AMIN'S WWE PPV REVIEWS

NXT TakeOver: XXX Review: Amin’s review on Io Shirai vs. Dakota Kai for the NXT Women’s Championship

NXT TakeOver XXX

Image Credit: WWE

AMIN’S NXT TakeOver: XXX Review 
Saturday August 22nd, 2020
Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL

NXT TakeOver: XXX opened with a video package highlighting great TakeOver moments from the past. The video package transitioned previewing the big matches on the show including Keith Lee defending the NXT Title against Karrion Kross. My favourite Io Shirai defending the NXT Women’s Championship against Dakota Kai. Plus a Ladder Match to crown a new NXT North American Champion. 

The set was pretty cool which featured three XXX signs with fire blazing. Vic Joseph, Beth Phoenix and Corey Graves were on commentary for the show. Below is my full review of the show. 

NXT TakeOver: XXX Review 

WWE Photo

Image Credit: WWE

Finn Balor vs. Timothy Thatcher

The match began with some mat wrestling as both Balor and Thatcher battled for position. Thatcher took control going for a leg lock but Balor grabbed the ropes. Thatcher applied a Bow-and-Arrow but Balor countered into a pinning combination for a near fall. Thatcher delivered strikes but Balor got right up and responded with strikes of his own. Balor charged but Thatcher caught him in a Kimura Hold and then transitioned into a STF.  

Thatcher went for a Double Chicken Wing but Balor broke free and connected with a basement dropkick. The intensity picked up as Thatcher connected a big palm strike but Balor responded with a Pele Kick for a double down. Balor fired up connecting with a running chop in the corner and followed with a double stomp. Balor delivered a reverse Bloody Sunday but Thatcher kicked out at two.

Balor delivered a Woo Dropkick sending Thatcher crashing into the turnbuckle. Balor climbed the turnbuckle, went for Coup De Grace but Thatcher moved out of the way. There was a great spot as Thatcher saw Balor tweak his leg on the landing as he went for his leg. Thatcher applied a Half Crab but Balor grabbed the ropes. Thatcher delivered a jumping enzuigiri and followed with a German Suplex. 

Thatcher went for an ankle lock but Balor rolled through and delivered a double stomp. Balor delivered a Final Cut, climbed the turnbuckle and connected with the Coup De Grace. Balor followed by delivering the 1916 DDT to Thatcher for the 1,2,3. 

WINNER: Finn Balor 

(Amin’s Analysis: This style of match is certainly not something everyone would like expecting to see more fast paced action. However, I really enjoyed this as Thatcher is such a great technical wrestler, working all kinds of body parts in the match. Balor is tremendous working alongside to Thatcher’s style and then showcasing his signature spots. A much needed win for Balor and will be interesting to see who will he face next as I would like to see him back in the championship picture.)

NXT Champion Keith Lee was shown arriving to the arena with Mia Yim. Bayley and Sasha Banks were shown in the crowd.

Image

Image Credit: WWE

NXT North American Championship Ladder Match – Johnny Gargano vs. Damian Priest vs. Bronson Reed vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Velveteen Dream

Dream got in lots of shine early delivering a Famouser to Gargano, a Dream DDT To Priest and then nailed Reed with a Superkick. There was a comedy spot as Grimes got his legs stretched out after Dream and Priest pulled the ladders away from him. There were some alliances formed in the match as Dream and Gargano worked together attacking Priest and Reed with ladders. The alliance was short lived as Gargano tossed a ladder into Dream.

There was a Super Tower of Doom spot with Reed delivering a Powerbomb as Dream, Grimes and Priest all landing on the mat. Gargano seeing an opportunity went to climb the ladder but Priest stopped him. Priest went for a Springboard Senton but Gargano caught him with a Superkick. Gargano delivered the One Final Beat DDT to Reed into a ladder. Gargano delivered a tope sending Reed into the Plexiglas. Gargano charged but Grimes countered into a modified Spanish Fly on the floor. 

A brawl broke out on the floor which Reed breaking it up with a tope. There was a cool spot as Priest ran off a bridged ladder connecting with a Tope Con Hilo onto Dream, Gargano and Reed on the floor. Candice LeRae came out to check on Gargano. Grimes went to climb the ladder but LeRae stopped him. Gargano returned the ring and rammed a ladder into Grimes face. There was an awesome spot as Gargano held LeRae’s hand who walked the ropes and delivering a Running Hurricanrana to Grimes onto everyone on the floor. 

Gargano went to climb the ladder but Reed met him on the opposite side. Reed went to grab the title but LeRae climbed up onto his back. There was a crazy spot as Reed had LeRae on his back as he leaped off the ladder delivering a Super Splash to a prone Gargano. More action as Reed delivered a Chokeslam sending Reed onto a ladder. Grimes appeared and planted Priest with the Cave In. There was another crazy spot as Gargano stopped Grimes by delivering a Sunset Bomb onto a ladder. 

Gargano went for the One Final Beat DDT but Dream grabbed him and delivered the Dream Valley Driver to Priest who was laying on a ladder. Dream went to climb the ladder but Reed appeared and tipped the ladder over. Dream went flying over the barricade and crashing through a table on the floor. Grimes stopped Reed from grabbing the title by tipping the ladder over. Gargano swung the title into Grimes face who feel off the ladder. The title came loose as Gargano and Priest battled for position. Priest managed to wrestle the title away from Gargano and won the NXT North American Title. 

WINNER: Damian Priest won the NXT North American Title 

(Amin’s Analysis: Just a great chaotic action packed ladder match as everyone worked really hard. Lots of creative and unique spots as NXT always does a great job working a multi person match. LeRae’s appearance was great adding showing no fear.  Gargano and LeRae have been great and shined in their new characters. Liked the decision to go with Priest who had his breakout performance as TakeOver: In Your House and now comes out of TakeOver: XXX as the new North American Champion.)

WWE Photo

Image Credit: WWE

Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee

Adam Cole came out with Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong who then headed to the back. Pat McAfee was shown backstage cutting a great heel pre-match promo. McAfee came out with his NFL entourage who were spotting “Cole Sucks!” T-Shirts. Cole went for a Superkick early but McAfee backed away. Cole went for a Pump Kick but McAfee rolled to the floor and mocked The Undisputed Era’a pose. 

Undisputed Era came out as WWE officials held everyone back. McAfee climbed the turnbuckle and delivered a flying Somersault Senton onto everyone on the floor. McAfee delivered a scoop slam for a near fall and then connected with dropkick. The action picked up after McAfee slapped Cole. They had a slap exchange which then turned into a physical strike exchange. Cole went to climb the turnbuckle but McAfee stopped him. 

There was a great spot as Cole knocked McAfee who delivered a reverse Moonsault landing on his feet. McAfee wasn’t done as he leaped up the turnbuckle and delivered a Superkick but Cole kicked out for a close two count. Cole avoided a Punt Kick as McAfee knee went into the ring steps. Cole delivered a low Superkick and then applied a Figure-4-Leg Lock but McAfee turned the hold over.

McAfee talked smack in the corner as Cole responded with a running boot. With the referee’s back turned, McAfee delivered a low blow to Cole and followed with a running clothesline. McAfee delivered his Punt Kick but Cole kicked out for a close two count. McAfee climbed the turnbuckle and mocked Adam Cole’s “Bay Bay” pose. McAfee leaped off the turnbuckle but Cole caught him with a Superkick. Cole stared at McAfee and pulled down his knee pad. Cole changed his mind as he delivered the Super Panama City Sunrise to McAfee for the 1,2,3. 

WINNER: Adam Cole 

(Amin’s Analysis: McAfee was great here, showing he belongs in a WWE ring, taking great bumps and working hard. It will be interesting to see if McAfee returns for another showing as he will get much better overtime. Cole was tremendous here leading McAfee through and telling a good story along the way. This was also interesting to watch as it felt like Cole could be transitioning into a babyface turn which is something I would like to see on NXT.)

Drew McIntyre joining the commentary team as he spoke about his upcoming WWE Championship Match against Randy Orton. Graves asked McIntyre for his prediction for Lee vs. Kross. He picked Lee to win.

Image

Image Credit: WWE

NXT Women’s Championship Match – Io Shirai vs. Dakota Kai (w/Raquel Gonzalez) 

Kai came out first who was accompanied by Gonzalez who returned Wednesday on NXT. My favourite Io Shirai came out as her entrance is just awesome and seeing her as NXT Women’s Champion makes it even more special. Alicia Taylor did the ring introduction, the bell rang and the match began. 

Shirai charged, took Kai down and delivered strikes. Shirai took control early delivered an inverted dragon screw and followed with a Slingshot Double Knee in the corner.  Gonzalez stood in-front of Shirai as Kai appeared and rammed her into the ring post. This is where Kai took control as she worked over the arm of Shirai applying an arm bar against the ropes. Kai went for pinning combinations but couldn’t put Shirai away. Kai went for a running boot but Shirai moved and nailed her with a huge palm strike. 

Shirai fired up nailing Kai with a Tiger Feint Kick and followed with a beautiful Springboard Dropkick for a two count. Kai went for a German Suplex but Shirai countered into a double stomp. They battled for position against the ring apron as Shirai blocked a Powerbomb and delivered a Slingshot Double Knees to Kai for a two count. There was a great spot as Kai kept kicking away at Shirai who no-sold it and dared her to deliver more. 

Kai caught Shirai with a Scorpion Kick. Shirai avoided a Helluva Kick and nailed Kai with a Triple Bullet Train attack. Shirai went to climb the turnbuckle but Kai stopped her. They battled for position on the turnbuckle as Shirai placed Kai in the tree of woe and connected with the Marine Spike for a two count. Shirai went for her Butterfly Backbreaker but Kai countered into the Kai-Ro-Practor for a close two count. Kai applied a cross-arm bar but Shirai refused to quit as she placed her foot on the ropes.

Kai delivered the Go To Kick but Shirai placed her foot on the ropes to stop the referee’s count. Shirai moved out of the way as Kai nailed the referee with a boot. Shirai planted Kai with a German Suplex and followed with an Over The Top Moonsault. Shirai had the match won but the referee was out. Gonzalez entered the ring and planted Shirai with a one-handed Powerbomb. Kai went for a cover but Shirai kicked out for an Awesome two count.

Shirai applied a Crossface but Kai broke free. Shirai nailed Kai with a Kamigoye Knee Strike. Shirai leaped up the turnbuckle and delivered the most beautiful looking Over The Top Moonsault to Gonzales and Kai on the floor. Shirai brought Kai back into the ring. Shirai climbed up the turnbuckle and delivered another beautiful Over The Top Moonsault to Kai as the referee counted 1,2,3. 

WINNER: Io Shirai retained the NXT Women’s Title 

After the match, my favourite Io Shirai celebrated with her NXT Women’s Title but was attacked by Gonzalez. This is where Rhea Ripley came out and had a stare down with Gonzalez. There was a great shot as Shirai was posing with her NXT Women’s Title as Ripley was shown watching in the background.

(Amin’s Analysis: An instant classic from Shirai and Kai who had the best match on the show. Kai has been tremendous since turning heel really coming into her own character. Gonzalez involvement was predicable but Shirai still kicking out of her Powerbomb spot was awesome. Now let me speak about Io Shirai who’s my favourite as I love seeing her wrestle as she always puts on a show for all her fans. Shirai’s championship run is still in the beginning stages but she has  some big wins over Sasha Banks, Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai. The post-match was interesting as they teased a potential match between Shirai and Ripley which should be great. Shirai has always been presented as top star since joining NXT and is now showing why as champion. Shirai will always be my favourite and this is still her NXT.)

SmackDown Tag Team Champion Cesaro was shown in the crowd wearing a mask. 

Highlight package aired hyping the return of NXT UK on September 17th. 

Highlight package aired of Tommaso Ciampa who returns to NXT this Wednesday. 

Damian Priest was shown leaving his hummer as he entered a hot tub to celebrate his NXT North American Championship win.

Image Credit: WWE

NXT Championship Match – Keith Lee vs. Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett) 

Karrion Kross came out Scarlet as their entrance rules and the flames in the background made it look even more awesome. Keith Lee came out next. Alicia Taylor did the ring introductions as the match began. Kross and Lee exchanged strikes as the match began. Lee blocked a kick and delivered more strikes to Kross in the corner. Lee delivered a crossbody as Kross rolled to the floor. Kross moved out of the way as Lee punched the Plexiglas. 

Kross took control working over the shoulder of Lee. Kross yanked Lee to the mat and then rammed him into the ring post. Kross delivered a Tilt-A-Whirl and transitioning into an arm bar but Lee rolled over for a near fall. Kross transitioned into a Triangle Hold but Lee countered by Powerbombing to the mat. Lee made his comeback delivering strikes to Kross and followed with a running splash in the corner. Lee connected with a Spinning Powerslam for a two count. 

Kross responded by delivering a Question Mark Kick and followed with a DDT but Lee kicked out. Lee blocked a Doomsday Saito Suplex with a vertical suplex for a two count. The action kept picking up as Kross delivered a running clothesline for a two count. Kross charged but Lee caught him with a lariat. Kross avoided the Grizzly Magnum and delivered a Doomsday Saito Suplex but Lee kicked out at two.

Kross applied the Kross Jacket but Lee refused to give up as he grabbed the ropes to force a break. Lee fired up delivering the Grizzly Magnum and followed with a huge Spirt Bomb but Kross kicked out at two. Lee went to climb the turnbuckle but Kross stopped him. They battled for position and exchanged strikes on the turnbuckle. Kross delivered a Super Doomsday Saito Suplex to Lee as the referee counted 1,2,3. The NXT recruits in the crowd was stunned as the referee handed the title to the new NXT Champion Karrion Kross. 

WINNER: Karrion Kross won the NXT Championship 

(Amin’s Analysis: A solid main event as both Lee and Kross worked hard. Lee’s crowning moment came at Great American Bash becoming the first NXT Double Champion and I thought he would’ve had a bit longer reign. Having said that, Kross has been showcased as superstar since joining NXT and it was just a matter of time before he became champion. I will say I was surprised at how Kross won the match as it felt sudden. There could be a reason behind it as WWE website posted an article noting Kross suffered a shoulder injury during the match so an audible might have been called at some point near the finish and which is totally understandable, but not sure if it happened. It would be real bummer if Kross has to vacant the title due to injury after winning it. Overall, a solid match and I like the direction of going with Kross as NXT Champion.)

[Amin’s Overall Analysis] Let me say the standard has been set so high because every TakeOver special has been great. I very much enjoyed NXT TakeOver: XXX as the show featured great matches from start to finish. NXT going in a new direction with Kross as champion. Hopefully, the injury isn’t as serious and doesn’t have to vacant the title. Looking forward to seeing Tommaso Ciampa return to NXT and wonder what will be his first program. Priest has always delivered good matches on NXT and will be nice to see how he does as North American Champion. Adam Cole and Finn Balor picked up big win in great showings and now will be interesting to see what’s next for them on NXT. My personal highlight was seeing Io Shirai wrestle as she will always be my favourite and was happy to see her retain the NXT Women’s Title. A thumbs up show all the away. 


Image Credit: WWE

 

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