WWE NXT TakeOver: In Your House is in the books… If I’m being honest, I have not idea how I feel about any of it. I’ve been watching NXT since the beginning and covering it since before the first TakeOver event. No matter how down I am on WWE as a whole, I’ve always been able to depend on NXT to keep my interest, specifically when it comes to the TakeOver events. Even during the lesser TakerOvers (slowly turns and looks at Bobby Roode’s reigns as NXT Champion- talk about the best of times and the worst of times…) the matches were all action-packed and felt bigger than your average match. Getting your feud on the TakeOver card meant something. Join me as I stumble through my thoughts during the show.
Winners Take All 6-Man Tag Match: Bronson Reed & MSK vs. Legado Del Fantasma
This match had to start the show. It was all over the place and that is a good thing. MSK and Legado del Fantasma have an insane amount of in-ring chemistry. The only real question mark in this match was Reed, who we haven’t seen in many tag match scenarios over the past few years. The issue with LdF and MSK is seemingly taking a back seat to the Bronson Reed and Santos Escobar feud, which has essentially had a two-week build.
Also, what the heck does Reed have to do with MSK in general? Have we seen these three interact? Do we know if they are actually friends? Why would Reed trust MSK with the fate of the North American Championship? Why would MSK trust Reed with the fate of the tag team championships? No matter how much I enjoyed the match, that doesn’t change the fact that it didn’t make sense.
Final thoughts: Reed and MSK winning made perfect sense even if how we got here didn’t. Also, watching Reed find new ways to bulldoze Escobar through the barricade may be my new favorite thing. Reed’s entrance music should be Ludacris’ “Move Bitch, Get Out the Way”.
Mercedes Martinez vs. Xia Li
Martinez and Li kicked the crap out of each other. On Li’s end, I mean that quite literally. Li has impressed when in the ring with solid talent. Martinez is more than solid. I’m convinced that Martinez can wrestle a circle around 90% of the wrestling industry, male or female so that helps. This match drew on Martinez and Li’s issue way back during the Mae Young Classic, which gives this match a leg up on most of the other matches on the card. These two have a long-standing issue that came to a head.
That’s what is supposed to happen at a big(ish) PPV. Never mind the fact that after Li won, it led to us getting our first glimpse at the real power of Tian Sha, Mei Ying. Look, I have no idea where the Tian Sha thing is going but I’m here for it. It’s either going to end up a trainwreck or awesome… ok, it’s most likely going to be a trainwreck but those can be fun! As long as you aren’t on the train…
Final Thoughts: Ying tossed Martinez against the barricade like she was a bag of ice at a cookout.
Ladder Match for the Million Dollar Championship: Cameron Grimes vs. LA Knight
This match had a nice setup but it features two wrestlers that it’s hard to care about. Cameron Grimes for his lack of awareness on Twitter, and LA Knight because he’s lost almost every match he’s had since joining NXT. That said, seeing The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase on my TV in 2021 is something I had no idea I needed in my life, but I do. The most striking thing about this match to me was the amount of time they took before someone actually got hit with a ladder. Building anticipation gets the viewer invest and in that sense this match was successful. LA Knight winning makes the most sense. Grimes isn’t in the main event scene but he is pretty well established to the crowd. Knight is more of a mystery, so giving him the Million Dollar Championship will help develop who is as a character and more importantly why we should care.
Final Thoughts: LA Knight is an acquired taste but hopefully his run with the Million Dollar Championship will make him a bit more interesting than he has been historically, dummy, YEAH.
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon
If there was one match on the card where the end result was never in doubt, it’s this one. Never mind the shotgun build to this singles match, no one in their right mind would have picked Ember Moon to win this. The match itself was fine, but again, it’s hard to get invested when the outcome isn’t in doubt and everything that happens is insanely predictable: Dakota Kai gets involved multiple times. Moon hits her finish but Gonzalez is too close to the ropes. Shotzi Blackheart returns and takes out Kai. Moon tries her finish again and ends up losing because of it. This formula can be seen in every lazily booked angle in any arena near you.
Final Thoughts: The right person won this match. Hopefully, Gonzalez moves on to a challenger that has been built to be a legitimate threat.
Fatal 5-Way Match for the NXT Championship
Hilariously, this is the match that caused the most stir on the interwebs. It seems the IWC has turned on Karrion Kross, which is hilarious seeing as how the IWC championed him upon his arrival at the Performance Center. Kross is supposed to be a killing machine, so I had no issue with him tossing his opponents around like rag dolls. That’s how an actual fight between these five men would most likely play out. I get it. We all love Adam Cole, Pete Dunne, Johnny Gargano, and Kyle O’Reilly. I’m not saying Kross is the end-all or anything like that, but he was the right choice to win this match.
Final Thoughts: In a perfect world this will lead to Kross facing new challenges but we all know Adam Cole is looming. With the WWE Draft coming soon, don’t be shocked if Kross drops the title to Cole and ends up on RAW or SmackDown… who are we kidding, it’s going to be RAW.
In The End…
The show ended with an exacerbated William Regal saying it’s been absolute bedlam and it may be time for a change. Is that Samoa Joe’s music I’m hearing? It’s Obvious that Joe will be showing up on NXT, but I hope it doesn’t mean Regal is leaving. If Regal does leave, let’s hope they bring him back each year to announce… WAR GAMES.
After the show, if have to be honest, I was left feeling severely underwhelmed. TakeOver: In Your House was totally devoid of whlem. The majority of the feuds leading up to the event felt underdeveloped. The crowd, which is usually one of the things that make TakeOver matches seem huge, was hit or miss, especially during the main event. Maybe the change Regal spoke about will reinvigorate NXT as a whole, storylines included. Let’s see where this goes.