NXT takes over Phoenix! With so many titles on the line, who comes out holding gold at the end of the night? Will Aleister finally make Ciampa #FadeToBlack?
- NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era’s Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong VS The War Raiders; The War Raiders win and become the new NXT Tag Team Champions.
- Matt Riddle VS Kassius Ohno; Riddle wins.
- NXT North American Championship: Ricochet VS Johnny Gargano; Gargano wins and becomes the new NXT North American Champion.
- NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler VS Bianca Belair; Baszler wins and retains the NXT Women’s Championship.
- NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa VS Aleister Black; Ciampa wins and retains the NXT Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
Welcome to the NXT TakeOver Preshow!
Join Charly Caruso, Sam Roberts and Pat McAfee as they review the action that led up to tonight’s incredible match card!
It’s finally time for the Year End Awards for 2018!
These awards are great honors for the superstars of NXT, but they’re even more special because fans voted for the winners!
The first award awarded tonight will be the Breakout Star of 2018! So many great nominees, but the winner is… The One and Only Ricochet! Ricochet is the second North American Champion and is already a winner with this award. Ricochet had a great 2018 but to pinpoint his favorite moment, was winning this NXT NAC. How will he keep running so high now that it’s 2019? By beating Johnny Gargano in their match tonight, of course. Will the wins keep racking up for the King of Flight?
Second is Match of the Year for 2018! Every match on the nominee list was an instant classic, but only one can be the best for 2018, and that match is… TakeOver: Brooklyn, Andrade Almas VS Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship! Gargano has had many great matches, but does he feel his match tonight will be even be better? Well this is Gargano’s second MOTY award, and this match in particular was the transformation of Johnny Wrestling into Johnny Takeover. However, there are two sides to every match, and Zelina Vega arrives to accept Almas’ part of the award on his behalf. And she doesn’t get how Gargano can talk like that when he lost this very match. Gargano’s ego is going out of control.
What has Gargano done since losing to Almas? Almas is on SmackDown, beat Rey Mysterio and is taking over the main roster. Meanwhile, Gargano is “still coming up short.” 2018 was Johnny Takeover’s year, but 2019 is the Year of Tranquilo. Gargano admits to that. But he’s going to get himself a third MOTY, and a title. Will Vega’s trash talk be the motivation Gargano needs to overthrow the One and Only?
The third award is the Male Competitor of the Year. Needless to say, champions have advantage in this category, and the winner is THE NXT Champion, Tommaso Ciampa! Ciampa doesn’t care about the golden bell, he has his golden belt to hold onto. Will Ciampa still have that belt after facing Aleister Black?
Moving right along, the Female Competitor of the Year is just as stacked with championship level talent. The winner is the Pirate Princess, Kairi Sane! Ahoy, the Mae Young Classic’s inaugural winner has a golden bell for all her own. She thanks all her fans, she’s so happy to have won this. 2018 was a great year, of course, but she’ll do her best in 2019! She loves the fans, she loves NXT and she loves wrestling! Bye~! Will Kairi sail on for even bigger and better in the new year?
The Infamous One, Bobby Fish, joins the panel! And he’s ringing a golden bell. Pat teases Fish that Adam Cole is letting Fish speak for the team. Fish gets Pat back by not knowing who he is. But Fish is here to say that the Undisputed Era are the NXT Tag Team of the Year for 2018. Pat says the War Raiders are flawless from their feats of strength to their great beards. Fish says his beard is better, but as for that tag title match, the Undisputed Era will just be the Undisputed Era. TakeOvers are their events, and that won’t change. Pat tries to talk but Fish rings his golden bell each time he starts.
Will this award be extra motivation to win tonight? They don’t need extra motivation, NXT is already their show, this is already their Era. Then will Cole and Fish do something to help Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong? Yes, by eventually capturing the other two titles and making the Undisputed Era completely golden. Fish mocks Pat’s jorts, but Pat takes pride in his cannon leg. Will O’Reilly and Strong be able to back up Fish’s confidence when they go against Ray Rowe & Hanson?
Finally, the Overall Competitor of the Year! We know Ciampa is the winner of the Male Competitor award and Kairi is the winner of the Female Competitor award. But which one of them won more fans over? It is KAIRI SANE! The Pirate Princess returns and has a second golden bell to hold! “I can’t believe it! Are you sure?” Yes, she is! This deserves no less than a celebration dance. Kairi can’t thank the fans enough, she is so honored. This is clearly the fans thanking her for her time in NXT, what’s next for Kairi? She vows to again be NXT Women’s Champion! “I love you!”
“In the desert, the heat burns.”
But the hottest thing won’t be the sun or the sand, it will be the fights in the ring. New blood takes on old guard. Hunters become the hunted. And an Era is at war. The snake looks to keep itself wrapped around the title, but a Dutch Destroyer looks to break the snake’s fangs. Who will take over Phoenix?
NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era’s Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong VS The War Raiders!
Do you hear the drums? Do you hear the calling of the horn? The war has come to Phoenix! Will Hanson & Rowe raid the Undisputed Era’s treasures and take those tag titles away? Or will 2019 stay golden for Strong & O’Reilly?
Introductions are made, the belts are raised, and the teams sort out, only for Strong and O’Reilly to jump the Raiders! They throw Hanson out and then Strong wrecks him with a dropkick! They gang up on Rowe now, double whip but Rowe runs them over! Strong and O’Reilly bail out but Hanson runs them over on the outside! Rowe and Hanson regroup on the apron , for a scoop slam senton! Fans are thunderous as Row e throws Strong into the ring. Strong dodges Hanson but then bounces off Hanson’s shoulder! Tag to Rowe and Hanson squashes Strong before feeding him to Rowe’s shotgun knee! The Raiders work together for a spinbuster hip attack! Rowe covers, TWO!
Rowe drags Strong over to tag in Hanson. They want to end this quick but O’Reilly saves Strong from Fallout! Strong stops Hanson, then the Era throws Rowe into him! Tag to O’Reilly and O’Reilly fetches Hanson. Hanson hits him back but Strong clubs Hanson in the ring. The Era mug Hanson then O’Reilly throws kicks and knees. Tag to Strong and they mug Hanson more with kicks and chops! Strong brings Hanson over with a suplex but Hanson blocks. Hanson suplexes Strong but Strong slips out. Tag to O’Reilly and they mug Hanson more. But Hanson blocks the double whip so they chop and kick him more. They double whip and then add kicks and elbows. O’Reilly grinds Hanson down with a facelock but fans rally up on both sides.
Hanson pushes O’Reilly back while crawling, then powers his way up. O’Reilly does his best to keep Hanson from Rowe with a guillotine, but Hanson powers through! Tag to Rowe and Rowe runs Strong over. Rowe rallies with forearms on both champs! Tilt-o-whirl gutbuster, but O’Reilly throws a forearm. Rowe doesn’t care, he just throws Strong at O’Reilly! Rowe drags O’Reilly to the apron, then elbows Strong away. O’Reilly kicks Rowe’s legs out, then Strong runs in for a wrecking ball dropkick, but Rowe catches that! O’Reilly hits a leaping knee! Hanson clotheslines Strong out, then DIVES! But Strong gets clear and Hanson hits the floor! Fans lose their minds over that massive crash landing! O’Reilly goes after Rowe in the corner, but he runs into a BIG urenage!
Rowe shotgun dropkicks Strong then scoops O’Reilly, but Strong saves O’Reilly. Strong takes the hit but O’Reilly chop blocks Rowe! O’Reilly keeps on Rowe but Rowe hits back hard! Tag to Strong, and Strong gets Rowe with a backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Strong keeps Rowe down and tags in O’Reilly. The Era stomp Rowe down then drag him back up. They double suplex and hang Rowe out to dry! O’Reilly keeps on Rowe with elbows and knees to the ribs. He runs for a sliding knee, then throws down palm strikes. Fans duel as O’Reilly wants the armbar. Rowe resists and rolls, but O’Reilly makes it a triangle. Rowe deadlifts but Strong tags in, and gets him with another backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Rowe survives and Strong is frustrated.
Strong drags Rowe over then tags in O’Reilly. O’Reilly drags Rowe up but Rowe breaks free. Rowe swings but gets caught into a hold. Hanson returns but O’Reilly and Rowe push each other around. Rowe keeps pushing for his corner so Strong hits Hanson. It does nothing! Hanson gets in but the referee stops him. Strong drags Rowe back and the Era get away with more mugging! Tag to Strong but Rowe fights his way out. Rowe throws O’Reilly at Strong with an exploder! Both members of the Era are out of the ring, and Hanson shouts for Rowe to hurry over. Rowe staggers and crawls, but O’Reilly trips Hanson! Hanson doesn’t fall, but Strong wrecks him with a dropkick! Strong dropkicks Rowe next, then covers, TWO! Strong keeps his focus as he tags in O’Reilly.
Rowe kicks O’Reilly, throws knees, but turns not a kick and elbow from O’Reilly. O’Reilly turns into the discus forearm, then boots. But Rowe gets O’Reilly with Ace Ten Mao! Both men are down but fans reach a fever pitch! Rowe and O’Reilly crawl for their corners, hot tags to Strong and Hanson! War Beard blasts Strong with a forearm then tosses him with a back drop! Hanson fires off backhands and haymakers, then whips Strong into a side slam! He keeps moving, crossbody splash! Strong flounders but dodges in the corner. Hanson hits a seated senton! Hanson cartwheels and clotheslines O’Reilly! Phoenix is fired up for Hanson as he takes aim at the Era.
Hanson pumps up and starts a clothesline train! Strong, then O’Reilly, then back to Strong, repeat! O’Reilly runs but his boot goes into Strong! Hanson hits O’Reilly with a powerslam! Then Strong gets a bronco buster! Cover, TWO! Hanson can’t believe it, but he keeps his cool as the match continues. Fans already know “This is Awesome!” as Hanson throws heavy hands on Strong. Hanson backs off at 4 but Strong boots and enziguris back. Strong runs into a scoop but slips out to hit a leaping lariat! Hot tags to Rowe and O’Reilly. O’Reilly kicks but Rowe just takes it. Rowe’s clothesline is booted away, but O’Reilly slips out of a scoop. Strong runs in but is caught, so O’Reilly sweeps Rowe’s legs!
Hanson boots Strong, but O’Reilly knees him. Rowe rocks O’Reilly with a right but gets a fireman’s carry gutbuster! Hanson hits Strong, O’Reilly hits Hanson, but O’Reilly runs into Thor’s Hammer! Hanson DIVES on Strong outta nowhere! Rowe covers O’Reilly, TWO!! “Fever pitch” doesn’t even describe how fans are loving this. Rowe gives O’Reilly a backbreaker, then gut wrenches. Hanson tags in then climbs as Rowe bombs O’Reilly. Hanson leaps for a Viking Splash! Cover, Strong breaks it! Rowe throws Strong out and the War Raiders regroup. Hanson climbs again but Strong gets in. Rowe throws Strong out and lifts O’Reilly. O’Reilly slips out and fights back. Strong gets Rowe out and then goes after Hanson up top. SUPERPLEX! O’Reilly leaps in with a super knee! Cover, TWO!! The Undisputed Era cannot believe they haven’t won yet!
Fans give a standing ovation as Rowe fights the Era on the apron. Strong lifts Rowe for an apron backbreaker! O’Reilly tags Strong and they go after Hanson. Ax and SMASH, then Olympic Slam! Cover, TWO!! Hanson lives again and the Era doesn’t understand. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” but this is just the first match! Strong tags O’Reilly but Hanson scoops. Strong hits a knee, STRONG ANNIHILATION! Cover, TWO!? Hanson survives something that never fails! Strong and O’Reilly fire themselves up but Hanson grabs them both. They break free to mug and go again, but Hanson escapes with a cartwheel! And then a handspring back elbow wipes them out!? Tag to Rowe, and the Raiders double stack Strong and O’Reilly for the powerbomb powerslam combo! Then O’Reilly gets FALLOUT!! Cover, The War Raiders win!!
Winners: The War Raiders, Rowe pinning; NEW NXT Tag Team Champions
The war came to Phoenix and the raid was successful! The Undisputed Era’s era is already over! Rowe & Hanson now reign over the Tag Team Division, is this only the beginning of their conquest?
Matt Riddle VS Kassius Ohno!
The King of Bros and the Knockout Artist had the fastest match in TakeOver history! But those seven seconds weren’t enough to satisfy the bitterness in Ohno, and now it’s come to this. Will Ohno finally break the Original Bro? Or will Riddle get a 3-0 sweep?
The bell rings and the two start throwing hands! Riddle backs Ohno down but Ohno shoves Riddle away. Ohno bails out so Riddle follows, and hits a flying forearm from around the corner! Fans chant “Bro! Bro!” as Riddle keeps on Ohno. Ohno ducks the kick and avoids a moonsault but not the senton! Riddle rams knees into Ohno’s ribs then gut wrenches Ohno up and over! Ohno bails out again while fans applaud that show of strength. Riddle walks into Ohno’s kick, then Ohno whips Riddle to ropes. Riddle reverses but Ohno tumbles to the apron, only to get a forearm. Ohno holds on but Riddle slingshots for a sunset flip bomb! Ohno hands on to the apron skirt, and uses it to blind Riddle! He stomps Riddle in the head!
Riddle flounders back into the ring but Ohno grinds his boot into Riddle’s ear. Ohno then runs to drop a BIG leg drop! Cover, TWO! Riddle gasps for air while Ohno goes after him with a cravat. Ohno grinds Riddle down but fans rally up for Riddle. Riddle gets up and throws body shots. Ohno shoves him but Riddle returns, only to get a tricky back elbow! Cover, TWO! Ohno kicks Riddle back down then eggs him on as he stomps Riddle down. He calls Riddle a “bum”, and boots Riddle again. Riddle SLAPS and chops away on Ohno! Ohno puts Riddle in a corner for furious forearms and backhands! Ohno backs up to boot Riddle out of the ring! Fans boo and jeer while Ohno drags Riddle up. Ohno throws Riddle into a post! Ohno drags Riddle up in a cravat to throw him into steel steps!
The referee reprimands Ohno as Ohno refreshes the count. Riddle writhes and gasps on the outside but fans rally up. The count passes 5 as Riddle gets up and in. Ohno is right on Riddle with a forearm but Riddle stands back up. Riddle’s glare worries Ohno so Ohno boots him. But Riddle stands back up and goes right at Ohno! Ohno stops Riddle with a suplex, but Riddle slips into a sleeper hold! Riddle wraps tight around Ohno but Ohno gets ropes. Riddle lets go, to instead waistlock. Ohno stomps Riddle’s foot! Riddle’s bare feet are his biggest weakness now against Ohno’s boots! Ohno goes to knee but Riddle blocks and gets the German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!
Fans rally up as Riddle gives Bro Kicks to Ohno’s chest. Kick after kick after kick, but Ohno grabs the foot. Again, bare feet are bad as Ohno BITES a toe! Ohno reels Riddle into a knee! Ohno picks Riddle up, but Riddle fights in the powerbomb position, only to get the sit-out bomb! Cover, TWO! Ohno is shocked but he keeps going. He climbs up top, to MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Riddle still lives and Ohno is beside himself. Ohno sits up and grits his teeth as he aims at Riddle. He spins, but Riddle ducks, only to get a boot! And a back senton! Then another, but into the sleeper! Riddle has Ohno but Ohno rolls to ropes. Riddle lets go but then takes his anger out with stomps! He backs off but still has a lot of rage.
Ohno begs for mercy from Riddle, but fans don’t believe him when he puts out the bro fist. Riddle doesn’t either, knee trigger! Sleeper hold suplex! And then Riddle drives elbow after elbow into Ohno’s shoulders! Ohno taps! Riddle wins!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by submission
Riddle leaves Ohno tapping and sobbing, and still without a win over him or at TakeOver. Will Riddle finally be able to leave Ohno behind and go for some gold?
Velveteen Dream is in Phoenix!
The Patrick Clark Experience seems to channel any number of legends who charmed the ladies given his valets. While Dream isn’t on the TakeOver card, he’ll be part of the huge WWE Worlds Collide tournament! Watch that tournament all next Saturday on various outlets, but watch the finals exclusively on the WWE Network!
NXT North American Championship: Ricochet VS Johnny Gargano!
Whether Johnny Gargano was manipulated by Tommaso Ciampa or not, Gargano still wants to be champion. However, he’ll have to take on the One and Only King of Flight to take that title. Ricochet isn’t about to let Gargano do what he wants, but will he have a choice in this ever intensifying feud?
Introductions are made, the belt is raised, and fans duel already as we begin. The two circle and tie up and push each other around. Ricochet gets a wristlock but Gargano spins to reverse while fans agree they like “Both These Guys!” Ricochet spins and rolls to reverse back but Gargano pushes him away. Gargano arm-drags and rolls Ricochet to a ghost pin, TWO! Gargano gets a facelock and holds on as Ricochet rolls around. Cover, TWO, and Ricochet avoids Gargano’s superkick! Gargano dares Ricochet to return and the two circle again. They tie up and fans duel again. Gargano brings Ricochet to a keylock and headlock takeover. Ricochet rolls to a cover, TWO!
Gargano keeps the hold but Ricochet stands up. Ricochet fights out but Gargano runs him over. Ricochet kips right up but Gargano throws him down. Gargano runs but Ricochet gets up and arm-drags him. Gargano wheelbarrows and rolls Ricochet around but Ricochet rolls back to a fireman’s carry! But Gargano slips out and rolls Ricochet up. Ricochet gets out and things speed up, Gargano blocks a kick but Ricochet filps through. Gargano tilt-o-whirls but Ricochet handsprings through, Gargano comes back to try again but Ricochet still handsprings through! Fans give an ovation to this amazing exchange! Ricochet wants to know which Johnny he’s getting, and offers a handshake. Gargano takes it to throw a sucker punch!
Ricochet knows which Johnny it is now, and they start throwing hands. Gargano CHOPS Ricochet in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Ricochet goes up and over and things speed up again. Ricochet handsprings to headscissor then dropkick Gargano! Gargano bails out, Ricochet fakes him out. Ricochet hops, and moonsaults off the post! Direct hit takes Gargano down and fans are loving this! Ricochet gets Gargano up for more chops, and follows him around the corner. Ricochet chops Gargano into the ring then follows. Gargano crawls to a corner but Ricochet runs in, only to get an elbow. Gargano hops up but Ricochet SHORYUKENS! Ricochet climbs up and sits Gargano up, but Gargano grabs a leg. Gargano pushes Ricochet but Ricochet SLAPS him back.
Ricochet climbs up but Gargano sweeps the legs! Ricochet’s face hits buckles! Gargano catches his breath before raining down left hands. He drags Ricochet up for a snapmare and basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Gargano keeps on Ricochet with a wrench. He hooks the arm as he wrenches the neck. Fans rally up as Ricochet endures. Ricochet fights out and gets free. He whips but Gargano reverses, only for Ricochet to reverse back. Ricochet goes to moonsault but Gargano kicks him out of the air! Gargano drags Ricochet up for a modified neckbreaker using his knee! Cover, TWO! Gargano keeps on Ricochet by pulling him up by his ear. Gargano wrenches back to that arm hook, then makes it a cover, TWO! But now Gargano has Ricochet’s head hooked!
Fans rally as Ricochet endures, and Ricochet makes it a cover. TWO and Gargano throat chops Ricochet down! Gargano kicks Ricochet at the ropes, then drags Ricochet up for CHOPS against the ropes. Ricochet CHOPS back but Gargano punches him down. Gargano whips but Ricochet reverses, only for Gargano to sunset flip. Ricochet breaks free and deadlifts, but Gargano slips out to shove. Gargano runs but is put on the apron. Ricochet turns around but avoids the slingshots spear! Standing moonsault lands on Gargano’s back! Both men are down but fans fire up. The count passes 4 but both men stand. Gargano throws a forearm but Ricochet gives it back.
They go back and forth with forearms and chops, but Ricochet gets an edge. Ricochet shoves, lariats, runs and headscissors Gargano to a corner! He runs in for an uppercut, back elbow then throws Gargano to buckles for a tiger feint kick! Springboard uppercut! Fans fire up with Ricochet as he rolls Gargano up to a Northern LIghts! Then roll through to a deadlift brain buster! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet grows frustrated with Gargano but fans are loving this. Ricochet brings Gargano up but Gargano blocks the pumphandle. Gargano throws palm strikes then wants his own suplex but Ricochet elbows him away. Ricochet runs in but is put on the apron. He punches Gargano away and springboards, but Gargano gets under. Ricochet shoves Gargano, then rolls into a powerbomb! TWO, but Gargano gets a crossface!
Ricochet endures but crawls, so Gargano rolls him away from ropes. Ricochet reaches, but Gargano wants his own take on the hold. Gargano can’t get the arm so he just rolls to a Mahistrol! TWO and Ricochet just narrowly ducks the buzzsaw! Ricochet sends Gargano to the apron, but Gargano kicks back. Gargano slingshots, but the DDT is blocked!? Ricochet dumps Gargano back out hard! Ricochet builds speed to FLY! Direct hit takes Gargano out! Ricochet puts Gargano in quick but Gargano rolls all the way away. Fans chant “Mamma Mia!” after that high spot. Gargano boots Ricochet but gets a European Uppercut. Gargano goes up and over to roll Ricochet back, but Ricochet rolls to hit a standing shooting star! Then hops up for another moonsault! Cover, TWO! Ricochet grows frustrated but fans know “This is Awesome!”
Ricochet goes to another corner but Gargano scrambles to anchor the feet. Gargano gets kicked away but he comes back to try again. Ricochet and Gargano brawl as both men fight for control. Gargano climbs up but Ricochet gets him in a fireman’s carry! Gargano fights back and adjusts, SUPER STEINER denied! Ricochet brings Gargano up, but Gargano STILL Steiners! But Ricochet lands on his feet! Fans are thunderous while Gargano is speechless! Gargano walks into a right hand but gets an enziguri. Ricochet uppercuts, ducks the clothesline but misses the Pele. Gagano’s superkick misses and Ricochet hits a knee strike, only for Gargano to SUPERKICK back! Ricochet ducks the lariat to hit the PELE! Ricochet runs to handspring, but into a takedown! GargaNO Escape!! Ricochet endures and deadlifts Gargano for a Fall Away Slam into buckles!
Fans are fired up as Ricochet climbs up. Ricochet aims but Gargano rolls all the way away. Gargano goes to the apron but Ricochet just smirks. Ricochet runs corner to corner, but Gargano drops down to deny him again. Ricochet doesn’t mind, he just LEAPS over the post! He puts Gargano in quick, then springboards for a 450! Cover, TWO!? That superhuman heart of Gargano’s is back, but Ricochet won’t stop now. Ricochet climbs up again, takes aim, and leaps for a shooting star! ONTO KNEES! Cradle cover, TWO!! Gargano and Ricochet go to opposite ends as fans duel again. Gargano grits his teeth and aims, SUPERKICK! But it sends Ricochet all the way out of the ring! Gargano builds speed to DIVE, but into Ricochet’s fireman’s carry! Ricochet pops Gargano up, but REVERSE-RANA to the floor!
Gargano puts Ricochet in quick, slingshot DDT hits! Cover, TWO!? Fans are giving another thunderous ovation of the night as they chant “NXT! NXT!” Gargano drags Ricochet around but his anger is boiling over. Gargano borrows a page out of Ciampa’s book by pulling up floor mats! He drags Ricochet out onto the apron, but the referee warns Gargano. Gargano stops himself and puts Ricochet in the ring. He walks into a small package! TWO, but Ricochet blocks the superkick. Ricochet spins Gargano to clothesline his head off! Ricochet climbs again, Phoenix Splash misses! SUPERKICK! Gargano runs, but into a tilt-o-whirl toss! Ricochet STEALS the GargaNo Escape!! Gargano endures his own hold as he reaches for ropes!
Ricochet wrenches back but Gargano flails and crawls. Gargano gets free and gets the ropebreak, keeping Ricochet away. Fans hope these two “Fight Forever!” just like they did for the tag team championship match. Ricochet joins Gargano on the apron, but Gargano shoves him into the post! Gargano sees the bare concrete again, and is torn on what to do. He drags Ricochet over, BRAIN BUSTER ON CONCRETE!! Fans lose their minds and the referee checks on Ricochet. Somehow Ricochet is okay to continue, and Gargano puts him back in the ring. Gargano grimaces as he looks down at Ricochet. Gargano says he’s going to win, and he slingshots for another DDT! Cover, Gargano wins!!
Winner: Johnny Gargano, by pinfall; NEW NXT North American Champion
Whether he’s Johnny Wrestling, Johnny Venom or Johnny TakeOver, he is now Johnny Champion! Gargano has the title like he wanted, and he did it by any means necessary. But will he have this title for long? Or will he soon become Johnny Forever?
NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler VS Bianca Belair!
The Queen of Spades is the first two-time Women’s Champion, and has made opponent after opponent #NapTapOrSnap. However, the EST is the strongest, fastest and boldest, but she still needs to prove she’s the best. Will Bianca stay Un-De-Fea-Ted all the way to the end of this match? Or will Shayna show everyone that win streaks mean nothing against a mean streak?
Introductions are made, the belt is raised, and fans duel all over again with the bell. Bianca and Shayna are not intimidated by the other as they circle. They tie up, and Shayna gets a headlock. Bianca powers her to a corner then backs off. She dares Shayna to come back but Shayna just grins as they go again. They push each other around but the strength goes Bianca’s way again. Bianca lets up again, but Shayna catches her bragging! Shayna sits Bianca down in the corner, but Bianca gets her back! Un-De-Fea-Ted, but Shayna shoves. Bianca shoves, but runs into a headlock. Shayna wrenches and shifts around through locks. Bianca powers out and things speed up, Bianca runs Shayna over.
Bianca dares Shayna to stand, and then whips her corner to corner. Shayna reverses but Bianca goes up and over and shows her agility! Bianca runs Shayna over again! Shayna rolls out but Bianca pursues. Bianca bumps Shayna off the apron, but Shayna throws Bianca at the post. Bianca slips to the other side but Shayna uses Bianca’s own long ponytail against her! Shayna reels Bianca into the post! Shayna leaves Bianca behind while Bianca clutches her shoulder. Bianca gets up at the count of 6, but that arm bothers her. She still gets in at 9, but Shayna is right on her with stomps and fists! Shayna covers, TWO, but she’s right after that bad arm. Bianca kicks and flails as Shayna twists her arm in different angles. Shayna has the arm stuck, and hammerlock stomps it!
Bianca writhes and scrambles to a corner, but she doesn’t want to give up. Shayna hammers away on Bianca, then stalks her around the ring. Shayna wants to know where the confidence went as she goes after the arm again. Bianca endures as Shayna has a spinning armbar. Shayna YANKS the arm, then grins as she circles Bianca like a shark. Shayna kicks Bianca while fans duel again. She wraps Bianca’s arm around the ropes, but backs off at 4. She rolls Bianca to a cover, TWO! Shayna keeps focus as she goes after the arm with another mounted wristlock. Bianca endures the pain while fans rally up again. They stand and Bianca uses her good arm to fight out. Shayna ducks and gets the sleeper! But Bianca backs Shayna into buckles. Bianca’s free but not for long! Shayna fires off forearms and rocks Bianca with a knee! Cover, TWO!
Shayna still grins as she toys with Bianca. Fans duel more as Shayna taunts Bianca. Shayna stands Bianca up and tells her she’s O-Ver-Rate-Ed. But then Bianca SLAPS Shayna! Then she dodges Shayna and baits her into a corner! Bianca rams her knee in, then tosses with her good arm! Bianca barrels into Shayna with the bad shoulder, but dropkicks Shayna to a corner. Shayna comes back but Bianca dodges and SPEARS! Cover, TWO! Bianca gets her bad arm moving then tries again, ONE! Bianca grits her teeth as she drags Shayna up, but Shayna gets the bad arm with legs. Shayna can’t get the hold, Bianca stomps away on her! Bianca runs and splashes, but onto knees! Step-up shining wizard! Cover, TWO! Shayna grows frustrated with the seemingly toughest woman in NXT, but fans rally up for them both.
Shayna drags Bianca up for a forearm, but Bianca hits back. They brawl with forearms, but Bianca kicks the bad arm. Shayna dodges Bianca’s swings to then throw fast strikes! Bianca falls, but HAIR WHIPS! Shayna writhes from that stinging ponytail attack! It left a mark! Bianca drags Shayna up in double chicken wings, but Shayna rolls, and sends Bianca into the ref! Shayna grabs Bianca by her hair, but Bianca reels her in with it for a forearm! Bianca torture racks, KOD!! Cover but the ref is out! The fans count past 6 but it doesn’t matter! Bianca is furious, she’s the angriest woman right now. And with no ref, here comes Marina Shafir! Bianca tacklse her down, and is ready for Jessamyn Duke! Chicken wing bomb of Jessamyn onto Marina! Bianca drags Shayna up but Shayna throws her into the Kirafuda Klutch!
Bianca flails as the ref revives. Fans boo but Bianca is trapped! Bianca keeps moving, keeps trying, and holds her breath to power up!! Shayna holds tight, but Bianca turns the hold into a suplex!! Both women are down but fans have new respect for Bianca! Bianca drags herself to a corner and to the top rope, but the Horsewomen return. Bianca kicks them away, then leaps at Shayna! 450 splash, but into the KIRAFUDA!! Bianca flails, reaches, claws at Shayna’s arms, but she’s fading! She tries again, and somehow gets a second wind, only for Shayna to drag her right back down. Shayna squeezes tight, but Bianca won’t stop! Bianca somehow stands again with a THIRD wind, but she falls again. Bianca is out, Shayna wins!
Winner: Shayna Baszler, by submission; still NXT Women’s Champion
The Horsewomen stick together and keep that title with The Queen of Spades. The EST came so close, but she just didn’t have the numbers to win. Is Shayna done with Bianca forever? Or will the EST only grow stronger for this experience?
NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa VS Aleister Black!
Is the Psycho Killer a puppet master? Is he truly THE greatest in sports entertainment? It doesn’t really matter because he is THE champion of NXT. However, he only got that belt thanks to the main puppet in Johnny Gargano. Can Ciampa keep the belt after finally having it out with the Embodiment of the End? Or will Ciampa’s reign with “Goldie” #FadeToBlack?
Introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin. Fans duel again as the two men go right at each other! They tie up and go around, then out to the floor! They break and return into the ring, and fans applaud as they stare down. Ciampa SLAPS Aleister, but Aleister gets a waistlock slam and floats all over. Ciampa gets to ropes and Aleister backs off. Aleister dares Ciampa to get back as fans agree they like “Both These Guys!” They tie up again and fans return to dueling. Ciampa has the wristlock, Aleister rolls but Ciampa throws him down by his hair. Ciampa stands on Aleister’s hair but lets up at 4. He does it again but again stops at 4.
Ciampa throws Aleister’s arm down then wrenches it. Aleister pushes Ciampa to a corner then whips. Ciampa reverses but Aleister goes up and over. Aleister gets a headlock and turns Ciampa’s push into a takedown. Cover, ONE, but Aleister gets the headlock takedown again. Fans rally as Ciampa goes after Aleister’s ear! Ciampa gets out of the headlock and goes for an underhook but Aleister back drops out. Aleister hits a running headlock takedown and has Ciampa back on the mat. Ciampa endures and stands up to power Aleister to a corner. He doesn’t honor the break right away and gets a sucker upnch in. Aleister hits back but they end up in another corner. Ciampa swings but Aleister counter punches. Ciampa knees low and whips but Aleister rolls off his back to kick away!
Aleister kicks Ciampa out of the ring but fakes him out to springboard. Ciampa runs in but avoids the kicks, so Aleister sits down in front of him. Ciampa boots Aleister right in the face! He rains down rights and stomps away on Aleister! Ciampa drags Aleister upt o whip but Aleister rebounds so easily! Aleister throws Ciampa out then gets Ciampa on the return. Ciampa gets away but Aleister FLIES! Direct hit takes Ciampa down, but Aleister puts him in quick. Aleister knees away then elbows and kicks to hit the shotgun knee. Fans applaud the ferocity, but Ciampa wants a timeout. Aleister sees the sucker punch coming and sweeps the legs. Then quebrada! Cover, TWO! Aleister drags Ciampa up but Ciampa gets away again. Ciampa comes in from another side to drag Aleister out. Aleister ducks the clothesline to roundhouse Ciampa off his feet!
Aleister drags Ciampa up but Ciampa throws him at steps. But Aleister stops himself and kicks back, only for Ciampa to block the kick and throw the foot at the steel! Ciampa then throws Aleister at and over the other steel steps! Aleister is down and Ciampa takes a moment to catch his breath. Ciampa comes back and suplexes Aleister into the steps! Aleister’s legs collide with the steel, and Ciampa just laughs. Ciampa drags Aleister up and into the ring as fans continue to duel. He goes after Aleister’s leg and jams it across his own knee. Ciampa uses a modified stretch to pull on the knee, then gets a heel hook to wrench the foot. Aleister kicks with his free leg but Ciampa rolls to throw Aleister around. The legs are still locked and Ciampa kicks Aleister down again and again.
Fans rally up and Aleister keeps fighting back. Ciampa kicks the leg and puts Aleister in a corner. Aleister elbows back, but Ciampa puts the leg on the rope to kick it. Ciampa drops a knee on the vulnerable leg! Ciampa stomps and drops more knees. He traps the leg in the ropes and pulls Aleister away to create more torque. Then he rams his braced knee into Aleister’s! Ciampa says Aleister is a “one trick pony”, because the Black Mass is his only move. Ciampa pulls Aleister into the post to swing the leg against it! The ref counts but Ciampa refreshes the count so he has more time to swing the leg into the post! Ciampa drags Aleister out, shin breaker on the announce desk! Aleister writhes while Ciampa mockingly applauds. Ciampa even mocks sitting cross legged while he sits on the desk.
Fans duel while Ciampa gets himself a bottle of water. Ciampa takes a big sip, but Aleister kicks the water out of his mouth! Ciampa flounders into the ring while Aleister hobbles after. Aleister walks into a basement dropkick! Ciampa grabs and yanks the bad leg, then hooks Aleister’s nose. He sits Aleister back to grind his foot in! Ciampa brings Aleister up for an STO, then rolls him around to a corner. Ciampa hoists Aleister up backwards, and naturally puts Aleister into a Tree of Woe so he can stomp away. The ref counts and Ciampa stops at 4, to then go directly after the knee with elbows! Fans boo but Aleister kicks back with his good leg! Aleister gets out of the Tree while Ciampa climbs up. Ciampa throws hands but Aleister comes back with a step-up enziguri! Both men crash and burn to the outside!
The referee checks on both men but they’re okay to continue. A ring count begins but both men stand at 3, and return to the ring at 5. Aleister supports himself on ropes but Ciampa gets the bad leg. Aleister elbows Ciampa away then throws hands. Ciampa still wants the leg but Aleister denies him with the good knee! Aleister suplexes but the legs won’t let him. Ciampa wants the leg but gets kicked away. Aleister waistlocks, Ciampa elbows him away, but Ciampa walks into Aleister’s kick! Aleister rallies with forearms and lariats. Fans fire up as Aleister manages another kick! Cover, TWO! Aleister keeps his cool and hobbles over to Ciampa. He brings Ciampa up but Ciampa packages, TWO!
Ciampa dodges, catches Aleister in underhooks, but Aleister fights out. Black Mass misses, Ciampa backslides! Aleister rolls through but Ciampa underhooks. Ciampa lifts for Fairy Tale Ending, but Aleister slips out! Ciampa manages to intercept Black Mass with a forearm! he underhooks again but Aleister back drops. Ciampa sunset flips but Aleister sits on it, TWO! Roundhouse to snap German! Bridging on one leg, TWO! Fans applaud the heart of both men as Aleister stands again. Aleister grits his teeth as he tries to lift Ciampa with his foot. The leg hurts too much so Aleister brings Ciampa up. Ciampa dragon screws to a Half Crab! And deep!
Aleister reaches but Ciampa drags him away. Aleister rolls over and pushes Ciampa away, and Aleister gets a leg. Ciampa throws hands but Aleister still gets his own Half Crab! Aleister’s bad leg gives out but both men are down. Ciampa goes out to the apron but Aleister goes after him. Ciampa grabs hair but Aleister spins and elbows out! Aleister aims at a dizzy Ciampa, runs, but Ciampa moves! Ciampa comes from the other side to drag Aleister out for a Tower of London! Cover, TWO!! Ciampa hits the Psycho Knee! Cover, TWO!! Aleister survives to big moves in a row and Ciampa grows frustrated.
Fans duel again as Ciampa steals the foot lift. Aleister hits him with a knee trigger! But Ciampa hits back with one! Both men are dazed but Ciampa drags Aleister up. Ciampa throws hands but Aleister only grows stronger for them. They brawl back and forth with heavy hands and fans are divided. They pick up speed and fans fire up. Aleister kicks but Ciampa ducks to boot! Ciampa runs but into a boot! Aleister runs but Ciampa drops down to victory roll! TWO, and Ciampa tires again. Aleister sits on it, TWO and Ciampa sunset flips, TWO! Aleister knees Ciampa then fires off strikes. Ciampa lariats Aleister! Ciampa runs from a corner, but Aleister blocks the knee! Aleister sweeps the legs, pulls down his own knee pad, and fakes Ciampa out into double stomps!
Aleister suplexes but the bad leg bothers him again. Ciampa boots, Aleister blocks and spins him, and then Aleister kene triggers Ciampa in the back! Aleister tries another suplex, brain buster! Cover, TWO!! Ciampa survives and rolls all the way out. Aleister runs again, asai moonsault from the corner! Direct hit! And Aleister puts Ciampa back in. The water makes Aleister slip a little, Fairy Tale Ending!! Cover, TWO!? Aleister lives and Ciampa can’t believe it! Fans again want a match to “Fight Forever!” but Ciampa has the same idea Gargano had earlier: he pulls up floor mats! The referee reprimands Ciampa, too, but fans chant “DIY!” because devious minds think alike. Ciampa drags Aleister over, then tells the referee to stop bugging him. But Aleister hits METEORA to the floor!
Aleister forces himself up even after the double edged attack. He puts Ciampa in, BLACK MASS!! Aleister crawls to a cover, but Ciampa rolls just in time! Fans are thunderous while Aleister keeps his cool. Aleister and Ciampa slowly stand, and Aleister swings. Ciampa uses the ref as a shield, but still gets Aleister’s knee! But Ciampa rolls Aleister to a draping DDT! And Fairy Tale Ending!! Cover, TWO?! How?! Fans are loving this match, but Ciampa wants it to finally end. Ciampa underhooks again, for a THIRD Fairy Tale Ending! But he’s not done there, he wants a fourth! Aleister roundhouses! But the leg gives out before he could Black Mass, Fairy Tale Ending #4! Cover, Ciampa wins!!
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa, by pinfall; still NXT Champion
The Dutch Destroyer was so close and yet so far from a win, and the Blackheart makes him fade out! Ciampa survives with “Goldie” still in his possession. The NXT Champion makes his way up the ramp and to the stage, shouting “I win!!” But here comes the new NXT North American Champion, Johnny Gargano! They both have titles, and they both hold them up proudly! Is DIY resurrected in darkness and gold?!
Another incredible TakeOver for NXT USA! The Year End Awards went to a lot of the right people. Ricochet had a great 2018, the Undisputed Era dominated the Tag Division by any means necessary, Kairi Sane has been great from her Mae Young Classic debut to the rest of 2018, and even Tommaso Ciampa was a great choice as the Male Competitor because of his transformation into the Heel he is today. I’m really happy to see Kairi was the one to win Overall Competitor, she is obviously beloved and WWE has only scratched the surface of her ability, so I hope she gets to show even more this year, whether on NXT or on main roster.
NXT Tag Team Championship matches seem to be the traditional choice for opening TakeOvers, and that’s actually perfect because they keep impressing beyond expectation. The War Raiders had an almost Wrestlemania style entrance, so naturally they had to win this. It was so good, and this is actually better for Undisputed Era’s mission to get all the gold. Now we can have reDRagon, Fish & O’Reilly, being the ones challenging for the tag titles, Strong can try for the North American and of course Cole goes for THE NXT Championship. As such, it was also good that Gargano won the title off Ricochet. Ricochet VS Gargano was great, especially with the familiarity both men have and that allowed them to counter and dodge all over. Gargano wins obviously to also set up the final moment, a natural choice.
Ohno VS Riddle was so good. They took what they did in their second match and upped it a couple notches. Riddle wins to make a clean sweep, but the way it ended this time was actually just right. I can’t be sure what’s next for Ohno, because losing again doesn’t really bode well for him trying to take on Keith Lee. Maybe Ohno finally goes to the main roster with the Rumble match tomorrow? Then Aleister VS Ciampa was another instant classic for that title. Even with the DIY moment at the end being a natural closing image, I am rather surprised Ciampa won. The story of the bad leg was great, and Aleister reached his own superhuman levels of heart. But now we have Heel DIY as singles champions, I wonder if the Undisputed Era would end up being Faces against them…
The only flaw in tonight’s booking was how the Women’s Championship was handled. Bianca had to have won a good number of fans with her performance tonight, but I’m really annoyed Shayna had to win with help from the Horsewomen. Shayna should’ve put Bianca over to keep that Un-De-Fea-Ted streak going and get the MMA Horsewomen going on the main roster. Maybe Bianca gets another shot and wins on Wrestlemania Weekend, but WWE seems to only make win streaks to break them for someone else’s sake. See: Charlotte beating Asuka. I’m curious to know what the plans were if Dakota Kai stayed healthy, because I again say there should’ve been one Six Woman Tag of the Horsewomen VS Kai, Shirai & Sane, and then who knows? Kai comes full circle to face Shayna and win?
My Score: 9/10