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WWE NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver 2021 preview and predictions
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Pro Wrestling

WWE NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver 2021 preview and predictions

Who’s ready for the first ever two night TakeOver event?

WWE’s NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver event will be the first ever pay-per-view from the black and gold brand to span over two nights. It’s also the first ever WWE pay-per-view to stream exclusively on NBC’s Peacock streaming service following the shutdown of the WWE Network on April 4. NXT is pulling out all the stops to celebrate this momentous occasion and to show the world that the best wrestling in WWE won’t be happening at WrestleMania.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly wrestling podcast, PTW!

On Night 1 WALTER celebrates two years as NXT UK Champion, while Tommaso Ciampa will look to have his very own David and Goliath story. The now vacant NXT Tag Team Championships have three teams vying for the straps: MSK, Grizzled Young Veterans, and Legado Del Fantasma. Io Shirai looks to continue her historic reign of utter and complete dominance over her division, but faces a red hot challenger in the form of Raquel González.

The following evening will see Johnny Gargano face off against a yet to be known opponent for his NXT North American Championship. Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly will attempt to murder one another in one of the most hyped unsanctioned matches that NXT has ever seen. And to close out the evening Finn Bálor, the Prince on NXT — who’s been essentially untouchable since his return — will face his toughest challenge yet against the undefeated monster Karrion Kross.

You can watch WWE’s NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver 2021 pay-per-view beginning this Wednesday, April 7, at 8/7 C on the US Network, and continues with Night 2 on Thursday, April 8 at 8/7 C streaming on Peacock and WWE Network. Get a head start on the action by checking out the full card and our team of expert’s predictions below. You can stay up-to-date on all the weekly WWE action by listening to our weekly wrestling podcast PTW.

Night 1

Pete Dunne vs. Kushida (singles match)

NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

WWE

Vishal: This one could honestly go either way, but KUSHIDA’s in the middle of a solid push and Dunne can afford the loss. Honestly it took them long enough.
Winner: KUSHIDA

Shane: I have to agree with everything Vishal said here. KUSHIDA needs a win here to continue his push, and a loss here will not hurt Pete Dunne in the long run.
Winner: KUSHIDA

Darius: I think on paper, I envisioned this being an easy win for Pete Dunne since he’s historically been the guy that NXT favors more, but because the feud is based around Dunne saying he’s the greatest technical wrestler in NXT, I feel like it has to end with KUSHIDA proving him wrong. A quick babyface victory for WrestleMania weekend.
Winner: KUSHIDA

MSK (Wes Lee and Nash Carter) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson) vs. Legado Del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde) – Triple threat for vacant NXT Tag Team Championships

NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

WWE

Vishal: MSK won the Dusty Classic, and it feels obvious that they were supposed to take the tag titles off of Lorcan and Burch before the injury. This feels like a solid MSK victory, although GYV really do need a big win.
Winners: MSK

Shane: I’m going to go with MSK here. They are the most exciting thing that the tag team division has currently and I personally love seeing them do what they do on TV. I’m all for keeping the tag title on MSK if that means we get more matches with them involved on TakeOver cards.
Winners: (and STILL NXT Tag Team Champions) MSK

Darius: Like Vishal mentioned, GYV really do need a win, and while MSK pinning a member of Legado Del Fantasma could allow for another two-on-two match against the Vets later on, I think we can just skip all of that and go straight for Drake and Gibson getting their moment after two back-to-back losses in the finals of the Dusty Cup.
Winners: (Soon to be recognized as NXT’s number one tag team) the Grizzled Young Veterans

Leon Ruff vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Bronson Reed vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Dexter Lumis vs. LA Knight – Six-man Gauntlet Eliminator match to determine the #1 contender for the NXT North American Championship on Night 2

NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

WWE

Vishal: I really don’t know what’s gonna happen here. Leon vs Swerve is an ongoing story and I can’t imagine they send Leon Ruff against Johnny again so he’s out. Cameron Grimes is too much of a heel, as is LA Knight. I think it’ll be Lumis, because he’s got his whole drama with The Way that feels like setup for him to take the belt off Johnny at Night 2.
Winner: Dexter Lumis

Shane: This is a hard one to call. I can’t see Ruff or Swerve Scott winning here because of their current storyline. I also can’t see LA Knight or Cameron Grimes winning here either simply because they’re both heels. So, that leaves either Bronson Reed or Dexter Lumis as the victor. I’m going to with Dexter Lumis so that he can take the belt off Johnny on Night 2.
Winner: Dexter Lumis

