Samoa Joe & Finn Balor def. Dash & Dawson
Seeing two superstar duos and two actual tag teams in the semifinals of the Dusty Rhodes Team Classic made me worry that the real tag teams would never be allowed to come on top in the tag team tournament, which sounds like an injustice to me. Unfortunately, I was right. Balor and Joe picked up the victory over the rising Dash and Dawson.
Even though I disagree with the logic of the booking, I cannot deny that the match was great. Dawson and Dash quickly turned from 3rd rate jobbers that get beaten before you even have the time to realize who’s who to an established heel team.
Obviously, they wouldn’t be allowed to outshine Balor and Joe, so the heel offense was focused on the champ’s injured knee. Regardless, Dash and Dawson performed great and the NXT audience will remember that.
Baron Corbin & Rhyno def. Jason Jordan & Chad Gable
Having seen Joe and Balor win, I knew for a fact that Corbin and Rhyno would come on top. I was so preoccupied waiting for their inevitable victory that the action in the ring took me by surprise. This was the best male match of the night by far.
Jordan and Gable were magnificent. Despite Rhyno and Crobin’s monster status Jordan was able to manhandle and outwrestle both of them at the same time with a smile on his face. Meanwhile, Chad Gable got such an incredible reaction from the crowd that even I , at home, was just about to start chanting his name.
The difference in wrestling styles was visible. Jordan and Gable were old-school technical, while Corbin and Rhyno were all-out force. Typically, the fans are not won over by down-to-basics wrestling. They want something flashier, so it was a surprise that the crowd was so firmly in Gable’s corner.
After this match, I don’t see another face team on NXT that has more fan support than Gable and Jordan. And when you think that they entered this tournament as heels.
Asuka def. Dana Brooke
This match wasn’t asking the question whether Asuka would win but how badly is Dana Brooke going to suffer.
Asuka is fast and energetic but what makes her extremely dangerous is her ability to pull out endless submission maneuvers, which flow from one to the other without a break. Dana Brooke just didn’t stand a chance against that. Every time she thought she had found a way out, Asuka was already locking the next one.
What worries me with Asuka is that she won’t be able to connect with the crowd on the main roster. Her wrestling won’t compensate for the language barrier. Also, the usual WWE fans are used to seeing a particular type of wrestling. There are different things that make different crowds respond. I’m not sure whether Asuka’s style will get her over outside NXT.
Apollo Crews def. Tyler Breeze
Once again, Tyler Breeze showed us his quality. He dominated the match. Breeze has incredible ring awareness. He knows exactly where he is, what’s coming and how to counter it. It’s an injustice that Tyler Breeze has never held the NXT Championship.
Apollo Crews met his first real challenge in the WWE. The thing that helped him get the victory was his physical strength. You don’t need to be a specialist to see the monstrous definition on Crews and those are fully functioning muscles. For a guy his size and weight, Crews is incredibly agile.
Yet, if you were watching this match without knowing who’s face and who’s heel, you’d think Prince Pretty was the face. The crowd chanted for Breeze throughout the match up. He’s so over and he deserves it.
Finn Balor & Samoa Joe def. Baron Corbin & Rhyno
Quite frankly, I preferred the semifinals of the tournament than the final itself. Balor was selling a knee injury from the previous match, so Samoa Joe carried the bulk of this one.
The action was still impressive, though. There were some incredible last second saves from both teams. The competitors were so evenly matched that it could have been anyone’s game.
However, it made sense that the face team would win. If a heel team had won, they would have had to break character for the ceremony that followed.
Bayley def. Sasha Banks
Respect. That is what Bayley and Sasha Banks deserve. The WWE Universe placed great expectations upon them and they delivered.
There was no time wasted in these 30 minutes. The Boss won both of her falls, using heel tactics – one of them involved a cheap shot and the other one was a countout. However, the wrestling by both women was impeccable. There was little girl, who supported Bayley. The fight looked so brutal that it had the child in tears.
At the end of the match, both women were in tears. They knew they had paved the path to a brighter future of women in wrestling. This is the real face of the Divas Revolution.
What are your impressions from WWE NXT Takeover? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!