By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT Stand & Deliver
Aired April 2, 2022 on Peacock/WWE Network
Dallas, Texas at American Airlines Center
Sam Roberts, McKenzie Mitchell, and Beth Phoenix were the hosts of the pre show. The panel ran through the advertised matches of NXT Stand and Deliver. The panel first focused on the Tommaso Ciampa vs. Tony D’Angelo match. Each match was previewed with a Tale of the Tape. Roberts said he is pretty sure that this match is Ciampa’s last match in NXT, but he wonders if it’s Ciampa’s last pro wrestling match in general. Beth said she thinks that Ciampa is resilient and will continue his career. The panel then discussed Ciampa’s career…
The panel then discussed the women’s championship match. A hype video aired for the women’s championship match. Kayla Braxton and Peter Rosenberg gave their thoughts on Stand and Deliver while sitting in front of the WrestleMania stadium site. Rosenberg picked Cora Jade to win. Kayla picked Mandy Rose. The show cut back to the panel giving their predictions.,,
Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were standing on the high floors of a skyscraper. Trick and Melo hyped up Melo’s North American Championship title defense. They made Marvel and Lion King references in their promo…
LA Knight and Gunther were shown arriving to the arena at different times of the day. The panel went on to discuss both the Gunther vs. LA Knight match and the Tag Team Triple Threat match. Malcolm Bivens joined the panel to hype up Diamond Mine’s participation in the tag team title match. Sam Roberts has been playing a neutral role throughout the night so far.
Edris Enofe and Malik Blade cut in via a video feed to interrupt Malcolm Bivens. Enofe was trying to convince Blade to give Mandy Rose a gift basket. After he went into “Mandy’s room” to deliver the basket, Enofe pulled off the sign to reveal it was Imperium’s locker room. Imperium yelled at Blade in foreign languages. Blade walked out sad and Enofe told him it was April Fools…
Grayson Waller was sitting on a bull statue in Dallas. Sanga was at his side. He hyped up himself being in the North American Championship match. He said he was going to make Takeover go “viral”…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Sam Roberts seemingly does this every takeover. Either he’s neutral or an over-the-top heel for some reason.
Legado Del Fantasma were shown sitting in a VIP lounge area. Escobar hyped his participation in the North American Championship match. He said he’s fighting for history, legacy, and family…
Former Oakland Raider and Ninja Warrior host, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, joined the panel to discuss Persia Pirotta and Indi Hartwell going viral for their makeout sessions with their partners. The show cut to a skit where Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis were shopping at the same cowboy clothes store as Persia Pirotta and Duke Hudson. Both couples settled on their preferred cowboy gear. The panel hyped up a hash tag that you can vote on on who the viewers think is the best looking cowboy/cowgirl…
Roberts, Mitchell, and Gbaja-Biamila gave their thoughts on the North American Championship match. Beth wasn’t a part of the panel at the moment. The show then cut to a Dolph Ziggler vs. Bron Breakker hype package…
Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode were shown entering the arena. The panel discussed the Breakker vs. Ziggler match…
Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in from ringside for the pre show match…
1. “Toxic Attraction” Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne vs. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships. Jayne went right at Raquel’s injured knee. Raquel dumped Jayne to ringside. Jayne gave Dolan snake eyes. Kai tagged in and hit Dolan with an assisted double stomp for a two count on Dolan. Kai and Dolan traded multiple rollup attempts. Kai hit Dolan with a hanging snapmare. Kai and Gonzalez traded rapid tags for tandem offense. Kai kicked Dolan off Gonzalez’s helicopter spin for a two count. Jayne tagged in, pummeled Kai, and told Gonzalez to suck it. Toxic Attraction traded quick tags to cut the ring in half on Kai.
Kai used a Judo roll and Jaw Breaker to escape the corner and tag in Gonzalez. Jayne escaped a Chingona Bomb attempt by Gonzalez but ate a Big Boot. Gonzalez hit Jayne with a twisting Vader Bomb for a two count. Kai hit Jayne with a Super German Suplex. Kai clocked Dolan with a pump kick. Jayne and Kai took each other out with pump kicks. Jayne and Dolan hit Kai with consecutive German Suplexes. Dolan got a two count on Kai off the bridge. Toxic Attraction hit Kai with high-low kicks to give Jayne a two count.
