The Real Winners and Losers from WWE NXT TakeOver Stand & Deliver Night 2

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2021

The Real Winners and Losers from WWE NXT TakeOver Stand & Deliver Night 2

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    The first half of NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver saw new champions crowned and some big steps forward in the careers of Superstars like Raquel Gonzalez and MSK.

    Day two was just as packed with major matches that had potential to be even bigger.

    Jordan Devlin and Santos Escobar were set to clash in a ladder match to unify their cruiserweight titles. Karrion Kross sought out to win back the NXT Championship he never lost, but Finn Balor had no plans to let the gold go any time soon. The Way had title aspirations of their own, and the battle for Kyle O'Reilly's soul against Adam Cole had fans salivating.

    Now that everything's said and done, who were the standout Superstars who walked away with their heads held high? Who should hang their heads in shame for coming up short?

    Let's look back on the results of NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver and discuss the true winners and losers of the pay-per-view.

Full Match Results

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    NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver Night 1 Results

    • Drake Maverick and Killian Dain defeated Breezango by pinfall during the pre-show.
    • Ladder Match: Santos Escobar defeated Jordan Devlin for the Unified NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
    • Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart defeated The Way by pinfall to retain the NXT Women's Tag Team Championship.
    • Johnny Gargano defeated Bronson Reed by pinfall to retain the NXT North American Championship.
    • Karrion Kross defeated Finn Balor by pinfall to win the NXT Championship.
    • Unsanctioned Match: Kyle O'Reilly defeated Adam Cole by pinfall.

Winners: Drake Maverick and Killian Dain

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    There are many great acts in NXT's tag team division, but two of the duos that aren't taken as seriously fought each other in the pre-show as Breezango went up against Drake Maverick and Killian Dain.

    This was an impromptu No. 1 contender's match, so it wasn't a pointless exhibition for the sake of eating up time. There were major stakes on the line, and it forced both teams to step it up.

    Both sides still had some fun along the way, true to their characters, but Maverick and Dain were able to score the much-needed victory.

    Most people wouldn't have thought these four would be on the card at all, given how packed this event has been. To be able to get a spot on the card alone was a good thing, but for Dain and Maverick to also earn a title shot in the process makes them major winners.

Winner: Santos Escobar

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    It was surprising when an interim champion for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship was established, as such a concept had never been done before in WWE.

    In the past, any time a Superstar was unable to defend their title, WWE either had them vacate it and crown a new champion, or it was ignored and fans just had to wait.

    Rolling with the surprises, El Hijo del Fantasma captured the interim title, unmasked, declared himself Santos Escobar and started his first reign as champion, but with the looming idea that it didn't truly count.

    For all his good work with the title, he was still interim champion and until he defeated Jordan Devlin, none of it mattered. He had to defeat the real champion to make this a legitimate reign.

    That is what happened here in the unification ladder match, as Escobar climbed his way into the record books.

    Going forward, Escobar is the undisputed cruiserweight champion and will be able to hold his head high as he continues to make his mark and declare himself the greatest wrestler under 205 pounds today.

Losers: The Way's Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell

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    After years of toiling away in NXT, it seemed as though Candice LeRae was finally going to be in a position to win some gold. Sadly, that wasn't the case, yet again.

    Time and time again, despite being one of the top picks to hold the NXT Women's Championship, she has been passed over in favor of other Superstars. This time around, it was the NXT Women's Tag Team Championship.

    Being a faction didn't help. Facing opponents who are, for all intents and purposes, just two singles stars thrown together, didn't shift the odds in their favor, either.

    Instead, this was the latest chapter in the book of The Poison Pixie coming up short.

    It's a shame, as she's extremely talented and deserves some accolades. Until that happens, though, it's clear she's staying on the loser end of the roster.

    This was less of a win for Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart and more of a loss for The Way, as it's likely the best time for LeRae to win a title, and it was squandered.

Winner: Johnny Gargano

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    Johnny Gargano has developed a reputation of not being able to successfully defend his titles. Opponents like Adam Cole and Leon Ruff snatched belts away from him shortly after he became champion.

    However, he's also earned the moniker Johnny TakeOver after his long-standing track record of amazing performances during the special events, win or lose.

    That helped him carry enough momentum during his match against The Colossal Bronson Reed to overcome the odds and keep his title safe around his waist.

    Reed shouldn't be put in the loser category, though. He had to go through a Battle Royal and a Gauntlet Eliminator just to get this title shot. There was also interference from Austin Theory to make this an uneven contest.

    Still, Johnny Wrestling was the better fighter and found a way to win, which should be celebrated.

Winner: Karrion Kross

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    When Karrion Kross originally took the NXT Championship from Keith Lee, it was a surprise that The Limitless One had such a short reign. This time, however, it was no shock that Kross left TakeOver with the gold in his possession.

    After relinquishing the title due to injury, the clock started ticking on when he would return and win back the championship he never truly lost. It was only a matter of when, where and who he would beat.

    Finn Balor put up a good enough fight and was arguably in charge for most of the match, but he didn't have enough to counteract the size and strength advantage Kross had.

    Now, Kross can properly restart his title reign and pick up where he left off. Being able to recapture the top title on the brand in one of the main events of the pay-per-view by defeating a former champion who has even held the Universal Championship is peak winning.

Winners: Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly

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    Kyle O'Reilly said this match was not just for bragging rights or to get another win on the record, but for his soul. It was a means to wash off some of the bad stain from his time in The Undisputed Era underneath Adam Cole's leadership.

    After a hard-fought fight, O'Reilly got a measure of revenge on his former friend by scoring the win and ending the night standing tall in the main event.

    It's the biggest win of O'Reilly's career, and it should mean he can't be ignored on the roster. He's not just a tag team guy to be overlooked in a faction. He can stand on his own.

    This was a star-making performance, and O'Reilly will be one of the main winners walking out of this event.

    But Cole can't be ignored, either. It takes two to tango, and without that dance partner and the villain in this story, O'Reilly's victory wouldn't feel quite as important. He deserves a significant amount of credit for his part in this match and is just as much a winner in terms of performance.


    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.