DATE: April 2, 2022
VENUE: American Airlines Center (Dallas, TX)
COMMENTATORS: Vic Joseph & Wade Barrett
VIEWING METHOD: Peacock
NXT Stand and Deliver 2022 brings NXT 2.0 to its largest arena to date hours before Night 1 of WrestleMania. What’s the brand bringing to the table? How’s about every championship on the line (including the Kickoff), and a Steinerized main event as Bron Breakker challenges Dolph Ziggler for the NXT Championship? Eh? Ehhhh?
- NXT CHAMPION: Dolph Ziggler
- NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPION: Mandy Rose
- NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPION: Carmelo Hayes
- NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Imperium (Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel)
- NXT WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai (won during the Stand and Deliver Kickoff)
- LADDER MATCH: Carmelo Hayes [c] vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Grayson Waller vs. Solo Sikoa vs. Santos Escobar for the NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP (****) [RECAP]
- Tommaso Ciampa vs. Tony D’Angelo (***) [RECAP]
- Imperium [c] vs. The Creed Brothers vs. MSK for the NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/4) [RECAP]
- Mandy Rose [c] vs. Cora Jade vs. Io Shirai vs. Kay Lee Ray for the NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP (***) [RECAP]
- LA Knight vs. GUNTHER (***1/2) [RECAP]
- Dolph Ziggler [c] vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/2) [RECAP]
–Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai reunited to defeat Toxic Attraction (Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jane) for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship during the Kickoff, with a little help from Kai’s original Dusty Rhodes Classic partner Wendy Choo.
-Entrances for the Ladder Match started during the Kickoff, with Legado del Fantasma’s Santos Escobar and Grayson Waller making their way out before the show cut to the PPV proper.
Carmelo Hayes [c] [w/ Trick Williams] vs. Santos Escobar [w/ Elektra Lopez, Joaquin Wilde, & Raul Mendoza] vs. Grayson Waller [w/ Sanga] vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Solo Sikoa for the NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP
Hayes talks trash at the start, daring them to come and take the championship. As expected a brawl breaks out, Trick & Hayes pulling Sikoa out of the ring and throwing him into the clear barricade. Grimes connects with a corner kick on Escobar, Hayes knocks Grimes off the buckles and to the floor and tries to get Trick to help him find a ladder, but Legado del Fantasma and others stop him. Sikoa attacks Hayes, Hayes catches him with a superkick and Escobar clotheslines Sikoa out to the floor. Escobar catches Hayes with a dropkick, Grimes pulls Escobar out and turns Hayes into a human pinball with Sikoa. Waller and Escobar clear the ring, each one taking out the other’s backup and Waller dropping Escobar with a leg lariat. Sanga gets involved, attacking Sikoa and throwing him into the ring. Grimes stuns Sanga with a kick, Sikoa drops him with a splash, Escobar flattens Sikoa with a tope suicida, Grimes hops over Hayes and connects with a senton on Escobar, Hayes thinks about it and hits Hayes with a springboard moonsault.
Waller tries to take advantage and climbs towards the championship but Sikoa attacks from behind and sends him into the steel. Sikoa wedges Waller into the corner with the ladder and sends Hayes face-first into it when he charges. Escobar brings in a second ladder and charges but Sikoa dodges and he runs into Hayes. Sikoa drops Escobar to a seated position and it’s a HIP ATTACK for all three. Sikoa starts climbing, Grimes pulls him off and they trade shots, Sikoa buckling Grimes with a headbutt. Grimes sends Sikoa out to the floor and climbs, Hayes stops him quickly with a kick to the back. Hayes superkicks a ladder into Grimes, Grimes stuns him with a European uppercut and whips the ladder right into his face; Grimes waits too long while holding the ladder and pays for it, Escobar dropkicking it into him. Escobar starts climbing, Waller leaps and peels him off with a cutter and climbs to the top. Hayes pulls Waller off, Hayes hops off and climbs the ladder but Waller pulls him off. Waller climbs, Hayes drives him into the canvas with a springboard clothesline.
