Tuesday, January 30, 2018

NXT Takeover: Philadelphia Recap & Reaction

As is normal with these big PPV weekends, it's a story of two shows and how Takeover continues to out perform it's main roster sibling.

NXT Takeover Philadelphia Results:

Fish & O'Reilly (c) def. Authors Of Pain: While the result was what I expected with the Tag Champs defeating AOP, I had no idea exactly how this match was going to play out. I was quite pleased with this match, AOP looked the best I've seen since they debuted. There was some good back and forth between both teams with AOP looking like the giant meat bags that they are, and the champs being the resourceful heels that they are. Some great selling by all, especially Akam who suffered a knee injury that was exploited by the champs, giving them the eventual win. This match was very good, both teams looked great and I'm actually interested in seeing how AOP perform when they on the main roster, which should be very soon.

Velveteen Dream def. Kassius Ohno: The Dream had a great match against Aleister Black at Takeover Brooklyn and continued to impress here in Philadelphia with Ohno. Velveteen oozes charisma both in the ring and with his promos, and his entrance is fantastic. This was a hard hitting back and forth entertaining match that saw Velveteen pick up the win, a result that was expected. It should be noted that Velveteen was extremely over here. The crowd even started counting to 30 when the match started due to Velveteen saying he would knockout Ohno in the first 30 seconds.

Ember Moon (c) def. Shayna Baszler: I really enjoyed the storytelling in this match from start to finish. It was a slow, methotical match that firmly cemented Moon as the #1 baby face and Baszler the #1 heel in NXT's women division. The build-up of Baszler as an imposing bully has been fantastic. The story of this match is Moon selling an arm injury after Baszler put her in an extended submission sequence that Moon was eventually able to fight out of. Moon would eventually hit Baszler the Eclipse but was unable make the pin due to her injured arm. Baszler would put Moon back into an arm bar with Moon eventually rolling Baszler for the win. The end result was expect, what I didn't expect was just how good this match was going to be. I personally think it made both women look strong. Baszler choking out Moon after the match outside of the ring was great as well.

Aleister Black def. Adam Cole - Extreme Rules Match: The Philly crowd as very much into this match from the start. Black and Cole delivered on of the hardest hitting and brutal extreme rules matches I've personally ever seen. There were chair shots, Cole being tossed onto a latter, Black falling through two tables, Cole sustaining an injured hand that bled like crazy, Black with cuts on his back, Black delivering a double knee shot to Cole through an announce table, and probably the worst spot ever where Black delivered a Death Valley Driver to Cole onto two chairs that were sitting back to back. This match was awesome, the crowd was super hot for it, but hopefully we never ever see that double chair spot ever again. As much as I liked Alpha vs Omega at Wrestle Kingdom, I thought Black vs Cole better. That's just my opinion. The surprising thing about this match was Aleister Black picking up the victory. The insider opinion says the victory for Black means a program for the NXT Title against Cien Almas.

Andrade "Cien" Almas (c) def. Johnny Gargano: Whoa nelly, this match was amazing! There may not be another match in all of WWE for the rest of the year that will be able to touch this match, that's how good it was. There was some great back and forth, plenty of near falls, excellent selling by both men, this match was as perfect of a match that two people can have. There was a great spot where Zelina Vega, Cien's "manager", went to attack Gargano on the outside of the ring when Candice LeRae hopped the ringside barricade to chase off Vega. It was timed so well, and so perfectly with the crowd chanting Thank You Candice. I loved this match, it had everything I want from a wrestling match - great wrestling, great work and great storytelling in the ring. I was so into this match that at one point I actually thought Gargano was going to win, but he didn't. The ending sequence with Almas giving Gargano his signature double knee shot against the ring post on the outside ring apron then giving Gargano a draping hammerlock DDT from the top rope gave Almas the victory.

I have yet to be disappointed by a NXT Takeover, and this Takeover was no different. They continue to be the best PPV's that WWE puts  with this Takeover probably the best PPV in years. With a Takeover being this good, certainly Royal Rumble will be just as good, right? Not really.

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