Date: March 22, 2022
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett
Stand & Deliver is coming up soon and now we have the main event set, as Bron Breakker will get his rematch against Dolph Ziggler for the NXT Title. Other than that, we have some qualifying matches for the North American Title ladder match and the finals of the Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Let’s get to it.
Trick Williams and North American Champion Carmelo Hayes arrive and don’t care about who make it into the ladder match.
North American Title Ladder Match Qualifying Match: Roderick Strong vs. Solo Sikoa
Malcolm Bivens is at ringside. Strong grabs a choke to start as Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams join commentary. Sikoa fights out and the strike off is on, with Strong getting knocked down against the ropes. Back up and Strong knocks him down again to take over, setting up the reverse chinlock. That’s broken up and Strong chops up against the ropes with a knee to the ribs getting two.
A powerslam gives Strong two more and here is Santos Escobar sauntering down to ringside. Sikoa tosses his way out of the corner to start the comeback though and some right hands set up a headbutt to put Strong down again. The Samoan drop gets two and Malcolm Bivens is starting to panic. Sikoa gets crotched on top but Strong’s superplex is broken up. The Superfly Splash sends Sikoa to Stand & Deliver at 9:18.
Rating: C. This was pretty simple and to the point and the right person won. Strong might not be the most interesting star in the world but he is going to give you at least a decent match every time. That is the kind of guy you can use on a show full of inexperienced guys and he was doing hit thing again here.
Persia Pirotta and Indi Hartwell bickered about men earlier today, setting up Pirotta and Duke Hudson being at ringside for Dexter Lumis’ match tonight.
Tony D’Angelo vs. Dexter Lumis
Indi Hartwell, Persia Pirotta and Duke Hudson are here too. Dexter scares him into the ropes to start but the early Silencer is broken up. D’Angelo hammers away until a fall away slam sends D’Angelo flying. A slam into the jumping legdrop gets two and we hit the chinlock until D’Angelo jawbreaks his way to freedom.
They fight outside with D’Angelo sending him into the steps and doing Tommaso Ciampa’s pat on the back as we take a break. Back with Lumis hammering away, setting up a bulldog and a belly to back suplex. A double clothesline puts both of them down so D’Angelo goes over to his crowbar. Pirotta tries to take it away from him but the crowbar gets swung into Lumis’ face. The swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker finishes Lumis at 10:32.
Rating: C. The stuff with the woman continues to be one of the dumbest things going on around here and this didn’t help things. D’Angelo’s gimmick is still as over the top as it gets in NXT, but he can have a pretty good match and is certainly dedicated to what he is doing. He also needs the boost on the way to Stand & Deliver so they had the right idea here.
Post match D’Angelo talks about how Tommaso Ciampa knew he was done last week and the new Don of NXT arrives at Stand & Deliver. Cue Ciampa through the crowd with the Fairy Tale Ending to lay D’Angelo out. Stand & Deliver might be Ciampa’s final chapter in NXT and he’s writing his own fair tale ending.
Robert Roode isn’t happy that people have forgotten what he has done around here. Dolph Ziggler wants Roode to take out Bron Breakker tonight before Stand & Deliver.
Grayson Waller is ready to go to Stand & Deliver and will take out A-Kid to get there.
Elektra Lopez vs. Fallon Henley
Legado del Fantasma, Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs are all here. Lopez jumps her to start and stomps away against the ropes. A toss by the throat sends Henley flying and we hit the double arm crank with feet in Henley’s back. Hold on though as the guys brawl on the floor, allowing Henley to get in an elbow for two. Lopez isn’t having that though and it’s a Blue Thunder Bomb to give Lopez the pin at 3:42.
Rating: C-. The lack of Briggs and Jensen talking made this that much better, as Henley continues to be worth a look and Lopez is getting the near monster vibe down. You can pencil in the six person tag pretty soon and that is not a bad use for everyone involved in this whole thing. The match wasn’t great, but Lopez threw Henley around well enough to make it work.
Draco Anthony is in the back when Xyon Quinn comes in. Anthony gets a call from Joe Gacy, who basically invites him to join the cult. Quinn says Anthony knows what he has to do.
Wendy Choo has had a lot of orange soda and is ready to win the Dusty Classic. Dakota Kai wasn’t sure about the team but now she knows it was the right thing to do.
