WWE NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia Match Ratings From Sean Ross Sapp

Rating guide

10- Perfect, 9- Excellent, 8- Great, 7- Good, 6- Above Average, 5- Average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor
The rating starts at 5, and slides up and down accordingly. 

Triple H Says Person Who Disrespected Mickie James Has Been Fired, Stephanie McMahon Apologizes

Pre-show

  • Samoa Joe is awesome on this panel because he's human. They're not having him be a dickweed. He is lending credibility to the panel without hamming it up
  • Nigel McGuinness isn't there. Oh no. Oh no. 
  • The quick Shayna Baszler build has been awesome. Really excited to see what kind of match she and Moon work tonight.
  • I don't think anyone has ever said "you seeeeeeeeeeeee" to me in casual conversation, but it happens in every conversation I see in pro wrestling.
  • Paul Heyman kicks off the show in a video. Nice touch for Philly.
  • War Machine, Ricochet and EC3 are shown in the crowd!

NXT Tag Team Championship
Undisputed Era (c) defeated Authors of Pain (w/ Paul Ellering)
6.75/10

  • The Authors of Pain working from underneath sure is different, but that's where they are. 
  • Akam has a really cool hope spot in Undisputed Era's corner while having his injured leg worked over. 
  • This is a great clash of styles, in large part because Undisputed Era can also work the power style, and AOP can work a stiff, MMA style as well.
  • The crowd is hot for this. Authors of Pain always deliver with a good ring general team like this. That's a good thing. A lot of guys their size and experience can't even be carried, much less hold their own.
  • Akam goes through a murderous period where the does a capture suplex and buckle bomb before some sick knees in the corner. 
  • O'Reilly huracanranas out of a Super Collider and wins after the AOP run into each other! Excellent match.

Velveteen Dream defeated Kassius Ohno
5/10

  • God damn, Velveteen Dream is WHITE HOT. 
  • He is wearing hilarious boxing gear. Everything about him is a little different. Posture, footwork, selling, bumping. It works really well for him.
  • Perhaps my favorite thing about Velveteen Dream is that he's so unorthodox and unpredictable that WWE production can't keep up and sometimes give up on trying to zoom his offense. 
  • Ohno hit a nice release Orange Crush. He craps the bed on taking Dream's finish though. I think Ohno isn't as light or nimble as either man thinks he is, because they botch another spot. 
  • Dream gets a win with the Purple Rainmaker. He's super over. This would have fallen below average if not for the crowd being so good for it.

NXT Women's Championship
Ember Moon (c) defeated Shayna Baszler 
7.25/10

  • They have turned Shayna into a character as heartless as Macaulay Culkin's character in The Good Son. It's great.
  • They're doing the boxing entrance for Baszler. Super awesome. She has not aged since the first time I saw her fight. 
  • Moon is on fire, she clubs Baszler with a few hard kicks and one of the best suicide dives in WWE today.
  • The Baszler arm breaker is an instant way to believably put someone at a disadvantage in a match. 
  • Moon hit the Eclipse but did it with her bad arm!
  • Baszler applies an armbar after the medical team checks on Ember. Good on the ref for checking the shoulders during all of this, too. Ember should NOT have sold the armbar straight. That's bad. 
  • Moon rolls up Baszler for the pin. Outstanding. Ember Moon's selling in that match was top notch.
  • Baszler attacks Ember Moon and chokes her out! There is a special type of aura that's created in a pro wrestling match when you know it's a work but you know one person literally holds the other's life in their hands if they so choose.

Extreme Rules Match
Aleister Black defeated Adam Cole 
6.25/10

  • Black is caught in mid-Lionsault with a kendo stick. Cole brings the kendo stick across Black's teeth and hits a Backstabber.
  • There were legit nine camera cuts while Cole stomped Black.
  • Black's Electric Chair Heave into the ladder was scary. Not as scary as the table bump he took later though.
  • A fireman's carry onto two unfolded chairs ONTO THE TOP OF THEM! AHHHHHHHHHHH!
  • A sick knee to the face of Cole through a chair hits, but Undisputed Era interfere and attack Black! Sanity evens the odds. I assume Killian Dain just did a dive to the outside. I wouldn't know, because the camera was in the middle of taking John Tenta's finish
  • Aleister Black Meteoras Adam Cole through the announce table!  Black Mass wins it even after Adam Cole hits a Superkick!

NXT Championship
Andrade Cien Almas (c) (w/ Zelina Vega) defeated Johnny Gargano
10/10

  • Andrade Cien Almas comes out with his La Sombra mask and a lucha band, which is pretty cool. 
  • After some chain wrestling, there's a series on the apron of avoided attacks that ends in Gargano eating the floor on a somersault senton attempt.
  • Percy Watson is pissy about Almas hanging in the ropes, when he used it as an Irish whip counter and didn't dick around about it. Huh? It's a counter bro.
  • Gargano is really fired up with his strikes. His flying swinging Flatliner is great.
  • Almas fights back after a slingshot spear to hit a reverse powerbomb. His spinning back elbow later almost gets three, as does a Gargano superkick. A lariat trade ends up laying out both men. 
  • Things go crazy. A Gargano corner superkick, then Almas flips out of a sunset flip bomb and then gets the knees in the corner! A series of counters leave both struggling to get up. One of the best series I've seen so far this year. 
  • Slingshot apron DDT from Gargano! Lawn Dart -- one of the coolest moves around. A superkick almost gets the pin for Gargano. This is unbelievable......even though I've seen them have two unbelievable matches already and I should believe it by now.
  • Gargano kicks out of an insane stomp to the outside and double knees!  
  • Gargano superkicks Almas and spike reverse ranas him! WOW! Gargano Escape! Zelina sends Gargano into the post, and A Hammerlock DDT, but Gargano kicks out!!!!
  • Zelina tries to get involved and Candice beats her PROPER. A slingshot DDT isn't enough!! Almas is out of the Gargano Escape!
  • Almas has Gargano on the apron and hits the knees to him on the post! Draping Hammerlock DDT wins it! 
  • That could be the best NXT match in history.
  • Tommaso Ciampa returns and attacks Gargano with a crutch!
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