My apologies for the delay. I worked until 2 am last night, came home and watched Zayn/Nakamura, and had no energy to write anything or watch the whole show. Especially since I had to be at work again at 930. But I’m here now. So here are my thoughts on Takeover, otherwise known as the Real Wrestlemania.
NXT Tag Team Championship: American Alpha vs The Revival
-Dawson starts the match by giving Gable a couple of quick playful slaps to the face. Both men go through a nice offensive sequence and Gable returns the slaps to Dawson.
-The Revival is a great old school tag team. Their mannerisms and in ring work remind you of a lite version of the Brain Busters.
-The Revival go for a double suplex but Jason Jordan saves his partner and they hit a double dropkick.
-Gable eats a vicious looking clothesline from Dawson on the outside and The Revival take control.
-Gable hits a double DDT on The Revival but Dawson comes out from under the ring to pull Jordan off the ropes and prevent the tag. But right after that fun spot, the Revival fucks up a spot and the crowd lets them know it.
-Jordan finally gets the hot tag. I love the height he gets on his dropkicks.
-Also Jordan’s belly-to-belly suplexes are great.
-Gable and Dawson are in now and they have a great near falls sequence.
-Jordan makes the tag and Dawson doesn’t know it. Jordan spears Dawson in the corner and tags in Gable to hit their finisher and pick up the win.
WINNERS and NEW Tag Team Champions: American Alpha- Very good opening match. The crowd is fully invested in American Alpha, probably even more than they were for Enzo and Cass. I love the work of The Revival as well and I hope they carve out a spot on the main roster soon. The near fall exchanges were great. You know what I would love? A 2 out of 3 falls match between these two.
-Kota Ibushi is shown in the crowd. He’s rumored to be around for more than just the Cruiserweight Series.
Baron Corbin vs Austin Aries
-Some of the crowd is cheering for Corbin. That goes to show you all of the hard work that Corbin has put in during this heel run. He’s working his destroying the Indy darlings gimmick perfectly.
-Aries gets some early offense in but Corbin drops him on the ropes and takes control.
-Corbin applies the nerve hold that I’m not a fan of. It is the ultimate rest hold.
-The crowd is kind of dead for this one coming off the last match. This match was going to be in a bad spot no matter what match it followed. It probably should’ve opened the show.
-Aries gets some life and hits a dive through the ropes to the outside.
-Just as Aries is getting back into the match, Corbin hits him with a hard looking Deep Six on the outside of the ring. Aries gets back in before 10.
-Corbin tries to hit End of Days, but Aries counters and rolls up Corbin to pick up the win.
WINNER: Austin Aries- The match felt a bit flat but it ws by no means bad. The crowd was still coming off the high from the previous match. Corbin continues to improve in the ring. Aries getting the pinfall victory like that is fine. I’m guessing this probably isn’t the end of this feud.
Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura
-I’ve only seen a handful of Nakamura matches. But even if I didn’t, I would have been immediately hyped for him just by seeing his entrance. The guy just acts like a star. That’s a good thing to have for a wrestler.
-Zayn gets a rope break and Nakamura tells him to bring it. Zayn ducks out of the way as Nakamura tries to land some kicks.
-Zayn connects on some armdrags and then tells Nakamura to bring it and the crowd eats it up.
-Nakamura lands an enziguri kick to the head. Nakamura playfully shoves his foot into Zayn in the corner and Zayn grabs it, but Nakamura catches him with a heel kick to the face.
-The King of Strong Style delivers a handful of knees to Zayn on the apron.
-Zayn tosses Nakamura to the outside then hits a swanton over the top to the outside. He over shot it a little bit. He came right back and hit a crossbody off the top for two.
-The MichinokuDriver gets two for Zayn. Both men exchange blows in the middle of the ring and the crowd just chants YES for both of them. Nakamura gets his nose busted, but he just wipes the blood on his hand then licks it.
-Nakamura with a BEAUTIFUL counter into an armbar attempt. He can’t lock it in, but Nakamura goes to a triangle choke. Zayn stands up and escapes with kicks to the face. Zayn lands some kicks in the ropes just like Nakamura did earlier.
-Zayn applies the Koji Clutch but Nakamura rolls over to a pinfall attempt to break it.
-Nakamura moves out of the way of the Helluva Kick. Zayn comes back with the blue thunder bomb but only gets two. Great near fall.
-Zayn goes for his diving DDT in between the ropes on the outside but Nakamura catches him with a devastating looking kick.
-Nakamura blocks the Exploder with some elbows. He hits a knee off the second rope to the back of the head of Zayn then connects on Bomaye (now called Kinshasa in NXT) for the win.
WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura- There is nothing that can be said about this match that hasn’t already been said. Phenomenal match. Nothing this weekend will even come close to it. If you didn’t see anything from Nakamura before this match, I would assume you came away from it loving the guy. I don’t think there is a way you can screw up Nakamura. Zayn also put on a great performance. Five stars all around.
NXT Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs Asuka
-They show Stephanie McMahon in the crowd. Corey Graves says she is an integral part of the women’s division in NXT and the WWE. Really??? What shows are he watching?
-If the WWE finds a way to screw up Bayley on the main roster then everyone there deserves to be fired.
-Bayley and Asuka both exchange missing kicks to the face.
-Asuka goes for the armbar after ducking a Bayley knee but Bayley gets to the ropes. Asuka then lands a flurry of kicks in the corner.
-Bayley has been in control the last few minutes but Asuka comes back with a couple of dropkicks, then catches Bayley with a kick to the head.
-Both women reset and exchange hard punches. Asuka lands a slap then goes for an enziguri but Bayley catches her with a knee bar then later an ankle lock.
-Bayley goes to work on the legs of Asuka. I love me some good match psychology.
-Bayley goes for the Bayley-to-Belly but Asuka blocks it. Asuka lands a spinning heel kick then goes for the Asuka Lock. Bayley can’t get to the ropes so Asuka locks it in. Bayley tries getting up but can’t escape. Bayley passes out in the Asuka Lock and the ref calls for the bell.
WINNER and NEW NXT Women’s Champion: Asuka- My guess is that this is to transition Bayley out of NXT and onto the main roster. The crowd was shocked by the finish and I must admit I was as well. I thought Bayley would hold the Title a little longer. The match itself wasn’t as good as a lot of the other Takeover matches, but it is tough to top those. This match was very good. Bayley not tapping out shows she wanted to fight until the very end. There was great match psychology involved. The strikes by both women looked almost as hard as the match before. I assume a rematch is in the future. Props to both women for keeping the crowd into the match after Zayn/Nakamura.
NXT Championship: Finn Balor (c) vs Samoa Joe
-Bobby Roode is shown in the crowd. He looks stunned to see this many people at a wrestling show.
-Finn does his entrance with a chainsaw, paying homage to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Did someone in the WWE get a great discount on those or something?
-I love the spotlights in the ring for Title announcement/intros.
-Joe is busted open early near the eye. It doesn’t stop him though as he tosses Balor over the barrier right onto a security guard.
-The ref tries to clear the blood from Joe but Joe just pushes him away. To me, it adds to the intensity the opening minutes of this match.
-This time doctors come out to look at Joe and tape up his cut as a “Fuck PG” chant starts. Will they stop matches like this tomorrow at Wrestlemania?
-Joe has been dominating the early part of this match, but his offense keeps getting halted because of these stupid doctors.
-Also, match wise, the doctor stoppages give Balor time to recover. But Joe continues his onslaught in the ring.
-Joe lands a powerbomb then goes to the crossface. Balor escapes and hits a double stomp. I’m honestly surprised how dominant Joe has been so far.
-Balor hits the dropkick in the corner but Joe catches him with an eniguri kick on the top rope. Joe hits a Muscle Buster but only gets a two count.
-Both men exchange punches (a theme in all matches tonight) then Balor catches Joe with a Pele kick.
-Balor hits the Coup de Grace and goes for Bloody Sunday. Joe escapes and locks in the Coquina Clutch. But Finn gets to the corner and pushes off the turnbuckle to pin Joe’s shoulders to the mat to pick up the win.
WINNER and STILL NXT Champion: Finn Balor- I liked this match better than their London match. If you take out the stupid stoppages for blood it probably would have been better. Joe dominated almost the entire match. Finn got very few moves in on offense. It leads me to believe Gallows and Anderson will be brought in by Balor to help him protect his Title now. Also, I love the finish of the match because it comes straight from the finish of Piper/Bret at WM8.
OVERALL: Good luck trying to top this show Wrestlemania. When your worst match is Aries/Corbin, and that match was better than almost anything on RAW this year, then you know it is a great show. My bold prediction of no titles changing hands didn’t come to fruition. Zayn/Nakamura is probably the early match of the year candidate. I’m interested to see what happens with Nakamura next. American Alpha got their big moment. It looks like Bayley could be on her way to the main roster, as well as Samoa Joe. All the matches on this show were ***+. It’s exactly what you want in a wrestling show. NXT continues to raise the level of competition and some day the main roster will catch up and do the same.
Until Next Time,
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