WWE “NXT Takeover: The End” Report
June 8, 2016
Full Sail University
Report by Justin James, PWTorch NXT contributor
Video package recaps the beginnings of NXT in the FSU era, with Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt & Family, and Paige. Then, Sami Zayn, Neville, Charlotte, Kevin Owens, and Sasha Banks all make appearances. Shots of Bayley passing out to Asuka and Samoa Joe taking out Finn Balor. A new chapter begins tonight. The end is here… the end of the beginning.
[ J.J.’s Reax: It seems like they are promising a major shake-up in NXT? There really are no “FSU Originals” left. ]
Tye Dillinger comes out with some new vest with a giant, sparkly collar. The crowd loves this. Will Andrade “Cien” Almas be billed as a heel? Almas comes out all smiles, wearing white pants, white suspenders, and a white hat with a white feather in it. That’s… unique.
1 – TYE DILLINGER vs. ANDRADE ‘CIEN’ ALMAS
Almas removes the pants to show blue and white wrestling trunks. Early mat work and both men look slippery as eels. Rollup doesn’t get Dillinger one. He cartwheels and flashes the tens. More jockeying for control on the mat. “We want hundred!” in the crowd. Almas hits the ropes, Dillinger keeps dodges, he drops down and Almas shifts to a dropkick. Head scissors sends Dillinger outside. Almas teases a leap through the ropes, Dillinger moves, so Almas deliberately lands in the ropes and manages to land in them.
Almas is just stunning, until he runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for one. Dillinger wants a top-ropes belly-to-back, Almas fights him off, sets up a moonsault, Dillinger rolls away, Almas moonsaults, hits the mat, moonsaults again into a nearfall. Sick.
Almas handstands in the ropres, superkick for a nearfall. Dillinger drops the knee pad. Fireman’s carry, Almas fights out of the Tyebreaker. Back flip into double knees to Dillinger, wheelbarrow DDT. Almas calls for the end, then running double knees in the corner gets the win.
WINNER: Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas. Almas was just dazzling. Incredible work here. And Dillinger erased any lingering doubts anyone may have had about him. This match could have gone ten more minutes at this level of quality and not worn out its welcome. I really enjoyed this match.
Philips advertised Triple H live on Facebook immediately after Takeover, and called him “The Father of NXT.” I hope he wasn’t produced to say that.
Video package flashing back to American Alpha capturing the Tag Team Titles in Dallas.
2 – NXT Tag Team champions AMERICAN ALPHA (JASON JORDAN & CHAD GABLE) vs. THE REVIVAL (SCOTT DAWSON & DASH WILDER) – NXT Tag Team Title match
Gable and Dawson start, true to formula. Test of strength on the mat, then Wilder tags in, but Jordan threatens to stop the double-team so they lay off. Wilder starts to work Gable’s arm, driving him to the mat, but Gable bridges out, so Wilder slams him down. Dawson back in with very stiff chops. Gable tries to fight out, angering Dawson. Shoulder blocks can’t get one. Gable with beautiful work, tags in Jordan.
Jordan with an armbar and flexes his muscles in time to the “Jordan!” chants. Huge blows from Dawson but Jordan won’t let the hold go. Gable has to enter the ring to prevent an illegal double team. Chaos in the ring, then The Revival loses control. American Alpha with some super-choreographed double moves, including double anklelocks that send The Revival to the outside.
Gable heads back to the apron so the referee counts. Huge belly-to-back into a roll into a cover for two. Gable tags back in, cover for two. Illegal tag draws the ref to the corner letting Wilder shove a hand in Gable’s face to break free. Backslide gets Gable a two count, another cover for two. Big uppercut sends Gable over the ropes, illegal double team on Jordan, but he baits Revival into the corner. Double flying clothesline from Gable, double dropkicks, and double clotheslines put The Revival on the outside.
