WWE NXT Review (March 22, 2022)

wwe nxt gunther la knight

This week’s WWE NXT featured Bron Breakker in singles action against Robert Roode while the Women’s Dusty Cup Finals took place in the main event.

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.

Carmelo Hayes, the NXT North American Championship, was shown arriving in a car with Trick Williams where they talked about qualifying matches for the North American Championship Ladder Match at Stand & Deliver.

NXT North American Championship Qualifying Match: Roderick Strong vs. Solo Sikoa

The winner gets to be part of the NXT North American Championship Ladder Match at Stand & Deliver.

Strong went for a waistlock takedown, Solo broke free with a punch followed by a running shoulder tackle. Solo with a headbutt followed by a clothesline. Strong with strikes, Solo came back with a hard slap to the face, a body slam and a splash for two. Strong got a hold of Solo’s arms and drove his arms into the ropes. Strong worked over Solo with punches, a knee to the ribs, a stomp on the hands and Strong sat on Solo with a chinlock. When Solo tried to fight back, Strong got a hold of him leading to a backbreaker. Strong with hard chops to the chest, then a stomp on the foot (no shoes for Solo) to block a move and Solo came back with a couple of forearms. Strong was able to come back with kicks to the chest. Strong hit an Angle Slam for a two count. Santos Escobar walked out to watch the match in a suit with Escobar as one of the guys already qualified for the Ladder Match. Solo with a front suplex, then punches to the head, a back elbow and a headbutt. Solo with a running splash followed by a Samoan Drop for a two count. Solo went up top, Strong greeted him with a kick to the head and when Strong went up top, Solo knocked him down. Solo hit a Superfly Splash for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Solo Sikoa

Analysis: **3/4 A pretty good match here with some hard hitting moves early on, Strong took over for a few minutes and Solo came back to get the win. It was a lot of strikes in the match. I don’t think the flow of the match was that great, but they certainly put over Solo in a way that made him earn it. The finish was simple with just a headbutt followed by the top rope splash.

The Ladder Match for the North American Championship had champion Carmelo Hayes, Santos Escobar and now Solo Sikoa in the match. There were two more spots.

They showed a video of Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta from earlier in the day talking in the locker room. They trash talked eachother about their relationships about who has more views for their kisses. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m too old to care. Indi said Dexter is going to beat Tony D’Angelo and if Persia wants to watch the match with her man Duke Hudson then she can.

Tony D’Angelo made his entrance.

(Commercial)

Dexter Lumis was with Indi Hartwell while Duke Hudson and girlfriend Persia Pirotta were watching at ringside. The commentators talked about the millions of views on TikTok that the NXT kisses got. Thrilling.

Tony D’Angelo vs. Dexter Lumis

Tony took control with a belly-to-belly side slam. Lumis came back with a Thesz Press and punches. Lumis with a whip into the corner followed by a fallaway slam, which one of Scott Hall’s patented moves. Lumis hit a running back elbow for a two count. Lumis with a body slam and a leg drop. Tony broke free, left the ring, Lumis followed and Tony tripped up Lumis on the floor so that Lumis bumped into the steel steps.

(Commercial)

Tony was in control with a chinlock, Lumis broke free and connected with punches including a clothesline and a running bulldog. Lumis with a belly to back suplex and leg drop for two. Tony elbowed his way out of a hold by Lumis, then they ran the ropes and did a double clothesline spot. Hudson was shown at ringside taking his shirt off and went over to Lumis. Tony wanted his crowbar, Hartwell grabbed it, then Pirotta grabbed it and Tony got a hold of it and he hit Lumis with it (the referee’s view was obstructed). Tony hit a twisting neckbreaker slam for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Tony D’Angelo

Analysis: **1/4 It was decent, but not that interesting. Lumis matches are hard to get into sometimes. Tony D getting the win made sense since he’s in a featured match at Stand & Deliver while Lumis isn’t pushed that much these days. The cheap win was fitting for a heel like Tony D.

Tony D’Angelo did a promo saying that Tommaso Ciampa took the bait. Tony said that the new don of NXT arrives at Stand & Deliver. Ciampa made his entrance to confront Tony D with Ciampa arriving behind Tony. Ciampa with a kick to the gut and a Fairytale Ending. Ciampa told Tony he doesn’t get to tell him when he’s done. Ciampa said that Stand & Deliver might be his final chapter in NXT, and if it is then Ciampa will write his own fairytale ending.

