WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 10

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistMarch 11, 2021

WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 10

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Anything can happen on The Road to WrestleMania, and NXT was pulling no punches with a huge night for March 10. The primary focus was a pair of guaranteed must-watch title matches.

    Finn Balor laid out a challenge to finally get Adam Cole to come out of hiding. He put his NXT Championship on the line against the former member of The Undisputed Era, letting Cole attempt to reclaim his lost gold.

    Toni Storm called out Io Shirai, telling the world that The Genius of the Sky was afraid of her. The NXT women's champion answered by setting up a title match between them. These longtime rivals would have a chance to steal the show like they once did in the Mae Young Classic final.

    If that were not enough, general manager William Regal promised two major announcements that would change the landscape in NXT. After last week's controversy with Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai, as well as plenty of talk about the future of NXT, this was an opportunity to set the record straight.

    Xia Li sent Kacy Catanzaro home injured in a harrowing one-sided battle. Kayden Carter wanted payback for her friend and tag team partner. She challenged her to a battle that Tian Sha could watch closely.

    This show had the makings of an NXT TakeOver, potentially rewriting the future of NXT based on who emerged victorious and what NXT's GM had to say.

William Regal Announces TakeOver: Stand & Deliver and NXT Women's Tag Titles

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    Credit: WWE.com

    William Regal opened the show with his two major announcements. First, he introduced a video package that established NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver as a two-night event beginning April 7 on the USA Network and ending April 8 exclusively on Peacock.

    The NXT GM then brought Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez to the ring, where they were awarded the NXT Tag Team Championships. Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon challenged the champions to defend the new titles against them the same night.






    Fans have fought for NXT to gain more representation on the main WWE shows. Instead, WWE is pushing the opposite direction, allowing the black-and-gold brand to be its own show entirely. A two-night TakeOver can be a major opportunity to establish more fresh talent on a larger stage.

    The second announcement will divide fans even more, but there is a bright side to it. The women have more opportunities to shine. If the men get unique tag titles in NXT, the women needed the same. Kai and Gonzalez earned this spotlight.

    This should not be an excuse for WWE continuing to underutilize the women's tag team division on Raw and SmackDown. If anything, it should motivate WWE to be better, as NXT will likely outshine the other brands early on.

NXT Women's Championship: Io Shirai (c) vs. Toni Storm

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Toni Storm was ready to fight at her absolute best against Io Shirai. She tripped The Genius of the Sky early off the apron, doing some lasting damage. Storm kept going after the champion, leaving some welts, but The Genius of the Sky stayed in the fight.

    Shirai kicked out of two Storm Zeros, while Storm escaped a crossface and dodged a moonsault. The challenger went for a diving headbutt and missed, allowing the champion to catch her in the crossface and force her to submit.



    Shirai def. Storm by submission to retain the NXT Women's Championship.






    Shirai and Storm are two of the best wrestlers in the world today. The Genius of the Sky has made everyone better, but she has arguably not wrestled anyone quite as good as her latest challenger. The two had such a great match that the only real disappointment was they did not have more time.

    The back-and-forth action was intense. Storm brutalized Shirai and pushed the champion. She hit her finisher twice but could not win. It was ultimately about establishing how good both women are while showing that the champion is on a higher level than anyone.

Pete Dunne (w/ Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan) vs. Jake Atlas

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    Eli Drake mocked Bronson Reed until The Colossal attacked the newcomer to NXT. Imperium told Timothy Thatcher that it had come to NXT to bring him home.

    Jake Atlas was at a clear disadvantage against Pete Dunne. The Bruiserweight targeted the left arm of the cruiserweight, leaving a lasting impact that allowed Dunne to stop any brief bouts of offense Atlas could muster.

    Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan gladly gloated at ringside as The Bruiserweight set himself up to put this match away. A surprise burst of energy caught Dunne off guard. Atlas hit a standing moonsault and release suplex.

    Dunne caught him on the rebound by the hand. The Bruiserweight snapped his fingers and wrenched the left arm back to force a submission.

    The Bruiserweight grabbed a mic and reminded everyone that he is the best technical wrestler in the world. He dared anyone to prove him wrong.



    Dunne def. Atlas by submission.






    For what amounted to an extended squash, this was a fun sprint. Dunne got to show his work fully while Atlas was not completely outmatched. It was all about selling the idea that The Bruiserweight is the greatest technical wrestler.

    While it may or may not be true, Dunne has a clear claim. Many could step up to the heel to try to show they are better. Dunne certainly needs a major match at NXT TakeOver.

NXT Women's Tag Team Championships: Kai and Gonzalez (c) vs. Moon and Blackheart

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    Leon Ruff told Isaiah "Swerve" Scott that he has scratched and clawed for his moment. Adam Cole said he was Undisputed Era and took out the trash. The Way talked about Dexter Lumis, and Austin Theory stormed off to find him.

    The new NXT tag team champions came into this fight confident, and they brought it from the outset. Raquel Gonzalez wore down Shotzi Blackheart and worked with Dakota Kai to keep her isolated.

