NXT Stand & Deliver 2022

Stand & Deliver 2022
Date: April 2, 2022
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett

Somehow this is NXT’s first time on the road in over two years. It might not be Takeover, but it is one of NXT’s rare big shows and the card could look worse. NXT hasn’t had the chance to do something like this very often and at some point you need to just let them go out there and do their thing in front of a lot of people. Let’s get to it.

I was in attendance for this show, sitting in the lower level and facing the Titantron.

Kickoff Show: Women’s Tag Team Titles: Dakota Kai/Raquel Gonzalez vs. Toxic Attraction

Toxic Attraction is defending and are in matching green/black gear. Jayne goes after Gonzalez’s injured knee to start but Gonzalez drops her throat first across the top. It’s off to Kai for a crucifix and a near fall on Dolin as the fast start continues. As Barrett tries to figure out how, Gonzalez adds a swinging neckbreaker so Kai can get two. Dolin gets in a cheap shot from behind to take over but Kai slides between her legs to make the tag.

House is cleaned and a big boot into the spinning Vader Bomb gets two. Kai and Jayne kick each other down and we get the loud NXT chant. Toxic Shock (high/low) gets two on Kai, which seems to be a big deal (though I’m not sure I remember the team using it before). Cue Wendy Choo to throw her drink in Dolin’s face, allowing Gonzalez to add a big boot. Back inside, Kai’s scorpion kick sets up the Chingona Bomb for the pin and the titles at 7:57.

Rating: C. The title change was what mattered here but the bad part was how scripted everything felt. It came off like everything here was timed and staged all the way through and that isn’t a good thing. The match wasn’t supposed to be a classic or anything, but they got the important part right.

The opening video features a lot of the people on the show talking about how they are standing to deliver on their promises. I’ve heard worse ideas.

North American Title: Santos Escobar vs. Solo Sikoa vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Grayson Waller vs. Carmelo Hayes

Hayes is defending in a ladder match (because of course) and Sanga, the rest of Legado de Fantasma and Trick Williams are all here too. Only Hayes and Grimes get entrances in what I’m sure won’t mean a thing. Hayes talks trash to everyone else and gets beaten down until we settle to Grimes hitting a running kick to Escobar in the corner. Williams’ interference is cut off so we’re down to Escobar vs. Hayes for a change.

Grimes breaks that up though and takes turns beating on Hayes with Sikoa. It’s time for the first ladders to be brought in, with Escobar dropkicking one into Grimes. Waller sends Sanga to get the big ladder so Sikoa dives onto Sanga, earning a dive from Escobar. Grimes and Hayes hit dives of their own, leaving Waller to climb up to little avail. Back in and Sikoa crushes Waller with a ladder in the corner but Escobar crushes Hayes in front of Waller, making a bit of a sandwich.

Sikoa adds the running Umaga attack to crush everyone, which doesn’t seem that smart given the BIG LADDERS that he’s crashing into. Grimes cuts Sikoa off and avoids a superkick, leaving Sikoa’s leg tied in the ladder. Hayes is back up with a superkick to drive the ladder into Grimes but gets caught in Waller’s fireman’s carry. That’s fine with Hayes, who jumps onto the ladder and kicks Waller down. It’s Sikoa making a save but Escobar goes up top to slug it out on the ladder.

That means a sunset bomb to drive Sikoa into the ladder in the corner, because that’s the kind of crash you need to see. Grimes’ flipping powerslam plants Escobar…so Williams loads up a ladder of his own. Sanga comes in and chops the braces in half, leaving Wilde and Mendoza to grab a piece of the ladder each. Lopez hits a big dive off the top and it’s time to bridge some ladders between the ring and the barricade.

Sikoa tries a double Samoan drop on Wilde and Mendoza but just falls forward instead. Williams is back in and tries his own climb, which opens up a whole new bag of weird rules. That’s broken up as Grimes tilts the ladder over and out onto the pile on the floor for the big crash. Waller, Escobar and Grimes slug it out on top of the ladder until Waller is left alone, only to have Escobar make the save.

Another big knockdown leaves Sikoa to go up with Grimes making the save this time. In your “well that was dumb” moment of the match, Waller goes up on a ladder on the floor but elbows the bridged ladder only as Williams pulls Hayes out of the way. The crash leaves Waller laying, allowing Waller to go up and pull down the title for the win at 21:06.

Rating: B. This was the latest big match with everyone flying around and little more than one stunt after another. Some of the sports were good, but there is only so much you can get out of having five people (plus seconds) going nuts for twenty minutes. It was certainly fun and hopefully Waller is ok, but this was just another entry on a long list of ladder matches over the years.

Tommaso Ciampa talks about the long road he took to get here and everyone has helped him survive. Things like winning a title are great but having his wife suffer five miscarriages was a lot, though his daughter helps a lot. Together they made black and gold, so let’s do it one more time. He turns his chair around, showing the dates of the beginning and end of his NXT career.

