Below, we have the NXT results from the Tuesday, November 30th show, along with highlights and headlines coming from tonight.
WWE NXT Results 11/30
Kay Lee Ray def. Dakota Kai in a Ladder Match to determine order for War Games entrants
Cameron Grimes def. Andre Chase. Grimes and Duke Hudson promise to shave the other bald at War Games
Team NXT 2.0 promo: each member calls out a member from Team black and gold, sets up Gargano vs. Breakker later in the night
MSK Promo: They insult a GPS and finally reach the shaman… but who is it?
Kyle O’ Reiley & Von Wagoner def. Legado Del Phantasma for Tag Team Title Match at War Games. Xyon Quinn distracts Legado
Joe Gacy Promo: The Cruiserweight division is too exclusive
Joe Gacy def. local competitor, brawls with Roderick Strong
Solo Sikoa def. Edris Edolfe, attacked by Boa
Persia Perrotta & Indi Hartwell win a squash match
Bron Breakker def. Johnny Gargano in a Ladder Match to determine order for War Games entrants. A brawl closes the show between Team NXT 2.0 and Team Black and Gold
NXT Highlights From 11/30
Dakota Kai’s Double-Edged Personality Costs Her
The show opened again this week with another stellar match. Kay Lee Ray has been hyped up since arriving to the American-styled NXT, but this felt like her real coming-out party. She and Dakota Kai were competing on behalf of their War Games teams to secure who would get the entry order advantage in this ladder match. And boy was this ladder match full of carnage from start to finish.
But I thought what really stood out here were the character moments for both Ray and especially Kai. First, Ray is currently on the “good guy” team at War Games, but she took every opportunity to get ruthless here. She would often take the most extreme route out of situations, and enjoyed tormenting Kai seemingly. This was most evident in a spot that saw her trap Kai in the ladder for an upside-down superkick. Meanwhile, it was the unhinged nature of Dakota Kai that cost her the match. Several moments saw Kai appear to have a crisis of consciousness, highlighted by choosing to inflict a top-of-the-ladder attack to Ray rather than grab the win. This led to Ray having time to take control again before getting her team the win.
Both of these women seem like the centers for their teams character-wise and, on Sunday, I’m sure they’ll be given the chance to shine again.
Finally, Wagoner and O’Reilly Have a Good Match
The tag team picture in NXT 2.0 still feels like the last thought on the rainbow brand, but the challengers in O’Reilly and Wagoner finally looked worthy of their push this week. Much of this team has been panned, whether it be because of the main-event talent in O’Reilly relegated to another tag run, or the very green skills of Wagoner at times being outright concerning. However, while Wagoner shouldn’t ever touch a microphone still, his in-ring strength and excitement came across great here against Legado Del Phantasma. I’m a little bummed to see the more established LDP take the loss here, but the story has been about O’Reilly and Wagoner, so I’m okay with them getting the rub as well.
I think this storyline more than any other shows the development nature of NXT 2.0. The goal is to use the skills of O’Reilly to build Wagoner, who they clearly have high hopes for. I do wish they maybe could do so lower on the card, but at the end of the day this brand is gonna be focused on building main eventers above all else, and that is certainly the case here.
Breakker and Gargano Put on a Clinic
I’m not sure how much I like NXT 2.0 this week. Really, it had three good or better matches, but the rest of the show was either squashes basically or extended segments. These filler bits just drag down the show at times and, in fact, feel inconsequential at the worst of it due to how rushed or crammed some of them are.
I make that point only to say this: if a show is only as good as the main event, then this was a really good show. I often hear criticism of NXT 2.0 for the reasons I just mentioned, but less mentioned is the fact you can bank on a 20-30 minute opening match that is pay-per-view quality and a main event that is usually even better. Yes, they need to figure out the middle section, but NXT 2.0 isn’t close to going from bad to watchable. It’s close from being okay to a must-watch if they can put as much quality into the middle of the show as they do to the book ends consistently.
This week, the main event of Steiner and Gargano was another example of that. Take Gargano bumping like a mad man, hitting DIY tribute kick fest, or Bron F’n Breakker hitting a frankensteiner off the top rope. The only critique I have is that they are making so many references to Breakker being Scott Steiner’s nephew that only causes me more confusion as to why they didn’t just call him Bron Steiner. Other than that, this match and the brawl that followed was as good a match as you’ll find anywhere in wrestling this week and is a sign that NXT 2.0 could be putting the pieces together this weekend for a phenomenal pay-per-view potentially.
NXT Lowlights From 11/30
Lack of Stakes Could Hamper War Games
Survivor Series recently received a lot of criticism from fans and WWE stars alike for the lack of storytelling all at the cost of “brand warfare.” And while War Games has some matches that avoid that criticism, I’m worried that throwing so many of its champions and stars into the two War Games matches will hamper the building of stars and storylines. Yes, they’ve made me care the most about both War Games matches, but that’s because I care about the stars involved. Oh, by the way, some of those stars are going to take a loss this Sunday instead of defending or chasing their respective titles. Not to mention all of the other matches on the card have the goofier elements on the show baked into them, so they won’t hold as much stakes either.
You have the poker nonsense of Grimes and Hudson, the inclusivity push of Joe Gacy, and the very green nature of Wagoner holding back those specific matches. I don’t hate those elements on their own, but if those matches are supposed to be the simple, stakes-oriented affairs, then it missed the mark there as well. The matches will impress no doubt, and maybe even get over some stars, but if the show ends and the consequences of these outcomes go nowhere, NXT will have fallen into the same trap their main roster counterparts just went through.
NXT 2.0’s first pay-per-view is finally here, with War Games happening this Sunday. The show tonight exclusively looked to build to War Games and did a pretty great job overall. The card now seems set, with the probable action including:
- The Men’s War Games match of Team NXT 2.0 vs. Team Black and Gold
- The Women’s War Games match of Team Io Shirai vs. Team Toxic Attraction
- Joe Gacy vs. Roddy Strong for the Cruiserweight Championship
- Imperium vs. Wagoner & O’ Reilly for the Tag Team Titles
- Cameron Grimes vs. Duke Hudson in a Hair vs. Hair Match.