WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 24

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistMarch 24, 2021

WWE NXT Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 24

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    Credit: WWE.com

    NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver approaches, and the black-and-gold brand can feel the tension rising. On a jam-packed March 24 edition of WWE NXT, the top stars were ready to step up and make a statement ahead of huge matches.

    William Regal promised to issue consequences to Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly for their recent actions, injuring each other and fighting outside of the NXT ring.

    Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai wanted to prove they are the best tag team in the women's division by taking down Io Shirai and newcomer Zoey Stark ahead of Gonzalez facing the NXT women's champion at TakeOver.

    The NXT women's champions had no fear, putting their titles on the line against The Robert Stone Brand. Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart earned their right to be champions, but Aliyah and Mercedes Martinez had plans to pull the rug out from under them.

    NXT UK champions stepped into the NXT ring for the first time in months as WALTER faced Drake Maverick and Jordan Devlin fought Kushida in non-title clashes.

    In grudge matches that have only begun to build, Oney Lorcan challenged Karrion Kross, who had injured his tag team partner Danny Burch last week. Meanwhile, LA Knight wanted to face "The Colossal" Bronson Reed, and his request was granted.

    NXT was sparing no expense tonight, building a card that had something for everyone. On this show of action and promised consequences, the looming shadow of NXT TakeOver was obvious.

Zoey Stark and Io Shirai vs. Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Zoey Stark opened the match grappling with Raquel Gonzalez. The No. 1 contender mocked the newcomer for even considering that she could match up. Io Shirai showed her own dominance against Dakota Kai, countering her opponent's best offense.

    Eventually, Stark tagged back in, and she gained a head of steam. She sent both Kai and Gonzalez into the steel post outside. However, finding herself alone against the No. 1 contender, the newcomer was in trouble. Gonzalez hit a big boot to send Shirai to the floor then a single-arm powerbomb on Stark to win.

    After the match, Kai distracted Shirai, allowing the No. 1 contender to plant The Genius of the Sky with a single-arm powerbomb on the announce table.



    Gonzalez and Kai def. Stark and Shirai by pinfall.






    The primary highlights of this match were Shirai and Kai going back and forth and Stark showing off late. This is not a knock against Gonzalez, who got in her own moments throughout, but this match was built to give her a win while others stood out in the midst of the action.

    It was a solid match that certainly did its job. Every week, Stark impresses more. She stands out amongst a loaded division, and she will do well in the spotlight if NXT loses more women to Raw or SmackDown.

    Gonzalez looks like an unstoppable monster. She continues to impose her will on the division. Her dominance has to be leading to the NXT Women's Championship before long, even if she loses to Shirai at NXT TakeOver.

"The Colossal" Bronson Reed vs. LA Knight

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    Credit: WWE.com

    A video was shown from a local gym where Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly got into a brawl. Roderick Strong offered to help O'Reilly, but the former No. 1 contender made clear that Undisputed Era was done. LA Knight explained that he wanted to make "The Colossal" Bronson Reed pay for ripping his jacket.

    While Reed has the power advantage early, Knight managed to grind him to the mat then keep him down with a series of knees. The Colossal fought back with a body avalanche in the corner, but Knight dodged and hit a neckbreaker for a nearfall.

    Reed did not stay down. He kept going for the big move. Finally, he connected with a sit-out chokeslam. The two fought on the top rope, and The Colossal knocked him down before hitting the Tsunami. That was enough to give Reed the win.

    William Regal announced next week 12 men including Knight and Reed would compete in a battle royal where the final 6 would qualify for a gauntlet match to determine the No. 1 contender to Johnny Gargano at NXT TakeOver. The NXT North American champion complained to Regal about the decision.



    Reed def. Knight by pinfall.






    This was a solid though occasionally clunky fight between two of the potential biggest rising stars in NXT. Knight dominated the action too much to get to a higher gear by the end, though the closing stretch showed the promise of both men in a rematch.

    It was certainly surprising that Knight lost in the end, but it is not uncommon for new stars to fall before they rise in NXT. Especially after all his bravado, Knight should only be more interesting with a chip on his shoulder.

Oney Lorcan vs. Karrion Kross (w/ Scarlett)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    It was announced over the week that Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan would be forced to vacate the NXT Tag Team Championships due to injuries Burch suffered at the hands of Karrion Kross. Lorcan demanded a match, and William Regal gave it to him.

    It was clear that Lorcan wanted this badly. He fought hard, attempting to brutalize Kross. However, The Herald of Doomsday only seemed to enjoy the pain. Kross took over the action and got cocky until he mocked Lorcan into a furious comeback.

    Lorcan chopped him repeatedly followed by a chop block and a running uppercut. Just as it looked like Lorcan might get that revenge, he ran into a big boot that set up a Saito suplex followed by a elbow smash to the back of his head. Lorcan was out cold for more than three.

    The Herald of Doomsday called out Balor, showing appreciation for The Prince's malice. The NXT champion arrived to make clear he had figured out Kross. He called him out as uncontrollable and sloppy when his anger is unleashed. He promised to take advantage of that emotion and win.



    Kross def. Lorcan by pinfall.






