4/1 WWE NXT Takeover Report by Justin James, including what’s next after Takeover

NXT Takeover at WrestleMania 32

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WWE “NXT Takeover: Dallas” Report
April 1, 2016
Dallas, Tex. on WWE Network
Report by Justin James, PWTorch NXT contributor

Video package links greats like Dusty Rhodes and Shawn Michaels to the new breed on NXT. This is the full PPV treatment.

American Alpha start the show. Great way to psych the crowd.

1 – NXT tag champions THE REVIVAL (SCOTT DAWSON & DASH WILDER) vs. AMERICAN ALPHA (JASON JORDAN & CHAD GABLE) – NXT Tag Team Title Match

Gable and Dawson start it. Some disrespect from Dawson. Dawson struggles against Gable on the mat. Huge crowd response for Gable. Gable pats Dawson’s cheek and the disrespect draws everyone in. Dawson locks up Gable’s arm and delivers rights to the back to put the hurt on. Graves claims that part of Flair Country has broken off to become Revival Country. Jordan takes a take and delivers a Ziggler-like dropkick to Dawson. Illegal tag ties up the ref letting Dawson shove a thumb in Jordan’s eyes, then a legit tag. Jordan fends it off, Gable assists, back body drops to The Revival. Gable keeps Wilder on the mat. Gable suddenly ends up in the corner. Turnaround cross-body gets Gable two, then he becomes a full house on fire. Jordan saves Gables from a double suplex, then they hit twin German Suplexes. Brawl on the outside. Gable and Dawson in the ring, blind tag but Gable isn’t surprised. Wilder wrecks Gable on the outside with a clothesline.

Gable gets isolated. Gable is so over. The Revival catches Gable, he swings his momentum into a double DDT, Wilder yanks Jordan off the apron, a botched Shatter Machine and the ref doesn’t count to yell at Wilder. Wilder bronco-busters himself on the post. Gable finally makes the hot tag.

Jordan goes nuts. Suplexes all over the place, straps down, sear clears Wilder, another suplex to Dawson. Philips is tongue tied with excitement. Jordan wants a superplex, Wilder helps Dawson stay up top, Wilder helps Dawson hold his feet n the ropes but the ref sees it. Jordan escapes the slingshot suplex, cover, bounces into an uppercut from the outside, Gable breaks up the tag and gets dumped. Nearfall with an assist from Gable. Jordan looks stunned. But a big release belly-to-belly, Wilder saves Dawson again, Gable by himself, pin reversal and reversal. And reversal. Nearfall. Jordan gets a blind tag, spear to Dawson, Alpha finisher (Grand Amplitude) for the win.

Post-match, Jason Jordan is struggling to keep himself together. Love that show of real emotion.

WINNERS: American Alpha in 14:35 to capture the NXT Tag Titles. Someone forget to tell them to not try to steal the show with the opener. Other than the botched Shatter Machine and an overly-choreographed sequence or two, this match was just a perfect tag match. Hot crowd made it even better.

Jim Ross and Michelle Beadle are shown on the front row, then Kota Ibushi. Graves mentions the upcoming Cruiserweight tournament (for Ibushi).

NXT is advertised in England and Ireland over the summer.

Bayley at Axxess with young fans. Backstage, Asuka warms up.

Video package on how we got to Baron Corbin vs. Austin Aries.

2 – AUSTIN ARIES vs. BARON CORBIN

Aries immediately chases Corbin into the corner. Aries’ speed lets him avoid Corbin’s attacks. Aries climbs Corbin to drop forearms on Corbin’s neck. Aries sends Corbin to the outside, top rope double axe handle to the outside. Corbin suddenly drops Aries on the rope. Corbin jaws at a vocal fan. Corbin showing a lot of emotion here. Corbin slams Aries into the ringpost and covers for two. Corbin continues to react to the fans like a heel. Nerve hold while yelling at the crowd. He has grown so much with these little tweaks. Aries gets to the corner to break free of the hold. Corbin annihilates Aries in the corner. When did Corbin’s offense become this engaging? Corbin yells for the bell saying that Aries is done. A rain of blows from Aries breaks him free of a wristlock to get the advantage. Aries wraps Corbin in the ropes to heap abuse on him. Neckbreaker through the ropes from Aries. Aries to the top, missile dropkick. Another dropkick and Corbin heads outside, Aries with a suicide dive. Deep Six on the outside and Aries is in trouble, Corbin demands a count out. Aries climbs in at 10, barely, then signals for more. Brutal blows from Corbin. End of Days, blocked, roll up, and Aries wins.

