Welcome one and all to the live review of NXT Takeover: The End! I will be having a running blog all night long giving my thoughts and opinions on all the matches and of course all the results as well. Our fearless leader John Canton will have the full play by play and his analysis tomorrow. The rumor mill is churning already tonight on who may be backstage or appearing. We should be in store for a tremendous night.
During the pre-show, there were vignettes for every match. Renee Young, Corey Graves, & Lita were hosting the show. Lita was having a hard time with her words, but she’s still as gorgeous as ever, so I let her slide on it. The Revival cut a promo backstage and continued their streak of great mic work. Dash had fake tears in his eyes mocking how emotional it was when American Alpha won. The story was that they don’t seem to be taking the champs seriously tonight. That was the only thing of substance on the pre show.
Fantastic video package to start the show, showcasing the path NXT has taken since it’s inception. Then they made it even better by playing the old Armageddon theme song, “The End Is Here”. It was on WWE Anthology. Such a great theme song. At the end of the video package, it was shown that the show is being billed as “NXT Takeover: The End… Of The Beginning”. Take that for what it’s worth.
“The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
Dillinger comes out with a new ring jacket and gets a massive ovation as always. I won’t harp on my thoughts about him again. Almas comes out in all white, white fedora, white suspenders, & white pants. Underneath are blue long tights with white trim. Dillinger clearly the favorite in this match as it begins. Dillinger also finally got his first shirt on Shopzone today, so make sure you check that out. Lot of athleticism early on, neither man getting the advantage. Almas hit a nice dropkick to Dillinger when he was laid down on the mat waiting for Almas to jump over him. Dillinger went to the outside to regroup and Almas seemed to go for a suicide dive but he ended up doing the Spiderman in the ropes. Once back inside, Dillinger hit a tilt a whirl backbreaker that got him the advantage finally. They went up to the top rope and Almas knocked Dillinger to the mat and then Almas came off the second rope with a moonsault. He landed on his feet because Dillinger rolled out of the way, but Almas in one fluid motion hit a standing moonsault for a two count. That was outstanding. Almas then charged Dillinger in the corner and Dillinger moved. Almas caught himself in a handstand on the ropes, but Dillinger superkicked him straight in the neck. That got a holy shit chant from the crowd. Dillinger went for the Tye-Breaker finisher but Almas moved and then hit a cartwheel handspring double knees to the back of Dillinger. Almas came off the ropes and hit a bulldog on Dillinger. Dillinger ended up set up sitting on the bottom turnbuckle and Almas came charging with a hard double knees and that was the finish. Crowd seemed quite surprised that was the finish, but obviously we had no idea what his finisher would be. Solid match, went about 12 minutes.
Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas
The vignette for the NXT Tag Title Match is shown, so looks like that’s coming up next.
NXT Tag Title Match: American Alpha (c) vs. The Revival
New ring jackets for The Revival. Love the old school satin jackets. If you read my preview piece this week, you know that I’m predicting a title change in this match. American Alpha with new warm up jackets themselves, looking sharp as the champs. It goes without saying that the crowd goes nuts for them. Gable and Dawson start the match. That doesn’t last long at all as Dash makes a quick tag in. The Revival immediately go to their brand of wrestling, isolating Gable and quick tags. Random three second interruption of the video feed. Gable manages to get the advantage and hits two high headscissors on Dawson. Jordan tags in and hits two picture perfect dropkicks on both members of The Revival. Corey Graves has a great line, “With hops like that, I’m surprised the Cavs aren’t calling Jordan for help.” It doesn’t take long after that for all four men to get in the ring and turn it into a brawl. The Revival try to do stereo back suplexs, but American Alpha flip out and turn it into stereo ankle locks and the crowd comes unglued for it. Really cool spot. Tom Phillips lets us know that #NXTTakeoverTheEnd is trending, even though the hashtag on the screen is just #NXTTakeover. Way to pay attention fans. The champs start to give The Revival a bit of their own medicine and isolate Dash, but Dawson manages to get a tag after a distraction. Now they try to double team the champs but Jordan leads them into his corner and Gable comes flying off the top rope with a double clothesline. Both members of The Revival then get dumped to the outside and the crowd is eating this up. American Alpha has an answer for everything.
