10 Greatest NXT TakeOvers Of All Time | WrestleTalk 10s With Adam Blampied

10 Greatest NXT TakeOvers Of All Time | WrestleTalk 10s With Adam Blampied

10 Greatest NXT TakeOvers Of All Time Aw, f***. …. f***. How do I … This is
going to make so many horrible people cross. Every single TakeOver has at least one match
of the year candidate on it, and some of the greatest emotional moments come on cards that
weren’t quite as good, how I … what’s the criteria … f***. I almost thought it was wrong to post this
video considering that as of recording, because right now it doesn’t seem TakeOver Tampa
is going ahead. Hey editor Rich, is TakeOver Tampa currently going ahead? THANKS, MATE.
But then I thought, f*** that, this list is all about celebrating what is taken all together,
for my taste, the best wrestling product ever created in the history of mankind. It’s not just moves, its emotional endurance,
sharply focused character-based storytelling, intricately designed spectacle from the greatest
physical performers to lace their boots. It finally legitimised western women’s wrestling
in the mainstream, it’s got some the best tag wrestling in the business, it’s created
some of the best long-term slow-burn storytelling ever. It’s the best of the indies and the
best of WWE all wrapped up in a sequence of shows that are epic without being FIVE f******
HOURS LONG. Where the hell do I start It’s the 10 Greatest NXT TakeOvers of All
Time Honorable mention – R Evolution Because I HAVE TO AND I’VE ONLY GOT 10.
Sami Zayn spends over a year toiling and sweating and redempting his way to the top of the NXT
mountain and it’s a beautiful moment, he has the chance to cheat but does it his way,
and makes it on his own as Sami Zayn, unique wonderful babyface, before being no-scoped
by his best friend who’d debuted just that night. The undercard isn’t as strong so
I can’t officially include it, but this payoff, this triumph and tragedy represents
everything the first era of NXT was, and effectively saw NXT start the climb towards the peak of
their first golden era. 10. TakeOver Rival So when we’re looking at NXT, especially
in terms of TakeOver, there are (roughly) three main eras. The Zayn Era, the Roode Era,
and the DIY Era, or Gold, Silver and Platinum as they’re otherwise known. If you leave
this list feeling like the Zayn Era is underrepresented, I understand. Some of NXT’s greatest moments
exist in that era, American Alpha catching fire, the Banks/Bayley Iron Man match, Becky
Lynch finally putting all the pieces together, Enzo and Cass actually being good but it was
also still a developmental brand. There were indie megastars but also, like, Bull Dempsey
was there. That’s not a dig at Dempsey but the early TakeOvers were a true mix of skill
levels, which was sort of the point, showcase these guys. However, even back then some cards
were still fantastic, case in point TakeOver Rival. Not only was the undercard stacked,
Hideo Itami vs Tyler Breeze over-delivered, we had the first, and still somehow ONLY fatal-fourway
featuring the Four Horsewomen of NXT, and Neville vs Finn Balor was a solid match of
the year candidate, but the main event was the first step in one of the better rivalries
of the decade. Zayn vs Owens, the video package is one of the best NXT ever did and the match
itself was a masterpiece of simple, but unexpected booking. Zayn mistimes a leap to the outside,
cracking his head, then Owens just powerbombs him over and over and over and over again,
until the ref stops the match. Zayn loses nothing, he wasn’t even pinned, Owens is
turned into an even more loathsome monster and Zayns title reign ends after just a month,
with neither the champion or the championship suffering. This match proved to many new fans
that NXT knew how to reward its fans for their emotional investment. Just a stellar damn
night of wrestling, and this list is only just getting started. 9. TakeOver Portland Right now, NXT feels like it’s approaching
the end of a very special time in its life. One of Gargano and Ciampa is likely to leave
the company at the next TakeOver, and the reign of the Undisputed Era seems to be crumbling
too. In yesteryear this would mean that we’re about to see a raft of very important call-ups,
necessitating a massive shift in the roster and a period of calm that sees less spectacle
