Wrestling

NXT Stand and Deliver preview and predictions!

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WWE NXT’s annual WrestleMania weekend premium live event, Stand & Deliver goes down Sat., April 1 at 1pm ET. The show from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles will feature five title matches, and a whole lot more. It all streams live on Peacock here in the U.S., and internationally on WWE Network.

In this post, we’ll give you everything you need to get ready for tomorrow afternoon’s show, with a quick recap of how we got to every match, and thoughts & predictions from our motley crew of NXT-following Cagesiders on each.

Let’s get to it.

Bron Breakker (c) vs. Carmelo Hayes for the NXT championship

The two biggest stars of the 2.0 & beyond era have been on a collision course for almost two years. IT’S TIME!

Geno Mrosko: Fully expecting Hayes to give Breakker the best match he’s had during his lengthy title reign. Also fully expecting a passing of the developmental torch, so to speak. It’s time to see about Bron on the big stage. Pick: Carmelo Hayes

Sean Rueter: While I’m not sure this should lead to an immediate call-up for young Mr. Breakker (I’d give him some reps in developmental without a belt so he gets used to selling stories with different kinds of stakes), I can’t see them not pulling the trigger on HIM here. Pick: Carmelo Hayes

Claire Elizabeth: Bron Breakker has done an admirable job for the last year and change through some questionable feuds (remember when Joe Gacy was alternately an evil wizard and also a kidnapper?) but it’s time for the A Champion to become THE champion in NXT. Pick: Carmelo Hayes

Marcus Benjamin: Yes, Claire. I do remember that. And unfortunately, so do a lot of people. That said, everyone knows my love for Carmelo and it’s time. While I don’t quite think Bron is as ready for the big time as it seemed some months ago, I don’t see them pulling back at this point. And Melo deserves a clean slate as the once and future A Champ. Pick: Carmelo Hayes


Roxanne Perez (c) vs. Gigi Dolin vs. Tiffany Stratton vs. Zoey Stark vs. Lyra Valkyria vs. Indi Hartwell in a Ladder Match for the NXT Women’s title

A possibly legitimate issue with the champ led to a somewhat confusing angle whereby we didn’t know until recently if Perez would be in the match. After telling NXT head honcho Shawn Michaels she needs to face her anxiety, she will be — facing off against five challengers who earned their spots via qualifying matches.

Geno Mrosko: It’s felt for a long while that Hartwell was an up-and-comer who would eventually get her time at the top but they make me question that. Stark is probably main roster ready. Stratton could be interesting, and Dolin has potential. Valkyria is a wildcard. Perez, well, I don’t what they were thinking with that angle leading into this. Tough call here but the way they played it this week, I think they might actually just be trying to drum up more support for the champ. Pick: Roxanne Perez

Sean Rueter: Hell if I know. I don’t hate the anxiety angle… exposure therapy works for some forms of it, but would never be undertaken the way it’s being presented here, and could be seen to minimize other forms, and is just generally why I prefer WWE to stay away from any topic that requires nuance… what were we talking about? Oh yeah, an athletic exhibition with a pre-determined outcome. Because it would be wack if her NXT career ended without at least a short run with this belt, and since the circumstances here mean she can get one without any of the folks who figure to be here longer taking a loss… Pick: Indi Hartwell

Claire Elizabeth: There was a time when I really, really wanted Indi Hartwell to become the NXT Women’s Champion and I’m still attached enough to the idea to think about picking her, but nah. And Roxanne Perez gutting it through her anxiety to retain (not how it works!) is a sensible wrestling story, but nah to that too. Let’s take a left turn here, let’s let rich daddy’s girl Tiffany Stratton play keepaway with the title for a while. Pick: Tiffany Stratton

Marcus Benjamin: I still have no clue what happened with Roxanne. I don’t like how they shoehorned her into this match and turned it into a title defense, but I do like that she’s in the match. Tiffany Stratton, without Roxanne, was my pick. A feud between those two over the “real” Women’s championship writes itself. But with Roxanne back in the fold and in such a melodramatic way, I can’t pick against her. Pick: Roxanne Perez


Wes Lee (c) vs. Dragon Lee vs. JD McDonagh vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. Axiom for the NXT North American championship

Lee’s desire to be a fighting champion was leading to weekly chaos, so Heartbreak Man (™ Claire Elizabeth) Shawn Michaels brokered a deal, letting Wes pick his challengers in this multi-man match.

Geno Mrosko: The chaotic mess of a title scene has been fun, actually! This, too, should be a grand old time. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lee retain here but why not strap the rocket to Lee right away? Pick: Dragon Lee

Sean Rueter: Much as I want to rep my favorite Russian not named Evgeni here, picking a Lee just seems like the smart play. Pick: Wes Lee

Claire Elizabeth: It’s Dragon Lee, right? You roll out the red carpet, it’s Dragon Lee. Gotta be. Pick: Dragon Lee

Marcus Benjamin: I think Wes loses here so he can move on to Melo. If anything, his need to always proves himself bites him in the butt and he learns from it going forward. Dagunov and McDonagh cancel each other out, which leaves Axiom and Dragon Lee. Pick: Dragon Lee


Gallus (c) vs. The Creeds vs. The Family for the NXT Tag Team titles

Six blokes shared a pint and decided to fight. Really, that’s what happened. The champs had Brutus, Julius, Tony D & Stacks down to the pub, and they decided to have this match. Sheamus must be so proud.