Just as I say that though, Dawson comes back in and Gable runs right into a top rope stun gun and now The Revival go back to work on him. Dawson hits an elbow drop the back of Gable’s head and then works on the left arm. Gable tries to fight his way out and hits a sunset flip on Dawson but Dawson kicks out. Dawson then drops Gable with an Arn Anderson level spinebuster. The Revival hit a double team gordbuster on Gable and now Dash goes to work on Gable. Dash got Gable on the top rope, but Gable turned it into a tarantula style arm breaker over the top rope. After the hold is broken though, Dash is able to make the tag and then Gable runs desperatley to get the tag, but Dawson chop blocks the knee out. He knocks Jordan off the apron and then when the ref goes to get him back to the apron, they hit a great looking double team legdrop. Gable somehow manages to kick out. Gable was desperate to make the tag and finally gets to Jordan, who makes the very hot tag and takes out The Revival like only he can. Head and Leg Suplex to Dawson, Huge throw in the air to Dash, who takes the hard fall. Jordan hits his cannon spear in the corner on Dash and then hits an Exploder Suplex. Dash was able to kick out. Dash desperately slams Joran into the turnbuckles in his corner and then Dawson comes off the top rope with a sunset flip. Jordan won’t go down but Dash hits a lariat. Dawson has the pin but Jordan just barely kicks out. Great near finish. Dawson hits some uppercuts but Jordan turns one into a backslide. Gable makes the blind tag and Dawson flips out of the backslide, only to be turned into a German Suplex by Gable with a dropkick by Jordan for good measure. Another great near fall. Dash on the outside trips Jordan and sends him into the steel steps. On the inside, Gable puts Dawson into the ankle lock. Dawson kicks out and sends Gable right into a Dash uppercut. Gable stumbles back into a rollup with the tights grabbed, but still manages to kick out. Dash grabs Gable in a powerbomb and Dawson goes off the top with a clothesline but somehow Gable in mid-powerbomb reverses Dawson into a belly to belly!! That was insane! Gable goes for the pin but Dash pulls Gable off. Wow this is unbelievable. Now Jordan makes a blind tag as Dash tries to roll up Gable. Jordan hits his cannon spear again and now the champs go for their finisher, but Dawson pushes Gable to the outside and Jordan ends up turning right into The Shatter Machine! New Champs!! Holy hell that match was insane. I couldn’t keep up with the last 4 or 5 minutes. That Gable Belly to Belly was incredible. What a match! Main roster, here comes American Alpha. You better be ready, willing, & Gable.
Winners: New NXT Tag Team Champs, The Revival
Post match, American Alpha soaks up the cheers and then all the sudden two huge guys in fatigues come out and just lay waste to American Alpha. I have NO IDEA who these guys are, but they’re big and they destroying American Alpha. They hit a sidewalk slam with a big boot to measure and then a Russian Leg Sweep/Clothesline From Hell combo. After all is set and done, none other than Paul Ellering, the master mind behind The Road Warriors comes out! Wow! These two men leave the ring and stand next to Ellering and they sure as hell have made their mark! I am a HUGE Road Warriors and Ellering fan so this is tremendous to see for me.
We see Asuka warming up backstage and Bayley comes up to her and offers a handshake, which Asuka accepts, but stares Bayley down as she walks away.
The Aries vs. Nakamura vignette is shown.
