Real Rasslin Reviews: NXT Takeover Stand & Deliver - Night One
Pixc runs through all the action from Night One of NXT Takeover Stand & Deliver!
Hi guys and welcome back for another NXT Takeover! It's the big one, it's Wrestlemania week and it's a two-night special event. I wasn't too pleased about it being midweek as you can imagine being in the UK but I wasn't going to miss this for anything! Let's get down to it and see how the landscape of NXT changed from night one!
I am not about to miss the late announced Toni Storm vs Zoey Stark so let's start with that on the pre-show shall we?
Toni Storm vs Zoey Stark
Storm pulling the hair a bit early on as Stark seems to be doing well yet again. She has an answer for every move from Storm. Toni manages to get her down and pummels her before getting a near fall. Storm has a spell of dominance here and after a submission is broken up Stark manages to get her in the corner. Storm still grabbing the hair, eventually she goes for the high risk, but Stark cuts her off she hits a superplex which is the turning point in the match for me. Stark manages to hit the German suplex and follows with a kip up and gets a near fall twice following this offense. Storm hits an electric chair drop but Stark kicks out. Storm manages to hit a German suplex before going for Storm Zero, Stark ends up blocking it and gets a roll up pin. Stark is on a roll, no pun intended, great win.
I think it is safe to say you would be hard pressed to find anyone not impressed with Zoey Stark, she has been doing great in the ring. I am not sure about her look yet, but we shall see if that develops at all. Bit gutted for Toni Storm, feel like she came in hot and they just kind of fizzled her out a bit.
Winner Zoey Stark
So, we know pre show had a lot of build for the night so I won't go into that here, let's get started with night one shall we?
Nita Strauss opens up with a rendition of the US National Anthem. Great way to kick things off, I love how Triple H carries the torch so to speak for metal!
Pete Dunne vs Kushida
Dunne comes straight out with the attempt and submission and the technical face off begins. Dunne hits an x-plex on the apron after sliding out dodgy Kushida's springboard offense. Dunne gets a vicious strike in on the ground and the two then slug it out with strikes before Kushida misses his dive to the outside. Kushida hits a speedy springboard elbow on the outside and follows up with the kick to the arm propelling both back in to the ring. Dunne gets a submission locked in but Kushida blocks and it continues to go back and forth Kushida getting a near fall of a roll up. This match is so even it is constantly going back and forth, Beth comments it's like Tennis and I have to agree, much more entertaining however. The two hold hands and trade headbutts before Kushida gets the strike to grab control. He grabs Dunne on the top rope. He hits the hoverboard lock from there but Dunne reaches the ropes. He adjusts and has Dunne all tied up but the foot saves Dunne making it to the ropes. Kushida really aggressive here and Dunne is lucky to escape. Dunne works on the digits, after his traditional flow into his kick and the Bitter End, victory for the Bruiserweight!
This was definitely a technical masterpiece. I hope they go again. I think Kushida will feel a little hard done by as he looked to have the better of this one. Makes sense to have Dunne pick up the win though, we all know WWE struggle when booking Japanese talent. I just hope we get a bit more of these two before Dunne moves on to someone new.
Winner Pete Dunne
We see our main event competitors Io Shirai and Raquel Gonzalez arriving, nice nod to the build with Kai and Gonzalez smiling at the taped-up hole where she put Io through the wall.