Sikoa stops Hayes’ climb and counters a springboard with a superkick right to the jaw. Sikoa and Escobar climb the ladder and trade rights while getting their fingers on the title, Escobar climbs up and POWERBOMBS SIKOA INTO A LADDER IN THE CORNER, SIKOA BOUNCING THE F*CK OFF IN A WAY THAT A HUMAN BODY SHOULDN’T. Jesus Christ, there was NO give on that. F*ck. Grimes charges, Escobar connects with a high knee, Grimes responds with a spinning crossbody and both men are stunned. Trick tries to get involved, Sanga knocks him down and BREAKS THE LADDER WITH HIS BARE HANDS. Lopez distracts Sanga, Wilde and Mendoza send Sanga to the floor using pieces of the ladder, then Lopez locks knuckles with Wilde and connects with a springboard splash on Waller! Hell yeah. Sanga fights off Mendoza and goozles Wilde but gets hit in the back with another ladder. Wilde & Mendoza sandwich Sanga with hanging ladders. Wilde & Mendoza bring in another ladder, Sikoa attacks them and connects with a double Samoan throw. Sikoa starts his climb, Escobar meets him up there and TRICK WILLIAMS shoves the ladder, sending both into the top rope and to the floor. Hell yeah. A terrified Trick climbs the ladder trying to get the title for Hayes but Grimes tips it over, sending Trick flying into a host of bodies at ringside. GODDAMN.
Hayes pulls Grimes off the ladder and bounces his head off the steel. Hayes calls his shot, Waller meets him on the other side of the ladder and they trade shots as Grimes & Sikoa climb up a ladder next to them. Escobar lets the four fight it out while he just tries to go for the title but gets knocked silly. Everybody reaches for the gold, Sikoa and Grimes tumble into the ropes. Waller sends Hayes & Escobar to the canvas, leaving only himself to grab the title. Waller hesitates but goes after the gold, Escobar attacks him before he can get it down and Escobar connects with a hurricanrana, Sikoa immediately follows up with a Superfly Splash on the Legado leader. Grimes and Sikoa fight to the apron, the former sending the latter into a bridge ladder with the Cave-In. Hayes and Grimes drop one another with pump kicks, draped across the two bridge ladders, Waller climbs the top of ANOTHER ladder and F*CKING MISSES WHATEVER LEAPING ELBOW THING HE WAS GOING FOR, GOING THROUGH BOTH LADDERS AND PRETTY MUCH BREAKING HIS ARM. JESUS. Trick and Hayes stare in disbelief, the former having pulled the latter out of the way. Back in the ring Grimes catches Escobar with a top-rope Cave-In and quickly climbs the ladder, pulling down the title and going STRAIGHT TO THE MOON.
Cameron Grimes defeated Carmelo Hayes [c], Santos Escobar, Solo Sikoa, & Grayson Waller to win the NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP (21:00)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: NXT ladder matches never disappoint and you can add this one to the list. Tremendously entertaining, not one dull moment, and as someone also deathly afraid of heights I’ve never related to someone more than Trick Williams in that moment. Grimes getting the win is awesome as he’s worked his ass off to become one of the best parts of NXT and deserves the nod and run. I hope Grayson Waller is okay after that crazy elbowdrop spot; he’s either a master seller or he really f*cked his arm up. That was nuts. Great way to open the PPV. (****)
-EARLIER TODAY: Bron Breakker and Dolph Ziggler [w/ Robert Roode] arrive to the arena ahead of the event.
-VIDEO RECAP: The feud between Tommaso Ciampa and Tony D’Angelo. D’Angelo vows to remove Ciampa from his chair and it will be his last match in NXT. D’Angelo will control everything and anything when he becomes the new Don of NXT. Ciampa’s response is an emotional recap of his time in NXT and it might be the end of an era for the brand. Ciampa says they will create magic one final time in Dallas and reveals his chair: 9/9/2015 – 4/2/2022.
–Tony D’Angelo pulls up to the arena, joined by former hockey general manager turned boxing promoter and Netflix star AJ Galante. I did the BAREST of Google searches to come up with that so there’s probably way more to the story than that, but I’ll let you do the legwork.