    Ember Moon got the hot tag and went off on the champs. The War Goddess managed to kick out of the elevated snap kick and get the tag back to Blackheart. The challengers worked together to isolate The Captain of Team Kick, hitting a series of impressive tag team moves to nearly win.

    Moon tried to put away Gonzalez with the Eclipse, but she dived into the waiting arms of Gonzalez. As The War Goddess and her larger rival fought to the outside, Blackheart stacked up Kai for a shocking three-count.

    Backstage, Kai and Gonzalez reminded everyone they were still the first champions. Io Shirai got in Gonzalez's face and challenged her.



    Moon and Blackheart def. Gonzalez and Kai by pinfall to become the new NXT women's tag team champions.






    The women continued to deliver on this show. This tag team match was better than the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic women's final. Both teams were comfortable working at a higher level together, and it led to a great introduction to the new NXT Tag Team Championships.

    The title change on the same night was shocking, but that was likely the point. NXT wanted to get people talking about the new tag titles, and now both of the top teams in the division have held them. It establishes a history that people will remember.

    This also allowed Gonzalez to step up as the best option to challenge Shirai next. The two have been on a collision course for a long time, and this is the best match to main-event one of the two nights of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.

    It may not be the best decision long-term. However, WWE has often focused on immediate impact over long-term reliability.

Kayden Carter (w/ Kacy Catanzaro) vs. Xia Li (w/ Tian Sha)

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    Zoey Stark talked about her history, the hard work she had done to get to NXT.

    Kacy Catanzaro walked out to support Kayden Carter despite not being medically cleared. Xia Li did not waste time. The Chinese Superstar trapped the leg of Carter next to the steel barricade, and Catanzaro lost it, attacking her with her crutch to cause a disqualification.

    Boa tried to make the injured Catanzaro pay, but Carter made the save. Boa and Li bowed to Tian Sha while the faces retreated for the moment.



    Li def. Carter by disqualification.






    This was a fine angle but nothing special. Li remains dominant but cannot take the next step forward against the likes of Carter and Catanzaro. She needs rivals who can help her compete on a higher level. She is just slowly building to that moment.

The Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Legado del Fantasma

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    Jordan Devlin announced his travel ban had been lifted, and he was heading back to NXT with the "real" NXT Cruiserweight Championship. He promised to confront Santos Escobar. Escobar complained to William Regal and told Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde to handle their business alone.

    The Grizzled Young Veterans made fun of the two members of Legado del Fantasma for being lackeys. This match barely got going before the lights went down. MSK came out in spacesuits, pretending to be Breezango, before revealing who they were.

    The distraction allowed Wilde to roll up James Drake for the win. Afterward, Fandango and Tyler Breeze arrived to lay out Legado del Fantasma. Meanwhile, Wes Lee crushed the hand of Drake in retaliation for the recent actions of the heel tag team.



    Legado del Fantasma def. Grizzled Young Veterans by pinfall.






    It was disappointing for a potential great tag team match to be rushed this much, but it was ultimately about the aftermath. MSK cost The Grizzled Young Veterans the match, hurting their pride, and then the faces got to do some physical damage as well.

    Breezango also continues to build a rivalry with Legado del Fantasma. With Escobar suddenly preoccupied with the return of the original NXT cruiserweight champion, Mendoza and Wilde can be fully a part of the tag team division.

NXT Championship: Finn Balor (c) vs. Adam Cole

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    Adam Cole and Finn Balor traded punches early on, feeling each other out while inflicting damage. Balor made an impact with a dropkick and standing elbow drop, while the former Undisputed Era member knocked out The Prince with a punt kick on the apron.

    Balor stopped Cole from using the steel steps and suplexed the challenger on the ramp. Back in the ring, Cole reversed the 1916 into a kneecap brainbuster. Balor stopped the Panama Sunrise, hitting the Sling Blade and corner dropkick, but he missed the Coup de Grace and ran into a superkick.

    Cole locked in a crossface. The Prince barely managed to get to the ropes. Balor again tried the 1916, but Cole spun through to hit the Last Shot for a near-fall. Cole hit the Panama Sunrise, and again the champion kicked out.

    Balor sent Cole outside, where he found Kyle O'Reilly. The distraction set up The Prince to hit the 1916 on the outside followed by Coup de Grace in the ring to put away the challenger.

    O'Reilly ripped the Undisputed Era armband off Cole and then attacked him viciously, throwing him into the stage area. Karrion Kross arrived to stare down Balor, face to face.



    Balor def. Cole by pinfall to retain the NXT Championship.






    This was as advertised. Balor and Cole fought hard, and the spots throughout gave the impression that the contest could go either way. The Last Shot to the jaw was especially smart, even if the jaw attacks on The Prince are going to get old soon.

    The main problem was a lack of emotion. It was never clear that The Prince truly needed to hurt Cole like he promised. The two did not tell as intense and physical a story as expected.

    The post-match attack of O'Reilly was not clean, but it felt more visceral and earned. It was truly the moment that solidified the end of Undisputed Era, at least for Cole. This was a spectacular ending that had to set up a great match for TakeOver.

    It definitely did not need to end with Kross facing down Balor as well. That was an anticlimactic way to set up such a major TakeOver match.