3/28 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of a battle royal for the last spot in the NXT North American Title match at Stand & Deliver, Sol Ruca vs. Ivy Nile vs. Indi Hartwell in a Last Chance qualifier for the NXT Women’s Title match at Stand & Deliver, Grayson Waller responds to Johnny Gargano’s request for an unsanctioned match, Eddy Thorpe debuts

By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

Taped March 21, 2023 in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired March 28, 2023 on USA Network

[Hour One] Vic Joseph and Booker T were on commentary. Alicia Taylor was the ring announcer…

A bunch of wrestlers were already in the ring. Apollo Crews was the only wrestler to get a televised entrance. North American Champion Wes Lee joined the commentary team for the opening match. The match started when Scrypts did a flip dive on a bunch of wrestlers…

1. Battle Royal for the final spot in the North American Championship match at Stand and Deliver. Quincy Elliot was the first person eliminated. Madness ensued with the usual Battle Royal antics. Dijak eliminated Dante Chen with a big boot. Jinder Mahal eliminated an unnamed developmental wrestler. Nathan Frazer eliminated Damon Kemp. Enofe and Blade dumped Dijak over the top rope, but he skinned the cat. Odyssey Jones eliminated Dijak with a hip attack.

Dijak dragged Jones to ringside under the bottom rope. Dijak tossed Jones into the steel steps. Booker yelled that Dijak is all about giving “Retribution” (get it?). Jinder Mahal eliminated the beaten Jones. Jinder dragged Enofe and Blade to the apron with him. Crews took out Enofe with a dropkick. Someone eliminated Blade. Scrypts eliminated himself after Jinder pulled down the top rope. The show cut to picture-in-picture, where more random eliminations ensued.[c]

Hank Walker almost eliminated Drew Gulak. Charlie Dempsey tossed Walker over the top rope to eliminate both Gulak and Walker. Dabba Kato eliminated Apollo Crews with a body slam. Frazer hit Jinder with a nice springobard moonsault. Axiom eliminated Jinder with a Golden Ratio Superkick. Dempsey, Axiom, and Frazer swarmed Kato and eliminated him. Kato threw a fit at ringside.

Axiom dominated an exchange between he, Dempsey, and Frazer. Dempsey hit Axiom with a nice deadlift German. Frazer hit Dempsey with a slingshot dropkick. Axiom and Dempsey knocked each other out with right hands. Axiom used a quick baseball slide to eliminate Dempsey. Frazer and Axiom shared a respectful handshake which lead to fast counters from both men.

Frazer got a moment of respite after nailing Axiom with a version of Axiom’s moonsault DDT (reverse DDT). Frazer rallied with right hands. Axiom gained control with a kick and Knee Plus. Both men took each other out with Stereo Golden Ratio Superkicks. Axiom recovered quickly. Axiom put Frazer in a headlock, which Frazer escaped by hyperextending the arm. Axiom blocked Frazer from executing Seth Rollins’s Falcon Arrow combo (Rollins is his trainer).

Frazer nailed Axiom with a superkick. Axiom tossed Frazer over the top of the rope but he skinned the cat. Axiom dropkicked Frazer which actually sent Frazer back in the ring via momentum. Axiom dumped Frazer over the top rope for the victory.

Axiom eliminated Nathan Frazer to win the battle royal in 14:31 to earn the final spot in the North American Championship Match at Stand and Deliver. 

Wes Lee, Dragon Lee, Ilja Dragunov, and JD McDonagh joined Axiom in the ring as a final face off for Stand and Deliver. Ilja and JD had to be held back by referees…

The show cut to Kit Wilson and Elton Prince who previewed the NXT North American Championship match at Stand and Deliver. Prince predicted JD McDonagh to win. Wilson predicted Dragon Lee to win as a wild card. Prince called Wilson a kitty and said that he likes danger. Prince then said “we love you!!!”…

