NXT Takeover: Toronto was last night and it was a truly exciting night of wrestling. Read on to find out what I thought about the show and the title changes!
Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger
Leading into this match, Tye Dillinger and Bobby Roode had a ton of bad blood over Roode leaving Dillinger to be beaten down by the debuting Sanity. Dillinger didn’t take that lying down and Roode and Dillinger ended up attacking each other in the weeks leading up to Takeover. The feud got personal in a hurry and there was no better place for the Ontario-born grapplers than NXT Takeover: Toronto.
I have to note the special entrance that Roode received. Bobby was accompanied by a full choir who were singing along with his theme song as he entered. This was a perfect way to kick off Takeover: Toronto and it made Bobby look even more arrogant than he usually does.
Bobby and Tye had a very physical back and forth match and the great thing about this match was that you really didn’t know who would win. It’s rare to have a match where you don’t really have a single clue who has the upper-hand, but this one was like that. A lot of people would say Bobby was the favourite, but Tye has proved in the past few months that he’s not someone to be taken lightly. On this night, he made sure that everyone knew that he could hang with anyone in NXT.
Roode did end up taking the victory on this night after sending Dillinger into the ring post and hitting a Glorious DDT to end the match by pinfall. Seeing those guys have that great opening match in front of their home country set the tone for the night. It solidified Tye Dillinger as a major player in NXT despite the loss and it continued the momentum of Bobby Roode who remains undefeated in NXT. I think that’ll be it for this feud and that both men will move on to more important things. They accomplished what they set out to do.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final -- TM61 (Shane Thorne & Nick Miller) vs. The Authors of Pain
Watching the beginning of this match, the first thing I noticed was the weird crane that had some steel support beams. I instantly thought this would be used for not only the shark cage that would contain Paul Ellering but a spot in the match. It turns out I was right about that as Shane Thorne would dive onto The Authors of Pain from it. That wouldn;t be enough for TM61 though.
Tha Authors of Pain defeated TM61 after performing The Last Chapter and getting a pinfall. Moments before that, Paull Ellering managed to drop a chain to The Authors with Rezar picking it up and putting it around his hand only to miss a punch. The chain flung into the crowd, hopefully, it didn’t hit anyone as it looked pretty thick. These two teams had a great match and I think it was The Authors toughest test yet. The question to me is, what’s next for TM61 after the loss. These guys have been such workhorses in NXT and haven’t really gotten anywhere. At some point, they’ll have to enter the tag team title picture.
After the match, Triple H, William Regal, and Dustin Rhodes came out to present the trophy to The Authors of Pain while Ellering was let out of the cage. Ellering did a great job in there during the match. He was actually coaching from the cage which was funny to watch. The end result of this tournament was the one everyone expected and it looks like The Authors are poised to destroy the tag team division.
NXT Tag Team Championship -- #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
#DIY and The Revival have had one heck of a rivalry over the last few months. We first saw them have an amazing match in Brooklyn. That match was a match that I thought was easily a Match of the Year candidate and their match in Toronto topped that one. It was that good. It was more than just the wrestling, though, it was the story behind everything.
It seemed like The Revival had #DIY’s number at every turn. When they were about to beat The Authors, The Revival was there to make sure that didn’t happen. In Brooklyn, when it looked like they were going to win the titles, they took out Ciampa and worked Gargano’s knees until he tapped out. The tide had to turn at some point and it did at Takeover: Toronto.
I have to hand it to The Revival, they’ve brought back old-school tag team wrestling and I’ve enjoyed watching them. Seeing Dash pop out on the other side of the apron to prevent a hot tag, attacking body parts, distracting the referee, and isolating one member of the opposing team is what makes this team so unique. They do everything to keep the titles. It’s been equally as entertaining seeing teams attempt to combat all the dirty tactics that The Revival employ and none have had any luck as of yet, besides American Alpha.
#DIY managed to finally beat The Revival and become the new NXT Tag Team Champions at long last. It was insane how many near falls and big moves were employed in this match. These two teams did everything they possibly could and the 2 out of 3 Falls Match was the best way to do that. Gargano and Ciampa put on dual submissions to finally get the victory. It’s a match that I can’t even put into words, if you haven’t watched it, go do that now. It would be an absolute injustice to not bring The Revival to the main roster after this. I could see maybe one more Takeover rematch, but then that’ll probably be it.
NXT Women’s Championship -- Asuka (c) vs. Mickie James
I’ll say first that Mickie is one of my favourite women’s wrestlers of all time. Mickie was a fairly underrated wrestler when she was with WWE between 2005-2010. She had such a personality and was so good in the ring that everything she did was entertaining. It says something when your first feud in WWE is with Trish Stratus. Mickie was that good. You can agree with me or not, but she was the glue of the women’s division after Trish and Lita retired in 2006. To say I was excited to see her back was an understatement.
Asuka is a different beast. The way they’ve built Asuka up is tremendous and a perfect way to create a star. Asuka hasn’t been defeated in over a year and hasn’t really shown any weakness since debuting. She’s in a class of her own and that’s why Mickie was brought in to be her opponent.
Asuka had a pretty cool entrance with fans in the first few rows wearing her mask. It was eerie, to say the least, but it made for a cool effect. Mickie looked genuinely amazed and happy to be in the WWE family again.
Mickie gave Asuka everything she had in the ring and actually managed to thwart some of her offense. She looked the closest besides maybe Bayley to beating Asuka, but it wasn’t to be as Asuka got Mickie to tap out. The match wasn’t as emotionally charged as the last couple with Bayley were, but it was about the best these two could put together with barely any build.
Mickie tried to shake Asuka’s hand after the match, but Asuka just raised her title. I’d really love to know who is going to finally knock Asuka off her pedestal as no one looks like they have that ability right now. I hope this isn’t the only time we’ll see Mickie as I feel like she can benefit the other women in the NXT locker room. It’s exactly what NXT needs right now.
NXT Championship -- Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe is someone who has become a constant in NXT. He’s consistently been near the top of the card whether he has the championship or not. Joe’s intensity is unmatached and his psychology is underrated. Joe understands wrestling and always knows what the best move is to garner the best response. Nakamura and Joe wrote yet another chapter in their deeply personal feud at Takeover: Toronto and yet the outcome wasn’t quite the one anyone expected.
The match was amazing and that goes without saying. Any match between these to veterans is going to be a show-stealer. I’ll be the first to admit that I never expected Joe to walk out with the title. It seemed like an impossible feat. He was always bound for the main roster in my eyes. With that said, Joe did walk out with the title. Joe pinned Nakamura after a kick to the groin, suplex on the steps, and a Muscle Buster. He became the first 2-time NXT Champion in NXT history. That’s no small feat.
My question now is, where do we go from here? That’s the question NXT is going to have to answer sooner rather than later and with all of the results in Toronto, NXT is going to be exciting programming for months to come. Check out NXT Takeover: Toronto if you haven’t yet.