NXT TakeOver: XXV Review: Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole

NXT TakeOver XXV (2)Show: NXT TakeOver: XXV
Location: Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT
Date: Saturday June 1, 2019

Matt Riddle def. Roderick Strong – The match started with some mat wrestling. Riddle went for the BroMission but Strong grabbed the ropes. Riddle delivered a triple gutwrench suplex. Strong backdropped Riddle on the ring apron. Strong delivered a backbreaker for a near fall. Strong delivered an Olympic Slam for a near fall. Riddle delivered a Fisherman’s Buster. Riddle delivered an overhead kick and an Exploder suplex. Strong avoided a standing moonsault but Riddle delivered a senton and then delivered a PK for a near fall. Riddle delivered a reverse GTS and then followed with a bridging German suplex for a near fall. Strong delivered a step-up enzuigiri and then followed with a Superplex for a near fall. Strong avoided a Powerbomb and delivered a jumping a knee. Strong delivered a triple running forearm smash and then followed with a reverse uranange but Riddle kicked out as the fans chanted “NXT” Riddle delivered a V-Trigger, then delivered a Powerbomb and followed with the Final Flash but Strong kicked out. Riddle went for a corkscrew moonsault but Strong got his knees up. Strong delivered a running knee, a gutbuster and then followed with a Powerbomb but Riddle kicked out. Strong applied the Strong Hold but Riddle broke free. Riddle applied the BroMission but Strong escaped. Riddle delivered elbows and then followed with a Cradle Tombstone for the win. ☆☆☆☆ 1/4

(Amin’s Analysis: This was a terrific match as both Riddle and Strong are great wrestlers and worked really hard. There were some great sequences and I liked the finish of the match as they put Riddle over strong who could be next in line for the NXT Title)

Shawn Michaels and Road Dogg were shown ringside showing off their WWE Hall of Fame rings. 

The Street Profit (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) def. Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan, Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler) & The Undisputed ERA (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) to win the vacant NXT Tag Team Titles – A huge brawl broke as the match began. Blake delivered a tope to Fish and O’Reilly into a ladder. Dawkins delivered a crossbody to everyone on the floor. Blake and Cutler attacked Fish, O’Reilly, Dawkins and Ford with a ladder. Burch and Lorcan delivered stereo German suplex to Blake and Cutler. Dawkins delivered a spine buster to Lorcan as Ford followed with a Frog Splash. Dawkins and Ford delivered a flapjack to Blake onto a ladder. O’Reilly and Fish delivered a combo lungblower/German suplex sending Ford onto a ladder. Blake delivered a Running Powerbomb to O’Reilly who knocked Fish off the ladder as the fans chanted “Mama Mia.” Blake and Cutler delivered a combo reverse DDT/foot stomp to Fish off a ladder. Dawkins and Ford delivered a combo flying blockbuster/electric chair to Blake. Jaxson Ryker came out and was loudly booed. Ryker delivered a Powerbomb sending O’Reilly into a ladder and then choke slammed Burch. Ryker rammed Dawkins with a ladder. Lorcan charged but Ryker backdropped him onto a ladder. The fans cheered as everyone whacked Ryker with a ladder. Ford delivered a flip dive to Ryker as Lorcan followed with a plancha. Burch delivered a release Dragon suplex to O’Reilly. Blake and Cutler knocked Burch, Lorcan, Fish and O’Reilly off the ladder. Dawkins delivered a tackle to Blake. Ford delivered a great looking springboard as he leaped onto the ladder and knocked Cutler off. Ford grabbed the titles and won the match. ☆☆☆☆ 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was a crazy match as everyone worked really hard as there were lots of great but some scary spots. My only nitpick was Ryker as he wasn’t needed but did work after what happen on NXT TV. Ford and O’Reilly were the stars of the match. I liked seeing the Street Profit win as they can add freshness to the tag team division

My favourite wrestler Io Shirai was shown warming up backstage as Candice LeRae appeared and told Shirai she will be by her side.

Velveteen Dream def. Tyler Breeze to retain the NXT North American Title – The match started with some chain wrestling. Breeze delivered a backcracker for a near fall. Dream delivered a Lionsault for a near fall. Breeze applied a half crab but Dream grabbed the ropes. Dream delivered a Superkick. Dream rammed Breeze face onto the announcers table. Dream took a selfie with Breeze who was lying on the announcers table. Breeze delivered a Superkick. Dream delivered the Dream Valley Driver but Breeze kicked out. Breeze delivered a crossbody but Dream rolled through for a near fall. Breeze avoided the DreamDDT and delivered a Superkick for a near fall. Dream avoided the Unprettier and delivered the Dream DDT for a near fall. Breeze delivered a jumping knee. Dream delivered the Unprettier but Breeze kicked out. Breeze delivered a Cheeky Nandos kick and then delivered a Unprettier but Dream kicked out. Breeze delivered the Beauty Shot but Dream rolled to the floor. The referee began his count as Breeze retuned to the ring. Dream went to attacked Breeze with the title but was stopped. The referee grabbed the title from Breeze as Dream returned and delivered the Dream Valley Driver. Dream climbed the turnbuckle and delivered the Purple Rainmaker to Breeze for the win. ☆☆☆ 3/4

A Dream had Breeze’s phone in his hand after the match but then handed it back. Breeze stopped Dream from leaving the ring and asked for a selfie. There was a chant of “Selfie” Dream agreed and took a selfie with Breeze.

A video package aired for Damien Priest who was (Punisher Martinez) in Ring of Honor

(Amin’s Analysis: This was a very good match as both Breeze and Dream worked hard. There were some great transitions and the close near falls helped the match. Was nice to see Breeze get a shot to showcase his wrestling ability because he was complete under utilized on WWE TV

Shayna Baszler def. Io Shirai via Submission to retain the NXT Women’s Title – The match started with some aggressive chain wrestling. Shirai slapped Baszler and then delivered a delayed dropkick. Shirai delivered a baseball slide. Baszler yanked Shirai off the turnbuckle and then stomped her hand. Shirai applied an inside cradle for a near fall. Baszler delivered a running clothesline for a near fall. Baszler pulled on Shirai’s hand. Baszler delivered a double wrist suplex. Baszler delivered a kick to Shirai’s back for a near fall. Shirai delivered a bridging German suplex. Shirai delivered strikes and then delivered a 619. Shirai delivered a springboard missile dropkick for a near fall. Shirai applied a crossface but Baszler powered out. Baszler applied a wrist lock from the top turnbuckle but Shirai broke free by kicking away. Shirai draped Baszler on the top rope and then delivered a springboard dropkick. Shirai delivered a beautiful looking reverse moonsault to Baszler on the floor. Shirai delivered a missile dropkick and delivered a double knees into the corner. Shirai went to climb the turnbuckle but Jessamyne Duke and Marina Shafir ran down. Candice LeRae appeared and whacked both Duke and Shafir with a kendo stick. LeRae leaped off the ring steps and delivered a crossbody to Duke and Shafir. Baszler applied an inside cradle for a near fall. Baszler went for the Kirifuda Clutch but Shirai countered by delivering strikes. Shirai attempted a Asai Moonsault but Baszler moved. Baszler went for the Kirifuda Clutch but Shirai rolled through for a near fall. Shirai delivered a roundhouse kick. Shirai went for bridging cover but Baszler countered into the Kirifuda Clutch. Shirai showed she had the heart of a champion as she refused to quit. Baszler held on and got the submission win. ☆☆☆☆ 

Baszler celebrated her victory. Shirai was having none of it as she whacked Baszler with a kendo stick. Shirai continued to whack Baszler with a kendo stick and then delivered a beautiful looking Asai Moonsault. Shirai asked LeRae to hand her a chair. Shirai leaped off the turnbuckle with a chair and delivered the most beautiful looking Asai Moonsault to Baszler. Shirai pointed to Baszler and then stormed to the back. They showed the welts on Baszler’s back as the fans chanted “You deserve it.” 

(Amin’s Analysis: I have so many mixed emotions. Let me first say Shirai worked really hard as she led Baszler to a very good match. Baszler is a great heel champion and is perfect in her role. However, I’m really disappointed by the outcome of this match as it was Shirai’s time to win because she’s the best female wrestler and can really elevate the NXT Women’s division like Asuka did. The post-match angle was well done and will be interested to see where this leads. Shirai came off like a mega superstar and hopefully this leads a rematch with an added stipulation. Would be awesome to watch my favourite wrestler Io Shirai win the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT TakeOver: Toronto)

Stephanie McMahon was shown in the crowd as she got a nice reaction.

I heard there’s a huge wrestling show happening on Saturday August 31. There sure is as NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff will air live at 3pm on the WWE Network. I’m sure the WWE United Kingdom Champion WALTER, Pete Dunne and the rest of the NXT UK superstars will go All Out

Adam Cole def. Johnny Gargano to win the NXT Championship – “Wrestles & Flows” Josiah Williams rapped Adam Cole to the ring. (This was coolThe crowd chanted “Adam Cole, Johnny Wrestling and NXT” before the match started. There was a great sequence as Cole and Gargano countered each others signature spots. Gargano delivered a hurricanrana and then followed with a somersault senton from the ring apron to Cole on the floor. Gargano delivered a double stomp from the ring apron to Cole’s arm. Gargano applied a Cloverleaf and then splashed Cole’s arm. Cole delivered a Cheeky Nandos kick to Gargano’s calf. Cole delivered a dropkick to Gargano’s knee. Cole leaped off the turnbuckle but Gargano caught him with a sit-out Powerbomb. Gargano delivered an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Gargano delivered an enzugiri and a tornado flatliner for a near fall. Gargano delivered a Slingshot Spear but Cole kicked out. Gargano leaped off the turnbuckle but Cole caught him with a backcracker for a near fall. Cole delivered an enzuigiri and then delivered a Burning Hammer into a face crusher for a near fall. Cole and Gargano exchanged Superkicks. Cole faked out Gargano and delivered another Superkick. Cole leaped off the turnbuckle but Gargano caught him with a Superkick as the fans chanted “NXT.” Cole and Gargano delivered stereo Superkicks on the floor. The referee began his count as Cole entered the ring. Gargano delivered a Slingshot DDT for a near fall as the fans chanted “Fight Forever.” Cole delivered an enzuigiri to Gargano’s knee and then delivered a double Ushigorishi for a near fall. Gargano yanked Cole of the turnbuckle. Gargano delivered a head scissors and then transitioned into the Gargano Escape but Cole countered by applying a Figure-4-Leg lock. Gargano reversed the hold as Cole grabbed the ropes. Cole and Gargano exchanged kicks and punches. Gargano delivered a Spike DDT as Cole rolled to the floor. Gargano went for a tope but Cole countered by delivering a Superkick which looked awesome. Cole leaped off the ring apron and delivered the Panama Sunrise to Gargano on the floor as the fans chanted “Holy Sh-t and Mama Mia” Cole went for a cover but Gargano kicked out. Gargano avoided the Last Shot but then Cole transitioned into the Gargano Escape. Gargano broke free and delivered a Last Shot for a close near fall as the fans chanted “NXT and Fight Forever.” Cole delivered a triple Pump Kick but Gargano responded by delivering a lariat. Cole delivered a Superkick. Gargano delivered a Superkick and then followed with a reverse hurricanrana. Cole no-sold it and delivered a Last Shot but Gargano kicked out for a close near fall. Cole rolled to the floor and grabbed a chair but the referee stopped him. Cole pulled the referee in the away as Gargano accidentally gave him a tope. Gargano delivered a Superkick to Cole into a chair. Gargano had the match won as the fans counted along but the referee was out. Cole called for the Undisputed ERA to come out as Gargano had a chair in hand but no one came out. (This was well doneGargano entered the ring as Cole delivered a Slingshot Panama Sunrise for a close near fall. Cole went for the Last Shot but Gargano collapsed. Gargano played possum as placed Cole in the Gargano Escape. Cole broke free by delivering elbows to Gargano’s injured knee. Cole delivered a double Superkick to Gargano’s knee. Cole went for a Super Panama Sunrise but Gargano countered into rollup for near fall. Gargano’s knee gave out as Cole delivered a Super Panama Sunrise. Cole delivered the Last Shot to Gargano and got the win. ☆☆☆☆☆☆

After the match, Fish. O’Reilly and Strong came out as they embraced Cole. O’Reilly and Strong lifted Cole on their shoulder as they celebrated his victory. I liked how there was no swerve or breakup angle because Undisputed ERA are the best faction in all of WWE and should remain together. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was an outstanding match and you can make the case this was the greatest match in WWE / NXT history. Cole and Gargano are amazing wrestlers as they worked really hard and at a great pace. There were so many great counters, transitions and the finishing sequence was just awesome. I loved the story telling and how Cole working over Gargano’s knee led to the finish of the match. I loved their match at NXT TakeOver: New York but I liked this match more because it was just one fall as the near falls added more drama and excitement to the match)

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