NXT Takeover: New York — Grades and Live Results

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We’ll be posting live as NXT Takeover: New York is going on. Keep refreshing the page for results:

Ricochet and Aleister Black vs. The War Raiders (C)

You knew this match was going to be an instant classic before the bell even rang. Three ring entrances that gave everyone the chills, this was the best possible choice to open the show. And, man did it deliver!

NXT has this incredible ability to give you match-of-the-year quality bouts to start their Takeover shows and of all the opening matches I’ve ever personally witnessed, this one may have been among the best.

Starting with mutual showings of respect and counter moves that started the match out slowly but with emotion, things started to heat up a few minutes into the contest. And, once it got rolling, I found myself saying over and over, ‘What are we watching here?!’

While Ricochet and Black are expected to give you moves that make you go “WOW”, the War Raiders and their ability to go move-for-move with their opponents might have been the most impressive part of the match, highlight by a series that ended with Hanson dropping a cannon ball flip off the top rope to the outside of the ring.

It’s going to be hard for anyone to live up to this..

Result: War Raiders Retain. — Grade: A++

Velveteen Dream (C) vs. Matt Riddle

Another big-time entrance by Velveteen Dream, it became clear entrances were going to be a theme of the night on Saturday; as did shows of respect to end the matches.

This contest started a little more slowly than the previous bout but it showcased Riddle’s ability to put his opponent in a series of submission holds that set the tone early.

Dream did a great job of being his regularly steady self and as always, the crowd was firmly behind him, but this was a showcase match for Riddle who pulled out a ton of moves that surprised a lot of NXT fans. From a suplex off the middle to rope to a corkscrew dive off the top rope, Riddle offered far more than submissions and strikes in what was a match where he pulled out all the stops to try and pick up the win.

As the match come to a close, both men trade strikes until Riddle hits a powerbomb and blasts Dream with a knee to the face. Making it look like Riddle was about to win, he grabs the champion in the Bromission but Dream rolls back into a pin and scores the win out of nowhere. Eventually, Riddle offers another fist bump as a sign of respect to Dream. He gets the fist bump and the crowd cheers.

Result: Velveteen Dream Gets the Pin — Grade: A

In between matches, NXT welcomes Kushida who signed a contract with WWE and NXT.

Pete Dunne (C) vs. Walter

This match started much slower than the previous two bouts. All 6’4″ of Walter was on display against the much smaller Pete Dunne but Dunne did his best to use his joint manipulation techniques and work the hands and other body parts. Walter’s size made it hard to keep Dunne on the offensive.

Eventually, Walter got the upper hand and started to wear down the 685-day champion. His size was certainly a factor. Two major chops took Dunne down and off his feet. For a second, it started “Walter” chants from the crowd. When Walter got Dunne on the ropes and delivered another chop then placed his huge boot on the throat of the champion, it was clear he was in full control.

Walter was methodical in his attack and Dunne did his best to hold him off but just couldn’t get going. Finally, a series of attacks and reversals gave Dunne a chance to get back into the match. A double-foot stomp from the top rope by Dunne onto Walter almost equaled a comeback, but ultimately the size of Walter was too much, folding up The Bruiserweight in a powerbomb that almost got the three count.

A series of back-and-forth head stomps was one of the coolest moments of the show with the crowd eating up every exchange. Eventually, Dunne focused on the fingers of Walter while Walter just kept hitting Dunne with incredibly impactful shots.

Dunne landed the Bitter End but Walter kicked out! Both men stunned and needing some time to get back to their feet, a stare-down resulted in a series of shots, a big kick from Walter but a mistake when Walter went to the top rope thinking Dunne was out cold. Dunne got up to land a triangle on the top rope only to get caught in a powerbomb from the top rope. A huge frogsplash gave Walter the win!

With that, Dunne’s 685 day reign is done (pun intended)…

This was an incredible showing by both men in a very unique match that was unlike the first two but so impressive in its own way.

Winner: Walter (New UK NXT Champion) — Grade: A+

NXT show Edge and Beth Phoenix in the crowd.

Related: WWE WrestleMania 35: Lynch Says Rousey Will Quit if She Loses

Shaynz Baszler (C) vs. Biana Belair vs. Kaira Sane vs. Io Shirai

The Sky Pirates were thrown out early only to come back, clear the ring and wind up facing off with each other. And, when after a couple of exchanges, their opponents spoiled the chance for fans to see some fireworks.

