WWE NXT TakeOver: Dallas Reaction
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
TakeOver: Dallas – the most recent of NXT’s TakeOver live specials – boosted enthusiasm towards WrestleMania weekend, giving us a deliciously diverse card that was indicative that the brand was bound for a shakeup.
On a night where Austin Aries and Shinsuke Nakamura made their in-ring NXT debuts, there were also a few “passing of the torches” to some current standout talent.
TakeOver: Dallas showed us that the future looked bright and the past was moving on to bigger things, making the present pretty damn good.
– The opening video chronicled history in the Lone Star State, with various stars all from Texas. A revolution would emerge on this night. Matches previewed were NXT Champion Finn Balor-Samoa Joe, NXT Women’s Champion Bayley-Asuka and Sami Zayn-Nakamura.
– The opening NXT Tag Team Championship match between American Alpha and Champions The Revival saw a hyped crowd for AA. The “Which one’s Dawson, Which One’s Dash” chant was pretty funny and all four knew how to play off that. Also liked the little disrespectful cheek slaps between both teams. These two teams just gel – you mix the athleticism/Suplex finesse with the Champs’ down and dirty submission and stuff strikes, it’s definitely entertaining. Also liked how Jordan/Gable made frequent tags and it wasn’t Gable in the ring the whole match. Clever spot for Dash Wilder in terms of slipping under the apron to stop the hot tag. This match was excellent with all the well-timed spots and we got the happy ending, AA are new champs. At the same time, they did everything possible to keep Revival looking strong as possible, Doomsday botch aside.
– The Baron Corbin-Austin Aries match had great storyline support in addition to hyping Aries’ in-ring NXT debut. This was basically Corbin taking out his aggression on any newcomers after being definitively written out of the #1 contender’s picture and not being inserted back in. The match itself provided a logical clash of styles, but the pace certainly didn’t match the energy from the opener and the crowd was sort of tame. Smart psychology in terms of the moves on both ends, as Aries made a comeback using the ropes to help him. Aries has the best suicide dive in the game and the Deep Six on the floor was a noteworthy spot. Good finish with Aries countering out of the End Of Days into a surprise roll-up. Good debut for Aries, though not great, but better than we expected.
– The Sami Zayn-Shinsuke Nakamura match also had solid storyline support, with this being a marquee bout for both Zayn’s career and Nakamura’a NXT debut. Nevertheless, this was an Internet fan’s wet dream. Just the standoff by itself was epic. From the first lockup, this started as one-upsmanship and had fans oohing and ahhing every move. The dueling chants, the logical spots, this was everything an “indy” match would be like, yet on a WWE platform. Nakamura also showed great charisma and didn’t look an ounce out of place. The two traded fierce forearms at one point as the crowd went “Yay, Yay” and Nakamura’s nose was busted. The “Fight Forever” chant was hilariously fitting. Zayn missed the Helluva Kick and ate an inverted Exploder Suplex for a good near-fall. Zayn’s blue thunder bomb was also an excellent near-fall. Nakamura ended it with his finisher. Holy crap. Words can’t express what that match was. Possible MOTY Contender, maybe match of life. Just an all-out physical war, everything coming together for possibly the best part of Mania weekend. Good sportsmanship as expected afterwards. We’ve got legit goosebumps.
– We’d hate to be the people that follow that previous match, but the NXT Women’s Championship match between Asuka and Champion Bayley did a solid one. Of course, it was epic to a lesser degree but they brought the crowd back to their feet towards the second half. Very clever use of submissions, strikes and good spots. Fans seemed disappointed in the finish where Bayley passed out from the Asuka Lock, but this was the logical finish. Asuka winning the belt feels like the right move right now. Does Bayley get called up at Mania? Raw emotion from the two after the bell, as Bayley sat on the floor leaned against the electronic apron screen as Asuka stared down at her. We’re going to get a rematch for sure.
– The NXT Championship match between Champion Finn Balor and Samoa Joe was started with a camera pan on Bobby Roode. Uh oh. Epic entrance from the Demon-crested Balor as a take on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Several elements early on to make this already excellent – Joe dumping Balor into the audience to knock out a security member, while Joe did a big suicide dive. At the same time, Joe had a big gash under his right eye and shoved medical staff away the first time until they made him sit there and get blood wiped off. The action was quite good, especially down the stretch when they started flirting with finishers. The finish itself was good, as Balor escaped Joe’s Coquina Clutch by taking the momentum to the ring post and falling back onto Joe’s shoulders, retaining the belt.
- NXT Tag Team Championships – American Alpha def. The Revival (Champions) via pinfall to become new Champions
- Austin Aries def. Baron Corbin via pinfall
- Shinsuke Nakamura def. Sami Zayn via pinfall
- NXT Women’s Championship – Asuka def. Bayley (Champion) via KO to become new Champion
- NXT Championship – Finn Balor (Champion) def. Samoa Joe via pinfall to retain
Posted on April 9, 2016, in NXT, WWE and tagged American Alpha, Asuka, Austin Aries, Baron Corbin, Bayley, Bobby Roode, Corey Graves, Finn Balor, Kota Ibushi, Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, TakeOver: Dallas, The Revival, Tom Phillips. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.