NXT TakeOver: Respect is in the books and the night proved to be a huge success with some fantastic matches taking place. There was a lot of hype surrounding the event as Diva’s were going to be main eventing the show for the very first time.
Whilst the main event was a massive success with Bayley and Sasha Banks going at it for 30 minutes as the former retained her NXT Women's Championship, there were other stars who impressed on the night.
Here are the stars I believe really impressed at TakeOver, and will be looking to build momentum in the coming weeks.
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#5: BARON CORBIN
Baron Corbin put in two good performances at TakeOver but that doesn’t mean he’s turned into a technician overnight. There’s still a lot of work to be done with Corbin, but nevertheless he put in more effort in one night than he has done for weeks combined.
They were both tag team matches so that does mean he shared the workload with Rhyno, whilst the likes of Samoa Joe and Finn Balor helped him look really strong. I felt Corbin really surprised people in his first match when he was up against Jason Jordan and Chad Gable.
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He looked like he belonged in that ring and nobody was getting squashed which was key. He looked confident and looked like he knew what he was doing.
For now it seems tag team action is perfect for him and a perfect place to learn and improve. The finish for his first match was also fantastic and a good way to get a reaction from the fans, it was definitely a good night for Corbin.
#4: DANA BROOKE
Even though she lost, I think it’s safe to say a lot of fans were definitely surprised with Dana Brooke’s performance at TakeOver: Respect.
It’s refreshing to see how far she’s come from her underwhelming debut months ago and it just goes to show that even though WWE are bringing in talents from independent companies, they do have the facilities and skill to train somebody with zero experience.
It wasn’t just her wrestling ability that improved either, she looked and felt like a Diva fans would simply love to hate. She never stayed quiet with continual jibes at her opponent and the referee.
It was definitely a surprise to see her step up so much in such a short space of time, let’s just hope that it wasn’t a one-off and she can remain consistent.
If she’s able to put in more performances like she did at TakeOver against top quality Diva’s, then she’ll definitely be in with a shout being a top championship contender.
#3: APOLLO CREWS
Apollo Crews has had a fantastic start on NXT and that continued at TakeOver with an impressive victory over Tyler Breeze. You can’t knock Breeze for his performance as he really stepped up against the popular newcomer.
Crews continued to show off his ridiculously impressive athleticism and in-ring ability when the pressure was really on.
It’s not so easy going from under the radar independent shows, to competing on a TakeOver special where all eyes are on you in a number of months. He’s really stepped up and proved the doubters wrong and he really can go all the way in NXT with more performances like the one at TakeOver.
He looked right at home in the ring, he was very confident and looked like he belonged there, a great night for him.
#2: JASON JORDAN ANND CHAD GABLE
In the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, I feel that Jason Jordan and Chad Gable are the team that really broke out. We can argue that The Mechanics put on some impressive displays but I feel like there’s something there with Jordan and Gable which could see them being very successful.
They look like a genuine tag team and they’re a team that can actually wrestle, and we witnessed that at TakeOver. Jordan showed off his strength whilst Gable proved that his size shouldn’t hold him back as they both took part in some impressive spots.
The crowd were behind them from start to finish which was a surprise and it’s good to see that they’re being given a chance on the big stage to show what they can do. I do think they can build on this performance and feud with some bigger teams and try to enter the title picture.
The Mechanics would be a great first feud for them whilst, if we want to see a great wrestling feud – look no further than Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. These four men would tear the house down and now it’s time for Jordan and Gable to build on their impressive performance.
On NXT we’re all so used to impressive debuts from big-name superstars, the latest one being Kevin Owens not too long ago, but Asuka blew most debuts out of the water at TakeOver.
She picked up a win over Dana Brooke but it wasn’t your ordinary debut match which ends within seconds, we actually saw a wrestling match for a change and that alone was refreshing to see. We really got to see what all of the hype was about and there’s no Diva quite like her in all of WWE.
She also helped Dana look comfortable in the ring which made for a really good match, if one of them didn’t look good in the ring then it wouldn’t have had the same effect. Her strikes were perfect, she had a great look and we have something to look forward to with her impressive submission holds.
If her performance at TakeOver is anything to go by then we should expect to see more impressive performances and it won’t be a surprise to see her knocking on Bayley’s door for an NXT Women’s Championship match.
NXT FANS – WHO IMPRESSED YOU THE MOST AT TAKEOVER: RESPECT? LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.
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