Thoughts on NXT Takeover 25
We are almost a week removed from NXT Takeover 25, and it did not disappoint.
We got five solid matches. New champions were crowned. It was an awesome night of wrestling.
The night kicked off with a very good match between Matt Riddle and Roderick Strong, who are pound-for-pound two of the best performers on the NXT roster. They set the tone for the night. I have said in the past how I am not crazy about Riddle’s character, but his in-ring work can not be questioned. He is growing on me. Riddle picked up the win here. I had him winning so no surprise to me here.
The NXT Tag Team Title Ladder Match was off the chain. You had so many great spots from these teams. The Street Profits came out on top and are your new NXT Tag Team Champions. I am so happy for them. Angelo Dawkins hit a dive to the outside that was impressive for a guy his size. Montez Ford leaping from the outside ring apron onto the ladder to grab the belts was a thing of beauty. Ford has superstar written all over him.
Shayna Baszler and Io Shirai told a great story. Baszler has been very good as champion and brings the best out of her opponents. Candice LaRae coming out beating Shayna’s horsewomen crew, Jessamyn Duke and Maria Shafir, with the kendo stick was awesome. I am happy to see LaRae finally start to find her own path in NXT.
Shayna retains her title in a hard fought match. Shirai showed some aggression after the match, hitting multiple moonsaults on Shayna. She even hit one using a chair. I like this side of Shirai. This feud is far from over with these two.
Tyler Breeze made his return to NXT official by competing against the Velveteen Dream for the North American Title. This was another good match. The egos and flamboyance were on full effect in this one. Velveteen retains his title in this contest. Breeze and Velveteen even took a selfie after the match. I would love to see more of these guys together, either in a feud or as a team. They really work well together. I am happy for Tyler too. He has a home in NXT and can be successful there once again.
The highlight of the night happened for me right before the main event. The NXT Title is on the line. Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole. Cole makes his entrance to the ring. All of a sudden, I hear a familiar voice. It is Josiah Williams, a.k.a. “Wrestle & Flow.”
If you have not heard of him, YouTube is his work. He has been doing remixes to a lot of wrestling theme songs. One of the first he did was for the Undisputed Era. I marked out big time for him. He now works for WWE. This was a proud moment. It is an inspiration for me and anyone else who has a dream they are living or trying to live. From YouTube sensation to NXT Takeover 25. That is something special.
Now on to the match. Cole and Gargano put on another classic match. This time Adam Cole (Bay Bay) walked away with the title. I felt bad for Johnny, but I was happy for Cole as well. He deserves it. He will be a great champion.
I went 4-for-5 on my picks. The last Takeover event in New York, I went perfect picking the matches. This night was proof of why I love wrestling, and also why I love the NXT brand. They always deliver. Sure, they have ups and downs like any promotion, but the storytelling and matches are consistent. The guys and girls seem to have more freedom and chance to succeed than they do on the main roster.
Triple H, William Regal, and all the others involved are doing a great job with the product. “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes is looking down proud of what NXT has grown into.
Those are my thoughts on Takeover 25! I really enjoyed the show! I will be back next week for the third edition of “This Week In NXT,” my weekly article on all the news and recaps of the NXT brand. Until then, take care and continue to support NXT.