If you haven’t watched this yet, this review contains spoilers. You have been warned. Go watch the show right now!
NXT TakeOver: Respect
October 7, 2015
Full Sail University
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton
Samoa Joe and Finn Balor vs. Wilder & Dawson – Semi-Final of the Dusty Rhodes Classic
This match was very intense. Right out of the gate both teams were smashing each other with high impact offense, including dives from Finn. The crowd is going absolutely nuts for both Joe and Balor. Balor goes for a Coup de Grace early on, but Dawson pushes Wilder out of the way and hits Balor in the knees.
Dawson and Wilder work over Finn’s knee from this point on, which will go long towards keeping Finn grounded. Balor sells like the champ he is and makes the opposing team look good while generating heat as the crowd begs for Joe to come in and make the save. One awesome spot was when Balor was crawling towards Joe so he could tag him in, but Dawson went underneath the ring and came out on the other side to just pull Joe down before he could make the tag.
When Balor finally makes the tag, the crowd pops huge for Joe as he starts to wreck everyone in the ring. Balor begs for the tag back in and Joe hits the Muscle Buster followed by Balor hitting the Coup de Grace for the win. It should be noted though that Balor seemed to hurt his knee quite badly delivering the move. This might prove detrimental later on when they wrestle in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Classic.
Another awesome match out of these two. It seems Joe is really adjusting well to NXT, and having him team with Balor is great too as both guys look really good.
A highlight video airs about NXT travelling the country.
Chad Gable & Jason Jordan vs. Rhyno & Corbin – Semi-Final of the Dusty Rhodes Classic
This is another solid match here, and the fans are firmly in Gable & Jordan’s corner, even singing Gable’s name at one point. The crowd is really hot for this match, which helps elevate it’s importance. Gable and Jordan are turning into a really solid tag team, and it seems they’re both embracing it and running with the opportunity they’ve been given.
Quick tags and smooth teamwork can only go so far when Rhyno is in the ring though, as Rhyno eventually overpowers Gable, and both men begin to work him over, using their size to their advantage. As Corbin beats Gable down, the fans chant “Cor-bin sucks” in the New Day clapping style. The crowd chants Gable’s name pretty much continually, even with a creative chant of “Save the Gable.” That’s so awesome. It seems that New Day has really inspired a series of new chants.
Gable manages to get a tag after rolling out of the way of Rhyno diving from the top rope. Jordan cleans house and actually throws Rhyno and Corbin around the ring. Man, Jordan and Gable are really good. The next few segments are both teams hitting massive moves on each other to the delight of the crowd. The audience is going absolutely insane for this match.
Corbin manages to hit The End of Days in an extremely creative way for the finish. Poor Gable got planted really hard into the mat.
This rating might be high by some standards, but man, I loved this match. Really solid work from both teams, and the hot audience combined for a perfect storm, turning a decent match into an awesome one. The Finals are set! Finn Balor & Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno & Baron Corbin.
Kevin Nash is shown in the audience enjoying the show, as he throws up the Wolfpac sign.
Asuka vs. Dana Brooke
I predict that Asuka is going to win by death in this one. Before the bell rings, the fans immediately begin chanting “Asuka’s going to kill you.”
Right away, it’s very apparent that Asuka is extremely fast, and Dana is having a really difficult time keeping up with her. Dana elbows her in the face and pats her on the head. She follows this by slapping Asuka. Asuka smiles and proceeds to kick the living crap out of Dana. She follows this by imitating her and making fun of her. Good lord, she’s good.
Dana Brooke manages to get the advantage when Emma interferes and pulls the apron over Asuka’s foot, allowing Dana to strike. Dana puts Asuka in a body scissors, but Asuka counters and locks in an ankle lock. Dana stands up while in it and Asuka pulls her into a German suplex. Good lord. Dana tries to get up, but Asuka hits her with a flying armbar, followed by a sleeper hold. She then gets up and kicks Dana in the face, spinning back fist’s Emma while she was on the apron, and locks in a crossface chickenwing for the finish.
Good lord Asuka is good. Really, really good. This was pretty one sided, but I gave it such a high rating because of how amazing Asuka is. She is crazy fast, very charismatic, and she hits so hard it’ll hurt the viewers.
Tyler Breeze vs. Apollo Crews
This should be another great match. I expect that it will be extremely fast paced.