Robert Roode vs. Bron Breakker
Dolph Ziggler joins commentary as Roode runs Breakker over to start. Breakker shows him how to shoulder someone down and then it’s a powerslam to drop Roode again. They go to the floor for more brawling until a Ziggler distraction lets Roode stomp away back inside. A suplex drops Breakker but he’s right back up with a certainly not Steiner Line. Breakker misses a charge into the post thanks to Ziggler, which is enough for an ejection.
We take a break and come back with Roode hitting a Scott Steiner style elbow drop into the pushups. This means it’s time for commentary to say they know who that’s referencing without actually saying it. Breakker fights up and takes him into the corner for a top rope Frankensteiner, only for Roode to come back with a spinebuster for two.
The Glorious DDT is broken up but a spear is cut off with a knee. The second attempt at the spear cuts Roode down for two. Breakker’s gorilla press doesn’t work and the Glorious DDT gives Roode two. Back up and Roode heads to the middle rope, only to dive into Breakker’s powerslam for the pin at 15:10.
Rating: C+. Again, putting someone as new as Breakker into a match like this with someone as talented as Roode is a good idea. Let people like Roode and Ziggler walk Breakker through the match to help with the inexperience, which you can still see at times. There are points where Breakker doesn’t seem to know what to do so having a veteran out there can help bring him back on track. It’s a good idea and he made it through a fifteen minute match as a result.
Post match Ziggler superkicks Breakker and says the title stays with him until he gives it away.
Indi Hartwell is checking on Dexter Lumis when Persia Pirotta and Duke Hudson come up. Pirotta says Hudson can beat anyone so Dexter….goes over to his sketch pad, where somehow he draws a picture of Gunther (in two colors despite using one marker).
We go back to Chase U where Bodie Hayward gives a speech on fortitude about Von Wagner attacking him. A student raises his hand, earning himself a profanity laden rant. Chase asks where Hayward learned to talk like that, with Hayward saying it was from Chase himself. After a second of thought, Chase says that’s one of the most beautiful things he’s ever heard and yells at the student too. This continues to be one of the funniest things going in NXT.
North American Title Ladder Match Qualifying Match: Grayson Waller vs. A-Kid
A-Kid starts fast with a springboard hurricanrana and an armdrag into a dropkick. Waller takes him down, only to get hurricanranaed again. There’s a dropkick to send him outside so Waller tries the rolling Stunner, only to get reversed into a choke. That’s reversed into a suplex and now the rolling Stunner connects for the pin on A-Kid at 2:48. Well it was nice while it lasted with him.
Post match Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams pops up to say the three losers in the qualifying matches can have a triple threat for the final spot. That means it’s A-Kid vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Roderick Strong. Williams suggests he’ll be with A-Kid’s mom tonight so A-Kid kicks him in the head.
Robert Stone and Von Wagner are ready for next week when the attractive woman who has been around Stone in recent weeks comes up, saying they need to talk business.
Creed Brothers vs. Grizzled Young Veterans
The Veterans talk about jumping the Creeds before the match and then do just that. Brutus says ring the bell and then suplexes Drake around without much trouble. The Veterans get Brutus into the corner to start hammering away but it’s off to Julius without much effort. A Stretch Muffler sends Gibson straight to the ropes so Drake can come back in.
Brutus gets knocked off the apron but Julius slugs away at both of them. Gibson grabs the leg though and Drake takes over again, meaning Julius can get forearmed down. What looks to be a Doomsday Device is loaded up but Julius slips out and Drake tweaks his knee. A shot to the knee sets up Brutus’ sliding lariat for the pin at 4:14.
Rating: C. They have something with the Creeds but like so many others around here, the team needs some more polish (and some better looking gear). The good thing is they have time to fix things up, even though it seems likely that the Creeds get the Tag Team Titles in the near future. As for the Veterans…dang they could have been a heck of a team around here but it isn’t likely to ever happen.
Post match a camera pops up in Diamond Mine’s locker room, showing two people trashing it. Texts appear on screen, saying the Creed Brothers can’t find them, so enjoy the view.
