Thumbs in the middleBest Match: Banks vs BayleyWorst Match: Vaudevillains/Blake & Murphy 1) Jushin Thunder Liger def Tyler Breeze: This was kind of disappointing, and I'm not saying that because the last time I saw Liger was when he was doing Shooting Star Presses in WCW. Liger has proven he can have great matches even at his age (vs Yohei Komatsu, BoSJ Night 1 this year), but this just seemed off. I guess that's adapting to American style for you. (**1/4) 2) The Vaudevillains def Blake & Murphy: God do Blake and Murphy suck. This was a completely nothing match with a cool finishing stretch that didn't make up for the incompetence of one half of the competitors. (**) 3) Apollo Crews def Tye Dillinger: Fun match that showcased 'Crews' really well. (**1/2) 4) Samoa Joe def Baron Corbin: Good big guy match. Yeah. (**3/4) 5) Bayley def Sasha Banks to win the NXT Women's Championship: Great match, with a great moment to end it. This reminded me of a toned-down New Japan main event match where everything builds up to a crazy finish and the crowd goes wild. Extra marks for the whole presentation, really came across as a big match. (****) 6) Finn Balor def Kevin Owens: Eh. Ladder match in 2015. (**1/2) Overall a decent show but nothing really reached the level of the women's match. The main event was literally every ladder match you've ever seen in WWE. What a waste of one really talented guy and one overweight good talker. Nothing else really did anything for me.
NXT Takeover: Thumbs UpBest Match: Baley vs. Sasha BanksWorst Match: Breeze vs. Liger (not bad at all, just by default) Great show and lots of fun from top to bottom. Liger vs. Breeze was good, but nothing great and the worst match of the night just by default since nothing was bad. Enjoyed the Tag Title match much more than expected. Entertaining and fun. Crews had a nice debut over Tye Dillinger who seems better than I recall. Even Joe vs. Corbin was good and I am not a Corbin fan. Women's Championship was excellent. The difference between the presentation on NXT and WWE even after the call up of some of the ladies recently is still a big one and WWE is not doing all it can to make it feel as important. Finn Balor over Kevin Owens another good match and a great finish to the night as NXT delivers yet again. Not sure how Summer Slam will measure up, but assuming at least the top few matches should be very good. Robb Block
Overall:Thumbs UpBest Match:Sasha vs. Bayley (Not even close)Worst Match:Crews vs. Dillinger Tyler Breeze vs. Jushin Thunder Liger-Great appearance(or debut?) from Liger here. Nice intro spot for Breeze in beginning. Good little match. Liger had complete control of the crowd, like a multi-decade legend would. WWE wouldn't be dumb if they just signed Lfor a short run. Hey, the guy is under a mask, it doesn't matter how old he is! He gets over like crazy, and that's all that matters. Honestly, Liger could fill role left vacant since Rey Misterio left the company. ***(3 stars)Blake & Murphy (with Alexa Bliss) vs. The Vaudevillians (with Blue Pants)-This was a pretty good match. Easily the best Vaudevillians match I've seen. Blue Pants got a huge reaction. Nice build-up to a emotional title win for the Vaudevillians. ***(3 stars)Crews vs. Dillinger-Crews definitely seems like he is going to be a real player. Great athlete and a ton of charisma. Just what WWE looks for. Not much of a match. Mostly just showcasing Crews arsenal. **(2 stars)Samoa Joe vs. Baron Corbin-Joe is super over in Brooklyn. This is what you would expect:A Slobberknocker. Very good match, easily the best of Corbin's NXT run. Corbin still has a ton of upside, but you gotta give Joe the push as his time is now. Joe took a beating in this match to build this thing to a fever pitch. Some really great striking exchanges between the two toward the end of the match. But ultimately, Joe is built for Main Event combat, not these mid-card feuds. Regardless, Joe continues to build onto his BAMF Reputation which will see him in the main events in WWE very soon. *** 1/2 (3 & 1/2 stars)Bayley vs. Sasha Banks(NXT Women's Title)-The emotions were running high even from the entrances. Bayley seemed like she was stepping onto a different plane, charisma-wise. Tonight she proved to me she can be as big a star as Sasha, Charlotte, or Becky. She was like a female Dusty out there. She had the crowd in the palm of her hands. Sasha, of course, had a masterful entrance as well. Complete with Vehicle and Security leading her to the ring. This had a big fight feel and the crowd was amped. Everyone knew they were seeing excellence in that ring. The match itself was gritty, championship story-telling at it's finest. A strong face and a strong heel, complimenting each other perfectly. . In my opinion, the best Women's match in NXT history. I know that's a bold statement, but this match had it all. Both ladies left it all in the ring. This match felt like a female version of Dusty-Flair. At times, you could visibly see them getting emotional as the crowd got more and more into the match. Gutsy Greatness. An emotional Bayley victory, and the crowd became unglued. Bayley again proved she can be a monster babyface on the big stage. After Bayley won and was having her moment, you could see Sasha laying on the mat and visibly crying as she stared into the rafters. I will never forget that image. Emotional scene after the match between the Four Horsewomen of NXT was the cherry on top of the match. This was easily most crowd reaction for a Women's match I've ever seen. Unreal match.**** 1/2 (4 and 1/2 stars)Balor vs. Owens (NXT Championship Ladder match)-Another great performance by these men. An even more epic entrance by Balor tonight. Loved the appearing and re-appearing in the red fog. Another match with Big Fight Feel. This was tame in comparison to most Ladder Matches in terms of danger. But what the lacked in Tables and a plethora of high-impact spots, they made up for with more psychology. My favorite spots were the Powerbomb by Owens on Balor as he stood on the ladder, or the Double Foot stomp from the ladder that sealed the win. These two don't turn in bad performances. Excellent. **** (4 stars)BTW-Can't wait for the Dusty Tag Classic! I hope it's similar to the Crockett Cup. NXT delivers their best show on the biggest stage. Bravo. J.C. Gethicker
