NXT TAKEOVER REPORT 1/27: Ongoing coverage of event headlined with Almas vs. Gargano live from Philadelphia

By Justin James, PWTorch contributor


Tonight’s card: Kassius Ohno vs. Velveteen Dream, Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole in an Extreme Rules match, NXT Women’s Champion defending against Shayna Baszler, Tag Team Champions Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish) defending against The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar with Paul Ellering), and NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas defending against Johnny Gargano.

Paul Heyman kicks off a video package. He briefly mention’s Philly’s “extreme” past but says that tonight is about creating the future, not living in the past. Clips of the various builds to the matches tonight. Heyman says that “we” (NXT) will amaze the audience and such because “we are NXT”. Interesting to see Paul Heyman being used to pump NXT like this. Is it because it is in Philadelphia, because Heyman is considered cool by the NXT crowd, or because Heyman will have a bigger role going forwards in NXT?

Mauro Ranallo and Percy Watson are seen at ringside. Ranallo says that Nigel McGuiness is out due to illness. Their spiel is cut off by AOP’s music. Interesting to see this match start the show and not Ohno – Dream. Akam and Rezar are restless during Undisputed Era’s entrance. They eventually can’t contain themselves and attack O’Reilly and Fish. Ellering calms them down once Fish and O’Reilly go outside.

1. NXT Tag Team Champions UNDISPUTED ERA (KYLE O’REILLY and BOBBY FISH) vs. THE AUTHORS OF PAIN (AKAM and REZAR w/Paul Ellering) – Tag Team Championship Match

Fish immediately gets send out of the ring by Rezar. He wants to take a walk but Akam drops off the apron to intimidate him. Fish gets in the ring, backs into his corner, then tags O’Reilly. Three or four times. O’Reilly gets beat on by Rezar, then invites Rezar in. O’Reilly tries to trick Rezar, Rexar takes him down. O’Reilly with a triangle, then rolls Rezar onto the mat, dodges an axe kick. O’Reilly takes a breather. O’Reilly hides in the ropes and tags Fish, Fish eludes Rezar for a bit, Rezar catches a kick then brings Fish to his corner to get double teamed by Akam too. Fish gets a tag to O’Reilly, Akam takes over on O’Reilly. O’Reilly to the outside again, Rezar helps Akam with Fish and O’Reilly. O’Reilly fish flops off the apron to the floor as Rezard rolls Fish into the ring. Fish slips out, Akam is waiting for him and dumps him into the apron. Akam comes off the ropes with a knee drop into a backbreaker from Rezar, but seems to jam his knee. O’Reilly gets the ref’s attention lettings O’Reilly take out Akam’s knee. Fish crashes into Rezar to remove him from the equation, and Akam gets isolated in the corner. Akam tries to fight out of the corner but Fish wraps his leg around the ropes to cut off the rally. Akam gets halfway to Rezar, but O’Reilly chop blocks him. Kneebar from O’Reilly. Akam finally gets to the ropes. Rapid tags by Undisputed Era.

Huge back body drop gives Akam the room to tag Rezar. Rezar just demolishes Undisputed Era. Rezar is fired up and the crowd is solidly behind him. Rezar picks up O’Reilly, Fish jumps on his back for a sleeper, Rezar with a fallaway slam/backpack slam combo, cover on Fish for two. Rezar drops O’Reilly off his back, but knees from O’Reilly stop Rezar. Rezar crawls to a corner, but it’s Undisputed Era’s corner. Fish with an exploder suplex, cover, two. That made Fish look great. Rezar fights out of Chasing the Dragon. Akam finally gets to his feet on is corner. Rezar tags. Akam is stumbling badly. Fish comes into the ring to stop The Last Chapter. Ankle lock by O’Reilly on Akam, sleeper from Fish on Rezar. Rezar slams Fish onto O’Reilly to break both holds. Everyone is down in the ring.

The crowd is now split between the two teams, and the referee oddly never seems to start a double ten count. Akam closely gets to his feet but O’Reilly is waiting with kicks to the injured leg. Akam fires up and weathers it, catches a kick, overhead throw and knes in the corner. Fish interferes from the apron and gets crushed, bucklebomb to O’Reilly and knees. Rezar has a big boot to keep Fish out of the way. AOP sets up the Super Collider, but Akam stumbles, O’Reilly head scissors him into Rezar, they bump, O’Reilly has a sudden cover for the win.