John’s Thoughts: At first it looked like it was going to be one of those pointless television battle royals where it’s just a bunch of bodies crashing into each other. Once all the developmental cannon fodder were eliminated, the match really picked up. It was so intense that it was tough to cover by the end. HBK seemingly went with his NXT UK reliables, from his time as booker there, and they really came through with Dempsey, Axiom, and Frazer. Axiom going over made sense since he was the one who’s story revolved around this match. It’s cool that he gets a spot at Stand and Deliver too because he does add that Bryan Danielson element to the match (for years he’s been compared to Danielson, and it’s easy to see why when you see him wrestle)

Thea Hail and Andre Chase were psyching up Tyler Bate for his match against Von Wagner. Duke Hudson was out of it and rolling his eyes in the background…[c]

Josh Briggs, Brooks Jensen, Fallon Henley, and Kiana James were backstage. James said she “felt horrible… that Briggs and Jensen aren’t at Stand and Deliver”. Kiana talked about how she managed to get Briggs and Jensen in a qualifying match to get into the Tag Title Match at Stand and Deliver. Henley was furious that Kiana didn’t tell Jensen about “Sebastian”. Henley was about to tell Jensen about James’s presumed side bae, but Briggs cut her off because he really liked getting a chance to wrestle for the tag titles and didn’t want Henley to ruin it…

Entrances for the next match took place. Tyler Bate came out to Chase University’s theme. Duke Hudson was looking despondent. Speaking of which, Robert Stone also looked despondent…

2. Tyler Bate (w/Thea Hail, Andre Chase, Duke Hudson) vs. Von Wagner (w/Robert Stone).  Wagner hit Bate with a Military Press Slam and running punt to the gut. Bate fought out of a butterfly stretch. Wagner hit Bate with a clothesline for a two count.  Wagner hit Bate with a corner splash. Bate dodged a Stinger Splash from Wagner. Bate rallied back with European Uppercuts.

Wagner tossed Bate into the corner but Bate used his feet to escape. Bate hit Wagner with a diving uppercut, rebound lariat, and Bop and Bang. Stone tripped Bate for the distraction. Thea Hail beat up Stone with boots and a Thesz Press. Wagner gave Bate an Irish Whip, but Bate used his momentum to flip dive on Stone. Bate gave Hudson a high five, who gave him a half assed high five of his own. Bate gave Wagner a rebound lariat. Bate defeated Wagner after hitting Wagner with a Spiral Tap.

Tyler Bate defeated Von Wagner via pinfall in 4:02. 

Hail, Bate, and Chase were doing the Chase U hand sign. Hudson continued to look out of it. The Schism appeared onn the big screen. They were at “Chase U” Out of nowhere, the students were all wearing The Schism masks. The Schism members took turns talking about how they are going to corrupt Chase U…

Roxanne Perez was looking for Shawn Michaels backstage. Vic Joseph wondered “why is she here?”…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A quick and fun midcard match. I’m still a bit iffy on Tyler Bate’s whole Zen thing, but somehow it meshes well with Chase U. Chase University may be the biggest success story of NXT 2.0 in terms of the cheesy comedy act getting over huge. Interesting enough, they have deep layers of character development, and it works. Duke Hudson in particular is doing a great job with his character work ever since he joined the stable and is doing awesome acting with his despondent routine. The post match Schism stuff was actually good. It added to the quick story they put together last week, and the match feels meaningful because there are stakes that a fan favorite act could be destroyed.

Roxanne Perez entered the office of HBK Shawn Michaels. Perez said that the doctors have cleared her to return to action. Shawn apprehensively said that was good. Perez said the diagnosis was a combination of exhaustion and anxiety. She said the only thing on her mind is the Championship and Stand and Deliver. Shawn said he’s happy to hear the diagnosis, but he doesn’t think defending her title is good for her health.

HBK strongly recommended that Perez drop the title, get a few matches under her belt, and challenge for the title later. Perez said she has had anxiety troubles all her life. She said she’s been overwhelmed with emotions since becoming champion. HBK said that’s exactly why. HBK said that she’s only 21 and she’ll definitely be at the top again soon. Perez brought up how HBK never thought of deferring things during his career. She said she understands that anxiety is crippling, but she can’t run away from it. She said she has to face it head on.

