Mia Yim vs. Bianca Bianca Belair
Mia Yim still felt shorted after her loss 3 weeks ago. She was so close, and Belair utilized her hair to hold the rope for a victory. For some reason, Belair still likes to say that she is undefeated despite being choked out by Baszler. Nigel tried to clarify it and say that she hadn’t been pinned yet. That would change tonight though!
This match was actually not bad. A few touchy spots, but good storytelling leading me to believe that these two will have a match taped before Takeover, which I won’t complain about at all. Belair seems to be much more confident as a heel, which I have pointed out that she is better fit for that role before. Yim won the match by countering powerbomb and holding onto Belair’s ponytail to pull her into her ‘Protect Yo Neck’ finisher for the victory.
Shayna Baszler is backstage, reminding the world that Io Shirai has no more friends, and won’t have a kendo stick to help her this Saturday.
Great video package for Velveteen Dream and Tyler Breeze is up next. It shows How Breeze was on top of the NXT mountain, and how far he has fallen since then. That match is going to be outstanding, and I fully expect it to be the first match of Takeover 25.
Drew Gulak vs. KUSHIDA
I don’t know what it is, but whenever Drew Gulak comes down to NXT, he switches it to another gear and has a great match! This match was no exception. This match displayed both men’s technical prowess with lots of submissions and counters. Multiple paces kept the battle between Gulak and KUSHIDA entertaining until the very end.
The whole time watching this match I was sure that KUSHIDA would be tapping out Gulak, as that is what we have seen from him so far. They both surprised me when KUSHIDA hit a Flat-liner and quick rollup for the victory. A very strong matchup by both men. The quality of the match felt like it should have been a pre-Takeover match, however it is still a possibility, as Gulak stormed off not happy. It might not be over between these two!
Next up is a hype video for Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano. Lots of great clips of Gargano taking the title home to Cleveland and being with his hometown fans. The line that got me was that Adam Cole said that he could beat Gargano one on one, and Gargano wants him to back that up. I think that might be a little foreshadowing heading into Takeover!
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. the Forgotten Sons
Before this match even started, you had to know it was going to break down. It was a physical match as you could expect, as these teams have been feuding for what seems like months. Jaxson Ryker got himself kicked out of the match for tripping up Lorcan at the ropes. When Ryker got up to the stage he was attacked by the Street Profits, who ended the match by attacking the rest of the Forgotten Sons. The Profits battled it out with Lorcan and Burch until Blake and Cutler evened the score with some chairs.
Eventually, Adam Cole and Roderick Strong would hit the stage and throw Ryker off the stage, and call out Blake and Cutler. As they made their way to them, Fish and O’Reilly intercepted the Forgotten Sons, and the Undisputed Era took over (pun intended.)
The Undisputed Era finished the night off by grabbing a ladder and ramming Ryker in the face. They set it up over Ryker and the best faction in WWE posed on the ladder as the last NXT before Takeover went off the air.
Drew Gulak! Last time he was on NXT he got this award, and he will continue to get it if he keeps putting on performances like tonight. Deep down, I hope he and KUSHIDA have a rematch in front of the big Takeover crowd for the pre-taped NXT next week. The crowd will be on fire for those two if they put on a match at least to the same caliber as their match Wednesday night.
That’s all for this episode. For more insight and wrestling thoughts, follow me on Twitter at @TJoftheJK