NXT Takeover Pheonix 2019 Review

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Star Ratings + Results:

  • War Raiders defeat Undisputed Era to win the NXT Tag Team Championships @16:54 ****1/2
  • Matt Riddle defeats Kassius Ohno @9:18 ***
  • Johnny Gargano defeats Ricochet to win the NXT North American Title @24:38 ****3/4
  • Shayna Baszler defeats Bianca Belair to retain the NXT Women’s Title @15:14 ***1/2
  • Tomasso Ciampa defeats Aleister Black to retain the NXT Championship @26:30 ****

War Raiders vs. Undisputed Era(c) for the NXT Tag Titles:

  • A fast start to the match, Rowe bodyslams Hanson onto Undisputed Era at ringside which is a solid spot. 
  • UE throws Rowe into Hanson on the apron sending both crashing to ringside. 
  • UE isolates Hanson in their corner, with a guillotine locked on by O’Reilly, Rowe makes the tag to Hanson who comes in with a hot tag. Rowe gutwrenches O’Reilly into Roddy. 
  • Suicide Tope Con Hiro by big boi Hanson misses and he hits the floor hard. 
  • Double Team Draping Suplex by UE begins isolating on Rowe, Rowe deadlifts O’Reilly out of the Triangle but Strong hits a powerbomb before O’Reilly gets powerbombed. Great heel tag work by UE, Hanson gets back on the apron and in the ring but with the referee distracted Strong pulls Rowe back into UE’s corner. Rowe exploder suplexes O’Reilly into Roddy on the apron wiping both out and opening tags but O’Reilly pulls Hanson off the apron. 
  • Great FlipOver Knee by Rowe opens tags as Mauro references Sicko Mode with a like a light ayy like a light. Hot tag by Hanson is finally made, insane cartwheel lariat by Hanson wipes out O’Reilly. Bronco Buster in the corner by Hanson to Strong gets a near fall. 
  • Great 4-man sequence into a pop-up powerslam by War Raiders followed by a Suicide Dive by Hanson to Strong ringside. Amazing near fall on O’Reilly after the powerslam.
  • Jackknife Powerbomb/Diving Crossbody combo by War Raiders near fall save by Strong.
  • Great superplex by Strong to Hanson followed by a diving knee by O’Reilly for another great near fall. 
  • Great show of strength by Strong (literally) to Olympic Slam Hanson for a near fall. 
  • HighLow Tandem Strike Finisher by UE for a great near fall on Hanson.
  • Hanson cartwheels to miss a running knee by Strong and hits an insane backspring double elbow, insane powerslam/powerbomb combo by Rowe into a Diving Slam combo for the win for War Raiders. 

Winners: War Raiders New Champions @16:54!

Rating: ****1/2, An insanely hot opening tag match with an insane performance by War Raiders with crazy strength from Rowe and surprising agility from Hanson. The match moved at 100 MPH and the crowd was hot as hell. Undisputed Era always plays the technically dominant heel to a tee and does that again here but the Raiders were too much to handle for the Era as they will most likely go up to the MR. This will be a big-time contender for Tag Match of the Year and almost Match of The Year but most importantly the match did what it set out to do and that was to put over War Raiders and start the show off with another Takeover Classic. 

Matt Riddle vs. Kassius Ohno:

  • Matt Riddle was one of the best independent wrestlers last year and now he’s got his first big Takeover match. I’m really excited about the future of Riddle mostly because WWE haves a love affair with UFC guys. 
  • Running Forearm off the steps ringside by Riddle. 
  • Insane deadlift by Riddle of Ohno to send him over in a gutwrench.
  • Riddle goes for a Sunset Bomb off the apron, Ohno traps Riddle’s face under the apron and kicks it to escape which is a smart spot. 
  • Spinning Back Elbow by Ohno knocks Riddle down for the first near fall.
  • Slow pace instigated by Ohno acting like a heel.
  • Ohno sends Riddle face-first into the post yelling “Remember This” because he did the same thing on NXT TV. Then Ohno sends him into the steel steps. 
  • Ohno strikes at Riddle on the apron who fires up and gets Ohno in a rear-naked choke, Ohno gets the ropes but Riddle tries to German Suplex Ohno. Kassius stomps on the barefoot of Riddle to escape but Matt comes back to hit the German Suplex for a near fall. 
  • After some Bro Kicks, Ohno bites at the feet of Riddle weird but he escapes further attacks. Sit-out powerbomb by Ohno for a near fall. 
  • Great Diving Moonsault by Ohno for a near fall.
  • Senton by Ohno caught into a Rear Naked Choke by Riddle but Ohno gets to the ropes. 
  • Ohno on his knees looks for a fist bump but Riddle hits him with a knee and a Dragon Suplex. Riddle taps out Ohno after repeated elbows. 

Winner: Matt Riddle @9:18!

Rating: ***, This was okay but ranks on the lower end of Takeover matches in the past few years. Ohno played an okay heel but he really needs a character revival that’s more drastic than what he’s currently trying to do and Riddle hasn’t had his calling card match in NXT and that’s what I expected this to be but I was disappointed. The story kept very solid and the strikes hit hard but the match was missing something and never really kicked into any gear. 

Johnny Gargano vs. Ricochet(c) for the NXT North American Title:

  • Genuine MOTY potential on this one. 
  • Solid feeling out period at the start. Momentum gains and a great sequence ensues as both get the better of each other. Staredown and “NXT” chants end the sequence. 
  • Rico asks which Johnny he’s gonna get tonight and Gargano gets up and punches him in the face. Heel Johnny then. 
  • Springboard Stepping Moonsault off the turnbuckle to Gargano ringside. 
  • Off the top rope, Gargano Alley-Oop bombs Ricochet into the top rope face-first. 
  • Stiff dropkick to the back of the head of Ricochet by Gargano for a near fall.
  • Standing Moonsault by Rico is caught mid-air by Johnny as he pushes him with his legs across the ring. 
  • Slower start than would be expected.
  • Grounded Octopus Lock by Gargano in, Ricochet gets a pin attempt to escape the hold. 
  • Slingshot Spear by Gargano halted, Ricochet hits a Standing Moonsault to Gargano on his knees.
  • Strikefest, Ricochet begins to bring momentum back in and hits a huricanrana and a Tiger Faint Kick in the corner followed by a Springboard uppercut to Gargano to knock him down. 
  • Rolling Brainbuster by Ricochet for a near fall. 
  • Rolling Huricanrana by Ricochet stopped with a mid-air powerbomb by Gargano, Johnny gets in the Gargano Escape but can’t get all of it. Ricochet rolls Gargano up for a near fall. 
  • Slingshot DDT by Gargano stopped in mid-air, Ricochet throws Gargano to ringside and he hits his face on the apron. Twisting Tope Con Hiro by Ricochet hits. 
  • Diving Moonsault by Rico gets a near fall. 
  • Avalanche Huricanrana by Gargano, Rico flips out of it. Insane. The two strike off as Rico hits a rolling Pele kick, Backspring back elbow by Rico caught into a Gargano Escape. Rico deadlifts out and throws him into the corner. 
  • Rico goes to the top rope but Gargano rolls to the other side of the ring. Rico aims at Gargano on the apron but Johnny drops off the apron. Rico Tope con Hiros over the corner to hit Gargano ringside and hits a Springboard 450 back in-ring for a great near fall. 
  • Shooting Star Press by Rico caught with Gargano’s knees as Johnny rolls him up for a near fall. 
  • Running Stiff Superkick by Gargano sends Ricochet ringside, Suicide Dive by Gargano caught into a Fireman’s Carry by Rico. Gargano hits an insane reverserana ringside. Slingshot DDT by Gargano back in-ring for an amazing near fall.
  • Gargano goes ringside to remove padding Tomasso Ciampa style, Johnny decides against it which is amazing storytelling. Roll up by Ricochet back in-ring for a great near fall. 
  • Stiff Lariat by Rico knocks out Johnny, Pheonix Splash misses for Ricochet. Johnny catches him with a superkick. Gargano Escape by Ricochet locks in but Gargano gets the ropes. 
  • Gargano shoves Rico into the post calling back the Andrade match, Gargano grabs Rico and looks at the floor and hits a Vertical Suplex onto the exposed floor. Johnny rolls Ricochet back in the ring. Slingshot DDT again for the win. 