–Tommaso Ciampa gets a really cool retrospective video leading into his entrance. If he’s NOT leaving NXT after this match then I have no idea what the sh*t they’re doing. Ciampa pays tribute to Triple H by spitting water and to Shawn Michaels by posing in the ring, and also bumps fists with Joseph & Barrett. SERIOUSLY HE BETTER BE LEAVING, OTHERWISE THIS IS A LIL’ RIDICULOUS.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Tony D’Angelo [w/ AJ Galante]
D’Angelo works Ciampa in the corner, Ciampa counters a backdrop with a knee followed by a spinebuster and a bow. Ciampa chases D’Angelo back into the ring, D’Angelo catches him with stomps but takes too long gloating, giving Ciampa the opening to stomp a mudhole in the Paisan followed by a running knee strike. Ciampa asks the crowd if they want another and they do so Ciampa gives them TWO and sends D’Angelo into the steps. D’Angelo struggles to all fours, Ciampa hits another knee strike then and gives himself a round of applause/pat on his back ONE LAST TIME. Beautiful. Ciampa tries to peel off the protective mat and struggles initially but finally gets it, the crowd popping for the small victory. Ha. Back in the ring D’Angelo sweeps the legs and lays into Ciampa with strikes and an overhead butterfly suplex for the 1…2…not yet. D’Angelo slows it down with a chinlock as the crowd chants “WHERE’S MY PIZZA” which I haven’t heard in…forever. Ciampa escapes and connects with a series of clotheslines, regular and corner, revving the crowd up. Ciampa pulls his kneepad down but misses the knee strike and D’Angelo responds with a Falcon Arrow for the 1…2…Ciampa kicks out. Ciampa escapes the fisherman, D’Angelo blocks the Fairy Tale Ending and counters a fireman’s carry with a roll-up, handful of tights, for the 1…2…CIampa kicks out and rolls D’Angelo up, handful of tights, for the 1…2…D’Angelo kicks out. D’Angelo talks trash, Ciampa lights him up with chops and sits him on the top buckle. D’Angelo sends Ciampa to the canvas, Ciampa counters a flying axhandle with an exposed knee strike and both men are down.
Ciampa and D’Angelo break the count and trade strikes, Ciampa ducks a clothesline and connects with a ripcord forearm. D’Angelo catches a charging Ciampa with an elbow and grabs a crowbar from the corner. Ciampa knocks it out of his hand and the ref gets distracted with getting rid of it, D’Angelo connects with a low-blow and a spinning fisherman’s slam for the 1…2…CIAMPA KICKS OUT AND D’ANGELO CAN’T BELIEVE IT. D’Angelo gets the crowbar back, Ciampa catches him on the way back in with WIDOW’S BELL followed by the FAIRY TALE ENDING for the 1…2…D’ANGELO KICKS OUT HOLY SH*T. Ciampa changes gears and locks in the GARGA-NO ESCAPE, D’Angelo gets to the ropes to force a break. Action moves to the floor, D’Angelo drills Ciampa with a DDT on the exposed floor, much to Galante’s excitement. D’Angelo deadlifts Ciampa back in and connects with a running kick to the head for the 1…2…3!
Tony D’Angelo defeated Tommaso Ciampa via pinfall (13:11)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Ciampa leaving the territory the right way, putting D’Angelo over on the way out. At least he got a better opponent than Kyle O’Reilly did and got to do it on a major show. Match was very good and Ciampa made D’Angelo look like a star. I’m okay with this passing of the torch as D’Angelo has been one of the better NXT 2.0 folks. (***)
Ciampa soaks in the “THANK YOU CIAMPA” chant from the Dallas crowd after D’Angelo & Galante leave. The show fades to black…then fades right back in to Ciampa as he leaves the ring, showing gratitude to the crowd. Before he makes it all the way to the back out comes TRIPLE H who embraces Ciampa one final time on the entrance stage, both men emotional as f*ck. #WeAreNXT indeed. Great moment.
-Andre Chase, Bodie Hayward, and the rest of Chase U are shown in the crowd.
–Ivy Nile & Malcolm Bivens come out with “Creed Cloths” a la John Cena, MSK get a full-on DJ for their entrance, and the champs Imperium get…A NEW THEME SONG?!? Aw man that’s a bummer. I hope GUNTHER at least keeps the Opera song.
Imperium (Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel) [c] vs. The Creed Brothers (Julius & Brutus Creed) [w/ Malcolm Bivens & Ivy Nile] vs. MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter) for the NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Triple Threat rules have changed apparently, as one member of each team is allowed in the ring at the same time and can only tag out to their partner. Interesting.
