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Mr. Tito's PHAT NXT Takeover Toronto Pay Per View Review with Match Ratings and Show Grade
By Mr. Tito
Nov 19, 2016 - 10:23:16 PM

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Welcome to the Mr. Tito review of NXT Takeover Toronto exclusively here at / In fact, it's my HONOR to cover this event. I LOVE the NXT brand and I especially LOVE the Takeover events. Being honest here... They've kept me around as a wrestling fan and WWE Network subscriber. When I was looking for something during 2015 that resembled a legitimate athletic competition and a place where title championships actually mattered, NXT was exactly what I was looking for. I've been HOOKED since Takeover Brooklyn 2015 and I watch NXT weekly and the Takeover Pay Per Views.

And think about this... NXT has lost MANY superstars to the Main WWE roster during 2016... Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, Emma, Dana Brooke, Bayley, Enzo & Big Cass, American Alpha, Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Nia Jax, and probably others that I cannot remember... Yet, this promotion can still put on a LOADED Pay Per View card.

As I've said before... NXT is the "brand extension" that the WWE should have been looking for. What wrestling fans DO NOT want is 2 separate WWE Main Roster brands that look alike in booking style where titles are disrespected, poor comedy is pushed, and everything is about the television production. Many fans want something stripped down, where titles matter, and something that resembles a legitimate athletic competition. That's why 1989 is my favorite wrestling year... On one hand, you had the cartoonish looking WWE with over-the-top characters and highly produced shows... On the other, you had WCW/NWA that had a stripped down feel to it and felt more like a legitimate athletic competition. IT WAS THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!

Instead of the Brand Split of the WWE Main Roster between RAW and Smackdown, I would have invested more money and effort into building NXT as an entirely separate brand of pro wrestling. Then, the WWE could shop that brand around to a network willing to invest in it as a television show and the money would start printing... Considering how much the talent roster has been stripped, NXT still draws well on the WWE Network and when they tour. That's amazing and a testament to the brand that Triple H worked hard to build.

By the way, can someone tell me how Bayley, Baron Corbin, & Apollo Crews are doing? At least Bayley made the Survivor Series Pay Per View... Freakin' Corbin was replaced in his match with Shane McMahon! Crews is no where to be found. If NXT was pushed as the 2nd brand, those 3 could have stayed and made big names for themselves there. Instead, they are lost in Vince McMahon's "sports entertainment" world and it might take a year's worth of build-up to rehab their damaged characters.

But enough about the WWE... Tonight is NXT's night and they deserve it. I LOVE how they are tagging along with big WWE Pay Per Views to give WWE Network subscribers an amazing weekend of wrestling. $9.99 per month is a STEAL when during these weekends.

Onto the show...

Mr. Tito's PHAT NXT Takeover Toronto Review

HUGE crowd on hand!

Big choir brought in for Bobby Roode's entrance... Fantastic. This is when the WWE hype machine does it right. They make Roode look like a million bucks even before the match starts. The best part is how confident Roode looks in the ring because he knows that his entrance is total badass. Tye Dillinger is his opponent and he's the hometown guy. Tye has had great matches lately on NXT and has a real ability of making his opponents look great. Toronto crowd is RED HOT before the match even starts. Roode is playing a Ric Flair like heel here, begging for mercy and getting in cheapshots whenever he can. How did TNA get this guy wrong again? I've usually seen Tye working with high flying wrestlers, so seeing him taking a beating from a more psychological and ground wrestling heel is different... Roode is seriously a mini-version of Triple H, no doubt about it... Looks, wrestling style, and even same moves. Match got hot above the 10 minute mark as Tye figures out his opponent and match becomes a back & forth brawl. Fans are eating it up. Of course, Tye locks in the Sharpshooter... Dillinger misses a dive into the corner and eats the ring post. Roode grabs him and shoves him into the opposite ring post, hits his finishing move DDT, and gets the win. Match took a while to get started, but it got hot towards the ending. [ *** 1/4 ] Run a rematch on an upcoming NXT show to see if they can top this. Standing ovation for Tye Dillinger afterward by Canadian fans.

Up next is the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Tournament between the Authors of Pain and TM61. LOVE me some Paul Ellering, but I LOVE the fact that Paul Ellering has to be suspended above the ring in a Cage. That's a lost art... WWE should use that idea for a future Miz match because Maryse keeps getting more and more involved in his matches. She could easily panic in the cage and it would sell well... Maybe a nose bleed like Jerry Lawler? CRAZY structure at ring side that is supposed to hold that cage up, too... What the hell? And of course, they climb it and jump off of it... The Authors are slowly beating down their opponents as opposed to demolishing them like the Road Warriors used to do to almost every opponent. This tournament has slowed them down as a tag team. Eventually, the Authors took care of business with their finisher as I wonder why Ellering was elevated in the cage... [ *1/2 ] Unlike last year, we only have 1 Rhodes family representative with Dustin Rhodes (Goldust). Probably the last year for this.

