Their last match was a classic that many proclaimed as the best women’s wrestling match of all-time. Tonight at NXT TakeOver: Respect, Sasha Banks looks to avenge her loss and take back the NXT Women’s Championship against Bayley in a 30-minute Ironman match. Plus, the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic finds its inaugural winners! All that and more at NXT TakeOver: Respect!
We are LIVE from Orlando, Fla. Rich Brennan, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton have the call for tonight.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals: Finn Balor & Samoa Joe vs. Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder
Dash Wilder attacks Finn Balor and knocks him off the apron. Samoa Joe works Wilder in the corners and Scott Dawson pulls Wilder away from a splash. Joe worked down by Dawson and Wilder. Nearfall on Joe and Joe comes back with an enzuigiri. Dawson tries to prevent the tag to no avail and Balor in with running chops. Dawson sent out with a dropkick and Balor with a flip dive to take Dawson and Wilder out. Dawson dropkicked into the corner and Coup de Grace stopped as Wilder charges. Dawson and Wilder go after the leg of Balor. Half Boston Crab from Dawson after a barrage on the left knee. Balor kicks Dawson away and Wilder pulls Joe off the apron. Elbow drop nearfall for Dawson. Balor fights out of the corner and Wilder able to stop the tag temporarily. Balor dives and Joe in like a house of fire. Powerslam nearfall on Wilder and an STJoe lands out of the corner. Balor asks for the tag and gets it as Joe lands a Muscle Buster. Balor with Coup de Grace and Joe ties Dawson up.
Winners by pinfall: Finn Balor & Samoa Joe
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Comments: Tag team clinic of an opener and a little added subplot focused on the leg of Balor and his demand on the final tag. Fun, fast-paced kickoff match.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals: Jason Jordan & Chad Gable vs. Rhyno & Baron Corbin
Jason Jordan starts with Baron Corbin. Jordan with takedowns after being shoved away and Corbin throws him out. Hip toss from Corbin sees Jordan land on his feet, but Corbin with a shoulder tackle for a nearfall. Rhyno in and Chad Gable soon follows with a sunset flip nearfall. Rhyno works Gable in the corner and Gable comes back with submission chains. Shoulder tackle from Rhyno gets a nearfall and Gable and Jordan go to submissions on Rhyno. Gable with a cross armbreaker over the ropes and Rhyno tosses him to the floor, where Corbin goes to work for a nearfall. Gable trapped and worked down by Corbin and Rhyno. Rhyno misses on a splash from the top and Jordan and Corbin in. Jordan plays the house of fire. Jordan and Gable look to finish Corbin, but Corbin knocks Jordan down and lands a spinning side slam for a nearfall broken by Jordan. Rhyno and Jordan sent out and Gable with a rolling German Suplex for a nearfall. Rhyno gores Jordan and Corbin with a tilt-a-whirl into End of Days.
Winners by pinfall: Rhyno & Baron Corbin
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Comments: This one started slower and it seemed like the two teams wouldn’t mesh because of their styles, but they went all out coming down the stretch and the crowd responded accordingly. Slightly better than the opener, but two great semifinal matches nonetheless.
Video package takes a look at Asuka.
Dana Brooke (w/Emma) vs. Asuka
Asuka offers a handshake and Dana Brooke smacks her. The two exchange armlocks and Brooke works out to slap Asuka again. Asuka unloads with kicks and a hip attack. Brooke gets back up and gets pulled down again for an armbar. Rope break from Brooke and she moves outside. Asuka with more kicks and Emma ties Asuka in the ring skirt. Brooke with a stunner that snaps Asuka on the second rope and a nearfall sees her work Asuka down. Asuka grabs the leg for an ankle lock and lands a German Suplex. Brooke elbows out of the corner and Asuka hurricanranas into an armbar. Brooke gets out and dropped by a head kick. Backfist knocks Emma off the apron and crossface chickenwing Asuka Lock applied.
Winner by submission: Asuka
Rating: 2.25 out of 5 stars
Comments: An average match that can be attributed to the work of Asuka. For her to make a Dana Brooke match watchable is a big feat and she did just that here.
Tyler Breeze vs. Apollo Crews
Tie-ups see the two exchange submissions until Apollo Crews sends Tyler Breeze out with a dropkick. Shoulder tackle outside by Crews and Breeze tries to attack as Crews reenters. Crews turns it into a delayed vertical suplex for a nearfall. Breeze schoolboys Crews out to the floor and sends him into the apron outside. Nearfall inside and Breeze goes to work with the grounding offense. Backbreaker nearfall from Breeze and he goes up top. Breeze set up for a gorilla press, but he trips Crews up and locks in a sharpshooter. Crews with the rope break and Breeze goes to work on the lower back. Crews with a head kick to start the comeback. Breeze stops it with a Supermodel Kick for a nearfall. Crews on the apron and hit with a springboard dropkick. Breeze comes off the top into a powerslam for a Crews nearfall. Gorilla press from Crews, but Breeze grabs the leg for a small package. Crews comes back with a powerbomb.
Winner by pinfall: Apollo Crews
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Comments: Unexpectedly good match with really good back and forth and psychology.
Recap of all the previous action.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Baron Corbin & Rhyno vs. Finn Balor & Samoa Joe
Finn Balor starts with Rhyno and gets a schoolboy nearfall. Baron Corbin in and he kicks the knee, but Balor comes back with a kick of his own and brings Samoa Joe in. Joe drops Corbin and a kneedrop gets a nearfall. Spinebuster from Corbin gets a nearfall and he works Joe down with strikes. Rhyno in and he focuses the offense on the lower back of Joe. Corbin in and he does the same. Joe comes back with a corner enzuigiri and Balor in like a house of fire. The run stops as Rhyno grabs the leg and pulls Balor down on the apron. Corbin goes to work on the left leg on the ring post and in the ring. Balor fights out of the opponent corner to land a Sling Blade. Joe and Rhyno in and Joe takes his turn as the house of fire. Rhyno lands a Gore on Joe for a nearfall broken by Balor. Balor with a DDT and he gets taken out outside. Rhyno tries a Gore and misses. Joe with a kick and a Muscle Buster. Balor tags in for Coup de Grace.
Winners by pinfall and Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic winners: Finn Balor & Samoa Joe
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Comments: Really slow, methodical match that focused more on storyline. Even then, it wasn’t anything special storytelling wise and was merely average.
The Rhodes Family pay tribute to Dusty Rhodes and present the trophy.
Video recap of the rivalry between NXT Women’s Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks.
30 Minute Ironman Match for the NXT Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Sasha Banks
Tie-up to start sees Sasha Banks shove Bayley away. Tie-up again sees Banks land a shoulder tackle for a nearfall and Banks with pinning positions to try and score the first fall. Bayley comes back with a shoulder tackle and pins of her own. Both exchange pin attempts over and over again until Banks ends the scramble with a dropkick. Bayley with Japanese arm drags and Banks comes back with a hurricanrana. Arm drag off the top by Banks and Bank Statement attempt blocked by Bayley holding the ropes. Bayley to Belly blocked and Banks sits in the corner. Bayley helps her opponent up and gets dropped for it. Bayley with an aggressive counterattack that sends Banks outside. Dropkick through the ring corners landing for Bayley. Bulldog for Bayley inside gets a nearfall. The referee gets tied up in the corner and Banks mounts him in the corner. Bayley charges in and Banks rakes the eye as she stands in front of the referee. Schoolboy from Banks.
Pinfall: Sasha Banks (Banks leads 1-0)
Bayley comes back taking Banks down and working her in the corner. Double knees in the corner blocked by snake eyes from Bayley. Banks sat up top and she tries to kick Bayley away. Bayley grabs the leg and pulls her into Bayley to Belly.
Pinfall: Bayley (Tied 1-1)
Banks swings Bayley into the steel steps outside. Nearfall inside for Banks and she tosses Bayley out to send her into the stairs again. Banks sending Bayley into the steps over and over. Bayley able to kick out back inside. Banks again takes it outside and she tosses Bayley into the LED screen as the referee counts Bayley out.
Countout: Sasha Banks (Banks leads 2-1)
Banks works Bayley down and locks in a Boston Crab as she stomps the arm of Bayley. Bayley with a headscissors as Banks lifts her for another Boston Crabs and she hooks the legs.
Pinfall: Bayley (Tied 2-2)
Double knees miss for Banks in the corner and Bayley comes back with axhandles. Facebuster gets a nearfall on Banks. Banks hung in the tree of woe after Bayley puts together a string of offense and a springboard elbow gets another nearfall as the clock goes under ten minutes. Banks comes back with springboard double knees for a nearfall after the two fight up top. Banks misses a tackle in the corner and runs into the post. Bayley works on the left arm of Banks with an armbreaker over the second rope. Both fight outside and Bayley sent into the steel steps as Banks gets back inside. Suicide dive caught for a Bayley to Belly on the floor as the clock goes below five minutes. Bayley to Belly off the top lands and Bayley stacks Banks, but the foot of Banks hooks the bottom rope. Reverse hurricanrana connects, but Banks lands in a seated position. Bayley turns around and gets hit with Bayley to Belly for a nearfall. Bank Statement locked in and Bayley looks for a rope break. Banks locks it in back in the middle and Bayley fights out. The hand of Banks spiked into the mat. Bayley grabs a submission with twenty seconds left. Bayley with the armbar and abdominal stretch combo on the mat and she slams her boot into the head of Banks. Banks has no hands to tap and her feet slap the mat as the final seconds melt off the clock.
Submission: Bayley (Bayley leads 3-2)
Winner and STILL NXT Women’s Champion: Bayley
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Comments: A very good match that was almost great, but the match structure seemed to make it drag on at too slow of a pace for too long. Much lesser than their previous encounter, but still a memorable match.
The show closes as The Authority present NXT Women’s Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks with bouquets of flowers.
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Overall Comments: This show didn’t seem to have as much hype behind it as other TakeOver events, but it was consistent and worthwhile the entire way through. While we are spoiled to expect classics each time NXT puts on a bigger show, this one flew under the radar while being thoroughly entertaining for two hours.
Nolan Howell can be reached at [email protected] for any questions or comments.