NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Preview: Match Card, Predictions & More

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Match Predictions and Heat Index Anticipation Levels

Temperature Scale = Scorching > Hot > Lukewarm > Temperate > Chilly > Cold > Freezing

Heat Index is my assessment of how interesting the segment is, including how excited I am for the match and how intriguing the feud has been. The hotter, the better. Scorching translates to not being able to wait to see it, while Freezing means I couldn’t possibly care less and think it will be awful.

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NXT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
Finn Balor (c) vs. Karrion Kross

Heat Index = Hot
Prediction: Karrion Kross wins.

Thoughts: This is WWE’s chance to right the ship back to the course it was supposed to be months ago. There’s no way Kross walks out of here without the title. Absolutely not. I don’t know whether or not the match itself is going to be great, as I haven’t seen enough of Kross to fully be able to judge if he’ll have chemistry with Balor, but I’m leaning more toward it being likely a solid match, but nothing super duper amazing. Still, a title change is fun and I like when the dynamics of the roster shift.

NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
Io Shirai (c) vs. Raquel Gonzalez

Heat Index = Hot
Prediction: Raquel Gonzalez wins.

Thoughts: When thinking about people who have improved the most over a short time frame, Raquel Gonzalez is certainly one of them. Reina wasn’t great when she was in the Mae Young Classic, but she’s gotten to the point where I’m totally okay with her dethroning Io Shirai. Frankly, I think it’s time it happens, too. Shirai has held the title nearly a year, which is a great reign. Let’s go with Gonzalez winning here.

UNSANCTIONED MATCH:
Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly

Heat Index = Scorching
Prediction: Kyle O’Reilly wins.

Thoughts: There’s no way this isn’t great. I loved the promo about O’Reilly trying to get his soul back. These two are passionate, fantastic in-ring performers and I have a feeling we have a potential Match of the Year candidate to come with this. I could see a scenario where Cole wins to set up a Loser Leaves Town match on television that O’Reilly can win, but if that’s not the case, let’s just go with O’Reilly winning here and keep it cleaner.

NXT CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP LADDER MATCH:
Jordan Devlin (c) vs. Santos Escobar (c)

Heat Index = Hot
Prediction: Santos Escobar wins.

Thoughts: Jordan Devlin isn’t my favorite guy in the cruiserweight division, but he’s a trustworthy performer, that’s for sure. Santos Escobar, on the other hand, is totally someone I’m a big fan of. I’m 100% rooting for him to win this match and I’m super happy WWE is not only finally addressing the title situation, but has also made this a ladder match. This is awesome and I’m looking forward to this more than I thought I would, to be honest. This could be the best match of the show, and I’m glad I’m thinking that about a lot of matches.

NXT WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart (c) vs. The Way

Heat Index = Lukewarm
Prediction: The Way wins.

Thoughts: I haven’t been the biggest fan of these new titles. The belts look good, but I don’t think this division is needed, nor did I like how they went about introducing them, nor switching the titles so fast. However, if you give me Moon and Blackheart against LeRae and Hartwell, that’s about the best match you can get on paper right now for these belts. Thumbs up for going with logic, despite how we’ve already seen this match I think twice in recent weeks. Either way, I’m at least hoping for The Way to come out with the titles, even though I’m not 100% sold that’s the smartest prediction.

NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP TRIPLE THREAT MATCH:
Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Legado Del Fantasma vs. MSK

Heat Index = Hot
Prediction: MSK wins.

Thoughts: I can see a case being made for any of these three teams winning. Frankly, I’d be okay with any of them winning, too. That’s one of the reasons I’m high on this. While I do want to see Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan against MSK down the line, this may be an even better match, overall, than if we had just gotten that. Sign me up. This should be one of the many in the long running tradition of tag team matches at TakeOver events being great.

GAUNTLET ELIMINATOR MATCH:
Bronson Reed vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Dexter Lumis vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. LA Knight vs. Leon Ruff

Heat Index = Hot
Prediction: Dexter Lumis wins.

Thoughts: Matches like this, if booked well, can be great ways to put over the winner. Someone like Bronson Reed, for instance, could go the distance after entering third, which would put him in a great position to challenge for the belt. I like the crop of talent, even though I’d swap out a few names for other people. This isn’t something to go nuts over, but it’s solid and I’m curious who will win.

NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
Johnny Gargano (c) vs. TBD

Heat Index = Hot
Prediction: Johnny Gargano wins.

Thoughts: This entirely depends on who he ends up facing. However, we know Gargano is one of the most reliable talents. I can’t imagine he’s going to have a bad match with any of these guys, although I’d be disappointed if someone like Ruff were to win. I would definitely pick some over some others, as far as who I’d prefer to see challenge for the title, but we’ll have to find out. The worst case scenario is still likely a good match.

NXT UK CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
WALTER (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Heat Index = Hot
Prediction: WALTER wins.

Thoughts: These two are going to beat the piss out of each other. I can’t wait. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this is a sleeper potential best match of the show. It certainly has that potential. Sadly, the outcome is a bit spoiled since we know Ciampa isn’t likely to go to the UK, plus Rampage Brown is set to have a title match against WALTER the next day on NXT UK: Prelude, so that makes it a tad less interesting than if the belt were in any jeopardy. Still, I’m very excited to see this.

SINGLES MATCH:
Kushida vs. Pete Dunne

Heat Index = Temperate
Prediction: Pete Dunne wins.

Thoughts: I’m sure it will be good and all, but that doesn’t mean I have to be jumping off the walls excited about it. There isn’t much build to it. They took each other out of the battle royal and that’s about it. It’s filler.

OVERALL PPV:
How excited am I for the event as a whole?

Heat Index = Hot

Thoughts: I can’t imagine these two nights aren’t not only great, but better overall than WrestleMania. Some of these matches are SO good on paper, at the very least. We know the NXT crop of talent is hungry and tries to bring it every show, so I have faith they’ll deliver.

What do you think is going to happen at WWE NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver 2021? Which matches are you most excited to see? Keep the discussion going in the comments below!

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