NXT Takeover: Toronto took place on Saturday November 19, 2016. It was the first Takeover special to take place in Canada and it was highlighted by the crowning of new NXT Tag Team Champions and a new NXT Champion.
We will give our thoughts on the show and whether we agreed with the winners.
Bobby Roode def. Tye Dillinger
Authors of Pain def. TM61 to win the 2016 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Trophy
DIY def. The Revival in a 2 out of 3 falls match to become the new NXT Tag Team Champions
Asuka def. Mickie James to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
Samoa Joe def. Shinsuke Nakamura to regain the NXT Championship
Roode vs. Dillinger
Bobby Roode is the man with the best damn entrance in the WWE right? That choir looked all serious and stuff singing along to his theme song.
Greg: So fucking glorious! But where were the waterfalls of maple syrup and beavers carrying him to the ring?
BigFreaky: I too was missing the maple syrup waterfalls. I could have used a bit more smoke too.
TOZ: I think Nakamura and Finn Balor are the only ones who rival Roode in entrance.
Allen: I too was taken back by how glorious the choir serenaded Roode to the ring. Hell, I got so hyped that I sang along to his theme, as well as most of the people in the Air Canada Centre. I felt it started Takeover on the right path and you can always feel the tone of their specials set them apart form their main roster counterparts.
Was Roode the right man to win or did you think Dillinger was due?
Greg: I wanted Tye to win but Roode winning is not so bad either. At least he has a better finisher now compared to when he beat Almas at the last Takeover special. It needs a cool name other than impaler DDT. Something glorious. How about Glorious Bomb?
BigFreaky: Tye apparently is the new major underdog, but can he ever win a match?
TOZ: Roode all the way
Allen: Roode should be in the NXT main event scene, so his victory was destined. Impaler DDT is a lot better than the pump handle slam he was using previously.
It sure seemed like Dillinger was disappointed after the match. Or was he taking in the atmosphere of the event in his home country?
Greg: Hopefully taking in the atmosphere. It kinda looked like he was on his last night in NXT. I dunno.
BigFreaky: The feeling it gave me was like he was retiring. I hope that not to be true, just taking it all in.
TOZ: Absorbing the moment.
Allen: If he was disappointed, he was taking it in like he is Sami Zayn 2.0. I felt like it was his last match in NXT and the crowd acknowledged his efforts. He should debut at the Royal Rumble at number 10, the perfect entry number.
Authors of Pain vs. TM61
The whole shark cage deal, kinda hokey wasn’t it?
Greg: Hella hokey.
BigFreaky: So much of NXT is a bit of a callback to old school wrestling. I think it fits into the tourney, but yes hokey.
TOZ: Approved hokiness.
Allen: Meh, I liked that they were using history in relation to the match. It put a different spin on the tournament and all the old school fans can see when Ellering was first in the shark cage back on the WWE Network.
These guys put on a hell of a match. Who were you more impressed with, TM61 or the Authors of Pain?
Greg: I like both teams. At first I thought the Authors of Pain were kind of lame and were going to be another lumbering big man team. But they seem to be more than that. TM61, I only heard from BigFreaky about them. They seem to live up to their billing from all their work in NOAH.
BigFreaky: I know how TM61 can be, AOP seems to have stepped up their game since the early ugly beatings they have handed out so far.
TOZ: Am I bad person to say neither? I wasn’t invested in the match going in, and I wasn’t converted during the course of the match.
Allen: Was very impressed with TM61 and the strength they were showing throwing around AOP a few times. Of course they flew around a bit as well so they are very well balanced. AOP held their own and put on a quality match and left looking strong with the win.
With the Authors of Pain winning do you think they are first in line to challenge for the tag belts?
Greg: Sure. Maybe after dad bods get their rematch with DIY and lose again.
BigFreaky: They will think they are due, but I’m afraid they’ll still have to wait a bit.
Allen: The only ones that I see that can stop AOP would be DIY.
DIY vs. The Revival
Match of the night yes?
Greg: Absolutely. It was this or the main event. I think this edged out the main event due to more emotional involvement in DIY’s journey.
BigFreaky: For sure. Their story is even longer to me, than just their time in NXT.
TOZ: For sure.
Allen: 100% agree with match of the night. Hell, it could be match of the year given that they gave them a great story, had time to develop that story, had time for both DIY and Revival to work with each other and create spectacular must-see tag team matches.
Johnny Gargano’s legs always get beat up. Maybe he needs to protect them more often?
Greg: Gargano gotta do more squats or start doing some sort of weird monk training to get his chi to make his legs as strong as iron or something.
BigFreaky: I think they just had to do the callback to the last match where he had to tap out. Instant emotion comes calling back. (But the magic of healing is prevalent when titles are acquired)
TOZ: Time to step up the squat game.
Allen: Sell the leg injury Johnny! He had both legs worked on. Time to get thicker kick pads and knee braces for Christmas, Johnny. Everyone knows your weak points now.
This match had some very cool sequences near the end, what did you think of them trying to finish the match with the other team’s finishers?
Greg: The ending sequences were great and played into both teams doing whatever they can to finish their opponents and insult them at the same time. Dawson trying to stop Wilder from tapping out was fantastic before eventually succumbing to the pain as well.
BigFreaky: I love that kind of thing, especially when you think it really is going to end on the opponent’s finisher.
Allen: I really thought DIY would have won with the Shatter Machine, they got me there. I liked that they had both Dash and Dawson tap together. They lost together and it doesn’t make them look like one of the is weaker if only one of them tapped out.
Did you cry manly tears when DIY finally won?
Greg: No. But I celebrated nonetheless.
BigFreaky: Of course (Actual personal investment in their story)
Allen: Oh man back when they were in Houston, I saw them steal the show with their tag match. I just knew they had me ever since and any time either of the teams are wrestling, I have to tune in. I gave them a standing ovation then, I did the same when DIY won the championship.
Asuka vs. Mickie James
Mickie James looking pretty good yes?
Greg: Yes, even though she’s been away from the WWE for a while she’s still been working with other organizations. I think the “you still got it” chants were kind of lame since it shows some fans still don’t look outside the WWE universe when talents leave.
But regardless of what I think about the chants, she definitely did not show any ring rust to adjust back to the WWE style.
BigFreaky: For some talent, it is just like riding a bike. Most chants I hear lately from fans are just stupid. “You still got it” isn’t quite as bad as “You deserve it”
TOZ: Not like she was just sitting on a couch for years. Not surprised.
Allen: I wouldn’t mind her back on the main roster, they need more girls. She can still go with any of them.
This was the most physical match Asuka has had during her title reign. Do you think it humanized her a bit since she is sold as robotic wrecking machine?
Greg: Asuka was close to suffering the same syndrome suffered by one Goldberg, Bill. It’s nice to be an unstoppable machine but it’s also good to show some vulnerability. Which is what this match did while still showing Asuka can pull out a win when challenged by an opponent of equal skill as her.
BigFreaky: Asuka was just toying with her. I still don’t know who is going to give her any run for her money. Unless they have a name like Io, or Kairi… but let’s just save that for a later date.
TOZ: I do think she was humanized, but I never got any Goldberg vibes. I think she’s too dynamic and too good of a performer to fall into that trap.
Allen: I never felt like she was robotic, if anything she is showing more confidence and cockiness because she has been destroying ladies left and right.
Do you like cocky, heelish Asuka? Or would you rather her be a tweener who changes allegiances depending on the opponent?
Greg: Heelish Asuka is great. She has the mannerisms down. I think fans will be behind her whether she shows heel or face tendencies.
BigFreaky: Cocky, heelish Asuka is what brought her here, and I don’t think it’s ever something she could ever stop doing, it is her.
TOZ: Why does she need to be a tweener? Heel Asuka is best Asuka.
Allen: Love cocky, confident Asuka. She is being built up like WWE’s Ronda Rousey, and she doesn’t have to say much. All she does is win.
Do you think there will be another match with James? If not, who is next in line for Asuka?
Greg: The ending of the match seems to indicate there might be more to this story than we thought. Hopefully James sticks around a little longer. The NXT women’s locker room could use more experience to help all the youngsters get better.
BigFreaky: I think Mickie is done with Asuka, but could stay around for a spell. There is seriously only about 4-5 gals I can think of on the planet that could give her a run for the money.
TOZ: I don’t think there will be another match. BigFreaky is right, only a handful of people in the world can truly keep up with Asuka.
Allen: I wouldn’t mind if stayed around NXT for a few months. They prefer to do long storylines in NXT but Mickie can fit right back into the main roster and give more of a veteran presence on Raw.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe
What was the deal with all the violin players in Nak’s entrance? And why were they all so bad at faking playing? Also boo to the lady trying to steal the spotlight by getting too hyped while fake playing.
Greg: Apparently Nakamura gets more violin players as he gets more popular. By NXT’s next Takeover he’ll have an army of them like John Cena’s clones at Wrestlemania. Hopefully they find better people to fake playing their instruments.
BigFreaky: The fact that it was so fake, made it kinda suck. Live violin rocks, weirdo fucks who don’t know wtf they are doing suck.
TOZ: Agreed, boo to the spotlight-stealing woman. Ain’t no half-steppin. Either you get people to actually play or nobody comes out with him. Bring back the violin player from Brooklyn.
Allen: I still thought the entrance was really cool but like I tweeted out that night, “One black man playing violin > 10 Canadians playing the violin. That lady wanted to get a piece of that Strong Style sexiness that is Nakamura.
This was a much more complete match than their first encounter that had a hungry Joe pulling out all the stops to regain his title. What do you think of him becoming champion again?
Greg: Well, this is one way of keeping Joe in NXT a little longer. Like I said in our predictions, he’s hit his ceiling but now is not the time to be called up. Extending this program will keep him at bay until the time is right. Say, uh.. January?
TOZ: No problem. Let Joe run shit for a bit longer.
Allen: I’m ok with Joe winning because it was still an excellent match. The problem is that the longer Joe is NXT, the more time he isn’t on the main roster. One more match left for these two.
So early in the match Joe was attacking Shinsuke’s leg. Do you think Nakamura forgot to sell the leg as the match went on? Graves had to cover that fact a little bit during commentary. Or did you not notice?
Greg: This is the second time that Nakamura kinda forgets to sell a body part being hurt. (see his televised match with Balor) Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but you know it’s good to keep some consistency with how your opponent’s attacks are affecting your body.
I’m pretty sure most fans watching didn’t notice that at all anyway. They were all still hyped from the violin players.
BigFreaky: This wasn’t the only match that had legs that were supposed to be hurt, but magically healed quickly….
TOZ: … I’d missed that part, actually.
Allen: Strong Style?
There is most likely going to be a final rubber match in this feud eventually. Do you think it will be a one on one or are we looking at a gimmick match of some sort?
BigFreaky: I think the final will be a 1v1…. Where it goes, I’m flabbergasted on what happens. A buncha bullshit went down to end the match, the next match will have to be something like submission only.
Greg: I’m thinking this will get the first NXT Hell in A Cell match to finish the feud and send Joe on his way to the main roster to become an Uso.
BigFreaky: Can’t he be a Shining Star?
Greg: No. He must be member of the Samoan Dynasty. He is destined due to him being a big Samoan guy and WWE likes lumping them all together whether they are related by blood or not.
BigFreaky: How about Jinder Mahal’s brother?
Greg: Only if they bring back the Great Khali and they form a new 3 minute warning or even better, 3 count. The world needs a rebirth of 3 count.
TOZ: Not sure if HIAC is the call, but it’s gotta get more violent.
Allen: I see them having a No DQ match to finish their NXT feud. Joe can finally meet up with his new Samoan cousin, Roman Reigns.