The old-school setup, ICOPRO adverts, and Todd Pettengill; the 1990s nostalgia was in the air.
The show’s retro theme and absence of fans made this the most unconventional Takeover yet, but the yellow brand delivered once again continuing its remarkable track record. Featuring a triple-threat main event and cinematic title match, this was one of pandemic era’s best exports.
World Wrestling Federation presented its inaugural In Your House pay-per-view in 1995. And 25 years later, on the WWE Network, NXT has revived the moniker for NXT Takeover: In Your House.
Shotzi Blackheart, Tegan Nox, and Mia Yim vs Dakota Kai, Raquel Gonzalez, and Candice Lerae
Following Todd Pettengill’s cold open, the hardcore-punk band Code Orange performs the official theme song “Underneath” — an abrupt reminder that we’re not actually in the ’90s anymore.
Six of NXT’s rising female stars battle for leverage. The actions spills to the mat, and everyone gets their highlight dive to the outside. Back in the ring, Blackheart and Lerae tussle for the win until the heels distract the ref, giving them the control. Yim receives the hot tag and gets her quick revenge on rival Lerae until they both tag out. The bad blood persists, and the two brawl to the back. Nox hits the “Shiniest Wizard” on Kai for the victory. The match doesn’t compare to Takeover’s usual opening classics, but it’s a solid showing regardless.
Winners: Nox, Blackheart, and Yim
Match Rating: 6/10
Damien Priest vs Finn Balor
Balor wastes no time and dropkicks his opponent into the corner. He uses his quick speed and impressive agility to get the upper hand. The fight falls to the outside and Priest sends the “Prince” into the steel steps. The big man carries Balor onto the steps and throws him into the apron — a legitimately innovative spot — and continues the onslaught. Balor fights back and the two trade their reversals until Balor delivers a nasty double stomp.
To the outside again, Priest gives his opponent a “Razor’s Edge” onto the apron to turn the tide. They continue with a deft display of action, which is especially impressive for Priest’s 6’5” frame.
Balor attempts the “Coup de Grace” but is caught by Priest, leading to a huge avalanche chokeslam. Priest eyes the steel steps and tries to drop Balor onto them. But unfortunately for the “Archer of Infamy”, he’s the one that plummets onto the steel. Balor hits the “Coup de Grace” and earns the hard-fought victory. The Priest fell to the Prince, but he isn’t hurt from the loss; this was an all out war.
Winner: Finn Balor
Match Rating: 8/10
Johnny Gargano vs Keith Lee (c) for the NXT North American Championship
Gargano is half the size of Lee, but the bigger man contests in agility. Gargano attempts his signature dives and like a child, is caught by the champion. ”Johnny Wrestling” figures he’s hopeless and tries to escape through the stage door. Too bad it’s locked. After bashing his opponent into the fake house, Lee takes the action back into the ring.
But the champion is wrestling with an injured set of fingers and Gargano consistently targets the hand; this ruthless and cheeky Gargano still doesn’t feel natural. Nevertheless, the 320-pound Lee survives with his strength and size alone. Gargano hits a diving DDT to the outside, laying out his opponent; he’s unable to get Lee back into the ring. The refreshed Lee arises and pounces Gargano straight through the plexiglass barricade!
Candice Lerae enters to save her husband but Mia Yim returns to reignite their brawl. The referee is distracted, and Gargano pulls out a house key, digging into the eye of Lee. He hits the “One Final Beat” and covers his opponent. But before all plausibility is lost, Lee powers out for a two-count! Gargano lands three superkicks but fails to get the win. The champion hits the “Spirit Bomb” and follows with the “Big Bang Catastrophe” to retain.
Winner: Keith Lee
Match Rating: 8/10
Adam Cole (c) vs Velveteen Dream for the NXT Championship in a Backlot Brawl
A cinematic match will decide the fate of the NXT Championship: will it live up to its predecessors? A horde of cars encircle a ring, lighting up the backlot. First, Cole enters with a decked out, Undisputed Era truck. The Dream follows in a yellow Lambo, and referee Drake Wuertz calls them into the ring.
Dream attempts several rollups, but is caught by the champion’s pump kick. Cole then decides to desert the confrontation and heads into his own vehicle. But Dream, infuriated, smashes into the car, forcing Cole out. In the middle of their scuffle, an Uber driver pulls up and asks “Did somebody call for an Uber?” — because supposedly a Backlot Brawl needs comedic relief….
Cole escapes and hides in a nearby building. Dream finally finds him but runs into the spray of a fire extinguisher. Dream eventually gets back momentum and assaults the champion on top of his car. He finds a ladder, scales the rungs, but is distracted by the entrance of the Undisputed Era. Cole and Dream fight atop the ladder, and the former is pushed off into the car window.
Strong and Fish attack the challenger, as a bloody Cole tries to recover. The duo throw chairs into the ring, to which Mauro Ranallo exclaims “I’m having an ECW flashback, here.” But out from under the ring, Dexter Lumis appears to even the odds. He throws Strong and Fish into a trunk and drives off.
Dream delivers the “Dream Valley Driver” and “Purple Rainmaker” into the chairs for a two-count. The champion plays possum, delivers a low blow, and hits the “Panama Sunrise” into the chairs; Cole retains his title. The match had its moments, but it’s ultimately the weak-link of cinematic matches.
Winner: Adam Cole
Match Rating: 7.5/10
Karrion Kross vs Tomasso Ciampa
It’s been a few weeks. Karrion Kross still has the best entrance in wrestling. Ciampa tries to strike his opponent down, but he’s overpowered by the 6’4” Kross. The bigger man slams Ciampa into the apron and delivers multiple suplexes in the ring, Ciampa fights back with ferocious slaps and strikes, and attempts his finisher. But he falls into the arms of Kross who hits the “Kross Jacket”, knocking out his opponent. Ciampa, arguably the greatest NXT Champion ever, is defeated in astounding time. If Kross’s spectacular entrance and stunning significant other hasn’t elevated him enough, this certainly did.
Winner: Karrion Kross
Match Rating: 7.5/10
Rhea Ripley vs Io Shirai vs Charlotte (c) for the NXT Women’s Championship
The NXT Women’s Champion takes control. She chops both her opponents and boasts to the crowd of PC performers. Ripley attempts a senton to the outside and misses, while Shirai tries to take advantage; they’re both thrown into the barricade. In the early goings, Charlotte is displayed as the most unstoppable force of the women’s division.
They trade maneuvers and Shirai delivers the double knees on Ripley before getting hit by Charlotte’s “Natural Selection”. The fight travels to the ramp; from the rooftop of the stage, Shirai flies for a high dive onto her opponents. Back into the ring, Ripley hits an avalanche “Riptide” on Charlotte before the latter returns with a kendo stick. She gets the “Figure 8” on Ripley as Shirai hits her finishing moonsault on the helpless victim. Shirai finally captures the NXT Women’s Championship in the match of the night and well-deserved main event.
Winner: Io Shirai
Match Rating: 8.5/10
NXT Takeover: In Your House
Full Sail University, Winter Park, FL
NXT fans are vital to Takeover events. But so is great wrestling. Despite not being your conventional Takeover, this show was nothing to ignore.