By Darren Gutteridge
NXT Takeover: Toronto Hits
The Revival vs. DIY for the NXT Tag Team Titles: Those who feared these teams wouldn’t be able to recapture the magic of Brooklyn worried in vain, because this was equally as excellent. Built about as perfectly as a two out of three falls match could be, my one flaw was that they didn’t go for the finish following DIY’s Shatter Machine, not that the dual submission finish was a bad alternative.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe for the NXT Title: Something wasn’t clicking early on. I can’t say what it was, but the match was pedestrian and I felt myself losing focus. Thankfully, Nakamura and Joe more than won me round and delivered another solid Takeover main event. The ending was a surprise, and not necessarily a bad one, but it felt like time for Joe to leave and Nakamura to remain undefeated, as opposed to Nakamura leaving (presumably) and Joe regaining that air of invincibility. I’ll give it time, but I can shake the feeling that this was the lesser of the two immediate options.
Tye Dillinger vs. Bobby Roode: As expected, Toronto was hot for their fellow countrymen. It also wasn’t surprising that the entrances were the highlight, but I think the match was better than expected thanks for Roode ignoring the crowd sentiment and working heel. The “fight forever” chants may have been unwarranted, but this was a very enjoyable opening.
Asuka vs. Mickie James for the NXT Women’s Championship: The ending was a little bit of a dud as Asuka didn’t have the Asuka Lock on fully, but otherwise this match was exactly what it needed to be – a good workout for the champion at the expense of a temporary roster member. They can perhaps pull this off one more time before a convincing challenger from NXT will need to emerge.
NXT Takeover: Toronto Misses
TM61 vs. Authors of Pain: It was fitting that the final of Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic reflected the tournament as a whole – underwhelming with brief flashes of good. The dive off the crane by Thorne looked cool, but was the only standout in an otherwise forgettable match. The suspended cage was a distraction more than anything (especially for the cameramen), and the chain spot was both dumb and dangerous after it shot into the crowd. Roll on 2017.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...