and more a bit more patient character-building. NXT’s existence as a third brand throws
that tradition into uncertainty but it definitely feels like they’re ramping up for a finale,
because Goddamn this is NXT almost at the point of self-parody. Every match is so so
much, Lee/Dijakovic is the pinnacle of hoss wrestling and honestly though, will Keith
Lee marry me? Please? The undercard also features Bianca Belair heartbreakingly becoming a superstar
right when Charlotte decides to visit which is just dreadful timing, Gargano and Balor
being everything we needed it to be whilst also featuring Balor pinning Johnny with his
f****** DICK and the BroSerweights being very dumb but also very very good. The only thing
that really lets down this card at all, and this is obviously subjective is that NXT has
almost come too far in its delivery of big matches. Portland represents the latest in
a string of main events that stretch belief to its breaking point, and then DDT belief
on some concrete and then belief kicksout a few more times. Depends how much Ring of
Honour you like in your gumbo, but yeah, this feels like a final inhuman sprint towards
Tampa where everyone will explode in a Crisis on Infinite Earths style event, and then maaaaybe
things can calm down, just a smidge. You know, if Tampa happens…. oh… 8. TakeOver Philadelphia If there’s one man that has become synonymous
with TakeOver that man would be Johnny Gargano, what would happen if a meerkat put on beef
and became the greatest set-piece wrestler in the world. Since the days of Gargano tagging
with Ciampa as DIY we knew he was an exceptional wrestler, but it wasn’t until TakeOver Philadelphia
with his INSANE match with Andrade that we knew he was the next top star of the industry.
It was the first one on one TakeOver match to go over 30 minutes, the Iron Woman match
went exactly 30 mins, don’t you @ me now, it was the first NXT match to receive 5 stars
from Dave Meltzer, if that’s something you care about, and it set a new standard for
TakeOver mains, something which perhaps they’ve tried a bit too hard sometimes to replicate.
It’s amazing, watch it again, and while the undercard is not the greatest of all time,
there’s still some very strong stuff here. AOP vs Undisputed Era is something special,
we have Shayna Bazler first TakeOver and while she hasn’t hit her prime, the arm-stomping
character work is still on point, Dream and Kassius Ohno have a fun match, and Cole and
Black have a very stupid extreme rules match featuring men doing things with chairs that
should not be done with chairs. However, as good as the rest of it is, it’s a one match
show, and what a match it is, ending with finish cheapshot from Tomasso Ciampa as a
perfect poison cherry on a meat sundae. 7. TakeOver Brooklyn 1 Does TakeOver Brooklyn feature Canadian Destroyers,
eight dozen kickouts and Fight Forever chants, no it does not. Does it feature moments of
pure wrestling happiness that have rarely if ever been replicated. Yes it does. First
off, Blue Pants appears and helps the Vaudevillains beat Blake and Murphy. Seems quaint to look
back on it, but GODDAMN did this make everyone happy at the time. If you’ve forgotten,
Blue Pants (aka AEW’s Librarian Leva Bates) was a comedy jobber who wore Blue Pants. Adorable.
Ignore what happened on the main roster (something you’ll have to do a lot of when watching
this show back) but the Vaudevillains were over, I promise you and their victory was
the first of a number of beam-inducing moments. Samoa Joe wrecked shop against Baron Corbin
at the top of his game, Apollo Crews debuted brilliantly, again ignore what came next,
and the ladder match between Balor and Owens was fantastic. Also, bloody hell what’s
Jushin Thunder Liger doing in NXT, wrestling like he’s in his 30s that’s what, go Kane
the Power Ranger, let’s fighting love. But of course, we’re here for Sasha Banks vs
Bayley and there’s still something in my eye. For any time that people bag on NXT for
being predictable, remind them that giving the fans a moment they’ve prayed for is
a good thing. Bayley ascending to the mountaintop and besting Sasha Banks in her prime was just…
it just made us all happy. All of us. Everyone, and when that curtain call took place it was
thoroughly earned. The story of women’s wrestling dominated much of 2015, and looking
