Stand And Deliver Hollywood
Reverse Hipster's Reviews
Chase U vs. Schism 8.8/10 B+
This match had an excellent mix of exciting ring work and storytelling. In the ring, Thea hail stood out the most. This match was the biggest match of her career, and she came through. She whooped Ava Raine all over the ring but she didn't stop there. Thea backflipped into one of the Dyad members and then turned it into a tornado DDT.
Chase U and Schism had the story moment of the night when Duke Hudson turned on Chase U but then doubled-crossed Schism leading to an incredible win where Chase U had the whole crowd chanting their name.
Stand and deliver NXT Women's Title Ladder Match 7.9/10 C+
This ladder match was an exciting scramble of spots. The match could have done a better job of giving each woman a moment, but at least there were exciting moments overall. It felt like the match was going towards a solid grade, but then the ending happened. NXT allowed Indi Hartwell to win the NXT Woman's Championship. Before the bell rang, she stuck out as a woman who shouldn't have even been in the match, yet she won. She is one of the most boring women in NXT, and her only argument to be champion is that she has been there awhile. Indi is arguably the worst winner of Wrestlemania weekend. She isn't s bad wrestler and has proven in the past that she can also be a very entertaining personality, but she hasn't found herself as a singles talent. At no point has Indi built momentum since her tag team with Persia Perotta broke up forever due to budget cuts.
Diangelo & Stacks vs. Gallus vs. the Creeds NXT Tag Team Titles 8.3/10 B
This match was fun to watch. Each team displayed its unique offense, with the most exciting move being a double-decker electric chair by Julius, followed up by a cannonball by Brutus. It was an insane thing to try, and it ultimately didn't work as well as they had hoped because Brutus missed his cannonball. If Brutus had hit them, he would have killed everyone on Julius's shoulders. The ending was odd though. The third member of Gallus returned and helped them win. However, Gallus had been face up to this point so it was strange for them to go heel. Also deciding to have Stacks and Diangelo take the fall when they had the most momentum coming in was a poor choice.
North American Championship Fiveway 9/10 A-
Easily the best match on the Stand and Deliver card. This match went hard from start to finish. There is no right answer to the best spot in this match, only your favorite. My favorite was when Axiom hit a super kick on Wes Lee mid-backflip. This match was exactly what a multi-man title match is supposed to be. Every challenger put on a show and raised their profile and put on a show which only made the champion Wes Lee look that much better when Lee won.
Johnny Gargano Vs. Grayson Waller 8.6/10 B
Grayson Waller and Johnny did a lot of big spots in this match. They started the match fast-paced before the bell rang and never really stopped. Johnny's best highlight was when he slammed Grayson through the announce table, which did not break easily. Grayson had the better highlight when he hit a coast-to-coast on Gargano from the ropes. Candice Lerae got involved and got some revenge on Waller via kendo stick. In the end, it was Gargano who would get the win with some wicked chair shots. This was a disappointing climax. This match meant nothing to Gargano and everything to Grayson Waller. I don't know how you justify having Waller lose here. But then again, it wasn't the worst finish on WrestleMania weekend or even on the card. However, the match was still good overall, and the winner was an okay choice.
Kiana James and Fallon Henley Vs. Isla Dawn and Alba fire NXT Women Tag Championships 8.65/10 B
Isla and Alba won the Women's Tag team Championships in a very well-executed title change. All match, Isla and Alba took liberties with the rules to beat down the champions, Kiana and Fallon. Fallon and Kianna fought valiantly, but it wasn't enough. Kianna realized that the team needed an edge and asked her boyfriend, Brooks Jenson, to hand her a bag so she could cheat. However, his tag partner Briggs and Kianna's tag partner Fallon told Jenson not to let her cheat. Jenson didn't hand her the bag, which cost them the Tag Championships. Fallon's insistence on doing things the right way costs her the titles, but will it cost Jenson his relationship with Kianna? Excellent finish.
Carmelo Vs. Bron Breakker NXT championship match 8.5/10 B
This entry on the card was a solid match. This was like every match Bron Breakker has had; it was another solid WWE main event-style match. The most significant moments of the match came in the end when Trick Williams hit Bron with the belt, and everyone in the arena thought Carmelo would steal the title, but then Bron kicked out. Then it seemed like Bron would win with his signature moves, but Carmelo reversed the gorilla press into a code breaker, hit his finisher off the rope, and won the title.
The two primary reasons this match isn't rated higher Is because Carmelo Hayes tapped out. It was completely unnecessary and completely undercut Carmelo's moment. You could have had The ref go down, and Bron locks on a submission, but let's go because he realizes there's no ref, but then he gets cracked by Williams. The tap-out only serves to make Bron look good at the expense of the new champion. The second reason is that the match started out too slowly.
