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Hall’s WWE NXT Review 3.28.23

March 28, 2023 | Posted by Thomas Hall
WWE NXT Wes Lee Axiom Image Credit: WWE
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Hall’s WWE NXT Review 3.28.23  

Date: March 28, 2023
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T.

It’s the go home show for Stand & Deliver and there are a few spots that still need to be filled, albeit in multi person matches. Other than that, we get to find out if Grayson Waller vs. Johnny Gargano will be sanctioned or not, plus probably a lot more on Bron Breakker vs. Carmelo Hayes for the NXT Title. Let’s get to it.

Battle Royal

Apollo Crews, Axiom, Dabba Kato, Hank Walker, Dante Chen, Xyon Quinn, Edris Enofe, Scrypts, Nathan Fraser, Jinder Mahal, Dijak, Charlie Dempsey, Quincy Elliott, Oro Mensah, Damon Kemp, Malik Blade, Odyssey Jones, Drew Gulak, Javier Bernal, Bryson Montana

The winner is the final entrant in the Open Challenge for the North American Title at Stand & Deliver, with champion Wes Lee at ringside. Scrypts flips in to hit Axiom as the bell rings, with Elliott being tossed out. The brawling ensues and Chen is kicked out as well. Montana is tossed and Kemp is kicked out as well. Enofe and Blade get together and send Dijak to the apron, where Jones gets rid of him.

Dijak pulls Jones to the floor and sends him into the steps before throwing him back in. That lets Mahal toss the banged up Jones, with Blade and Enofe fighting Mahal to the apron. Crews dropkicks Enofe out and Blade is sent as well, with Scrypts being tossed too. Mahal gets back in as Crews tosses Bernal out.

We take a break and come back with Dempsey tossing Walker but eliminating Gulak at the same time. Mahal is knocked out and we’re down to Axiom, Fraser, Kato and Dempsey. Everyone else gets together to get rid of Kato before knocking each other down. Axiom knocks Dempsey to the apron and then out, leaving us with two. They trade shots to the face until the Golden Ratio is cut off. Another superkick knocks Axiom silly but he sends Fraser to the apron anyway. Fraser skins the cat but gets superkicked anyway, which oddly brings him back in. Axiom tosses him out to win at 14:33.

Rating: C+. This was more fun than most battle royals, at least partially due to how fast they kept the pace. Axiom winning wasn’t a guarantee, as they had me wondering if someone would cost him the match and have him come back later in some way. It’s the right call though, as he has been chasing the title shot for a good while now.

Post match Lee gets in the ring and everyone in in the title match appears for a staredown.

Pretty Deadly, in matching hats, pick JD McDonagh to win the North American Title. More on this later.

Andre Chase thanks Tyler Bate for the great performance last week. They’re ready for Stand & Deliver, but Duke Hudson doesn’t seem thrilled.

Brooks Jensen is worried about his relationship with Kiana James but Josh Briggs says it’s cool. Cue James and Fallon Henley, with James saying she has gotten the guys a match tonight. If they win, they’re in the Tag Team Title match at Stand & Deliver. Henley is skeptical but the guys are happy.

Tyler Bate vs. Von Wagner

Chase U and Mr. Stone are here too. Wagner kicks him in the face to start and grabs a neck crank. Bate is sent into the corner but gets a boot up to cut Wagner off. A knee lift staggers Wagner again, setting up a middle rope elbow. There’s a rebound forearm into Bop and Bang. Stone grabs the leg though and Chase isn’t happy. Thea Hail jumps Stone and Hudson gives a half hearted low bridge so Bate can dive onto Stone. Back in and Bate drops Wagner, setting up the Spiral Tap for the pin at 4:04.

Rating: C. Nothing out of the ordinary here as Wagner is a punching bag and Bate is one of the more talented stars in NXT. It’s nice to see Bate getting a chance to do something for a change, even if sliding him into Chase U is a bit weird. For now though, he’s the ace in the tag match on Saturday and that should be enough.

Chase U celebrates but Schism pops up on screen with a video of how Chase U will be under Schism’s control. Some of the students seem to have already embraced the changes. Screwing up Chase U would be bad enough, but PLEASE don’t put even more focus on Schism. I can’t take it.

Roxanne Perez is looking for Shawn Michaels but he just stepped out.

Post break, Perez talks to Shawn, saying she is cleared to return. Shawn says her health is the priority though and defending the title in a ladder match isn’t the best idea. We can get a new champion crowned and she’ll get the first title shot. Perez talks about having anxiety, which has Shawn wondering if she is all cleared mentally instead of physically.

She needs to know that there are other chances but Perez wants to steal the show like he did at Wrestlemania. Shawn finally relents and lets her in the match but sends her away before he has a nervous breakdown. That’s a very different way to go and it could be interesting and/or a disaster depending on which way they take things.

Elektra Lopez vs. Valentina Feroz

Lopez powers her into the corner to start and it’s time to work on the leg. Feroz fights up and kicks her down, only to get pulled out of the air. Electric Shock (sitout chokebomb) finishes Feroz at 1:53.

Eddy Thorpe is ready to represent his people as an alpha wolf.

Eddy Thorpe vs. Myles Borne

Borne grabs the wrist to start before hammering away to stagger Thorpe a bit. A belly to belly cuts off Thorpe’s comeback but he kicks Borne in the face in the corner. Thorpe hits a jumping elbow for two and a Saito suplex makes it worse. Back up and Thorpe grabs a rolling neckbreaker for the pin at 2:55. Thorpe looked dominant in the second half but he gave up a god bit of offense here.

Pretty Deadly predicts problems for Johnny Gargano.

Gallus doesn’t care how many teams they have to face because they’ll win.