Lee dropkicks Barthel into the corner, Carter tags in and rides him with a Bronco Buster. Brutus gets attacked in the corner, Barthel tosses Carter into the ropes and Aichner gets the tag, attacking Brutus from behind. Brutus drops Aichner and Carter with a pair of forearms. Aichner drops Brutus with a shoulderblock. Lee tags in, Aichner makes him pay for his flippy flops with a pop-up backbreaker. EAT IT. Julius tags in and clips the knee of Aichner, then runs Lee into the corner, Brutus tagging in and sending Lee flying with a POOOOOOOUNCE. Aichner stuns Brutus with a jawbreaker and catches Lee with a boot, Barthel tags in and Brutus throws him with a German suplex, Julius throwing Aichner with a suplex of his own on the floor. Yes. Carter tags in and misses a kick, Brutus chops him down and clubs him with forearms as Carter tries to cover up. Barthel runs in, Brutus connects with a gutwrench suplex. Julius tags in and DEADLIFTS BARTHEL INTO ANOTHER THROW. Lee tags in, MSK kick Julius down to size. Lee slingshots Barthel into a superkick from Carter followed by a double stomp for the 1…2…Julius Creed breaks it up. Aichner trips Julius, Barthel kicks Lee and throws him out of the corner, following up with a flying European uppercut. Julius gets hung up in the ropes, Aichner tags in and Imperium connect with a double kick. Aichner knocks Brutus to the floor with a big boot and throws Carter into the ropes with a slam. Lee goes for a kick, Aichner pulls him into a lariat for the 1…2…Carter makes the save.
Aichner catches Julius mid-leapfrog and connects with a rolling senton after doing a squat just for the hell of it. Aichner gets sent to the floor, Carter sends Barthel into his own partner with rana from the apron, Lee follows up with a back handspring splash on Imperium, clearing the top rope with ease. Carter tags in and hits a Swanton, Lee tags back in and connects with a corkscrew splash for the 1…2…AICHNER WITH THE SHOULDER UP. Julius fights off a double superplex attempt from MSK, Aichner climbs up and he and Carter connect with a top rope superplex ONTO LEE & BARTHEL. Bodies, bodies everywhere! Not looking to be outdone Brutus climbs the buckles and FLATTENS LEE, BARTHEL, & CARTER WITH A CANNONBALL. A FULL-ON GODDAMN SWIMMING CANNONBALL. That ruled. Brutus rolls Carter in, Julius gets the tag and pulls Carter up into a spinebuster from Brutus, Julius covers for the 1…2…Aichner pulls Julius out and gets squashed in the steps. Aichner picks Brutus up and Imperium connect with a European Uppercut Doomsday on the floor; Imperium quickly roll in to go after Carter but MSK fight them off, Lee sending Barthel into Carter with a top rope rana, Carter hitting a sitout powerbomb for the 1…2…3!
MSK defeated Imperium [c] & The Creed Brothers via pinfall to win the NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (11:21)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Not much flow as one would expect in a match like this but it was a lot of fun with some cool spots. Brutus Creed’s cannonball f*cking OWNED and I’m a little sad the Creed Bros aren’t walking out of the event with the titles in tow. I guess MSK have been on a year-long mission to get the belts back according to the commentary so it makes sense I guess from a storyline perspective to have them win but The Creed Brothers, man. THE CREED BROTHERS. Audible boos for Nash Carter btw, as news of his sh*tty behavior towards Kimber Lee has been coming to light on Twitter. (***1/4)
-HYPE VIDEO: Nikkita Lyons loves to entertain and beat people up. She’s a whole lot of woman ready to do a whole lot of whoopin’.
–McKenzie Mitchell interviews an emotional Cameron Grimes backstage. Grimes says he’s been working his ass for three years because this is where he wanted to be, his late-father telling him he was always gonna be a WWE Superstar. Not only is he a WWE Superstar, he’s a WWE Champion.
-EARLIER TODAY: Joe Gacy and Harland pay a visit to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Gacy vowing to unite people and hopes people freely choose peace so they don’t have to suffer loss or tragedy ever again. Gacy says that depends on “all of you”.
-KICKOFF CLIP: Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai beat Toxic Attraction to win the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship for the second time.
Mandy Rose [c] vs. Cora Jade vs. Io Shirai vs. Kay Lee Ray for the NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Shirai and Ray won the 2022 Dusty Rhodes Classic but instead of using it to get a shot at the Women’s Tag Team Championship they cashed it in to be added into the Women’s Championship match at Stand & Deliver. Can you blame them? Exactly. The big feud has been between Rose & Jade, with Ray having her run-ins with Rose as well since coming to NXT from NXT UK. Io Shirai is…hanging out, I guess? Feels like she should be above this brand by now. Jade got a fun skateboard entrance because NXT 2.0 is hip and for the kids, while Rose got a cool AF angel’s wing entrance thing. I love a cool entrance. Barrett joins in on the fun too, saying Rose asked him to use his old Bad News scissorlift for this very moment which is a nice bit of story that does nothing but is a nice touch. Rose is also sporting a new Women’s Championship to boot, finally spouting some of the colors of the 2.0 rebrand with a white strap. Hell yeah, love a new belt!
Rose sends Jade into Shirai, Ray attacks Rose from behind and the challengers clear the champ from the ring. Ray & Shirai double-team Jade, Rose pulls Jade to the floor and slaps her in the face. Jade grabs Rose, both ladies get flattened with stereo tope suicidas from the Dusty Cup winners. Shirai kicks Rose down while Ray gets the better of Jade, and the two reenter the ring to finally battle one another. They shake hands, Ray rolls Shirai up with a backslide for the 1…2…Shirai rolls through and counters into a sunset flip for the 1…2…Ray kicks out. Shirai lands on her feet off a backdrop and sends Ray crashing into the middle rope. Ray dodges a 619 and Rose pulls Shirai out to the floor. Rose trash talks, Ray kicks her in the leg and Jade lays into her off a Thesz Press. Rose stops the onslaught with a waistlock slam and a spinebuster for the 1…Ray pulls Rose off, Rose throws her through the ropes and into Shirai on the floor. Rose keeps the offense going, connecting with a delayed vertical suplex for the 1…2…Jade kicks out. Shirai and Ray try to get back in but Rose sends them flying with knees. Jade sends Rose to the floor and follows up with a cannonball off the apron. Ray immediately stops that momentum with a top rope senton that Jade did not even come close to catching, f*ck. Shirai, the Genius of the Sky, connects with a top rope moonsault on Ray, hitting her knees on the announce desk on the way down. Oof.
Back in the ring Shirai rolls through into a double stomp on Ray followed by a Feint Kick and a missile dropkick for the 1…2…Rose pulls Shirai off and sends her crashing to the floor, then covers Ray for the 1…2…Ray kicks out. Rose protests, Ray surprises her with a submission. Jade tries to roll Shirai up, Shirai kicks out and locks Jade in a Cloverleaf. Jade kicks free and sends Shirai into Ray & Rose to break that up as well, putting everyone back at square one. Ray drills Shirai with a front suplex, Rose drops Ray with a clothesline, Jade connects with a rana on Rose followed by a basement dropkick and step-up knee strike. Jade measures Rose and connects with a bottom rope springboard double stomp right to the spine. Rose plants Jade on the apron, Jade drills Ray with a CANADIAN DESTROYER ON THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING leading to a “Holy Sh*t” chants from the crowd. Shirai hits a Feint Kick on Jade and connects with a missile dropkick on Rose followed by running double knees and a bridging German suplex for the 1…2…Rose kicks out! Shirai and Rose battle on the buckles, Shirai planting Rose with a backflip SUPER Northern Lights Suplex for the 1…2…Jade breaks it up with a top rope senton. Jade drills Rose and covers for the 1…2…Ray breaks it up. Ray stuns Jade with a headbutt followed by a KLR Bomb, Shirai shoves Ray off the top buckle and connects with a Moonsault but before she can cover Rose LEVELS Shirai with a running knee strike and rolls her up for the 1…2…3! LOL!
