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TakeOver In A Nutshell: Good Night Under The Radar

It's time for another TakeOver In A Nutshell, and this show was a good night flying under the radar. Good matches and good surprises!

What better way to wrap up a weekend than with another NXT TakeOver, and it’s accompanying Nutshell? This should b a good night that flew under the radar, all things considered.

And let’s be honest, while Sunday Night Football is in full swing, this week’s game isn’t exactly exciting.

So what’s in store on this good night under the radar?

Well, we’ve got an interesting NXT Championship match, for starters. Kyle O’Reilly takes on Finn Balor in that one.

Io Sharai defends her title against Candace LeRae, and LeRae’s husband Johnny Gargano takes a shot at the North American Championship.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of this evening? The weeks of teasers about some former NXT Champion returning at this very TakeOver.

So, it should be a good night, even if it flew under the radar a bit.

Let’s crack open this Nutshell and find out!

Best Match of the night:

Without a doubt, this one is the main event. Finn Balor is exceptional, as is Kyle O’Reilly.

Love the show of respect at the end, too.

Could call this a bit of a coming out party for O’Reilly. While we know what he can do, we’ve never seen him in a solo capacity in a main event slot on a TakeOver.

He did not disappoint. Neither man did.

Worst match of the night:

As with most TakeOvers, this just doesn’t apply.

Star of the Night

Have to give the nod to both participants for the main event. There were certainly some other notable performances, but both Balor and O’Reilly earned this one.

Spot of the Night:

I don’t know that I can pick a single spot…but the show did close with Undisputed Era in a bit of disarray.

Ridge Holland deposited Adam Cole at ringside, leaving us to believe that Holland had his way with the former NXT Champion.

It will be interesting to see where things go from here. Presumably this might be setting up for some fun at the returning Halloween Havoc later this month.

Jobber of the Night:

None. Not happening on a TakeOver.

Upset of the Night:

Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I was mildly surprised that Kushida beat Velveteen Dream.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Well, we knew some former NXT Champion was coming back at this event. Many assumed it was going to be a men’s champion, and the popular pick was Bo Dallas.

Instead, we got a major surprise return from Ember Moon. Also, Toni Storm…but the big story will be Moon’s return, and rightfully so.

Noteworthy Moment:

Three big ones here for me:

Halloween Havoc is returning. It will be a themed Wednesday NXT show, as opposed to a TakeOver special a la WarGames, but it’s still coming back, which is cool.

Toni Storm is coming back. The NXT women could use some depth.

Ember Moon is back. The NXT women could use some depth.

Overall lowlights:

The only gripe, and it is a minor one: this show came in with little hype, and outside of the few returns, it didn’t really shake anything up.

I mean, we had some strong matches and some nice returns. While it was a good show, it wasn’t one of the extremely amazing TakeOvers, either.

Overall highlights:

Really happy with several matches from the show.

The North American Championship match was very good. Sneaky good, and folks may overlook it because of the main event.

Which means I have to mention that match next, because it was top notch. If you like hard hitting, stiff matches, the main event was for you.

Toni Storm and Ember Moon returning will boost the NXT women’s locker room. Gives some new match looks too.

After the final bell:

Coming in, this was a bit of a quirky TakeOver. We knew it was coming, but it was just an oddball here.

Odd, meaning it was TakeOver 31, not with any special theme or tied to a big WWE weekend.

I actually can’t believe I am getting to the end of this report and only now mentioning the new digs-sort of.

We saw tons of wrestling from the WWE Performance Center during the pandemic. Now, thanks to the move to ThunderDome, the Performance Center has effectively been retired and re-done.

Now, we have the Capitol Wrestling Center. It comes off like ThunderDome Lite, but with some small changes. OK, one big one too.

Fans-real, live, health-checked fans-in pods around the arena. It’s an interesting approach, and gives NXT an interesting look.

All in all, a good night, even if it was under the radar.

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