WWE NXT Takeover: Toronto
by Samoa Rowe
November 19, 2016
Happy (belated) Thanksgiving Thumpin' to you all! Looking through Da Site's archives and it appears we missed this particular November classic. If I watched this one live, I've completely forgotten about it, so if I don't remember it, it's new to me!
From the sold out Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Our hosts are Corey Graves and Tom Phillips.
A live gospel choir sings a stirring rendition of Bobby Roode's theme song before his grand entrance, and kudos to them for keeping their faces straight as Roode's strutting makes the entire thing seem hilarious if you're not used to this sort of thing.
Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger
It's the battle of guys who probably should have stayed in NXT, as they both get superstar reactions from the fans. Roode poses arrogantly, prompting Tye to punch him in the face and get a hot start. Tye gets whipped into the barricade but bounces back for a backdrop on the floor. Roode begs for mercy, so Dillinger stomps his fingers. Roode weathers the storm and backdrops Dillinger over the ropes for a breather. Roode takes control with a clothesline to the back of the head. Roode's beatdown is solid and the crowd stays in it by playing along with his "Glorious" mannerisms. There's also a "Fix the apron" chant for some reason. Dillinger gets a comeback out of nowhere and has the crowd with him as he chops, kicks, and stomps. Roode cuts him off with a spinebuster for 2. Roode's superplex is also only good enough for 2. Roode imitates Dillinger's 10 gesture and almost steals it with a rope assisted cover, but the ref catches it. Dillinger pops up for a superkick for a believable nearfall. They stumble into a slugfest and counter finishers until Tye applies the Sharpshooter! Roode gets the ropes and they trade inside cradles. Roode drives Dillinger into the ring post to set up the Glorious DDT for the win at 16:28. This was the epitome of a WWE style formula match, but the red hot crowd made this feel special, ***.
Winner: Bobby Roode
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals:
Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar, with Paul Ellering) vs. TM61 (Shane Thorne and Nick Miller)
Ellering cannot be trusted and therefore must be locked in a shark cage hovering in the air. I'm a firm believer of natural consequences, so how else could they neutralize him? Even better, the shark cage gets gets a Jaws-like theme as it's lowered. I love wrestling. Bell rings and TM61 have to use their speed advantage to avoid being mauled by AOP. Thorne climbs the structure supporting the cage and dives off onto AOP and his own partner. AOP survive the dive and take control with a beatdown on Thorne. The previously hot crowd takes a nap. Miller gets the hot tag and impress with his ability to hit power moves on bigger opponents. Miller's moonsault gets 2 on Rezar. TM61 stereo counter powerbombs into headscissors and AOP crash into each other. TM61 clear the ring with dives and Ellering drops a chain into the ring. Rezar swings the chain at Thorne and loses his handle. Rezar manages a chokeslam anyway, and AOP finish Thorne with the Last Chapter for the win at 8:04. This was sloppy and heatless, even if I'm a sucker for stupid gimmicks like shark cages, **.
Winners: The Authors of Pain
-Triple H, Dustin Rhodes, and William Regal join Ellering and AOP in the ring for the presentation of the Dusty Trophy. Cody Rhodes could not be there as he was busy establishing himself as one of the biggest names in independent wrestling.
NXT Tag Team Championship (2 / 3 Falls Match):
The Revival © (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) vs. DIY (Tomasso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano)
The crowd is jazzed for this, as these teams stole the show at the last Takeover. Quick start as Gargano and Dawson trade counters. Ciampa gets a sneaky tag and DIY hit stereo dropkicks. Wilder distracts the ref while Dawson rakes the face of Ciampa, and The Revival take control. Gargano returns and cleans house. The Revival counter Gargano's slingshot spear into the Shatter Machine for the first fall at 5:00! Gargano is vulnerable and gets worked over by the Revival, who are eager for a second fall. Gargano saves himself with a spinning DDT/enziguri combo! Ciampa gets a would-be hot tag, but the ref missed it, and the crowd is pissed. The Revival take advantage with the Hart Attack on Gargano for only 2! Gargano counters Wilder's superplex and Ciampa finally gets a hot tag! Ciampa unloads on Dawson, including hitting the coolest Fame-asser I've ever seen. Wilder's save attempt fails and Dawson eats a series of rolling Germans! Ciampa's running knee to the face only gets 2! The Revival target Gargano, but Ciampa knocks Dawson down with a crossbody. The ref argues with Wilder while Dawson eats stereo superkicks and DIY score a fall at 13:30! We're all tied up as the match restarts with Ciampa and Wilder exchanging