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‘NXT TakeOver: Orlando’ play by play and review



Pre-Show Notes:

  • No Way Jose was brutally attacked by SAnitY during Axxess this morning and was taken away on a stretcher.
  • Nigel McGuinness says he’s been told that Jose cannot compete tonight and that Tye Dillinger and Roderick Strong can either find a new partner or compete in a handicapped match. Hmm, that doesn’t seem entirely fair.
  • I cannot believe Sam Roberts makes a living on a microphone. Who got him a WWE job?
  • Side note: I saw Baroness (One of the NXT theme song artists) open for Opeth in Atlanta back in 2008. Good to see them getting some more publicity than they were back then.
  • Peyton Royce and Billie Kay join the panel briefly to discuss the women’s title match and it was actually pretty entertaining.
  • The new NXT title belts show up backstage in aluminum briefcases.

Main Card:

You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show.

TakeOver is live at the most definitely sold-out (14,975 announced attendance) Amway Center in Orlando. Triple H is doing a voiceover saying that We are NXT and We are Home. Phillips, McGuinness, and Watson are your announcers.

Match #1: SAnitY (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, Killian Dain, & Nikki Cross) v. Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong, Ruby Riot, & Kassius Ohno

As mentioned earlier, No Way Jose was taken out of the match earlier as a result of a SAnitY beat down at Axxess today. William Regal says they can find a new partner, but if they don’t, they will have to compete in a handicapped match. SAnitY all have their eyes painted black, which is a cool look. Dillinger is all business during his entrance. The new partner for the babyfaces is… Kassius Ohno!

The babyfaces all hit the ring and clear out the heels. Cross and Riot at left and we get a bell to start the match. Cross hits a cross body and a throw on Riot. Cross misses a charge into the corner and Riot gets her in a head scissors and launches her face-first into the buckle. Cross tags in Wolfe, so Riot has to leave. Ohno gets in and as Wolfe is showboating, Ohno levels him with a KO punch. Young eats one, too. Ohno really works a nasty looking wristlock, which Wolfe sells amazingly. Young helps Wolfe get an advantage and tags in to take over on Ohno. Young quickly tags back in, but misses an elbow drop. Ohno gets the tag to Strong.

Strong comes in on fire and takes out Wolfe with an Angle Slam. Young comes in and eats a half nelson backbreaker. Strong delivers a high knee to Young in the corner and then one to Dain on the ring apron. Wolfe catches Strong with a release German suplex that turns him inside out, though. Killian Dain gets a tag and stomps a mudhole in Strong. Dain delivers 3 big elbows as the crowd chants Shave Your Back. Dain cuts off a comeback attempt with a dropkick. SAnitY uses a series of quick tags as they work over Strong. Eric Young comes off the top with a beautiful elbow to Strong’s back, but Dillinger kicks Young in the head to break up the pin. Tye is mega-over tonight.

Dillinger finally gets the hot tag and cleans house. Young is clotheslined over the top and Wolfe eats a great DDT. Riot intercepts Cross and tackles her out of the ring. Tye hits a cross body off the top to Wolfe and dives onto Young at ringside. Ohno goes for a flip over the top rope to ringside, but everyone moves and he lands on his feet after hand-springing off the apron on the way down. Dain ends up crushing Ohno into the ring apron, though. Riot goes for a dive, but Cross cuts her off with a forearm. Riot takes her down and they both roll out of the ring again.

Tye finally gets Young alone, briefly. Dain makes a tag, but Tye hits him with a super kick. Wolfe breaks up the pin at the last second. Ohno gets Wolfe with the discus elbow to the back of the head, but Young is there to catch Ohno with a leaping neck breaker. This is hard to keep up with. Young goes for the YoungBlood on Tye, but Strong drills him with a Sick Kick. Young does a Rock bump completely out of the ring. No clue who the legal people are at this point. Strong and Dain have a stare down as the crowd chants Roddy, but Cross jumps on his back. Riot jumps on Dain’s back, which causes Cross to go after her. Riot hurls Cross to ringside while Young pulls Strong out and levels him on the floor. Riot hits a flat back dropkick to Cross off the ring apron (Ouch on the landing).

Dillinger is back in and picks up Dain for the Tye-Breaker (!), but Wolfe kicks Tye in the face. Dain ends up hitting the One-Winged Angel on Tye and that is good for the pin.

