NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night One results and match ratings
NXT had its first two-night TakeOver event and started things off with a couple of games titled Night One on the USA Network before the event moved home to WWE’s Peacock Night Two.
Night One was a solid showcase of action as two new champions were crowned and Johnny Gargano was the one to defend his NXT North American title on Night Two.
Here’s how it all came down to it.
Pete Dunne def. Kushida
There was no reason for this match to happen, but no one should care. Wrestling is what NXT does very well and there are no more interesting options than Kushida and Dunne give a wrestling clinic. Initially, it was Pete Dunne who was away from Kushida (yes, I completed that) by sending Kushida submissions and dealing with the former NJPW. Needless to say, Dunn has looked awesome since the pandemic. He has shrunk noticeably and looks at every tactical ring he has made for himself. As for Kushida, he’s always been great, but he feels stuck in the middle of a very loaded list.
However, Kushida made his way into a match and Dunn sank into a beautiful hoverboard lock from the top rope that barely managed to escape. But Dunn eventually broke Kushida with his finger manipulation, trampled the hell out of Kushida’s hands, got the Bitter End finish and got the pin. It wasn’t a classic but it was a wonderful opener to warm people up.
Bronson Reed won the Gauntlet Eliminator NXT for a chance at the North American Championship
It’s hard to invest in a match to see who will challenge Johnny Gargano when no one outside of Dexter Lumis has had an angle. For whatever reason, they decided to go with Bronson Reed to attend the biggest NXT show of the year with no history with Gargano.
The match itself went well, but it never gave us the full action we expected with NXT. And after Lumis was eliminated, the fight was to invest in someone who won.
Swerve Scott and Leon Ruff had some great exchanges early on, until Bronson Reed came in and used his size to chase opponents. Reed showed his strength but pulled out a German suplex along with Scott and Ruff. Cameron Grimes and his millions of fantastic friends joined in the next. Scott tried to pay to work together in an effort to eliminate Reed and Ruff. Ruff Scott would be expelled when Dexter Lumis next joined the LA Knight. Surprisingly, the LA Knight and Grimes joined forces to eliminate Lumis. Reed then removed the LA Knight. Reed, Grimes and Scott had a nice sequence until Scott eliminated Grimes. When Reed and Scott were gone, we had an almost awesome sequence with an almost confusing bunch of falls, until Reed hit a big splash from the top rope to finish the job.
Unfortunately, this match felt like a useless two-night show filler. Reed and Gargano can certainly be delivered, but it doesn’t feel like a game created for the biggest TakeOver of the year.
WALTER def. Tommaso Ciampa will retain the NXT UK champion
It was a difficult match to invest considering Ciampa was getting a low-boost title against one of WWE’s top champions.
These two worked hard, but Ciampa received a major offense. Too much maybe.
The story here is that WALTER injured his right hand and could not use his weak steak to get Ciampa out. It was a competitive match where WALTER prevented injured hands. It was a good job but the finish was never questioned. It was worth explaining that Ciampa did not sell WALTER considering he had been the dominant force in the match venues for almost two years. But if we have to think that we are getting Ciampa when he was NXT champion a few years ago, maybe it makes more sense.
When WALTER threw himself out of the Widow’s bell the game hit another gear. One fall near an air attack from the second rope caused another near fall. They followed some wild steaks from Ciampa but WALTER used his left hand to shrink his opponent. A pair of WALTER powerbombs were unable to close the deal while Ciampa continued to be sent off. WALTER worked until he was followed by a steak until he fell asleep.
This is hard to grade, as no one thought Ciampa had a chance to win. It was a good job, but we didn’t get an angle to think that the NXT UK championship would change hands. It would be awesome to see WALTER there against one of NXT’s best talents and hopefully that will happen sooner.
MSK def. Grizzled Young Veterans & Phantom Legacy for the NXT Tag Team Championship
We knew this game was going to be fun at the time it was booked. MSK, Legado del Fantasma and Grizzled Young Veterans are the perfect teams to restart the division that has been a bit stagnant in recent months.
The action was quick and furious with the initial ring giving everyone time to shine. Trying to weaken the action would damage the match. Know that the rhythm was senseless, with more than a few unparalleled moves.
And this …
After the Legacy of the Phantom came out, MSK and Grizzled Young Veterans battled it out in the review of the Dusty Rhodes Classic final. MSK took the lead and achieved its finish to be crowned as the new champion of the NXT label team. Go ahead and watch this game.
Grade: B +
Raquel González def. Io Shirai for the NXT Women’s Championship
NXT is the dawn of a new era in the women’s division.
Raquel González took on everything Io Shirai had to do, including diving from the top of the stage when it was the best match of Gonzalez’s career to get the win.
Shirai is also a testament to what has been phenomenal. One has to wonder if he has now switched to Raw or SmackDown, which at the moment feels crowded.
Shirai’s athleticism was Gonzalez’s strength and both worked brilliantly. Gonzalez is not as experienced as Shirai, but his power seemed as compelling as trying to avoid Shirai. It was a great showcase of Shirai’s violent ballet, as she found ways to overcome a strong opponent and gain dominance.
But all of that was to crown González and give Shirai everything he needed to start the journey as a champion.
In a certain sequence he saw Shirai hit Gonzalez’s moon outside and crush her with a blow to the knee. Then Shirai climbed to the top of the stage and plunged into Gonzalez, while people heard the roar as they both hit the ground hard.
Shirai would hit his exceptional mark with the ring but González knocked it out. It was the first time a Shirai opponent had come out of the moon shot.
González then nailed Shirai with an external power bomb, threw him back and crushed him with a lariat. Another one-handed bomb followed and González anchored Shirai to become the new NXT women’s champion.
No one knows for sure if Gonzalez can sustain that division. But the same could be said with Shayna Baszler, who dominated power and won people of a similar style based on violence. One thing to pay attention to is how Dakota is positioned in the shadow of Kai González.