NXT Takeover: Respect – The Verdict

By David Travers - @GuannacoTRAVERS 

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The final verdict is in of the latest NXT Takeover Pay- Per – View, NXT Takeover: Respect. We focus on the Dusty Rhodes Classic, Asuka vs Dana Brooke and the 30 minute Ironwoman match for the NXT Women’s Championship.

First match to kick off the show was the first semi final of the Dusty Rhodes classic, pitting the Team of Finn Balor and Samoa Joe, who have had a pretty easy run into the semi finals, against The mechanics (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) who has previously eliminated the NXT tag champs The Vaudevillians to reach the semi finals.

As expected Balor and Joe dominated most of the match, using quick fire offence to keep The Mechanics on the defence. However, The mechanics put up a tough fight isolating Samoa Joe early on in the match, thus keeping Balor on the outside as Dawson and Wilder continued to work on Joe, until he was able to get the tag to allow the fresh NXT champ to enter the match and unleash his stiff but quick offence.

To gain the momentum back to the favourites to win the tournament. But momentum quickly swung back towards Dawson and Wilder as they begun to target the legs of Balor which is a key part of his offence that made him such a force in Japan.

But in the end the experience of Joe and Balor proved to much for Dawson and Wilder and ended what was a tough battle with both team gaining momentum, as Joe managed to tag in Balor, nailing Scott Dawson with the ‘Muscle Buster’ a move that made Joe a force to be reckoned with in TNA, before Balor climbed a top the turnbuckle and hit the ‘Coup de Grace’ for the 1,2,3 which meant that Joe and Balor were one victory away from winning the tournament.

The second semi final of the tournament saw the Jason Jordan and Chad Gabel taking on the smash mouth team of Baron Corbin and the ‘Man Beast’ Rhyno.

Although Jordan and Gabel put up a valiant effort against the two heavyweights, their Greco Roman offence was just no match for the former NFL Offensive Guard and the Man Beast, as Corbin and Rhyno used their strength to their advantage, making this David vs Goliath tale pretty one-sided to say the least. With Corbin putting Gabel to rest plating him with ‘End of days’ before covering him for the win.

Which meant that we would see Balor and Joe vs Corbin and Rhyno in the final of what had been an exciting and interesting competition.

Both matches had received postive crowd reactions which added to the already exciting semi final matches. I personally liked both matches, so on the David scale of things, I would rate Joe and Balor vs The Mechanics 4/5 as to me it looked like it could of gone either way, but at the end of the day experience played the key factor.

Whereas, Corbin and Rhyno vs Jordan and Gabel, I would only give a 2.5/5 not that the match wasn’t enjoyable, I just felt it couldn’t have gone any other way, even though Jordan and Gabel got the fans behind then as the faces. I felt it didn’t really help change the outcome of the match, but hey ho thats how the cookie crumbles and thats why we LOVE wrestling right? No matter how much certain out comes annoy us.

Next up we had the debuting of Asuka formerly ‘Kana’ taking on ‘The Toal Diva’ Dana Brooke. Their feud started when Asuka was confronted by Dana Brooke and Emma at last takeover in Brooklyn.

This match was going to be interesting as there were people who was interested to see how Asuka would fair when it came to wrestling in WWE/NXT. Asuka already had a huge reputation back in Japan. We as fan already know the style of offence in Japan as being very stiff, very quick and very technical.

As the bell rang, from the get go we already got to experience Asuka as she came at ‘The Toal Diva’ with stiff kicks and a very strong ground game full of ring work and holds. Dana Brooke managed to get some offence going but the match was already Asuka to lose, and she quickly turned the tide in her favour, again with a vicious away of kicks.

Which had Dana on the constant defence, before Asuka put her away with a Cross face chicken wing with body scissors that she called the ‘Asuka Lock’ with that locked in and Dana Brooke having no where to go, she had no choice but to tap out to the submission hold.

I was very impressed with Asuka, I love watch Japanese wrestling and the offence that they bring with them whether it is in the Orient or in the States. I never get bored of their stiff offence. Although Asuka dominated the match, I can only give this math a 2.5/5 on the David Scale as I felt the storyline surrounding them both was good, but in practice it was a mismatch.

We reached the penultimate match, the final of the Dusty Rhodes Classic. The favourites Finn Balor and Samoa Joe squaring off again Rhyno and Corbin.

I had predicted that these two would come to face each other in the final, Although the fans were concerned with the knee of Balor that had been injured during the battle with Dawson and Wilder.

As the final of the tournament, we saw Balor and Rhyno start things off, with a quick grapple and take downs from Balor, Rhyno then decided to tag in the 6ft8 275ilb Corbin, who was then quickly dropped to the matt by Balor, who then dragged the big man into the corner and make the tag to Samoa Joe, this was the second time, we see Joe and Corbin face off, the first time we saw then was back in Brooklyn where Joe was the victor winning the match by submission.

