12th Apr2021

‘NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver – Night One’ Review

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s NXT review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel we have the special Stand and Deliver: Night 1 show on the way. We’ve got an excellent card that should not be looked past without taking a moment to take it in. There’s a little bit of everything in this array of matches. This is also the last night of NXT on Wednesday, as NXT moves to Tuesdays starting next week. It’s been a good run on Wednesday, but the time has come to move to Tuesday and I think the move will work well. The women get the main event as Io Shirai defends the Women’s Title against Raquel Gonzalez in what is certainly a major moment in women’s wrestling, as they close out NXT on its initial Wednesday time-slot. I’m ready for wrestling. Let’s get to the damn wrestling!

Match #1: Zoey Stark def. Toni Storm

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

As the WWE Universe prepared for the epic Night 1 of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Zoey Stark scored an incredible victory over Toni Storm in an explosive Pre-Show showdown. Hardly looking the part of a black-and-gold brand rookie, Stark has pushed the likes of NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai, Raquel González and Dakota Kai to their limits in impressive showings and made it clear that she’s more than capable of competing with NXT’s elite. In the height of a hard-fought matchup against the second-ever NXT UK Women’s Champion, the determined Stark took things to the next level, countering her elite opponent’s Storm Zero finishing maneuver before wrapping her up for the biggest victory in her career!

The Score: 6 out of 10

  • The Good: Stark won. Huh. I wasn’t expecting that. Toni did well knowing she was gonna lose. I’m not suggesting that Toni would blow a match just because she was going to lose, but this is not necessarily the place where I thought that Toni would give a big fall to Stark. Hell, this match was on the pre-show. Well, at least the fighting was swift and slick.
  • The Bad: This just was a bit too reserved for an opener.
  • The Verdict: Congratulations to Stark, who did need a big victory, but it’s sad for Toni, who needed it more.

Match #2: Pete Dunne def. KUSHIDA

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

After weeks of proclaiming to be the best technical mastermind in NXT, Pete Dunne backed up his words against Kushida in an absolutely brutal showdown. The highly personal matchup started fast and furious with both competitors attempting to earn an early hold. After The BruiserWeight delivered a suplex onto the apron, though, the technical prowess transformed to an all-out slugfest both inside and outside the ring. With each passing moment, momentum flew back and forth with thunderous speed as both awe-inspiring grapplers unleashed an unbelievable combination of technical and brawling excellence. Dunne escaped the Hoverboard Lock several times by reaching the ropes, but damaged his shoulder in the process. Nevertheless, after snapping back the fingers of his war-torn foe in excruciating fashion, Dunne hit the Bitter End and secure the hard-fought victory over NXT’s resident Time Splitter.

The Score: 8 out of 10

  • The Good: These guys got right to the point from the get-go. KUSHIDA let loose like he hasn’t in ages and Dunne was the right guy to do so with. It was intense and reckless mayhem the likes of which haven’t been seen on WWE T.V. in some time. Non-stop action was the whole deal here and it was a deal worth making.
  • The Bad: This felt a bit weak at the end. More of a whimper than with a bang, but the whimper had a nice crack to it.
  • The Verdict: I’d call this a very electrifying official opener for the main card.

Match #3: Bronson Reed def. Cameron Grimes, Dexter Lumis, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, LA Knight and Leon Ruff – Gauntlet Eliminator

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

In heroic fashion, the Colossal Bronson Reed outlasted five other Superstars in the Gauntlet Eliminator and earned the right to challenge Johnny Gargano for the NXT North American Championship on Night 2 of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver. In accordance with Gauntlet Eliminator rules, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott kicked things off against Leon Ruff. Every three minutes, another competitor entered. The only way to be eliminated was via pinfall or submission. The last man remaining would challenge Gargano on Thursday. Prior to the start of the contest, Scott attacked Ruff as he made his entrance. Despite that, both Superstars fought tooth-and-nail until they were laid out on the canvas when the mammoth Reed entered and began to dominate his opponents with a monster double German Suplex. Cameron Grimes soon joined the party and, after sending Reed out of the ring, actually paid Scott to join forces with him to punish Ruff while keeping Reed out of the action. As Dexter Lumis entered next, Scott picked up the quick pin on Ruff. Lumis’ slow, methodical offense took charge until he and Reed began to slug it out. Eventually, the outspoken LA Knight entered last. Reed’s size took center stage and soon brought the fight to the odds-on favorite. Nevertheless, Knight pinned Lumis as Lumis Silence locked in on Grimes. Moments later, Knight was pinned after being absolutely flattened by Reed. The final three competitors – Reed, Grimes and Scott – engaged in an all-out battle. Although Scott and Grimes began a 2-on-1 attack on Reed, Scott soon betrayed his would-be partner and used the tights to pin Grimes. After withstanding a devastating fall from the top rope onto the apron and kicking out of Scott’s 450 Splash and so much more, Reed roared back with a powerbomb before finishing off his prey with the Tsunami.

The Score: 7 out of 10

  • The Good: Reed won a jumbled spectacle that sometimes got trampled under its own foot, but always managed to dance a nice watoosy regardless.
  • The Bad: Despite every wrestler impressing and displaying their skills, this was still a match where you had sequencing instead of true wrestling…true fake wrestling. I can say that because I know what I actually mean when I say that. There’s a lot of bumps here, but most of them were just there to be and not establish psychology or whatever the bull-s—t term is.
  • The Verdict: I could have gone anyway on the winner here, so I think Reed does very nicely. In any case, this took-up a chunk of time and did well for the time that was given. There’s a lot of juice in this berry that’s worth squeezing out and you might just get enough to drink if you do, if only a gulp.

