NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver kicks off tonight with night one airing live on the USA Network and Peacock in the United States, and the WWE Network internationally.
In the main event, Io Shirai will put her NXT Women’s Championship on the line against Raquel Gonzalez. Shirai, who has been NXT Women’s Champion for more than 300 days, was last pinned by Gonzalez in WarGames this past December.
The NXT United Kingdom Championship will also be up for grabs as WALTER defends against Tommaso Ciampa tonight. WALTER’s reign as champion recently reached the two-year mark.
New NXT Tag Team Champions will be crowned as MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter), The Grizzled Young Veterans (Zach Gibson & James Drake), and Legado Del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde) face off in a triple threat match. The NXT Tag Team titles were declared vacant last month after Danny Burch suffered a separated shoulder.
A Gauntlet Eliminator match on tonight’s show will decide NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano’s challenger for TakeOver: Stand & Deliver night two. The Gauntlet Eliminator participants and their order of entry were decided by a battle royal last week. Leon Ruff will enter first, followed by Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Bronson Reed, Cameron Grimes, Dexter Lumis, and LA Knight.
The Gauntlet Eliminator will begin with Ruff and Scott in the ring, then a new entrant will be added every three minutes. Eliminations can occur via pinfall or submission.
Pete Dunne vs. Kushida in a match to prove who’s the superior technical wrestler rounds out the main card. On the pre-show, Toni Storm will face Zoey Stark. The pre-show begins at 7 p.m. Eastern time and will air on Peacock in the U.S. and the WWE Network elsewhere, along with WWE’s social media platforms.
Media personality Sam Roberts and MMA commentator Jimmy Smith welcomes viewers to the pre-show. Smith reportedly had a recent audition with WWE. Now he is hosting the pre-show alongside Roberts.
Sports media journalist Arash Markazi joined the show via a virtual link. He offered his thoughts on the show.
The pre-show so far has separate sit-down interviews conducted by Samoa Joe with both WALTER and Tommaso Ciampa. LA Knight cut a promo during a backstage interview with McKenzie Mitchell. Lots of hard sell too, of course.
Mickie James and Vic Joseph are on commentary for the pre-show match that is up next.
Zoey Stark defeated Toni Storm
Stark upset Storm via pinfall in a good match. This was not your average WWE pre-show match. They worked really hard, and the live crowd in the CWC helped to make it more dramatic.
They started with grappling where they traded headlocks. Stark on offense and Storm was reeling, until she cut off Stark. Storm grounded Stark, and Strorm began working her over. Stark was able to superplex Storm, and the tide began to turn.
Trading strikes, and they trade counters. Stark with a suplex and a running knee for a near fall. Storm answered back with a sit-out facebuster for a two count. Stark countered Storm’s finisher, and she leveled Storm with a kick.
Storm with German suplexes, and she went for Storm Zero. Stark then countered into an inside cradle, and she pinned Storm for the upset.
Samoa Joe did interviews with Raquel Gonzalez and NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai ahead of their title match later on.
By the way, there is ramp leading to the ring like Clash of the Champions back in the day.
The main card opened with Nita Strauss playing an instrumental version of the “Star Spangled Banner” on electric guitar.
Pete Dunne defeated Kushida
Dunne pinned Kushida in a great opener. This was quite possibly Kushida’s best match in NXT. More matches between these two, please.
They started by each trying to catch the other in a submission hold. The grappling continued as they fought for control. Dunne with joint manipulation, and he tripped up Kushida on an attempted handspring. Dunne gave Kushda the X-plex on the apron.
A slugfest developed, and the fight spilled onto the ramp. Great sequences as they went back-and-forth. Dunne snapped Kushida’s fingers, but Kushida answered back with a fisherman’s buster into a small package. On USA the show went to a picture-in-picture commercial break, but Peacock stayed on full screen with the match.
They both went for cross-armbreakers, and they traded lots of strikes. Awesome stuff so far, and it was only getting better. They fought on the turnbuckles, and Kushida with a flip off the top into a Hoverboard Lock. Dunne escaped, but Kushida tied up Dunne in another hold.
Kushida with a flying knee drop on Dunne’s elbow. Back to the Hoverbaord Lock. Dunne escaped again, and he targeted the fingers. Kushida went for his big punch, but he sold his own hand. Dunne a moment later executed the Bitter End, and he covered Kushida for a pinfall.
Bronson Reed won the Gauntlet Eliminator
Reed with the win earned a title shot at NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano. The match overall was good and action-packed.
Leon Ruff during his entrance crawled onto the ramp. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott was close behind, and he had apparently attacked Ruff before the match. Ruff fired up and they brawled around ringside before getting into the ring. All of this took place during a commercial break on USA, but it aired live on Peacock. After the break, the match began in the ring.
Scott with heat on Ruff, but Ruff came back by springing off the announce desk into a cutter on the floor. Scott soon cut off Ruff. They fought on the turnbuckles, and Ruff sent Scott flying with a Super Frankensteiner.
Bronson Reed entered the match. Ruff went for a flying crossbody on Reed, but Reed caught him. Reed then flung him into the ring. Reed proceeded to clean house. Power moves by Reed, and then he sat on Ruff. Triple German spot with Reed suplexing Scott while Scott also suplexed Ruff.
Cameron Grimes strolled down the ramp as the next entrant. Grimes moonsaulted into the ring, landing on Reed. After Reed was sent outside, Grimes bribed Scott with a fistfull of cash money. Scott then teamed up to help Grimes.
Ruff was taking all kinds of big bumps, including an exploder into a corner. Good grief. He was also the first eliminated.
