I apologize for publishing this review later than normal. The inner Canadian got the best of me and I decided to watch a few of the hockey games on the NHL’s opening day. I hope everybody enjoyed this special just as much as me, because after I watched it, I wished I had seen it live.
Samoa Joe & Finn Balor vs Dawson & Wilder
Like I said in my predictions, I didn’t care to see this match go past five minutes. Dawson & Wilder have been low on the radar for the entire tournament, and I really don’t care about them. I really enjoy watching Finn and Joe team together, because they look like the most unfair pairing, and they make the audience aware of that. With them being such big names, I didn’t take their opponents seriously when they took control of the match. At the same time, their star status made this super predictable, and I was just waiting for them to win. I probably shouldn’t have had this mentality, because I didn’t become invested until Joe and Balor were on offense.
Baron Corbin & Rhyno vs Jason Jordan & Chad Gable
Corbin and Jordan sound similar, especially when each name is being chanted by a crowd. At first I thought the crowd was positively cheering for Corbin, and then I realized they weren’t. The chant of the night was easily the crowd shouting Gable’s name to Kurt Angle’s theme song. Before this match was even 3 minutes old, it had already trumped the previous one. I thought the two teams mixed very well together, even though their styles are completely different. We can easily give the credit to Jordan and Gable, but Rhyno and Corbin also adapted well. I thought the finish to this contest was spectacular based on the sheer suspense. Along with Baron was able to deliver the best End of Days I’ve ever seen, and it was definitely the spot of the match.
Asuka vs Dana Brooke
Asuka is considered a veteran worker, and she proved it here when getting the best out of Brooke. Not just in terms of work rate, but she brought the best out of Dana’s heel character in the ring. What happened to Dana’s Chuck Taylor shoes? I was slightly disappointed, because it’s been the stand out in her wardrobe. Another thing that threw me off was how Corey Graves wasn’t a heel commentator. Normally he loves Brooke, but pumped up Asuka much more. The match was decent, and I think it was a solid way to debut the Japanese native.
Apollo Crews vs Tyler Breeze
The second Crews landed that amazing dropkick, I knew the two would put on a clinic. If that wasn’t enough for Crews, his stalling suplex was probably the best I’ve seen in years. Both him and Breeze kept balance, with Apollo knowing when to complete the move. Ryback, take notes! Since his debut, Crews hasn’t been able to showcase his ability to sell, but once he did I was extremely impressed. There was no hiding their chemistry, and I really hope this isn’t their last rodeo together. The spot of the match was undoubtedly Apollo’s cross body slam, which was a counter. The two had brilliant timing to pull that move off so smoothly. Like I said in my predictions, both men can walk away looking strong, and that’s what happened. Overall, amazing match, Bayley and Sasha had the bar set high.
Finn Balor & Samoa Joe vs Rhyno & Baron Corbin
The neat thing about this match is that both babyfaces have feuded with both heels at one time or another. I’m glad they also brought this up at certain times. This contest for Joe and Balor was also more enjoyable than their first. Even though we knew Balor would overcome his injured knee, I thought he did an amazing job at selling it. Along with this, he found a way to make Baron look like a superstar. Joe and Rhyno looked great together, because they’re big men that know how to move around the ring. Of course the babyfaces were going to win, but I’m glad it wasn’t easy for them in this contest. It was a decent match and a good way to end the tournament.
Sasha Banks vs Bayley
If you think about it, most main event matches range from 15-20 minutes, so anything more than that is pretty long. Not only did these women have to put on a great match, but they had to keep the audience hooked for a full 30 minutes. Normally the Full Sail crowd can become irritating, but their chants were a major part of keeping the home viewer engaged. At no point did the action seem to slow down, even their rest spots were suspenseful. I guess that’s a sign of how well they can pace out a match. There’s no doubt that the spot the match was Sasha yelling at Bayley’s super fan, Izzy. As a heel, it was just so effective and made you want to hate Banks. One can even say that it was straight savage .It’s the simple moments like that which make pro wrestling so dramatic. Even Sasha’s emotion went through the roof, as she the most despicable we’ve ever seen her. How did everybody else feel about Sasha’s count out win? I thought it was rather creative because it was done intentionally. I was completely astonished with how they were able to keep the energy of this match so high. I’m pretty confident in saying these two are among the best female performers the company has ever seen. While we all knew the Hugger would come out on top, they found a way to make me second guess the result. This was just as good, if not better than their match in Brooklyn. Also, if you didn’t tear up during the post match celebration, you might not be human.
While it was a simple and small card, these performers made sure the fans were given an awesome show. Just about everything clicked with this show, and it flowed well. The work rate was excellent along with the story telling. The low point of this special was the opening tag match, while the high point was obviously the main event. Overall, I give this Takeover an 8.5/10.