MORE NXT TAKEOVER FEEDBACK
Thumbs way up
Best Match: Balor vs Joe
Worst Match: None
Was finally able to watch the event On Demand tonight after avoiding spoilers (is this Star Wars?). Wish I left work to watch live. TakeOvers continue to just hit it out of the park and really renew being a wrestling FAN for me. A much better show than TLC. Asuka vs. Emma could have been my pick for best match. It was close. Though Asuka is always amazing, I was very impressed by Emma.
Wish they could bottle up crowds like this and uncork them at every arena as it added just that much more to a great show. I think the roof would have blown off if Enzo and Cassady won the belts. I like that we can have real winners here and know that a guy like Crews isn't damaged by losing a close tough battle. Just good stuff all around!
Overall: The consistent NXT vibe was alive and well, tinged with an evident London flavor. I can't express how nice it is to see classic time tested wrestling fixtures play out in front of a receptive crowd in the 21st century. Every match contained a clearly defined villain and a crowd supported hero. The heels were dastardly and the baby faces were heroic. The contrast between the protagonist and the antagonist created the needed atmosphere for the fans to not just applaud the action, but to cheer for the competitor they wanted to be victorious and boo the competitor they wished would fall. The finishes were not over complicated, and they were all effective. Each match was unique and the main event was a fitting capstone to another NXT homerun.
Best Match: Everything was good, Joe vs. Balor was great.
Worst Match: Nothing
1. Asuka vs. Emma. Takeover started with a women's match and it was a hot and fitting opener. Good technical wrestling and a physical contest from start to finish. Emma was up to the task and Asuka continued to display her unique style. They did not succumb to the cheap tainted finish and instead provided a climatic, clean and satisfying victory for Asuka. ***
2. NXT Tag Title Match: Enzo and Cassidy vs. Dash and Dawson. Enzo and Cassidy have found a way to maintain their act and add some needed seriousness. Their aggressive style is not limited to a promo, it translates to their ring work. Very solid old school tag match aided by a white hot crowd. Perfect finish for a heel tag team on the rise. ***1/2
3. Apollo Crews vs. Baron Corbin. A singles match that meant something. In fact, it felt like it meant a lot. The fact that Corbin can wrestle a competitive match with Crews and not look outclassed says a lot about his development. The match itself was not spectacular, but it was perfectly acceptable. **1/2
4. NXT Women's Title Match: Nia Jax vs. Bailey. The classic David vs. Goliath story told at an Ernest Hemingway level. Jax channeled a Vader like level of dominance. Bailey's presentation was heroic to say the least. From an athletic standpoint, it was not what other NXT women's title matches have been. However, from a story telling perspective it was on par with all of the TakeOver standout matches involving women wrestlers. ***
5. NXT Title Match: Samoa Joe vs. Fin Balor. A more than fitting capstone to another NXT homerun. Joe was at his most vicious. The Demon act is not just a paint job, it is a transformation in Balor's character. The match was an outstanding hybrid of NJPW style and WWE main event style. A few of the sequences were not perfect, but in the grand scale, it did not halt or slow the momentum or the drama of the contest. Great match. ****
Thanks, Derrick Hubbard
Thumbs up- Possibly my favorite WWE show of 2015.
Best match- Asuka v. Emma
I don't know what my "wow" count was, but this match made me amazed by little moves and the progression to the finish. I think Asuka can elevate any match that she's put in. But when she's paired with an already talented Emma, things really shine. NXT did a masterful job of teasing interference, foreign object use, and ref bump finishes without telegraphing the ending into a stale finish. I do not trust RAW to pull this off. When done right, this is a thing of beauty.
Worst match- Crews v. Corbin
Good match. This would be a #1 match on a typical NXT show. But it had the misfortune of following matches that were doing something really ambitious. I'm glad this wasn't an instance of kicking out of finishers. Pushing that End of Days finisher from Corbin keeps him a threat to anyone he's paired with.
-Great to see Bayley's move set incorporate submissions. Bayley is a very effective face, but arm drags and shoulder blocks made me doubt whether things would get stale in the ring for her. Adding the threat of a submission will open up a whole new world of options for her matches.
-Lots of old school match flourishes that were being done right. Foreign objects? Ref bumps? Using a valet as a shield? I'm watching WWE Network Vault content now and this show tapped into a lot of those lost arts.
-Even more great video packages out of NXT. I have no idea why the main roster can't produce something that looks like the Bayley package.
-Very hopeful about the tag team division. Dawson and Dash are a real talent. HHH's conference call this week described them as spearheading a revolution in the tag division. They're really building matches that highlight the importance of having a dedicated tag partner. Hopefully NXT can build from this so we don't hear chants from fans to get their favorite member of each team in the ring.