    This was the best Kross has looked against anyone to date. Lorcan was allowed to work hard in a match he was obviously going to lose, and ultimately he got The Herald of Doomsday working the type of match he is best at: a pure physical brawl.

    Best wish to Burch on his recovery. For Lorcan, he deserves a chance to rebound quickly. It would be a shame for a talent of his caliber to get lost in the shuffle. He is a unique brawler with the energy to elevate other talent to the next level.

    Kross and Balor are slowly building their rivalry. As long as they do not go over the top, the story will ultimately be told in the ring at TakeOver. The two have the talent to do something special together.

WALTER (w/ Imperium) vs. Drake Maverick

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WALTER gave Drake Maverick no time to think before powerbombing the smaller competitor. He followed up with a single-leg Boston crab, forcing a referee stoppage as Maverick passed out from the pain.

    Afterward, Tommaso Ciampa stepped up to challenge WALTER for his NXT UK Championship. Imperium answered by attacking The Blackheart, and The Ring General ripped off Ciampa's dog tags then chopped him into the mat.



    WALTER def. Maverick by referee stoppage.






    This was exactly what it needed to be, even if it was not a true highlight of the night. The NXT UK champion did not need to waste time putting over Maverick at all. He just squashed him, using his power advantage fully.

    Ciampa answered the call, and the match is set. WALTER vs. Ciampa has a chance to outshine the entire two-night card of TakeOver. The two have never fought before and have remained dominant for years. This is the kind of talent that can keep the NXT UK Championship in the spotlight long term.

NXT Women's Tag Championships: Moon & Blackheart (c) vs. Aliyah & Martinez

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Pete Dunne promised to prove his technical greatness in the battle royal next week. Cameron Grimes tried to convince Roderick Strong to let him buy the intellectual property of Undisputed Era so that they could form a new UE. Instead, Strong punched him in the mouth.

    With Jessi Kamea injured in training, Robert Stone had to go to Mercedes Martinez for help. He paid her to tag with Aliyah to compete against Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart, though Martinez wanted double the money.

    Martinez dominated early, keeping Blackheart away from Moon. Stone helped to distracted the NXT tag team champions. Once The War Goddess got the hot tag, the momentum turned around. Blackheart DDTed Martinez to set up Moon for The Eclipse on Aliyah to win.



    Moon and Blackheart def. Aliyah and Martinez by pinfall to retain the NXT Women's Tag Team Championships.






    It is good to see NXT instantly doing more with the women's tag team championships than Raw or SmackDown have, but this was not at all that exciting a match. Martinez is fantastic, but she barely got going before the champions took out the weak link.

    This was a long-term positive but a short-term skip. Moon and Blackheart need legitimate competition again soon. Gonzalez and Kai were taken out of the running so quickly that the black-and-gold brand will need to build fresh competition in a hurry.

Jordan Devlin vs. Kushida

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Jordan Devlin talked himself up before this match, explaining that any match he is in is a big deal without any hype.

    The Irish Ace thought he had this match early until he was planted on the mat with an arm drag by Kushida, who went right for the arm of Devlin. The Japanese Superstar missed a baseball slide that sent him outside right into a springboard moonsault from The Ace.

    No advantage is safe against Kushida, who went for the Hoverboard Lock at multiple points. Devlin nearly took the win off an impressive springboard cutter. Legado del Fantasma arrived to distract both men.

    In the chaos that ensued, the Japanese Superstar nearly made The Ace tap out to the Hoverboard Lock. Devlin escaped and stacked up Kushida for a surprise three.

    Kushida hit Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde with a somersault plancha. As a brawl ensued outside, Santos Escobar entered the ring. Shawn Michaels arrived and slid a ladder match between Devlin and Escobar to signal a new stipulation for their NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night Two match.



    Devlin def. Kushida by pinfall.






    Devlin vs. Kushida was the easy match of the night. The two worked so well together. The ending felt cut them off halfway through something truly great, but for a TV match with little build, this first taste of greatness was electric.

    Adding a ladder match stipulation to Devlin vs. Esobar may be unnecessary, given the two have never wrestled before. They had plenty of story to tell as it was. However, HBK's arrival indicated that WWE was conscious of Michaels vs. Razor Ramon comparison.

Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly Sign the Contract for NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

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    William Regal yelled at Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly for their flagrant disrespect of NXT with their actions. He announced that he had agreed to allow the two to wrestle at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night Two.

    However, the NXT general manager admitted that O'Reilly was not cleared to wrestle, and NXT would not be liable if he was injured further. Cole ran down his former friend for becoming selfish and disillusioned by actually considering Finn Balor for the group.

    After listening to Cole, O'Reilly made clear that he loved what Undisputed Era did for him, making him a better man. Both signed then got in each other's faces, barely held back by officials.






    This was a great ending to the night in building hype for TakeOver. Cole cut one of the best promos of his career, tearing down O'Reilly with venom. Finally, it was fully clear why he had turned against Undisputed Era. O'Reilly could not keep up, but he certainly cut his best promo to date.

    This match will be the end of an era for NXT. The lighting of the moment combined with both men's best work possible on the mic sold that fact. This has been a long time coming. I only hope that it can live up to the legacy that is behind it.