7 Ups And 3 Downs From NXT Stand And Deliver 2023

1. A Souless Spotfest

Can we just put a two-year moratorium on ladder matches across all WWE brands? Until the final moments of Saturday’s opening contest, the ladder match for the NXT Women’s Championship felt like a well-rehearsed series of spots involving six women who battered each other.

The women should have been building up to a climax, but almost immediately, all six raced for ladders and used them in nearly every way we’ve seen before; more than half the field were suplexed onto ladders; Gigi Dolin did a really poor-looking helicopter spot; Indi Hartwell did a super-slow climb early on that even had Vic Joseph freaking out; Tiffany Stratton was shoved off a ladder onto a pile of women on the floor; and of course, a ladder bridge was unrealistically and inexplicably set up to be used later.

Defending champ Roxanne Perez of course was a bright spot, and some of the spots were impressive. But this match really didn’t have a soul until the last 30 seconds. Instead, it felt like they threw a ladder match stipulation out there as a crutch to pop the crowd and have the wrestlers treat each other like stuntwomen.


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.