Dexter Lumis joined the match as the next entrant. Lumis cleared the ring, and then he faced off with Reed. Everybody was sent out of the ring just before the newest entrant.
LA Knight came out cutting a promo. He kicked a downed Reed on his way to the ring. Reed interrupted Knight’s promo to begin kicking his butt. Reed made a comeback on everybody.
Lumis was eliminated when Knight cradled him for a pinfall. Reed then eliminated Knight via pinfall. Lumis grabbed Knight, and he put him to sleep. Great three-way dance develolped between Reed, Grimes and Scott.
Scott eliminated Grimes after reversing an O’Connor roll with a handfull of tights. That left Scott and Reed as the final two.
Reed took a Death Valley Driver on the apron. It looked very painful. Scott with a 450 splash for a near fall. Reed kicked out after another two count moments later.
Reed powerbombed Scott, and he also planted Scott with a Air Raid Crash. Reed finished the match with the Tsunami off the top to score the deciding pinfall.
NXT United Kingdom Champion WALTER defeated Tommaso Ciampa to retain his title
WALTER pinned Ciampa to retain in a slobberknocker. Great bout. Highly recommend. They beat the heck out of each other.
Ciampa was notably back in trunks instead of his more recent gear. He has also shaved his head again.
Just when Ciampa thought he was in control, the monster inside WALTER awoke. WALTER struck down Ciampa, and WALTER pummeled him at ringside. Ciampa ducked a chop, and WALTER almsot chopped the anounce desk in half. That is no exaggeration.
Ciampa in the ring blocked another chop, but he could not lift WALTER. Ciampa targeted a hand, but WALTER mowed him down with a big boot to the face.
WALTER grounded Ciampa on the mat, and WALTER again booted him the face. WALTER punished Ciampa, but WALTER kept selling his hand. Ciampa fought back with lariats, yet he was unable to knock WALTER off his feet. Ciampa kept hitting WALTER countless times with lariats before finally knocking WALTER off his feet. Ciampa followed with an Air Raid Crash for a near fall.
WALTER with a backdrop for a two count, but Ciampa answered back with Devil’s Wings for another near fall. WALTER caught Ciampa in a sleeper, and Ciampa used the injured hand to break the hold. Suplex by WALTER, and the he hit Ciampa with a lariat from hell. Ciampa somehow kicked out.
Ciampa countered WALTER to apply a Fujiwara armbar. WALTER looked to be in trouble as Ciampa stomped on him. WALTER with a counter, and he clubbed Ciampa with his good hand. They fought on the top turnbuckle, and Ciampa gave WALTER an avalanche Air Raid Crash.
They traded vicious chops. WALTER targeted the neck, and twice powerbombed Ciampa. Nonetheless, Ciampa managed to kick out. Sleep suplex by WALTER, and he followed with a hard knife edge chop before covering Ciampa with a pinfall.
MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter) defeated Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake & Zack Gibson) and Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza) in a triple threat match to win the vacant NXT Tag Team Championship
MSK won the three-way to become the new champs. This was pretty dang good. Sometimes there was so much action it was hard to keep up with it all, but everybody worked extremely hard.
So three wrestlers are legal at a time, and their partners can tag in from the apron. Lots of action at the start, and too much to name. The Vets slowed things down, but MSK fired up into a flying comeback. Wilde himself also did a dive to the outside. Legado del Fantasma with stereo coast-to-coast flying dropkicks.
Legado del Fantasma in control throughout a commercial break with heat on Carter. Hot tag to Lee, and he ran wild with high flying offense. Lot of action with everybody involved.
The Vets smashed Lee’s hand in a turnbuckle, and Lee was trapped in an arm bar by Gibson. Carter went to make a save, but he was put to sleep by Drake. Legado del Fantasma rushed into the ring to hit several double team moves.
MSK takes out Legado del Fantasma with double team moves. The match comes down to MSK against the Vets. They all four face off heading into the finish. Carter with a double cutter on the Vers. MSK then execute a Doomsday Blockbuster, and Gibson took the pinfall.
Raquel Gonzalez defeated NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai to win the title
Gonzalez pinned Shirai to win the championship. They match was really good, and it felt like a special match. Maybe not the best match on the show, but it was still good nonetheless. Gonzalez looked like a powerhouse, and Shirai looked tough as nails.
Shirai used quickness to outwit Gonzalez during the early portion of the match. Shiari eventually flew trough the ropes with a dive to the outside.
Dakota Kai was in the corner of Gonzalez, but Kai was ejected from ringside mere minutes into the match. Kai interfered, and the referee ejected her. The distraction did allow Gonzalez to cut off Shirai. Gonzalez with power moves, but Shirai kept kicking out at two.
Gonzalez worked over Shirai, and Gonzalez applied a modified Gory Special. Shirai escaped to mount a comeback. Shirai came back with a Tiger Feint Kick and a springboard missile dropkick, which led to a near fall.
Shirai countered a power move to catch Gonzalez in a crossface. Shirai off the top turnbuckle with a moonsault on the ramp, and she followed that by hitting Gonzalez with double running knee strikes. There was a huge skull on the ramp as part of the set, and Shirai climbed on top of it. Shirai leapt off the skull into super plancha on the ramp. She did it better than when Sabu jumped off the “R” on Raw back in the day. It was impressive like an Aerostar dive.
Shirai with her signature moonsault press, but Gonzalez kicked out. Gonzalex soon cut off Shirai’s momentum, and she talked trash to Shirai. That fired up Shirai for one final flurry, but Gonzalez was too powerful. She lifted Shirai with a one-arm powerbomb, and then Gonzalez covered Shirai for a pinfall.