Takeover: Stand & Deliver Night Two
Date: April 8, 2021
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix, Wade Barrett
We’re back here after a heck of a first night and the card here might look even better. The main event is the showdown over the NXT Title as Finn Balor defends against Karrion Kross, who never lost the title in the first place. Other than that, we have multiple title matches and an unsanctioned match between Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Breezango vs. Killian Dain/Drake Maverick
The winners get a future Tag Team Title shot against MSK. Breeze grabs Dain’s wrist to start and brings in Fandango, who is knocked away without much effort. Dain isn’t having any of this and runs Fandango over before handing it off to Maverick for…we’ll call it dancing I guess. Fandango manages a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two on Maverick and it’s back to Breeze for the same off a suplex.
Maverick is driven into the corner and Breeze knocks him down with a right hand. A legdrop gets two on Maverick and we hit the chinlock. Maverick fights up and slips over for the tag to Dain, meaning house can be cleaned. A fall away slam/Samoan drop plants Breezango for two as everything starts to break down. Dain is finally sent outside but Maverick catches Fandango up top for a super hurricanrana. That lets Dain come back in and powerbomb Maverick onto Fandango for the pin at 8:37.
Rating: C. Pretty standard match here and while Maverick and Dain aren’t likely to win the titles, I’ll take them over the rather middle of the road Breezango. There is no reason to give them another shot at the moment, as the team hasn’t done much of anything since losing the titles. Maverick and Dain are at least fresh, and MSK surviving the monster is a good way to get their reign started.
Poppy sings a song to open things up.
Cruiserweight Title: Jordan Devlin vs. Santos Escobar
Ladder match to unify the two titles. They go straight to the slugout at the bell but Devlin can’t hit the early Devlin Slide attempt. Devlin sticks the landing on a tilt-a-whirl attempt so Escobar elbows him in the back. That’s fine with Devlin, who knocks him down to set up a standing moonsault. Escobar is knocked outside and that sets up an Asai moonsault to drop him again. It’s time for the first ladder and thankfully Devlin is ready for the attempted baseball slide.
Devlin knocks Escobar down with the ladder instead and goes for the belts but Escobar is back in for a hard ram into the ladder instead. A whip into the corner into the ladder has Devlin crashing out to the floor. Escobar hits some running knees against the barricade and the cockiness is ramping up. It’s time for another ladder, with Escobar leaning it up against the barricade. Back in and Devlin tries to stop Escobar from getting the titles but Escobar is ready for him with a ladder shot.
A running dropkick sends the ladder into Devlin’s ribs in the corner and let’s get another ladder. This one is sat on the top rope but Escobar spends too much time talking trash and slapping Devlin in the face, meaning it’s Escobar being sent into the ladder instead. A dropkick to the banged up ribs puts Devlin down again though as the fans are behind Escobar. For some reason Escobar catapults Devlin at the ladder and he manages to get his hand on the titles, allowing him to dive down with a DDT to lay Escobar out again.
Devlin is sent outside though and Escobar’s suicide dive sends him into the standing ladder. Back in and Escobar’s double underhook is countered into a backdrop onto the ladder and they’re both down again. The Devlin Slide is countered into a jumping knee to the face but Devlin is right back with the Spanish Fly. The slingshot cutter drops Escobar again and a ladder is set up in the corner. For some reason Devlin climbs there and, after knocking Escobar down, hits a great looking moonsault from the very top of the ladder.
That’s enough for Devlin to go up but here is Legado del Fantasma to turn the ladder over (with Devlin falling to the floor in a hurry, which looked rather scary). After the beatdown, Escobar sends Legado to the back and goes up, but Devlin throws a ladder at him for the save. The super Spanish Fly off the ladder leaves them both laying again. They both go up and slug it out on top of the ladder until Escobar knocks him off and through the ladder in the corner. That’s enough for Escobar to pull down the titles and win at 18:07.