Geno Mrosko: You know, if I’m being honest, I was enjoying Pretty Deadly. You’d think I’d be a bigger fan of Gallus but I’m going to go with actually paying off all the TV time they have given Tony D and the fam. Pick: The Family

Sean Rueter: Not sure I trust Wolfgang and Mark. This seems like an opportune time for Joe to show back up and help his lads keep their belts. Pick: Gallus

Claire Elizabeth: In a just world this match would be Kitty and Elly picking their titles back up, but alas, here we are. Honestly I still don’t have much truck for Tony as a singles guy but this turn into acting like an actual family has won me over and I hope he and Stacks make somebody sleep with the fishes. Pick: The D’Angelo Family (Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo & Tony D’Angelo)

Marcus Benjamin: You know what? I’m following my inner Dom Tortetto and picking the Family. I like the character work done with these two over the past few months and they work incredibly well together. The Don getting Stacks a championship as the ultimate reward for his loyalty and hard work just makes sense. And like any mob movie tells us, maintaining power is often harder than achieving power. Once they get the championships and end one story, the real tale begins. Pick: The D’Angelo Family


Fallon Henley & Kiana James (c) vs. Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn for the NXT Women’s Tag Team championship

The champs proved they could get along when they won the belts at Vengeance Day, but since then they’ve been at odds over James’ relationship with Henley’s friend Brooks Jensen. Meanwhile, the challengers are bonding over ancient magicks and winning #1 contenders matches.

Geno Mrosko: Fyre & Dawn are actually a solid team and all signs point to Henley & James feuding after this. Pick: Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn

Sean Rueter: They proved me wrong last time by coexisting. But it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing since the last PLE, so I’m willing to bet against them again. Pick: Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn

Claire Elizabeth: A house divided cannot stand. Henley is boiling mad that James keeps ducking confessing her relationship with Sebastian to Brooks Jensen (who I guess isn’t allowed to watch the show?) and that can’t help but affect their work here. Pick: Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn

Marcus Benjamin: It’s time for the implosion. Pick: Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn


Johnny Gargano vs. Grayson Waller in an Unsanctioned Match

Habitual line-stepper Grayson Waller wouldn’t stop, and Shawn Michaels just couldn’t figure out what to do about it. So he called in the former protege who Waller sent packing 15 months ago. After Grayson took things too far by going to Johnny Gargano’s house, the NXT legend called for their latest battle to be a rules-free affair.

Geno Mrosko: Is it possible they brought Gargano back just to have him put Waller over yet again? Yeah. Pick: Grayson Waller

Sean Rueter: Not sure if Shawn would bring his boy back to lose, but I know he’d bring him back for a dramatic epic. And even though this is Unsanctioned, I wouldn’t bet against it being the start of a longer program. Since Waller should probably win that, here I’ll go with… Pick: Johnny Gargano

Claire Elizabeth: Babyface returns after a long break to fight the heel who wrote him off? Easy peasy, the only question is how violent Johnny will get and how long he’ll have to look at his hands afterwards. Pick: Johnny Gargano

Marcus Benjamin: This is a tough one for me. I don’t think Grayson needs the W to move forward but Johnny gains nothing really with a W. He’s on Raw the following Monday regardless, while Waller still calls Tuesday his home. I just talked myself into my choice. Pick: Grayson Waller


Chase U & Tyler Bate vs. Schism for control of Chase U

Joe Gacy’s crew has made it their mission to torment the U. NXT UK champ Bate stood up for Thea Hail against Ava, and will now fight alongside Andre Chase & his student body. But the headmaster still has problems in his own house, as Duke Hudson keeps questioning his authority.

Geno Mrosko: Chase U is still one of the best things about NXT, and I stand behind that. Adding Tyler Bate ensures the match will be good. Schism doesn’t have enough for the big brains at the U. Pick: Chase U

Sean Rueter: Like the experienced poker player he is, Hudson’s been slow playing his hand. The turn comes at Stand & Deliver when he ensures WWE’s first fourth generation star doesn’t lose her first televised match. Pick: Schism

Claire Elizabeth: Gosh this feels like a ton of matches. Anyway, with the stakes here I think this is an easy opportunity for Duke Hudson to either prove that he bleeds red and white or show that his contempt for Chase U runs deep, and I’m hoping he’s true to Chase U. Pick: Chase U & Tyler Bate

Marcus Benjamin: I’m going Chase U if only because Tyler Bate brings a different energy and sets up more possibilities. Schism winning kinda shuts down the story unless they get hustled into a match where they put the newly acquired university on the line. But that strains credulity in my mind. I say Chase gets the W and it sets up Duke’s explosion with Tyler giving him his final detention. Pick: Chase U


Now give us your picks! Then follow our coverage tomorrow and we’ll see how we all did.

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