NXT Takeover Phoenix Highlights w/ The Chairman
NXT Takeover Phoenix put on another amazing show as expected with five solid matches. Here’s the highlights of what happened at NXT Takeover: Phoenix.
Undisputed Era Goes to War
Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong put the NXT Tag Team Championship on the line against the War Raiders Hanson and Rowe. The War Raiders had a stage full or raiders leading them to battle tonight in what was a pretty cool entrance. The Undisputed Era take care of business early isolating Rowe from Hanson making quick tags and O’Reilly loving those guillotine chokes. Hanson gets in there though eventually and causes havoc. At one moment the match looked over with an impressive combo of Strong taking Hanson down from the top turnbuckle with a suplex followed by O’Reilly and a diving knee from the top rope. That wasn’t enough to keep Hanson down though. Eventually the War Raiders finish the match off with Rowe powerbombing both Strong and O’Reilly at the same time and Hanson came off the top rope onto O’Reilly to finish the job and win the NXT Tag Team Championship for the War Raiders. The Undisputed Era went from trying to hold all the gold in 2019 to holding none after NXT Takeover which will surely start main roster call rumors. Meanwhile the War Raiders finally showed the world what many of us that followed them before NXT could do in a high profile match and in what looks to be a lengthy title reign.
Matt Riddle and Kassius Ohno Takeover Again
Riddle didn’t quite finish off Ohno in mere seconds this time around, but he did leave Takeover with another win over Ohno. Ohno rocking the colors of the Phoenix Suns tried using his size to his advantage in the early going. At one point Ohno even bit on the foot of Riddle to escape a hold he was in. Riddle though finally snapped and started absolutely beating Ohno down with a series of elbows and fists to the point where Ohno tapped out. This was the one match on the card that really didn’t wow me. Maybe it’s because I personally don’t care for Ohno? I would’ve much rather seen Velveteen Dream vs Adam Cole in this spot instead honestly. Hopefully this feud is now over and Matt Riddle can move onto a program with somebody else.
Ricochet and Johnny Wrestling Put on a MOTY Candidate
I had a feeling this match was going to be the best of the night, but it could very well be the best of 2019. I know it’s premature to think, but last January produced the best NXT Takeover match between Gargano and Andrade. Anyways this started off fast and fierce. Ricochet didn’t hold back using his gifted athletic ability to frustrate Gargano. Ricochet at one point asked which Johnny Gargano was he going to get tonight? At one point Gargano was on the outside and Ricochet took him out with a beautiful asai moonsault off the apron. Later on Gargano locked the Gargano Escape on Ricochet and Ricochet deadlifted Gargano off him and tossed him into the corner. Gargano was getting frustrated when countless times he couldn’t put Ricochet away, so he went outside and exposed the concrete. Gargano debated DDTing Ricochet from the apron into the concrete, but the ref warned him he’d toss the match out if he did. Ricochet at one moment even attempted the Gargano Escape on Johnny. In the end though Gargano delivered a suplex to Ricochet on the concrete outside and then used the slingshot DDT off the ropes to claim his first singles championship in NXT. Johnny Gargano is the new NXT North American Champion in what was definitely an amazing must see match.
Undefeated or Overrated???
Shayna Baszler put the NXT Women’s Championship on the line against Bianca Belair. Belair entered the match undefeated and won a number one contender match against Mia Yim, Io Shirai, and Lacey Evans to earn her spot despite what Sam Roberts thinks. Match started with bickering between the two with Shayna yelling “OVERRATED” and Belair “UNDEFEATED” Shayna managed to grab Bianca by the pony tail and pulled her head into the turnbuckle post. Shayna dominated from there and set Bianca up for that deadly move where she stomps on her opponent’s arm. Belair eventually gets back in the match and even used her hair whip that left a mark on the abdomen of Baszler. The referee got knocked out and Belair managed to score the K.O.D. There was no ref to make the count though and Belair was upset. This opened the door for Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke to run to the ring. Belair managed to take care of them, but Baszler locked on the Kirifuda Clutch. Belair though someone managed to hang on. Belair used her power to get to her feet and escape the hold. Belair went to the top looking to finish Baszler off. Shafir and Duke though distracted Belair long enough for her to miss Baszler and she got locked into the Kirifuda Clutch again. Belair made it look like she was going to escape for quite some time. However she eventually fell victim to the Queen of Spades. There was definitely some solid storytelling in this match and it was definitely a breakout performance for Belair as well. Baszler though once again showed why she rules the NXT women’s division.
Ciampa and Black Meet For the NXT Championship
Aleister Black finally gets his rematch against Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT Championship. The match mainly focused on Ciampa trying to injure the leg of Black so he can’t use his finisher Black Mass. Ciampa used the steel steps on the outside, the announcers table, dragon screws, crab submissions, everything he could do to injure Black’s leg. Ciampa at one point even used his leg to try to lift Black up mocking his Black Mass setup. Ciampa went for the Fairy Tale Ending, but it wasn’t enough. Ciampa then exposed the same concrete area around ringside that Gargano did earlier in the show. Black managed to comeback in the match at this point and even hit Black Mass to Ciampa. Ciampa though rolled to his side so Black couldn’t cover him. Ciampa managed to hit a second Fairy Tale Ending, but still wasn’t enough to put Black down. Ciampa then went for a third one and then was looking for a fourth, but Black escaped. Black was looking for Black Mass, but his leg gave out from being injured which allowed Ciampa to hit a fourth Fairy Tale Ending to finally finish off Black. As the show came to a close, Gargano came out and joined Ciampa and both men raised their titles. Not sure where this is going to go, but there are alot of question for NXT fans going forward.
Overall it was a solid show. Four of the matches I’d definitely consider must see. It’ll be interesting to see if any NXT superstars appear in the Royal Rumble matches tomorrow night. Pete Dunne, Toni Storm, and Velveteen Dream were all featured in the crowd so they all are in town. As always, thanks for reading and follow me on Twitter @ChairmanSV for the latest.