NXT TakeOver: Toronto


NXT TakeOver: Toronto delivered a great show. But this isn’t surprising to anyone, is it? NXT has been on a streak of putting on some amazing shows, and this followed suit with the trend.

The show kicks off with Bobby Roode defeating “Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger. I am loving how Dillenger, through the love of NXT fans has become a hot commodity for NXT. The crowd was hot for the show opener, both from Canada, and instantly chanted “This is Awesome” before the match even started. The match chemistry was fantastic. I feel as though this was the biggest feud of his NXT career. We had some nice comedy spots in a cynical fashion, Roode playing the self-absorbed heel so well. It was a little sad to see Dillinger lose, but the finish was done very well.

Roode’s entrance though. GLORIOUS! He has a full-on choir singing his theme, but once the crowd got into it, you didn’t need the choir, or the actual theme music. Unbelievable.

Despite being hung in a cage above the ring, Paul Ellering watched The Authors of Pain defeat TM61 to win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Great match, insane stunt from Nick Miller, leaping off the tower holding Ellering’s cage and diving onto everyone. Ring action was fast, furious, well-paced. I will admit, I was not sold on The Authors when they made their debut, they seemed like a pair of big fat guys, but gradually they grew on me. They reminded me of Three Minute Warning more than The Natural Disasters, two guys who were big and could move fast instead of two lumbering guys whose moves consisted of being sat on. Great match, and while it was a bit heartbreaking to see the babyfaces lose, I have to give credit to The Authors as they showed a lot of charisma and character.

I enjoyed the trophy presentation, they showed respect with the handshakes to Triple H and Dustin Runnels as they accepted the prize. Very nice touch.


NXT Tag Team Championship Match – Best 2-out-of-3 Falls: #DIY (Johnny Gargano/Tommaso Ciampa) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson/Dash Wilder)

I have no shame in telling you I was on the edge of my seat or on top of the couch. There were moments, I just forgot this show is scripted and threw any sense of reality out the window. Both teams put on what I feel might have been the best match of their feud. The first fall, Gargano going for his slingshot spear winds up slingshotting (is this a word?) himself into the Shatter Machine for an early first fall. Johnny Wrestling, as the underdog, selling the hurt, the injuries, so well, should get an Oscar for his performance. You have to love this guy. Revival, showed why they are so good at what they do. The frequent tags, fluid chemistry, really reminds me of tag teams of the 80’s and early 90’s. The ring banter also was dead-on. Second fall comes after the low super-kick/knee combo. Wow. I couldn’t sit still throughout the third fall, Revival attempts to mock DIY’s combo attack, but Wilder winds up superkicking Dawson, and adding insult to injury, DIY hits the Shatter Machine for a near-fall. Gargano is trapped twice in leg submissions, but both times escaped. In the end, we get double submissions as Dash and Dawson valiantly try to stop the other from tapping, but DIY proved too much, forcing the submission victory, the crowd, myself, the crickets in my basement all go nuts as Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa bask in the best victory they could have, while the crowd shouts the chant of “You Deserve It!”

Winners and NEW NXT Tag Team Champions: Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa


NXT Women’s Championship: Mickie James vs. Asuka

I wasn’t into this match as much I thought I would. James looked pretty good, but at times I thought she was moving a bit slowly which affected the pace of the match. She hit some of her classic moves, like the ring apron-assisted hurricanrana and the Mick Kick, but overall I felt Asuka likely had to tone down just a bit. James shouldn’t have as much ring rust, she was in TNA for some time, so it’s not like she hasn’t wrestled at all for six years, just has not been in a WWE-owned ring for that long. Many chants of Asuka’s Gonna Kill You during the match, and at times I thought she was going to. Match ended with James attempting to roll out of the Asuka lock, and winds out tapping to a modified chicken-wing. Winner and still NXT Women’s Champion: Asuka


NXT Championship Match: Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Boy, was this a hard-hitter. Not much in the way of mat wrestling, but a lot of hits which could make a house crumble. This was a match of power, showing off who can hit harder. Or at least make it appear that way. A lot of close calls, and some great brawling in the ring, out of the ring, in the crowd, out of the crowd, with some intense moments that left one or the other nearly knocked out. One of those moments was a Kinshasa sending Joe to the floor, and nearly got counted out. In the end, an out-of-position ref, allowed for Joe to connect with a debatably low kick, followed by a Samoan Slam on top of the ring stairs, in full-view of the ref I might add, allowed Joe to crush Nakamura with the Muscle Buster for the pinfall victory, and Joe reclaiming the NXT Championship. Wasn’t the prettiest match, but I don’t think it was meant to be.

Overall, a very strong show, dare I say, the NXT Tag Team Championship match was without a doubt the highlight of the night.