Posted in: Mr. Tito
Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE NXT Takeover Respect Review with Match Ratings and Show Grade
By Mr. Tito
Oct 7, 2015 - 10:11:59 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on @titowrestling

Welcome back to the Excellence in Column Writing... Seems like ever since I acquired the WWE Network, I have been writing more columns... Hmmm... I really LOVE the NXT Takeover events. The regular Wednesday shows are honestly a hit or miss for me, but the Pay Per View "Takeover" events are very exciting. That has been the true BONUS to the WWE Network that I didn't expect to love... Sure, I inhale the documentaries and am watching all of the WWE Pay Per Views from my home. But I did not expect to enjoy the NXT big events this much...

I know, I mocked and trolled the loyal NXT fans for the greater part of the year... Fine, I'll admit it, I was wrong.

What I think that Triple H is nailing is atmosphere. In my opinion, RAW, Smackdown, and WWE Pay Per Views are overproduced with too many graphics not just on the screen, but flowing throughout the arena. Just seems to me that it's just a production display of graphics to impress on High Definition and not enough focus on the wrestling product in the ring. "LESS IS MORE" as I've repeatedly said. The lighting, the entrance, and the smaller yet tighter crowd creates a better sporting event feel to the NXT shows than WWE. That Dusty Rhodes influence is there as the events do remind me of the looks of older NWA shows but with better lighting.

In addition, Triple H is hitting homeruns on the NXT Divas that he's signing and developing. The Four Horsewomen are impressive (Bayley, Sasha, Charlotte, and Becky), but the bench appears to be good and getting deeper for female wrestling. Whether or not that Vince McMahon is willing to accept GOOD female wrestling on his WWE main roster show is a different matter. Vince is fine with having a hot chick trying to wrestle and Vince has 30+ years of female wrestling NOT drawing under his belt to form a valid opinion. Sorry, but women's wrestling of the 1980's, 1990's, and non-Trish/Lita/Victoria/Mickey stuff during the 2000's just wasn't appealing. WWE has found an untapped market in pro wrestling and they should push it hard...

NXT is growing on me and I'm getting to the point where I don't want any of them promoted to the main roster... It's a nice, tight unit of wrestlers whom you can see improving by the week. I still struggle to see how well Vince McMahon might use any of the current male wrestlers, but with enough fan support, he could come around...

Anyway - onto the show review.



I honestly wasn't impressed with the preliminary Dusty Rhodes Memorial tag matches but I really liked the Semi-Finals and who was in them. While many might argue that Finn Balor and Samoa Joe should be in a high profile singles match, them working together as a team will only build the storyline to when they'll begin feuding for the NXT Title. That's a good thing.

Remember my comments about "LESS IS MORE" above? Ditto for Finn Balor. Happy to see him WITHOUT the ridiculous Jeff Hardy-like face and body paint. I know, internet, you'll tell me that it's "war paint" but I think that Finn Balor looks like a badass with just a leather jacket as his entrance gear. He looks cool and as the company's champion, he looks serious as the top guy. Balor tagged up with Samoa Joe to wrestle Scott Dawson/Dash Wilder... OK match-up to start the show. The match was mostly there to tell a story about Finn Balor injuring his left left and adding some drama to the finals match. I didn't get too much out of his match, but I'm not honestly not familiar with Dawson or Wilder as a team. Seemed like Joe and Balor were mostly in control, but they are the main eventers of the NXT promotion... [ ** ]

Chad Gable/Jason Jordan vs. Rhyno/Baron Corbin in the second Dusty Rhodes Memorial match-up. FUN tag team match! All 4 guys had nice contributions... Rhyno still has it and I liked the arm twisting and bar sequences he had with Gable. I see some good potential in Corbin. He doesn't need a gimmick... He looks and acts tough and it works. It's what the Wyatt Family SHOULD be instead of the ridiculous theatrics. Great power moves from Corbin, too... I never saw Gable or Jordan wrestle before and damn, I was impressed with both. Jordan reminds me a good bit of Shelton Benjamin and Kurt Angle. That's a compliment... Like them, good incorporations of amateur wrestling into his wrestling style. Gable is a tough guy for his size. That German Suplex that he hit on Corbin and with a bridge to pin him was SICK! Gable is deceptively strong... Damn good tag team match that I very much enjoyed and Corbin/Rhyno got the win to give Balor/Joe a tougher match-up on paper. Liked what I saw from Gable and Jordan... { *** 1/2]

