NXT Now! Report - NXT TakeOver: The End Review
By: Jeff Burga
NXT TakeOver: The End Pre-Show
I don’t mention pre-shows in my reviews but will make an exception in this case because of Lita’s odd behavior during the show. Renee Young tried her best to reign in the former Women’s Champion, as she stammered through her early years in Mexico. The major gaffe came when she forgot Andrade’s name and turned to fellow colleague, Corey Graves, for a little help. He looked on mystified, wondering how she couldn’t have picked up some simple Spanish words like cien in her travels. Lita’s reasoning for picking Andrade in the match was nonsensical, causing Graves to look into the camera with a, “you’ve got to be kidding me” face. Breaking the fourth wall, Vintage Graves!
The End is here!
A goose bump worthy video package was shown of past and present NXT stars and champions. The final scene showed Finn Balor and Samoa Joe face to face with the steel cage in the background, signaling that the end of the beginning was at hand.
Andrade “Cien” Almas defeated “The Perfect Ten” Tye Dillinger
William Regal granted Dillinger the opportunity to be on the TakeOver card after his successful social media campaign. Tye looked forward to showing the NXT Universe why the show couldn’t possibly go on without The Perfect Ten. Unfortunately for Dillinger, the debuting Man of One Hundred Souls would have a big say in the outcome of the match. After trading holds and battling for position with the former Mexican luchador, Dillinger failed to execute the Tye-Breaker. Andrade broke free and executed a charging double-knee in the corner on Dillinger to pick up the win. It was a decent opening match to start off the show and an even better debut for ACA; who gave the NXT Universe a small glimpse of his aerial firepower when he landed an impressive double moonsault on Dillinger in a key part of the match. It’s back to the drawing board for The Perfect Ten, as he continues to come up short in the big spot.
NXT Tag Team Title Match - The First Two-Time Anything in NXT
The Revival defeated American Alpha
In what turned out to be the surprise finish of the night and the only loss in my prediction section last week; Dash and Dawson were able to recapture their NXT Tag Team Titles against Jordan and Gable in this very fast paced match. Early on, American Alpha showed why they were the standard bearers in the Tag Team Division since late March with crisp double team moves that had the rough neck duo reeling. The former Tag Team champions leveled the playing field when they isolated and wore down Gable on their side of the ring. A frustrated Jordan was shown on the outside chomping at the bit to get back in the action and when Chad finally made the hot tag. Jason looked like he had just been shot out of a canon steam rolling through Dash and Dawson. Late in the match, there was a big scramble with all four men battling in the ring. The World’s Greatest hit the Grand Amplitude and thought they had the match won but were outsmarted by the cagey rough necks. With the ref’s back turned, The Revival hit Jordan with the Shatter Machine for the win.
After the match, Dash and Dawson reveled in their victory, while American Alpha stood dejected in the middle of the ring. Suddenly, two behemoths appeared out of the crowd and proceeded to decimate Jordan and Gable. Hall of Fame manager, Paul Ellering, appeared onstage and looked on in approval at the carnage in the ring. The Authors of Pain, Sunny Dhinsa and Gzim Selman were later identified as the culprits that destroyed The World’s Greatest. It was a very enjoyable rematch that showed why NXT is the home of Tag Team wrestling. Dash and Dawson walked out of TakeOver as the first ever two-time NXT Tag Team Champions while American Alpha have a new set of problems on their hands. It’s understandable why the higher-ups went with the title change in this case because it sets up a possible third match with both teams tied at a win a piece.
NXT Dream Match- Who’s the Greatest?
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Austin Aries
The dream match that the NXT Universe had been salivating over for weeks was finally here and it didn’t disappoint. Aries made his way to the ring with his midsection heavily taped. NXT announcers, Corey Graves and Tom Phillips stressed there was never a mention of any type of injury to Austin’s ribs and perhaps it was just early mind games on the part of Aries. Both of NXT’s biggest free agent signings stood face-to-face in the middle of ring while the Full Sail crowd absorbed the moment. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived grounded The King and neutralized his two most important weapons; his legs.
Aries was on his game and looked to be in complete control when he locked the Last Chancery in the middle of the ring. The very flexible Nakamura wiggled his way out of the hold but The Greatest Man stayed on Shinsuke and nailed him with a devastating Death Valley Driver on the edge of the hardest part of the canvas. Nakamura writhed in pain on the outside while Austin saw his opening and realized that it was now or never. Unfortunately, Aries crashed and burned when he flew head first into the steel corridor after Nakamura got out of the way. The King of Strong Style shook the cobwebs off brought the fight back into the ring. Nakamura landed a knee to the back of the head from the top rope followed by the inverted exploder and sealed Aries’ fate with the Kinshasa for the win, in a match that live up to the bill.
