Wrestling Review: NXT TakeOver: Toronto (2016)

For only the second time in history, NXT will host a Takeover special from outside of the United States when it heads to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for NXT TakeOver: Toronto. This NXT special will be Samoa Joe’s fifth straight Takeover main event title match as he goes up against the undefeated, defending NXT champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Joe has been on a rampage through the NXT roster in the lead up, and Nakamura has shown that he will not let anyone stand in his way in handing Joe the revenge that he deserves. Not to be outdone, the team of top guys on NXT, The Revival, will attempt to continue their match of the night streak when they defend their tag team championships against the team of Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, now calling themselves #DIY in a two-out-of-three falls match. This tag title match is sure to be explosive, and may yet prove to be the best match on an already stacked card, and stacked four nights of WWE action. But aside from all of that, the homecoming is here: The GLORIOUS Bobby Roode returns to his home town to go up against another Canada native, “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger in perhaps the biggest grudge match on the card. Also not to be missed is a returning Mickie James attempting to take the Women’s Championship from the undefeated Asuka, and the finals of the second annual Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Oh, Canada, NXT TakeOver: Toronto is certainly an event not to be missed!

+ The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) (c) vs #DIY (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) (NXT Tag Team Championships): all four of these guys are just so good, this was destined to be an instant classic. The Revival suckering in the fans over and over is always incredible, and Gargano makes such a fantastic underdog that it is so easy to get completely lost in these matches. This was amazing, far and away the match of the show, if not tag team match of the year
+ Asuka (c) vs Mickie James (NXT Women’s Championship): first off, hot damn Mickie still looks great. Asuka’s in-story power-level is just so ridiculously high right now that this was a strange match to even dream about, let alone see, but Mickie has not lost a step in her time away from the WWE. Having to follow the incredible tag match did seem to do a number on crowd, but overall this was a very good match only marred by a somewhat sudden ending
+ Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs Samoa Joe (NXT Championship): something about this match never really clicked for me. I don’t know if the presence Nakamura has is starting to wear thin, or if five straight Samoa Joe main events have just running their course. This match took a while to get into second gear, but once it finally did it was an enjoyable romp. This was probably the weakest of the three title matches, and no matter how the ending went, hopefully both can start building towards a Royal Rumble entry in the future
+ “Glorious” Bobby Roode vs “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger: the two hometown stars started the show in glorious, perfect fashion. This grudge match was hard hitting, with back and forth action which got the crowd pumped up for the rest of the show

– The Authors of Pain vs TM61 (Shane Thorn & Nick Miller): so The Author’s manager, Paul Ellering, was suspended from the ceiling in a cage. Since their debut, TM61 have done very little for me, despite both Being Australian, and I was not thrilled at the (relatively) inexperienced Authors of Pain getting to the finals here. I know the shark cage gimmick is a throwback to a past Ellering moment (and a plug for the new Mattel toys), but I think it just overshadowed both the match and the tournament as a whole. The #DIY and Revival title match should have doubled down as the finals of the tournament, in my opinion

> If I never get to see a Samoa Joe vs Brock Lesnar fight I will die unfulfilled. No-one else has the vibe that those two have when they make their entrances.

Should you watch this event: This show was only five matches, but all of them, good or bad, were important in terms of either story or those involved. Go out of your way to see the tag title match, and if you are a particular fan of anyone else then it is worth watching their match too. A few interesting decisions will hopefully make for a good follow up on the weekly shows.


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