Tony D’Angelo vs. Tommaso Ciampa

D’Angelo comes to the ring in a car with real like mobster AJ Galante (from a Netflix series). Ciampa one ups him though with a pretty cool highlight package of his career, which is one of the best in NXT history. In his own nice tribute, Ciampa fist bumps commentary, spits water like HHH and poses like Shawn Michaels because he knows who helped get him here.

Ciampa starts fast with a spinebuster but D’Angelo knocks him down and stomps away. That’s not going to work for Ciampa, who takes him outside and sends him into the barricade, setting up Ciampa’s apron applause. The floor mat is pulled back but D’Angelo is able to stomp away back inside as Ciampa takes too long. The chinlock goes on, prompting the fans to ask about the location of their pizza.

Ciampa fights up but misses the running knee, allowing D’Angelo to hit a Falcon Arrow. The Fairy Tale Ending is broken up so D’Angelo grabs a rollup (with trunks) for two more. Back up and Ciampa chops D’Angelo out of his singlet and then dropkicks him out of the air for a bonus. They slug it out with Ciampa getting the better of things so D’Angelo whips out the crowbar.

With that taken away, D’Angelo hits him low for two. Ciampa is back with Willow’s Bell into the Fairy Tale Ending for two so here’s the Gargano Escape (no name mentioned of course). D’Angelo makes the rope so they head outside, where D’Angelo hits a DDT onto the exposed concrete. Back in and D’Angelo kicks him in the head for the pin at 13:10.

Rating: C+. This was a weird one as while it made more sense to have D’Angelo go over, it was still hard to see Ciampa losing on his way out of NXT. It also doesn’t feel exactly right for D’Angelo to get the big win over Ciampa, but the farewell did feel like a special moment. It helps that the match was good, though I’m not sure how far D’Angelo is going without getting a bit more serious.

Post match Ciampa gets the big sendoff….and here’s HHH for the surprise appearance, his first on TV since his heart issue. HHH hugs Ciampa and says something to him, leaving Ciampa to get the moment. Granted it’s with HHH’s music and Titantron, but it is a moment.

Chase University is here.

Tag Team Titles: MSK vs. Creed Brothers vs. Imperium

Imperium is defending. Lee kicks Barthel into the corner to start and it’s Carter coming in to fire off his own kicks. Aichner comes in as well though and runs MSK over but Brutus comes in to run Aichner over as well. Carter gets Pounced against the ropes and the Creeds start throwing their suplexes.

MSK finally gets it together and kicks Brutus down before a combination stomp the chest gets two on Barthel. That doesn’t last long as Barthel is back up with a middle rope elbow, meaning Carter needs to be saved as well. Everyone but Lee gets sent outside so Lee hits the big dive, followed by a Spiral Tap for two back inside.

MSK gets creative by double superplexing Julius onto Imperium to send them outside. Brutus is fine enough to come off the top with a cannonball to Imperium but gets sent into the steps. Barthel tries to come back in but Lee hurricanranas him into a sitout powerbomb from Carter to give MSK the titles back at 11:32.

Rating: B-. It was a fun match and they had a bunch of big spots, but there is only so much that you can get out of another match with all those people running around. What we got here was good and MSK getting the titles back is a way to go, but the Creed Brothers are going to get the titles sooner rather than later.

Nikkita Lyons loves music and knocking people out. She’s a whole lotta woman ready to do a whole lotta whoopin.

Cameron Grimes is in tears over his win, which honors his father.

Joe Gacy and Harland are in Daley Plaza, where Gacy talks about how the Kennedy assassination brought people together. Gacy wants to bring people together and hopes they do so willingly rather than having to result to violence.

We look at the Women’s Tag Team Titles changing hands on the Kickoff Show.

We recap the Women’s Title match. Mandy Rose is the champion and the star, Cora Jade is the underdog who has always wanted to be champion and Kay Lee Ray/Io Shirai are two of the best in the world and want another title reign.

Women’s Title: Cora Jade vs. Io Shirai vs. Kay Lee Ray vs. Mandy Rose

Rose is defending (with a redesigned title) in our third multi-challenger match in less than two hours. Jade comes out with a fleet of skateboarders, but Rose tops her by descending down like an angel (or Shawn Michaels in 2009). Everyone goes after Rose to start (just like Carmelo Hayes in the opener) and the champ gets kicked out to the floor. Shirai and Ray go after Jade, who gets pulled outside, setting up the double suicide dives.

Back in and we get the Shirai vs. Ray showdown, with Shirai having to roll her way out of the KLR Bomb. Rose pulls Shirai to the floor and gets to pound on Jade, including a suplex for two. Jade low bridges Rose to the floor and it’s Ray hitting a big dive. Shirai adds a moonsault to the floor before taking Ray back inside for a stomp. A missile dropkick gets two on Ray with Rose making a save. Everyone gets back inside, with Ray grabbing a Koji Clutch on Rose and Shirai putting Jade in a Texas Cloverleaf at the same time (with Shirai falling backwards to crank Jade’s back very hard by mistake).

