For thirty five years, WWE has been on Wrestlemania, but over time the events surrounding Wrestlemania have evolved. Since the WWE Network started five years ago, NXT has been at the forefront for excellent content on the Network. Every time one of the WWE’s biggest shows happens, there is a Takeover show that usually outshines it. This is Wrestlemania weekend and there is better time to shine then on the biggest weekend of the year. Before I begin with my thoughts on TakeOver NYC, here are the results of tonight’s event:
-The War Raiders defeated Aleister Black and Ricochet to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships
-The Velveteen Dream defeated Matt Riddle to retain the NXT North American Championship
-WALTER defeated Pete Dunne to become the new WWE United Kingdom Champion
-Shayna Baszler defeated Io Sharai, Kairi Sane and Bianca Belair to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
-Johnny Gargano defeated Adam Cole in a 2-out-of-3 Fall Match to win the NXT Championship
The opening match of TakeOver was NXT Tag Team Championship match between the War Raiders defending against the tandem of Aleister Black and Ricochet, who won the Dusty Rhodes Classic. For being a relatively new tag team, Black and Ricochet have had so much exposure on Raw and Smackdown as late, which made them look like a very credible threat going into this match against the War Raiders. This match had everything from power, speed agility, brawling, and technical wrestling. You couldn’t have asked for a better tag team championship match to kickoff WWE’s Wrestlemania weekend. This was the swan song for Aleister Black and Richochet, and if you’re going to go out of NXT there is no where better way then going out guns blazing. Two men who have been blazing a trail as of late are Matt Riddle and The Velveteen Dream. These two are so different in their personalities and their styles, but they are uniquely charismatic. Riddle had a lot of innovative offense and Dream paid tribute to a lot of old school superstars. I was really shocked to that Matt Riddle lost after how much they been touting him and building him up. However, the North American Championship needs a champion that holds for more than one Takeover defense, so it makes sense that Dream retained. I do believe big things are in store for Matt Riddle and they will be unfolding pretty quickly.
NXT fans were treated to an international invasion, because Pete Dunne came to Takeover to defend his WWE United Kingdom Championship against WALTER. Dunne came into this match with a 685 day title reign, but WALTER is just a different animal. I can honestly say that my favorite style is British Strong Style. It’s brutal, barbaric, and downright nasty. I wasn’t sure what WALTER’s endurance would be like because he’s a bigger competitor. With Dunne’s historic title reign I do feel it’s time for British Strong Style(Dunne, Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) to go to the main roster. These helped put NXT UK on the map and they have left it in very good hands. They have also made it possible for other British wrestlers to get put into a worldwide spotlight. When it comes to spotlight, a lot of the spotlight will be on the women under the WWE umbrella this weekend. Four women from NXT got to be in the spotlight and they were champion Shayna Baszler, Io Sharai and Bianca Belair. This was such an intriguing match because anyone could have walked out champion. Now that Baszler has retained the title I am not sure who dethrones her. She just beat three of the most credible women on the NXT roster so going forward I’ll be curious who steps up to the plate.
The Main Event of NXT Takeover NYC was for the vacated NXT Championship. It was Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole in a 2-0ut of-3 Falls match. Originally, it was suppose to be Gargano challenging Tommaso Ciampa but due Ciampa’s untimely neck surgery the match was changed. Cole defeated Ricochet, Aleister Black, Matt Riddle and The Velveteen Dream to get into this match, so it’s not like he didn’t have to earn it. Early on there was a lot of great chain wrestling and a lot counter moves. Adam Cole took the first fall with the Shining Wizard and Johnny Gargano took the second fall with the Gargano Stretch. These two brought everything to they had to win the NXT Championship. At the end of the night, it was Johnny Gargano who held the NXT Championship high. As Gargano celebrated with Candace, the former champion Tommaso Ciampa came out as well. Tonight, by far was the greatest NXT Takeover in it’s five year history. Every champion, every challenger, and every match set the bar to a whole new level like it’s never been set before. I really have to give Takeover NYC a perfect 10 out of 10. They didn’t miss a beat and the risks they took paid off. I really don’t know any show under the WWE umbrella tops this for the rest of the year. Tonight NXT took over Brooklyn and became the fire starter for Wrestlemania weekend.