Wow, Asuka is a badass... To NXT's credit, they had Dana Brooke playing the heel well and laughing off a match with Asuka... Then she saw video of her. And damn, Asuka is impressive. She has an amazing entrance and a fantastic look to her. Match wasn't flashy, but Asuka just picked Dana Brooke apart with psychology. Brooke played it well on her part, selling the offense and acting intimidated as a heel. Just from one match, I was in awe of Asuka. What a homerun signing by the WWE... Beautiful, talented, and adds legitimate credibility to an already talented Divas roster thanks to NXT. [ *** ]

Tyler Breeze vs. Apollo Crews was one of those matches that started off slow... It's like the Naked Gun phrase of "I was like a blind man at an orgy... I had to feel my way around". Once Breeze and Crews figured each other out, the match flowed better. Still, what I worry most about Apollo Crews is his heavy reliance on athleticism and not enough psychology. I understand that he's like a linebacker out there but you have to show SOME vulnerability or pain. You cannot just hit move after move without selling any pain or fatigue. As I said above, match improved with time but you've got to sell moves and pain for pro wrestling to work best. Historically. [ **1/2 ]

Rhyno/Baron Corbin vs. Samoa Joe/Finn Balor was the finals of the Dusty Rhodes tournament and it was a good tag match... Balor was selling the leg injury and I was half expecting that Balor would lose as a result of the injury and infuriate Joe. That would then ignite their one-on-one feud for the NXT Title. Nope... Balor and Joe won. Seemed like Corbin and Rhyno were a little fatigued from their battle against Gable/Jordan and I actualy understand that. [ ** 1/2 ]

And what I was looking forward to all week...

Sasha Banks vs. Bayley was up next... What works with Sasha Banks is that she understands psychology of (a) her character (a heel who disrespects her opponents and hates fans), (b) selling moves like a champion, and (c) psychology of her as an in-ring wrestler. The Iron Man match perfectly displays Sasha because she could CHEAT or viciously harm Bayley to win pinfalls. She raked the eyes for one pinfall and then hurled Bayley at the LED screen for another countout fall. And of course, Bayley knows how to wrestle and how to sell. Banks and Bayley are PERFECT complements for each other. Loved how Sasha was taunting Bayley's family and stole the fan's bow to prance around in the ring to taunt Bayley. That's how a HEEL should act, WWE. And GOD BLESS the NXT fans with the "YOU DESERVE IT" chant. LOVED that! 2-2 with 5 minutes left and Bayley hit a beautiful Bayley to Belly on the outside. Nice! These two have seriously packed in some amazing stuff in to a short time... Match ended with Banks somehow reversing the same top-rope moved that did her in at NXT Takeover Brooklyn and locked in the Bank Statement within the last 2 minutes. Reversals and Bayley slapped in her submission to get a last-minute tapout on Sasha to retain the NXT Title. WOW THAT WAS DAMN GOOD! [ **** 1/2 ]

Afterward, an amazing show of respect with all of the NXT roster, Triple H, William Regal, and Stephanie McMahon presenting flowers to BOTH competitors. Sasha broke down crying and Bayley got a big hug in the ring by Triple H. Proud moment in wrestling, folks, with a "YOU DESERVE IT" chant returning. Remarkable!

LAST WORD: Yes, I'll take a few more of these great NXT Takeover events, please. And more Sasha Banks in NXT, please. It's a shame to see how slowly WWE is using Banks because she's a remarkable talent. Bayley is great too... NXT has some serious potential with its current roster to be a great show itself... I just don't know how Vince will assess some of the male wrestlers, though. Why not keep building the NXT brand and find out ways to distribute it beyond just the WWE Network and Hulu airings? Do I even need to assign another grade? A for this show. Again, I was wrong on NXT Takeover shows... LOVE THEM!

On my "Match of the Year" ballot, I liked the NXT Takeover Brooklyn match better because of the "sense of urgency" that the Bayley storyline had and it was a remarkable back and forth battle in front of a big New York crowd.


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