WWE NXT Stand & Deliver 2024: 3 Things We Hated And 3 Things We Loved

Welcome to Rllegends's annual coverage of "WWE NXT" Stand & Deliver, the Tuesday night developmental brand's mid-day equivalent to WrestleMania here on WrestleMania weekend! And take it from us, if there's one thing the 2024 edition of this show did, it's deliver. The WINC staff almost universally agreed that Stand & Deliver was an absolutely stellar event from start to finish, harkening back to the days when every "NXT" Takeover special raised the bar for whatever main roster PLE was following it on a given weekend. Were there things we disliked? Absolutely, and we will get into those. In general, however, our nitpicks were vastly outweighed by the sheer quality of the card.

We can't quite cover everything that happened in this space — be sure to check out our Stand & Deliver results page for all the details, and read up on the new Women's North American Championship and the arrival of former STARDOM ace Giulia — but we're super passionate about thing things we do have room to talk about, as you are about to find out. Between four championship matches, heated rivalries between former best friends (Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes, yes, but also Thea Hail and Jacy Jayne) and Shawn Spears vs. Joe Gacy for some reason, here are three things we hated and three things we loved about "WWE NXT" Stand & Deliver 2024.

Loved: Meta-Four stand & deliver as hosts with the most

I'll be honest, Meta-Four aren't always my cup of tea, and everything Noam Dar has done with the Heritage Cup confused me to no end, but sometimes I do find them all charming and funny (when I'm not being so grumpy). To have them "host" Stand & Deliver, since no member had a match on the card, was actually a move of utter brilliance. The opening video package with Meta-Four parodying aspects of the various matches — from having dinner at the D'Angelo family restaurant to studying in the Chase University classroom — was cute, funny, and really enjoyable. "NXT" premium live events are always good, but often super serious because the fans know the matches are going to be masterpieces, which doesn't fit the generally lighter tone of "NXT's" weekly TV. The addition of Meta-Four as hosts for the afternoon was harmless fun, and they didn't take away from any of the action going on in the ring. They even had a job of announcing the fact that Stand & Deliver was the highest attended "NXT" event ever at the end of the show, which, in my opinion, was more enjoyable than Triple H, Shawn Michaels, or Ava coming out to announce the figures.

They also showed up at one point backstage wearing Cowboys gear and I don't believe a single mention was made about it, which, as a football fan, was pretty darn funny. There was a lot to love on this show, which I consider one of the best premium live events (if not the best, pending WrestleMania) of the year, and the little touch of Meta-Four and their humor, especially in the opening video, was the icing on the cake for a great show and an awesome afternoon.

Written by Daisy Ruth

Hated: So is Bron Breakker still on SmackDown, or ... ?

The opening tag team title match at Stand & Deliver was very good (pretty much every match at Stand & Deliver was at least very good) but the booking of the titles is confusing me. It's not like Nathan Frazer and Axiom are any great shakes as a tag team; they're a fun unit, but they're not the established team you'd think would be the ones dethroning The Wolfdogs. That said, "NXT" doesn't have a particularly strong tag division in general, so they're as good a choice as anyone, and I was really expecting to see the champs dethroned so Bron Breakker can get back to the serious business of wrestling on the main roster.

Don't get me wrong, Breakker and Corbin are great together. But we just did an entire rigamarole about Breakker singing with "SmackDown." He's since won a pair of extremely short squash matches, and then he just stopped showing up. His last "SmackDown" match was a month ago. I understand wanting his focus on Tuesdays in the lead-up to Stand & Deliver, but this surely would have been the time to have him and Corbin drop the belts so Breakker can move on the bigger and better things.

Instead, The Wolfdogs howled in triumph once again, and it's hard to see where we go from here. Is a hybrid "NXT"/main roster team like LWO or The OC going to beat them? And if not, who is? Chase U? OTM? Hank and Tank? If it wasn't going to be Frazer and Axiom, I feel like it might take a while for someone else to be positioned to take the titles, and I'm worried that Breakker will continue to be kept off "SmackDown," where he was already thriving, for no other reason than "NXT" doesn't have another good option for the tag champs. Either keep them as a team and have them wrestle tag matches on the main roster, where Corbin probably belongs anyway, or have them drop the belts to continue Breakker's push, but the current situation is not sustainable.

