NXT TakeOver Philly
Fact, there has never been a bad TakeOver. NXT TakeOver Philly didn’t disappoint. I was sad when this ended. What a physical PPV!
The Tag Team Titles start off the show. I liked this match, but I didn’t love it. The tag titles are usually at the top of the list of best matches for TakeOver shows. This one, not so much. Good back and forth, both sides get a chance to show off, but where was the big spot? The Undisputed Era wins with a roll-up. This match and the titles deserved better than a typical roll-up we see on RAW and Smackdown every week.
Velveteen Dream is probably one of the best NXT stars right now. He has a huge upside. He’s got the look, the attitude, and he can deliver in the ring. Please WWE, don’t mess this up. Dream guaranteed that he’d beat Kassius Ohno in thirty seconds. He didn’t, but he did win. This was a fun match. These guys beat the hell out of each other. So many big shots from both men. Huge top rope elbow from Velveteen Dream for the win.
I don’t know where Kassius Ohno is headed. He has no momentum. He looks destined to be an NXT lifer, and that would be a shame. He’s great a putting people over. Maybe that’s his role.
Ember Moon vs Shayna Baszler next. Baszler didn’t need to win this match, but she didn’t need to get pinned either. A DQ loss does her no damage while a pin makes her look weak because she lost both big matches she’s been in. Of course Ember Moon pins Baszler in the middle of the ring. They couldn’t help themselves. The match was mostly Shayna Baszler doing MMA things to Moon. Baszler took a great Eclipse from Moon. I thought she had her there. The last few minutes were Baszler trying to break Ember Moon’s arm, but the champ persevered and reversed it into a roll-up. Moon is still your NXT Women’s champ. Post-match, Shayna Baszler choked out Moon several times on the ramp while not one other women’s wrestler came out to help. Hello!!!! Where is everyone?
Aleister Black and Adam Cole spent the next match trying to mame and murder each other. An Extreme Rules stipulation is exactly what this match and PPV needed. Great spots by both men. The used everything they could find; chairs, kendo sticks, trash cans, ladders, tables, and the announcer’s table. How Adam Cole didn’t break his back on a sick double chair spot is beyond me. I winced in pain when Black delivered it. Like Velveteen Dream and Kassius Ohno, these guys beat the hell out of each other and it was great. Undisputed Era came out to save Cole, but Sanity took care of them. Black won, as he should have.
Aleister Black is so money. The sky’s the limit for this guy on the main roster if WWE doesn’t mess it up. Can you imagine Black vs Nakamura, Black vs Balor, Black vs Owens, Black vs AJ Styles, Black vs Rollins????? All of those, yes please.
Can’t believe the NXT Title match had to follow that, but that’s life. Another physical battle. Andrade Cien Almas and Johnny Gargano put on a hell of a show. So many near falls. Often, WWE does one near fall too many, but here they all worked. Zelina Vega tried to get involved only to have Johnny Wrestling’s real-life wife, Candice LeRae beat the crap out of her and have her running for the hills. Almas pinned Gargano and all the air went out of the crowd. Gargano went through a lot and the crowd went along with him. Johnny Gargano needs to eventually win this title.
As the show went off the air, Tommaso Ciampa attacked Gargano at the top of the ramp. It was expected. Although, I thought Ciampa would cost Gargano the title. I hope a Ciampa-Gargano feud doesn’t take Johnny Wrestling away from the NXT Title picture. He deserves to win gold. That being said, Gargano and Ciampa should have a fantastic feud.
- Match of the night: Cien Almas vs Johnny Gargano
- Pop of the night: War Machine, Ricochet and EC3 in the crowd.
- No reaction of the night: AOP, might be time to move these guys up.