Wendy Choo showed up to hit Dolan with a pillow and throw orange soda in her face at ringside. Gonzalez took out Dolan with a clothesline. Kai hit Jayne with a Yakuza Kick in the corner. Gonzalez hit Jayne with a Chingona Bomb for the victory.
Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai defeated Toxic Attraction via pinfall in 7:53 to become the new NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions.
Highlights from the match aired…[c]
John’s Thoughts: An okay TV match. Not quite takeover worthy, but something you’d see on Raw or Smackdown. There just wasn’t that level of compelling and drama that usually persists in NXT Takeover/not-takeover matches. We’ve seen better work from both teams. it wasn’t bad by any means. It was well worked, but just not dramatic as you would expect from these shows. In terms of storytelling, does Toxic Attraction losing the tag belts telegraph Mandy Rose losing the Women’s Title on the main show?
Cameron Grimes was walking in a park in Dallas, talking in his normal voice. He talked about how he’s going to make his late father proud and take the North American Championship to the moon. He mentioned that it might be his last chance in NXT to become a champion…
Peter Rosenberg and Kayla Braxton hyped that they will be hosting the WrestleMania pre-show. They sent the show back to McKenzie, Sam, and Akbar, who gave some thoughts on the Ciampa vs. D’Angelo match as well as the North American Championship Ladder Match…
Entrances for the North American Championship match took place, starting in the Pre-Show. Roberts handled the outtro to the show to send it to the main show…
Main Show Review
The opening teaser aired for NXT Stand and Deliver…
Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in from ringside. Wade Barrett noted that he won NXT Season 1 (the game show) in the American Airlines center…
While most of the wrestlers were already in the ring, Cameron Grimes got a televised entrance. His entrance now includes a rocket ship component on the LED screen. Solo Sikoa and Grayson Waller didn’t get televised entrances, while Grimes, Hayes, and Escobar did…
1. Carmelo Hayes (w/Trick Williams) vs. Santos Escobar (w/Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza, Elektra Lopez) vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Solo Sikoa vs. Grayson Waller (w/Sanga) in a Ladder Match for the NXT North American Championship. Trick quickly yanked Melo to ringside to pull him away from the brawl. Trick and Melo then yanked Solo to ringside and tossed him into the plexiglass barricade (NXT’s arena setup has a plexiglass barricade as opposed to steel). Grimes tried to dive on a few wrestlers, but was tripped by Melo. Legado Del Fantasma got in Trick’s way from interfering. Solo clocked Melo with some right hands. Melo came back with a pump kick and Escobar dumped Solo to ringside with a lariat.
Escobar stood tall after grounding Melo with a dropkick. Grimes pulled Escobar to ringside. Solo and Cameron alternated kicks and punches on Santos. Sanga pulled a ladder into the ring. Escobar baseball slid the ladder into Sanga. Waller slid into another ladder to take out the two Legado members at ringside. Waller dumped Escobar to ringside and ordered Sanga to drag another ladder to him. Solo brawled with Sanga. Sanga got the upper hand and tossed Solo in the ring. Grimes gave Sanga a PK. Escobar gave Solo an Arrow from the Depths of Hell. Grimes gave Escobar a corkscrew Tope Con Hilo. Melo gave Grimes an Asai Moonsault.
Waller teased a dive and instead set up and went up the ladder. Solo recovered and pulled Waller down. Solo shoved Waller into the ladder. Solo trapped Waller in the corner by putting a ladder against his gut. Solo tossed Melo into the ladder to work on both Wller and Melo in the corner. Solo tossed Escobar and another ladder into the corner. Solo gave everyone in the corner the Umaga hip attack. Solo climbed the ladder, but Grimes recovered and pulled him down. Solo missed a superkick and got his leg tangled in the ladder. Grimes kicked Solo to ringside. Melo recovered and prevented Grimes from climbing the ladder.
