‘A Dream, Realised’ – ‘NXT TakeOver: New York’ Review – 05/04/2019

Well, it’s finally here! I’m Scott Hammond and this is NXT TakeOver: New York!

NXT Tag Team Title Championship Match: The War Raiders (c) vs Aleister Black & Ricochet

The War Raiders had another great Viking style entrance. The crowd was hot and ready to go. Black and Rowe started the match. They exchanged some great chain wrestling to start. There were a few respect spots between the two before both men tagged in their respective partners. Ricochet with the head scissors into a kip up dropkick by Ricochet on Hanson. All four men entered the ring and Black hit Rowe with a running knee to the stomach as Ricochet hit a seated dropkick. Great teamwork here. The Raiders recovered and Hanson hit a scoop slam with Rowe onto Ricochet. Black tagged in and Hanson began to slow the pace of the match down.

Ricochet managed a quick tag and hit a hurricanrana into a springboard forearm on Rowe. He followed that up with a standing shooting star press for a two count. He then tagged in Black who took down Rowe with a strike. Black then applied a seated abdominal stretch on Rowe to slow the pace again. Black hit foot strikes on Rowe in the corner, but Rowe recovered and hit a knee strike and managed to tag Hanson. Ricochet tagged in as well and Hanson hit running lariats on both Black and Ricochet. Then, in a moment of madness, Rowe was caught by Ricochet in the corner, and he performed a crazy fallaway slam! Unreal.

Rowe and Black tagged back in and began a striking exchange followed by knees strikes. Ricochet and Hanson were now in and Ricochet went for his signature handspring elbow but missed, and Hanson followed up with a handspring elbow of his own for a two count. Hanson then ascended to the top rope but was caught by Ricochet. but Rowe entered the ring and the Raiders hit a double team German suplex into a middle rope springboard clothesline for a two count that was broken up by Black with a foot stomp. Black eliminated Hanson to the outside and hit him with a springboard moonsault to the outside, but this was quickly followed by Rowe hitting Black with a Tope Suicida.

Ricochet then hit a flying corkscrew tiger drop onto Rowe. Hanson then ascended to the top rope and hit a cannonball onto all three men. Unbelievable. Ricochet and Rowe were then in, and Ricochet hit a knee to the face. Black then hit Black Mass on Rowe followed by a shooting star press by Ricochet but only got a two count! Ricochet then missed a 630, and Black missed a springboard moonsault to the outside. The War Raiders then hit the floor cannon on Ricochet followed by Fallout for the pinfall victory. Both teams then shook hands and hugged it out. The Raiders then bowed to Ricochet and Black.

Winners and still NXT Tag Team Champions: War Raiders

Black and Ricochet stayed in the ring to a standing ovation. Both men got very emotional. Incredible moment for both of these tremendous athletes. They will be very missed in NXT.

NXT North American Championship Match: Velveteen Dream (c) vs Matt Riddle

Dream’s entrance was something else. He stood on a podium as the Statue of Liberty and was carried to the ring. Fantastic stuff here for the character of Dream. Both men talked at the beginning of the match. Riddle hit a few foot strikes to start. Riddle applied an armbar but Dream quickly got out of the hold. Dream stepped on Riddle’s foot, and Dream took advantage with a collection of near falls. Riddle recovered and hit two gut wrench suplexes but Dream reversed and hit a dropkick. Riddle moved to the outside, and Dream attempted an axe handle from the top, but Riddle caught him and hit a deadlift German suplex. Riddle then got Dream back into the ring and hit a senton, followed by palm strikes. Riddle then hit an exploder suplex.

Dream recovered long enough to hit a German suplex of his own, but Riddle no sold the move and hit a knee strike to the face followed by a fisherman’s buster for a two count. Riddle hit yet another senton (apparently called a Bro-Ton, I don’t like it), but Dream applied a sleeper hold. This was quickly reversed by Riddle into a hanging armbar, which he then turned into a short arm knee strike, followed by a GTS (am I allowed to call it that anymore?), followed by a bridged German suplex for a two count. Riddle looked angry at this point. Riddle then hit kicks to the chest of Dream, but he began Hulking up. Dream hit punches to the head, followed by a big boot, and then into a knee strike to the head of Riddle.

Dream then hit his double axe handle to the outside, followed by a Fame-Asser in the ring for a two count. Dream hit a Codebreaker for a two count, and then went for a knee strike but Riddle countered into a single leg crab. Dream recovered and hit a Dream DDT, followed by the Dream Valley Driver. Dream then went to the top rope and went for a Purple Rainmaker elbow but Riddle caught him and put him into the Bro-Mission! Dream fought out and went to the apron but Riddle caught him, and standing on the middle rope, hit an overhead German suplex turning Dream inside out! Riddle hit the Floating Bro for a two count. This is a brilliant wrestling match. Powerbomb by Riddle followed by a Bro-Mission, but Dream rolled through and managed the surprise pinfall. Riddle looked very frustrated as Dream celebrated with his title. Both men fist bumped to finish the segment.

Winner and still NXT North American Champion: Velveteen Dream

NXT United Kingdom Championship Match: Pete Dunne (c) vs WALTER

Before my match run down, below is a report from SteelChair Mag’s amazing NXT UK correspondent John Dinsdale:

This may have been the best match in NXT UK history. It was the David and Goliath fight cranked up to the max. It was brute strength vs agility and cunning. Dunne would continuously target the fingers of WALTER in an attempt to set up the Arm Bar/Finger lock but it would never quite work. WALTER kicked out of the Bitter End too just to really rub in the fact that he was a monster. He brutalised Dunne with chops, nearly took his head off with Big Boots and practically Powerbombed him out of his boots at one point. it was a grizzly matched, buoyed by amazing storytelling as the long-standing king of NXT UK refused to give up his thrown. Dunne would kick out of multiple pin attempts and would deliver shocking moves to WALTER. One of the most memorable was a Coup de Grace (basically) to the outside. It symbolised the lengths Dunne was willing to do to stop WALTER winning. Ultimately it wouldn’t be enough though as after a gruelling fight, Dunne fell victim to a top rope Powerbomb and was finished with a Splash off the top. Dunne is no longer the champion but he went down swinging. It took WALTER everything to pry the belt from him. Now whenever the UK Champion is called out the bars of Dvorak’s New World Symphony will play instead of the Bruiserweight’s iconic theme. We are in a new era for NXT UK.

As far as I’m concerned, this was the match I’d been waiting for. Yes, I’m biased. Dunne has had the UK title now for 685 days. An incredible feat in this day and age. The size difference here made it a very ‘David vs Goliath’ match. Dunne started by trying an ankle twist, but WALTER fought out quickly. Dunne tried to manipulate the fingers of WALTER early but again they both gave each other respect and backed off one another. Dunne then managed to avoid the big chop from WALTER. Dunne hit a forearm but was hit by a huge chop from WALTER. Slow start here. WALTER then frog leapt over Dunne and hit a big boot. He then took Dunne to the outside and hit Dunne with a back body drop on the ring apron. Dunne recovered and tried to put on a kneebar. But WALTER hit two huge chops and reversed the hold into a Boston Crab. Chest strikes then followed, and WALTER hit another big boot off the apron. Back in the ring, Dunne avoided WALTER’s advance in the corner and hit him with an enzuigiri, followed by a seated knee strike to the back of the head.

Dunne then hit WALTER with a middle rope moonsault to the outside. Dunne then hit an incredible sit down powerbomb after a sunset flip from the top rope. WALTER dropped out of the ring and Dunne then ascended to the top rope again and hit a double foot stomp to the outside. Both men made it back in before the ten-count, and WALTER hit a shotgun dropkick out of the corner on Dunne. Amazing stuff! WALTER then hit a powerbomb for a close two count. WALTER then picked Dunne up and hit short arm chops, but Dunne fought back with punches and began joint manipulation. WALTER hit a foot stomp on Dunne and tried to follow it up with another powerbomb but Dunne revered into a step-up enzuigiri. Dunne recovered and hit a foot stomp on WALTER’s fingers, and then went to the top rope, but was caught by the Austrian and hit with an avalanche sleeper suplex.

WALTER then went for a big chop but Dunne caught his hand and hit the make a wish finger snap, followed by a snap German suplex into a crucifix pin for a two count. Unprotected stomps to WALTER’s face by Dunne who followed up with a finger lock that pulled both of WALTER’s arms behind his back but he managed to get to the ropes. WALTER recovered and went to the top rope, but got caught in a triangle choke. WALTER reversed this with foot strikes, but Dunne continued to try and manipulate his left hand. Dunne worked this into a Bitter End but only got a two count! Both men stood across from each other and met in the centre of the ring, and exchanged chops and forearms. WALTER hit a huge boot to the face and went to the top rope, but Dunne met him on the top rope, but WALTER hit him with a top rope jackknife powerbomb. WALTER then hit a huge splash for the pinfall victory. Wow. Probably the best match in NXT UK history.

Winner and NEW NXT United Kingdom Champion: WALTER

NXT Women’s Championship Match: Shayna Baszler (c) vs Io Shirai vs Bianca Belair vs Kairi Sane

I’m fully converted as a fan of Baszler now. She got a heel reaction from a smart crowd. She is the most important female in NXT hands down. The match broke down quickly and Baszler and Belair were left in the ring. Both women had a quick exchange before Shirai broke up a pinfall attempt, and Sane ran in and hit a seated neckbreaker on Baszler. Belair then hit Sane with a shoulder block, but Sane recovered and she and Shirai hit a double dropkick on Belair, followed by double team offence on Baszler, hitting another double dropkick. Sane and Shirai then faced off with Sane trying a head scissors takedown but Shirai landed on her feet. Both women were ejected from the ring by Belair and Baszler, who then fought it out, with Baszler hitting a jumping stomp on Belair’s left elbow.

Belair recovered with a dropkick of her own and to the outside, where Baszler tried to use Belair’s braided hair to pull her into the ring post, but Belair recovered and pulled Baszler into it instead. Belair went back into the ring but ran into a kabuki elbow by Sane. Sane whipped Baszler into the ropes when Io Shirai springboarded over her and hit a dropkick on Belair, great tandem offence, (they should be a tag team, nudge nudge). Belair caught Shirai off the top rope and hit a fallaway slam. Baszler recovered and met Belair on the top rope, who was then met by Sane and Shirai, and they performed a double powerbomb suplex, leading to all four women being down. The Sky Pirates hit a double team springboard InSane elbow over the top rope onto Baszler and Belair. Back in the ring, after a small recovery, Belair hit Sane with a double chicken wing facebuster, but Baszler hit her with a step up knee strike.

Shirai and Sane stood up with Belair and hit her with strikes, but Belair worked it out and military press slammed Shirai to the outside onto Baszler and Sane. Baszler then made it into the ring and caught Belair in the Kirifuda clutch, but Belair fought out and hit the KOD and went for a pin that was broken up by Shirai. She then hit a moonsault on Baszler that was broken up by Sane. Sane then hit Shirai with an Alabama Slam on Shirai onto Baszler and followed up with the InSane elbow drop but Shirai broke up the pinfall. The Sky Pirates then traded strikes with each other before Sane hit a spike DDT, and went for the top rope, but Belair hit her with her braids, and then hit a double KOD on Shirai and Sane. That was absolutely incredible. Baszler jumped in and locked in the Kirifuda clutch on Belair, who desperately tried to get out, but eventually tapped out.

Winner and still NXT Women’s Champion: Shayna Baszler

2 out of 3 Falls NXT Championship Match: Adam Cole vs Johnny Gargano

The crowd are very pro-Cole at the start of this match. This is the biggest match in both men’s career. Both men start with chain wrestling as expected. Both men had quick pinfalls, but Gargano then hit a deep arm drag to slow the pace down. Both men exchanged forearms, and Gargano followed up with a hurricanrana into a dropkick, which led to Cole falling to the outside to very little reaction from the crowd. Cole recovered and began working Gargano in the corner, hitting knee strikes to the face, and then forced Gargano into a rear chin lock.

Gargano tried a comeback but Cole cut him off with a high elbow. Both men ran into each other and cross bodied each other. Gargano hit an overhead belly to belly suplex to boos from the live crowd and hit a slingshot spear on Cole for a two count. Gargano went to the second rope and hit a twisting flatliner for a two count, and then pushed Cole into the corner but Cole reversed and hit a backstabber from the second rope. Both men traded near strikes before Cole came off the rope and hit Gargano in the back of the head with a shining wizard and got the first pinfall. Bit of a weird way to win the first fall.

Winner of the first pinfall: Adam Cole

Cole went straight at Gargano at the start of the second fall and nailed a German suplex followed by The Last Shot for a two count. Both men made it to the apron, where Gargano hit a spear on Cole. Gargano went for a springboard over the top rope but Cole caught him in a fireman’s carry into a neckbreaker. Cole took Gargano up to the top rope, and before he could do anything, Gargano caught him with an avalanche air raid crash for a two count. Cole got up on the apron, but Gargano hit an amazing springboard DDT on the apron. Gargano didn’t want to win a fall by count out so he got back in the ring, allowing Cole to recover. Both men traded attempts at submissions but Gargano managed to get Cole into the Gargano escape for the second fall.

Winner of the second fall: Johnny Gargano

Both men started the final fall trading strikes and kicks. Gargano hit Cole with a superkick, but Cole recovered quickly and hit a suplex shoulder breaker. Gargano then picked Cole up out of nowhere and lawn darted him into the second turnbuckle and followed it up with a full nelson driver for a two count. Both men then went back to trading strikes, enzuigiris and superkicks. Cole then hit a back of the head superkick, into a straight jacket German suplex on Gargano for another two-count.

Gargano hit a reverse rana, followed by another superkick but Cole slid outside the ring under the bottom rope, making it impossible for Gargano to get a pin. Gargano went out after Cole but got caught in a wheelbarrow suplex into the ring apron video wall. Cole got back into the ring but was quickly hit with the slingshot DDT by Gargano for a two count. Is nobody selling in this match? Gargano hit a Tope Suicida and tried to follow up with another slingshot but Cole hit him with yet another superkick and followed it up with a middle rope Canadian Destroyer for a two-count! Both men are kicking out of everything.

Both men went to the outside and Cole trash talked Gargano until he was wiped out over the announce table. Cole recovered and hit Gargano with a double underhook Driver on the announce table and it didn’t break. Cole then tried to get the referee to count Gargano out but he made it back into the ring at nine. Cole hit what felt like the 1000th superkick and got yet ANOTHER two count. Cole came off the middle rope but was caught in the Gargano Escape again! This time Roderick Strong showed up on the apron and was quickly dispatched by Gargano. Cole found himself back in the Gargano Escape and this time Strong was on the apron distracting the referee whilst both Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish raked the eyes of Gargano forcing him to release the hold.

Cole then pushed Gargano into the referee, and after the ref bump, O’Reilly and Fish hit the High-Low. Strong threw the referee back in but Gargano kicked out at two! Incredible. Just incredible. Gargano backdropped Cole over the top rope into the other members of the Undisputed Era and one by one took them out outside the ring. But when he re-entered the ring he was hit with the 10,000th superkick to the face, and then to the back of the head, followed by the Last Shot, but Cole only got a two count! This is completely mad. Unbelievable. Cole missed another Last Shot but Gargano caught him with the Gargano Escape and Cole eventually tapped out! WHAT…A…MATCH.

Winner of the third fall, and NEW NXT Champion: Johnny Gargano

Johnny Gargano is now the first-ever NXT Triple crown winner. Candice LeRae joined Gargano in the ring and celebrated with her husband. Gargano celebrated with his mother and father and went into the crowd. On the ramp, Gargano celebrated, and incredibly Tommaso Ciampa showed up behind him, and he, LeRae and Gargano hugged it out on the ramp to end the show.

Well, what can I say? The show was great until the last match, and that was absolutely incredible. Not sure I’m the biggest fan of so many superkicks and false finishes, but it didn’t take away any enjoyment of the show, a truly worthy WrestleMania weekend TakeOver.

All photos and videos courtesy of WWE.com

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