She begged HBK for a chance to defend the title she never lost. She said she wants to be an example to others that suffer from anxiety. Shawn told Perez that she’s in the title match at Stand and Deliver as long as she can provide him with medical reports leading up to the event. Shawn said he’s afraid, but he thinks Perez can get through this…

John’s Thoughts: That was the best character work that Roxanne Perez has ever done in her young career. She didn’t look nervous this time delivering lines. It helps that it was a cinematic-ish pre-tape, but that’s not a bad thing. It was odd that Shawn Michaels decided to try to recreate his pass-out-in-the-ring story to get to the Women’s title match, but it was all worth it to get this segment. HBK also continues to shine now that he’s back to playing an on-air character. The guy is so talented in pathos and you can really see why he focuses on melodrama. It’s always a treat to see Serious-HBK as opposed to Quirky Uncle HBK when he goofs off with DX.

Valentina Feroz made her entrance with new ring gear. A replay aired of Sol Ruca defeating Elektra Lopez after Feroz took her brass knuckles away…

3. Elektra Lopez vs. Valentina Feroz. Lopez hit Feroz with a headbutt and tossed Feroz into the corner. Feroz came back with right hands. Lopez hit Feroz with a leg sweep takedown. Lopez locked Feroz in an extended heel hook. Feroz dodged an elbow dorp and hit Lopez with a shotgun dropkick. Feroz hit Lopez with a few Judo hip tosses and a toss for a two count. Lopez blocked a crossbody and hit Feroz with a sitout Baldo Bomb for the win.

Elektra Lopez defeated Valentina Feroz via pinfall for 2:04.

An Eddy Thorpe (a.k.a. Karl “The BFD” Fredericks) vignette aired that focused on his Native American heritage and DJ Background. He’ll be debuting after the break…[c]

Eddie Thorpe had a cool entrance. His ring gear had cowboy tassels…

4. Eddy Thorpe vs. Myles Borne. Borne and Thorpe had a collar and elbow exchange. Borne took down Torpe with a shoulder tackle. Thorpe came back with a crossbody. Borne returned fire with a dropkick. Borne rallied with right hands. Borne got a two count after a Belly to Belly. Thorpe took down Borne with a dropkick to the shin and a Pele Kick. Thorpe hit Borne with a Yakuza Kick and toss. Thorpe got a two count. Both men traded strikes. Thorpe hit Borne with a Saito Suplex and twisting neckbreaker for the win.

Eddy Thorpe defeated Myles Borne via pinfall in 3:04.

John’s Thoughts: It’s cool to see Eddy in WWE. I’ve been following his career since his time in All Pro Wrestling in Daly City. He’s great in the ring, but he was a bit bland as a character (he didn’t stand out in the same promotion that had Cody Rhodes, Brian Cage, Rich Swann, Swerve Scott, and even Luster the Legend). He’s come a long way in terms of changing his look and I think he has an amazing look now. Looking forward to seeing him mix it up with some of the more experienced veterans in NXT.

The show cut back to Pretty Deadly who were previewing the Johnny Gargano vs. Grayson Waller match at Stand and Deliver. Wilson said the only way he’d fight in an unsanctioned match is if it was to defend Prince’s honor. Both men shared a sensual hand hold…

Sol Ruca made her entrance…[c]

[Hour Two] McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Gallus, Mark Coffey and Wolfgang. She said they looked rough after whatever happened at the pub. They claimed that it was a drunk bar fight. Wolfgang the then talked about how they’re allowing another team in the tag match because they are equal opportunists. Both men ended with their Gallus Boys On Top catchphrase…

Ivy Nile and then Indi Hartwell made their entrances for the next match…

5. Sol Ruca vs. Indi Hartwell vs. Ivy Nile in a “Last Chance” match for the final spot in the women’s title match at Stand and Deliver. Joseph pointed out that Hartwell is the veteran of the match. All three women traded quick rollups. Ruca dumped Nile and Hartwell to ringside. Ruca hit both opponents with an impressive top rope triangle moonsault. Ruca hit Hartwell with an X Factor. Nile hit Ruca with a Dragonrana for a two count. Nile put Rica in a Juji Gatame. Hartwell broke it up and got a two count on Nile.