Chase U and Tyler Bate vs. Schism
This match was technically on the kickoff show, but I feel like it got enough build to justify a review. The best part of this match was seeing if the Chase U gimmick translates to an arena audience, and the answer is unfortunately inconclusive. It seems like not enough of the crowd understood Chase U’s gimmick because I was going crazy at home when Duke Hudson double-crossed Schism and when they hit the tandem Chase U stomps. Chase U won to retain control of their institution, and the crowd was warmed up successfully.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Women’s Ladder Match (NXT Women’s Championship)
This match had a little bit of everything. It was unique to see some of the newer NXT women put in this stipulation so early in their wrestling careers, but everyone held their own. There were a few rough spots that were easily outshined by big spots like Tiffany Stratton being pushed from the ladder to the floor and Gigi Dolin crashing through a ladder by her former partner Jacy Jayne. I thought for sure Roxanne Perez was retaining here, so I was stunned when Indi Hartwell won. I think the finish put a damper on the match because she needed help from Dexter Lumis to even climb the ladder, and Hartwell is literally the last person I would have chosen to win. I hope her reign proves me wrong, but it felt like a consolation prize for someone who has been consistently outshined on NXT. That puts a damper on a final grade that otherwise would have competed for the match of the night.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
Gallus vs. The Creed Brothers vs. Tony D’Angelo and Stacks (NXT Tag Team Championship)
This match was an easy skip. There were spots that were ugly and completely missed, which I didn’t expect at all from these competitors. The only notable point is that Joe Coffey returned to fully reunite Gallus. Other than that, this match could have been on a regular weekly show. Gallus was the right team to win so early in their reign, but it feels far away from where NXT’s tag division was a year ago.
Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average
Fatal Five Way (North American Championship)
This Fatal Five Way saw Wes Lee pick his challengers JD McDonough, Ilja Dragunov, Axiom, and Dragon Lee, and what a match it was. The first we’ve seen of Dragon Lee he shined in the chaos of this match. Axiom also brought out some crazy, if convoluted, moves, but the way he executed them made you believe. McDonough and Dragunov had a blood feud going into this match, and they made us wait through a series of near confrontations to see them go at it. All of the moves were intense, fast, high-flying, and high precision. In the end, Wes Lee won the match hitting a shock finisher in the middle of another move. The finish killed the momentum a little bit for me, but the match was otherwise excellent. Wes Lee is putting together a North American title run that can challenge any other reign in the belt's history. After this performance, they should let him challenge whoever he wants for 30 minutes any night!
Final Grade: 8/10 Great
Johnny Gargano vs. Grayson Waller (Unsanctioned Match)
This match brought a brutality that no other match on the card brought. It’s weird to see the work-rate-heavy Johnny Gargano try to kill someone with a Kendo stick, but it worked with the brash Grayson Waller opposite of him. My favorite part was when Candice Lerae got in on the action too. In the end, I think it was the wrong choice to give Gargano the win, but it was just the first entry in a long list of WWE prioritizing their established talent over rising stars. It was a feel-good moment. It was just weird to see them pass up on completing the story of Waller’s rise.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Fallon Henley and Kiana James vs. Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn (NXT Women’s Championship)
This was a blink and you missed it match. The in-ring quality wasn’t on par with any of the other matches, but the story still made it an attraction. Josh Briggs, Brooks Jensen, and Fallon Henley’s story with Kiana James have made it one of the most fun parts of NXT, even if you know disappointment is coming for Jensen. After this match, they can tell the next chapter in that story, and Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn can try to make the Women’s Tag Team division more relevant again because frankly, neither of them has anything else going on.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Bron Breakker vs. Carmelo Hayes (NXT Championship)
These two guys have consistently been match-of-the-night contenders for NXT, and putting the two together in the main event of their biggest show this year seemed like the perfect idea. For some reason, it just didn’t work. Maybe it’s NXT’s fault for not making a proper build to this title feud. They even admitted in the pre-show this match was just about “two guys wrestling for the championship.” This should have been the moment for Carmelo Hayes, but needing to cheat to beat Bron Breakker undermined that moment entirely. It didn’t feel right. On top of that, it made no sense for Breakker to raise Hayes’s hand after he cheated to beat him with all respect and no animosity. It’s possible the crowd didn’t help them, as it seemed all night like the arena crowd wasn’t fully familiar with NXT’s current product. However, this was a rare miss from two of NXT’s best.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Rob's Final Thoughts
It makes me sad that this was a lot of people’s reintroduction to NXT. They have been killing it all year with storytelling and big matches. If you just watched this, I think the women and the midcard are the only things bothering you to tune in again. If it weren’t for those two matches, I would actually say this was a below-average event. It’s safe to say they didn’t steal the weekend from the main roster this weekend. Thanks to some huge performances, and a big win for Carmelo Hayes setting a new era for NXT going forward, I think I can comfortably give it this grade.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Reverse Hipster's Final Grade 8.5/10 B
This PPV graded out a lot higher than the previous one. However, NXT still has yet to transfer the best parts of the product to a live PPV. However, the factions of Chase U & Schism, the Women's Tag teams, and the North American Picture broke out. Everyone else still needs work.