WWE NXT Takeover Toronto Review 11.19.16
Location: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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MATCH 1: Tye Dillinger vs. Bobby Roode
Winner: Bobby Roode (pin fall after Impaler DDT)
Starting off tonight’s extravaganza are the two homegrown Canadians! To help with his entrance, Bobby Roode has the Wexford Gleeks choir singing his theme song. Not to be outdone in his entrance, Tye Dillinger receives a standing ovation from the crowd as he enters the arena. Before the bell can ring, the entire venue erupts with a “THIS IS AWESOME” chant.
That match itself plays out as an incredible old-school brawl. After the opening flurry of punches, Roode counters a back slide into a falling neck breaker. Dillinger delivers the mud-hole stomp in the corner and crowd chants, “10” during every attack. After a release superplex from Roode, Dillinger kicks out of pin attempt. Roode attempts the Tye Breaker, but Dillinger counters! They continue to battle back and forth with perfectly executed counters and false finishes. Dillinger locks in the sharpshooter after countering school boy, but Roode gets the rope break. Bobby manages to battle back, and finally puts Tye away.
Although I was really hoping for Tye Dillinger to come away with his first career defining win tonight, nobody can deny that this match was excellent. There was great chemistry and pacing throughout the match. After the match, Tye Dillinger gets another standing ovation from the crowd. RATING: GLORIOUS ****
MATCH 2: TM-61 vs. The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering (Final Match of The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic)
Winners: The Authors of Pain (pin fall after Last Chapter)
So far, The Authors of Pain have been dominate in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, but so have the tenacious Australians known as TM-61. 15 ft above the center of the ring, a suspended crash cage holds Paul Ellering to prevent any outside interference in this final match of the tournament. At ringside, the beautiful trophy complete with Dusty’s iconic boots awaits it’s new holder.
After the opening bell, a huge brawl breaks out between the two teams. They end up on the floor, and fight around the crane holding up Ellering’s cage. Shane Thorne climbs the scaffold, and nails a Swanton bomb onto Rezar and Akam. As the two teams continue to fight, Paul Ellering continues to shout orders from inside the cage. The two teams continue to exchange control of the match. Nick Miller manages to body slam Akam, and follows it up with a beautiful moonsault. TM61 counters the Powerbomb sandwich with double head scissor takedowns. Following that up, TM61 delivers Thunder Valley to Akam, but Akam kicks out! Ellering manages to unlock the cage, and drops the steel chain locking him inside his cage to Rezar. While they never get to use the chain, the distraction proves fruitful, and The Authors of Pain take it home from there.
Quite a few high spots, but the chemistry between the two teams wasn’t nearly as smooth as hoped. Despite the few awkward moments, this was a decent match. After the match, HHH and William Regal present the Dusty Rhodes Classic Trophy to the winners. RATING: GOOD ***
MATCH 3: 2 Out of 3 Falls NXT Tag Team Championship Match: THE REVIVAL (c) vs #DIY
Winners: Gargano & Ciampa AND NEW NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS (submission via triangle cross face)
This feud began after the controversial loss at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa have been the perfect foils to Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder as the heel champions. Many fans compare The Revival to the old school Brain Busters or Midnight Express tag teams. If that’s the case, then #DIY have played the part of the Rock n Roll Express or Midnight Rockers perfectly. The chase for NXT tag team championship gold has been one of the best parts of NXT over the past several months. As soon as the bell ring, the crowd erupts with “D-I-Y” chants.
The Revival manage to dominate the opening minutes, but Gargano starts to fight back! Gargano goes for his slingshot spear, but Dawson counters it, and immediately transitions into the Shatter Machine. This allows The Revival to pick up the 1st fall. The Revival continue to beat up Gargano during the second fall. Scott Dawson stretches Gargano out, and then plants Gargano hard onto the mat. Gargano starts battling us back once again, and manages to counter the Shatter Machine with a heel kick/tornado DDT combo! Gargano comes within inches of tagging out, however, The Revival manage to stop him!
