As NXT Stand and Deliver drifts further into our memories, WWE’s developmental brand has moved to promote its next big special: Spring Breakin’. With that show taking place next week, this week’s NXT focused on adding matches to the card while hyping the already-advertised bouts for the event.
In addition to hyping matches, WWE also booked a few competitive matches, including two championship bouts. In the “main event” segment, NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes fielded questions from number one contender Grayson Waller as a guest on “The Grayson Waller Effect”.
Even with some of the usual head-scratching moments that contaminate this show, there were plenty of positive takeaways (as evidenced by the favorable reviews on Cagematch).
What went right on the April 18 episode of NXT?
Indi Hartwell challenges Tiffany Stratton and Roxanne Perez
Since Indi Hartwell received her developmental gold watch in the form of the NXT Women’s Championship, the creative team has leaned into the perception of her as a vulnerable title holder. Between her fluky win (with Dexter Lumis’ aid) at Stand and Deliver and her equally fortuitous retention against Zoey Stark, the predatory heels in the women’s division smell blood in the water.
Tiffany Stratton — the end result of a writer seeing a two-minute clip of Keeping Up With The Kardashians — has stood out as the most vocal of these carnivores, but even the babyfaces have joined in on the fun.
After Roxanne Perez beat Stark in a good match, Hartwell came out to oddly thank Perez for having a panic attack that necessitated the ladder match (this wasn’t designed to sound that way, but that’s how it came across) and challenged her to a title match. Perez accepted, but Stratton would not let this stand, running down Perez and Hartwell before demanding a title shot.
With two qualified contenders staring her down, Hartwell solved this conundrum by challenging both to a Triple Threat match at Spring Breakin’. This promo segment went the way most of these WWE verbal exchanges go, but booking a three-way gives WWE an avenue to move the title off of Hartwell and kick off a Perez/Stratton program centered around the belt.
Duke Hudson offers up Andre Chase for Bron Breakker
Aside from Xyon Quinn, no NXT prospect has cycled through more gimmicks than Duke Hudson. WWE clearly sees something in the Aussie (namely, his height), and thus why we’ve seen so much trial and error on-screen with him.
As a member of Chase U, Hudson may have finally figured something out, particularly over the last few weeks. With a heel turn clearly around the corner, Chase U’s MVP has found a good balance of arrogance and cowardice, and in a promo segment with newly-minted heel Bron Breakker, he mustered up some good faux babyface fire.
Of course, Hudson used this passion to challenge Breakker to a match at Spring Breakin’…on Andre Chase’s behalf. This allows Breakker to get a dominant win over a beloved babyface while Hudson continues to develop this smarmy character.