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NXT Stand and Deliver Review

NXT’s Best and Brightest Delivered a Solid Overall Show

Stand & Deliver has finally arrived! It’s WrestleMania weekend, and NXT is here with their biggest show of the year. Joel Kananen reports back on all the action!

NXT Tag Team Champions Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne vs. Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai

The reunited team of Gonzalez and Kai were able to gain the advantage early in this Stand & Deliver opener, but quick tags by the champs were able to keep Kai in their corner. Gonzalez came in on a hot tag, and was able to change momentum. Wendy Choo returned to help take out Dolin and distract Jayne. A pump kick to the face and Chigona Bomb to Jayne by the challengers led to new champions, and the first title change of WrestleMania weekend.

Ladder Match: NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes vs. Grayson Waller vs. Santos Escobar vs. Solo Sikoa vs. Cameron Grimes

The confident champ Carmelo Hayes wanted to put on a show with his fellow NXT 2.0 stars, and these five men did deliver. The action was fast and furious and mainly focused on the future superstar and champion Hayes. An early highlight was all four competitors taking their turn diving to the outside, while Waller decided the better of it and attempted to set up a ladder. This led to a number of high impact ladder spots, including Santos sending steel into Grimes’ groin area and to the moon. Carmelo flew around the ring like a bouncy ball, selling his opponents’ moves like his mentor Shawn Michaels in the Garden. Escobar was able to send Sikoa into a propped ladder with a Sunset Flip while the two men were reaching for the titles. 

There was plenty of outside interference in the contest, including Elektra Lopez hitting a crossbody onto Waller, and Sanga ripping a ladder apart with his bare hands. Trick Williams faced his fear of heights and attempted to climb a tall ladder, but was upended by Grimes and sent flying to the outside. Grimes was a clear fan favorite during the contest, matched perhaps by Sikoa. Late in the match, the two were left in the ring, ending with Grimes hitting a cave-in onto a ladder. The viral-seeking Waller got his wish by attempting to drive an elbow through Hayes laying prone on a ladder bridge, but Hayes was able to escape. 

The champ nearly reclaimed his belt but was stopped by Santos. This allowed the squirrelly Cameron Grimes to scamper up the ladder and capture his first title in his still-ascending NXT career. That’s two for two for title changes so far at Stand & Deliver!

Tommaso Ciampa vs. Tony D’Angelo

After a chill-inducing video package and introduction that included an awesome Triple H homage, Ciampa was ready for a fight. The veteran came out hot and was able to impose his will on the younger competitor. Tony D talked trash throughout the contest, which earned him a big slap in the face and an even bigger elbow. Realizing he was outmatched, D’Angelo turned to dirty tricks as he pulled out his trusty crowbar, and a low-blow. Ciampa withstood and hit a Willow’s Bell and Fairytale Ending that somehow only got a two count. Ciampa tried to put D’Angelo away with his former DIY partner’s Garga-No Escape hold, but a rope break saved D’Angelo. Tony was able to DDT Ciampa onto the exposed concrete and dragged his broken down opponent back into the ring. After a big kick to the face, D’ Angelo was able to get the biggest win of his career.  

After the match the crowd chanted “ thank you Ciampa” and “NXT.” Then HHH appeared for a terrific surprise, and raised Ciampa hand in the air which seemed to confirm both legendary competitors could soon be retired. Fans of the former NXT champion will have to wait and see what the future will bring. 

NXT Tag Team Champions Imperium vs. MSK vs. The Creed Brothers

Three excellent tag teams put on a show during this championship match. Each team was able to showcase their talents in the lightning-quick action. The strength of the Creeds, the speed of MSK and the technical savvy of Imperium made for a must-see styles clash. The champs were able to isolate their opponents as Aichner used his impressive power move-set to decimate anyone in his way. Carter was able to change the tide with a rana that sent Imperium crashing into each other, and Wes Lee dazzled with a twisting corkscrew dive from the top rope. 

Aichner and Carter suplexed Julius Creed into their own tag partners from the top rope. Brutus even got into the high-flying as he went up top and splashed MSK and Imperium with a literal cannonball bomb to the outside. 

