This past weekend NXT had its stand-alone TakeOver event at Portland, Oregon. This isn’t the first time TakeOver took place on a weekend without any of the big four WWE pay-per-views (the last being TakeOver: XXV back in June 2019). Six matches took place on the card unlike the traditional five, with all four titles being on the line. On […]
This past weekend NXT had its stand-alone TakeOver event at Portland, Oregon. This isn’t the first time TakeOver took place on a weekend without any of the big four WWE pay-per-views (the last being TakeOver: XXV back in June 2019).
Six matches took place on the card unlike the traditional five, with all four titles being on the line. On top of that, we have a WrestleMania 36 match confirmed as well as some questions marks as we get ready for the next TakeOver in Tampa Bay.
Here are my quick thoughts on grades on each match.
North American Championship – Keith Lee (c) def. Dominik Dijakovic
We started off with the two most powerful superstars in NXT in Lee and Dijakovic. If you have watched their previous encounters, you know that there is not a lot of selling here given the size and power of these guys. A heavyweight battle was a great way to kick off the show.
Credit to both guys here. The put on a great match. Lee is incredible and I am really high on Dijakovic as I think he’ll have a huge 2020 and have some gold around his waist at some point this year.
Dakota Kai def. Tegan Nox in a Street Fight
I thought this would kick off the show and this might have been a bad placement right after the North American Championship match. That being said, this was a solid match between two intense rivals that started back at TakeOver: War Games 2019
Trash cans, kendo sticks, chairs, you name it. A chaotic match that had a questionable ending. Nothing wrong with Kai winning but the debut of Raquel Gonzalez helping Kai was a strange part of the match. It’ll be interesting to see what takes place now for both and if Gonzalez and Kai are now an alliance.
This does help Kai as the heel, as she’ll just use this as a bragging tactic that she was able to beat her foe.
Finn Bálor def. Johnny Gargano
What. A. Match. What more can you expect from these two?
The counters and storytelling made this another solid Match of the Year candidate. Balor was the perfect arrogant and ruthless best while Gargano was the perfect babyface here. Simply incredible.
This only helps Bálor as he looks to climb up the rankings for an NXT Championship opportunity while the forever over Gargano loses nothing in this defeat.
Women’s Championship – Rhea Ripley (c) def. Bianca Belair
The match itself was solid but it felt a little slow at times. Maybe for me, I already knew the outcome due to the surrounding rumors that Charlotte Flair would face Ripley at WrestleMania 36 for the NXT Women’s Championship.
It would have been a better booking if Ripley did not show up to Raw a few weeks prior to challenge Flair and rather just have her show up Sunday night out of the blue.
Tag Team Championship – The BroserWeights (Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne) def. The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) (c)
Riddle and Dunne is the dynamic duo I thought I never needed. They are hilarious together outside of the ring and great in the ring from a wrestling perspective.
Fish and O’Reilly really don’t need the belts at this point. The three-time NXT tag champs are always going to be a top act on the yellow brand and it was time to make a change. Having The BroserWeights win here opens up the door for future tag teams to step up and expand the tag division. You have to think now when if the Undisputed Era will make a switch to either Raw or SmackDown.
NXT Championship – Adam Cole (c) def. Tommaso Ciampa
A solid main event that saw two of NXT’s best. Both Ciampa and Cole went back and forth for 30 plus minutes left fans off their seats to see who would come out on top. Ciampa sold his neck injury perfectly here and Cole made sure to use that to an advantage to come out on top.
The real twist here was Ciampa’s former DIY buddy and former rival in Johnny Gargano coming out to cost him the match. We have seen them put on excellent matches together and when they were on opposite sides.
We saw a great trilogy of matches between the two but we never saw the full outcome due to Ciampa having to walk away for a bit due to his neck injury. Now fully healthy, there is a potential to see the exclamation point to their three-plus-year rivalry.
As for Cole, he’ll look for a new challenger heading to TakeOver Tampa Bay during WrestleMania weekend. My guess (and hope for)…a triple threat match between Cole, Gargano, and Ciampa. Take my money if that is the case.
Thank you Triple H. Seriously, in the times are questionable WWE PPV’s, you can always count on NXT putting on great events. Is this the best TakeOver of all time? It is hard to say, given that every single TakeOver has been great. Definitely worth a mention but that is another article for another day.