blows. Dawson returns and he and Ciampa exchange lighting quick submission counters. Gargano gets a blind tag and returns with a DDT on Dawson for a great nearfall. The Revival double team Gargano with an uppercut into a suplex, but Ciampa makes the last second save! Johnny kicks off Wilder to roll-up Dawson for a molten hot nearfall. Dawson blocks Johnny's kick with a title belt, and he locks on an inverted figure four! The crowd goes crazy as Gargano barely gets a rope break. The Revival look to steal DIY's finisher and they miss and crash and burn. Gargano gets a superkick but the cover is broken at the last second and the fans are beside themselves. Ref argues with Ciampa, while Dawson pulls the tights of Gargano in a roll-up, but the ref catches it. Gargano hobbles up for a superkick, but Dawson ambushes with a tackle to the bad leg! They trade pinning predicaments until Johnny locks on GargaNO Escape! Ciampa stops Dawson with an armbar, and both Revival members tap out at 22:20! I am speechless. This match is what every wrestling promotion on Earth should strive for: endearing, scrappy, LIKABLE babyfaces fighting an uphill battle to topple CREDIBLE heels for a huge, feelgood victory. I am sick of hearing excuses about how these sort of characters and feuds “don't work on the main roster” because this is the foundation of what professional wrestling should be. This match was everything it needed to be, I would go as far as to call it perfect. *****
Winners and new NXT Tag Team Champions: DIY
NXT Women's Championship:
Asuka © vs. Mickie James
James was brought in due to the NXT Women's roster being in somewhat of a rebuild mode at this point. I feel bad that these women have to follow that tag title match. They lock arms and hold on for a while before a clean break and intense handshake. Asuka begins targeting the arm, but Mickie holds her own with a kick to the face. Asuka takes her time returning and clears Mickie with a hip attack. Asuka holds the ropes for Mickie to return, but ambushes her with another hip attack. Asuka misses a third hip attack to the floor and gets caught by Mickie's head scissors takedown. Mickie blocks an ankle lock and suffers a German suplex on the floor! There's a dueling chant as Asuka plays the subtle heel and works Mickie over in the ring. Mickie counters into a single leg crab and bridges into a Muta lock, but there's a rope break. They each hold their own in a slugfest, and Mickie nails a neckbreaker. Asuka misses a crossbody and Mickie flapjacks her into position for a seated senton! Asuka kicks out! Asuka surprises with an armbreaker, but Mickie rebounds with the Mick Kick for 2. They trade quick counters until Asuka applies a crossface chickenwing for the win at 13:07. This petered out a bit towards the end, but they did well to keep the crowd with them and tell a good story of the cagey veteran stepping up to face the dominant champion, ***.
Winner and still NXT Women's Champion: Asuka
-Pat Patterson is in the house! Good to see him alive and well.
Shinsuke Nakamura © vs. Samoa Joe
Nakamura gets an extra special entrance with live violin players. Bell rings and Shinsuke goes right to work throwing kicks. Joe answers with jabs. They brawl into the ropes and Nakamura sways his arms to get into Joe's head and it works as he takes control of the fight. Joe absorbs Nakamura's hate-fueled offense and answers with his uranage out of the corner. Joe pretzels Shinsuke's legs and slams him down on his knees! Joe takes control and continually targets the knees. Nakamura no-sells the knee damage as he mounts a comeback with kicks and knee strikes. I was really enjoying this, but now I feel a bit taken out of it. Joe counters with a power slam and unleashes his greatest hits, including the back senton for 2. Joe uses a powerbomb to set up the Boston Crab and crossface. Nakamura counters out but Joe powerslams him for a good nearfall. Nakamura delivers a knee strike off the ropes. Back to their feet, Nakamura wins a slugfest and counters into a German suplex! Joe avoids a charge and delivers a leg sweep to Nakamura's allegedly injured knees. Shinsuke answers with the Kinshasa for 2. Joe rebounds with the Coquina clutch, but Nakamura is revived by fans singing his theme song. Joe ends that nonsense with rolling German, Dragon, and straightjacket suplexes! Joe talks some smack and earns a Kinshasa to the back of the head. Joe soccer kicks Shinsuke's knee and uranages him onto the ring steps! The Muscle Buster ends it at 20:04 and the fans cannot believe it! So much of this match was awesome and dramatic, it kind of kills me that Nakamura just couldn't be bothered to sell Joe's knee work when it mattered. I'm a bit frustrated to have to go as low as ***¾ for this.
Winner and new NXT Champion: Samoa Joe
A five star classic and unexpected NXT title change makes this show must-see. If you skipped this one or haven't check it out lately, go find it on the Network. Thumbs Up!
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