October 9, 2015 by gorillapressonline
This NXT Takeover special marks a significant milestone for WWE‘s little developmental show that could, as they simultaneously reach 300 episodes – what better way to celebrate than with this stacked card!?
All eyes will be on the super-talented women headlining the event, as Bayley defends her NXT championship against the Boss Sasha Banks in the first ever Iron Wom, an match.
Elsewhere, new recruit Asuka also gets her hands on Dana Brooke in her début match which is also an enticing prospect. The card is stacked, so without any further ado let’s get to it.
Dusty Rhodes Invitational Semi-Final: Finn Balor & Samoa Joe Vs Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder
The Dusty Rhodes Invitational appropriately kicks things off as a rowdy Full Sail welcomes Finn Balor and Samoa Joe as they fight Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder for a spot in the final.
Dash and Dawson throw a tremendous amount of offence onto Joe and Balor in the early stages, targeting the injured knee of Finn Balor in a wise move from the heel duo.
Balor and Joe sell the heel offence perfectly and do a significant amount of work to allow Dash and Dawson to get some heat.
It doesn’t take the faces long to get the upper hand, though, as Balor delivers some devastatingly loud chops followed immediately by two beautiful drop-kicks.
The dynamic between Dash and Dawson helps give them gravitas as a team and it is a shame that they weren’t in a position to go over two of the top talents in NXT.
Joe and Balor wrap things up With the Musclebuster and Coup De Grace combo but as Balor gets the win for his team he is seen nursing the injured knee, which will surely play a factor as they progress to the final.
Excellent opener to set the tone for the evening as Samoa Joe and Finn Balor move on to the final
Dusty Rhodes Invitational Semi-Final: Chad Gable & Jason Jordan Vs Rhyno & Baron Corbin
Pairing Gable and Jordan was a brilliant decision and the technical, classic tag team wrestling of this duo is a delight to witness.
Jason Jordan goes toe-to-toe with Baron Corbin and comes out on top in an impressive feat of strength and agility, to start. Both he and Gable are over with the crowd – at one point they even chant “Ga-ble” mimicking the old Kurt Angle chant.
Chad Gable and Jason Jordan look the better of the two teams but their monster opponents use brute force to gain the advantage. And, when they do, the Full Sail crowd boo the hell out of the heels.
Although it makes sense to have the heel/face dynamic in the final it would’ve been great to see Gable and Jordan face off against Joe and Balor.
Gable utilises a wonderful bridging German Suplex, which was even more impressive given it was applied to the much larger Corbin.
Another hard-hitting and kinetic tag match, which unravels into exciting chaos and ends, appropriately, with the End of Days allowing Baron Corbin and Rhyno to progress to the final.
Although it was Gable and Jordan who stole the show here – and honestly their match could easily have lasted another solid ten minutes and still have been entertain g – it was a fantastic showing from the winning duo.
Corbin and Rhyno take a well-earned spot in the final
Asuka Vs Dana Brooke
The highly-anticipated NXT début of Asuka is next up and, to signal it, the VT from last week airs first to drum up some excitement before the fans get their first glimpse at the quality ring work of this world-renowned international talent.
As Asuka stares down the ring, savouring the crowd, her eyes frantically shift around the arena. She methodically strolls down, looking over herself in a menacing pose, making it clear that she means business.
The thing that stands out first and foremost is the sheer speed of Asuka. Lightning fast kicks and transitions to submissions and into new manoeuvres will hook in new fans of hers and please old ones alike.
As Dana Brooke exchanges blows with Asuka,the Japanese super-talent absorbs them all with a manic glee, quickly shifting the momentum with a brutal armbar.
The outcome of the match was under no quarrel, of course, but the journey is still a delight to witness.
Every time that Dana Brooke escapes a submission, Asuka finds a way to apply a new hold. A jumping armbar is particularly impressive and is shortly followed up by a modified chicken wing. Asuka also strikes with tenacity – her knee strikes look seriously dangerous.
Dana Brooke submits to the Asuka-lock as she destroys the opposition in her début. NXT hit the nail on the head with this match and this opens up the already stacked women’s roster and title picture. Asuka looks unstoppable.
Asuka steals the win in the first of tonight’s important women’s matches
Here, Prince Pretty once again puts in a solid performance against the agile big man Crews. Apollo Crews has a great look and is another indy darling who has adapted well to the way of working at Full Sail; he looks the part, pulls off impressive feats and can definitely work a crowd.
Even though Breeze is a heel, the crowd are totally behind this workhorse and rightfully so, he has proven he can work well with anyone and make them look good. Crews takes a really nasty bump into the ring apron forcing a close two count but still looks a million bucks.
One of the great things about NXT in general is the amount of work the talent put in with each other, to put their colleagues over, for the greater good. What could easily be one-sided based on size alone, in archaic WWE fashion, isn’t evident here (for the most part) and is better off for it.
Apollo Crews hits a huge flying clothesline, which Breeze valiantly fights back, refusing to give up in a back and forth bout keeping the fans invested throughout.
Crews flips over Breeze, quickly getting back into the ring, and as he turns to face Breeze he eats a Supermodel Kick. As Crews goes for the standing moonsault the great ring awareness of Tyler Breeze allows him to get his knees up to thwart the attack.
Apollo Crews has had to fight hard in this match-up and this is the first true test he has faced at Full Sail.
Crews garners a victory with a powerbomb in yet another solid bout on this card
Dusty Rhodes Invitational Final: Finn Balor and Samoa Joe Vs Baron Corbin and Rhyno
This is left mainly to Samoa Joe as Balor is still nursing that knee. Joe is relentless in his attack and his pacing is impressive for a guy of his size.
Although the outcome was evident from the get-go, much like the Asuka bout, the journey to get there was fun, with quick saves from both sides keeping the fans guessing and the talent in the ring controlled the pacing and action when needed to keep them engaged throughout.
As Finn Balor gets into the ring, much more sprightly than anticipated, he riles the crowd up as only the enigmatic Irishman can. The size factor of Corbin is used well and he is slowly coming into his own, particularly when he is given time to tell a story. Balor gets the upper hand with his slingblade and the teams switch with Rhyno and Joe going head to head.
As Rhyno goes for the gore, Joe wisely counters with a kick before once again setting up the Musclebuster/Coup De Grace combo that won the semi-final earlier.
As anticipated, it works again, as Finn Balor and Samoa Joe become the inaugural team to hold the Dusty Rhodes Invitational Championship.
The trophy is presented, aptly by Dusty’s children Cody and Dustin Rhodes. Cody gives a heartwarming and well-spoken tribute, and, much like his eulogy, its hard not to shed a tear in a fitting moment for all of NXT and its fans. Dusty Rhodes was instrumental in the success of NXT and he is sorely missed.
The crowd chants “Thank you Dusty” as Balor and Joe pose with the trophy in a beautiful, emotional moment. It’s times like this where wrestling tugs at the old heartstrings and makes us all proud to be fans.
Balor and Joe take the win in a thrilling display
Speaking of emotion, the show-stealing match that these two had at the last Takeover event was rife with passion and emotion, in which it is hard not to get entangled.
Rightfully positioned in the Main Event slot tonight’s match is, thankfully, a show stealer yet again, filled with tears, joy and, most of all, respect.
From the moment Bayley and Sasha step into the ring and are announced you can see the feelings stirring in both competitors, stoically stood at either end of the ring this speaks volumes. The crowd chants “women’s wrestling” as the bell rings and the final (?) showdown begins.
The methodical circling and stare-down seems like an age as the clock ticks mere seconds off the match, with the crowd waiting in anticipation. Sasha Banks takes it to the champ in a beautiful string of chain wrestling, leaving the challenger on top. But then, Bayley tries to steal that elusive first pin-fall with a backslide.
These two can craft a real story with their ring psychology, as the champ is down and the Boss is standing over her their expressions and body language add to the action tenfold. This is a hard feat to pull off and is testament to how much these women love wrestling and how lucky we, as fans, are to witness it.
As the clock ticks to the 20 min mark, Sasha Banks uses heel tactics to steal a pin fall with a swift poke to the eye to claim first blood.
Sasha Banks 1-0
It doesn’t take long for Bayley to tie things up as the Boss looks to be capitalising on the champ. A great spot of ring awareness allows Bayley to hit a Bayley-To-Belly suplex.
Sasha Banks 1 Bayley 1
The boss throws Bayley out of the ring and, as her family and super fan Izzy watch, she takes the time to talk a little trash. And, in another nice little touch, Sasha throws Bayley into the LED clock display forcing a count-out and giving her the lead. To add insult to injury, she steals Izzy’s headband adding a further dimension to the onslaught.
Sasha Banks 2-1.
The mean streak of the Boss runs throughout this match. Sasha is one of the top heels in the company right now and she outclasses herself on every occasion. Once again, though, her lead is short lived as Bayley pours everything in and steals another victory.
Sasha Banks 2 Bayley 2
As clock shows a measly 10 mins left, both competitors throw everything but the kitchen sink at each other. The impressive amount of work that has gone into this is paying massive dividends. Both are worn out as it gets to crunch time, yet the determination and passion is fuelling the match and the crowd hugely.
A brutal Bayley-To-Belly Suplex on the concrete earns a well-deserved “Holy shit!” chant, as the clock dwindles to less than 5 minutes. Sasha Banks shows great ring awareness here, stopping a pin fall with her foot on the ropes with less than three mins to go.
As Bayley hits the reverse hurricanrana – aptly called Bayleycanrana – the Boss somehow manages to land on her feet. Unaware of this Bayley, pulls her ponytail tight and turns, allowing the Boss to use her own Suplex on her for a hairpin close count. Sasha Banks wastes no time and applies the Banks Statement, leaving the champion writhing in pain, fighting both the submission and the clock.
Bayley 3 Sasha Banks 2
As the seconds tick away on the clock, Bayley manages to escape the lock only to place it on her rival. The final ten seconds edge slowly by and, finally, as the clock hits 2 the challenger taps out to her own submission allowing Bayley to retain her belt in a match that didn’t live up to expectations but smashed them into tiny pieces.
Bayley retains in a stunning, deservedly top billed bout
Respect is a word that has been thrown a lot around in NXT of late, yet these two, hugely-talented women delivered a 30-min, non-stop, adrenaline-fuelled match earning them every drop of respect that can be offered to them.
It’s a magnificent pay-off all round, as the whole NXT roster greet them. Tears flow freely between Bayley, Banks and the NXT universe, with uproarious chants echoing around the arena.
Triple H presents both women with bouquets of flowers as this outstanding event draws to a close, and once again NXT makes history.
Top to bottom this was a solid card, with every match delivering, which is rare for a PPV, let alone a developmental Special Event.
NXT marked this milestone by setting themselves the mammoth task of surpassing yet another excellent Takeover event.
And, judging by this evidence, there’s no doubt they will.
Catch NXT every Wednesday on the WWE Network