North American Title Number One Contender Gauntlet Match
We start this match with Leon Ruff and Isaiah Swerve Scott, Ruff's music hits and he crawls apparently attacked from behind by Swerve Scott, Swerve follows him out smiling. They brawl at ringside, really loved how Ruff goes for a diving drop kick to as Swerve dodges but lands on the barricade keeping his balance and momentum, Swerve is thrown in the ring and after a brief altercation Ruff joins him and the bell rings. Swerve exits immediately and as Ruff comes to meet him suplexes him onto the barricade. Swerve motions for commentary to move out of the way, they don't and Ruff ends up hitting a nice cutter off the announce table. Swerve ends up slingshotting Ruff in the ropes to bring things back in his favour and the two slug it out on the top rope as Ruff reverses it bringing Swerve crashing down to the mat. Bronson Reed enters the match. Ruff dives on him as he comes down to the ring but is caught. Reed comes in hot, then a nice double team with Ruff diving on as he suplexes swerve. Ruff attacks him following this and Reed banzai drop squashes him for his troubles. Bronson then ends up German suplexing both in a human centipede looking move as Ruff fails to hold the top rope. Cameron Grimes enters the match. Grimes and Swerve appear to have a deal as Swerve distracts Reed so he can get in the ring. Money exchanges hands and the two go to work on Ruff. Ruff tries his best but Swerve ultimately gets the better of this exchange. Grimes and Swerve Scott still in control of Ruff as Dexter Lumis makes his way to the ring. As he does Leon Ruff is eliminated by Swerve Scott. Lumis comes in and takes his first shot at Reed, before crawling towards Grimes who backs off. He then works on Swerve Scott in the ring. Bronson comes back in after he has cleared the ring. Bronson is thrown from the ring, Grimes giving Lumis the assist, before the two bundle each other out of the ring. LA Knight enters the fray, he starts by talking about everyone in the match, kicking Bronson as he passes him. Bronson grabs him mid trash talk and he is thrown into the ring. LA Knight tries to dive back in using the ropes for leverage but Bronson Samoan drops him. Bronson looking strong squashing him. LA Knight gets back in the driver's seat, taking down Bronson before facing off Lumis who dodges Grimes who came from behind then hits the Silence on Grimes, LA Knight has other ideas and pins Lumis here, great decision by him. Dexter Lumis is eliminated. Shortly after this LA Knight turns into a triple flurry by Swerve Grimes and then Bronson gets the senton and the pinfall LA Knight is outta here! An exchange of strikes ensues between the three remaining, Bronson falls on the two, which doesn't result in a pin weirdly. That was a nice exchange though Grimes tossing Swerve to Bronson before kicking Bronson square in the face. Bronson fends both of them off before Grimes hits a Spanish Fly on Bronson. Swerve eliminates Cameron Grimes off a roll up. Bronson looks to finish from the top but Swerve cuts him off he drops Reed on the apron. Swerve hits the 450 splash but only gets a near fall, Bronson barely kicking out. Two House Calls later Bronson is still alive, grabbing him but having to kick out again, before eventually hitting a powerbomb and another slam before the Tsunami off the top gets him the pinfall, Bronson wins.
Image courtesy of Wrestling News
Initially I didn't think much of this match, but after some thought I actually really enjoyed it, the attack from Swerve, the alliance with Grimes, LA Knight rolling up Lumis and Bronson dominating. The result wasn't what I would've gone with but I guess Bronson makes sense as he did earlier tell us he had his eye on the title. I do think it makes the North American title match harder for Johnny Gargano, with his size and momentum.
Winner Bronson Reed
Some build for Walter vs Ciampa next, I've kind of enjoyed the build for this, Ciampa has definitely not been the same and Walter pointing it out has seemingly helped Ciampa get fired up for this match.
Walter (c) vs Tommaso Ciampa (NXT United Kingdom Championship Match)
Walter starts off pushing Ciampa into the corner. Ciampa seems to be doing all he can to avoid the chops of Walter early on. Ciampa pummels Walter in the corner and his trash talk saying "you want the blackheart" seems to fire Walter up as he chops Ciampa down as he runs in. The action ends up on the outside where Walter puts his hand through the announce table. Ciampa tries to go for willows bell but Walter blocks it. Ciampa works on Walter's hand, the strikes are almost as brutal as in Walter vs Dragunov. Walter gets in a single leg submission, but is unable to capitalize with his injured hand it seems. Walter is holding his hand throughout now, Walter still in control though. Ciampa then hitting Walter with all his clotheslines but Walter just keeps staying on his feet. Eventually Ciampa is chopped down but comes straight back with another of his own and finally Walter goes down. Walter gets in a sleeper hold and after Ciampa makes it to the ropes a German suplex after only sees a near fall. Ciampa manages to grab the injured hand and get Walter down, but he reaches the ropes. Ciampa again looks for willows bell but Walter escapes. Walter gets some chops in and Ciampa again goes for the hand. Ciampa hits an air raid crash from the top rope but only a near fall, Walter kicks out. An exchange of chops breaks out and Walter is still favouring his injured hand. Walter twists Ciamps's neck before hitting a powerbomb but Ciampa kicks out. Walter grabs a sleeper then suplexes out of it with Ciampa dazed hits a chop that fells Ciampa and he goes for the cover. Walter wins.
Wow, this was hard hitting. I was pleased with Walter selling the hand so much. I enjoyed that, not Dragunov levels of brutal but it was a great match. I will concede I don't like the idea of the chop being the finish, I just think there are so many brutal potentially better finishes for that match.
We see a promo for Franky Monet, suspected to be the debut of Taya Valkyrie coming when NXT moves to Tuesday nights!
Bronson Reed is with Mackenzie, looking forward to his title match. Gargano shows up and congratulates him but says tomorrow will be a different story.
