Thursday, April 18, 2024
EditorialWhat If NXT Stand & Deliver 2024 Was 2 Nights?

What If NXT Stand & Deliver 2024 Was 2 Nights?

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For the fifth year in a row, WrestleMania will be a two-night affair, but NXT Stand & Deliver has had an odd history in relation to that idea.

At first, NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay was set to take place prior to WrestleMania 36. The COVID-19 lockdown ruined those plans. When it was replaced the next year with the inaugural Stand & Deliver premium live event, it was actually a two-night special, interesting enough.

In 2022, 2023 and this year, though, WWE opted instead to book Stand & Deliver on WrestleMania Saturday, overloading the weekend and cramming it in there.

But what if it was given the same treatment as WrestleMania and allowed to go back to being a two-night special? How would that impact the card?

While the lineup has yet to be solidified for the one-afternoon Stand & Deliver 2024 show, I think we have enough toys to play with that we can sort out a two-night version of this card.

Let’s get into some fantasy booking and try to examine what could have been in this what if exploration!

Matches Already Locked In

I think it goes without being said that some matches are already practically set in stone. We might not know how they’ll confirm them, but I doubt we’re NOT getting 4 of these matches in particular.

First up, Ilja Dragunov is fighting Tony D’Angelo for the NXT Championship. That match is already official.

I think it’s safe to assume Lyra Valkyria vs. Roxanne Perez for the NXT Women’s Championship is on the horizon. It’s not the match I would have booked by any means, as I’m disappointed not only in it being a rematch from the last event, but also, that Perez just can’t pull off this heel character and her only transition has been to be “more heel”, while Valkyria’s been busy dealing with Tatum Paxley and such. I feel like it’s the weakest women’s title match we’ve had going into the biggest event of the year, but since it’s practically guaranteed, we have to work with that.

The Wolf Dogs vs. The Good Brothers for the NXT Tag Team Championship isn’t a certainty yet, but I’d imagine it’s the direction we’re heading. Not only does it get two more main roster talents on the card that aren’t doing anything on SmackDown, but it is a bigger match than anyone else in the tag team division fighting Bron Breakker and Baron Corbin. Cool. Keep it.

Lastly for the semi-guaranteed things, Carmelo Hayes vs. Trick Williams in some sort of unsanctioned match, street fight, or maybe just a regular singles match, is going to happen. I’d go so far as to say that might be the main event. But in this two-night scenario, it would CERTAINLY be one of the main events of one of those nights (arguably night 2).

Four matches in and that makes up the bulk of one night. But if we’re splitting it up, I think we can work with 10 matches in total, and I’d put Dragunov/D’Angelo as the main event of Night 1, Hayes/Williams to main event Night 2. Most likely, I’d say the women’s title match should be semi-main for Night 2 and I’d put the tag title match on Night 1 as the semi-main.

That opens up room for 6 more matches to be added to the show on the lower estimate of 5 per night, even though WWE has leaned more toward 6 for these recent NXT events. But let’s play the restricted option. What other matches could be added?

NXT North American Championship Match + Asylum Match

In this fantasy scenario where Stand & Deliver is broken up into two nights, WWE wouldn’t spread their matches over television. You don’t see Seth Rollins defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Drew McIntyre being booked for the Raw before WrestleMania, right?

Therefore, I’d assume the Asylum Match between Joe Gacy and Dijak would have been held off until this event, rather than taking place at Roadblock. While that’s a special edition broadcast that does need some extra fluff, WWE could have easily replaced that with something like Dempsey’s Heritage Cup victory.

There’s more than a solid chance Oba Femi is going to defend his North American title on the real Stand & Deliver. The only question is who his opponent will be.

Based on this week’s interactions, where Brooks Jensen had a bump-in with Josh Briggs, who wished him good luck against Femi, but Dijak interrupted to point out Jensen will get destroyed, I could see WWE heading in the direction of having Dijak be the next No. 1 contender.

He did beat Gacy, he’s one of the bigger guys on the roster who can stand toe-to-toe with Femi and look like a threat, and a win over Dijak as an established name will do wonders for Femi.

Plus, Femi went from being full babyface to full heel against Dragon Lee and then seemingly back to at least a tweener role. He could play babyface against Dijak here. The crowd’s going to cheer him, for sure.

Essentially, I’m expecting Femi vs. Dijak at this point to be on the real pay-per-view, but if this were split into two nights, I think we’d get Gacy vs. Dijak and Femi against someone else.

If that were to happen, and I were on WWE Creative, I’d probably pitch bringing in a main roster talent that has nothing better to do. Be it Apollo Crews, Cameron Grimes, Jinder Mahal, or even Odyssey Jones (who has been MIA long enough they might have even forgotten he’s employed), I’d sacrifice one of those to make Femi look stronger.

NXT Heritage Cup Match: Charlie Dempsey vs. ???

This one is tough. SOMEONE should fight Dempsey for that Heritage Cup. And it should in fact be Dempsey defending, rather than using the “catch clause” idea to have someone else defend the cup.

That segment with William Regal would make me think he’d bring in someone to be the challenger. Basically, Regal scouts the competition to take down his arrogant son. But there isn’t a viable contender on the current NXT roster who is free to fill that void and would fit this scenario as a Regal protege or anything of that ilk.

If Pete Dunne isn’t busy doing something with Tyler Bate at WrestleMania, I’d certainly consider him for the role. However, this can’t be a show with too much main roster talent, as it would make NXT look like it desperately needs it. So that also couldn’t be an option if Femi were going up against someone like that, as mentioned above.

It’s way too early to have Drew Gulak or Damon Kemp turn on Dempsey. Let’s save that for later.