Analysis: The Stand & Deliver match between Tony D and Ciampa is likely Ciampa’s NXT farewell because he’ll be on Raw or Smackdown after that. I think Tony D should win, but if Ciampa wins then that’s perfectly fine too. It just makes more sense for the guy leaving NXT to put over the younger guy.

The NXT Champion Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Roode said that he is a former NXT Champion that dominated this place for 12 months. Roode said he paved the way and built this place. Ziggler told Roode to humble Bron Breakker while adding that Bron will find out that he doesn’t measure up to the former or current NXT Champion.

Elektra Lopez made her entrance with her Legado buddies for singles action.

(Commercial)

Grayson Waller with Sanga did a promo about how he’s going to win the North American Championship Ladder Match at Stand & Deliver. Waller said first he has to beat A-Kid tonight and he called A-Kid a stepping stone on Waller’s road to superstardom.

Fallon Henley had Briggs & Jensen in her corner with Jensen trying to flirt with her because he’s an awkward guy like that.

Fallon Henley vs. Elektra Lopez

Lopez slapped Henley, who came back with forearms and a dropkick. Lopez sent Henley into the top rope like a stun gun. Lopez tossed Henley across the ring and then a slam into the mat. Lopez pulled back on both of Henley’s arms while putting her feet in the back and Lopez kicked Henley into the ropes. Briggs & Jensen got into a fight with the Legado boys Wilde & Mendoza, so they went brawling to the back. Henley with punches along with a running elbow, a corner elbow splash and a bulldog for two. Henley went for another move, but Lopez sent her into the ropes and Lopez hit a sitout Powerbomb for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Elektra Lopez

Analysis: *1/4 A quick match with Lopez dominating most of it, Henley showed a lot of spark in her comeback and then Lopez used her power to put her away. I can see Lopez getting a decent push in the next few months.

Draco Anthony was in his locker room getting phone calls. Xyon Quinn was there asking if it was Gacy trying to contact him. Draco played something on his phone with Gacy saying that they can make his life much better. Quinn told Draco he knows what he has to do, Draco said handle his business like a man and Xyon said he’s got his back if he needs him.

Robert Roode made his entrance to the classic “Glorious” song that he debuted in WWE several years ago. It was a brilliant song and really just a word to help Roode’s presentation. The NXT Champion Dolph Ziggler was with Roode.

(Commercial)

The odd couple team of Wendy Choo and Dakota Kai were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Wendy said that she is Dakota’s new best friend while recapping Dakota’s issues with last year’s partner Raquel Gonzalez. Dakota said that Wendy has had too much orange soda. Dakota said that she’ll put her name on the trophy for a second time – no man or woman can say that. Dakota said tonight is their night.

Bron Breakker made his entrance wearing colorful suspenders like usual. Bron challenges Ziggler for the NXT Championship at Stand & Deliver on Saturday, April 2.

Robert Roode (w/Dolph Ziggler) vs. Bron Breakker

Bron was sent into the ropes and came back with a running shoulder block. Roode with punches, Bron ran the ropes with a leapfrog and a powerslam. Bron went after Roode outside the ring with Bron punching him back into the ring. Roode took control in the ring with some repeated stomps to the head. Roode hit two vertical suplexes in a row, Bron got up quickly and hit a clothesline. Bron went for a running shoulder tackle in the corner, but Ziggler pulled Bron out of the way and the referee saw it, so Ziggler was ejected from ringside. They went to break there.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Roode getting a boot to the face followed by a Blockbuster neckbreaker off the middle ropes. Roode with a clothesline followed by an elbow drop. Roode did some push-ups like Bron’s uncle Scott Steiner and pointed at his head to show he was playing mind games. Joseph said you know who he’s paying tribute to without saying Scott Steiner’s name. Roode hit a neckbreaker for two. Roode went to the top rope, Bron went after him and hit a Frankensteiner off the top just like Uncle Scott. Bron delivered two shoulder tackles followed by an overhead belly to belly suplex. Roode came back with a spinebuster for two. Roode wanted the Glorious DDT, Bron slipped out of it and hit a running clothesline. Bron charged, Roode got a knee up and Bron came back with a running Spear for a two count. Bron’s Spear looks incredible and definitely could be a finishing move. Bron went for a move, Roode slipped out and Roode hit the Glorious DDT for one…two…and a single arm cover led to Bron kicking out at two! Great nearfall right there. They exchanged punches. Bron rocked Roode with some punches, Roode hit the back elbow and Roode went to the middle rope. Roode jumped off the ropes, Bron caught him and Bron hit a powerslam for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bron Breakker

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a very good, competitive match where Bron continues to impress in these longer singles matches. Considering Bron has only been wrestling on TV for less than a year and wrestling only a bit longer than that, it’s impressive to see how good Bron is already. Roode hasn’t had a singles match that long on Raw or Smackdown in a long time, so it was a nice reminder of how talented he is. The fact that the NXT crowd is more vocal than most crowds certainly helps too. The finish was good because Bron’s regular finisher is a press slam into a powerslam, so they just had Roode jump onto the shoulders this time and Bron hit the powerslam for the win. As I noted in the match review, Bron’s Spear is really devastating as well, so that’s a move that could be a finisher some day too.

Bron Breakker celebrated the win, he was in the aisle and when he turned around, Dolph Ziggler was there to superkick him. Ziggler told Bron that the NXT Title stays with Dolph until he decides to give it away.

Analysis: I think Bron will get the NXT Title back at Stand & Deliver. If he doesn’t win, I’ll be very surprised.

There was a locker room scene with Dexter Lumis and Indi Hartwell, who was helping Lumis put ice on his head. Persia Pirotta walked up with a shirtless Duke Hudson, which led to some trash talk. Pirotta said Duke could beat anybody on the roster. Lumis drew a painting of Gunther (likely done earlier, but we are supposed to think he drew it in 30 seconds) and they asked if Hudson could beat Gunther. Hudson was a bit apprehensive about it but wanted to prove to Pirotta that he could do it.

Kay Lee Ray and Io Shirai were shown getting ready for their tag team match later in the show.

Grayson Waller made his entrance with the big man Sanga by his side.

(Commercial)

There was a Chase University skit with Bodhi Hayward talking about Von Wagner attacking them and he has shown fortitude in coming back from it. Some guy raised his hand, so Bodhi swore at him. Chase asked who taught him to speak like that, Bodhi said Chase is the one that taught him and Chase swore at the guy. Bodhi said he’d face Von Wagner next week. Chase said it was a teachable moment.

Analysis: These skits are silly, but fun at least. They are teachable moments.

NXT North American Championship Qualifying Match: Grayson Waller (w/Sanga) vs. A-Kid

A-Kid hit an impressive leap off the top rope into a headscissors. A-Kid with an arm drag followed by a dropkick. Waller grabbed the arm and sent A-Kid into the ropes. Waller kicked A-Kid and then A-Kid got a couple of cradles. Waller came back with a running boot to the face. A-Kid broke free leading to an impressive leaping dropkick and a suicide dive attempt, but it looked like Waller caught him. Waller jumped back into the ring for a move, A-Kid caught him in a submission and Waller broke free. Waller went off the middle rope with a jumping legsweep off the ropes. Waller did his leap into the ring followed by a Stunner on A-Kid for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Grayson Waller

Analysis: *3/4 I’m a bit surprised that it was so short, but there was a lot of action and cool moves from two talented athletes. I liked the two moves that Waller hit back to back to win the match. A-Kid is very talented and should do well in the coming months.

The Ladder Match for the North American Championship had champion Carmelo Hayes, Santos Escobar, Solo Sikoa, and now Grayson Waller in the match. There is one more spot left.

Carmelo Hayes, the NXT North American Champion, was in the ring with Trick Williams. Hayes said he’ll put the three qualifying match losers in a match in a triple threat match where the winner of that gets to go on to the NXT North American Championship Ladder Match at Stand & Deliver. It’s Cameron Grimes, Roderick Strong and A-Kid. They trash-talked A-Kid a bit, A-Kid kicked Williams in the head and left.

Analysis: I think Grimes should win that match and even win the title as well. They may go with A-Kid to win the match as another option.

Von Wagner and Robert Stone were shown complaining about the Jacket Time guys with Stone specifically pointing out Ikemen Jiro. Wagner said one thing at a time because he’s going to destroy Bodhi Hayward next week. An attractive woman walked up to Stone saying she wanted to finish their meeting, so they left.

The Creed Brothers entered for tag team action.

(Commercial)

The Grizzled Young Veterans duo of Zack Gibson and James Drake with Gibson mocking the Creed Brothers a bit and that led to a brawl to start the match.

The Creed Brothers (Brutus & Julius Creed) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake)

Brutus hit Drake with two gutwrench suplexes. Julius tagged in, Gibson with a distraction and Drake drove Julius to the turnbuckle. Gibson tagged in with a clothesline. Julius hit a release German Suplex. Gibson with a back elbow to get out of the Creed corner, Drake tagged in and hit a jumping enziguri kick. Drake dropkicked Brutus off the apron to the floor. The GYV guys made quick tags saw them take control of Julius with Gibson hitting him with a forearm to the face. Drake tagged in, he went for a move off the ropes, Julius sent Gibson out of the ring and then a Spear into the knee of Drake, who was favoring the knee. Brutus hit a huge slam off the shoulders followed by a powerful clothesline for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Creed Brothers (Brutus & Julius Creed)

Analysis: ** A competitive, shorter match to put over the Creed Brothers going into Stand & Deliver. The GYV boys were in control for most of it and it only took a few moves for the Creeds to get the win.

