Speculation has been running rampant over what NXT Takeover: The End means? Some think the brand is getting shut down or moved off the WWE Network, both of which are highly doubtful. Others think it is in reference to the Samoa Joe, Finn Balor feud. We will find out tonight from Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida.
The show starts with a retrospective of the brand, and we find out the show is offcially NXT Takeover: The End … Of the Beginning.
Match #1 – Tye Dillinger vs. Andre “Cien” Almas
Almas is making his NXT debut tonight after weeks of vignettes teasing his arrival. Almas picks up his first win after hitting a double running knee in the corner. (Due to technical problems with the network, I missed most of this match.)
Winner via pinfall: Andre “Cien” Almas
Match #2 – The Revival (challengers) vs. American Alpha (champions) NXT Tag Team Title Match
Jason Jordan and Chad Gable are defending their titles for the first time tonight as Dash and Dawson cashed in their rematch clause. Dawson wants no part of Gable in a mat wrestling match and tags in Wilder, who gets the upperhand and tags Dawson back in for the double team. Dawson beats Gable into the corner and then takes him down with a shoulder block. Gable gets trapped in the heel corner and Dash and Dawson pummel him. Dawson with a cover, but Gable kicks out.
Dawson locks in an arm submission and then slams Gable to the mat. Dawson misses an elbow drop. Gable can’t get to Jordan for the tag, as Dawson cuts him down with a spine buster. Wilder gets the tag and makes a quick cover. Gable kciks out, but gets locked in another arm submission. Wilder sets Gable up on the top turnbuckle, but he turns the tables by locking Wilder in an arm bar. Gable breaks the hold before the 5 count and Dawson is able to tag in. The ref loses control allowing Wilder to hold Gable, allowing Dawson to drop the leg from the top turnbuckle. Gable kicks out and is able to make the hot tag to Jordan. He cleans house with Dash and Dawson, hitting a T-bone suplex and then spearing Wilder in the corner. Wilder kicks out of the pin.
Jordon gets dropped into the turnbuckle with a toe hold and Dawson makes a tag. He nearly gets a pin after a double team move. Dawson keeps up the pressure with uppercuts, but is able to get the tag to Gable, who nearly gets a pin after a dropkick into a German suplex. Gable looks for a tag, but Wilder yanks Jordan off the apron. Gable does it himself locking in the ankle lock. Dawson breaks out of the hold, shoving Gable into a cheap shot from Wilder, but Gable is still able to kick out of the roll up. Dawson goes for a move from the top, but Gable counters into a belly to belly. Jordan tags in, but Gable is knocked out of the ring, allowing Dash and Dawson to hit the Shatter Machine. Wilder covers and gets the three count for the win and the NXT Tag Team Titles.
Winners via pinfall … and new NXT Tag Team Champs: The Revival
After the match, American Alpha are attacked in the ring by a pair of brothers dressed in black. Jason Jordan takes a Russian leg sweep along with a clothesline. Paul Ellering walks out on stage and looks into the ring, as the Full Sail crowd chants, “Who are you?” Oh, he’s just the guy that managed the Road Warriors.
Match #3 – Austin Aries vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
The crowd is still signing Nakamura’s entrance music as the match starts, makes you wonder who they are rooting for. Although, the Aries fans are making their voices heard. Nakamura and Aries lock up and are forced to break. Shinsuke is targeting the taped up ribs of Aries. They trade holds, until Nakamura dodges a low drop kick. He takes Aries down, but Austin recovers with a drop kick. Aries taunts Shinsuke and the two go face to face. Nakamura with knees to the mid section and then drop a knee to the face. Austin counters with a knee breaker and pounds Shinsuke in the face. Aries ties Nakamura up in the corner a drop kicks his knee. Aries delivers a shot to the back of the neck from the middle rope.
Nakamura breaks free, but runs into a knee to the gut. Aries goes for a senton, but Shinsuke blocks it by getting his knees up. Aries goes up top again and connects with an elbow. Aries drives his knee into the back of Nakamura and goes for the cover. Shinsuke kicks out. Aries targets the legs and locks in a stretch submission. Nakamura reverse an Irish whip, but Aries counters with a kick. The two trade blows and strikes with Nakamura coming out on top. Aries is kneed into the corner and is hit with a running knee to the mid section. Aries fights out of a suplex and delivers a chop. A shot to the throat sends Shinsuke out to the floor and Aries dives through the ropes to take him out. Aries can’t get the pin in the ring, though. Nakamura locks in the triangle choke. Aries gets his leg on the rope to break the hold.
Nakamura slams Aries to the mat, but Aries blocks the Kinshasa and counters into the Last Chancery. Nakamura gets to the ropes to break the hold. Aries gets boot up to block a charging Nakamura and follows with a drop kick. Aries goes up top, but misses the 450 splash. He rolls though and cuts down Nakamura with an ear clap. The two trade shots on the apron with Shinsuke connecting with an enziguri. Aries with a Death Valley driver on the apron. Nakamura gets to his feet and dodges Aries coming through the ropes. Austin crashes into the security barrier and sis rolled back into the ring. Nakamura hits an exploder suplex and follows with the Kinshasa. He covers to get the win.
Winner via pinfall: Shinsuke Nakamura
Match #4 – Nia Jax (challenger) vs. Asuka (champion) – NXT Women’s Title Match
Asuka holds on for for everything she has to prevent Nia from suplexing her across the ring. Jax is able to dodge a kick and both women stop a smile at each other. Nia gets the upper hand with a head butt and then throws the champ across the ring. Nia rubs her forearm in Asuka’s face. Asuka locks in a sleeper, but Nia is able to shake her off and hit a back breaker. Asuka tries to fight back, but Nia wears her down with clubbing blows across the back. Jax counters another submission into a vertical suplex. Asuka catches Nia in a triangle choke. Nia breaks the hold by dropping Asuka onto the turnbuckle. Jax locks in a bear hug. Asuka flips over and locks in a knee bar. Nia is able to get to the ropes to break the hold. A spine buster plants Asuka into the mat, but she is able to avoid the leg drop. Asuka hits a missile drop kick from the second rope and follows with a hip attack. She covers, but Jax powers out.
Jax catches a kick from Asuka and power bombs her. Nia goes for the cover, but Asuka counters into an arm bar. Jax powers out again. Asuka kicks Nia in the face and connects with another kick. Asuka lands two more kicks to the jaw and chops Nia Jax down. Asuka covers and gets the pin to retain her NXT title.
Winner via pinfall … and still NXT Women’s Champion: Asuka
Earlier today William Regal expressed his thoughts on tonight’s show, when he was pulled away for meeting with Bobby Roode.
Match #5 – Finn Balor (challenger) vs. Samoa Joe (champion) – NXT Title Steel Cage Match
Joe and Finn circle each other. Joe goes for the door and then hits Balor with a back elbow. Finn hits a drop kick and tries to run Joe into the cage. Balor connects with a cross body and chops at Joe in the corner. Joe climbs the turnbuckle a catches the champ with a kick to the temple. Finn scurries up the cage, but Joe catches him and yanks him back to the floor. Joe hits an enziguri in the corner and Balor goes down. The champ follows with a running boot and covers. Balor kicks out at two.
Balor fights back with kicks, until Joe throws him into the cage. Joe goes for the door, but Balor is able to cut him off and hits an enziguri. Balor gets half way out the door, when Joe pulls him back into the cage. Joe hits a German suplex, but only gets a two count. Joe starts to climb and is caught by Finn. The two fight on the top rope and both men crash to the mat. Balor side steps a charging Samoa Joe and sends him head first into the cage. Balor lands a drop kick send Joe into cage. Finn climbs over Joe to escape, but the champ is able to get a leg. Balor kicks Joe in the face, but Joe is able to knock the ropes to crotch Finn.
Balor slips out of the Muscle Buster and nearly gets pin. A Pele kick drops the champ, but Balor is also down. He gets to his feet and climbs the cage. Joe catches up to him and the two trade shots on the top rope. Balor hits Joe with a sling blade from the top rope and goes for the cover. Joe kicks out. Balor follows with another sling blade, but misses a drop kick in the corner. Joe hits the Muscle Buster, but Balor kicks out.
Joe gets Finn to his feet. Balor floats over and shoves Joe into the cage. He hits another sling blade and Balor hits the Coup de Grace. The champ kicks out. Joe locks in the Coquina Clutch. Balor breaks the hold by flipping off the cage wall. He follows with a double stomp and climbs the cage. Joe grabs a leg, but Finn fights him off. He gets half way, but Joe catches his leg and pulls him back over. The champ gets him in position for a Muscle Buster off the second rope. Joe hits it and covers Balor. The ref counts three and Samoa Joe retains his NXT title.
Winner via pinfall … and still NXT Champion: Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe backs up the ramp with his NXT title as officials check on Balor.
Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Follow Dale on Twitter @DPlummer627