Unfortunately, last night I had to miss my first WWE/NXT pay-per-view live since joining Fightful. Fortunately, it was to be a part of my friend, tag team partner, opponent, and wrestling coach's wedding. I've finally taken in the show and wanted to provide and abbreviated version of my match notes for this outstanding show.
WWE NXT Tag Team Championships
Undisputed Era defeated Mustache Mountain
This was really fast paced, top notch action -- as is tradition on NXT Takeover shows. I thought Undisputed Era winning was a foregone conclusion, but they made me doubt it. I'm really curious about the direction of the NXT tag division after this. Lorcan and Burch are back and obviously War Raiders are next, but Street Profits' push has effectively disappeared.
Velveteen Dream defeated EC3
I don't get the EC3 comparisons to Bobby Roode. He has more innovative offense, steps outside of his comfort zone a little more, and is better on the mic. I could see EC3 moving straight up to the main roster. He looks like he got knocked loopy early on, but the finishing sequence of this match was really good. I'm a big fan of the front facelock leg sweep EC3 does as well. Two big time stars.
What we reported weeks ago finally happened, and I couldn't be more happy for Matt Riddle -- in a suit with a flat bill and flip flops. Matt was an important part of establishing Fightful, and he's about to be a big part of WWE. He's moving to Orlando this week, and WWE has something very special on their hands in Matt Riddle.
NXT North American Championship
Ricochet defeated Adam Cole (c)
I was really happy to see Ricochet where he was physically because missing two months of action is typically cause for concern. Adam Cole has a sense of urgency when he wrestles that is really accentuated by such a hot crowd that hangs on everything. Ricochet does things that nobody else in NXT does now that Lio Rush is on 205 Live, and I really think he can be to this title what Rob Van Dam was to the ECW TV title in the 90s. This was a sprint, and a damn great one. A wonderful contrast from what we saw out of EC3 and Dream.
NXT Women's Championship
Kairi Sane defeated Shayna Baszler (c)
Both of these women are miles better than they were at the Mae Young Classic. Baszler has this special brutality. She takes moves that were afterthoughts in years prior, and applies them with a methodical way that hooks the crowd, and having Kairi Sane be the babyface taking it makes it all more evil. This is my type of match -- good catch wrestling mixed with show wrestling, some beautiful high spots and teases. Baszler's counter of the Insane Elbow was great, and another good finish.
Last Man Standing
Tommaso Ciampa (c) defeated Johnny Gargano
I thought this was the best match I'd seen between these two. As a wise man once said, "guilty as charged, with the stories." Well, lock these two up. The action was perfect in a match that seemed like it could have some lulls and maybe even backfire -- fortunately, this crowd wasn't the type. The finish was one of the best I've seen in wrestling and was a PERFECT show closer. I reserve my right to adjust this to a 10/10 after a second viewing. I'm stoked to see where Ciampa goes after this.
10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor
Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5.