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Kevin’s NXT TakeOver: Portland Review

February 16, 2020 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NXT Takeover: Portland
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Kevin’s NXT TakeOver: Portland Review  

Charly Caruso, Sam Roberts, and Mansoor are on the Kickoff Show. Whenever Sam talks, he gets booed. They run down each match with nothing really new happening other than a clip of the Broserweights driving their golf cart to the arena.

Pretty sweet opening video package, as expected. It showcases everyone on the card, yet also seems to highlight Io Shirai. That goes right into Poppy performing to start the show with a video package playing on the tron. It’s good stuff.

NXT North American Championship: Keith Lee [c] vs. Dominik Dijakovic

In NXT, they are 1-1-2 against each other. BIG MEATY MEN BUMPING MEAT. They start by trying to one up each other and Lee hits the first big spot by snapping off a rana. They avoid each other’s strikes and kicks before colliding on several shoulder block attempts. Lee with the big leap frog and DD with a spinning boot that sends him outside. DD (it’s easier to type than his full name) gets his dive caught into powerbomb position. He escapes and nails a suplex onto the apron. Inside, DD holds serve with right hands. Lee fires back with his own and delivers a release German suplex for two. The absolute wild man that Dijakovic is, he busts out a corkscrew moonsault for a near fall of his own. The two start trading big strikes and send each other to their knees with stereo clotheslines. In one of the biggest spots you’ll ever see, DD hits an avalanche Feast Your eyes for another close call. Lee obliterates him with a massive POUNCE. They fight outside where Lee hits a LOUD double chop. He adds another. DD fights back but takes a third so he responds with a superkick. With Lee seated in a chair, DD hops in the ring and wipes him out with a springboard somersault. Inside, Lee fights off DD, who hits another superkick. Both men flip out of Chokeslam attempts. Lee flips DD over with a Spirit Bomb but he pops up and lets out a yell. Lee gets him up for a second Spirit Bomb that keeps him down, but only for a two count. DD knocks Lee off the top and to the outside. When they go back up, DD hits an avalanche Spanish Fly for two. He can’t get Lee up for Feast Your Eyes because his back gives out. Lee then hoists him up and hits the Big Bang Catastrophe to retain.

Winner: Keith Lee in 20:22 [****1/4]

Lee and Dijakovic show respect to one another after. Lee helps him stand on the turnbuckle and pose so the fans could show him love.

Backstage, Tommaso Ciampa prepares for the main event. Elsewhere, Bianca Belair prepares as well.

Street Fight: Dakota Kai vs. Tegan Nox

Dakota jumps Tegan during her entrance. They brawl through the crowd until Tegan spears her through the guardrail and back to the ringside area. Dakota counters her into a DDT on the barricade. She slides Tegan in to start the match and covers for two. Kai gets trash cans and chairs from under the ring before throwing Nox into the steps and hitting a big boot. She traps Nox’s knee between the steps and post before trying to hit her with a cricket bat, I think. She misses and Nox hits a cross body off the steps. Nox places a trash can over Kai and hits an inverted senton into her. Nox gets a table and sets it up outside. Kai fights back and sits her on the apron before WRECKING her with a trash can lid in the face. Kai misses a running boot that would’ve sent Nox through the table and Nox fires off three superkicks. Nox attacks with the trash can. That is followed by a sick German onto one or two. Kairopractor gets two. Kai leaps but almost gets caught with a Nox Chokeslam. She fights out but has her kick caught and slammed face-first onto the apron. Kai wails on her up top but then gets dropped with a Lady Kane chokeslam off the top. Molly Go Round follows for two. Nox sets up a chair and Kai seems to be begging off as she holds her leg. Nox ignores it, puts her head in the chair and tries a big boot. She misses. Kai throws her the chair and big boots it into her face. Outside, Kai duct tapes Tegan’s hand to the post and hits a running boot. A second is forceful enough to break the tape. Nox fights back by attacking the knee with a laptop and then she brings a chain into play. She uses it on the knee, then wraps her fist in it and unches at the knee. She goes for the brace but can’t get it all the way off. Nox PILLMANIZES the leg. Shiniest Wizard connects and Tegan shouts that she isn’t done yet. She brings the table inside. She lays Kai on top and wraps the chair around her head. Nox goes up but out runs Raquel Gonazlez (Reina Gonzalez). She hits Nox and brutally launches her off the top and onto the table. It doesn’t break and she kind of just folds on the table. Kai covers and takes the victory.

Winner: Dakota Kai in 13:26 [****1/4]

Dakota Kai is confused as Raquel raises her hand.

Rhea Ripley warms up backstage.

BREAKING NEWS ~ NXT UK TakeOver: Dublin will air live on Sunday, April 26th!

Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano

Carnage themed gear for Johnny. Face to face trash talk before the bell. Surprising mat wrestling to start, complete with Finn doing pushups as he holds on a headscissors. Finn remains the aggressor by throwing in chops and forearm strikes. Johnny stops a running chop with a boot. Their fight sends them to the apron where Johnny flips over onto it and hits a spear. Outside, Johnny hits a chop. Finn escapes but then hits Slingblade. Back inside, Finn slows the pace. Johnny fights back but Finn stops his momentum with a dragon screw over the rope. He focuses on the leg and stomps on it in the corner. Finn catches the rolling kick and applies a modified figure four. Johnny escapes and starts firing up with strikes, kicks, and offense, all while selling the leg. outside, Johnny blocks 1916 and sends him into the ring steps. Johnny adds a somersault off the apron. Slingshot Spear inside gets two. Inside, they start with counters and Finn hits the Final Cut  He misses a baseball slide and eats a superkick. Finn blocks a slingshot DDT but still takes the Lawn Dart. They trade kicks and Johnny falls on him for two. They trade shots with Johnny on the apron and come to a stalemate. Finn misses a diving double stomp and Johnny gets two on the slingshot DDT. They trade more shots inside and Johnny wants the DIY superkick. Finn stops him with Slingblade. John Woo dropkick is cut off by a superkick. Finn with another Slingblade. John Woo dropkick connects this time. Coup de Grace is avoided. Johnny applies the Gargano Escape. Finn slips out and does a small double stomp. Gargano counters 1916 back into the Gargano Escape. Finn reaches the ropes. Outside, Johnny hits his own John Woo dropkick into the barricade. Johnny sets up the announce table but Finn front suplexes him onto it. He runs across the tables and dropkicks Johnny off and into the guardrail. Inside, the Coup de Grace connects. A sick looking 1916 ends it.

Winner: Finn Balor in 27:23 [****]

Cathy Kelley interviews Roderick Strong about his match with Velveteen Dream on Wednesday. He is pissed but says tonight is about the rest of the Undisputed Era. Adam Cole ends by saying, “You can go now, Cathy,” as she departs the company.

NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley [c] vs. Bianca Belair

Bianca is out with a badass cape that says “Black History in the making.” They spend the opening exchange jockeying for position and looking for the upper hand. Bianca uses athleticism to escape Rhea’s grasp but is then knocked down with force. A good juxtaposition of their skillsets. Bianca gets control with a modified powerbomb. She gets two on a standing moonsault before they fight on a suplex. Bianca still hits it but it was tough. Rhea rallies from a wear down hold and hits a dropkick. She dead lifts Bianca into an electric chair drop for two. Bianca scores her own near fall with a spinebuster. They trade slaps with Rhea up top and the fans eat it up. Bianca wins out by using her braid as a weapon. She then takes Rhea down from the top with a walking press slam. Rhea gets her knees up n a handspring moonsault. They escape each other’s finishers and Bianca leaps into a big boot before popping up with a spear. Their next exchange sees Rhea hit kicks and Bianca with a forearm. Bianca sends a charging Rhea over the top with a massive back body drop. Bianca follows out with a tope con hilo. Rhea turns the tide by sending her into the ring steps. Inside, they battle up top where Rhea hits a headbutt. Bianca blocks a sunset flip bomb and Rhea keeps hold as she pulls her out into the Riptide to retain.

Winner: Rhea Ripley in 13:32 [****]

Rhea Ripley’s celebration is cut short by an attack from behind by Charlotte Flair. She says she thought about it and she’ll see Rhea at WrestleMania. To end it, Charlotte hits Natural Selection. On her way out, Charlotte sends Bianca into the steel steps.

NXT Tag Team Championship: The Undisputed Era [c] vs. The Broserweights

The Broserweights are out on their golf cart wearing “how much fish could Bobby Fish fry if Bobby Fish could fry fish” shirts. Matt Riddle gets the crowd to chant it. The angry champs greet them for a fight in the aisle. They get in the ring and start with the challengers using tandem offense. Dunne sends Fish packing and catches Kyle with a stomp on the arm. Fish takes the Explex on the apron. Then Kyle gets one on top of Bobby. Inside, Kyle shows off great striking ability to get control. He and Fish work quick tags to keep the pressure on Dunne and target his leg.Dunne fights his way out and makes the hot tag to Riddle who is on fire. Go to Sleep, Brotons, and a German suplex. He hits everything moving. He nails the Floating Bro as Dunne hits a moonsault to the outside at the same time from the same corner. Dunne steps on Fish’s hands but misses a kick and hits the post. Even without his partner, Riddle remains on fire until a Fish chop block. Butterfly DDT/German combo gets two. Dunne enters again and puts Kyle in an Ankle Lock. Riddle cuts off Fish and puts him in the same hold. The champs fight out. Kyle with a Sharpshooter and Fish with a guillotine into a sleeper. Riddle breaks the holds with a knee to Kyle and by dropping back on Fish. Dunne and Fish are legal and Dunne stomps on the hands again. He tags but Fish escapes the Doomsday Device and sends Dunne into Riddle in the corner. Dunne is taken out and Fish with a super exploder on Riddle before Kyle with the king kong knee drop into the kneebar. Dunne manages to save his partner. Kyle sends Dunne into Riddle, knocking him to the floor. Dunne bites Kyle’s fingers and snaps them to prevent a tag. Counter exchange leads to Kyle sending Riddle’s Spear into Dunne. Riddle is dumped outside. Chasing the Dragon on Dunne but Dunne somehow kicks out. Great false finish. Dunne fights them off and Riddle tags himself in. He interrupts a double team by the champs and the challengers hit an Explex/powerbomb combo. Stereo kicks. Go to Sleep/enziguri combo ends it.

Winners: The Broserweights in 16:59 [****1/2]

NXT Championship: Adam Cole [c] vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Ciampa standing right behind Cole during the “BAY BAY” part of his entrance is great. After a clean break, Ciampa taunts Cole. When he nearly hits a signature move, Cole escapes outside for a breather. He tries to goad Ciampa in for a cheap shot but Ciampa is ready and avoids it. Ciampa works the mat with a lengthy headlock. Cole finally gets on the offensive outside. He mocks Ciampa’s “pat on the back” taunt and Ciampa beats his ass for it. After a knee strike, he does the proper taunt. Ciampa drapes Cole over the guardrail and hits a running knee before lighting him up with chops. He adds a massive charging knee to take out Cole. Cole avoids an enziguri and delivers a wheelbarrow suplex into the announce table. It’s brutal. Inside, Ciampa tries to stop his momentum but takes a superkick and then the Backstabber. Ciampa finds a way to counter Panama Sunrise with a jumping knee, opening the door for a rally. He gets a near fall on a powerbomb type move. Cole counters the armbar attempt with a crucifix pin for two. He also gets two on an USHIGIROSHI. Ciampa hits an avalanche Air Raid Crash for a near fall. Outside, Cole hits a superkick but Ciampa escapes a powerbomb before hitting one of his own onto the announce table. he adds another through the table and hits a running knee inside. Cole comes back with a superkick but is turned inside out on a clothesline. Project Ciampa for two. They trade shots in the center of the ring until some bicycle kicks send Ciampa outside. His tope suicida attempt fails as Ciampa catches him with a knee. Cole immediately hits a modified piledriver inside and a brainbuster for two. Series of kicks by Cole and Last Shot but Ciampa rolls to the apron. That sets up Air Raid Crash on the apron. Cole blocks Fairytale Ending outside and hits Panama Sunrise off the announce table. Ciampa still hits him with a DDT on his way in and adds Fairytale Ending. That only gets two. Cole applies a crossface but Ciampa counters into one of his own. Roderick Strong shows up to distract the referee as Kyle and Bobby attack Ciampa but it only sets up another near fall. Ciampa sends Cole out onto Undisputed and plans Strong with Widow’s Bell. He takes out the group with a corkscrew pescado. As he sends Cole inside, he eats a series of superkicks. Last Shot isn’t enough. More distractions lead to a ref bump. Cole with a low blow. Ciampa stops Panama Sunrise with his own low blow. Fairytale Ending but the referee is down. Johnny Gargano arrives as Ciampa goes for the title but he pulls it away from him and stares at it himself. He then clocks Ciampa with it. Cole covers and retains.

Winner: Adam Cole in 33:23 [***1/2]

9.5
The final score: review Amazing
The 411
It's almost like this score is a given for TakeOvers. Even though I rated the main event lower than everything else, it was still very good. I think it had some diminishing returns but was still strong. The rest of the show all scored at least ****. That was three hours of non-stop action and I loved it. One of the best TakeOvers ever.
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