Melo kicked a ladder into Cameron. Cameron smacked Melo with the ladder. Escobar kicked Cameron into the corner and jabbed the ladder into his lower region with a shove and dropkick. Escobar tried to climb up the ladder but Waller came out of nowhere with a cutter. Melo and Waller traded counters and went to try to climb the ladder. Melo dragged Waller down with a springboard Bulldog. Solo hit Melo with a superkick when Melo went for a springboard dive on him. Escobar dragged Solo off the top of the ladder into another ladder with an epic high altitude Sunset Bomb. Escobar and Grimes traded kick variations. Grimes hit Escobar with his signature Spanish Fly Power Slam.
Trick ran into the ring to set up a ladder. Sanga ran in and shoved Trick to the mat. Sanga the broke up the ladder bare handedly. Elektra Lopez got in Sanga’s face to allow Mendoza and Wilde to use the ladder pieces as weapons to take down Sanga. Mendoza and Wilde lifted Lopez into a dive on Waller. Mendoza and Wilde dropkicked two ladders into the chest of Sanga. Solo lifted both Mendoza and Wilde and hit them with a press slam. Solo and Santos went for the belt, but Trick Williams pushed over the ladder. Trick went for the belt, but sold a fear of heights.
Grimes pushed over the ladder to send Trick from the ring to the pile of wrestlers at ringside. Melo pulled Grimes off the ladder. Melo and Waller brawled at the top of the ladder. Sikoa, Grimes, and Escobar climbed up adjacent ladders to join the brawl. Solo and Grimes fell first. Waller knocked Melo off. Waller then knocked down Escobar. Waller got his hands on the title belt, but Escobar recovered and grabbed Waller’s ankle. Waller and Escobar brawled at the top of the ladder. Escobar gave Waller a dragonrana off the top of the ladder. Sikoa caught Escobar with a Splash.
Grimes and Solo ended up brawling. Grimes sent Solo into the ringpost. Grimes gave Solo a cave in onto a ladder bridge at ringside. Melo and Grimes brawled on the apron. Both men took each other out with pump kicks. Melo found his way to a ladder. Waller went for his crossover elbow drop, but Melo dodged, causing Waller to crash and burn. Melo went for the belt and got a hand on it. Escobar gave Melo a gutbuster and a Phantom Driver. Grimes came out of nowhere with a Cave-In on Escobar. Grimes climbed up the ladder for the victory.
Cameron Grimes defeated Carmelo Hayes, Santos Escobar, Solo Sikoa, and Grayson Waller in a Ladder Match in 21:01 to become the new NXT North American Champion.
The commentary team talked about how Grimes’s late father would be so proud of his son now…
John’s Thoughts: A good opening high spot match with plenty of action to get the viewers into the show. The match could have done a few things different to be a bit more compelling, but all the men involved still put in a lot of solid work. While the match didn’t have the usual big man “base”, Escobar filled in that role really well with how he slows down the pace of the match to allow people to sell. Grimes is champ now and he’s reached the end of his sudden journey to make his late dad proud. Where do they go now with the more serious Grimes? This has been 8 years in the making in terms of Grimes dropping the goofball character, so here’s hoping for a good run coming off this title win.
Tony D’Angelo and some person from a Netflix series drove up to the arena in a vintage car. Tony D’Angelo went right to his entrance in the main arena. Wade Barrett introduced the guy with D’Angelo as a real life gangster from a netflix series. His name is AJ Galante. Tommaso Ciampa got a pre-match video package to showcase his NXT career. Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance…
2. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Tony D’Angelo (w/AJ Galante). D’Angelo used his power to pressure Ciampa to the corner. Ciampa came back with a face buster on the knee and a flying lariat. Ciampa planted D’Angelo with a Spinebuster. D’Angelo ran around the ring to bait Ciampa so he could put the boots to Ciampa in the ring. Ciampa recovered and stomped on Tony in the corner. Ciampa gave Tony a running face wash knee. Ciampa gave Tony two more face wash knees. Ciampa then tossed Tony into the steel steps, followed by another knee. Ciampa sat on the apron and did his signature self back pat.
Ciampa attempted to pull the ringside tarp, but struggled. Eventually, Ciampa would find a way. D’Angelo recovered and put the boots to Ciampa in the ring after he dragged Ciampa into the ring. D’Angelo gave Ciampa hockey fight punches and a suplex for a two count. D’Angelo kept Ciampa under control with a headlock. Ciampa got to his feet and rallied at D’Angelo with strikes. Ciampa nailed D’Angelo with multiple lariats in the corner. Ciampa pulled down the knee pad but D’Angelo avoided the DIY knee.
D’Angelo hit Ciampa with a Falcon Arrow for a two count. D’Angelo avoided both a Fairy Tale ending and Air Raid Crash with a rollup for a two count. Ciampa rolled up D’Angelo for a two count. Ciampa gave D’Angelo chops when D’Angelo tried to trash talk. Ciampa dragged D’Angelo to the top rope. D’Angelo punched Ciampa to escape an Air Raid Crash attempt. Ciampa caught a diving D’Angelo with a Knee Plus. Tony and Tommaso traded fatigued strikes. Ciampa got Tony to a knee with a discus forearm. Tony stumbled to the corner and pulled a crowbar. Ciampa saw it coming and gave Tony a big boot. While the referee was distracted tossing the bar away, D’Angelo hit Ciampa with a low blow.
D’Angelo hit Ciampa with a Fisherman Buster for a two count. D’Angelo yelled at the timekeeper to do his job. D’angelo tried to drag the crowbar to the ring, but was caught by The Willow’s Bell. Ciampa hit D’Angelo with the Fairy Tale Ending. D’Angelo kicked out of the consecutive finisher. Ciampa locked D’Angelo in a crossface. D’Angelo got to the bottom rope for the break. After trading counters at ringside, D’Angelo gave Ciampa a spike DDT on the exposed concrete. Tony D’Angelo dragged Ciampa to the center of the ring and gave a kneeling Ciampa a face wash boot for the victory.
Tony D’Angelo defeated Tommaso Ciampa via pinfall in 13:11.
After D’Angelo and Galante left, Ciampa was kneeling in the center of the ring to soak in “Thank You, Ciampa” chants…
John’s Thoughts: Interesting match with weird booking. I’ll give it to Tony, he’s barely pro wrestled in his life, but he can have good matches with good pro wrestlers. The booking of the finish was just weird. So they have D’Angelo kick out of Ciampa’s two finishers like it was nothing. And they had him kick out all at once. This match was in minute-10 at that point and they could have got two epic kickouts by D’Angelo instead of discrediting Ciampa’s devastating finishers all at once. It’s also strange to see Ciampa have to sell losing to just a face wash boot when we’ve seen him, both in Black and Gold and 2.0, kick out and sell worse finishing sequences. I just felt like they could have wrote this better for D’Angelo to actually gain from Ciampa’s presumed last match. On Ciampa’s end, it wasn’t bad, but it was more like his “Greatest Hits”. There’s a part of me that would have liked Johnny Gargano to be around somehow for Ciampa’s NXT retirement on a [not] Takeover. This match just felt like Ciampa lost to Plot-Armor.
Footage from the Peacock Ad-Free portion of the show aired. As Ciampa walked up the ramp, Paul Triple H Levesque made his entrance to surprise Tommaso Ciampa with a hug…
John’s Thoughts: Yo! That was cool though. Probably more than the match. Partially because Ciampa meant so much to Hunter and the Black and Gold. Second, it’s refreshing to see Triple H back on NXT after his health scare.
