Connect with us

NXT

NXT TakeOver: XXX: A Tough Show for SummerSlam to Follow

Published

on

NXT TakeOver: XXX

NXT TakeOver: XXX has come and gone. To think that NXT has reached its 30th TakeOver is impressive, to say the least. NXT has been in business for just over ten years, now. The first devoted pay-per-view followed four years later, with the first TakeOver happening in May 2014.

Generally speaking, TakeOver events usually only happen four times a year in conjunction with the big four WWE pay-per-view events. In recent years, TakeOver events have been happening increasingly on their own. For the record, this doesn’t count the NXT UK events which run on their own schedule.

NXT TakeOver: XXX featured a total of six matches, one of which happened on the pre-show. The only title that wasn’t defended was the NXT Tag Team Championships. As always, TakeOver has proven to be a tough show for SummerSlam to follow.

NXT Tag Team Championship Number One Contender Match

There was a time that the tag team division was the highlight of the entire NXT brand. Even prior to the pandemic changing the game, that simply has not been the case. There seem to be fewer and fewer active tag teams than ever, and the ones left don’t get a lot of screen time.

The current NXT Tag Champs are Imperium members Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel. They have infrequently defended their titles, and probably should have changed hands a while ago. Hopefully, the winners of the Number One Contenders match can make that happen.

Breezango win at NXT TakeOver: XXX

Fan favorites Breezango defeated members of Legado del Fantasma and perpetual jobbers Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch to become those number one contenders. WWE has teased fans with a Breezango title reign in the past. Hopefully, they pull the trigger this time.

Finn Bálor vs Timothy Thatcher

Timothy Thatcher is, in many ways, still a new quantity in the world of NXT. Fans only recently met him as part of a quick feud with Matt Riddle before he got called up to SmackDown. But his hard-hitting, no-nonsense style has resonated well in the ring, even without a live audience.

The Prince defeats Thatcher

On the other hand, NXT viewers are more than a little familiar with Finn Bálor. The man who helped build the brand had a reasonably decent main roster run before returning to the black and gold. If the point of bringing him back was to give the talented wrestler direction, WWE has failed.

No one really knows where Finn fits in on NXT. He came out on top of a solid match with Thatcher, but where this is all going for the Prince is confusing at best. The win was nice but Bálor has virtually no direction right now. It feels like he’s treading water until his contract expires.

NXT North American Championship Ladder Match

When a ladder match is booked for a TakeOver event, fans know that things are going to get crazy quickly. Damian Priest, Bronson Reed, Johnny Gargano, Velveteen Dream, and Cameron Grimes were all competing for the vacant NXT North American Championship.

The match did not disappoint, with huge spots happening all over the place. That included Reed with Candice LeRae on his back splashing Gargano from the top of a ladder. Unfortunately, the match was slightly overshadowed by the controversial presence of Velveteen Dream.

Bronson Reed takes Candice LeRae on a ride.

If WWE wants to continue working with Dream despite the accusations against him, that is certainly their choice. But putting him in a high profile match so quickly despite fans, and reputedly a significant portion of the roster, being unhappy about his presence is going to cause problems in the long run.

Fortunately, Damian Priest came out with a well deserved win and his first championship in WWE. Many fans were pulling for Bronson Reed, and he had a great showing. It’s also worth noting Bronson’s ring attire seemed to be a tribute to the late, great big man, Bam Bam Bigelow.

Damien Priest wins the North American Championship

Adam Cole vs Pat McAfee

After the debacle that putting a belt on Rob Gronkowski turned out to be, you’d think that WWE would be tired of giving football players air time on their pay-per-views. If nothing else, WWE is a huge glutton for punishment, it would seem.

Fortunately, Pat McAfee is not Gronk. He obviously put the work in to be ready for a match against one of the best in the business. The feud with Adam Cole has been building for a long time, only recently coming to a head. It turned out to be a solid addition to the NXT TakeOver: XXX card.

Adam Cole schools Pat McAfee at NXT TakeOver: XXX

A lot of credit has to be given to Adam Cole. Being the consummate professional that he is, Cole made McAfee look good in the ring. Cole won, of course, but McAfee still acquitted himself nicely, pulling off some surprisingly big high flying moves.

Io Shirai vs Dakota Kai

Without question, Io Shirai is one of NXT’s top female performers. Not just today, but of all time. People are such big fans of hers that even a heel turn couldn’t put them off of her. When she picked up the NXT Women’s Championship at In Your House, the internet went wild.

Io Shirai is victorious again

At the same time, Dakota Kai has always felt like one of NXT’s more underutilized talents. Her heel turn and partnership with Raquel Gonzalez was exactly what she needed to push her into the main event picture. Her title shot at NXT TakeOver: XXX is the exact kind of big matches she should be involved in.

Io and Dakota put on an outstanding title bout, with Io retaining. When the match was over, Gonzalez attacked Shirai with Rhea Ripley making the save. It was a great piece of storytelling at it set up a tag team match between the two groups as well as Ripley possibly becoming Shirai’s next contender.

Karrion Kross vs Keith Lee

Once again, WWE painted themselves into a corner with a title match that had to finish one way to make sense. And it did with Karrion Kross defeating Keith Lee for the NXT Championship. Anyone who didn’t see that coming hasn’t been paying attention.

WWE has been setting Karrion up as an unbeatable force of nature since his debut. Having him lose to Keith Lee would have undercut that in a way that would he never would have come back from. It’s hard to see him as a dominant monster when he loses the big matches.

Karrion Kross is your new NXT Champion

The downside was it was way too early for Lee to drop the title. He only won the NXT Championship at the end of June, holding it for slightly less than two months. On top of that, he relinquished the North American Championship shortly after becoming a double champion.

As disappointing as this loss was for Keith Lee fans, of which there are many, it will hopefully lead to the next step for him. A main roster call up should be in his near future. There’s no doubt that once there, Keith Lee should be in the main event picture quickly.

Ian is a freelance writer based out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan who writes about pop culture. That includes movies, TV series, comic books, and wrestling. He's a full time freelance writer, sleeps way too little, and buys way too many toys.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We update daily. Support our site by simply following us on Twitter and Facebook

Facebook

Trending