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WWE NXT 3/10: Rating and Ranking Every Match

WWE NXT delivered a memorable show for a variety of reasons on Wednesday night. Commissioner William Regal introduced the NXT Tag Team Titles with a match scheduled for later in the evening. Regal also confirmed the news that the next TakeOver event will Wrestlemania week in the form of a two-night event. Night one of TakeOver: Stand & Deliver is scheduled for 4/7 on the USA Network and night two on 4/8 on the NBC streaming service Peacock. The main event of tonight’s show is for the NXT Title with Finn Balor defending against former champion Adam Cole.

Each match on WWE NXT will be given a brief review and analysis. Then each match will be given a rating and be ranked from worst to best.

Matches Ranked from Worst to Best

6) Xia Li d. Kayden Carter
Kayden Carter anticipates a charge from Xia Li as she connects with a stiff kick. Carter hits a flurry of closelines before a rollup and a low-angle dropkick gets a two-count. Li gets a shot in at Carter’s knee as Kacy Catanzaro comes to the ring in crutches. Carter’s leg continues to be the target as Li taunts Kacy on the outside. Li goes to attack Carter’s leg on the ring post by Kacy attacks her with her crutch for the DQ.

Match Analysis: Not much of a match as it was used to further the angle between both sides. Too short to rate. Take a Pass. [NR]

WWE NXT: Sweet revenge

5) Legado Del Fantasma d. Grizzled Young Veterans
Zack Gibson starts things off with Raul Mendoza before making the tag to James Drake. Mendoza escapes for a tag to Joaquin Wilde who connects with a corner attack before getting launched by Mendoza onto Gibson. Wilde gets a two-count but before two men dressed as astronauts appear on the entrance ramp. LDF get the win with a quick roll-up. The astronauts are revealed to be MSK who attack the GYF, while Breezdango appears and get the best of LDF.

Match Analysis: Too short to rate as it was used to set up two future tag matches. Skim It. [NR]

Back on track

4) Pete Dunne d. Jake Atlas
Jack Atlas shows off his athleticism as he breaks out of a lockup from Pete Dunne. Dunne takes the action back to the ground until Atlas briefly escapes before falling victim to a hard kick to the check. Atlas makes a comeback with a German suplex and a standing suplex that gets a two-count. Atlas fails to connect on a tornado DDT but lands a lariat. A cartwheel DDT by Atlas fails as Dunne knocks him off the ropes. Dunne locks in the finger and wrist lock for the win.

Match Analysis: A short but solid match that put Pete Dunne back on the winning track. It was good to see Jake Atlas get some offense in to mix it up. Skim It. **1/4

WWE NXT: Start of a new era

3) NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship: Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart d. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez
When the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles were announced earlier in the evening, Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez were declared the champions but quickly put into their first title defense. Shotzi Blackheart quickly locks in a cloverleaf until Dakota Kai finally gets to the ropes after over a minute. Kai and Blackhart connect on kicks to each other as they fall to the mat while a commercial takes us to break.

Ember Moon finally makes the hot tag and cleans house on Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez who retreat outside. Moon pulls the ropes up as Shotzi Blackheart takes out both women with a suicide dive. Kai is able to regain control with a corner attack on Moon before Gonzalez is tagged in for a double team knee strike. Gonzalez hits a flipping chokeslam-powerbomb combo on Moon but Blackheart breaks it up. Blackheart makes the hot tag and goes off on both Gonzalez and Kai. Blackheart knocks Gonzalez out of the ring and rolls up Kae for the win and the titles.

Match Analysis: Another really good effort from the women’s division tonight as the WWE NXT Tag Team Titles start off on a good note. Worth a Watch. ***1/2

Women’s title on the line

2) NXT Women’s Championship: Io Shirai [c] d. Toni Storm
Lock up to start before Toni Storm gets the advantage with a corner attack. Io Shirai heads outside and blocks a Storm attempt at a suicide dive before moving back into the ring. Shirai counters a kick from Storm with a back bridge before locking in an inverted abdominal stretch. Storm is knocked to the outside as Shirai attempts to bounce off the ropes but is ripped to the ground as we cut to a commercial. During the picture-in-picture, Storm continues her attack on Shirai with a chin lock. Back from the break and Shirai hits a 619 followed by a springboard dropkick for a two count.

The action moves up top as Toni Storm hits a superplex. German suplex with a bridge onto Io Shirai but is only able to get a two count. Shirai attempts another back bridge to avoid an attack but Storm hits an elbow. The action moves to the apron as Shirai backdrops Storm onto the apron before hitting a moonsault from the top rope to the floor. Both women move back into the ring where Storm regains control with a sit-out powerbomb that gets a two-count. Shirai misses a moonsault as Storm gets a two-count after another sit-out powerbomb. Storm goes up top but misses a headbutt before Shirari locks in the crossface for the win.

Match Analysis: Very good women’s title match to kick off WWE NXT. Both women can go and it seems likely that Toni Storm could get the bump up to the main roster after Wrestlemania. Worth a Watch. ***3/4

WWE NXT: Main Event

1) NXT Championship: Finn Balor [c] d. Adam Cole
Instead of a move-by-move breakdown, this match should really be watched so let’s touch on the highlights. Both men are legit stars and know how ot build a match and that’s what you got here. It started slow with Finn Balor and Adam Cole working a hold and keeping the match on the ground. They keep it on the ground throughout the break until Cole is able to gain the advantage, working over Balor’s back in the process. Balor makes his comeback, doing his best to work over the knee of Cole while sprinkling in high-impact moves in the process.

Adam Cole attempts to make several comebacks of his but is cut off each time by Finn Balor. Cole finally gets the match in his favor after a punt kick from the floor. Cole sets up the steel steps for a potential brainbuster but it’s countered into a suplex by Balor. Balor misses the Coup de Grace and eats a nasty superkick by Cole who then locks in a stiff locking crossface. Balor attempts to reverse the crossface on multiple occasions and when he finally escapes is hit with the Last Shot by Cole for a two count. Cole connects with Panama Sunrise but somehow Balor is able to kick out again.

WWE NXT: Seeds of TakeOver planted

Adam Cole gets distracted by Kyle O’Reilly in the crowd allowing Balor to hit a plancha. Finn Balor nails Cole with a 1916 on the floor before winning it all with Coup de Grace. Cole and O’Reilly brawl on the outside while Karron Kross appears in the ring to stare down Balor.

Match Analysis: A great WWE NXT main event as Finn Balor continues to rule during his reign as champion. I feel that if it was given a spot on a TakeOver event that it could have been even better with a lack of commercials that hurt this slightly. After the match, we got a setup for two big-time matches heading into the TakeOver. Must-Watch. ****

Robby Steven

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