By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
John Moore will be in the NXT press box, so join Colin McGuire for live review of NXT Stand & Deliver as the show streams Saturday at noonCT/1ET on Peacock. An exclusive audio review will be available afterward for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).
Bron Breakker vs. Carmelo Hayes for the NXT Championship: One of the two singles matches on the show. That and the creative direction NXT seems to be taking makes me think this is one of the easier matches to predict. Bron Breakker and Carmelo Hayes have had respectful exchanges in recent week. Carmelo Hayes is presumably being positioned as a babyface since he and Trick Williams have taken the respectful approach. The Prime Target feature on the NXT go-home show set up Bron and Melo as the mega powers of NXT. The pillars if you will. My prediction is this being Carmelo Hayes’s crowning moment in NXT. To put a tad bit of doubt, last year Bron Breakker was the favorite to go over Dolph Ziggler, and Ziggler went over at Stand and Deliver (Bron picked up the title on the Raw after Mania show). I don’t expect them to swerve for swerves sake this year because NXT 2.0 did weird random things just to be weird, and the revert to Gold and Black (w/White) has been more logical, with Shawn Michaels flexing his melodramatic booking style.
Prediction: Carmelo Hayes becomes the new NXT Champion.
Johnny Gargano vs. Grayson Waller in an unsanctioned match: I talked about HBK melodrama in the last match, and with Johnny Takeover here I expect that to be a component of this match. Johnny “Takeover” Gargano was one to put on epic 30-minute rollercoaster matches. Expect this match to presumably go 15-25 minutes given Gargano’s history on Takeover shows. I feel like story flow dictates that Johnny Gargano picks up the win. Waller’s talented, but he can take the loss. It only makes sense that Johnny’s sendoff from NXT be with a victory. You never know though, Hunter’s sendoff method dictated doing the job on the way out, but I feel like Shawn will book this differently, Gargano’s that special. Expect Waller to look REALLY REALLY good here though and there my be a chance he moves to Raw or Smackdown to terrorize Johnny up there. Just as long as he’s not whooping Johnny Gargano in front of poor Quill Gargano again.
Prediction: Johnny Gargano wins.
Roxanne Perez vs. Zoey Stark vs. Gigi Dolin vs. Tiffany Stratton vs. Lyra Valkyria vs. Indi Hartwell in a ladder match for the NXT Women’s Championship: If you asked me who was going to win a couple weeks ago, I definitely would have said Roxanne Perez was going to retain. No doubt. The NXT go-home show put serious doubt on that guarantee. In fact, I think they might take the title off Roxanne. The key behind her exchange with HBK on this week’s go-home show was to lay it on really thick that she has an “out.” Again, if this was Hunter’s show, I think they’d go with Roxanne, but watching HBK as a performer, HBK as a booker, and HBK as a storyteller, his feuds tend to want to “make every segment count”, make every little line and bit of information count. I can see Roxanne’s anxiety storyline involving the return of Cora Jade, who was set to feud with Lyra Valkyria, but Lyra was left hanging after Cora mysteriously went absent from television (they were also setting up Twitch EGirl Stevie Turner to feud with Lyra, and she magically poofed). But who wins though? Lyra and Gigi I think are in the same boat. You can use the title to “make” them, but that would be inefficient. Indi and Zoey could be called up, but I can see either one being held back for a title run. That might heat up ice cold Indi Hartwell again? Tiffany Stratton stands out as someone who can be “made” by the title logically, enhance the title with her natural talent, and be a strong top heel. Is she ready for the spotlight? Who knows? But she has shown an immense amount of growth in a short amount of time and even if she wins I don’t think they have to have her title reign be very long. Watch Roxanne Perez or Gigi Dolin get mugged by ninjas at the former Staples Center parking lot and watch Cora Jade win the title (quirky oddball prediction, but I can’t truthfully predict that because we have no clue on why Jade is off TV).
Prediction: Tiffany Stratton becomes the new NXT Women’s Champion.
Fallon Henley and Kiana James vs. Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship: Prediction-wise, this one’s a no brainer. Fyre and Dawn. The tag team titles have been held hostage by the virgin cowboy storyline that’s been dragged out. The real question here is will Brooks Jensen get his heart broken? Will he make it to second base? Is “Sebastian” another secret relative? I don’t really care, but maybe they’ll have something creative. I hoped Kiana James would have been in the women’s title match somehow because she tends to steal the show with stellar matches. Anyways, Fyre and Dawn. Dawn is so good in her new version of her old witch gimmick from NXT UK.
Prediction: Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn become the new NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions.
Wes Lee vs. Axiom vs. Dragon Lee vs. JD McDonagh vs. Ilja Dragunov for the NXT North American Championship: Ilja and JD cancel each other out. Let’s start there. The match will be good with them in it though. They’ve been teasing that Scrypts may or may not be coming after Axiom and Dragon Lee, but who the hell wants to see these two talented mask men feud with Reggie the Cursive Writing Supervillain. Because I’m predicting a lot of title changes (which is common at big shows) I think they might want one feel good title retention. Plus, there might be some more gas behind Lee’s “chaos” gimmick.
Prediction: Wes Lee retains the NXT North American Championship.
“Gallus” Mark Coffey and Wolfgang vs. Julius Creed and Brutus Creed vs. Tony D’Angelo and Stacks for the NXT Tag Team Championship: Hey, this could be another title retention. Technically, this is a three babyface match with the two-man crime syndicate oddly turning babyface over the last few months. This should be a fun brawl as each team has a brawling style. I’m surprised Indus Sher wasn’t added to this match because they would have been a good addition. Gallus need the titles more than the titles need Gallus. Again, how could they only get one Coffey a visa? And Joe was their mouthpiece! I can see Pretty Deadly as hosts costing Gallus the titles, but I’ll stick with the safe pick of this being a title retention. But heck, it is Mania Weekend, they might change ALL the titles!
Prediction: Gallus retains the NXT Tag Team Championship.
“Chase University” Andre Chase, Duke Hudson, Thea Hail, and Tyler Bate vs. “The Schism” Joe Gacy, Jagger Reid, Rip Fowler, and Ava (winner takes control of Chase University): So despite the Schism boring me more often than not, the last two weeks of shows have sold me on this feud. The go-home Schism promo was ok, nothing too special, but kinda cool (it’s more so my history watching Schism that has me feeling as despondent as Duke Hudson). There are fun factors here though. One, I’m surprised they haven’t hyped that this is the in-ring debut of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s daughter. That could get some buys. Two, Thea Hail and Duke Hudson have been teasing dark turns in recent weeks, mostly Duke, who’s doing strong character work. Three, the Schism needs something! They’re just cold as ice. They win a lot of matches, but they don’t do anything other than say random ominous things. The Schism and The Design (Impact Wrestling) give me my weekly boring fill of lame ass undercard cults that nobody should want to join. The Schism absorbing Chase U might lead to an interesting story where Andre Chase and Tyler Bate have an actual hill to climb in order to take their fake University back. They did it with Legado Del Fantasma before, so I can see them doing it here (Sadly, Tony D’Angelo’s seven person mafia has shrunk to a two-man mafia).
Prediction: Chase University loses, meaning they have to merge with The Schism, or something like that.
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