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WWE NXT Stand & Deliver preview: Attempted robbery

NXT heads outside the friendly confines of the WWE Performance Center for the first time in more than two years on Sat., April 2 for Stand & Deliver. The Premium Live Event comes our way at 1pm ET, streaming on Peacock. There’s also a free pre-show that airs at noon ET on all WWE’s online outlets, including right here at Cageside Seats.

It’s 2.0’s WrestleMania weekend debut, and Dallas’ American Airlines Center will host five title matches as part of one of the biggest cards NXT’s ever put on!

You’ll find our predictions for Stand & Deliver here. Now let’s get you up to speed on the seven matches on tap for this weekend, and our big question for each one.

Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT championship

In a nutshell

The Show-Off, and his Dirty Dawg partner Robert Roode, changed up their policy and decided to work Tuesday nights. They started a rivalry with then-NXT champion Bron Breakker and former champ Tommaso Ciampa that took place on Mondays and Tuesdays, eventually getting young Bron to put his belt on the line in a Triple Threat match with both Ziggler and Ciampa.

Breakker’s hubris cost him, as hubris is wont to do. Roode pulled him from the ring while Dolph finished off the Blackheart with a Superkick. Each man’s picked up a victory since, and now they’ll go one-on-one in Big D.

The big question

It’s always difficult to preview TakeOvers NXT Premium Live Events without wondering about post-show call-ups to the main roster, and that’s definitely a big factor here. The clock’s been ticking on Breakker since he debuted, and Ziggler’s already there.

Instead, I’m curious if they can deliver the kind of match that gets people buzzing, that has fans asking if anything on WrestleMania will be able to top it. Bron’s got the raw talent and has picked up the pro wrestling thing quicker than anyone in a long time. Dolph’s a gifted performer who hasn’t been given this kind of spot, and the time this main event will likely get, in quite some time. They’ll be motivated to steal the weekend. Can they do it?

Io Shirai vs. Kay Lee Ray vs. Cora Jade vs. Mandy Rose (c) for the NXT Women’s title

In a nutshell

Young Cora Jade was positioned for a top spot when she got the pin against Mandy Rose’s team in WarGames. But she didn’t pin the champ, which is probably why it’s taken her this long to secure a championship match. She first set her sights on beating Mandy’s Toxic Attraction henchwomen, NXT Women’s Tag champs Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne. Together with Raquel González, Jade entered the Dusty Classic. But Rose sent Dolin & Jayne to take out Big Mami Cool, and caused Cora’s team to take a loss. To get revenge, Jade attacked Rose in the “Toxic Lounge” she was watching the tournament from. That made the champ want to teach Jade a lesson.

The 4Way came about when former NXT Women’s champ Io Shirai & former NXT UK Women’s champ Kay Lee Ray won the Dusty. They’ve both wanted a shot at Rose for a while, and convinced the kayfabe powers-that-be to let them use their Cup win to join this match instead of getting one against Jayne & Dolin.

The big question

Is WWE pull the plug on Mandy’s reign? I haven’t been the biggest fan of it personally, but it has its supporters. It might not have been the ratings boon the company hoped for at first, but it’s not hurting the numbers now. Feels like the Rose Era’s been built up to the point that it’s end should come as a result of bigger story than this match has.

Carmelo Hayes (c), Cameron Grimes, Solo Sikoa, Santos Escobar & Grayson Waller in a Ladder Match for the NXT North American championship

In a nutshell

After unifying the North American & Cruiserweight titles, Carmelo Hayes had a pair of successful defenses and got bored. The A Champion had an epiphany... why not challenge himself with a ladder match against four men who’d earned the opportunity to get in the ring with him.

Grayson Waller, Santos Escobar & Solo Sikoa did just that in qualifying matches. Though he came up short against Escobar, Cameron Grimes made the most of his second chance and won a Triple Threat to grab the last spot.

The big question

Grimes has been the focus of much of the build for this match. Is WWE telegraphing a win, or setting us up for a swerve?

Follow-up question: is this the match of the night? Sikoa’s kind of an x-factor and not everyone is sold on Waller, but Hayes, Grimes & Escobar alone make this must see. Dolph might have the show stolen out from under him before he even gets in the ring.

MSK vs. Imperium (c) vs. The Creeds for the NXT Tag Team titles

In a nutshell

Wes Lee & Nash Carter have been working their way back to a championship match since losing the belts to Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel at Halloween Havoc last year. They were close to earning a shot via the Dusty for the second straight year, but lost to Diamond Mine’s Julius & Brutus Creed in the finals.

Then MSK thought they had a shot when The Creeds were the latest victims of the Bermuda Triangle-like Performance Center parking lot. But the mystery attackers didn’t injury the brothers so badly they couldn’t run in and stop Carter & Lee’s match with Imperium. With the three teams at odds, this Triple Threat was booked for April 2.

The big question

WHO ATTACKED THE CREEDS?!?! Sometimes parking lot assaults go unsolved, but they usually play a big role in NXT storylines. Whether Malcolm Bivens’ guys were taken out by one of the teams they’re facing at Stand & Deliver or someone else, don’t be surprised if their identities factor into the story of this match.

Tommaso Ciampa vs. Tony D’Angelo

In a nutshell

Tommaso Ciampa has done everything there is to do in NXT, and after missing out on a chance to win the main belt one more time, he was poised to ride off into the sunset/to another brand. But Tony D’Angelo wants to cement his position (get it?!?!) in this brand, and there’s no better way to become the “Don of 2.0” than by taking out an icon of the black-and-gold era.

The big question

How you doin? Or how will you be doing when Ciampa’s run in NXT is over? I think I’m going to get a little emotional myself.

Gunther vs. LA Knight

In a nutshell

LA Knight has used his gift of gab to secure some high profile matches of late, even though he hasn’t won any of them. That rubs a lot of people the wrong way, including one man you really don’t want to rub the wrong way... the wrestler formerly known as WALTER.

The big question

Let me talk to ya: Will Gunther chop Knight’s soul out of his body? Dummy, YEAH.

Toxic Attraction (c) vs. Raquel González & Dakota Kai for the NXT Women’s Tag Team championship

In a nutshell

Since losing the NXT Women’s title to Mandy Rose at Halloween Havoc, Raquel González feuded with former tag partner Dakota Kai, wrestled against her WarGames partner Cora Jade while they both chased Rose, then teamed up with Jade, was taken out by Toxic Attraction, and returned to team back up with Kai. Now they’ll take on the women who took Raquel out in the Dusty — TA’s Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin — for their Tag titles.

The big question

Is the Kai/González pairing a one-off? AKA what about Dakota’s other partner that was taken out by Toxic Attraction, Wendy Choo?

Join us in our live blog and we’ll see if we get any answers to our big questions - and how WarGames lives up to the TakeOver tradition.

What questions do you have? What match do you think will impress the most?

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