Roundtable: NXT TakeOver Stand & Deliver Night One Preview

NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver takes place this week over two nights. We asked our team to preview night one headlined by Io Shirai vs. Raquel Gonzalez.

NXT TakeOver SAD - Io Shirai vs Raquel Gonzalez

Credit: WWE

It is almost time for the biggest NXT TakeOver of all time. Literally. WWE have decided to make NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver a two night affair and we are more than down with that, when the card is as strong as this.

This preview looks specifically at night one which takes place on Wednesday 7th April and will air on BT Sport in the UK and USA Network in the States.

We asked our team to run down the matches slated for the event, pick their winners and give their thoughts on the matches. You can also read our equally extensive preview for night one right here.

You may still be in time to enter our predictions contest with prizes from WWE Euroshop. If you are reading this before 11PM UK time/6PM EST on Wednesday 7th April, you can enter by clicking right here. The winner will take home a brand new Karrion Kross shirt.

NXT Women’s Championship: Io Shirai (c) vs. Raquel Gonzalez

SAD Io Shirai Raquel Gonzalez
Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: I’m expecting a title change here. Shirai is a hugely exciting worker but in truth, her title reigh hasn’t grabbed my attention in the same way that it has other people. I think it’s been fine but lacking true drama, almost like she is holding the belt until they find the right person to give a proper run to. Well, Gonzalez looks to be that right person. Clearly earmarked for prominence since the moment she debuted, we will likely see her take the title here to start another dominant heel run that NXT has been so fond of over the years.

Winner: Raquel Gonzalez

Chris Hatch: It took longer for Io Shirai to grow on me than it probably did with most people. Whilst I rate her, Raquel Gonzalez has grown on me extremely quickly, and this really does feel like her time to shine. In no way was she being held back by teaming with Dakota Kai, but she has clearly shown how she could be dominant in either a singles or tag environment. It probably stems back to how long it took me to ‘get’ Shirai at all that it feels like the right time to move the belt to someone like Gonzalez who is on the rise at such a significant rate. 

Winner: Raquel Gonzalez

Cameron Bennett: Io has had a great reign, since winning the title almost a year ago, defeating all comers. However, Raquel Gonzalez is a force of nature. A mountain of a woman with all the talent in the world and a bright future ahead of her. It’s Raquel’s time to shine and be the giant final boss of the women’s division of NXT so my prediction is obvious. Io Shirai wins again ALL HAIL QUEEN IO! 

Winner: Io Shirai

Josh Chapman: This is the match I have been waiting for ever since WarGames and I’m so glad they’ve saved it for Mania week.

Whether it be WarGames, Rhea Ripley, the Dusty Cup, or whenever she is in the ring, Raquel is now a juggernaut destined for the top.

Io will go into TakeOver just short of a year as Champion, but her reign has been somewhat underwhelming for me as she has been outshone by the best women’s division on the planet, that charge being led from the front by Gonzalez. Alicia Taylor will be finishing Night One ushering “AND NEW”.

Winner: Raquel Gonzalez

Marc Hemingway: Shirai definitely isn’t one to back down from a fight, but picking a fight with someone like Gonzalez is a different thing completely. I’ve been incredibly impressed with Gonzalez ever since she beat Rhea Ripley in a Last Woman Standing match in January. I just don’t think Io can compare to the brutality and intensity of Gonzalez.

Winner: Raquel Gonzalez

James ‘Jester’ Dee: Io Shirai has the champion’s itch; she is begging for a real opponent. For what is a champion if your challengers cannot come close to competing with you? So, in seeking a viable challenger, Shirai has gone out and hand-picked Raquel Gonzalez, thinking that Gonzalez is the one to bring out the best of Io Shirai. For me Shirai’s reign has been fine but seems to have taken a backseat to other things so hopefully this match puts the NXT Women’s Championship back as THE most sought-after women’s championship in the world. A monster vs. highflyer is a classic and easy story to tell and I think Gonzalez is going to be a tough opponent for The Genius of the Sky but Shirai is ultimately going to defeat her and move on to finding a more demanding/cunning challenger

Winner: Io Shirai

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NXT Tag Team Championship: MSK vs. Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Legado del Fantasma

SAD MSK Grizzled Young Veterans Legado del Fantasma
Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: What is there to say here, really? There’s no really story going into this one, with the match being set in the aftermath of the unfortunate injury to Danny Burch which meant he and Oney Lorcan were stripped of the belts. I would love to see the Grizzled Young Veterans win this. I am an enormous fan of their act and they could be the next big tam team stars in NXT. Almost like if The Revival had a penchant for Doc Martens and Stone Island clobber. I don’t think I’ll get my wish, however. It feels NXT brass are in a rush to put MSK at the top of the division and it is easy to see why. Exciting young babyfaces with a genuine fan connection and natural charisma. It makes sense.

Winners: MSK

Chris Hatch: First of all, the reason for this match coming about is the disappointment here. Having watched the rise, fall and rise again of Danny Burch, seeing him get injured just before the big stage is gutting. That said, it’s created an opportunity, and I’m going to lean towards his fellow Brits on this one. They’ve done the job of making teams look good in the Dusty Classic finals two years in a row, and that’s why I don’t see MSK winning it after getting the rub there. Fantasma just don’t fit in to the mix for me either, so with the way they’ll be able to run with the belts it’s GYV all the way on this one. 

Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans

Cameron Bennett: I cannot see LdF winning this as it would change my prediction for a match on night 2. MSK, are an incredible team and the de-facto Number 1 contenders by virtue of winning the Dusty Cup. That being said, it’s time for Liverpool’s number one to finally become NXT’s number one team. Shoes off for GYV.

Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans

Josh Chapman: MSK have earned the natural passage and right to the Tag Titles through their outstanding debut run in the Dusty Cup.

Legado being in this match without the addition of Breezangoto make it a fatal-four way makes extremely little sense in my eyes.

However, despite being runners-up in both 2020 and 2021 I can’t see past the Grizzled Young Veterans taking this one. Especially with how hot they have been both in and out of the ring during their current run.

The NXT Tag Team Championship? SOON TO BE RECOGNISED.

Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans

Marc Hemingway: I have absolutely no idea which team will be winning this one. It’ll definitely have a lot of high flying moves and spots but as to who comes out on top, I think all three teams are too close to call. So with the flip of a three sided coin, I’m choosing Legado

Winners: Legado del Fantasma

James ‘Jester’ Dee: After the unfortunate necessity of stripping the titles away from Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan due to injury to the former this match is aiming to deliver big time. Legado del Fantasma are amazing in their own right but unless NXT is planning a three-champion stable with Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar I don’t see it happening yet. MSK have come into NXT with plenty of hype and success and while they may have won the Dusty Cup, the ultimate victors will be Zack Gibson and James Drake. Grizzled Young Veterans are just so good that it is just when not if they get the titles, and what better time than right now.

Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans


NXT UK Championship: WALTER (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa

SAD WALTER Tommaso Ciampa
Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: Basically pick a meme or social media catchphrase that suggests I would want to watch this match even if I had to sell my grandmother to do so. Which I would. Sorry Granny Benson. This match is just an absolute dream for me. I have enormous respect for both men and their styles are exactly how I like my wrestling. Meshing them together just seems like the most obvious thing in the world but I had never even thought about it until they were paired together. Absurdly, I don’t think it is even the NXT match I am most looking forward at Stand & Deliver, but that just speaks to the high standards of the line up given to us. I suspect this match will be one I come back to time and time again and it will live up the high standards of previous UK Title matches at TakeOver events. I have to pick a winner? Oh go on then. If I must.

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Winner: WALTER

Chris Hatch: I’m guessing I’ll be in the minority here, but this match just doesn’t hold any interest for me. I’ve never bought in to either competitor, but that may be from seeing them in the earlier days of their careers. That being said I’ve got to pick a winner, and Walter putting the NXT UK title on the line gives me the result for this one in my mind, especially with the set up for being on Prelude the following night. 

Winner: WALTER

Cameron Bennett: Who can beat WALTER? The irresistible force and the immovable object all rolled into one Austrian Chop Machine. Someone has to dethrone Der Ring General at some point but I don’t think even the Psycho Killer can do it. WALTER to win thanks to some Thatcherism (Milk thief) 

Winner: WALTER

Josh Chapman: This is the one match I am massively looking forward to on Night One of TakeOver.

Walter and Ciampa one-on-one means we are getting nothing but mat wrestling, physicality, and brutality, and I can feel my adrenaline pumping already when this match is mentioned.

The inner wrestling nerd within is hoping that Timothy Thatcher turns on Ciampa and joins Imperium to re-form Ringkampf on the global stage.

WALTER retains before dropping the gold to my fellow Yorkshireman Rampage Brown at Prelude the next night.

Winner: WALTER

Marc Hemingway: The other day I realised I’ve never actually seen a WALTER match so went back and saw a few. Ciampa has a serious fight on his hands with this guy! Ciampa is going to be outmatched in this one I think, especially if Imperium are hanging around. WALTER will be using this to show NXT what he’s capable of and will be keeping hold of the NXT UK Championship for a while yet.

Winner: WALTER

James ‘Jester’ Dee: I think a lot of people watching this will really have no idea who WALTER is or what he’s about, which is a shame but it’s also wonderful because they are about to get an education on probably the purest monster heel in wrestling at the moment. The man has no gimmick, no flash, he doesn’t even really have a finishing move, he just keeps wrestling you until you stop kicking out. WALTER is pure wrestling throwback at its highest level and the thought of him against Ciampa is tantalising to say the least. I really do not see Ciampa winning this, though it may be the toughest match WALTER has had so far, if purely for the logistical reasons of Ciampa not really being able to head to the UK for an extended sojourn. WALTER wins this and expect Ciampa’s chest to resemble finely minced beef at the end of it.

