Takeover: Philadelphia
Date: January 28, 2018
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Percy Watson, Nigel McGuinness, Mauro Ranallo

This one is a little bit different as we don’t really have a top match to build this show around. There’s a lot of good stuff but nothing all that great. That being said, it’s kind of NXT’s bread and butter as they know how to set up a full card instead of hanging everything onto one match. Let’s get to it.

Paul Heyman narrates the opening video, talking about how this city has a rich history of fighting but tonight is about the future. We see the standard clips of the big matches before Heyman caps it off with the WE ARE NXT line.

Nigel McGuinness is sick today so Percy gets to take up the slack.

Tag Team Titles: Undisputed Era vs. Authors of Pain

The Era is defending but there’s no Adam Cole due to his match later. The Authors jump the champs to start things off, sending Fish and O’Reilly outside before the opening bell. Fish bails from Razar to start so it’s Kyle coming in to take him down and strike away. That goes as long as you would expect with Razar powering out without much effort, meaning it’s time to get another breather.

Back in and Fish goes after the knee but gets knocked around by the raw power. It’s off to Akum for some shots to the head, which send the champs outside. Walking away doesn’t work as Fish is pulled back and dropped face first onto the barricade. Back in and Akum gets low bridged to the floor, allowing Fish to kick him in the leg and really take over. Fish spears Razar to the floor and it’s time for the double kicks to the ribs.

Some hard kicks to the leg take Akum down and O’Reilly comes back in for a leg lock. Some champion miscommunication allows Akum to hit a good back body drop for the hot tag off to Razar, even though there really aren’t any faces in this. The fall away slam/drop backwards with Fish on Razar’s back combination crushes the champs all over again but they’re right back up with the strikes in the corner.

Fish again shows off the power with an exploder suplex for two but Razar slugs them down. Akum comes back in on the bad leg but it’s a jumping knee to the head to cut off the Last Chapter. O’Reilly grabs a kneebar on Akum and Fish gets a choke on Razar, who flips him down onto Kyle for the save.

Everyone is down so the fans start the dueling chants. It’s Akum up first and buckle bombing Fish. A buckle bomb crushes O’Reilly and the Super Collider connects but Akum can’t powerbomb Fish. Instead it’s a hurricanrana to send the Authors into each other and Fish rolls Akum up to retain at 14:56.

Result: Undisputed Era b. Authors of Pain – Rollup to Akum (14:56)

War Machine is here.

Earlier today, Velveteen Dream promised a thirty second knockout of Kassius Ohno.

Velveteen Dream vs. Kassius Ohno

Dream now has a muscular man and a woman to help him with his entrance, including a large pillow containing his custom made mouth piece. He’s also now in boxing trunks for a rather sharp change of pace. After Ohno’s entrance, Dream boxes the buckle a little bit. The fans count and Dream hits a big right hand to knock Ohno down at 27 seconds.

Dream dances around though and gets forearmed in the face, knocking the mouth piece out. Back up and Dream scores with a swinging spinebuster from two as the fans are almost entirely behind Dream here. We hit the chinlock until Ohno powers him into the corner, where Dream unloads with rights and lefts. Dream shouts DREAM OVER at Ohno, followed by a top rope double ax for two more. The second chinlock goes a bit better but Ohno powers out of it again, this time slamming Dream down.

Back up and Ohno easily wins a strike off, followed by the running backsplash. A superkick cuts Ohno off and the wind up DDT gets two, followed by Dream’s Death Valley Driver for the same. The rolling forearm drops Dream but it’s another Death Valley Driver into the Purple Rainmaker (from the post) for the pin on Ohno at 10:46.

Result: Velveteen Dream b. Kassius Ohno – Purple Rainmaker (10:46)

We recap Ember Moon vs. Shayna Baszler. Shayna is the newcomer/outsider as a former mixed martial artist who has choked a bunch of women out. Moon won’t stand for the bullying but Baszler says this has been her plan all along.

