Winter Park, Florida
Full Sail University
Announcers: Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix, Tom Phillips
Ring Announcer: Alicia Taylor
We get a classic Todd Pettengill promo to open the show and he highlights each match on the card. We have the classic In Your House entrance!! Talk about nostalgia!!
The band Code Orange plays their song "Underneath" which is the theme song for tonight's event.
Six Woman Tag Team Match
Shotzi Blackheart, Tegan Nox, & Mia Yim vs. Dakota Kai, Raquel Gonzalez, & Candice LeRae
We start off with Yim and LeRae but LeRae quickly changed her mind and tags in Gonzalez. Gonzalez over powers Yim early and Beth Phoenix compares Gonzalez to Chyna. Yim attempts a guillotine but Gonzalez throws her off and Yim tags in Nox. Nox uses her speed to her advantage but Gonzalez over powers her as well. Kai tags in and commentary talks about Kai/Nox history. Nox goes for a choke slam but it doesn't happen. Nox remains in control though. They trade near falls. They collide heads and Kai falls into the corner where Nox hits a running senton for a near fall. Blackheart comes in and continues the work on Kai. Dakota catches her with a scorpion kick for a near fall. LeRae in now but Blackheart gives her a kick and LeRae rolls out of the ring. Everyone except Blackheart is in the entry way and she tries a suicide dive but Gonzalez catches her in mid air and throws her! Suicide by Yim takes them out. Springboard plancha now by LeRae onto everyone! Nox goes to the top and wipes everyone out with a Molly-Go-Round!! Everyone is down. Blackheart and LeRae are back in the ring where Blackheart hits her with a meteora off the top! Blackheart gets a near fall. Blackheart locks LeRae in an under hook bridge submission but Kai makes the save. Kai distracts the ref and Gonzalez comes in illegally to take out Blackheart with a lariat. Near fall! Kai comes in to work on Blackheart. Gonzalez in to also continue the beat down in the corner. Kai comes in and misses a kick allowing brief offense by Blackheart. Kai tags LeRae and Blackheart tags Yim! They brawl and Yim gets the better of it. Yim hits a dragon suplex for a 2 count. LeRae counters Soul Food into a back suplex. Nox and Gonzalez tag in. Nox gets the better of her until she gets caught in a power bomb for a near fall. Yim and LeRae brawl outside and go backstage out of sight. Kai tags in. Kai accidentally kicks Gonzalez! Nox choke slams Kai! Blackheart hits slice of bread on Gonzalez! Nox sets up and hits Kai with the Shiniest Wizard for the win!! This was a fun opener and each woman got some time to shine. Yim/LeRae seem like they will continue their feud and Nox picks up the win over Kai.
W: Shotzi Blackheart, Tegan Nox, & Mia Yim via pin @ 9:50 (***)
Good Humor WWE ice cream cookie snack commercial to hype them. CM Punk could finally get his ice cream bars!!
Rhea Ripley is backstage warming up.
