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‘NXT TakeOver: New York’ Results and Review

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Goddamn what a show that was.

NXT Takeover events are always weekend stealers but holy cow I can say without hyperbole that this may be one of the best ones yet. Five incredibly strong matches played out in front of a passionate New York crowd and delivered the widest mix emotions from said crowd. This was a powerhouse of solid storytelling, masterful wrestling and hard-hitting brutality. There’s a lot to break down so let’s get into it.

War Raiders defeat Ricochet & Black via Fallout on Ricochet to retain the NXT Tag Team Titles

Takeover started strong by giving us the last NXT match from Ricochet and Aleister Black. They wouldn’t have an easy task as they would have to try and dethrone the War Raiders for the NXT Tag Titles. Sadly, they were unsuccessful but put on one hell of a show where every man felt unique and powerful. No one in the match could really hog the spotlight except Hanson who kept managing to out flip Ricochet. This started as a respectful, reversal fest between Rowe and Black as neither could get the upper hand and refused to do anything if they did. That wouldn’t last long as the pace quickened and both Raiders were dumped out of the ring. Black and Ricochet taunt earning the ire of their opponents and leading to Black being targeted and bullied. He manages to get out of this predicament by sweeping the legs as Rowe tries to slam Hanson on top of him. This reversal leads to Rowe being picked over until he too can mount a comeback.

From there, the match descends into brutal slugfests, knees galore and plenty of flips from everyone but Rowe. There were some impressive spots where Black was able to reverse a pop up Powerslam into a Meteora, Ricochet was able to slam Hanson and in said flip section Hanson hits a cannonball off the top rope. It was almost won for War Raiders when they hit a Springboard Forearm into German Suplex on Ricochet but Black was able to break up the pin with a double stomp. Black and Ricochet would have their own near fall when Rowe was hit by the Black Mass and a Shooting Star Press from Ricochet. In the end the War Raiders would rebound and flatten Ricochet with the Fallout after Black was dispatched by a flying Hanson. After the match the two teams showed respect to one another, War Raiders bowed and the call up team were left to soak up on last ovation from the crowd. Good luck to both these guys on the main roster. The sight of a tearful Ricochet was incredibly poignant and just shows how much NXT meant to him. It was only fitting he left with an ally after putting on a barn burner.

Velveteen Dream defeats Matt Riddle via Roll Up to retain the NXT North American Championship

The next match featured one of the best moments in entrance history, Velveteen Dream being carried to the ring dressed like the Statue of Liberty.

I doubt any entrance this weekend will top that. As for the match well, it was not the most competitive bout on the card. Dream took Riddle lightly and Riddle loved punishing Dream for his arrogance. From the match’s start the crowd wavered on popularity so Riddle dished out some kicks and instantly went for submissions. He would try to lock in multiple Arm Bars but Dream would escape to the ropes every time. Dream made some headway into the match by stomping the foot but wasted time taunting. Matt Riddle once again laid on the brutality and tried to lock on more holds. Dream escapes again and hits a series of Axe Handles on Riddle. He goes to the well one too many times and eats a German Suplex on the outside for his troubles. Once he gets Dream back in the ring he hits a combo of offense and locks in his first Bro Mission. Dream reverses and hits a German that does nothing but anger Riddle. He once again devastates Dream and once again Dream was saved by the ropes.

After a while Riddle goes for another combo of knees and a GTS but this doesn’t put Dream out, it Hulks him up. He mounts the Hogan comeback and finishes with a knee to the face. Riddle catches another and transitions into an Ankle Lock. Dream escapes another hold, hits the Dream-DT and the Dream Valley Driver but his Purple Rainmaker is reversed. Riddle hits a nasty second rope German, the floating Bro flip and locks in the Bro-mission but Dream gets the last laugh as he rolls up Riddle and retains his title.

This was an excellent showcase for Dream’s selling and Riddle’s brutal offense. It was probably not the type of match anyone was expecting and offered a unique more shoot style match than anything else on the card. Dream delivered some flash but most of the match was dominated by strikes and submissions. This felt like the Bloodsport-esque match of the card.

WALTER defeats Pete Dunne via Splash to become new NXT UK Champion

Now we get to the match of the night for me. WALTER toppled the king of NXT UK by dethroning the longest reigning champion in recent WWE history, Pete Dunne. This achievement didn’t come easily though as Dunne had no intention of going down without a fight. What followed was a masterclass of brutal offense, a never say die attitude and some genuinely gut wrenching spots as it seemed all was lost for the champ. WALTER is a killer and he seemed to relish inflicting pain on Dunne as he chopped him down, booted him in the face and threw him around like a ragdoll.

It started technical with both men trading holds but it wasn’t long before the chops and finger work came out. Dunne was on the receiving end of blistering chops and hammers before he could trap WALTER in a Heel Hook. WALTER would escape and locked in a Boston Crab. Dunne receives more clubs and gets worked up and pummels WALTER down. He attacks with punches and an Enziguri and manages to hit a Moonsault on the outside. WALTER wouldn’t stay down and retaliated with more vicious chops but when he ascended the turnbuckle Dunne was able to follow him and plant him with a Powerbomb. WALTER rolled out and was hit by a Double Foot Stomp from the top rope. Back in ring a botched move leads to Dunne eating a Shotgun Dropkick and him being launched with an overhead Suplex. WALTER lands a Powerbomb but Dunne kicks out.

