It’s officially WrestleMania weekend! On Friday night, we had the latest installment of Takeover, NXTTakeover New York. Of course, Saturday night we’ll have the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. WrestleMania will take place on Sunday. NXTTakeover New York saw a total of five matches and the build for all of them have been terrific. After Tommaso Ciampi underwent neck surgery, he was forced to relinquish his NXT Championship. Instead of the latest encounter between Ciampi and Gargano, we had Adam Cole battling Gargano in a 2-out-of-3 falls match. The Velveteen Dream defended his North American Championship against Matt Riddle. Shayna Baszler put her NXT Women’s Championship on the line against Bianca Blair, Io Shairi and Kairi Sane. War Raiders put their NXT Tag titles on the line against Ricochet and Aleister Black. Pete Dunne defended his WWE UK Championship on the line against WALTER. Let’s get started!
We kicked things off with the War Raiders defending their titles against Ricochet and Aleister Black. Black and Ricochet earned this opportunity by winning the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. All I can say is, what a match and fantastic way to start off the night. The War Raiders had the advantage in power and Ricochet & Black with the agility. Throughout the match, War Raiders showed their fair share of agility as those guys are mobile as hell for their size. This was as a hard hitting encounter you’ll see between two teams. After the War Raiders disposed of Black, they double teamed Ricochet in the ring. They hit the Fallout on Ricochet and both made the cover for the win. Winners and Still NXT Tag Champs: War Raiders
Match Rating: 4.25/5- This was an awesome match! After the match, the War Raiders embraced Ricochet & Black and showed them respect before leaving. Ricochet & Black remained in the ring and the crowd continued to cheer as this was probably their last appearance in NXT. Great match, moment and amazing crowd presence!
Velveteen Dream put up his North American Championship on the line against Matt Riddle. Dream and Riddle have been playing mind games with each other heading into this match. The match was pretty much the same. The match itself was amazing and I left really impressed with Matt Riddle. As we all know, Dream is the future of WWE and as good as it gets inside that ring. Dream used his usual repertoire of arsenal ad Riddle showcased his talents. Riddle displayed a lot of power, counters and submissions throughout the match. Dream continued to fight back, but Riddle locked in the Bromission once again the match. As Riddle had it locked in and was about to capture the title, Dream rolled him up for the win. Winner and Still NXT North American Champ: Velveteen Dream
Match Rating: 4.25/5- Another amazing match as these two put on a show. After the match, Riddle looked pissed to the point I’m thinking heel turn. Riddle eventually gathered his composure and embraced to the crowd’s delight.
Pete Dunne defended his WWE UK Championship against WALTER. Pete Dunne came into this match being the champion for 685 days. This match came about when WALTER interrupted Dunne after retaining his title after NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool. Dunne have been an amazing champion and I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard much about WALTER. WALTER was worth all the hype and then some because this dude can go. This was as physical match that took place throughout the night. Despite Dunne being the smaller guy, he brought the fight to WALTER. Dunne worked on the arms, hands and fingers and WALTER had those damn hard chops. For a guy the size of WALTER, he was really agile, and the crowd was really into this match. WALTER hit a huge powerbomb followed by the top rope splash for the win. Winner and New WWE UK Champion: WALTER
Match Rating: 4.5/5- Incredible match and I walked away impressed with WALTER.
Shayna Baszler defended her NXT Women’s Championship against Bianca Blair, Kairi Sane and Io Shairi. Baszler have been an amazing and dominant champion as she’s the only 2-time champion. Baszler displayed her toughness and submission style throughout the match. Bianca Blair is freaking strong as hell and that was on full display in this match. At one point, Blair picked up Sane and Shairi, carried them around and eventually slammed both. Kairi Sane and Io Shairi displayed their speed and high flying skills. At a couple of points, Sane & Shairi went at each other and the crowd was excited. When Blair hit the Kiss of Death on Sane & Shairi, Baszler attacked her. Baszler locked in the Kirifuda Clutch on Belair and she eventually tapped. Winner and Still NXT Women’s Champ: Shayna Baszler
Match Rating: 3.75/5- Another great match as all the ladies delivered and Baszler continues her reign.
