NXT is the fastest growing brand in sports entertainment today, and their PPVs set a hallmark for the rest of the industry. Lets see how TakeOver: Dallas went…
The Revival v American Alpha – Prediction: American Alpha
The first match of the event saw the up and coming Jordan and Gable take on the brawling champions, Dash and Dawson. It might just be me, but I think duel-named tags are better than the team names they’ve been given: Jordan and Gable is cooler than American Alpha; Dash and Dawson is more apt than The Revival.
The match itself was a great way to start TakeOver with the contrasting styles of the technical challengers taking it to the ground and pound champs. The eventual winners, and fan favourites, American Alpha crowned their rise to prominence with a first title.
Winners: American Alpha
Austin Aries v Baron Corbin – Prediction: Austin Aries
The first NXT debutant of the night, the “greatest man ever to have lived”, took on the Lone Wolf – who was in a predictably destructive mood. The match was dominated by Corbin who looked strong whilst riling the crowd as only he can.
A late flurry from AA saw him take the victory. The match left a little to be desired, but a good match overall saw a warm welcome for Aries.
Winner: Austin Aries
Shinsuke Nakamura v Sami Zayn – Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura
Forget about match of the night, this one is match of the year! I must admit, I didn’t know much about Nakamura before this match but he instantly won me over. Charismatic, cool and hard hitting, the “King of Strong Style” showed us all why he has earnt that nickname.
The match will go down in WWE history as a fantastic back-and-forth encounter full of stiff elbows and kicks amid a multitude of pops from a crowd who were fully invested. Shinsuke took the victory from the hellacious affair to a standing ovation.
If this is the last match in NXT for Sami, it’s a fine ending for the former champ. Excellent pace and storytelling throughout – an instant classic.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Bayley v Asuka – Prediction: Asuka
Coming into this match, I knew Bayley was in for a beating. Asuka simply does not lose. The Empress impressed in her first title match using her distinct style to upset the champ.
Very rarely does a match between two babyfaces evoke a positive reaction from the crowd, but this was one of the exceptions. The fans cheered for everything which happened from bell to bell with the exception of one moment…
When Bayley was finally defeated and passed out, the combined thud of everyone’s heart dropping was audible. Bayley has been an amazing champion and a genuine pleasure to watch. If she is now to move to the main roster, let’s hope she keeps improving and can one day become Women’s Champion.
Finn Balor v Samoa Joe – Prediction: Samoa Joe
This match has been in the making since TakeOver: London. The Samoan Submission Machine took the Demon to his limit back then, and we were all excited to see it happen again.
Those hopes seemed to vanish approximately 10 seconds in when Joe inexplicably cut open his eye. What followed was a reduced pace match in which the referee and medics tried furiously to stem the flow of blood. This, however, didn’t prevent Samoa Joe from throwing Finn over the barricade or hitting Balor with a muscle buster in what was an impressive display.
The champions resolve turned out to be too much for Joe as he picked up the win to retain his title. The ending of the match seemed to come a little soon and wasn’t the definitive end to the rivalry we were hoping for, but the right man won – and that’s all that counts.
Winner: Finn Balor