Winner: WALTER


Gauntlet Eliminator For North American Championship Title Shot: Leon Ruff vs. Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott vs. Bronson Reed vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Dexter Lumis vs. LA Knight

NXT TakeOver SAD Isaiah Scott Leon Ruff Bronson Reed Cameron Grimes Dexter Lumis LA Knight
Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: It is a very slight shame when annoying habits from the WWE main roster seep into NXT. A hackneyed attempt to get everyone on to their biggest card of the year is just such an annoying habit. With the winner of this match going on to face Johnny Gargano the day after, the obvious pick here is Dexter Lumis. My gut tells that they won’t go with the obvious pick but I am struggling to come up with a compelling case for any of the other five. So I’ll keep it simple and plump for everyone’s favourite lunatic.

Winner: Dexter Lumis

Chris Hatch: I certainly like the way they’ve put this together, albeit a week before the event. It’s made everyone strong going in to it, but the two who stand out for me (even if they weren’t the final two entering the match) are Lumis and Knight. Whilst I’d like to give the nod to the black and gold brand’s newcomer, it feels like Lumis would be a better fit for the match with Gargano on night two. 

Winner: Dexter Lumis

Cameron Bennett: I cannot work out the storyline here. Normally gauntlet matches encompass running feuds which means you would expect Bronson and LA Knight to be the final 2 but that goes against my prediction and the obvious choice Dexter Lumis. Sometimes predictable is the best bet.

Winner: Dexter Lumis

Josh Chapman: I’m a massive Johnny Gargano fan, always have been and always will be, but why must Dexter Lumis go through such a confusing and long-winded process to become the Number One contender?

The stalking of The Way, the vacation with Austin Theory, and the infatuations of Indi Hartwell, for months makes it nonsensical to even include the others involved in this match as talented as the line-up has been.

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I can’t see past Lumis, but if they do go for the swerve then I hope it is LA Knight.

Winner: Dexter Lumis

Marc Hemingway: Lumis is the only credible winner in this one surely? I don’t think I’d be bothered about the NXT North American title match on night two otherwise. ESPECIALLY if Grimes wins.

Winner: Dexter Lumis

James ‘Jester’ Dee: If WWE have demonstrated anything over the past few years; it is that they can put together one hell of a Gauntlet match. Genuinely any one of these competitors could win this and I don’t think anyone would have an issue. Ruff has history with Gargano and the North American Title, Swerve is great and could really use a good showing here to big him back up, Bronson Reed is on a tear right now, Grimes, in this humble writers opinion, can do no wrong at the moment, Lumis has been messing with The Way for a long time now and LA Knight is on course to be a standout in NXT. With all of that being said I think it ultimately comes down to Grimes and Lumis, they have a fun history and although Grimes could do great things with the title in his Million Dollar Man/Beverly Hillbilly routine I think Lumis will complete his showdown with the Way and head on to face Gargano on night two.

Winner: Dexter Lumis


KUSHIDA vs. Pete Dunne

NXT TakeOver SAD KUSHIDA Pete Dunne
Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: This one has seemingly been lobbed on the card to fill out the time on the show and get two fantastic workers in the mix where they deserve to be. I do think there is a little more to it than that. I suspect this might be the start of Pete Dunne’s slow push to the main event. With that in mind, expect the Englishman to win here. It is going to be an absolute clinic isn’t it?

Winner: Pete Dunne

Chris Hatch: If given the right time and pacing, this has the potential to be something very special. We all know what both men are capable of, but who needs the victory on their record? To contradict myself, I’d say KUSHIDA needs it more at the moment but expect ‘The Bruiserweight’ to get the win. I’m just not sure where either man fits in after this, so hopefully they can create a niche for themselves. 

Winner: Pete Dunne

Cameron Bennett: The only thing I can say for definite is that this will just about be match of the night on a card of match of the year contenders. Some going! KUSHIDA does look ripe for a push and possible title run with any belt at some point soon, but Pete Dunne is Pete Dunne and I believe he is the man who will dethrone Balor in the near future so a win for Pete!

Winner: Pete Dunne

Josh Chapman: If the UK Championship bout is going to be a masterpiece in mat wrestling, this will be a technical masterpiece.

Both are coming off title losses at the previous TakeOver and whilst this match was thrown together at the last minute to back up the epic Pete Dunne promo on NXT TV in March, you shouldn’t sleep on the possibility that this could steal the show. The rise of the Bruiserweight starts here.

Winner: Pete Dunne

Marc Hemingway: This is now the match I’m most excited for on Night One. Both Kushida and Dunne are incredible technical wrestlers and them facing off will be great to watch, I’ve no doubt they’ll be able to tell an amazing story in the ring (to make up for the lack of build to the match.)

Dunne has a win over Finn Balor, Kushida was doing well but lost to Gargano. Dunne needs to get the win here to carry on his build up and fully insert himself into the title picture.

Winner: Pete Dunne

James ‘Jester’ Dee: This is pretty much the definition of a filler match which is frustrating to a degee. Both men deserve something a bit more fulfilling, and wonderful in other ways, because it’s going to be awesome – It’s Dunne vs. KUSHIDA for Pete’s sake? The other frustrating thing is neither man is really in a position to lose at the moment, both having lost big championship opportunities in recent memory. It’s going to be a great match, but I think Dunne will just edge it out.

Winner: Pete Dunne


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