NXT Stand and Deliver 2023
April 1, 2023
Los Angeles, California
As your Voices of Wrestling WWE correspondent for 2023, I’m punching the clock for NXT Stand and Deliver!
WINNING TEAM CONTROLS THE MYTHICAL CHASE UNIVERSITY
CHASE U (ANDRE CHASE, DUKE HUDSON & THEA HAIL) & TYLER BATE DEF. SCHISM (AVA, JAGGER REID, JOE GACY & RIP FOWLER)
This match was on the pre-show. It wasn’t announced for the pre-show, so I went to the store. I come back to Duke Hudson putting on a Schism t-shirt and joining them, only to swerve them and help Chase U win the match. Crowd was into it. Part of me is glad that I subconsciously found a way to skip the Schism, as that act has complete go-away heat with me. They didn’t bother to promote that this was on the pre-show, so I’m not going back and watching the whole thing.
WWE NXT WOMEN’S TITLE LADDER MATCH
INDI HARTWELL DEF. ZOEY STARK, GIGI DOLIN, LYRA VALKYRIA, TIFFANY STRATTON, & ROXANNE PEREZ ©
We kicked off the main show with WWE paying homage to the indies running this weekend, opening the show with a six-person scramble. I dunno, man. What do you want me to say? It’s a ladder match where they did a bunch of ladder spots pretty poorly. Dolin did the Terry Funk spin around with the ladder spot, but no one was in the ring, so everyone had to run into the spinning ladder. Later, Dolin went to grab the title, but Toxic #3 Jacy Jayne knocked her into a ladder bridge to relative silence.
Tiffany Stratton took two nasty bumps, one from a Hartwell spinebuster onto a ladder, the other from Hartwell pushing her off a ladder to a pile of people on the floor who dropped her like a misplayed fly ball. If every WWE match is gonna have a dive, and they run a ladder match on seemingly every big show, there really should be more care to catching people on these dives. Hartwell couldn’t climb the ladder for whatever reason, so her husband Dexter Lumis came in and helped her climb the ladder to grab the title. So that whole “Roxanne Perez has anxiety” plot just came and went, I guess. They worked hard, but this was just 6 gals doing stuff. **1/2
WWE NXT TAG TEAM TITLE TRIPLE THREAT MATCH
GALLUS (MARK COFFEY & WOLFGANG) © DEF. THE CREED BROTHERS (BRUTUS CREED & JULIUS CREED) (W/IVY NILE) & THE D’ANGELO FAMILY (CHANNING LORENZO & TONY D’ANGELO)
They worked hard, but this was just 6 guys doing stuff. Equal opportunity boredom here in the Crypto.com Arena. Imagine being asked to care about Gallus or “Stacks Lorenzo” running their spots at 10:30 AM local time. Joe Coffey showed up and helped Gallus to retain. This match went in one ear and out the other. **
WWE NXT NORTH AMERICAN TITLE FATAL FIVE WAY MATCH
WES LEE (C) DEF. JD MCDONAGH, ILJA DRAGUNOV, DRAGON LEE, & AXIOM
I’m gonna be the low man here, but this match was just fine. I’ve been watching an hour-plus of guys doing stuff. If you’re tired of me repeating myself, imagine how tired I was watching it over the course of a show. This was the best of the three scrambles, as the crowd got up for this one. Everyone looked good, even if Dragon Lee faded into the background. Lee won with a whiffed Cardiac Kick on Dragunov. ***1/4
JOHNNY GARGANO DEF. GRAYSON WALLER
I wasn’t crazy about a plunder match coming after a bunch of scrambles. I felt like I was watching a particularly poorly-booked GCW show. But credit where it’s due here, these two beat each other up and worked to the stipulation. Gargano left the melodrama at home, simply opting to beat the hell out of Waller. Waller was a scumbag supreme here, taunting Candice LeRae and Gargano’s baby. Then Candice hopped in and cracked Waller with the kendo stick as well. This was a good bit of energy and fun, with Gargano beating down Waller with a chair before tapping him out with the Garga-No Escape. No hesitation, no staring at the hands, just beating up the guy you don’t like. Good work here. ***1/2
WWE NXT WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
ALBA FYRE & ISLA DAWN DEF. FALLON HENLEY & KIANA JAMES (W/ JOSH BRIGGS & BROOKS JENSEN) ©
This was, in fact, an NXT Women’s Tag Team Title match where Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn beat Fallon Henley and Kiana James in 8:41. James was pinned when Jensen wouldn’t pass her the loaded computer bag. **1/2
WWE NXT TITLE MATCH
CARMELO HAYES (W/TRICK WILLIAMS) DEF. BRON BREAKKER (C)
This was the typical Bron Breakker NXT main event, where it topped out at good and the crowd seemed to get behind his opponent more than him. There’s nothing wrong with Breakker, but he never hits the next gear in these main event matches. Maybe it’ll come with experience, maybe it won’t, but the high bar people have set for him is only setting him up for failure.
Williams got ejected early on, but after a ref bump, he came back to save Hayes from a Steiner Recliner that was making him tap out. Hayes didn’t get the win off of that, but he did hit the slicing leg drop to win. Afterward, Breakker handed him the belt and raised his hand. I don’t care if Breakker is getting called up, you don’t do that spot after he just got robbed of the title. Save that stuff for the back. It felt like having your cake and eating it too, with the screwy finish plus the “passing the torch” moment. Either have Hayes win clean and pass the torch, or have him steal the title and stand tall. There was nothing here that I’ll remember by the end of the weekend. ***