I’d probably default to Eddy Thorpe getting this title opportunity, but if he were available, I’d honestly give a lot of consideration to throwing Gable Steveson in the mix. Dempsey can retain through cheating via Kemp, furthering a divide between those brothers. Fans would boo Steveson, likely, but that’s fine.

Lexis King vs. Von Wagner

This storyline where Mr. Stone is upset with Lexis King over badmouthing his kids seems to be finishing on a note where Stone himself wants to fight King. He’s been getting more in the ring recently than ever before, which is a good thing. However, I think Von Wagner is being lost in the shuffle, particularly since he was technically drafted to the main roster last year and promptly sent back to NXT immediately after that “move” to Raw/SmackDown.

I’d hate to see King not get a spot on this card. By now, I’m starting to think that’s going to be the case. Unless there manages to be some multi-man match for the North American title, like a ladder match, I think he’s sitting the show out.

My proposition would probably be to extend this feud into Stand & Deliver, where I’d up the ante and have something like a Loser Leaves NXT match. Maybe not necessarily that, if WWE had zero plans to use Wagner (as he’d have to lose that), but it would need some kind of stipulation to end the feud that wouldn’t be a generic No DQ type of thing, as that steps on the toes of Melo and Trick.

In any fashion, King and Wagner are two of the biggest names not currently set up in any proper way for the real Stand & Deliver, so I’d ideally like to conjure up something here for them to do.

Six/Eight Woman Tag Team Match

I can’t think of anyone for Andre Chase, Duke Hudson and Riley Osborne to go up against that wouldn’t feel forced, but I can certainly think of a way for Chase University to be represented here with Thea Hail.

The story is so clear-cut that I’m wondering if WWE has this planned for the actual Stand & Deliver one-night show, or if there’s going to be some variation of it.

Thea Hail needs to fight Jacy Jayne. That much is obvious. But in an effort to put more people on the card and expand it, I think this could be either a six-woman tag team match or even an eight-woman tag team match, if there’s just one added tweak.

So far, we know Hail has a friend in Fallon Henley, who is offering her more positive advice to offset Jayne’s terrible manipulation. Henley has also been acting like a mentor to Wren Sinclair, so those three can certainly team up.

Jayne’s been associating more with Kiana James and Izzi Dame as of late, making those the three heels to be the opposition. But they have Jazmyn Nyx as well, and in a match where she doesn’t have to wrestle much but can still get some experience, it could be good to use her.

The only trick is adding a fourth Superstar to the babyface side of things. But even that has a simple enough answer in Kelani Jordan, who James irrationally started to hate a few weeks ago.

Hail, Henley, Sinclair and Jordan vs. Jayne, Nyx, James and Dame. Simple, effective, Chase University is ringside to cheer on the babyface squad. They win and Hail has a celebratory kiss with Osborne to finish up that part of the story.

To offset the women’s title match on Night 2, this goes on Night 1.

Ridge Holland vs. Shawn Spears

We’re getting this match on NXT television, but I think that’s in part because there isn’t a two-night Stand & Deliver card to fill. If that were the case, I feel fully confident WWE would move it to that pay-per-view.

Granted, there’s still a chance that does happen. Maybe Holland and Spears have a match that ends in controversy, or they brawl before the match even starts, dictating a redo of sorts. It might even have a stipulation attached to it. For all we know, it could be one of those lazy gimmicks like a “chairs match” where they pretend it isn’t a No DQ match and that you can only use chairs. I’ve always hated those, but considering The Chairman is here, I wouldn’t put it past WWE to play around with that gimmick.

If this does happen on TV, on pay-per-view, or even in this fantasy booking scenario, my opinion remains the same: Spears has to go over due to Holland hesitating to do a more brutal shot, allowing an opportunity for the veteran to capitalize.

Battle Royal

If we couldn’t get Gacy/Dijak in the Asylum Match and Femi/? for the North American title, that would probably dictate Femi vs. Dijak, opening up another spot on the card.

There’s no one Gacy could go up against that would make sense to me as a post-Dijak feud. But while he’d have to sit this out, I wouldn’t want to see Josh Briggs have to do the same.

But we can’t just do Briggs against Brooks Jensen. That’s been done. There isn’t enough fuel to it. And I don’t think Briggs against Gacy as a post-Dijak feud would feel anything but rushed.

So what do you do to fill in that 10th match? When in doubt, you throw everyone in together!

Make this a No. 1 contender’s battle royal. Put everyone in there that isn’t already working on something. Make the biggest stars of the match be Briggs, Gacy, Jensen, Noam Dar trying to work with Oro Mensah to eliminate people, the guys from Chase U, people like Uriah Connors, etc.

Stacks could be a big player. Javier Bernal could be in a funny elimination spot.

If D’Angelo is coming out of this event as a heel champion (as I’m suspecting), give the win to Gacy and have him be the first challenger.

If the Asylum Match is on the card for Night 1, Spears/Holland goes on Night 2. But if it’s Femi vs. Dijak, then Spears/Holland goes on Night 1 and the battle royal goes on Night 2.

The Final Two-Night Card

All of this would make the lineup as follows:

NIGHT 1 NIGHT 2
NXT Championship: Dragunov vs. D’Angelo Carmelo Hayes vs. Trick Williams
NXT Tag Team Championship: Wolf Dogs vs. Gallows/Anderson NXT Women’s Championship: Valkyria vs. Perez
6/8 Woman Tag Team Match North American Championship: Oba Femi vs. Dijak or the other options
Heritage Cup: Dempsey vs. Thorpe/Steveson Lexis King vs. Von Wagner
Asylum Match or Holland vs. Spears Holland vs. Spears or No. 1 Contender’s Battle Royal

 

What would you book for a two-night NXT Stand & Deliver card this year? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!

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