Revival gets a cheap shot in to get back in the game. Gable get isolated in the corner and takes a beating. Jordan is anxious for the tag. Gable dodges a pair of elbow drops, goes outside, sunset flip into the ring for two, but he can’t seal the deal. Dawson keeps Gable away from the corner. Wilder can’t finish off Gable. Gable suddenly locks an armbar through the ropes. Dawson rolls Wilder into the ring so he can get a tag, Gable leaps towards Jordan and Dawson knocks him out of the air. Jordan is arguing with the ref letting Wilder hold Gable for Dawson to drop a leg off the turnbuckles for a nearfall.
Blows to the mid-section, but Gable can’t break free. Tag, Gable slips through the legs, Jordan is in and on fire. Dropkicks, t-bone suplexes, and gorilla presses. Straps are down, tongue is out, spear in the corner, big suplex, cover, and a nearfall.
Wilder trips Jordan into the turnbuckle. Big blows from Dawson and Jordan needs a tag. Jordan looks woozy, but tries a backslide, and tags Gable. Dropkick to Dawson as Gable hits a German suplex on him for a super-close nearfall. Gorgeous sequence.
Wilder rips Jordan off the apron to prevent a tag, then Gable fights off an illegal double team, puts Dawson in an ankle lock, Dawson kicks him off, and Gable runs into Wilder on the apron. Wilder hits an uppercut, then a roll-up for Dawson doesn’t quite get the win.
Wilder puts Gable up for a powerbomb with Dawson off the top, Gable manages to turn it into a belly-to-belly. Wilder breaks up a tag. Gable with a tag, then chaos. Dawson breaks up Grand Amplitude. Jordan suddenly gets hit with The Shatter Machine, drawing shrieks, and Jordan is pinned.
WINNERS: The Revival in 15:56 to re-capture the NXT Tag Titles. What a match. The sheer talent of these two teams is incredible. What I didn’t like was the amount of time all four men spent in the ring, and one or two overly-choreographed sections. But that’s a planning and booking issue, and the overall match was just insane. Are American Alpha headed to the main roster? I hope not. I feel like we deserve a third match in this series to resolve it for good. (Triple H seemed to indicate this is not over on the Takeover post-show.)
Post-match, Jason Jordan looks like a broken man. Two guys dressed in black army pants, combat boots, and black tank tops dome out and ambush American Alpha. They are huge and look like twins. Jordan is twitching on the ground. Gable held in the air while one hits a big boot square to his head. One holds Jordan while the other hits a bit clothesline. Paul Ellering suddenly comes out on the ramp to a “who are you?” chant, watching on. The crowd is just furious.
Backstage, Asuka is warming up. Bayley comes in, gives her a smile, and shakes her hand.
Video package reminds up of Austin Aries declaring himself not to be “the best” but “great.” Everyone loves Shinsuke Nakamura, and Aries isn’t happy about that.
Aries comes out, sporting a taped mid-section. Where is Chris Jericho to rip the tap off mid-match? On commentary, Corey Graves says that it might be a ruse to draw attention away from a different body part. FSU is just nuts for Nakamura’s entrance.
3 – SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs. AUSTIN ARIES
The whole crowd is singing Nakamura’s song long after it ends, and through the bell ringing. Aries looks confident. Aries has his fans, too. It takes the wrestlers almost a minute to make contact, then they tussle for control. Aries with a quick cover for almost one. Nakamura gets a break in the corner. Nakamura uses gymnastics to reverse a wristlock. Aries does the same, then executes a headlock takedown.
Nakamura gets Aries to the ropes, then does the head to the middle thing. Aries pushes him away, then Nakamura tells him to bring it own. Lightning-quick series of reverses. Aries wants Last Chancery, but Nakamura slips away, and Aries does the “bring it on” motion. They go face-to-face. Cheap shot from Aries, and Nakamura retaliates. The crowd sings their made-up words to his song while he dominates Aries.
Aries suddenly starts to work Nakamura’s leg and gets the advantage, drawing boos. Nakamura’s knee is wrapped in the ropes, and Aries kicks it. Flying elbow to the back of Nakamura’s head. Nakamura stomps on a foot to escape a hold, but runs right into a knee. Slingshot senton to Nakamura.
