Thursday, October 8, 2015

NXT's roster earns their "Respect"

I've spent two days talking about the importance of last night's NXT Takeover: Respect main event but Sasha Banks and Bayley were not going to sit idle with their shot at the top of the card. They put on a match every bit as epic as their 18 and a half minute classic in Brooklyn.

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While Bayley retaining against the now main roster star Sasha Banks wasn't overly surprising, the result didn't matter as much as the quality of two women clearly forming a rivalry that will last for years to come. Bayley and Sasha have been perfect opponents and I suspect we will see much more of both women when Bayley eventually gets her main event call up.

For now, Sasha has the WWE Divas title to focus on, while Bayley has threats from Alexa Bliss, Dana Brooke, Emma and Asuka. It looks like Alexa will be her next major foe, which may prove interesting if Blake & Murphy get involved from the outside.

The other big story of Respect was the Dusty Classic. Finn Balor & Samoa Joe overcame Dash & Dawson while Baron Corbin & Rhyno beat Jason Jordan & Chad Gable in a match that should put Jordan & Gable into bigger roles in the near future.

The finals brought a big win for Finn Balor and Samoa Joe and a touching speech about his father by Cody Rhodes, speaking publicly for the first time about the loss of his father. It was a fitting tribute to the late American Dream.

Apollo Crews got a somewhat surprising win over Tyler Breeze in a match that felt a bit too thrown together to be as good as it should have been. But both men are so athletically gifted that they both have a strong future as both opponents and major NXT stars, so I suspect we will see this matcch again.

My favorite match of the night though was witnessing the WWE in ring debut of Asuka. For all her weaknesses of a few months ago, Dana Brooke has improved leaps and bounds in the last few weeks. She worked as a great foil to Asuka, but everyone knew the results of this one going in. Only interference by Emma gave Dana any advantage, while Asuka picked apart her foe before making her tap to the Asuka Lock in a stunning debut for perhaps the most athletically gifted star now in WWE.

Takeover: Respect was an amazing card from top to bottom, giving us yet another amazing special event for WWE's secondary brand. With one more Takeover before the end of the year, it will be anyone's guess if the amazing stars of NXT can top their already amazing 2015 events.

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