Winners: Undisputed Era in 14:50. Really good match as your would expect from these two teams. The booking was right, as was the finish. No one expects Undisputed Era to beat the Authors of Pain in a standup slugfest match, so the devious ending and constant interferences were the right path.

War Machine is shown on camera in the audience. Backstage we see Andrade Almas and Zelina Vega talking about the match.

“Earlier tonight” with Velveteen Dream. He guarantees that he will knockout Kassius Ohno in 30 seconds or less. Dream with yet another new look, sporting incredibly baggy boxing-style shorts with him and Ohno airbrushed on them? Dream has people waiting ringside to meet him, with a mouthguard on a furry white pillow. Ohno comes out wearing a boxing robe over his ring gear. I guess they coordinated a boxing-themed pair of outfits? Dream boxes with the turnbuckle.

2. KASSIUS OHNO vs. VELVETEEN DREAM

Ohno clinches Dream, then Dream gets him in the corner with punches. Wild punch and Ohno is down. Dream counts and dances, Ohno bounches off the mat and knocks Dream so hard the mouthguard pops out. As Dream leans over to pick it up, Ohno kicks him hard. Dream with an elbow as Ohno tries coming into the ring, but rungs into a big boot, Ohno off the ropes into a monster spinebuster. Feels like the crowd is sold on Dream. Dream with a boxing attack in the corner. Suplex and a cover nets Dream one. The mat feels very heavily mic’ed on this match. Dream with attacks in the corner. Ohno gets up with a strike, Dream puts him down with a snapmare into an armbar of sorts. Dream with a rear chinlock, Ohno gets to his feet, but Dream shifts his weight to send Ohno into the turnbuckle, then more strikes. Dream shouts “Dream Over!” to Ohno then soaks in the praise from the crowd. Ohno soaks up kicks, but a double axe handle from the top gets Dream one, then a quick chinlock and axe handles. Dream stomps on Ohno then demands Ohno say his name. Another chinlock from Dream. Ohno gets to his knees then pries Dream’s hands apart to get out. Dream with a fireman’s carry, Ohno elbows out. Dream wants a suplex, Ohno counters with one of his own.

Ref starts a double count. They get to their feet and trade blows. Ohno sends Dream to the mat, senton splash for Ohno’s longest offensive streak. Cyclone kick and Dream is down for a nearfall. Ohno calls for the spinning elbow. Ranallo says that Ohno doesn’t want to be known as a gatekeeper. Dream with a superkick, and a brutal looking DDT, cover for a nearfall. Dream heads to the top, but takes a kick in the middle. Ohno has Dream on the ropes, charges Dream, Dream surprises Ohno with his cartwheel Death Valley Driver for a close nearfall. Dream says the match is over, but Ohno disagrees, rolling elbow, Dream kicks out a split second before three. Ohno thinks neckbreaks, Dream slips out Death Valley Driver, Purple Rainmaker more than halfway across the ring.

Winner: Velveteen Dream in 10:50. Really good match here to clearly position Dream as a top heel. Predictable outcome, and yes, Ohno is currently a gatekeeper. He made Dream look fantastic.

Maria Menounos is shown on-screen in the front row. Johnny Gargano is shown in the locker room with his family. That’s a unique presentation.

Video package of Ember Moon winning the NXT Women’s Championshi0p, interspersed with shots of Shayna Baszler, then Baszler’s history bullying her way into the championship match. Repeated camera shots of Baszler’s attack on Dakota Kai’s arm.

Baszler comes out to the ring looking all business. Ranallo calls Moon “the Shenom”. Moon gets in Baszler’s face multiple times. Baszler gets booed on her formal introduction, Moon gets cheered. That’s a good sign.

3. NXT Women’s Champion EMBER MOON vs. SHAYNA BASZLER – NXT Women’s Championship Match

Moon wants a lockup, Baszler moves to a waistlock takedown. Moon tries to get Baszler in the corner, Baszler shifts and Moon is in the corner. Clean break, Baszler knocks Moon down with a sweep. Takedown from Baszler and a crossface. Moon trips Baszler up, then a trio of single leg dropkicks send Baszler to the outside. Suicide Dive from Moon to Baszler. Moon starts looking confident, tries a somersault splash, Baszler catches her and wrecks her. Kick sends Moon to the mat for a two count. Baszler with a cocky look as she works on Moon. She uses the arm stomp on Moon who is writhing in pain and selling the arm which looks like a pretzel. Baszler with an arm bar. Baszler now with some Pete Dunne work, and knee drops the elbow. Moon rolls onto the arm to protect it, Baszler covers for one. Moon is totally helpless as Baszler works her. Another arm bar. Moon’s arm looks like it is about to snap as Baszler twists it up. Baszler yanks the arm bracing with her legs. Moon tries to get out, elbow puts Moon back down. Moon is in the corner and Baszler yanks the arm even more to a five count. Baszler just taunts Moon, Moon slaps off the mat, then ducks a kick, slap, Baszler grabs her. Moon fires up with kicks, crossbody for two.

