NXT 2.0: 3 things that went wrong on the Oct. 19 episode

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No matter which side of the “What do you think about NXT 2.0?” spectrum you fall on, you can at least say that the show is a fascinating window into what Vince McMahon thinks will generate future WrestleMania main eventers.

Thus far, the results have been a mixed bag. There’s still this feeling of stasis with the roster — outside of Bron Breakker — despite the infusion of GIMMICKS, and while plenty of fans are leaning into the show’s newfound silliness, it doesn’t feel like WWE is getting much done overall. Tuesday’s episode encapsulated much of this.

Now, we’ve already talked about what went right on this week’s show, so now let’s take a look at the other side.

These are three of the things that went wrong on the Oct. 19 episode of NXT 2.0

“Can they co-exist?” has come to NXT

After sitting through two weeks of “Will they co-exist” nonsense on Raw, it was disappointing to see the trope filter down to NXT as part of the build to Bron Breakker and Tommaso Ciampa’s NXT Title match at Halloween Havoc.

Even more frustrating, WWE seems to have the self-awareness to recognize that fans don’t like this trope, as evidenced by the segments WWE ran prior to Breakker and Ciampa facing the Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake) in the main event, but not enough to come up with something more interesting.

Sorry WWE, but hanging some lampshade on your bad tropes doesn’t absolve you from booking the bad tropes in the first place. Unsurprisingly, this did nothing to fuel the heat between Breakker and Ciampa.

Surprise roll-ups

Speaking of main roster tropes, the NXT creative team turned to its trusty “surprise rollup” finish twice, with both uses failing to produce the intended effect for the winners and the losers.

The first of these occurred in the Imperium vs. Creed Brothers tag team match, when Marcel Barthel rolled up one of the Creeds after the Diamond Mine duo get distracted (another main roster staple) by their stablemates brawling with Ikemen Jiro and Kushida.

Later in the show, Legado Del Fantasma’s Elektra Lopez suffered a similar fate when she got cradled and pinned by Cora Jade after dominating most of the match.

The idea behind these is simple: give someone a win while protecting the loser in defeat. Here’s the thing, though: roll-ups can work in a long match after each wrestler exhausts their moveset, but in a 3-8 minute match where no one has even attempted their secondary finishers, it makes the winners look like flukes and the losers look weak.

Furthermore, neither the Creed brothers nor Lopez has been built up nearly enough to withstand any loss, not even one that supposedly shields their credibility, especially when the Creeds get distracted so easily before getting pinned (which made Imperium look more lucky than good) and Lopez controls most of the match before losing to a single move (which makes Jade look weak for taking so much offense).

If WWE wants all of them to look good, they should simply book them to win matches decisively.

Dumb match stipulations

While watching Io Shirai, Jacy Jayne, and Persia Pirotta fight for the right to spin a wheel to pick the stipulation for their NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship match and LA Knight and Grayson Waller fight over who gets to host Halloween Havoc, one question came to mind: Who could possibly care about this?

Waller or Knight hosting the show will have little bearing on how well the show goes (Waller would probably make for a more annoying host) and they’ll probably fight over the hosting duties anyway. For the women’s match, getting the spin the wheel means nothing since it stops at random no matter who does the deed.

The stip for the men’s match speaks to the company’s longstanding problems with making their matches matter, which tends to happen when you de-emphasize the value of wins and losses. The stakes of a Knight/Waller match should be inherent without tacking on a silly stipulation.

And instead of having the winner of that triple threat spin the wheel, why not have her simply pick the stipulation? Even a Beat the Clock challenge with the respective teams with the fastest time getting to pick the stip would’ve worked while allowing each team to flash their signature moves.

Next. WWE NXT: Tommaso Ciampa is the best name to transition to a Bron Breakker title run. dark

Instead, the promotion chose to implement pointless conditions to highlight why it’s often so hard to care about WWE matches.