Dot Net reader Nathan Saegi attended the NXT Takeover: Dallas event and WWE Axxess and sent the following report.
I spent time at WWE Axxess before the NXT event. It’s pretty cool if you’ve never done it before. You can get heaps of photo ops, the obligatory signings, and I got to catch a fair bit of goings on around the ring including a 2K16 challenge between the New Day and The Usos, plus a Q&A with Sheamus that was pretty enjoyable. Some kid had a trombone which Xavier Woods played in a cool moment. You can do an entrance as your favorite superstar, they have heaps of memorabilia and a huge superstore with everything you could imagine. Sheamus was super engaging in this environment and while I didn’t line up for any autographs, it was cool to see Curtis Axel and Adam Rose having fun with each other at their desk and messing about with the fans. R-Truth looked that way too. All in all, I’d recommend Axxess as a one off.
On to NXT itself. The crowd was red hot from the get go and American Alpha were super over. It’s a shame about the botched spot, but I kind of thought it was treated as an opportunity by the crowd to get on the heels case, rather than knock the talent. All in all, a solid match with some good heat spots.
The Corbin and Aries match didn’t do much for me. The pace was a little slow but the crowd got into it as it went along. It was a tough spot for Austin Aries to debut.
Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura was undoubtedly the highlight of the night. What a brutal match. I do wonder how that style will wash for Nakamura on the main roster. I think some tweaks will need to be made as some of the shots in this one seemed very ‘strong’. That said, as a viewer I have no complaints. The crowd chanted for both guys then literally chanted ‘both these guys’ which was cool. I can’t say enough about how enjoyable this was. I’m not overly familiar with Nakamura’s (there are only so many hours in a day) work but his ring mannerisms are certainly unique and he comes across as a star. Loved this match.
Bayley and Asuka was also tremendous. The crowd was hot for the challenger but as always came to Bayley’s side. When she passed out it was like air being let out of a balloon in there. The match itself was fantastic. I hope the three ladies get a similar chance on Sunday. There was another pointed ‘women’s wrestling’ chant again. Can we drop the diva already?!
Samoa Joe may have the least elaborate entrance, but man does that music and walk work for him. This guy is so main roster ready. I’d love to see him and Brock Lesnar fight. Somehow I didn’t notice the chainsaw but it certainly negatively effected the entrance, or at least the crowds participation, of Finn Balor. I was super excited to be part of what I think is the coolest entrance out but it felt a little flat. The match was obviously stunted by the blood and the crowd turned on the doctor with a huge ‘F PG’ chant. The match itself was fine and looked like they used a page out of Survivor Series ’96 for the finish (and I’m sure that finish has been done a million times before – it’s just where my memory went!) which wasn’t a bad move. I was surprised to see Balor retain but am hopeful that opens the door to a heel unit of Reigns, The Usos, and Joe on the main roster.
We are looking for correspondents for all WrestleMania weekend events. If you attend a show this weekend, you are encouraged to send a report to firstname.lastname@example.org