I told you I’d be back for this! What’s up everyone, it’s Rydogg95 here and today, I’m going to review the recent NXT TakeOver special, “The End”. This WWE Network special had 5 matches in total. Those being Andrade “Cien” Almas (I bet you that name’s gonna change when he gets called up eventually) vs. “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger, American Alpha vs. The Revival for the NXT Tag Team Championships, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries, Asuka vs. Nia Jax for the NXT Women’s Championship.
We get a promo showing the evolution of NXT from it’s reformatting in 2012 to today. I popped when I heard the old school “The end is here” theme from Armageddon 2005. I remember before the show even aired thinking “it’s probably far fetched that they would but imagine if they used the old Armageddon theme.” And they DID! Anyways, public mark out moments aside (I say “public” because I first watched this on the train home but I digress) it’s time to forget the past and look forward to the show.
Match #1: Tye Dillinger vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
Kicking off Takeover in style with the “Perfect 10″Tye Dillinger vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas. The crowd is behind the well established Dillinger but they are also interested in Almas. Andrade showed that he’s ready to live up to the reputation that NXT has for being the best damn wrestling show on the planet. Andrade’s history in NJPW was briefly touched on by Tom Phillips mentioning his run with the IWGP intercontinental championship, name dropping the man he beat for the championship, Shinsuke Nakamura. Andrade gets an impressive win over Dillinger in just under 5 and a half minutes after crushing Dillinger in the corner with his knees. This was a very impressive win and both men more than held their own in this fun back and forth match. Yet more proof of why NXT needs a mid card championship! Matches like this deserve to have a championship to fight over.
Rating: 3.75/5 stars. Both men looked like a million bucks.
Match #2: NXT Tag Team Championship
American Alpha(c) vs. The Revival
It’s time for our second match and first title match of the night. My boys, The Revival vs. the incumbent champions American Alpha. This was a standard rematch build. Former champions Dash & Dawson want their titles back and are willing to go through hell to get those titles back and American Alpha being the fighting champions look forward to the challenge. We have the challengers out first, much like it should be (take note WWE games!). The champions are out second and those tracksuits look f*cking awesome! I’m glad they only bring them out for Takeover specials, they’d get ruined otherwise. Yet another beautiful match between these two amazing tag teams with back and forth offense and spectacular tandem moves by Jordan and Gable.Dash and Dawson proved once again why they are the absolute best tag team on this planet. Using their trademark heel tactics of using the illegal man to attack the other man, distracting the referee and cutting the ring off for the opponents. I smiled when I saw Dash and Dawson hit Gable with America’s Most Wanted’s finishing move “The Death Sentence” mainly because back in the day that move was the sh*t. The back and forth action comes to a head when American Alpha sets Wilder up for the Grand Amplitude only to have Gable knocked out of the ring by Scott Dawson and the Revival counter into their patented Shatter Machine for the win and the right to call themselves the only team to win the NXT tag team championships twice.
Rating: 4/5 Stars. This was amazing! It was great to see the rematch between these two teams now we need a rubber match at the next takeover event and- WHOA WHOA WHOA HANG ON HERE!
American Alpha got jumped by two, in the words of Corey Graves, freakin’ monsters and WAIT JUST A COTTON PICKIN’ MINUTE! IS THAT…? HOLY CRAP IT’S PAUL ELLERING! The two gargantuans leave the NXT arena with the legendary manager having made a massive statement and we don’t even know their names yet!
Match #3: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries
It’s time for the match that everyone with half a brain or more is looking forward to. “The King Of Strong Style” vs. “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” these two men have staked their claim to the NXT championship #1 contendership. And it looks as if this match might have the championship implications that we all expected it to. This match has a tremendous build despite only being announced 2 or 3 weeks ago and now it’s time to get into the match. I loved how the crowd was singing along with Nakamura’s entrance theme, it was absolutely beautiful and shows how over with the crowds The King Of Strong Style is. Nakamura and Aries went back and forth with both men countering and hitting their big moves. There was a point where Aries dropped Nakamura with a death valley driver onto the LED panel on the apron to a chorus of “holy sh*t” chants from the NXT faithful. Aries then proceeded to miss a suicide dive through the bottom two ropes, crashing into the crowd barrier and he crashed HARD. Nakamura then followed this sequence up by knocking Aries inside out with a, as Corey Graves would put it, KINSHAAASAAAAAAA! And what a way to end such a great match. If this was for contendership, Shinsuke Nakamura deserved that win.
Rating: 4.5/5. Just an amazing match, we’ll see if Asuka/Nia Jax and Balor/Joe can follow that.
Match #4: NXT Women’s Championship
Nia Jax vs. Asuka(c)
We get our second championship match of the night as “The Empress of Tomorrow” Asuka takes on the master of Snapchat, Nia Jax. I’m not joking with that, Nia Jax rules at Snapchat and I’d recommend adding “NiaJax” anyways, enough about pointless social media apps. This match came about when Bayley wasn’t medically cleared to compete at Takeover so William Regal put a triple threat match between Carmella, Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax for the #1 contender status. Which obviously Nia won. Then we had the contract signing on the June 1st edition of NXT with Nia Jax looking like a powerhouse. And that’s what works for Nia Jax. That’s why this match works so f*cking well, it is literally the unstoppable force of Asuka meeting Nia Jax, the immovable object. Partnering that with the seemingly unstoppable force of the undefeated NXT Women’s Champion Asuka, this match is not only reminiscent of the old four horsewomen matches due to the hype and believability of this being a hard hitting match for the ages, but it also goes a completely different style because if you remember, the 4HW style was more technical wrestling and some real flashy things, Asuka vs. Nia Jax was, to put it simply, a fight. From bell to bell Nia Jax and Asuka gave it their all with Asuka prevailing after kicking Jax in the head and scoring the decisive pin after about 9 minutes.
Rating: 3.75/5 stars. I enjoyed it, but it had a hard time following Nakamura/Aries
Samoa Joe(c) vs. Finn Balor
Steel Cage Match
Here we go with the main event. Actually, hold the f*cking bus there, Rydogg! You’re missing something awesome here, William Regal had an interview before the main event and BOBBY ROOOOOOOOODE walked past and Regal, who then left to go talk to him. Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, we’ll get back into the main event. This is, I believe, the third takeover in a row these two have main evented for the gold. Not that I have an issue with that. I’m a fan of both wrestlers, but I hope this is the last match between the two so somebody else can get a shot at the title, and hopefully we get Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe/Finn Balor depending on who wins this match. The way the cage was lowered into the ring was f*cking awesome and Finn Balor had his coolest “demon” face paint to date. The black & white paint and gear just looked awesome. The whole match and to be honest, the whole show was just phenomenal. For 16 minutes Balor and Joe went to war with so many crazy spots and the final spot of the match was probably the coolest thing I’ve seen for a while. I mean, come on! A second rope muscle buster! There was no way in hell Finn would be able to kick out of that. It was a given that Joe would win the match, you know, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Samoa Joe is obviously going to be the dominant champion… At least until he loses it to Shinsuke Nakamura… wink wink.
Rating: 4/5. Solid main event. This was a really fun match and a great way to cap off a great show.
OVERALL: 4.25/5 stars. Once again NXT delivers the goods for the fans.
Match of the night: Nakamura vs. Aries
MVP of the night: Shinsuke Nakamura
Well, thanks for reading my thoughts on this great, great show! For more of my opinions feel free to follow me on the Twitter machine @Rydogg95. For now, peace out!