Winner: Johnny Gargano New Champion @24:38!

Rating: ****3/4, One of the best stories told in recent memory in my opinion. Gargano deciding who he wanted to be and ending up choosing the villainous side was amazing. The in-ring material was insane too but not as up to par as I expected it to be and not on the level as a Gargano vs. Black or Almas. The match started slow which was just to boost storytelling but it took them a little too long to get it back up and running. The match got incredible though but it missed that huge spot. The layout of the match aside, the storytelling and talent mixed together to really make something special. Serious MOTY contender. 

Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Bianca Belair for the NXT Women’s Title:

  • Bianca Belair is undefeated going into this match. 
  • Baszler used the hair to send Bianca into the ring post, smart spot. Belair looks to have injured or is selling the shoulder.
  • Shayna stomps on the arm of Bianca brutally. 
  • Baszler continues to work on the arm with efficiency keeping herself dominant. 
  • Stiff knee by Baszler gets the first near fall. 
  • Belair comes back and gains momentum. Belair hits a spear for a near fall. 
  • Jumping Knee by Baszler for a near fall.
  • Good strikefest ensues and Belair ends it with a hair whip that takes down Shayna.
  • Baszler gets out of the Chicken Wing and throws Belair into the referee. Belair hits the KOD but there’s no referee to count the pin and Bianca releases some blood-curdling screams. Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke come in but Belair fights them off. Coquina Clutch by Baszler in locked in and the referee comes back but Belair deadlifts Baszler up and breaks the hold and hits a Vertical Suplex for a great recovery. 
  • Jessamyn Duke distracts Belair on the top rope, Belair misses the Diving 450 and Baszler locks in the Coquina Clutch again and she sells it amazingly and gets back up again but then falls back down but Belair deadlifts Baszler up again but Baszler gets her back down and she passes out. One of the best submission sequences I’ve seen in a while.

Winner: Shayna Baszler Retains @15:14!

Rating: ***1/2, This was a great women’s match with so much emotional investment put into the amazing Bianca Belair. The strikes hit hard and the submission sequences were amazing but the referee bump with the Four Horsewomen interfering was annoying. It would’ve made perfect sense for Belair to come back and win but Baszler ended up getting the victory. Amazing showing from Belair and Baszler continues to show that she has taken to wrestling amazingly. Rousey gets the majority of the credit because she is on the big stage but Shayna is so much better. 

Tomasso Ciampa(c) vs. Aleister Black for the NXT Championship:

  • The match starts very solidly with a feeling out period that isn’t slow paced. 
  • Buzzsaw kick by Black sends Ciampa ringside, flip over taunt by Black. 
  • Black taunts Ciampa with the sit-down but Ciampa strikes at him while he’s down. 
  • Tope Con Hiro by Black wipes out Ciampa ringside. Black lands a bit hard on his knee. 
  • Springboard Standing Moonsault by Black for the first near fall. 
  • Ciampa rolls ringside but Black catches him with a buzzsaw kick leveling him. Ciampa whips the leg of Black into the steps and chucks him into some stairs for good measure. 
  • Vertical Suplex ringside by Ciampa sends the legs of Black into the steps. Ciampa aims to work the leg of Black that he tweaked from the dive earlier.
  • In-ring Ciampa works the leg innovatively. Ciampa wraps the leg of Black around the ring post and sends him leg-first with a suplex into the announce table. Ciampa sits on the table Black-style. 
  • Stiff buzzsaw kick by Black sends the water in the hand of Ciampa flying. Back in-ring Ciampa hits a low dropkick to the leg of Black getting him down again. 
  • Ciampa wraps the leg around the top turnbuckle while he’s in the Tree of Woe, Black fights out and hits a flying knee to Ciampa on the top that sends both out to ringside.
  • Black begins to string strikes together and gain momentum, Aleister hits a big kick for a near fall on Ciampa.
  • Small Package by Ciampa for a near fall.
  • Black misses a Black Masses and Ciampa goes for the Fairytale Ending but fails. Lariat by Ciampa and he attempts Fairytale Ending again but again fails. Black hits a one-legged German Suplex Bridge for a near fall. 
  • Dragon Screw Leg Whip by Ciampa into a Single Leg Crab but Black fights out. 
  • Black locks in a Single Leg Boston Crab of his own but has to put too much weight on his injured knee and he falls.
  • Draping Cutter from the top rope onto the apron by Ciampa for a great near fall. Running Knee Strike by Ciampa against the ropes for another near fall. 
  • Ciampa does Black’s signature foot raise taunt but Black catches him with a knee strike, Ciampa knocks him down with a knee strike of his own. 
  • Strikefest ensues and speeds up Ciampa catches Black with a near fall roll up. More roll-ups from both men and strikes continue Ciampa levels Black with a lariat. Black removes the knee pad but Ciampa escapes but Black catches him with a double stomp. Black catches Ciampa in the back with a knee and hits a brainbuster for a near fall. 
  • Moonsault off the corner to outside by Black, Aleister slips on the water from earlier and Ciampa hits Fairytale Ending in-ring for a great near fall. 
  • Ciampa removes the ringside padding similar to Gargano earlier tonight. The referee argues with Ciampa and Black hits a Meteora onto the exposed concrete. Black Mass hits but he can’t capitalize because Ciampa turns over. 
  • Ciampa grabs the referee to escape Black Mass, Ciampa rolls Black over and hits the draping DDT. Fairytale Ending by Ciampa for a great near fall. 
  • Another Fairytale Ending hits and Ciampa goes for the 3rd one but Black levels him with a buzzsaw again but Black misses the Black Mass because of the knee and Ciampa hits the final Fairytale Ending for the win. 

Winner: Tomasso Ciampa Retains @26:30!

Rating: ****, When a 4-star match underwhelms you know you’ve had it good. The working of the leg was really smart but it took the heat out of the match. Ciampa turned in a solid performance and the match kicked into a top gear momentarily but it wasn’t on the caliber of a Takeover main event. It was still really good though but it just felt like something was missing and Gargano vs. Ricochet goes home with Match of the Night. 

  • Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa hold up their belts to end the night. 

Show Grade: B+

Last Word: A great show but a lacking Takeover. Mostly for one reason, there are going to be a lot of call-ups soon and NXT is in a transition point right now. With Aleister Black and Undisputed Era mostly getting the raise the faces of NXT are leaving. However, it is also a possibility that WWE realized Takeover was a threat to their product and wanted Royal Rumble to be the highlight of the weekend especially with it being the first PPV after the whole Mcmahon revamp thing and WWE in one of it’s lowest points right now. However, this show still wasn’t bad it had two very legitimate MOTY contenders in Ricochet vs Gargano and War Raiders vs Undisputed Era but the main event while it was good it was underwhelming and the Riddle vs Ohno match just wasn’t any good. The big news for NXT though is that after this show DIY runs the place again but as heels this time which I can totally look forward to. It will be interesting to see how NXT changes by the Next Takeover Event. This was the worst Takeover show of the 2018-2019 season but by now you should now that the worst Takeover is still freaking awesome. 

 

One thought on “NXT Takeover Pheonix 2019 Review

  1. No disrespecting Gargano, he is not on the same league as Ricochet.

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see Ricochet at the Rumble.

    As always the Rumble will have a tough time. They need to have the NXT PPV 2 weeks apart from WWE ones.

    Like

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