Takeover: Orlando Results and Reactions


Result and match rating: Aleister Black wins with the Black Mass on his debut.  The match had some good action and impressive spots, but also some notable botches. ** 1/2

Reaction and payoff rating: This match was a good debut for Black.  He has a good entrance, interesting character, unique move set, and confident demeanor.  Normally, it’s hard to find newcomers with that type of confidence. Black seems like he’d be a great match-up for Nakamura, so it’s a shame that probably won’t happen any time soon.  Almas was able to get his heel antics, which are great, noticed on a bigger stage, but he still seems to lack the fire and confidence in the United States.  Earlier in the year, there were reports that he was feeling unhappy and isolated here, and it still feels that way.  ***


Result and match rating: Dain scored the pinfall on Dillinger after his finisher. ***

Reaction and payoff rating: This was about the best that could be done with an eight-person tag match.  The action was all over the place, and this felt like these teams truly hated one another.  The pacing of the action is reminiscent of the pacing towards the ends of six-man tags back in the ’80s when everything “broke down,” except that was most of the match.  This should lead to SAnitY moving up the card a little although in NXT, that’s hard to say what that means; it’s getting to the point where a TV title is needed to differentiate the mid-card and low-card.  Nikki and Ruby can continue their feud while Ember and Asuka continue their program. Ohno was impressive in the match, and looking better with that t-shirt.  Strong received a lot of positivity from the crowd, probably the most since his debut, and he showcased himself tonight, so hopefully that benefits him some as well.  Everyone looks better after this except maybe Tye who ate another pinfall.  ****

THE AUTHORS OF PAIN (c) vs. DIY vs. THE REVIVAL for the NXT Tag Team Championship

Result and match rating: Ciampa was eliminated by the AoP, then Dawson was eliminated after a Super Collider. ****

Reaction and payoff rating: This match was better than it should have been.  The Revival, who seemed main roster-bound in January felt like they were thrown into this match, but it worked out beautifully. It was a fast-paced, but well-paced match with great high spots like the superplex to the outside of the ring and the table spot.  The story was logical and funny as well with the rival teams joining forces to take out the monster team of AoP.  Once Ciampa and Gargano were eliminated, the match lost a little steam as many figured The Revival were not going to regain the belts.  It would have made more sense for a Revival elimination first.  Still, this sets up the Authors of Pain as a monster heel tag team that all fans want to see lose.  NXT can now allow Gargano and Ciampa to chase or build up other tag teams to try to stop them if they wish, and The Revival hopefully moves up to Smackdown to bolster a sagging tag team division.  *****

ASUKA (c) vs. EMBER MOON for the NXT Women’s Championship

Result and match rating: Asuka wins after pushing the referee into Ember, who was on the top rope, then hitting an Asuka Kick. *****

Reaction and payoff rating: Asuka cheating to win was classic old school booking, a subtle but significant heel turn.  Moon didn’t feel like a worthy contender to this title before the match; instead, she was just the next in line.  After Moon showing she is competitive and Asuka’s heel turn, which the crowd roundly booed, this feud has some legs and the crowd will look forward to Moon chasing and eventually winning the title.  This is the absolute best way to book this match to increase the stakes and generate heat.  *****

BOBBY ROODE (c) vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA for the NXT Championship

Result and match rating: Roode pins Nakamura after a Glorious DDT. ***

Reaction and payoff rating:  This match helped solidify Roode’s title reign with a clean win over Nakamura.  Roode is being booked like a modern-day Ric Flair – robes, women, ego, and money – and it works for him.  Roode is never going to be the guy to give you a five-star match, but we’ll give you consist threes every night.  He’s crisp, wily, heel-ish technician.  Nakamura was Nakamura, and it seems his time in NXT is over after one year and he’ll debuting on the main roster, perhaps as soon as Monday night.  That is where the real experiment with him begins, and while hopefully he’s just as successful there, his move set perhaps being even more limited, as Rob Van Dam’s was nearly fifteen years ago, and inability to do long promos, he’ll have to rely on his mannerisms and mystique  to get him over with a crowd that is becoming more finicky by the week. **


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