Updated: 6 days ago
The pre-show featured the standard mix of promos, video packages, and talking head segments. The hosts were Sam Roberts and Jimmy Smith. Smith was excellent, adding a ton of legitimacy and excitement to the broadcast.
Mickie James joined commentary for the pre-show match.
Killian Dain & Drake Maverick defeated Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) to become the #1 contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championships
Breezango came to the ring dressed like pirates, matching the theme of this week's Wrestlemania. Maverick frustrated Fandango by imitating his dancing gimmick, so Dain forcefully tagged himself in, downing Fandango before tagging Maverick back in by tossing him into his opponent. Fandango then took control with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, leading to a long beatdown where Breezango isolated Maverick in their corner.
Maverick flipped out of a suplex and used evasive maneuvers to reach Dain for the hot tag. Dain ran wild on both opponents, taking down Fandango with a running crossbody and a uranage. He followed it up with a slingshot senton before performing a Samoan drop / fallaway slam combination in a cool power spot.
Dain and Maverick set up for a big tag team move, but Breeze ran in to save his partner and dispatch Maverick. Dain fought off the attack and tagged in Maverick, who hit a top-rope hurricanrana on Breeze. Dain then came in and powerbombed his partner onto Breeze for the win.
Rock artist Poppy performed to open the show
Santos Escobar (c) defeated Jordan Devlin (c) in a ladder match to become the undisputed NXT Cruiserweight Champion
This was a fun stunt show with some cool stuff, although the story was odd. The fact that both men are heels made it difficult to get into, and Devlin isn't the type of person who should be working as a scrappy underdog at this point. Both men were billed as the "NXT Cruiserweight Champion." They performed a choreographed chain wrestling sequence to start until Devlin planted Escobar with a uranage and a standing moonsault. An Asai moonsault followed, with Devlin inadvertently banging his head on the announce desk on the landing. Devlin pulled out a ladder and smacked Escobar with it. An early attempt at climbing the ladder from Devlin was foiled by Escobar. Escobar whipped Devlin into a propped-up ladder in the corner, sending Devlin crashing to the floor. He followed it up with a running knee on the outside. Escobar produced another
ladder and propped it up against the fencing around the barricade. After re-entering the ring and dispatching Devlin by dropkicking a ladder into him, Escobar kept up the attack with repeated ladder shots.
Escobar climbed for the titles, but Devlin tried to stop him, so Escobar beat him down with repeated stomps. He set up a ladder over the turnbuckle, but Devlin reversed a whip into it with a whip of his own. Escobar popped up and downed his opponent with a dropkick. He tried to launch Devlin into the ladder, but Devling hopped up and almost reached the titles. Escobar pulled Devlin down, which Devlin turned into a DDT.
The propped-up ladder on the floor came into play when a dive from Escobar thrust Devlin into it. Escobar taunted Devlin until Devlin countered a suplex by dropping Escobar onto a ladder. They had a strike exchange, where Escobar temporarily gained the advantage after a rising knee. Devlin countered the follow-up into a Spanish Fly and a slingshot cutter.
Devlin set up a ladder near the corner, which both men climbed. They traded strikes, with a right hand from Devlin sending Escobar to the mat. Devlin climbed to the top of the ladder and landed a high moonsault on Escobar in a great spot. Devlin nearly reached the championships, but Legado del Fantasma ran out and pushed Devlin off the ladder to the floor before tossing him into the steel steps.
Escobar sent Mendoza and Wilde to the back before climbing to the titles. Devlin stopped the climb by just tossing a ladder into his opponent before setting up the ladder right next to Escobar's. After a struggle, Devlin hit a Spanish Fly from halfway up the ladder. Devlin nearly reached the titles, but Escobar climbed up and sent Devlin crashing through a ladder to the canvas with a headbutt, which allowed Escobar enough time to grab the titles and retain.
After the match, Escobar celebrated with his son and Legado del Fantasma.
MSK were interviewed backstage about their tag title victory from night one. They were excited about the championships and said they were ready for Killian Dain and Drake Maverick, who will be their first challengers. They then disagreed on who would win tonight's two main event matches.
Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon (c) defeated The Way (Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell) to retain the NXT Women's Tag Team Championships
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This was a nice, compact match that didn't overstay its welcome. Hartwell looked strong in there with some really good workers. Hartwell & LeRae attacked before the bell, and a step-up senton from LeRae got a quick two count. The challengers worked over Blackheart with frequent tags and double team moves. Occasionally Blackheart would get a hope spot, but she'd get cut off every time by The Way. An enziguiri finally bought Blackheart enough time to reach Moon for her first tag of the match, five minutes in. She laid in strikes on LeRae, downing her with a strong right hand. Moon set up for the Eclipse, but a distraction from Hartwell allowed LeRae to push Moon down. The Way tried to hit a double team superplex, but that was foiled by Blackheart, leading to a tower of doom spot that got Hartwell a two count on Moon. The Way continued to work over Moon until she fought off a double team to tag in Blackheart, who entered the match with a crossbody on both opponents. A tiger suplex sent LeRae rolling to the floor, where Blackheart attempted a suicide dive. Blackheart wasn't caught at all -- looked like she went face first into the barricade and the floor. Scary moment. Moon took out The Way with a dive before tagging in Blackheart for a tandem maneuver for two. LeRae rolled up Blackheart for two and sent Moon to the floor, tagging in Hartwell for a tandem maneuver of their own for two. Blackheart fought out with an enziguiri and hit a double Eclipse on both opponents. The diving senton from Blackheart followed to win and retain.
NCAA champion and Olympic amateur wrestler Gable Steveson was shown in the crowd.
Johnny Gargano (c) (w/ Austin Theory) defeated Bronson Reed to retain the NXT North American Championship
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This was a perfect midcard match for TakeOver, stuffed with great in-ring work, a compelling babyface vs. heel dynamic, and some close near falls.
Reed surprised Gargano early on by matching his athleticism before overpowering him with an overhead press into a fallaway slam. Gargano stretched Reed's arm over the rope and went for a slingshot spear, but it wasn't enough to take Reed down. Reed chopped Gargano down to the mat before Gargano came back with a chop block and a running forearm.
Gargano sent Reed to the floor and tried to follow it up with a plancha, but Reed caught him out of midair. Gargano escaped the grip of the challenger and thrust him into the corner of the announce desk. In the ring, Reed went for his seated splash, but Gargano rolled out of the way and landed a diving crossbody, which only got a one count.
The ribs of Reed were the target of Gargano during his beatdown. Reed started his comeback by turning a Gargano dive into a powerslam. He hit repeated forearms and a corner splash before planting Gargano with a chokeslam. Reed had a nice power spot where he went for a vertical suplex, Gargano tried to knee his way out of it, but Reed maintained control to turn it into a Death Valley driver.
Gargano managed to tie Reed up in the corner, taking control with an enziguiri and a backstabber. He landed a thrust kick on Reed's midsection, but Reed countered the follow-up into a vertical suplex. Reed hoisted Gargano up into the electric chair, which Gargano turned into a reverse hurricanrana. Gargano then applied the Garga-No Escape.
Eventually, Reed reached the ropes to break the hold. Gargano attempted the One Final Beat, but Reed caught him and tossed Gargano back into the ring with a huge Splash Mountain. Gargano rolled out of the way of the Bullfrog Splash and landed his half of #DIY for two. He tried it again, but Reed caught the kick and fought back with a headbutt and a short-arm lariat.
Reed climbed the ropes for the Bullfrog Splash, but Theory distracted him, giving Gargano the chance to stop the dive. Gargano then attempted a top-rope hurricanrana, which didn't come together correctly -- it looked like Reed was supposed to catch Gargano, but he slipped. Reed hit a powerbomb, but when he went for the cover, Theory put Gargano's foot on the ropes.
Out on the floor, Reed got in Theory's face before catching a Gargano dive and sending him into Theory. Theory then took a bullet for Gargano as Reed hit a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Reed countered the One Final Beat into a slam for two. He tried to follow it up with a powerbomb, but Gargano rolled out of it and landed repeated thrust kicks. Reed came back with a kick of his own, but missed a top-rope moonsault.
Gargano hit a One Final Beat and then a second to retain the championship.
Karrion Kross (w/ Scarlett) defeated Finn Bálor (c) to win the NXT Championship
Despite starting a bit slow, this built to a nice finish and was Kross's best performance yet in NXT.
Neither man established an advantage for the first few minutes. Kross fired up with power moves until Bálor moved out of the way of a corner attack, forcing Kross shoulder-first into the ring post. Bálor then made Kross's injured shoulder and arm the target of his attack.
Kross tried to power his way out of an armbar, but Bálor turned it into almost an arm-trap flatliner. Forcing Kross into the corner, the champion nailed Kross with a heel kick. Kross collapsed from the pain, in a clear callback to Bálor's match with Kyle O'Reilly.
After that, Bálor altered his strategy, instead opting to target Kross's midsection. Kross fired up and called for his finisher, but Bálor countered it with repeated shotgun dropkicks. Bálor went to the top rope and hit the Coup de Grace, but Kross kicked out at two, Kross then immediately applied a rear naked choke, which Bálor rolled out of with a stomp for good measure.
The champion applied a grounded abdominal stretch. Scarlett implored Kross to reach the ropes, and he finally did, crushing Bálor with a second Doomsday Saito. Two running forearm smashes were enough for Kross to pin Bálor and win the championship.
Santos Escobar, flanked by Legado del Fantasma, was interviewed about his title win. He said LDF are family and called himself the emperor of lucha libre
Kyle O'Reilly defeated Adam Cole in an Unsanctioned Match
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Thumbs in the middle pointing down show.
Im taking a break from wrestling until Wrestlemania