This is the NXT after TakeOver and it follows the same format each time. There will be a couple of matches which were taped as TakeOver dark matches and a bunch of recaps and post-match interviews. Tonight’s matches are Dakota Kai versus Bianca Belair, and War Machine versus The Mighty.
Bianca Belair def Dakota Kai
War Raiders def The Mighty
After a highlight reel of NXT TakeOver Chicago II, the show proper opened with the advertised women’s division match.
Dakota Kai vs Bianca Belair
This is a massively interesting match for positioning. Bianca Belair has been on a roll recently and showing every sign of impending stardom. Dakota Kai is just coming off the storyline with Shayna Baszler and has some ground to make up.
Belair started by showing disrespect to Kai with a hand in the face. Kai wasn’t going to be intimidated though and they launched into it.
Bianca Belair quickly gained the advantage after the initial exchange and used her superior strength to keep Kai grounded.
Overconfidence is Belair’s main problem. She takes too much time showboating because she doesn’t take her opponent seriously enough. In this one, she was trying to bounce Kai off every top rope while in a delayed vertical suplex position and Kai got free and almost rolled her up.
Belair’s surprise and annoyance led her to another mistake when she went for a splash and Kai got her knees up. Kai got a good run of offence in but it only amounted to a two-count.
Kai went to the top turnbuckle, but Belair was up too quick and Kai had to jump over her. Bianca Belair missed with the hair whip but caught Dakota Kai with a forearm. She hoisted her above her head and planted her face-first on the mat.
The recap of Velveteen Dream versus Ricochet was followed by interviews with Ricochet and Velveteen Dream. Ricochet was asked what was next for him. He said at TakeOver New Orleans just a little bit of what he could do. At TakeOver Chicago he showed the NXT universe he is not just some animated gif or cool flip, and he showed Velveteen Dream the spotlight no longer belongs to him, it belongs to the One and Only, Ricochet.
Velveteen Dream was asked where he goes from here. He said, ‘I said Dream Over in Chicago. What do you think?’ Then he walked off – No, I don’t know what that means either
The recap of Shayna Baszler versus Nikki Cross led into an interview with Shayna Baszler, who was with her four horsewomen of MMA friends, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. She was asked if there was a moment of doubt about whether Nikki Cross’ craziness could overcome her dominance. Baszler said, ‘You know how you defeat chaos? You suck the air out of it and you put it to sleep. And still…’
Aleister Black versus Lars Sullivan’s recap next. Aleister Black looked sore as he walked down the corridor. The interviewer started to congratulate him, but Black just said, ‘Sorry, I can’t talk right now’, and kept walking.
The recap of Undisputed ERA vs Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch was up next. Feels like an odd format to do them all in one go like this. Lorcan and Burch got the post-match interview, and they were visibly disappointed. Burch said they’ve got a combined 25 years of experience and this was their first TakeOver. They’re heartbroken they don’t have the titles. Lorcan added that it was the biggest match of their careers and the biggest loss.
The final recap of the night, and the longest, went to Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa’s street fight. A what a fight it was. Funnily enough, neither of them was interviewed after the match.
Aleister Black will be live on the show next week.
EC3 was interviewed as he entered the performance centre. He was asked what he thought of TakeOver and said NXT TakeOver proved exactly why NXT is the top brand in sports entertainment. It had everything, thrills, chills, drama, excitement. Except it lacked the top one percent. He proclaimed he will be on one hundred percent of TakeOvers going forward. Since he arrived in NXT he’s been building it into NX3 with win after win. That’s why he was there, to break down William Regal’s door and ask for the very top tier of competition. EC3 is calling his shot and when he calls his shot he does not miss. As he was walking away he was asked who he’s going to ask Regal for. He said, ‘everybody’.
War Raiders vs The Mighty
The Mighty have a new look to go with their new attitude. Gone are the mismatched bright colours, they now have matching black and white tights and new matching jackets. They didn’t wait for the bell either, they slapped them with their nice new jackets and went straight for pounding on them
The energy levels of The Mighty were phenomenal. They obviously can’t match War Raiders on power and size outpacing them was their only chance. The initial burst of momentum didn’t do them any good though. War Raiders took over as soon as the bell went.
The Mighty used some suspect tactics to tip the balance in their favour and temporarily remove Hanson from the equation. Shane Thorne nearly pinned Rowe with his feet on the ropes, but Rowe kicked out.
Hanson came in and took Thorne and Miller apart.
Thorne took War Raider’s double team finisher, but Nick Miller broke it up. Hanson took him out of the match moments later by landing a suicide dive on him.
This time when War Raiders double-teamed Shane Thorne he stayed down – although, to be fair, he’d only made the briefest of attempts to get up after the first one.
Standard post-TakeOver NXT episode. I’m a little disappointed by the result of Bianca Belair versus Dakota Kai, I was hoping for better for Kai. She’s a great talent so hopefully, she’ll be built back up over time. This tweet from her seems to suggest that’s the story. I think this solidifies Belair as the most likely person to be heading for Shayna Baszler next.
Despite their loss, The Mighty looked great tonight against War Raiders. They got flattened by the biggest, toughest team on the roster, but any team that don’t have that power advantage could be in big trouble. I’m looking forward to seeing where the NXT tag division goes next, especially considering the events of the last few days… but there lie spoilers.