Imperium was able to take out the Creeds with a series of hard-hitting maneuvers on the outside, but that left one team in prime position. MSK was able to secure a somewhat surprising victory with a rana-powerbomb combo to take out Bartel. This marks the start of MSK’s second reign as NXT champions. 

NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose vs. Io Shirai vs. Cora Jade vs. Kay Lee Ray

After Toxic Attraction’s loss on the Stand & Deliver pre-show, Mandy Rose looked to hold onto her belt against three formidable challengers. The partnership of Io and Kay Lee Ray looked to take out the other two competitors, and were successful doing so early in the match. Of course, the partnership couldn’t last, and the two fantastic athletes went to work on one another. The champ Rose was able to pick her spot and pull Sharai out of the ring, setting up a showdown with Jade. Mandy was confident as ever, talking trash to Jade. Ray and Io re-entered the fray with two terrific dives to the outside. 

Every encounter between Kay Lee and Sharai was unsurprisingly fantastic. The youngest fighter here, Jade, was also impressive, as she attacked Rose with unrelenting vigor. Cora was able to deliver a Canadian Destroyer onto Ray on the apron, which opened the door for Io to give Mandy her best shot in hopes of reclaiming the NXT Championship. 

The current and former champs went high risk, as Sharai was able to hit a Spanish Fly off the top, which was broken up by a backdrop from Jade. 

Cora followed the break up with Sliced Bread on Mandy, which was broken up by KLR. The action in this match was superb throughout, and that continued until the end. The Genius of the Sky hit a moonsault on Jade, which was followed by a massive knee strike from the champ. Rose was able to pin Io and retain her beloved gold in a fantastic match. 

Indi Heartwell and Dexter Lumis and Duke Hudson and Persia Pirotta found themselves in the same store as the ladies looked to crown their man as the sexiest cowboy in Dallas. We cut to backstage, and InDex was voted the hottest couple in a landslide. A pissed off Duke slapped Dexter’s hat off his head and the two couples had to be separated. 

LA Knight vs. Gunther

Dominant as ever, Gunther was able to hit the first big move as he powerbombed Knight onto the edge of the ring apron. The Ring General continued to club LA with forearms and a big pump kick. Gunther focused on Knight’s back, locking in a painful Boston Crab. The extremely popular Knight was able to send Gunther in the corner and kept the big man down with a series of kicks as the crowd chanted “yeah!” LA kept up his offensive streak with a big suplex from the top rope, but it would take more to keep Gunther down and even more to beat him. 

Gunther was able to put on a nasty sleeper, but the mega-star was able to use his incredible strength to lift Gunther up and slam him. Not to be outdone or embarrassed, Gunther decided to end it. The Ring General hit a few devastating chops, leapt off the top rope for a splash, and hit another powerbomb in a display of what makes Gunther such a special talent for the win. This was an exciting and hard-hitting match featuring two of WWE’s top guys. 

NXT Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Bron Breakker

The main event of Stand & Deliver, and the biggest spotlight of young Bron Breakker’s promising career. After cutting through an X with a chainsaw during his entrance, Bron looked like a future mega-star and ready to reclaim his belt. Early in the match, Robert Roode was tossed by the referee. The battle-tested vet versus the powerful rookie is a timeless tale, and these two athletes certainly played their roles to perfection. Breakker looked to end the match early, but Dolph carefully picked his spots and attempted to wear Bron down. Ziggler worked his challenger’s neck to great effect, but the fiery Breakker continued his chase. A big spear by Bron seemed to be the end, but Dolph became the first to kick out of Breakker’s finisher. 

Bron was able to hit his other finisher, but a returning Roode pulled Dolph out of the ring. Breakker showcased some high-flying ability with a dive over the top rope to take out Roode. 

Upon re-entering the ring, Dolph hit a Famouser and Zig-Zag, but only received a two count. A flying elbow also got two for the champ. Breakker hit his third spear, but Dolph used a thumb to the eye and superkick to end a strong main event. 

In the end, main roster talents Mandy Rose and Dolph Ziggler were able to retain, while both tag belts and the North American championship changed hands. Overall, Stand & Deliver was a memorable show full of exciting in-ring action. Comment with your reactions to Stand & Deliver below. 

Written by Joel Kananen

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