WWE NXT Takeover: Orlando airs tonight on the WWE Network, starting at 8pm Eastern, with a preshow starting at 7:30, and we will have live coverage of the show, including any developments from the preshow that may happen.
Here is the currently advertised card:
- Bobby Roode (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT Championship
- Asuka (c) vs. Ember Moon for the NXT Women’s Championship
- The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar, w/ Paul Ellering) (c) vs. #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) in a Triple Threat Tag Team Elimination Match for the NXT Tag Team Championship
- Aleister Black vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
- Tye Dillinger & Roderick Strong & No Way Jose & Ruby Riot vs. SAnitY (Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain & Nikki Cross)
Be sure to join us for live coverage here starting at 8pm Eastern, and be sure to join us on Twitter as well for live commentary, @RingRap!
During the preshow, we see some security guards bring in a series of long briefcases into William Regal’s office. The preshow team makes it official – NXT gets new belts tonight.
The show begins with Triple H on the mic. He welcomes everyone to Orlando, because it’s WrestleMania week. He says tonight is “our” night, tonight we make history. We are NXT, and tonight, we are home.
We go to our opening video package. It’s a history of NXT – showing some of the biggest stars to come out of developmental. We see pictures of Dusty Rhodes, Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt, and others, before going to the hype package for the show itself.
WWE NXT Takeover: Orlando, live from the Amway Center
We have Nigel McGuinness, Tom Phillips, and Percy Watson on commentary. They introduce the show, and we go ringside.
SAnitY (Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain & Nikki Cross) vs. Tye Dillinger & Ruby Riot & Roderick Strong & Kassius Ohno
During the entrances, we see a clip of Sanity attacking No Way Jose during Axxess. The attack was pretty vicious, and culminated in using the steps to take Jose out. He is not medically cleared to compete. Instead, Tye, Ruby, and Roderick picked up Kassius Ohno!
The Action: The faces rush the ring and clear the ring. Ruby and Nikki start it off. Cross grabs onto the hair and starts slamming Riot’s head into the mat. Riot hits a nice move, driving her knees into the back of Cross’ head, straight into the turnbuckle. Cross sells it and tags in Alexander Wolfe. Riot is forced to tag, so in comes Ohno, who slaps Wolfe in the face and kicks Eric Young’s legs out from underneath him. Young rolls out and Ohno hits a senton on Wolfe. Ohno works the arm and goes for a cover, worth two.
Eric Young tags in briefly and Wolfe comes back in, as they isolate Ohno in their corner. Ohno makes a tag to Roderick Strong, and he’s on fire. He tosses Wolfe into Killian Dain, and hits a backbreaker on Young as Sanity empties into the ring one at a time. Strong gets cut off by a German suplex by Wolfe, and Wolfe tags out to Dain.
Dain keeps Roddy grounded with elbows. Roddy connects with a front kick and a knee for a hope spot, but Dain dropkicks him into Sanity’s corner. Eric Young tags in. He chokes Strong in the corner from the top turnbuckle, and drops an elbow. Wolfe back in. They keep Strong isolated. Rapid tags here.
Eric Young gets a cover on Strong, and Tye Dillinger walks in and breaks it up with a purpose. The two lock eyes and the crowd goes wild, but Dillinger isn’t legal. Young attacks him on the ropes, and goes back to attacking Strong. Young then takes down Ohno. Strong fights back. Young misses a running dropkick in the corner, and Strong makes the tag to Dillinger.
Dillinger is on fire and over in a huge way. He sends Sanity flying, hitting a DDT on Wolfe. The crowd is pumped for Dillinger. Nikki Cross runs in and Ruby Riot tackles her to the floor. Dillinger heads up top and hits a cross body on Wolfe, then dives through the ropes onto Young. Dain attacks Dillinger outside the ring, Strong hits a basement dropkick on Dain. Wolfe takes out Strong, and Ohno goes running, but Wolfe dodges, so Ohno handstands to the floor instead, where Dain takes him out. Ruby Riot runs the ropes, and Cross elbows her, cutting her off. Riot drops her to the mat and the two brawl to the floor.