Rating: B+. These guys beat the fire out of each other and that’s what you want out of a ladder match. You could feel the energy here and they were going with the classic formula of a lot of flips and dives off of the ladder. Sure a lot of it didn’t make sense (such as where Devlin put the ladder in the first place) but egads it was a fun spectacle, which is what you’re going for in a match like this. The ladder exploding at the end was a great visual too and it capped off a heck of a fun match.
Post match Escobar celebrates with Legado and his son in a nice moment.
MSK is proud to win the Tag Team Titles but don’t agree on who wins between Finn Balor and Karrion Kross.
Women’s Tag Team Titles: The Way vs. Shotzi Blackheart/Ember Moon
Blackheart and Moon are defending and come out in their tank because that’s what they do. It’s a brawl to start until LeRae starts hammering on Blackheart. Some pulling of the hair lets LeRae take her down and we hit the armbar. Hartwell comes in for some shots of her own but it’s quickly back to LeRae for a few more stomps. Shotzi manages to kick her down though and the hot tag brings in Moon to clean house. She throws in a SUCK IT (for Road Dogg) and nails a running splash in the corner to LeRae.
Hartwell’s distraction breaks up the Eclipse though but Blackheart comes in to turn it into a Tower of Doom. We settle back down to Hartwell spinebustering Moon for two but Shotzi comes back in for a suicide dive onto the Way, which does not exactly land very well. Moon dives onto LeRae and it’s a Dominator/sliding cutter combination to give Blackheart two back inside. LeRae knocks Moon off the apron and it’s a flapjack/Downward Spiral combination for two on Blackheart. Moon tags herself back in though and it’s a double Eclipse to set up Trip to the Ball Pit to retain the titles at 10:23.
Rating: C. These titles still don’t feel important, but it was absolutely the right call to have the champs retain. You need to establish the titles a bit before you have another title change and Moon/Blackheart are fine enough for the current champs. This was fine for a pretty big TV match, but it’s not like the titles have any kind of history or importance so far. That can come later, but it makes for some pretty uninteresting early title matches.
We recap Bronson Reed winning the Gauntlet Eliminator to become #1 contender to the North American Title.
Gable Stevenson (with Stephanie McMahon), an NCAA Heavyweight Champion in wrestling and an Olympian, is here.
North American Title: Bronson Reed vs. Johnny Gargano
Gargano is defending and has Austin Theory with him. Reed cartwheels away from him to start and Gargano seems a bit stunned. A fall away slam sends Gargano flying but he manages to get in a shot to the head. The slingshot spear….bounces off of Reed, who chops Gargano down with ease. Back up and Gargano gets smart by going for the knee to knock Reed outside.
The baseball slide takes Reed down but he pulls the slingshot dive out of the air. Gargano sends him ribs first into the announcers’ table (which is moved by the impact) and it’s time to head back inside for the left hands in the corner. A middle rope splash crushes Reed again and Gargano grabs a cobra clutch. Gargano goes up again but dives into a powerslam to give Reed a breather. A chokeslam plants Gargano and Reed muscles him up for a suplex into a Death Valley Driver.
Reed takes him to the corner for a superplex but Gargano reverses into a Backstabber for two. A missed backsplash lets Gargano grab a crucifix for two more but Reed gets him into an electric chair. That’s countered into a poisonrana, sending Reed out to the apron. One Final Beat onto the ramp is countered into a Razor’s Edge over the top and back inside for the big crash. The Tsunami only hits mat though and Gargano nails a low superkick for a close two. Reed blasts him with a clothesline so Theory gets up to block another Tsunami attempt.
Gargano tries a super hurricanrana but Reed jumps down instead (that seemed like a botch but Reed saved it in time) and plants Gargano with a powerbomb. Theory puts Gargano’s foot on the ropes and Gargano heads to the floor, allowing Reed to CRUSH Theory with a suicide dive. Back in and an Air Raid Crash gets two on Gargano so Reed goes up again. Reed debuts and misses a moonsault though, allowing Gargano to hit One Final Beat….and one more Final Beat to retain at 16:12.