Ivy Nile and Malcolm Bivens walked out first to lead the Creed Brothers to the ring. They were carrying Creed rally towels. MSK then made their entrance with a personal DJ. The DJ gave them a customized dub step intro. Imperium (sans Gunther) came out to new generic heel music (as opposed to their usual Royalty Free, Dvorak Symphony No 9 theme)
3. “Imperium” Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner vs. “MSK” Wes Lee and Nash Carter vs. “The Creed Brothers” Julius Creed and Brutus Creed (w/Malcolm Bivens, Ivy Nile) for the NXT Tag Team Championships. MSK dominated early on by sending Brutus and Barthel into the corners. Barthel recovered and tossed Carter into the bottom rope. Aichner tagged in. Brutus punched away Aichner and Carter. Lee tagged in. Aichner caught Lee with a gutbuster. Brutus slammed Aichner. Julius tagged in and hit Aichner with a chop block. The creeds traded quick tags to work on Lee. Julius left Lee lying with a pounce. Julius gave Aichner a Belly to Belly suplex at ringside. Brutus gave Lee a Belly to Belly. Brutus gave Carter a suplex and some clubbing ground and pound.
Brutus gave Barthel a Gutwrench suplex. Julius gave Barthel another suplex. Lee tagged in. MSK hit Julius with their rapid fire kicks. Barthel was launched into a kick and stomp from Carter. Julius broke up Lee’s pin attempt. Barthel caught Lee with a Gamengiri in the corner. Barthel hit Lee with a diving European Uppercut. Imperium caught Julius with stereo baseball slides. Aichner launched Carter with a release body slam. Aichner hit Lee with a lariat for a two count. Carter broke up Aichner’s pin on Lee. Aichner caught a diving Julius and deadlift squatted him into a press slam. Carter caught Barthel with a huracanrana on the apron to send him into Aichner.
Lee dove on Imperium with a Fosbury Flop. Carter hit Aichner with a Swanton Bomb. Lee hit Aichner with a Spiral Tap for a two count. MSK and Imperium brawled into the corner. Aichner and Lee suplexed Julius into Barthel and Carter. Brutus gave MSK and Barthel and MSK a top rope Cannonball Pool Dive. Julius slammed Carter to the mat. Barthel broke up the pin and tossed Julius into the steps. Imperium gave Brutus a European Bomb at ringside. Carter used a sunset bomb to escape a European Bomb attempt by Imperium. Lee caught Barthel with a Frankensteiner which sent Barthel into a Power Bomb by Carter to give Carter the victory.
MSK defeated Imperium and The Creed Brothers via pinfall in 11:22 to become the new NXT Tag Team Champions.
John’s Thoughts: A good match but another match I felt could have gone up another gear. Imperium continue to be the in-ring stars of these matches being able to mix in with power and agility offense. Peacock has two more hours allotted to this show, and it’s uncharacteristic of these Takeover/not-takeover shows to have multiple sub-15 minute matches in a row. I guess MSK are tag champs again. I thought they really could have used Matt Riddle in their corner to help get the crowd behind them. It’s not like the Izzy fan boo birds where here, but the crowd hasn’t exactly been the most hyped and could have used a boost. No reveal of the mystery attackers of the Creeds so that’s still looming. The Creeds were also kept out of the finish, so I assume we’re getting MSK vs. The Creeds in a singles feud soon.
Joe Gacy and Harland were outside of a landmark in Dallas. Gacy talked about the history of the site and how it was the site of a tragedy. Gacy talked about how he wants to unite people in the world and hope people choose peace…
Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in from ringside. They recapped the pre-show match where Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez became the new NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions…
A video package aired to hype the Women’s Championship match…
Entrances for the NXT Women’s Championship match aired. Mandy Rose got an elaborate entrance where she had wings on the video wall while she was lowered from a podium. Wade Barrett noted that he loaned Mandy his Bad News Barrett rising podium. Vic Joseph reminded viewers that the Champion doesn’t have to be pinned to lose the title…
4. Mandy Rose vs. Cora Jade vs. Io Shirai vs. Kay Lee Ray for the NXT Women’s Championship. The three challengers dumped Rose to ringside to start th ematch. Rose dragged Jade to ringside and slapped her. Ray and Shirai gave Rose and Jade stereo suicide dives. Jade brawled with Ray while Rose brawled with Shirai. Shirai and Ray brawled in the ring. Rose yanked Shirai to ringside after Shirai tried to hit Ray with a 619. Jade gave Rose a Thesz Press and overhead blows. Rose gave Jade a Belly to Back suplex. Rose gave Jade a rough looking spinebuster for a two count. Rose gave Jade a few face wash knees and boots against the bottom buckle. Rose hit Jade with a (rough looking) vertical suplex.
