Tonight at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix, NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa defends his title in the main event against challenger Aleister Black! Plus, NXT North American Champion Ricochet defends against Johnny Gargano and women’s champion Shayna Baszler faces Bianca Belair. All that and more at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix!
We are LIVE from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson have the call for tonight.
War Raiders have a medieval entrance.
NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era (c) (w/Bobby Fish) vs. War Raiders
Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong attack at the bell, sending Hanson out. Rowe drops UE with clotheslines and Hanson hits them with clotheslines outside. Rowe with a slam on Hanson onto UE outside. Strong bounced off Hanson and popped up into the air back inside. Hip attacks in the corner give War Raiders a nearfall on Strong. Hanson in and they look for Fallout early. O’Reilly runs in with a leg kick and Rowe sent into Hanson on the apron to knock both out to the floor. UE work Hanson in their corner with kicks and chops. Running forearm in the corner by Strong and O’Reilly locks in a front facelock. Transition to a guillotine as Hanson lifts O’Reilly, but Rowe gets the tag. Tilt-a-whirl gutbuster on Strong and he powerbombs Strong into O’Reilly. Rowe sent out and hit with a knee from O’Reilly. Hanson clotheslines Strong out and goes for a suicide dive, but UE move out of the way and Hanson crashes to the floor. Rowe spikes O’Reilly with a uranage and knocks UE down, but O’Reilly chop blocks the leg to stop the momentum. Rowe fights O’Reilly off, but Strong in with a backbreaker for a nearfall. O’Reilly gets a triangle choke in and Rowe fights up, but Strong runs in with a half-nelson backbreaker for another nearfall. Hanson finally returns to the apron and Rowe makes it across the ring, but Strong runs in and forearms Hanson. Hanson eats it and runs into the ring, getting the referee to hold him back and allows Strong to pull Rowe back to the corner. Rowe lands an exploder suplex on O’Reilly that sends him into Strong on the apron to knock him down. Rowe struggles for the tag, but O’Reilly pulls Hanson off the apron in time. Strong with a wrecking ball dropkick on Hanson outside and a dropkick on Rowe inside for a nearfall.
Roderick Strong drops Rowe across his knee.
Rowe goes for a forearm, but O’Reilly with a leg kick. Rowe with a discus forearm. O’Reilly strikes back, but Rowe whirls O’Reilly into a knee. Hot tag made to Hanson and he lands a crossbody for a nearfall. Cartwheel clothesline on O’Reilly running in to save Strong. UE cornered for clotheslines and O’Reilly accidentally hits a big boot on Strong. Bronco buster on Strong gets a nearfall. Strong with kicks back on Hanson and a clothesline drops him. O’Reilly and Rowe in. Rowe eats kicks from O’Reilly and it breaks down. O’Reilly hit with a pop-up powerslam and Hanson hits a suicide dive on Strong outside. Nearfall for Rowe inside. Rowe powerbombs O’Reilly for a Hanson splash. Strong breaks the pin attempt and gets thrown out twice. O’Reilly flips away from Fallout and knocks Hanson up top. Rowe sent out and Strong hits a superplex on Hanson. O’Reilly with a diving knee drop. Hanson kicks out. O’Reilly with an ax kick and spinning back elbows are followed by a Strong Olympic Slam for a nearfall. Hanson picks O’Reilly up, but Strong with a jumping knee. Total Elimination lands and Hanson still able to kick out. Hanson cartwheels away from Total Elimination and hits a double handspring back elbow. Rowe tagged in with a powerslam and powerbomb combination. Fallout lands.
Winners by pinfall and NEW NXT Tag Team Champions: War Raiders
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars
Incredible opener and a classic to start off the show, with just about everything you could ask for mixed in with an old-school tag match. Undisputed Era continues to show up at TakeOver and made the new champions look great.
NXT North American Champion Ricochet shown preparing for his match with Johnny Gargano later tonight.
Video package recaps what leads to Matt Riddle vs. Kassius Ohno.
Matt Riddle vs. Kassius Ohno
Kassius Ohno lasted longer this time against Matt Riddle.
Riddle opens with body shots and Ohno rolls outside. Riddle with a flying forearm off the steps. Riddle misses on a kick and a moonsault inside, but lands a senton. Knee connects and Riddle with a deadlift gutwrench suplex. Ohno goes to the apron and kicks Riddle in the midsection as he comes in. Ohno skins the cat out to the apron and Riddle tries for a sunset bomb to the floor. Ohno holds on and pulls the ring skirt over Riddle’s face to land a stomp to the head. Ohno with a leg drop for a nearfall back inside and he works Riddle down. Spinning back elbow gets a nearfall on Riddle after he breaks free from the cravate. Riddle fights up with palm strikes, but Ohno moves him into the corner for forearms and backfists. Big boot sends Riddle outside and Ohno sends him into the steps and ring post. Riddle able to beat the count and he eats a big boot on the apron. Ohno tries a suplex inside, but Riddle takes the back for a sleeper. Riddle looks for a German suplex, but Ohno stomps on the bare foot of Riddle. Ohno breaks free, but Riddle pulls him back in for a stalling German suplex with a bridge for a nearfall. Riddle with roundhouse kicks to the chest after he gets back to his feet. Ohno picks the ankle and bites the toes of Riddle. Liger Bomb gets a nearfall on Riddle.
Ohno up top and a moonsault connects. Riddle able to kick out. Rolling elbow misses, but Ohno gets a pump kick and one senton. Another senton sees Riddle get a sleeper in. Ohno rolls to the bottom rope for the break and Riddle stomps him. Ohno begs off and offers a fist bump. Riddle uses it to pull him into a knee and lands a sleeper suplex. Riddle gets Ohno in an abdominal stretch and lands elbows over and over, forcing Ohno to tap to strikes.
Winner by submission: Matt Riddle
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Very good sort of brawl.
NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa shown preparing for the main event.
Velveteen Dream shown entering the arena with a woman on each side and it is announced that he will be a part of the Worlds Collide tournament.
Video package recaps what leads to NXT North American Champion Ricochet and Johnny Gargano.
NXT North American Championship: Ricochet (c) vs. Johnny Gargano
Ricochet shoulders Johnny Gargano on the ropes.
Armlock exchange to start and they exchange counters on the mat to a stalemate. Reset and Gargano with a side headlock takeover. Gargano with shoulder tackles and they exchange a pinning predicament. Ricochet gets Gargano up and they exchange leapfrogs and flips over one another. Ricochet handstands out of Gargano hurricanranas to a stalemate. Ricochet offers a handshake and asks which Johnny he is going to get tonight. Gargano attacks, but Ricochet hits him with a rewind hurricanrana to send Gargano out. Ricochet with a moonsault off the ring post outside. Ricochet with chops outside. Gargano elbows out of the corner, but gets hit with a Shotei up top by Ricochet. Ricochet meets him up top and fights for position. Ricochet gets up for a Frankensteiner, but Gargano slips under and sweeps the leg for snake eyes on the top rope. Gargano with ground-and-pound and working Ricochet down. Ricochet sweeps the leg, but Gargano kicks him away on a standing moonsault. Neckbreaker on the knee by Gargano gets a nearfall. Banana split from Gargano gets a nearfall and he locks in a Koji Clutch with the arm isolated. Ricochet out and Gargano with a forearm to knock him down. Gargano looks for an apron spear, but Ricochet drives him to the mat. Standing moonsault on the back of Gargano. They exchange strikes and Ricochet drops Gargano in the corner. Corner 619 and springboard European uppercut lands. Northern Lights suplex and a brainbuster by Ricochet get a nearfall.
Gargano blocks a Ricochet headlock attempt and lifts him to the apron in the corner. Ricochet strikes away and a springboard attempt sees Gargano roll under. Ricochet rolls into a powerbomb from Gargano. Crossface from Gargano in and a GargaNo Escape blocked. La Magistral blocked and Ricochet gets a nearfall. Gargano goes for the slingshot DDT, but Ricochet holds the top rope and launches Gargano over the top and Gargano cracks the apron on the way out. Fosbury Flop lands for Ricochet. Rolling kick inside from Gargano sees Ricochet roll through for the standing shooting star press. Moonsault follows for a nearfall. Ricochet goes up top and Gargano hooks the leg. Ricochet gets him up top. Gargano gets him for a Frankensteiner, but Ricochet front flips to his feet. Gargano in awe and charges at Ricochet, but Ricochet with a backflip kick. Springboard back dive from Ricochet caught for a GargaNo Escape. Ricochet deadlifts out and throws Gargano into the corner. Ricochet goes up top, but Gargano rolls away. Gargano moves outside, but Ricochet hits a cannonball over the top turnbuckle and ringpost. Springboard 450 gets a nearfall on Gargano. Ricochet back up and a shooting star press lands on the knees of Gargano. Small package for Gargano gets a nearfall. Superkick from Gargano sends Ricochet falling outside between the ropes. Gargano goes for a dive, but Ricochet catches and puts him in the electric chair. Gargano with a reverse spike hurricanrana. Slingshot DDT unable to finish Ricochet.
Gargano rolls outside in frustration and strips the mat from the floor. Gargano sets him up for a DDT, but unable to go through with it. Ricochet with a small package inside for a nearfall. Ricochet drops him and goes for the Phoenix Splash, but misses. Gargano with a superkick that turns Ricochet inside out. Gargano tries to tilt-a-whirl Ricochet into the GargaNo Escape. Ricochet slaps him to the mat and locks in the GargaNo Escape. Gargano crawls and makes the rope break. They go to the apron and Gargano shoves Ricochet into the ring post. Gargano takes a look at the floor and pulls Ricochet down for a suplex on the floor. Slingshot DDT lands inside.
Winner by pinfall and NEW NXT North American Champion: Johnny Gargano
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
After a bit of a slow start, these two turned it into a very great match down the stretch and Gargano finally getting the nerve needed to get the win was the closer.
Video package recaps what leads to NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler and Bianca Belair.
NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Bianca Belair
Shayna Baszler is still the NXT Women’s Champion.
Belair pushes Baszler into the corner to start. Belair claps in her face and says “un-de-feat-ed.” Baszler trips her and says “ov-er-rate-d.” Baszler to a side headlock and Belair with a shoulder tackle. Belair cartwheels and moonsaults out of the corner for a shoulder tackle that sends Baszler out. Baszler uses the hair of Belair to pull her into the ring post outside. Belair struggles with her shoulder and barely beats the count. Baszler stomps the posted left arm and the referee asks if Belair wants to give up. Belair stays in the match and Baszler with a spinning armbar and armbreaker. Belair fights up by running Baszler into the corner, but Baszler drops her again. Belair slaps her after another overrated comment and tackles her into the corner. Hip toss from Belair and she works the comeback with shoulder tackles. Spear from Belair gets a nearfall. Baszler comes back with a flying knee for a nearfall. They exchange strikes and Baszler drops Belair. Belair comes back with a hair whip to the body to drop Baszler. Baszler cut open to the body. Belair gets Baszler up, but Baszler falls out and rolls through to send Belair into the referee. Belair lands the KOD, but the referee still out. Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke come out and Belair takes them both out. Baszler recovers and gets Belair in the Kirifuda Clutch. Belair struggles and gets to her feet, turns Baszler around, and lands a snap suplex out. Belair goes up top and kicks Duke off the apron on top of Shafir outside. 450 splash from Belair misses as Baszler rolls away. Kirifuda Clutch in again. Belair struggles up to a knee and back down. Belair to her feet and back down and left with nowhere to go.
Winner by submission and STILL NXT Women’s Champion: Shayna Baszler
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars
The interference was a little sloppy, but Belair being the strongest challenger to Baszler and using it to her advantage until the end provided one of Baszler’s most interesting challenges in a good match.
Video package recaps what leads to NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa and Aleister Black.
NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Aleister Black
They tie-up and fall to the outside. They roll back in and Ciampa slaps Black. Black with a takedown and they lock up again. Ciampa with a takedown and he slams the arm down on the ground. Black with a side headlock takedown and Ciampa unable to escape it. Ciampa fights up and punches out in the corners. Black flips over Ciampa and lands roundhouse kicks to send Ciampa out. Ciampa tries to attack off the Black moonsault taunt, but has to duck a head kick from Black. Black sits in front of him and Ciampa kicks him in the face. Ciampa sent out for a flip dive and Black with a springboard moonsault for a nearfall. Ciampa moves back out and pulls Black out, but Black with a head kick. Ciampa runs Black into steps outside on the left knee. Ciampa suplexes Black into the steps on his knee. Ciampa works Black down inside and kicks the leg against the rope. Knee drop to the back of the leg connects and Ciampa works the leg between the ropes and on the post. Ciampa drops Black on his knee on the announce table and sits back. Ciampa drinks from a water bottle and Black hits a roundhouse kick on Ciampa. Ciampa goes back in and Black comes back in, but Ciampa dropkicks the leg to drop Black back down. Ciampa up top and Black fights back with a jumping knee that knocks both out to the floor.
Black works the comeback back inside, but his leg gives out. Black kicks Ciampa away and Black lands a hook kick. Head kick connects and Ciampa kicks out. Ciampa with a small package nearfall. Ciampa tries for a Tiger Bomb, but Black moves out and tries for Black Mass. Ciampa runs through him with a lariat for a nearfall. Black comes back with head kicks and a German suplex with a bridge for a nearfall. Another kick caught from Ciampa for a single-leg crab. Black turns it around for one of his own. Ciampa gets the rope break and goes to the apron, but Black lands a spinning back elbow. Black up top and Ciampa catches him with the Tower of London for a nearfall. Knee from Ciampa gets another. Ciampa and Black exchange jumping knees and punches. Ciampa with a big boot and Black with one of his own. Victory roll as Ciampa gets a nearfall and a pinning predicament. Black with kicks, but Ciampa with a lariat that knocks Black down. Running knee caught and Ciampa tries to dropkick the leg, but Black jumps up and lands a stomp. Jumping knee to the back of the head and a brainbuster gets a nearfall on Ciampa. Black with a moonsault out to the floor and he favors his knee getting into the ring, allowing Ciampa to land a Fairytale Ending for a nearfall.
Ciampa strips the same section of mat Gargano pulled up earlier. Ciampa argues with the referee and Black lands a flying knee off the apron. Black Mass lands inside. Ciampa rolls to his stomach just as Black gets his arm over after the crawl. The referee gets between Ciampa and Black and Ciampa with a roll-up that drapes Black’s legs on the ropes for a hangman’s DDT. Fairytale Ending lands for a nearfall. Ciampa lands another and tries to go for one more. Black spins out and lands a head kick. Black Mass attempt sees Black’s leg go out and Ciampa with a Fairytale Ending.
Winner by pinfall and STILL NXT Champion: Tommaso Ciampa
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Ciampa’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but his methodical style here worked against a one-shot striker like Black and it ended up paying off in the end in a match that really made a lot of sense in its storytelling.
Post-match, Ciampa raises his belt on the stage and NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano comes out. They look at each other and both raise their belts to close the show.