Amazing opening video package chronicling past NXT champions and stand outs to kick off the night but… Can tonight live up to the high standard of past Takeovers? Will the Full Sail crowd stand up to the crowds of Dallas and London? Will Tye Dillinger actually pose a threat in a match? Find out after the jump!
Tye Dillinger vs Andrade “Cien” Almas
Almas goes over Dillinger in a solid opener. Dillinger actually held his own which was truly surprising to me. I haven’t hoped on the Dillinger bandwagon just yet, but he looked good here. Andrade has star written all over him and could be the Latin American star that WWE really needs. Good match for what it was, but it felt a bit rushed, with both guys cramming a ton of stuff in, in a short amount of time. Andrade is crazy smooth in the ring, big things could be in his future at NXT and beyond.
American Alpha (c) vs The Revival – NXT Tag Team Championship
American Alpha reminds me of the Steiners. Less steroids of course. The Revival continue to prove they are one of the most impressive teams in recent memory, great psychology always shown by them, this match is no different. Alpha looking great with the tandem offense throughout. Really enjoying the set up of The Revival trying to keep up with Alpha, great way to work the match, and really puts over Alpha’s in ring ability. Awesome hot tag segment with Gable getting worked over for a good time, Jordan coming in on fire with his suplex’s, he has really come into his own. The Revival becomes the very first two time NXT tag team champions, going over with the shatter machine, in a great tag team match. These are two of the very best teams in the entire company, and I look forward to the rematch.
What looks like the Samoan Hit Squad 2.0 takes out American Alpha after the match, Hall of Fame manager Paul Ellering walks out on stage, seemingly behind this new team. Interesting to say the least.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Austin Aries
Back and forth action to start out and both men are looking like a million bucks tonight. It is amazing seeing one of my all time favorites, Austin Aries take on Nakamura in this environment. Aries and Nakamura are truly in a league of their own, they wrestle like nobody else on the planet, and each man is totally them, everything they do sets them apart. It is refreshing to see a match have a nice build with well thought out spots, Aries working submissions, working over Shinsuke’s legs and cutting off the bigger opponent. Aries is getting tons of offense early on, nice to see Nakamura in a vulnerable position for once as well. Nakamura goes over after Aries crashes and burns into the barricade after a suicide dive. Incredible match. Both men looked great and came out looking even better at the end. Would be great if this turns into a proper feud, I could watch these guys for a lifetime.
Asuka (c) vs Nia Jax – NXT Women’s Championship
It seems that Asuka was the opponent Nia Jax always needed. Someone who could take some brutal bumps and truly put over the power of Nia Jax. Nia has come a long way since first debuting, and since her first title match against Bayley. I still think they were wrong to put Bayley over Nia so early in her run but they have made up for it with this most recent push. The dichotomy of Nia’s power and Asuka’s submissions and strikes is on display nicely. Much like Nakamura, it is refreshing to see Asuka in a vulnerable position. Asuka retains after a hard fought match. Loved the stiffness shown by both women and Nia showed a tough side we haven’t seen before. I don’t know where to go with Nia after this. They have pushed her as a monster twice and both times she got beat clean. Asuka retaining is the right thing, she is obviously the very best of the division, and she deserves a lengthy reign. Expecting Bayley to get her rematch next.
Bobby Roooooooo shown walking backstage…is this a sign of things to come tonight?
Samoa Joe (c) vs Finn Balor – NXT Championship Steel Cage Match
The rivalry that seemed like it wouldn’t end has finally reached its breaking point. The fourth and final championship match between these two. Finn Balor looking good in the Bullet Club black and white. Love Samoa Joe going for the door right at the start, such a heel. Samoa Joe hasn’t aged, dude is still amazing and everything he does has a purpose and has force behind it. Pretty much all Joe early on, nice use of the cage as a weapon, and Balor bumping like a boss. Really cool spot with Finn working Joe over while Joe was between the cage and the ring ropes. Lovely sling blade from the top rope as well. Awesome finish with Joe retaining after a muscle buster from the second rope. Not their best match of the feud, but still really good. I don’t think either of these men could have a bad match though.
It was a really good NXT Takeover. Match of the night goes to Nakamura and Aries, with the Tag Title match a close second. I liked the decisive end to the Joe/Balor feud, looking forward to seeing more of Andrade, and excited to see Bobby Roode debut as well.