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NXT Takeover: London – Recap & Review

December 16, 2015
Aired live on the WWE Network

City: London, England
Venue: SSE Arena

Commentary: Rich Brennan, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton


Ring Area
Triple H is already in the ring. He got his ass kicked on Sunday (at TLC), but he would have to be dead to not be at Takeover.

Intro Video
Recapping the buildup of tonight’s matches set to “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead.


Match 1
Asuka vs Emma w/ Dana Brooke
(referee: Drake Wuertz)

Asuka stays one step ahead of Emma early in the match, keeping her in holds and taking full advantage of her technical ability. Emma goes to the outside and Asuka hits a running hop attack from the apron. Dana distracts Asuka which leads to Emma taking control of the match.

Emma’s game-plan doesn’t look as focused as she goes for various strikes and holds to try to wear Asuka down. Emma has control and manages to stop Asuka’s attempts at a comeback. That is, until Asuka hits a second-rope dropkick.

Asuka follows up with a flurry of strikes and a running hip attack. Two spinning backfists and another hip attacks gets Asuka a 2 count. Emma applies Dil-Emma, followed by a butterfly suplex into the corner, then an Emm-mite Sandwich for a 2 count of her own.

Emma looks for the Emma Lock, but she takes too long and Asuka counters into an ankle lock. Asuka hits a huge release German suplex and a kick for a 2 count. Asuka tries to apply the Asuka Lock but can’t quite get it completely. Emma shoves the ref into the corner and runs Asuka into him, knocking him out.

Dana Brooke tosses in a belt, but Emma and Asuka play tug-of-war with it. Asuka gets it, but the ref wakes up at that point and accuses her of using it. He doesn’t stop the match though. Emma takes advantage of the distraction and rolls up Asuka, but Asuka turns it into an Asuka Lock!

Dana Brooke gets on the apron and distracts the ref. Emma is tapping in the ring, but the ref doesn’t see it. Asuka lets go of the hold and tries to get Dana to leave. Emma goes for the belt and is about to use it when she takes Asuka’s foot in her face!

Result: Asuka wins via pinfall after a spin kick
Time: 14:50

** Such a good match. Really, really good. This was a fantastic opener and the rest of the show already has a lot to live up to. This was very hard-hitting, the psychology was solid, and the technical wrestling made sense and was very effective. Great use of false finishes. I’m really very impressed with Asuka. It’s not a surprise that she was good, but these two wrestlers put on a really great match that will definitely be worth revisiting. **


Ring Area
Johnny Saint is in the crowd.

Package replay of the tag title feud.


Match 2
NXT Tag Team Title Match
Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady /w Carmella vs Dash & Dawson (NXT Tag Champs)
(referee: Danilo Anfibio)

Amore stars against Dawson and seems almost a little too amped up. Dawson calms things down and he and Wilder use teamwork to get control of the match. Cassady tags in and uses his power to swing the momentum of the match in his direction. He and Amore control Wilder.

A few quick tags (and some outside help) sees Dash and Dawson dominate Cassady, but his power is too much for them. They exit the ring to regroup, but Cassady sends Amore flying over the top rope and out to the floor! Back in the ring. Wider makes a blind tag and sends Amore sliding out to the floor. He seems fine with a countout victory.

Amore makes it back in at 9, but he’s in serious trouble. He continues to take punishment, but Dash and Dawson can’t put him away. Cassady eventually gets the tag and unloads on Dawson. he hits a huge side slam but Wilder breaks up the cover.

Wilder is sent to the outside, but Dawsonchop blocks Cassady’s bad knee. Wilder tags in and puts on a reverse figure four. Cassady is in the hold for a very long time, but won’t give up and grabs the ropes.

A distraction from Amore leads to Cassady getting a schoolboy for 2, then Amore hits a Rocket Launcher, but the pin is broken up from the outside. Amore goes back up top but takes a Shatter Machine from the top rope to end the match.

Result: Wilder pins Amore after Shatter Machine (flapjack into a face-breaker) from the top rope
Time: 14:58

** Very good match with solid tag team wrestling. I really like how Dash and Dawson wrestle. Good teamwork (legal and illegal) and good psychology. They worked well with the flashier Amore and Cassady. **


Video package of Nia Jax destroying people.


Match 3
Baron Corbin vs Apollo Crews
(referee: Drake Wuertz)

The two men fight power against power, and Crews frustrates Corbin. Corbin then starts to match Crews, eventually sending him over the top rope and into the ring steps. Crews looks hurt. He gets back in the ring but immediately gets tossed back out. He tries to jump in over the ropes but takes a punch from Corbin. Corbin is in total control.

Corbin catches Crews jumping from the ropes, but Crews rolls into a small package which leads to a tiny comeback before he’s knocked back down by Corbin. Eventually Crews tosses Corbin out and mounts a comeback with takedowns and punches. Corbin rolls out to take a break. Crews follows with more punches.

Corbin tosses Crews toward the ring, but Crews hits a moonsault from the apron to the floor on a standing Corbin. Back in the ring, Crews continues with strikes, but takes a side slam that gives Corbin a 2 count.

