WWE NXT Takeover: Toronto 08/10/19 Live Review By Kurt Zamora

Welcome one and all to the official TJRWrestling Live Coverage of NXT Takeover: Toronto. The four main NXT Titles are on the on the line as usual and for the second time at a Takeover this year, the main event is Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano in a 2 out of 3 Falls match for the NXT Title. When they had the 2/3 Falls match at NXT Takeover New York in April, the title was vacant while this time, Cole is defending the title. And of course the question is, what will the 3rd fall be, should we get there? It’s time to kick off SummerSlam weekend so let’s get to it!

NXT Tag Team Title Match
Street Profits (c) vs. Undisputed Era

The crowd is littered with red solo cups for the champs and they come out wearing Toronto Raptors inspired gear. I need to know if it’s a running gag with the Undisputed Era to come out with shirts that still have the stickers on them. Loud dueling chants to start from the crowd. Dawkins holds his own against both members of the Era before tagging in Ford, who comes in and drops Fish with a picture perfect dropkick. Fish gets isolated in the champ’s corner before throwing Ford out of the ring and getting O’Reilly in the match. Ford with a couple nice arm drags on the challengers and another great dropkick on O’Reilly before hitting the old school WGTT leapfrog with the help of Dawkins.

Ford ends up getting tripped up on the apron and landing face first. The challengers try to catch Dawkins off guard with a blind tag, and even though Dawkins hits a stun gun on Fish and then a cyclone avalanche splash on O’Reilly, they finally are able to get the 2 on 1 to get him isolated in their corner. Fish with a snap suplex followed by a nice Samoan Drop on Dawkins before tagging in O’Reilly, who starts the ground and pound. Fish tags backs in, but Dawkins ends up with a back body drop on him to be able to get Ford back in the match.

Ford takes out his opponents and hits Fish with a back suplex followed by a standing moonsault for a two count. Ford teases a People’s Elbow but O’Reilly stops it to many boos from the crowd. Ford comes back with a Rock Bottom though for a two count. The challengers comes back though with a nice tandom wheelbarrow move on Ford for a two count. Ford and Fish fighting on the top rope. Ford knocks Fish off, but Fish recovers after some help from his partner, and crotches Ford. Top rope Exploder suplex by Fish and then O’Reilly comes off the top rope with a knee drop right to Ford’s knee. O’Reilly locks on an Achilles Lock. Ford is trying to get to the ropes but Fish elbow drops him.

Dawkins finally comes back in the ring and spinebusters Fish on top of O’Reilly to finally break that submission. Ford makes a legal tag and Dawkins is all over his opponents. Outstanding head and leg suplex by Dawkins on O’Reilly. Dawkins catches a knee straight to the face but that allows Ford a blind tag. O’Reilly with a front guillotine, and Ford comes off the top rope with a blockbuster! Fish is able to break up the pin though. Tremendous sequences from these two. Now all four are teeing off on one another. Ford with an spinning heel kick on Fish and O’Reilly with a knee strike to Dawkins. Ford knocks both challengers to the floor and then does a huge dive over the top rope to take them out.

They all get back in the ring and Dawkins spears both opponents, Ford’s on the top rope and a HUGE Frog Splash, cover and a 3 count!! Wow! The champs are sticking around for a bit apparently!

Winners: The Street Profits retain

K-Tank’s Take: Tremendous opener! I think that went about 20 minutes and was fantastic from the opening bell. All 4 guys shined and this is a huge suprise to start the night. I honestly thought that it was even more obvious UE would win since this was opening the show, because it would start the stort of them leaving with all the gold. Apparently not though, and I’m not complaining. GREAT opener.

Candice LaRae vs. Io Shirai

Io with some updates to her new look, more red in her hair and some highlighter yellow accents to her black leather gear. I still haven’t forgiven NXT for changing Candice’s theme music. Candice attacks Io before the bell rings. Then as the bell rings and Io tries to escape, Candice with a baseball slide. Io gets back in the ring and although Candice avoids a sunset flip powerbomb, She ends up getting suplexed on the English announce table. Well that’s a hell of a hot start.

Candice gets back in the ring at 9.5 but Io is waiting and all over her. Flapjack by Io, followed by a basement dropkick. Candice comes back with a headscissors, but Io lands on her face and comes back with a dropkick. A running Irish Curse backbreaker gets 2 for Io. Io from the top rope, but misses a front dropkick after Candice moves. Candice makes her comeback and hits a brainbuster for a two count. Candice with an Octopus Hold but Io falls into the ropes to break it. Io tries a 619, Candice catches it and spins Io around for a draping neckbreaker that gets a two count.

Both women get on the middle rope and Io dropkicks Candice to the apron. Io able to connect with a 619 that time. Io gets knocked to the floor though and Candice comes through the ropes with a tornado DDT through the ropes! That was nice. Back in the ring and Candice with a double foot stomp for a near fall. Io reverses a Candice strike and turns it into a Crossface. Candice escapes and then then both women trading running forearm smashes. Io with a release German, but Candice comes right back with her own.

Io with a deadlift bridging German suplex for a near fall. Dueling chants from the crowd as they are in this match for sure. Running double knee strikes in the corner by Io. Io to the top rope, Candice tries a German off the ropes, but Io lands on her feet. Io tries a GTS, but Candice somehow turns into a reverse hurricanrana for a near fall. Candice gets Io on the second rope and a big swinging neckbreaker off the there, but Io somehow kicks out again. “This is awesome” chants starting.

Io gets Candice up to the top rope again and comes crashing down with a Spanish Fly! Candice somehow kicks out. “Mamma Mia!” chants. Candice trying quick pins but Io ends up hitting her with a double underhook backbreaker. Io to the top for her moonsault but Candice kicks out!! Wow! Io regroups and locks in the Koji Clutch, Candice is all sorts of tied up and ends up passing out. The ref checks the arm and calls for the bell.

Winner: Io Shirai

K-Tank’s Take: THAT is how you steal a show. Wow! Some may have called it a throwaway match or not worthy to be on Takeover, but they proved they belong. That was one of the best women’s matches in Takeover history. It helps that they got a lot of time. Just a fantastic match. The finishing move wasn’t a traditional Koji Clutch, at least it didn’t look like it to me, but it still looked good and made sense for Candice passing out.

The announcers start hyping up the North American Title match, but Matt Riddle comes through the crowd and he comes into the ring, challenging Killian Dain to a fight. Dain comes through the crowd on the other side and we’ve got a fight! Dain with a pump kick but Riddle still fighting back. Riddle with a running Superman punch as they both get to the top of the stage. Ripcord knee by Riddle and he starts some ground and pound until security pulls him off. Riddle is dropping everyone in sight! Ripcord knees and GTS’s until Dain drops him with his running cross body. Riddle mounts Dain and tries to choke him out. Dain ramming Riddle into the LED board and then eventually gets a running start and take himself, Riddle, and a security guard out off the stage and through two tables below! Refs check on everyone as we go to the WWE2K20 commercial.

K-Tank’s Take: Well that was a fun brawl and glad to see Riddle end up on the program somehow. This has been a fun feud thus far. Both guys aren’t afraid of anything the other can throw at them. Great way to establish Dain.

The current EVOLVE Champion, Austin Theory is shown in the crowd. I’ve seen him a good amount of times on indy shows here in Texas and he’s definitely talented. Glad to see him get a bit of notariety here.

NXT North American Title Triple Threat Match
Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong

Dream going all the way Canadian for his entrance as a group of people come out to The Mountie’s theme song, which in itself is great, and then they take off their outfits to reveal being the Toronto Raptors dance crew, which gets a big pop from the crowd naturally. Dream comes out in red velvet with a Mountie’s hat. This match is such a toss up for me. Dunne may be my favorite wrestler under a WWE banner, and if it’s not him, it’s Dream. I’ve also been a Roddy fan since his first run in ROH, so I truly love all three guys.

Dunne and Roddy start things off as Dream goes to the floor. Back and forth until Dream dumps Roddy to the floor. Dunne and Dream team up momentarily to take out Roddy. Dropkick by Dream and then he sets up Roddy’s elbow for Dunne to stomp. Roddy gets dumped back to the floor and now Dunne trying to work over Dream’s arm. Dunne tries the Bitter End, Dream escapes, but ends up sliding out of it and right into Roddy crotching him on the ring post. Roddy is now suplexing and backbreaking everything that moves. Back suplex in the ring by Roddy for a two count.

Dream tries to come back in but gets clotheslined over the top rope. Roddy with a flurry of strikes on Dunne and then hits a traditional backbreaker for a two count. Dream back in again and hits an ax handle smash on Roddy as Dunne goes to the floor. Russian leg sweep for a two count by Dream. Traditional backbreaker by Dream on Roddy, followed by the Bret Hart second rope elbow smash. One more Bret nod as Dream hooks the Sharpshooter! Dunne comes off the top rope with a front dropkick on Dream to break that.

Dream and Dunne to the floor and Roddy hits a wrecking ball dropkick on Dream. Dunne to the middle rope and a moonsault on Roddy to the floor that slightly catches Dream as well. Everyone back in the ring and Dunne German suplexes Roddy onto Dream. Dunne with wrist control stomps to both of his opponents and now all three men just teeing off on each other. Now it’s enziguris for everyone. Dream Valley Driver on Dunne. Olympic Slam on Dream. X-Plex on Roddy! “This is awesome” chants starting. Dunne setting up for a Superplex on Dream but Dream fights it off. Roddy comes and joins them, top rope Olympic Slam on Dunne while Dunne has the fingers of Dream and all three men flying off the ropes. Cool spot there.

Dunne has a triangle hold on Roddy, while bending the fingers back on his left hand, Dream is on the opposite end of the ring and Coast to Coast Purple Rainmaker!! WOW!! Roddy now coming with knees and forearms galore on both opponents. Roddy piles both men up and double Strong Hold! That’s fantastic. Roddy can’t hold on long enough though. All three men get back up and Dream tries a double Dream Valley Driver. He gets them both up, but they slide out and Dunne ends up snapping the fingers of both men. He hits the Bitter End on Roddy, but Dream grabs the ref and won’t let him make the pin. The ref finally counts but Dream pushes him at two to stop the count.

Dunne is pissed and ties Dream up in a pretzel before just curb stomping his face into the mat. Roddy tries a German on Dunne, Dunne lands on his feet but runs into another Strong Hold. Dream back in the ring, throws Roddy out of the ring, hits Dunne with the Dream Valley Driver, but Roddy throws him over the top rope. Roddy with the End of Heartache on Dunne, but Dream comes flying with another Purple Rainmaker on Roddy, covers Dunne and retains the title!

Winner: Velveteen Dream retains

K-Tank’s Take: That went about 17 minutes and was non stop action! That was as good as it gets when you have three guys in the ring. I loved everything about it. A little surprised Dunne took the pinfall, but he definitely doesn’t look bad in defeat considering it took multiple finishers to do it. Just not used to Dunne losing when he was the UK Champ for so long. This show is absolutely killing it thus far.

NXT Women’s Title Match
Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Mia Yim

I’m a big Mia Yim fan, but these two have a hard task following everything before it and then knowing what’s coming after it. Hopefully the crowd doesn’t have a letdown here. Mia with a bit of a special entrance as a group of people in hoodies and bandanas line up on the ramp as Mia walks through them.

Early story in the match is Shayna trying to get a submission on Mia, but Mia using tatics like hair pulling and fish hooking to get out of them. Using the 5 count to her advantage. Arm drag by Mia, followed by a Helluva Kick and a cannonball. Shayna goes to the floor and Mia tries a dive, but Shayna catches her with a forearm. Mia comes back though and slams Shayna’s right arm into the steel steps twice. Then she traps the arm between the stairs and ringpost before dropkicking the steps more into Shayna’s arm. They get back in the ring and Shayna comes back with a kick but still holding onto that arm.

Jumping knee strike in the corner by Shayna. Shayna now able to work over the left arm of Mia. She manages to stomp on the exposed elbow. Key lock by Shayna. Shayna throws a forearm with her hurt arm. Shayna with a nasty standing arm bar and Mia once again goes to hair pulling to get out of it. Shayna drops her with a shoulder tackle, but used her hurt arm again to do it. Mia with a rollup for a two. Shayna back up and hits a dropkick for a two count. Another Key Lock but Mia gets the ropes. Shayna locks it again and Mia rakes the eyes. Samoan Drop by Mia. Mia starting a comeback. Multiple punches and then it looks like both women get crossed up as nothing really happens.

Crowd starting to get restless on this match as Shayna goes to the floor and Mia dives through the ropes to take her out. Tornado DDT back in the ring by Mia for a two count. Mia misses a Helluva Kick and Shayna hits a jumping knee. Another running knee strike gets a two count for Shayna. Shayna can’t suplex Mia with her hurt arm and Mia flapjacks her on the top turnbuckle. Mia locks on a Tarantula in the corner, using the full 5 count. Mia to the top rope but Shayna cuts her off. Shayna tries a top rope gutwrench but can’t with the arm. Mia then somehow does what I call a Ferris Wheel powerbomb off the top rope! Mauro called it Code Blue, but whatever you call it, I’ve never seen it from the top rope!

Mia can’t get a three count with it though. She manages to break a choke attempt by Shayna and then turns the tables by stomping on the exposed elbow of Shayna’s hurt arm. Mia trying a Fujiwara armbar but can’t lock it in. Shayna turns it back into the choke, but Mia once again breaks out. Shayna turns it into a triangle choke from a mount position and Mia has to tap out.

Winner: Shayna Baszler retains

K-Tank’s Take: UGH. That’s all I can say. I saw these two at a live event in June and that match was much better than this one. I understand the story and psychology of this match, but it just didn’t work. The crowd had a smattering of boos throughout and came close to chanting boring it seemed. The UGH is more for Shayna winning again though. I’m tired of her. I don’t understand the way they built Mia here, only to have her tap out like everyone else.

NXT UK Champion Walter and Tyler Bate are shown in the crowd, in different areas, as they are the main event for the NXT UK Takeover event in 3 weeks from Cardiff.

NXT Championship Match
3 Stages of Hell
(1st fall – Standard match, 2nd fall – Street Fight, 3rd fall – Steel Cage w/weapons)
Adam Cole (c) vs. Johnny Gargano

For those keeping score on Gargano’s Marvel attires, tonight is Wolverine. Cole gets a huge chant before he comes out. Gargano gets more than a few boos during the big match introductions. I’m telling you, Cole is over on another level. By the way, when did the NXT titles turn to a velcro strap? That is AWFUL. Makes it look like a kid’s toy.

First Fall – Standard Wrestling Match

Quick mat wrestling start from Gargano before Cole gets to his feet and they start over. Cole with a shoulder tackle. Cole avoids the Gargano Escape, Gargano avoids the Last Shot. Gargano avoids the Gargano Escape, Cole escapes the Last Shot. Both men fire up for a Superkick but think better of it as they realize the other is thinking the same. Cole ends up on the second rope and tries a Panama Sunrise but Gargano moves. The roles get reversed and Cole moves this time. Gargano decides to jump anyways and hits a hurricanrana. Cole to the floor and Gargano with a wrecking ball dropkick.

They go to the other side of the ring and Gargano drives Cole’s right knee into the steel steps and then slams that knee into the ring apron. Gargano now working over that knee. He hooks an Indian Death Lock but Cole gets the ropes. Gargano with an enziguri on the apron. Cole goes to the floor and ends up pulling Gargano out and hitting a wheelbarrow slam on the apron. Neckbreaker in the ring by Cole. Cole wearing down Gargano with a triangle submission. Gargano escapes by yanking on the injured knee/ankle of Cole.

Cole tries the Panama Sunrise again, but lands on the leg, which allows Gargano to overhead belly to belly Cole into the turnbuckles. Gargano with a couple clotheslines and then sweeps the leg. He hits his rolling kick on Cole. Cole tries dumping Gargano to the apron, but Gargano comes back with his spear through the ropes. Cole catches him though and tries his brainbuster over the knee but Gargano gets up and hits a sitout Michinoku Driver for a two count. Cole misses a superkick, which exposes Gargano to stomp on it and hook a figure four.

Cole manages to get the ropes. Gargano misses an enziguri. Cole with a wheelbarrow slam again, this time with a bridging pin for a two count. Both men start trading kicks. Cole tries the Panama Sunrise again, but Gargano stops it and turns it into a Sunset Driver for a two count. Gargano gets Cole up on the top rope. Cole tries a sunset flip powerbomb, but lands on the leg again. Gargano jumps off but gets caught with a Codebreaker. Michinoku Driver of his own by Cole for a two count.

Both men come off the ropes and hit a running clothesline. Cole dumped to the floor but as Gargano tries a dive, Cole catches him with an enziguri. Cole goes to the wheelbarrow once more, but Gargano reverses it and sends Cole face first into the barricade. Gargano with a Tornado DDT back in the ring. They go back and forth and Cole hits the brainbuster over the knee for a near fall. Cole gets frustrated and goes to grab a steel chair. The ref cuts him off and take it away but Cole hits a low blow kick. Cole with a pin but Gargano kicks out!

Cole gets the chair again and takes a seat, mocking Gargano. The ref tells Cole he’s going to DQ Cole, so Cole tosses the chair and gets in the ref’s face. Gargano superkicks Cole and then grabs the chair himself and decides to hit Cole across the back with it, causing a DQ.

Adam Cole – 1, Johnny Gargano – 0

2nd Fall – Street Fight

Gargano driving the chair into Cole. Cole rolls to the floor and Gargano just launches the chair into Cole’s face. They both go into the crowd now and Gargano is beating Cole up and down the aisles. Gargano even has time for a selfie in the crowd. Cole finally fights back but catches a superkick. Cole takes a ride in one of the foreign announcer’s chairs. They end up back near ringside and Gargano dives off the timekeeper’s table and drives Cole straight through the barricade. Gargano cleans off the English announce table. Cole gouges the eyes as they both get on top of the table. Cole though gets back body dropped from the English table, through the Spanish announce table.

“Mamma Mia” chants now as Gargano throws Cole back in the ring. Gargano decides we need not one but two tables in the ring, along with a couple steel chairs. Gargano gets in the ring but gets caught with a Shining Wizard. Cole gets him up and hits a DVD over his knee for a near fall. Cole wedges a chair in between one of the turnbuckles. Of course that backfires as Cole gets lawn darted into the chair. Gargano locks on the Gargano Escape and Cole taps out.

Adam Cole – 1, Johnny Gargano – 1

3rd Fall – Steel Cage w/Weapons

Holy shit, there’s barbed wire all the way around the top of the cage! They got a great shot of Cole’s reaction to the cage coming down before going to replays. There’s chairs, chains, fire extinguishers, sledgehammers, kendo sticks, crowbars, hell there’s even a ladder in one of the corners! This is insane. It’s announced there’s no escape from the cage, only pinfalls or submissions win. There’s a sack of probably thumbtacks tied to the cage. Both men trading blows as the bell rings and Gargano drops him with a lariat. Gargano grabs a kendo stick, but gets caught with a superkick. Cole gets a kendo stick but gets caught with a superkick. Both men wailing away with the kendo sticks and then a double superkick! The crowd goes nuts as both men are down.

Gargano wants the ladder, but Cole cuts him off. Gargano hangs off the ladder and connects with a hurricanrana. Reverse hurricanrana follows that. Another superkick from Gargano and that gets a near fall. “Fight forever” chants. Gargano sets up a table but Cole drills him with a chair. Cole goes for another chair on the cage, Gargano stops him but Cole throws him face first into that chair. Cole uses a kendo stick to assist with a backstabber, which gets a two count.

Cole sets up 2 chairs opened and facing each other. Gargano put on the top rope in front of them. Cole tries a superplex but Gargano fights off. Gargano looks above him and turns on a fire extinguisher and blasts it in Cole’s face. Gargano with a Tornado DDT into those chairs. Cole comes down hard on point of the backing of the chair. Gargano goes back to the kendo stick and then sees a sledgehammer. Cole tries to cut him off as they’re both on the top rope, but Gargano hits a sunset flip powerbomb! Cole somehow kicks outs.

Gargano goes back up for the sledgehammer and this time is able to get it. He tries to use it but Cole with a combo of superkicks. Cole goes for the ladder, unhooks it and chunks it towards Gargano. Gargano ducks but Cole comes off the ropes and finally hits the Panama Sunrise. Gargano kicks out! Cole sets up the ladder and starts to climb. Panama Sunrise off the ladder! Gargano kicks out! Good God. Cole tries the Last Shot but Gargano just crumbles to the mat. Cole opens up a chair and lays Gargano on it. He tries a Last Shot again but Gargano moves and Cole’s leg wipes out the chair.

Gargano tries the Gargano Escape using a kendo stick, but Cole bites Gargano’s hand to prevent it. Gargano with the sledgehammer again and slams it into the ribs of Cole. Gargano sets up the ladder in front of one of the corners, then opens one table and sets it up. Then he grabs the second table and opens it side by side. He lays Cole down on the far table and now climbs the ladder. Cole simply rolls off the table. Gargano back down and drills Cole with a kendo stick.

They’re now in the opposite side of the ring, both on the top rope, Top Rope Canadian Destroyer!! Cole kicks out! Gargano gets the sack off the cage and there are pliers, brass knuckles, and handcuffs. Gargano grabs the pliers and goes to the top of the cage to cut off some of the barbed wire. Cole wants to run away now and he’s on top of the cage. There’s some sort of metal table on that corner of the ring, but they are now right above the ladder and two tables set up below. They’re both standing on the table, Gargano is trying to gouge Cole with the barbed wire, they both leap off the cage! They come crashing through the far table, completely missing the near table. Cole has the barbed wire tangled in his hair. He somehow rolls over on Gargano, Adam Cole retains in one of the damndest matches I’ve ever seen!!

Winner: Adam Cole retains

K-Tank’s Take: There’s a famous JR Call where he says, “They gave you everything in their bodies, everything in their souls, for you here tonight.” That’s all I can think about after these two guy just went FIFTY-TWO MINUTES in all out war. That’s gotta go down as the greatest match in NXT History. They literally did everything they could think of to win. Adam Cole didn’t win, he survived. I just can’t put into words how good, how GREAT, this match was. Cole had two massive welts on his back. I believe one right above his waistline came from the fall. I thought as the match went on that Gargano would actually win, and the story would end up being that UE not only didn’t leave with all the gold, they left with none of the gold. Clearly though, no complaints with Cole retaining. He’s the franchise and everything about this match worked. Wow. If you didn’t watch this match live, watch it immediately. And then watch it again.

Thank you guys for joining me once again! John will have his version of this show up tomorrow, along with live SummerSlam coverage! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @KTankTJR.