Date: March 1, 2022
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett
We are about a month away from Stand & Deliver, which could stand to deliver some of its card this week. You can all but guarantee Bron Breakker defending the NXT Title against Dolph Ziggler, but they are going to need something a little bit better than that. Those two are in a tag match this week so let’s get to it.
Bron Breakker/Tommaso Ciampa vs. Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode
Ciampa is in a Breakker style singlet here, which commentary calls Steiner-esque. Roode throws in a big bonus with the GLORIOUS theme It’s a brawl in the aisle to start with Ciampa hitting a big slingshot corkscrew dive to take out both of them in the floor. We settle down for the opening bell with Ciampa working on Ziggler and handing it off to Breakker, who gets dropped by Roode’s neckbreaker.
Ziggler grabs a chinlock but Breakker fights up and hands it off to Ciampa to clean house. A double clothesline looks to set up the Fairy Tale Ending but Roode drives him into the corner to escape. Roode’s spinebuster gets two and we take a break. Back with Ciampa getting caught in the wrong corner, setting up a powerbomb/neckbreaker combination for two.
Ciampa fights out of trouble though and the hot tag brings in Breakker to wreck both of them with suplexes. The Steiner efforts continue with Ciampa playing Rick in a Steiner Bulldog for two on Ziggler with Roode having to make the save. Ziggler’s rollup gets two but the Fairy Tale Ending gives Ciampa the pin at 15:03.
Rating: B-. Anything involving more of the Steiners is a good thing and that was the case here. Ciampa might not be Rick, but they had a good match here, especially with Breakker getting to wreck things. I’m not sure why Ziggler took the fall here with the title shot coming up, but Ciampa getting a win is a nice thing, as he could be in for a big Stand & Deliver match of his own.
LA Knight wants us to call someone and tell us to watch him call out Grayson Waller. I called a local beekeeper and told him to watch. He didn’t know who LA Knight or Grayson Waller were and yelled at me for disturbing him and his bees. Then he screamed because the bees were annoyed and stung him. But I did call like Knight told me to.
Gunther is ready for Solo Sikoa.
Here is LA Knight for a chat. He goes over his history with Grayson Waller, including some still photos. Cue Waller with Sanga on the platform, with Waller saying everyone sucks and goodbye. Knight shows us a shot of Knight standing over him last week. That was 2-0 for Knight, which is enough for Waller to agree to one more match next week: Last Man Standing. Works for Knight.
Persia Pirotta and Indi Hartwell make sure they are both focused, though Pirotta sneaks off to text someone.
We look back at the first matches of this year’s women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Indi Hartwell/Persia Pirotta vs. Dakota Kai/Wendy Choo
Toxic Attraction is watching from the balcony. Choo tries a drop toehold on Pirotta but stops to play peek-a-boo. Pirotta isn’t impressed and takes him into the corner, allowing the tag off to Hartwell. Choo isn’t having that and brings in Kai, for a double whip into the corner. A double faceplant gives Choo two but Hartwell elbows her down.
Hartwell grabs a top wristlock but Choo small packages her and rolls over to Kai for the hot tag. The running kick in the corner rocks Hartwell, who is over for the tag to Pirotta without much trouble. The fireman’s carry faceplant gets two on Kai, who is right back with a pump kick before knocking Pirotta to the floor. Choo, in slippers, goes up for a top rope Vader Bomb, setting up Kai’s top rope double stomp for the pin at 5:24.
Rating: C. The thrown together wacky team going over the established team? In this tournament? I’m as shocked as you are. The good part about this match is the fact that Persia and Indi are ready to move towards a split, which could make for an interesting story. The match wasn’t anything special, but what are you expecting from a short match with a team thrown together like this?
Video on the Creed Brothers vs. Imperium, who meet for the Tag Team Titles next week.