Women’s Title: Shayna Baszler vs. Ember Moon

Moon is defending. Baszler easily takes her down to start and kicks Moon’s leg out. Back up and Moon scores with some dropkicks to put Baszler out on the floor. A suicide dive drops her again but Baszler takes the hair down and unloads with strikes to the face and chest.

Baszler steps on the arm like she did to Dakota Kai and it’s off to an armbar. More knees and stomps to the arm have Moon in trouble before Baszler just pulls on the arm. Moon gets in a few slaps though, followed by a kick to the chest and a springboard spinning crossbody. The Eclipse connects but it hurts the arm even more, causing Moon to writhe in pain in the corner.

The trainer comes in to check on the arm and the fans are NOT happy with the delay. Baszler finally gets up and tries a cross armbreaker, only to have Moon get her feet on the ropes. The armbreaker goes on again in the middle of the ring with Baszler even pulling the legs back towards the middle, just in case. Somehow Moon rolls her over though and stacks Baszler up to retain at 10:11, sending Mauro into a huge MAMA MIA.

Result: Ember Moon b. Shayna Baszler – Rollup (10:11)

Moon is helped out but Baszler sneaks up from behind and grabs the choke.

Ricochet (billed as Trevor “Ricochet” Mann) is here.

We recap Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole. Black knocked Cole out of the #1 contenders tournament by kicking him in the head, only to have Cole cost Black the tournament final. A match was set up but William Regal made it Extreme Rules, which might play more towards Cole’s strengths.

Adam Cole vs. Aleister Black

Extreme Rules. Black’s entrance is surrounded by candles and smoke this time around. Black easily wins an early strike off and moonsaults into the seated position. Cole grabs a chair and there’s the ECW chant that you knew was coming. That’s taken away in no time and Black has a seat on the chair as Cole needs to come up with a better idea.

Black follows him out this time and gets caught with a few shots, allowing Cole to throw in some weapons. Both guys find kendo sticks but Black throws his away and says bring it on. He’s either very skilled or very stupid. A few kicks to the chest have Black in trouble but the springboard moonsault is caned out of the air in a good looking crash. Cole’s Backstabber with the kendo stick gets two and it’s table time.

Black breaks up a superplex attempt and gets slammed off the top onto a trashcan. A running knee drops Cole again and Black sets up another table next to the first. That’s not enough though as Black pulls out a ladder but Cole kicks him down and sets the unfolded latter in the corner. Cole is bleeding from somewhere (might be his hand) and hammers away in the corner. Black fights up and drops Cole onto the ladder in a good looking crash.

With Cole down, Black goes up top but Cole throws him a chair and superkicks it into Black’s head, sending him through the tables. Mauro: “HOLY BLEEP INDEED!” That’s only good for two so Cole loads up two chairs next to each other. Black is back up though and hits an AA onto the top of the chairs to probably break Cole’s back. A sliding knee into the chair into Cole’s face gets two as Fish and O’Reilly run in for the save. High/Low on the floor drops Black and it’s time to load up the announcers’ table.

Cue Sanity for the save (makes sense) with Killian Dain taking everyone out with a suicide dive. With Black still down, Cole tries a suplex through the table. That’s broken up as well and the double knees (ala Sasha Banks) drives Cole through instead. Fans: “MAMA MIA!” Back in and Cole scores with his own superkick and grabs a chair. Of course he walks right into Black Mass (to the shoulder) for the pin at 21:58.

Result: Aleister Black b. Adam Cole – Black Mass (21:58)

Ethan Carter III, billed as EC3, is here and officially confirmed as a new signing.

We recap Andrade Cien Almas vs. Johnny Gargano. Almas has righted the ship after months of mediocrity, mainly thanks to the addition of Zelina Vega. Gargano had a nightmare of a 2017 and is on the comeback trail, finally turning himself back into Johnny Wrestling. Tonight is his chance at redemption, both by winning the title and beating Almas, who was a big part of his downward spiral.

