By Adam Salzer
Hello, everyone, and welcome to Making the Grade for NXT TakeOver Toronto! TakeOver events have a history of overshadowing their main roster counterparts, let's see if that holds true tonight as well!
Let's get to it!
Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger
Surprising that this match opens but, given the stacked card it had to go somewhere, and certainly the battle between two hometown boys will get this crowd on their feet for the rest of the show. Especially two guys as over as Roode and Dillinger are right now. Also, the choir was a nice touch and a nice nod to the crowd singing along. I'm happy to see the "TEN" gimmick get over so well, at the Live Event in Boston we were also yelling "TEN!" any time the referee counted anything.
Grade: A, both of these guys are so skilled, that was a thing of beauty.
Dusty Classic Finals: Authors of Pain v. TM-61
I'm not saying the "Crash Cage" was a tacked on gimmick to sell toys, but they did make it look exactly like the playset, even down to the warning stickers and THE CRANK ON THE SIDE OF THE SUPPORT STRUCTURE. Okay now I'm saying it was a tacked-on gimmick. Surprising finish, I did not think they'd actually have Authors of Pain go all the way.
Grade: B, decent match, but if you're only going to use the structure once, don't do it that early in the match. It takes away from the rest of it.
NXT Tag Titles: #DIY v. The Revival (c), 2 out of 3 falls
It's either this or Nakamura v. Joe for match of the night. I'm leaning on this match to absolutely kill it. Was not surprised to see The Revival get the first fall, and was not surprised to see it go to three falls. There's no other way it could have happened. Loved the belt spot, never seen it done like that before, and that finish, with the double submissions, was beauty!
Grade: A, off the charts, phenomenal match, had me wondering right down to the finish if DIY would take the belts.
NXT Women's Title: Mickie James v. Asuka (c)
This is the foregone conclusion match of the night, as there's no way they take the belt off Asuka here. The important question is how do they get to that finish and will Mickie James be sticking around or is this just a one and done? I really enjoyed that opening spot with the collar and elbow, you don't see a lockup used to that effect anymore.
Grade: A, I think that final submission could have played out a little longer, but the match was great and we saw some vulnerability in Asuka that we haven't seen before. Plus it looks like Mickie hasn't lost a step in the ring. Does the refusal of the handshake hint at a heel turn?
NXT Title: Samoe Joe v. Shinsuke Nakamura (c)
OK, they want to make the entrances special for Takover, but that's a lot of violin players playing for no goddamn reason. And Mike Rome definitely introduced both men as "the challenger". I feel like not enough was done with Joe focusing on Nakamura's legs. He sold those knees for about three minutes, and then it was back to normal.
Grade: B, maybe it's me, but I felt like there was something missing there. I liked that Joe broke out that triple suplex, but it didn't live up to the hype for me. I can't put a finger on it right now, but it was just...missing something...
Average Grade: A-, as always TakeOver delivers some amazing matches and packs a lot of action into a smaller timeframe.
I have no Extra Credit or Demerits tonight meaning...
Final Grade: A-, the main roster, as always, is going to have a lot to live up to tomorrow night. And they won't, because Vince has his head up his ass.
Leave your comments below, and I'll be back tomorrow night with my Survivor Series report!
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