Hartwell hit Nile with a draping front kick. Rica hit Hartwell with an impressive slingshot splash for a two count after Nile broke it up. Nile hit Ruca with an enzuigiri for a two count. Rica blocked a huracanrana and hit Nile with a superkick. Ruca hit Nile with a flip into a Stinger Splash. Hartwell hit Ruca with a spinebuster for a two count. Nile did a Rana into a Dragon Sleeper. Ruca it Nile with a Sol Snatcher out of nowhere. Hartwell dumped Ruca to ringside. Hartwell hit Nile with a basement forearm for the victory.

Indi Hartwell defeated Ivy Nile and Sol Ruca via pinfall in 4:07 to earn the final spot in the Women’s Title Match at Stand and Deliver. 

Zoey Stark, Lyra Valkyria, Gigi Dilin, and Tiffany Stratton all made their entrances from the crowd and ramp. Roxanne Perez made her return to Full Sail from the crow’s nest. She posed with the Women’s Title…

John’s Thoughts: You had to know Hartwell was going over given she’s the most experienced of the pack. I think she does need to pick a new finisher though. I get that her old slingshot elbow was beautiful, but it was hard to perform. So it’s understandable that she dropped that. The basement forearm just doesn’t look that great. If any other woman was going to be in the match, I would have tried Sol Ruca given how creative her offense is. The crowd were dead for most of the last match, but were hyped whenever Sol Ruca did something cool, especially that Sol Snatcher out of nowhere.

Pretty Deadly were back again and surrounded by ladders backstage. They previewed the Ladder Match for the Women’s Title at Stand and Deliver. Prince predicted Tiffany Stratton as the winner. Prince said Tiffany is the third best dressed person in NXT behind Pretty Deadly. Wilson and Prince plugged the Peacock Network and the Stand and Deliver show…

Vic Joseph hyped up a “Prime Target” documentary video to hype Bron Breakker vs. Carmelo Hayes for the NXT Championship…[c]

A WrestleMania commercial aired where The Bloodline were recreating a scene from Goodfellas. This one had Roman trolling Paul Heyman. I think the guy who Roman smashed in the head with a glass was Eddy Thorpe (?)…

A Twitter selfie promo was shown from Grayson Waller who continued to taunt Johnny Gargano. He had a shirt that had an outline of him holding the head of a fallen Johnny Gargano.

Vic Joseph and Booker T checked in on commentary. Joseph reminded the viewers that he is waiting for Grayson Waller to sign the unsanctioned contract that Johnny handed him last week. He sent the show to the Bron vs. Melo Prime Target video package. Breakker talked about how He and Melo were a part of the same Performance Center signing class. Melo said he’s not just doing high flying or mat wrestling, he’s doing everything. He talked about how he cleaned up his game. He talked about hitting the club for hours after training, but decided to be responsible by not going to the afterparty.

Melo said he’s not partying because he’ll celebrate after he wins the title. A workout montage was shown of Melo pumping iron. They cut to Bron Breakker who was also pumping iron. He talked about also refusing to club and party for the same reason. He said that intensity was what it takes to be champion. Breakker said some people say that matches are won in the ring and weight room, but he thinks matches are won in the film room, analyzing their opponents.

He talked about studying up on Melo. Bron Breakker said the championship is everything for him. He said he respects NXT Champions before him, but he thinks he’s the most dominant. Cut back to Melo, Melo said he’s going to knock Bron’s head off and take some weight off his shoulders by taking the title. Melo said “Give me my F–king crown”. Melo said Breakker isn’t going to be at Melo’s level. Breakker said he’s going to knock out Melo with a Steiner-line. Melo did hit “I AM HIM” catchphrase. Breakker said he’s going to still be champion after Stand and Deliver…

Hank Walker made his entrance, looking like the lovechild of Seth Rogen and Rhino (I kid, I kid)…

John’s Thoughts: Wonderful stuff! NXT kills it with these Prime Target documentary style vignettes. They started using these when Jeremy Borash joined their production team and it always does a good job to promote big fights in a sports-like fashion. Melo always shines in the pre-tapes. This was the best Bron Breakker has looked as a wrestling character, and he didn’t have to rely on using Scott Steiner mannerisms as a crutch.

An Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn promo aired where they previewed their upcoming match against Kiana James and Fallon Henley. They wrapped a red scarf around their held hands to signify their link. Dawn ended her promo by saying there’s always Darkness before the Dawn and where there’s smoke there’s “Fyre”…

Drew Gulak made his entrance with Charlie Dempsey. Vic Joseph hyped the opening of the pop-up merch store in Downtown LA for Mania Weekend…

6. Drew Gulak (w/ Charlie Dempsey) vs. Hank Walker. Walker tossed Gulak all around the ring. Walker worked on Walker with ground submissions. Walker reversed a Stretch Muffler into a Stretch Muffler of his own. Walker did the same thing when he reversed Gulak’s Half Crab. Gulak escaped with a jawbreaker on the top rope. Gulak worked on Walker with methodical offense. Gulak gloated after he hit Walker with a Northern Lariat. Gulak hit Walker with a diving lariat for a two count. Gulak put Walker in a Crossface.

Walker hulked up and reversed the hold. Walker rallied with alternating hands and a leaping hip attack. Walker hit Gulak with a pair of Stinger Splashes. Walker hit Gulak with a press slam. Walker took down the straps and hit Gulak with a shoulder tackle for a two count. Gulak rolled though a wheelbarrow and put Walker in a Crossface. Walker powered out and locked Gulak into a Juji Gatame after a wheelbarrow.

Gulak almost tapped, but managed to wriggle over to the bottom rope for the break. Charlie Dempsey hit Walker with a Northern Forearm when the ref was distracted. Gulak rolled up Walker for the win.

Drew Gulak defeated Hank Walker via pinfall in 5:51.

John’s Thoughts: This Walker vs. Gulak feud has been a fun undercard feud on the show. Walker has the advantage of his gimmick being that he’s a wrestler-in-training which allows him a huge margin of error in terms of his in-ring. He’s actually progressing well and improving his look week-to-week. It really seems like Drew Gulak has taken him under his ring and Walker looks to be really putting in the effort to become an in-ring technician, which is an interesting direction to take with a guy you would expect to adopt more of a powerhouse style. This can work, because it would be unique to have a powerhouse technician.

The show cut to Pretty Deadly, who were drinking mimosas. They previewed the Tag Team Championship match. Prince joked that they are impressed that The Creed Brothers have more personality than a dirty rag. They didn’t even want to talk about their rivals, Gallus. They said if Briggs and Jensen get into the match, they can have a fairy tale ending. They also gave their thoughts on Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn possibly leaving the weekend as champions themselves…

Tony D’Angelo and Channing Stacks Lorenzo made their entrance…[c]

Briggs and Jensen made their entrance…

7. Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo vs. Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen. Jensen went for a quick rollup on Stacks for a two count. Jensen rolled up Stacks again and hit him with a hip toss. Stacks came back with a body slam. Jensen worked on Stacks with headlocks. Jensen hit Stacks with a twisting blockbuster. Briggs and D’Angelo tagged in. D’Angelo worked on Briggs with amateur wrestling Belly to Back takedowns.

Stacks tagged in and the mob guys swarmed Briggs with alternating strikes. They cut to the camera backstage where Henley and James were watching the match. Henley stormed off threatening to tell Jensen that he’s being cheated on. Jensen tagged in for the hot tag. Briggs and Jensen hit their opponents with their signature baseball slide punches. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Stacks worked on Jensen with a side headlock. Kiana James and Fallon Henley were at ringside at this point. The mobsters cut the ring in half on Jensen. The mob guys hit Jensen with a modified Skull and Bones (which Booker kept calling a Doomsday Device). Jensen managed to bring in Briggs for a hot tag. Brooks asked for the tag. Brooks and Jensen hit Stacks with a Doomsday Heel Kick.

