NXT Takeover Dallas Review
NXT Tag Team Title Match: The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) vs American Alpha (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable) – Great opener. Dash and Dawson and totally in the mold of old school NWA teams like Ole and Arn Anderson or the Midnight Express, from the double team moves to the cheating tactics. Jordan and Gamble are two excellent young ring technicians. They got a good fifteen minutes to work here and there was lots of back and forth action. American Alpha got the win here to take home the belts, but I don’t think this is the end for the Revival in NXT. They’re much more suited to the NXT audience than the main roster so it wouldn’t surprise me to see them stick around and maybe even regain the belts if they’re not a surprise call-up for the RAW after WrestleMania (I don’t see that happening).
Austin Aries vs Baron Corbin: This was standard veteran putting over the new guy stuff here. The match was OK. Aries won it. Corbin seems to have hit a ceiling in NXT; there’s pretty much zero chance of him getting the title from Finn Balor or whoever Balor eventually loses to. A main roster call up would make the most sense for him now.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Sami Zayn: Wow, what a match. This is one to watch over and over again just because. You won’t see a better striking dominated match anywhere. Nakamura is every bit as good as advertised and then some. And Sami showed out in what is his likely last NXT match. This alone would have been worth paying a pay per view price for. Be thankful it’s not 1986; if it were Vince would have Nakamura playing all the worst stereotypes he could think of. I think a Balor-Nakamura match is all but inevitable at this point and I can’t wait.
NXT Women’s Title Match: Bayley vs Asuka – Unfortunately for the ladies they had an impossible act to follow, reminiscent of Balor and Kevin Owens at NXT Brooklyn having to follow Bayley and Sasha Banks. The match was a good one in its own right but had no chance of outshining its predecessor. Asuka is your new women’s champ; does Bayley get called up immediately for Monday Night or will she stick around for a while? We’ll see.
NXT Title Match: Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe – Balor followed up his London Jack the Ripper entrance with a Texas Chainsaw Massacre theme this time. Crazy match, in a good way. Joe got busted open early and in what is a total departure from when I started watching 30 years ago, a medic checked him over several times afterwards. Joe landed all kinds of big moves on Balor but couldn’t put him away, and Finn was able to pull of the victory in a way that left both guys looking good. This was better than their previous match at NXT London and I’d be ok with them hooking up a third time.
Overall Grade: A
Better show than NXT London; the matches all mattered and we got some title changes. The London show was the first NXT Takeover show that left me a little underwhelmed so this was a great bounce back. This one will definitely get some repeat viewings, and we will see if it ends up being the best show of the weekend.
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