Moon can’t use the left arm at all. Forearm in the corner stuns Baszler, Moon to the top, but it is hard to climb with one arm. Eclipse, but Moon is flopping in pain and can’t do anything. Baszler is out cold. The ref is calling for a trainer. A pair of trainers come out. Moon is begging to continue. Baszler is still out. Moon just cannot do anything other than lean on a rope, but she pulls herself to her feet anyways as Baszler recovers. Armbar surprised Moon, Baszler rips the arm, Moon, looks fingers, Baszler breaks the grab, Moon gets a foot on the ropes for a break.

Baszler returns to the arm and yanks Moon away from the ropes, armbar, Moon is grasping and clawing at Baszler. Baszler is twisting the arm as he bars it, Moon holds on and locks her hands, rolls through, Baszler rolls back to the armbar, then grabs the legs to keep Moon away from the ropes. Baszler leans all the way back, Moon threatns to tap, they roll around. Moon manages to roll Baszler up for a surprise three count. Baszler is just stunned at the loss.

Winner: Ember Moon in 10:12. Really great story told. This was the best possible finish, other than Baszler getting DQ’ed, to allow Moon to the retain the title. I honestly expected the match we got, just with a different finish.

Post-match, Moon is helped out by trainers. Baszler snaps and puts Moon in the Coqina Clutch on the outside. Moon is out cold and it takes three refs and the two trainers to get her off. Baszler puts the hold on again. Baszler eventually relents and backs off. Ranallo says that he used to respect Baszler and now he doesn’t. Watson tries to defend Baszler’s state of mind and Ranallo demands immediate fines and punishments for Baszler. Watson agrees. Moon is coming to life and drooling and foaming at the mouth as Ranallo says he is disgusted by Baszler.

Trevor “Ricochet” Mann (as the screen says) is show in the audience.

Video package on the Aleister Black – Adam Cole feud.

The timing with Black coming to the ring ten minutes into the second hour indicates that we are looking at a short Takeover, two very long matches to wrap it up, or a surprise match or some sort of shenanigans. I see this match as just about Cole’s last chance to redeem himself in terms of match quality and moveset. Black is meditating in the corner during Cole’s entrance, not even looking at Cole until he stands.

4. ALEISTER BLACK vs. ADAM COLE – Extreme Rules Match

Black eyes Cole from his corner and Cole jaws at Black from his. Black charges and they trade strikes. Black gets the better of that. Cole to the outside. Black charges, jumps on the ropes and somersaults into a sit. Cole gets angry and grabs a chair from the timekeeper’s area. Black just sits as Cole re-enters, ducks under the chair shot, kicks the chair out of Cole’s hand. Cole runs to the outside. Black stares at him, sets the chair up, and sits on it to stare at Cole. Cole reneters, Black folds the chair then throws it out of the ring, puts Cole outside, then attacks him. Cole has a knee to slow Black down, then grabs chairs from under the ring and puts them in the ring. Then Cole gets a trash can into the ring and kicks Black’s head to keep him down. Black attacks Cole, then Cole slams Black’s head into a barricade. Cole looks around as the ref checks on Black. Cole gets a kendo stick. Black gets one of his own. They go into the ring.

Black looks at his stick and throws it away and invites Cole to hit him. Black avoids the stick and rocks Cole with strikes, Black with a moonsault, and Cole hits Black with a stick strike mid-moonsault. Black is flopping all over the ring as Cole recovers instead of covering. Cole with a strike to the fallen Black, then puts the stick in Black’s mouth and yanks. Black gets to his feet, Cole with a backstabber, cover for two. Cole hits and stomps Black on the mat. The crowd demands tables. Cole, the fan-loving babyface, gets a table out. Cole starts to set the table up outside of the ring while Black recovers. Cole goes back in the ring, there’s some blood on Cole’s thigh I don’t know where it came from. Cole looks for a superplex on Black outside the ring onto the table, but Black blocks. Black throws Cole off the turnbuckle and onto a trashcan. Running high knee gets Black two. Black is selling his back. Black goes under the ring for a table of his own. Black sets it up next to the other table for some reason.

