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WWE NXT 3/24: Rating and Ranking Every Match

WWE NXT is taking shape in putting together their upcoming TakeOver: Stand & Deliver card. NXT UK Champion is making his return to in-ring action against Drake Maverick. The NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles will be up for grabs, as well as Jordan Devlin and KUSHIDA in the main event. To end the night, Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly took part in an intense contract signing for an unsanctioned match at TakeOver.

Every match on WWE NXT will include highlights, what the storyline progression is, and a final analysis. Each match will be given a star rating and be ranked from worst to best.

Matches Ranked from Worst to Best

6) WALTER d. Drake Maverick
Highlights: Drake Maverick charges WALTER who quickly hits a body slam. Powerbomb by WALTER followed by a half crab that gets the easy win.

Storyline Progression: WALTER returned to NXT last week as he was officially rejoined by Imperium as they beatdown Tommaso Ciampa. Drake Maverick gets called to face WALTER and it went as expected. After the match, Tomasso Ciampa confronts WALTER and challenges him for the NXT UK Championship at TakeOver. Imperium jump Ciampa which allows WALTER to join in.

Final Analysis: The match itself is a clear Take a Pass, but the post-match is Worth a Watch that builds to a potential Match of the Year candidate. SQUASH.

Women’s tag action

5) NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship: Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart [c] d. Aliyah and Mercedes Martinez
Highlights: Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart quickly dominate Mercedes Martinez much to the chagrin of Robert Stone on the outside. Martinez gets the match under control as Aliyah makes her way into the ring to continue the offense. Moon is able to get the hot tag as she rocks Aliyah and gets a two-count off a powerbomb. Moon goes up top and hits the Eclipse for the win.

Storyline Progression: Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart are fresh off winning the WWE NXT Tag Team Titles and were challenged by Robert Stone’s clients.

Final Analysis: Decent match that helps keep the champions on the winning track. Skim It. **

WWE NXT: Knight’s blunder

4) Bronson Reed d. LA Knight
Highlights: LA Knight runs his mouth to start but is met with stiff chops and backdrop for his efforts by Bronson Reed. A powerslam by Reed keeps Knight on the mat before locking in a chin lock. Knight finally gets control as we head to a commercial. After the break, Knight is working over Reed with an armbar followed by a guillotine across the ropes. Reed makes a comeback with several forearms and a standing avalanche. Knight is whipped into the corner before Reed connects with a splash and a spinning chokeslam. Reed heads to the top rope and finishes off Knight with a big splash.

Storyline Progression: Bronson Reed spoiled LA Knight’s debut on WWE NXT by mocking him and ripping up his jacket. LA Knight attempted to get revenge but it didn’t work out well.

Final Analysis: This was fine but nothing special. LA Knight is decent in-ring wrestler but he shines on the mic and with his character. He might be suited better on the main roster instead of WWE NXT. Skim It. **

Kross’ warning

3) Karrion Kross d. Oney Lorcan
Highlights: The match starts quickly as Karrion Kros and Oney Lorcan waste no time coming to blows. Kross tosses Lorcan out of the ring before slamming him into the barricade. Lorcan attempts a suplex on the floor but Kross reverses it before moving the match back inside the ring. Lorcan is able to make a brief comeback with closelines in the corner but runs into a lariat from Kross. Another comeback by Lorcan as he connects with stiff chops and slaps to the face of Kross. Lorcan misses a diving closeline which leads to a Saito suplex by Kross before the knock-out elbow for the win.

Storyline Progression: Last week in a tag team match, Danny Burch was legitimately inured by Karrion Kross and along with Oney Lorcan was forced to vacate their WWE NXT Tag Team Titles. In an attempt to get some revenge, Lorcan demanded a one-on-one match with Kross. After the match, Kross rips into Finn Balor who makes his way to the ring. Balor warns Kross that he’ll bring the fight to him like never before.

Final Analysis: Solid match that makes sense considering what took place last week on WWE NXT. Kross looks like a monster heading into TakeOver next month. Worth a Watch. ***

WWE NXT: Back on track

2) Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez d. Io Shirai and Zoey Stark
Highlights: Raquel Gonzalez and Zoey Stark start things off. Zoey Stark is able to connect with a hurricanrana but Gonzalez’s power is too much before a take is made to Dakota Kai. Stark connects with a kick as the break ends before making the hot tag to Io Shirai who cleans house. Stark returns and takes out Gonzalez with a plancha t the outside while Shirai hits a moonsault from the top to the floor. Back inside and Gonzalez hits a chokeslam-powerbomb combo on Stark for the win.

Storyline Progression: Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez bounce back after losing their tag titles last week. Io Shirai has a stand-off with Gonzalez after the match but she’s soon distracted by Kai. Outside the ring, Gonzalez sends a message with a slam to Shirai onto the announce table.

Final Analysis: Good opening match that positioned Gonzalez and Kai strong while building towards the Shirai/Gonzalez title match at TakeOver next month. Worth a Watch. ***

WWE NXT: Main Event

1) Jordan Devlin d. KUSHIDA
Highlights: Chain wrestling to start as KUSHIDA and Jordan Devlin exchange the advantage. Devlin briefly gets the advantage before KUSHIDA is able to get the best of the exchange by working on the arm. Outside the ring Devlin hits a moonsault as we head into a commercial. During the ring, KUSHIDA makes a comeback but is cut off by Devlin who takes the match to the mat with a chin lock. Devlin gets distracted by Escobar Santos on the entranceway allowing KUSHIDA to hit a superplex. Legado Del Fantasma pull Devlin to the outside behind the referee’s back. Devlin is able to charge back into the ring and get a quick roll-up for the win.

Storyline Progression: KUSHIDA accepted Jordan Devlin’s open challenge but was cut short by the interference from Legado Del Fantasma. Devlin is set to face Santos Escobar to unify the Cruiserweight Titles at TakeOver. After the match, KUSHIDA took out LDF with a flipping senton from the entrance to the floor. Santos and Devlin meet face to face in the ring before Shawn Michael’s music hits. HBK looks at both men and pulls a ladder out and into the ring to tease a ladder match between the duel Champions.

Final Analysis: Fun main event that should lead not just to a Ladder match at TakeOver, but possibly a tag match involving LDF, Devlin, and KUSHIDA. Worth a Watch. ***1/4

Robby Steven

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