Indi Hartwell vs. Sol Ruca vs. Ivy Nile

The winner is in the Women’s Title ladder match at Stand & Deliver. Ruca and Nile brawl to start until Nile and Hartwell are sent to the floor. Ruca’s big flip dive connects but Nile grabs an armbar back inside. Hartwell makes the save and gets springboard splashed by Ruca for two. Ruca’s flipping splash this Nile in the corner but Hartwell is back with the spinebuster for two. The Sol Snatcher drops Nile but Hartwell kicks Ruca to the floor. The running forearm to the back of the head gives Hartwell the pin on Nile at 4:04.

Rating: C. I am having a really hard time caring about Hartwell and her “oh well, I guess I’m wrestling here, doesn’t matter if I do or not though” moroseness over the last several months. Putting her in the title match seems to designed to give the match another powerhouse, but dang it would be nice if she did something else. Or if Nile and/or Ruca got a chance of their own, which granted would be better served outside of a multi person ladder match.

Post match all of the women come out to stare each other down.

Pretty Deadly pick Tiffany Stratton to win.

Grayson Waller teases not making his match with Johnny Gargano unsanctioned.

We get a special video on Bron Breakker vs. Carmelo Hayes. They came in as part of the new NXT recruiting class and now it’s time for a showdown. Hayes has an incredible resume but he’s training harder than ever for this match. He even turned down extra celebrating time in order to hit the gym more. Breakker talks about all of the training that he does and isn’t worried about going to the deep water. Breakker has been doing this for years and Hayes isn’t going to have an answer for a Steiner Line. Hayes says he’s the king now give him his f****** crown. As usual, this was excellent, as WWE knows just how to put them together.

Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn are ready to win the Women’s Tag Team Titles.

Drew Gulak vs. Hank Walker

Charlie Dempsey is here with Gulak. Walker takes him down by the arm to start but can’t get a cross armbreaker. Back up and Gulak runs him over and hits a clothesline to the back of the head as Booker goes on an insane rant about how Walker doesn’t deserve to wear a singlet. Walker fights out of a crossface and hammers Gulak down, setting up a running shoulder for two. Gulak reverses a wheelbarrow slam into another crossface, which is reversed into an armbar. That’s broken up as well and a Dempsey cheap shot sends Walker into a small package to give Gulak the pin at 5:55.

Rating: C. I don’t know if they’re going for some kind of everyman deal with Walker, but it isn’t quite working. The idea of presenting him as this run of the mill guy who is trying to hang with submission masters is weird to say the least and it isn’t exactly making me want to keep watching. Thankfully he isn’t beating them or anything, but it is still a strange way to go for someone who doesn’t really stand out.

Pretty Deadly talk tag teams and say they’ll see us Saturday.

Tony D’Angelo/Stacks vs. Josh Briggs/Brooks Jensen

If Briggs and Jensen win, they’re added to the Tag Team Title match. Jensen and Stacks lock up to start with Jensen grabbing a rollup for two. D’Angelo comes in to wrestle Briggs down as Fallon Henley and Kiana James are watching in the back. James takes credit for the match but Henley threatens to tell Jensen what she knows, which has James panicking. Briggs and Jensen hit matching sliding uppercuts and we take a break.

Back with Jensen getting caught in something like a Demolition Decapitator (not a Doomsday Device Booker) with Briggs having to make the save. Jensen gets over to Jensen for the tag as Henley and James are at ringside. For some reason Jensen wants back in for a Doomsday Device (spinwheel kick instead of a clothesline, which wound up being more of a hip attack than anything else) but D’Angelo makes a save. D’Angelo sends Briggs outside and it’s a double slam to finish Jensen at 9:55.

Rating: C+. I’m glad they didn’t add another tam to the title match and make it even messier, as six wrestlers in a match at once is enough. Other than that, this was almost entirely about the romance stuff as D’Angelo and Stacks had nothing to prove. Briggs and Jensen are a completely serviceable team and the James/Henley issues make them a bit more interesting. It’s nice to see an actual story, even if it has more than a few flaws.

Post match Henley wants James to tell Jensen the truth….so James kisses him. Joseph: “BROOKS IS ON BASE!”

Stand & Deliver rundown.

Here is Grayson Waller to decide if he will sign to make his match with Johnny Gargano unsanctioned. Vic Joseph hands him the contract (which Gargano left with him last week) and Waller gets in the ring, which is surrounded by security. Waller talks about what he has done during hi time in NXT, including Gargano getting the spotlight after Waller dove off the WarGames cage. That’s why he jumped Gargano during the farewell speech, and he hit his mark. Waller: “Johnny, you are the biggest mark in this business.”

Now Waller has Gargano begging him for a match at Stand & Deliver. Gargano is the greatest big match star in NXT history and is Mr. NXT, but just like Mr. Wrestlemania would do, Gargano is going to lose. Cue Gargano……’s music, because Gargano is a disguised cameraman. The big brawl is on, with security eventually holding them apart. Vic says it’s unsanctioned, though I didn’t see Waller actually sign the contract.


Axiom won a battle royal last eliminating Nathan Fraser
Tyler Bate b. Von Wagner – Spiral Tap
Elektra Lopez b. Valentina Feroz – Electric Shock
Indi Hartwell b. Sol Ruca and Ivy Nile – Running forearm to the back of Nile’s head
Drew Gulak b. Hank Walker – Small package
Tony D’Angelo/Stacks b. Josh Briggs/Brooks Jensen – Double slam to Jensen



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The final score: review Good
The 411
This was a bit of a different show than Raw last night, as they had more action rather than focusing so much on talking. Granted it helps that this show was taped and they could probably make some time saving adjustments if needed. For now though, Stand & Deliver is looking good, though they need to be pretty tight to make everything work. Nice enough go home show though, and hopefully it pays off this weekend.

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WWE NXT, Thomas Hall