The penultimate TakeOver of 2015 is now in the books on a night where the Diva’s were in the spotlight.
The majority of the hype surrounded Bayley and Sasha Banks as they competed in the main event in a 30 minute Iron Man match for the NXT Women’s Championship.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve witnessed a number of tag teams trying to advance in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. At TakeOver, the Rhodes family were on hand to unveil the trophy as four teams battled it out for a chance to become the first recipients.
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Apollo Crews was looking to continue his impressive start but had a tough opponent in the form of Tyler Breeze, whilst a debut left the fans in awe. Here’s what went down at TakeOver: Respect.
FINN BALOR & SAMOA JOE DEFEAT THE MECHANICS
In the build-up to the finals, it was widely speculated that Joe could turn on Balor but nothing of that sort happened. Instead, we saw some great spots from Joe and Balor whilst The Mechanics also impressed.
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At one stage, it looked as if there was some tension between the two but in the end Balor hit the Coup de Grace for the victory.
I thought it was a solid opening match, it was good that we didn’t see Demon Balor again and the Balor Club teases continued. Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder may have lost but they looked fantastic in doing so.
The tag team division should be in good hands when The Mechanics start to feature more on television. They looked great in the match and had the NXT Champion in trouble a number of times, even though the result didn’t really come as much of a surprise.
BARON CORBIN & RHYNO DEFEAT JASON JORDAN & CHAD GABLE
The second semi-final of the tournament saw Corbin and Rhyno manage to defeat Jordan and Gable in another fantastic match. It was strange to see Corbin and Rhyno team up and even more surprising to see them come this far as many expected them to lose.
This was the night Jordan and Gable really opened the eyes of fans that hadn’t seen them in action properly. They have a great look about them and their chemistry was on show and they even had the monsters in trouble a number of times.
Jordan really stepped up in this match with his athletic ability and his strength, whilst Gable showed that being a smaller man meant nothing as his superior wrestling ability was on display especially when he hit a great German duplex on Corbin.
Personally I was disappointed with the result but the finish was fantastic, Corbin managed to hit a great-looking End of Days for the win.
ASUKA DEFEATS DANA BROOKE
This is something a lot of the fans were excited for as Asuka finally made her NXT debut. You know she’s something special when she only recently signed with the company and is competing in the ring already.
Before the match, there were understandable concerns that the match may not be entertaining, but credit has to go to Dana Brooke who looks as if she has improved so much over the last few months.
However, it was Asuka that stole the show with an incredible debut. Now we know why she’s one of the most feared strikers on the planet and why she mixed it up with men back in Japan. She’s truly a special talent and her innovative offence resulted in fans wanting more.
We saw submission hold after submission hold and she finally ended Dana’s torment by locking in the impressive Asuka lock for the victory. If you haven’t seen her in action, I urge you to do so. She’s fantastic in the ring and she looks more than ready to take the NXT Diva’s division by storm and fans will be calling for her to take on the likes of Bayley and Sasha Banks.
APOLLO CREWS DEFEATS TYLER BREEZE
Another impressive match on paper which proved to be even better inside of the ring. We already know how talented Tyler Breeze is and, to be honest, he probably did need the win at TakeOver more than Crews.
Mixing up two athletic and talented stars in Crews and Breeze was the perfect move as it proved to be a solid singles match without much of the spotlight on it. As expected there were some brilliant spots in the match with Crews displaying his strength as well as his incredible aerial ability and Breeze threatened to take advantage plenty of times.
In the end, it was Crews who hit a great Powerbomb for the win. I think this has the potential to be a lengthy and entertaining feud. At this stage, the two need each other as Crews is fantastic in the ring but needs a great, consistent heel to work opposite and Breeze is the perfect star for that.
It’s an impressive run for Crews and that’s fantastic for him but they really need to start to have Breeze pick up some wins as he too is a special talent you can’t book incorrectly too often.
FINN BALOR & SAMOA JOE DEFEAT BARON CORBIN & RHYNO
The final of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament saw these two teams advance to the final – which some may find surprising – and it was Balor and Joe who picked up the win and lifted the trophy.
I feel that Corbin really suits tag team matches as he really stepped up at TakeOver, perhaps because the focus wasn’t entirely on him and he shared the workload with an impressive talent like Rhyno.
There were some great spots in the match but it was the heels who really looked like they were going to take the victory on more than one occasion. Balor once again hit the Coup de Grace for the victory as the Rhodes family handed them the trophy.
The matches on the night were great so there are no complaints from me there. However, I would have preferred that a legitimate tag team picked up the win and it would have been a great way to have The Mechanics or Jordan and Gable to enter the tag team division with some relevancy.
BAYLEY DEFEATS SASHA BANKS – NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
The match every single NXT fan was waiting for. For 30 solid minutes, we witnessed an epic main event match as both women continued to prove why there is genuine hope for the future of the Diva’s division.
Bayley and Sasha have unique chemistry and they displayed it throughout the Iron Man match and I feel the 3-2 score in favour of Bayley was the correct way to go about is as well.
Sasha displayed great heel tactics throughout the match with her antics outside of the ring as well as how she picked up the first pinfall. The match had it all from the emotion, the incredible wrestling on show, the reaction from the crowd and so much more.
The finish was equally as enjoyable. There were only a couple of seconds left and Bayley brought out something new in her, kicking Sasha’s head and locking in the Rings of Saturn for the submission win with no time left on the clock.
The match was incredible and it definitely lived up to the hype, as did the night as a whole. Hopefully, this match does big things for Sasha on the main roster and now Bayley can move on to some bigger feuds with the likes of Asuka impressing.
NXT FANS – WHAT DID YOU MAKE OF TAKEOVER: RESPECT? LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.