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NXT TakeOver Philadelphia live results: Almas vs. Gargano

Royal Rumble weekend kicks off tonight as the Wells Fargo Center hosts NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia.

Johnny Gargano challenging Andrade "Cien" Almas for the NXT Championship will headline the show. Gargano defeated Kassius Ohno in a qualifying match and went on to win a number one contender's fatal four-way to earn his way to TakeOver. On Wednesday's go-home show, he defended the title shot against Velveteen Dream and stood tall over Almas.

In the show's other title matches, Ember Moon will defend her Women's Championship against Shayna Baszler and Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly will put their Tag Team titles on the line against The Authors of Pain.

Adam Cole and Aleister Black are set to face off in an extreme rules match. Plus, Velveteen Dream takes on Ohno.

There will be an hour-long pre-show starting at 7 p.m. Eastern time, which includes the NXT year-end awards, and our coverage of the main card begins at 8 p.m.

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NXT Year End Awards:

Rivalry Of The Year: Aleister Black vs Velveteen Dream (Dream guaranteed a 30 second knock out of Kassius Ohno during TakeOver)
Male Competitor Of The Year: Aleister Black
Breakout Star Of The Year: Aleister Black
Female Competitor Of The Year: Asuka
Match Of The Year: Tyler Bate vs Pete Dunne from NXT TakeOver: Chicago
Overall Competitor Of The Year: Asuka

Announced off-air:

Tag Team of the Year: SAnitY
Future Star of NXT: Cezar Bononi
TakeOver of the Year: NXT TakeOver: WarGames

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Nigel McGuinness is sick and will not be here tonight, so the commentary will only be Mauro and Percy.

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Paul Heyman narrated the pre-show video package.

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NXT Tag Team Champions Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly defeated The Authors of Pain to retain their titles

O'Reilly pinned Akam with a schoolboy during a chaotic finish. AOP hit the Super Collider, but before he could be slammed down, O'Reilly gave Akam a Hurricarana, which sent Akam into Rezar which knocked Rezar out of the ring.

This was a really good opener, with Rezar and O'Reilly working really well together especially. This was AOP's first major regular tag team match as babyfaces and considering neither have had to sell much in the past it went really well.

Akam sold his knee as injured to let Undisputed Era get the heat. Fish gave Rezar a spear through the rope and to the floor, which took him out for several minutes. Rezar tagged in and at one point gave Fish a Fallaway Slam, while falling backwards on O'Reilly, who was on his back.

Crowd got into the match late after not making much noise early.

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War Machine was shown in the crowd, called that by Mauro Ranallo.

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Velveteen Dream defeated Kassius Ohno

Velveteen Dream won with a Rolling Death Valley Driver (that he needed two tries to lift Ohno) and a Purple Rainmaker (top rope elbow). Dream actually dove from the ring post and not the top rope.

This was one of those good news/bad news situations for Velveteen Dream. The good news is he did hit a knockout blow in 30 seconds. The bad news is he celebrated and never made a cover, so he didn't actually win in that time. As for celebrations there are people who won the main event of WrestleMania who didn't celebrate as big as Dream did when he hit his knockout blow.

It should be noted the fans booed when Ohno got up and gave Dream an Elbow Strike, as Dream has been the most over person on the show so far. This match wasn't as good as the opener, but had much more heat. At one point Dream was supposed to catch Ohno for his rolling Death Valley Driver, but Ohno's momentum was such that Dream couldn't catch him.

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Maria Menunos was shown at ringside.

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NXT Women's Champion Ember Moon defeated Shayna Baszler to retain her title

This was a very different Women's Title Match. Unfortunately this crowd didn't seem to understand what they were watching. The finish saw Baszler work the armbar for close to 4 minutes with Ember scratching and clawing to get out of it. Finally Moon was able to use Shayna's own momentum against her and pin her with a cradle to retain the title.

Shayna did a UFC-like entrance where they showed her walking from her locker room all the way through the backstage area and to the ring.

This was a fight from the get go and Baszler early on used the same stomp to the bent elbow that she did to Dakota Kai. Shayna's offense revolved around armholds, which the fans mostly seemed to think was a series of rest holds. Ember sold the arm and elbow perfectly.