Jade dumped Rose to ringside and hit Rose with a cannonball. Ray hit Jade with a cannonball. Shirai hit Ray with an Asai Moonsault. Shirai’s knee caught the bottom of the announce table. Shirai and Ray went back to brawling in the ring. Shirai hit Ray with a Victory Roll stomp. Shirai hit Ray with a 619. Shirai hit Ray with a missile dropkick for a two count. Ray locked Rose into the Koji Clutch. Shirai locked Jade in a deep Texas Cloverleaf. Jade escaped and kicked Shirai into Ray to break Ray’s hold subsequently. Jade gave Rose a huracanrana and a series of dropkicks. Jade hit Rose with a rebound stomp.
Jade caught Ray and hit Ray with a Canadian Destroyer on the apron. Shirai caught Jade on the back with a 619. Shirai hit Rose with a Missile Dropkick and corner meteora. Shirai hit Rose with a Bridged German Suplex for a two count. Rose and Shirai brawled to the top rope. Shirai hit Rose with a Top Rope Spanish Fly Suplex. Jade broke up Shirai’s pin with a diving senton. Jade hit Rose with a running knee. Jade hit Rose with a rough looking Sliced Bread. Jade hit Rose with a modified Paydirt for a two count. Ray hit Jade with a Gory Bomb. Shirai shoved Ray off the top rope.
Shirai hit Jade with a moonsault. Rose caught Shirai with her running knee finisher to pick up the win.
Mandy Rose defeated Io Shirai, Kay Lee Ray, and Cora Jade via pinfall in 13:28 to retain the NXT Women’s Championship.
John’s Thoughts: Hard work from all three women here. The match was rough at points, most notably the parts involving Rose and Jade in some combination. It’s clear that Shirai and Ray were shoehorned into this match to make this a PPV-adequate match because Ray and Shirai were providing all of the memorable moments. From what I see here, it looks like the producers couldn’t trust Jade and Rose to put on a passable PPV match on their own. Again, hopefully that comes with more time in the training center. Jade’s only 20 or 21 years old while Rose gets better every time she’s in the ring. Rose is a hard and plucky worker in terms of adapting to pro wrestling. What was a positive was Rose picking up a win to build up some in ring credibility. I also guess it’s okay that Dolan and Jayne losing didn’t play into the plot booking of this match.
The show cut to the continuation of the InDex vs. DuSia hash tag battle. InDex won the vote with around 90% of the vote. Both couples bickered…
Bron Breakker was shown working out backstage…
Gunther made his entrance to Imperium’s new non-Dvorak theme…
John’s Thoughts: The new theme’s fine and “evil-ish”, but I thought it was good marketing to have Gunther’s theme be Dvorak’s New World Symphony number 9. That classical movement is used in many commercials and media, and every time people hear it, wrestling fans can’t help but think of WWE’s Gunther. It’s a missed subliminal advertising opportunity.
5. Gunther vs. LA Knight. Gunther pressured Knight to the corner. Knight came right back with a flurry of punches and boots. Knight followed Gunther with a diving lariat when Gunther went to dive at ringside. Gunther recovered and flattened Knight with a power bomb on the apron. Gunther worked on Knight with his signature stiff precision strikes. Knight managed to hit Gunther with a neckbreaker, but Gunther quickly came back with a Yakuza Kick. Gunther worked on Knight with a STO. Knight got a bit of a breather by backdropping Gunther. Gunther quickly ended that momentum with a knife edge chop.
Knight got another moment of respite by hitting Gunther with a vertical suplex. Joseph pointed out Gunther’s chops making it hard for knight to breathe. Knight recovered and hit Gunther with a slingshot shoulder block. Knight hit Gunther with his Yeah boots. Knight hit Gunther with a knee in the corner. Gunther escaped an Argentine Backbreaker attempt. Knight managed to catch Gunther and hit him with a body slam. Knight hit Gunther with a top rope elbow. Gunther used a chest slap to get Knight off the top rope. Knight did a cat pounce to the top rope to hit Gunther with a Superplex for a two count.
