WWE NXT Weekly Roundup 16th March 2022
Pixc is here to LVL UP your NXT Experience
Welcome to another weekly dose of NXT from me, your NXT correspondent, Pixc. NXT Level Up will kick off my weekly roundup again with a brief summary of this before the NXT goings on, let’s see who makes some progress this week!
NXT LEVEL UP
Trick Williams vs Guru Raaj
Accompanied by Carmelo, it’s nice to see Trick in singles action here. Strange entrance moves from Guru Raaj, Carmelo joins them on commentary. Trick in control and Carmelo bigs him up, over selling the simple scoop slam. Trick then has Guru Raaj in a hold for a while. Guru Raaj comes back with some offense but walks straight into a kick.
Awkward looking neckbreaker finishes off Guru Raaj. Carmelo was alright on commentary but this match wasn’t great if you ask me, pretty basic.
Winner Trick Williams
Ivy Nile vs Brooklyn Barlow
Brooklyn starts off well in her debut. Nile struggling to escape her hold, she eventually breaks it only to suffer a near fall roll up. Nile then smashes her in the face to stop her momentum! Nile gets her own near fall before long and seems in control of the match as expected. Brooklyn comes back fighting though, once again getting a near fall on Nile. Nile then locks in a dragon sleeper and it’s over, Brooklyn taps out!
Again we see Ivy Nile having competitive matches against at best relatively unknown women, going from squashing everyone with ease to now struggling to beat the women starting just seems a bit daft, this is level up though so maybe that is the show design, competitive matches to help grow the new talent.
Winner Ivy Nile
Grizzled Young Veterans (GYV) vs Brooks Jensen & Josh Briggs
Gibson starts us off with roll up, no luck of course. Briggs tags himself in and they double team Gibson. Drake then in typical GYV fashion protects his partner diving in front of the turnbuckle to take one for the team. Drake comes in and Briggs dishes out the punishment before tagging Jensen back in. Jensen is oblivious to a blind tag and gets a knee that forces him to taste the ropes, lovely.
Jensen takes a lot of punishment and he manages to fight off Drake, who makes the tag and finally Jensen tags Briggs in. Briggs is all fired up, taking down Gibson before Drake breaks the pinfall. Briggs takes a double team, but somehow manages to kick out, he crawls to the wrong corner but dodges the incoming attack, tags in Jensen, he looks to finish things but is distracted by the lovely lady in the crowd. Drake manages to pin him and Gibson helps keep him down for the three count.
Fallon Henley comes out and screams at GYV and Jensen and Briggs come to get some payback, hitting a high low combo in the ring on Drake. I like this pairing with Fallon Henley, the match was pretty good.
Winners Grizzled Young Veterans
Level up this week then, I liked the main event although, at first I thought it was a bit long. I am confused by Ivy Nile’s booking this week and Trick vs Guru Raaj just didn’t do anything for me, the focus on commentary was needed as Trick is clearly much better with a microphone in hand.
Another week in NXT and we have a quick recap of last week. Our new NXT champion was crowned and tonight we might find out what’s next? Apparently, we are kicking off with The Miz and Miz TV. What?
The crowd are loving the Miz but not if he announces he is teaming with Logan Paul and facing the Mysterio's at Wrestlemania. Love him or hate him Miz really is one of the best on the mic. He introduces our NEW NXT champion. Miz points out we won’t be seeing Bron break stuff and shows footage. Bron arrived earlier and was sent away from the building after not finding Ziggler.
They are talking about money and Ziggler claims he is a fighting champion. Cue interruption unexpectedly from LA Knight he challenges Ziggler but as expected he has an excuse prepared “I only wrestle superstars” this tees up LA Knight nicely for his “I’m a megastar” line and when Ziggler tells him to find where the main event is, making you think it isn’t happening then the Miz books it and Ziggler nods in agreement, this segment was great apart from the fact it made Ziggler look like he needed to be on a development show because he didn’t understand whether he was agreeing to the match or not, a bit of a mess in all honesty.
Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams join us at ringside for the first qualifying match for the NXT North American Title match and Stand and Deliver.
Before that though because sod running things in some sort of order, Cora Jade is with McKenzie. She has stolen all the gold from Toxic Attraction. Interesting development.
Santos Escobar vs Cameron Grimes
Not much going on in the ring early on as Carmelo gives us the scoop that Roderick Strong will face Solo Sikoa in a qualifying match. Escobar and Grimes trade blows in the corner. Escobar mocks Grimes with a to the moon pose. Grimes heads to the apron to attack Escobar on the outside but Legado del Fantasma block his path and when he dodges them Escobar he is tripped up by his opponent.
Escobar looking strong during a picture in picture break. Grimes does fight out as we return to full screen but it doesn’t last and he is on his back kicking out before long. He has another flurry sending Escobar to the outside again Legado del Fantasma try to block him but over the top he dives. Escobar gets the knees up sort of as he comes off the top though and gets a near fall. Grimes hits a Spanish fly but only gets a near fall. Grimes fights out of the Phantom Driver then drops Escobar with a superkick, he signals for the Cave In but ends up tasting the Phantom Driver and it’s over, somewhat dominant win by Santos Escobar.
Santos feels a better fit for the ladder match. Carmelo with his thumbs down just first in line to be beaten by the A champ.
Winner Santos Escobar (Qualifies for North American Title Ladder Match)
Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray are hyping up their Dusty Classic Final match against Wendy Choo and Dakota Kai. Saying that cup is theirs!
Wendy was watching their promo and chats with Dakota about who flips personalities first, seemingly scared and not convinced they can do it then hyped up as she has been here before. Toxic Attraction arrive looking for Cora Jade but also goading the two about helping them win and demanding they finish the job like they’d prefer to face Wendy Choo and Dakota Kai. Interesting dynamics again with Dakota saying they had the match won, seemingly an alliance between half of her and Toxic Attraction that poor Wendy is clearly not aware of. Their parting words dissing Toxic Attraction calling them weird though are so good! Not everyone likes comedy in wrestling but I love it, done right it can make stars.
Hype for A-Kid's debut next, excited for this one, always good to see talent from NXT UK come over and get shown off. Great opponent for him too.
Kushida vs A-Kid
We get a technical face-off to start, A-Kid holding his own against the veteran. The transitions and holds showing both to be proficient. Kushida eventually sits into submission but A-Kid crawls to the ropes. A quick drop kick from Kushida but A-Kid is not staying down yet. He comes back with a nice bridged suplex pinfall but it’s too early to finish this one yet.
A reminder that the winner of this match will face Grayson Waller for a chance to compete for Carmelo’s North American title in that ladder match. A-Kid hits some strikes and a springboard DDT that could have been better and he picks up the win. Not sure what to make of that finish as it felt rushed and the focus was clearly on commentary developing the next match. Just think they need to stop promoting other things during matches so much as it distracts from the in-ring action.
Winner A-Kid (Faces Grayson Waller next week in a qualifier)
Legado del Fantasma are backstage hyping up Santos Escobar who claims he is going to win the title a Stand and Deliver. They are interrupted by Rey and Dominik Mysterio, in an initial show of respect Escobar shakes hands with Rey and his two cronies fawn over the appearance of the lucha legend. Then it gets spicy as Legado big up their own Escobar and Dominik is not impressed, with Rey even saying the one who will smash the lucha records going forward will be Dominik. Dominik challenges one of them to face him and Raul Mendoza obliges. This is strange, exciting but strange, it’s great to see Legado and the Mysterios clash, it makes me wonder though if Legado del Fantasma might move to RAW or Smackdown. This is one chaotic episode of NXT, this is brilliant!
We get a recap of the rivalry brewing between Sarray and Tiffany Stratton, this has been pretty good story telling for me, high school bully come pretty daddy’s girl trying to buy friendship and snapping when she doesn’t get her way, with Sarray playing a plucky family girl trying to honour her grandma. It includes the interference from Sarray costing Stratton her match.
