Before WWE is set to take over (no pun intended) Toronto Sunday Night, the developmental brand NXT had a network special of their own in NXT TakeOver: Toronto. As per tradition, five matches took place on the card, which included all titles on the line and one grudge match.

Like stated in my preview, this was the second time TakeOver took place in Toronto, with the first one back in 2016 the night before Survivor Series.

How did NXT do the second time around up north? Let’s find out in my thoughts on the pay-per-view.

NXT Tag Team Championship – Street Profits (c) def. The Undisputed Era

Credit: WWE.com

Grade: A

Well, it looks like Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins are here to stay, which is a great thing.

It is crazy to think how far Street Profits have come since their title reign, particularly Dawkins. A constant jobber in his early days, he found a connection with Ford and have developed nicely as one of the best young tag teams the WWE has right now.

The action picked up from the start, with Ford showing off his freakish athletic ability to Dawkins being the powerhouse late in the match. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly have shown time and time again that they are one of the better workers on the brand.

I’m glad to see Street Profits hold onto the titles for a little bit longer, showing that they will not be fully called up anytime soon. I am looking forward to seeing who they will feud with next, possibly in a War Games match for the next TakeOver.

Io Shirai def. Candice LeRae

Credit: WWE.com

Grade: A

While it did take a few minutes for the crowd to get into it, this was a classic wrestling grudge match between two bitter rivals.

LeRae, despite the loss, looked really good her in her first TakeOver match, showing that she is more than just “Mrs. Gargano.” She showed a gutsy performance, refusing to give up to the ferocious Shirai.

In the end, Shirai won, which was the right call. Her heel work was perfect here, from her facial expressions and frustration of LeRae refusing to give up.

With her new look and victory here, I can see Shirai being inserted into the Women’s Title picture now.

NXT North American Championship – Velveteen Dream (c) def. Pete Dunne and Roderick Strong

Credit: WWE.com

Grade: A-

A quality match here with great workers.

There was a lot of creative spots here but at times, the match seemed slightly clunky at times. Traditionally, with these types of matches, you see one of the participants out of the ring to let the others work but you saw at times they tried to get all three in the action at once. Usually, it is not a bad thing and it could work but it did not mesh well here.

Still, the action was good and the crowd loved the match. Credit to all three guys putting on a show here for NXT’s mid-card title. Dream’s victory here is interesting as I believed he is ready to step into the main event picture. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Dream as well as Dunne and Strong.

Will Dunne go back to NXT U.K. or be called up? Will Strong stay with Undisputed Era? A lot of interesting storylines to follow from this triple threat match.

NXT Women’s Championship – Shayna Baszler (c) def. Mia Yim

Credit: WWE.com

Grade: A

She may not have won but Yim looked really good here. The match here was not a lot of hight spots, rather mat style wrestling with a story of who can slow down who the fastest.

Both Baszler and Yim have great chemistry here. Yim showed her style of fighting and was able to show what she is all about while Baszler once again.

A solid match between the two and while everyone believes Baszleris more than ready for the main roster, she looks to stay in NXT for a little bit longer. It’ll be interesting to see who Baszler feuds with next. Shirai seems to be the next number one contender but she is a heel much like Baszler. That would still be a good match to watch, maybe add Yim in the title picture once again.

NXT Championship – Adam Cole (c) def. Johnny Gargano 2-1 in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match

Credit: WWE.com

Grade: A+

Man. Talk about a match. All I have to say is that this match was excellent from start to finish.

WWE in recent weeks have done countless 2-out-of-3 Falls matches on T.V. but have never felt anything special. This one, however, blew the other ones out of the water.

What started off as a simple singles match turned into a car crash right as the second fall started. The crowd was really into it, with chants of “please don’t die” was roaring throughout the crowd.

The storyline was perfect with Gargano trying to pay the hero with Cole doing whatever he can to walk out of Toronto as NXT Champion. The Barbed Wire Steel Cage match as the final fall was an unexpected third match, with both Cole and Gargano using every weapon available to them in order to get the victory.

Looking back at the history of TakeOver matches, this might be in the conversation as one of the best matches in the brand’s history.

A perfect ending to a trilogy of matches, Gargano/Cole, in my opinion, has best one of the best rivalries in all of professional wrestling.

We know Cole will be in NXT for the long haul, the question now is when Gargano is going to get called up for the main roster. His post-match standing ovation from the crowd suggests that he will be on SmackDown or Raw in the coming weeks. No matter what the plans are for him in the long run, you can not forget what Gargano has done for the NXT brand for the past couple of years.

Overall

It is the same story. Another TakeOver, another instant classic. While WWE has been putting on questionable shows for the past few months, you can almost certainly guarantee that NXT will put on amazing shows. That was the case once again as this card was excellent from top to bottom.

With the amount of talent the yellow brand has, you can make the argument that TakeOver can be more than just the traditional five matches. Will we see that in the near future? I hope so, but with the excellent shows they have been putting on, they can hold off on that for a while.

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