The match then slowed down considerably and turned into a typical Fatal 4-Way where the four competitors traded turns getting the upper hand. The Sky Pirates worked together for the most part which made the match feel a bit more like a tag contest but every once and a while Baszler would level Belair reminding everyone that there really were no friends in a match like this.

Some more back and forth and then a spot from Belair presses Shirai and throws her out of the ring onto the rest of the competitors. Continuing to show her strength, Belair showed off a couple more impressive moves before being cleared from the ring.

That left Baszler and Shirai in the ring. A moonsault by Shirai was only stopped by Sane who interrupted the pin; a move then reciprocated by Shirai when Sane was close to a pin. That led the two to square off and throwing teamwork out the window.

Both members of the Sky Pirates were then prone for Belair who delivered a stereo KTO only to be cheap-shotted by Baszler and caught in a choke to which Belair ultimately had to tap.

The rest of the Horsewomen met her at the top of the ramp, celebrating her victory. The question now becomes, who is going to take the title off of the Women’s Champ?

Result: Baszler Retains Title — Grade: B

Related: WWE WrestleMania 35 Match Predictions

Heading into the main event, it was clear fans were witnessing one of the best NXT events anyone had ever seen. One of the men behind the scenes thought so too.

Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole: Main Event

Both competitors came to the ring with the crowd clearly behind Adam Cole. Chants for Cole rang throughout the building as the bell rang to start the match. Eventually, fans began to chant back “Johnny Wrestling” as it became a back-and-forth contest among the live crowd.

As the two locked up, each went into a series of back-and-forth moves, ending up in an arm bar for Gargano.

There isn’t much that could be said about this match, other than calling it move for move (which I didn’t want to do). After all, it was clear these two were going to put on a show. With that mind, perhaps these two were going to have to live up to a different standard. Instead, it made more sense to cover the falls as they happen.

Not long after that, Adam Cole was able to win the first fall with a Last Shot.

Cole tried to go for a second pin with another Last Shot but Gargano kicked out, which equaled the first time anyone had ever kicked out of the finisher. Gargano turned it around into a spear on the apron to Cole and followed it up with a flip to the floor.

After a series of other devastating moves that turned into close pinfalls, Gargano was looking for a slingshot DDT and nailed it onto the apron. Gargano didn’t want to win his first fall by countout so he stopped the count, which almost turned out to be a mistake. Cole threw Gargano into the post but Gargano was able to get Cole to submit to a crossface. Cole tapped quickly to avoid any long-term damage.

The announcer called the final a deciding fall would crown a new champion and both competitors stared at each other.

Both men battled back and forth exchanging blows. Elbows, forearms and clotheslines wouldn’t stop either man until dual superkicks dropped both men.

A straight-jacket suplex almost got Cole the final fall, but Gargano kicked out. The tables turned and Gargano got the upperhand, only to deliver a huge blow off the top rope and Cole rolls out for the ring to avoid the pin.

A reverse-wheelbarrow suplex levels Gargano who then rolled into the ring, but played possum hitting a slingshot DDT again. Another series of moves turned into a springboard Canadian Destroyer which Gargano amazingly kicked out of.

The match wound up on the outside of the ring with Cole delivering a Fairytale ending to Gargano on the table that didn’t give. Cole rolled back into the ring and told the ref to count. Cole waited for Gargano to get counted out, but Gargano made it back into the ring at 9 1/2. He wound up racing back into received a superkick; and he kicked out!

Cole went for another Canadian Destroyer, got caught in a crossface and then when Undisputed Era came out, distracted the ref, they delivered their finisher, rolled the ref back in and Gargano kicked out again!

Gargano was actually able to get the upper hand on all members of the faction, only to take three super kicks and still get out before the count of three.

Cole, frustrated, didn’t know what else he could give Gargano. Going for another Last Shot, he missed, Gargano locked in a crossface and Gargano was able to get Cole to submit!

Tomasso Ciampa meets Gargano at the top of the ramp to congratulate him. The question becomes, did WWE book Gargano to look too unbeatable? If what he took couldn’t beat him, what can?

Winner: New NXT Champion; Johnny Gargano — Grade: A+++