Will Finn Balor’s reign as NXT Champion continue? Can Kyle O’Reilly get revenge on Adam Cole? These are the questions that’ll be answered, probably in brutal fashion, on NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver Night 2. So far in the show we’ve seen a Cruisweight Champion crowned and the women’s tag titles defended. Stand and Deliver Night 2 is airing on NBC’s Peacock streaming service right now.
It’s the first time NXT TakeOver has been spread over two nights,, and Night 2 has a high benchmark to hit after Night 1. That show saw a new NXT Women’s Champion crowned and a stellar bout between Walter and Tommaso Ciampa.
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Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly
After, the main event is up next.
Karrion Kross wins NXT Championship
Finn Balor’s reign is over. Karrion Kross defeated Balor in the sub-main event with a forearm smash to win the NXT Championship.
It was a good-but-not-great match. Much like last night’s NXT Women’s Championship bout was all Io Shirai, Finn Balor was absolutely the star of the show here. This match was much longer though, meaning it dragged a bit more. Plus, it’s hard to get excited about the babyface win when the heel was just so much more exciting to watch.
Kross took much of the early going, until Balor caught a nice flying armbar. This was actually another slightly confusing aspect of the match: The video package beforehand sold Kross as being more technically proficient, but Balor as having greater endurance. But in reality, it was Balor who looked more proficient at submission wrestling.
Balor caught Kross with a kick to the midsection which injured Kross’ liver, and much of the rest of the bout focused on Balor working over Kross midsection with submissions, strikes and stomps. A nice false finish came when Balor hit a Coup de Gras but got a two-count — with Kross reversing the pinfall into a rear-naked choke. Great spot.
Balor used an abdominal stretch throughout, and after the Coup de Gras applied it once more. Kross powered out, hit a suplex on Balor and then the forearm smash for the win.
Rating: 3.5 stars.
Jonny Gargano beats Bronson Reed
Unsurprisingly, this was the best match on the show by this point. Johnny Gargano is amazing, obviously, and did a great job at chipping away at the big man. Bronson Reed also played his part well, selling injuries from the prior night’s gauntlet match to make the much smaller Gargano’s offense feel believable.
Much of the match saw Gargano hit flurries of offense only to be cut off by a big move from Reed. Reed wouldn’t be able to maintain the advantage though, as Gargano would take advantage of Reed’s fatigue and injury from the previous night’s match. The action was crisp, including a wicked backstabber from Gargano that saw Reed’s neck snap and later a huge powerbomb from Reed to Gargano from the outside.
Austin Theory got involved at one point, saving Gargano from a pinfall by putting Gargano’s foot on the ropes. Amazingly, Reed took Theory out with a suicide dive. Reed followed that up with an attempted reverse moonsault from the top rope — an impressive sight for such a big man — but Gargano rolled out of the way. Gargano then hit two over-the-top-rope DDTs for the win.
Rating: 4.25 stars. Awesome.
Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart retains tag titles
Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart retained their NXT Tag Team Championships by beating Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell. Moon hit a sweet double Total Eclipse on both LeRae and Hartwell, followed by Blackheart pinning Hartwell after her top-rope senton.
It was an average tag match that picked up at the end thanks to strong false finishes. Blackheart and Moon used a dominator/cutter tandem move, which looked awesome, for a two-count. LeRae and Hartwell later scored a modified 3-D for another near fall. The most memorable part of the match was a suicide dive that looked very close to going very wrong. LeRae and Hartwell were outside, but Blackheart landed in between them in a way that they weren’t able to properly break her fall.
Rating: 2.75 stars. Not much to say about this one. A decent match.
Santos Escobar wins Unified Cruiserweight Championship
In the opening match of Night 2, Santos Escobar defeated Jordan Devlin in a ladder match to unify the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. It took interference by Legado Del Fantasma to get there, as well as a gnarly spot that left Devlin strewn across a broken ladder.
The match wasn’t bad but, as far as ladder matches go, it wasn’t anything special. There was nothing you’d never seen before, and nor was it particularly heavy on psychology. There were some daring high spots though, like Devlin doing a reverse moonsault from the top of a very high ladder, a wicked suicide dive into a ladder and, at the end of the match, Escobar headbutting Devlin so that the latter crashed through a ladder and snapped it in half.
Rating: 3.25 stars.