02 April, 2016

The Dropkick: NXT Takeover: Dallas - Strong Style has Arrived

It's time for NXT Takeover: Dallas, from the heart and soul of Texas, which is also home to Wrestlemania 32 this year! Not that Wrestlemania matters anymore when you have NXT and the debut of the King of Strong Style to watch instead! 

NXT Takeover Dallas opened with a great Tag Team match which saw American Alpha’s Chad Gable and Jason Jordan defeat The Revival; Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson, for the NXT Tag Team Championships. The Revival have been a great Heel Tag Team in NXT, bringing classic, old school southern wrestling style to NXT. They work very well together and are boo’d throughout the match by the fans. American Alpha’s are SO OVER with the crowd, and they finally won the Tag Team Titles here in Dallas.

The match was great with The Revival pulling out old school tricks and dirty tactics such as sneaky tags, isolating Gable from tagging in his partner and eye pokes and illegal tag team moves. The match allowed American Alpha to show off their technical wrestling and power which was great. There was a messy botch that looked like The Revival dropped Gable on his head, which was met with “Botchamania” and “You F**ked up” chants. The crowd was on fire tonight, although they annoyed me with their ‘Brit-Chanting’ trying to imitate the NXT Takeover London crowd.

After a quick pan through the crowd, showing Good Ol’ JR; Jim Ross and Kota Ibushi it was time for the debuting Austin Aries to defeat “The Lone Wolf” Baron Corbin. Baron Corbin entered looking like he was the final boss of an RPG game, donning a sick-ass jacket with animal skulls on the shoulders. Baron Corbin was actually getting chants of support! It’s nice that people are recognising that he is getting much better than when he debuted over a year ago.

The match was alright I guess, it wasn’t anything special and it was kind of disappointing considering this was Aries’ debut and he didn’t really have time to shine out there. Baron Corbin was the most entertaining part of the match, shouting at the crowd, dominating Aries and hitting a cool looking ‘Deep Six’ signature move on the outside, knocking the life out of Aries. Aries won via rollup, after escaping the End of Days which looked cool, but it didn't really put him over, nor did this match. This was the first match I saw him in, and I can say that I came away unimpressed.

Scott Hall and X-Pac were in the crowd, which was nice to see. 

OH BOY, It’s time to talk about THIS match. The match I have been looking forward to since I first read the NXT Taping spoilers back in late January. The debuting Shinsuke Nakamura taking on and defeating the ‘NXT Veteran’ Sami Zayn in what looks to be his final match here in NXT.

This match… I just… there are very few words I can even use to describe this match other than “WOW”. This match had everything; the crowd was hot from the second Sami’s music hit to the final three count. The story told in this match, the atmosphere and the brutal Strong Style these two fought with is just… This match is the GREATEST match I have seen in WWE. Nakamura’s new music is GODLY, and the fight these two had was just insane. The crowd were chanting “Both these guys” as they could not pick a favourite, even shouting “Fight Forever” towards the end of the match. After the match was over, the two embraced shortly before Nakamura left to leave Sami to soak on the “Thank you Sami” chants before heading to the back.

This match is a MUST SEE, for anyone interested in wrestling. I have seen Shinsuke Nakamura fight twice before; once at NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 9 against Kota Ibushi, the man in the crowd watching this match and it was one of the best matches I’ve seen. I then saw him wrestle AJ Styles at Wrestle Kingdom 10 and I thought even more highly of that match. But this match, this match in my opinion was even better even that.

Watch this match, It is well worth the $9.99. Match of the Night.

Following that brutal match-up the camera showed Stephanie McMahon in the crowd, ‘The Woman behind the Diva’s Revolution™”, to which the crowd booed. Loved it. The next match saw Asuka defeat Bayley for the NXT Women’s Championship. Asuka came out with a new mask, donning tears with cherry blossom’s falling from the sky and Bayley was wearing gear designed by a group of fans online ,which I thought was sweet. Once again the crowd were trying to ‘Brit-chant’, but it died out quickly which was nice; the London crowd doing it made sense and it was typical British sporting event cheering, here it just felt like the crowd were trying to be cool too and get themselves over. 

This match was good, but it fell in comparison to Nakamura and Zayn unfortunately, but the crowd did chant “Both these Women”, as a show of respect to both Asuka and Bayley, not able to pick a side. It opened fast and hard with nice sequences and had some great moments. The finish saw Asuka choke out Bayley with the Asuka lock, itshocked the crowd, and me, as I wasn’t sure what just happened. This was met with boos and apparently, Bayley superfan; Izzy broke down crying and had to be taken out of the arena. 

This match fell in an unfortunate spot, for one it was placed after Nakamura and Zayn, itself impossible to follow up, but also because this match felt so, forced... It just didn’t have any atmosphere or story here other than, ‘Asuka is going to kill Bayley, how will she survive?’

In the Main Event ‘The Demon’ Finn Balor, successfully defended his NXT Championship against the monster, Samoa Joe. Joe came out looking mean and ready for a fight, and Balor… well he came out with his usual Demon paint, sporting blue tights and hair-dreadlock-things… but also a FREAKING CHAINSAW! He swung it around during his entrance. It was dumb, it wasn’t in time with his music either, but it was cool.

Samoa Joe got busted open in seconds after colliding heads with Balor during a lock up. The rest of the match suffered greatly from this, as the referee and medical team kept trying to pull Joe away to tend to his wound that would not stop bleeding, while Joe kept pushing them away and trying to fight on.

I was scared that they would stop the match due to the injury, but thankfully they didn’t. This killed the pacing of the match, and only the last part was particularly memorable. Joe and Finn hit dives, vicious chops and traded finishers, which they kicked out off. Finn defeated Joe when he escaped the Coquina Clutch and rolled up Joe for the three. Eh… A kind of a dumb finish since they were beating the holy hell out of each other for 15+ minuets, but whatever…  

I had Joe pegged on winning this, and Balor moving up to the Main Roster, but I guess it’s the other way around. At least I can look forward to Joe killing people on the Main Roster now, unless they decide to book him as the THIRD Uso Twin, or worse… Roman Reign’s new little buddy.

Coming away from this Takeover, which in my opinions is easily in the top three Takeovers so far, everyone will remember one thing. That is the debut of Shinsuke Nakamura, the King of Strong Style, who in one night has become many people’s favourite wrestler on the planet and for good reason. Now with Takeover done, I shall listen to Nakamura’s new theme on loop until Wrestlemania in 2 days - with any luck it will drown out the chorus of boos for Roman Reigns. 

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