Gunther blocked a BFT. Knight blocked Gunther’s chop. Both men traded slaps with Gunther getting momentum. Gunther locked Knight in a sleeper. Knight powered Gunther up into Argentine Backbreaker position and hit Gunther with a Burning Hammer for a two count. Gunther recovered and crotched Knight when Knight went high risk. Knight fell off the top rope when Gunther chopped him off. Gunther gave Knight a splash to Knight’s back. Gunther flattened Knight with a power bomb. Gunther picked up the pinfall win.
Gunther defeated LA Knight via pinfall in 10:24.
Highlights from the match aired…[c]
John’s Thoughts: When taking away the opening ladder match, this was my favorite match of the night; and this match was nothing must-see or special. It was your formula WALTER match where he just destroys a plucky opponent. We didn’t need more than that. While Gunther’s formula is formulaic, it’s a fun formula to watch. It’s fun just seeing a indestructible force mow down fools. Knight looked good on loss because there’s no shame in losing to a guy that nobody can beat. That said, Knight never wins ever. He lost almost every match to Waller and is still racking up losses. He is a bit teflon though in that he can easily build up steam on the mic on top of him coming off very well as a babyface. Put this guy on the main roster ASAP, especially since he’s over 38 years old. Throw Santos Escobar on the main roster too.
The hype package aired for the NXT Championship match…
Both men got the world championship match entrances where the camera would follow them backstage. Bron Breakker wore a white singlet. Breakker grabbed a random chainsaw backstage before his entrance. A foam NXT 2.0 logo was set up at the top of the stage. Bron Breakker made his entrance and cut the NXT 2.0 X in half with the chainsaw. Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode made their entrance next. Alicia Taylor (offscreen?) handled the formal championship in-ring introductions. Ziggler fired up Breakker by giving Breakker a cheap shot during the introductions…
John’s Thoughts: Bron Breakker must really hate the letter X. He destroyed the Black and Gold X that one time with a big boot and destroyed the 2.0 colorful X with a chainsaw.
6. Dolph Ziggler (w/Bobby Roode) vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT Championship. Breakker tackled Ziggler to the corner, causing Ziggler to retreat to ringside. ziggler caught Breakker with punches and a knee when the both reentered the ring. Ziggler took down Breakker with an amateur wrestling roll. Ziggler caught Breakker with a knee. Breakker caught a running Ziggler and planted him with a spinebuster. Breakker took down Ziggler with a lariat. Breakker tossed around Ziggler with a series of overhead Belly to Belly suplexes. Roode grabbed Breakker’s leg to halt his momentum. The ref clearly saw it and ejected Roode rom ringside.
Ziggler exposed the middle turnbuckle. Breakker gave Ziggler a back suplex. Breakker went for a Frankensteiner, but Ziggler slipped out and crotched Breakker on the top rope. Ziggler dragged Breakker off the top rope with a neckbreaker. Ziggler locked Breakker in a side headlock. Breakker tried to escape, but Ziggler took down Breakker with a kick and swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Breakker got to a vertical base to escape a headlock. Ziggler worked on Breakker with punches in the corner. Ziggler hit Breakker with a head slam for an awkward landing.
Ziggler locked Breakker in a rear naked choke. Breakker rolled over and Ziggler changed it into a Muta Lock. Ziggler dragged Breakker back into a headlock. Breakker tried to escape but Ziggler kept him down with strikes. Breakker made a comeback when Ziggler tried to showboat. Breaker suplexed Ziggler across the ring. Breakker hit Ziggler with a tilt a whirl side slam for a two count. Breakker dragged Ziggler to the top rope and hit him with a Frankensteiner for a two count. Ziggler blocked a tackle with a high knee. Breakker ducked Ziggler and hit Ziggler with a spear for a good nearfall.