Lash Legend vs. Amari Miller
This is fallout from Legend blaming Miller for her debut NXT loss. Legend kicks her in the face to start and then bends Miller’s back over her knee. Miller slips out and crawls over to the ropes, allowing her to hit some running kicks of her own. A low superkick sets up a step up moonsault for two on Legend, who pops back to her feet. That means a fireman’s carry slam is enough to finish Miller at 2:56. Miller is getting there but Legend continues to look like she’s in over her head in the ring.
Post match Legend says she’s ready for Nikkita Lyons. Oh boy.
Solo Sikoa wants Gunther to respect him and it’s going to be a fight.
Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen want to ride something all night. Elektra Lopez comes in and doesn’t like it, but they mean a truck instead of a woman, as she seems to think. Lopez says they wouldn’t know how to handle a real woman, but Jensen says he’s never been with a real woman. Jensen: “BOOM! IN YOUR FACE!” Briggs looks stunned as Lopez walks away.
Gunther vs. Solo Sikoa
Gunther looks like he has slimmed down a lot. Sikoa gets elbowed in the face to start and a slam puts him down again. Some shots to the face stagger Gunther but he knocks Sikoa silly with a boot to the face. Sikoa’s fireman’s carry is broken up and Gunther blasts him with a clothesline.
The Boston crab goes on for a bit, with Sikoa getting out and slowly striking away. This time the Samoan drop connects to send Gunther outside, setting up a splash from the apron. Back in and Sikoa hits a superkick but the Superfly Splash misses. Gunther’s sleeper is broken up with a jawbreaker but he grabs it again and Sikoa…is planted with a powerbomb. Another powerbomb finishes Sikoa at 7:38.
Rating: C+. This was good but it didn’t hit that next level. Maybe it was the lack of believing that Sikoa had a chance, as Gunther seems like he should be a major player around here almost immediately. I was expecting more from Sikoa though, as he was almost squashed here save for a quick run at the end. Still though, Gunther winning is the right call and that is what matters.
Dolph Ziggler is annoyed at his loss but he’s still #1 contender. Tommaso Ciampa comes in to say he beat Ziggler so he should be getting that shot. Cue Bron Breakker, who says he’s ready for anyone at Stand & Deliver. Ciampa says he’s beaten Breakker so Breakker says he’ll beat them both. Ziggler is ready for his title shot next week as Breakker and Ciampa stare at each other.
Joe Gacy is ready to let Harland beat up Draco Anthony, but Anthony isn’t the cause of Harland’s anger.
Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta are annoyed at their loss but Duke Hudson comes in to console Pirotta. Hartwell can’t get Dexter Lumis to text her back. Shouldn’t he be here? Like he was last week?
Next week: Bron Breakker defends against Tommaso Ciampa and Dolph Ziggler.
Harland vs. Draco Anthony
Anthony snaps his arm across the top rope to start but gets splashed in the corner for his efforts. Another splash to the back crushes Anthony again but he’s back up with a flying shoulder. Harland slams him face first into the mat to cut Anthony off, setting up the belly to back slam for the pin at 2:29. Harland continues to be rather limited.
Post match Harland hugs the unconscious Anthony.
Carmelo Hayes, with Trick Williams, is ready for Pete Dunne.
Ivy Nile is training and tells Tatum Paxley to be serious if she wants to be part of the Diamond Mine.
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round: Cora Jade/Raquel Gonzalez vs. Yulisa Leon/Valentina Feroz
Leon works on Jade’s arm to start so it’s quickly off to Gonzalez. That’s fine with Leon, who brings in Feroz to work on Gonzalez’s arm as well. A sunset bomb does not work for Feroz though, as she gets tossed into the corner. Everything breaks down and Feroz LAUNCHES Leon over the top (the camera angle made that look incredible) onto Gonzalez, with Feroz adding her own dive. Back in and Feroz powerslams Jade for two but Jade gets over for the tag to Gonzalez. The Chingona Bomb plants Feroz and Gonzalez plants Jade on top of her for the pin at 4:48.
