NXT TakeOver: Respect – Preview + Recap

I have been waiting for this show, ever since I left my house to head to Brooklyn, back in August. I was confident the NXT roster would leave me wanting more, and I was completely right.

My anticipation only shot to the stars, when Bayley got the three count, winning the NXT Women’s Championship from Sasha Banks.

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
(Courtesy of WWE.com)

It was an incredible moment, and an even better match. I knew, right then and there, that it was going to be special when the two of them got into the ring again. I had no idea it was going to be this special. We’re talking about an Iron Man match, guys. Sure, it’s 30 minutes, and not 60, but that’s not going to make it any easier to work. When a match gets past 10 minutes, people start to tune out.

You have to be on your game for an Iron Man. If you’re not, the crowd will eat you alive. Especially the rowdy British crowd. Look at what some of those savages have done at soccer games alone. Yeah, that’s right – I called it SOCCER. I’m American.

Fight me, British people, FIGHT ME!

FINN BALOR & SAMOA JOE vs. THE MECHANICS (SCOTT DAWSON & DASH WILDER)

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
(Courtesy of WWE.com)

First thing’s first – obviously, I was kidding. Don’t fight me, British people. Not a fan of being punched in the face.

Now, moving on – this is the first match of the semi-finals for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Dustin and Cody Rhodes will both be there, out of makeup, to present the trophy to the winners. It should be a very emotional moment.

In regards to this match – it’s going to be a solid wrestling match, but I see Balor and Joe taking it. I think they’re going to go to the finals, and then something’s going to happen. I don’t have any idea what it’ll be, but it’ll cost them the match, and pit Joe and Finn against each other, so that they can have a rivalry for the ages. At least that’s what I hope.

Balor vs. Joe for the NXT Championship would be an insane feud.

UPDATE #1: Samoa Joe and Finn Balor win, but don’t get too excited! Finn may’ve sustained an injury to his leg during the match (kayfabe). That could turn out to be quite a problem for him and Joe, when it comes time for the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Will that be what causes the rift between them? Only time will tell!

JASON JORDAN & CHAD GABLE vs. RHYNO & BARON CORBIN

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
(Courtesy of WWE.com)

One of my friends originally threw this out there – he thinks Jordan and Gable are going to win the whole thing. I can’t remember who it was, so if you read this, feel free to call me out. Point is: He injected that idea into my brain, and the more I thought about it, the more hyped I got.

Clearly, they’d be the underdogs, but come on – one half of the main event is known as The Ultimate Underdog. Anything can happen. Plus, Corbin and Rhyno don’t need it. Yet, imagine the favors it would do for Jordan and Gable to go over Rhyno, Corbin, Samoa Joe, and Finn Balor, all in one night.

I would forever be hyped on the new World’s Greatest Tag Team.

UPDATE #2: The Full Sail crowd just chanted “Gable” in the tune of Kurt Angle’s old theme. Fantastic. Simply fantastic. 

UPDATE #3: Now, they’re chanting “save the Gable.” Man, him and Jason Jordan are over AF. 

UPDATE #4: This match has been absolutely excellent. 

UPDATE #5: NO!! Corbin and Rhyno win. It really looked like Jordan and Gable had it in the bag! What a match. 

DANA BROOKE vs. ASUKA

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
(Courtesy of WWE.com)

I am absolutely amped for this, and it’s because of one reason, and one reason only – I cannot wait to see Asuka (F.K.A. Kana) kick the living shit out of Dana Brooke. She is one of my least favorite performers ever. Brooke, not Asuka. On a less petty and vengeful note, I’ve never actually seen Asuka wrestle, so on that front, it’ll be cool. I know that she murdered girls as Kana in Japan, but the most I’ve seen is highlights.

If she comes in as hot as I’ve been led to believe possible – she’ll be one of my favorite people ever. Keep in mind, it’s purely because she will have destroyed Dana Brooke. I don’t care how that reads, either. That chick sucks!