Now, we get into the good stuff... DIY (Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano) took on the Revival (c) in a 2 out of 3 falls match for the NXT Tag Titles. Of course, the champs come out second in NXT! Yeah baby! Match starts off quickly, as expected... However, the Revival steals an early victory for the 1st fall to my surprise. Shortly thereafter, DIY won the 2nd fall. Match is fast paced, but it's almost as if it was structured to "get to the 3rd fall already". Third fall, sadly, was quite short as well. Why not just make this a single fall match? We got 3 mini matches instead of 1 strong match. [ *** 3/4 ] Tag match was action packed, but the psychology of the 2 out of 3 falls match was completely broken. DIY won the 3rd fall and became the NXT Tag Champions... So what's to become of the Revival? Remain on NXT to be the dominant heels or do they join the WWE roster? Both sides could use them, although Smackdown might be a better fit (too similar to the Club, maybe?).

Mickie James RETURNS to the WWE through NXT and I couldn't be happier. LOVED her work during the mid-2000s, particularly with Trish Stratus. She's in great shape, too... Very happy for her! Asuka, the champion, came out 2nd... What an amazing talent! Complete package that could draw money on the Main WWE roster if used correctly. I love how Mickie still has a little bit of an edge to her, which is what made the character great back in the day. Asuka plays off of her so well, too, such as the stuff with the ropes. Love the flying butts by Asuka and then Asuka hit a SICK German Suplex on Mickie on the outside (when hooking her leg, no less). Mickie, for her age, is showing amazing flexibility... When she was taking the Asuka kicks, the was folding back on her knees and then gets Asuka in a serious submission hold where she bridged over Asuka. Love how Mickie is making Asuka miss, playing up her role as smart veteran. Sick neckbreaker by James and then James hit this crazy spinning kick. Wow... She still got it! In fact, she's better than ever! Asuka eventually slapped on the Crossface Chickenwing. Despite James fighting it off and trying to force several pins, Asuka locked it in and James tapped. Damn fine Women's match, although it seemed to end abruptly. [ **** ] Highly entertaining bout. Afterward, Mickie James wanted a handshake and Asuka raised the NXT Women's Title upward instead. Good advice for Mickie in the future... DITCH those bell bottom tights! They got in the way a few times of her footwork.

The MAIN EVENT was Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (c) for the NXT Title. NXT is 3 for 3 on Champions coming out second. See how it's done, WWE? Goes to show you who is crapping on tradition on the main WWE roster and it's not Triple H. Nakamura's music is AWESOME. Nakamura was accompanied to the ring by multiple violin players... And the crowd was chanting the music, too. Love it! Just by the introductions, this match feels DAMN HUGE. I love the lighting of this event, dark around the crowd and bright in the ring. Not a lighting explosion like you see on RAW/Smackdown. Nakamura started off strong with the knees but then Samoa Joe caught Nakamura and slammed him hard. Maybe it's just me, but Joe seems a tad heavier, is sweating like just got out of a shower, and his hair seems a little thinner up top. I hope that he's OK at his age of 37. Lots of tread worn off of his tires from many years of hard work in that ring. Seems to be moving OK, though, as he's now dominating Nakamura. Nakamura's knees and kicks are money, however, and mounts a comeback with some Strong Style. Nice powerbomb that morphs into a crap and then into a Crossface by Joe. He still has it... DEVASTATING German Suplex by Nakamura on Joe... Nice reversal of the Muscle Buster by Nakamura and then delivered a knee to Joe's face. Near fall. Nakamura in control, but when on the outside, Joe uses the referee to divert Nakamura and Joe delivers a low blow followed by a hard slam on the Steel Steps... Back in the ring, Joe hits the Muscle Buster for the win. NEW NXT Champion, wow... Great HEEL win by Samoa Joe here that easily sets up 1 more match between the 2. [ ****1/4 ] Very physical match that delivered.

LAST WORD: Solid wrestling show again from Takeover. Aside from the Dusty Tag Team finals, mostly quality from top to bottom. The matches felt HUGE and the competitors played up to the hype and the crowd. Considering how thin the NXT roster is right now thanks to the 2016 WWE raids, they put on the maximum best show possible at the moment. No doubt on this one, [ A ]. This show looked and felt like a real athletic event. Once again WWE main roster, can you top this tomorrow night at Survivor Series? Good luck...


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