Rating: C. That’s how the match should have gone as Jade and Gonzalez have spent weeks being set up. Yes they’re another wacky team, but at least they’re a team with a monster who can run over most of the people she faces. It can be fun to watch Gonzalez wreck people and that is what she did here, even though Feroz and Leon’s big dives looked great.
Sarray shows her sun necklace to a bunch of the women when Tiffany Stratton comes in to call it tacky. Stratton offers one her necklaces but Sarray turns it down, earning herself a beating.
Tony D’Angelo is ready for Stand & Deliver.
Von Wagner vs. Andre Chase
Robert Stone and Bodhi Hayward are here too. Wagner starts fast and knocks him into the corner, setting up the big toss back out of the corner. Chase avoids a shot though and comes back with a knockdown of his own. The CHASE U stomp has Wagner in trouble but Hayward and Stone get into it on the floor. Wagner breaks it up with a punch to Hayward’s eye but Hayward tells Chase to get back in there. That’s what Chase does, and a fireman’s carry neckbreaker (Robert Roode’s Roode Bomb) finishes Chase at 4:05.
Rating: C-. I cannot get into Wagner no matter what he does and this was another good example. He doesn’t do anything outside of the ordinary and a lot of his stuff is just standard power offense. It seems that NXT wants to turn him into something but he feels as midcard heelish as you can get.
Nikkita Lyons is ready to face Lash Legend, perhaps on Lashing Out. That was one of the most awkward sounding promos I have heard in a long time. I don’t know if she was scared or something, but if that is normal for her, she shouldn’t be talking.
North American Title: Carmelo Hayes vs. Pete Dunne
Hayes, with Trick Williams, is defending. They run the ropes to start with neither getting anywhere, so instead it’s an exchange of hard shots to the face until they both go down. Something like the X Plex drops Hayes and we take an early break. Back with Hayes knocking Dunne does again and grabbing a neck crank.
A right hand to the face drops Dunne again but he punches a springboard out of the air. Hayes is fine enough to counter a suplex into a Backstabber for two but Dunne manages a quick Bitter End. The cover takes too long though and Hayes rolls away before Dunne can get on him.
Dunne goes for the fingers but Hayes reverses into the Crossface. Another Bitter end is countered into a suplex into a cutter to put Dunne down again. The top rope ax kick is broken up so Williams tries for a save, only to get his fingers snapped. Hayes shoves Dunne off the top though and finishes with the top rope ax kick to retain at 12:28.
Rating: B. As weird as it still feels to see Dunne taking a fall (even if it wasn’t an entirely clean ending), it’s nice to see Hayes continuing to add to his resume. Hayes has turned into one of the most consistent names in NXT and I’m starting to look forward to his matches. He has solid matches and he’s a good promo. That’s the kind of person NXT should be pushing and that is what they are doing here.
Post match Hayes and Williams brag about the win, with Hayes saying he’s on to Stand & Deliver, where the title will be defended in a ladder match. How long has it been since their last one? A month or so?
Overall Rating: C+. I’m not entirely sure when it happened, but NXT has gotten downright watchable over the last little while. The characters are starting to get established and they aren’t introducing a bunch of new people every week. This show had a lot of matches and some of them were rather quality, with the main event being a good showcase for both of them. Stand & Deliver could be a heck of a show, but it would be nice to actually announce something for the thing.
Bron Breakker/Tommaso Ciampa b. Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode – Fairy Tale Ending to Ziggler
Wendy Choo/Dakota Kai b. Indi Hartwell/Persia Pirotta – Top rope double stomp to Hartwell
Lash Legend b. Amari Miller – Fireman’s carry slam
Gunther b. Solo Sikoa – Powerbomb
Harland b. Draco Anthony – Belly to back slam
Cora Jade/Raquel Gonzalez b. Yulisa Leon/Valentina Feroz – Splash to Feroz
Von Wagner b. Andre chase – Fireman’s carry neckbreaker
Carmelo Hayes b. Pete Dunne – Top rope ax kick
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