WWE is in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for NXT Takeover: Toronto, and it is looking like a fantastic card. We will have full coverage of the show starting at 8pm Eastern, and limited coverage of the preshow, which begins at 7:30pm.
All of NXT’s titles are on the line, as Shinsuke Nakamura defends the NXT Championship against Samoa Joe, Asuka defends the NXT Women’s Championship against the returning Mickie James, and The Revival defend the NXT Tag Team Championship against #DIY in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match.
Here is the currently announced card, subject to change.
- NXT Championship Match: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Samoa Joe
- NXT Women’s Championship Match: Asuka (c) vs. Mickie James
- NXT Tag Team Championship 2-out-of-3 Falls Match: The Revival (c) vs. #DIY
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final: TM61 vs. The Authors of Pain (Paul Ellering to be suspended above the ring in a shark cage)
- Tye Dillinger vs. Bobby Roode
Tune in to Ring Rap for live reaction and results of the event as it happens, and don’t forget to follow along on Twitter @RingRap!
The show begins with a video package highlighting some of the greatest wrestlers to come out of Toronto, and some of the greatest moments to happen there. “Now it’s NXT’s turn to Takeover Toronto.” The package highlights each feud in brief.
Entrances for the first match begin, and it’s Roode vs. Dillinger.
Bobby Roode has a freaking choir for his entrance. It’s got to be about 50 people, no joke. This is pretty incredible. Toronto is pretty happy to see Roode, too. It’s his hometown, after all.
We go to the announce booth, with Tom Phillips and Corey Graves on commentary tonight. Tye Dillinger gets a huge pop, and the fans are all in with the Perfect 10 gimmick.
Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger
The bell rings and both men lock eyes. A “This is awesome” chant breaks out before anything even happens. Roode paces back and forth, Dillinger holding his ground. Roode poses and Dillinger lays into him with a fist immediately. Nice fire from Dillinger, who counters Roode with a shoulder block, and sends him over the top rope to the floor. He immediately rolls him back in and sends him back over the opposite side.
Dillinger lays into Roode with chops, still outside the ring. Roode cuts him off with a knee. Roode breaks the count, and the fight continues, with Dillinger getting the offense, tossing Roode with a back body drop. He rolls Roode into the ring, who begs him off. Roode’s hands look like Dillinger’s 10, and it fires him up. He teases Roode with the hand gestures and lays in a chip, following up with 10 punches in the corner. The crowd is super hot for this.
Roode counters Dillinger, and sends him over the top rope, giving himself some time to recover. Roode circles the ring and takes out Dillinger from behind. He continues to keep on the offense with Dillinger, and slams him into the apron repeatedly. Roode grounds Dillinger in the corner. He whips Dillinger into the corner, follows it up with a clothesline. Roode poses before coming off the top rope with a hammerfist.
Dillinger gets a backslide for two. He fires up, but Roode counters with a neckbreaker. Roode climbs up top and lays in fists in the corner, making it to five before Dillinger hits an atomic drop. Tye gets some nice offense, all fired up. He stomps Roode in the corner. He rolls down the kneepads, setting up for his finisher. Roode bails out of the ring and starts to head to the back. Dillinger chases him and sends him back into the ring, but he’s met with a spinebuster from Roode. It’s worth a 2-count.
The fans chant “Both these guys” as Roode sets Dillinger up on the turnbuckle. The two brawl back and forth. Roode hits a superplex off the top rope, and Dillinger kicks out at two. Roode gloats and mocks Dillinger with the “10” and then rolls down the kneepad. He sets Dillinger up for a Tye Breaker, but Dillinger counters. Roode goes for a roll-up near the ropes and props his feet on the ropes. He thinks it’s three, but the ref saw it for two.
Dillinger takes advantage with a roll-up of his own, follows it up with a superkick for a near fall. Both men to their feet at the same time, they trade punches. Tye gets the better of it, and begs Roode on. Roode escapes a Tye Breaker, but Dillinger locks in a Sharpshooter to a huge pop. Roode makes it to the ropes.
Both men trade an inside cradle. Dillinger misses a shoulder in the corner, and Roode sends him into the corner for another one. Roode hits his DDT to put Dillinger away.
Winner: Bobby Roode
A fun match to open the show. The crowd is hot, and Roode and Dillinger have good chemistry. This match knew it’s place on the card – didn’t try to be more than it was meant to be – and that’s a compliment. Good way to get things going, for sure.
After the match, Dillinger is slow to get to his feet. The fans chant “10!” over and over again for him, and he says “I’m sorry.” He leaves slowly, selling the loss.
We see a clip of Asuka warming up backstage.
