The Real Winners and Losers from WWE NXT TakeOver Stand & Deliver Night 1
WrestleMania Week is in full effect, and the first night of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver is in the books.
Io Shirai put her NXT Women's Championship on the line against arguably her toughest foe yet, Raquel Gonzalez; Tommaso Ciampa clashed with Walter over the NXT UK Championship; the vacated tag team titles were up for grabs and more.
On the black-and-gold brand, everyone is hungry to make a name for themselves, but for every winner, there is a loser.
Who walked away from day one of TakeOver victorious, and who was left staring up at the lights? Let's take a look!
Full Match Results
NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night 1 Results
- Zoey Stark defeated Toni Storm by pinfall.
- Pete Dunne defeated Kushida by pinfall/submission.
- Bronson Reed won the Gauntlet Eliminator to earn a shot at the NXT North American Championship.
- Walter defeated Tommaso Ciampa by pinfall to retain the NXT UK Championship.
- Triple Threat match: MSK defeated Grizzled Young Veterans and Legado del Fantasma by pinfall to win the NXT Tag Team Championship.
- Raquel Gonzalez defeated Io Shirai by pinfall to win the NXT Women's Championship.
Winner: Zoey Stark
A bonus match featuring Toni Storm against Zoey Stark was added to the pre-show on Peacock to whet everyone's appetites.
Given Storm's time as NXT UK women's champion, combined with her many more years of experience and overall higher status, she was the clear favorite to win. However, Stark managed to score the upset with a surprise pinfall.
Within her short time on the roster, this is Stark's biggest win by far. Even if it had taken place months from now, it would still be considered a big deal because she beat a former champion.
This is a good sign WWE sees something in Stark and considers her worth investing in. If results like this continue, she may be someone to keep an eye on as one of the next women's champions to come.
Losers: Viewers Watching Strictly on Peacock
There are many things disappointing about WWE Network partnering up with Peacock, like the lack of ability to pause or rewind the stream. Unfortunately, it appears another one of those problems is an extensive delay.
All throughout the night, the USA Network feed was considerably ahead of the Peacock stream. Even when commercial breaks took place, Peacock viewers were still a good several minutes behind. For instance, Nita Strauss was just beginning her opening musical performance on one while ending it on the other.
Since WWE puts so much focus on social media, that's not something that can sustain itself. A few seconds of delay wouldn't matter too much—but would still be problematic—yet anything close to three minutes or so makes the difference of an entire match being spoiled.
WWE and Peacock need to sort this out, as viewers in other countries still watching on the WWE Network will be so far ahead of Peacock viewers that it will create tension and annoy fans who don't want to be so significantly behind.
Winner: Pete Dunne / Loser: Kushida
Pete Dunne has talked trash about how he's the best technical wrestler today, and Kushida felt confident enough to call that into question.
Sadly for Kushida, Dunne was right.
As the two took the fight to each other, Dunne seemed like the driving force of the match, dictating the pace. Kushida had his moments of reversals and a few close calls, but the odds stayed in The Bruiserweight's favor.
By the end of the match, Kushida was left reeling, holding both his hands in agony as Dunne celebrated knowing he backed up his words with a solid win to kick off the night.
Winner: Bronson Reed / Losers: Ruff, Lumis, Knight and Grimes
After going through the Battle Royal to qualify for this Gauntlet Eliminator, Bronson Reed managed to outlast his five opponents to earn a shot at Johnny Gargano's North American Championship for Night 2.
Admittedly, it wasn't as grueling as it could have been if he had started the match, but a win is still a win. In fact, the first half of this saw Reed consistently put on the sidelines with double-teams because he was the biggest threat.
Isaiah "Swerve" Scott was the only other viable contender in this match. However, since he ultimately lost, that keeps him from being considered a winner. He still managed to score two eliminations, though, which is better than nothing.
The same can't be said for everyone else.
Leon Ruff was the only competitor here to have held the North American title, yet he was the first eliminated and during someone else's entrance, meaning it was brushed aside and easy to miss.
Dexter Lumis was perhaps the favorite to win but was eliminated second. That not only hurts his credibility but also means his feud with Gargano has seemingly been nixed without a proper ending.
LA Knight had the best chance to win, being the last to enter, but was third to go and didn't last long at all.
Cameron Grimes tried to pay off Scott to help him out but was actually pinned by him, meaning he lost a good amount of cash all while being turned on and taken out of the match.
Walter's time as NXT UK champion has been nothing short of astounding and history-making.
Even prior to the pandemic, he had conquered Pete Dunne and ended The Bruiserweight's impressive 685-day run, which he's now surpassed.
At over 730 days, The Ring General has taken on all challengers with confidence, even in the face of former champions like Tommaso Ciampa.
The Blackheart of NXT is hard as nails with a never-say-die attitude and can pack his own punch, but even he couldn't take down the bull from Vienna, try as he might.
Retaining the title is never guaranteed, but with wins like this, Walter has proved that it's about as surefire a bet as can be.
On top of this, these two had a phenomenal match. It could have easily been a bore to watch Walter beat Ciampa down, but they managed to make it one of the most enthralling fights of the night, which is worthy of a win in and of itself.
Winners: Nash Carter and Wes Lee
After winning the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament, it seemed MSK was poised to be the next in line for the NXT Tag Team Championship.
A few bumps in the road later, following a broken hand to Wes Lee and the titles vacated after Danny Burch suffered his own injury, MSK delivered on that promise.
If this had not even been for the titles and just been as great of a match as it was, it would have been worthy of a highlight and calling MSK winners of the night. Capturing the titles on top of that sealed the deal. Nash Carter and Wes Lee were among the most major victors of Night 1.
With the effort they put into the fight, Grizzled Young Veterans and Legado del Fantasma should not be considered losers, though. There were plenty of times throughout the match either of those teams was a split second away from coming out on top.
This is just the latest in the long line of amazing tag team contests in TakeOver history, making it almost a guarantee at this point that these bouts will steal the show. With Carter and Lee on top of the division, it's now their responsibility to keep that going.
Winner: Raquel Gonzalez
A few years back, Raquel Gonzalez—then going by the name Reina—was one of the weaker talents in the Mae Young Classic tournaments. She had the size but was still just learning the ropes.
Now, she's come into her own enough that she was the go-to pick to dethrone Io Shirai, and it not only felt natural but also earned.
Gonzalez already had two career highlights this year after winning the first-ever Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and the NXT Women's Tag Team Championship, but this tops that by several magnitudes, as well as her winning pinfall at TakeOver: WarGames last fall.
A win over someone like Shirai would have been big on its own. Add in that it was the main event and she walked away with the gold, and it is about as high as it gets.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.