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NXT Takeover: Philadelphia – Recap & Review

NXT Takeover: Philadelphia

Original Air Date: January 27, 2018
Event Date: January 27, 2018
(aired live on the WWE Network)

City: Philadelphia, PA
Venue: Wells Fargo Center

Commentary: Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome

Theme Song: “Into the Fire” by Asking Alexandria


The road to immortality starts tonight in Philadelphia. Paul Heyman narrates, talking about creating the future. Tonight, the status quo will be smashed by NXT.


Match 1
NXT Tag Title Match
Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering vs Kyle O’reilly & Bobby Fish (NXT Tag Champs)
(referee: Darryl Sharma)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kyle O’Reilly pins Akam with a schoolboy, Undisputed Era retains the tag titles
Time: 14:53

Match Thoughts
Great match. I’m still not a huge fan of the Authors of Pain, but if they have more matches like this, then my opinion might start to change a little. They actually seemed vulnerable in this match, and it made total sense. AOP went in just trying to overpower the Undisputed Era, but Fish and O’Reilly had a great plan combined with superior skill. They had a little luck, but Fish and O’Reilly capitalized on that luck in the best way. Their work paid off in the finish of the match, pulling the entire match together and making every moment matter to the outcome. Very nicely done.


Ring Area
War Machine are in the front row!

Andrade Almas and Zelina Vega discuss stuff in the back.

Earlier tonight, Velveteen Dream guaranteed a 30 second knockout of Kassius Ohno.


Match 2
Velveteen Dream vs Kassius Ohno
(referee: Eddie Orengo)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Velveteen Dream wins via pinfall after a Purple Rainmaker
Time: 10:48

Match Thoughts
Good match. After the excitement of the first 30 seconds, where Dream didn’t quite fulfill his guarantee, the match reset and built back up. There were some rough strikes in this match as well as some nice exchanges. The match showed Dream’s strength as he struggled at times to lift and handle the bigger Kassius Ohno yet still succeeded. Ohno also looked good, hitting huge strikes, but this was Dream’s night. It might be Dream’s year.


Ring Area
Maria Menounos is in the front row!

Shayna Baszler looks to end Ember Moon’s dream.


Match 3
NXT Women’s Title Match
Shayna Baszler vs Ember Moon (NXT Women’s Champ)
(referee: Darryl Sharma)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Ember Moon wins via pinfall with a counter to cross armbreaker, Moon retains the Women’s Title
Time: 10:09

Match Thoughts
Great match. Ember Moon was very aggressive, but Shayna Baszler stuck to her strategy of hurting Moon’s arm almost the entire time. After a few momentum shifts, the match ended up going to the mat for an extended amount of time. It worked to both woman’s strengths, and the match became very tense towards the end. I think this was a great example of story and action coming together to heighten the entire experience.


Ring Area
After the match, Baszler attacks Ember Moon as she’s getting checked by the medical staff. Baszler puts Moon in the Kirifuda clutch twice.

Ring Area
Ricochet is in the front row!

Aleister Black and Adam Cole can only settle things with Extreme Rules.


Match 4
Extreme Rules Match
Aleister Black vs Adam Cole
(referee: Eddie Orengo)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Aleister Black wins via pinfall after a Black Mass kick
Time: 22:03

Match Thoughts
Great match. They promised violence, and they delivered. There were some expected spots, but there were also some that I’ve never seen before. And it wasn’t that they were huge and outlandish, they just looked like they really, really hurt. The first few minutes of the match felt like a kind of typical with a fair amount of housekeeping and setting stuff up, but they paid off all the setup and the match kept going! I think this was great, and a sensible way to utilize the stipulation for a feud that deserved it. I also love that the finish did not involve a weapon (at least, not a weapon hitting someone).


Ring Area
EC 3 is in the front row!

Johnny Wrestling is determined to be the next NXT Champ.


Match 5
NXT Title Match
Johnny Gargano vs Andrade “Cien” Almas (NXT Champ) w/ Zelina Vega
(referee: Drake Wuertz; in the front row: Candice Lerae)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Andrade Almas wins via pinfall after a draping hammerlock DDT and retains the NXT Title
Time: 32:21

Match Thoughts
Fantastic match. Absolutely fantastic. It was emotional, exciting, exhausting, and everything I hoped it would be. This was a star-making match. It will definitely be in the running for match of the year.


Ring Area
After Almas and Vega make their way to the back, Candice Lerae helps Gragano walk up to the stage. Candice and Johnny turn to face the applause from the crowd when Tommaso Ciampa comes from behind and levels Gargano with a crutch to the back. Gargano hits the ground as Ciampa looks on.


Show Impressions
This was a great show. Every match was good for it’s own reasons, and the main event delivered even more than I expected.

Match of the Night
Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Almas
Pretty sure this is going to beat all the title matches at the Royal Rumble tomorrow.



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