Date: March 14, 2023
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Booker T., Vic Joseph
We are past Roadblock and there has been a big story on the way to Stand & Deliver. The main event of last week’s show saw Roxanne Perez defeat Meiko Satomura to retain the Women’s Title. Perez collapsed after the match though, resulting in the title possibly being vacated. Tonight we start the qualifying matches for the (say it with me) ladder match for the (possibly) vacant title at Stand & Deliver. Let’s get to it.
We open with a long recap of Roadblock.
Here is Johnny Gargano to get things going. After asking the fans to watch his back so that Grayson Waller doesn’t jump him, Gargano talks about how Waller jumped him fifteen months ago. Waller attacked him during his farewell and then Gargano waited to see what Waller would do next. The last person to take him out was Tommaso Ciampa, who went on to become one of the greatest champions in NXT history. Gargano calls NXT his home….but hold on because Vic Joseph pops up with a phone, showing Waller at Gargano’s actual house. Gargano runs off to deal with this (as he should).
Earlier today, Wes Lee arrived and Axiom met him at his car, saying no one was interrupting his title shot tonight. Lee says the match is eight hours away but Axiom isn’t leaving his side. They’re off to eat.
Gargano left to deal with Waller.
Tag Team Titles: Gallus vs. Pretty Deadly
Gallus is defending with Mark forearming Prince into the corner. Another hard shot sends Wilson outside so it’s off to Wilson, who gets beaten up by Wolfgang. The champs knock both of them outside and we take a break. Back with Mark in trouble and Pretty Deadly taking turns beating him down. Wilson kicks him in the back a few times and we hit the neck crank.
A backdrop gets Mark out of trouble though and it’s back to Wolfgang to clean house. Everything breaks down and Wolfgang is taken outside, where he pulls both challengers out with him. With nothing else working, Pretty Deadly gets in a belt shot for two on Mark but Spilled Milk is broken up. Instead Mark hits a running elbow and a running knee/fireman’s carry flapjack retains the titles at 12:33.
Rating: C+. That was more abrupt than I was expecting as this match seemed to have the chance to be a bit bigger. They have teased it enough in recent weeks but instead this came off like they were wrapping it up as fast as they could. At least Gallus got the clean pin though, which should get rid of Pretty Deadly from the title picture for the time being.
Josh Briggs is covered in leaves as he and Fallon Henley break into Kiana James’ office (featuring a door handle camera). They find a contract for a qualifying match for the Women’s Title, with James having already signed. Henley didn’t know about this and isn’t pleased, but a planner showing things like “get Brooks to make Fallon team with me” etc don’t sit well. Then they find notes about someone names Sebastian, who also sent the flowers last week.
Roxanne Perez has…hasn’t officially been stripped of the Women’s Title but qualifying matches (like the one mentioned in the previous segment) for a Stand & Deliver ladder match for the title will begin tonight. So if she’s healthy she’s in and it’s a title defense? I guess?
Perez’s doctor says her tests are clear but they aren’t sure what is going on or when she will be back in the ring.
Women’s Title Qualifying Match: Sol Ruca vs. Zoey Stark
Ruca knocks her to the floor to start but gets caught with a superkick to slow her down. Back in and Stark kicks her down, setting up the cravate. Back up and Ruca sends her to the floor for a heck of a moonsault from the top. Ruca loads up a springboard but dives into the flipping knee to the face to send Stark to Stand & Deliver at 4:32.
Rating: C. The match didn’t have time to do much but they did send Stark on to the ladder match. That being said, as strong of a heel as Stark as been, there is something to be said about going with the one with more momentum at the moment, as Ruca has been riding that Sol Snatcher for a good while now. There wasn’t a bad result here, but Ruca might have been the better option.
Scrypts (because he’s still a thing) talks about how he is drawn to one person and holds up a mask (Axiom’s perhaps).