Mandy Rose [c] defeated Io Shirai, Kay Lee Ray, & Cora Jade via pinfall to retain the NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP (13:29)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Good match, Rose stealing the win was hilarious and very on-brand. She’s done a great job of being an undeserving champion who somehow is hard as hell to beat. Thought new belt meant new champ so that’s on me for overthinking it on the tropes. (***)
-VIGNETTE: Dexter Lumis and wife Indi Hartwell go shopping ahead of Stand & Deliver, hoping to outdress Duke Hudson & Persia Pirotta…who are also shopping at the same store at the same time! HOW ZANY. Lumis at one point tries to murder Hudson by strangling him with a belt but Hudson moves before he can.
–McKenzie Mitchell is with InDex and DuSia. Winner of sexiest couple is INDEX, with 89% of the vote. Duke Hudson knocks the hat off Dexter Lumis and an argument breaks out that has to be broken up by officials. Moving on.
LA Knight vs. “The Ring General” GUNTHER
Aw beans they got rid of the opera theme for GUNTHER, too. First they steal his name, then steal his bulk, and now his music? Someone in WWE must be offended that he got over himself without any help from the company, jesus. I have no idea what the beef is between these two. GUNTHER having abs is wrong. THIS IS ALL WRONG.
Knight and GUNTHER jockey for position; GUNTHER breaks the lockup and slaps the taste out of Knight’s mouth. Knight responds with rights and stomps, GUNTHER bails to the floor and Knight levels him with a clothesline from the apron. GUNTHER rams Knight’s spine into the apron and powerbombs him on said apron for extra oomph. GUNTHER slows things down with a chinlock, bending Knight’s spine backwards for extra torque. Knight fights back with rights, GUNTHER clubs him right in the spine to stop that sh*t, continuing the focus on Dummy Yeah’s lower back. Knight dodges a corner clothesline and connects with a neckbreaker, GUNTHER once again stops the rally, this time with a big boot, and follows up with a Boston Crab. Knight escapes, GUNTHER stuns him with a headbutt and hammer throws Knight into the corner. Knight surprises GUNTHER with a backdrop and charges…RIGHT INTO A CHOP FROM GUNTHER. Hot damn. Knight blocks a suplex and connects with one of his own but it’s GUNTHER who stirs first. Knight catches GUNTHER with a slingshot shoulderblock from the apron followed by a series of YEAH kicks. Knight ducks a chop and connects with a powerslam followed by a Megastar Elbow. Knight muscles GUNTHER onto the buckles, GUNTHER chops him away but Knight quickly rebounds and connects with a snap Superplex for the 1…2…GUNTHER kicks out!
Knight and GUNTHER trade strikes, GUNTHER lights him up with chops and locks in a sleeper. Knight escapes and picks GUNTHER up into a Burning Hammer (?!?) for the 1…2…GUNTHER kicks out. Knight climbs the buckles, GUNTHER chops him down, clotheslines him to the canvas, and follows up with a top rope splash to the spine and a POWERBOMB for the 1…2…3!
GUNTHER defeated LA Knight via pinfall (10:25)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Despite all the unnecessary changes to GUNTHER you can’t mask his talent and much like all of his matches this one ruled. A great example of watching a full-bore pro wrestler battle against a man more on the sports entertainment spectrum, their styles clashing but still making it work in the end. Pleasantly surprised to see GUNTHER get the win. I wonder if Knight is going to get a call-up sooner rather than later, he seems genetically bred to be a WWE guy. Granted I’m sure we all said that the LAST time he was in NXT but hey second time’s the charm, YEEEEAH. (***1/2)
–Bron Breakker makes his entrance with a CHAINSAW, cutting a giant X before kicking through it. This dude is a f*cking STAR. Dolph Ziggler is ditching the long bois for this one, going back to trunk life. Same NXT Championship, no revamp like the Women’s Title. Disappointing.
Dolph Ziggler [c] [w/ Robert Roode] vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT CHAMPIONSHIP
Ziggler shocked the world by beating Breakker for the NXT Championship a few weeks back, and now on the same weekend as his father and uncle Rick & Scott Steiner’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame he’s looking to get it back. Bron has easily been the biggest success story of the 2.0 reboot, a star almost from the jump. Ziggler being in NXT is strange for sure but good on him, I have no issues with it.