Our next match is the finals for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic!
The Authors of Pain head out first, Paul Ellering leading the way. Above the ring is the cage that Ellering will be suspended from. TM61 heads out second. The gigantic trophy is at ringside. The cage is lowered, and Ellering steps in after giving his men final instructions. Ellering shakes the door as it’s lifted back above the ring.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final: TM61 vs. The Authors of Pain (Paul Ellering to be suspended above the ring in a shark cage)
Akam and Nick Miller start it off. Sneaky tag from Shane Thorne. They double-team Akam, sending him over the top rope to the floor. Miller goes diving over the top as well.
Miller and Rezar go at it near the crane structure. Rezar starts climbing the crane, and Miller breaks free. He lines The Authors up and leaps off onto both of them.
Back in the ring, Thorne is on the apron, and gets completely flipped upside down by Rezar. Back in the ring, Rezar covers Thorne for two. He rips at Thorne’s face, then tags in Akam, with a double-team stomp for two. Ellering shouts orders from above. Akam tosses Thorne across the ring for two. He misses a charge in the corner, but tags in Rezar, who cuts Thorne off. Thorne makes the surprise tag and Miller is legal, on fire. Miller hits a suplex and a belly to back suplex on both men. Miller hits a running forearm to both men, then climbs up top. He hits a moonsault to Rezar for two. Akam comes in, and Thorne hits a running kick, and both men go for punches. The Authors reverse it, but it’s countered by TM61. TM61 hits Thunder Valley to Rezar, but Akam breaks it up. Miller takes out Akam outside the ring, and Thorne goes leaping after him.
With three of the four outside, the ring, Ellering drops a chain into the ring. The ref doesn’t see it, and Rezar goes for a swing with it, but Thorne catches him and the chain goes flying into the audience. Akam counters Thorne, tags in Rezar, and they hit their finisher to pick up the win.
Winners: The Authors of Pain to win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
Not a bad match. I like that they tried to give Ellering a way of getting involved, but in the end, The Authors were able to pick up the win without his help anyhow. It gives them credibility, and puts them in line for a tag title shot.
Triple H, William Regal, and Dustin Rhodes all come out to present the trophy to the winners, who pick it up and hold it high.
We see #DIY walking backstage as a video package plays for their match. A video package plays for the match, and DIY hit the ring first, followed by the champs, The Revival.
NXT Tag Team Championship 2-out-of-3 Falls Match: The Revival (c) vs. #DIY
Dawson and Gargano start it out. Gargano and Dawson trade holds at a rapid pace. Gargano goes for an early roll-up for two. Dawson recovers in his corner. Dawson hits Gargano in the corner, laying in a chop. Ciampa tags in and DIY hits a pair of dropkicks. Ciampa gets two. Dawson takes advantage of a ref distraction, and tags in Dash Wilder. Dash lays in uppercuts and clubbing blows. Ciampa fires back and sends Dash into the turnbuckle. Double-team leg drop leads to a two-count.
Double tags bring in Gargano and Dawson. Gargano takes out both men with some unique offense. Gargano is caught in their corner, and leaps through the ropes for a DDT but it’s reversed into a Shatter Machine for the first fall.
First Fall: The Revival
Gargano barely gets up to his feet but gets a near fall. The Revival keep Gargano on their side, and with the ref distracted, Wilder clotheslines Gargano back over the ropes. Dawson keeps Gargano cornered and tags in Dash, both men attacking wildly. A drop-toe hold combo leads to a 2-count. Dawson legal currently, he gets Gargano in body scissors. Dawson locks in a Gory Special. Gargano breaks free and fights out of the corner. He wiggles through the legs and hits an enzuigiri/DDT to lay out The Revival. Gargano crawls to Ciampa, but Wilder grabs Ciampa’s leg. The ref is distracted again, and Gargano makes the tag, but the ref didn’t see it and doesn’t allow it. The Revival have more shenanigans and hit a Hart Attack for a very near fall.
Wilder sets Gargano up in the corner. Gargano counters a back suplex into a cross-body for two. Dash makes the tag, Gargano fights free and tags in Ciampa. Ciampa hits a flying dropkick, and a running knee in the corner. Elbows ground Dawson. Ciampa hits a leg lariat from behind for two. Dawson misses a pin attempt, and Ciampa hits a trio of German suplexes. He sets up Dawson and hits a running knee for a believable near fall.
Ciampa begs Gargano to his feet. Dawson caught Ciampa off guard, then pulls Gargano into the ring. Gargano and CIampa counter, and Ciampa hits a cross body for two. They set up Dawson for their knee/kick finisher and connect. It’s tied up.
