One Man’s Wrestling Opinion
NXT Takeover 31 Review
As usual, this was a very good Pay Per View. What I love about TakeOvers is that there is only five matches so they have plenty of time to breathe and develop and you are not stuck watching a four-hour show. I will keep saying it. NXT just needs to do what they always do and not play up to the ratings war.
Realistically they won’t win the ratings war week after week so why try. Just put on the type of shows you have always done. NXT needs to develop stars again and this TakeOver did just that. Also, the Capitol Wrestling Center looks amazing. I went 4-1 with my predictions which is something I hate when I look at any card.
Damian Priest(c) def. Johnny Gargano North American Title Match
Gargano really put over Priest in this match. He is really a great worker. I mentioned this before that I don’t know what Gargano has left to do at NXT. Seeing that he lost and his wife lost could they be going to the main roster? I mean it looks like WWE could be doing the power couple angles with so many of them possibly forming in the coming weeks.
I like Priest too. I want to see him have a good title run. And I like it when a PPV match ends a feud.
Kushida def. The Velveteen Dream
So Kushida is a heel now and showed a more aggressive side to him. I feel that Kushida has been a disappointment since signing with NXT. I know he has had injuries but he is a good worker. As for the Dream can you say that he is getting punished for his legal troubles? But why is he getting a PPV match? Maybe because they are going to bury him and write him off of TV for a long while.
Kushida really worked that arm and attacked him twice after the match. It got to the point that the Dream was screaming in pain yelling to make him stop. Excellent selling by the Dream and a good overall match. But it’s sad that the Dream could not stay out of trouble and burying one of your best workers is never a good thing. Hopefully, Kushida gets a push out of this.
Santos Escobar(c) def. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott Cruiserweight Title Match
Excellent match and these guys can really work. This was the one match where I predicted a title change and I got this wrong. Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde tried to interfere when Ashante “Thee” Adonis came to even up the odds. I can’t really say the in-ring action was bad I just hate the outside stuff. I did want to see a title change here but it looks like Triple H has other plans.
Io Shirai(c) def. Candace LaRae NXT Women’s Title Match
There is a lot to unpack here. First of all, Io is tremendous in the ring. She should hang onto the title at least through the end of the year. LaRae has gotten better and she is much better as a heel. Secondly, I really didn’t need to have Johnny Gargano interfere in a woman’s match and put on the referee’s shirt. Like I mentioned before both Gargano and LaRae could be headed to Raw or Smackdown. But a good match.
Now lastly to have both Toni Storm come back and also Ember Moon be revealed as the mystery former champion just makes no sense to have both come back on the same show. Storm and Moon should have had that moment all to themselves. You could have had Storm cut that same promo on the weekly show when Io is in the ring talking about who could be her next opponent. I would have Moon and Io in the ring cutting promos and then have Storm appear on the Tron. Clearly, both of them will be in the hunt for the title.
Man NXT’s women division is so stacked. Even if LaRae goes to RAW or SD both Storm and Moon are better then her.
Finn Balor(c) def. Kyle O’Reilly NXT Heavyweight Title Match
Great match. Very physical. Both guys got legit injured. The right guy won the match. After the match, Balor shook Kyle’s hand. Rumor has it that Balor ended the match early due to the injuries and also might have given Kyle a receipt for possibly breaking his jaw.
But the night was not over as Ridge Holland carried a beaten down Adam Cole to ringside and dumped him on the floor. The rest of the Undisputed Era came running to Cole’s aide. SO I am curious to see where they are going with this. And the pretty much confirms that the Undisputed Era is not going to Raw or Smackdown.