WWE NXT TakeOver: Toronto 2019 is in the bag, meaning it’s time to look back on what happened and assess the damage, praise the positives and talk about what went down.
Per usual, at the end of this post, you’ll see my regular Smack Talk Pay-Per-Viewpoint post-show podcast, which reviews the event in more detail, but for those who want a more condensed version of my thoughts, I present to you my “quicker than a hiccup” reaction to the different parts of the evening:
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: The Street Profits (c) vs. The Undisputed ERA (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly):
This took a little while to get started, but once it did, it was quite fun. Montez Ford continues to impress me with how much height he can get, and Kyle O’Reilly is easily the sleeper best wrestler in The Undisputed ERA.
I was shocked that the tag titles didn’t change hands, and that really set an odd tone for me for the rest of the night, for better or worse. It made things unpredictable, but I have to admit that I was concerned that this was just WWE changing plans on a whim again, and I’m nervous about the future.
Candice LeRae vs. Io Shirai:
Better than the previous match, and they held their own and justified why they were on the card. I still think nixing the Breakout Tournament Final was a bad move, but at least these two didn’t take the opportunity and squander it.
Heel Io Shirai is a step up. I’m digging this version of her character more. I’m also glad Candice LeRae wasn’t just a stepping stone to get Shirai over.
I’d like to see another match between the two, and if you follow my regular thoughts on rematches, that means quite a bit. I’m also curious where they go from here, so that’s a hook for the next set of tapings.
NXT North American Championship Triple Threat Match: Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Roderick Strong vs. Pete Dunne:
The Mountie = awesome. All three of these performers = awesome. This match = awesome.
This was my second-favorite of the night, and I genuinely enjoyed the entire thing, through and through. These guys are always so good, so I knew I would like this match, and they didn’t disappoint.
Just like the tag team situation, I’m confused about what the North American title picture will be like going forward, and I hope there is an actual plan in mind.
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Mia Yim:
The crowd didn’t seem to enjoy this match—probably because it was slower—but I was a big fan of the storytelling.
I liked seeing Yim in charge and putting Baszler against the ropes in a way we haven’t seen before, as that made sure that while The Queen of Spades retained her title in the end, The Blasian Baddie gave her her toughest fight in a long while.
This should be it for them, though. I don’t want this to just be rehashed over the next 3 months leading up to another title shot for Yim at WarGames. I’d only be cool with that continuing if there are others brought in, and it becomes a Fatal 4-Way or something.
NXT Championship 2-out-of-3 Falls Match: Adam Cole (c) vs. Johnny Gargano:
Put this on the list for Match of the Year candidates. Cole and Gargano are at the top of the food chain in NXT because they deserve to be, and they prove it every time they go out and have a great match like this.
I said elsewhere that this felt like I was a kid and playing with my wrestling figures because it was over the top in the best way possible, of starting with a solid wrestling match and getting more and more brutal as it went on, to the point where there’s just a cage with weapons dangling from it. Because why not, right?
I do think they’re overdoing cages in 2019 and with Hell in a Cell and WarGames coming up, this might end up being a bit of a mistake, but I can’t project future potential problems and backtrack and dislike this match for that, because this was great, and I enjoyed all of it.
For more opinions on the show as a whole, check out the latest edition of the Smark Out Moment wrestling podcast SMACK TALK as the panel reviews NXT TakeOver: Toronto with our immediate reactions following the event before the dust has fully settled.
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