Thursday, December 17, 2015

NXT Advent Calendar Day 17: Takeover London review

Takeover London closed out NXT's special event schedule for 2015 with five explosive matches. And while the show lacked for surprises or big reveals, it did bring two full hours of solid wrestling action from top to bottom.

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The show opened with an impressive fifteen minute battle between Emma and Asuka. While Emma and compatriot Dana Brooke tried to pull out every shady tactic they could to pick up the win, including a chain and a distraction during the Asuka Lock, but Asuka continued her streak of dominance in NXT with a win after an explosive kick.

The tag team match was an incredibly even handed affair with Enzo and Cass tearing into Dash and Dawson, while the tag champs struck right back. Some brutal highspots really made this one pop, even if the finish felt a little too rushed when it came time for the champs to get the win over the challengers.

Apollo Crews helped Baron Corbin prove he could put on a great match, even if the London fans made their distaste for him known. His win over Crews, especially after Crews reversed the End of Days once, was nothing short of impressive. I strongly suspect Corbin will have a title shot in his near future, probably followed by a call up to the main roster.

Bayley and Nia Jax was an incredibly interesting match. Most of the offense here was by Nia Jax, who used her size to just utterly dominate the women's champion. But Bayley has played the underdog at the last two Takeovers and proved she could pull out a victory. Even when Jax stomped her into the ground and dropped multiple legs, her cocky covers allowed Bayley time to kick out. The match ultimately ended with some really old school action as Bayley locked on repeated guillotine chokes until Nia Jax could not continue and had to tap.

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After Finn Balor showed off his Jack the Ripper demon variation, he went into the ring with the much larger Samoa Joe. Again, the champion fought from the bottom a lot in this match, but Finn got in a lot more offense than Bayley. And while the 18 minutes often saw both individuals get a bit sloppy, the teases for Joe's finishes made for great suspense, especially the intrigue of almost seeing the Super Muscle Buster. But ultimately Joe tasted the Coup De Grace to give Finn the win in front of his UK fans.

Overall, Takeover London brought great in ring action while making fans wait until next week's show for the big return of Sami Zayn and the debut of Elias Samson. It closes off storylines while allowing the television in the next few weeks to start the long slow build to Takeover Dallas in April. I highly recommend checking out the show for any fans of great wrestling.

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