NXT Takeover Toronto Review Submitted by Justin Watry on 08/11/2019 at 12:16 PM
WWE Summerslam is just hours away. I can feel it, you can feel it, we can all feel it. However, before that, we were treated to an excellent NXT Takeover event Saturdday night live on the WWE Network. Let's take a look at how the roster delivered in a big way once again...
NXT Tag Titles - Nothing better than The Street Profits theme song starting off an NXT Takeover event. Love the song. Super duper catchy and fits their persona. I have said this before, but the tag team has grown on me. Similar to Heavy Machinery. It took me awhile to come around. Like most though, I assumed this was their NXT farewell before jumping to RAW permanently. The Undisputed Era winning more gold would have made total sense, and nobody would have complained. Well, SWERVE! Not only did The Street Profits retain, The Undisputed Era also lost another title match later on. Shocking. An upset early. I like it. Keeps us all on our toes. The Street Profits will apparently be pulling double duty for a bit. Okay, cool. Good tag bout to start. Amazing athleticism from all four. Makes me wonder about the future of The Undisputed Era....
Io Shirai VS Candice LaRae - Arguably match of the evening here. I will place the main event just a bit ahead, but I won't debate you one way or another. Candice and Io beat the crap out of each other, and live crowd in Toronto ate it up every step of the way. Great feud so far, with much more to do. The video package was also a pleasant surprise. That has been a lost art in WWE recently. Glad NXT still brings the goods with those 2-3 minute hype videos. Io wins, which is no surprise. She has the new heel act and is on a roll since turning. Candice certainly had a breakout night too though. Don't sleep on her. She has NOT been featured prominently on television. I hope that changes going forward. Easy wrestler to root for.
BRAWL - Matt Riddle and Killian Dain had a brawl in the middle of the show. Little known fact: Riddle was supposed to wrestle Adam Cole on this show for the NXT Title. Kinda tipped the hand of the main event outcome but meh. Whatever. We can still get that up next. This thing with Dain is just filler until then. Even so, solid brawl and keeps both busy for awhile. Poor security guard getting tossed off the stage with both men. Yikes!
NXT North American Title - The Velveteen Dream defended his championship against Roderick Strong of The Undisputed Era and Pete Dunne of NXT UK. A little bit of a change from the normal list of challengers. I enjoyed it however. Strong had fans buzzing about The Undisputed Era gaining more titles, and Dunne deserves to be doing more, so his inclusion works too. Cool entrance with Dream using the Toronto Raptors and The Mountie music to win over the fans in Canada. Tricky, tricky. Good bout with Dream keeping the North American Title around his waist. Interesting to see where Dunne goes next and is there is tension building in The Undisputed Era following another loss.
NXT Womens Title - I don't know why anybody thought Mia Yim was going to be the one to dethrone Shayna Baszler. It never felt like anything more than a filler feud. That may seem harsh, but the crowd reactions backed me up Saturday night. Yim taking out Shayna's stooges was a nice hook, but that was about it. No real drama after that piece of story telling. She got dirty and played 'street' to get the NXT Womens Title...sadly, none of that mattered. Shayna is too good and too strong. Her run will continue, and folks need to realize she is the champion for a reason.
NXT Title: Best Two Out Of Three Falls - This was the final chapter in the Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano saga. It was time for everybody to move and perhaps even a main roster call up to the ultimate loser. That ended up being Gargano because Cole defied all the odd and retained his NXT Championship. Afterwards, it sure felt like a swansong for Johnny Wrestling, as there really isn't much left for him to do. Seriously. He has had a million classics and is obviously a better fit in NXT than the main roster...but his Raw/Smackdown Live debut feels inevitable. People forget - he was already pretty much called up in early 2019 because plans (injuries) changed things up. We will see. As for the match, Gargano lost the first fall by intentionally getting DQ with a chair attack. Ummm, alright. Felt odd he would stoop to that level when he had Cole beat a number of times, but I get it. Second fall in a street fight went to Gargano over Cole via submission. The third and deciding fall - I thought it would be a Loser Leaves NXT stipulation. Instead, it was a freakin' barbed wire steel cage match. Weapons everywhere inside as well. Just brutal and ridiculous action. You know there would be some kind of epic ending to this rivalry, and that is exactly what we got with both men falling off the top of the cage through a table. Cole was lucky enough to drape an arm over for the victory and end to the amazing Gargano chapter. Awesome main event as expected and the correct call when you consider Gargano's future and Riddle being next in line.
SUMMARY: Johnny Gargano and his trilogies in NXT, wow. Dude has done it all and is ready for a new challenge. I love him in NXT, but he needs to spread his wings and fly now. Gat outta here and make yourself famous. The rest of the NXT crew will be fine. Don't worry. NXT will move forward (maybe live on FS1 soon?), and the next Takeover will be great, rest assured. Overall another stellar show before a major WWE pay-per-view. Not much else to add. You know what you are getting from NXT by now, and we love them for it.
To get ready for Sunday night, here is a podcast I did counting down the best and worst matches in WWE Summerslam history. Can you guess them? Go ahead and listen to find out...