The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover: Dallas

PPVs, Reviews, Top Story

The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover: Dallas – 04.01.16

Live from Dallas TX

Shoutout to my ex-roommate Zen, who flew down to Texas for this show and then Wrestlemania on Sunday.  I hate you a little bit.

Your hosts are Tom Philips & Corey Graves

NXT tag team titles: The Revival (ugh) v. American Alpha

Dawson disrespects Gable’s amateur cred to start and they do some matwork while the crowd ponders which is Dash and which is Dawson.  I think the bald one is Dawson.  Gable schools him on the wrestling and tempers flare again, but Alpha double-teams Dawson out of the ring.  Jordan throws a fine dropkick.  Dawson goes to the eyes, but the challengers bring more double-teams to control Dash and work on the arm.  Dawson takes over on Gable  in the corner, but Gable gets a pair of rollups for two before missing a dropkick.  The Revival tries to take advantage, but GERMAN SUPLEXES conquer all.  Finally Dash gets a blind tag and suckers Gable into a chase outside, and the champs take over after a clothesline on the floor.  Dash with a sleeper to control Gable and we get a nice sequence as he hangs on through Gable’s attempts to escape it, and Dawson comes in with a Gory Special that Gable reverses into a sunset flip for two.  The champs cut off the right, but Gable hits them with a double DDT, only to see Dash hide under the ring and pull Jordan off the apron before the tag. The champs hit a double-team powerbomb on Gable, but the wrong guy tries the pin and the ref actually catches them!  Finally Gable escapes and it’s hot tag Jordan and time for some suplexes.  Jordan as the hot tag guy has been a revelation.  Spear in the corner gets two on Dawson.  He tries a suplex, but Dash grabs Dawson’s leg to block it and Dawson falls on top for two, with his feet on the ropes.  Quality cheating there.  Jordan rolls up Dawson for two, but Dash forearms him over and Dawson gets two.  Jordan with a sunset flip on Dawson for two.  Blind charge misses, but Gable tags himself in and Dawson rolls him up for two.  Gable with a victory roll for two, reversed by Dawson for two.  Small package gets two for Gable.  Rollup gets two for Gable.  Pinfall reversal sequence and they fight for the backslide, but Jordan tags in from behind and they hit the double-team suplex to win the titles at 15:12.  I love me some tag team wrestling and there are no more deserving champions right now than Gable & Jordan.  The finish was amazing.  ***3/4

Oh, and Kota Ibushi is apparently at ringside.  Oh man.

Austin Aries v. Baron Corbin

The crowd is surprisingly torn on this one.  Aries attacks the leg to start, and he puts Corbin on the floor with a forearm and follows with a dive right away.  Back in, Corbin drops him with a stungun and pounds him down to take over.  Into the post for two.  He goes to the nervehold and some quality trash talking as the match hits a lull.  Aries fights back with forearms and a neckbreaker through the ropes, and a pair of dropkicks puts Corbin on the floor.  Aries charges and Corbin catches him with a spinning backdrop suplex on the floor, and that’s gotta suck.  Aries beats the count and tells Corbin to bring it on, then reverses End of Days into a rollup for the pin at 10:46.  Didn’t really work, but it was OK.  **

Sami Zayn v. Shinsuke Nakamura

I am so ready for this.  Nakamura’s ENTRANCE alone draws a Holy Shit chant from the crowd so you know this is serious business.  Nakamura clowns him a little bit and then throws a knee, but Zayn escapes the kick combo.  Zayn with armdrags to keep him off-base and the crowd is just losing their mind with happiness at getting to see this.  Nakamura drops a knee for two and slides into an armbar, then puts Zayn down with an enzuigiri for two.  Zayn suplexes him for two and a dropkick gets two.  Nakamura bails and catches him with a kneedrop on the apron, and back in with a running knee in the corner for two.  Sami does a nice head-fake to put Nakamura on the floor and he follows with a dive, and right back in with a flying bodypress for two.  Nakamura blocks a suplex with a knee strike, but walks into a Michinoku driver.  They slug it out with an epic forearm battle until the crowd is going crazy and Nakamura’s nose is busted open.  Finally Sami goes down first and Nakamura puts him down with kicks, but Zayn blocks the Bom A Ye with a lariat.  Nakamura takes him down with a crazy flying armbar takedown and then turns it into a triangle, but Zayn stomps him in the face to escape. So now Sami throws the AMERICAN RIGHT HANDS just for JR in the front row, and takes him down with a Koji Klutch, but Nakamura teases a tap before rolling him over for two.  Nakamura with another enzuigiri and the crowd wants “Fight forever”.  Yeah.  Nakamura dodges the Huluva kick but misses the knee strike, and Sami gets the Blue Thunder bomb for an amazing near fall.  Nakamura bails and Sami follows with the corner DDT, but Nakamura blocks him with a kick in the face.  Back in, Sami recovers with a superplex attempt, but Nakamura blocks him and then blocks an exploder with vicious elbows to the neck.  And he follows with the knee strike for the pin at 20:00.  YEAOH! I guess “Bom A Ye” will not be a thing in NXT.  I’d say this lived up to the hype, as it was magical from the entrances to the crowd reaction to the forearm battles to the finish.  *****  Nakamura was absolutely incredible here, showing more charisma in twenty minutes than Roman Reigns has in his entire career.  If you need a reason to get the WWE Network and watch this show, there you go.  This will doubtless be the best match of the entire weekend.  And Zayn gets the farewell ovation from the crowd, on his way to bigger and hopefully better things.

They should probably do the crappy Drifter match next because there’s no way to follow that match.

Guess not.

NXT Women’s title:  Bayley v. Asuka

We get a stalemate to start as they trade striking attempts, but Asuka gets the flying ass attack to put Bayley down.  Bayley goes to the apron and comes back in with a back elbow for two while the crowd serenades her, and a flying bodypress gets two.  Asuka catches her with an armbar, but Bayley keeps fighting in the corner with forearms and gets a rana off the top for two and into a guillotine choke.  Asuka then reverses into an anklelock, but Bayley reverses her out of the ring.  Back in, Asuka goes to the work with the kicks for two, but Bayley rolls her up for two.  Bayley blocks the hip attack and turns it into a suplex, but Asuka puts her down with an enzuigiri.  Bayley goes for the knee and suddenly gets a kneebar, but charges and lands in an armbar out of nowhere, which she reverses into a rollup for two.  Small package gets two. Bayley escapes the chicken wing and hooks her in her own submission (the one she beat Sasha Banks with) but Asuka powers out. Asuka escapes the belly to belly and gets a spinkick into a suplex, then locks in the armbar and Bayley is in some difficulty. Asuka fights for the chickenwing and Bayley makes her work for it, but Asuka finally locks it in after four attempts and Bayley passes out at 15:29 to give Asuka the title.  It was the right time.  Obviously they couldn’t follow that last match, but they gave it a go.  ***1/2  This was a story they don’t tell often, with the undefeated Asuka just being too skilled and too much for Bayley to handle.  There was no trading of finishers and near-falls, it was just Asuka was the better athlete and Bayley didn’t have an answer.

So also, BOBBY ROODE is in the front row.  Hopefully he lasts longer than James Storm.

NXT title: Finn Balor v. Samoa Joe

Balor has now added a chainsaw to his entrance, just in case he wasn’t intimidating enough already. They slug it out and Joe is already bleeding, and Finn nails him with a dive while the ref tries to tend to the cut. So to buy time, Joe tosses him into the front row with a sick bump. Back in, they continue to trade shots while the poor ref just wants to tend to the cut and Joe doesn’t care.  Joe puts Balor on the floor and follows with a suicide dive and medical keeps wanting to check the cut.  This makes the doctors the biggest heels of the night.  Back in, Joe catches him with the uranage and the head kick in the corner for two, but the ref keeps stopping the match, pissing off the crowd.  Joe with the boot rakes in the corner and he kicks Finn down and follows with the kneedrop for two.  Balor comes back with a dropkick and the running forearms, and Joe bails to the floor for a Finn dive.  Back in, Joe catches him with a belly to belly for two, but Finn gets the Slide Blade and then misses a blind charge and Joe hits a senton for two.  Joe with the powerbomb into the crab into the crossface, but Finn rolls out and hits a double stomp to break.  Finn makes the comeback with the Sling Blade, but he goes up and Joe catches him with the muscle buster for two.  They slug it out and Finn hits the Pele kick to put both guys down.  The demon emerges first and Balor hits the double stomp, but Joe reverses the Bloody Sunday DDT into the Coquina clutch, which Finn rolls over for the pin ala Bret Hart to retain the title at 16:28.  Even with the meddling medical staff, this was still a fantastic fight.  ****  No Balor Club tonight, though!

The Pulse

Fuck Wrestlemania, this was the only show I cared about this weekend, and it delivered in spades.  Best top to bottom show of the year so far, and I don’t see Wrestlemania topping it.  Go well out of your way to see this one.  Thumbs way up!