Match #4: WALTER [c] def. Tommaso Ciampa – NXT United Kingdom Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

WALTER continued his record-setting reign as NXT United Kingdom Champion by emerging victorious over Tommaso Ciampa in one of the most devastating matches in NXT history. WALTER looked to punish The Blackheart early by unleashing his trademark chops. However, when he miraculously put one chop through the announce table, WALTER hurt his right hand. Not only did it take the NXT UK Champion off his game, it was an injury that Ciampa would take advantage of throughout the contest. The Ring General continued to put the hurt on his challenger during the match. The resilient Ciampa battled back and nearly put away the long-reigning titleholder with the Fairytale Ending, dropping WALTER off the ropes, sending him crashing down to the canvas. With each passing moment, the Superstars fought back and forth with both bringing their very best. In the final moments, after kicking out of a pair of devastating Powerbombs, Ciampa finally fell to WALTER’s German Suplex-chop combination.

The Score: 9 out of 10

  • The Good: These guys fit each other like a garbage bag on a polar bear shaft. WALTER and Ciampa chopped the s—t out of each other until there was nothing but lumber left. I do milling jokes now. Was that a milling joke? Eh. WALTER just tore through the joint like he was looking for his Twinkie. WALTER: Twinkie?! Give me! Me: Oh shut up. Ciampa was the bump man here. Ciampa took the beating of a lifetime from ol WALTER, who went on a rampage in the name of his belt. This was a true blue prize fight from bell to bell.
  • The Bad: Nothing was bad at all.
  • The Verdict: How can I not like this? WALTER and Ciampa are a match made in heaven/Reno.

Match #5: MSK def. Grizzled Young Veterans, Legado del Fantasma – NXT Tag Team Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

In a Triple Threat Tag Team Match, MSK triumphed over Grizzled Young Veterans and Legado del Fantasma to lay claim to the vacant NXT Tag Team Titles. The offense changed back and forth at lightning speed in the absolutely high-octane free-for-all as every tandem brought their A-Game in search of NXT glory from start to finish. In the height of the action, shortly after Wes Lee withstood a vicious attack by GYVs on his injured hand and got his partner’s help to keep from tapping out to the Shankly Gates, the electricity of MSK took over. Once Legado del Fantasma were taken out outside the ring, Carter hit a Double Cutter on Gibson & Drake, paving the way for he and Lee to use tag team excellence for the historic pinfall.

The Score: 7 out of 10

  • The Good: This was a shot from a cannon into the air right at the camera and it didn’t take the damn lens off. MSK really put their backs into this match. I’d like to think that wasn’t simply because they were winning here. All three teams made sure that they were offering the best that they could in the time allotted and I felt that they did that. I was impressed with how brisk this was. These people wasted no time in establishing what each team was willing to do to win.
  • The Bad: This could have used some logic. The moves just came left and right without rhyme or reason sometimes.
  • The Verdict: MSK won the straps already. Wow. I wasn’t expecting that. Good for them. Good for all three teams for making this match feel thrilling.

Match #6: Raquel Gonzalez def. Io Shirai [c] – NXT Women’s Championship Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The dominant Raquel González finally stands at the top of the mountain after toppling Io Shirai to become the new NXT Women’s Champion. Despite González’s extremely impressive past year since emerging on the NXT scene, the gutsy Shirai showed the heart of a true champion when she challenged “Big Mami Cool” for a main event matchup at TakeOver. Although Shirai has soared above the best that the squared circle had to offer, at Stand & Deliver, González was destined to ground her. In the beginning, the power of González seemed somewhat neutralized by the sheer athletic prowess and quickness of the titleholder. But moments after her cohort Dakota Kai got herself thrown out from ringside, González took over with a dominant display of brutal force. The Genius of the Sky roared back with a fast-paced, impactful offense and soon locked in the crossface submission, nearly making her challenger tap out before González managed to get to the ropes. Seconds later, Shirai recovered with a moonsault off the top rope and onto the unforgiving steel ramp, opening the door to the action to spread out into the arena. Before the WWE Universe could even catch its breath, the titleholder rose to new heights and leaped off the top of the 20-foot NXT Stand & Deliver Skull onto her opponent standing on the steel grate below. Nevertheless, when she got Shirai back in the ring, González became the first person to ever kick out of the titleholder’s top rope moonsault. González then regained the advantage outside the ring and hurled Shirai on the ringside floor. After leveling the titleholder with a devastating lariat back in the squared circle, González hit the earth-shattering Chingona Bomb to finally lay claim to the NXT Women’s Championship.

The Score: 8 out of 10

  • The Good: Io carried a hard-working Raquel to an excellent match. Right from the sound of the bell, we were in the middle of a vicious contest. There was no relenting here for either woman. These two fighters picked the most aggressive system of offense possible and stuck with it until the explosive end. There’s no point in this match where things slowed down. That’s a hard way to wrestle, but they committed to it like there was no tomorrow.
  • The Bad: Raquel was just throwing moves out there like she had to. I get the pressure to perform in a big match, especially when you get to win the strap, but things still need to have rhyme and reason and Raquel’s part sorta fell out in the second half. That’s not a wang joke!
  • The Verdict: While not the best match of the champion’s career, this was Raquel’s best so far. If you wanna see Io Shirai lose the title in a match where she takes the challenger from pillar to post and still loses when it counts most, then you’ve got a date with Stand and Deliver: Night 1’s exhilarating main event.

Final Verdict: 8/10

This was really good stuff. Nothing here felt lousy or terrible. WALTER and Ciampa stole the show and that’s alright by me. I had a great time here. Thanks AEW…errrrr…NXT.

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