There was a really painful looking spot when Breeze throws Crews into the LED board apron, and Crews hits it with a sickening thud. Breeze works over Crews’ back after this, as Crews now has a potentially very painful injury. Crews still manages to stay in it, but Breeze doesn’t give up control, including using a Sharpshooter (honouring his trainer Lance Storm) to work over Crews back.
This is the first time since Crews debuted that he looks like he could be in trouble. Breeze is absolutely relentless with going after Apollo’s back. Crews manages to find a reprieve when he nails Breeze with an enziguri. Crews tries to flip over Breeze’s back from the apron, but can’t complete it because of his back, and subsequently gets hit with a Supermodel Kick.
This match has some really brilliant psychology. What makes it work is Crews struggling constantly with his back.
A near fall happens when Crews manages to hit his gorilla press, but Breeze blocks the moonsault and rolls him up. Crews kicks out, and he kicks the life out of Breeze when Breeze tried to hit him while he was in the corner. Crews picks up up like he’s going to back suplex him, but spins him around and hits a powerbomb for the 1-2-3.
This was a really well worked match. I loved seeing Breeze get desperate. It added an edge to his character, and it was good to see Crews in trouble too, as he sold well and elevated the drama of the match.
Samoa Joe & Finn Balor vs. Rhyno & Baron Corbin – Finals of the Dusty Rhodes Classic
The knee was an issue for Balor throughout this match, and a large portion of the offense was about Joe trying to do a lot of the work while Balor was injured. Balor did open the match, but it wasn’t long before he tagged out to Joe. Joe also started selling a back injury which ups the stakes for Joe and Balor, as both are injured. Joe knows that Balor isn’t 100%, so it has to be hard for Joe to tag Balor in.
Of course, once Balor is tagged in, they go right to the knee and work him over as Joe tries to recover on the apron. Balor sells like a machine here as Corbin beats the life out of him. Balor manages to quickly hit a Sling Blade on Corbin so he can tag in Joe, and Joe seems to be in much better condition now. Joe gets temporarly distracted by Corbin and Rhyno hits him with a Gore. Balor breaks the 3 count. Joe goes for a Muscle Buster, and Balor is tagged in and manages to hit a Coup de Grace afterwards for the win. Your winners of the Dusty Rhodes Classic: Samoa Joe & Finn Balor.
Not as good as their first tag matches earlier in the night, but they worked really well around Balor’s leg, and everything came across as a really desperate situation for Balor. Great booking. Dusting Rhodes and Cody Rhodes present the two with the trophy, while the whole Rhodes family come into the ring.
Cody grabs the mic and talks about his Dad and how everyone is there it respect him and his legacy. He said that Dusty became family with all viewers over the last 40 years, so tonight, we’re all Rhodes. What a great emotional promo.
When we come back from the break, the crowd is chanting Women’s Wrestling as they show Charlotte, Becky, Lita, and Stephanie McMahon in the crowd. All four of them join in on the chant. Very cool.
The crowd the sings Becky Lynch’s theme. That’s so awesome.
The hype video for this match is so great.
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks – 30 Minute Iron Man Match for the NXT Women’s Championship
Once both women enter, the crowd starts a “Main Event” chant. Both these ladies truly deserve this. Sasha and Bayley are so over with the crowd, it’s nuts. This is the 10th Iron Match in WWE history. The bell rings as the fans are chanting “Women’s Wreslting” again. They haven’t done anything yet, and the fans are already chanting “This is awesome” and “You deserve it.” This is truly amazing to see.
The match opens with several quick pinfall attempts in the early portion of this match. As it goes on the move from the pinfall exchanges to armdrags. Sasha takes a nasty fall on her head, but gets up and they continue to exchange moves, including counters to the Bank Statement and Bayley to Belley. After that, Bayley helped Sasha up from the corner, and they hugged. Sasha then throws Bayley to the mat, in a classic heel move.
Banks attempts to cheat by putting her feet on the ropes during a pinfall, but the ref sees it. Sasha argues with the ref, and Bayley charges in, but Sasha moves. Bayley almost nails the ref, but stops herself. Sasha charges Bayley and Bayley moves so Sasha almost nails the ref. Sasha then jumps on the second turnbuckle, thus obscuring the refs view and she pokes Bayley in the eyes, rolls her up and gets the first pinfall. Very clever.
It isn’t long before Bayley ties it up, however. Bayley avoids Sasha’s knees in the corner, and pulls her from the top rope into a Bayley to Belly for the pinfall.