Ziggler slaps Breakker before the bell, Breakker goes on the attack as soon as the match starts. There’s an attempt at a sunset flip but that turned into a bunch of nonsense that Ziggler saved by being a good pro wrestler. Respect. Breakker ducks a clothesline and counters a leapfrog with a spinebuster. Breakker winds up and it’s a STEINERLINE for Dolph, though Joseph & Barrett make no reference to that. Disrespectful. Breakker continues to punish Ziggler, hitting three overhead belly-to-belly suplexes and signaling for the end. Roode grabs Breakker’s leg, ref ejects Roode from ringside, Breakker helping him leave by stalking him, leaving Ziggler to remove a middle turnbuckle pad to expose the steel. Back in the ring Breakker connects with a belly-to-back suplex, Ziggler escapes a superplex attempt and sends Breakker crashing jewels-first on the top buckle. Ziggler takes a moment to regroup and connects with a hanging neckbreaker for the 1…2…Breakker kicks out, Ziggler immediately slaps on a sleeperhold to further wear his opponent down. Ziggler breaks the hold and gets a couple of nearfalls, then goes back to wearing Breakker down.
Ziggler wrenches in a chinlock further, bridging into a Muta Lock position before going back to a Bulldog Choke. Breakker starts to escape, Ziggler kicks Breakker’s legs out and he slumps to the canvas. Breakker escapes a neckbreaker and follows up with a pair of shoulderblocks into another overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Breakker connects with a tilt-a-whirl slam and covers for the 1…2…Ziggler gets the shoulder up. Breakker seats Ziggler on the buckles and connects with a FRANKENSTEINER for the 1…2…Ziggler kicks out! Ziggler leapfrogs Breakker, Breakker knocks him out of his boots with a spear for the 1…2…ZIGGLER KICKS OUT! Breakker goozles Ziggler, Ziggler sends him out to the floor then catches him with a running knee on the way in for the 1…2…Breakker kicks out and both men are spent. Breakker catches a Superkick and connects with a second Spear; Breakker picks Ziggler up and connects with the military press into the powerslam for the 1…2…ROODE RETURNS AND PULLS ZIGGLER OUT OF THE RING. Breakker has enough and takes out both Dirty Dawgs with a tope con hiro, throwing Roode into the steps for extra measure. Breakker rolls in, Ziggler hits the Fameasser followed by the Zig Zag for the 1…2…BREAKKER KICKS OUT OH DAMN!
Ziggler measures Breakker and connects with a flying elbowdrop, draping an arm over for the 1…2…Breakker kicks out! Ziggler tunes up the band and goes for a Superkick but Breakker is already standing and it stops him dead in his tracks. Breakker levels Ziggler with a clothesline followed by another spear; Breakker picks Ziggler up, Ziggler thumbs in the eye, sends Breakker into the exposed middle buckle (I FORGOT ABOUT THAT), and connects with a Superkick for the 1…2…3! WHOOOOA!
Dolph Ziggler defeated Bron Breakker [c] via pinfall to retain the NXT CHAMPIONSHIP (16:13)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: A bit of a sloppy jalopy but a good main event overall, Ziggler put his working boots on for this one. 100000% surprised at the result given how much Bron Breakker has mattered in NXT 2.0 so far but that could be pointing to a call-up? I doubt Vince would keep him there if he’s seen ANY of his work so I’ll be keeping my eye out on Monday. Can’t believe they didn’t at least give him a Steiner Brothers entrance though, weak. Good win for Ziggler, good main event to cap off a show that outperformed my expectations entirely. (***1/4)
NXT Stand & Deliver 2022 exceeded the (admittedly low) expectations I had going into the show, starting things off with an excellent ladder match and keeping the pedal to the metal all the way until the end and its surprising finish. New champs crowned, Ciampa got a great goodbye while also putting over a hopeful future star, and not a bad match to be had anywhere. NXT 2.0 did not seem like a brand that had enough gas in its tank for a WrestleMania weekend but I was VERY wrong.
- FAVORITE MATCH: Carmelo Hayes vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Solo Sikoa vs. Grayson Waller vs. Santos Escobar in a Ladder Match for the NXT North American Championship
- FAVORITE MOMENT: Brutus Creed’s cannonball dive, to be honest. Perfectly executed and came off like a desperate “f*ck it” move.