Black is about to re-enter the ring, Cole is still down, so Black looks under the ring for a ladder. As he tries to put it into the ring, Cole hits the ladder with a low drop kick. Cole has blood on his hand, I think that is where he is bleeding from. Cole rolls Black into the ring. The ladder is in the corner, Black blocks a suplex onto the ladder, then reverses it, Cole blocks the suplex, enziguri to stun Black. Cole with offense in the corner. He stops to pose and do his catchphrase, so Black goes into an electric chair position, runs across the ring and throws Cole off his shoulders and into the ladder. Cole takes a hard bump onto the ladder. The ref has gloves on and is checking on Cole.

Black crawls over to Cole, but Cole gets his hand treated by trainers to staunch the bleeding. Recap of the ladder spot. As they cut away, Cole is kicking out of a cover. Black is struggling to walk, but he grabs a chair and sets it up in from of Cole. He puts Cole’s face on the chair, but Cole Cole recovers, folds the chair up and hits Black in the middle with the chair. Cole sets up a chair now. Cole wants a fireman’s carry, Black is able to get out, the dodge kicks. Black with a stomp and senton. Black to the top, Cole throws a chair at Black, Black catches it, Cole superkicks the chair, Black falls off and through the ropes.

Cole finally rolls Black into the ring, covers for two. Cole sets up a pair of chairs in the middle of the ring. Black recovers, fireman’s carry, Attitude Adjustment into the chairs, with Cole’s upper back hitting the chair backs. That looked insanely dangerous. Cole is just screaming and flopping like a drowning fish and crying. Cole grabs a chair to try getting up, Black dropkicks the chair, cover, Fish and O’Reilly come out to attack Black. Chasing the Dragon on the outside. “Bulls—” from the crowd. Fish and O’Reilly just drag Black around the ring in front of the announcer’s booth, then tear it apart. Ranallo and Watson make tracks. Sanity is out, Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe even the odds and take Fish and O’Reilly out of Black’s area. Killian Dain is in the ring with Cole. Dain with a suicide dive to Wolfe, Young, Fish, and O’Reilly on the outside. Cole has his patented “what did I get myself into?” look. Black is still unmoving outside. Cole wants to suplex Black onto the announcer booth, Black blocks, fights Cole off, Cole lands on the booth, Black with a jumping stomp onto Cole and through the table.

Black looks to be bleeding from the back, he rolls Cole into the ring. “Mamma Mia!” chant from the crowd. Superkick stops Black in his tracks. Cole chooses to get a chair instead of covering. Black is starting to get up. Cole raising the chair and eats Black Mass.

Winner: Aleister Black in 22:05. Really exciting match, but I have to question the booking. Cole is desperate for a win and can’t get it even with the help of Fish and O’Reilly, and Black choosing to meet weapons with empty hands early in the match. This was the time to send Black out of NXT and finally make Cole look like he can win a match. While Cole hung with the uber-dangerous Black for over twenty minutes, he had every possible advantage and lost anyways.

Post-match, O’Reilly and Fish help Cole to his feet while Black manages to stand on his own in the ring.

After an ad for the Royal Rumble, Watson and Ranallo are shown standing next to the ruins of the booth. Triple H is advertised to be on Facebook Live after NXT. He will be competing with the PWT Talks NXT Podcast, which I will be recording with Kelly Wells, Tom Stoup, and Harley Pageot immediately after Takeover ends.

EC 3 is shown ringside. And he is listed as “EC 3” not “Derrick Bateman” (for the three of us who remember that). He has a dirty look on his face. The crowd pops hard for him.

Video package on Johnny Gargano’s slide, then his rebuilding, simultaneous with Almas’ rise to the top with Zelina Vega’s help.

Almas gets a mariachi band entrance, with masked musicians. Almas comes out wearing a mask, and ring gear with Mexico’s national colors. He rips the mask off and throws it away. Huge numbers of people have Gargano signs.

5. NXT Champion ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS vs. JOHNNY GARGANO – NXT Championship Match

Between the long entrances for this and the previous match, and Cole – Black going long, the bells rings with less than 10 minutes left in the second hour. This still leaves plenty of time for this match, since Takeovers have not held to a two hour limit for some time.

Ranallo tells us that Gargano’s father can’t be here tonight due to recent heart surgery. Vega looks on as they pace and finally lock up, heading right to the mat with back and forth then break. Gargano eventually locks in a wristlock to control Almas. Almas transitions to relieve the pressure and reverse it. Gargano into a headlock takedown, then Almas has one, Gargano with a head scissors, Almas escapes. Candace La Rae is shown ringside and Ranallo mentions that she was just signed to NXT. Ranallo compares Gargano to Daniel Bryan. Almas fools Gargano, wants a hammerlock DDT, Gargano reverses, the tangle on the mat and break. Pacing on this match is for a very long match it feels like.

Almas teases a test of strength, has kicks. Gargano with a head scissors takeover, dropkick, arm drag into an armbar. The arm bar forces Almas into a number of one counts. Gargano knees the arm. Almas drives Gargano into the corner and has knees there. Gargano wants to jump over Almas in the corner, Almas pulls back and nails Gargano with a chop. Almas sense Gargano into the corner for another chop. Gargano gets knees up in the corner, then a head scissors takedown followed by a clothesline put Almas out. Rapid exchange of moves outside. Gargano ties a cannonball off the apron, Almas dodges and Gargano slams into the mat right in front of his wife and mother. Almas rolls Gargano into the ring, covers for two.

The crowd is fully behind Gargano as Almas thinks of his next moves. Almas gets thrown into the ropes, hangs on, then has a facelock over the top rope to the five count. Running low kick and Gargano is down for two. Super tight facelock and Gargano is gasping for air. Vega calls Gargano a loser from ringside. Gargano finally gets to his feet and elbows out. Gargano wants a body slam, Almas blocks, they block suplex attempts, the rollthrough kick slams Almas into the corner. Gargano building momentum here, but Gargano gets caught in the corner, Tree of Woe, and Almas tries a double stomp but Gargano manages to dodge then suplexes Almas into the turnbuckles.

Both men are down and trying to get to their feet. They trade forearm shivers. Gargano starts to get a full head of steam, enziguri and Almas is rocked. Tornado DDT, Gargano covers for two plus. Vega is besides herself ringside. Almas tries to turnt he tide, runs right into the slingshot spear for a nearfall. Gargano is looking super focused, enziguri, Gargano wants a head scissors, Almas transitions to drop him face first for a two count. Almas looks moonsault, Gargano dodges, Almas hits a standing moonsault as soon as his feet touch the mat for a close nearfall. Gargano sells his back as Almas hits him with elbows. Then Gargano fires back with elbows, runs into a back fist for a nearfall. Sueprkick from Gargano, nearfall. They hit a trio of double clotheslines and fall to the ground.

Match is at the fifteen minute mark as they both try to get to their feet. Alms in the corner and gets a boot up, climbs to the second rope, Gargano tries to pull him off but gets kicked. Almas plants Gargano up top, looks for a super hammerlock DDT, Gargano slips out and thinks powerbomb, Almas blocks, Gargano his a superkick to Almas’ head through his own legs. Gargano tries a sunset flip powerbomb, Almas dodges, double knees wants it again, Gargano dodges, slightshot spear gets caught, tornado DDT from Almas and Gargano barely barely barely kicks out.

Almas recovers first, and ties Gargano in the ropes. Gargano gets out, they tangle with Almas on the apron and Gargano outside. Enzigrui and Almas is nearly done for. Slingshot DDT drops Almas on the apron, they both fall outside. Almas is lifeless, Gargano crawls to him. The ref starts a ten count. Gargano rolls Almas in, covers for two-and-a-half. Gargano is trying to put Almas in the Gargano Escape but Almas blocks, then hits a jawbreaker. Gargano with elbows, then Gargano blocks one, but Almas hits a back elbow. Gargano down the corner, pops out with a clothesline to stop double knees. Gargano picks Almas upa nd lawn darts him into the turnbuckle. Vega grabs Gargano’s legs, cheap shot from Almas, cover, Gargano out. Superkick to Almas, cover, so insanely close.

Gargano seems to be recovering faster, and is bleeding from his nose and mouth. Almas is still pretty out of it. Gargano goes to the apron, then to the top, Almas grabs his leg, then chops it out with an arm. Almas gets on the ropes and Gargano is tangled in them. Stomp from Almas sends them both to the outside. Almas slams Gargano into the LED apron, then drives him in over and over. The ref gets out of the ring to admonish Almas. Almas rolls Gargano into the ring. The ref checks on Gargano. Double knees from Almas for another nearfall. Gargano looks obliterated at this point. Ranallo is starting to doubt if Gargano can continue. Watson says that Gargano needs to think about his own safety.

