KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
(Search "wade keller" to subscribe in podcast app)
WWE NXT Takeover: Respect
October 7, 2015
Live at Full Sail University
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor
NXT Takeover: Respect comes on the heels of an illuminating set of comments from Triple H. In a nutshell: yes, Vince McMahon actually pays attention to NXT, he technically has veto power over NXT, but leaves it to Triple H, and being able to aim the show at NXT fans instead of a wider is why NXT avoids the garbage you see on the main roster (no news there). Obviously, Takeover: Respect is being sold on the basis of Bayley-Banks II, and for good reason. If this was the main roster, Banks would win here and push it to a third match. No former NXT champion has ever regained their championship on the re-match (and the first few never even had re-matches). It is notable that Finn Balor is not defending the NXT Championship tonight, I do not think that a Takeover has happened with only one championship on the line.
Takeover: Respect starts with a replay of Bayley winning the NXT Women’s Championship and being compared to great champions of the past, and great championship rivalries of the past. The video package gets the full PPV style voice-over.
Filed under things you never thought would happen: Finn Balor is the curtain-jerker in this event, coming out for the opening match sans demon paint. There’s a sweet trophy on the ramp for the tag team tournament, complete with silver cowboy boots.
1 — NXT champion FINN BALOR & SAMOA JOE vs. DASH AND DAWSON (SCOTT DAWSON & DASH WILDER) – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semi-Final match
Joe immediately goes to work on Wilder, but Balor has been taken out of the equation. Joe gets double-teamed in the corner, and Balor recovers and gets back on the apron. Joe dodges a charge, hits an enziguri and tags in Balor. Balor quickly clears the ring, then hits a huge dive over the top to take out Dawson and Wilder. Balor is struggling, too, with Dawson and Wilder acting in a coordinated fashion. Single leg crab by Dawson bends Balor in half, but he finally makes it to the ropes.
Balor fights out of the corner, almost gets caught in a hold, and wants the tag. Wilder yanks Joe off the apron, though. Joe argues with the ref, which lets Balor get hurt bad and he barely kicks out in time. Wilder prevents a tag, then Balor dives free and hits Joe’s hand. Joe is a house of fire, moving with a speed and motivation that must be seen to be believed. Joe sets up the Musclebuster, and Balor asks for a tag. Musclebuster, Balor with the Coup De Grace, but Balor tweaks his knee. Joe cuts off Dawson while Balor recovers and makes the cover.
WINNERS: Finn Balor and Samoa Joe in 8:57. Good match that made Dawson and Wilder look like stars for keeping Balor and Joe on their heels for most of the match, and setting up a reason for Balor to be the weak link later on.
Post-match, Balor sells a serious knee injury. He now has Balor Club trunks and a Balor Club kneepad.
Shots of Sasha Banks preparing for her match.
Clips from NXT in Nashville this week.
Seems like Rhyno has new music, and Baron Corbin may have a new Tron. It’s funny that Chad Gable seems so outclassed in this ring based on size. In fact, so does Jason Jordan.
2 – JASON JORDAN & CHAD CABLE vs. RHYNO & BARON CORBIN – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semi-Final match
Jordan and Corbin kick it off. Jordan gets shoved back on the lock-up. Jordan maneuvers behind Corbin and takes him down twice. Jordan gets dumped outside, comes in, then lands on his feet off an armdrag. Rhyno is delighted to come in. Jordan picks Rhyno’s leg, then picks the big man off the ground for a take down. Gable nails a sunset flip into a cover.
Rhyno tosses Gable like an old rag. Gable fights out of the corner, but takes a boot. Gable uses his speed and amateur skills, but runs into a shoulder block. Gable brings Jordan in and Jordan continues to work Rhyno’s arm. Double suplex, Gable bridges into a two count, then locks in an armlock. The crowd is really behind Gable and Jordan. They are the default faces against the larger, meaner Rhyno and Corbin.
