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Views from the Hawke’s Nest – NXT TakeOver: Dallas

April 2, 2016 | Posted by TJ Hawke
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Views from the Hawke’s Nest – NXT TakeOver: Dallas  

Dallas, Texas
April 1, 2016

Commentators: Tom Phillips & Corey Graves


The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) (c) vs. American Alpha (Chad Gable & Jason Jordan) [NXT Tag Team Championship]

Despite some very sloppy moments that absolutely take you out of the action, this was a very good opener that basically showed the main roster’s tag division very how. There was an extended shine segment that got the crowd very into it. Their was an effective heat segment on Gable that the latter sold very well down the stretch and did not shake off at all. Jordan’s hot tag got really over and made him seem much better than he actually is. The Revival did their usual great work on top throughout. The title change came off like an incredibly big deal, and it’s hard to argue with the decision to do the switch given the response that it got. Giant thumbs up. (***3/4)


Austin Aries vs. Baron Corbin

The Greatest Man That Ever Lived vs. The Big Breakfast! Only one man will survive~!~! Despite not responding to my charitable campaign, Big Banter has my full support in his quest to humble the indie darlings that jumped to the front of the line in NXT.

The match was going along very well. Big Breakfast was bantering Aries into submission and using nerve holds to beautifully destroy his soul. Then Aries stole the match with a fruit roll-up. A miscarriage of justice if I have ever seen one. (**)


Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

While they predictably relied on their charisma and just the cool factor of the match existing in the first place, this was still very, very, very, fucking good. If anything, this match just proved how hot the NXT brand and these two characters are with the core fanbase of the product. You don’t need to have some elaborate in-ring story when you have two workers that the fans think are legitimate wrestling gods. The labored setups, the dead air, and the awkward moments did not really matter. This debut was bigger than that, and the success of it was largely based on atmosphere and how much the match “worked” with the fans. This felt like a big deal in ways that few matches ever do. As a match, this was a great showdown of two huge stars. More importantly though, it was a perfect debut for Shinsuke and an even more fitting swan song for Zayn. (****)


Bayley (c) vs. Asuka [NXT Women’s Championship]

They had a decent first two-thirds of the match, but this really ended up being a bit of a letdown. It’s possible this was just the first in a series of planned matches that will give us something more definitive and satisfying. In the meantime though, I get to make jokes about Bayley having better matches with Eva Marie and Nia Jax. Let’s hope they turn it on next time. Asuka made Bayley pass out with a choke. (**3/4)


Finn Balor (c) vs. Samoa Joe [NXT Championship]

Unfortunately, Joe got busted open very early in the match, and that led to a number of ref stoppages to clean up the blood. This kind of both helped and harmed the match. They undoubtedly lost loads of momentum, and you could also just picture how hot of a match it would be if they just let Joe go on without cleaning it up. Red used to equal green for a reason. It makes for an awesome spectacle. Every time it seemed like the intensity or urgency was about to reach new heights, people would stop the match to clean up Joe. The first time or two didn’t ruin the match, but it seemingly happened over and over again. Then the match ended up on the fruit roll-up for Finn after Joe dominated so much of it.

Of all the matches on the show, this would be the one I would want to watch again to see how I really feel about it. It was unquestionably frustrating to see the match get going only for another loss of momentum…just for it to end on such a wet fart. It was undoubtedly solid though. (***)


Read over 50 Shinsuke Nakamura match reviews!

Watch some free matches!

Finn Balor vs. Daniel Bryan [their only match]

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Samoa Joe vs. Necro Butcher [*****/must-see match]

Sami Zayn vs. Kota Ibushi vs. Nick Jackson vs. Jigsaw [infamous Chikara match]

Austin Aries vs. Ricochet

Apollo Crews vs. AR Fox [these guys trained together and have insane chemistry]

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
NXT specials are always fun, and this was one of the few to have newsworthy matches up and down the card. Big thumbs up!

article topics :

NXT, NXT Takeover: Dallas, WWE, TJ Hawke