back, this was the apex of that narrative. Emotive wrestling at its best. 6. TakeOver Chicago 1 And speaking of feelings, Ciampa, you godless
f***. So begins probably the best rivalry in NXT history. It’s truly an Odyssey, with
twists, turns, injuries, redemptions, wounds being torn open, and this is the Nexus point.
Well, the seeds had already been planted, because Triple H knows what he is doing, with
Ciampa maybe almost, but not quite turning on Gargano in the cruiserweight classic. The
team survived only to Die Another Day, and what a death. At the end of a great ladder
match, the two men stand at the top of the ramp, you think, will it happen, then the
absolute bastards through up the copyright logo which only appears seconds before the
end of the show, so you breathe out, unclench, relax, as Ciampa whispers, this is my moment,
and then… and … then … It’s a perfectly engineered bait and switch and exactly as
vicious as it needed to be. Pats on the back all round. For this moment alone, Chicago
is a significant TakeOver, but there’s also a hell of an undercard here. The Women’s
Triple threat is stellar, both Bobby Roode and Hideo Itami have the greatest match of
their NXT careers, then there Tyler bate vs Pete Dunne. One of the great show stealers
in TakeOver history, and wee beauty of match that sees Tyler Bate’s NXT UK Championship
run come to an end. A star-making performance for both men, especially Dunne, it helped
make this a fully formed great show, rather than just a show in service to a great story.
After a few underwhelming TakeOvers with Nakamura, Joe and Roode never quite managing to fill
the space left by Zayn Balor and Owens, this was a huge return for the brand. 5. TakeOver Brooklyn 4 Gargano & Ciampa were supposed to blow off
the most psychosexual feud of brotherhood, betrayal & brainwashing to not feature Bray
Wyatt and his sweaty kisses at TakeOver New York (oh don’t worry, we’ll get to that)
but because God hates necks, Tomato Champion went down, so for now this is the final Ciampa/Gargano
match until Tampa, if that even happens at this point, you know pandemics and all that,
again God seems to have something against Ciampa getting to finish telling his stories.
This is probably the least good of the ChampGargs which still makes it better than any match
over SummerSlam weekend, but it did also end with Johnny Stupid running into a speaker
because his dumbass just can’t quit ciampa. From a storytelling perspective, it’s one
of the most ambitious long-form projects and the care and no amount of slightly deflating
finishes can diminish all the callbacks, the repeated imagery, the anger, the nuanced psychological
cruelty. Yes, sign me up for another helping. The Street Fight at Chicago 2 was maybe better,
but the undercard is a lot stronger here, with the greatest towel-based storytelling
since Survivor Series 94 in Undisputed Era vs Moustache Mountain aka, the brothers shithead
vs a proud circus bear and his beautiful son. Velveteen Dream vs EC3 was a really good WWE
style match, remember when EC3 wrestled? Pepperidge farm remembers. Also, hey Kairi Sane was great
once because her vs Sheyna Bazler is also brilliant, but what really makes the undercard
a thing of beauty is the Cole/Ricochet match. It’s so good to see Ricochet being a thing,
pepperidge farm etc, and that spot where Cole nails Ricochet with a superkick as he’s
upside f****** down, sometimes, just sometimes, everything works out exactly as planned. 4. TakeOver WarGames 2018 The Wargames takeovers are just so silly.
A silly shoebox filled with silly beef who only barely know why they’re killing each
other. It’s the only time that I think NXT suffers from that debilitating WWE condition
of ‘sorry guys forget about whatever feuds you’ve got going on, the calendar says it’s
STIPULATION MATCH MONTH’. The other two shoebox takeovers are both good, no doubt,
but as a whole show 2018 stands head and shoulders above the rest. There isn’t a bad match
on the card, Kassius Ohno rides Matt Riddle’s knee all the way to heaven, NXT once again
proved why 2 out of 3 falls is their signature stip with the excellent blowoff to Sane/Bazler,
sexy mindgames prince had a truly star-cementing match against Ciampa, establishing himself
as perhaps the greatest character in all of NXT and Black Gargano stole the show with