Rhyno sets up Gable on the ropes, but Gable leans over the ropes and gets Rhyno in an armbar through the ropes. Corbin gets a tag as Rhyno sends Gable to the ramp and mugs Gable on the apron. Gable pushes through a pair of covers. Gable looks tiny compared to Rhyno and Corbin. The whole house is trying to rally Gable, but he still can’t get the tag. Corbin covers, but the ref is distracted by Jordan arguing and no cover is counted. Gable continues to be destroyed.
Rhyno to the top rope, but Gable dodges a headbutt and Rhyno is stunned. Double tag. Jordan with a blitzkrieg on Rhyno and Corbin – Rhyno gets dumped and Corbin suplexed. Jordan drops the straps and sets up for a spear in the corner. Gable crawls off the floor, takes the tag, but Corbin recovers. End of Days, but Jordan breaks up the tag. Rhyno with a belly-to-belly on Jordan. Bodies everywhere.
Gable charges, End of Days again, but Gable slips out. Huge suplex, but Rhyno slips in to break it up. Jordan is now in the ring, but he takes a Gore. Gable and Corbin are still legal and alone again. Gable tries to reverse the End of Days again, but Corbin hangs on and manages to hit it.
WINNERS: Rhyno and Baron Corbin in 10:29. By far the best, most exciting match that Baron Corbin has ever been in. He looked great, and Gable and Jordan were so impressive. The German suplex from Gable to Corbin looked gorgeous on replay. Jordan and Gable were just amazing in the default babyface role.
Kevin Nash is seen in the audience.
Dana Brooke has another new outfit and her usual mixed reaction.
3. ASUKA vs. DANA BROOKE (w/EMMA)
Asuka, making her NXT in-ring debut, offers a handshake, and Booke shoves the hand away. Rapid wristlock reversals. Brooke seems out-classed, but not by much. Asuka maintains control and Brook can’t roll out until she hits an elbow. Brooke pats the head, then slaps Asuka. Asuka smiles to a “you f—ed up!” chant. Asuka just destroys Brooke, running butt splash drops Brooke. Asuka mocks Brooke’s mannerisms. Brooks says she will break Asuka.
Brooke with offense, but runs at Asuka, who locks in an armbar. Brooke makes the ropes but sells the arm. Emma interjects in the match as Brooke distracts the ref giving Brooke an advantage. Brooke: “I know the rules!” in response to the ref’s instructions. Asuma with a heel hook into an ankle lock. German suplex, but Asuka runs into an elbow. Brooke tries to follow, but Asuka nails a jumping armbar. Brooke rolls out, but right into a cross-face chicken wing, then a kick to drop Brooke. Emma jaws from the apron, but Asuka deals with her. “Asuka City!” from the crowd. The “Asuka Lock” and Brooke taps.
WINNER: Asuka in 5:23. Really stand-out debut from Asuka. Asuka clearly has amazing talent, and Brooke did a good job at smoothly taking the moves and setting up for Asuka’s lightning fast offense. Brooke looked good on her offense as well.
Post-match, Brooke ambushes Asuka, but a roundhouse kick ends that quick. Asuka jumps out of the ring and has a face-off with Emma, who nervously turns away in a submissive move. Amazing few seconds there.
The announcers continue to talk up Finn Balor’s potential injury and replay how it happened. Balor is being looked at by a trainer, and selling severe pain as she tests his knee.
Nia Jax vignette. She’s set to debut next week.
Tyler Breeze comes out for his obligatory “I’m on Takeover, but nowhere near a title match” match.
4 – APOLLO CREWS vs. TYLER BREEZE
Lock-up, and Breeze ends up in the corner. Try again, and Breeze ends up on the ropes screaming “Okay!” Shoulder block knocks Breeze down, then he runs into one of Crews’s sweet dropkicks. Breeze to the outside, but Crews follows and wrecks him. Breeze ambushes Crews on the way in. But Crews turns it around and holds Breeze up for a long delayed suplex. Crews jumps in the corner, Breeze refuses to fall for it, but Crews blocks a schoolboy. Breeze dumps Crews through the ropes instead. Crews picks Breeze up, but Breeze slips down and shoves Crews into the apron. Back in the ring, a cover gets Breeze two. Breeze starts to pick Crews apart.
The crowd is 50/50 split between Breeze and Crews.
Breeze gets picked off the top, but then Breeze puts Crews in a Sharpshooter. I get it, Breeze steals the finishers of other people? Crews muscles through and reaches the ropes. Breeze argues with the ref, letting Crews recover and nail a jumping clothesline. Crews sells his back, allowing Breeze to drive Crews into the corner and work the back some more. Breeze wants ten punches in the corner, then Crews sets up a powerbomb, but Breeze flips over to plant Crews on the mat and cover. Giant enziguri and the ref is checking Breeze for responsiveness.
Breeze drops Crews over the ropes, but his back hurts. Crews jumps over, but right into a supermodel kick. Crews barely kicks out. Breeze to the top. He jumps, but Crews catches him mid-air and lands a slick powerslam in one smooth movement for a nearfall.
Gorilla Press, but Breeze hugs his leg. Crews breaks free. Moonsault, but Breeze gets knees up, then a small package for a nearfall. Breeze is berserk with corner charges across the ring, but the third corner charge causes him to run into a boot. Crews with a giant powerbomb for the win.
WINNER: Apollo Crews in 9:41. Wow, that was just an amazing match. Breeze added so much drama using his wiles and showing determination to almost beat the much-larger Crews.
Funaki and Hideo itami are ringside.
Recap of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic situation.
Joe is out first this time for his team. He is all business and quietly gives Dusty a shot out on his way down the ramp. Balor comes out with a limp as Graves says that Joe will have to cary his team tonight. Balor looks anxious and doesn’t do his usual entrance. Rhyno and Corbin look super confident. Corbin literally waves off the boos.
5 – NXT champion FINN BALOR & SAMOA JOE vs. RHYNO & BARON CORBIN – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic final match
Balor chooses to start against Rhyno, so Graves questions the thinking here. Rhyno toys with Balor dodging a lock-up. Quick cover from Balor, but Rhyno kicks out. Lock-up and Balor in the corner. Rhyno shoves him, but Balor shoves back, then ducks into the middle of the ring. Rhyno tags in Corbin out of frustration. Corbin tries to take out the knee on the lock-up, but Balor dodges. And again. Third time is the charm for Corbin, but Balor responds with a dropkick and limps his way to the corner to bring Joe in.
Joe drives Corbin all over the ring with punches and a big chop to the head. Joe crushes Corbin under offense. Corbin with a kind of spinebuster, then he unloads on Joe on the mat. Joe is cornered between Rhyno and Corbin. Belly-to-belly gets Rhyno two. Balor is asking for a tag, but Joe is stuck on the mat. Facelock through the ropes to the five count. Every time Corbin tags in, he gets booed big time.
Joe finally gets to Balor, who hits a corner dropkick on Rhyno to send him out, then delivers offense to Corbin. He jumps over Corbin, sells the knee, but gets an enziguri on Corbin anyways. Rhyno with a drive-by knee clip behind the ref’s back and Balor is in serious trouble. Corbin slams the knee on the post over and over. In the ring, elbow drops to the knee, and the crowd is furious. Balor suddenly gets knees up, but runs into a DDT from Corbin and barely kicks out. Balor with the Slingblade off the mat to draw a double tag.
Joe demolishes Rhyno. Boot boot, running senton, then the uranage in the corner. STO takes out Corbin when he tries to interfere, but Rhyno with a Gore. Balor breaks it up, but wrecks his knee. DDT counters End of Days, then a clothesline sends Corbin outside. Balor kicks Corbin again, but Rhyno knocks him down. A kick counters the Gore, then a Musclebuster from Joe. Tag, then Coup De Grace ends it.
WINNERS: Finn Balor & Samoa Joe in 10:57. Another outstanding match, with the story being the NXT Champion bulling through crippling pain, being willing to be first in the ring despite the injury and being 50 percent of the win. Corbin and Rhyno looked strong, with two mid-carders almost being able to seal the deal because of the knee injury.
Post-match, Goldust and Cody Rhodes come out in suits to congratulate Balor and Joe. Eden Stiles stands with her husband Cody as he cuts a total babyface promo. “We are all Rhodes.” Rhodes’s music hits and it’s cheers and tears everywhere. NXT really is the House that Dusty Built.
Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Stephanie McMahon, and Lita are shown in the front row.
Video package hyping Bayley – Banks.
Good reaction for Banks. Bayley has a cape and lots of love for Izzy on the way out.
6 – NXT Women’s champion BAYLEY vs. SASHA BANKS – NXT Women’s Title match – 30-Minute Iron Man match
Bayley with her usual pre-match nervousness and the crowd is HOT. They slowly approach each other after 45 seconds and Banks slowly backs away. First contact a minute into the match. Fierce lock-up. They break. Another one. Banks hits ropes, shoulder tackle, cover, then two more covers, no pins. Shoulder tackle from Bayley, trio of covers can’t get a cover. Banks smiles at Bayley taking a page from her book. They stare at each other. Backslide from Bayley, reverse, small package, and Bayley kicks out. Jackknife, but Banks kicks out and rolls into a cover for two.
Bayley with a crucifix for one. Roll-up for one. Dropkick sends Bayley to the corner selling an injury. The ref checks on Banks and Banks doesn’t take the shortcut. She just looks at Bayley. Bayley pops out of the corner and lands an armbar. Bayley with armdrags, cover for one. Head scissors takedown sends Bayley to the side, and Banks sells her neck. Banks hits Old School. Banks tries to drive Bayley into the turnbuckle with her knees like in Brooklyn, but Bayley shrugs off. Banks wants the Bank Statement, but Bayley escapes. Bayley teases the Bayley-to-belly, but Banks escapes. Banks is in the corner in pain. Bayley gives her a hand up, and Banks hugs her, then dumps her to the mat.
Banks is in control for a moment, but Bayley fires up. Running elbows and a dropkick. Bayley is not happy after the deception. Dropkick through the corner keeps Banks on the outside. Running bulldog gets two for Bayley. Banks uses the ropes for leverage on a pin, but the ref sees it. Banks and Bayley both almost hit the ref. Banks puts herself between Bayley and the ref in the corner to land a thumb to the eye for a quick pin.
BANKS 1, BAYLEY 0 at 9:35.
Banks comes on strong after the cover. Bayley destroys Banks’s face on the turnbuckles, but Banks trips her into the turnbuckles. Banks sets up double knees 10 minutes into the match. Bayley dodges, snatches Banks out of the air, and drops her face on the turnbuckle. Bayley rips Banks off the turnbuckle and turns it into Bayley-to-belly for her first pin.
BAYLEY 1, BANKS 1 at 10:55.
Banks recovers, and Bayley wants the corner dropkick, but Banks catches her and throws her into the ring steps, right in front of Bayley’s fan club. Banks does it again. And again. Banks jaws at Izzy. Back in the ring, Banks covers for a nearfall.
Banks throws Bayley outside the ring, and Bayley lands badly and sells an injury. Banks drags her up the ramp and throws her into the Tron, which goes black. Banks steals Bayley’s headband and struts around the ring with it. Bayley gets counted out.
BANKS 2, BAYLEY 1 via count-out at 14:15.
Banks almost gets counted out a second time, but Bayley gets into the ring and gets kicked right back out. Banks rolls Bayley in and a lazy cover for a nearfall. Banks mocks Bayley’s mannerisms. Banks with scorn for the crowd. She yells at Bayley in the corner, like in Brooklyn. Bayley tries to kick her in the face, but Banks catches it and covers for one. Banks sets up an almost-Liontamer, then kicks Bayley’s hand when she reaches for the ropes. Banks wants it again, but Bayley kicks into a cover somehow and gets a pin.
BAYLEY 2, BANKS 2 at 17:25.
Banks sets Bayley up back-up for double knees. Bayley dodges and Banks sells a knee. Bayley delivers offense from the ropes, then hits double axe handles over and over. Running DDT of sorts almost gets a pin for Bayley, but Banks kicks out. Bayley with her fire-up offense, then heads to the second rope for the flying elbow. Bayley keeps selling her back. Cover gets two for Bayley. Banks in the Tree of Woe, and a running springboard elbow drop gets two for Bayley. The crowd is so hot.