Dillinger and EY back in the ring. Dillinger hits ten punches to the head. Back body drop to EY, and a superkick to Dain. Cover for two. Ohno in the ring, he takes out Wolfe, but EY hits a neckbreaker on Ohno. Young sets up Dillinger, and Strong hits a Sick Kick out of nowhere. It’s Strong and Dain, and the place is on fire as they go eye to eye.
Nikki Cross attacks Strong from behind, so Ruby Riot leaps onto Dain’s back too. Cross breaks the hold and attacks Riot, who tosses Cross out of the ring before hitting a dropkick on the apron. Back in the ring, Dillinger sets Dain up for the Tye Breaker, but Wolfe hits a superkick to break it. Wolfe hits his finisher on Dillinger for the win.
What a high-octane, insane match to start the show. Pure chaos, but I loved it. Everyone got their spots in and the crowd was super into it. I’m looking forward to seeing what Ruby Riot can do for the women’s division in NXT. She has a unique look and a solid reputation to work with.
Backstage, Bobby Roode stares at his NXT Title, and at ringside, it’s Edge and Beth Phoenix!
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Aleister Black
Almas comes to the ring first. Black’s entrance is a bit more sinister, as he almost seems to rise to his feet from a laying position. Pretty cool. His theme song is heavy metal, pretty awesome stuff. He comes off as a star in his walk to the ring. Black, formerly known as Tommy End, dives over the ropes and sits cross-legged in the middle of the ring.
The Action: The bell rings, and Black goes for a strike to the throat, but Almas dodges it. The two jockey for the advantage early on. Black misses a kick and there’s a standoff, with Almas posing on the mat. Almas gets chill between the ropes after a series of reversals. Black sits back, patient. Black sends Almas out of the ring and runs at him, but springboards back into the ring and lowers to a seated position, meditating.
Almas returns to the ring and they exchange reversals, with Black connecting with a spin kick. Almas hits a chop and a knee in the corner. Almas runs in and stops, taunting Black and slapping him in the face before hamming it up in the middle of the ring. Black takes a swing at Almas on the apron, and Almas ties him up in the ropes. Dropkick from the top for two.
Black kicks himself free. Almas grabs the hair, and Black hits a nice flurry of knees and strikes to break free. He sends Almas to the floor, and follows it up with a springboard moonsault off the turnbuckle to the floor. Impressive. Almas and Black trade blows. Black catches Almas on the apron, and Almas goes for the arm on the ropes again. Black counters a top rope move with a powerbomb, but Almas twists out of the pin into an armbar. Black breaks it on the ropes.
Almas lays in a series of forearms in the corner. He misses an attack in the corner. The two trade pin attempts. Both are laid out after a series of strikes. Black hits a knee, but Almas fires back with a flip double-kick for two. He connects with the double-knees in the corner. Almas goes for a DDT, but ends up hitting a snap German suplex bridged for two.
Black hits a leaping knee and a boot to the face. Make that two. Black lifts him up with his foot, and hits his finisher, Black Mask (a spinning kick to the head) for the victory.
The Winner: Aleister Black
Objectively, the match felt a bit overly choreographed at times. That said, it was a fun match and a very different match than the opener. Black looks and acts like a star, and that entrance certainly helped. Awesome theme, awesome everything. And Almas? He’s come a long way from his previous showings at NXT Takeover. I admit, I’m not currently able to follow the weekly program so it’s kind of nice to see huge leaps in quality in his work.
Anyhow, thumbs up for both men. Good match.
The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar, w/ Paul Ellering) (c) vs. #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) in a Triple Threat Tag Team Elimination Match for the NXT Tag Team Championship
The Revival come out to the ring first, followed by DIY, then The Authors of Pain. The Authors are wearing full masks – almost like gas masks without the canister. Masks off, and Ellering directs them into the ring.
The announcers stress the elimination aspect of the match, saying that for the titles to change hands, the champions must get pinned. William Regal stands in the ring prior to the bell, takes the old belts, and unveils new NXT Tag Titles. They have a much cleaner look, gold and silver, more traditional looking compared to the previous titles.
The Action: DIY and The Revival stand side by side at the bell, and immediately attack Akam and Rezar. Huge pop for that. The action spills out of the ring. DIY grab a table from under the ring and set it up on the floor. The fans go nuts. They go right back on the attack, but Akam sends them into the barricade. They send him into the steps in return.