Gunther vs. Duke Hudson
The rest of Imperium and Persia Pirotta are here. Gunther grabs a headlock to start but Hudson slips out and fires off some right hands. Hudson’s elbow cuts off a charge as the camera cuts are on in rapid fire. Some chops cut Hudson down and Gunther cranks on the neck. There’s the big chop to rip Hudson’s skin off (that thing echoed) and the fans are VERY impressed. The sleeper is broken up and Hudson hits a big boot. A slingshot German suplex (that’s a new one) gets two and Gunther isn’t having any more of this. He unloads on Hudson in the corner and it’s a big boot into a powerbomb to finish Hudson at 3:52.
Rating: C+. That chop alone is worth the bonus points here as Gunther basically mauled Hudson. That’s a lot better than focusing on Hartwell vs. Pirotta again and it’s always nice to see Gunther getting to smash someone. Hudson is someone worth a look most of the time, but he had no business hanging in there with Gunther any longer than he did here.
Post match Gunther says he’s the toughest competitor around here and doesn’t like someone like LA Knight….and that’s enough for Knight to come to the ring. Gunther cuts off the catchphrase and says Knight needs to listen. Knight threatens to knock Gunther’s block head off his dad body before suggesting a match at Stand & Deliver. Instead of issuing the challenge though, Knight hits him in the face so the beatdown is on, with MSK running in for the save. Imperium is cleared out in a hurry.
Video on Cameron Grimes being disappointed in himself. His dad passed away just after Grimes signed to NXT and now it is time for the most important match of his career. Carmelo Hayes made the announcement of the triple threat match fifteen minutes ago and Grimes had time to get a video made, complete with clips of his dad edited in?
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Wendy Choo/Dakota Kai vs. Io Shirai/Kay Lee Ray
Toxic Attraction is at ringside. Ray and Choo exchange chops to start until Choo gets a near fall off a rollup. Kai comes in to kick Ray in the face for two but it’s off to Shirai to take over. The 619 is loaded up but only hits Choo’s raised pillow. Kai is sent outside anyway and Ray dives onto Choo. Shirai does the same to Kai and we take a break.
Back with Ray in trouble and getting taken off the top in a big crash. Shirai comes in for the save and everything breaks down, with Ray hitting a top rope flip dive. Kai kicks Ray down though and Choo hits the top rope Vader Bomb. Shirai dropkicks Kai into the cover for the save and then butterfly backbreakers Kai down. The KLR Bomb sets up the Moons Over Moonsault for the pin on Choo at 10:18 to give Ray and Shirai the tournament.
Rating: C+. They went with the right choice here as it was the better and more talented team winning over the underdogs. That’s how you have to go to make the tournament sound more legitimate, even if the whole thing felt like some thrown together requirement. Choo was more tolerable here as she wasn’t doing as much shtick (pillow spot aside) and got to show how good she can be in the ring when you ignore the ridiculous gimmick. I can go with that, and maybe now they can find something else for her.
Post match confetti falls but Toxic Attraction gets in the ring, with Mandy Rose saying Ray and Shirai won’t be winning the Tag Team Titles. Ray and Shirai say they’re ready to take out Toxic Attraction, but instead of going after the Tag Team Titles, they’ll use their title shot to make the Women’s Title match a fatal four way (because that’s a thing that can be done apparently). The brawl is on with Cora Jade running in to help clear out Toxic Attraction to end the show. It’s a weird way to get there but I’ll take the four way over the worthless Tag Team Titles.
Overall Rating: C+. The show had more bad than good, but the bad continues to be some really dreadful stuff. The good thing is we have Stand & Deliver all but set and that is going to make the next few weeks a lot better. They moved a lot of stuff forward this week and helped set up the big show’s card so it was certainly a productive week, which is more than you get around here sometimes. Good enough show and the better stuff seems ready to come.
Solo Sikoa b. Roderick Strong – Superfly Splash
Tony D’Angelo b. Dexter Lumis – Fisherman’s neckbreaker
Elektra Lopez b. Fallon Henley – Blue Thunder Bomb
Grayson Waller b. A-Kid – Rolling Stunner
Creed Brothers b. Grizzled Young Veterans – Sliding lariat to Drake
Gunther b. Duke Hudson – Powerbomb
Kay Lee Ray/Io Shirai b. Wendy Choo/Dakota Kai – Moons Over Moonsault to Choo
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