Alba Fyre/Isla Dawn vs. Tatum Paxley/Ivy Nile vs. Katana Chance/Kayden Carter
The winners get a Women’s Tag Team Title match at Stand & Deliver. It’s a brawl to start with Dawn being knocked to the floor, leaving Carter and Chance to double team Paxley. A rollup gives Paxley two on Carter but Dawn is back in. Dawn comes in and helps beat up Paxley, with Carter being sent into Paxley in the corner.
It’s off to Nile for a double suplex on Fyre and house is cleaned. A few shots put Nile in trouble…but Paxley won’t tag her, instead getting in a shot to the face. Paxley goes to leave as Fyre and Dawn beat Carter down. That’s not enough as Paxley comes back to kick Nile in the ribs. A Backstabber/Swanton combination finishes Nile at 4:04.
Rating: C. There was a lot going on here at once and it was probably better for them to speed through things. Fyre and Dawn make a lot more sense as challengers than the other teams so they went in the right direction. Then you have Nile and Paxley splitting, which is probably for the best as the team never felt quite right together. Nile moving back into the singles run is a good thing too, as she could be a big deal in the division down the line.
Tony D’Angelo and Stacks offer Bron Breakker some protection during tonight’s contract signing. Breakker makes Sopranos references before declining and leaving. D’Angelo thinks it’s time to win some gold. Tag team gold. That might explain Pretty Deadly’s loss.
Here is Ilja Dragunov to talk about what JD McDonagh has done to him and his family in recent weeks. Cue McDonagh to say the two of them have caused each other a lot of pain both here and in the UK. Either they are destined to do this for a long time together or something has to change. Dragunov is ready to fight next week but the brawl is on now instead. They brawl off to the back.
Pretty Deadly can’t believe they lost but know they’ll have a spot at Stand & Deliver. Since no match could contain their star power so they should BE the show….as hosts!
Wes Lee is on the way to the ring for his match when he runs into a brawling McDonagh and Dragunov. McDonagh shoves him but Lee is sent to the ring anyway.
Thea Hail and Tyler Bate are doing their exercises when Andre Chase asks them for a minute. This means the two of them leave so Chase can talk to Duke Hudson. Chase talks about how wins and losses aren’t what matter around here, as Hudson has gone from skating by to giving him a purpose. Hudson thinks about this as Chase leaves, but Ava (who had been watching while wearing a Schism mask) comes up and puts her mask over the Chase U sign. Hudson isn’t sure about this. That’s an interesting way to go for Chase U, but egads the Schism problem just won’t go away.
Grayson Waller is impressed by Johnny Gargano’s house and goes to make sure the door isn’t unlocked.
A bunch of people fight to get to the ring to answer Wes Lee’s Open Challenge. Axiom manages to get in the ring…but Scrypts jumps him from behind, so I guess it doesn’t count. Then JD McDonagh and Ilja Dragunov brawl into the ring, leaving Lee to hit a flip dive onto the huge pile. No match.
Dragon Lee is excited to be here and likes what he saw with the open challenge.
We recap Dabba Kato returning at Vengeance Day and laying out Apollo Crews.
Jacy Jayne, with her arm in a sling, still knows she’s better than Gigi Dolin. The loss is written of as gossip, because Dolin had to cheat to win by injuring Jayne’s shoulder. Violence is promised in the future.
Apollo Crews vs. Dabba Kato
Crews dives off the top to take Kato out before the bell and the brawl starts on the floor. They get inside for the opening bell and go right back to the floor with Kato being sent into the steps. Back in and Kato knocks him down hard we we take a break. We come back with Crews still in trouble as Kato works on his back.
Crews slugs away to no avail as Kato drops a leg on the back of his head as Booker goes on about champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Some kicks to the head and an Angle Slam get Crews out of trouble though and a frog splash gets two on Kato. They go outside with Kato chokebombing him onto the steps for a rather close nine count. Crews dives back….into a sitout chokebomb to give Kato the pin at 8:47.
