The John Report: WWE NXT 03/28/23 Review

wwe nxt march 28

This week’s WWE NXT featured a battle royal, Grayson Waller delivering a message to Johnny Gargano, a Bron Breakker-Carmelo Hayes video and more.

This will be a quick recap style because I’m insanely busy this week. This episode was taped last week and I read the spoilers last week. I’m only going to summarize what happened. I’ll have many more NXT thoughts in the Stand & Deliver preview on Thursday and the Stand & Deliver review on Saturday.

This episode is taking place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. My WWE NXT Review archive is here. Let’s get to it.

It was Vic Joseph and Booker T on commentary as usual.

Battle Royal For NXT American Title Shot

They had a battle royal to earn a shot in the NXT North American Title match at Stand & Deliver this Saturday. The final two were Axiom and Nathan Frazer. It was really exciting between them with the fans chanting “this is awesome” as well. Axiom won after a dropkick during a “skin the cat” move by Frazer and Axiom tossed Frazer over the top to the floor. It went 15 minutes.

Winner: Axiom

Analysis: *** I think Axiom was the right choice here since they have teased him being in the North American Title match for several weeks, so it’s not a shock that he won. Frazer was really close to winning, so he looked impressive in defeat as well.

That means the NXT North American Championship Match at Stand & Deliver looks like this:

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

A video aired with Stand & Deliver hosts Pretty Deadly talking about the North American Title match.

There were backstage promos from Chase U talking to Tyler Bate about his match later in the show.

Kiana James also helped Brooks Jensen & Josh Briggs get a match later in the show.

Tyler Bate vs. Von Wagner

Most of the match saw the bigger man Wagner in control for most of the match while Bate made the comeback. After Mr. Stone tripped Bate, that led to Bate sending Stone into the ring and Thea Hail tackled Mr. Stone to get him out of the ring. Bate bounced off the ropes with a clothesline followed by a Spinny Boy splash off the top for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Tyler Bate

Analysis: ** Bate is one of the best in NXT while Wagner has the look that WWE likes, but they don’t seem to know how to use him the right way to get Wagner into a better spot.

Post match, a video aired featuring Schism talking to Chase U students about how they were going to take over Chase U after they win at Stand & Deliver.

Roxanne Perez was shown going into the office of Shawn Michaels, who is in charge of NXT. Perez said that the doctors have cleared her. Roxanne claimed that doctors believed her collapsed was caused by body exhaustion and her anxiety. Shawn wasn’t sure about having her compete at Stand & Deliver, but Perez was adamant. Perez talked about how she struggles with anxiety, then she said she wondered if she peaked at 21 and her anxiety takes over. Shawn said that at 21 years old she has a long, wonderful career but there will be other Stand & Deliver shows. Perez said that Shawn never thought like that. Perez said she can’t run away from her anxiety. Perez pleaded with Shawn to let her do this. Michaels told her to get more tests and said she deserves the right to defend the championship, so she’s in the match. Shawn said she’s going to give him a nervous breakdown while telling her that she can beat this. Perez thanked him.

Analysis: I wrote more about that because it was important. I am glad that Roxanne is wrestling after the collapse angle, which was done for some reason that I’m not sure about right now. Anyway, Roxanne will now defend the NXT Women’s Title at Stand & Deliver in a Ladder Match instead of having a vacant Ladder Match for the title. That’s fine with me.

Elektra Lopez vs. Valentina Feroz

Lopez tried to teach Feroz to be a heel, but Feroz didn’t like that, so that led to this match happening. Feroz managed to get a nearfall after a weak-looking Spear. Lopez hit a sitout spinebuster for the win. It only went two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Elektra Lopez

Analysis: * It was a good thing to keep it short because they aren’t known for having good matches. Lopez is pretty solid in her role as a heel, but still needs to improve a lot.

A video aired about Eddy Thorpe ahead of his debut.

Eddy Thorpe vs. Myles Brown

This was Thorpe’s NXT TV debut. Thorpe was known as Karl Fredericks (his real name) and had some good showing in NJPW in the last few years. Thorpe got some offense going with a kick and a running kick in the corner like Sami Zayn’s Helluva Kick. Thorpe hit a snap neckbreaker for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Eddy Thorpe

Analysis: *1/2 A basic match to put over Thorpe in his debut match. They will need to add more to Thorpe as a character. In terms of his in-ring skills, Thorpe is clearly talented.

Pretty Deadly were shown talking about the Grayson Waller-Johnny Gargano match.

There was an interview with NXT Tag Team Champions Gallus talking about their title defense at Stand & Deliver. They were confident it would still be Gallus boys on top.

Sol Ruca vs. Indi Hartwell vs. Ivy Nile

The winner of this match got to join the NXT Women’s Title Ladder Match at Stand & Deliver. Nile was choking out Indi, but then Ruca hit a Soul Snatcher cutter off the ropes. Hartwell kicked Ruca out of the ring and Hartwell hit a forearm to Nile’s back for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Indi Hartwell

Analysis: **1/4 It was okay for the time given. This didn’t get a lot of time, but they wrestled at a very fast pace with a lot of nearfalls in the match. A lot of fast-paced action with Sol hitting her finisher, but Indi found a way to get the win.

The win by Hartwell meant that this was the NXT Women’s Title Ladder Match at Stand & Deliver.

