WWE NXT TakeOver: London Reaction
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Professional wrestling fans are often vocal and boisterous, but when it comes to professional wrestling fans in the United Kingdom, they simply reach a different level.
Taking what has made NXT a brilliant concept (new faces, established stars and exciting storylines) and bringing it to places never imagined before (London, Brooklyn, etc.) has only strengthened it as a brand almost reminiscent of its own wrestling promotion.
In retrospect, TakeOver: London was like an Oreo cookie – chocolatey goodness top and bottom, some vanilla in the middle, but not enough to shake the excellent overall taste.
– Given the scope of the show and where it came from airing live on the WWE Network (meaning that North American fans had to settle for a late afternoon live stream), it was appropriate to give it the usual “Proud Papa Triple H stands in the ring and amps the crowd up” intro. Of course for storyline purposes, he did have to mention getting beat down by Roman Reigns a few days prior, but he used it to excite the crowd more by saying even that wouldn’t stop him from being there. When you think about it, it really is amazing how Trips has literally used Vince McMahon’s money to create the alternative to traditional WWE. Looking at the packed arena and loud crowd, we were almost sure this show was set to be stuff of legend. Furthering off of this was the stellar opening video, which gave a glimpse into feud highlights with sound bytes from some competitors on the show as Moorhead’s “Ace Of Spades” played in the background.
– Starting from the crowd’s roar upon the opening seconds of Asuka’s entrance, we were confident the right match led off the show. London was all about Asuka the whole time and even then, they still respected Emma as an innovative vicious heel who has upped her game this year, even buying Dana Brooke as her ally. The match provided a scrappy style of technical wrestling mixed with harsh strikes and kicks on both ends. People probably expected an Asuka squash, but having Emma play the same level made it even better. The crowd’s energy was also felt all over this one. We even loved how they made the predictable finish seem uncertain, with the “Ref bump” leading to Brooke trying to lend Emma a weapon, only for it to end up in Asuka’s hands when the Ref came to, Emma rolling up Asuka in a pin before a DQ could occur for a good near-fall. Another great tease was Brooke distracting the Ref while Asuka had Emma tapping out in the Asuka Lock, making everybody think that maybe Emma would win this, but the Spin Kick erased those thoughts quickly. Great opener.
– The NXT Tag Team Championship match between Champions Dash Wilder/Scott Dawson and Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady began with a classic SAWFT promo. The action was excellent, energetic tag team wrestling with inventive chants from the UK peeps that included the likes of singing The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” as a chant for Big Cass, among others. The Champs followed their policy of “no flips, just fists” and the challengers looked primed to overthrow their spot atop the NXT Tag Title picture, which the crowd would’ve gone nuts for. However, it was the right choice to let Dawson/Dash retain since they are being established with the belts and Enzo/Cass can easily be atop the tag team picture on the main roster, which looks definite in 2016. A couple of great near-falls, particularly the one where Enzo was pulled out of the ring by Dawson at two. The top rope Shatter Machine was downright brutal.
– The Apollo Crews-Baron Corbin match was the weakest of the night but still of decent quality. Corbin seemed to garner go-away heat with the fans, but Crews’ athleticism won them over at certain points – such as the reversal out of the first End Of Days attempt and he even got to get a near-fall out of his Standing Moonsault before losing to the End Of Days. It seemed that everyone was shocked to see Corbin win, but it was the smarter choice since he needs the momentum and Crews can easily bounce back.
– Sami Zayn returns next week, you say? Oh snap. Guess we’ll pick up where we left off in May.
– The backstage segment with Nia Jax and Asuka served its purpose of giving the monster a new obstacle, while pushing Jax’s following match with NXT Women’s Champion Bayley for the Championship. Jax showed good confidence in her voice and posture, but she sounded slightly robotic. As for the match, it wasn’t the best in Bayley’s career catalogue, but she made Jax look like a true monster at certain points, which is how you’d book something like this. The crowd’s love for Bayley was evident in the way they channeled their inner DJ Otzi with chants for her, which she even looked to get a kick out of. The finish worked for the match, since it had Jax tough it out in a submission maneuver for more than a minute before tapping out and Bayley completed her astonishing comeback. It’s safe to call Bayley the female Hulk Hogan of NXT, as she has the crowd’s heart and has beaten mighty competitor after mighty competitor.
– As we expected, the main event NXT Championship match between Champion Finn Balor and Samoa Joe delivered every way possible. Firstly, Balor’s “Jack The Ripper”-inspired Demon attire/body paint was downright sick and his entrance gave us the chills. At the same time, Joe looked like a badass out to give an ass-kicking. These two had great chemistry start to finish and the final five minutes of this was about as even as it gets. If Joe had actually hit that Top Rope Muscle Buster, forget about it. The teases were excellent though and there were moments where we thought Balor would actually lose, but he capped off the comeback with a quick and vicious Coup de Grace. Joe’s angry faces upon getting carried away up the ramp makes us think that maybe it’s not over between them, but who knows what the picture will look like when Zayn comes back this coming week?
- Asuka def. Emma (w/Dana Brooke) via pinfall
- NXT Tag Team Championships – Scott Dawson/Dash Wilder (Champions) def. Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady via pinfall to retain
- Baron Corbin def. Apollo Crews via pinfall
- NXT Women’s Championship – Bayley (Champion) def. Nia Jax via pinfall to retain
- NXT Championship – Finn Balor (Champion) def. Samoa Joe via pinfall to retain
Posted on December 19, 2015, in NXT, WWE and tagged Apollo Crews, Asuka, Baron Corbin, Bayley, Byron Saxton, Carmella, Colin Cassady, Corey Graves, Dana Brooke, Dash Wilder, Emma, Enzo Amore, Finn Balor, Nia Jax, Rich Brennan, Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe, Scott Dawson, TakeOver: London, Triple H. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.