Melo doesn't miss, Waller gets his comeuppance, Duke makes his choice.
If you have followed NXT from its black & gold heyday in 2015-18, through the drab period of 2019-21, into the paint-splattered, oversexed NXT 2.0 era and now to this hybrid model, it’s hard to believe how far the brand has come.
The original iteration of NXT TakeOver events almost always overdelivered action-packed matches between some of the most talented wrestlers in the world. Then the brand got overhauled into a true developmental territory, with inexperienced men and women play-acting as wrestlers and living out the lurid fantasies of Vince McMahon and his cronies.
But ever since NXT’s latest reboot last year, the brand has found a good mix of talented wrestling with cheesy “sports entertainment” schlock. The result was a Stand and Deliver Saturday that produced some other-worldly in-ring action alongside silly dramatic moments.
You’d never have Duke Hudson’s temptation to turn his back on Chase U on the same card as the North American Championship five-way barn-burner. Brooks Jensen’s lovesick choice between his woman and morals wouldn’t co-exist with Johnny Gargano and Grayson Waller battering each other with chairs, trashcans and kendo sticks.
What we have now is a perfect hybrid that still can produce awful television, but it certainly has a better chance of providing something for everyone than it has at any point in its recent past.
Let’s get to it…