Reports surfaced during the most recent double set of NXT tapings that Triple H and company were going “all out” for TakeOver: Toronto. This was reported by one of the more reliable sources of information out there, WrestleVotes, and that tagline was spread by pretty much every website out there.
Tonight’s the final TV tapings for NXT prior to the Takeover Toronto event SummerSlam weekend. While I don’t know the details yet, source says the NXT creative team is thrilled with the card they are putting out. It seems as if HHH went “All Out” for this show. PUN INTENDED.
— WrestleVotes (@WrestleVotes) June 13, 2019
Just as TakeOver XXV had to follow Double or Nothing, this TakeOver event will be preceding AEW’s All Out show. WWE will undoubtedly be looking to set the bar and prove that the momentum hasn’t fully left NXT.
But while I loved TakeOver XXV, and I’m sure this upcoming TakeOver: Toronto will be great (something I want to stress immensely), I have to admit that I’m just not feeling this current buzz. With the idea in mind that this was set up as, essentially, “ooooh man, you’re not going to believe the card they have lined up for this show!!!” I feel underwhelmed.
It’s important to note that as these episodes haven’t aired, WWE will be filming additional material to supplement what happened during the tapings, but we can pretty much assume we know the five matches on the card at this point, which are as follows:
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Adam Cole will face Johnny Gargano, and there is no indication yet on whether or not they will have a stipulation for their match, or if it’s just a regular match like the last time.
Shayna Baszler will face Mia Yim, which makes sense, given Yim’s recent wins over Bianca Belair and how the only other babyface ready to face Baszler is Candice LeRae, who will be feuding with Io Shirai going forward.
The Undisputed ERA will continue their hunt for all the titles as Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish will face The Street Profits for the tag titles, while Roderick Strong will try to win the North American Championship from Velveteen Dream (and, for some reason, Pete Dunne is in that match).
Then, there will be the finals of an NXT Breakout Tournament, which will be Jordan Myles (fka ACH or Albert Hardie Jr) against Cameron Grimes (fka Trevor Lee).
So that’s it? That’s the big, super amazing, you’ll never believe how awesome this is going to be lineup? Is that just hyperbole from outsiders, or does the NXT crew really think this way?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to see all of these matches, and I don’t want that message to be convoluted or lost in the midst of this article. This isn’t a post saying TakeOver: Toronto will be awful, because it won’t be.
Cole/Gargano know what they’re doing and have had two great matches, Baszler/Yim should work well together and are two of the top performers in that division, for sure, Dream/Strong/Dunne can’t go wrong, the tag title match could steal the show and it’s nice to see a spotlight on newer guys.
But there’s nothing about this card that differentiates it from the norm, to me. This is as textbook standard as it comes with regards to TakeOver events, with no real surprises.
Every TakeOver has five matches, like this. Every one basically has all four titles on the line, plus something else. There’s always just one women’s match. The feuds are mostly a logical progression of things. What’s the hook?
Cole and Gargano have already wrestled each other at the last two TakeOver events, and outside of knowing that they’re good, what reason is there to be more excited to see the third match? Rematches, in my mind, have diminishing returns, rather than a continually upgrading value.
I don’t find myself thinking that I’ve seen Cole and Gargano wrestle twice before and their third match will be better. I find myself thinking that I’ve already seen what they have to offer, and while this will be good, I’m not more excited to see it, I’m either just as excited as before, or less. Let’s write that one off as “typical WWE rematch booking” (ie, look at the Stomping Grounds and Super ShowDown cards).
Baszler vs. Yim is something we saw coming from a mile away, so, again, why should I be stunned? I’m surprised about the Io Shirai heel turn, but Shirai and LeRae aren’t fighting each other on this card, so that’s a moot point. Plus, will WWE be able to resist the temptation to have Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir interfere? I doubt it. Either way, Yim isn’t likely winning the title, so I’m confused as to what is different here compared to Baszler vs. Shirai or anything else before it.
O’Reilly and Fish will win the tag titles. I’m sure it will be great, but, again, are you surprised at all that this match is on the card? Plus, it’s somewhat of a rematch from XXV, and that contest had the extra bonus of being a ladder match. Isn’t this a downgrade, on paper? Would you get more excited at the car dealership if they tried to sell you an older version of the same car you had, but this time, it had less bells and whistles?
I can’t help but feel like Pete Dunne is being thrown into the North American Championship match just because they said “well, he puts on good matches, so…eh?” I’m all for doing something you think will upgrade the event, but until I see how that all goes down, I’ll remain skeptical about what that is all about.
And when it comes to Myles and Grimes, I’m not too familiar with them, so am I supposed to be 20x more intrigued because they’re relatively unknown to me? If that were the case, wouldn’t I be more invested in seeing something like Impact or Ring of Honor?
If Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae, Matt Riddle vs. Kassius Ohno, Breezango against The Forgotten Sons and Keith Lee against Damian Priest were also booked onto this card, making it as long as a regular WWE pay-per-view, then I could completely see the hype being put out there, because it would legitimately feel like it was something of an upgrade.
But as it stands, right now, I don’t see some big jump up on the scales as far as progression for NXT. It’s a lateral move, as this is only slightly off from what I imagined this card would be heading into the tapings.
It will be a great show. It always is. Every single person performing on this (I assume, as the jury is out on Grimes and Myles) is a top-notch talent capable of putting on an amazing performance.
This will be better than SummerSlam. It may even be better than All Out. But at face value, it’s nothing different than what we’re used to, and if WWE and others try to promote it as being anything above the norm, I’m just not seeing it.
Thankfully, the norm for NXT is fantastic.
What do you think? Are you underwhelmed, or do you feel like this is actually even better than the great shows we normally get? Chime in by leaving a comment below!