They’ve both wrestled around the world, and now both Finn Balor and Samoa Joe return to a country they have made their own, when NXT Takeover fills the SSE Arena in London, England. After winning the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament, Joe and Balor seemed destined to be the best of friends, but of course it was pride and championships which came between them, and the two are set for what is sure to be an epic showdown in the UK arena. Also on the card is Bayley, perhaps the biggest star you’ve never heard of, putting her Women’s Championship on the line against (another!) Samoan monster, Nia Jax. Will Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy FINALLY capture the tag team titles? Will Evil Emma and Dana Brooke get one up on Asuka? Will Apollo Crews manage to drag a good match out of Baron Corbin?
+ Finn Balor (c) vs Samoa Joe (NXT Heavyweight Championship): surprisingly, the crowd was 50-50 for this match, which added to the unpredictability of the result. This was not a fantastic match, but overall still worth watching, and it certainly showcased what each guy can do (despite a few seemingly silly hiccups)
+ Asuka vs Emma (w/ Dana Brooke): this was the opener, and after an admittedly rather slow opening it turned into a real back and forth battle. A few twists and turn kleep things interesting, and there is certainly still either a 1-on-2 or straight tag match coming, I’m sure
– Bayley (c) vs Nia Jax (NXT Women’s Championship): Holy shit at the neverending chants for Bayley. I thought Enzo and Cass were well loved, but this was just something else. Nia Jax has been around for some months now, but I am still unsure what to make of her. This was an enjoyable match, but it really didn’t make much sense. It’s hard to comment too much considering I don’t want to spoil, but rest assured at least one of these competitors now looks really weak
– The Mechanics vs Enzo Amore & Colin Cassidy (w/ Carmella) (NXT Tag Team Championships): the way which Enzo and Big Cass play off of each other is probably the best I have ever seen, and both Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder are such throwbacks to the real ass-kickers of old. So putting these two teams against each other was the makings of a classic, but unfortunately it just didn’t work. Some shoddy refereeing (potentially planned?) and a confusing ending sequence left a bad taste in my mouth overall
– Apollo Crews vs Baron Corbin: Not bad, not good. The two just didn’t really mesh, despite the crowd being over a billion percent against Corbin. Some Corbin trashtalking and some vulgar chanting from the crowd kept it interesting, but as far as wrestling goes it was not really worth watching
> I don’t know the exact date of the last TV tapings, but lots of the superstars looked quite different on this live event; Big Cass and Baron Corbin in particular both looked to be in great shape
> The crowd was hectic from start to finish. I can admit that sometimes it was a bit over the top, but that is what makes wrestling fun
Should you watch this event: I can’t even believe I am saying this, but I really think every match went on just a few minutes too long (or in the case of one in particular, about ten). Adding one other match to this card, maybe even a proper number one contender match or something, would have both evened out the timings and even given me something to recommend, because as it stands right now, the only matches worth watching were the first and last, and each are mostly inconsequential. Give Emma/Asuka and Joe/Balor a watch, but don’t bother with the others.