All eyes were on the stars of NXT on Friday night with the first TakeOver special of the year taking place as American Alpha, Asuka and Samoa Joe were all looking to be crowned new champions.
The pressure was on for NXT to kick start WrestleMania week in great fashion, and they stepped up like nobody could have imagined. The matches, the crowd, the show as a whole was fantastic from start to finish and it’s opened up so many questions regarding where they go next.
There are some major talking points to get through with the successful event now over, here are some of the biggest moments the fans are talking about.
All three championships were being defended on the card and even before the event you could sense that at least one would be changing hands. The Revival were defending their NXT Tag Team Championships against Jason Jordan and Chad Gable of American Alpha; Asuka challenged Bayley for the NXT Women’s Championship while Finn Balor and Samoa Joe battled for a second time for the NXT Championship.
The reactions said it all with the opening contest, Jordan and Gable managed to become the new champions, ending the reign of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder, who have been brilliant champions. This is a huge win for them and it’ll be interesting to see how they’re booked now that they’re the champions.
One of the tougher matches to call was the Bayley and Asuka match. Bayley was the popular champion with so many fans by her side while Asuka was unbeaten heading into the match.
The finish of the match was excellent with Asuka putting Bayley to sleep to be crowned the new champion. She remains unbeaten while Bayley showed her heart by not submitting or being pinned. They put on a fantastic match and now we wait and see whether Bayley goes back for a rematch, or joins the main roster.
SAMI ZAYN VS. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
The match that had NXT fans talking before it took place, and now it has the world talking about it. Sami Zayn vs. the debuting Shinsuke Nakamura was an incredible match from start to finish and they both lived up to the hype surrounding the match.
They went on for over 20 minutes and the fans didn’t stop cheering for either man, they were invested in it from the second Sami’s music hit and it took them less than 10 seconds to make Nakamura the most charismatic star on the roster.
Sami – as well as Bayley – showed great emotion during their matches, they put on great performances themselves but you could tell that they agreed they were beaten by newer styles. From the punch exchange to the impressive Kinshasa knee to the head, The King of Strong Style stole the show on Friday night.
SAMOA JOE TO THE MAIN ROSTER?
The main event of the show saw the Texas Chainsaw Massacre inspired Demon Balor successfully retain his Championship against Samoa Joe, and the two managed to put on a better match than they did in London.
However, there was more to this match than the championship. There were strong rumours heading into this event that the loser of this match wouldn’t stay on NXT for too long, as a jump to the main roster would be imminent and it looked as if Balor would be the favourite considering Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson are also on their way.
Much like Kevin Owens did when he dropped the title to Balor.
Now it’s Joe in that situation and we have to wait and see on Monday night whether Joe will make the move. There are plenty of options to throw him into the limelight on the main roster while many fans want to see him take on Nakamura before he leaves NXT for good.
Austin Aries and Nakamura were the latest signings to make their debut on NXT but based on what we saw at TakeOver; it doesn’t look like the new signings will end there.
NXT made no secret of hiding who they had in attendance; we saw Kota Ibushi sitting alongside Funaki and rumours suggest he wasn’t there just to hype up his potential Global Cruiserweight Series participation, but he may be sticking with NXT full-time.
It wasn’t only Ibushi in attendance, the big news surrounding potential arrivals was that of former TNA World Champion, Bobby Roode. The free agent continued to tease a full-time deal and the company are in talks to bring him into the fold which would be a huge coup.
NXT FANS – WHAT DID YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT THE EVENT? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.