WWE NXT Takeover XXX Results, Grades, and Highlights

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WWE presented the 30th installment of their highly successful Takeover chronology, from the Full Sail University. The show aired without fans yet again, with a few of the NXT trainees in attendance cheering the superstars.

The main-show comprised of a total of five matches, and overall, the show managed to match the lofty expectations set for a Takeover event.

The show aired on the same night as AEW Dynamite for the first time, as TNT moved Dynamite’s broadcast to Saturday to accommodate NBA.

This was the first show in a long time which didn’t have the likes of Tommaso Ciampa, Finn Balor, Johnny Gargano, The Undisputed Era, etc. as the headliners, rather two relatively new stars in Keith Lee and Karrion Kross as the star attractions of the evening.

We look at how the NXT Takeover XXX event went down, and give our thoughts and analysis on the overall show.



Pre Show | Breezango vs. Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch vs. Legado del Fantasma

The triple threat match for the No.1 contender’s spot for the Tag Team Championships took place on the pre-show with Fandango and Raul Mendonza kicking things off. Things got chaotic in the middle as all the six members involved in the match started filling in the ring simultaneously.

Mendonza and Wilde almost won the titles with a Spanish Fly/450 Splash on Breeze. Breeze went for the Unprettier on Wilde, but Lorcan attacked Wilde with an upper-cut instead. Breeze hit the superkick on Lorcan to win the match.

Winner: Breezango

Grade: B-

Analysis: The match was a fun way to kick things off and display the depth of the Tag Team Division. Three different teams, all with extremely contrasting styles, made this a fun watch, but it was too short. Fandango and Breeze proving they are more than just a comedy filler team was refreshing to see, and they should definitely be holding the titles at least once in their career.



Finn Balor vs. Timothy Thatcher

The first match of the main show was a last-minute addition to the card after Thatcher cost Balor his opportunity in the Ladder Match. The commentators noted that Thatcher’s supreme technical wrestling skills will be a test to the fast-paced style of Balor. Thatcher went right at it with several submission maneuvers, targetting every joint in Balor’s body.

Balor also displayed some technical skills of his own, before upping the ante and bringing his offensive game. Balor went for the Coup De Grace but it was countered by Thatcher, who applied the Single Legged Boston Crab. Balor survived and hit the Coup de Grace followed by 1916 to win the match.

Winner: Finn Balor

Grade: B

Analysis: This was a very different match from most of Balor’s matches as Thatcher’s unique style gave a different flavor to the match. Balor once again triumphed, but his ultimate endgame in NXT seems unclear. He has taken down a variety of opponents since his return to NXT last year but is yet to hold any titles on the brand.



Ladder Match for Vacant North American Championship | Bronson Reed vs. Damian Priest vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Velveteen Dream

The match was complete chaos in a great way, with all the five superstars trying their best to unhook the title soaring high up in the air. Velveteen Dream was the first individual to try his hand at taking down the belt but Grimes stopped him.

The match was filled with several big spots, as Bronson Reed used his massive size advantage to crush other stars. Candice LeRae prevented Grimes from winning the match and teamed up with Gargano to beat him down. Reed delivered a big splash from the top of the ladder to Gargano, with LeRae on his back.

Gargano recovered to hit Grimes with a powerbomb onto the ladder. Dream almost had the belt in his grasp before Reed pushed him down, sending him crashing to a table outside. Priest and Gargano jostled for the belt, and Priest delivered a kick to Gargano to unhook the belt for himself.

Winner and New NXT North American Champion: Damian Priest

Grade: A

Analysis: Multi-men matches are often a proven way to deliver a fantastic encounter, and with the addition of ladders flying all around, this match became even more impressive. All the five stars showcased their talents extremely well, with a proper choice of winner in Damien Priest.

Reed and Grimes, who were competing in their first major Takeover match, did a great job of coming off as potential winners, as the winner of the match remained a mystery for a long time. Former champs Gargano and Dream also came quite close and took solid bumps throughout the match.



Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee

The heated rivalry’s final chapter took place inside the NXT ring as the former NFL star Pat McAfee made his wrestling debut against one of the best wrestlers in the world currently, Adam Cole.

McAfee surprised Cole with some of his moves at the start of the match and slowed down the pace with his posse at ringside giving him support. McAfee took down everyone at ringside with a fantastic Swanton Bomb. Cole delivered some of his best moves to McAfee but he survived.

McAfee hit a superplex from the top of the rope, and later low-blowed Cole, setting him up for the Punt Kick. Cole kicked out of it and delivered the Panama Sunrise to McAfee for the win.

Winner: Adam Cole

Grade: A+

Analysis: Wrestling has always been about telling a great story inside the ring, and that’s exactly what Cole and McAfee did inside the Full Sail arena. The over-confident McAfee showed that he is equally good inside the ring as he is on the mic, and delivered one of the best celebrity matches to take place in wrestling.

McAfee didn’t come out on top, but served as a great tool to estabilish Cole as a top babyface, as this was Cole’s very first match as a pure babyface in NXT since his debut in 2017.



NXT Women’s Championship | Io Shirai(c) vs. Dakota Kai

Kai, flanked by Raquel Gonzalez in her corner, assumed control early in the match, as she kept targetting the champion’s arm in the initial stages of the match. Kai locked up Shirai in the armbar but she survived.

Shirai quickened the pace after recovering and hit a moonsault, but the referee was passed out, which allowed Kai’s insurance policy, Gonzalez, to step in during the match. Gonzalez’s attack could only secure a two-count, as Shirai recovered and hit two moonsaults to retain her title.

Post-match, Gonzalez attacked Shirai, but Rhea Ripley made the save as both the behemoths stared each other down.

Winner and still the NXT Women’s Champion: Io Shirai

Grade: B

Analysis: The duo produced a solid match, giving a satisfying end to their rivalry. Kai has played a good villain to Shirai’s character but came up short in the match despite Gonzalez’s help at ringside. Shirai will possibly move on to other challengers (Mercedes Martinez?), while Kai and Gonzalez will seemingly have to deal with the former NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley.



NXT Championship | Keith Lee(c) vs. Karrion Kross

Keith Lee’s first defense at Takeover took place against the dominant Karrion Kross, who has looked tremendous in his short run on Wednesday nights so far. An aggressive Lee started the match on top, as Kross had to take a breather outside the ring to stop the onslaught.

Kross slowed down the pace and assumed control of the match, applying several submissions to the champion. Lee delivered a powerbomb but it wasn’t enough to retain. Kross almost won with the Kross Jacket and later delivered a big suplex from top of the rope to capture his first title in NXT.

Winner and New NXT Champion: Karrion Kross

Grade: C+

Analysis: This was possibly one of the worst NXT Takeover main-events of all time, as the duo showed very little chemistry in the ring. The slow-paced nature of the match did not help either, as Kross’ several submissions to take down the larger frame of Lee got repetitive after a point.

An injury to Kross was announced by Triple H after the match, which could’ve been the reason behind the disappointing main event.

Lee dropping the title so quickly is a horrendous booking decision and continues the trend of NXT failing to book babyface champions properly.

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