NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver is an upcoming professional wrestling television special and WWE Network event, produced by WWE for their NXT brand division. It is scheduled to take place on April 7 and 8, 2021, and will be broadcast from the Capitol Wrestling Center, hosted at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
For the first time in history, NXT TakeOver will take place across two nights, beginning on Wednesday. A TakeOver during WrestleMania season is not usually, but the fact Stand & Deliver is on different nights – shows how much the black and gold brand has grown since the first special event in 2014.
It is exciting times for WWE’s third show as the company recently announced they are moving to Tuesday’s in a fortnight. NXT is entering a new era – it could be the last chance for some of the wrestlers on the show to perform on the brand they hold close to their heart. Post-WrestleMania main roster call-ups are on the horizon.
Both nights will have five matches – every title in NXT is on the line. Pete Dunne will attempt to prove he is the best technical wrestler in NXT when he faces Kushida on night 1. Io Shirai defending her Women’s Championship against the dominant Raquel González will close the show on Wednesday. Karrion Kross attempts to win back the title he had to relinquish when he faces Finn Bálor in the main event on night 2. No honors are up for grabs when Adam Cole faces Kyle O’Reilly on the same night, but pride is. This is the most intense feud in NXT right now – these two could have the best match out of the lot.
The card is stacked from top to bottom. WWE are billing Stand & Deliver as “the biggest TakeOver ever” – nobody wants to lose on a gigantic occasion like this.
With that said – here are three wrestlers who must leave the Capitol Wrestling Centre with their hands raised on Wednesday and Thursday.
Raquel González must end Io Shirai’s 305 day run as NXT Women’s Champion.
Since winning the NXT Women’s Championship last June, Io Shirai has not backed down from anyone who wanted to step in the ring with her.
“The Genius of the Sky” has beaten Sasha Banks, Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, and Toni Storm in her run as the third-longest Women’s Champion in the brand’s history. The one competitor she has not defeated is her challenger. In fact – Raquel González pinned Shirai to win the 2020 WarGames match for her team, one of the few times the champion has tasted defeated in the past ten months.
González has been booked like a star lately. Getting her hand raised, after the Last Women Standing match against Rhea Ripley at New Year’s Evil, was a good indication big things were on the way for the former 2017 Mae Young Classic participant. That huge victory over Ripley was followed by her and Kai becoming the first female winners of the Dusty Cup and the first-ever NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions. Yes, it was an hour run with the titles, but she was part of history nevertheless.
“Big Mami Cool” is ready to break out on her own – she has waited four years for this opportunity. WWE needs to strike when the iron is hot and crown her the NXT Women’s Champion. It is the biggest match of her career, her first singles TakeOver main event, this occasion cannot pass her by.
González has used her power advantage over Shirai in the majority of their physical encounters leading up to this contest. She launched her through a wall on the go-home show – they had several brawls that evening. That episode of NXT ended with Shirai hitting a dive on González, standing over her rival as the show concluded.
The final image of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver night 1 should be González standing over Shirai with the NXT Women’s title in her arms.
Kyle O’Reilly has to beat Adam Cole in their grudge “match.”
The feud between Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly is one of the most intense in the entire WWE. They were part of Undisputed ERA, the most successful faction in NXT history until Cole shockingly turned on his “best friend” – hitting him with a Superkick at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day. Three days later – Cole destroyed O’Reilly with a Brainbuster on the steel steps, putting the final nail in the coffin of their decade-long friendship.
After a few weeks out, due to the beating he suffered, O’Reilly made his return on March 10th costing Cole his NXT Championship match against Finn Balor. O’Reilly briefly got his hands on the man he described as a “piece of s***” but Cole squirmed away.
General Manager William Regal tried his best to keep these two separated but they found a way to get their hands on each other outside of the Capitol Wrestling Centre. They got into a brawl at a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training center – they were determined to fight one way or the other.
Sick of trying to contain the rivals – Regal promised to “settle” the issue between Cole and O’Reilly. He announced the two will co-main event night 2 of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver. Due to the aforementioned Brainbuster – O’Reilly is not medically cleared by NXT doctors. Regal refused to sanction this “match”.
Cole has berated O’Reilly, stating he “made him” who he is today – evidence points to him being right. Without the longest-reigning NXT Champion in history – O’Reilly lost huge matches to Pete Dunne and Finn Bálor twice. His only success has come with the Undisputed ERA by his side – he has to prove Cole wrong.
O’Reilly is a great wrestler, but he needs a star-making moment as a solo act. The former three-time tag team champion needs to prove he can stand on his own two feet. O’Reilly was betrayed and embarrassed by “The Panama City Playboy” – the best revenge possible is beating his foe on the biggest NXT event of the year, in their first singles match against each other in WWE.
Having his hand raised would be the ultimate redemption for O’Reilly – making him a huge babyface in the process. He has to prevail – losing is not an option.
Finn Bálor needs to retain the NXT Championship, against Karrion Kross.
In August last year – Karrion Kross was forced to vacate the richest prize in NXT due to a shoulder injury. Finn Bálor captured the NXT Championship two weeks later – they have been on a collision course ever since.
Bálor is in the middle of his best run in NXT – he has beaten the best the black and gold brand has to offer but has not faced anyone as intimidating as Kross. This has a big match feel – anticipation has reached fever pitch.
Kross wants his title back and confronted Bálor three weeks ago. “The Prince” was expecting his challenger, asking “what took you so long?” when he felt “The Herald of Doomsdays” presence behind him. The men had an intense staredown as the show went off the air – things were heating up.
Seven days later – Kross and Bálor teamed up to face Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan for the NXT tag team titles. During the match – Bálor drop kicked Lorcan into Lady Scarlett. Witnessing his valet hurt – Kross went berserk, beating his partner down then choking him out with the Straightjacket.
On the penultimate NXT before TakeOver: Stand & Deliver – Kross said Bálor’s actions a week ago had “malice”, and he was going to treat the former Universal Champion like “any other man” during their bout. Bálor said he survived Kross’s “best shot” and will drag him into the “cold deep water” on Thursday night, then “drown him”.
These two have only just scratched the surface with this rivalry – there is so much more to come. That is why Bálor needs to end Kross’s undefeated streak so they can have a series of matches rather than a one-and-done, which is often the case in NXT. Bálor is a great champion – if something is not broken, there is no need to fix it, Kross will not lose any of his aura if he is defeated by one of the greatest wrestlers in the world. Kross can lose here, win the title down the line, then face “The Demon King” in the third and final contest.
WWE NXT general manager William Regal announced Wednesday that TakeOver: Stand & Deliver will take place over a two-day period on Wednesday, April 7 and Thursday, April 8.
USA Network will air the first day of action. Peacock will be the home for the event’s conclusion in the United States, and WWE Network will air the event internationally.
Regal opened Wednesday’s edition of WWE NXT with the news and also announced Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez as the brand’s first-ever women’s tag team champions:
Per PWMania, there is no word as of yet regarding the matches on the Takeover: Stand & Deliver card.
WWE’s NXT brand begins its biggest show of 2021 this coming Wednesday in NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, and we’ve got the full rundown on what time it starts, how you can watch it and the full card for Night One of the event. The show will mark NXT’s final night on Wednesdays, airing at 8 p.m. ET on the USA Network. There will also be a simulcast on the Peacock streaming service here in the United States and the WWE Network for fans in other countries.