Both holds are broken up and Jade hits a running springboard stomp to Rose’s back. Shirai 619s Jade to the floor and adds a missile dropkick to Rose. A German suplex gives Shirai two and a super C4 to Rose gets the same, with Jade diving in off the top for the save. Sliced Bread gives Jade two on Rose but Shirai knocks Jade down. The Moon Over Moonsault hits Jade but Rose hits a running knee to pin Shirai and retain the title at 13:28.

Rating: C+. The more I think about this, the more I like Rose retaining the title. She isn’t a top of the world worker, but that isn’t what they’re going for with her. Instead, this is more about Rose driving everyone crazy and holding onto the title while still being a good enough worker. The other three put in most of the work, but Rose is the right choice to retain here and is turning into a nice long term evil champion.

We recap Dexter Lumis/Indi Hartwell vs. Persia Pirotta/Duke Hudson in a showdown over who can be the best dressed. After a montage of the guys getting clothes from a western store, Lumis/Hartwell win a fan vote 89% to 11%. This was as dumb as you would expect.

Gunther vs. LA Knight

Gunther doesn’t like Knight running his mouth so much so they’re going to fight about it. They fight over a lockup to start until Knight wins a slugout and takes him to the floor. That goes better for Gunther, who hits an apron powerbomb and poses inside. The chinlock keeps Knight in trouble but he avoids a corner clothesline and hits a jumping neckbreaker.

Gunther knocks him down again though and the Boston crab goes on. Make that an STF as Gunther is smothering him so far. Knight manages a suplex for a breather, setting up the slingshot shoulder. Some stomping away in the corner sets up a slam into the jumping elbow and the running superplex gets two on Gunther. Back up and the big chop is blocked, setting up Gunther’s sleeper. That’s reversed into a Burning Hammer for two but Gunther catches him on top. A clothesline knocks Knight off the top and it’s the big splash to crush him. The powerbomb gives Gunther the pin at 10:27.

Rating: C+. It wasn’t a classic and there wasn’t much drama to it, but Knight was good enough to make Gunther break a bit of a sweat. Gunther is on his way to something a lot bigger in NXT and beating Knight can get him closer to the title picture. I don’t think there was any real doubt about the winner, but it was a good way to get Gunther on the card.

We recap Bron Breakker vs. Dolph Ziggler for Ziggler’s NXT Title. Ziggler came down to NXT and took the title from Breakker while bragging about all of his star power. Now Breakker wants to take the title back for the REAL NXT.

NXT Title: Dolph Ziggler vs. Bron Breakker

Ziggler is defending and has Robert Roode in his corner. Breakker goes after Roode to start and then jumps Ziggler, only to get cheapshotted down. The spinebuster/belly to belly plants Ziggler though and there’s the overhead belly to belly. The spear is loaded up but Roode grabs Breakker’s leg, setting up the big ejection (allowing Ziggler to pull off a turnbuckle pad behind the referee’s back).

Breakker is fine enough to hit a belly to back suplex, only to get crotched on top. Ziggler puts on the chinlock and a jumping elbow sets up chinlock, the sequel. Back up and Breakker fights out but gets caught on top. That means a chinlock with a bodyscissors, including Ziggler flipping over in a spot he hasn’t used in a long time. Breakker fights up again and fires off the series of shoulders. The super hurricanrana gets two and a big spear gets the same with Breakker looking frustrated by the kickout.

Ziggler knees him down but the superkick is countered into a suplex. The gorilla press powerslam connects…but Roode is back to pull Ziggler out. Breakker hits a running flip dive to the floor (with his foot getting caught on the top, thankfully not leading to a big crash) but Breakker comes back in with the Fameasser and Zig Zag for two of his own. The top rope elbow gets two more on Breakker, who hits another spear. The gorilla press powerslam is loaded up, only to have Ziggler rake the eyes. Breakker gets sent into the buckle and a superkick retains the title at 16:12.

Rating: B-. Well ok. This seemed to be the biggest layup of the weekend but they went in another direction. Breakker didn’t lose clean, but it’s weird to see him losing in any way at this point. Ziggler retaining is certainly a way to go and he has done some good things as champion, but I’m not sure if this was the right move.

Overall Rating: B. This isn’t a Takeover and isn’t close to being one, but it was the kind of show that made me want to see more from NXT and that is a great thing to see. NXT has taken some long steps forward and I’m liking it a lot more than was just a few months ago. At some point you have to go out there and get in front of some people and that is what they did here. The fact that they delivered made it even better.

Results
Cameron Grimes b. Carmelo Hayes, Grayson Waller, Santos Escobar and Solo Sikoa – Grimes pulled down the title
Tony D’Angelo b. Tommaso Ciampa – Fisherman’s neckbreaker
MSK b. Creed Brothers and Imperium – Hurricanrana/powerbomb combination to Barthel
Mandy Rose b. Io Shirai, Kay Lee Ray and Cora Jade – Running knee to Shirai
Gunther b. LA Knight – Powerbomb
Dolph Ziggler b. Bron Breakker – Superkick

 

 

 

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