NXT Title: Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade Cien Almas

Almas is defending and is played to the ring by a masked mariachi band. He also wears a mask to the ring but takes it off before getting inside. They start with a technical sequence and wrestle to a standoff as we see Johnny’s wife Candice LeRae in the crowd. Neither finisher can connect early on and Almas bails into the corner while waving a finger at Johnny. We start again with Gargano wrestling him down into an armbar but one heck of a chop gets the champ out of trouble.

The announcers recap the Almas story of letting his career fall apart as he gets sent outside but manages to avoid the running flip dive off the apron. Back in and Almas bends Johnny’s neck across the top rope, followed by the chinlock. Johnny fights up but gets caught in the Tree of Woe. Almas misses the top rope stomp though and gets suplexed into the corner. A middle rope swinging Downward Spiral gives Johnny two and the slingshot spear is good for the same.

Almas catches him with a spinning faceplant for two before going up. The regular moonsault doesn’t work but Almas lands on his feet and hits a standing version for two more in a smart sequence. Johnny’s superkick gets the same and they’re both down again.

Gargano puts him on the top but can’t hit the sunset bomb. Almas misses the running knees in the corner but the slingshot spear is countered into a faceplant. A reverse tornado DDT gets two more and both guys are spent again. Almas can’t hit the hammerlock DDT on the apron so Gargano slingshot DDTs him onto the apron instead. That’s only good for a very close two back inside and Almas blocks the Gargano Escape. The running knees are broken up and there’s the Lawn Dart to rock Almas again.

Vega’s distraction lets Almas grab the DDT but that’s reversed into a small package for a VERY close two. A low superkick gives Johnny two, with the camera panning over to tease interference but it just shows Vega panicking at the near fall. Almas cuts him off on top and it’s the top rope double stomp onto the apron, followed by a hard toss to send Gargano into the apron again. Back in and the double knees are good for two and Almas is shocked.

They fight back to their feet and Johnny somehow grabs a hurricanrana. The Gargano Escape goes on and Almas can’t spin out. Vega grabs Almas’ hand and the distraction lets Almas rake Johnny’s eyes. The hammerlock DDT is broken up and a backdrop puts Almas on the floor for a suicide dive of all things. Vega is back up with a hurricanrana to send Johnny into the steps though and the hammerlock DDT…..gets two.

Gargano rolls outside and Vega goes after him, drawing Candice over the barricade for the brawl. She chases Vega to the back, drawing a THANK YOU CANDICE chant. The slingshot DDT gets a VERY close two and the Gargano Escape goes on again….but the foot is on the ropes. They head to the apron again and Almas hits the running knees to drive Johnny’s head into the post, leaving him with the far away look in his eyes. A draping hammerlock DDT FINALLY ends Gargano at 32:22.

Result: Andrade Cien Almas b. Johnny Gargano – Hanging hammerlock DDT (32:22)

Post match Candice comes back to take Johnny to the back but they stop for the pose on the stage….AND TOMMASO CIAMPA BREAKS A CRUTCH OVER JOHNNY’S BACK! Ciampa walks away as Candice tends to Johnny to end the show.

Undisputed Era b. Authors of Pain – Rollup to Razar
Velveteen Dream b. Kassius Ohno – Purple Rainmaker
Ember Moon b. Shayna Baszler – Rollup
Aleister Black b. Adam Cole – Black Mass
Andrade Cien Almas b. Johnny Gargano – Hanging hammerlock DDT


Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com, follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the 2018 Updated Version of the History of the WWE Championship in e-book or paperback. Check out the information here:


And check out my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:



  • Big Name Confirmed For Men’s Royal Rumble

  • Ratings and Audience for “Impact Wrestling: Genesis”

  • Three Matches Announced for “Royal Rumble” Kickoff Show

  • Why Did the “Raw 25” Script Need to Be Rewritten 3 Hours Before The Show?

  • Chad Gable Welcomes His Second Child Into the World

  • Video: Five Most Controversial Royal Rumble Match Eliminations

  • New Book: KB’s History of the WWE Championship (2018 Update)

  • Criminal Charges Against Rich Swann Dropped

  • Full Match: Undertaker vs. Heidenreich From “Royal Rumble 2005”

  • Main Event Results – January 25, 2018