Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter Saved Io Shirai From Toxic Attraction
Rose has always been a strong talker, so I'm not surprised that this was a good first promo from her as NXT Women's Champion. She addressed Toxic Attraction holding all the gold coming out of Halloween Havoc and showed footage of the other members attacking Zoey Stark backstage. That brought out Shirai, and I'm already sold on the idea of those two facing off. This set up a six-woman tag team match for next week.
Dakota Kai def. Cora Jade
Kai now has screaming in her entrance music, and based on her actions afterward, it looks like she's going to be a bit darker going forward. Jade has been built up lately with wins over Franky Monet and Elektra Lopez, so while it was weird to see her lose so decisively to Kai, I didn't have an issue with it because Kai needs to be reestablished. The post-match angle was bizarre, but it's clear we're going to see a different Dakota Kai when she and Raquel Gonzalez eventually have their rematch.
Xyon Quinn def. Robert Stone
Quinn is among the NXT 2.0 prospects I feel has potential and I liked how mysterious he was made out to be in all of his squashes up this point. Of course, they had to go ahead and make him sing and dance like a goof. I understand wanting him to show more personality, but this is not how you do it. He then killed Stone with a series of impressive moves as soon as the bell rang. NXT should continue to book him to look dominant, but that dance-off is not how I'd go about it.
Legado del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde) def. Von Wagner and Kyle O'Reilly
A blind Stevie Wonder locked in the basement could tell you that Wagner and O'Reilly have zero chemistry together. The sooner they realize the pairing isn't clicking, the better off everyone will be. This was a fairly basic bout and Wagner managed to hold his own, but it was at its best when he wasn't in there. I feared the babyfaces would win to get them one step closer to a tag title shot, but I'm glad Legado went over instead. The Wagner and O'Reilly angle has been beyond dull.
Bron Breakker def. Andre Chase
Chase is one of the new NXT 2.0 gimmicks that just isn't working in my opinion. The guy is perfectly competent in the ring, but the character leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, I saw he had his handful of fans in the crowd, but he feels like a second-rate Chris Nowinski circa 2002. He serves his role well as an enhancement talent, but that's about it. Thankfully, this was kept short and sweet with Breakker completely dominating him in a matter of a minute or two. During a post-match promo, Breakker teased unfinished business with Tommaso Ciampa, so hopefully we see him challenge for the NXT Championship again down the road after getting a few more wins under his belt.
Solo Sikoa def. Jeet Rama
Much like Breakker, it appears there will be no mention of Sikoa's family ties, even though it's incredibly obvious since he looks identical to the other Usos. He's also using the diving splash as his finisher, so there's no question who he's related to. This was exactly what it needed to be as he had a strong showing and beat Rama with ease. He'll undoubtedly be one to watch in the weeks and months ahead.
Boa def. Grayson Waller
As soon as LA Knight was shown sitting in on commentary, you had to know he would factor into the finish somehow. Sure enough, he distracted Waller when he was on the top rope and cost him the win. The match itself was decent, but I still see absolutely nothing of value in Boa or the Tian Sha gimmick in general for that matter. Knight vs. Waller has been a fun little feud so far, but there's no reason why Knight shouldn't be on the main roster right now.
NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams Confronted NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa; Hayes and Williams def. Dexter Lumis and Johnny Gargano
Hayes told me in our interview two weeks ago that he wanted to wrestle Ciampa and Gargano in NXT. Well, he got his hands on Gargano in this main event and confronted Ciampa beforehand, so he's already getting what he wants. I'm curious what that talking segment was supposed to accomplish other than establish Ciampa and Hayes as the two top champions on the brand. Are they headed for another Winner Take All match? The main event itself was entertaining. I enjoyed the interactions between Hayes and Gargano while Lumis and Williams also played their roles well. I was ready for the heels to lose, so the fact they won was a pleasant surprise.
After a strong Halloween Havoc, NXT 2.0 was back to normal this week with a middle-of-the-road show. Once again, there wasn't much great wrestling to be had beyond the main event, but several promising prospects were showcased, so at least there was that. I don't know, NXT is so far from what it used to be that it's hard to care about it as a regular weekly product. I'm sure some of these up-and-comers will pan out and become big stars, but for now, the two hours for former black-and-gold brand aren't exciting. Rather, the program almost feels like a chore to watch.