The Revival apparently managed to take out Rezar, and both Revival and DIY slide into the ring. Sterep dropkicks from DIY, followed by some tandem moves. Gargano hits a dropkick to Wilder’s head. Ciampa stands on the apron for tagging purposes, and indeed, he tags in. Akam blind-tags Wilder and clotheslines both members of DIY before going after Ciampa, who is legal. Rezar tags in. Ciampa catches Rezar with a boot, but Rezar catches him. Ciampa wiggles out, and goes to tag to The Revival, who step off the apron and dodge the tag.
Rezar and Akam get the advantage. The ref is distracted by Rezar, and Revival get in the mix, taking out Ciampa’s leg while hitting a DDT on Akam. They tag Ciampa out. Tandem legdrop and a cover from Dawson for two. Dawson goes for a tag in DIY’s corner, and they return the favor from earlier, jumping off the apron.
Gargano tags out Akam and hits a dive through the ropes onto Dawson for two. Rolling kick to Wilder, enzuigiri to Dawson. Ciampa and Gargano take out AOP on the floor in a cool spot. Back to the ring, Gargano hits a slingshot DDT off the apron onto Dawson for two.
Gargano leaps out of the ring onto AOP, but they catch him and use him as a weapon, tossing him into the running Gargano, and then right into Wilder on the floor. The fans chant “This is awesome.” Hard to argue that. Rezar tags in and stomps Gargano. They double-team Gargano in their corner. Akam racks Gargano, and Gargano breaks free. Enzuigiri connects, and pushes Akam into Dawson, who hits a strike from the floor. Tag to Ciampa.
Ciampa hits a running knee to Rezar on the apron and connects with a snap suplex on Akam. Knee combo and another German from Ciampa. He’s on fire, and he hits a running knee. Kickout at two. Rezar climbs up onto the apron near the table, and Ciampa hits a flip powerbomb, but Gargano has to come in to help. The Revival chip in some assistance with a pair of elbows from inside the ring, and Rezar crashes through the table to the floor to huge applause.
Revival turn around and see Akam in a bad way. Both teams enter and square Akam up, surrounding him. He pushes away The Revival, and fights free of DIY. He sets Ciampa up for a powerbomb, Dawson tags in and locks in a submission. Gargano goes to break it up but stops short, and in turn locks in a crossface on Akam instead as Wilder and Ciampa hold watch. Somehow, Rezar makes it back to his feet and powers through Wilder and Ciampa to break the dual submission.
Everyone is laid out. Revival and DIY continue to work together to take on Rezar, with Dawson and Gargano setting up for a running knee and superkick. It connects, and Ciampa and Wilder hit a Shatter Machine on Akam. The fans chant “Holy shit!” AOP is out of the ring, and DIY and Revival square up. The Alliance doesn’t last long and they come to blows. Gargano and Wilder stop short of punching each other and dive onto AOP outside the ring instead.
Ciampa is on the apron. He climbs up top, but Dawson cuts him off and goes for a superplex from the top rope to the floor, onto everyone else at ringside. Now THAT was truly a holy shit moment. Dawson rolls Ciampa in, but Rezar hits a blind tag on Dawson. Akam tags in too, and they hit The Last Chapter on Ciampa to eliminate DIY.
#DIY is Eliminated by The Authors of Pain
The fans are not pleased with this as Wilder tries to fight off AOP. AOP double-team wilder. Rezar with a cover for two. Dawson hits a tag and they hit a tandem powerbomb/bulldog on Akam, and start hitting German suplexes/European Uppercuts on Rezar for two. Dawson ties up Rezar, but Rezar grabs his throat, hitting a choke slam. Wilder cuts off a Last Chapter by eating the clothesline. Dawson gets a near pin on a roll-up of sorts.
Stereo powerbombs from AOP. Wilder gets tossed outside the ring. Meanwhile, Dawson is unable to stand. Dawson sneaks in a cradle for two while WIlder holds onto Rezar. The cameras can’t keep up with the craziness. Wilder gets tossed into the barricade, Dawson into the turnbuckle. They hit a super-collider, powerbombing both men into each other before slamming them into the mat. It’s good for the three-count.