UPDATE #6: It begins. Time to watch Dana Brooke get her face kicked in. 

UPDATE #7: Dana is not being kicked in the face enough. 

UPDATE #8: Asuka wins by submission. It’s going to be interesting to see what she does in the future. 

APOLLO CREWS vs. TYLER BREEZE

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
(Courtesy of WWE.com)

I really dig what’s being done with Crews. He’s not going out and squashing dudes, which is completely refreshing. That whole act wears on me like nobody’s business. That’s why I don’t care for Baron Corbin. He squashed so many dudes that people started to doubt he could even wrestle (myself included), forcing him to prove it in a slugfest with Samoa Joe at TakeOver: Brooklyn.

There’s none of that with Apollo. Right now, he’s getting his wins by simply being better. Every opponent he’s had, has given him an actual fight. Some longer than others, but still. The man formerly known as Uhaa Nation is being handled beautifully in NXT, and it’s only going to get better. There is definitely an NXT Championship reign in his future.

UPDATE #9: Apollo Crews wins it. Not surprising, but it was a solid match. Both men looked very strong.

WINNERS OF MATCH 1 vs. WINNERS OF MATCH 2

Give me Gable and Jordan vs. Balor and Joe.

I want it.

Right now.

Not going to happen. It’ll be Finn Balor and Samoa Joe vs. Baron Corbin and Rhyno in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.

UPDATE #10: They went the obvious route – Finn Balor and Samoa Joe have won the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. I’m not mad at that, but I got really hyped on the idea of it being Gable and Jordan. Then they had the match they did, and it broke my heart they lost to Rhyno and Baron Corbin. Short version: Balor and Joe won the tournament, and I am officially hooked on Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. 

 SASHA BANKS vs. BAYLEY

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
(Courtesy of WWE.com)

The last time these two faced off, it was pure magic. That’s the best way to put it. This time, the world expects no less. I wouldn’t want to be in their place right now. We’re only a few hours from first bell for TakeOver: Respect. Their stomachs are probably in knots. I’m sure one (or both) of them have vomited. It must be hell waiting for this match to start.

What’s crazy, is that when it finally does, they’ll shut out all that noise, and focus. Sasha Banks and Bayley are going to kill it. Though, to be fair, they don’t really have any other choice. They’ll be in that ring for a guaranteed 30 minutes. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

They better bring their A-game.

UPDATE #11: This has been a phenomenal back and forth. No falls yet. These ladies are putting on a clinic. 

UPDATE #12: Sasha Banks gets the first fall, after a thumb to Bayley’s eyes went unseen by the referee, because his view was being blocked by Sasha. It was a great heel finish. You might even say it was….boss. 

UPDATE #13: Bayley ties it up with a Bayley to Belly

UPDATE #14: Sasha Banks just threw Bayley into the steel stairs, right in front of her family and Izzy, Bayley’s super-fan. That woman is an amazing heel. 

UPDATE #15: Sasha wins another decision by countout, after smashing Bayley into the LCD board. On the way back into the ring, Sasha snatched Izzy’s headband off her head, causing her to start CRYING HYSTERICALLY! Izzy, not Sasha. That was amazing. The crowd is absolutely electric. They’re going to explode when Bayley wins. 

UPDATE #16: Bayley ties it up with a surprise rollup. 2-2. THIS IS AWESOME!!! 12 minutes left!

UPDATE #17: 8:30 left. “Getting down to crunch time in this one.” – Rich Brennan

UPDATE #18: 5:30 left. Sasha just caught a Bayley to Belly on the outside. “Holy shit” chants immediately sounded out.  

UPDATE #19: Bayley gets a submission decision with mere seconds remaining. What a match. That was absolutely exhilarating. Commentators keep saying that they raised the bar for all women, and that’s totally true. Can’t wait to see the rest of them try to get up there. See you guys tomorrow for my review of NXT TakeOver: Respect (hyped AF to watch this again, and write about it).  

Joseph Finnegan
finnegan.joseph@yahoo.com