Winners: SAnitY via pinfall

Thoughts: That was a fun opener. Great action and there are some angles coming out of that. Cross and Riot have no resolution, for example. Dain versus Strong was teased at one point. I still think there’s another Dillinger/Young match to be had – maybe in a cage or something to keep SAnitY out of the match in theory?

Crowd Shot: Edge and Beth Phoenix are in the crowd watching. Huge pop.

Match#2: Andrade “Cien” Almas v. Aleister Black

Black gets a big-time entrance and has a badass theme song. The match starts out with some chain wrestling and counters. Almas showboats in the ropes. Black throws him to ringside and goes for a dive. Almas moves, so Black stops, does a springboard backflip off the second rope, and lands sitting Indian style in the ring. Almas is back in, but Black ducks a kick and nips up. Black delivers several kicks to Almas, knocking him down. Almas hits a huge chop in the corner, fakes the running double knees, and slaps Black in the face.

Almas hooks an arm bar on Black in the ropes and delivers a missile dropkick off the top, but only gets a 2-count. Black hooks the arm of Almas to block a punch and unloads with strikes. A final kick sends Almas to ringside. Black leaps to the second buckle outside and hits a springboard moonsault to Almas on the floor. Back in the ring, Almas ducks the Black Mass kick and unloads with elbows to the jaw of Black and boot in the face. Almas again locks in the arm bar in the ropes, but Black breaks it with kicks. Almas comes off the top, but Black catches him for a powerbomb.

Almas recovers and pounds Black with forearms in the corner. Almas missed the double knees and they trade near falls. Almas catches Black with a spinning back elbow, but they both kick each other in the head at once. Black blocks the arm bar again, but Almas hits a backflip kick to the head. Almas hits the double knees in the corner, but Black counters the Hammerlock DDT. Almas goes right into a bridging German suplex for a 2-count on Black. Almas then runs into a jumping knee by Black and a kick to the face. Black delivers another standing kick to the face and Almas is out of it. Black stands him up and hits the Black Mass (roundhouse super kick) and Almas is done.

Winner: Aleister Black via pinfall

Thoughts: This was a good match. There were a few timing issues and miscommunications, but they covered it up well enough. Black came across as a legit bad ass and has a CM Punk vibe about him. He could be the guy in NXT by this time next year. As for Almas, I’m curious what’s next for him like usual. He could be a great upper mid-card guy on the main roster, I think.

Match #3: NXT Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Elimination Match: Authors of Pain (w/ Paul Ellering) © v. #DIY v. The Revival

The Authors of Pain are wearing some intimidating-looking gear. William Regal is in the ring and presents the new NXT Tag Team belts and they are a huge improvement. The rules are that only 2 people can be in the ring at once while there are 3 teams. The Revival and #DIY decide to align early to take out the Authors. Gargano shoots Akam into Ciampa, who gives him a drop toehold onto the railing at ringside. #DIY pulls out a table because there are no disqualifications. The referee has no control over this. Akam smashes both Gargano and Ciampa into the railing.

#DIY sends Akam head first into the stairs, though. Back in the ring, #DIY hits double dropkicks on Revival. Before singling out Wilder. Apparently the match has now officially started. Akam blind tags himself in when Wilder hits the ropes and levels Gargano and Ciampa with a double clothesline. Rezar tags in and takes over on Ciampa. Ciampa kicks Rezar in the mouth and goes to tag The Revival, but they want no part of it. Good strategy as this is an elimination match. While the referee is distracted, Dawson comes in and hits a DDT on Akam and pulls Ciampa on top of him. That’s only good for a 2-count, so Wilder tags Ciampa’s back to come in now that the AoP are down. Dawson tags in and hits a double team leg drop for a near fall.

Dawson goes for a tag in the #DIY corner, but they return the favor and hop off the apron to strand him. Gargano tags in off Akam’s back, who then gets low bridged out of the ring by Wilder. Dawson runs right into the slingshot spear through the ropes by Gargano. Gargano kicks Wilder in the face, kicks Dawson in the face, and kicks Rezar in the face. Ciampa hits the running knee off the apron to Rezar. Gargano hits a flip dive off the apron to Akam. Gargano slingshots over the top rope to deliver a DDT to Dawson, but he kicks out. Big Johnny Wrestling chant. The AoP catch another Gargano dive attempt to the outside, then throw him right into Ciampa as he attempts his own dive. Then they hurl Gargano into Wilder. There’s a little bit of a reset now, thank God, because I can’t keep up.