Damian Priest vs. Finn Balor
Priest couldn't win the NXT North American Championship so he decided to attack Balor to try to make a name for himself. Balor wastes no time and immediately takes out Priest with John Woo drop kick! Priest gets knocked out of the ring and he's pissed. He takes off his jacket and gets back in where Balor continues the attack with stomps and chops. Balor takes Priest from corner to corner delivering more chops. All Balor in the early going. To the outside they go where Balor continues the attack until Priest throws Balor into the steps. Balor hits his shoulder and commentary brings up his previous shoulder injury suffered at Summerslam against Seth Rollins when Balor won the Universal Championship. Priest picks Balor up and drops him face first on the apron. Priest moves the steps around. Priest catches a running Balor while Priest is standing on the steps and plants Balor on the apron with a side walk slam! Back in the ring, Priest beats down Balor. Balor tries to fight back but Priest takes him back down with a leaping flatliner. Priest mounts and punches Balor. A leaping back elbow by Priest catches Balor coming off the ropes and Priest beats Balor down in the corner and gets a 1 count. Priest works on Balor's left shoulder. Balor briefly stops Priest momentum with a jaw breaker but Priest quickly regains control by knocking Balor into the corner. Balor catches him coming in with a boot. Kicks and chops to Priest. Balor counters a suplex with one of his own and then drop kicks Priest through the ropes to the outside. Balor stomps Priest some more on the outside and breaks the count by going inside. Priest catches him with a clothesline. Priest calls for the Razor's Edge but Balor counters. Priest counters Balor and hits the Broken Arrow. Another Razor's Edge attempt and another counter by Balor and this time Balor double stomps Priest. They trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Balor gets near fall after a pele kick. "NXT" chants. Balor delivers some running strikes but Priest catches him and goes for a choke slam but Balor counters into a cover for a near fall. A clothesline sends Priest to the outside. Priest catches Balor with a kick and then throws Balor into the barricade. Razor's Edge on Balor onto the apron!! 2 count!! With Balor in the corner, Priest hits two running back elbows and goes for a third but Balor counters with a sling blade! John Woo kick is countered by Priest who hits a 360 roundhouse kick. Balor reverses the Reckoning and drives his elbow across Priest's neck and face. John Woo kick by Balor! Balor goes to the top but Priest goes up to cut him off. Priest choke slams Balor off the top!! 1...2...No!! Priest gets on the apron and attempts to do the Razor's Edge onto Balor onto the steps on the floor. Balor counters and knocks Priest off the apron and he lands back first on the steps!!! That was a nasty fall!!! Priest is slow to get back in the ring but beats the count. Balor goes to the top and hits the Coup de Grace on Priest's back as he's getting up!!! Balor goes up again and hits another Coup de Grace on Priest's chest and it's over!! Balor extends his own record the number of wins at Takeover with 11. Out of curiosity, I looked and Adam Cole and Aleister Black both have 7 for second place. This match over delivered on my expectations and was easily the best Priest match I have ever seen. I'd call this a break out match for Priest and Balor was great here!
W: Finn Balor via pin @ 13:07 (****)
Edge/Orton promo for Backlash airs. Edge will be on The Peep Show with Christian tomorrow night on Raw. We also will see the fallout from Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre tomorrow on Raw.
Io Shirai is seen getting ready backstage.
NXT North American Championship Match
Johnny Gargano vs. Keith Lee (champ)
Gargano comes out of the front door of the house entrance set. Lee is coming into the match with an eye and hand injury thanks to Gargano. Lee over powers everything Gargano tries in the early going. Lee moves amazingly well for someone his size. Gargano runs into Lee and commentary gives us the brick wall line. Gargano takes a breather on the outside and then runs away when Lee comes out after him. Baseball slide by Gargano then he attempts a suicide dive but Lee catches him! Gargano escapes a Spirit Bomb but getting on the apron and delivering a kick to Lee's face. Gargano tries a running senton but Lee catches him and Gargano rakes the eyes to escape. Gargano tries to target the hand by kicking the stairs but all it does is piss Lee off. Lee beats down Gargano outside. Gargano heads up the house to escape. He bangs on the front door and the house has a doorbell camera haha. Well no one is home and Lee slams Gargano off the door. Back in the ring, Gargano goes on the attack targeting the hand and eye. Gargano mounts Lee in the corner but is pushed off. Gargano maintains the advantage though. Gargano uses the turnbuckle to try to further injure the hand. Gargano locks in a Cobra Clutch. Lee fights his way back up but Gargano takes him back down with an elbow to the face. More kicks and elbows and Gargano gets a near fall. Gargano targets the eye with punches. "Johnny Sucks" chants from the crowd. Gargano continues the strikes but the more he does it, the more mad Lee gets. Gargano tries to use his speed advantage but Lee swats him like a fly when he attempts a springboard. Back breaker by Lee for a near fall. Gargano tries to go back to the hand and eye but Lee knocks him down with one punch. The trade strikes. Lee with a Spirit Bo....no Gargano locks in an arm bar! Lee over powers him and starts lifting him up. Gargano tries some joint manipulation and commentary references Pete Dunne. Gargano hits Lee with multiple clotheslines and nothing but Lee hits Gargano with one and he's down and Lee gets a 2 count. Lee attempts to pick up Gargano but Gargano stops it by targeting the hand. The Spirit Bomb is countered into a roll up for a near fall. "Gargano Sucks" chants. Gargano tries a satellite DDT into the Gargano Escape but no luck. Super kick by Gargano but Lee hits him with a head butt. The Big Bang Catastrophe is countered into a near fall by Gargano. Lee slams Gargano and Gargano rolls out of the ring. Lee goes after him and puts him in the ring. Gargano dives out the ring and hits a toupe into a tornado DDT on the floor! Gargano knows he needs to get Lee in the ring but he can't lift him. Gargano has no choice but to break the count and he talks the ref out of counting. Gargano rolls back to the outside and Lee hits a POUNCE THAT SENDS GARGANO THROUGH THE PLEXIGLASS AND OVER THE BARRICADE!!! Commentary references when Lee did it to Adam Cole. Lee carries Gargano back to the ring. LeRae is out now to try to stop Lee but Yim is out too and they brawl. The ref is distracted with LeRae/Yim allowing Gargano takes keys out of his trunks and hits Lee in the face with them!! 1...2....NO!!! Lee kicks out!! Super kick by Gargano. 2 count! Another super kick! Another 2 count! Gargano is frustrated. Another super kick! Lee kicks out again!! The crowd is trying to rally Lee. Gargano stomps Lee's hand and Lee is pissed! Spirit Bomb by Lee!!! Another Spirit Bomb by Lee and a Big Bang Catastrophe finishes it!! I think it was a good match but I'm not sure if it exceeded expectations. Maybe expectations were too high? I understand all of the hand work but for some reason I wasn't a huge fan of how it went back and forth from working on the hand to eye.
W: Keith Lee via pin @ 20:35 (***1/2)
We see a preview of the 24 special on Ric Flair.
Another Good Humor ice cream plug! Seriously?! Where is CM Punk?
Charlotte Flair is getting ready for the women's triple threat.
Backlot Brawl for the NXT Championship
Adam Cole (champ) vs. Velveteen Dream
If Dream loses, he can't challenge Cole again
Cole arrives in an Undisputed Era monster truck while Dream arrives in a yellow Lamborghini looking like Negan with a baseball bat. There's a ring in the middle of a parking lot. There are no rules but the pin or submission must happen in the ring. Dream waits for Cole in the ring but Cole tells Dream to get rid of the bat first. Cole swings at Dream with the championship but Dream rolls him up for a near fall. Dream gains a few more quick near falls. A big boot by Cole gives him the advantage. Cole says Dream doesn't deserve the title and says he's leaving. Cole gets in a car but Dream starts hitting it with the bat. Cole escapes the car and the brawl continues. A car pulls up asking if someone called for an Uber! The ref tells the Uber to get out of here. Dream beats on Cole as Cole tries to walk away. Dream hits Cole with a trash can. Cole briefly stops Dream and tries to run away. Dream hunts for Cole and Cole sprays Dream with a fire extinguisher. Cole now has the advantage. They fight back towards the ring. Cole tells Dream to just quit while he beats on him. Dream fights back and throws Cole into the ring post. Double axe handle by Dream. Cole wants a time out. Dream jumps off the top but Cole super kicks him! Dream returns the favor when Cole jumps off the apron. Dream slams Cole on the hood of a car and grabs a ladder from somewhere. Dream beats Cole down on the hood of the car and then sets up the ladder next to the car. The other members of Undisputed Era arrive!! Cole climbs the ladder with Dream but Dream knocks him off and Cole busts the windshield!! Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish attack Dream! They check on Cole and he tells them they know what to do. They get in the bed of the monster truck and throw a bunch of chairs into the ring. Strong goes to get a chair from under the ring but it moves. DEXTER LUMIS was under the ring!! He fights them off using a chair! Lumis is getting the better of the UE and he puts them both into the trunk of a car and drives off!! Cole's arm is cut pretty good from landing on the windshield. Cole crawls to the ring where Dream already is. Cole goes to the top turnbuckle and jumps off but Dream catches him in the Dream Valley Driver!! Near fall!! Cole is sitting in a chair and Dream goes to the top and hits a Purple Rainmaker through Cole through the chair!!! 1...2...NO!! Cole kicks out!! Low blow by Cole on Dream. Cole goes to the second rope and hits Dream with the Panama Sunrise onto a pile of chairs!!! That does it!! This match had the cinematic style and I didn't like it as much as the others like the Boneyard match from WrestleMania and the Money in the Bank matches. I feel like these two would of been better served having a normal match.
W: Adam Cole via pin @ 16:12 (***)
Todd Pettengill hypes WWE shop. Pettengill checks in on D-Generation X who are trying to use AOL chat.
Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Kross comes out first with an elaborate entrance as this is his first ever Takeover. This is also Kross' first big match and his chance to shine. They start with a brief stare down before Ciampa hits Kross with a big right hand only for Kross to stand there and smile. Ciampa gives him a couple more shots and a kick but no real effect. Kross throws Ciampa into the corner and begins to beat on him. Kross suplexes Ciampa out of the corner and Ciampa goes out of the ring. Ranallo says Kross is a master of suplexes. Kross goes out after Ciampa. Ciampa throws Kross into the steps. Back in the ring, Ciampa looks to hit Willow's Bell but Kross stops it. Ciampa hits him with a chop and a big boot but Kross is right back up and grabs Ciampa by the throat and forces him over the top to the floor. Kross goes to the outside and picks Ciampa up where he delivers a Baldo Bomb shades of Albert on the apron. That looked brutal given Ciampa's neck history. The ref checks on Ciampa. Kross throws Ciampa back in the ring and more big suplexes by Kross. Kross beats Ciampa down in the corner. Kross puts his hands behind his back and ask Ciampa to hit him but then Kross hits a Northern lights suplex and rolls through it to deliver a clothesline! That was impressive. Ciampa tries to fight back with chops and knocks Kross down with a step up enziguri. Kross is draped across the rope and Ciampa delivers a running knee to the face sending Kross to the floor. Kross gets back on the apron and Ciampa hits Willow's Bell! Near fall!! Two more knees to the face of Kross. Ciampa sets him up for the Fairy Tale Ending but Kross picks him up in a fireman's carry and launches Ciampa! Kross locks in the KROSS JACKET!!! CIAMPA IS FADING AND HE'S OUT!!! I wouldn't say this was much of a match but I'll be damned if Kross didn't look like a beast so if that was the goal then mission accomplished! Kross dominated the whole thing.
W: Karrion Kross via submission @ 6:13 (**1/2)
Renee Young will interview Triple H after the show on WWE Network.
Edge vs, Orton Backlash promo.
Triple Threat Match for the NXT Women's Championship
Rhea Ripley vs. Io Shirai vs. Charlotte Flair (champ)
Commentary points out before the match that Io Shirai has competed in 4 title matches. Rhea Ripley has competed in 8 and Charlotte Flair has competed in 66. Something is crazy about that. The last time women main evented Takeover was Sasha Banks vs. Bayley in an iron woman match. The match begins and Charlotte seems content to let Ripley and Shirai duke it out. "You don't go here" chants directed at Flair. Shirai tries a quick roll up on Ripley and gets a near fall so Flair comes back in the ring. Commentary explains Flair doesn't need to be pinned to lose. Flair targets Ripley but Shirai goes after Flair. Flair hits a neck breaker on Ripley and a fall away slam on Shirai. Flair delivers chops to both. Flair does some taunting so they both double team her. Ripley head butts Shirai so she can have Flair to herself. Ripley sends Flair into the corner and she goes up and over onto the apron. Flair catches a running Ripley with a right hand and also hits a charging Shirai with a shoulder to the midsection. Ripley pulls Flair off the apron outside and tries to do hit a senton but Flair moves and Ripley crashes and burns. Flair sends Ripley into the barricade. Shirai takes Flair down with a hurricanrana off the apron but Flair fires back by sending Shirai into the ring post. Back in the ring, Flair beats down Shirai. They trade counters before Flair locks Shirai in a Boston crab. Shirai fights out of it and Ripley comes back in to take Flair out with a clothesline. Ripley gives Flair multiple knees to the face. Ripley is in control briefly until Shirai takes her down. Shirai hits a 619 on Flair!! Shirai goes to the top and jumps