NXT Tag Team Champions War Raiders def. Ricochet and Aleister Black
As badly as I want Ricochet and Black to be on their own in singles competition, there's no denying that they work wonderfully together and every match they've been a part of as a team in recent months has ranged from good to great. This was tag team wrestling at its finest. It was all action from bell to bell with the two tandems having excellent chemistry with each other. I know there's a lot of people who aren't sold on War Raiders, but I'll have no problem with them as champions if they can keep producing instant classics like this one. This was as fitting of a farewell as one could ask for for Black and Ricochet, who should (hopefully) be just fine on the main roster.
NXT North American Champion Velveteen Dream def. Matt Riddle
This match was every bit as excellent as the opener but for totally different reasons. Everything Riddle and Dream did served a purpose and told a story. Dream tried to play his best mind games with Riddle, but Riddle had a counter for everything he had in his arsenal. Riddle getting more and more frustrated as the match progressed because he couldn't put Dream away was a nice touch as well. The second half was especially awesome with a lot of close nearfalls for Riddle. Sure, he lost his first match in NXT here, but he won't be harmed by the loss whatsoever. I would love to see a rematch between these two eventually.
WALTER def. Pete Dunne to Win the WWE United Kingdom Championship
I've been hyped for this match since it was officially announced weeks ago and it did not disappoint. It should be noted that throughout Dunne's near-two year reign as WWE United Kingdom Champion, he produced a ton of gems and this is near the top of that list (I'm not sure if anything will ever top his encounters with Tyler Bate from 2017). It was slower-paced, but the hard-hitting style was such a treat and I dug the story they told with Dunne battling back from everything WALTER dished out. Ultimately, WALTER was the better man, and finally the historic reign has come to an end. WALTER should be booked like a dominant champion going forward, while I assume a main roster call-up has to be in the cards for Dunne. I mean, what is there left for him to accomplish in NXT UK?
NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler def. Bianca Belair, Kairi Sane and Io Shirai in a Fatal 4-Way Match
Of all the outstanding matches on this stacked show, I'd argue that this was the weakest, but that isn't to say it was bad by any means. In fact, it was a super fun four-way with everyone having their time to shine. I really thought the title was changing hands, so every nearfall down the stretch was suspenseful. Baszler retaining was interesting, if only because I'm not sure who else she can defend against unless Shirai gets a one-on-one shot at the gold eventually. Beyond that, she's beaten Sane and Belair multiple times, so it might be time to get some fresh faces in the title picture.
Johnny Gargano def. Adam cole in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match to Win the NXT Championship
As magical as Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa IV would have been, this was ended up being a masterpiece of a match in its own right with a picture-perfect layout. The first two falls were anything extraordinary, but then again, they weren't intended to be. They merely set the stage for the third and final fall, which was obviously supposed to the best one. The drama was fantastic and the story of Gargano having to overcome the odds up against Undisputed Era was beautifully told. Gargano has been on this journey for years, so you could only imagine how amazing the reaction was to him finally becoming NXT Champion. Cole also put forth a hell of an effort and I would not be surprised to see him and rest of Undisputed Era on the main roster before long. This main event featured everything I love about professional wrestling, including a super hot and invested crowd that wanted nothing more than for Gargano to fulfill his destiny and reign supreme (of course, I'm biased because I was in attendance, but this audience's energy can not be denied).
Holy hell, this was an absolutely tremendous show. I realize I say that about every TakeOver (I have yet to see one fall below average), but this was quite honestly the greatest TakeOver top to bottom they have ever done. Even the "worst" match was a blast, and everything else was exceptional. The main event in particular was phenomenal and capped off the evening on a major high note. Plus, the United Kingdom Championship changed hands for the first time in two years, Riddle and Dream killed it, and the swan song of Ricochet and Black couldn't have been booked better. I couldn't have been happier to be in attendance for such a spectacle, and I can only imagine how NXT will plan to top it in the future. Ladies and gentlemen, this is wrestling done right.
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