2 things that went right on the March 21 WWE NXT


The wacky variety show that is WWE NXT needed to get through a couple of shows before April 1’s Stand and Deliver, and the March 21 episode fulfilled one of those obligations. Unfortunately, this edition of the show handled the ongoing build to the pay-per-view unevenly.

Indeed, we could spend a lot of time talking about WWE forcing Carmelo Hayes and Bron Breakker to “co-exist” in a tag team match (a day after WWE put Bianca Belair and Asuka in the same situation) or the Fallon Henley/Kiana James nonsense, but instead, let’s look at the things that went right on the broadcast.

Tiffany Stratton and Lyra Valkyria qualify for the NXT Women’s Championship ladder match

NXT held two more qualifiers for the NXT Women’s Championship ladder match this week, as Tiffany Stratton faced Indi Hartwell and Lyra Valkyria took on Ivy Nile for those coveted spots.

Stratton vs. Hartwell kicked off the show’s in-ring action, and the two tangled for a competitive nine minutes before Stratton hit a rolling senton and her version of the Best Moonsault Ever to score the pin. Valkyria vs. Nile was more of a sprint that saw the former NXT UK mainstay get the clean win after hitting a spin kick.

For different reasons, Stratton and Valkyria are good choices for the ladder match. Much like Zoey Stark, Valkyria is in it to give the younger workers a stabilizing presence. Meanwhile, Stratton’s magnificent athleticism made her a no-brainer pick. If Roxanne Perez doesn’t defend her title in the match, Stratton seems like the likeliest candidate to win the belt.

Johnny Gargano wants an unsanctioned match with Grayson Waller

If you’re searching for a prime example of the disconnect between NXT and the main roster, look no further than Johnny Gargano’s presentation on this show compared to Raw. On Mondays, you see him putting over Dominik Mysterio and receiving limited hype when he appears on the screen.

In NXT, he gets to beat up Javier Bernal — who entered to Gargano’s music for easy heat — and fire up to the crowd before challenging Grayson Waller to an “unsanctioned” match at Stand and Deliver. Given that Waller curb stomped Gargano into the dirt at Gargano’s house with Candice LeRae and his son watching, Gargano asking for this stipulation is more than understandable.

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Waller, of course, wasn’t there to sign the contract, but he told Gargano to hand it to Vic Joseph so he could do so next week, a clear setup for Waller to attack Joseph to get that last bit of heat before the PPV. Everyone played their roles well here. Gargano brought his usual great fire, Waller was as smarmy as ever, and Bernal made for an effective punching back for “Johnny Wrestling”.