Ziggler caught Breakker with a running knee to the face, which barely hit, for a two count. Ziggler went for the superkick but Breakker caught Ziggler, shoved him, and hit him with a spear. Breakker hit Ziggler with the military press power slam. Roode ran out and pulled Ziggler to break the pin. Roode helped Ziggler recover at ringside. Breakker caught Roode and Ziggler with a flip dive. Breakker tossed Roode into the steel steps to keep him under control. Ziggler surprised Breakker with a Fameasser and Zig Zag for a nearfall. Ziggler caught Breaker with a top rope elbow drop for a two count.
Ziggler started to tune the horn again for a superkick while jawing with the crowd. Ziggler froze in place when Breakker stood up looking recovered. Breakker hit Ziggler with a few stiff lariats. Ziggler escaped Breakker’s finisher with an eye rake. Ziggler shoved Breakker into the exposed turnbuckle. Ziggler hit Breakker with a superkick for the victory.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Bron Breakker via pinfall in 16:14 to retain the NXT Championship.
Ziggler and Roode posed while heading up the ramp. Ziggler yelled that he’s the smartest man alive. Vic Joseph said that Ziggler is the past, present, and future of NXT as Stand and Deliver closed…
John’s Thoughts: A really good WWE main roster style PPV main event. Breakker did struggle at points to keep up with Ziggler, but Ziggler did a great job carrying Ziggler to a decent main event. Credit to Breakker though. Less then 30 television matches in his wrestling career and he’s shining in PPV level main events. It’s also fun seeing Ziggler back in the main event because this guy deserves it after all the jobs he’s done in his career. It’s fun seeing Ziggler going back to Ziggler circa-2010 with all the amateur mat wrestling he’s integrating into his matches. The match was solid. It did have to be stretched with the Roode interference to give Breakker the out because he had the visual pinfall finish over Ziggler. I also couldn’t help but think that the finish wouldn’t happen until the exposed buckle came into play.
The finish wasn’t expected, but it wasn’t surprising either. I didn’t rule out Breakker losing if they plan on calling him up soon while having Ziggler shine up another star in NXT. Is Breakker getting called up? We’ll see. Overall, though, this was not an NXT Takeover by any means. The closest match to the usual NXT style was the opening ladder match, and you see those on main roster PPVs too. The amount of strange booking and plot convenience made this feel main rostery, which is not great when it comes off as inferior with all the green talent. So when it comes to judging this on the Takeover curve, this doesn’t even make the mark. I’ll be back in a bit with more thoughts in Dot Net’s Member and Patreon Exclusive Audio Review.
The opener was what it was. Too many people involved, too many ridiculous spots, but a decent enough title change. Hopefully it means Escobar and maybe Waller are on their way to to the main roster. Hayes and Grimes should be able to put on an entertaining program following it up.
Tony D needs to flesh out his gimmick a bit more, but he’s understanding how to work the crowd better than almost all of the newer guys on the NXT roster.
I’m not crying. You’re crying
That HHH spot was great.
MSK are terrible and sacrificing two vastly superior teams to them makes no sense.
I’m starting to wonder if Cora Jade really knows how to use that skateboard.I’m waiting for her to skate down to the ring with it.
Cora Jade is the worst parts of AJ Lee and Kelly Kelly combined. She can’t even run the ropes and she botched the senton to break up the Io pin on Mandy. She’s absolutely awful.
Shirai wasn’t much better with most of her moves missing by a mile.
At least Kay Lee Ray is competent in the ring. I’d like to see her work with Mandy in some singles matches.
Walter is such a fucking monster. Dude makes everything look brutal and LA Knight was a great choice to highlight Walter’s offense with his selling.
It’s nice to see you finally happy, Thegreatestone
It wasn’t takeover but those are gone. Prob my fav set of 2.0 matches overall
They have a segment of people (TC, Io, Knight) who need to move on and be called up
They have a segment of people who show promise (D’Angelo, the Creeds) and could be really good in time
But this is still a transition period in my mind and with that understood it was an enjoyable show
“…but Ziggler did a great job carrying Ziggler to a decent main event.”
That’s how good Ziggler is!