WWE NXT Takeover 36: 22nd August 2021
Pixc here back with another Takeover Tirade. what a weekend of wrestling guys eh? I know I was feeling a little deflated after Summerslam, I'm excited for what could potentially be the last good Takeover, depending on the direction the show goes in following all the rumours.
Ridge Holland vs Trey Baxter
On the preshow we were treated to Ridge Holland dominant squash as he easily dispatched the speedy breakout competitor, accompanied by Pete Dunne this match was never in any doubt. Apart from one slight flurry of offense towards the end Baxter just completely mismatched. A final slam and it's over.
Ridge then calls his next opponent Timothy Thatcher out. Good to see Ridge in action but not a fan of squash matches and don't feel it does anything for either guy.
Winner Ridge Holland
LA Knight (c) vs Cameron Grimes (Million Dollar Championship Match, if LA Knight wins Ted DiBiase must become his butler)
Grimes comes out, disposes of his butler outfit in a million dollar trash can, brought out by Ted DiBiase beforehand, revealing a new "Million Dollar" inspired ring attired, well that's the result spoiled, don't ya think?
LA Knight goading the crowd before we start and Ted DiBiase. Knight taking a breather on the outside after Grimes starts off strong. Ted gives him an Irish Whip as he takes LA Knight down from the steps. Knight topples Grimes from the top turnbuckle to the outside changing the momentum of the match.
Good back and forth of momentum follows before LA Knight again goads DiBiase giving Grimes time to dodge the following elbow. He dodges a moonsault attempt and gets some running strikes in. Grimes gets a nice German Suplex and a hurricanrana before a near fall. LA Knight looks to be in control but Grimes hits his Spanish Fly after skinning the cat to get back in the ring. Knight hits a release German Suplex from the top turnbuckle after a scuffle where Grimes seemed to slow to right himself fully.
Grimes then manages to lock in the Million Dollar Dream, even holding on when LA Knight goes to the corner and tries the pinfall, great from Grimes. LA Knight tries to take the cowards way out using the title. DiBiase looks to intervene, Grimes getting the kick and the DiBiase seizes the title and manages to distract the referee passing the belt back to Grimes, which allows him to lock in his own Million Dollar Dream on LA Knight, with the referee distracted getting the belt, DiBiase does the damage and returns Knight to the ring. Grimes hits the Cave In and it is over, pinfall victory new champion. Ted DiBiase is not going to be a butler, finally he gets the win!
Image courtesy of F4Wonline
I quite enjoyed this match, it didn't set the show alight, but it was a good start to the main card and it went the right way for me. They needed to pull the trigger on Grimes, curious to see what happens next with Grimes.
Winner AND NEW Million Dollar Champion Cameron Grimes!
Dakota Kai vs Raquel Gonzalez (c) (NXT Womens Championship Match)
Gonzalez starts off strong with Kai on the defensive. Kai manages to counter being hauled back in to the ring into a nice armbar but it's a short change of momentum as Gonzalez sends her packing to the outside again.
Another spell of dominance for Gonzalez but Kai gets her Cruiser Kick in, never heard it called that before, a near fall is all she gets though. Kai keeps her momentum going after even getting another near fall. Gonzalez gains control again and Kai fights out of her Chingona Bomb.
Gonzalez propels Kai behind her onto the ropes, then Kai gets her kicks in followed by the Kairopractor which again gets her a near fall. With Gonzalez up high Kai goes for another Cruiser Kick but Gonzalez block it and hoists her up for a top rope Chingona Bomb, boom it's over, pinfall win for the champ, she retains.
This match just wasn't great for me, it was ok, but I think Gonzalez just isn't my cup of tea, I hoped Kai would get the belt but alas it was not to be. Cue nice surprise next though as none other than longest reigning NXT UK Womens Champion Kay Lee Ray's music hits as she comes out to announce her arrival on the bigger NXT stage. Brilliant moment, bit confused what will happen though going forward, plenty of talent in NXT already.
Winner Raquel Gonzalez
Walter (c) vs Ilja Dragunov (WWE NXT United Kingdom Championship Match)
So will this top their last encounter, I think we are all expecting big things from this! 870 days long his reign stands, is this where Walter finally falls?
Dragunov has a plaster on his forehead as they circle, suffered last week against Roderick Strong. Couple of quick chops from Dragunov. This is so methodical and technical they are really showing how well they know each other and putting on a clinic. Early on I'd say Dragunov had the edge but Walter is obviously going to take a lot of effort to beat. I particularly enjoyed him keeping holding as a Walter back suplexed him from the headlock position.
As we move deeper into the match Walter chops Dragunov from the top rope to the outside, then powerbombs him into the ring apron. Hardest part of the ring you know that guys! Just like that the momentum seems turned, going for a sleeper though Dragunov shows some life and fights back. Walter sits deep in a Boston Crab, transitions into another submission. Dragunov half fights out before Walter adjusts his gameplan.
A slugfest breaks out, we finally hear the brutal chops from Walter, Dragunov manages to reverse a powerbomb into a back body drop and Walter fires back with a suplex and a near fall. Dragunov showing more fight with some brutal strikes of his own. Walter swats him out of the air with a chop and Dragunov still hangs in he just won't give up!
Dragunov takes a brutal shot to the back and it just makes him "hulk-up" if you will he even lifts Walter up for a slam, struggle as he might you can't help but root for this plucky underdog, he just does not stop. He hits a senton on Walter from the top turnbuckle, he gets caught in a sleeper next though and it takes everything out of Walter it seems to pull that off. Dragunov hitting the Torpedo Moscow to his back before he can get to his feet. Dragunov hits it again shortly after but Walter kicks out! Edge of your seat stuff now.
Walter gets a near fall from a chop, Dragunov meets him on the top turnbuckle to suplex him, following up with a drop kick from the top rope. As he looks to finish things Walter comes in with an unexpected drop kick of his own, the follow up powerbomb only gets him a near fall, wow! Walter looks for the big splash from the top, but no still Dragunov kicks out, how in the blue hell?!
Dragunov locks in a sleeper and Walter heads to the top, looking to throw him off. Dragunov is relentless straight back on the attack. He holds on the sleeper even after and only lets go to pummel him with strikes, then locks it in again with a violent jerk, Walter taps! Goosebumps, headrush, yes he's done it, finally Walter is champion no more, brilliant match as we expected.
Image courtesy of Metro
Winner AND NEW NXT UK Champion Ilja Dragunov
Adam Cole vs Kyle O'Reilly (3 Stages of Hell match)
1st Fall (Traditional Singles)
We start with a slug fest, Cole heads to the outside so O'Reilly follows they play ping pong between the steps and the barricade, O'Reilly in control. Cole gets the steps ready but it's reversed and O'Reilly suplexes him on the outside. We have submissions next as Kyle has Cole in an ankle lock. Cole responding with a strike to fell his opponent. Near fall for O'Reilly, Cole avoids a high risk move and goes for the Panama Sunrise but Kyle O'Reilly reverses it into a pinfall and that was a quick first fall. Bit of a shock but let's be honest they want to get to the street fight.
Kyle O'Reilly gets the first fall.
2nd Fall (Street Fight)
O'Reilly slams into Cole after a chair is set up with trash can. Cole fires back dropping Kyle O'Reilly on the apron with a kick, O'Reilly writhing in pain on the outside. Cole looks to take control from here, a chair is set up in the corner. O'Reilly slides away from the chair but hits the ring post. Cole works him over with a kendo stick next. He looks for the last shot but it was all a ploy as he adds another shot with the kendo stick.
O'Reilly goes for Cole who is positioned in front of that chair and predictably Cole dodges and O'Reilly finally tastes that chair. They both have the same idea, double kick knocked down and then both get chains from under the ring. A slug fest with chains ensues. Cole only gets a near fall. Cole baits O'Reilly up the ramp, delivering a superkick to stop him in his tracks. O'Reilly fires back though throwing him into the barricade.
As they continue to brawl O'Reilly goes for the brainbuster on the steps but Cole reverses it. Back in the ring O'Reilly is toppled from the turnbuckle into the chairs set up in the ring. Cole hits the last Shot and it's over, that's it pinfall second fall, done!
Adam Cole get's the second fall.
3rd and Final Fall (Steel Cage)
Firstly can i just how innovative the cage looked being set up, different, really was a talking point on our watch-along. O'Reilly seems barely able to continue so we get some replays while we wait.
O'Reilly is the first to taste the cage. Cole is confident and this seems to be what sparks O'Reilly into action, his trash talking makes O'Reilly spring into action. O'Reilly dodges a last shot from Cole and hits one of his own, but only gets a near fall. Cole looks to escape but O'Reilly runs interference, he falls back into the ring and Cole turns hitting the Panama Sunrise, but it didn't get the win, O'Reilly kicks out! Cole gets handcuffs from a bag and cuffs O'Reilly to the ropes, It backfires quickly though as O'Reilly gets in a heel hook with only one hand to use, he wrenches at it and Cole taps, wow that was unexpected, the finish not the result mind!
O'Reilly was made in this feud you can't deny it, but I guess this means Cole is done with NXT and likely WWE. I enjoyed the match but it did feel a little rushed at times.
Winner Kyle O'Reilly
We get a little hype from Legado del Fantasma for their encounter with Hit Row, six-man action on Tuesday, P-Nut will be pleased, in fact i distinctly remember him being relieved it wasn't on this Takeover.
Samoa Joe vs Karrion Kross (NXT Championship Match)
Can Joe do it, 3-time NXT champion, let's find out.
Had a chuckle at the crowd chanting "Hardy" but Kross doesn't seem keen to lock up with Joe and after a few good strikes Joe takes control. Kross comes firing back, he hits a Doomsday Saido Suplex and then the elbow which sends Joe to the outside. Kross does some damage on the outside before returning to the ring. They exchange strikes before Joe has to kick out of pinfall. Kross then has him in an ankle lock which Joe sends him to the outside. Joe hits a nice dive through the ropes to take Kross out.
Kross has another flurry of offense resulting in a near fall. Joe gets the better of Kross in the corner with a nice powerslam but Kross is not done yet. Not even a powerbomb was enough and the submission is just escaped barely Kross gets his toe on the ropes. Kross hits a vicious knee but Joe is still in this, the elbows keeping Joe down.
Joe fights back somehow perhaps discovering a second wind. A belly to belly opens the door for him to gain momentum, Kross is back in with strikes, Joe fighting back inverted atomic drop and a senton both to his front and back as he lay on the floor. He locks in the Coquina Clutch, they drop to the mat. Somehow Kross reverses it then transitions into the Kross Jacket, blood seeping from Joe's mouth. Kross looks for the finish but Joe reverses slamming Kross to the ground. He kicks Kross as he’s on the turnbuckle. He goes for it, Muscle Buster! There it is, Kross is defeated. Samoa Joe is your new NXT champion, I stand corrected, maybe Vince is about to ruin Karrion Kross and this is only the beginning.
I was never going to be excited for this match, Kross has never fully won me over. Having too guys who have very similar finishers go at it just didn't appeal either, but it ended being half decent and I'm glad Joe won even if it lost me a point in the predictions league!
Winner and NEW NXT Champion Samoa Joe!
So, in summary another good takeover, hopefully this is not the last good one, I know I'm worried the changes will bring a worse time for NXT viewers, so stick with me to find out what I think as the journey continues. I think a highlight has to be Cameron Grimes getting his big win and becoming the Million Dollar Champion! Lowlight for me is Dakota Kai not beating Gonzalez, but hopefully she will get a chance to shine somehow very soon.