NXT Stand & Deliver: Did It Deliver On WrestleMania Weekend?

Remember when NXT Takeovers were talking points for great wrestling and exciting moments? Well, NXT Stand & Deliver wasn’t like that. NXT 2.0 design is colorful at least. Admittedly, I haven’t seen very much of it, it reminds me of the WWF New Generation in which wrestlers walked around in colorful outfits seemingly saying ‘what were we doing again?’

At least this NXT Stand & Deliver had some good matches among this slew of weekend wrestling events. Just not enough of them…

NXT North American Championship Ladder Match | Carmelo Hayes Vs Santos Escobar Vs Solo Sikoa Vs Grayson Waller Vs Cameron Grimes

Only Grimes and Hayes got an intro here, so you can pick a winner out of those two. And Cameron had sadly lost his father recently, which was mentioned a few times, so it’s pretty clear. Put your money on him.

Ladder matches are hard. We’ve had so many that either you use the ladders to expand the already excellent work done by the writers and wrestlers in their character work. Or you ramp up the more outrageous spots and put people in danger.

WWE doesn’t do the former and they didn’t do the latter either (thank goodness), so where did this leave the NXT Stand & Deliver opener? Nowhere.

They tried hard, all diving over the top and Hayes in particular landing a lovely springboard moonsault, plus Escobar dropkicked a ladder in Cameron’s twig and berries to briefly amuse us.

One of the high spots was Escobar sunset flipping Sikoa from one ladder to another which put him out of action for a while. And then Carmelo’s mate Trick Williams was on the ladder alone – why, he can’t grab the belts, for one reason…

HE WASN’T IN THE MATCH!

Thankfully he was pushed off the ladder onto everyone else at ringside. There were some interesting moments like 3 ladders placed next to each other and all the combatants climbing, but Grayson Waller said he wanted to stand out. And he did

He dived off one ladder. Onto another ladder at ringside. Which sadly was empty. And he hurt his leg. Oh, dear…

Suddenly Grimes was on his own. And the belt was his. Happy NXT Stand & Deliver! Bet you’re glad you had that flutter now…

Winner Via Ascension of Ladder and Grabbing of Belt: Cameron Grimes


Singles Match | Tommaso Ciampa Vs Tony D’Angelo

This should have been special:

  1. Possibly Ciampa’s last NXT match
  2. Tony D’Angelo is over

But it wasn’t.

After some D’Angelo stomps and some Ciampa stomps, Tomaso hit a brutal-looking knee to D’Angelo’s face and tried for some forever clotheslines (c. Rocky Romero).

Ciampa then pulled the mats back at ringside but did nothing with them. Keep this in mind, there’ll be a test later on.

Tony D had his jaw well and truly jacked when he came off the top to be met by a rather too close dropkick, but he managed to grab his iron bar, which was seen by the ref and placed on the apron sooooo sloooooowly that D’Angelo was able to get in a nut shot and Brainbuster for a long 2.

At this point, the crowd were very, very quiet.

It got better, a quick Ciampa Widow’s Bells, a crossface, then the end came. And it wasn’t very clear. Remember the mats at ringside? Weeeel, Ciampa had his head at D’Angelo’s torso area to perhaps push him who fell and inadvertently DDT’d his opponent.

Tony D rolled him up. One kick later, pin.

Odd. There’s a tradition of doing the job on the way out and Ciampa was hugged on the NXT Stand & Deliver stage by newly-retired HHH. But this felt a bit off, not the big loss you may expect. It felt cheap, hokey. Did Tomaso Ciampa deserve that?

Winner Via Kick: Tony D’Angelo

NXT Women’s Championship Match | Mandy Rose Vs Io Shirai Vs Cora Jade Vs Kay Lee Ray

This was when NXT Stand & Deliver got going.

First of all, Cora Jade had a load of skateboarders from a skateboarding company whizzing around her and she still held her board up and walked to the ring. Hmm…

Shirai and Ray were first up, matching each other beautifully, then Cora hammered Rose briefly until the champ came back with a rather poor Spinebuster.

Leave it to Shirai to raise the game, this time with a lovely Moonsault on the outside, followed by a nice spot when she had a Cloverleaf locked in at the same time as Ray had an arm and leg grapevine on Rose, only broken up by Cora kicking Shirai into Ray.