Nakamura lands elbows, but Aries gets an elbow up in the corner to stop a charge. Flying elbow drop gets Aries two. Aries puts knees into Nakamura’s back. Aries is just completely controlling Nakamura on the mat, doing lots of damage to the back. Nakamura suddenly escapes and does the two kicks to drop Aries. Nakamura with big knees, and three times Aries hits the mat. Knees in the corner. Aries set up across the corner, then lands a running knee to the middle for two.
Aries blocks the reverse exploder suplex, then lands hard chops. Knee to the middle stops Aries offense, Aries ducks a bunch, gets a quick cover. Nakamura blocks Last Chancery. Back slide attempt, break, and rolling elbow to Nakamura. Nakamura rolls outside, and a suicide dive drives Nakamura into the barricade and almost knocks it over. Nearfall for Aries.
Aries turns his back on Nakamura, who grabs the tape, yanks Aries down into a triangle but Aries gets a foot on the ropes. Nakamura drives knees into Aries’s head, then lands a front suplex. Nakamura calls for Kinshase, but Aries blocks, takes Nakamura down, and goes for Last Chancery mid-ring. Nakamura is crawling to the ropes, so Aries transitions to a front chancery, and Nakamura gets a foot on the ropes.
Reset. Nakamura kicks Aries to the corner, Aries kicks Nakamura away, hits a head scissors, then a dropkick in the opposite corner. Aries heads up top. 450, but Nakamura dodges. Aries tries to jump on him, but Nakamura dodges. Aries is on the top ropes, Nakamura wants the knee, and Aries hits his head.
They duke it out on the apron. Aries catches a kick, then Nakamura with an enziguri. Aries catches Nakamura, then hits a driver onto the apron. Ouch. Nakamura looks dazed on the outside as Aries rolls into the ring. Nakamura sells disorientation and neck damage.
Aries with another suicide dive instead of taking the count-out win, but Aries knocks himself out on the barriade. Nakamura rolls him in looking to quickly take advantage. Top-rope knee to the back of the head, reverse exploder suplex, and Kinshase for the win.
WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura in 17:26. That was an outstanding match. It lacked the emotional intensity of Nakamura-Zayn, of course, because no one plays the babyface like Sami Zayn or had that level of emotional connection with the crowd. But, this match was what Austin Aries needed to get on track. Nakamura continues to impress.
Video package on the Nia Jax-Asuka build. Nia Jax comes out with a cowl that looks like she collaborated with Tye Dillinger on it, with a giant collar. Darkened ring and spotlight treatment to give the match some gravitas.
4 – NXT Women’s champion ASUKA vs. NIA JAX – NXT Women’s Title match
Asuka tries to pick a leg, but Jax blocks it. Jax breaks out of a waistlock. Asuka baits her to land slaps. Jax jumps back from the roundhouse, but Jax doesn’t look scared. Headbutt breaks Jax out of a wristlock. She throws Asuka across the ring. Jax backs Asuka to the corner, but Asuka was luring her in.
Jax smashes Asuka into the corner, then slowly takes Asuka apart. Jax has a significant amount of crowd support. Knee strikes from Asuka, then a sudden hold, but Jax throws her off and covers for two. Asuka suddenly jumps into a hold, gets Jax into a hold, and tries a triangle, but doesn’t quite have it.
Jax pulls her in the air and throws her onto the turnbuckle. Jax wraps Asuka around the post. Jax puts Asuka into a bear hug. Asuka with a sudden kneebar, but Jax gets to the ropes. Asuka runs into a spinebuster, but dodges a leg drop and eats a running knee. Jax gets to her feet first, but Asuka uses a kick to avoid damage.
Missile dropkick puts Jax on the mat. Asuka with strikes, then hip attack to the face gets two. Asuka rallies herself in Japanese, but Jax lands a kick and powerbomb for two. Asuka with a sudden armbar, but Jax escapes. Asuka gets on Jax’s back, then Jax shakes her off, but takes an enziguri, then a roundhouse. Jax, on one knee, sells defiance. Two more big kicks from Asuka ends it.
