WWE NXT TakeOver: The End Reaction
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
When you call something “The End,” it can mean plenty.
There were rumors that NXT would affect the upcoming brand extension and be a part of Raw as a lead-in, while others outrageously predicted the end of NXT itself.
Instead, it was a nod to “The End Of The Beginning,” as it paid homage to past NXT stars like Seth Rollins, The Wyatt Family, Paige, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks and current NXT stars like NXT Champion Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, Austin Aries, NXT Tag Team Champions American Alpha, The Revival and others.
With yet another stacked card with NXT’s first-ever cage match for the NXT Championship, a Tag Title rematch between AA-Revival, an “international showdown” between Aries and Nakamura and the debut of Andrade “Cien” Almas, it set the stage to easily deliver again.
– The opening video dove more into the theme of “The End Of The Beginning” as we saw throwback footage of the NXT originals who now roam the main roster in the “New Era” and transitioned into a new chapter with the current NXT stars. Some cool production shots.
– The opener between Tye Dillinger and Andrade “Cien” Almas set a good tone for the show early on. With the cinema-inspired vignettes for Almas and the aspect that he was a well-known talent wrestling without his mask now, there was some slight anticipation. We just wish it was anybody but Dillinger for his first opponent. This was at Full Sail, so the crowd adored anything “Perfect 10” and weren’t too receptive of Almas, despite pleasant applause of his moves. There were some cool spots, like ACA’s moonsault/standing moonsualt combo and Dillinger’s stiff kick when ACA did a headstand on the turnbuckle. While Dillinger has taken on the role of “New Tyler Breeze” in that he’s over himself, but used to elevate other talents, he has almost elevated himself in a certain regard. At the same time, ACA did enough in the ring to impress, but didn’t go overboard. His double running knee finisher was contemporary, yet vicious.
– We can watch AA and The Revival wrestle all night long, frankly. That’s how tight their chemistry is. One of the more anticipated matches on the card, this was a great clash of personalities. AA were the guys on top this time, while Revival had an amplified aggression to get back what was once theirs. Nice spots early on where a mini-brawl led its way to a symmetric double-team by AA. Revival were also on their game, as they thought up every way in the book to keep Chad Gable isolated from Jason Jordan, but it was a great buildup to when it eventually happened. Well-timed spots on both ends to mix AA’s athleticism with Revival’s strike-happy style. Great momentum shifts towards the end, as while we expected teases for Revival to win, because AA were new Champs not that long ago, we expected them to keep the belts. You could imagine how shocked we were at the finish when Revival won, even if it was a great one at that. We were initially skeptical of that booking decision, but those teams are so excellent in the ring together that we’re okay with the Title trades. On top of that, Revival gets to brag about being NXT’s first-ever two-time Tag Champs. You know a rematch for AA will come soon, but this was a logical time to introduce a new heel team, as two burly guys in black tank tops and fatigues attacked the former Champs, as Paul Ellering watched with approval from the ramp. Kind of reminded us of Professor Charles Xavier. We dig the look. Most likely builds to an AA feud with these new gentlemen before an imminent main roster call-up. We’d even say Revival are ready as well.
– Based off the on-screen interaction between NXT Women’s Champion Asuka and Bayley as the latter wished the former good luck with a handshake, we already knew the rematch was being built to.
– The Nakamura-Aries match had a good storyline headed in, with a “definitive supremacy” angle as Aries looked to cement his personal legacy in NXT and slay the “King of Strong Style.” Nakamura (and his theme) were way over with the crowd. Awesome action from these two and only picked up as the match went on. Aries’ crowd reactions may be mild, but they couldn’t deny his talent, as this was the best he had looked since his NXT arrival. The Death Valley Driver apron spot was simply brutal. Clever in-ring storytelling of Aries taking big risks to gain control of the match, but his one mistake – a missed suicide dive into a nearby guardrail – gave Nakamura enough momentum to muster up a quick exploder suplex and the latest Kinshasa to remain undefeated. We had expected Aries to come close, but go down and that’s how it happened. Needless to say, it delivered.
– The NXT Women’s Championship match between Champion Asuka and Nia Jax was low on the interest totem pole, but didn’t have any bad moments per se. It was a story of power versus speed mixed with technical wrestling, as Jax dominated early on, only for Asuka to weather the storm and take over the last minute with fierce kicks and slaps to get the pin, no Asuka Lock necessary. This was what we expected, so no surprise here. Let the build to Bayley-Asuka II commence.
– The subtle introduction of Bobby Roode as he walked behind General Manager William Regal and into a nearby room was cool. It made Roode come off as a big star and let the fans think for themselves. It was an “oh snap” moment without lending to itself too much.
– The steel cage main event for the NXT Championship between Champion Joe and Balor was an appropriate “end” of their near seven-month feud with different stipulations and a Title change thrown in. This felt like a true blood rivalry as you could feel the hate from both men as evidenced by the stellar build. Though the match itself was a notch below past efforts, we got to see a cool cage-inspired demon entrance for Balor and clever utilization of the structure itself mixed with a brawl-like pace. This one wasn’t necessarily predictable, but we felt Joe would retain, as Balor could get called up any day now. Good near-falls too as each man kicked out of the other’s finisher. We liked the conclusive yet brutal finish of the Muscle Buster from the top rope. What we wonder is: who’s next for Joe?
- Andrade “Cien” Almas def. Tye Dillinger via pinfall
- NXT Tag Team Championship – The Revival def. American Alpha (Champions) to regain Titles
- Shinsuke Nakamura def. Austin Aries via pinfall
- NXT Women’s Championship – Asuka (Champion) def. Nia Jax via pinfall to retain
- NXT Championship – Steel Cage – Samoa Joe (Champion) def. Finn Balor via pinfall to retain
Posted on June 25, 2016, in NXT, WWE and tagged American Alpha, Andrade "Cien" Almas, Asuka, Austin Aries, Bayley, Bobby Roode, Corey Graves, Finn Balor, Nia Jax, Paul Ellering, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, TakeOver: The End, The Revival, Tom Phillips, Tye Dillinger, William Regal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.