Tegan Nox, Shotzi Blackheart and Mia Yim def. Dakota Kai, Raquel Gonzalez and Candice LeRae
Getting the obvious out of the way, there was no reason for this match to happen and could have easily been saved for an episode of NXT TV. That said, it ended up being a solid six-woman tag team affair with everyone getting a chance to shine. It wasn't entirely smooth (it's clear Gonzalez is still a work in progress), but it successfully served as a showcase for the division and furthered the feuds involved. I'm curious whether Kai accidentally hitting Gonzalez will lead to them splitting up, which would be weird because they haven't been together for too long as it is.
Finn Balor def. Damian Priest
Even though Priest has had memorable matches against Keith Lee in the past, he needed to have a breakout performance here in order for fans to view him as being on Balor's level. He may not have scored the victory, but at least he looked great in defeat. Seriously, this was a terrific match that was perfectly paced and felt like a true TakeOver-level encounter. Priest can always bounce back, assuming he wins either a rematch or another big matchup of importance.
NXT North American Champion Keith Lee def. Johnny Gargano
Gargano never ceases to deliver on these TakeOver specials and this was no exception. Having an equally talented opponent in Lee helped as well. They told a strong yet simple story with Gargano targeting Lee's injured eye and I loved how they brought their fight over to the house on the stage, playing off the recent segments Gargano has filmed with LeRae at their house. This was another barn burner with a semi-surprising outcome, as I was expecting Gargano to take the title to free up Lee for a run at the NXT Championship. It's possible he'll capture the championship eventually, so we'll see if the rivalry continues or if this was it for them.
nxt champion Adam Cole def. Velveteen Dream in a Backlot Brawl
I can understand of people growing tired of the cinematic matches because we've seen so many of them in the past two months (and not just in WWE), but personally, I'm still enjoying them. I thought this was fun and exactly what it needed to be. It didn't overstay its welcome and the interference from Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish was thankfully kept to a minimum. How have we not found out yet what Dexter Lumis' obsession is with Undisputed Era? At any rate, Cole hitting Dream with the Panama Sunrise on the pile of chairs made for a fantastic finish/visual. I'm very glad Cole retained the title because Dream didn't feel like the right person to take it off of him. A main roster call-up might be imminent for Dream considering he can now no longer challenge for the championship.
Karrion Kross def. Tommaso Ciampa
I'm sure Ciampa and Kross could kill it against each other, but that's not what this was supposed to be. Rather, this was all about establishing Kross as an absolute beast and was a success in that respect. Ciampa scored some offense, but Kross dominated a majority of the match and went over in decisive fashion, not to mention that he put Ciampa away in under seven minutes. If they square off again, Kross should win that, too. NXT needs to protect Kross at all costs and ensure he doesn't become a victim of unnecessary 50/50 booking.
Io Shirai def. Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley in a Triple Threat Match to Win the NXT Women's Championship
It would have been almost impossible for these three to have anything less than an average match given the immense amount of star power and talent involved. They constantly kept things interesting and the way they utilized the set was cool. The uncertainty and suspense over who would win also added to it. I had high hopes for this and they did not disappoint. Shirai seemed to land right on Ripley's head with that moonsault, but other than that, this was a worthy TakeOver main event. Shirai's title win was long overdue and was the only outcome that made sense. Flair's reign was a failure and she needs to be moved back to Raw permanently, but I'd have no problem with Ripley staying in chase mode for the foreseeable future.
From Todd Pettengill making a comeback to the sweet set to the Dok Hendrix cameo (kind of) in Gargano's "house,", all of the In Your House nostalgia on this show was wonderful. The in-ring action was as excellent as we've come to expect from TakeOvers, even if the most important ingredient (the hot crowd) was missing. Most of the matches were exciting enough that I was willing to let the lack of fans subside and I was thoroughly entertained by the end of the evening. The correct booking decisions were made and I'm looking forward to seeing what will transpire on the brand from here.
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