NXT Takeover New York Review Submitted by Justin Watry on 04/07/2019 at 02:42 PM
We're here. It is always a long road, but WrestleMania has arrived folks. Sometimes the detours are bumpy and off track but never are they boring. WWE has hit a home run in my opinion, and the event has not even started yet. The build has been extremely interesting, and the women are rightfully getting the main event spot. History in the making. At the bottom of the page will be my WrestleMania 35 predictions in podcast form...but first, let's discuss the amazing NXT Takeover New York live special from Friday night!
NXT Takeover New York Review
- I didn't see the Kickoff Show nor did I care to watch. Was there even a pre-show for this? No clue to be honest. The entire premise has kinda gone off the rails in recent months with the clown 'personalities' coming in and being controversial on purpose with their panel discussion. Really dumb and transparent. Hopefully, the WWE FS1 studio show will NOT be like that in the Fall. Otherwise, it will fail.
- Record breaking NXT crowd announced. Not sure if that is legitimate or not but whatever. The fact that NXT has grown into the juggernaut it is tells me all I need to know. Who cares if the numbers were/are fudged a little? The proof is in the pudding. NXT went from dinky tiny bits here and there to semi-decent sized buildings to huge major arenas for live specials on the WWE Network. Best of all, they have always delivered and continued to do so on WrestleMania 35 weekend. Maybe the best Takeover yet.
- Starting us off was the NXT Tag Team Title match. War Raiders defending against Ricochet and Aleister Black. As everybody else on commentary noted, Ricochet and Aleister Black challenged for the RAW Tag Team Titles on Monday, NXT Tag Team Titles on Friday and will go after the Smackdown LIVE Tag Team Titles come Sunday. Pretty amazing seven day stretch for the two. No surprise War Raiders won. This was the easiest call of the entire weekend. Ricochet and Black are heading to the main roster and were leaving NXT. Sad to see but what a way to go out! Unreal. They went out like stars. Emotional scene but the correct way to exit the 'territory.' Kudos. Hot, hot, hot start.
- Up next was the North American Championship bout between Velveteen Dream and Matt Riddle. This was my most anticipated match of the night. Two great personalities and two great wrestlers that have defined NXT in recent months. Truth be told, I could not imagine either man losing. To my shock AND delight, it was Dream that pulled off the upset. STILL North American Champ. Super cool finish. Riddle had it won. He was dominating for most of the match but got caught. He lost to a fluke roll up. Dream can now brag about being the first to pin Riddle, and Riddle can now fight back - more focused than ever. It worked perfectly.
- WALTER is your NXT UK Champion! Sorry to Pete Dunne, but held that title for nearly two years in a row. I have no idea what he does next, but a main roster call up (not 205 LIVE) would not be out of the question. He may not have the size, but the dude has everything else. Dunne looks, talks, and acts REAL. If done right, WWE will have a major star coming out of WrestleMania 35 right in their fingertips. No pun intended. WALTER is the guy right now to lead the charge across the pond. Hard hitting and tough. Good stuff at NXT Takeover New York.
- Shayna Baszler over Bianca Belair, Kairi Sane, and Io Shirai to remain NXT Womens Champion. A lot of folks suspected a title change here, with Shayna not being involved with the fall. I didn't think that. I thought should would retain, only because of the process of elimination tactic. Belair was not going to win. She lost a few months ago and pretty much stalled ever since. If NXT was going to crown her, it would have happened back in January. She was out. Then came the tag team. Kairi and Io canceled each other out. They are together, thus no single run for them. Yet! It will happen eventually, just not during Shayna's run. There is more to do in NXT for her. Unlike Bianca Beliar, who I feel is moving on. Two straight big losses. Both clean. I don't know. Seems like a call up is waiting for her. Time will tell on that.
- At this point, NXT Takeover New York was already epic. Four title matches, four entertaining battles. The signing of Kushida was announced. Lots of positive vibes during WM35 Weekend. The only negative was the main event was NOT going to feature reigning NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa. His feud with Johnny Gargano as finally going to get its' two year payoff, so it sucks that he went down with a bad neck. Sucks. Luckily, Adam Cole stepped in for the two out of three falls match...and oh my...
- Awesome main event. Cole had never been NXT Champion. Gargano had never been NXT Champion. The stakes were high here, and I can not praise this entire presentation enough. The video, the hype, the competitors, the environment, the match, the post-match, etc. Incredible all the way around. It is no use even breaking down the falls and all that junk. GO WATCH THIS MATCH!! I have been talking p NXT for years now, and it is not without reason. Match of the year so far. Seriously, it is only April, but we may have a winner for 2019. I do not do star ratings, but if you are all looking for a five star classic, here it is. Gargano fights off all the odds, wins the title, gets the celebration with Candice...and even Ciampa at the top of the stage. Can't beat that image. Bravo NXT.
- As mentioned, top to bottom another stacked card from NXT comes through in the clutch. WrestleMania 35 is in a few hours, and I can not wait to see what WWE has in store for us. What are my picks and thoughts? Listen right here: