I didn’t expect Takeover: New York to steal the weekend, and it didn’t. But it did surprise me by having every match be better than all but two of the Wrestlemania matches, and most of them better than all but one.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: War Raiders (c) vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet: War Raiders keep the belts.
Holy shit. This turned out to be Black and Ricochet’s definitive farewell match in NXT, and everyone involved wrestled like it was. There was incredible action in this match from both teams, and once again I have to admit that while the War Raiders still do nothing for me as characters or champions, as in-ring performers they’re living up to the hype. Black and Ricochet took the pin, of course. (1/1)
North American Championship Match: Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Matt Riddle: Dream will retain and the match will be a hoot.
Dream did retain, as he should. The match was good, but the two of them didn’t click quite the way I thought they would, so the match was solid, but unexceptional. (2/2)
Fatal Four-way for the NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Bianca Belair vs. Kairi Sane vs. Io Shirai: I think the last match was setting up a Belair victory.
Nope! Baszler won. I still think they’re planning to move the belt to Belair. There was a hint this week that the Sky Pirates will be under Paige as manager and coming up to challenge the Iiconics, and that would leave Belair free to finally beat Baszler one on one, say, before Summerslam. Good match, and everyone looked great. (2/3)
United Kingdom Championship Match: Pete Dunne (c) vs. WALTER: as much as I love Pete Dunne, it’s time for him to drop the belt.
And it was. This was a great match - certainly the best I’ve seen out of Walter since his debut. Walter is many impressive things, but there are a couple of things he’s really bad at, like moving at any kind of speed at all, whether running around the ring or kicking out of a pin. Dunne’s not moving on yet, though. He’s insisting on a rematch, which should draw this out for a while. (3/4)
2-out-of-3 Falls Match for the NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole: NXT Champion Johnny Gargano.
I’ll give it to these guys. They knew they were going in under a disadvantage here just because Adam Cole was not Tommasso Ciampa. And they worked their asses off to build tension, build a story, and build the crowd. It was a bit of a dud during the first half of the match where this building was happening, but it just kept getting more exciting, and more tense, and better, and better, until the crowd in the arena and everyone at home was on the edge of their seats, wondering if Gargano was going to win, and if so, how. Great stuff. (4/5)