Hey, kids. It’s your Botching one ready to bask in the Afterglow of another TakeOver. Let’s get to it, shall we?
Matt Riddle vs. Roderick Strong
This was a fairly solid match. My main issue with it is that it had no real fire in it. Riddle’s kicks to Strong’s chest were completely unbelievable. Mauro was…much…during this match – streaming his head off throughout. I just don’t feel this was good enough for an NXT TakeOver card, in my humble opinion. This was very much a match that belonged on regular NXT television. It didn’t leave me ice cold or anything; it just wasn’t TakeOver material and given what followed, this match disappeared for me. By the end of the PPV, I’d almost forgotten it had even happened. Had I not taken notes to myself, I’d have forgotten the meat of the match. I am glad Riddle took the win as they clearly have big plans for him as they should. Roderick has no personality to speak of and Queen even noted that he doesn’t really emote in the ring very well, although he did okay here.
The Street Profits vs. The Undisputed Era vs. The Forgotten Sons vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
This was just off-the-rails! I’m not sure I’ve seen a more dangerous match. Blake flew unnecessarily hard into Fish & O’Reilly on the outside and I was sure he’d hurt himself badly. O’Reilly’s back was broken open as a result of one of the ladder spots. These men worked hard and put their bodies on the line big time. O’Reilly, in particular, will be suffering tomorrow and likely the next week. There was no way this match could have been better. I knew Jaxson would be out to get involved and he was. I’m also glad he was neutralized by everyone else so that the Forgotten Sons didn’t take this. The spot where Montez jumps onto the ladder and stares at Blake was fabulous. Mauro was, again, screaming but in this match. He was at his absolute worst here and I turned the volume down a quarter of the way through it so I don’t really know how bad he actually got.
Forget Mauro though. I am THRILLED that Street Profits took this! Dawkins, in particular, has been around WWE forever and it’s so cool to finally see him shine. Sam & I both agree that Montez is such a star.
Velveteen Dream vs. Tyler Breeze
This match was simply delicious. I mentioned during the DD that it’s been eons since Tyler worked this hard in a match and Sam chimed in with “it’s been eons since he has been given a chance” and it’s true. He was more than up for it here, though. As usual, Dream delivered as only he can. These two are perfectly matched and this was incredible to watch. Sam & I both loved the story told here. Ego vs. ego went to war here and the Dream took this one. The shared selfie at the end was just perfect.
Shayna Baszler vs. Io Shirai
This was a very good match too. Shayna is absolutely dominant but Io put up a great fight in there. Their styles complimented each other very well. Love that Candice came out to neutralize Jessamyn & Marina. Even more fun was after Io submitted, she CAME for Shayna – cane-ing her badly and diving on her with a chair. This feud clearly is not over…and based on the DD, we are fine with that.
Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole (Bay Bay)
They truly saved the very best for last. I’m speechless on this one. They both gave it all they had and the storytelling was fabulous. Even the ref (Drake) was involved a little. Matches like this one are life-shortening and theirs were shortened here – no doubt in my mind. As was the case with the ladder match, you just can’t do any more. While I predicted the Gargano would win (my only…BOTCH!), I’m glad that Cole took this. No clue where they go with Gargano now but it’s definitely time for Cole to be champ.
All in all, a great TakeOver but not a perfect one – really all due to the Riddle/Strong match. Again, not a bad match by any means; just not a PPV match. Let me know your thoughts below!