Obvious spoiler warning... You've been warned
NXT has always been my preferred brand of WWE and the TakeOver events always provide some of the best wrestling I've seen. Starting off with a very apt choice of music from Slipknot that got the excitement levels (for me anyway) pumping.
Street Profits vs Undisputed Era
First up, we had the NXT Tag Team Championship match. This was one of the matches I wasn't too invested in but generally with Street Profits involved I knew it would be a good match. It was a typical WWE tag team match with the heel team beating down an isolated face team member until a hot tag is made and then the action cranks up a little with momentum switches between both sides with many near falls.
Street Profits win via pinfall with a spear & frog splash combo. It was a good match and I believe the right decision was made.
Io Shirai vs Candice LeRae
Io Shirai turned heel in one of the best cage match finishes I've ever seen before in a previous episode of NXT so I was really looking for to this.
The match starts off with Candice LeRae rushing down to the ring to kick of the action and the action then slips out of the ring and we get our first tease of announce table destruction with a near count-out. Shirai dominates first third but Candice manages to get the upper-hand for the 2nd third and then the last section is the usual back and forth formula. There was big moves from both with a top rope Spanish fly from Io and tornado DDT to outside apron from Candice.
The match finishes with Candice passing out from an Io Shirai submission hold in the centre of the ring. Felt this was the right decision to we can carry on with Io's heel turn.
Matt Riddle vs Killian Dain
Matt Riddle interrupted the video presentation and demanded Killian Dain get down to the ring. He appeared moments later and a brawl ensued. As usual, all the backstage staff got involved and then battered by the two superstars.
Killian eventual puts down Matt when he jumps off the stage ramp with Matt in hand. Not really much to say here but imagine that story will continue in the next episode of NXT.
Velveteen Dream vs Roderick Strong vs Pete Dunne
After a short segment from Toronto Raptors cheerleader squad (I think... don't know North American sport all that well) it is time for the NXT North American Championship match. I will be the first to admit that I do not like Velveteen Dream's character but his wrestling skills are highly rated so I was expecting a great match. I wasn't disappointed, it was an absolutely superb match. All wrestlers managed to get their signature spots in with a lot of back and forth.
After a lot of fasted paced action Velveteen Dream retains his title via pinfall on Pete Dunne. I was personally rooting for Pete in this match (support the UK talent and all that) but time will tell if the rivalry continues.
Shayna Baszler vs Mia Yim
I find Shayna Baszler really hit and miss at the moment, especially when she seems to need her backup to win anything nowadays. The build up to this match was pretty good so I was expecting a good showing.
I was enjoying Mia's unorthodox methods of breaking submission holds with fishing hooking, ear and hair pulling which really seemed to get under Shayna's skin. It was a typical Shayna slow paced match. Shayna eventually wins via submission (without interference for a change) with a type of triangle leg hold submission.
Personally, not happy with this decision and wasn't really happy with the match. It was pretty boring and I really am getting tired of Shayna Baszler. Fingers crossed that she doesn't have the title too much longer.
Adam Cole vs Johnny Gargano
Now for the main event which was the NXT Championship match in a 2 out 3 falls match. Fall 1 is a standard wrestling match, fall 2 is a street fight and fall 3 is a cage match on steroids with barbed wire and weapons attached to the stop of the cage.
1st fall was as great as I was expecting. These two wrestlers always put on a great performance and this was no exception with a lot of big spots and near falls. I was on the edge of my seat during the last phase of the 1st fall. Adam Cole wins the first fall by DQ after Johnny attacks him with a steel chair. Adam 1 - 0 Johnny.
The street fight, 2nd fall, spilled out into the crowd with Johnny stalking Adam and dishing out a lot of punishment. Johnny was in his element and even stopped mid-match to take a fan's phone and took a selfie. Action eventually came back to ringside with Johnny planting Adam through the Spanish announce table. Johnny wins the 2nd fall via submission. Adam 1 - 1 Johnny.
The 3rd fall is a crazy steel cage match with weapons attached all over it. Both wrestlers go at it and eventually have a kendo stick duel before knocking each other out with the crowd erupting into NXT chants. It was a back and forth between the two with multiple weapon spots all over the place. After everything was said and done Adam Cole wins the 3rd and final fall to retain the NXT Championship to chants of "please don't die" when Adam throw Johnny from the top of the cage through a pair of tables. Adam 2 - 1 Johnny.
Personally was rooting for Johnny but this was one helluva a match that will likely be in the shortlist for match of the year. A great hour of wrestling.
NXT TakeOver: Toronto was a superb show and it will be very difficult for Summerslam to top this event.