NXT Takeover: Dallas kicked off Wrestlemania weekend for WWE and delivered an all time great show.
We had Kota Ibushi and Bobby Roode appear on camera, which you have to assume, means they have been signed or will be coming in. If they weren’t they wouldn’t have been featured on the show. Anything is possible in 2016. Who’d have ever thought Kota Ibushi would be sitting ringside at a WWE card to watch Shinsuke Nakamura vs Sami Zayn?
NXT Tag Team Championship
American Alpha defeated The Revival
You’d be hard pressed to find a better pure tag team match than this. This was an old school tag match with Dash & Dawson playing the perfect heel role, cutting off the ring and cutting off the tags. Jordan & Gable were superb as the babyfaces. It is incredible how good they are together after only forming their team in July. Jordan in particular looked like a machine when he was in the ring. This was so well constructed. It was so well done that the crowd were going crazy for sunset flips and backslides. This was a throwback to a traditional 80’s tag match and what’s old is new again. The win for Jordan & Gable came as a surprise, but the pop they got was incredible. What a start to the show.
Austin Aries defeated Baron Corbin
This was the televised NXT debut of Aries. This was a good solid match, but nothing blow away. Aries looked really good and did his best with Corbin, who is good, but still limited and inexperienced. Aries hit all his signature spots. Aries always does well when he can fight from underneath against a bigger guy, so this worked in his favour. Aries counter to the End of Days was beautiful, and it also protected Aries in the process.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Sami Zayn
This was magic and everything any long time Nakamura fan could have hoped for, while everything a new fan that has heard all the hype could want. This was a pro wrestling masterpiece and a work of art. Nakamura’s entrance was awe inspiring. His new music is the perfect homage to his old theme, while also something new and fresh. The electricity as he walked to the ring is something that cannot be manufactured. Within minutes Nakamura had made thousands of new fans and had proven just how good he was to people that have been hearing the buzz for years.
This match was superb. This wasn’t a toned down Nakamura, nor was he following a WWE formula. This was Nakamura straight from New Japan and everything he was in that promotion. Zayn was the perfect opponent and this felt like something special just from the opening exchanges. Nakamura & Zayn had instant chemistry and put together an instant classic. They had a classic match without any big near falls. It was all story telling and performance, and that has always been Nakamura at his best. The story here of Zayn having to get gritty and hit just as hard as Nakamura was superb and the crowd went nuts for every single tease of a finisher. The Boma Ye will now be known as Kinshasa and that’s what Nakamura got the win with.
This was one of the greatest debuts in WWE history and Nakamura was presented like the star that he is. This was as good as any major Wrestle Kingdom or G1 Final that Nakamura has been involved in. This was also one hell of a high for Zayn to go out of NXT on. Go and watch this masterpiece.
NXT Women’s Championship
Asuka defeated Bayley
Asuka is the new women’s champion. While nothing was ever going to top the previous match, these two gave it their best shot and had one hell of a match that probably would have seemed like a classic itself had it gone on before it. Asuka is just a wrestling machine, and there is no end to the submission holds she can pull out in the ring. The story here was that Bayley had to dip into her submission game and did so by going after the knee of Asuka. This was just a great wrestling match. The women of NXT have now gotten to a point where it’s not even a question if it will be great and it isn’t judged as a women’s match. It was a great WRESTLING MATCH. The finish with Bayley refusing to quit, forcing her to pass out was great. It kept her strong and made her look like the valiant babyface hero that she is. It looks like the main roster could be next for Bayley. They better be careful with her, because she is one of the finest babyfaces anywhere in wrestling.
Finn Balór defeated Samoa Joe
The bell rang, Joe got split opened and turned into a crazed murdering machine. Joe has been amazing over the last few months, but he hit a new level of intensity, violence and brutality here. This was an absolute war and it felt like someone was going to get hurt. The doctors trying to stop Joe’s blood hurt the flow of the match at times, but every time they did it only seemed to fire Joe up even more, making the whole thing feel completely wild and out of control. Balór can dish out just as much punishment as Joe can, and by surviving this violence, Balor looked like the toughest guy on the planet. There was one amazing shot of Balór peering over the guardrail with intent to kill. The near falls at the end of this were superb. The fear that Balor sold when Joe went for the Kokina Clutch was great and the finish kept Joe strong, while making you think there may be another match coming between the two. This was another match of the year contender.
NXT Takeover: Dallas is the best Takeover special yet and one of the finest shows WWE has ever put on. This was pro wrestling at its absolute peak. Wrestlemania has its work cut out for it on Sunday. Pro wrestling in 2016 is spectacular and completely unpredictable. This show was something unforgettable