What were the best moments from NXT TakeOver: Toronto?
Great live shows have become almost synonymous with NXT. It seems every time the competitors at Full Sail University have the opportunity to shine, they do. Saturday night’s NXT TakeOver: Toronto was no different.
With only 5 matches scheduled, it was imperative that each match tells its own story and captivate not only the crowd, but also it’s millions of viewers at home. Watching NXT and all its glory Saturday night, it’s apparent why people seem more invested in what is seen as WWE’s minor leagues. It’s the wrestlers, it’s the crowd, and it’s the passion that both parties bring to every NXT show. As a wrestling fan, it’s truly a joy to watch.
As mentioned, there were only 5 matches but that didn’t stop the show from having its slew of great moments. It was 145 minutes of pure wrestling bliss and it was an edge-of-your-seat kind of stuff. Counting the Dusty Rhodes Tag Classic finale, there were 4 championships on the line and it showed. It truly had that big fight feel. It’s not easy to single all the best moments, but we’ll give it a shot.
Ahead we break down the best moments from NXT TakeOver: Toronto.
4. Bobby Roode’s Entrance and Match With Tye Dillinger
What a way to kick off a show! The Air Canada Center got quite a treat as the first entrance was that of Ontario native Roode, entering the arena to a church themed chorus group singing his “Glorious” theme song. Bobby basked in the mixture of cheers and boos from his home country fans and detractors and started the night off perfectly. Here’s a snippet from it:
Roode and his opponent, the criminally under-appreciated Tye Dillinger went on to put on a terrific match after the brilliant entrance and it was a reminder to all just how good as advertised Roode really is. It was a back and forth battle that had the crowd firmly invested and it was everything that an NXT live event is supposed to be. Roode proved that he’s clearly an NXT title contender, and no matter what type of story line he gets embroiled in, there’s no doubt it will be thrilling.
Dillinger, losing to a guy with Roode’s resume loses nothing in defeat and he seems destined for big things. The post-match ovation he received is evidence of that. At 35 years-old it may be time for “The Perfect 10” to get the call-up to the main roster and take a shot at making his mark.
Move over Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode now holds the title of best entrance in NXT.
What can be said that already hasn’t already been said about these two teams and the work they do together? Their match at TakeOver: Brooklyn II tore the roof off the place and firmly proved that tag team wrestling is at its best under the NXT brand. When you mix 4 superstars at the talent of level of Tomasso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Scott Dawson, and Dash Wilder in a two out of three falls match with 22 minutes to work, brilliance is almost expected, and the four lived up to that expectation in Toronto Saturday night.
Their match in August was a little more fast-paced than their Saturday night tilt but what separates the two matches is the level of psychology in this Toronto clash. The Revival are truly a brilliant duo and legitimately seem like they study hours of tape of their opponents and exploit the weaknesses they find. In losing to DIY, they still have a legitimate argument to make as the best tag team in the entire WWE.
And as usual with an NXT show, the crowd elevated this match from brilliant to epic. They were squarely behind Gargano and Ciampa and their desperation to see the baby face duo capture the titles made DIY’s winning moment that more special.
Saturday night was a huge night for Gargano and Ciampa and their title reign should be a lot of fun. But Dash and Wilder need to be recognized for the level of commitment to their heel tag team craft. They have a massive main roster push ahead of them.
Wow, this match needs to be watched on repeat for a while.
At 37 years old and away from a WWE ring for close to 7 years, an unimpressive showing from Mickie James at TakeOver would not have been a massive shock. But that was not the case Saturday night. The former 6-time WWE Women’s champion, James, looked confident and fluid in her impressive, yet unsuccessful challenge to NXT Champ, Asuka. She matched the champ move for move and had her in big trouble a couple of times.
Asuka, not only looked liked her brilliant self but showed a different side, refusing to shake Mickie’s hand post match. “The Empress of Tomorrow” has only shown a baby face side in her NXT tenure so far but what would a heel Asuka look like? It could potentially be the move that takes the NXT champ to the next level and show her versatility when she eventually makes her main roster debut.
NXT seems to be making a habit of furthering its stars characters in either win or loss and that was very apparent in the women’s title match in Toronto. Everyone knew that the sky was the limit for Asuka, but now we can suddenly feel the same way about Mickie.
A Nakamura win seemed to make sense. The King of Strong Style had only been the champion for less than 3 months and if history proved anything, a Nakamura win seemed imminent. All 7 NXT champions before Joe in losing the belt, got a rematch, lost, and then moved to the main roster.
But in true NXT form, they kept us guessing as Samoa Joe ended Shinsuke Nakamura’s undefeated streak thus becoming the first 2-time NXT Champion.
The match, of course, was outstanding as both warriors took the fight to each other in hard-hitting form. But Joe seemed to be a step ahead all night, looking about as vicious and calculating as his early days in TNA. Nakamura never seemed to get in a groove found himself in big trouble early, never really escaping it.
So now things are in serious limbo. Most assumed that Joe would lose and head for he main roster but as champ once again, that seems on hold. Does that mean Nakamura will make the move? This should be a very interesting few months leading into the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania as both Joe and Nakamura should be major players regardless of where they end up. One thing seems to be for sure, though: the TakeOver shows seem to be more important to the WWE’s future than that of the main roster.