NXT’s first-ever two-day event, TakeOver: Stand & Deliver took place over the past couple of night and offered up a division changing main event and the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships on the line.
The CWC looked great and the extra fans in attendance made a welcome return to the wrestling landscape. But enough about the aesthetics lets get to the action.
Night one had the epic main event between Io Shirai and Raquel Gonzalez for the NXT Women’s Championship. The match was everything it should have been. It was intense, passionate and highly physical. Shirai was the unhinged champion willing to put her body on the line to defend the title at all costs. Gonzalez, who has torn through the women’s division since arriving last year, used all of her destructive force to topple one of the brand’s most formidable champions.
On night two Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon successfully defended the NXT Women’s Championship against Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell. This was a really good tag team match with thrills and spills galore.
Blackheart was her usual death-defying self and executed one of the craziest suicide dives ever seen. Blackheart and Moon make an excellent team and gelled perfectly in look and style. Hartwell’s partnership with LeRae is paying dividends as she looked great in her first match on the big stage.
It was feirce and fun tag team match with the correct resulat as the tag titles need to nurtured and allowed be legitimised on one team for several months at least.
Let’s get to the winners and losers from NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.
Winner: Raquel Gonzalez
Her performance and resulting championship win culminates Big Mami Cool’s tremendous rise to the top. She looked every bit the unstoppable monster that NXT has portrayed her to be over the past year. NXT strapped the rocket to Gonzalez early on and had her plough through the women’s division with impressive ease. She took out everyone who stood in her way including Rhea Ripley, who she chased out of the company.
Her journey to the title was undeniable when she pinned Io Shirai at NXT TakeOver: WarGames. Since then she won the first-ever women’s Dusty Classic and the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships.
Now NXT women’s division has a new champion and one that will stay champion for a very long time.
Winner: Io Shirai
Despite losing the title and possibly having her last match in NXT Io Shirai proved once again that she one of the brand’s best ever champions. Shirai looked great in defeat and made Gonzalez look like a star in the process.
The Genius of the Sky pulled out all of the stops to retain her title but Gonzalez was just too big and too powerful.
If this is Shirai’s last performance in NXT hopefully her presence on RAW or SmackDown will elevate the women’s divisions just as she did in NXT.
Winner: Shotzi Blackheart
Blackheart is such a standout star. Her look is magnetic, her in-ring style choatic and her charisma energetic. The shot of her diving from the top rope with her green hair flowing behind her as she hit the finishing senton was perfect. This was another fireball performance from NXT’s “Ballsy Badass”.
Loser: Candice LeRae
What has to happen to get some gold around the waist of the “Poisoned Pixie”? Her performance was as solid and relaible as always but for LeRae to fall at a championship hurdle yet again is a tough pill to swallow.
Another fantastic NXT TakeOver from everyone involved. Obviously the flowers go to Raquel Gonzalez after her game-changing title win but all competitors went all out to stand out on a stacked to-day event.
The roster must now make new stars and a new top teir of talent to challenge Gonzalez, while creating a serious and solid tag team division.
What did you make of the shows and the performance on them? Sound off in the comments below.