Soon thereafter, Bayley went for her sliding dropkick at the corner, but Sasha catches her and drives her headfirst into the stairs. Sasha drives her into the stairs over and over again, and yells at Izzy in the audience, drawing huge boos from the audience. The fans chant “Izzy” to cheer her up. Sasha drives Bayley into the LED board at the top of the entrance way, which stops working, and she steals Izzy’s headband as she rolls back into the ring and puts it on her head. Bayley gets counted out and she’s up 2 to 1. Sasha throws Izzy’s headband back at her, and she actually made Izzy cry, the poor kid. Good lord, Sasha is an awesome heel.
Once Bayley gets back in the ring, Sasha locks in a Liontamer and stomps on Bayley’s hand as locks in the submission. Bayley manages to turn it around and pin Sasha as she goes for another Liontamer. We’re at 2-2 with 12 minutes left. Izzy is shown to be much happier now as she cheers on Bayley.
Later on, Bayley and Sasha are moth on the top rope, but Sasha slips out before Bayley can hit a Frakensteiner and she hits her trademark Double knees. She almost gets the 3, and freaks out when she doesn’t. Bayley is seated on the top rope again, but doges Sasha this time and Sasha flies into the ring post. Bayley then begins to work over Sasha’s arm like Sasha did at TakeOver Brooklyn, including smashing her hand on the steps.
Bayley continues to work over Sasha’s arm and shoulder, and it’s really reminiscent of their last match. Bayley moves the steel steps, intending to to sue them. She launches herself off the stairs hitting a massive clothesline, but Sasha kicks Bayley backwards into the stairs as she tried to pick Sasha up. Bayley gets up to get back in the ring, but Sasha dives through the ropes at her. Bayley catches Sasha in the dive and hits a Bayley to Belly on the floor, to a huge reaction from the crowd. She rolls Sasha back into the ring, but only gets a 2. We’re still tied in the last few minutes of this match.
Once they’re back in the ring, Sasha climbs to the middle rope, but Bayley runs at the ropes, jumps up, and hits a Bayley to Belly. She almost gets a 3, but Sasha gets her feet on the rope. There’s only 3 minutes left, and no end in sight. This might go to a draw. Sasha is on the middle rope again, and Bayley hits a reverse Frakensteiner, but Sasha lands on her feet and hits Bayley with a Bayley to Belly, but Bayley kicks out. Sasha immediately locks in a Bank Statement, and Bayley tries so hard to get out. She manages to roll through and almost reverses it like she did at TakeOver Brooklyn, but Sasha scouted it and keeps the move locked in. Bayley grabs Sasha’s finger and manages to get the hold released. Sasha goes for another Bank Statement, and managed to hit the back breaker part of the move, but Bayley counters again and locks in a submission that focuses on Sasha’s injured hand. While it’s locked in, she starts stomping on Sasha’s head and manages to get her to tap out with 2 seconds left in the match. Bayley wins 3-2!
This is one of the best matches I’ve seen in the WWE in years. Without question, this was the match of the year. The psychology of the match was brilliant as both women played off their previous matches. Everything was logical and intense. It’s as close to a perfect match you can get.
The whole NXT roster comes out, and Triple H gives Sasha and Bayley both bouquets of flowers as the whole roster cheers them on. The fans chant “Thank you Sasha” and “You deserve it.” What a beautiful ending to an awesome show.
OVERALL RATING: 4.5/5
This was an amazing show from NXT. Even the worst matches were really good. Everything really came together for them in this show. If you haven’t watch it yet, you are doing yourself a disservice. Go watch it right now. How any show for the rest of this year in WWE can hope to top that is beyond me.
Best Match: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
Worst Match: Asuka vs. Dana Brooke (though even that was good)
Highlights: The entire Iron Man match. There are many others that stand out, but man that was outstanding. Sasha even made me angry when she made Izzy cry, proving that she’s one of the best true heels in the company right now. Bayley and Sasha are legit wrestlers. Not divas. Wrestlers. The men could learn a thing or two about psychology and selling from watching this one, as they did it better than anyone else I’ve seen in a very long time in the WWE.
Questions to think about:
How in the world does NXT follow that? How does anybody follow that?
Will we get to see Women’s matches like that on the main roster? We know we should, and that they’d be great, but will we see it?
Who do you think Finn Balor’s next challenger will be for the NXT Championship, now that he’s won the Dusty Rhodes Classic with Joe?
Sasha should be the Women’s Champion on the main roster when Bayley gets called up so that we can see their feud reignite.
I’m proud to say that as the first 5/5 match I have given on this site. Both women deserve it.