The Revival hit the Hart Attack on Gargano for a near fall. Johnny Wrestling starts to fight back once again, and manages to make the hot tag to Ciampa! Ciampa’s on fire! He fires off a trio of German suplexes, and follows it up with running knee. Dawson gets out at two. Following a “THIS IS AWESOME” chant, DIY manage to trap Dash int hte center of the ring, and nail the superkick/running knee combo. DIY pick up the 2ND FALL!
The third and final fall continues to the fast paced action from the end of the second fall. Gargano hits a springboard over-the-top-rope DDT to Dawson! However, The Revival battle back, and hit a clothesline/German suplex combo to Gargano, but Ciampa breaks up the pin attempt. Dawson grabs one of the the championships, and uses it to block a kick from Gargano. Dawson leaps at the opportunity, and locks in the inverted figure four, which won them the match back at Brooklyn. Gargano manages to escape, and sends the crowd into a frenzy. The Revival attempt to use DIY’s finisher, but Gargano counters! Dawson grabs Johnny, and holds him up for Wilder. However, Wilder superkicks Dawson after Johnny moves! #DIY hit Wilder with the Shatter Machine, but Dawson breaks up the pin attempt! Eventually, both Gargano and Ciampa lock in submission holds, and both Dawson and Wilder tap out simultaneously!
After several months, we finally have new NXT Tag Team Champions! NEW TOP GUYS! The emotion and determination on display from Gargano and Ciampa matched with the unbreakable and ruthless brawling from Wilder and Dawson have made this a show stealing match. This match raised the bar dramatically for the remaining matches on the card.
Next question. Are The Revival the best ‘pure’ tag team in the world right now? In WWE at least, I think so. They are known more for fists and not flips, but they execute all of the little details better than any team I can think of.
That being said, Ciampa and Gargano are truly special in their own right, and will make for tremendous champions going forward. Oh man…so many counters, so many false finishes, and so much emotion. This might just be the match of year for NXT! RATING: HOWKSTANDING (which is 10x better than outstanding) *****
MATCH 4: NXT Women’s Championship Match: (c) Asuka vs. Mickie James
Winner: Asuka AND STILL NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPION (submission via Asuka Lock)
Since her debut in NXT, Asuka has been unstoppable. Now, she faces one of the most successful women wrestlers of the previous decade in Mickie James. During her previous run in WWE, Mickie was a master of head games, and she looks to use those same tactics tonight. All of that being said, here comes the champion, and she doesn’t look scared. Dozens of fans at ringside are wearing Asuka masks. Both women have intense, but satisfied looks on their face. It’s obvious what this match means to both women.
“Asuka’s gonna kill you” chants follow the opening bell. The two engage in some excellent catch-as-catch-can, which ends in a stalemate. Afterward, the two women shake hands to show respect for each other. Mickie ends up taking it to Asuka, so much so that Asuka escapes the ring to take a breath. Mickie holds the rope for Asuka to step back in. Soon afterward, Asuka knocks James out of the ring. Asuka invites James back in similar fashion, but knocks James back outside with a hip attack.
The battle continues outside of the ring, Asuka counters the Mick Kick with an ankle lock transitioned into a German suplex. The two finally make their way back into the ring, where Asuka manages to reassert control. Asuka’s kicks Mickie while she rests on her knees. Mickie, however, screams for more. James battles back from there, and locks in the Muta Lock on Asuka! Asuka makes it the ropes, and the two start trading some strikes. Mickie counters a spinning back fist with a spinning neck breaker! Mickie James goes to the tope rope, and hits the seated senton! After a near fall, Asuka recovers, and goes for some kicks. Asuka attempts the roundhouse kick from Asuka, but Mickie counters with a Mick Kick once again! James gets a near fall afterwards, and goes for the MickDT, but Asuka fights out, and suddenly wins the match from there!