WINNER: Austin Aries in 10:48. Really disliked the surprise roll-up ending. Corbin looked so vicious in this match that Aries looks good for surviving, but I wanted to see a stronger win from Aries. This feels like the issue is not resolved. Baron Corbin being able to move past the well-deserved “boring” to being a much more engaging wrestler was the real story here.

Video package on Sami Zayn and his history in NXT, then history on Shinsuke Nakamura.

Scott Hall and X-Pac shown in the crowd. Nakamura’s entrance threatens to cause seizures. Zayn looks like he cannot believe he is here for this. The crowd is totally insane for the entrance.

3 – SAMI ZAYN vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA

I think the whole crowd is chanting for both of them. And why not? “Yes!” chants. Nakamura ducks a tie up from Zayn, and Zayn smiles. Lockup, Nakamura gets Zayn to the ropes, breaks, and invites Zayn into the match. Zayn gets knocked down and dodges lethal looking kicks. Wristlock from Zayn reversed. Reversed by Zayn. Zayn’s trio of armdrags sends Nakamura to the corner, then Zayn invites Nakamura in the same was Nakamura did. Test of strength but Nakamura delivers knees.

Armbar threatens to rip Zayn’s arm off. Zayn runs into a knee, catches a kick, and eats an enziguiri. Zayn pushes a foot away, and then takes a spinning kick to the head. Surprise suplex out of a lockup gets Zayn two. Dropkick puts Nakamura down for two. Ref instructions let Nakamura pop out of the corner with a forearm. Zayn sends Nakamura off the turnbuckle to the floor. Pele kick from the apron surprises Zayn, then a running knee to the face on the apron, knee drop to the back of Zayn’s head. Running knee to Zayn draped across the corner for a two count.

Zayn jumps over a suplex, baits Nakamura to throw himself over the ropes, flip dive from Zayn almost misses, then he throws Nakamura in the ring, cross-body from the top, nearfall. Great sequence. Knee stops a Zayn suplex; Nakamura drops knees to Zayn’s head. Zayn pops off the mat to catch Nakamura with a Michinoku Driver and Nakamura is totally stunned Zayn recovers first. They trade forearms. Back and forth, over and over again for what seems like 30 seconds. Nakamura has blood gushing from his nose. The ref slaps on gloves as they continue to trade blows. Zayn is half out of it and tied up in the ropes. Nakamura abuses Zayn, then the ref cleans up Nakamura. Zayn recovers in the ring. Lariat off the ropes turns Nakamura inside out.

Zayn with another lariat. Telegraphs a back body drop, falls right into an armbar but crosses his arms to block it. Triangle, then Zayn transitions to a cover, Nakamura wants to lock it in, and Zayn breaks out with a kick. Zayn with pure, ugly punches, then totally loses his temper and kicks Nakamura in the ropes. Koji clutch mid ring, but Nakamura won’t tap. Nakamura into a cover for a nearfall to break the hold. Enziguiri off the mat and Zayn is staggered. Sixteen minutes in, the crowd says “fight forever” and it looks like it will take a knockout to end this match. Zayn blocks a suplex, takes a one legged dropkick, Zayn misses the Helluva Kick. Blue thunder bomb and Nakamura barely kicks out.

Zayn wants the torpedo DDT, but Nakamura catches him with a kick to the head. Nakamura to the top, Zayn meets him there. Superplex attempt, Nakamura fights out. Nakamura climbs down, gets caught with the exploder suplex, no, Nakamura blocks, elbows to Zayn’s head and neck. Knee to the back of the head from the second rope, Nakamura calls for the end, hits his running knee strike (they gave it some new name…).

WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura in 20:07. Crazy good match. Just an outstanding match that was incredibly violent and passionate. Great way to send Zayn out. Hard to summarize this match, it is can’t miss. MOTY contender.

Post-match, Nakamura kneels in the corner to talk to Zayn and hold out his hand. Zayn refuses the hand, pulls himself up. Then shakes Nakamura’s hand and they hug. Zayn holds up Nakamura’s hand. Nakamura leaves first. Zayn in the ring, he is obviously close to tears as the audience shows their appreciation. He waves good-bye, then stumbles out of the ring. Storyline, how does Zayn even wrestle on Sunday after that match?

Video package on Bayley vs. Asuka, the same from Wednesday.

This show obviously is going to overtime unless Asuka knocks out Bayley with a first strike roundhouse, or there is some sort of dirty finish to the women’s match early on (Nia Jax to set up a triple threat?).

Stephanie McMahon shown in the audience.

Asuka is undefeated. Bayley is undefeated as champion. Which will give?

4 – NXT Women’s champion BAYLEY vs. ASUKA – NXT Women’s Championship match

Asuka wants the knockout kick, but Bayley backs up. Lockup, wristlocks, trade of control. Asuka sends Bayley to the corner with a right. They continue to trade control, then Bayley dodges Asuka’s nasty offense. Bayley wants a test of strength, but Asuka kicks her hand. Hip attack drops Bayley, kick to the back of Bayley’s head. Bayley dodges a hip attack. Flying forearm is a two count for Bayley. Cross-body from the top gets Bayley another two count. Surprise armbar from Asuka, but Bayley reaches the ropes. Bayley soaks up kicks in the corner then slips out and sets up a Tree of Woe. Elbow drop to Asuka for two. Asuka gets stuck on the top, huracanrana into a cover for two. Bayley locks in the guillotine choke. Asuka stands, then falls down. Asuka spins out, then anklelock. Bayle flings her through the ropes but is too hurt to follow up. Bayley tries to come through the ropes, gets caught, turns it into a head scissors takeout, cover in the ring for two.

Bayley can barely walk. Asuka shrugs off elbows, then hits a dropkick, and shifts to kicks. Bayley flings Asuka to the corner; Asuka jumps up then right onto Bayle. Kicks, Bayley comes off the mat with a clothesline. Running knee gives Asuka her first two count of the match. Jackknife from Bayley. Bayley catches a hip attack, they tussle, suplex from Bayley. Bayley ducks a roundhouse, Asuka follows through with an enziguiri and they are both down. The ref starts the double count, and they recover at 8. Double dropkicks, then they trade blows. Bayley with a sudden kneebar and Asuka is in deep trouble. Bayley slides into an anklelock, then slams Asuka’s knee to the mat. Bayley captures a leg and smashes the knee. Leg whip from Bayley, then another. Bayley has never looked this vicious.

Flying armbar from Asuka. Bayley blocks it and rolls through, but Asuka settles on top of the arm. Bayley rolls up for two. Bayley dodges two kicks, then a small package for a nearfall. Insane sequence. Asuka Lock attempt, blocked, suplex from Bayley, sliding clothesline for a nearfall. Bayley wants an armbar, rolls into a cover for a nearfall. Bayley to Belly blocked. Roundhouse, but Bayley gets a hand up. Suplex into an armbar from Asuka. Bayley gets to her feet. Asuka won’t let go. Asuka is deep in the hold. Bayley won’t tap. Bayley to her feet, dives to the mat, Asuka Lock is so tight. No tap out. Bayley fades. Bayley is out cold.

WINNER: Asuka in 15:21 to capture the NXT Women’s Title. Powerful match with strong back-and-forth action. Not quite at the level of Bayley’s bouts with Sasha Banks, due to the relative lack of a back-story and no well-defined heel, and it is impossible to follow Zayn-Nakamura. It will be very interesting to see Asuka holding the title.

Post-match, Bayley recovers on the floor, selling neck damage. Asuka comes out to inspect her, but the refs keep her away from Bayley. Asuka pauses a bit, then limps to the back.

Video package taking us back to London where Finn Balor barely beat Samoa Joe. Fast forward through their history.

