Sunday night has come and gone, and so has another NXT TakeOver.
TakeOver: In Your House, like every wrestling event for the past several months, had a different feel to it. However, that didn’t take away from the action inside the ring. They even spiced up the stage a little bit, so that was cool!
But let’s not waste any time and get straight into the matches!
Mia Yim, Tegan Nox, & Shotzi Blackheart vs. Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, & Raquel González
Kicking things off was a six-woman tag match filled to the brim with tension.
Early on, everyone got their time in the ring. Nox and Kai renewed their hostilities with each other, as did Yim and LeRae. It was a back and forth match throughout, with neither team having momentum for very long.
Things heated up when Yim and LeRae battled on the outside of the ring. Eventually the two left ringside and continued fighting into the backstage area. This left Blackheart and Nox to deal with Kai and González.
After several double-team moves, Nox hit Kai with The Shiniest Wizard to pick up the win for her team.
It was a decent match, not sloppy but also not a “match of the year” candidate either. There was a lot of fast-paced action, but they never really spent much time on either of the two feuds within the match. I highly doubt that this is the end for Nox and Kai (along with Blackheart and González), as well as Yim and LeRae.
Finn Balor vs. Damian Priest
Up next, The Prince sought revenge against The Archer of Infamy.
While Balor got a few shots in early, Priest controlled the momentum for almost the entire match. Him winning seemed almost inevitable; when Balor tried to mount a comeback, he had an answer every time.
He looked to put the nail in the coffin by hitting Razor’s Edge off the ring apron onto the steel steps below. However, Balor countered and knocked him onto the steps in a nasty looking spot. Priest never recovered, and two Coup de Graces later, Balor emerged victorious.
A lot of people were not expecting much out of this match, but I think it surprised many. Both men made this look like they had wrestled each other for years, which shows how talented they are. Priest still looked good even in defeat, but now we’ll have to wait and see where each man goes from here.
NXT North American Championship: Keith Lee (c.) vs. Johnny Gargano
Then came our first title match of the night, with the North American Championship on the line.
Gargano followed up on his attack on Lee from last week, targeting the champ’s eye and left hand. It took a little while, but the challenger finally started to wear the big man down. However, it didn’t last long, as Lee pounced Gargano through one of the plexiglass dividers at ringside.
He peeled Johnny Wrestling’s body off the floor and started to carry him back to the ring. LeRae then tried to interfere, but Yim made sure she didn’t. But while the two women brawled through the ring, the distraction allowed Gargano to gouge Lee’s other eye with a key.
It certainly seemed like the end once he hit his patented DDT, but the champion managed to kick out at two. Gargano tried several kicks to the head, and still couldn’t put Lee away. The Limitless One then caught him with three powerbombs, adding a Big Bang Catastrophe for good measure. One three count later and he is still the North American Champion.
Knowing what both men are capable of, many were expecting this to be match of the night. While I don’t think it got to that level, it was still very good. Fans are used to seeing these two use some exciting, high-octane offense, but there was very little of that here.
Instead, they relied more on slowing the pace down and focusing on storytelling. I personally think it worked; it just wasn’t something we’re used to with these two.
Backlot Brawl, NXT Championship: Adam Cole (c.) vs. The Velveteen Dream
After that came the Backlot Brawl for the NXT Championship.
In true Adam Cole fashion, he showed up to the fight in a souped-up monster truck. On the other hand, Dream showed up in a Lamborghini and dressed as Negan from The Walking Dead.
Cole wasted little time trying to escape with the title, but Dream wasn’t having it. The two fought in and out of an Uber, then moved to the fake buildings. The champ hid in one and emerged to spray Dream with a fire extinguisher.
The two moved to a ladder positioned outside the ring. Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish showed up, but not before Dream pushed Cole off the ladder onto a car windshield below. Strong and Fish proceeded to beat down the challenger and started to throw chairs into the ring.
But Dexter Lumis appeared and attacked them both with a chair. He stuffed them into the trunk of a car and drove off, leaving Cole and Dream to fight by themselves.
Just when Dream looked to finish things off, Cole hit him with a low blow. He followed that up with a Panama Sunrise onto the pile of chairs to help him retain the title.
WWE loves their cinematic matches, but this one paled in comparison to the other recent attempts. Rumor has it that the match was filmed after midnight thanks to a rain delay. Honestly, you can tell.
Both men did the best with what they had, but luckily this feud is finally over. Now they can hopefully move on to better things.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Karrion Kross
Next, we saw easily the shortest match on the entire card.
Right from the opening bell, Kross took the fight to Ciampa and never let up. Even when The Blackheart tried to mount some offense, he just couldn’t gain any momentum. He tried one final attempt at a comeback, but it amounted to nothing.
Kross locked Ciampa in the Kross Jacket and made him pass out to gain the victory.
You could have blinked and missed this match. However, it proved how dominant Kross is in the ring. It just surprised me how easily he took down Ciampa, one of the best performers in NXT history. Now we’ll have to wait and see who Kross and Scarlett decide to target next.
NXT Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c.) vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Io Shirai
Finally, we come to our main event of the evening.
Flair took control of the match early on, until the numbers game caught up to her. Then Ripley started to gain momentum, with Shirai not far behind at every turn.
The fight spilled to the outside and made its way up to the entrance stage. Flair threw Shirai through the window prop and then engaged in an all-out brawl with Ripley. While those two went at it, Shirai found her way up to the roof of the prop house and dove onto the competitors below.
After the action returned to the ring, Ripley seemed moments away from capturing the title. However, Flair resorted to using a kendo stick on both of her opponents. She locked Ripley in the Figure Eight, but Shirai hit The Nightmare with a moonsault to finally become the NXT Women’s Champion.
Without a doubt, this was the best match of the night. All three women worked off each other’s skill-sets and showed the incredible chemistry they have together. Even though Ripley and Flair had their feud going into this match, Shirai fit right in seamlessly.
The Genius of the Sky now sits atop the NXT women’s division, and it’s about time.
Overall, I’d say TakeOver: In Your House was a very good show. It could have easily not done as well given the circumstances, but they took the ball and rolled with it anyways. Even in this weird situation we’re all living in right now, NXT still knows how to put on quite a show.
Overall Grade: B+
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Shalenehixon21. Thanks for reading!