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

Pretty Deadly was featured in a video talking about the NXT Women’s Champions Ladder Match with the six women competitors. Pretty Deadly picked Tiffany Stratton to win. That was going to be my pick, but I’m not sure.

Grayson Waller was shown in a video about how you never know what he’s going to say in the main event.

Prime Target: Bron Breakker and Carmelo Hayes

There was a Prime Target video package to set up the Breakker-Hayes match. They showed photos of the two guys when they joined the WWE Performance Center in the same recruiting class. The video focused on Carmelo Hayes showing his credentials going into the match, then Hayes talked about how he was so focused on training and wasn’t partying as much as he normally does. Bron Breakker said that Melo will try to tire him out, but Bron is going to be ready. Bron spoke about how he has carried this brand for about two years, he respects everybody that has come before him and he is the most dominant NXT Champion of all time. Melo said “give me my f**king crown” and they showed some fans giving their opinion.

Analysis: The build for this match has been great. I have really enjoyed it. I’m leaning towards picking Melo to win while Breakker will debut on Raw or Smackdown after WrestleMania.

The evil duo of Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre talked about their NXT Women’s Tag Team Title match against Kiana James and Fallon Henley at Stand & Deliver. It’s a weak match.

Hank Walker vs. Drew Gulak

Walker got plenty of offense against his former mentor in the match including a spinning power slam. Walker hit a running shoulder tackle. Gulak tried for a crossface submission and then Walker tried for an armbar, but it didn’t work. Charlie Dempsey (Drew’s buddy) hit Walker in the back with a forearm that wasn’t seen by the referee, so Gulak got an inside cradle for the pinfall win after six minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Drew Gulak

Analysis: ** A cheap win for Gulak after Walker got plenty of offense in the match. This should lead to a rematch down the road with Walker either getting an ally to neutralize Dempsey or some kind of stipulation that should lead to Walker get the win.

Pretty Deadly talked about the NXT Tag Team Championships match at Stand & Deliver.

Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo vs. Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen

If Briggs & Jensen win then they get added to the NXT Tag Team Title match at Stand & Deliver. They worked a match where Jensen was the face in peril for most of the match, Briggs got the hot tag, he cleaned house and Jensen hit a spinning heel kick off the top for a two count because Tony tackled Briggs onto the pile to save Stacks from being pinned. Tony and Stacks hit a double team belly-to-back suplex for the pinfall win like a double reverse flapjack.

Winners by pinfall: Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo

Analysis: *** A pretty good tag team match that was given some time for them to show what they can do. Since there was a reward for Briggs & Jensen winning it gave the match some meaning instead of being a random tag team match. It was a clean win by Tony & Stacks just using better tag team techniques to get the win.

Since Briggs & Jensen lost, the NXT Tag Team Title match at Stand & Deliver remains the same.

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

Post match, Fallon Henley wanted Kiana James to tell Brooks Jensen about whatever the “Sebastian” thing is about. James said she would rather show Brooks and she kissed Brooks on the lips. The announcers celebrated while Henley shook her head since James refused to tell whatever her secret is.

Analysis: This story just keeps going and going. James is married for what it’s worth, but it’s not like they will say that for the storyline.

There was a rundown of the NXT Stand & Deliver card for the Saturday PPV/PLE at 1 PM ET/10 AM PT. I have it at the bottom of the post and I will have a preview of the show posted on TJRWrestling on Thursday.

Grayson Waller Delivers A Message To Johnny Gargano

Grayson Waller was in the ring doing a promo with security guys surrounding the ring to make sure Johnny Gargano didn’t attack Waller. It featured a promo with Waller talking about the Unsanctioned Match against Gargano. Waller recapped his NXT history speaking about his brutal attack on Gargano in December 2021 when Gargano’s NXT deal had expired and he left the brand. Waller said he used Gargano to put himself (Waller) on the map. After a few minutes, Gargano’s music played a camera guy put his camera down to reveal that it was Gargano in a hoodie.

Gargano attacked Waller with punches while the security guys tried to break them up. The fans chanted “let them fight” for it. The fight was broken up, then each broke free and finally were separated by the entrance area.

Analysis: I thought it was excellent. Great way to end the show hyping up one of the biggest Stand & Deliver matches in the main event spot. Waller was intense while Gargano was too, so it worked out well.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Axiom
  2. Grayson Waller-Johnny Gargano
  3. Indi Hartwell

The Scoreboard

This week: 6.75 out of 10

Last week: 7

2023 Average: 6.89

Final Thoughts

A solid show overall that built up the seven Stand & Deliver matches fairly well. The match quality was decent overall, but nothing that special really. In terms of promos, I liked Grayson Waller’s main event promo leading to Johnny Gargano showing up for a show-ending brawl.

The Bron Breakker-Carmelo Hayes “Prime Target” video was excellent. That match is going to be outstanding and the build to it has been really good. I’m glad that Roxanne Perez is back in action at Stand & Deliver as well. Indi Hartwell picked up a big win and so did Axiom too.

The lineup for NXT Stand & Deliver on Saturday, April 1 looks like this:

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

* Unsanctioned Match: Johnny Gargano vs. Grayson Waller

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

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

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

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

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

Pretty Deadly are the hosts of NXT Stand & Deliver.

NXT Stand & Deliver takes place on April 1st in Los Angeles on Peacock/WWE Network at 1 p.m. ET/12 p.m. CT!


Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport