WWE NXT Review (December 14, 2021)

wwe nxt ciampa breakker title

This week’s NXT 2.0 episode saw a WarGames rematch taking place as Cameron Grimes takes on Duke Hudson in a No Holds Barred Match while Bron Breakker faced Roderick Strong for the first time ever.

Other matches announced this week are Cora Jade vs. Dakota Kai, Tony D’Angelo vs. Andre Chase and Harland makes his in-ring debut.

This episode is taking place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

They showed highlights from last week’s show when Johnny Gargano gave his NXT goodbye speech and Grayson Waller attacked Johnny to end the show.

They showed Grayson Waller arriving to the arena earlier with fans greeting him with “Asshole” and “you suck” chants while booing him.

This week’s show begins with a rematch from WarGames because Cameron Grimes entered first. Grimes threw a trash can into the ring with some weapons. They showed highlights from the WarGames match when Grimes beat Hudson in the Hair vs. Hair Match leading to a haircut. Hudson showed up with a wig last week.

Duke Hudson made his entrance wearing a blonde wig along with some headgear to keep his fake hair in place. The announcers were Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett as usual.

No Holds Barred Match: Cameron Grimes vs. Duke Hudson

Grimes knocked Hudson off the apron. Grimes kicked a trash can that was on Hudson’s head. Back in the ring, Hudson got hold of the top of a trash can and hit Grimes in the back with it. Grimes hit a moonsault into a pin for two. They left the ring with Grimes sending Hudson’s hair into the steel steps. Hudson fought Grimes from ripping off the wig and Hudson choked Grimes across the top rope. Hudson jumped over the top rope leading to a German Suplex across the ring. They left the ring with Grimes avoiding a chairshot. Hudson did an eye poke to the eye. Hudson went for a Razor’s Edge like move on the floor, but Hudson did a headscissors that sent Hudson into a barricade. Cool spot leading to “NXT” chants. Grimes did a running attack off a chair, but Hudson caught him and hit a uranage slam into the chair. That got a two count for Hudson. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

There was a poker table that was set up in the ring since Hudson has the poker table gimmick. Grimes was on the top rope and hit a cross body block on Hudson for two. Hudson got a rollup with tights for two. Grimes with a forward roll on Grimes for two. Grimes went up top, but Hudson tripped him up to crotch Grimes on the top rope. Grimes with a kick to the head, then a superkick and Hudson caught Grimes leading to a Powerbomb through the poker table for two. Hudson left the ring and grabbed some clippers for a haircut, but Grimes kicked him in the head. Grimes with a Poison Rana and a Cave In double foot stomp to the chest (onto a chair) for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Cameron Grimes

Analysis: *** A clean win by Grimes to likely to put an end to the rivalry with the Cave In onto the chair. I thought they did a nice job of using weapons, the fans were into it and the end result was something that made the fans happy. It was Hudson’s first meaningful feud in NXT and I think Grimes is one of the better wrestlers in NXT.

Post match, Grimes pulled Hudson’s wig off and we saw Hudson’s shaved head. Barrett said Hudson looked terrible and this wasn’t fair for Hudson.

Cora Jade was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Jade said that she was medically cleared with her injured shoulder. Dakota Kai showed up saying that this is what Raquel Gonzalez does where she gets close to somebody like Jade and uses them like Kai claims Gonzalez did with her. Jade thanked Dakota by calling her “mom” and Dakota said when she beats Kai tonight she’ll be one step closer to Mandy’s title. Kai left looking confused about being called “mom” there.

Grayson Waller was shown walking backstage with people standing back there looking disgusted because of his actions against Johnny Gargano last week.

(Commercial)

This Friday on Smackdown, what consequences will Paul Heyman face for firing up on Smackdown last week? Roman Reigns is back after being off last week.

Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen got into a truck with Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro for a country music concert. They were all dancing, drinking and having fun. The guys were stunned or excited when the girls hugged.

Analysis: I don’t know what the point of this was other than to show some wrestlers hanging out.

Let’s Hear from Grayson Waller

Grayson Waller entered wearing a dress shirt and white pants. The fans booed Waller loudly while chanting “Asshole” at him again. Waller said that a wise man once said, you can never fail if you bet on yourself. Waller said he nearly had a tear in his eye last week. Waller said that man wanted to talk about his wife, his future and wanted to thank the fans. The fans chanted “shut the hell up” at Waller. Waller said that last week, he did what he said he was going to do because he had all the views and he was trending everywhere because he bet on himself.

Waller showed some Instagram footage that he filmed after he attacked Johnny Gargano. Waller said he loved it. Waller said that last week, he cemented himself as “THE” NXT superstar. Waller went from jumping off the cage, winning WarGames and then ending the career of an NXT legend. Waller claimed he partied this weekend while saying the fans complained about somebody that is more successful than them.

They showed some tweets from fans along with Wade Barrett tweeting, “I think I like him.” Waller told Barrett he had bad news for him that this isn’t 2010 and he couldn’t care less what he thinks of him. Waller told Joseph that he did that to Vic Joseph’s best friend in front of Vic and Vic didn’t do a single thing. Waller said that it showed the kind of man that Joseph is. Waller said that the only thing that he needs to go to the top of this industry is…Grayson Waller. Grayson’s music played to end it. Barrett said he wanted to like Waller but he can’t and Vic just moved on.

Analysis: I kept waiting for an interruption, but it didn’t happen. Waller did a nice job here showing confidence, cockiness and coming across as a guy that’s easy to dislike. It was a bit surprising that he never said Johnny Gargano’s name the whole time, but I guess that’s because Johnny is a legitimate free agent that may sign with another company, so it makes sense for WWE to avoid mentioning him. Anyway, I like Waller’s future in NXT. I think he’ll get a decent push.

They showed MSK finding “The Shaman” Riddle last week. More of that later in the show.

Malcolm Bivens was shown in the Diamond Mine gym with Bivens saying he knows Roderick Strong is going to beat Bron Breakker tonight. Ivy Nile left because she’s in action up next.

(Commercial)

The talk show Lashing Out with Lash Legend was shown with Kushida and Ikemen Jiro (aka Jacket Time) as the guests. Lash mentioned how they are always dressed to impress. The guys said that they are all about being “Style Strong.” Lash mentioned their issues with Grizzled Young Veterans. Kushida said that they shouldn’t be disrespected. Jiro spoke about how tonight they will wipe the floor with GYV. That was it.

Analysis: I think NXT has done a decent job of rebuilding the tag team division. I’m all for Jacket Time getting a push even though the name isn’t great.

Ivy Nile vs. Amari Miller

Nile with a side headlock, Miller went for a move and Nile did a headstand to get out of it. Nile broke free from a move leading to a forearm to the back. Nile hit an elbow off the middle ropes to the back. Nile with a suplex across the ring, but Miller came back with three pin attempts for two counts. Nile with a shot to the ribs. Miller with a spin kick against the turnbuckle, then a kick to the ribs and Miller hit a dropkick. Nile avoided a kick, then did a running attack with a slam. Nile with a dropkick. Nile applied a Dragon Sleeper-like move for the tapout win after about three minutes.

Winner by submission: Ivy Nile

Analysis: 3/4* I figured this would be an easy win for Ivy Nile and that’s what it was.

Xyon Quinn was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Quinn said now he understands the games Legado del Fantasma is playing, so he said “game on.”

Robert Stone walked up to Mitchell saying he’s going to be taken seriously starting from now on. Von Wagner walked into the screen saying that last week he destroyed his opponent and next week he’ll destroy next the guy because he can. Wagner said if you have a problem with that, say it to his face. Wagner left on his own and Stone left.

Analysis: I think they should make Stone the serious manager of Wagner to limit the amount of times Wagner has to talk.

Joe Gacy was shown outside somewhere with Harland with Gacy telling Harland to not be afraid to be himself.

(Commercial)

MSK was shown with their “Shaman” Riddle, who asked what else is in this bag. There were some supplies in there, so they told Riddle to get int here and they found a baseball bat in the tiny bag. Riddle pulled out a pylon and also the US Title held by John Cena during Cena’s US Title spinner days. Riddle said those things are weighing them down. Riddle told them to focus on regaining the NXT Tag Team Titles. Wes Lee and Nash Carter asked how do they clear their mind ands let go. Riddle pulled out a scooter. Nash Carter reached in to pull out a scooter, so Lee did it too. They all left on their scooters.

Analysis: Riveting television. I don’t really get where it’s going, but I like MSK and Riddle. The spinner US title that was made for John Cena is great, though, so that was a cool thing to see.

Harland made his entrance with Joe Gacy. They showed Westside Gunn at ringside.

Harland vs. Guru Raaj

This is Harland’s WWE NXT debut. His real name is Parker Boudreaux.

Harland shoved Raaj down and then rammed his head into the mat a bunch of times. Harland used his forearm/elbow to grind it against Raaj’s face. Harland lifted up Raaj leading to a powerslam off the shoulders for a win after two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Harland

Analysis: 1/2* A squash win by Harland over poor Raaj. Very simple by Harland here to show off his power. The finisher was cool.

After the match, Gacy asked if Harland was feeling better, so Harland said no. Harland slammed Raaj’s head into the mat repeatedly. Harland left with Gacy.

Analysis: Heels are mean. Just a way to get more cheap heat.

LA Knight was shown driving up to the building in a red sports car. Knight ripped on Grayson Waller saying he wants them to know Knight is there and he wanted Waller to find him unless Knight finds him face.

Cora Jade made her entrance for a singles match with her skateboard. The lovely Mandy Rose appeared with the NXT Title around her waist. Jade’s in action up next.

(Commercial)

They showed a clip from a stairwell where Harland was with Joe Gacy and Harland shoved WWE Official Brian Kendrick down a flight of stairs. At least that’s what the idea was. Officials checked on Kendrick.

Analysis: They didn’t show the bump, but the idea was that Harland threw Kendrick down a stairwell.

Dakota Kai vs. Cora Jade

Kai with a pump kick to start the match. Jade ran the ropes with a headscissors followed by a dropkick. Jade with a backslide pin. Jade had her left shoulder taped up from what happened at WarGames. Jade battled Kai on the apron with Kai sending Jade shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Kai with a running kick on Jade. Kai applied an armbar on the left arm. When Kai went for a running kick, Jade avoided it and sent Kai out of the ring. Back in the ring, Jade with a headscissors followed by a running knee. Jade went up top and hit a missile dropkick for two. Kai with a backbreaker for a two count. Kai with running kicks to the head for two. Kai with a spinning neckbreaker into the mat for two. Kai brought in a shovel from under the ring, the referee took it away and Jade got the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Kai for the pinfall win after seven minutes. Rose said it’s like Jade gets lucky every time.

Winner by pinfall: Cora Jade

Analysis: *3/4 It was decent for a shorter match with Jade continuing her winning ways with a win over a credible veteran wrestler like Kai. It was not a dominant win by Jade or even close to that since it was more like a crafty win or even fluky some people might say.

Post match, Kai kicked Jade to knock her down. Kai wanted to use the shovel, but Raquel Gonzalez went after Kai and they went brawling into the back part of the arena.

The Toxic Attraction music played leading to Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne making their entrance. Rose attacked Jade with a forearm to the back. Rose did an armbar takedown on the injured left arm. Gigi had a shirt honoring Jimmy Rave, who passed away a few days ago. That’s a nice gesture.

Analysis: Jade keeps getting wins, so they are building her up to challenge Mandy Rose most likely at the New Year’s Evil event in early January.

Grayson Waller was shown walking backstage. Tiffany Stratton said that her daddy thinks that Waller is a terrible person. Io Shirai walked up to Waller and yelled at him in Japanese.

Tony D’Angelo entered for singles action.

(Commercial)

They showed Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai yelling at eachother from a distance in the parking lot with referees there to break it up. That feud must continue.

Tony D’Angelo vs. Andre Chase

Tony got a waistlock takedown, Chase with a back elbow and Tony sent Chase into the turnbuckle repeatedly. Tony with a belly to belly suplex. Tony: “Who is this guy, huh?” Chase did a hair grab for a takedown and then a neckbreaker. Chase did his routine where he stops on the guy leading to spell “Chase U” and then Chase got a Russian legsweep takedown for a two count. Chase with a chinlock, Tony with a back body drop and some punches to the ribs leading to belly to belly suplex. Tony with a double leg takedown. Tony: “He’s done.” Tony hit a bridging Northern Lights Suplex into a twisting neckbreaker slam for the pinfall win. This got about four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Tony D’Angelo

Analysis: ** A solid match to put over Tony against Chase, who got more offense than I figured he would get. Tony’s offense towards the end looked good and he’s definitely a star on the rise in NXT.

Tony D’Angelo did a post match promo said in the words of Tony Bennett, he’s got the world on a string. Tony said he just took care of Andre Chase, so he’s the head of the class. Tony said at WarGames he said he’d hit Pete Dunne right in his mouth…and here comes Pete. Dunne told him he does a lot of talking for a geezer with no track record. Dunne got in the ring with Tony, who told Dunne he’s got a face only his mother would love. Tony pointed out that he has Dunne’s mouthguard. Tony said he’s got business to handle, so next week they can figure it out. Tony claimed he had things to do, he was about to leave, then Tony tried an attack and Dunne snapped the fingers of Tony. Dunne stomped on the case where his mouthguard was and Dunne put the mouthguard back in his mouth.

Analysis: It’s fine as a feud to try to get Tony involved with an established NXT name like Dunne. I like the story so far. I think they’ll have a good match too.

Grayson Waller walked into the dressing room where Bron Breakker told him he needs to get his stuff and he needs to leave because he’s not welcome in the locker room anymore. Other guys agreed. Waller said that real superstars have their own locker room anyway, so Waller grabbed his bag and left.

Analysis: Waller continues to be hated by people in WWE after his attack on Johnny Gargano last week.

Boa entered for a match.

(Commercial)

They showed WWE NXT Producer Brian Kendrick getting checked on by the WWE Medical team. Kendrick had a neckbrace on.

Boa vs. Edris Enofe

Boa with a kick to the ribs followed by a lifting suplex where he grabbed the legs to lift Enofe across the ring. They showed Solo Sikoa watching backstage on a TV. Boa with a running knee into a suplex across the ring. Enofe got some offense going with a dropkick followed by a Perfectplex for a two count. Boa with a kick to the ribs. Boa with a choke putting his hand across the throat to stun Enofe. Boa hit a spin kick to the head for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Boa

Analysis: *1/2 Boa continues his mini-push since getting the face paint gimmick that has led to him becoming more of a crazy guy. I don’t know how else to analyze it other than that. Boa’s spin kick finisher looked great. Enofe has a lot of potential, but it’s still early in his career, so they aren’t pushing him a lot yet.

Raquel Gonzalez did a locker room promo saying that this rivalry with Dakota Kai needs to end. Raquel looked back on their friendship as a positive, but she needs to end this. Raquel challenged Kai to a Street Fight.

It’s Jacket Time because Kushida and Ikemen Jiro were in action after a break.

(Commercial)

Grayson Waller was shown in the parking lot standing by LA Knight’s red car in the parking lot. Waller talked about getting views and said you’ll love this view. Waller drove off with Knight’s car while Knight was shown on the ground in the parking lot, so the idea was that Waller beat him up.

Jacket Time (Kushida & Ikemen Jiro) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake)

Kushida was in control of Drake with an armdrag, Jiro tagged in to attack the arm of Drake and then Kushida used his legs to twist Drake’s left arm. Gibson tagged in, pulled Kushida out of the ring and Drake hit a suicide dive into a legsweep by Gibson on the floor. After Kushida tried a sunset flip on Gibson, Drake tagged in and kicked Kushida in the back. Drake with a neckbreaker. The Creed Brothers were shown in the aisle watching the match. Kushida with punches and chops to fight out of the corner and Jiro got the tag. The jacket man Jiro hit a spin kick followed by uppercuts while wearing the jacket. Jiro with a German Suplex across the ring. Gibson back in for his team, but Jiro hit an uppercut and a cross body block on both guys. Jacket Time with a double arm drag and double dropkick. Kushida went for an armbar on Gibson, but Drake saved his partner. Gibson hit a snap suplex on Kushida for a two count. Kushida shoved Drake into Gibson, so GYV bumped to the floor. The Creed Brothers teased an attack, which led to Kushida and Jiro hitting dives onto their opponents. Kushida held Drake while Jiro jumped off the top with a Senton Bomb for the pinfall win after six minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Jacket Time (Kushida & Ikemen Jiro)

Analysis: **3/4 It’s good to see Jacket Time pick up a win because they’re a likable babyface team that is always going to have good matches. The GYV team is technically sound while working well together as a team. A push for them would be fine too, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen any time soon. That was a cool finishing sequence with the double dives on the floor followed by the double team finisher.

