Jay's Ways - NXT Takeover Philly Review Submitted by Justin Watry on 01/31/2018 at 08:55 PM
Royal Rumble 2018 Review
My full thoughts on Sunday's HUGE event can be found over at 411mania.com. Being one of the few who had both Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura winning their respective Royal Rumble matches, I had a to lot say. Then of course the Ronda Rousey appearance! All can be found on 411mania!
NXT Takeover Philadelphia Review
- Undisputed Era over The Authors of Pain via pinfall. That is big news, as the dominant duo has rarely lost throughout their entire NXT run. The tag champions retaining was the right call here, and I feel their reign is just beginning. Sadly, AOP look to be headed towards the main roster. That has been rumored for awhile but with this fairly clean loss, yeah, time is ticking. Raw or Smackdown LIVE - whatever is fine by me. The big meh have done a lot for the tag team division in NXT for the past year. Admittedly, I was a skeptic at first and really did not think much of them in the beginning. Needless to say, they proved me wrong and have been quite good.
- The Velveteen Dream over Kassius Ohno in a solid bout. I loved the start. I loved the gear both men wore. I loved the way each guy had their moments in the run to shine. What I didn't love was a few of the clunkier moments. It was rough to watch at certain points. No big deal. Ohno is there to be a 'coach' to talent, and Dream is still VERY young and inexperienced in the ring despite his recent rise up the card. This is exactly the kind of match that NXT is built for. Experience, learning, and a new talent stepping up. Overall good stuff.
- Ember Moon over Shayna Baszler with a surprise roll up. Shocking! I thought for sure Ember Moon would lose and then appear in the WWE Royal Rumble match the next night. Not an official call up to the main roster but more of a teaser for fans. Well, we did end up seeing her Sunday night but STILL as NXT Womens Champion. This was a great story. Baszler absolutely dominated and looked like a freakin' beast. The Bill Goldberg inspired entrance from the backstage area was a beautiful touch. Moon battled back and fought hard, leading her to the surprise victory. I was hooked throughout. The post-match was just as awesome. Shayna is a HEEL. A HEEL. No redeeming quality about her. Fans dislike the girl so much, which will only help Moon and others in NXT. I am intrigued to find out what happens with Baszler next. She fell short in the Mae Young Classic Finals and now lost here as well. Hmmm...
- Aleister Black defeats Adam Cole in an Extreme Rules match. Things started a little slow given the hardcore stipulation in Philadelphia, but these guys eventually turned up the volume and delivered! Hard hitting, violent and very intense. Hats off to Black and Cole for some of the ridiculous moves taken. I would have advised against half of those high risks maneuvers personally. Their bodies had to be wrecked. Kudos to WWE for giving Adam Cole a 'reward' for a Royal Rumble spot 24 hours later. Ouch! Black wins in the end as Sanity took out Undisputed Era at ringside. Have to assume an NXT Title shot is next for him. New Orleans?
- Andrade Almas retains the NXT Championship over Johnny Gargano. I have seen some call this the greatest match in NXT history. I will not go that far. However, make no mistake - I loved the bout. While we all assumed Gargano would lose in the end thanks to Tommaso Ciampa interfering, the main event still gave us one heck of a joy ride. The Zelina Vega/Candice LeRae moment at ringside. The heartbreak in the squared circle. The rabid Philly crowd. The emotion. Ahhhhh! It was all so well handled. Like Cole, WWE gave Almas a nice 'reward' via a Royal Rumble entry the next night. Credit to them for doing that. Super cool. Yeah, Gargano lost in the end, and yeah, Ciampa did end up attacking him post-match. Both things most of us knew was coming. That does not take away from the effort though and giving NXT yet another memorable Takeover closer.
- Quick side notes: Paul Heyman gave us a fun opening promo vide hyping up NXT. In Philly, it made sense. War Machine was shown ringside. New monster duo with AOP leaving is my guess. Ricochet was shown at ringside. A quick Goggle search will show you all of his high flying moves. Then in the biggest guest of the event: EC 3 was there! As I have been writing about for awhile now, this was not shocking to anybody. Impact Wrestling officials and others (me) knew of his 2018 intentions. WWE was absolutely waiting for him to be contractually free, and this is the result. Back in NXT and ready to show a MASS audience what he is capable of. Why his name is EC # in stead of EC3? No idea, maybe a trademark thing? Either way, it does not matter. Here comes trouble...
SUMMARY: Another top notch NXT Takeover event. No surprise, they crush it every single time with these live specials on the WWE Network. Seriously, just a fabulous event. New Orleans, are you ready?