Written by Miles Schneiderman

Loved: Dijak has a type (and it rules)

I don't know what it is about Dijak and the "NXT" North American Championship, but for whatever reason it's a combination that's been consistently winning for like five years now. First there was his legendary challenges to eventual frenemy Keith Lee back in the Black & Gold days, then there was his incredible match with the unrelated Wes Lee at Vengeance Day 2023, and now you can add Saturday's instant classic with Oba Femi to the list (Josh Briggs was also there).

Okay fine, Briggs was perfectly cromulent in his role and contributed to at least a couple of the awesome strength spots in this match, most notably Femi balancing both men on his shoulders at the same time. But the money here is going to be Dijak vs. Femi one-on-one, and the story of the triple threat set that up nicely. Dijak would almost certainly have pinned Femi after hitting two consecutive Feast Your Eyes, but Briggs pulled the referee out of the ring. Later, Dijak hit Feast Your Eyes on Briggs, but Femi pulled him off, powerbombed him, and pinned Briggs for the win. That's just an instant recipe for an extended Dijak vs. Femi feud, and I for one cannot wait. Long live Dijak's inexplicable bond with the North American title; lord help us all if he ever actually wins the thing.

Written by Miles Schneiderman

Hated: The valiant Mafia boss is an oxymoron

Tony D'Angelo entered "WWE NXT" Stand & Deliver with a much-touted advantage over the defending champion Ilja Dragunov: Just weeks ago, he orchestrated Channing "Stacks" Lorenzo's savage attack at the fingers of the champion, rendering the "Mad Dragon" without full use of his dominant hand. Their entire feud has revolved around the idea that Dragunov's power is nothing compared to the Family-backed Tony D'Angelo, who is capable of doing whatever it takes to become champion. Which would go along the beaten path of those portraying a Mob-inspired character, capable of deceitful plays and underhanded tactics, and makes for a compelling challenger.

And yet, for some unknown reason, Tony D'Angelo wrestled Saturday's bout exuding respect for his foe. It's worth noting that they both left it all in and outside of the ring, and the match certainly delivered in workrate and spcial moments. But for D'Angelo to have been built up as a dangerous Mafioso faced with the one thing he craves more than anything else in the "NXT" Championship, only to willingly subvert the very essence of his character for some unfounded idea of respect, renders the whole idea of his character moot. The simple way to phrase it is, pick a lane; he can't be both a honorable man and a ruthless Don. And for those who would argue it's just displaying depth of character — there's an important difference between depth and contradiction. This unfortunately fell closer to the latter, and took away from an otherwise compelling story and an excellent match to go with it.

Written by Max Everett

Loved: Six women, six future stars!

In the words of General Manager Ava, the match between Thea Hail, Kelani Jordan, and Fallon Henley against Jacy Jayne, Kiana James, and Izzi Dame showed that "NXT" had "the best women's division in professional wrestling". Regardless of if you agree with that statement as a whole or not, the performance those six women put on at Stand & Deliver was undeniable. From the opening bell until the closing moments, it was booked to be an electrifying back-and-forth, and the talented individuals involved showed up and showed out.

The team of Hail, Jordan, and Henley had great chemistry together. Their moves flowed together, and when they moved together as one, complex unit, it was a beautiful sight to see. Henley's experience showed through during her in-ring moments with James and Dame — her body flew through the air with such great intensity, and yet in her bulldog-to-kick combo on James and Dame, she showed a surprising degree of control for someone still in developmental. She moves like nobody on the main roster does, flinging herself around with what seems like reckless abandon but is actually a series of calculated bursts of energy that make her moves look wild and devastating. Henley's explosive style never sacrificed itself in quality, and she felt like solid ground for the newer faces of Hail and Jordan to build from.