Rating: D+. I’m certainly glad they got this out of the way, as Kato gets his revenge for…whatever caused the issue between these two. It’s another example of a former pairing that didn’t really warrant a follow up getting one anyway, which is a running problem around here. Kato isn’t exactly improving but I’m sure he’ll wind up as a bodyguard for someone, which very well may be his ceiling anyway.
NXT Anonymous films Shawn Michaels asking Wes Lee to cool it with the open challenges but Lee says he has to prove himself. Lee wants to fight TEN PEOPLE at Stand & Deliver but Shawn gives him a Fatal Five Way instead.
Kiana James can’t get in touch with Fallon Henley but Brooks Jensen offers to go out there with her instead.
Women’s Title Qualifying Match: Gigi Dolin vs. Kiana James
No Brooks Jensen. James rolls her up for two to start as the fans are behind Dolin. A running kick to the chest gives Dolin an early two but James knocks her down. The chinlock with a knee in the back doesn’t last long as Dolin makes the ropes. The comeback is on, with an STO into the abdominal stretch bomb finishing James at 2:32. That was strangely abrupt.
Post match Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn run in to beat up James, with Brooks Jensen running out for the save.
Johnny Gargano gets back to his house and finds Grayson Waller outside, with the brawl starting in the yard. Gargano gets the better of it and tells Candice LeRae (who comes to the door) to call the cops (Gargano left NXT about an hour and a half ago. Why aren’t they already there?). Waller sends him head first into a wall and hits him with what looks like a rake before dropping Gargano face first into the dirt. Waller leaves and Candice, with daughter, checks on Gargano.
Stand & Deliver rundown, with Pretty Deadly officially hosting.
Brooks Jensen consoles Kiana James, who wants to know why she was jumped on her own. Fallon Henley and Josh Briggs show up, still in costume. Jensen: “You saw the bear movie without me!” Briggs: “I did. It was really good! I’ll watch it with you….” and James cuts them off. Henley had no idea about Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn qualifying for Stand & Deliver. Henley isn’t sure what to say.
It’s time for the contract signing between Bron Breakker and Carmelo Hayes (with Trick Williams). Booker on Bron: “He don’t want no buffalo sauce!” Vic: “What are you talking about???” There is no emcee for a change but they decide they don’t need one. Cue Pretty Deadly to run things and insist they aren’t here for violence. Hayes says the change is coming at Stand & Deliver. He did it with the North American Title and he’ll do it again with the NXT Title. At Stand & Deliver, Bron is coming in second place.
Breakker wants the good Hayes who beat everyone else, with Pretty Deadly saying that Breakker is an angry kitty. Hayes: “I thought you said you weren’t going to talk.” Hayes wants the unstoppable Breakker, because it’ll make the win that much sweeter. Breakker wants to see that Hayes being “Him” is more than just a saying on a shirt. Hayes talks about how this is such a huge match and they’re both ready for the pressure. He will deliver at Stand & Deliver and wants to make sure Breakker does the same.
Hayes signs and Breakker does the same so everything is official. They go to leave but Pretty Deadly says that’s not enough drama. The shirts come off and Pretty Deadly are put through the tables. The staredown ends the show. This made the match feel big, as Hayes is a heck of a promo when he is given the chance.
Overall Rating: C. All of the qualifying matches and other things going on didn’t exactly help Stand & Deliver (the Women’s Title situation alone is enough of a mess), but the main event got a nice boost. They made the match feel that much bigger and I could certainly go for that after taking their time getting to the announcement. Stand & Deliver has mostly come together, but the show still needs a nice lift up outside of the top matches.
Gallus b. Pretty Deadly – Running knee/fireman’s carry flapjack combination to Prince
Zoey Stark b. Sol Ruca – Flipping knee to the face
Alba Fyre/Isla Dawn b. Tatum Paxley/Ivy Nile and Katana Chance/Kayden Carter – Swanton to Nile
Dabba Kato b. Apollo Crews – Sitout chokebomb
Gigi Dolin b. Kiana James – Abdominal stretch bomb
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