Rating: B. Who knew Reed had this in him? This was a cool idea where the face was the monster and trying everything he could to overcome the odds. The problem is that Gargano is awesome at Takeover and that makes it rather hard to actually beat him. Gargano is in a weird place where there is little for him left to do in NXT but it would seem to be a career crushing promotion. Hopefully he drops the title in a big moment, as he probably will, but I’m not sure how it goes after that.
We recap Karrion Kross vs. Finn Balor for the NXT Title. Kross was forced to vacate the title due to an injury and Balor won it, meaning it’s time for a showdown.
Oney Lorcan, Pete Dunne and Danny Burch are here.
NXT Title: Karrion Kross vs. Finn Balor
Kross is challenging and has Scarlett with him. They stare each other down to start and Kross shoves him around with ease. Balor goes after the arm and gets kneed in the ribs for his efforts. A headlock works a bit better for Balor but Kross shoves him around with straight power….so Balor slaps him in the face. Balor gets driven into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs but Kross misses a charge. That lets Balor pull the arm around the top rope and the armbar goes on.
Kross powers up again and ties Balor in the Tree of Woe for a running knee to the ribs. Balor is back with another armbar but the powerbomb counter is countered into a DDT to the arm. A hammerlock has Kross’ arm in more trouble and Balor takes him into the corner. Balor hits a spinning kick to the ribs and Kross crumples to the mat. That’s fine with Balor, who hammers away at the ribs until Kross kicks him in the ribs. Kross loads up an Oklahoma Stampede but Balor reverses into a Nightmare on Helm Street to put both guys down.
Kross is back up to hit a powerbomb for two more and can’t believe the kickout. Balor is right back on the ribs and shoulder with the abdominal stretch, followed by the Sling Blade to drop Kross again. Back up and Kross runs him over again but charges into the Pele kick. The shotgun dropkick sends Kross into the corner and the Coup de Grace connects….but the cover is reversed into a choke.
Balor rolls out and hits the jumping double stomp, setting up something like an abdominal stretch on the mat. Kross reverses that and unloads with forearms to the back of the head. A German suplex drops Balor again, followed by the Doomsday Saito. The running forearm to the back of the head gives Kross the pin and the title back at 17:09.
Rating: B+. This took some time to get going but by the end they had the right idea with Kross just being able to be violent enough to put Balor away. It was a clean win as it should have been with Balor giving it everything he had but not being able to put Kross away. I’m glad to see Kross win the title back because he never lost it, and hopefully this is enough to send Balor back up to the main roster, assuming he wants to go.
Franky Monet’s dog finds her again.
Santos Escobar is proud of his win and is ready to expand his legacy.
We recap Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly. Cole turned on the Undisputed Era and broke up the team by attacking O’Reilly. This did not exactly sit well and O’Reilly is ready to beat him up as revenge for everything that Cole has caused him to do since the team began. The match is unsanctioned, meaning anything goes.
Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Anything goes and they both have new music. They stare each other down to start and O’Reilly slugs away to start as we’re off in a hurry. A running big boot in the corner hits Cole and they’re on the floor in a hurry. O’Reilly sends him into various things on the floor and they head back inside, only to have Cole knock him off the top and back to the floor in a crash. Cole gets in a whip to the barricade and loads up a bunch of chairs.
Some of the chairs are sent inside and another one, with the Undisputed Era logo on the back, is cracked down onto O’Reilly’s back. They head inside again with Cole hitting a neckbreaker onto a chair and glaring down at O’Reilly. The neck crank goes on before Cole plants him again and tells O’Reilly to get up. That’s fine with O’Reilly, who hits a jumping knee.