Austin Aries vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
The crowd continues to sing Nakamura’s theme after it cuts off, that was pretty cool. Aries has his ribs taped. Don’t know what that’s about as obviously it’s not part of the storyline. It’d be pretty bad if he got hurt before this match at one of those small NXT Live Events he did in Florida this past weekend. Both men grapple with one another to start the match, neither getting the upper hand. Somewhat dueling chants, but majority for Nakamura. Aries showing no signs of injury early as both men counter holds. Aries misses a seated dropkick and Nakamura misses a straight kick to the head. Aries manages to dodge some more kicks and then armdrags Nakamura down and finally hits the seated dropkick. He goes right for the Last Chancery but Nakamura escapes. Nakamura now fires up and hits some hard knees to the midsection of Aries. Big knee drop on Aries after that. Good Vibrations in the corner to Aries twice in a row. The crowd chants for one more time, and Nakamura goes to comply, but the ref stops him for some reason. That gives Aries an opening and he grabs the leg of Nakamura and hits a kneebreaker. Now Aries starts to go to work on that left leg.
Nakamura is in a seated postion and Aries comes off the second rope with an elbow drop right to the spine. Nakamura kicks out. Aries goes for his senton over the top rope from the apron, but Nakamura gets his knees up. Aries cuts him off though and then comes off the top rope with another elbow drop. Nakamura kicks out again but Aries stays on the offense. This is already Aries’ best showing in NXT thus far. The heel turn has really done him wonders. Aries hooks Nakamura in a unique neck vise, pulling back on the head while keeping Nakamura’s legs tucked under him. Nakamura fights out somehow and then knees Aries. Aries ducks one kick but not the second. Now Nakamura goes to town on Aries with multiple kicks that keeps sending Aries to the mat. Nakamura gets Aries on the top rope and hits his running knee into the ribs. Aries kicks out of the pin attempt. Aries fights out of the reverse exploder and ends up getting a rollup on Nakamura, who kicks out. Aries goes straight for the knee shots to the top of the head trying to set up Last Chancery, but Nakamura keeps fighting out. Aries then hits a Roaring Elbow that sends Nakamura to the outside. Aries doesn’t hesistate to hit his low bridge suicide dive to the outside and sends Nakamura hard into the guardrail. He brings Nakamura back inside and goes for a pin but Nakamura kicks out. Aries now starts to get a little cocky and it costs him as Nakamura traps him in a Triangle Choke out of nowhere. Aries manages to get to the ropes, but Nakamura pulls him back in and delivers some stiff knees to the head and neck. Nakamura now goes for Kinshasa but Aries blocks it. Aries drops Nakamura with an ugly looking suplex. Not sure what he was going for there. Aries now has Last Chancery hooked on in the middle of the ring! I actually thought Nakamura signaled he gave up, but apparently not. Nakamura gets to the ropes. Aries hits a hurricanrana off the top rope and then hits a dropkick in the corner. Nakamura is down and now Aries goes up top and wants the 450 Splash but Nakamura moved. Nakamura goes for the knee to the ribs on the top rope but Aries moves and head claps Nakamura. Now both men trade forearms and kicks on the apron. Nakamura ends up hitting an enziguri on the apron. He then charges Aries on the apron and Aries turns it into a Death Valley Driver on the apron!! That could not have felt good. Wow. This match is delivering everything we could’ve hoped for.
Nakamura is close to being counted out, but for some reason Aries goes for his low bridge suicide dive again and completely crashes and burns. Aries is out cold now. Nakamura drags him into the ring and then comes off the second rope with a knee to the back of the head. This sets up the reverse exploder suplex and here comes KINSHASA!! That’s the match. Simply wow! Two Takeovers for Nakamura, two match of the year candidates. That was amazing.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
NXT Takeover: Brooklyn tickets go on sale Saturday.
The Nia Jax vs. Asuka vignette is shown.
NXT Women’s Title Match: Asuka (c) vs. Nia Jax
It’s quite interesting to see a NXT Women’s Title Match that doesn’t involve one of the Four Horsewomen. The new era begins tonight. Big match introductions for this match. These women are in a tough spot trying to follow the last two matches, let’s see how they handle the pressure. Asuka very early wants to get Nia off her feet, but not able to. Asuka not backing down at all though. Nia grabs Asuka by her hair and flings her over halfway across the ring and nearly out of it. Asuka is right back up though but Nia slams her shoulder into the midsection of Asuka and then hits a big avalanche splash. Asuka continues to fight back but runs right into a massive backbreaker. Nia ties up Asuka in the ropes and starts to smear the makeup and paint off Asuka’s face. Nia works over the back of Asuka but Asuka desperately hooks on a front face lock. Nia turns it right into a vertical suplex and Asuka takes the long fall down. Asuka somehow though gets Nia into a Triangle Choke. Nia overpowers her again though and turns it into a turnbuckle powerbomb. Nia then wraps Asuka around the turnpost and the spine is not supposed to bend that way. Nia lets go and gets back inside and hooks Asuka in a bearhug. Asuka gets out and gets a heel hook but Nia gets the ropes. Asuka kicks Nia square in the face but Nia is hardly phased. Asuka gets sent into the ropes and hits a Ron Simmons style spinebuster. Nia now wants to hit her legdrop but Asuka moves and then hits Nia with the Shining Wizard.
Nia gets up first and yells at Asuka. Asuka sent to the corner, jumps on the second rope and hits a dropkick on Nia. Now a series of backhand fists that sends Nia down to a knee. Asuka follows up with her Rear View move and goes for the pin but Nia kicks out. Asuka fires up and goes for a kick to the head but Nia catches the leg and turns it into a powerbomb. Nia goes for a cocky pin and Asuka turns it into the cross armbreaker. Nia gets back up to her feet quickly though. Asuka tries to hook the Asuka Lock but she can’t hook it all. Asuka lets go and hits one hell of a superkick, then a spinning heel kick. Nia is down to a knee and screams at Asuka. Asuka comes back with two straight kicks to the head and goes for the pin and gets the win. Wow. I don’t know that I like that finish. Another very strong big-match performance for Nia though.
Winner: Still NXT Women’s Champion, Asuka
They now show an earlier interview with William Regal today. He hypes up the main event but behind him walks a producer and Bobby Roode!! Roode walks right into Regal’s office and the producer whispers something into Regal’s ear. Regal excuses himself saying that he has to take care of something. Bobby Roode!!
The cage is now lowering and it’s time for our main event. Unique way to bring down the cage, they basically had it laid out flat and then it folded down over the ring. It’s the same cage that we saw on the vignettes.
Former NXT Champion, Adrian Neville is sitting front row for this match. He’s sporting a beard now.
NXT Title Steel Cage Match: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Finn Balor
Weird to see Balor come out first, but as it should be, the champ will come out last. The Demon has absolutely made an appearance tonight! There are 3 steel cage slats standing up at the top of the rampway and Balor appears behind one of them and knocks it down. Great visual of Balor crawling down the walkway and poking his head up at the bottom of the cage. Balor climbs all the way to the top of the cage for his pose with the music cue. All black and white for Balor, no red accents. The door for the cage is in a weird location, it’s facing the walkway instead of to the right of the walkway if you’re looking from the walkway. Hope that makes sense. Joe enters the cage and slams the door behind him. Big match introductions for this one as well. It’s announced that you can win via pinfall, submission, or climbing over the cage. Introductions are taking place at 8:40 central time, so 20 minutes left if they end on time, up to 35 minutes if they got the extra 15 before HHH’s interview on Facebook.
Both men feel each other out to begin with. Joe goes straight for the door to try and win, so apparently you can go through the door. If they said that, I missed it. Balor cuts him off and gets the advantage early. He drops Joe with a front dropkick and then tries to send Joe into the steel but Joe blocks it. Joe now on the offense and chops Balor and then chokes him on the top rope. Balor hits a trio of forearm shots to Joe. Balor goes around the horn chopping Joe. Joe blocks one and then goes to the top rope but Balor catches him with an enziguri. Balor wants to escape, but Joe cuts him off and then hiptosses him into the steel. Joe does it again on the opposite side. Joe charges Balor in the corner and hits a back elbow followed by an enziguri. Joe continues to work Balor over in the corner, followed by the face wash. Balor tries to fight back but instead gets one more hiptoss into the steel. Joe signals for the door to open but Balor manages to cut him off.
Joe drops Balor with a punch, but the door was still open and Balor almost falls out of the cage. Joe grabs the leg and brings him back in though. Then he hits Balor a high angle German Suplex and gets a two count out of it. Joe now wants to climb out of the cage but Balor cuts him off. Both men standing on the top rope now and Balor slams Joe’s head into the steel. Balor tries to hop over the top of the cage but Joe hits a desperate enziguri and Balor takes an ugly fall back to the mat. Joe has Balor out on the ropes and goes to charge him, but Balor moves and sends Joe head first into the cage. Joe is now pinned between the ropes and cage and Balor charges him for a trio of shots but on the third one, Joe catche Balor and turn him into the Kokina Clutch. Balor gets out and then dropkicks Joe against the cage. Balor uses Joe’s back as a leverage to jump up on the top of the cage but Joe manages to drag him back in. Balor then just straight kicks Joe in the face. Joe is knocked out and ends up falling on the top rope, which makes Balor crotch himself on the top rope. On the replay, you can see Joe’s chin reverberate. That was a stiff kick.
Balor now charges Joe in the corner but gets caught in a urinagi. Joe wants to go for the Muscle Buster but Balor escapes. Both men trading stiff shots back and forth until Balor finally hits the Pele kick. Balor goes to climb out but Joe is right behind him. Joe gets set face first into the steel and as he’s about to fall back, Balor decides to hit a top rope sling blade! Balor could’ve escaped but hits Joe with another Sling Blade instead. Balor can’t put away Joe and ends up getting caught in the Muscle Buster! Joe drops him in the middle of the ring but Balor kicks out! Superb match thus far. Joe screams at Balor that he’s going to end him and then hits three kicks right to the face. He gets Balor up in a Razor’s Edge and wants to throw Balor into the cage but Balor gets out. Balor hits a third Sling Blade now and then hits back to back shotgun dropkicks. Joe is down and Balor goes for the Coup De Grace and hits it. Joe kicks out!
Balor now wants 1916, AKA Bloody Sunday, but Joe escapes and flips it into the Kokina Clutch. Balor launches himself into the turnbuckles to propel him backwards and is able to escape. He hits a standing double foot stomp and then looks up at the top of the cage. He goes to climb and Joe tries to cut him off but Balor kicks him back down. Balor is up on the top of the cage and is about to climb down but Joe cuts him off. Balor is officially on the other side of the cage, but Joe grabs his face and slams it straight into the cage. Now Joe positions Balor into a top rope Muscle Buster!! 1-2-3, the champ retains! What a battle!
Winner: Still NXT Champion, Samoa Joe
Standing ovation for both men at the end of the match as the cage starts to raise up. Refs and doctors go to look at Finn Balor as Joe is barely able to stand, but looks at his destruction. Joe raises his title high at the top of the rampway as Balor continues to be looked at. That’s our show. It went the exact two hours alloted.
K-Tank’s Final Take
Wow, what a show. That was everything I hoped it would be and more. I legitmately only have one small complaint and that was the finish of the women’s title match. I would’ve done something more to protect Nia, but that’s just nitpicking. All three matches that I said this week could be match of the year candidates, were exactly that. We got the appearance of Bobby Roode, subtle as it was, and then the debut of a new tag team that clearly looks to be a force to be reckoned with. From what I’m seeing online, this is apparently The Authors of Pain that have been doing some of the small Florida live events as of late. I can’t confirm that right now, but that’s what I’m seeing. If you weren’t able to watch this live, do so ASAP. NXT once again proves why it’s the best brand out there and why everyone wants to be apart of it. I’ll see you all here next week for the fallout on the next installment of the NXT Spotlight. Thanks for hanging out!