but Flair moves out of the way. Shirai maintains control though and hits Flair with two double stomps. Near fall for Shirai. Ripley is back in the ring now and she and Shirai both land punches knocking each other to the mat while Flair is down in the corner. Ripley and Shirai both get to their feet but Flair takes them both down with a bad looking spear. Flair tries to cover both but gets a near fall each time. Flair puts Ripley and Shirai in position and goes to the top turnbuckle. Flair attempts a moonsault but Shirai moves out of the way and Ripley gets her knees. Shirai gets near fall on Flair. Ripley goes for Riptide on Shirai but it's countered. Shirai gets a head scissors on Flair and turns it into a crossface but Ripley breaks it up. Flair gets a near fall on Ripley after a big boot. Flair goes for Natural Selection on Ripley but misses and Ripley picks her up and drives her face first into the mat. Here comes Shirai with a springboard drop kick on Ripley. Shirai with a meteora in Ripley in the corner! Flair hits Natural Selection on Shirai!! 1...2...Shirai kicks out!! Flair locks Shirai in the Figure 8 but Ripley pulls Flair out of the ring and they brawl. Shirai takes Ripley out with a suicide dive! Flair knocks down Shirai and throws her through the window of the In Your House set!! Flair takes down Ripley and they exchange punches. Flair throws Ripley into the plexiglass as they continue to brawl. Shirai has climbed to the top of the In Your House set!! She JUMPS OFF THE SET and hits Flair and Ripley with a cross body!!! "Holy shit" chants by the crowd followed by "This is awesome" chants. Back in the ring, Shirai goes for a moonsault on Flair but Ripley hits Shirai on the turnbuckle. Flair goes for a spear but Ripley avoids it and Flair goes into the turnbuckle. Ripley goes up to the top turnbuckle to meet Shirai. Shirai blocks a superplex and escapes. Shirai attempts frankensteiner but Ripley blocks it and Flair hits a big boot on Shirai while Ripley is holding her. Flair hits Ripley with chops and goes up top to meet her. GIANT RIPTIDE on Flair from the second rope!!! That's how she beat Shayna Baszler. 1...2...Shirai breaks it up!!! Flair rolls out of the ring. Ripley locks Shirai in the Prism Trap!! Flair has a cane and she comes back in and starts wearing out Ripley and Shirai! Shirai rolls out the ring and Flair keeps whipping Ripley. Spear on Ripley!! Flair locks Ripley in the Figure 8!!! Shirai is climbing to the top. MOONSAULT ON RIPLEY BY SHIRAI!! SHIRAI COVERS RIPLEY AND FLAIR CAN'T BREAK THE HOLD IN TIME!! 1..2..3!!! SHIRAI IS THE NEW CHAMP!!! This was a really good triple threat and all women got a chance to shine. I would of liked to have seen Shirai beat Flair but I also didn't expect that to happen. They were given the main event spot and they knocked it out of the park!
W: Io Shirai via pin @ 17:37 (****)
Io celebrates as confetti and streamers come down from the ceiling!!!
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
This was good event but not quite up to Takeover standards. Maybe we have just been spoiled over the years. I'm glad Shirai finally got her crowning moment and the opening women's match was fun. Balor and Priest were awesome and I think that was Priest's best performance in NXT. I had higher expectations for Lee/Gargano but it was still good. I thought it might have gone a little long. I wasn't a big fan of the backlot brawl. In my opinion, it was the worst of the cinematic matches we have seen thus far and when I think of a backlot brawl, I don't think of having a ring in the middle of a parking lot. I would of preferred it to have been more like Piper/Goldust style. Lastly, I know some people didn't like the Ciampa/Kross match. I'm not sure if I'd call it much of a match. More like an extended squash. They established Kross as a star with the dominant win. The follow up will be the key. Overall, this was a solid event. I'm just not sure if it was up to our usual Takeover standards.