It was a concept that had both the WWE and NXT Universe baffled and intrigued for weeks, The End of what exactly? With the recent announcement that WWE have decided to reset back to the original brand split model between their two main rosters, many fans were worried that this could trigger “the end” of NXT.
Other’s thought it signaled The End of the intense feud between Samoa Joe and Finn Balor that has engulfed the promotion for the past few months and looked to be ending with a steel cage match, but luckily WWE set all the speculation straight when they unveiled the full name of last night’s event as “NXT Takeover: The End of the Beginning.”
Whether this means it’s the end of NXT being the feeder of the main roster and instead it is set to become a brand of it’s own still remains to be seen, but almost four years after NXT officially began as the brand it is today, it has accomplished so much that you can’t help but be excited about what the future holds.
The night began with an incredible match between Tye Dillinger and Andrade “Cien” Almas, it was a fantastic opener and I think The Perfect Ten is one of the most underrated talents in NXT currently, the flow of his matches and the way he can put anyone over is a skill that is hard to come by, he has a Dolph Ziggler feel about him and I am so glad WWE have finally given him this level of an opportunity. ACA was pretty unknown to me but I thought he had a solid debut match, it wasn’t something that would set the world on fire or any where near Kevin Owens level but it was a worthy debut and if you can knock of someone like Dillinger on your debut then the future must be considerably bright.
I can’t even begin to describe how much I enjoy watching American Alpha, they have to be pound for pound the most athletic duo on WWE’s entire roster and when they are put up against the brute force style of The Revival, there is always going to be fireworks.
I think the real winner here was definitely the WWE Universe, it was a match that I didn’t want to end despite the fact that it did last more than 15 minutes. Gable and Jordan always pull it out but the moves they managed to pull off in stereo last night as well as being able to put over The Revival was incredible. At one point Gable was knocked fully out of the ring from a vicious uppercut.
I already knew how good American Alpha were but this match showed me just how good The Revival are, they are as good as The Vaudevillians should be. They are completely redefining tag team wrestling and I think it will be an worthy journey to watch. As for them winning back their Tag Titles, I know around 60% of the crowd were shocked by it but I think it was the right decision especially when you factor in that Paul Ellering appeared with two large men who then took out Gable and Jordan following the match.
It was a Shield like debut, it was hard hitting and it showed that these guys are not looking to put themselves into a title picture, they obviously want something else and with one of the most decorated and legendary managers by their side. I can’t wait to see what unfolds here.
Who else failed to contain their excitement when it was announced that Austin Aries would face Shinsuke Nakamura? Alright, I can’t have been the only one. It was fantastic news much like the AJ Styles vs John Cena match currently set for Money in the Bank in less than two weeks, this match is one that has been on fans bucket lists for years and it did not disappoint. Yes Nakamura technically got the win after another Kinshasa that was sold incredibly by Aries, but I thought both men were tremendous and if that match could have been ruled a draw then it should have gone down that route. My only objection is that it didn’t last long enough, once again it was two very different styles colliding and The King defeated The Greatest Man who ever lived.
Now I will probably gain some heat from this but personally I didn’t feel that Nia Jax had done enough to warrant her being given another Women’s Championship opportunity, she was defeated by Bayley in London and she has never pinned Asuka so it didn’t fully make sense.
Bayley is only “story line injured” so she could easily have been a part of the match if WWE had allowed it, and I was all for watching Bayley vs Asuka again because those women truly put on a show in Dallas, but instead it was Nia that was given the nod. I’m not her biggest fan at all and I really didn’t know if WWE were going to allow her to be the one to finally defeat Asuka for the first time. Thankfully Asuka retained the Championship and rightfully so, I feel that Nia has come so far in her past few months in NXT but she is still not the kind of woman I would enjoy watching as Champion. She still has a long way to go before she is worthy of a title that was held by Paige, Charlotte and Sasha Banks.
That being said, the match itself wasn’t the car crash I expected, Asuka did keep the tempo up and somehow found a way to chop down the giant and retain her title, but this ending gives out more questions than answers the main one being; will Bayley finally cash in her rematch opportunity in Brooklyn and recreate one of the greatest Women’s matches in WWE history in the same arena? Oh god I hope so.
The first ever NXT steel cage match was determined to see the end of the rivalry between Finn Balor and Samoa Joe, the two were colliding for the fourth time with the NXT Championship on the line and this would finally determine the ultimate winner. With former NXT Champion Neville at ringside Balor set the mood for the match with another incredible entrance as he showed off his new black and white demon attire.
Joe followed and slammed the door shut behind him showing how at home he felt in a cage, but this was Finn’s first ever Steel Cage match, the demon had never been stuck behind the steel. That being said, Finn put up a fight in what has become a very personal rivalry between these two.
There was a Muscle Buster and a Coup De Grace but still the match wasn’t over, I was on the edge of my seat the entire match as Joe went for the Coquina Clutch but Finn found a way out and tried to climb the cage. Joe caught him just before he could climb over the top and hit an incredible Muscle Buster from the second rope to retain his Championship.
Both men were laid out following the match which showed just how much they had put on the line to take that title home but it was Joe that was the victor. There were no hints as to where this leaves Finn Balor with a main roster call up looming, since he looked like he was badly banged up after the match and was receiving medical treatment.
As Corey Graves stated at the end of the show, it really was The Beginning of the End and now it’s the beginning of the era of Samoa Joe as NXT Champion, the demon has been dethroned, where does he go from here?
With Money in the Bank just over a week away, it will be interesting to see where Finn does go from here, but once again NXT put on a fantastic night of entertainment from Full Sail and with Bobby Roode’s signature all but on that NXT contract, the future looks bright for the NXT brand.