Johnny proving that his in-ring persona actually get more engaging with him as a dirtbag. Also,
those Black Masses were an abject cruelty wrapped in holy vengeance. For twats like
me who prefer for their matches to have more community theatre than flips, “I absolve
you all your sins” feels like a present, just for me. And then there’s the shoebox,
and gosh it’s silly. The Viking Experience team with Captain Bounce and Billy Fingers
vs The Twatstreet Boys. Why not I guess? It is November after all. It’s … there’s
… it’s a lot. There’s so much in it, 45 minutes of seemingly endless spots, with
a nice sprinkling of story with Undisputed Era locking Dunne inside his cage so he can’t
enter the match. Seeing as it’s kind of what Wargames seems to be designed for, let’s
just rattle off some spots, Ricochet leaping from one ring to the next, that GREAT shot
of both teams standing in each ring recreating the Civil War poster, possibly the beefiest
tower of doom spot in all of wrestling and then, of course, Ricochet proving why he’s
a f****** valuable commodity with the double moonsault off the top of the cage. What a
stupid thing to cap off a very stupid, but very great TakeOver. 3. TakeOver Dallas I get it. A lot of you would not rank Dallas
quite this high, but honestly, this might still be my personal favourite TakeOver. More
than any other show NXT has done, this one felt like a card filled with actual living,
breathing superheroes. NXT has a lot of indy wrestlers who almost feel anti-WWE because
their only quotes ‘gimmick’ is I’m a very good wrestler, but people don’t give
NXT nearly enough credit for it being a showcase of the best qualities of WWE, the showmanship,
and how that elevates their characters to something else, monsters, gods and demons.
I will always like my NXT hypermoves-style cut with WWE camp, it’s the best of both
wrestling world and Dallas is that at its best. Baron Corbin coming to the ring with
skulls on his shoulders, American Alpha finally becoming super saiyan nerds, Asuka killing
our hero because Bayley is but a person and Asuka is a goddess of performing brain surgery
with her f****** feet, Finn Balor going Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Samoa Joe, it’s excellent
wrestling and near mythic visuals, and then we get to Nakamura vs Zayn. The most special
moment of a most special night. It’s genuinely, from every single standpoint, perfect. The
anticipation of the crowd, Nakamura appearing in silhouette before that note slides like
a knife on skin to reveal the man who set New Japan aflame. Sami Zayn getting the best
possible swansong in a promotion that had been built partly on his back, it’s the
end of his era. That bit where they’re just punching each other FOR AGES. I know it’s
not a perfect show, there’s ref stoppages for blood, the Baron Corbin match isn’t
quite as epic, but this all means nothing. It’s a sentimental choice, but bloody hell
I’d make Dallas number 1 if I could. 2. TakeOver New Orleans I went around and around with this one, I
really did. I wasn’t sure if this should be number 1, I just … the top two TakeOvers
are just perfect shows. They are. From top to toe, there’s literally nothing wrong
with either of them so hey, if this is your favourite I want you to know that I understand,
and I’m here for you. It features not one, but goddamn two wrestling observer 5 star
matches in the ladder match for the North American Championship and the first and so
far best singles match in the Gargano Ciampa feud. Everything was great, Sheyna Bazler
became NXT Women’s Champion for the first time and beast moded her shoulder back into
its socket to show that, yup, she completely gets pro wrestling, she’s going to be just
fine, Roderick Strong shocked the world and, I guess, the system by joining the Undisputed
Era and being the final chaos emerald needed to take the group Super Sonic, Aleister Black
was crowned NXT Champion and actually f****** smiled, we caught you, we’ve got you on
TAPE, that match was another notch in the increasingly crowded bedpost of Andrade’s
accomplishments, and then the main event. So, it depends what you want from your wrestling,
but I think it might be the best main event in Takeover history, certain from a storytelling
standpoint. All the seeds blossom here, the crutch, the leg brace, each man going back
to their DIY finisher, them sitting side by side just like they did at the cruiserweight
