NXT Takeover: Philadelphia: Review & Results: January 27th, 2018

Wince-inducing

You know, there was something about this Extreme Rules match between Adam Cole and Aleister Black that made us flinch at a lot of the spots, such as Cole’s back dropping spine-first onto two chairs placed back-to-back, or Aleister’s knee to the chair, smashing it to Adam’s face near the end. We felt some extra intensity between the two men. A great plunder-laden match offered by the yellow brand, and the correct call was made too. Having Aleister Black winning means that he could be free to pursue a bigger goal (i.e. the NXT Championship), and The Undisputed ERA could resume their rivalry with SAnitY. The latter surely seemed to happen soon, judging by the interference that took place during the match. But it was the right type of run-in, you know what we are saying? Feels right. Four matches in, and the Takeover still had not slowed down. Great job.

The Ultimate Underdog

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pnjb4thV3oY

This was what we felt after the four matches, and we bet you must have felt the same as well: You thought NXT would have a hard time one-upping itself after the crazily-consistent NXT Takeover, but as always, NXT never failed to amaze us. This was about as good as an “Underdog vs Cocky Champion” fight could have gotten. Every time Johnny Wrestling rallied a comeback, we inched a little more out of our seats, and each shutdown by Andrade brought a larger “Awwwww” by the audience. And better still, Almas looked extremely capable, even with Salina Vega’s interference (damn, her hurricanrana was a thing of beauty).

This is one (among so many) aspects that NXT managed to get right – making the bad guys look really competent, even with a certain amount of run-ins. And about Johnny Gargano – oh, what could we say about his performance tonight: He did a Sami Zayn better than Sami Zayn did it himself. His selling, his being dazed more than once in a match, the fire in his comeback rallies – they all helped us sympathize with and stand behind the fleet challenger the entirety of the main event bout. It was what a true babyface should do, and tonight, Johnny had done just that.

Oh and the shaggy d*ckhead betrayer was back. Screw you. We hope Johnny Gargano kick your ass come WrestleMania weekend.