TJR: WWE NXT Stand & Deliver 2023 Preview

wwe nxt stand & deliver preview 2023

The WWE NXT Stand & Deliver PLE will see Bron Breakker defend the NXT Title against Carmelo Hayes, a Ladder Match for the NXT Women’s Title and more.

NXT Stand & Deliver takes place this Saturday several hours before the first night of WrestleMania 39. It’s taking place at the Crypto.com Arena in LA where Smackdown and the Hall of Fame ceremony will take place on Friday night. The weird thing is since it’s a 1 p.m. ET start time, that’s 10 a.m. locally in Los Angeles, so the wrestlers performing on this show are probably going to get up at like 6 a.m. or earlier so they have time to get to the arena, get warmed up and go over their matches. Normally these shows are much later in the day, but due to the unique start, it’s a morning show for most of the wrestlers. That will be weird for the talent and I’m sure the fans that need to get there early.

I like the lineup with seven matches. All of NXT’s titles are on the line, there are several multi-person matches and the Breakker-Hayes main event is certainly interesting to me. We also have Pretty Deadly as the hosts. They are an entertaining act that should create some laughs.

You can watch NXT Stand & Deliver on April 1st from Los Angeles on Peacock/WWE Network at 1 p.m. ET/12 p.m. CT/10 a.m. PT!

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

The story is weak here. Henley doesn’t trust James is really being genuine toward Fallon’s friend Brooks Jensen, so James kissed Brooks this past week on NXT. The team of Fyre & Dawn used to be rivals, but now they are allies as an evil duo, so we’ll see if they can work together enough to win the titles. I think the Henley/James team only won to further their story, but not necessarily to give them a long title reign. I see Fyre & Dawn leaving with the titles here.

Winners AND NEW NXT Women’s Champions: Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn

Chase U (Andre Chase, Duke Hudson & Thea Hail) & Tyler Bate vs. Schism (Joe Gacy, Rip Fowler, Jagger Reid & Ava)

(If Schism wins then they get to run Chase U.)

This was built up in the last few weeks with the stipulation being that Schism wants to run the Chase U fake university. Duke Hudson has been loyal to Chase U, but lately, he hasn’t been that trustworthy, so perhaps we’ll see him make a full turn against the group and go back to his heel ways. I hope Bate gets some good spots in the match since he’s the best worker.

There’s some intrigue here since it will be Ava’s first match on TV and she is The Rock’s daughter, so we’ll see how she does after a few years of training in WWE. I assume her spots with Hail will be practiced heavily and Ava will show off her power since she’s much taller. Anyway, I’m going with Schism winning. Perhaps we’ll see Ava get the win by pinning Hail to get the win for her team.

Winners: Schism (Joe Gacy, Rip Fowler, Jagger Reid & Ava)

NXT Tag Team Championships: Gallus (c) vs. Creed Brothers vs. Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo

In terms of storylines, there wasn’t much of an effort to set up this match. It was literally set up by The Creed Brothers and Tony/Stacks getting drunk with Gallus at the bar. While I would like to see The Creed Brothers pushed as the champions again, it just doesn’t feel like a match with a title match. I enjoy the Tony/Stacks act, I’m leaning toward Gallus keeping the titles. Wolfgang and Mark Coffey are a fun team to watch, so it’s Gallus boys on top again, as they like to say.

Winners: Gallus

NXT North American Championship: Wes Lee (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. Dragon Lee vs. JD McDonagh vs. Axiom

This is a Fatal 5-Way match where the first fall wins. They are all outstanding athletes. None of them are over six-feet-tall I’m pretty sure, so they are all smaller, more athletic guys that will put on a very entertaining match in this spot. Perhaps this match will open Stand & Deliver because it’s going to be exciting to watch.

The guy to watch is Dragon Lee, who is having his NXT debut. I remember writing a news story about him recently about how he is already one of the highest-paid guys in NXT because WWE paid a lot to get him to sign as a gifted wrestler in his late 20s with a lot of potential. I think they put him in this match to have him make a big impact right now. Dragon’s there to win the match, in my opinion.

With that said, I have enjoyed Wes Lee’s reign as the NXT North American Champion. Wes has been impressive no matter the opponent. Dragunov is my favorite wrestler in the business today in terms of selling moves because he’s so believable in everything he does. McDonagh and Axiom are both outstanding. I truly think the match is tough to call, but I’m going with Dragon Lee to win some gold in his first NXT match.