Bayley wants a superplex or top-rope reverse rana, but Banks slips out. Bayley in the Tree of Woe now. Double knees to Bayley, and Bayley kicks out strong, but her elbow is hurting. Another Tree of Woe, but Bayley pulls herself up. Banks puts her back in, charges, Bayley sits up, and Banks eats ringpost. Bayley is too hurt to capitalize as Banks collapses to the outside.
Bayley keeps Banks out of the ring, then slams Banks’s hand into the ring steps. Another Brooklyn call-out. Again. Bayley rolls Banks in and covers for two. Banks charges, ends up on the apron, and Bayley slams her arm and hand into the ropes. Bayley drags the stairs to the outside area, where Bayley slams Banks’s hands on the steps, then Bayley runs off the steps with a clothesline. The ref is counting, and Banks kicks Bayley into the steps – her head hits hard. The ref runs out to check on Bayley as Banks rolls back in the ring. The ref re-starts the count and Bayley is woozy, Banks comes over the top, but Bayley catches her for a Bayley-to-Belly on the outside. “Holy s—!” from the crowd. Cover in the ring only gets two.
Five minutes left in the match, and it’s still 2-2. Banks is down out cold, and Bayley needs the ropes to get to her feet. Banks is dead weight as Bayley drags her to the corner. Bayley can barely stand her up, then plants her on the turnbuckle. Bayley drags herself up, but Banks comes alive and kicks her off. Four minutes left. Bayley goes back to the corner, but Banks shoves her off. Bayley jumps up – Bayley-to-Belly from the top, but Banks gets a foot on the rope and the ref sees it just as the hand hits three. No pin.
Three minutes left. Graves argues for overtime if there isn’t a winner at 30 minutes. Banks on the ropes, then Bayley tries to go up top. Bayley makes it and hits a reverse rana, Banks lands on her butt, though, slides, and hits the Bayley-to-belly on Bayley. Nearfall, then she slides into the Bank Statement. Bayley is almost bent in half, but won’t give up. Banks can’t lock it in right because of her hurt hand. 90 seconds and Bayley is crawling to the ropes. Banks gets her foot on the ropes to spin over and roll back into the Bank Statement.
About 65 second left and Bayley is going nowhere. Banks kicks Bayley’s hand, but Bayley twists Banks’s hurt hand to get out, then slams it on the mat. Banks is down to one hand. 30 seconds, Bank Statement reversed, and Bayley goes into the Bank Statement. Bayley is yanking on Banks’s fingers and kicking the crap out of her hand and Banks finally taps with two seconds left. A second bell sounds right afterward to signal the end of the match.
WINNER: Bayley 3-2 to retain the NXT Women’s Title. Their match in Brooklyn was called the Match of the Year and this excelled it. Fantastic use of the Iron Man format. The numerous references to Brooklyn, with each one trying to repeat their surprise moves but having them countered told a great story. Bayley dug into her dark side, doing to Banks what Banks did to her with the ring steps. Extreme emotional tension throughout. You have sold yourself short if you do not watch this match. The best part was when Bayley helped Banks off the mat and Banks used it as an opportunity despite showing genuine appreciation for the sportsmanship, and Bayley using that to unshackle herself from her “nice person” restraints. I have seen their Brooklyn match three times now and I will not be surprised if I watch this one at least that many times.
Post-match, the whole roster is out. NXT GM William Regal has a bouquet of flowers for Banks, who collapses on the ramp. Stephanie McMahon and Sara Amato have to help her to her feet. Triple H comes to the ring, gives Bayley a hug, and brings her a bouquet as well. William Regal’s face is covered in tears. The whole crowd is on their feet as Bayley quietly and exhaustedly celebrates in the ring to close the show.
Final Reax: Another NXT:Takeover is in the books. Around the one-hour mark, Sean Radican on Twitter said it’s that time in the event where people start calling it an event of the year, and yeah, at the one hour-mark it sure looked like it could be. Not a bad match on here, and arguably all of the matches were “very good” or better. Amazing to see the NXT Championship take a back-seat to the emotionally touching Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and the powerful main event.