NXT Takeovers can simply do no wrong, plain and simple. Just when you wonder if they can have another, they blow the roof off the place. Last year, Takeover New Orleans stole the show and was one of, if not the best, wrestling pay-per-view I had ever seen. Takeover New York had a lot to live up to and they did that and then some. With the high bar they set with each set of matches, it is impossible to grade them because it would be an injustice to do so. NXT Takeover has simply become the most consistent product today and they are often in talks for show of the year. Let us revisit the event that was NXT Takeover New York.
War Raiders vs Ricochet & Aleister Black (NXT Tag Team Championship)
I said in my predicts that the tag matches have become the table setters for Takeover events and this one may have been the very best one. This quite simply may have been the best opening match in Takeover history and if it isn’t the best, it is in the top three. This was a high-paced match right from the start and had both teams digging deep into their repertoire to gain the advantage on the other. There was so much action that it was a “blink and you’ll miss it” type of match and it is hard to recall every outstanding move that was done. Every competitor had a chance to shine with a dive to the outside and they played a game of one-upmanship inside the ring as well. It looked like Ricochet and Black would pick up the win after a Black Mass and Shooting Star Press, but the pin was broken up. The War Raiders picked up the win and showed respect to Black and Ricochet by laying their titles on the mat and gave them a bow in respect. Black and Ricochet returned the favor and the NXT crowd gave them a standing ovation and cheers in what will most likely be their final match under the NXT banner.
The Velveteen Dream vs Matt Riddle (NXT North American Championship)
This match sure had a tough task in following the opening tag match, but they certainly rose to the occasion. I know some people don’t get what Matt Riddle is going for, but as someone who grew up in Southern California, I completely understand his laid-back bro character. Dream is just 23 years old and for him to have that much charisma and in-ring skill is just amazing. Both of these men have bright futures, and this was a great showcase for them. Both are faces so someone would assume the role of heel and I thought it would be Dream but to my surprise it was Riddle. Riddle showed a nice aggressiveness the more the match progressed and that was a nice new wrinkle to his character. Time and time again it looked like Riddle would pick up the win, but Dream kept finding a way out which frustrated Riddle that much more. Riddle had Dream in the Bromission but Dream was able to reverse it into a pin and retained the title. After the match, Riddle offered a fist bump to Dream and Dream obliged him. That reminded me of when Aleister Black said Dream’s name after their match as a sign of respect and I think we are not done with these two quite yet.
Pete Dunne vs WALTER (WWE UK Championship)
This had to have been one of the most hard-hitting and stiff matches I have seen in a WWE ring in some time. Neither man held back here, and this might have been my favorite match of the night. Dunne has had a lengthy title reign, so it was up in the air if WALTER would be able to snatch the title from him. This match was paced quite differently than the previous two matches as they took their time and let it build. WALTER can be an absolute star and I think he has a bright future in front of him. WALTER didn’t hold back with every chop, clothesline and kick and Dunne sold for him perfectly. WALTER also sold Dunne’s offense well as the joint manipulation that he does so well was on display here. Honestly, it is hard to talk about how good this match is because it is one you have to see with your own eyes. WALTER would pick up the win and the title after a hard-hitting match that deserves all the praise in the world.
Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane vs Bianca Belair vs Io Shirai (NXT Women’s Championship)
What has become the theme of the night, these four women would have a heck of a job following that match. I will say that they were able to, but this might be the weakest match on the card. That is not saying this match was bad, but the bar has been raised so high that I am nitpicking at this point. In comparison to the previous match, this was fast-paced, and they got it going from the start. Shayna is one of the best heels and she exerted her dominance as much as she could during this match. Io and Sane worked together for most of this match to gain the advantage and try to secure the title for one of them. Belair is someone I have grown to like more and more the more I see her in the ring and I think she was rather impressive here. Each woman had a chance to shine and we even saw the Sky Pirates go at it a bit as they both wanted the title and broke up the pins of the other. Belair had the spot of the night for me when she had both Sane and Io on her shoulders and delivered a K.O.D. to both women. She went for the pin but that gave Shayna the opportunity to put her in the clutch and Belair tapped out. Shayna is looking as dominant as Asuka did during her title reign and I am beginning to wonder who will take the title off of her.
Adam Cole vs Johnny Gargano (NXT Championship)
This match was as much about the ring work as it was about the story that was told. Gargano has been on a journey to win the NXT Championship and has come up short in each attempt. Cole has wanted the title and every title for the Undisputed Era and he will do whatever it takes to get them. The match was everything we thought it would be and the ring work was fantastic. Gargano showed a resiliency in this match of a man who wasn’t going to quit until he achieved his dream. Cole picked up the first win in a rather lengthy first fall. I had forgotten at one point that this was 2 out of 3 falls because I was so into the first fall. Gargano then picked up the second fall with the Gargano Escape and Cole smartly tapped out fast, so the submission wouldn’t do too much damage to him. Then the third fall happened, and this is when things really began to pick up. Both men threw everything at each other and were hitting moves we have either rarely seen or haven’t seen at all. We all wondered if the Undisputed Era would get involved and they did. Gargano looked to be on the brink of victory but they all came down to help their leader to gain the advantage. Cole and the Undisputed Era threw all they had at Gargano, but he kicked out of it all. It might have been a bit too much, but I totally understood what they were going for. At the end, Gargano was able to fight off the Undisputed Era and made Cole tap out to the Gargano Escape to pick up the vacant NXT Championship. He celebrated in the ring and was joined by his wife Candice LeRae as they celebrated in the ring and with their family in the crowd. They then went up to the entrance ramp and were joined by Tommaso Ciampa. Nobody knew what to expect but Ciampa, with a smile on his face, gave Gargano a hug and all three embraced to celebrate the win by Gargano. This was an amazing match to cap off another amazing card by NXT.
NXT is just simply amazing, and it seems like they can do no wrong with their Takeover events. I will put Takeover New York right up there with Takeover New Orleans and is one of the best Takeovers of all-time. From start to finish, this card did not let up and I was just exhausted by the end of it. WALTER/Dunne might be my match of the night, but a case can be made for any of these matches. I agree to what has been echoed by many here at Wrestle Royalty that we cannot compare what the main roster does with NXT. Both are completely different and are good in their own way. Takeover New York was just amazing, simply amazing.