Second Fall: #DIY
Ciampa and Wilder front and center. They trade blows to boos/yays. Ciampa slaps Wilder, and Dawson makes a blind tag. Ciampa goes for a cross armbar, and it’s reversed. Dawson hits a kick, blind tag to Gargano, who hits a kick to the head before coming into the ring. Wilder tries to get involved, but Gargano catches him. He hits a leaping DDT onto Dawson for two.
Gargano suplexes Dawson over the ropes, but Dawson counters. Wilder helps Dawson and tags in. Wilder and Dawson hit an uppercut/German Suplex combo, but Ciampa breaks the pin. Dawson sends Ciampa into the ring post, then goes to the apron and tags in. He corners Gargano, nailing him with an uppercut. Gargano tries to fight out of the corner. He hits a series of elbows, and pushes off Wilder to get a roll-up and a believable near fall.
Wilder grabs a title belt. Ciampa takes Wilder out, but Dawson held up the belt and Gargano kicked it, hurting his leg. Dawson locks in an inverted Figure Four on the injured leg.
Dawson is bused open, but Gargano is struggling to make it to the ropes. Gargano makes it to the ropes and breaks the hold. Wilder wants to tag in, and Dawson tags him. They set up DIY’s finisher, and Wilder connects, but hits Dawson by mistake. Ciampa runs in and they hit Shatter Machine on Wilder for two, just barely broken up by Dawson.
Ciampa is not legal. Dawson covers his head, and goes for a roll-up, but as the referee counts he realizes it’s not the legal man. More shenanigans, and Wilder runs in, hitting a chop block on Gargano. Gargano goes for a roll-up. The two trade reversals. Gargano locks in a cross-face. Ciampa stops Dawson and locks in his own submission. Dawson tries to keep Wilder from tapping out, but both men can’t take the pain and both men tap out. We’ve got NEW tag team champions!
Winners: #DIY to become the new NXT Tag Team Champions
After the match, Gargano and Ciampa celebrate as the fans chant “You deserve it.” We see highlights, and DIY celebrate with the fans in a really awesome moment.
An absolutely incredible match, from start to finish. The Revival are the best tag team in the business right now. DIY kept right up with them every step of the way. I think Gargano might outdo Sami Zayn for the “Vunerable Face Award.” Great offense, hot tags, great pacing, just truly wonderful.
We see Jim Ross in attendance, front row, and then a video package for Asuka vs. Mickie James.
Mickie James comes out to her old music, which honestly is a bit disappointing, but whatever. Naturally, she looks great, and the fans are happy to see her. She gets a “Welcome back” chant before Asuka’s music hits. There are dozens of fans at ringside wearing Asuka masks. I mean, it’s basically the entire front row, ramp, ring and all.
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Asuka (c) vs. Mickie James
The ladies lock up. Asuka gets the advantage, but Mickie uses leverage to roll Asuka through. Asuka does the same. They square up, and Asuka offers a handshake. James takes it and pulls her in close, then blows a kiss, playing headgames.
James cinches in a headlock. Asuka fights free, and hits a shoulder block. Both ladies reverse each other over and again. Asuka cinches an armbar. James hits a running kick, and Asuka bails out of the ring. James holds the ropes open for Asuka, and Asuka steps in.
Asuka locks in a wrist lock, James rolls through and locks in her own armbar. Asuka with a head scissors, James kippups out, but Asuka lays in a kick. She hits a hip attack, and James bails to the outside. Asuka holds the ropes open, returning the favor. James starts to enter the ring, and Asuka attacks her, hitting another hip attack and sending her to the floor.
James hits a kick to the face, and then hits a hurricarana. The two brawl outside the ring, and Asuka hits a German suplex to the floor. She makes it in the ring before the 10 count. Asuka tosses James, and attacks in the corner, getting a two count. Asuka hip checks Mickie, and then locks in an armbar across the ropes. She counts along with the ref before breaking. She misses a hip attack, getting caught up in the ropes. Asuka kicks James in the chest repeatedly. James ducks and locks in a single leg crab. James goes for a Muta lock, and it’s broken on the ropes.
The two trade blows from their knees. James sends Asuka into the turnbuckle. She ducks a fist from Asuka and slaps her across the face. James smiles, but Asuka smiles back, getting amped up. James hits a neckbreaker off a counter, and gets fired up. Asuka misses a cross-body off the second rope, and James hits a flapjack. She goes up top, and hits a Thesz press off the top rope for two.
Asuka counters and locks in a cross arm bar. James makes it to the ropes. James hit a knee to the face from the ground. She ducks a kick from Asuka and hits the Mick Kick. Asuka gets her foot on the rope. She drags her back and gets a two-count.