Corbin looks like he’s going for End of Days, but Crews flips through it and hits a a jump kick followed by a standing moonsault for a 2 count. Crews looks for a spin-out powerbomb, but Corbin blocks it and hits End of Days for the win.

Result: Baon Corbin wins via pinfall after End of Days (reverse STO)
Time: 11:41

** A pretty good match. It was a little brawl-like at times, but the guys worked together well. Crews is agile and it’s impressive what he can do, but I think Corbin looked a little more solid. **


Sami Zayn’s passion.

Earlier today, Greg Hamilton asks Nia Jax about her strategy for Bayley. It’s simple… but she gets interrupted by the stare of Asuka.

Bayley’s dream.


Match 4
NXT Women’s Title Match
Nia Jax vs Bayley (NXT Women’s Champ)
(referee: Danilo Anfibio)

Bayley starts off the match trying to avoid Jax’s grasp and striking when she can. Jax catches her and tosses Bayley across the ring. She hits a couple of power moves then tries to put Bayley to sleep with a cobra clutch. Bayley manages to get out and put on a dragon sleeper, but Jax backs her into a corner.

Bayley tries to take Jax down with a series of strikes. Jax knocks Bayley down, but Bayley puts Jax into a submission as she goes to pick her up. Jax pulls Bayley up from the mat and sets her up for a superplex. Bayley pushes Jax off and hits a second rope front flip senton for a 2 count.

Jax sends Bayley to the floor, and then when Bayley gets back in she takes a Samoan drop for a 2 count. Jax follows up with two more Samoan drop and a running leg drop. Jax goes for an arrogant, one-foot cover, and Bayley kicks out. Jax smashes Bayley in the corner and tosses her across the ring again. Bayley might be out according to the commentators.

Jax drops a leg on Bayley’s arm, then drops three running leg drops to the back of Bayley’s head. Jax holds down Bayley’s shoulders, but she kicks out again. Jax looks like she;s going for a second rope Samoan drop, but Bayley applies a guillotine choke. Jax doesn’t submit and throws Bayley to the mat. From the mat, Bayley puts the guillotine choke on again. She’s thrown off again. Bayley again puts on the guillotine choke. Jax goes down. Jax fights it, but she eventually taps.

Result: Bayley wins via submission with a guillotine choke
Time: 13:21

** A good match. I thought Jax acted a little too unconcerned when Bayley kept fighting back and getting up though. After she kicked out of Jax’s first leg drop, she should have taken things more seriously. She didn’t really change how she fought. I also would have preferred if Bayley avoided Jax’s big moves rather than taking a ton of them. I never really believed that any of them would keep Bayley down, and it kind of kills Jax’s powerful appearance a little. Still, it was good. **


Recap of the Balor versus Joe feud.


Match 5
NXT Title Match
Samoa Joe vs Finn Balor (NXT Champ)
(referee: Shawn Bennett)

The two men feel each other out until Balor suddenly hits a front kick and goes on the attack. Joe tries to take a break on the outside, but Balor follows, kicking Joe into the steps. He misses an attack from the apron, then Joe side slams Balor on the floor. Balor is down.

In the ring, dominates with strikes. They exchange elbows, but Joe puts Balor down with a back elbow. Joe continues his attack with strikes and power moves. Joe misses a senton, giving Balor time to recover a bit. He hits Joe with a kick, but Joe sends Balor to the floor and dives through the ropes onto the champ!

Joe hits a powerbomb for 2, transitions into a Boston crab, then transitions into a crossface! Balor rols Joe onto his back, but Joe doesn’t let go and rolls back. Balor gets to the ropes.

Balor hits a DDT on Joe and both men are down. On their feet, Balor starts a comeback. He hits a series of strikes until Joe puts him down with another back elbow. Joe gets on the top turnbuckle, but a kick from Balor sends him tumbling to the floor. Balor follows him out with a front flip dive over the ropes. Back in the ring, Balor hits a double stomp for a 2 count on Joe.

Balor staggers Joe with a striking combination and hits a sling blade. Joe sidesteps a kick and looks for a muscle buster, but is countered into a pin for 2! Balor kicks Joe from the mat and both men are down again.

The two men trade strikes, but Joe catches Balor in the Coquina clutch. Balor gets out by using the ropes, but Joe puts the hold back on. Balor rolls out of it and hits a double stomp. Balor hits a series of drop kicks and finally knocks Joe down after three of them. Balor goes to the top, but Joe catches him, looking for a muscle buster. Balor fights it, but Joe kicks him and goes up to the second rope. Balor knocks him to the mat and hits Coup de Grace!

Result: Finn Balor wins via pinfall after Coup de Grace (diving double foot stomp)
Time: 18:23

** Really good match. Both men looked very strong. It had a lot of emotion going into it and that came through in how they fought. It had good psychology with Joe looking for the muscle buster a couple of times. The strikes really felt like they had a cumulative effect on both guys. All around, very good. **


Show Impressions
All the matches were quite good with the best being the first and the last. The show was built up well on NXT over the last few weeks, and this was a very satisfying payoff. Very good show.

Match of the Night
Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe
I really liked the opener, Asuka versus Emma, but the main event was definitely the best match of the night. They really did a good job of pulling the last few weeks of buildup together to make a very good match.



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