AoP isolate Gargano in their corner now. Akam lifts Gargano up in the torture rack as the crowd gets behind Gargano. Gargano squirms out and hits Akam with a step-up enzuigiri. Gargano tries to make a tag, but Akam catches him. Gargano launches Akam into Dawson and gets the tag to Ciampa. Ciampa comes off the top with a clothesline to Akam and a kick to Rezar. Akam absorbs 2 clotheslines, but then Ciampa drills Rezar with a knee as he tries coming into the ring. Ciampa hits Akam with a huge snap German suplex to Psycho Killer chants. Ciampa unloads with strikes to Akam and hits him with another German. Ciampa launches out of the corner with a knockout knee to the face of Akam, but he kicks out.

McGuinness emphasizes that it wasn’t even close to a 3-count and can’t believe it. Ciampa launches over the top rope to try to hit a sunset flip powerbomb to Rezar through a table, but Rezar hangs onto the rope. Gargano comes to help and he’s still holding on. Finally, the Revival come from inside the ring and Rezar gets the powerbomb through the table. Cool spot. Now it is Akam against both #DIY and Revival. There are Yes!chants from the crowd as they surround Akam. Akam takes down both Dawson and Wilder, and then takes out Gargano and Ciampa.

Akam lifts Ciampa up for a powerbomb, but Dawson tags Ciampa. Dawson takes Akam’s knee out and locks in the inverted figure four. Gargano comes running in, but stops and allows Dawson to keep the hold locked in. Gargano then locks in the Gargano Escape at the same time as Wilder and Ciampa guard them. Rezar tries to get back in and Ciampa and Wilder try to hold him down. Rezar forces them both back and knocks them into the submission pile, which breaks the hold. Wow, I thought that was it for the Authors. Everyone is down selling and the crowd chants This is Awesome.

Rezar charges Dawson in the corner, but Dawson moves and Ciampa gets knocked down off the apron, which is called a tag. Meanwhile, Rezar gets caught between the Revival and Gargano. They tee off on him until Gargano and Dawson tease a Meeting in the Middle on a kneeling Rezar. They connect! Akam then runs into a Shatter Machine delivered by Ciampa and Wilder. Unfortunately, the Authors both roll out of the ring as #DIY and Revival stand tall. Revival tries a double cross, but #DIY doesn’t fall for it. Ciampa and Dawson send each other to ringside. Wilder and Gargano stop fighting and turn their attention to the AoP again. Wilder and Gargano hit double dives to AoP outside the ring and everyone is down again. Good lord.

Ciampa has a crazy look on his face, so he climbs to the top. Dawson meets him there and tries to superplex Ciampa to the floor. And for the love of God, he did it right onto the other 4 guys! Dawson rolls Ciampa into the ring as McGuinness yells what a mistake this is (to not be focused on the AoP). Rezar tags himself in and levels Dawson. The Authors flatten Ciampa with the Last Chapter and that is all for #DIY. We are down to The Revival and AoP. Wilder is now isolated against the AoP. The crowd is still mad that #DIY was eliminated and is chanting Delete. Wilder catches Akam on the second rope and then Dawson hits a sort of Doomsday Device. Wilder uppercuts Rezar as Dawson gives him a German suplex. Dawson holds on and Wilder comes off the top rope with another European uppercut as Dawson hits a bridging German, but Rezar kicks out.

Rezar recovers and punches Wilder followed by a chokeslam on Dawson. AoP set up Dawson for the Last Chapter, but Wilder runs in and sacrifices himself to stop it. Dawson kicks off of Rezar and flips Akam into a pin, but he kicks out again. AoP hits double powerbombs to Dawson and Wilder. This looks to be over. Wilder tries to fight back, but gets pie-faced out of the ring as Rezar goes out after him. Akam tries to powerbomb Dawson, but he acts limp. As Wilder holds Rezar, Dawson small packages Akam, but he kicks out! Rezar hits a Death Valley Driver on Wilder on the floor into the railing. Dawson gets one in the corner from Akam. AoP hits the Super Collider on Dawson and that’s the end.

Winners: Authors of Pain via pinfall to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship

Thoughts: Absolutely insane match. I realize the crowd is unhappy, but like I’ve said, #DIY and Revival are headed to the main roster. The Authors are just made to look unbeatable. Whoever is the team that beats them is going to get a massive win and it’ll just be a huge moment. This just makes long-term booking sense and is the early Match of the Year, in my opinion.  