Sarray vs Tiffany Stratton
Sarray is attacked on her way to the ring by Stratton, making it so she is unable to transform in the smoke, this is now weird. Sarray ends up fighting back but is clearly off her game with no transformation. Stratton gets back on the attack diving on her in the corner before finishing her off with the twisting splash, quick cheap win for daddy’s little girl.
I suppose it works going in this direction but it felt a bit strange and just feels like once again Vince doesn’t want to book Japanese wrestlers to do well.
Winner Tiffany Stratton
We see LA Knight get accosted backstage next by Walter, yes Walter. All a bit confusing but we all know Walter wants gold in NXT. He claims LA Knight talked his way into that title shot and he doesn’t respect him. LA Knight says Walter has the sports but not the entertainment part and he should look around and find some charisma. It was a great segment but I do worry for the day when Walter gets that title, he puts on brutal matches but I don’t like someone having the title who is likely to squash almost anyone they face, it doesn’t make for great action all the time, just the odd great match.
Jacy Jayne is looking for Cora Jade and sees a tag title suspended nearby. She goes to grab it and metal doors shut behind her and Cora padlocks them shut before goading her to end the segment, this is great, Cora I feel is going to get another shot at Mandy Rose and this time she might just beat her, enough is enough it is time for a change!
Ciampa makes his way to the ring, looking very sombre. He wants to talk about gratitude. The phrase ‘please don’t go’ comes to mind. The crowd start chanting “Thank You Ciampa” and he recaps the career he had here. There we go, the “Please don’t go” chants begin. He talks about his fairy-tale ending and how he failed to get it done last week and doesn’t have the answer to what comes next. He thanks everyone. I’m sitting here wanting someone to come make it happen and Tony D’Angelo arrives behind Ciampa with a crowbar, he doesn’t use it but he grabs a mic and challenges him at Stand and Deliver! They shake on it and he cheap shots Ciampa to close the segment ending with “at Stand and Deliver, Tony D’Angelo becomes the new Don of NXT!”
What a ride that was! Emotional end to Ciampa’s time in NXT, but then one more match is set and a chance for someone to shine at his expense, a chance for Ciampa to have that final match.
Persia and Indi are set to face off next, they have a weird meeting with some silent goading of sorts that felt like it was missing something. They come out to the same entrance at the same time, the weirdness intensifies! What is going on?
Indi Hartwell vs Persia Pirrota
They shake hands and it’s weird again the two not letting go then a little shove. Persia takes control then, even going for the wedding ring on Indi’s finger. Bit of trash talk about Dexter from Persia, it seems a bit over the top. Duke Hudson arrives at ringside distracting Indi, shortly after Dexter arrives though and spooks Persia who is rolled up into a pinfall and it’s over.
The aftermath gets weird again as we end up in a smooch-off, Persia throwing herself at Duke so Indi retaliates by doing the same to Dexter. This feels again unnecessary and a bit cringe if I’m honest. Less is more, is what I’d say for this storyline.
Winner Indi Hartwell
We return to the hunt for Cora Jade now, Gigi has found her title belt propped up under the lid of a huge dumpster. The only way to get it is to step inside. Big mistake as I expected Cora is on hand to close the lid on her and leave her trapped like her tag team partner, another great segment and that leaves only one!
Raul Mendoza vs Dominik Mysterio
Mendoza and Dominik go back and forth with neither wanting to give any ground early on. Elektra gets up on the apron once Dominik looks in a good position. It all breaks down as Fallon Henley arrives to help out and she is not alone but with Briggs and Jensen. They square up to Escobar and Wylde but it is Rey Mysterio who comes over to punch Escobar down. Dominik manages to hit the 619 and a frog splash to finish the match in style, honouring his two daddies, Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero, that was a bit chaotic!
