The somewhat ambiguously titled TakeOver: The End actually referred to this show being the end of the beginning for NXT. Presumably this means we will see a different style of product from now. The Network exclusive two-hour special was a fantastic show throughout.
Tye Dillinger vs Andrade “Cien” Almas
On debut, Cien looked very impressive indeed. He showed an excellent mix of speed and athleticism as well as being a great showman. Of course, I would be amiss not to mention Dillinger – the man who can have a good match with anyone. Fan favourite Tye cast himself in a great light, proving that he is one of the best talents on the roster. However, it was Almas who picked up the victory with double knees into the corner, leaving the Perfect 10 laying for the three-count. A very nice start to the show.
Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas
Tag Titles: American Alpha (c) vs The Revival
In predicting the outcomes for this show, this was certainly the hardest to call. Both teams put on a brilliant display – a real benchmark for all tag team action. This was a match rife with big spots and false finishes. Either team could have walked away with the belts and been well worthy. However, it was the challengers, Dash and Dawson, who picked up the win from a well scouted reversal of Grand Amplitude setting up for Shatter Machine and the pinfall. The Revival are the first two-time champions in NXT’s history.
Following the match, with Gable and Jordan smarting from their loss, a shock appearance and beatdown by The Authors of Pain left the former champions flat of their backs. One can only assume that this will set up a feud between the newcomers and AA before they can return for their title rematch.
Winners: The Revival
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Austin Aries
In my predictions for the show, I stated that this would be the match of the night. And I was correct! The encounter was perfectly defined by AA’s focused, methodical wear down of Nakamura – giving him a beating in the way he hasn’t yet received in an NXT ring. However, the King of Strong Style showed his amazing resilience and full range of moves to stay in the match as well as he did. It looked as though A Double was set to deliver Shinsuke’s first loss of his NXT career when he locked in Last Chancery. It wasn’t to be, and Nakamura nailed Aries with Kinshasa for the victory. In his first two TakeOvers, Shinsuke has stolen the show both times. This man will do great things for the company.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Women’s Title: Asuka (c) vs Nia Jax
As far as a match of speed against strength is concerned, this is a fine example. The monstrous Nia Jax tossed the Women’s champion around like a rag doll, asserting her dominance. In contrast, Asuka used her fine arsenal of strikes to keep the challenger at bay to the best of her ability. Indeed, it was the champion who would retain, stunning Jax with two devastating kicks before hitting the mark with another and finishing the job with a huge running kick. Nia proved that she can battle with the best in the division, but for now will have to move to the back of the pack.
NXT Title: Samoa Joe (c) vs Finn Balor
The main event, and the climax of a great show, capped off the night in superb fashion. Two of the biggest talents in the business going toe-to-toe inside a steel cage was sure to be a match to remember. The match – dominated largely by Samoa Joe – built in tension and tempo as it progressed, with both men throwing everything they had at each other. It would take something special to win this one: Joe kicked out of Coup de Grâce; Balor survived a Muscle Buster. Eventually, the champion prevailed after hitting a huge Muscle Buster from the top rope, keeping the limp demon down for the three-count. I can’t think of a better way for the introduction of a steel cage in NXT.
Winner: Samoa Joe