Asuka goes for a Asuka Lock, but James keeps rolling through it. She gets a near pin, but Asuka rolls it over from behind, and James taps out.
James extends a hand to Asuka, but Asuka raises the belt mockingly in return.
Not a bad match, but a tough spot for the ladies to be in after the insanity that was the tag match. The crowd felt a little burnt out, and surprisingly weren’t as enthusiastic about James returning. I blame the booking for that, not James. That said, a good match. As the fans stupidly chanted – “She’s still got it.” Then again, she never lost it.
We see Pat Patterson, front row, and then we see Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura heading to the ring before their video package airs. Samoa Joe comes out first, followed by Nakamura. Nakamura has a number of violinist playing with him again. It doesn’t have the same impact as Brooklyn, sadly, but it’s still pretty cool watching six people follow him down the ramp, with even more in the ring, playing away. The fans continue singing for a few measures, even after the song stops playing.
NXT Championship Match: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Samoa Joe
Nakamura immediately goes on the offense with kicks. Joe kicks back. The two go back and forth. Joe tries to keep Nak pinned up on the ropes. This feels like a brawl. Shinsuke plays mind games, goading Joe in and dropping a knee. They brawl outside, and Nakamura sends Joe over the barricade into the audience. Nakamura tosses him back at ringside, and rolls Joe into the ring.
Joe hits an enzuigiri to turn the tides. Joe goes for a face wash, it’s countered by Nakamura, who lands knees into Joe’s head. Joe regains control, establishing the pace. He drives Nakamura’s knees into the mat. He starts kicking the leg, and rolls a reversal into a kneebar. He keeps Nakamura grounded, going for a leg lock. Nakamura tries to kick free. He charges Joe and Joe sidesteps, sending Nakamura to the floor. Joe leaps after him immediately. The two brawl outside, with Joe maintaining control. He rolls Nakamura in before the 10 count, getting a cover for two.
Nakamura fires up and lays Joe on the turnbuckle. He hits a running knee for two. Joe counters with a big boot and a running senton for two. Joe hits a powerbomb and rolls it into a Boston Crab, then slides it into an STF. Joe hits a powerslam for a near fall.
Nakamura hits a pair of boots in the corner, and is quickly countered by Joe’s enzuigiri. Nak counters with a kick of his own, and hits a running knee on the apron. He climbs up to the second rope and hits a leaping knee. Both men are laid out.
Joe gets to one foot before Nakamura. He goes on the attack. The two trade blows. Nakamura ducks Joe’s attacks, countering with his own. Joe elbows out of an exploder, but Nak counters, hitting a German suplex. Nakamura misses a knee in the corner, and Joe sweeps the leg. He sets Nakamura for the Muscle Buster, but Nakamura rolls through it, and hits a Kinsasha. Joe amazingly kicks out. Nakamura goes for another one, but Joe counters with a Kokina Clutch.
The fans sing Nakamura’s song to give him energy, Joe still holding on. Joe hits a German suplex into a Dragon suplex, into a straightjacket suplex. Two-count. Joe comes up bleeding from above the eye. He misses a clothesline, and Nakamura hits a running knee to the back of the head. Joe falls out of the ring.
Nakamura goes out of the ring as the ref checks on Joe. Joe pushes him aside and hits a low blow. He slams Nakamura onto the steps and hits a Muscle Buster in the middle of the ring. The ref counts to three, and it’s over. Joe is your new champion.
Winner: Samoa Joe to become the new NXT Champion
Joe holds the belt up high as we see highlights of the match.
Well that took a different turn than expected, but I like it. This match was an awesome brawl, far more intense than their last match. I’m disappointed that Joe won because it means he’s not heading up to the main roster any time soon, and I think there’s a spot for him on either brand. That said, there’s also a spot for Nakamura. He’s the kind of star you want on Wrestlemania, and they can start getting him hot now, if they choose to.
A solid Takeover event from top to bottom. Once again, the Tag Title match took it and ran with it, but the rest of the show felt newsworthy as well. I can’t help but look at the Takeover shows as graduations of sorts – as title losers do tend to “graduate” to the main roster in most cases. The Revival? They’re ready. Nakamura? He’s always been ready. But there has to be a spot for them, and I feel there is.
That said, a lot can happen at the next set of tapings, so we will have to wait and see.
Of course, tomorrow is Survivor Series, and a lot can happen in 24 hours too.
Bill will be by tomorrow with your marathon Survivor Series coverage, and I’ll be joining in on Twitter. Thanks for following along with me tonight folks!