Darius: My heart is always with Cameron Grimes — has been for years and will be for years to come — but Gargano has more or less been in a feud with Lumis for months, and I think there’s no better time than during WrestleMania weekend to finally blow that off.
Winner: Dexter Lumis

Walter (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa – Singles match for the NXT United Kingdom Championship

NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

WWE

Vishal: The story going into this is that Ciampa’s gone soft ever since he had a kid, and it feels like a bad ending to have WALTER end up being right. That being said, I can’t imagine they end WALTER’s mammoth reign by having someone who’s not NXT UK talent take the belt away from him. My prediction is that Thatcher shows up and betrays Ciampa, joining his former comrades in Imperium and costing him the title. Ciampa’s greatest mistake is trusting anyone.
Winner: WALTER

Shane:  First off, I can’t wait for this match. Two of my favorite wrestlers in NXT squaring off in what I am sure is going to be a fantastic and gritty match. However, I think I am going to have WALTER retain here. WALTER’s reign has been going on for ages and the time just doesn’t seem right for him to lose the title so suddenly. WALTER will win, but Ciampa will still look great.
Winner: (and STILL NXT United Kingdom Champion) WALTER

Darius: I agree with Shane that Ciampa’s not beating WALTER for the NXT UK Championship, but it’s not just about the timing for me. I never bet against WALTER anyway, but I highly doubt that his super long push was set up so an American could beat him. In fact, looking at the NXT UK roster, I don’t see WALTER losing that championship for at least 8 more years.
Winner: WALTER

Io Shirai (c) vs. Raquel González w/Dakota Kai – Singles match for the NXT Women’s Championship

NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

WWE

Vishal: This one’s been coming for a while, hasn’t it? Raquel pinned Io at WarGames like Rhea pinned Shayna, and has been booked more and more like an absolute monster ever since then. At the same time, Io’s been a very dominant champion and for some reason I still feel like this isn’t the right move for the title. Raquel’s a great wrestler, don’t get me wrong, but she feels like she doesn’t fit in with the general lineage of the title. I won’t be mad if I’m wrong, but I’m thinking Io retains in a damn good match.
Winner: Io Shirai

Shane: As much as I absolutely adore Io Shirai, I think the time has come for her to finally lose the NXT Women’s championship. Raquel Gonzalez has been on a tear since WarGames (where she pinned Io by the way) and has been built up nicely as a monster heel. Deep down I think the time is right, but the only thing that makes me second guess my prediction is the monster push that Xia Li is currently receiving…but, I’m going to stick to my gut here and declare Raquel Gonzalez as the winner and new NXT Women’s Champion.
Winner: (and NEW NXT Women’s Champion) Raquel Gonzalez

Darius: Io Shirai is THE woman in NXT, and she’s living up to the pre-WWE hype that she’s one of, if not flat-out the greatest women’s wrestler on the planet. I think when she loses the belt, it’s going to be in a match where both women are absolutely bringing it — like an Ember Moon to Io’s Asuka — and while Raquel Gonzalez is absolutely on fire right now, I think this will simply be the match that fully legitimizes her, not her coronation. That being said, I would not be mad if Gonzalez did come away with the victory. Despite her strong booking, it’d still be a genuine shock to me if she won, and I’m always down to be surprised.
Winner: Io Shirai

Night 2

Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart (c) vs. The Way (Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell) – Tag team match for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship

NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

WWE

Vishal: This title already has zero prestige since it was lost on the same day it was created, so I feel like they need to actually build this up with some legitimate defenses if they want future NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions to not feel like jokes. So Ember and Shotzi win this one, I think – also because The Way hasn’t exactly been booked like people deserving of gold.
Winner: Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart

Shane: Is it sad if I say I really don’t care about this match at all? Like I’m sure it will be fine, it’s NXT’s women’s division after all, but this just doesn’t feel like it’s worth our time? I don’t know, The Way wins.
Winners: (and NEW NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions) Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell

Darius: Like the other two have said, this match has an “off” air about it because the NXT Women’s Tag Titles have been booked weirder than the Universal Championship and it’s only been a few weeks. One thing I can say is that I think this’ll be a bad weekend for The Way, and once again, we’ll have to wait for the Garganos to hold gold together.
Winners: Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon

Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly – Unsanctioned match

NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

WWE

Vishal: You don’t break up the Undisputed Era unless you want Kyle O’Reilly to flourish by himself without being beneath Adam Cole. You don’t break up the Undisputed Era the way they did unless Adam Cole loses this match.
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly

Shane: This match makes my heart hurt. I knew the Undisputed Era would break up eventually, but I still wasn’t ready for it. But, I think this match will be the babyface moment of the night when we see Kyle O’Reilly defeat Adam Cole in an outstanding match.
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly

Darius: This match is a toss-up for me, as I can totally envision Cole stealing this win from Kyle and diving deeper into the heat. But that’s WWE main roster booking; in NXT, we get stuff like Gargano beating Ciampa in their first match because it sent the crowd home happy. My heart is torn, but because of how I envision the NXT title match panning out, I think the good guy does have to go over here.
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly

Johnny Gargano (c) vs. Gauntlet Eliminator winner – Singles match for the NXT North American ChampionshipWWE NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver 2021 preview and predictions

Vishal: Based on my prediction for the Gauntlet Eliminator, I think Dexter Lumis takes this one, but either way I don’t think Johnny retains – NXT needs to elevate their midcard and undercard talent, and Gargano is always great at taking a loss when he needs to.
Winner: Gauntlet Eliminator Winner (Dexter Lumis)

Shane: I think we will see a new NXT North American Champion here. Dexter Lumis will win here. He’s extremely talented and entertaining and I’m curious to see how a Dexter Lumis title reign will look.
Winner: (and NEW NXT North American Champion) Dexter Lumis

Darius: Very interested to see how Lumis will look with a championship — which, of course, is how I see things playing out. A creepy hero holding the gold is a strange sight to behold, but I welcome it with open arms. As for the other options, the only people I could see Gargano retaining against are Ruff and Swerve. Still, that leaves this 2:1 in favor of not Gargano.
Winner: The Gauntlet Eliminator Winner, namely Dexter Lumis

Jordan Devlin (NXT Cruiserweight Champion) vs. Santos Escobar (Interim NXT Cruiserweight Champion) w/Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde – Ladder match to determine the undisputed NXT Cruiserweight Champion

NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

WWE

Vishal: The fact that this match is happening at all in spite of Devlin’s domestic abuse allegations is disgusting, and the only way I’ll be able to stomach this is if Escobar wins this convincingly.
Winner: Santos Escobar

Shane: I’m trying hard to put personal opinions aside, but I just can’t. Santos Escobar needs to win here. There’s no excuse for this to not happen.
Winner: (and Undisputed NXT Cruiserweight Champion) Santos Escobar

Darius: I kind of feel Devlin winning in my bones, as much as that may disgust y’all. After Velveteen Dream (who I also can see returning soon), I feel like NXT is just going to do NXT and chug along until something legal happens. From their booking perspective, Escobar has been Cruiserweight Champion on NXT TV while Devlin hasn’t, only doing so in NXT UK. I think we’re going to get a short American run out of Devlin before he puts someone over and goes home. Hopefully I’m wrong about all of this.
Winner: Jordan Devlin

Finn Bálor (c) vs. Karrion Kross w/Scarlett – Singles match for the NXT Championship

NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

WWE

Vishal: Kross is…far from my favorite here, while Finn is legitimately my favorite wrestler out there. So obviously I’m biased. But even beyond that, having Bálor lose here only makes him look like he never deserved to be champion – that his entire reign was only because the actual best wrestler in the company wasn’t there. I feel like you don’t need to have Kross win the title for a second time to cement him as a badass.
Winner: Finn Bálor

Shane: Timing is everything and has been my argument for almost every prediction I’ve made surrounding title matches. And because of this, I don’t see Karrion Kross winning. It just doesn’t seem like a good decision to take the title off Finn Balor at this point. I’m probably going to be wrong on this one, but let’s keep the belt on Finn Balor for a little while longer.
Winner: (and STILL NXT Champion) Finn Balor

Darius: So, I have to be wrong about one of these because this is kind of the same idea as the last match, but I kind of see Kross taking it, simply because we’ve never seen him as champion. I do like the poetry of Kross — the man who got injured winning the NXT Championship — challenging Balor — the man who got injured winning the Universal Championship — but I feel like, whereas Balor eventually lost his shot at the big red belt, he’s going to do Kross a favor and give him the belt back. Perhaps this is antiquated alongside the idea of “call-ups” in general, but I think Balor might eventually return to Raw and SmackDown, and that could happen sooner than you expect.
Winner: Karrion Kross

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