The two slug it out and Dunne ends up getting the fingers of WALTER again. WALTER stomps him and twists the neck of Dunne. He tries for another Powerbomb, is reversed and his hand is smashed. This doesn’t keep him down as he brings Dunne down with a second rope overhead Suplex, Dunne goes back to the fingers again and snaps them this time. He plants WALTER with a German Suplex and tries to pin him with a Crucifix. WALTER kicks out and the two trade Danielson Stomps to the head. Dunne tries to use an Armbreaker but WALTER powers out and knocks Dunne off the top. He goes for a Splash but is caught in a Triangle. Dunne finally hits the Bitter End but only gets a two. They slug it out again but WALTER lands a top rope Powerbomb and follows it with a Splash ending the reign of Pete Dunne. The crowd is devastated but the title has been taken by a giant and will be in safe hands. It’s a new era for the UK Division.

Shayna Baszler defeats Io Shirai, Kairi Sane and Bianca Belair via Kirifuda Clutch on Belair to retain her NXT Women’s Championship

This match had a hard spot on the card as it followed the emotional rollercoaster that was Dunne/WALTER. What if offered was a chaotic mix of friendships being tested and rivalries pouring through. Shayna had no allies as all three women wanted to tear her apart. Belair started by trying to out power her but this didn’t last as Shirai and Sane interfered to break up the pin falls. The Sky Pirates clear the ring then realise they will have to fight. They go about it professionally and give each other their best. Shayna and Belair come back and go back to fighting. There is a clever spot where Belair uses her braid to launch Baszler into the ring post.

The chaos continues as Baszler tries to bully everyone in the match but ends up being caught in a Tower of Doom spot that sees her Powerbombed and Belair caught with a top rope Gutwrench Suplex. The two bigger women roll out leaving the Sky Pirates to fly. They have the advantage until Belair flattens Io with a Spear. At this point everyone is exhausted and Shayna leaves the ring. The Sky Pirates try to bully Belair but Shayna stops them by dragging out Sane. Belair retaliates by throwing Shirai out of the ring with a Military Press Slam. She brings Baszler back into the ring planning to put her down with a Chicken Wing Facebuster but it’s reversed into the Kirifuda Clutch. Belair powers through and hits the K.O.D. Shirai comes back into it, reverses a power move into an X Factor and lands the Moonsault. She goes for the pin but it’s broken up by Sane. Sane hits the Insane Elbow but it’s broken up by Shirai. Those two fight; Belair takes advantage and hits a Double K.O.D after a nasty Spike DDT drops Shirai. She looks set to win but Shayna sneaks in and locks in the Kirifuda Clutch one final time and Belair has no choice but to tap.

Once again the women’s division puts on a strong match that benefited highly from the high amount of chaos. A lot of people will groan that Shayna retained but she was an opportunist who picked her moments so I can’t blame the decision. The Sky Pirates ended up costing each other the win and Belair has more pathos to continue chasing Shayna.

Johnny Gargano defeats Adam Cole via Gargano Escape (2-1) to become new NXT Champion

The grand finale came in the two out of three falls match between Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano. This was for the big one and seemed to be the final boss for Gargano to overcome to get the one title that’s eluded him. The challenge would not be easy though as Adam Cole had his deadly move-set, opportunistic nature and the backing of the Undisputed Era at his side. There was a lot to this match so I’m going to truncate it a bit or I will write a novel about it.

The crowd was very pro Cole at the start of this match as he seemed the favourite to win. However for the first few minutes neither man could really gain the upper hand. One man would have the advantage then suddenly the other would come back. Both men seemed to know the other inside and out. They would miss Superkicks and even knocked each other down by going for Crossbodies. Both men would hit their best moves early but Cole would score the first pin fall with the Last Shot. This was after a Slingshot Spear didn’t work for Gargano and a Back Cracker didn’t work for Cole. Gargano achieved the second fall after he managed to tap Cole out with the Gargano Escape. This wouldn’t come easy as Gargano turned down a count out win, managed to kick out of a Last Shot and a Kneecap Brainbuster and had been punished by being driven into the ring post. Gargano had also tried to put Cole down with an Avalanche Air Raid Crash and a Slingshot DDT on the Apron plus a Cannonball Combo.

The third fall would be the hardest to contest as the Era finally got involved and nearly put Gargano away with Total Elimination. Gargano also kicked out of the Panama Sunrise, Superkicks, survived a Wheelbarrow Suplex into the apron and a Fairy Tale Ending onto the Announcer table. He was just like the Invincible Iron Man his ring gear portrayed. Cole ate his fair share of moves too as he was hit with Superkicks, more Slingshot DDT’s, Suicide Dives and Gargano’s old move Hurts Donuts. In the end he was able to overcome and locked Adam Cole in the Gargano Escape one final time. Cole taps and Gargano finally has the title he has been missing all this time. He is the first Triple Crown champion in NXT history. He celebrates with his wife and is surprised by Ciampa on the ramp. He hugs Gargano like a proud Dad and the show ends.

It’s the perfect feel good to end the show and it’s hard to deny Gargano doesn’t deserve it. The crowd loved his win and he overcome so much (some would say too much) to get that belt.
So there you have it, my feeble attempts to sum up the best Takeover in recent memory, possibly of all time. It had a bit of everything for everyone. There was shoot fighting, tag team chaos, multi woman madness, a tragic end to a record-breaking reign and the happiest reception to a new champion.

This will be a highlight of Mania weekend without a doubt. It was excellently presented, featured some amazing stories and some shock results to keep matches from being too predictable. Also Kushida was finally announced for the company. So that was a nice surprise.

John is a UK based wrestling obsessive who still wants to believe the Bullet Club is fine. He is always tearing the business apart and first realised wrestling was for him when he saw Mankind fall from the top of the cell at King of the Ring 1998.

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