That was a nice surprise match nobody expected and it felt like it was to push a few talents, definitely feels like a one off but builds Legado del Fantasma vs Jensen and Briggs.
Winner Dominik Mysterio
We get a nice tribute to Scott Hall, rest in peace bad guy!
Cora Jade sees the Toxic mobile if you will and looks to go for a ride. Mandy is waiting in the back though and the two brawl with Mandy Rose coming out on top? Out of nowhere all Toxic Attraction stand together over a fallen Cora Jade, Mandy having sprayed her with paint that we all hoped was heading for Mandy or the Toxic mobile. Honestly this was building great and the payoff just disappeared, why are her buddies back with her, it makes no sense? Why wasn’t there a challenge for the title made? Why did Mandy and the other two stand tall against Cora Jade, it doesn’t make any sense, they need to face adversity, not be handed every success.
The Creed Brothers arrive in the ring. They are out for blood, whoever attacked them and cost them their title shot. MSK’s music hits and they come out wearing NWO shirts. They still say they didn’t attack them and as the two teams' squabble over how to resolve this, Imperium’s music hits. They find it funny considering neither will win the titles. MSK call them cowards but Imperium suggest a triple threat tag team match.
Cameron Grimes is not a happy bunny next, feeling a bit of a disappointment as he laments his loss from earlier, he wants to be at Stand and Deliver. Then we get a segment where Malcolm Bivens is questioning Malik Blade, Edris Enofe and Grizzled Young Veterans about the attack. The Creed Brothers arrive and a match is booked between Grizzled Young Veterans and them, but we are no closer to knowing who attacked them last week.
We get a look at some of the matches set for Stand and Deliver, and would you look at that, booked off camera is Cora Jade vs Mandy Rose for the NXT Women’s Championship. Silver lining that we do actually get the match I guess, nobody is perfect.
LA Knight vs Dolph Ziggler ( c ) (NXT Championship Match)
LA Knight gets the first knock down and listens to the crowd chanting his name. They end up against the ropes and Ziggler doesn’t provide a clean break. LA Knight looking good but he does start to favour his ribs. Ziggler takes control during the picture in picture break. A sleeper on the ground has LA Knight grasping for air. He makes it to his feet, forcing the break in the corner. Ziggler looks for the Famouser but gets caught. LA Knight then stomps a mudhole in Ziggler in the corner as the crowd cheers him on. A powerslam and a little time to showboat before getting a near fall.
Bron Breakker has arrived back to the building as we refocus on the match. Ziggler is lifted to the top turnbuckle, LA Knight looking for a big move. Ziggler fends him off but LA Knight pops back up outta nowhere, but with his ribs hurting he is unable to cover quickly, Ziggler kicks out. LA Knight looks to finish things, but Roode jumps up, he is distracted, Ziggler misses the superkick. LA Knight slams him down and it’s too close to the ropes, Roode points it out. Ziggler manages to get the win by falling into a cover.
The match is over but the sirens sound, it’s Bron Breakker and he wants his rematch! Roode tries to stop him from asking but takes a strike and goes down. Ziggler raises the belt and accepts the challenge. There you have it, Stand and Deliver main event sorted!
Once again, a decent main event but nothing special, I think maybe the theory that Ziggler was always going to win hurt any potential it had with the title on the line. Bron arriving back before the end returned us to the predictability of WWE programming but his respectable approach to getting the title shot just felt a little soft to me for a guy known for being a hothead.
Winner Dolph Ziggler
This might have been one of the best, if not the best, NXT 2.0 episodes ever I think, it was an emotional rollercoaster of a ride. Surprises galore, with the Mysterios, Miz TV and Ciampa addressing the NXT crowd. Some great build to future matches and the segments with Cora Jade were gold until the last one. You can’t win em all, I guess. I think another lowlight has to be the Indi and Persia booking, I just felt it was a bit over done. Honestly if you haven’t watched NXT in a while this was one worth checking out!
Thanks for reading, and as ever leave us your comments below. Pixc Out.