Joe quickly mounted an offence against Corbin, hitting him with quick jabs, which had Corbin back-pedalling into the corner, joe had the momentum continuing the keep the big man down, until Joe himself found himself slammed to the matt by Corbin.

From there Joe was one again isolated in the corner, leaving Balor on the apron looking on as Rhyno and Corbin continued to work on Joe. After a quick Irish whip reversal and Corbin now in the corner, Joe quickly hit Baron with the enzugiuri and managed to make get Balor into the match.

Balor unleashed a good offence on Corbin, before Corbin targeted his already injured knee and the tide stopped there, until Balor managed to tagged in Joe, and Corbin tagged in Rhyno, and Joe and Rhyno went at it, it had been a while since Joe and Rhyno had scrap, dating back to their days in TNA, Balor making the save after Rhyno hit the Gore.

After Balor took Corbin out of the match, it just left just Joe and Rhyno in the ring, as Rhyno attempted another Gore to hopefully put Joe to rest, alas that was not the case, a swift boot to the face, which resulted in a muscle buster and a Coup De Grace combo which was how Finn and Joe won their semi final match, lead to a 1,2,3. That’s a wrap folks, here are your winners of the Dusty Rhodes Classic Finn Balor and Samoa Joe.

They were then congratulated by the Rhodes family, it was an emotional speech made by Cody Rhodes, as Dusty’s theme music hit, signalling not only the end of the tournament but a legacy that will continue through NXT. R.I.P Sweet prince.

The David Scale rates this match a 3.5/5 it gets the .5 as it was a good match, at first I wasn’t keen on Corbin and Rhyno getting to the final, now that I think about it I couldn’t have seen anyone else in the final. But the match itself was actually watchable, both teams again could of picked up the victory and hoisted the trophy.

Now time for the maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaain event of the evening *try to do the best Bruce Buffer voice I can* (I know Bruce Buffer is in the UFC but still)

For the first time ever we had two female talents headline a pay – per – view. It was time for the NXT Women’s Title rematch. In one corner we had the newly crowned and fan favourite Bayley defending her crown against ‘The Boss’Sasha Banks, in a 30 minute IronWOMAN match.

This was a make or break for Women’s wrestling in my opinion as two women main eventing a PPV (pay – per – view) had never been done, so the spotlight was on them, which I loved. I would much rather see women headline an event that seeing them 7th on the card like we see on the main roster.

This match already looked like a game changer of a match. As the match got underway it was just back and forth, with both women looking to get the first pin fall out the way and gain the advantage. Sasha was the first to draw “blood” covering the refs eyesight by a way of standing in front of him as Bayley came to attack, a quick thump to the eye, and a roll up meant that Sasha was 1-0 up.

Bayley pulled one back, after again another back and forth, Bayley managed to hit the Bayley to Belly for the pin, and the weighing scales hitting neutral as the score was now one fall a piece with both Banks and Bayley now looking for the leg up to get the 2-1 lead.

Sasha showed her vicious side, taking it to the outside and taking control and absorbing the momentum Bayley was mounting, forcing Bayley into the LED sign, leaving her to be counted out, and now ‘The Boss’ showing why she is the boss of the women’s division in NXT was 2-1 up.

Rolling Bayleys lifeless body back into the ring, and continued to mock her, as she attempted to go 3-1. Banks continued to mock Bayley, locking in the Boston Crab, adding insult to injury she tried to lock it in for a second time, but Bayley managed to flip her over and tie the score at 2-2 with a Rana (double leg cradle) for the pin.

Now at 2-2, it was time for both women to turn it up, as they did everything they could to wear down their opponent from using the corner to axe handles.

With the time ticking down, with 2 minutes to go in this nail bitingly close IronWOMAN match, Sasha managed to lock in the Bank statement, but her hand that she had injured last fall, meant that she couldn’t lock it in 100% the second attempt Bayley managed to separate the hands of Banks by grabbing the injured hand and Banks had to release the hold.

As she went for the Bank Statement a third time, Bayley managed to roll through and lock in a modified arm breaker. ‘The Boss’ did everything she could to try and escape the hold, but 15 seconds left and in the middle of the ring, it was down to who wanted it most.

In the last 3 seconds before time expire, Banks had no choice but to tap out, and as the Bell rang signally the end of what was an amazing match. As the dust settle Bayley was declared the victor by 3 falls to 2.

With All the NXT roster coming out to applaud our two valiant competitors, HHH and Stephanie came bearing flowers to present to ‘The Boss’ and Bayley on what was definitely without a shadow of a doubt a 5 star match. History was definitely made here tonight.

The final David Scale awards this match a 5/5, not only because it was a historic match, but the Women’s matches in NXT never get boring, as they always up the ante and pull off great matches, I hope this is a sign that Women can headline pay – per – views, lets just hope the Divas Revolution doesn’t fall flat.



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