Winner: Asuka in 9:11. Fairly dull, plodding match. Jax didn’t look great in defeat, after getting the majority of the offense and Asuka took a lot of damage in the match. Though the same could be said for the Bayley-Jax match, there was much more drama in that match.
Backstage, Andrea Marco interviews William Regal. He reminds us of the history nature of tonight’s main event, and it looks like Bobby Roode just walked behind him. He excuses himself, then Phillips confirms that it is indeed Booby Roode.
Video package on Samoa Joe and Finn Balor. Neville is in the audience.
Balor is first out. Sections of a cage are set up on the stage, and he knocks one over for extra drama before climbing over it. His paint is black and white, with full arm sleeves painted on. He climbs up the cage from the outside to do his outstretched arms on top, then climbs in and around the ropes. This cage doesn’t look very tall, his head is over the top when he stands on the topes, and it looks like it is anchored to the ceiling with cables. Joe shuts himself into the cage. Hamilton explains that the ways to win are pinfall, submission, or by climbing out of the cage, none of the silly door non-sense. They are glaring at each other hard during introductions.
5 – NXT champion SAMOA JOE vs. FINN BALOR – Steel Cage NXT Title match
Very odd cage design, now that the lights are up. Joe tries going to the door, but Balor stops him. Graves says he can win by going out the door, which contradicts Greg Hamilton’s announcement. No advantage for either man early on. Hard-hitting back-and-forth action that seems to lack the fury I would expect. Joe to the second rope, but an enziguri clears him off. Joe with boots to the face in the corner, then a Broski Boot. Snapmare into a cover for two.
Balor fights from the mat. Joe throws him into the cage. Joe calls for the door, but Balor hangs onto his leg. Enziguri, Joe backs up, Balor is half out the door but now Joe has the foot. German suplex from Joe right onto the neck for two. Joe starts to climbs the cage, but Balor gets on his leg. They fight on the top rope.
Another fight on the ropes. Kick to Joe’s face, but he hits the rope on the way down, crotching Balor hard. Balor takes the one-arm slam in the corner, then Joe looks for a Muscle Buster, Balor slides down into a two count. They trade blows mid-ring. Pele Kick sends Joe crashing to the mat.
Balor starts to climb, but Joe meets him there. Balor smashes Joe’s face into the cage, then hits the Slingblade off the top rope. Cover for a nearfall. A second Slingblade. Joe dodges the corner dropkick, hits a senton, and a Muscle Buster gets a nearfall. A trip of knees to Balor, then Joe wants a powerbomb into the cage, but Balor escapes.
Slingblade from Balor, corner dropkick, then another. Balor is climbing, but stops to hit the Coup de Grace for a nearfall. Balor wants the 1916 driver, but Joe turns it around into the Coquina Clutch mid-ring. Balor fades, then gets to his feet into the corner, jumps over Joe, and hits a double stomp. Balor looks alive before Joe does.
Balor climbs the cage, but Joe catches him. Balor shakes him off, hesitates, then climbs. Balor gets a foot over the top, but Joe grabs the other. Balor has both feet over but Joe is holding his arms, then sets up a super-Muscle Buster from the second rope and it ends the match.
WINNER: Samoa Joe in 13:30. This match suffered badly from the cage door rule being in effect despite the announcement. The match lacked the intensity I expected from two guys who supposedly hated each other.
Post-match, refs and trainers check on Balor who isn’t stirring. One ref proactively warns Joe away. Joe heads up the ramp to stand tall with the NXT Title to close the show.
Final Reax: An extremely weak Women’s Championship match and a lacking main event really brought Takeover down. The match of the night was quite clearly the Tag Team Title match, with Nakamura-Aries number two. With Balor selling injury and Joe retaining the title, expect to see Balor on Raw in short order. Aries is finally on the right footing in NXT. The big news of course was Bobby Roode, who sure seems to like showing up at Takeover specials… I feel that this was the weakest Takeover in a very long time.