since they are a young duo with a bright future. Gargano and Lumis are established so much that they don’t need a win like that.

Hayes and Williams were in the aisle celebrating the win while Gargano/Lumis looked on from the ring. The heels continued to celebrate with the NXT North American Title. That ended the show.

Analysis: I look forward to a Hayes/Gargano singles match at some point in the future. It should be amazing.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Carmelo Hayes/Trick Williams
  2. Johnny Gargano/Dexter Lumis
  3. Tommaso Ciampa

 

The Scoreboard

This week: 5.5 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

2021 Average: 7.19

 

Final Thoughts

This was just an average show. It was a step back from last week mainly because there were a lot of short matches that got repetitive after a while. The main event was very good. I think Mandy Rose’s promo was fine as a way to set up a six-woman tag team match for next week.

Last week’s show featured four title matches that were given time. This week only had one long match and then a lot of short matches, interviews, vignettes and things like that to get different people on the show. A lot of quick segments this week, that’s for sure.

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John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport