Noam Dar def. Travis Banks
It was nice to see Banks get a match on a TakeOver special after getting bumped from the last one, even if this didn't have much of a story and was added to the card at the last minute. From an in-ring standpoint, this was very well wrestled and was the perfect opener for the event. The crowd was into the action and both guys looked great. It's a shame Banks can never seem to catch a break, though.
Cesaro def. Ilja Dragunov
Fingers crossed Cesaro is here to stay in NXT UK for a little while and that this wasn't just a one-off. I doubt that's the case, but hey, a man can dream. I was selfishly hoping Kassius Ohno would answer Cesaro's open challenge given their history (or at least come out afterward), but I figured he wouldn't after already competing before the show in a match taped for next week's episode of NXT UK. In fact, Dragunov was probably the better choice, because although the up-and-comer didn't win, he had a strong showing in defeat. This was a very fun and hard-hitting affair that the crowd ate up. Like I said, more of Cesaro in NXT UK, please. He came across like a total star, and it's not like WWE has any major plans for him on the main roster.
Buy In: Nyla Rose Won a 21-Woman Casino Battle Royale to Advance to the AEW Women's Championship Match on October 2nd
Despite the level of talent involved in this thing, I didn't think it was particularly good. Some women were randomly eliminated, there were a number of botched/blown spots, and it didn't have the strongest flow. That isn't to say it was terrible, but it definitely could have been better. On the bright side, I did like who this Battle Royal came down to and appreciated that Britt Baker got to shine before losing. Meanwhile, Mercedes Martinez received a superstar reaction when she entered last. All Elite Wrestling would be foolish not to sign her. Plus, Tenille Dashwood made a surprise appearance, though this may have been a one-off as she's currently under contract to IMPACT.
Buy In: Private Party def. Angelico and Jack Evans
I've been thoroughly impressed with Private Party since getting introduced to their work earlier this year. They have charisma in boatloads and are a blast to watch in the ring. Of course, the same can be said for Angelico and Evans, so I had no doubt that this would be an enjoyable outing. It was more of a spot-fest than anything else, but the crowd was hot for it and Private Party had a breakout performance. They picked up the big win and then Angelico and Evans turned heel afterward, so everyone came out of this looking great.
Golden Magic def. Trey, TJP and Taurus in a Four-Way Match
It's cool that IMPACT always uses unknown talent (at least unknown to most of the American audience) from Mexico whenever they tape TV there. It helps get other fans familiar with them and gives them a platform where they can showcase their skills. This was a fun four-way where everyone got the chance to shine at one point or another and I was surprised that Magic picked up the victory. Based off his interaction with TJP afterward, though, I assume those two will clash one-on-one on an upcoming episode.
Willie Mack and Rich Swann def. The Rascalz
This had the potential to be a barn burner based off who was involved. While it never ended up being as exciting as I hoped, it was very well wrestled and as enjoyable as the opener. I'm really digging Mack and Swann as a tandem, not only because of their strong chemistry but also because it gives both men something meaningful to do now that Swann has moved on from the Impact X-Division Championship scene. They'll been winning a lot lately, so here's hoping this means they're being groomed for a shot at the Impact World Tag Team Championship.
Io Shirai def. Cami Fields
Shirai has been a totally different competitor since turning heel a few months ago and now I look forward to all of her appearances. She dominated Fields, and although she could have won with her signature moonsault, she was adamant about submitting Fields for the victory. She almost beat her down with a kendo stick after the match before Candice LeRae made the save, who looked as intense as I've ever seen her. I'm glad their feud isn't over because that first match in Toronto was so damn good.
Dominik Dijakovic def. Keith Lee
It was great to see Dijakovic back in action after a long layoff. He was building real momentum before getting hurt in the spring, so here's hoping he can pick up where he left off. Based off what we saw from him here, I assume he will. Lee and Dijakovic have worked wonderfully together in the past and this was another certified banger from them. I enjoyed every second of this and am still amazed they are capable of half of the things they do despite their size. I wish they would have gotten more time, but it's possible they face off in a rematch on an upcoming episode of NXT or even at the next TakeOver. Either way, I'm dying to see more from these two monsters because this was awesome.
Ilja Dragunov def. Tyson T-Bone
Dragunov shockingly lost to Kassius Ohno two weeks ago on NXT UK, so I liked that he showed more aggression than usual in this outing. In other words, T-Bone never stood a chance. Dragunov mostly dominated T-Bone and got all of his offense in before putting him away in decisive fashion. I'm curious if Dragunov will eventually avenge his loss to Ohno or if it was merely a one-off.
Joseph Conners def. Oliver Carter
Carter's NXT UK debut has been hyped up for a few weeks now, but I would have waited until after TakeOver this weekend to have him wrestle his first match for the brand. He had a decent performance but didn't blow me away in any way. Worse yet, he lost to Joseph Conners of all people, who has been a jobber to the stars for some time now. It's going to be difficult for Carter to rebound from this.
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