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    Saturday, April 10, 2021

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: NXT Takeover Stand and Deliver

    Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly on NXT Takeover: Stand and Deliver

    If your main complaint about a normal NXT Takeover is that not everyone gets a chance to shine, then two nights of their WrestleMania week event NXT Takeover: Stand and Deliver addresses all of your concerns.

    From a worker and fan standpoint, having two nights dedicated to arguably the best WWE product is a huge win. Almost all of the important stories on all levels of the NXT card get represented, and no title gets left behind. Fans don't have to sit through more than three hours of wrestling because almost everyone is getting represented. That's honestly the best wrestling experience anybody can ask for, and I'm glad WWE figured it out before it got out of hand.

    But it's not all flowers and roses. At the risk of sounding like someone too entitled and ungrateful for the amazing wrestling we have now, this setup is also prone to indulging NXT's excesses. Takeovers are known for their exhausting top-to-bottom main-event-quality matches, which we have to admit can get too heavy. Where more matches on one card could have meant shorter, more intense bouts, more time to give to everyone means the booker gives up power to edit how a match plays out, because people have more time to do whatever they want.

    Sometimes it works, and sometimes some people get affected—just ask Raquel Gonzales and Io Shirai, who had to cut down the match they had planned because someone ran a little too long in the two hours the first night had on the USA Network, instead of the other way around.

    Sometimes it's just too masturbatory. I personally couldn't get too much into Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly, despite acknowledging all the elements that would make people deem it a classic—nothing felt urgent, and everything looked like it was there just to fill up 30 to 40 minutes because that's what people think makes a classic. (And that the main event should go the longest.)

    Of course, it's all a matter of taste from here. I understand that people like the spectacle of long matches. I do, too, but the drama has to be there as well, and it's got to be truly compelling. But even if I didn't like all of it, I can't deny that as a whole, NXT still approaches wrestling a lot better than the main roster. So at the end of the weekend, this Takeover will still be a tighter product than WrestleMania

    I just don't want them to be complacent and think that it's all automatically good—or the best—just because it's NXT. It was good, but it could be better, and I want them to stay tweaking the formula.

    NXT Takeover: Stand and Deliver Night 1 Rating: A / Night 2 Rating: B+

    Match of the Night

    WALTER's mission is to restore the glory of pro wrestling, and at the risk of sounding like someone taking all of this stuff super-seriously, he is really the standard of what a pro wrestling champion should be. Can't wait for the eventual WALTER vs. Karrion Kross feud.

    Photo from WWE

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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: NXT Takeover Stand and Deliver Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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