Tony D’Angelo broke up Jensen’s pin. Tony and Josh traded right hands. Tony dumped Briggs to ringside and tagged into the match. Tony and Stacks hit Jensen with a double team Flapjack for the win.

Tony D’Angelo and Channing Lorenzo defeated Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs via pinfall in 9:58.

Fallon Henley entered the ring and demand that Kiana James tell the truth. Kiana said she’d rather show him. Kiana pulled Brooks over and made out with him. This really popped the commentary team. Vic Joseph yelled “HE DID IT! He’s on base!”…

Grayson Waller was shown heading to the ring from backstage. Joseph noted that Waller was coming to sign the unsanctioned match contract…

John’s Thoughts: You really have to turn your brain off to think that everyone, including the announcers, knows that Kiana might have a side bae other than Jensen. The cowboys have grown on me so I can excuse it a bit, even though it’s making Fallon Henley come off as a bit unlikable. James, possibly stringing along Jensen just got  fun again, mostly because of Vic Joseph’s reaction to Jensen making it to first base. Joseph might not be able to recover once Jensen grabs a tiddy.

An ad aired hyping up the Andre the Giant Battle Royal this Friday

Vic Joseph thanked the band Turnstile for their song “Blackout” which will be the theme of Stand and Deliver…

John’s Thoughts: One thing that surprises me now that Hunter is in control of WWE, is we haven’t seen Poppy all over television. That always stood out when Hunter booked NXT, excessive amounts of Heavy Metal and Poppy.

[Overrun] Security Guards were surrounding the ring. Joseph noted that Waller ordered the extra security detail to make sure Johnny Gargano wouldn’t interfere. Grayson Waller made his entrance and ominously took the contract from Vic Joseph. Waller said that Joseph doing this would put Gargano’s blood on Joseph’s hands. Waller took the mic and said he’s aware of Gargano being the master of cheap shots.

Waller read the contract. Waller talked about how Breakker and Melo think they’re the main event, but Waller is the real main event. Waller talked about joining WWE two years ago. He talked about his time as a babyface, pandering to the fans. Waller said a turning point was WarGames where he was considered the worst member of Team 2.0. He said he stole the show with his elbow drop off the cage.

Waller noted that it was supposed to be his moment, but Johnny Gargano took his spotlight away. Waller noted that people cared more about Gargano’s WWE contract ending. Waller said he saw his mark and took it. Waller said Gargano is the biggest mark in the business.

He said that moment when he beat down Gargano sent him into the stratosphere . Waller said Gargano is begging Waller for a match and trying to use him as a Golden Ticket. Waller talked about how Gargano is going to lose at Stand and Deliver. He said while Gargano bleeds Black and Gold he bleeds Green.

Johnny Gargano’s entrance theme played and Waller dared Gargano to storm the ring. Johnny Gargano came from behind and blindsided Waller. A pull apart brawl ensued. A “let them fight” chant ensued. Gargano had a bit of blood on his face. The show closed when both men were finally separated…

John’s Thoughts: Strong go-home promo from Waller to set up his match. Overall this was a strong go-home show. Only thing I wasn’t too high on was the pull apart brawl. It was fine, but too similar too the show closing pull apart involving he Usos, complete with Gargano looking like he was wearing Kevin Steen’s hoodie. I thought it would have been logical for Waller to get his heat by threatening Gargano’s best friend Vic. Looking forward to the Waller vs. Gargano match because we’ll presumably get the return of Johnny Takeover. Expect it to be a Shawn Michaels classic with all the melodrama for days.

This was a really good go-home show top to bottom. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be great being a taped edition, but they combined good in-ring segments with good pre-tapes. They stuffed a lot on the show, but everything mattered, unlike a few weeks ago when the shows felt like there was little room to breathe. There was a lot to unpack on this show. Good matches, good build, Shawn Michaels and Roxanne Perez having a solid pre-tape, Pretty Deadly’s creative previews, Melo and Bron’s prime ticket. Good stuff.

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. “Joseph might not be able to recover once Jensen grabs a tiddy.”
    *best Booker T voice* Tell me you didn’t just say that!

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