Both Hail and Jordan showed a youthful fire in their performances. Jordan proved herself to be a great athlete, and while the way she moves in the ring is distinctly green and not as practiced as Henley, she made up for it with her effortlessness. Jordan made jumping over the top rope into a spinning crossbody onto Dame look so easy and seamless. Where Jordan made wrestling look easy, Hail brought all the energy to the ring — if you listen closely, you can still hear her screaming all the way from Philadelphia. All of her energy is concentrated and condensed into a little package, and when she was let out in the ring in front of over 16,000 people, it was like a firecracker.

Jayne, James, and Dame deserve their flowers, as well. While they were often on the losing side of Henley, Hail, and Jordan's offense, they sold the moves they took beautifully. Wrestling is a two-way street: A wrestler's offense is only as good as the person taking it. James, Jayne, and Dame were the perfect foundation to support the young and spunky Hail and Jordan, and their ability to work with such a varying spectrum of personalities in their opponents deserves nothing short of praise.

And the finish of the match was the best way this six-person tag match could have ended. After Hail and Jayne enjoyed their face-off moment — their feud was the spark that set this six-person feud ablaze, after all — Hail found herself narrowly avoiding certain doom courtesy of Dame. A DDT attempt from Hail turned into an imminent spinebuster from Dame, until Hail somehow snaked her body into a Kimura Lock on Dame. With Jayne out of the picture and the rest of the women grounded from recent out-of-ring shenanigans, Hail won the match by making Dame tap out. It looks great for Hail to pick up the win for her team, and it makes sense for her role as the central character in this whole chronicle. It also leaves the door open for Hail and Jayne to run it back one-on-one in the future, seeing as Jayne technically did not tap out.

All six women involved in Stand and Deliver's tag team match were phenomenal, and the match finish foreshadowed a future bout between two of "NXT"'s most meteorically rising stars. Factor in the also excellent women's title match between Roxanne Perez and Lyra Valkyria, and Ava had a great case when she claimed that the women in "NXT" were among the greatest in the world.

Written by Angeline Phu

Hated: 'Relaxed rules'

I greatly enjoyed Stand & Deliver and there's not much to hate about this show at all. Just one small thing irked me, personally, however, and that was "NXT" General Manager Ava continuously telling referees to go easy on the rules. Why not just go ahead and make things a No DQ match? She initially did this on Tuesday's episode of "NXT," telling officials about Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams' match well ahead of time. She said it again on the Stand & Deliver pre-show about Shawn Spears and Joe Gacy. For that match, especially, with Gacy doing this newer "I love pain, give me more pain" gimmick, a No DQ match would have made perfect sense and would certainly have spiced up the pre-show a bit. I honestly don't remember much about that match even with the relaxed rules, so it just seemed like it was said more for show than for substance when it came to the unofficial opening match of WrestleMania weekend.

Where the relaxed rules came in to play a bit more was Hayes and Williams' main event match. It initially was apparent when the two battled out of the ring and it lasted for over a 10-count. They only did that once, however, and if you wanted to play up this small stipulation, it could have been done a time or two more, or have them fight outside of the ring for even longer. Where it really picked up was Hayes going to choke out Williams with his undone wrist wrap, and commentary made a point that "all the ref can do is watch." That was confusing, because I'd consider choking more of a No DQ-rule kind of action, but maybe that's just me. They also broke the Spanish announce desk, but announce desk spots happen in matches with normal rules ALL the time, so I didn't think that made sense for a big deal to be made of it, either. It made somewhat more sense when Williams starting whooping that trick — and by that I mean wailing on Hayes with a chair — but having it happen while the ref was down muddied the waters even further.

The notion of "relaxed rules" is something I had never heard of in WWE before, and I thought it was completely unnecessary. Hayes and Williams wouldn't have lent itself well to a No DQ match, in my humble opinion, but Hayes could have still been sneaky without anyone explicitly telling me the rules were relaxed. Gacy and Spears could have gone No DQ, or at least leaned heavier into the relaxed rules, but I don't think WWE wanted to do that on a pre-show. Overall, moving forward, I hope this isn't something WWE makes a habit of on "NXT."

Written by Daisy Ruth

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