classic, brothers, worn down, destroyed, nothing left but each other, and then Ciampa completely
shits any shot at redemption up the wall, thereby sealing his own destruction. Just
… yes … to all of it. 1. TakeOver New York For a whole bunch of other people, this card
has the great main event in TakeOver history and honestly, lets just take a moment to appreciate
how lucky we are that NXT exists. It justifies the existence of WWE almost by itself and
it is the king of wrestling. If there’s only one thing that puts New York over New
Orleans – and by this naming trend, TakeOvers New Jersey, New Mexico and New Hampshire are
going to be full big boy trousers – it’s that maybe the ladder match was too good and
hurt the matches that followed. Here though, through some alchemical magic, every match
manages to compel the crowd and deliver in a big way. The Viking Experience vs The Undertaker’s
Grumpy Teenager and Kid Flippz was off the hook and generated that warm thank you feeling,
as both Black and Ricochet left to become a man trapped in a room and a man trapped
in vince’s mcmahon’s scorn respectively. Velveteen Dream wrestles Matt Riddle in what
is an absolute dream match from both a character and style perspective, it’s the purest WWE
style performer vs the purest MMA style performer and both of them are big silly characters
who add immeasurably to the camp and demented personality of the brand. Also the meta joy
of knowing that by winning, Dream gets to grow and shine even when confronted with the
hottest newest prospect is such a deserved reward for everything he does. Then f******
hell Walter vs Pete Dunne. Sweet jesus the chops, the big hands of the big man. Walters
like a bank manager who’s gone off the f****** deep end, strips down to his pants and runs
screaming into a car park to fight all the f****** cars. Then you get Bazler vs Belair
vs Sane vs Shirai and just … how much more is there left to say. Listing the names is
all the endorsement I can give without crashing thesaurus.com by spam refreshing the page
for ‘love’ And then Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole wrestle for 40 minutes, with Gargano
going in as the unofficial heel because it was quote ‘Adam Cole’s Time’ and turning
it around so the fan were more rabid for him that possibly in his entire career. Is it
a bit much, yes, does it have too many kickouts…mmmm… probably, but it stands as the culmination
of Johnny Gargano’s journey, that after everything has been taken from him, DIY, his
health, his sanity, even the ultimate revenge against Ciampa all he has left is the NXT
Championship and somehow that makes him invulnerable. It works and when he finally reaches the top
it’s just… joy. What a show. Look at all these shows. I just … f***. And that’s our list, did we miss your favourite
takeover, let us know in the comments, make sure you subscribe to wrestletalk for more
lists and news, and it’s Sunday, which means over at partsFUNknown we’ll be airing the
season finale of No Rolls Barred, so make sure you subscribe to that so you know exactly
when it drops!

36 thoughts on “10 Greatest NXT TakeOvers Of All Time | WrestleTalk 10s With Adam Blampied

  1. Gargano vs Andrade is actually underrated cause we have too many 5 stars match in NXT since then.

    I don't care if people didn't like Meltzer rating.

  2. Adam do a how WWE should've booked the Dean Ambrose heel run. Cuz I thought the turn was great but the actual run was a complete letdown.

  3. My personal opinion , the only bad takeover I have ever seen was I guess Toronto in which Bobby Roode fought for the NXT Title

  4. Isn't NOW the ideal time, the 24/7 Championship? Its been defended on a flight, the WWE Headquarters, the streets. Maybe Moss will hang onto the title for a looong time

  5. Adam back where you belong! YouTube legend restored! I am still not over the fact you are back! Damn I love Sundays!!!!!

  6. It's so sad to remember some of these moments now that some guys are wasted on the main roster… Especially the Zayn/Nakamura stuff hit me. The goosebumps I had when Nakamura's entrance hit for the first time, the match those two had… WOW!

  7. I love them all. Sad Takeover Toronto 1 didn't make the list, but I don't blame you because they're all so good.

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