NXT Takeover Philadelphia took place on Saturday 27th January at the Wells Fargo Center. Along with the Royal Rumble, this is one of the biggest weekends of the year. So, how will it go? Let's take a look.
The first match was for the NXT Tag Team Championship as The Authors of Pain challenge Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly. Fish and O'Reilly try to slow down the Authors of Pain but they struggle initially. However, Akam lands badly on his left knee after doing a double team move and this gives Fish and O'Reilly the chance to get the advantage. They apply kneebars and hit double team moves to keep Akam down. Eventually, after doing a back body drop on Fish, Akam manages to tag in Razr. In the end, Authors of Pain go for the Super Collider. However, O'Reilly gets out of it, sends Akam into Razr, then rolls up Akam to get the win. Whilst the ending looked sloppy, it was a pretty good match.
Winners: Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly (1 for 1)
The next match is Kassius Ohno taking on The Velveteen Dream, who promised to beat Ohno in under 30 seconds. At the beginning, Dream manages to knock down Ohno. However, he spends ages celebrating instead of going for the cover and Ohno recovers to elbow Dream ino next week. Dream hits a spine buster to get the advantage and tries to keep Ohno grounded. Ohno reverses a suplex to start his comeback. Ohno goes for the hangman into a rolling elbow. However, Dream manages to hit a rolling Death Valley Driver then follows that up with The Purple Rainmaker to get the win. This was a pretty good match and Dream's stock continues to rise.
Winner: The Velveteen Dream (2 for 2)
We now get our 2nd Championship match as Shayna Baszler challenges Ember Moon for the NXT Women's Championship. Baszler hits a knee to the face followed by a brutal stomp on the left elbow to get the advantage. Even though her arm gets fucked up, Moon makes a comeback and goes on to hit the Eclipse. However, she further injuries her arm, stopping her from making the cover. Baszler applies an armbar for what seems like a year. Eventually, Moon manages to fold Baszler in half to pin her and get the win. This was a pretty good match and I liked the story that they told.
Winner: Ember Moon (3 for 3)
The penultimate match is an Extreme Rules Match between Adam Cole and Aliester Black. During the match, they use chairs, kendo sticks, a trash can and a ladder. Black knees a chair into Cole but Fish and O'Reilly run in to stop the pin and take out Black. A few moments later, Sanity come in and attack The Undisputed Era. Black double stomps Cole through the announce table and in the end, Black hits the Black Mask to get the win. This was such an enjoyable match between the two.
Winner: Aliester Black (4 for 4)
The main event was Johnny Gargano challenges Andrade "Cien" Almas for the NXT Championship. After some back and forth, Gargano misses a cannonball to the floor, giving Almas a brief advantage. Both guys use everything in their arsenal with Almas doing a moonsault into a standing moonsault. Almas goes on to hit moves such as an inverted tornado DDT but Gargano doesn't stay down. Gargano puts Almas in the Gargano Escape but Zelina Vega grabs Almas' hand to prevent him from tapping. Vega interferes later on when she does a hurracarrana, sending Gargano into the steel steps. When Vega goes to interfere yet again. However, Gargano's wife, Candice Le Rae, comes in from the crowd and sends her away from the arena. Eventually, Almas gets the win after hitting a hangman hammerlock DDT. Afterwards, Tommaso Ciampia makes his return and attacks Gargano with a crutch while he and Candice were on the stage. The match was really good and an early contender for Match of the Year.
Winner: Andrade "Cien" Almas (5 for 5)
Even though there seemed to be a couple of sloppy spots at the beginning, I really enjoyed Takeover Philadelphia. One of the best things I liked about it is that it set up a couple of feuds for the future and hopefully they will go on to have great matches from them.