Bobby Roode is in the front row getting a “Holy S—” chant. He’s named as “Bobby Roode” and of course, called “one of the hottest free agents.” Samoa Joe stomps out the ring. I am pretty sure that Joe has slimmed down a bit lately. Finn Balor has a chainsaw for some reason, and is revving it while swinging it around. Will he cover that Jackyl song? Joe looks like he is ready to commit a felony.

5 – NXT champion FINN BALOR vs. SAMOA JOE – NXT Championship match

The bell rings at 11:56. Staredown from the corners. Joe charges and gets put in the corner, fights out and tosses Balor out. Balor back in, gets thrown out again. Joe is gushing blood, Joe outside, flip dive from Joe. The ref wants to clean Joe up but Balor won’t let it happen. Joe throws Balor half over the barricade and into a security guard. Joe has a face full of blood. Balor rises up, then goes over the barricade to attack Joe. Balor and Joe are all over each other. Enziguiri to Balor sends him to the mat. Suicide dive from Joe drives Balor into the barricade hard. Balor may be bleeding from the back of the head. Many techs are now out to seal Joe up. The ref insists that the match pause to close Joe up. The crowd dumps hard on this. “PG sucks!” from the crowd.

Balor all over Joe, but he takes the one-arm slam. Joe is still bleeding all over the place as he yanks on Balor’s arms. Hard enziguiri in the corner, cover for two. Referee demand more medical attention for Joe. Triple H has to be losing his mind right now as the audience is getting out of control. “F— PG” now. Balor wants to fight but Joe takes him out. Broski Boot to Balor. Atomic drop catches Balor off the top, big boot, Joe delivers more punishment for a two count. Joe is still bleeding, Joe has to be knocked down and roll to the mat to be cleaned up.

Joe is staggering, gets taken down. Huge chops from Balor in the corner. Joe gets a boot up, goes to the top, and Balor kicks him down to the mat. Joe blocks Slingblade, hits a belly-to-belly suplex for a nearfall. Powerbomb into a cover, but Balor kicks out. Joe to a crab, then slides into a crossface. Balor rolls over, out, double stomp, and they are both down. Balor sells his face as he recovers.

Slingblade into a hesitation dropkick connects. Joe knocks Balor on the turnbuckle, though, and hits a mid-ring Musclebuster. Balor barely kicks out. They trade strikes. Pele Kick drops Joe. They recover at eight. Slingblade, then hesitation dropkick. Balor to the top for the Coup de Grace. Balor wants the driver, but Joe with a Coquina clutch from nowhere. Balor sinks to the mat, gets up, feet to the turnbuckle, drives himself over Joe, Joe hits the mat, and Balor lands in a cover for the pin.

WINNER: Finn Balor in 16:24 to retain the NXT Title. Good match that suffered badly from the frequent breaks from the medical staff. The crowd’s reaction was predictably angry. So much of the match momentum was lost.

Post-match, Joe looks stunned. He slinks away up the ramp, looks back at the ring, then slides away. They close with Balor holding the title.

Final Reax: This was not London, it was not Brooklyn. It was a super solid event as expected, but the flawed main event (which was nobody’s fault), combined with the middle match being the extreme peak of the show, put a few dings in this show. The opener may have been the best tag match in NXT’s history and started things right. Real emotion there from the performers and the crowd.

Aries-Corbin was a good comedown match to prep us for Zayn-Nakamura. Zayn-Nakamura made the case for NXT matches to be considered for the dubious Slammy MOTY award. It is quite likely NXT’s MOTY; something would require a Banks-Bayley or Zayn-Owens like build to do any better. I am truly not sure where the NXT Championship stands now with the Zayn clearly headed out of NXT and the other obvious #2 in line losing tonight (Baron Corbin) but with his opponent getting a weak loss.

Bayley has obviously run her course on NXT but I would hate to see her head to the main roster. Who else is left that Asuka hasn’t already beaten quite badly? The tag team division is in a similar predicament, as American Alpha crushed everyone on their way to the top – there are no opponents left for them. Bottom line: after months of pre-taped content and a Takeover that removed a lot of strong championship contenders, NXT will need to shake things up a bit over the next few weeks to return to form.

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