Date: June 1, 2019
Location: Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Commentators: Beth Phoenix, Nigel McGuinness, Mauro Ranallo
We’re at the latest big show, even without as much time as it seems that we usually get for these things. The big story here is Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole in a rematch for the NXT Title after Cole defeated him in the first fall of a 2/3 falls match. The card doesn’t feel as strong as others but that’s never stopped them from having a great show before. Let’s get to it.
The opening video looks at the history of Takeover with some of the biggest moments the show has ever seen. There are certainly some great ones in there, plus a shot of all twenty five logos the show has ever had. We move into the regular video on the five matches tonight, including Cole vs. Gargano.
Roderick Strong vs. Matt Riddle
Riddle has been dealing with the entire Undisputed Era and it’s time to go after them one at a time. Strong can’t get anywhere on the mat to start and gets taken down with ease. The early Bromission attempt is broken up and it’s an early standoff. Some shoulders in the corner work better for Strong but Riddle is right back with some rolling gutwrench suplexes. Strong bails to the floor and gets forearmed off the steps for his efforts.
They forearm it out on the apron and Strong hits the first backbreaker to take over. A Rock Bottom backbreaker gets two and it’s time to go outside again with Riddle going ribs first into the post. Back in and some right hands give Strong two, followed by the Olympic Slam for the same. A very quick Bromission attempt is broken up so Riddle grabs a fisherman’s buster for a breather instead.
The rapid fire strikes give Riddle some more momentum and an exploder suplex makes it even better. The Broton into the running kick to the chest gets two and Riddle is spent. Some YES Kicks drop Strong again and a GTS into the German suplex gets two more. Strong enziguris him in the corner though and a top rope superplex gets a rather near fall. They slug it out again with Riddle’s back flaring up again, allowing Strong to tee off on him with a series of shots to the face.
The belly to back faceplant gets a VERY close two and Strong is stunned. The Stronghold is broken up and Riddle is back with a ripcord knee (the ripcord V Trigger according to Mauro) into a powerbomb. Riddle hits the Final Flash for two but Strong blocks a top rope twisting Broton with raised knees.
A tiger driver and a gutbuster get two and it’s straight into the Stronghold. That’s switched into a Liontamer but Riddle powers out of that as well, this time switching into the Bromission. The back gives out again though so Riddle elbows him in the face, setting up a reverse Neutralizer (the Bro Derrick, or at least that’s what it sounded like) to give Riddle the pin at 14:41.
Rating: A-. This was a match where you knew the end result but they managed to make me care about how we got there. Riddle survived a bunch in there and managed to win in the end, which was a good test for him. It’s clear that he’s (or Velveteen Dream) is going to get the rocket push soon enough and this was a great performance on the way there.
Shawn Michaels and Road Dogg are here.
We recap the Tag Team Titles, which were vacated by the Viking Raiders to head up to Raw (where they have been so well used). Therefore the titles are vacant and are hanging above the ring in a ladder match with four teams coming for them.
Tag Team Titles: Forgotten Sons vs. Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch vs. Street Profits vs. Undisputed Era
Ladder match for the vacant titles and there are no seconds. It’s a brawl to start as you had to see coming with the Era taking over early on. Blake gets low bridged to the floor and it’s time for a showdown with Lorcan and Burch. Lorcan chops away but Burch gets knocked down and the Era takes over again. It’s time for the first ladder but Blake suicide dives down to take the Era out. A bunch of people wind up brawling in front of the ring so Dawkins can dive onto all of them.
The Profits climb a ladder at the same time, allowing the Era to come back in for the save. Blake knocks the Era down again with O’Reilly landing back first on the ladder. The Sons put the ladder around their heads to clean house until Burch and Lorcan hit stereo release German suplexes, sending the ladder flying in a spot that could have gone a lot worse. The Profits are back in to take down Lorcan and Burch, with Ford hitting a heck of a frog splash.
O’Reilly is back in with a missile dropkick to break up a climb attempt but he bangs up his back even worse. It’s the Era loading up the ladder with Fish going up, only to have Blake toss powerbomb O’Reilly into the ladder for the huge crash, with Fish thankfully landing on O’Reilly. The big ladder is brought in and Cutler goes up….but stops to stomp onto Fish as Cutler hits a reverse DDT. There was absolutely nothing stopping him from getting the belts there.
Now the Sons go up again but Burch and Dawkins make the save with a Doomsday elbow/Doomsday Blockbuster each. O’Reilly starts going up but here’s Jaxson Ryker to buckle bomb him into a ladder. Ryker shoves Dawkins down and crushes him with a ladder in the corner over and over. Lorcan charges at Ryker and gets backdropped onto the edge of the ladder for a scary spot. Fans to Ryker: “WE DON’T LIKE YOU!”
Everyone gets together to beat down Ryker, who I don’t think got over as well as NXT would have liked him to here. About eight ladder shots to the back crush him for good and it’s back to “regularly scheduled hostilities.” Ryker is getting back up as the Era loads up a ladder so they hit him in the face with it instead. Ford adds a big running flip dive and it’s time for Burch and Lorcan to beat everyone up with the ladders.
They throw the ladder at the Forgotten Sons and go up the big ladder with the Era making the save. The four of them wind up on a pair of ladders but the Sons shove all of them over. The Profits come back in though with Dawkins spearing Cutler down and Ford springboarding onto the ladder to knock Blake off. Ford pulls down the titles at 21:19.
Rating: B. Ryker getting this much attention hurt things a bit as he almost had his own section in the middle of the match. What matters here though is they pulled the trigger on someone new and paid off their chase over the last few months. They were the right choice and they have a bunch of matches waiting on them, which is a great future.
Candice LeRae says she has Io Shirai’s back.
We recap Tyler Breeze vs. Velveteen Dream. Breeze has gone up to the main roster without the greatest success while Dream has taken over NXT. Now Breeze is back and wanting to reclaim his spot, but Dream says there is only room for one spotlight and it belongs to him. Breeze hit him with his phone and the match was set.
North American Title: Tyler Breeze vs. Velveteen Dream
Dream is defending and has some fans (as in the kind you wave in your face) for his entrance, which isn’t quite as big as I was expecting. He even throws a glove at Breeze and the fans are split to start. They fight over arm control to start and Dream bails from an early Unprettier attempt, allowing Breeze to lay on the ropes and wave a foot at Dream. A modified Backstabber gives Breeze one and he sends Dream to the floor.
The suicide dive hits forearm and it’s Dream coming back in with a double ax handle. Breeze is right back and wraps the knee around the post to take over. Dream punches him out of the air on the floor for a breather but the Dream Valley Driver is broken up. The half crab has Dream in more trouble and Breeze dropkicks him out to the floor. Breeze follows and eats a superkick, followed by some face first rams into the announcers’ table.
With Breeze down, Dream grabs a phone and the title, demanding that Breeze say cheese for a selfie. The distraction lets Breeze get in the Supermodel Kick but Dream snaps off a Dream Valley Driver. It’s too early for the Purple Rainmaker though as Breeze gets in an enziguri but Breeze’s high crossbody is rolled through for two. The DreamDT is blocked as well and Breeze’s second Supermodel Kick gets two more.
Dream blocks the Unprettier again and plants him with the DreamDT for another near fall. It’s time to go up again and this time Dream gets crotched but he’s fine enough for a hard knee to the face. They fight over a Tombstone of all things until Dream hits his own Unprettier for two.
The Purple Rainmaker hits raised knees (still don’t get how that doesn’t hurt the knee even more) and it’s the Supermodel Kick into the Unprettier to give Breeze his own crazy near fall. The Beauty Shot out of nowhere sends Dream outside and you can see the frustration setting in for Breeze. That’s nearly enough for the countout but Dream has the title, which is thrown to the referee. Now it’s the Dream Valley Driver into the Purple Rainmaker to retain at 16:47.
Rating: B+. That was teasing a heel turn at the end there but Dream didn’t actually cheat so we can chalk it up to mind games. Turning Dream isn’t going to work anyway as the fans just are not going to boo the guy so I don’t see the point. It’s another very good match and that’s all you would have expected from these two on this stage.
Post match they do take the selfie together and everything seems cool.
Damian Priest (Punishment Martinez) is coming.
We recap Io Shirai vs. Shayna Baszler. Shirai is the best talent from Japan and wants to prove that she can do it here too. Baszler says no one has been able to beat her and everyone who has tried has been run out of NXT.
Women’s Title: Io Shirai vs. Shayna Baszler
Baszler is defending. Shirai charges straight at her but gets taken down so Baszler can load up the arm stomp. That doesn’t quite work though and Shirai slaps her in the face. The champ gets sent outside and the baseball slide her has in trouble. Back in and the arm stomp works the second time around as Shirai is down for the first time.
Baszler starts in on the arm with stomps and pulling but Shirai gets in a German suplex for a breather. A 619 gives Shirai two more and she pulls Baszler down into a Crossface. That’s reversed into a side slam and they head up top with Shirai dropkicking him down to the floor. Shirai hits the big moonsault, followed by some running double knees back inside. Cue Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir but LeRae makes the save with the kendo stick.
The distraction lets Baszler get in a failed Kirifuda Clutch attempt as Shirai slips out in a hurry. Shirai’s moonsault misses but she backflips out of another Clutch for two. Shirai tries to bridge back into a cover but gets caught in the full Clutch. The hold stays on for a very long time until Shirai finally taps at 12:12.