Cole pump kicks him in the face but O’Reilly is right back with the Muay Thai knees. O’Reilly knocks him to the floor and sits him in a chair for the running knees from the apron. Back in and O’Reilly busts out a chain but gets caught in a hanging neckbreaker onto said chain. They grab the chain and slug it out with O’Reilly getting the better of things and loading the chain around his leg. The Figure Four, with the chain around the leg, has Cole in even more trouble until he turns it over. O’Reilly turns it right back over and the chain is tied to the top rope.
Back up and O’Reilly gets a running start but Cole uses the chain to clothesline him down. A German suplex drops O’Reilly and he lands in a chair, allowing Cole to hit a Shining Wizard for two more. They head outside again with Cole trying the brainbuster onto the steps but O’Reilly reverses into a guillotine. With Cole out on his feet, O’Reilly knees him in the chest but takes too long loading up his own brainbuster. Cole drives him into the barricade, only to get knocked down again.
O’Reilly loads up the announcers’ table and they slug it out on top until O’Reilly hits a brainbuster (THUD) onto the table. Cole staggers beyond the barricade and grabs a TV monitor to blast O’Reilly in the face. It’s back inside with Cole busting out a toolbox, including a wrench. That’s blocked as well so O’Reilly hits a rebound lariat. O’Reilly ties the chain around Cole’s arm and tries a cross armbreaker, followed by a triangle choke.
Cole breaks that up and they sit in some chairs and slug it out, including trash talk for a bonus. A low blow cuts O’Reilly down and Cole superkicks him for two. With nothing else working, Cole wraps the chair around O’Reilly’s neck and shoves there referee down for daring to break it up. The Panama Sunrise connects but there is no referee. They go up the ramp with Cole throwing a chair at O’Reilly’s head for a nasty crash. Cole drives him into the barricade but O’Reilly is back with a guillotine choke….and they go crashing through the ramp.
Cole is up first and kicks a hole in the side of the ramp to pull O’Reilly back out. O’Reilly gets in the ring and falls right back out, allowing Cole to hit the brainbuster onto the steps. That gets two back inside as this is full on ridiculous Cole Takeover match. The Last Shot misses though and O’Reilly pulls him into a heel hook. Cole is in trouble but wraps the chain around his hand to knock O’Reilly cold.
Another Panama Sunrise is countered and O’Reilly hits his own fireman’s carry neckbreaker. The knee pad comes down and a Last Shot to Cole….gets two. Oh come on already. O’Reilly loads up a Pillmanization on the ankle but Cole gets up and catches him with a chair on top. A chair is turned upside down but O’Reilly gets in his own low blow. O’Reilly wraps the chain around his leg and drops a knee to Cole’s neck to drive it into the chair for the pin at 40:18.
Rating: B. Yeah it was a good brawl and they beat each other up but GOOD GRIEF STOP LETTING COLE GO ON FOREVER LIKE THIS. There is a place for a long match but you could have probably cut out nearly twenty minutes of this thing and had just about the same match. This just kept going and I was getting annoyed at it for going on so long. It felt like they had a long checklist of things that they had come up with and needed to get through instead of doing what made sense for the match. I really didn’t have fun with this one and it was ALL because of the length.
Cole gets taken away on the stretcher and O’Reilly just stares at him to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. That main event sucked the life out of this show for me and that is not a feeling I’m used to around here. This show probably should have been done fifteen minutes earlier and that is a much bigger problem when you are on your second two plus hour show in a row. It’s still very good and I liked it a lot, but enough with the long main events. Everything else made sense and went the right way with some awesome matches though, and it’s another awesome Takeover to go with what we had last night. I don’t need another two night Takeover, but for a one off, it went very well.
Santos Escobar b. Jordan Devlin – Escobar pulled down the titles
Shotzi Blackheart/Ember Moon b. The Way – Trip to the Ball Pit to Hartwell
Johnny Gargano b. Bronson Reed – One Final Beat
Karrion Kross b. Finn Balor – Running forearm to the back of the head
Kyle O’Reilly b. Adam Cole – Middle rope knee with a chain
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