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  • Writer's pictureTodd Puhl

TV Review: NXT TAKEOVER Dallas 2016

Updated: May 29, 2019

So as I write this article it is the night before Wrestlemania and the Hall of Fame ceremonies are underway on the WWE Network. I am still reeling from the great show that NXT Takeover put on last night. From start to finish it was great the matches were solid, the stories made sense, the line up was fantastic just a great booking job. Now I have heard of a match stealing a show but I think that NXT Takeover this week stole the weekend.

I was having my doubts about Wrestlemania for a number of weeks now and I am even more worried after last night’s show and Wrestlemania not being able to overpower the NXT brand.

Wrestlemania will be a much larger production and it will have a lot more flair and atmosphere than the NXT show did but what with the card bring to the table is the true question and that is where I think that Wrestlemania will flop.  The appearance, the entrances, the vignettes in between matches, the celebrity appearances will make it a grand event but again the booking I am in serious doubt about.

Before I delve into my predictions I wanna go over the show from last night quickly with the matches that made the airwaves.

American Alpha (Jordan and Gable) vs The Revival (c)  (Dawson and Wilder)

American Alpha has been getting a huge push as of late and the build-up for this matchup has been great.  The Revival are a semi-throwback to a classic heel tag team and they make comparisons to the Anderson and Freebirds on the air.  The chemistry in the ring was great between teams and the tag team tactics.  There was a botch during The Revival’s finisher which killed a little momentum during the match and causing a Botchamania chant in the crowd. (Which I love watching and chuckled at)  I figured that based on the length of reign of The Revival and the big face push that American Alpha would take it and they do with the Grand Amplitude.

Austin Aries vs Baron Corbin

The monster Corbin vs the much smaller Aries you knew would be played up as well as Corbin’s ideal of destroying the ‘indie’ trash.  After a number of momentum shifts between Aries and Corbin, Corbin lines up Aries for End of Days which is countered into a roll up for a victory for Aries.  Not surprising because why would they build up a new star acquisition with such an introduction and initial conflict only to have them lose their debut and lose all credibility right off the bat.  Nothing surprising but a decent match and I’m left to wonder what Aries will actually use as a finisher (450 Splash, Last Chance-Arie, Brainbuster?!)

Shinsake Nakamura vs Sami Zayn

When I heard this match announced I got chills because I knew they match was going to blow the minds of a lot of fans.  For fans of Nakamura, fans of Zayn and people that knew neither were going to be in for a treat for ‘The King of Strong Style’ debut in NXT.  Nakamura took to the crowd right away and within a matter of minutes I honestly felt like I was watching a New Japan match through and through and goddamn if that crowd didn’t love it.  The story of the match with Zayn being the heart and soul of NXT vs the intruder, the rookie Nakamura was beautiful and with Zayn pulling double duty in NXT and Wrestlemania it felt like this maybe was a final match in the NXT brand and get a step up to the main roster.  Nakamura wins after a lengthy 20 minute match via the Kinshasa/Bomaye.  Had the match been any shorter I would have actually been disappointed.  Match of the Year candidate easy.

Bayley (c) vs Asuka   

I was as excited to see this match about as much as I am excited to see the Triple Threat Diva match at Wrestlemania because between these two matches easily has all the top WWE women’s talent in them.  Another solid length of match between the two.  Asuka being billed still as undefeated and dominated most of the match eventually breaking down Bayley with multiple submission attempts and finally winning the NXT Women’s belt with the Asuka-lock and Bayley passing out.  Leaving both new champion and former champion strong in the eyes of the crowd.  Asuka for overcoming all and winning the belt and Bayley for fighting it off multiple times and never actually being pinned or tapping out but just passing out.

Finn Balor (c)  vs Samoa Joe

Another match set up similar to the Corbin/Aries fight in design with Joe being the monster of a heel and winning by sheer strength and power while Balor needs to survive and win by speed and finesse.  Unfortunately, in the early part of the match Joe is cut and the refs and medical staff try to close it while Joe in essence tells them to fuck off and it takes multiple attempts before they close it and it really kills the momentum during the match.  Balor does well to play in between the medical stoppages but it is distracting nonetheless.  This could have been another easy Match of the Year but because of the whole medical thing I will have to disagree now but I still give it a solid 4 out of 5 even with it.

There were 2 matches that didn’t make the airwaves Manny Andrade (La Sombra) defeating Christopher Gerard (Biff Busick) and Apollo Crews defeated Elias Sampson.  I am not a fan of Sampson or Crews at all so I am glad it didn’t make the cut I just don’t find either appealing in skill set or persona.  I wouldn’t have minded seeing the Andrade/Gerard match it think it would have been another great luchador vs strong-style match-up.  But we’ll never know.  If you didn’t see NXT Takeover I highly recommend you do maybe perhaps after Wrestlemania because I have a feeling you may need to cleanse the palette afterwards.  So let's get to some predictions for the upcoming Wrestlemania show.


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