The Winners: The Authors of Pain to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships
Holy crap what an incredible tag match. Very much a chaotic brawl with some awesome tandem offense all around. The Authors look dominant in victory here, while DIY and Revival look somewhat foolish for not putting aside their feud to work together to eliminate AOP. Everything had purpose and logic though, and leaves me to wonder if either DIY or Revival (or both) are due for a callup in the very near future.
Regardless, The Authors of Pain are the team to beat, and right now, it doesn’t seem like anyone can.
Asuka (c) vs. Ember Moon for the WWE NXT Women’s Championship
Ember Moon out first, Asuka second. Once more, like with the tag titles, William Regal introduces a new title belt prior to the start of the match. No pink that I am aware of, but it does have a large X in the middle, similar to the current men’s title (though the belt is still traditional shaped).
The Action: The ladies track locks and armdrags as a loud, divided crowd chants for both. They dropkick each other’s feet in a stalemate.
Asuka extends a hand, and yanks it away. Ember handstands into a head scissors. They collide in the ring, and start challenging each other. She hits a hip attack. Ember fires back with a dropkick. Ember taunts Asuka and hits a series of kicks. Asuka hits a hip attack with Ember on the apron, and Ember crashes into the barricade.
Asuka kicks Moon to the mat. Moon sweeps out Asuka’s leg. Asuka hits another leaping hip attack. She lays in a pair of kicks near the ropes, but the ref breaks it. Asuka Lock attempt fails, Ember hits a nasty forearm, and Asuka rolls to the floor. Ember hits a sweet springboard cross-body to the floor. Moon heads back up top, but misses her attack. Asuka hits a shining wizard for two. She unleashes a series of roundhouses. Asuka Lock is on, but she can’t manage to get it in fully. She locks her legs up while Ember is on her feet, and Ember drops to a knee, but manages to power back up, breaking free of the hold.
Asuka misses a hip attack, and Moon counters with a side kick to the head. Both ladies are laid out, struggling for breath. Moon gets the better of a kick exchange. She sweeps out Asuka’s leg, hits a low dropkick, and unleashes a series of kicks before hitting a fallaway slam. Flip into a forearm connects, but Asuka shoves Moon into the ropes and hits a German Suplex off the second rope for two.
Both ladies trade forarms. Asuka recovers quickly, but Moon catches her kick and hits an t-bone suplex for two. Moon readies her finisher, but Asuka shoves the referee into the ropes, sending Moon to the mat. Asuka hits a roundhouse kick to the head to put Moon away
The Winner: Asuka to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
To date, I feel like this is the closest Asuka has come to losing the title. She had to cheat to win, which is not typical. A very physical match, and I feel like they’ll be coming back to this match again, with Moon getting the victory next time around. Overall very strong, very good match, and one of Asuka’s best title defenses.
The cameras show Drew Galloway (McIntyre) in the crowd (!!!) to thunderous applause.
Bobby Roode (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT Championship
Nakamura comes to the ring first. No choir, violins, or anything fancy tonight. Just plain, old, rockstar Nakamura. Bobby Roode gets dueling pianos instead Just when I think Matt and Jeff Hardy are about to delete us, Rood’s music hits. The lights come on, and Rood is on a small spinning platform at the entrance, as his music plays.
William Regal also debuts a new title prior to the start of the match. It’s very similar to the women’s title, but larger.
The Action: The audience is split for these two. Early on, Roode locks in a headlock. Nakamura backs Roode into the ropes and taunts him. Roode just laughs. He says NXT is his, and poses gloriously. Nakamura teases a kick and Roode runs off.
Roode hits a shoulder block, but Nakamura drops a knee to the face. He hits an enzuigiri and gyrates his foot on Roode in the corner. Roode bails out. Back in the ring, Roode sends Nakamura off the apron into the barricade, shoulder first. Roode stomps away at Nakamura in the corner. Chop to the chest connects.
Roode keeps control, locking in a nerve clamp to the neck in the middle of the ring. He hits a sequence with an elbow leading to a knee drop for two. Roode continues to wear down Nakamura. Nakamura starts to fire back with kicks, hitting a spin kick that drops Roode to a knee. Nak hits a series of kicks, a knee in the corner, and whips Roode across the ring, hitting a splash. He sets Roode across the top turnbuckle, and hits a running knee followed by a baseball slide. He drapes Roode on the apron and hits a running knee to the face, and follows it up with a diving knee off the apron to the back of the neck.
