NXT TakeOver: Dallas
April 1, 2016
Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center – Dallas, TX
2 days until WrestleMania, Dallas Texas, NXT consistently outshining WWE when their shows clash. Tonight NXT has their equivalent to WrestleMania in the form of TakeOver Dallas. The debut of Shinsuke Nakamura and Austin Aries, a new team rising to take on The Revival for the NXT tag team titles. The empress Asuka challenging for Bayley’s womens championship and continue her undefeated streak and the rematch from London between Samoa Joe and Finn Balor. Could this be, the best NXT TakeOver yet?
NXT Tag Team Championship Match:
American Alpha Def. The Revival (c)
A great start to Dallas, an amazing tag team match showing how to book a tag team match properly. The Revival are the best heel tag team in WWE/NXT right now, the stuff they pulled tonight was amazing, so many great heeling spots especially Dash crawling under the ring, that’s a new one I hadn’t seen before. American Alpha looked great as expected, Jordan being the big powerhouse Gable the technical underdog, which they played off well, Gable getting ganged up on needing to hot tag Jordan. Many great tag team sequences along side it all, genuine sense of emotion whether or not Revival or AA would win, so many close calls, but American Alpha pick up the victory and become the new NXT Tag Team Champions. What an opener, one of the best in recent memory.
Austin Aries Def. Baron Corbin
Another solid performance from Corbin, he’s just a fantastic heel, he knows the crowd hate him and he just relishes in it. Austin had a nice debut match here, nothing spectacular but he got to show his worth and made Corbin look like a monster, a more tactical Corbin, really taking his time dismantling Aries rarely letting up. Some of the crowd were actually chanting Corbin’s name at the start, which I don’t mind, I like that he’s getting the respect he deserves after so long. The finish was nice, Aries rolling up Corbin after countering the end of days finisher, this leaves a rematch open in the future which will be interesting. A nice follow up to our opener and a nice debut for the greatest man who ever lived.
Shinsuke Nakamura Def. Sami Zayan
OH. MY. GOD! #FightForever the single best match NXT match I have ever seen, bar none. This was simply BEAUTIFUL, the perfect blend of WWE showmanship and NJPW sportsmanship. Lovely story telling with Sami not wanting to be one upped by Nakamura and never backing down, signs of a different more aggressive Sami which was a nice change of pace from his underdog persona. Stiff as f*ck doesn’t do this match justice, these two at one point were just clobbering each other with forearms for a good few minutes, resulting in Nakamura’s nose being busted open! Speaking of Nakamura. BEST, DEBUT, YET! He looked like an animal without needing to squash his opponent, he was allowed to be let loose and just be himself, which he did in spades. A brilliant ending sequence, fantastic near falls making the drama just ooze out of the crowd, I was on the edge of my seat 90% of the match, these two had a f*cking war. I could talk forever about this match, but go watch it yourself if you haven’t it’s a masterpiece in wrestling, strong style and story telling and a perfect way for Sami to bow out of NXT.
NXT Women’s Championship Match:
Asuka Def. Bayley (c)
It was going to be hard to follow Sami Nakamura, the fans needed a cool down match before another major one. Bayley Asuka had a great womens match, one of the best in TakeOver history I’d say, beautiful wrestling and showing that strong style isn’t halted by gender these two had some hard hitting exchanges. We saw a different Bayley here, way more aggressive and always on the defense, having to counter a lot of Asuka’s offense and some of her counters were staggering! The finish was well done, Bayley was in the Asuka lock for a good minute plus and passed out instead of tapping to protect her while still making Asuka look like a badass. Definite shades of heel Asuka brewing after that post match, Bayley crying and Asuka just look at her almost disgusted and pitying her. Loved it, while hard to top the last match, and honestly it was hard to even concentrate, these two ladies put on a fine match, continuing to show what women’s wrestling is all about. All hail the empress Asuka!
Main Event – NXT Championship Match:
Finn Balor (c) Def. Samoa Joe
A main event ruined by an unintentional cut. At the very beginning of the match Finn headbutts Joe causing Joe to bleed below his right eye, which in turn had the refs and EMT’s cater to Joe every few minutes for the first half of the match which ruined the momentum. While safety is important, it’s pretty dumb that they couldn’t just patch up Joe’s eye for the match with a quick fix, I feel if this had been avoided this match would’ve been amazing, but only ends up being great. The match itself was very well worked as expected, just above their London match due to the EMT’s when it should have blown it out of the water. 3 matches in a row, it was just two wrestlers kicking the sh*t out of each other and it was great, should have named this show “TakeOver Strong Style” because that’s what it was.Finn had to claw away to eek out another victory against Joe, but much like their London match, it was survival, not a 100% beaten man with a smart counter by Finn to get a surprise pin. While I was against Finn winning as I feel he should have only gotten the one lucky escape against Joe, this finish leaves a 3rd and hopefully final rematch in the making later down the line, maybe the NXT before SummerSlam? Still a great main event that could have been better.
NXT TakeOver Dallas takes the top spot for best NXT special yet, all matches delivering in spades with 2 hot openers and a trilogy of great-perfect matches. The womens match did feel slightly rushed and did have to follow a master class whilst the main event was held back by an injury, we could have easily seen an even greater show. But for what we got, it was still amazing, good luck WrestleMania, you’re going to need it after what we’ve seen, which was greatness!
Overall Rating: 9.5/10