There was a video shown of the Diamond Mine gym with somebody spray painting “Don’t Cry” on the wall. There are texts that appeared on screen that said: “Creed Brothers, you clearly can’t find us, so we’ll find you. Until then, enjoy the view.”

Analysis: That means these mystery guys were the ones that attacked the Creed Brothers in the past. Hopefully it’s not as bad as the Retribution stable was on Raw last year.

Gunther was shown walking backstage with his Imperium buddies.

(Commercial)

Gunther (w/Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) vs. Duke Hudson (w/Persia Pirotta)

Gunther with a shoulder tackle followed by a body slam. Gunther charged, Hudson got an elbow up and then Gunther hit a massive chop that knocked Hudson down. Gunther worked over Hudson with forearms to the chest. Gunther delivered two more hard chops to the chest. The crowd was going crazy for that. It was so loud! It even got a “Holy Shit” chant. Hudson managed to get some offense with a boot to the face. Gunther lifted Hudson to the apron, shoulder block by Duke and then he jumped back into the ring with German Suplex. That was a good spot. Gunther decked Hudson with a clothesline along with two more hard chops to the chest and a boot to the face. Gunther hit a Powerbomb for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Gunther

Analysis: ** A dominant win by Gunther, who is going to be hard to beat in NXT. Hudson looks like an impressive guy since he’s tall, but he isn’t getting pushed that much other than making out with Pirotta. Gunther’s chops are so great to watch and hearing the crowd react to them in a big way makes them even more fun. Hudson’s chest was bright red by the end of the match and it was only four minutes.

Gunther did a post match promo saying he’s the most dominant competitor in NXT and he’s still overlooked. Gunther mentioned LA Knight, which led to LA Knight making his entrance to get in the ring with Gunther and Imperium.

LA Knight: “Let me talk to ya!” Gunther: “Shut up!” Gunther told Knight that he represents what is wrong in the business because he can talk his way into championship matches, but Knight is not talented enough to win them. Knight ripped Gunther for having a “dad bod.” Knight punched Gunther, so Aichner and Barthel got a hold of Knight. MSK ran out for the save, so they cleared Barthel & Aichner out of the ring. MSK with strikes to Gunther, Knight with a powerslam on Gunther and Knight delivered a clothesline to Gunther to knock him out of the ring.

Analysis: That should be a win for Gunther at Stand & Deliver. Knight is rumored to be going to Raw or Smackdown after WrestleMania. Gunther is likely going to be pushed into the NXT Title picture in the coming months.

Cameron Grimes did a promo saying last week he was frustrated and emotional. Grimes talked about how his father was his hero, he lived & breathed this business so much so that Cameron was in the ring when he was in diapers. Grimes said shortly after he signed with NXT, his father passed away. Grimes said next week is the biggest match of his career because it’s his final chance at the final spot for the NXT North American Ladder Match. Grimes said he’ll do whatever it takes to win.

Analysis: Grimes is my pick to win next week and my pick to win the title at NXT Stand & Deliver if there’s a title change. They are doing a nice job of telling his story.

The Women’s Dusty Cup Finals were the main event as the team of Wendy Choo & Dakota Kai made their entrance.

(Commercial)

It’s official for Stand & Deliver on April 2: LA Knight vs. Gunther.

Io Shirai & Kay Lee Ray made their entrance for the Dusty Cup Women’s Finals. The Toxic attraction trio of NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose and NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne were watching from the “Toxic Lounge” at ringside.

Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Wendy Choo & Dakota Kai vs. Io Shirai & Kay Lee Ray

Choo was wrestling in pajamas as usual as she did a headscissors with Shirai landing on her feet. KLR tagged in with a kick to the back and Shirai hit a dropkick. Choo with a drop toe hold on Ray and then a cover using her legs to hold the arms down for a two count. Choo with a dropkick, Kai tagged in and both women hit running kicks on KLR for a two count. Kai got a rollup on KLR for a two count. Ray sent Kai into the ropes, Shirai wanted a 619 kick, but Choo blocked it using her pillow. Shirai sent Kai out of the ring. Ray hit a suicide dive onto Choo and Shirai hit a suicide dive on Kai as well. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Choo was on fire for her team with a clothesline on KLR and a belly to belly suplex. Choo with a corner attack leading to an elbow drop for two. Choo got a rollup on Ray for two. Shirai went into the ring, Choo threw her out. Kai hit KLR with a pump kick while Choo hit a belly to belly off the top and legal woman Kai got a pin attempt for two. Shirai tagged in with a flapjack and a 619 kick. Ray tagged in with a dive off the turnbuckle onto Kai for a two count as Choo made the save. All four women were in the ring, Kai fought out of a KLR Bomb and hit a backstabber – double knees to the back. Kai went up top, Choo made the tag, Kai with a double foot stomp off the top and Choo hit an impressive splash on KLR for two as Shirai hit a dropkick on Kai, who landed on Choo to break up the pin. Shirai with a backbreaker on Kai, Choo with a full nelson slam on Shirai and KLR with a headbutt on Choo. KLR with a KLR Bomb on Choo, Shirai got the tag and Shirai hit the Over The Moonsault for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Io Shirai & Kay Lee Ray

Analysis: ***1/4 Good job by the ladies. Shirai is awesome as usual and the star of nearly every match she has. KLR did well with some big moves including the KLR Bomb to set up Shirai’s moonsault to win. I’ve warmed up to the Choo gimmick because I have seen how talented she is in the ring. Kai did less of the gimmicky crazy woman this week, so she was back to her normal self. I’m glad they had such a good match in the tournament finals because some of the matches in the tourney were so short, but at least with this match we can look at it and say it was damn good.

The team of Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray were announced as the Women’s Dusty Cup Champions. The trophy was in the ring with Shirai and Ray.

The Toxic Attraction trio of Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne went into the ring. Rose congratulated Io and KLR for winning the Women’s Dusty Cup. Rose said if you think that you will beat Gigi & Jacy to become Tag Team Champions, you’re sadly mistaken. KLR said that when they got into the Dusty Cup Tournament, they had one thing in mind – destroy Toxic Attraction. KLR said that the best way to do that is to take away Mandy’s NXT Women’s Title. Shirai said that Mandy said she could face any woman for that title. KLR said that her and Io think that they are going to cash in the tag team title opportunity by making the NXT Women’s Title match at Stand & Deliver into a Fatal 4-Way match. Mandy and friends attacked Shirai and Ray, so then Cora Jade ran out for the save. The heels retreated while Shirai, Ray and Jade stood tall in the ring. The announcers wondered if that means there is 4-way match at Stand & Deliver. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: That segment could set up a tag team match for next week. I find it a bit strange that they would have a duo win a tag team tournament and have them turn it into a title shot against the NXT Women’s Champion. I understand from the perspective of making the NXT Women’s Championship match between because Mandy vs. Jade vs. Shirai vs. KLR is better than if it was just Mandy vs. Jade. Perhaps they want to get the title on Shirai on KLR although I think Mandy should keep it. Anyway, it doesn’t bother me that the Dusty Cup winners are passing on getting a Women’s Tag Team Title match. It just makes the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles seem even less important.

Good promo by Mandy Rose post show as always. Maybe I’m biased? Probably. That’s okay.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Bron Breakker
  2. Io Shirai/Kay Lee Ray
  3. Robert Roode

 

The Scoreboard

This week: 7 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

 

Final Thoughts

A solid show with some pretty good matches along with storyline building. I thought Bron Breakker-Robert Roode was very good and a nice reminder of how talented Bron already is very early in his career. Roode is awesome as usual. The women’s tag team main event match was also fun to watch.

They are building to Stand & Deliver on April 2 really well. Lots of good matches on that show to go along with storylines that have been in place for weeks. Some of the winners are obvious while I expect a few title changes as well.

Here is what has been announced for NXT Takeover Stand & Deliver on April 2nd at 1pm ET/12pm CT so far:

wwe nxt stand and deliver 2022 womens title

NXT Championship: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Bron Breakker

NXT Women’s Championship: Mandy Rose (c) vs. Cora Jade vs. Io Shirai vs. Kay Lee Ray

NXT North American Championship Ladder Match: Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Santos Escobar vs. Solo Sikoa vs. Grayson Waller vs. Cameron Grimes/Roderick Strong/A-Kid

Gunther vs. LA Knight

NXT Tag Team Championships: Imperium (Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel) (c) vs. The Creed Brothers (Julius Creed & Brutus Creed) vs. MSK (Nash Carter & Wes Lee)

Tommaso Ciampa vs. Tony D’Angelo

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

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

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