So I’m delayed reviewing this because I watched it just before Wrestlemania with my friends. I managed to stay spoiler free though, which is always nice and with a damn fine looking card, let’s see how it delivered.
Match 1 – NXT Tag Title Match: War Raiders (c) vs. Ricochet/Aleister Black
Excellent tag opener. Has a lot of exciting back and forth action on the go, with only a little downtime in the middle when a few hold are locked in. But yeah, lost of good stuff here with a couple nice nearfalls too, though it was of course difficult to see Ricochet and Black winning as they were competing and ‘mania and being permanently moved up.
That didn’t affect any of the excitement though and they’ve left on such a high note, War Raiders are an absolute joy to watch and exude such awesome energy and of course Ricochet and Black are great guys to match up with that.
In the end Raiders win the Fallout but what a brilliant send-off match for their opponents.
Winners: War Raiders (via Fallout) ****1/2
Match 2 – NXT North American Title Match: Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Matt Riddle
This was also fantastic. Match was full of energy and had a great atmosphere, certainly a true standout match for Riddle in NXT too. A few of my friends aren’t that familiar with him and weren’t sure about him, but I think this match certainly quelled any doubts.
Dream was on absolute fire too in his approach too and it just all made for a very compelling back and forth match which includes quite a few tough strikes and even that deadlift German from the apron to the ring that Ibushi does which was cool to see.
In the end Riddle looks like he has Dreams number, with Dream really struggling to stay in things but as Riddle locks in the Bromission, Dream manages to roll it into a pin that gets him the three count and successfully retain. Always like those kind of finished and it worked especially well here with Dream seemingly getting overwhelmed by Riddles assault.
Winner: Dream (via counter pin) ****1/2
Match 3 – WWE UK Title Match: Walter vs. Pete Dunne (c)
The third top notch match in a row and this one in particular was my favourite of the night. Just some absolutely masterful pro wrestling on display, there wasn’t nothing particularly fanciful in there but everything felt purposeful and it made for a very physical and highly engaging affair.
Walter played his part as the dominant threat so well and it really felt like a struggle for Pete Dunne at times to match up with him, trying quite often to just go after Walter’s hands and fingers which doesn’t go super well for him.
And in the end Dunne just can’t overcome the dominant Walter and after a couple great nearfalls, Walter finally takes Dunne out with a lariat, to end Dunne’s lengthy reign and become New UK Champion.
Walter was definitely the right person to end Dunne’s reign and he more than proved that he deserved it here. Just an incredible match and one of my favorites of the year.
Winner: Walter (via Lariat) ****3/4
Match 4 – NXT Women’s Title Match: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Kairi Sane vs. Io Shiari vs. Bianca Belair
What great and chaotic 4 way this was. The action was kept constant, everyone looked good, there were now weak links and pretty much no rough patches, just four women really going at it nicely. there a few good nearfalls towards the end too and I like how Sane and Shiari teamed up at certain points through out and end up breaking up each others big pinfalls.
Loved the finishing sequence too where Bianca Belair manages hit the KOD on both Sane and Shirai at the same time, but before she can capitalise Baszler grabs Bianca in the Kirifuda Clutch and we get a nice little struggle before she finally submits allowing Baszler to retain. Lovely stuff.
winner: Baszler (via Kirifuda Clutch) ****1/4
Main Event – NXT title Two out of three falls match: Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano
Excellent match. Admittedly I wasn’t fully hooked until around the second half, but everything they did up to that point was still very good, but then something really clicked and I was super invested and really bought into Gargano’s undeniable determination to get to finally win the NXT title leading to some great near finishes, with even the interference from the rest if Undisputed Era factoring in real nicely. Atmosphere in particular around that latter half was also phenomenal which really helped enhance things.
In the end Gargano finally does succeed in his long quest by making Cole tap out to the Gargano Escape to win the third and final fall in what was certainly an emotional victory. The whole booking of Gargano has been questionable of the past year but this certainly felt satisfying to see.
I think the match maybe was a tad excessive and had one too many convoluted little counter sequences in it, but the drama in that latter stretch was absolutely beautiful.
Winner: Gargano (via Gargano Escape) ****1/2
What a fantastic show from top to bottom, one of the most consistently great Takeovers there has been, with a great atmosphere throughout and five top matches. Walter and Dunne was definitely my favourite match, but I’d still highly recommend the whole show overall.
thanks for reading.
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