NXT TakeOver XXV Recap: New NXT Champ Bay-Bay


June 1st was the 25th Takeover event since the inception of NXT. For those of you who don’t know, NXT is the developmental brand for the WWE. Wrestlers they want to get experience to the WWE way before they get on RAW or Smackdown. Among wrestling fans however it is known as the superior of the three shows. Every Takeover is filled with great match after great match and this show was no different. I was lucky enough to attend Takeover 25 as my first NXT event and boy oh boy did it live up to all the hype.

First off, I don’t know what WWE was thinking having this huge event in Bridgeport, Connecticut. For a show that has sold out arenas like Toyota Center, Staples Center, and Barclays, I can’t even fathom why they chose Webster Banks Arena. Webster only holds 10,000 people and it isn’t in a huge wrestling town like New York or Chicago.

The show itself though was amazing. The first match was a hard hitting brawl between Roderick Strong and Matt Riddle. The two of them had a really fun, stiff match where they were very creative in their striking maneuvers. Although I do think Strong heavily carried Riddle through most of the match, Riddle was still very impressive in his victory. Matt Riddle is going to be a star in the future.

Next came a fatal four-way tag team match for the NXT Tag Team Titles. This was one of the most entertaining matches I have ever seen. There were several times where it looked like someone had broken their damn necks and it was great. It was everything you look for in a wrestling match, pure violence and good story telling. It was the kind of match you show someone who doesn’t watch wrestling to get them into it.

Next came the Women’s championship match, Shayna Bazler vs Io Sharia. I have to be honest I didn’t see a single second of this match. I was waiting for the pisser for about 10 minutes, then another 15 to get myself another beer. Which was shockingly reasonably priced for an arena. 24oz for $12. Not too shabby Webster Bank arena, not too shabby at all. Although, the 1 drink per visit rule became very tedious.

Tyler Breeze vs Velveteen Dream for the North American Championship match was next and it was fantastic. It was a bit sloppy towards the end, but I think that was because Tyler Breeze hasn’t had a match last longer than 7 minutes in 2 years and this went over 20. Even though I knew Breeze wasn’t going to win, I was pulling for him hard. He walks down to the ring recording himself with a selfie stick. That’s so damn obnoxious it made me laugh so hard. Dream won after distracting Breeze with the title, pretty screwy finish but hopefully it leads to a rematch.

Then we got NXT champion Johnny Gargano vs Adam Cole. This was easily a top 5 match I have ever seen. It went for over 40 minutes and it was bell to bell. These are two of the best wrestlers on the planet and they fucking delivered. Although I was maintaining is a pretty nice buzz at this point, I knew this match was something special. The crowd was going back and forth chanting, “Johnny Wrestling” Adam Cole”. I was heavily in the Adam Cole corner and thankfully the man won. Adam Cole is your new NXT Champion and the world is a better place for it.

All in all I think this was a fantastic show. It was probably the most fun I have ever had at any sporting/live event. I give this show a solid 9.5/10 and would highly recommend an NXT show even if you are not a wrestling fan.   

Betting mastermind. Didn't have the height or talent for sports but I can talk and pick them like a champ.

Twitter: @MatthewSulla