For all of those fans who say that women’s wrestling in NXT has dropped in quality, WATCH THIS MATCH. This had perfect ring psychology. A story told about head games vs head games. Throughout the match, the crowd was split in their show of support. For the first time, Asuka displayed weakness. This elevated Mickie James’ legacy sure, but it also made Asuka look vulnerable. This match has done something that none of Asuka’s previous matches have been able to do. It gave the crowd reason to get behind Asuka. Not just because she always wins, but because she has now shown that she can face adversity. and overcome when she’s being beaten down. After the match, Mickie James offers a handshake to show respect. Asuka declines, and instead, raises the title belt. RATING: FANTASTIC **** and 1/4*
MAIN EVENT: MATCH 5: NXT Championship Match: (c) Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe
Winner: Samoa Joe AND NEW NXT CHAMPION (pin fall after Muscle Buster)
Now after all of the heart racing matches so far, it now comes down to the main event! The angry beast known as Samoa Joe enters the ring with the face of determination. As the champion enters, he’s accompanied by a troupe of new violinists who added such class, and art to his entrance. The crowd sings along as Shinsuke Nakamura enters the ring with the musicians surrounding the champion. Some fans may have feared the promotion of Finn Balor would cause a drop in NXT special entrances. that is truly not the case as Nakamura has created another artful masterpiece. At ringside, Samoa Joe is not impressed with the crowd’s loving reaction to the champion, and he enters the ring.
Nakamura rocks Joe early in the match. After knocking him down in the corner, Nakamura hits Good Vibrations. The fight ends up going outside of the ring. Afterward, Nakamura kicks Samoa Joe over the outside barricade, and forces the fight to move into the crowd. The match eventually finds it’s way back into the ring, where Joe catches Nakamura in the corner and hits the elevated STO! The two exchange some VERY stiff strikes and submissions, but Joe ends up getting the advantage with a rolling kneebar! Nakamura fights out of it, and goes to the outside. Joe won’t allow that, and hits the suicide spear on Nakamura on the outside!
They return to the ring, where Shinsuke finds himself back in control of the match. Nakamura hits the running knee on Samoa Joe who is laying flat across the top turnbuckle. Joe fights back, and opts for a cross-face, but Nakamura counters with an armbar! Joe escapes, and hits a sweet powerslam. Samoa Joe nails the enziguri with Nakamura perched on the top rope. Joe goes for something, but we’ll never know what it was, as Shinsuke shoves Joe away. Nakamura hits the Kinshasa from the second rope, but lands hard on his head. Shinsuke continues his offensive flurry with an impressive German suplex!
Joe ends up swinging things back in his favor though, and goes for the Muscle Buster. Nakamura counters, and hits the Kinshasa! Somehow, Joe kicks out! Joe counters another attempt at the Kinshasa, and locks in the Cochina Clutch! Shinsuke doesn’t tap out, so Joe moves on, and hits the Chimera Plex for another near fall! Nakamura hits a third Kinshasa, but Samoa Joe falls out of the ring! Shinsuke pursues, but falls prey to a low blow from Joe that the referee doesn’t catch! He plants Nakamura on the steel steps, rolls him back into the ring, and puts Shinsuke away from there!
Nakamura vs Joe I was good. Nakamura vs Joe II was great. And after this finish, Nakamura vs Joe III will be spectacular. Although Nakamura controlled the early segments, Samoa Joe controlled the majority of the match working a very stiff style. The challenger’s use of explosive strength, and calculated attacks to the legs made match hard to turn away from. The longer build up to this match certainly helped the anticipation, but veteran knowledge and willingness to work a very stiff style made this match so much better than the first. In the end, it was a low blow that the ref didn’t see that helped Samoa Joe secure his victory. Samoa Joe has now become the first ever two time NXT Champion RATING: SHOCKING **** and 1/2 *
Overall Thoughts: 9.5 out of 10 This network special is exactly what I hoped it would be, and then multiplied three times over! The “developmental brand” continues to shine with another spectacular TakeOver special, and have really raised the bar for the main roster to deliver at Survivor Series. Like many times in the past, NXT continues to be a tough act to follow.
For me, the match of the night was the show stealing NXT Tag Team Championship match. However, every match on the card had its amazing moments. Some may pick the Nakamura vs Samoa Joe as the best match, and I could even see some saying that the Asuka vs Mickie James match was the best. I hate to say it, but the Dusty Rhodes Classic Final match was the weakest match on the card. Don’t get me wrong though, the old school stipulation mixed with new era athletics made it plenty enjoyable.
Thank you and I hope you enjoyed this TakeOver just as much as I did. If not, please leave your comments and tell what you thought!