And then the move of the match. A Cora Jade Destroyer to Ray on the apron. And a well-deserved ‘Holy Sh*t’ chant.

A couple of the top moves worth shouting about too, a spinning neck breaker from Io, a Sliced Bread from Jade; Cora J was showing me something.

And then Rose hit a knee and got the pin. It was a shock but worked because so much was going on.

And so much of it was very, very good.

Winner Via Knee: Mandy Rose


NXT Tag Team Championship Match | Imperium Vs The Creed Brothers Vs MSK

Ooh, there was someone on the decks for MSK, because they’re new and hip and other words that aren’t used anymore. Like those words The Rascalz…

Good match, this. Didn’t let up, good melding of styles and enjoyable from beginning to end. You couldn’t say that very often about NXT Stand & Deliver.

One thing early on. The towel, a Creed Bros towel, was thrown in right at the start of the match. Don’t throw the towel in! It gives the wrong idea…

Well, they weren’t finished as Julius Creed hit a sweet belly to back on the outside, MSK laid Marcel Barthel on their knees and came off the top with double stomps, but he replied with a huge uppercut off the top to MSK’s Wes…ley.

There was also a multi-man Superplex, a very nicely tucked up leap off the top onto everyone from Brutus Creed, and a finish worthy of the action, an MSK ‘rana into a powerbomb.

Wonderful work.

Winner Via Powerbomb: MSK

Singles Match | La Knight Vs Gunther

LA Knight! Yeaaaah! Erm…

I liked Gunther when he was Walter. But that’s over now. And he’s leaning down in weight to get some abs too. It doesn’t suit him.

The never knowingly undercommentated Wade Barrett called Gunther ‘a bear of a man and he used to be, which was part of his threat. Now he looks like an underfed boy.

He still has power though, as was shown by the slam on the apron, big kick, Boston Crab, and Crossface.

Knight came back with a Slam, a big elbow off the top and a very weak-looking elbow graze in the corner.

He was much more impressive when muscling up Gunther from Sleeper attempt to a Death Valley Driver, than after Gunther Superplex too.

The end?

Just a Gunther Splash off the top. It would have worked if Gunther still had some weight on – get the idea?

Winner Via Splash: Gunther

NXT Championship Match | Dolph Ziggler Vs Bron Breakker

Bron Breakker? Dolph Ziggler? Hang on, come back! Dolph is the champ after all; how’s the comedy career going, Dolphy?

Breakker had made a promise to win the championship, we are told many times, that his dad and his uncle were just inducted into the Hall Of Fame, so must win. Mustn’t he?

Well, he came out with a chainsaw and proceeded to cut up the X of the NXT set; it wasn’t steel or wood, it was polystyrene, so not too exciting.

And nor was this match. Ziggler slapped Breaker before the bell, but the impetus was hampered by a strange botch as Breakker seemed to want to execute a backdrop that didn’t come off and Dolph held on to make it look like a choke.

Breakker hit a Spinebuster off the ropes, and a Belly to Belly Suplex but the champ slowed things down with a headlock…

Zzzzzzzz……

And now a really poor moment. Breakker was thrusting his shoulder into Ziggler’s midriff, who was ‘oof’ing like a good ‘un. Then Ziggler casually reached down and pulled up his kneepad. We can see you! Your opponent has his shoulder in your stomach! Stay in the moment, at least try.

And there’s that headlock again…

Zzzzzz – oh, he bridged up during it. So that’s something…

Breakker raised the game with a Spear and went over the top on the champ and his mate, Robert Roode, who was thrown to the steps, but Bron felt a Fameasser as he got back into the ring and that brought a very long 2 count.

The crowd were by now well into it, they could taste a title change. And then Breakker Hulked Up (TM) and Dolph showed his general consternation. He hit a Spear and even though Dolph went for his eyes, he was surely going to…oh, there’s a Ziggler Superkick for the pin.

What? The crowd were quiet. And it wasn’t in awe. It’s OK to swerve us, but not when we’ve been told repeatedly that Bron made a promise to win at NXT Stand & Deliver and his family are in the HOF.

This was badly judged. What a way to end…

Winner Via a Superkick: Dolph Ziggler

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