PPV Aftermath: NXT Takeover The End
NXT Takeover specials are always quite the spectacle to watch. There was some confusion behind the name. Some thought this special being called “The End” meant the end of NXT as part of one of the numerous changes with the upcoming brand split. Thankfully, that is not the case. “The End” does mark the official end of a seven month long feud between Finn Balor and Samoa Joe. With that slight bit of confusion out of the way, let’s get to the matches. But before I do, I will say that I thought this Takeover special was absolutely amazing and any issues I mention are just personal nit picks.
Andrade “Cien” Almas defeated Tye Dillenger
This was a nice opening match. It greatly showed off the abilities of Almas while still making Dillenger still look good. For those who don’t know, Almas is a third generation wrestler who spent a long time in CMLL and NJPW. At one point, he defeated Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship in a two-out-of-three falls match. There were great spots by both superstars, from Almas’ double moonsault to Tye’s superkick to Almas during his top rope handstand. I only had two issues overall: 1) Almas’ entrance gear looks like 1920s gangster crossed with a Chippendales dancer. With his promos depicting his family’s wrestling history, I felt that this entrance attire did not fit. And 2) Tye Dillenger is obviously over with the NXT crowd with his “Perfect 10” gimmick and I feel that NXT creative is not really giving him a fair push. He is an in-ring veteran and is constantly being chosen to job to newer talent, even though they are very talented superstars that Tye is being fed to. Triple H, please, and I mean PLEASE, push Tye Dillenger.
NXT Tag Team Title match: The Revival defeated American Alpha (c)
This match was a beautiful repeat of their match in Dallas. There were great spots at almost every turn. Having an old school heel tag team versus World’s Greatest Tag Team 2.0 has always been a formula for great spots and storytelling in a match. However, I do wish there were more individual spots and less tag team spots in this match. Even though I am sad that American Alpha dropped the tag titles back to The Revival, I am actually okay with this decision. During his review of this special, Brian Zane of Wrestling With Wregret said that he suspects that this was the booking decision because American Alpha maybe getting called up to main roster at the brand split next month. After the match, American Alpha was jumped by two very large men (believed to be named Authors of Pain), pretty much throwing both Jordan and Gable around like rag dolls. Much to my surprise, WWE Hall of Famer Paul Ellering (who managed the Road Warriors back in the day) appeared as their manager. It made me sad to hear the crowd chanting “Who are you?” I would like to think they were chanting this at the Authors of Pain, but I’m pretty sure it was towards Ellering.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Austin Aries
This was billed as a dream match that was thought to never happen and well, they were right. From beginning to end, this was an amazing match. I do like how they show that Nakamura can be vulnerable and possibly beaten by another wrestler arguably just as talented as he is. There were so many great spots, including some really painful looking ones like Aries delivering a Death Valley Driver to Nakamura on the apron. I’m not sure what else to say about this match without coming across as a goofy fanboy.
NXT Women’s Title match: Asuka (c) defeated Nia Jax
For a match involving only one powerhouse wrestler, it turned out to be a good back and forth. Both superstars had their own great moments, showcasing Asuka’s speed and technique and Jax’s strength. I was surprised with how many time Asuka was able to knock Jax down onto her back. I was thinking that despite Asuka’s skills that she would only be able to knock Jax down maybe twice. The ending of this match was probably the most disappointing part of the match. After a couple kicks to the head, Nia Jax lets out this monsterous scream, as if to indicate that she was revving up for something big. Instead, Asuka does a running kick to Jax’s head and pins her for the three count. It seems unusual to me for Nia Jax to be beaten in such a clean fashion. With two title match losses under her belt, it leaves me to wonder what are the future plans for Nia Jax. The only thing I can think of for her is a promotion to the main roster after the brand split and continue to push her as a monster.
Steel Cage match for the NXT Championship: Samoa Joe (c) defeated Finn Balor
After seven long months, this feud has finally come to “the end” (hardee har har…anyways…) Even though this feud has gone on as long as it has, both Joe and Balor have always delivered in every aspect of this rivalry. They both truly delivered on this steel cage match. There were great spots everywhere, from technical wrestling to using the cage as a weapon. Even though this was a steel cage match, I did feel that the cage was used one time too many as a weapon. When Balor reached the top of the cage, I kind of half expected him to perform Coup de Grace from there. Instead, Joe pulled him off into a massive Muscle Buster from the top rope, resulting in him getting a pinfall victory. This match was the much needed exclamation point to end this rivalry and I really hope to see both Samoa Joe and Finn Balor on the main roster soon.
Overall, I was very impressed with this Takeover special, just like any of the specials before it. I do feel that Dallas was just slightly better, but The End definitely delivered in total.
Worst Match: Asuka vs Nia Jax (the ending helped make my decision for such a great special)
Best Match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Austin Aries
Overall Rating: 4.5/5