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NXT TakeOver ‘Stand & Deliver’ Night 1: Rating and Ranking Every Match

WWE NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver taking Night 1 is here and the lineup is stacked. Tommaso Ciampa challenges WALTER for the NXT UK Championship. Pete Dunne goes one on one with KUSHIDA. Raquel González challenged Io Shirai for the NXT Women’s Championship and much more.

Every match on WWE NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver 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

5) Pete Dunne d. KUSHIDA
Highlights: Chain wrestling kicks things off with both KUSHIDA AND Pete Dunne finding ways to shine and gain the advantage. Dunne counters KUSHIDA’s handspring elbow before grabbing him to the outside for a suplex onto the apron. A chop exchange in the middle of the ring results in KUSHIDA kicking Dunne to the entrance ramp. A springboard back elbow on the entrance ramp by KUSHIDA gives him a brief advantage before Dunne counters with a finger lock. KUSHIDA goes up top and connects with a Hoverboard Lock slam as he works the arm of Dunne. KUSHIDA continues to work on the arm but Dunne counters before getting the win with the Bitter End.

Storyline Progression: Pete Dunne claims to be the best technical wrestler in NXT, but KUSHIDA wants to prove them all. Both men clashed in a battle royal last week on WWE NXT, eliminating each other in the process.

Final Analysis: Solid opening match as expected. It wasn’t over the top or mindblowing, but it got the job done. Worth a Watch. ***1/2

North American title #1 contender Gauntlet

4) Bronson Reed d. Leon Ruff, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Cameron Grimes, Dexter Lumis, and LA Knight
Highlights: Leon Ruff and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott brawl around the ring before the match officially begins. Once the bell rings, the action continues outside the ring with Scott getting the upper hand until Ruff hits a cutter from the announce table to the floor. Bronson Reed enters as he gets the best of both men, including a double German suplex on Ruff and Scott. Cameron Grimes enters at #4 as he takes Reed out with a top rope moonsault.

Grimes and Scott work over and eliminate Ruff as Dexter Lumis joins the action at #5. Lumis takes Grimes over with a Cactus closeline as LA Knight enters at #7 but is quickly attacked by Reed. Lumis locks The Silence on Grimes but Knight rolls him up for the pin. Knight is then eliminated by Reed following a senton. After working with Grimes to double team Reed, Scott gets the quick pin on Grimes to get into the final two. Scott hits a powerslam to Reed from the top rope onto the apron. Back in the ring, a 450 by Scott only gets a two-count. Reed makes his comeback with a backdrop driver and gets the win after a big top rope splash.

Storyline Progression: The winner of the gauntlet becomes the number one contender for the NXT North American Title during Night 2.

Final Analysis: Great gauntlet match that started strong and picked up during the final three. Bronson Reed is a big man who can move which will make for a fun dynamic against Johnny Gargano. Worth a Watch. ***3/4

NXT TakeOver: Main Event

3) NXT Women’s Title Match: Raquel Gonzalez d. Io Shirai (New Champion)
Highlights: Io Shirai charges at Raquel Gonzalez to start the match, using her quickness and agility to her advantage. The action heads to the outside where Shirai takes out Gonzalez with a suicide dive. Dakota Kai attempts to interfere but is quickly tossed from ringside. Asai Moonsault from Shirai takes out Gonzalez but fails on a second attempt as she’s caught and rammed into the ring post. Back in the ring, Gonzalez hits a flipping powerbomb for a two-count. Shirai counters a chokeslam into a huricanranna and a double stop. A springboard dropkick and a sunset flip bomb gets another near fall for Shirai.

Shirai connects with a moonsault from the top rope to the entrance ramp onto Gonzalez followed by a running knee. Once Gonzalez gets to her feet she’s quickly taken out as Shirai dives from the entrance with a crossbody. Back in the ring, Shirai hits another moonsault but can only get a two-count. Gonzalez retreats to the floor where she catches Shirai in a one-arm powerbomb. Back in the ring and Gonzalez hits a lariat so hard that Shirai is flipped inside out before another one-arm powerbomb gets the win and the title.

Storyline Progression: After the match was made, Raquel Gonzalez and Io Shirai have been at each other’s throats every week on WWE NXT.

Final Analysis: Great main event with Io Shirai leading the way for the younger Raquel Gonzalez to follow along nicely. Shirai’s dive from the entrance was an awesome spot that will be used for years in the highlights. This match was just non-stop from beginning to end and didn’t give themselves much time to breathe. Not perfect, but damn good. Must-Watch. ****1/4

NXT TakeOver: New Tag Team Champions crowned

2) NXT Tag Team Title Match: Grizzled Young Veterans vs. MSK vs. Legado Del Fantasma (New Champions)
Highlights: MSK uses their speed to get the advantage over both the Grizzled Young Veterans and Legado Del Fantasma. The GYV are able to briefly ground MSK until the match picked up pace. MSK takes out GYV on the outside before LDF does the same. After putting James Drake in a tree of woe, LDF hit a double dropkick from opposite corners of the ring. LDF continue their attack, getting multiple near falls on MSK.

Amazing sequence as The GYV lock submissions onto both members of MSK with Nash Carter holding onto the hand of Wes Lee to prevent him from tapping. LDF enter and break up the submission, getting a near fall on Lee after a Russian leg sweep combo. On the outside, GYV hit a doomsday device on Joaquin Wilde while MSK hit their own double team move on Raul Mendoza on the opposite side of the ring. MSK hit a heart attack/blockbuster combo on Drake for the win and the titles.

Storyline Progression: After Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan were forced to vacate their titles due to injury, new champions were needed. A triple threat match was made with the top three challengers getting a shot at glory.

Final Analysis: One of the most high-impact and face-paced tag team matches I’ve seen in a long time. Triple threat matches can be a mess but they found the right chemistry and it worked very well. Must-Watch. ****1/2

NXT TakeOver: UK Challenge

1) WALTER d. Tommaso Ciampa
Highlights: Tommaso Ciampa finally got a haircut and is back to his 2018 gear, which is great to see. Ciampa gets the early advantage, getting the best of WALTER in the corner before running into a hard chop. The action heads outside where Ciampa sidesteps a WALTER chop who smacks the announce table. Back in the ring, WALTER counters Willow’s Bell before Ciampa works over the big man’s wrist and fingers. WALTER breaks free and Ciampa eats a big boot. Ciampa makes a comeback, unloading over a dozen closelines on WALTER before finally knocking him off his feet and getting a two-count.

WALTER counters a first fairytale ending attempt by Ciampa but a second attempt gets a two-count. WALTER unloads on Ciampa, hitting a German suplex and a lariat for a near fall of his own. Ciampa makes another comeback, working over the arm of WALTER before beating him into a fetal position. WALTER retreats to the outside before headbutting Ciampa to the ground. Ciampa catches WALTER in a top rope miscarriage that gets another near fall. Vicious chop exchange before WALTER hits two powerbombs that only get another two-count. Hardback suplex and stiff chop by WALTER finally ends it.

Storyline Progression: After facing off with Imperium last month on WWE NXT, Tommaso Ciampa was attacked by NXT UK Champion WALTER. With Timothy Thatcher on the shelf, Ciampa has been fighting an uphill battle but got his chance to even the score at TakeOver.

Final Analysis: I’m not sure what to say. Ciampa vs WALTER is now my current Match of the Year across any promotion. For the record, I follow 8 or 9 promotions from around the world and I’m sticking to this statement. Gold Standard. *****

Robby Steven

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NXT TakeOver ‘Stand & Deliver’ Night 2: Rating and Ranking Every Match

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