Roode breaks free of an exploder suplex attempt, and fires off a nasty clothesline. Rood hits chops in the corner, but catches a boot to the face. Shinsuke follows it up with a dropkick. He sets Roode up for the kinsasha. Roode dodges it and hits a chop block to the previously injured knee.
Roode immediately targets the knee, dropping elbows and wrapping it around the ringpost. Roode drags Nakamura into the middle of the ring and locks in a figure four leglock. Nakamura tries to push Roode’s foot, tries to roll it over, anything. He starts to roll the move, but Roode flips it back. Nakamura manages to successfully flip the move over. Roode breaks on the ropes and immediately goes back on the offense, attacking the leg.
Roode taunts him, telling him to quit. Nakamura reverses Roode’s taunt into an cross-armbar. Roode rolls with it, and Nak goes for a triangle choke. Roode powers up, but couldn’t get it, and Nakamura has the armbar again, just not quite fully locked. Roode breaks it on the ropes. Nakamura makes it to his feet, hitting kicks and knees while Roode is in the corner. The referee tries to break it as Nakamura is in the corner. He sends Roode into the turnbuckle and sets him up across the top turnbuckle again, but misses the running knee, hitting his bad leg in the corner.
Roode immediately goes back after the leg. Shinsuke kicks the arm with the other leg, and lays in roundhouses. Roode ducks a kick and hits a backstabber for a believable near fall. They stare each other down, face to face, struggling to their feet. They trade elbows back and forth. Roode kicks the leg. He goes for a DDT, but Nakamura counters and drops him face first. He hits a running knee for two. He sets up the kinsasha, and Roode bails out of the ring. Nakamura follows him and attacks. He rolls Roode into the ring. Roode kicks the middle rope as Nakamura climbs in and hits a Glorious DDT. Nakamura kicks out. Roode looks floored.
Both men are slow to get up, Roode making it first. He rolls to the floor and grabs the bell from the timekeeper’s area. The referee takes it away from him, and Roode begs him to disqualify him. Nakamura hits a roundhouse to the head, an exploder suplex, and sets up the kinsasha, but Roode hits a huge spinebuster for two.
The fans are on their feet chanting “This is awesome.” Nakamura connects with a driving shoulder block. Roode takes out the knee as Nak charges him. Roode sets up on top and comes off, hitting a “top rope” Glorious DDT. The referee counts and this one is good for the win.
The Winner: Bobby Roode to retain the NXT Championship
After the match, Roode stares at the title, coveting it, talking to it,
Far and away, I believe this is the best WWE-style match both of these men have had since being with the company. One might even argue that this is Nakamura’s best match in the company overall (compared to his debut against Sami Zayn). This was an absolutely tremendous match, much better than their first meeting and easily worthy of a Takeover main event, let alone a Wrestlemania main event.
I recall looking at the clock at 10:10, well into the match, wondering how they were going to fill up 20 more minutes of action. They did it with ease. They told a great story of Roode taking advantage of a previous injury, weakening Nakamura’s greatest weapon, and using every advantage he could get, short of actually, literally cheating to win.
Of course, the question on everyone’s mind: is Nakamura getting called up? I mean, I hope so! The main roster really could use someone with his presence, and Roode has shown he is more than capable as a champ within the WWE structure.
But how about the rest of the card? Easily the best TakeOver in some time. The past few TakeOvers have been a little off, as the main roster called up so many of their stars. Well, the gaps have been filled appropriately, and the brand was on fire tonight. Looking back on the matches, each one filled a different role in a different way, and they all held their own. It’s difficult for me to pick my favorite match of the night right now, but if you had to ask me at this very moment, I’m leaning towards the main event.
Speaking of favorite matches, we have two reader polls up on the site – pick the best match and rate the show on a 1-5 scale. Please take a moment to vote in both polls and let us know what you thought of the show tonight. Thank you for following along, and please join us tomorrow as Bill and I cover WrestleMania 33! Have a great night!