Match #4: NXT Women’s Championship: Asuka © v. Ember Moon

I’m interested to see how the crowd reacts to Ember Moon and Asuka and whether the effort to make Asuka a heel has paid off at all. Asuka has been champion for 364 days. Ember Moon has blue eyes tonight. Moon gets a lukewarm crowd reaction with a few boos during introductions. Asuka’s Gonna Kill You chants are starting. There’s no more pink or purple in the new women’s championship belt. The crowd is about 50/50 between the women now.

No one gets the clear advantage early on. Asuka goes for a handshake, but pulls it back. Moon ducks a kick, catches Asuka in a head scissors, and gives her a hurricanrana. Moon wins another scuffle and arm drags Asuka into the corner. They then hit shoulder blocks to each other with no one moving back. Asuka gets Moon fired up for another shoulder block, but she fakes her out and hits the hip attack. Moon no sells it and dropkicks Asuka as she is gloating. Moon hits a series of kicks and Asuka rolls out of the ring. Moon goes out after her, but Asuka rolls back in and hits the hip attack on Moon, sending her into the railing.

Asuka starts mockingly kicking Moon in the head. Asuka hits 3 straight spinning back fists. Moon catches a kick and throws Asuka on her face. Moon tries a come back, but Asuka hits another hip attack and some kicks in the ropes. Asuka tries a German, but Moon throws an elbow. Asuka catches the elbow and tries for the Asuka Lock. Moon flips her over and nails her with a forearm shot that sends Asuka to the floor. Moon springboards off the second buckle and hits a cross body to Asuka on the floor.

Moon goes to the top rope for the Eclipse, but Asuka sees it coming. Asuka bats away a dropkick attempt and nails Moon with a basement dropkick to the face, but it’s only good for a 2-count. Asuka tees off with Yes kicks and plays to the crowd. Asuka locks in the Asuka Lock. Moon gets out, but Asuka locks it in again on the mat. Moon fights to her feet, but Asuka locks it in deeper. Moon drops to a knee, but fights back up and falls back to crush Asuka and break the hold. Asuka misses a hip attack and Moon super kicks her in the mouth. Both women reset on the mat.

Moon ducks a kick and scores with a head scissors takedown followed by a leg sweep and a dropkick to the face. Moon tees off with kicks and knees followed by a fall-away slam on a practically limp Asuka. That took some strength. Moon nips up and hits a handspring forearm in the corner. Moon tries to springboard off the second rope, but Asuka catches her and hits a brutal release German suplex, but Moon kicks out. They trade strikes until Moon ducks a back fist and levels Asuka with a forearm again. Moon catches a kick and hits the exploder suplex on Asuka, but she kicks out. Moon is going back up for the Eclipse. Asuka catches her and goes for a superplex. Moon knocks her off. Asuka throws the referee into the ropes and it knocks Moon off the top rope. Asuka hits the knockout kick to the head and that’s good for the pin.

Winner: Asuka via pinfall to retain the NXT Women’s Championship

Thoughts: Another great match. I’ve been saying that it may be too soon to put Ember Moon on top, but still thought she was going over here. Now WWE has time to really turn Asuka heel before her next TakeOver title match. Ember Moon loses her first match, but she has an out since Asuka cheated to win. Good booking, in my opinion.

Crowd Update: Drew McIntyre is ringside. Not sure too many folks knew who he was. He has since confirmed that he signed an NXT contract.

Match #5: NXT Championship: Bobby Roode © v. Shinsuke Nakamura

Nakamura makes his entrance behind a curtain and strobe that gives him a sort of ghosting look. Saying he’s still over would be a horrible understatement. Roode is getting a piano entrance. Two pianos! It leads right into the opening for Glorious. This guy is amazing. Guys wearing King of Strong Style shirts are also singing along. No, not just me. The new men’s championship is nearly identical to the women’s version. Again, it’s a huge improvement.

Dueling chants early on, but I won’t beat that dead horse. Roode tries to go right for the leg, but Nakamura is too quick. Roode wrenches on a headlock, but Nakamura gets a rope break and does his taunt. Roode laughs it off and talks trash. Nakamura kicks him in the chest twice and taunts him again. Nakamura hits a knee and a knee drop followed by more kicks and knees. This crowd is hot. Roode blocks Good Vibrations, but Nakamura hits a step-up enzuigiri. Nakamura gets Good Vibrations this time and follows Roode to ringside.

Nakamura tries to suplex Roode to the floor, but Roode blocks and hits a dropkick. Roode then launches Nakamura into the guardrail off the apron. Roode is now in control and chokes Nakamura on the middle rope. Roode stomps a mudhole in Nakamura in the corner and plays to the crowd. Roode explodes Nakamura’s chest with some chops and then an avalanche clothesline. Roode hits a neck breaker, but Nakamura kicks out. Roode settles into a nerve hold, and then catches Nakamura with a back elbow when he fights out of it. Roode goes for another cover, but it’s only a 2-count.

Roode works a neck crank to slow things down more. Nakamura escapes, but Roode briefly locks in a sleeper hold. Roode catches a kick, but Nakamura delivers a spinning heel kick to counter. Nakamura starts to fire up and lands strike after strike. Nakamura hits some knees and the running knee to the ribs followed by a sliding kick that sends Roode to the floor. Nakamura hits a running knee to Roode as he’s draped over the apron and a knee drop to the back of the head. He didn’t hurt his knee this time. Back in the ring, Roode kicks out of a pin attempt.

Roode blocks an inverted exploder and then a German before hitting a discus clothesline on Nakamura as he came off the ropes. Roode gets caught with a leaping jump kick and Nakamura fires up for a Kinshasa. Roode moves and chop blocks Nakamura’s knee. Roode now goes right for the injured knee by wrapping it around the ring post. Roode slaps him in the face and locks in the Figure Four. Nakamura manages to turn it over, but the damage is done. Roode gets cocky and Nakamura flips him over and goes for an arm bar. He finally locks it in and transitions to a triangle. Roode deadlifts Nakamura but can’t finish and falls right into an arm bar again. Roode manages to get his feet to the ropes to break the hold.

Now Nakamura is just viciously kicking Roode in the corner. The referee almost disqualifies him. Roode moves as Nakamura tries the knee in the corner again and he knees the buckle. Roode’s selling his arm, though, as he goes back after Nakamura’s knee. Roode goes for a Figure Four again, but Nakamura kicks his arm repeatedly. Back to his feet, he kicks the arm some more. Roode finally ducks one and hits a big back stabber for a near fall. They reset and stare each other down as they fight to their feet. Roode makes the poor choice to trade strikes with Nakamura, who fires up but gets cut off by a kick to the knee.

Roode lifts him for the Glorious DDT, but Nakamura knees him in the head. Nakamura hits a gourd buster and a sort of half-Kinshasa. Roode is able to kick out. Nakamura signals for the Kinshasa, but Roode bails out of the ring. Nakamura throws him back in, but Roode kicks the rope when Nakamura tries to get back in. Roode crushes Nakamura with the Glorious DDT, but can’t make the immediate cover due to the injured arm. Nakamura kicks out at 2 and Roode is in shock. Roode heads outside the ring and grabs the ring bell.

The referee takes it from him as Roode screams at the referee to disqualify him. Roode turns around into a head kick and an inverse exploder. Nakamura sets up for the Kinshasa again, but Roode catches him in a spine buster, but can only get a 2-count. Both guys sell exhaustion. Roode sets up for another Glorious DDT, but Nakamura drives him into the corner. Roode then explodes out of the corner for a chop block to the front of the knee. Roode then hits a corkscrew Glorious DDT off the second rope! Roode wins!

Winner: Bobby Roode via pinfall to retain the NXT Championship

Thoughts: Another great match in its own right. I love matches where people actually sell injuries and you actually buy into it. It was just totally different than the other matches tonight in that regard. We all know Nakamura belongs on a bigger stage, so this is no surprise. My only gripe is that I’d have maybe had a finish where Roode won a little more dirty. Anyway, overall it was a really good show. Surprisingly there were no title changes and no big debuts. Unless you count McIntyre (meh).


  • SAnitY beat Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong, Kassius Ohno, & Ruby Riot
  • Aleister Black beat Andrade Almas
  • Authors of Pain beat #DIY and Revival to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship
  • Asuka beat Ember Moon to retain the Women’s Championship
  • Bobby Roode beat Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the NXT Championship
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Abby

    April 2, 2017 at 2:25 am

    I love your reviews!

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