NXT continues to build upon the foundation set at TakeOver: Brooklyn by throwing in some international flavor for its next installment of TakeOver. Much like TakeOver: Brooklyn, it’s hard not to be excited for what we’re going to see on TakeOver: London. We here at Wrestling With Words, and more specifically I, will be reviewing it for everyone’s viewing pleasure. It’s going to be a fantastic night of wrestling! If you haven’t yet, check out our previews and predictions for the event!
TakeOver: London starts off hot with, as Kyle Edwards called it, a “women’s division match”. Surprisingly, Emma gets the crap booed out of her. I was expecting more of a favorable reaction for her, but I can’t be mad at London for liking Asuka. Fittingly, the crowd starts things off with an “Asuka’s gonna kill you” chant. Asuka maintains a dominance in the beginning of the match, devilishly toying with Emma as she rips her arm out of the socket.
Asuka nails an absolutely beautiful hip attack off the apron and knocks Emma flat on her face. Dana distracts Asuka just long enough on the outside for Emma to make up for lost ground and bring the attack to Asuka. Turnabout is fair play, and we see Emma start to pick apart the shoulder area of Asuka. Asuka eventually battles back, but is brought down by an absolutely vicious clothesline from Emma. I have to commend not only the ring work of Emma, as she’s been fantastic in the heel role, but Dana is playing the ringside heel manager gimmick to an absolute tee. Emma makes the mistake of slapping Asuka across the face, and pays for it with a missile dropkick. Asuka rallies back with a flurry of forearms, strikes, and kicks. Asuka goes for a huge kick to knock Emma, who reverses and dodges a spinning backfist by Asuka.
The crowd is just as enamored with Emma as I am right now. Emma reasserts her dominance, and attempts to lock in the Emma Lock but Asuka reverses it into an ankle lock and then into a German suplex, and follows it up with a nasty running enzuigiri. Dana Brooke throws what appears to be a weightlifting belt into the ring for Emma to use while the referee is down, and as the referee takes the object away Asuka slips Emma into the Asuka Lock. Emma tries to take advantage of all the commotion that Dana Broke is causing, but gets knocked out by an absolutely vicious kick from Asuka! An absolutely incredible opener and an absolutely incredible job by all three women involved in this matchup.
Winner via Pinfall: Asuka
Before I even get into discussing the match, can we please just take a moment to talk about Enzo Amore and his ridiculous sense of fashion tonight? I love how over the top the entire act of Enzo and Cass is. Speaking of over the top, Enzo and Cass are getting a reaction on level with the one they got in Brooklyn, and that tells you everything you need to know about how big of a draw these guys are. Dash & Dawson assert their dominance over the smaller Amore, who the crowd absolutely loves in this match by the way. In an absolute rip off of Dash & Dawson’s gimmick, Enzo & Cass attack the injured shoulder (via clotheslining the ringpost) of Dash with laser precision. The champs quickly regain advantage in short order though, again picking apart the much smaller Enzo.
Dash & Dawson really are asserting their dominance here, especially over Big Cass once he’s able to get back into the ring. At one point, they have him in a brutal ankle lock on the injured leg he recently come back from. Even though Cass is able to reach the ropes for a break, Dash & Dawson attempt to go for the same move that put Big Cass on the shelf. Enzo runs interference, and Big Cass nails a big boot followed up by Air Enzo. Enzo eventually fails victim to being hurled off the top rope into an almost codebreaker like move, sealing the deal on this match.
Winners via Pinfall and still NXT Tag Team Champions: Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder
Apollo and Baron start things off exactly how you would expect: with hard hitting action. Baron brings his special brand of banter into the match up, trying to emotionally derail Crews while also physically dissecting him as well. At one point, Baron Corbin spits out the following line, and yes, this is an actual quote:
Aside from the absolutely vicious banter being delivered throughout this match, Baron Corbin surprisingly has had the upper hand most of the match. Crews finally gets up from his beat down and goes right after Corbin with two takedowns and unleashes a flurry of fists into the face of Corbin. Baron Corbin attempts the End of Days but Crews escapes from it, nails a huge kick to the side of the head, and follows it up with a standing moonsault for the two count. Baron eventually nails the End of Days and, in probably one of the most shocking booking decisions I’ve seen in a while, actually gets the pin.
Winner via Pinfall: Baron Corbin
Bayley seems noticeably concerned during the introduction of her and Nia Jax. However, we see the typical smile of Bayley once the crowd takes a page from Bruce Channel’s book and starts singing “Hey Baby”. Nia Jax absolutely manhandles the Women’s Champion, using her sheer size and presence to take any and all fight out of Bayley. Bayley tries counter after counter on the superior strength of Jax, but is countered at any and all turns. Bayley finally makes a comeback, but is not able to get the much larger Jax off her feet no matter what it is she tries. Jax nails her signature leg drop, but Bayley refuses to give up. Three Samoan drops later and another leg drop, and Bayley still refuses to give in.
Bayley has taken an absolutely vicious beating in this match. This match is being booked perfectly. On one hand, you have the diabolical monster Nia Jax and the other is the infinite fighting spirit of Bayley. Bayley has a guillotine locked in Jax, draining the strength out of her and wrenching her neck in a completely different direction than it’s meant to go in. Even after taking an absolute ass-whipping, Bayley is able to force Nia Jax to give in. Another excellent match in terms of booking and how things were presented.
Winner via Submission and still NXT Women’s Champion: Bayley
Kudos to WWE for the fact that they’re presenting Demon Finn Balor as Jack The Ripper and that they teased that the entire time during the opening vignette of the show. That’s actually some very, very clever stuff on their part, which I will never normally accuse WWE of being able to do. Finn Balor is coming out absolutely hot in this match, taking it straight to Samoa Joe. Things take a turn for the worst though for the champion, as he attempts a Coup De Grace onto the steel steps. Joe is able to dodge and floor the champ on the outside with an absolutely vicious powerslam. Even after watching Samoa Joe all these years, I’m still utterly amazed at how agile he is for a man his size.
Back inside the ring, Samoa Joe applies a varied repertoire of submissions to try and force the champion to submit. Balor had a nice little streak going for him at the start, but it’s been all Samoa Joe, as it should be too. Balor nails a float-over DDT though to try and bide himself some time to recover from the onslaught of Joe. Balor eventually nails a huge outside dive and stuns Samoa Joe long enough to be able to execute a successful Coup De Grace, but can only get a two count on the pinfall attempt. Balor nails the slingblade, but isn’t able to follow it up. Joe hoists Balor up for the Muscle Buster, but Balor hits a pele kick to take Joe off his feet. Joe licks in the Coquina Clutch, but is thrown straight into the turnbuckle.
Balor is fired right up and manages to get Joe off his feet, and attempts a third Coup De Grace and comes up successful! What a hell of a match by both Joe and Balor. For the third time tonight, we have an excellent match featured here in London.
Winner via Pinfall and still NXT Champion: Finn Balor
What a crazy night it was for TakeOver: London! We still have the return of Sami Zayn to look forward to on next week’s episode of NXT, but that’s it for London. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did, and remember that Wrestling With Words is your destination for NXT coverage, both old and new!