WWE NXT TakeOver: Respect Reaction

Courtesy of Cageside Seats website.

Courtesy of Cageside Seats website.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

With a plethora of new signings mixed with already-established NXT mainstays, “Respect” delivered exciting action from top to bottom.

With the show named in honor of the late great “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes – who played an integral part in helping NXT talent “find themselves” within their character – respect was a booming theme throughout the show, right down from the Dusty-inspired stage with his likeness displayed on the LED screen to the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament trophy right next to it.

WWE Creative recently coined the term “Divas Revolution” and elements of that “revolution” witnessed first-hand perhaps the best women’s match to date – the 30-minute Iron Man match for the NXT Women’s Championship between Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks. Women’s wrestling took over the final half hour, fittingly appropriate for a show that delivered in spades.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 10/7/15)

The Breakdown

– The opening video did a stellar job of paying tribute to Dusty while also highlighting Bayley’s big Championship victory over Banks at TakeOver: Brooklyn in an incredible match, rightfully comparing them to past well-known rivalries like Shawn Michaels-Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin-The Rock, all revolving over the World Championship – the industry’s top prize. It did a good job in also showing that even the strongest of rivalries had the foundation of respect woven into them, also established with Banks-Bayley headed in.

– When it came to how the semifinals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag team Classic Tournament would play out, we were predicting that it’d come down to two specific teams and NXT Champion Finn Balor/Samoa Joe were one of them. While nobody expected any different result with the opening match between Balor/Joe and Scott Dawson/Dash Wilder, we still got a good match with high energy and smart wrestling. Dawson/Wilder already had a grand accolade in the tourney of eliminating the NXT Tag Team Champions The Vaudevillains in the first round, so it’s not as if they’d leave this empty-handed. Dawson/Wilder consistently targeted Balor’s left knee and it was a strong factor for a good portion of the bout. The teases for Joe’s hot tag were well-delivered and it made sense that it was ultimately the deciding factor when Joe was able to get in there. The Muscle Buster/Coup de Grace combo reigned supreme again. We also liked that the condition of Balor’s knee was a concern for later in the night. Well played up.

– We followed one tourney match with another as we saw Jason Jordan/Chad Gable against Baron Corbin/Rhyno. We were predicting that Corbin/Rhyno would go over here, as Jordan/Gable were still establishing themselves and would get a better rub from a standout performance than a victory. It helped that the American Gladiators-esque Jordan/Gable were over with the Full Sail crowd, as they even chanted Gable’s name to the tune of Kurt Angle’s old theme song. Funny. Corbin/Rhyno dominated the first half, but things picked up nicely when Gable/Jordan made their comeback, with some nice spots like breaking what looked like the deciding pinfall as well as Gable’s incredible German Suplex. It almost looked like Gable/Jordan would complete the comeback, but it wasn’t meant to be. It was actually kind of cool to essentially feel the crowd’s energy leave when Corbin hit the End Of Days, fully turning the momentum their way to get the win. Some boos, but more of a gasp from the crowd with the pinfall. Overall, a good match.

– Many were curious as to how the subject of “WWE’s highest profile signing” would fare in her in-ring NXT debut. That’s right, we’re talking about the colorful yet dangerous Japanese wrestling extraordinaire Asuka. Safe to say, she surpassed all expectations and then some from the moment she came out. Her theme music and entrance demanded your attention, and her face, while bubbly, also had the “I’m going to kick some ass” look. The Dana Brooke/Emma duo did what they had to do to be a threat to Asuka, as Brooke carried herself well here. Brooke expressed disrespect a few times, right from the handshake shove to the harsh face slap. Asuka came off as a submission machine while displaying lightning-flash athleticism, at times combining both qualities, as the crowd oohed and ahh’d at many spots. We expected a full-on Asuka ass-kicking, but Brooke hung with her longer than we thought. It was well-established through Asuka’s offense that a submission could happen out of nowhere and it was a fitting way to end things here. Asuka had some fierce kicks too and she showed some personality with the way she mocked Brooke’s mannerisms to a tee. We liked what went down post-match with Emma looking away when Asuka stared her down, almost assuredly setting up Asuka’s next opponent. Strong debut match.

– To keep up with the debuting ladies, Nia Jax will debut next week. Looking forward to that.

– Apollo Crews continued his momentum, yet met an even challenger in Tyler Breeze in his most competitive bout to date. We saw some tough strikes and rough spots here, with Breeze shoving Crews into the apron sticking out in our minds. Crews sold his back for most of the time and it allowed him to show vulnerability for the first time. It was also interesting that commentary mentioned numerous times about Breeze drawing frustrations from not getting his big opportunity in NXT despite being there from the beginning. Perhaps a call-up is imminent? Anyways, Crews’ back problems allowed him to work around his signature spots as Breeze countered his Backflip Moonsault and nearly stole the match with a rollup attempt for a good near-fall. Seeing some variety from Crews never hurts, as it keeps his repertoire fresh and the notable victory keeps him built up as a possible contender for the main event scene soon.

– The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic finals between Corbin/Rhyno and Balor/Joe was exactly what we predicted and while it was a good match, we were watching with caution, since it was rumored that a Joe turn would go down to set up a Title feud with Balor, and it’d be most effective if used to purposely cost them the trophy for the big prize being the NXT Championship. However, seeing what went down after the match, we now understand why they did what they did by having Joe/Balor win so decisively. The post-match trophy presentation with the entire Rhodes family present, including Dustin and Cody, the latter cutting a speech talking about his father’s influence, put a real emotional touch on a triumphant moment. It’ll be interesting to see if this was a one-time appearance for Cody since he broke character, or if they have him fully return, since Stardust was absent from Raw, his program with Neville seemingly dropped in favor of a Neville-King Barrett feud.

– Just when you thought their Brooklyn effort couldn’t be topped, Banks and Bayley went ahead and did it. This Iron Man match was an instant classic and almost a shoo-in for the Match Of The Year candidate list. Needless to say that this had high expectations headed in and we loved the fact that the spotlight was given to women’s wrestling particularly, with the front row of WWE Divas Champion Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Stephanie McMahon and Lita being shown. The match had an understandably slow start, as both competitors felt each other out, respect being the theme at the beginning, though that slowly deteriorated as the minutes ticked away. Banks took an Arm Drag particularly rough early on, landing on her neck and shoulder, which commentary played up throughout the match, as well as Bayley targeting Banks’ hand, like Banks did to her at Brooklyn. Banks’ dirty side came out after she shoved Bayley to the canvas after being helped up and it played an aide in the first fall, as she cleverly used herself to obstruct the Referee’s view to poke the Champ’s eyes for the first fall, getting a 1-0 lead. Bayley showed some great fight, being able to tie it right up with a Bayley-To-Belly. The best part of the match came in the middle when Banks heeled it up a notch by Irish-Whipping Bayley into the LED screen, causing it to lose picture, gaining a countout to go up 2-1. Even better was when she got in the face of Izzy – Bayley’s biggest nine year-old fan who always sits in the right corner at shows – and snatched her bow and kicked Bayley while wearing it, then throwing it with authority back at her in the crowd, bringing Izzy to tears. We might call Banks heel of the century after that one, once again not stopping a bit to make people talk. Bayley did a convincing job of playing up her urgency to tie, eventually doing so. Also loved the steel steps being worked in for a few minutes there as a weapon, with Banks going to that well constantly. The match’s final minutes gave us some incredibly intense action, as Banks applied the Banks Statement for nearly two minutes in desperation to make Bayley tap out, which she brilliantly countered into using herself, to make Banks verbally submit with a mere few seconds left. Incredible way to end the match and this likely sends Banks up to the main roster full-time now. Also loved the top-notch presentation after the match with Triple H giving flowers to both ladies, who were visibly exhausted yet grinning from ear-to-ear at the clinic they just provided us. Banks’ tears particularly sold it as an emotional moment. Even better was the entire NXT roster out there, in street clothes, making the moment appear even more legitimate. Easily the best TakeOver yet and that’s saying a lot since nearly every TakeOver has throughly impressed, especially with Brooklyn. Definitely worth checking out if you’ve got the time.

 

 

 

 

 

Results

  • Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament – Semifinals – Finn Balor/Samoa Joe def. Scott Dawson/Dash Wilder via pinfall to advance
  • Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament – Semifinals – Baron Corbin/Rhyno def. Jason Jordan/Chad Gable via pinfall to advance
  • Asuka def. Dana Brooke (w/Emma) via submission
  • Apollo Crews def. Tyler Breeze via pinfall
  • Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament – Finals – Finn Balor/Samoa Joe def. Baron Corbin/Rhyno via pinfall
  • NXT Women’s Championship – 30-Minute Iron Man Match – Bayley (Champion) def. Sasha Banks 3 Falls To 2 to retain 

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 28-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on October 8, 2015, in NXT, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

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