Can you remember the last time an NXT Takeover let you down? The shows are pretty great from top to bottom almost 100 percent of the time. Trust us when we say the latest offering from Philadelphia was no different on Saturday night, and here are five Huge Takeaways from the five star show.
5. The Undisputed Era May Have Just Sent AOP Packing
The opening match of the night at NXT Takeover was the first of three championship matches as The Undisputed Era faced the tall order of defending their Tag Team Titles against The Authors of Pain. Kyle O Reilly and Bobby Fish had to figure out a way of getting a win without their fearless leader Adam Cole as he remained in the locker room to prepare for his own match later in the evening. Turns out they work just fine without Cole, but it was touch and go for a while. Akam and Rezar dominated much of the early goings but once they got their feet under them Fish and O Reilly more than held their own. In fact after AOP failed to connect on both men with their patented double powerbomb finisher, Fish scored the roll up and the win for his team.
4. Velveteen Dream Is Money
The powers that be at NXT were either planting seeds for weeks, or they realized with not a lot of time left that they didn’t have one of their brightest stars on the NXT Takeover card. Either way he wound up competing in Philadelphia as The Velveteen Dream took on Kassius Ohno. Dream made the opening 30 seconds of the match exciting as only he could too, promising during the pre-show that he would knock Ohno out within 30 seconds of the match beginning. He almost managed it too, but instead got a stiff elbow of his own in return. We’re glad it wasn’t all said and done in 30 seconds as that would have meant we didn’t get the great match that followed. Dream wound up winning in the end, even if it did take him a little longer than half a minute.
3. Welcome To NXT Shayna Baszler
Despite Shayna Baszler only being on NXT television for a few weeks, the former MMA star managed to shoe horn her way into a Women’s Championship match at NXT Takeover. For a very large portion of the match it looked as if The Queen of Spades was going to emerge victorious too. Baszler focused on the arm of Moon for the entire match and at one point it even looked as if officials were going to call the bout off, right after the champ hit the challenger with an Eclipse and then clutched her arm in agony. The match continued though and so did the arm bars. It really felt as if Moon was on the cusp of tapping and just when all hope seemed lost she rolled up her opponent for the three count. An infuriated Baszler got the last laugh though, choking out the Women’s Champion as she was being helped to the back.
2. Aleister Black vs Adam Cole Was Everything We Wanted It To Be
Looking for an early contender for match of the year? Well you need look no further than the Extreme Rules match between Aleister Black and Adam Cole on Saturday night. It may have gone on and on but we never wanted it to end. A grueling chair spot, a devastating slam on to a ladder, Black falling from the ring through two tables on the outside, and those of you who watched the match will know that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Two of the best wrestlers in the world right now and they both proved why they are deserving of that label. It was a shame one of them had to lose, and eventually that role fell to Cole. The rest of The Undisputed Era may have come out to help their leader, but Sanity were quick to follow and even the odds. Only one move was going to be capable of bringing an end to match this brutal, Black Mass. That’s exactly what The Dutch Destroyer used to keep his opponent down for three.
1. What A Match
What were we just saying about match of the year candidates? In Saturday night’s main event Andrade Almas was tasked with defending his NXT Championship against Johnny Gargano. It was something of a Cinderella story that led Gargano to this point and this match, and you can rest assured he was not going to go down without a fight. Gargano might have more heart than any WWE Superstar since Daniel Bryan and he demonstrated that at NXT Takeover. The battle with Almas was incredible and defined what a roller coaster ride can be in a wrestling match. The crowd were very much behind Johnny Wrestling and got louder every time he kicked out at two. Eventually though he could kick out no more and Almas picked up the win. Then to add insult to injury Tomasso Ciampa returned and attacked his former best friend as the show was coming to a close.
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