Hey Dave, No long-winded review, but since this is the first proper show I've seen live since Mania... Thumbs UPBest match: Bayley vs SashaWorst match: by default, I'd have to say Crews vs Dillinger If you're the kind of fan who (for whatever reason) is ultra resistant to watching any wrestling that doesn't have the WWE badge on it, then this show will be one of the reasons why you'd fall (back?) into love with wrestling. Bayley vs Sasha had me on the edge of my seat throughout, but in truth, this was a perfect card. Every match was different, and built up to the double crescendo of the main events. If only WWE could replicate this on their bigger shows, rather than the turgid messes we usually get every week. SummerSlam will have to be a hell of a show to even come close to topping this... and given all of the back shots, Kevin Owens took tonight, I'd be stunned if he was even able to make it to SummerSlam. No disappointments at all from the card, and with the announced UK tour, I am eagerly awaiting their night in Wembley on 12/16. Ian Hamilton@theianhamilton Thumbs up show. Best match was Sasha vs Bayley. No bad matches. Liger vs Breeze Nice response to Liger. Liger taking selfie's nice. Liger's focus on the back is solid. A basic showcase for Liger. Almost booked like a newcomer to a territory who they have hopes to get over. 2 1/2* coming soon Nya Jax Vaudevillians vs Blake and Murphy Blake and Murphy are growing on me. Blue Pants is the equalizer. Vaudvillians are having a good, solid shine. Blake sets up the heat by cheating. Good heel psychology. Though the heat was lackluster. I get not wanting to outshine the faces but at least make it interesting. Like the distraction spot to keep the heat. Built to a hot finish. 2 1/2* Apollo Crews vs Dillenger Crews owned that crowd. Crews sold too much. Regal introduces the Dusty Rhodes tag tournament. Samoa Joe vs Baron Corbin As far as prescence, best Corbin's looked. Joe showing off his ring generalism with all the different rope stops. Heel Hook by Corbin was a game changer. Back and forth fight. Loved this finish.Where it was the vet taught the student a lesson. 2 3/4* Babyface Steph loses her milfness. Bayley vs The Boss That is an opening. Fun back and forth so far. Sasha's charisma is off the charts. Sasha in control and playing the bully role or mean girl. Love Bayley kicking her in the mush while Sasha talked trash. Big spot was the hand getting hurt again. Sasha all over it. Sasha has such a mean streak. Liger flip dive alla Misterio over the ref. Nice counter by Bayley and gives her some much needed seperation. Loving Bayley using her left arm. The stomping on the hand was sick. Reversal of the Bank Statement. Bayley to Belly she kicks out. Bayley took a nasty bump. Frankentoyota into a Bayley to belly. 4 3/4* Balor vs Owen Ladder Match Balor is no Zayn so I don't think they'll be able to follow that. Owens mocking the Zayn chant. Balor is a believable worker, but he needs to work on his story telling. Owens getting heat was well done. Just couldn't follow the girls. 3 1/4* Pete Schirmacher 8/22/15 NXT TakeOver: BrooklynOverall: Thumbs UpBest Match: Bayley vs. Sasha BanksWorst Match: Vaudevillains vs Blank and Murphy This show was a great example of the problems faced when watching NXT, the great wrestlers are fantastic and the novice wrestlers are a bore. Yet this is how it should be. It's a developmental league and by it's nature it's just going to have some boring newbie matches. Liger-BreezeNot as good as any of his matches in ROH but still good. Liger is immortal it would seem.Vaudevillains-Blake and MurphyZZZZzzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzz......Don't care about these guys and the match was what it was. Bliss is undeniable, though.Crews-DillengerCrews looks and wrestles like a Dragon Gate wrestler made in a laboratory. Can't imagine he'll be in NXT all that long. Joe-CorbinI just haven't been super impressed with the matches I've seen Joe have in NXT. Maybe they just don't appreciate how "firm" he usually is or maybe it's just the level of talent he's working with but his match against Jay Briscoe in ROH was better than anything he's done in NXT. Joe physically looked great though. Bayley-BanksSasha Banks is a genuinely good wrestler. Not just grading her on a "good for a women" curve either. Her selling is just the best. I can't quite put it into words, and I don't want to use the word "stiff", but there is something about the way she moves around the ring and wrestles that is so much smoother and more intentional than the other Divas. When Nikki Bella does an Irish Whip it looks like she's waiting for the girl to start running as she eases her arm forward, when Banks does it looks like she's really whipping her as hard as she can. With all that said, great match and hopefully one day, after Vince is gone and they put the Diva's belt in a metal grinder, they can be taken seriously on the main roster.Balor-OwensGood ladder spot fest. I hope Balor buys Kevin a beer or something because he did him some huge favors with the massive bumps he took. Kevin is a mad man when it comes to these kind of matches. Makes me wish they wouldn't have asked him to do it. -Matthew Burrill@mattb425