NXT Takeover feedback
Thumbs up! Every match delivered. Impressive main event, but everyone else on the card felt elevated tonight even if they lost.
Best match: Bayley v. Sasha. I was invested in this match. Bayley is an incredible face in peril. Sasha is such a good heel. With that dynamic, there’s no need for creative high spots. Just a great match.
Worst match: Balor/Joe v. Corbin/Rhyno. This was a good match. I enjoyed it. It would typically be the match of the night on any other NXT show. But I think every other match on the card built up the wrestlers and gave us some direction. These guys were great, but I wasn’t thinking “I want to see where they go with these guys after this match.” It was a match that gave the trophy to their #1 & #2 guys.
-I’m paying more attention to NXT homegrown vs. imported wrestlers. Balor, Joe, Crews, and Asuka were all imports winning over homegrown talent. I’m not saying that those were the wrong outcomes. It certainly isn’t reassuring to see Breeze lose this much.
-Kana/Asuka is exceptional. Watching her move in the ring and link moves together was incredible.
-Dawson and Wilder are such a great team. Found myself believing that their teamwork was good enough to overcome the fact that Balor and Joe are individually better. That’s what a tag team should do.
-Great seeing Sara Del Rey out there tonight.
NXT TAKEOVER FEEDBACK
Best: Bayley vs Sasha Banks
No worst match
Top to bottom, this may have been the best Takeover card from Full Sail.
The Mechanics were impressive in the opener holding their own vs Balor and Joe.
The other semifinal was a very pleasant surprise. Jordan and especially Gable have taken off, while Corbin appears to be gaining confidence and his weaknesses are hidden in tag matches. Tons of heat for this one in the building.
Asuka vs Dana Brooke was a great debut. Asuka’s speed in which she executed her moves was very impressive. Dana wasn’t out of place here either.
Tyler Breeze vs Apollo Crews was solid. Would’ve been a great house show main event level type match. It was nice to see them switch up the finisher for Crews. Now he needs a little character development.
The Dusty Classic final was another solid match with a straightforward story. Surprised there was no tension between Balor and Joe, so maybe it will be a face vs face program if they square off for the title.
The main event lived up to the enormous hype. The fans were with it every step of the way and the 30:00 went by very quickly; the match was paced perfectly. No one sat back down after Sasha messed with Izzy around halfway. It was talked about after the last taping that someone getting heat by messing with Izzy would be great, but no one thought they’d actually do it in this day and age of “putting smiles on people’s faces.” The Brooklyn match was probably better as a match but this presentation was tough to beat, topped by the post-match celebration. The company has made a major star, so let’s hope they don’t mess it up on the main roster where it counts.
This is the easy winner for promotion of the year with a month and a half to go in the voting period.
– Chris H.
Best Match: Sasha Banks vs. Bayley
Worst Match: Jason Jordan & Chad Gable vs. Baron Corbin & Rhyno
This is my first time sending my thoughts in after a wrestling event. Thumbs all the way up. I thought the main event with the post celebration ceremony made it come across as a ***** match. There was no point where the match felt like it was dragging and it topped the previous match in terms of psychology and work. The post celebration even topped Bayley winning the NXT’s women championship last NXT show. I don’t even know how that is possible. I honestly believe people will remember this match as the greatest woman’s wrestling match in WWE.
Overall : Great show
Thumbs waaaay up
Best Match : Bayley vs. Sasha IronMan Match (4.75 stars)
Worst Match : Apollo Crews vs Tyler Breeze ( I hate to put this match in the worst match category because it was a good match but the matches on this show were on another level)
DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS: NXT CHAMPION FINN BALOR & SAMOA JOE VS. DASH WILDER & SCOTT DAWSON
Good match. I thought The Mechanics come off as a really good heel team. Finn looks good in the leather jacket. I like that they don’t overuse the body paint, that makes it special.Joe’s offense looked super smooth and In my opinion both Joe and Balor need a heel turn to showcase more personality because Joe comes out to a colder response than what one would expect but Joe carries himself like a superstar in the ring.
DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS: JASON JORDAN & CHAD GABLE VS. BARON CORBIN & RHYNO
Super heated match. Gable and Jordan came off as superstars. This match made all the competitors esp. Gable,Corbin and Jordan look really great. Sweet finishing sequence. Really good match.
ASUKA VS. DANA BROOKE
Asuka has made the transition to WWE style faster than Hideo and her offense looked really great and her smooth transitions plus that Leg trap German Suplex was awesome. Props to Dana Brooke for hanging with her. +1 star for that Flying Armbar and facials throughout the match. Excellent debut.
APOLLO CREWS VS. TYLER BREEZE
When this match is the worst match of the show, that tells you the quality of this Takeover event. Tyler breeze is a natural heel and Apollo Crews’ selling was on point. Nice new finisher.Really needed it. Another Good match.
