NXT Stand And Deliver 2023
April 1, 2023
Los Angeles, California
Full WrestleMania Weekend Event Schedule
NXT rolls into Los Angeles to kick off Wrestlemania Weekend. And NXT is apparently an early riser because this show starts at 10 AM local time! This isn’t Pancakes and Piledrivers, this is NXT Stand and Deliver! Let’s see what NXT has to showcase on its biggest show of the year!
WWE NXT WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
FALLON HENLEY & KIANA JAMES © VS. ALBA FYRE & ISLA DAWN
Oh boy. The champions are Fallon Henley and Kiana James. If you remember back to my NXT Vengeance Day preview, you’ll remember that these two don’t get along for reasons too dumb for me to want to re-visit. Now, Henley has discovered that James is stepping out on her virgin friend Brooks Jensen. And instead of coming clean, James doubled down by kissing Jensen on this week’s NXT in front of everybody.
The challengers are witches, in NXT’s latest attempt to capture the Charmed demographic.
By the way, everyone involved is either a heel or generally unlikeable. NXT stinks. Prediction: Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn
WWE NXT WOMEN’S TITLE LADDER MATCH
ZOEY STARK VS. GIGI DOLIN VS. INDI HARTWELL VS. LYRA VALKYRIA VS. TIFFANY STRATTON VS. ROXANNE PEREZ ©
While on paper this seems like your standard Wrestlemania Weekend “everybody in the pool” scramble/tag/battle royal/ladder match, this has one of the oddest builds to a match I’ve seen in a very long time. After her last title defense at Roadblock against Meiko Satomura, champion Roxanne Perez passed out and got stretchered out of the building.
No one knew what was happening, with Perez’s situation only being described as a vague “physical issue.” Shawn Michaels said she might have to be stripped of the title, so he booked a ladder match at Stand and Deliver to crown a new champion. All was for naught, though, when Perez returned on this week’s NXT.
Those two were never in the same room. Anyway, I guess Perez is still the Women’s Champion? What was all of this for? Nothing about this Perez story changes if she had dropped the title to Meiko Satomura, or to anyone at Roadblock. Anyway, it’s a ladder match. None of the other competitors have issue with one another, nor do they feel particularly hot right now, so I’ll just pick the person I want to win. Toodles! Prediction: Tiffany Stratton
WWE NXT NORTH AMERICAN TITLE FATAL FIVE WAY MATCH
WES LEE (C) VS. JD MCDONAGH VS. ILJA DRAGUNOV VS. DRAGON LEE VS. AXIOM
There’s a famous short story called I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. WWE has its own adaptation of that short story. It’s called I Am A Babyface Champion, and I Must Do Open Challenges. Wes Lee has issued open challenges on NXT as of late, leading to chaos as everyone fights each other to get to the ring first to officially accept the challenge. Shawn Michaels put a stop to it by having a Five Way match booked for this show. It’s an easy way to circumvent telling an actual story or building up a formidable challenger.
McDonagh and Dragunov have been feuding for a good few months now, meanwhile, Axiom has been trying to answer Wes Lee’s open challenge for weeks. That leaves the debuting Dragon Lee. A signing reminiscent of Black and Gold Era NXT, Lee has yet to wrestle on NXT television. That means his two-week push technically hasn’t started yet, which makes him the best choice to win this title here. The match should be a great kickoff to the weekend. Prediction: Dragon Lee
WWE NXT TAG TEAM TITLE TRIPLE THREAT MATCH
GALLUS (MARK COFFEY & WOLFGANG) © VS. THE CREED BROTHERS (BRUTUS CREED & JULIUS CREED) (W/IVY NILE) VS. THE D’ANGELO FAMILY (CHANNING LORENZO & TONY D’ANGELO)
They built up Pretty Deadly for a title shot, but they lost to Gallus on TV. So we’re here. They all played pool and agreed to a title match. Cool. Uhh, give it to the So-bland-os. Bada bing, bada boom. Whaddya hear? Whaddya say? Gabagool. Prediction: The D’Angelo Family
MIXED EIGHT MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
CHASE U (ANDRE CHASE, DUKE HUDSON & THEA HAIL) & TYLER BATE VS. SCHISM (AVA, JAGGER REID, JOE GACY & RIP FOWLER)
An inclusive cult challenges a fake college for control of said fake college. This is the debut match for Ava, who just so happens to be The Rock’s daughter. Oh, and Tyler Bate is here. Remember him?
I hate NXT. Prediction: The Schism
JOHNNY GARGANO VS. GRAYSON WALLER
This match has a story running all the way back to December 2021. Johnny Gargano was on his way out of NXT for paternity leave, with his contract expiring soon after. As the heart and soul of NXT, he gave a heartfelt goodbye to the fans that supported him for the six years he was there. That farewell was cut off by Grayson Waller, who put him through a table in an effort to go viral.
More recently, after losing an NXT Title match, Waller had taken his frustrations out on Shawn Michaels. After refusing to come out of retirement to wrestle Waller – he only breaks his retirement for the Saudis – HBK brought Gargano back to NXT to get his revenge. It would be great if the story was open and shut there, but as always, we have to tell STORIES.
Gargano and Waller had an embarrassing fight at Gargano’s house. This is the worldwide leader in wrestling, and they gave us a fight reminiscent of a poorly produced backyard fed. That fight led to Gargano wanting this to be an unsanctioned match. Considering recent rumors of Vince McMahon’s backstage return coinciding with Gargano’s return to NXT, my guess is that Gargano may stick around for a while. My guess is that they give him the feel-good win and parlay that into a title match on the next NXT special. Prediction: Johnny Gargano
WWE NXT TITLE MATCH
BRON BREAKKER (C) VS. CARMELO HAYES (W/TRICK WILLIAMS)
The main event of Stand and Deliver is the match that NXT has been building since the move to NXT 2.0. Since day one, Bron Breakker and Carmelo Hayes were the poster children for NXT’s new era. Bron quickly won the NXT Title and has held it for the majority of the last 14 months. Carmelo would win the NXT North American Title and become the workhorse of the show, having standout title matches on television while calling himself the A Champion of NXT. The path was clear after Vengeance Day, and after Bron beat Jinder Mahal – yes, Jinder Mahal – at Roadblock to retain the title, they made the match official for Wrestlemania Weekend.
The problem lies in the fact that on television, these two have only spoken in glowing terms about each other. Bron respects Carmelo. Carmelo respects Bron. May the best man win. Man, no one ever paid to see two guys respect each other. NXT did a good job of making this match feel like THE MATCH before they started the actual build, but they didn’t stick the landing here. This doesn’t feel anywhere as important as it should, or as it did even at Vengeance Day.
As far as who wins, my pick is Hayes. It may be the chalk pick, but I don’t see this going any other way. Bron Breakker has done everything he’s going to do in NXT. He’s wrestled all the heels, and he’s wrestled most of the babyfaces. He’s been champion for a year and a half. His time has come and gone, and now I expect him to get called up to sink or swim on the main roster. Hayes has been one of the few consistent quality acts in NXT, and I think he gets the ball to run with it here as NXT Champion. Prediction: Carmelo Hayes