Nick Garcia @foothands
Best Match - Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe
Worst Match - Baron Corbin vs Apollo Crews
This was definitely worth leaving work early to catch. An unbelievable show. From the amazing crowd all night long (especially the innovative chants during the Bayley vs Nia Jax match), to the great main event. Nia Jax, even in her infancy, showed that she could hang with the best given the right circumstances. Multiple times during their match I literally thought it was over and jumped from my couch like I was there live at the show. Not sure why Baron and Apollo didn't connect, but something was just missing from their match. That main event was just quality and made me happy to be a fan of this business. And of course, the opener was hot and Emma has come a long way from being clumsy and unwatchable to being able to have a good match with the right opponent. Asuka is light years ahead of 98% of everything else on both rosters, both male and female, and I look forward to a program with her and Bayley in 2016
How you doin' Dave,
Asuka vs. Emma ***1/2
Thought it was a good solid match that was well-paced and built well. Not quite as fluid as some of Asuka's other matches, and their chemistry was a little off with some of the counter/chain stuff and Emma had issues feeding Asuka, also Asuka's method of firing up didn't really translate, but none the less good stuff with lots of nice spots at the back end.
Enzo & Cass vs. Dash & Dawson **3/4
Felt it was a solid match that was well-paced, although I would've liked a little more sizzle and a little less steak – i.e. thought they stayed in the heat too long and then Cass' comeback was short-lived with the chop block transition move coming fairly quickly, also the leg submission wasn't taken seriously as a potential finish which detracted a little. Big fan of Dash & Dawson, very deliberate, aggressive and solid, Cass still looks very green and Enzo although not a great worker or anything, I feel has improved a great deal this year. Would've liked it to be a little more spotty, but hey, they were out there to have a solid match and that's what they did.
Worst Match: Corbin vs. Crews **3/4
Thought it was another solid match for the most part, although a little fragmented at times, really good transition move going into the heat, perhaps would've liked a few hope spots, Crews' fire could've been better on the comeback but his fluidity and athleticism in the match was fantastic, counter-spot out of the end of days was really good, Corbin seems much more at home as a heel and carries himself really well as one, he's not too adventurous with his spots but his solidity is improving, really benefitted from working with Balor and Joe, I feel. Nothing too spectacular but a decent match. Very surprised by the finish.
Nia Jax vs. Bayley ***
The crowd meant well, but I thought the nature of the chants detracted from the match a little as they didn't really embrace the drama within the match. I thought Bayley worked ever so hard making Jax look good and her selling was at a high level, Jax was fine technically, I felt, but she lacked aggression and didn't really carry herself like a monster nor was she was particulary expressive, most of which is down to her experience and level of confidence. I thought the timing, drama and emphasis could've been better with some little gestures and bigger gaps between certain things, but I thought it was a good effort.
Best Match: Joe vs. Balor ****
Thought technically, timing wise, emphasis and spots wise it was great, pace was wonderful early on, would've liked them to pick it up a tiny bit at times, and also would've liked a little more aggresssion and wildness for lack of a better word, but felt it was really, really good and a great effort.
Overall: Double Thumbs up
Best match: Asuka vs Emma due to the heat and the teased finishes. Crowd were on the edge of their seat. (close second; the main event and the tag team match)
Worst match: Corbin vs Crews (wasn't a bad match, but we weren't into it as much as the others)
MOST OVER: JASON JORDAN AND GABLE - The crowd loved them so much, especially Gable. First time i've ever seen Jordan - he's a great wrestler/ he received a huge pop when he suplexed everyone - massive suplex city chant broke out
Thumbs way up for this show
Asuka Vs Emma: Great match, they worked really hard and it showed. Along with everyone else in the crowd I was dreading the idea of the match being possibly ruined by a ref bump and was incredibly thankful when it didn't happen.
Tag Title match: Another great match, crowd really were convinced that Enzo & Cass would win and despised Dash & Dawson all through the match.
Crews Vs Corbin: Fairly disappointing match, crowd didn't seem that into it and only wanted to hurl insults at Corbin.
Definitely the weakest match of the Takeover portion of the show.
Bayley Vs Nia Jax: Really good match, the crowd adored Bayley throughout. My only issue is the crowd singing through half the match, it felt a little disrespectful and they could've toned it down a bit.
Balór Vs Joe: Fantastic match from a live perspective, crowd was split throughout and most people (including myself) were thinking/hoping for Joe to win so we can see a big title change for once. They worked really hard and it showed, one of the best matches I've ever seen in person.
Overall it was a fantastic show with an incredible atmosphere, great wrestling and some really ridiculous chants that you can only expect from a UK crowd.