NXT North American Championship: Adam Cole (c) vs. Ricochet:
The buildup to the North American Championship match was one of the best, dating back to the ladder match from Wrestlemania weekend. Sneak attacks and brawls followed leading up to what was being heralded as a match of the night candidate. This was only the second time that Adam Cole and Ricochet faced off in a singles match NOT at a house show, and the first since 2010 when they stood across from each other in an Evolve ring.
The match started out slow and methodical, with Cole repeatedly telling Ricochet that he wasn’t special. Both men were able to psych each other out a few times before the match hit its stride.
It was everything you could have hoped for in a match, with Ricochet hitting death-defying moves and dives while Cole did what he could to keep the One and Only grounded. We were treated to one of the best Superkicks in history, and the fact that they still went all out after just showed what they were willing to do.
Ricochet was able to get his first taste of gold in WWE, after a flawless 630 splash. It was a match we will be talking about for years to come, and Cole wasn’t at all hurt by the loss. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here but thankfully there isn’t a shortage of potential rivals.
Winner and NEW NXT North American Champion: Ricochet
NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Kairi Sane:
We were then treated to a rematch from the finals of the inaugural Mae Young Classic, as NXT’s resident pirate Kairi Sane, went up against the Queen of Spades Shayna Baszler.
Ronda Rousey and the rest of the Horsewomen were at ringside in support of their friend, though at first, it didn’t seem like Shayna needed it.
She broke down Sane, targeting her leg and using stretches and strikes in an attempted to keep her opponent down. It proved to be futile, however, as Sane fought back with a fire that she had never shown before. Kairi used everything in her arsenal to try and put her opponent down but they all failed.
Just when it seemed like Baszler was going to leave with the gold around her waist, Sane was able to reverse her choke into a pin. This clearly won’t be the last time they square off, and the new champ better have eyes in the back of her head.
Winner and NEW NXT Women’s Champion: Kairi Sane
NXT Heavyweight Championship: Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Johnny Gargano (Last Man Standing Match):
Once the dust had settled, we were finally at the main event. For the third Takeover in a row, former best friends and Tag champs Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa were going to beat the living hell out of each other.
They already had a street fight and an unsanctioned match so the next logical step, of course, was a Last Man Standing match. Johnny came out first and it was clear he wasn’t his normal happy go lucky self.
Even his ring jacket had a darkness to it and he would need every bit of that darkness if he wanted to survive. Ciampa came out to his usual chorus of boos, and introductions weren’t even finished before they started to brawl. There wasn’t much wrestling in this match, just sheer and utter brutality.
For two men who had already beaten each other to a pulp twice, it was hard to see how they could top it. There were a few throwbacks to their previous matches, including the dismantling of the ring.
Each time it seemed as though someone had it won, their opponent would get to their feet much to the delight of the crowd. They got a ‘fight forever’ chant and never had it been more appropriate.
The end of the match was everything I had hoped it would be. Once again, Gargano would let his emotions get the best of him. He would destroy himself trying to take out Ciampa once and for all only for Tommaso to get the last laugh and beat the ref’s count for the win.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
All in all, this wasn’t the BEST Takeover card but it will forever be near the top. Take the time to go and watch it, I promise you won’t be disappointed.