7 Ups And 3 Downs From NXT Stand And Deliver 2023

Melo doesn't miss, Waller gets his comeuppance, Duke makes his choice.

NXT Stand and Deliver

If you have followed NXT from its black & gold heyday in 2015-18, through the drab period of 2019-21, into the paint-splattered, oversexed NXT 2.0 era and now to this hybrid model, it’s hard to believe how far the brand has come.

The original iteration of NXT TakeOver events almost always overdelivered action-packed matches between some of the most talented wrestlers in the world. Then the brand got overhauled into a true developmental territory, with inexperienced men and women play-acting as wrestlers and living out the lurid fantasies of Vince McMahon and his cronies.

But ever since NXT’s latest reboot last year, the brand has found a good mix of talented wrestling with cheesy “sports entertainment” schlock. The result was a Stand and Deliver Saturday that produced some other-worldly in-ring action alongside silly dramatic moments.

You’d never have Duke Hudson’s temptation to turn his back on Chase U on the same card as the North American Championship five-way barn-burner. Brooks Jensen’s lovesick choice between his woman and morals wouldn’t co-exist with Johnny Gargano and Grayson Waller battering each other with chairs, trashcans and kendo sticks.

What we have now is a perfect hybrid that still can produce awful television, but it certainly has a better chance of providing something for everyone than it has at any point in its recent past.

Let’s get to it…


Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.