NXT TakeOver made its grand return to the WrestleMania week festivities on Wednesday night with NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver. The first night of the two-night event was full of action and memorable moments, including two major title changes while another championship bout stole the show. Night 1 was definitely one for the memory banks, but with Wednesday night now in the rearview mirror, it’s time now that Night 2 gets our full attention.
Thursday night features three championship showdowns with the NXT title match headlining as Finn Balor puts his title on the line against the former champ — and the man who never lost the belt — Karrion Kross. Not to mention, a grudge match for the ages will take place as former Undisputed Era brethren Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly will go at it in an unsanctioned match.
The NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night 2 action from the Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, Florida, begins on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET with the kickoff show leading everyone in beginning at 7 p.m. Night 2 will stream live exclusively on Peacock.
Let’s take a look at how our experts believe the action will play out.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar (c) vs. Jordan Devlin (c) (Ladder Match)
Escobar could be a main-event player, and that means ending his run with the cruiserweight title and giving the ball fully to Devlin. As much as Escobar could benefit from losing the belt and moving up the card, Devlin could benefit from actually getting the full effect of the run that was planned last year before the pandemic. Pick: Jordan Devlin wins — Brookhouse (also Silverstein)
NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship: Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon (c) vs. The Way
As great as The Way — both the entire faction and this tag team — may be, these titles were just introduced a few weeks ago and changed hands once on the night they debuted. Blackheart & Moon are growing as a team, and The Way would not be injured from a loss. It should be a fantastic match, though. Pick: Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon retain the titles — Silverstein (also Brookhouse)
NXT North American Championship: Johnny Gargano (c) vs. Bronson Reed
Reed put on a hell of a performance on Wednesday night to win the gauntlet match, and he’s more than deserved this opportunity on the big stage. That said, however, Gargano is such an NXT staple that it’s hard to imagine wanting to take a title off of him without the right kind of build to the match where it happens. Pick: Johnny Gargano retains the title — Brookhouse (also Silverstein)
Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly (Unsanctioned Match)
Cole has basically accomplished everything possible in NXT, while O’Reilly — since receiving a singles push — has done nothing but lose. It is difficult to imagine Cole beating O’Reilly when the clear booking going forward is O’Reilly challenging for the North American championship (or eventually another NXT title opportunity) and Cole finally moving forward in his WWE career. There are numerous reasons Cole may not get called up, but it seems like that is what is in the cards, and falling to O’Reilly here would be the perfect send-off for him. Pick: Kyle O’Reilly wins — Silverstein (also Brookhouse)
NXT Championship: Finn Balor (c) vs. Karrion Kross
Balor has been great since filling the gap left when Kross was injured and his NXT title reign was cut incredibly short. But Balor has had his run, and similar to Devlin, he deserves the opportunity that was already his when misfortune intervened. The only reason not to put the belt on Kross here is if you’re ready to push him to the main roster. That’s not likely at the moment, so he’ll end two nights of great NXT action with the title. Pick: Karrion Kross wins the title — Brookhouse (also Silverstein)