MSK vs Grizzled Young Veterans vs Legado del Fantasma (NXT Tag Team Title Match)
First loving the new attire of MSK, splash of colour against the white. So, three guys in the ring at same time, Wylde comes out on top to start before tagging Mendoza, they double team both legal competitors and we get a little dance from Wylde, this costs them as the action sways away from their favour. MSK double team Zak Gibson but he turns things around, I'm seeing a pattern developing. Drake has a good spell in charge of the action, Carter gets the tag and the two dispatch Drake and Nash takes both GYV out on the outside with a dive. Legado toss Wes Lee to the outside and they dive to the outside, not to be out done by MSK it seems. They then hit a double coast to coast drop kicks on Nash, before double teaming Gibson with stomps. Legado double team Nash but only get a near fall. They are in full control of the match and Nash is in trouble. After a near fall on Nash, Drake sneaks in with a roll up on Mendoza. No luck though as the action continues. Wes Lee gets in to the match and comes in on fire, MSK hit their assisted moonsault but near fall it is. They look to continue this spell but Gibson gets Wes Lee in position for a doomsday on the outside. Nash stops this. Gibson traps Wes Lee in the corner and Drake does the damage to the hands. He ends up in the Shankly Gates but Nash grabs his hand before he taps. Mendoza breaks the submission keeping the match alive. They look to finish it with a nice double team but Wes Lee kicks out. MSK eventually get back on top and hit the double team blockbuster on Gibson, that's it! MSK win brilliant victory!
I must admit I found this match so tough to call, with Escobar and Legado doing so well lately, GYV also a big threat and deserving of the win, I'm glad to be on target with my prediction. I hope they have a good run with the belts, it's nice to give the nod to the winners of the dusty cup. I really enjoy tag team matches in NXT I wish we had some of the old school teams to bulk out the division, would make for some epic dream matches.
Bit of build for our main event next, sorry Io, had to go against you on this one, I'll be happy if you win but it feels time to have Raquel Gonzalez win the big one.
Stephanie McMahon is in the crowd with Sarray, new signing for NXT. Such excitement and enthusiasm from Steph here, am sure our resident quizmaster was pleased to see her!
Image courtesy of Wrestling Inc
Raquel Gonzalez vs Io Shirai (c) (NXT Womens Championship Match)
This is going to be a doozy! Shirai charges in but Gonzalez puts her in the corner then when they return to the middle of the ring, big boot right in the face! Io looks to hurricanrana Gonzalez down but her strength is too much and she has to resort to a lovely little double kick, bit like thunderclaps, brilliant! Io again comes a cropper of Gonzalez and her strength advantage as she tries the double knees, she takes Gonzalez out on the outside and this is where Dakota Kai gets involved trying to buy her friend some time. The referee kicks her out and Gonzalez then comes back into the match the damage done. Gonzalez lawn darts Io into the ring post. Io is dumped to the canvas but Gonzalez doesn't manage to keep her down for the pin. She does however drop her on the ropes and pick up yet another near fall. Io tries to block Gonzalez's power but it doesn't last long, Gonzalez stretches her out. Io then gets a reversal in hurricanrana followed by the double stomp. She turns a feint kick into an arm drag then gets the feint kick on the opposite side of the ring. Io gets a near fall. Io rolls out of a power move and locks in a crossface submission. Eventually Gonzalez does reach the ropes though and the hold is broken. Shirai hits her usual diving moonsault to the outside, the runs up the ramp to hit double knees to Gonzalez, great spot! That isn't enough for Shirai though as she climbs the skull that is part of the stage, diving from the top on Gonzalez and the steel grate below, beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Shirai has Gonzalez back in the ring and hits the float over moonsault in the ring, but no luck on the pinfall Gonzalez kicks out! Gonzalez recovers on the outside meeting Shirai with a boot as she comes to get her. Following up with a powerbomb, Gonzalez realises she has to get things back in the ring. She talks a little trash and Shirai answers with a palm strike but Gonzalez drops her with a clothesline. Gonzalez hits her one-armed powerbomb, pinfall one, two and three! Well-deserved win for Gonzalez, Big Mommy Cool has arrived guys, your new NXT Womens Champion Raquel Gonzalez!
This did not disappoint, Gonzalez showed why she deserved and Io still got to shine I feel. Not sure about the smoky pyro, but congratulation to Gonzalez, let's see what she does as champion, hopefully this could mean a call up for Shirai, or some well-earned time off before coming back to NXT. I'd even love to see her face Kay Lee Ray if I'm honest.
Winner Raquel Gonzalez (c)
In summary of night one, yet again NXT shows us how it is done with another great Takeover, all be it only half this Takeover, dare I say they delivered yet again. I think the tag team title match just shows how good that division is, it could have gone either way. Walter and Ciampa but on a great match and I think you would be hard pressed to find a bad match here. I'm excited for night two and to share my thoughts with you on that. One final note though, are you?!
Thanks for reading, Pixc Out!