We have the main event, and this was the match I was looking forward to the most. Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole put on a damn clinic. Cole took the first fall and Gargano eventually won the second one. When it came to the third fall, that’s when things picked up and it was crazy. Things picked up when Gargano superkicks Cole and looks to put him away but Cole rolls to the floor to avoid the pin. Gargano can’t believe it. Cole with a big wheel-barrow suplex onto the edge of the apron. Gargano is dazed. Cole rolls Gargano back into the ring but Gargano jumps up and nails a DDT out of nowhere. Gargano goes on and hits a slingshot DDT for a 2 count. Cole rolls to the floor but Gargano runs the ropes for a suicide dive. Cole with more offense in the ring now as the fans go wild. Cole with a big springboard Canadian Destroyer. Gargano manages to kick out again as the crowd pops.
Gargano rolls to the floor and Cole follows, talking some trash. Cole gets in Gargano’s face and pushes him over, taunting and talking trash to him. Gargano rocks Cole with a forearm to the face. Gargano launches Cole over the Spanish announce table. Gargano takes apart the announce table as fans cheer. Gargano brings Cole on top of the Spanish announce table, but it’s countered as Cole drives Gargano face-first into the table with a Fairy Tale Ending. Gargano falls off the table. Cole returns to the ring as the referee counts. Fans boo at the cheap way to win. Gargano rushes back and makes it back in at the 9 count.
Cole waits for Gargano to get up. Cole superkicks Gargano in the face and covers for the pin but Gargano somehow kicks out. Fans do dueling chants now. Gargano with a superkick but he takes a knee. Cole comes off the corner, but Gargano gets the Gargano Escape applied. The Undisputed Era runs down and Gargano knocks Roderick Strong off the apron. Gargano tries making Cole submit but Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly interfere while Strong distracts the referee. O’Reilly and Fish hit the double team on Gargano next. Cole looks to get the pin, but Gargano kicks out once again and the crowd goes wild. The Undisputed Era looks on from ringside now, cheering Cole on.
Cole charges but Gargano backdrops him over the top, onto Fish, Strong and O’Reilly. Gargano takes out all three of the other members of The Undisputed Era at ringside. Gargano comes back in but Cole superkicks him. Cole nails the big running knee, but Gargano still finds a way to kick out. Fans go wild and chant for NXT now. Cole talks trash in Gargano’s face now. Cole misses the knee this time. Gargano applies the Gargano Escape and Cole goes for the bottom rope, but Gargano pulls him back. Cole finally taps out for the final fall and the finish. Winner and New NXT Champion: Johnny Gargano
Match Rating: 4.75/5- An instant classic and a fantastic way to end another great NXTTakeover. Afterwards Gargano’s wife, Candice LaRae came down to embrace and celebrate with him. After celebrating in the ring, they took the celebration to the fans. They walked up the ramp and continued to celebrate and looked through the crowd. Tommaso Ciampi came from the back with his neck brace and the crowd erupted more, then Gargano turned to his wife and says, he’s behind me ain’t he? Gargano and Ciampi embraced, talked to each other and the PPV went off with Ciampi, LaRae and Gargano raising each other’s arms. Great ending!
Overall Rating: 8.5/10- What an amazing night! All matches delivered and I’ll go as far to say that the Gargano/Cole match with be a MOTY candidate. Below are my top-3 matches of the night.
- Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole
- Pete Dunne© vs. WALTER
- Velveteen Dream© vs. Matt Riddle [Tie]
- War Raiders© vs. Aleister Black & Ricochet [Tie]
What did you think about NXTTakeover New York? What was your favorite match from NXTTakeover New York? What was some of your best memories of NXTTakeover New York? Where would you rank NXTTakeover New York? Leave some feedback below about NXTTakeover New York or anything related to the NXT brand.