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DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT FINALS: SAMOA JOE & FINN BALOR VS. BARON CORBIN & RHYNO
Superheated match. Good finish. Cody Rhodes promo was very good. Nothing bad to say about the match. Finn needs that heel turn though. Although, it’s pretty clear that Joe is still not seen as their guy. Corbin is improving and looked good tonight.
30-MINUTE IRONMAN MATCH: NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPION BAYLEY VS. SASHA BANKS
Excellent match. Sasha Banks is on another level when it comes to heel psychology.The match was worked great and the story told was consistent and the finish made perfect sense with Sasha being the great opponent that brings the best out of Bayley. The first fall was done so great. Making Izzy cry and stealing her hair pin was just perfect as Sasha drew the ire of the crowd and that made the Bayley comeback even more special. Amazing sequence at the end. Perfect story. The locker room and Sara Amato and Stephanie and Triple H and Regal coming out made the moment even more special. This really seemed like a G1 Final. Great way to end the feud.
Thought it was a good consistent show in-terms of match quality, however I felt there was no great matches. One noticeable thing to me was that in the majority of the matches the pace seemed quicker than we’re accustomed to with NXT. However unlike the main roster this wasn’t achieved with rope-running or simply more moves, but rather a greater number of strikes in a shorter space of time and things of that nature, I enjoyed it. I was greatly impressed by Dash & Dawson, I thought their aggression and fundamentals were very good, felt Jason Jordan looked the best he has to date, I was blown away by Asuka, this woman knows what she’s doing! I thought the smoothness and solidity of her work was absolutely tremendous, plus she was charismatic and showed no signs of having problems adjusting unlike Itami, although it’s still early days. I was left itching to see a match between herself and Sasha, Becky or Natalya that we never see, although I’m sure her eventual match or matches with Bayley will be very good.
Thought Breeze & Crews had a damn good match and that this was a big step forward for Crews, as I’ve felt he’s been coming across as a bit of generic smiley babyface along with not showing his capabilities in the ring. I was growing concerned as to how over he may get in NXT, however this greatly relived me of those fears, and in retrospect they were keeping stuff in reserve for his competitive matches. I thought the ladies had a good match but were a victim of their own standards. Didn’t feel it was anywhere near as smooth or creative as their last encounter, neither did it have as good a layout. In addition I thought it took them awhile to find their rhythm and the match suffered with the crowd having greatly exhausted themselves. But hey, for multiple reasons the Brooklyn match was going to be impossible to equal.
Balor & Joe vs. Dash & Dawson ***1/2
Gable & Jordan vs. Corbin & Rhyno ***1/4
Asuka vs. Dana ***1/2
Breeze vs. Crews ***1/2
Worst Match: Balor & Joe vs. Corbin & Rhyno ***1/4
Best Match: Sasha vs. Bayley ***1/2
Thumbs WAY UP. A great wrestling show!
I don’t watch NXT every week, so I’m sure there are subtleties that I missed, but it was still an engaging show.
BEST MATCH: Has to be Banks v. Bayley, even though this wasn’t a perfect match. I do get frustrated that main roster stars come to NXT to do jobs for the NXT stars, which is a bit too predictable. I preferred the Brooklyn match, if the truth be told. Things that could be followed up on in this match (could Sasha win the title with a count-out fall as the difference? did she really tap out?) really can’t be followed up on, because Sasha isn’t on NXT anymore. For my money, Sasha is the best wrestling personality in the whole WWE right now, aside from Lesnar, Cena, and the Undertaker. Which is pretty, pretty, pretty good. Bayley also distinguished herself with a great performance. Hopefully, these 2 will never get the giant fake breasts that seems to be required on the main roster.
WORST MATCH: It is a good sign that I don’t automatically say the Baron Corbin match. If I MUST pick something, I would say that based on Gable & Jordan not winning, like I thought they should (over Rhyno, obviously) made it the worst match of the night, which is not an insult on this very awesome solid show. I thought that match was also very good. (Rhyno has got to lose some weight!)
I liked the idea of Balor’s leg being an angle, even though it didn’t turn out to play a major role. When I saw this happen, I had an inkling that Samoa Joe could turn on him, for costing them the match with his showboating, and then be in line for an NXT title shot. But when I heard the tenor of Cody’s remarks, it was clear that was not happening. The leg angle did create some drama & uncertainty — a simple storyline that is easy to follow. WWE needs more of exactly that.
Asuka also had a great match, and so did Dana Brooke. The post-match face off with Emma was also something that I thought was going to lead somewhere… but it didn’t yet. The Divas Revolution can’t hold a candle to NXT Women’s Division, and WWE better do something about it.
I was also struck by how much Baron Corbin has improved. The End of Days is an impressive finishing move, in a world where 3 Attitude Adjustments might not be enough to get a pinfall. I used to be down on him, but I have turned the corner.
Crews, Tyler Breeze, Jordan & Gable, and even Dawson & Wilder (or whatever) all had good nights. An excellent show.