NXT Women’s Title Match- The Irresistible and The Immovable Object
Asuka defeated Nia Jax
The NXT’s Women’s Champion game plan was clear from the start and that was to strike Jax early and often with flurries of punches and kicks. The Women’s Champion turned Lumber Jill and kept chopping away at The Ominous Diva, hoping that that the tall oak tree would eventually fall. As the match progressed, it became evident to The Empress of Tomorrow that Jax wasn’t like most girls. Asuka learned firsthand the she had never stepped in the ring with someone the likes of The Diva of Mass Destruction. Jax just kept absorbing everything that was being thrown her way. Jax withstood the early onslaught and began to dish out punishment of her own.
The resilient champion countered and tried to choke out Jax with the same hold Bayley used in London. Nia saw it coming and planted Asuka to the mat with a suplex. After the Women’s Champ regrouped, she was visibly frustrated because she had thrown everything at her opponent and still had nothing to show for her troubles. Asuka found an opening and landed a strong kick to Jax’s head that knocked her to one knee. The Empress followed it up with two more strikes to the head and as the defiant Diva let out a hellacious scream, Asuka landed one more kick to the temple for good measure. The immovable object was no more. The Empress of Tomorrow met her toughest opponent to date, remaining undefeated and most importantly retain her NXT Women’s Title.
A Roode Cameo
NXT General Manager William Regal was backstage discussing how great it was to have TakeOver back at Full Sail for the first time this year. All of a sudden Bobby Roode appeared in the background heading towards Regal’s office.
Steel Cage NXT Title Match- First Time Ever
Samoa Joe defeated Finn Balor
The ominous steel structure began to come down for the final battle between The Monster and The Demon. The Champ talked a big game about inflicting as much pain as possible and putting an end to Balor inside the confines of the steel cage. Joe looked for the easy way out and in typical heel fashion made a beeline straight for the cage door. Finn pulled the 280 pounder back in but instead was the first to be tossed into the unforgiving cage. Joe continued dominating Balor but the resilient former champion turned the tables by having Joe taste some steel of his own. Finn climbed halfway up the cage when the Samoan Monster grabbed his leg. Balor balanced himself on the top rope and delivered a kick square on Joe’s head, causing him to fall into the ropes and crotch Finn in the process.
The battle continued with both men trading forearms back and forth until Finn hit a Pele kick out of nowhere. After surviving two slingblades, including one from the top rope, it was The Monster that finally hit a Muscle Buster. Balor kicked out and Joe looked in disbelief yelling out, “I’m going to end you.” Finn regrouped, hitting a Coup de Grâce but The Champ kicked and countered the 1916 with the Coquina Clutch. Balor slipped out and climbed to the top of the cage. Joe reeled Balor back in and hoisted him up on his shoulders and from the second rope hit a Super Muscle Buster for the win. After their grueling encounter, both men laid battered and bruised in the middle of the ring. Joe looked visibly shaken but was the first one to make it back to his feet while Balor was tended to by the medical staff. Joe clinched his NXT Title firmly close to him, realizing that unlike their previous TakeOver battles it was The Samoan Monster that survived The Demon. The Samoa Joe Era has officially begun.
The Final Word: The Proud Papa & Breaking Ground- Reloaded
Immediately after the conclusion of show, Triple H took to Facebook Live and gave his take on another successful TakeOver special. Meanwhile on the Network the series Breaking Ground returned with a new one hour long installment titled Reloaded. Behind the scenes clips shown of TakeOver: Dallas, where the NXT stars raised the bar at the Kay Bayley Convention Center during WrestleMania Weekend. Breaking Ground: Reloaded showed the emotional journey of young up and coming NXT prospects that are trying to catch the eye of the higher-ups at Full Sail; while established stars like Baron Corbin, Enzo, Big Cass and Bayley looked to fulfill their dream of making it up to the main roster. The future of WWE is in good hands with so much great talent just waiting for the opportunity to shine. NXT TakeOver: The End signified the rebirth of The People’s Brand and solidified NXT is its own entity going forward.
What did you think of NXT TakeOver: The End?I want to hear from you! Hit me up on the Twitta @BurgaJeffry and you can also catch me and my tag team partner @BryBurga on @HighSpotPodcast giving you our take on the world of sports and pro wrestling available on SoundCloud. This week we talked with @TMOluvsSports from @SI_ExtaMustard and talked bagels, beards, and NBA Finals. Plus, The #JerseyWreckingCrew give you their take on NXT TakeOver: The End.
Listen to Busted Open with Doug Mortman, Dave LaGreca, Kyle Lewis and Mary Grater on RUSH, SiriusXM 93, every Monday/Tuesday/Friday from 2-4pm ET.