Roderick Strong was shown walking with Malcolm Bivens. They walked up to Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams with Hayes telling Strong not to miss. Bivens pointed out a painting that was there – a Dexter Lumis drawing warning Hayes. Hayes told Williams not to worry about it. They all left.

(Commercial)

Next week on NXT: Raquel Gonzalez faces Dakota Kai in a Street Fight. In the main event, they also said Pete Dunne vs. Tony D’Angelo and Dexter Lumis vs. Trick Williams as well.

Roderick Strong entered for the main event with Malcolm Bivens. Strong is the Cruiserweight Champion going into this non-title match. Bron Breakker got a big pop for his entrance. The fans like him a lot.

Bron Breakker vs. Roderick Strong (w/Malcolm Bivens)

Strong went for a takedown, but Bron was too strong and shoved him away. Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were on the stage watching the match. Bron hit an impressive delayed suplex to show off his power followed by a kip-up to show off his athleticism. Strong to the floor, Bron followed and Strong sent Breakker into the announce table. Strong slammed Bron on the announce table. It didn’t break the table, but there was a nice thud when it hit.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Strong lifting Bron on his shoulders and Strong drove his knees into Bron’s ribs. Strong applied a Boston Crab, but Bron powered out of it by kicking Strong out of the ring. Back in the ring, Strong went for a leapfrog, Bron caught him and hit a powerslam. That’s a great spot. Bron with a clothesline, shoulder tackle and a Frankensteiner like uncle Scott used to do. Bron hit a belly-to-belly suplex. Bron with shoulder tackles to the ribs, Strong came back with chops followed by four straight elbow smashes by Strong. Roddy hit the Olympic Slam for a two count. They went to the turnbuckle with Strong hit a superplex followed by a Gutwrench Powerbomb for a two count. There were “NXT” chants from the crowd. Bron countered a suplex with a slam of his own. Strong tried a running attack, Bron caught him and did a front slam. Bron with a press above the head into a powerslam for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bron Breakker

Analysis: ***1/4 I liked that match. Strong got a lot of offense and looked credible in doing so while Bron kept on fighting back because he’s a powerhouse that is able to take anything and keep on going. Strong has a lot of cool-looking moves even against a bigger guy like Bron. I like the way Bron made the comeback hitting a few slams and suplexes. That Frankensteiner that Bron did was really impressive! Bron getting the clean win was the right finish. Bron continues to show he’s capable of having good matches. I’m impressed by the guy. He gets better every time I see him.

They were showing replays of what happened when Tommaso Ciampa showed up, grabbed Breakker and hit the Willow’s Bell DDT onto the NXT Title. The fans chanted “Psycho Killer” for Ciampa. Ciampa welcomed Bron to the deep end and reminded him that sharks swim here. Ciampa kissed Bron on the side of the head as a warning, I guess. Ciampa held up the NXT Title. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: That should lead to Ciampa facing Breakker at the New Year’s Evil show in a few weeks and I would assume Breakker wins the NXT Title there. If Breakker doesn’t win then maybe he’s going to be on Raw or Smackdown after the Royal Rumble. I just think Bron winning the NXT Title appears to be very likely.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Bron Breakker
  2. Roderick Strong
  3. Grayson Waller

 

The Scoreboard

This week: 5.75 out of 10

Last week: 6.5

2021 Average: 7.09

 

Final Thoughts

It was just another average show this week. There was nothing that I would call newsworthy except maybe Harland’s debut, but that was really basic. Some stories continued between rivals that will probably lead to matches at the New Year’s Evil show in a few weeks, but other than that, it wasn’t that interesting.

In terms of match quality, there was only one match I rated at three stars or higher, which was the main event. I’d like to see better matches than that. It also makes me miss the old NXT when there were always three or four great matches every show. This version of NXT is not like that.

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Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport