NXT TakeOver: Dallas (Results & Observations)
Tom Phillips and Corey Graves are at the announce table.
NXT Tag Team Championship
American Alpha (Chad Gable & Jason Jordan) v. The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) (c)
AA has the early advantage, but Revival soon take charge. They work over Gable.
Gable excellent while building toward the hot tag.
Wilder hits a brutal clothesline outside the ring.
In the ring, Gable pins Dawson.
American Alpha are the new NXT Tag Team Champions.
Crowd crazy for Gable. He has fun in the ring. It is infectious.
Jordan has a be-yoo-ti-ful dropkick. Just gorgeous.
Kota Ibushi is shown sitting in the audience.
A video is shown of Bayley meeting fans earlier in the day.
Footage of Asuka warming up for her match later in the evening.
Video package airs of the history between Corbin & Aries.
Baron Corbin v. Austin Aries
Starts off very physical. Corbin drops Aries neck across the top rope.
Corbin is just dominant. He chops Aries down with a flurry of elbows.
He hits a “Deep Six” on the floor to Aries.
Audible “Holy Shit!” chants.
Aries counters the “End of Days” to score a flash pinfall via rollup.
This is a perfect example of how to lay out a “big man v. little man” match.
Aries, as always, was masterful. I’m looking forward to seeing him paired with the younger performers of the NXT roster.
Corbin is making excellent progress. It shouldn’t be long until he is one the main roster.
A spot airs promoting The Rock’s participation at Sunday’s WrestleMania.
A package airs for Zayn/Nakamura.
Scott Hall and X-Pac are shown in the crowd.
Sami Zayn v. Shinsuke Nakamura
Zayn out first.
Chills as Shinsuke Nakamura makes his way to ringside.
Dueling “Sami Zayn/Na-ka-mura” chants fill the arena.
Both men feel each other out early on.
Nakamura cinches a nasty armbar.
Knee strikes to Zayn on the apron.
In the ring, vicious knee, followed by a two-count, by Nakamura.
Zayn with a gorgeous dive over the top rope. Follows with a crossbody and a two-count of his own.
He buries Nakamura with a “Michinoku Driver” right on his neck.
Both men trading strikes. Nakamura’s nose is bleeding. They continue to blast away on each other.
Nakamura goes for an armbar. Zayn blocks it.
Nakamura with a “Triangle.”
Zayn throwing raw, violent punches and kicks.
Locks in a “Koji Clutch.” Nakamura rolls him up while locked in the maneuver.
Nakamura with a “Step Up Enziguri.”
“Fight Forever” chant from the rowdy crowd.
Nakamura with a one-leg dropkick.
Zayn misses a “Helluva Kick.”
Nakamura with an inverted “Exploder.”
Zayn hits a “Blue Thunder Bomb.”
Nakamura kicks out at 2 and 999/1000.
Nakamura blocks Zayn’s DDT through the turnbuckle spot.
Nakamura blocks “Exploder” with elbows. Multiple neck strikes follow.
Nakamura hits the “Kinshasa” for the pinfall.
Nakamura sticks out his hand to his fallen opponent. Zayn eyes him but they shake.
This was an amazing, well-plotted, and expertly executed match between two men in their primes. It will easily be in the conversation in December as a North American Match of the Year. It was epic and stiff and believable. These type of matches are why I love professional wrestling.
Bayley/Asuka package airs.
NXT Women’s Championship
Asuka v. Bayley (c)
Slow start. After exchanges, Bayley limping. Bayley, however, still on the offense.
Asuka fires off rattling kick to the temple, followed by a gnarly knee.
Bayley blocked a kick with a kneebar into an ankle lock.
Asuka with an armbar but Bayley rolled free.
Asuka hits a suplex into an armbar.
“Asuka Lock.” Bayley fighting it.
Bayley passes out in the “Asuka Lock.”
New NXT Women’s Champion: Asuka.
Helluva match. These two fighters were in an unenviable position following the previous match but weren’t intimidated. They told a great story with a physical match. I hate to see Bayley’s run come to an end.
Joe/Balor package airs.
Samoa Joe v. Finn Balor (c)
Drake Younger the referee.
Bobby Roode is shown sitting in the audience.
Balor makes his way to the ring with a screaming chainsaw.
In the opening moments, Balor hits a soaring leap over the top rope. Balor is bringing it to Joe.
Joe dumps Balor over the barricade and into the audience.
Joe is bleeding from head contact.
Joe is tagging Balor hard with a flurry of shots.
Joe’s eye is a bloody mess. He pushes off the medical staff.
Joe is wailing on Balor. Loads of stiff forearms and kicks by both men.
Balor with chops.
Joe is outside the ring. Eats a dropkick. Takes a boot to the jaw. Joe counters a “Sling Blade.”
Balor then hits a “Sling Blade.”
Misses a dropkick.
Joe hits a “Senton.”
Joe with a “power bomb” that transitions into a “Boston Crab.”
Joe with a “Crossface.”
Balor escapes. Hits a double-stomp, “Sling Blade,” and a dropkick.
Joe goes for a “Musclebuster.”
Balor kicks out. The look on Joe’s face is priceless.
Both men trading blows.
Joe: Kokina Clutch.
Balor pushes off the turnbuckle while locked in the move to score the pinfall.
The “hardway” blood gave this match a little something extra. After four excellent bouts, Balor and Joe still found a way to shine. This match was intense and explosive. Balor held nothing back as he went after his physically imposing challenger.
Both men are world class wrestlers and shined in this spotlight performance.
This was a top-flight show. It is reminiscent of some of the premier events held by Ring of Honor years ago. (I’m sure Joe and Aries being on the bill makes that comparison easier.)
I’m curious what the future hold for NXT. Will it remain a developmental brand? If so, the inclusion of talent like Shinsuke Nakamura, and perhaps Kota Ibushi, make for an impossible baseline for students still learning a basic back bump.
Maybe NXT will become its own “thing” and a new developmental branch will sprout up.
Regardless, this was an amazing, memorable event.
-Zep the Bear