Winner AND NEW NXT Champion: Dragon Lee

NXT Women’s Championship Ladder Match: Roxanne Perez (c) vs. Zoey Stark vs. Gigi Dolin vs. Tiffany Stratton vs. Lyra Valkyria vs. Indi Hartwell

They have done a nice job of having the women earn their spot in this match while Perez was added to it this past week. We know Perez has been out for most of the last month selling a concussion/fainting type of story. She said it was due to exhaustion and her anxiety. Maybe they’ll do some spots in the match where Perez looks like she’s about to faint, but then she finds a way to keep going.

If I had to pick somebody to win, then I think Starks, Stratton and Hartwell are all possible. Starks has had a lot of momentum as a heel in the last few months. I have enjoyed Zoey more as a heel than I did when she was a face. Stratton is clearly going to get a big push at some point this year. It might happen here, but if not then I think she’ll win the title by the summer. The reason I mentioned Indi is because they added her to the match this past week. Since Indi has been in NXT the longest out of the six women, they could push the story of Indi finally getting her championship moment.

I doubt Dolin or Valkyria will win, but they are solid performers. It just doesn’t seem like the right time for either of them yet. I’ll go with Perez winning to keep her title.

Winner: Roxanne Perez

Unsanctioned Match: Johnny Gargano vs. Grayson Waller

I have enjoyed the build to this match. I don’t know how long they had planned to do this match, but there was legitimate history here since Waller attacked Gargano during Johnny’s last NXT match in December 2021. Since then, Waller has developed into one of the top heels on the brand while Gargano has the crowd behind him since he’s one of the most popular and successful wrestlers in NXT history. Waller attacked Gargano at his house to get some more heat in this feud, so they have done a nice job of making it feel like a personal rivalry.

Since it’s an Unsanctioned Match, they will be able to use a lot of weapons while fighting all around the building. That will make it stand out from the rest of the card since they’ll be able to have more of a wild match compared to some of the others. Since Gargano is a Raw guy, he probably doesn’t “need” the win as much as Waller. However, when it comes to the story, Gargano should win as revenge for Waller attacking him at his house.

I will add also that it wouldn’t surprise me if WWE puts Waller on Raw or Smackdown soon because he’s such a talented performer. I think he’s ready to move on from NXT. For this match, I’ll pick Gargano to win.

Winner: Johnny Gargano

NXT Championship: Bron Breakker (c) vs. Carmelo Hayes

The main event has been saved for this show for a very long time. When NXT was rebranded as NXT 2.0 in September 2021, you could just tell that Bron and Melo were two guys that would be at the forefront. Bron is a two-time NXT Champion that has held the title for about 15 months minus one month while Melo is a two-time NXT North American Champion that made that time seem as important as ever. Bron has been a babyface the entire time while Melo was a heel, but you can tell they have softened that positioning for him and Melo appears to be more of a face.

Bron is the bigger, more powerful guy while Melo is the more talented in-ring performer that can do everything in the ring. They both have a lot of physical gifts while making everything look easy. I think they will both be very prepared for the match, they’ll probably have a 20+ minute match, kick out of a lot of finishers and make it look like the winner could be either guy.

Ever since this match was set up, my feeling has been this is a one-time only match in NXT. The winner is the NXT Champion while the loser is probably going to debut on Raw or Smackdown next week. That’s just my hunch anyway. I have also felt like Melo was going to win this match since Bron’s title reign has been so long and having Melo win would cement him as a guy that’s the face of NXT in this era. I’m going for the Melo win. I think there will be post match handshake too.

Winner AND NEW NXT Champion: Carmelo Hayes

And Finally…

The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most

Bron Breakker vs. Carmelo Hayes.

The Match I Care About The Least

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

Longest Match

NXT North American Championship: Wes Lee (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. Dragon Lee vs. JD McDonagh vs. Axiom

Shortest Match

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

Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)

It’s a 7.5 out of 10 for me. I like the card for the most part. I think the Breakker-Hayes match will be great while the Fatal 5-Way match is probably going to be the best match. The Gargano-Waller could be the best match also since it’s a Gargano NXT (no more Takeover name) match and we know he’s going to be awesome. The Women’s Ladder Match should be solid, could be a bit sloppy too. Some of the other matches are less interesting and that’s okay. I think the better matches will carry the show just fine.


Thanks for reading. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport