We are days away from what may be the best NXT TakeOver card in the company’s history. This was of course the go-home show for a stacked NXT TakeOver: New York, and it was an okay show overall. I don’t think NXT can have a bad show but as a go-home show this kind of lacked fire as we build to PPV.
There were a ton of video packages and not enough action to increase my excitement for Friday. That doesn’t mean I did not enjoy the show though, NXT packs their hour of TV time so well and I still enjoyed the episode.
Let’s break down the show!
War Raiders def. Local Wrestlers, then Cezar Bononi & Adrian Jaoude in back-to-back matches.
The go-home show kicked off with War Raiders who are defending their tag titles at TakeOver vs a couple of jobbers. That match went as you would expect it to. War Raiders dominated the two guys in a very quick match, this was just to showcase War Raiders dominance. I think War Raiders needed to be built up a bit more going into TakeOver and this got the job done. Afterwards though, they called out another tag team and Bononi and Jaoude answered the call.
While this match was a bit more competitive, they obviously did not stand a chance against the champions. They hit their finisher on Bononi and got the easy 3 count, dominating two teams back-to-back. This was solid, War Raiders needed some kind of showcase going into their match and this got the job done.
They weren’t the best matches, but story-wise they made a lot of sense going into TakeOver.
Dunne vs Walter video package.
Then coming out of that match they aired a video package to hype up Pete Dunne vs Walter for the United Kingdom Championship. As WWE usually does, they killed this video package, it was absolutely fantastic. They covered Pete Dunne’s historic title run up to this point, Walter’s debut at TakeOver: Blackpool, and how this match came about. As somebody that doesn’t watch NXT UK I wasn’t super looking forward to this match, but after that video package, I’m hyped for it.
This did what it needed to do. This was the first of three video packages on this show which I was not a fan of, but I understand it in this case because not everybody watches NXT UK.
Jaxson Ryker def. Oney Lorcan.
Next we had Jaxson Ryker of the Forgotten Sons vs Oney Lorcan who was of course accompanied by Danny Burch. I was shocked to see Ryker wrestling in this match, it seems like he’s barely wrestled since Forgotten Sons debuted on TV. Nonetheless, this was a really fun match, these two both have similar styles so the match worked well for both. This was very much a brawl kind of match and some of the strikes looked super stiff which I loved. Lorcan hit Ryker with a bunch of chops throughout the match and they were super loud.
Lorcan had the advantage in the early part of the match but Ryker quickly came back and took control. The match ended when Lorcan went for a leaping move from the middle rope but Ryker turned it into a pop-up gut buster. After that, Ryker focused on the mid-section and hit a sit-out chokeslam to get the win.
This match was good enough to be enjoyable but it was nothing special. I think both of these teams are good, and I want to see them in an actual rivalry, but for now this was just fine.
NXT Championship & North American Championship video packages.
Following that match we had back-to-back video packages. The first one was a video package hyping up Cole vs Gargano and of all the video packages on the show this was by far the best. If you haven’t watched this package go out of your way to find it, one of the best video packages in recent memory. The package covered this entire situation from Ciampa’s injury all the way to the recent Cole and Gargano promo.
They had like an interview with Gargano, they showed clips of Cole training at some fancy performance centre (that wasn’t WWE’s) and Undisputed Era was there for all of it. This is probably my most anticipated match going into TakeOver and this just solidified that for me, can’t wait!
Then we had another video package this time for the North American Championship match between Matt Riddle and Velveteen Dream. Another solid video package, and followed the formula of the previous two. Started at Dream winning the title, and ended with hype for Saturday. It was a really good video package don’t get me wrong WWE’s editing department is top notch, I was just tired of video packages by this point.
That being said I think this has potential to steal the show on Saturday, and possibly even WrestleMania Weekend.
Bianca Belair vs Kairi Sane ended in a no contest.
Then in our main event we had Bianca Belair vs Kairi Sane. This was a really good match these two ladies. They are extremely good and have so much chemistry in the ring. Kairi is one of the best wrestlers in the world and Bianca is becoming so good, fast. It’s crazy how quickly she’s improved. The two went back and forth for a decent amount of time and it looked like Bianca was closing in on beating Kairi. Then of course Shayna and her goonies came down to the ring and attacked Sane and Belair. They started beating on the two and Io Shirai came down to try and even the odds.
She was holding her own against the three, when the entire NXT women’s division came down to separate everybody. While there was a mass of bodies outside the ring, Belair who was in the ring press-slammed Lacey Lane on to the women’s outside the ring. Then to close out the segment Io Shirai hit a beautiful moonsault onto everybody, and held up the NXT Women’s Championship. This was a fantastic segment and while I am growing tired of Shayna interfering in matches every week, this all made sense. I don’t think Io is winning the title on Saturday, so it was nice to give her this moment here.
Overall not a great go-home show with a lot of video packages, and not a ton of real build for Friday, but I still enjoyed it.