NXT Takeover: New York Report Card

Here’s a report on each match from Takeover: New York's main card, with a grade attached. Don’t agree with a grade, then feel free to score the show.

There were five title matches at Friday’s NXT Takeover: New York and the WWE Network exclusive as a whole was amazing. Here’s a report on each match from Takeover: New York’s main card, with a grade attached. Don’t agree with a grade, then feel free to score the show.

Fatal 4-Way Match for the NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler vs. Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair vs. Kairi Sane

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Going into the fatal 4-way, I figured we would get a ladder match stipulation tossed in. But, the rumors of a stipulation being added were wrong. While this match scored the lowest of everything from the card, what was produced still worked. Takeover New York could be the best show of 2019 and thew females played an important role. I liked how Shayna Baszler was able to retain the title without any interference. The champion has been built as nearly unstoppable, so the outside interference never made sense. A takeaway from the match is that Io Shirai and Kairi Sane are still in the title hunt. Bianca Belair seems out of the picture after losing at back to back Takeover events. Grade: B+

Two-Out-of-Three Falls Match for the Vacant NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole

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In pro wrestling, injuries can ruin the best of intentions. For well over a year, there was such a focus on Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa. With Ciampa out indefinitely, Adam Cole was selected to save the biggest match of the show. Cole vs. Gargano had what the fans wanted and you could almost imagine the same style of match if Ciampa was healthy to compete. The feel good moment went to Gargano after finally capturing a title that he has chased for several years. I dug the ending with Ciampa coming out to celebrate with Gargano and his wife. It makes me wonder if the same image would have closed the show if Ciampa could wrestle. Grade: A-

NXT Tag Team Championship: War Raiders (Hanson & Rowe) vs. Aleister Black & Ricochet

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Going into the tag match, we all understood that this was likely the NXT end of Aleister Black and Ricochet. They have been on the main roster for months and are even booked in a title match for WrestleMania 35. War Raiders had the power while Black & Ricochet used their agility. It was a great meeting and the post-match reaction told you that a chapter of NXT is now complete. War Raiders left the ring as Black & Ricochet took several minutes to soak in the applause. I highly doubt Black or Ricochet will be treated the same on WWE’s main roster, so enjoy their time from NXT. Grade: A-

 NXT North American Championship: Velveteen Dream vs. Matt Riddle

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Heading into this contest, I was not sure if there was a heel. Judging by the rowdy crowd, they were slightly favoring Velveteen Dream. Usually, Dream can use his antics to get the better of any opponent; but that did not work against Matt Riddle. We saw Riddle rely on his MMA background with Dream tossing in that unorthodox style. In the end, Dream ended the undefeated streak of Riddle. Still, Riddle showed that he has the potential for a major run atop the NXT roster. In a year from now, I see Dream on the main roster and Riddle holding the NXT Championship. Grade: A-

WWE United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne vs. Walter

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For almost 700 consecutive days, Pete Dunne held the WWE United Kingdom Championship. It took someone much larger to dethrone Dunne and it did not come easily. Before the show began, this was the match that had my attention. The start was a bit slow as they focused on technical wrestling and I figured the match would be more of a slugfest. Eventually the chain wrestling broke down and we got to business. It is always tough to end such a long and memorable title reign, but I felt like Dunne and Walter delivered. Dunne was a great champion, although we needed a change before things got stale. Grade: A-

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