Rating: B. Another rather good match here as Baszler cleans out a little more of the division. Candice is pretty much the only one left and that should be a rather good match. If nothing else the moment will work very well with the fans being rather pleased. Baszler staying in NXT as long as she can is the right call though as she is going to be buried horribly on the main roster.
Post match Shirai snaps and destroys Baszler with the kendo stick, plus hitting a moonsault while holding a chair. That almost has to be a heel turn after Shirai lost completely clean.
Stephanie McMahon is here.
We recap the main event. Cole beat Gargano in the first fall of a 2/3 falls match and has claimed that he deserves a rematch since. The Undisputed Era and Matt Riddle have been brought in since and this is the big rematch.
NXT Title: Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole
Cole is challenging and gets rapped to the ring. Gargano on the other hand has Captain Marvel inspired gear. Cole wastes no time in trying for the Last Shot but heads outside when Gargano glares at him. Back in and it’s time to fight over wrist control as the fans are split again. The Gargano Escape attempt earns Johnny a forearm to the face so he hurricanranas Cole to the floor.
The running flip dive from the apron has Cole down again and Gargano seems a bit stiff off the landing. Gargano starts in on the arm as the technical side continues. With the armbar broken up, Cole superkicks the leg to go after a limb of his own. Cole wraps the knee around the ropes and tries to bend it forward for a bit. Gargano comes back with a small package and a middle rope….something is countered into a powerbomb to give Gargano two.
There’s an overhead belly to belly and the rolling kick to Cole’s head makes it even worse. A middle rope Downward Spiral gets two and the slingshot spear gives Gargano the same. Gargano goes up and has to fight out of a sunset bomb, only to dive into a Backstabber for two more. The jumping enziguri rocks the champ and it’s a reverse fireman’s carry facebuster to bang up Johnny’s face again. Cole hits a superkick but dives into one from Gargano so they head to the floor for an exchange of superkicks and a double knockdown.
Cole gets back in first, allowing Gargano to hit the slingshot DDT for the very near fall. With Cole on the floor, Gargano wants the suicide dive but the leg is too hurt, allowing Cole to kick him in the head. The fireman’s carry backbreaker gets two more on Gargano and they’re both winded. Gargano throws him off the ropes so Cole lands on the bad arm, setting up the Gargano Escape. There is indeed an escape though and Cole gets in a Figure Four to go back to the leg.
Gargano gets smart by grabbing the arm to make Cole scream, setting up the turnover and the escape. That’s enough for Cole as he snaps and stomps away at the knee even more, setting up a JOHNNY DEFENSE chant. Johnny kicks away another Figure Four attempt and hits the slingshot DDT, which sends Cole to the floor again. The suicide dive is superkicked out of the air and a Canadian Destroyer off the apron knocks Gargano silly….for two. Cole tells Johnny that it’s over but the Last Shot misses.
Gargano can’t get the Gargano Escape as Cole reverses into one of his own, which is escaped as well. Now it’s Gargano hitting his own Last Shot for two, meaning we need a strike off. They trade even more superkicks until Gargano grabs a reverse hurricanrana. Cole pops up for the Last Shot and the very near fall so it’s time for a chair. Gargano doesn’t care and it’s a suicide dive….which hits the referee. With the referee down, Cole signals for someone from the back so Gargano grabs the chair, allowing Cole to hit a hanging piledriver for the next very near fall.
Gargano collapses to prevent the Last Shot from hitting again, which suckers Cole in for the Gargano Escape with Gargano crossing his legs to prevent Cole from hitting him. Cole rolls over and elbows the knee to get out though and some more kicks to the knee look to set up another Destroyer. Gargano sits down on it for two but Cole kicks him in the face again. Now the Destroyer into the Last Shot finishes Gargano at 31:47.
Rating: A-. I liked this one better than the previous match and the ending was the right call. Cole had to win the title at some point and beating Gargano clean here was the right way to go. Gargano is the kind of guy who can bounce back from a loss in a hurry and is better off as the guy who loses and has to fight back. This was rather great, though I was getting a little tired of the same moves over and over at the end.
The Undisputed Era comes in to celebrate (with Fish’s arm in a sling) to end the show.
Overall Rating: A. Just once, just once, I’d like to see NXT have a bad match (let alone a bad show) to see how the reaction went. The worst match they had here would have been one of the best matches on almost any other show, which just isn’t normal. It’s another great show with nothing even close to bad, though somehow it pales in comparison to how incredible New York was. Two title changes made it feel important though and Breeze being there tied it into the past. It’s worth seeing (of course) and now we can move on to Toronto with a proper build.
Matt Riddle b. Roderick Strong – Bro Derrick
Street Profits b. Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch, Forgotten Sons and Undisputed Era – Ford pulled down the titles
Velveteen Dream b. Tyler Breeze – Purple Rainmaker
Shayna Baszler b. Io Shirai – Kirifuda Clutch
Adam Cole b. Johnny Gargano – Last Shot
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