Ember hit The Eclipse, but due to selling her arm and elbow she couldn't make the cover. They called the medical staff down to see if she could continue, but they let it go. The first time Baszler got on the armbar, Moon was near the ropes.

After the match Baszler jumped Ember in the aisle and locked her in a Rear Naked Choke.

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Ricochet was shown in the crowd, called Trevor "Ricochet" Mann.

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Aleister Black defeated Adam Cole in an extreme rules match

Black pinned Cole with Black Mass when Cole went after him with a chair in an excellent weapons match.

This was a brutal, slightly bloody affair which featured run-in's by Bobby Fish, Kyle O'Reilly and all of SAnitY.

Cole went for a baseball bat-like swing with a chair at Black's face early. Thankfully this wasn't The Rock and Ken Shamrock, so Black ducked it. In perhaps the best timed weapon shot ever, Black went for his Quebrada and Cole hit him with a Kendo Stick shot to the abdomen. Cole busted his hand open somehow and the match was temporarily stopped so the medical crew could clean it up. Black picked up Cole in an Electric Chair position and threw him into a ladder set up in the corner. Black ended up taking the same bump Chris Jericho took at WrestleKingdom, this time he got superkicked and fell backwards off the middle rope and through the tables at ringside. Black gave Cole an Attitude Adjustment on top of two chairs, which were back-to-back, which played off the angle on tv where Cole did that to Black. The crowd chanted "You deserve it" which was funny.

Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly ran in for interference. Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe of SAnitY ran down to attack the tag team champs. That was playing off Undisputed Era's backstage attack on SAnitY before their tag title match earlier this month. Killian Dain did a Suicide Dive to all four of them to take everyone out of the picture.

Black put Cole through the announce table with Double Knees when he jumped off a case at ringside, which led to the finish.

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Former TNA Champion EC3, called that, was shown at ringside. Once upon a time he was Derrick Bateman on the never-ending (but amazingly awesome) NXT: Redemption.

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NXT Champion Andrade "Cien" Almas defeated Johnny Gargano to retain his title

Almas won an amazing main event with a draping Hammerlock DDT after using the running Double Knees to Gargano when he was propped against the ring post. The match started slow but built to one great match.

Almas came out in his La Sombra mask and with a masked Mariachi band. Candice Lerae was shown at ringside, cheering her husband on.

Both men missed moves off the ring apron early on. Almas, with a moonsault, landed on his feet, but Gargano went for a flipping dive and when Almas moved Gargano crashed on the black mats. Gargano hit his Slingshot Spear, but no one bought it as the finish. He then rolled out of the way of a Moonsault, but when Almas landed on his feet he immediately hit a standing moonsault, which popped the crowd. Almas went for a Hammerlock DDT off the top rope, a version of which injured Drew McIntyre, but Gargano got out of it.

Having wrestled each other on tv twice before, these men were well aware with each others spots and were constantly reversing each others moves and a hot series near the finish led to a standing ovation. Gargano used a Slingshot DDT on the ring apron, which is the hardest part of the ring. Gargano got a pair of near falls with a small package and a superkick, which had the crowd screaming. Almas gave Gargano the double footstomp while he was draped across the turnbuckle, which led to him falling outside the ring. Gargano had the match won with the Gargano Escape, but Zelina Vega grabbed his hand before he could tap out and Almas used an eyerake to get out of it. Gargano used a Suicide Dive, but Vega used a Hurricarana to send him into the ring steps. Back in the ring Almas hit his Hammerlock DDT, but Gargano kicked out. Vega tried interfering again, so Candace Lerae jumped the guardrail and attacked her! Lerae chased Vega out of the arena. Another Gargano Escape and Almas barely got his foot on the ropes before the finish.

Gargano got a standing ovation when leaving, when he was attacked by Tommaso Ciampa! Ciampa, returning from injury, struck Gargano with his crutch. The show went off the air with Lerae tending to her fallen husband.

This show probably won't be remembered as one of the best TakeOver's, but is well worth checking out.