It’s finally here, TakeOver time. We’ve got some title matches, a debut of an anticipated superstar, some shiny new versions of the current titles, and possibly a match of the year candidate. How did it hold up? Let’s take a look.
Match 1: Tye Dillinger, Kassius Ohno, Rodrick Strong, & Ruby Riot vs Sanity
A culmination of the rivalry between Tye Dillinger and the maniacal Eric Young, still really left us in a state where Tye hasn’t really accomplished anything out of this feud. We found out earlier in the night that No Way Jose had been attacked prior that day by Sanity, so who did we get instead? OHNO! Mr Kassius Ohno himself stood up with his super friends and fight. The match itself was okay, it felt a little sloppy in some areas but overall it was a fun opening match to get the night started.
There seemed like a few moments when Sanity had finally met their match, specifically with Ruby Riot facing off against Nikki Cross. They hit viciously and even mirrored each other by jumping on the other teams back to incapacitate them. The match ended with Killian Dane getting the win over Tye Dillinger, which left me feeling bittersweet. What are they doing with Dillinger? He doesn’t seem to get any redemption or justice for anything that he’s tried to accomplish recently, so I’m sorry that I need to ask this again. Where does he go from here?
Match 2: Aleister Black vs Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas
After a few weeks of promos, the reveal of his name, and the opponent he would face. We finally got to see Aleister Black (Tommy End to all of you who were aware beforehand) in action against Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas. This seemed like a good match up for Andrade, for a while now he’s been playing the cocky heel well and getting away with his actions in the ring. With the introduction of Black, he’s had to ditch being cocky and actually had to fight back. Black was very impressive in his NXT debut, which was thanks to his unique entrance and movement within the ring. The match flowed really well and showcased Black’s talent perfectly, in the end, Black got the win and the crowd seemed excited to see him perform. I for one am extremely excited to see what he’ll be up to on NXT in the coming weeks.
Match 3: #DIY vs The Revival vs The Authors of Pain – Elimination Tag Team Title Match
Match of the night? Match of the year? and It’s because of DIY and The Revival? Whatever these guys are getting paid, it’s not enough. Fans have been looking forward to this match and have even speculated that it could steal the whole show, and boy did it deliver. The dynamic of the match centred on the Authors of Pain being this highly destructive force that’s hard to take down, so what do they do now that three tag teams are in on the title picture. Make DIY and The Revival temporarily team up just to even the odds, to say that the crowd was ecstatic would be an understatement. Spot after spot, the match felt like it couldn’t get any better.
It was so exciting, that you didn’t even realise that there hadn’t been a near fall for ages because of all of the amazing feats of athleticism. There were suicide dives, people being thrown left and right, a co-ordinated table spot with The Revival and DIY teaming up, even swapping finishers between them made the crowd absolutely insane! As the match started to draw to a close, the crowd did shift tone to disappointment when DIY was eliminated. It’s understandable, they’re one of the most charismatic tag teams in NXT. Both DIY and The Revival both presented how hard they work, and they deserve a lot of praise. You’ve probably noticed I’ve not really talked about The Authors of Pain… I feel like they still need to develop more, they’re still just really big dudes that can smash stuff. They did okay, and in the end, The Authors of Pain reigned supreme and retained their WWE NXT Tag Team Titles.
Should they have won? It’s a fair question to ask. Are The Revival and DIY going to be called up to the main roster? Oh man I really wish they do, the tag team divisions on Smackdown Live and Raw are a bit of a mixed bag at the moment… maybe we should hold off on them coming up for a while.
Match 4: Asuka vs Ember Moon – NXT Women’s Championship
I feel sorry for anything that had to follow the previous match, the crowd would be so tired from it that it may be hard to get people invested. But you know what? they did a brilliant job with this match. This was another match which I believed could steal the show, The anticipation for these two to finally fight was great. Asuka the dominant heel, Ember the confident challenger, and the looming threat of a Total Eclipse that could at any moment possibly out Asuka away for good.
The match paced itself very well, stressing the fact that Asuka may have finally met her match. Butting heads for dominance and an engaging back and forth where we could see the frustration from both these women, constantly trying to hold it back and wanting to get the upper hand in the fight. The match looked like it would’ve gone to Asuka while she controlled Ember in a sleeper hold, but Ember fought back hard and swung the momentum right into her favour. It culminated in an attempt for the Total Eclipse, Asuka saw what was going to happen and took Ember out by knocking her off the top rope, denying Ember the chance for her finish and ultimately retained her NXT Women’s Championship. A great match, and continues the storyline for a possible rematch down the line for Ember to finally win the gold.
Match 5: Bobby Roode vs Shinsuke Nakamura – NXT Championship
It’s main event time and by the time we got to this point, the crowd was pretty exhausted. The hype going into the match was entertaining enough, but overall it did feel like we all knew what we outcome was going to be. We saw repeats of elements from their previous encounter, Bobby continually working Nakamura’s knee and we also saw Nakamura’s fighting spirit and challenging the champion to come and get him. The match was paced well too, and the crowd slowly got back into it towards the end, but even I was feeling drained.
Overall the match was entertaining, always brilliant to see Shinsuke Nakamura in action as he always gives 110%. Bobby Roode performed really well too and deserves that NXT title. This NXT Takeover has set the bar for WrestleMania 33, put on brilliant matches, and overall left us satisfied with the event they presented. Next stop. WrestleMania.