Almas keeps dragging Gargano’s head up and slapping him. Gargano tells the ref he can continue. Almas brings Gargano up, Gargano has punshes so wild he falls to his knees. Gagano is up, has to lean on Almas between strikes. Almas fires back with a chop, eats a superkick, reverse ‘rana from Gargano and Almas is looking out of it. Gargano Escape midring, Almas is wriggling, teasing a top out and Gargano is maintaining the hold at all costs. Vega reaches for Almas, the ref sees it, when the ref yells at Vega, Almas rakes the eyes. Ranallo calls it a “dirty deed done dirt cheap.” Gargano sends Almas out of the ring, suicide dive, Vega head scissors Gargano into the steps behind the ref’s back. Almas rolls gargano in, Hammerlock DDT. Kickout! This crowd is just exploding in “Yes!” chants.

Vega yells at the ref as Gargano rolls under the ropes, he doesn’t know where he is. Vega stomps over to Gargano, Candace La Rae intercepts and destroys Vega, sensing her out of the timekeepr’s area out chases her out of the arena with a cameraperson following.

Gargano recovers outside and slowly brings himself onto the apron. Enziguri over the ropes, slingshot DDT, Almas kicks out. Gargano Escape again, but Almas is near the ropes. Almas gets a foot on the ropes. Ranallo expresses that he is happy to share this moment with Watson and wishes McGuinness a speedy recovery. Gargano goes to the apron with Gargano, Almas shoves Gargano into the ring post, then hits double knees against the ring post. Ranallo is calling for the ref to check on Gargano and saying it may be time for the ref to stop this for Gargano’s sake. Almas reaches over the ropes to drag Gargano up for an over-the-ropes hammerlock DDT. He hits it. Cover. It’s over.

Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas in 32:21. Wow. Wow. Wow. I had high expectations for this match, and they were blown away in every possible way. The number of outstanding matches on NXT in 2018 has been great. While an appearance from Tomasso Ciampa would not have been a surprise tonight, it was great to see that the match had a clean ending, despite the numerous interferences from Vega near the end of the match. I loved the way La Rae took Vega out of the match, the spouse who could no longer bear to see her husband be abused by the cheating heels.

Post-match, La Rae checks on Gargano in the ring as Almas and Vega leave. Standing ovation for Gargano. He is barely mobile, and La Rae has to help him walk out. Gargano takes a pause on the ramp and turns around to face his fans. And after the NXT logo is on the screen, there is Ciampa with a crutch and he clobbers Gargano. Ciampa has a kneebrace on. La Rae covers Gargano as Ciampa just looks at him and takes a massive “a—–e” chant from the crowd. The NXT logo is shown again as Ciampa walks away.

Final Reax: Just a truly great Takeover event. The final match is clearly a WWE Match of the Year contender and possibly the longest match in WWE for the last 10+ years (it went over 30 minutes and the Ironman/Ironwoman matches we have seen were 30 minutes). The story told was fantastic, and they were able to do an increasing number of nearfalls without resorting to the tired formula of “finisher, kickout, finisher, kickout” that we see too many times at major events. The Black – Cole match truly surprised me with the finish, as did Moon – Baszler. Ciampa’s return tonight was not unexpected as the obvious next step is for them to face each other at Takeover: New Orleans. Very memorable Takeover, one of quite a few lately.

3 Comments on NXT TAKEOVER REPORT 1/27: Ongoing coverage of event headlined with Almas vs. Gargano live from Philadelphia

  1. How on earth you though the Ohno match was ‘really good’ is beyond me. Hero was blown up after 5 minutes, and there were a ridiculous number of awful botches.

    • Yes, there were 2 semi-botched spots (I’d like you to name the rest of the “ridiculous number”) but Hero wasn’t blown at all – that’s how he sells his full on offence (I’ve watched him wrestle 90 mins before).

      The match was a lot of fun & Dream is crazy over.

  2. I do believe the NXT women’s booker has changed…. from the days of the 4 horseman, Emma, Paige and countless others we have the bland Moon getting the absolute crap beaten out of her for 10 minutes and then doing a surprise rollup? Sorry, that’s Smackdown Booking 101. So many other ways, a run-in [thankfully not but a legit booking maneuver], a surprise kick, a head banging, a bouncing off the ring post…. many better ways to annoy us with the finish than that. Men’s part of the card was good. Yes, not perfect but is IS NXT not Wrestlemania, the odd spot will get missed.

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