Posted April 4, 2017 by Emjay Lapus in Entertainment

REVIEW: Defending the Home Court – NXT TakeOver: Orlando

With this year’s WrestleMania being set in Orlando, NXT had somewhat of a home court advantage for their pre-’Mania TakeOver. Not only was this a homecoming of sorts for the brand. It also served as the dawn of a new era in NXT.

Sanity vs. Tye Dillinger/Roderick Strong/Kassius Ohno/Ruby Riot

While I love seeing No Way Jose put the crowd in the mood to fiesta, I’m pretty glad that Ohno joined Tye Dillinger and company against their evil twins in the form of Sanity and rocked some sick retro Sacramento Kings-inspired gear in the process. The match got everyone in the Amway Center pumped for the rest of the night. I did expect Sanity to pick up the win, but I’m glad everyone got their licks in and made the most of their time in the spotlight. Even if this match seemed like a last-minute addition to the card, all eight participants went into the match with a mentality that in this new era, they are bound to be the new gatekeepers of NXT.

Rating: 4/5

Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Aleister Black

The former Tommy End made quite an impression in his debut against El Idolo. The funny thing is that in-ring wise, they could size each other up and complement each other with their athleticism and hard-hitting strikes. Character-wise, they seemed too different, but a solid match for both men nonetheless, moreso on Black. With the right amount of build-up and character development, I’m sure the future will be bright for him.

Rating: 3.5/5

The Revival vs. #DIY vs. The Authors of Pain – Triple Threat Tag Team Elimination Match for the NXT Tag Team Championships


No one expected less from all three teams. The match was so good I almost thought the ring was about to break. It was also a pleasant surprise to see #DIY and The Revival co-existing from time to time throughout the match, even though neither team managed to dethrone the Authors of Pain. It’s hard to pinpoint which of these moments stood out because all of them did. Hats off to all six men for giving fans a potential 2017 Match of the Year candidate.

Rating: 5/5

Ember Moon vs. Asuka – NXT Women’s Championship


Along with the updated NXT Women’s title, Asuka came into this match protecting her undefeated winning streak in singles competition — the exact number is still debatable but her supposed record coming into this match is 159. While Ember Moon came close to defeating Asuka, she was unable to hit the Eclipse throughout the match. The Empress of Tomorrow pulled off the win and secured her one-year reign atop the NXT Women’s Division after an arguably controversial decision. So it won’t be a surprise if these two crossed paths again in the ring soon.

Rating: 4.5/5

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode – NXT Championship


It seemed fitting that Nakamura and Roode headlined this year’s TakeOver considering that the both of them made their first live appearance last year at TakeOver: Dallas. Who would have thought that they would make this much of an impact this soon? All it took for Roode to retain his title was a Glorious Tornado DDT from the corner. As for Nakamura, it was certainly a grand finale for the King of Strong Style in NXT.

Rating: 4/5


TakeOver: Orlando did what it set out to do: Lay the groundwork for a new beginning. To symbolize this, new versions of each championship were unveiled prior to the opening bell of their respective matches. These updated versions of the titles looked better than their original iterations in my opinion. It took a while for NXT to follow suit with similar-looking top titles for the male and female Superstars but for me, the Tag Team titles got the best upgrade.

Had Triple H saved Bobby Roode’s and The Authors of Pain’s respective title wins for this TakeOver, it might have made the transition to the new era more impactful overall. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that everyone in the card was on fire and able to deliver. Even with the impeding call-ups for some of NXT’s top Superstars on the horizon, consider NXT’s house protected for the foreseeable future.

Final Rating: 4.5/5


All photos are from WWE.com

Emjay Lapus

Emjay wears multiple hats -- communications specialist, aspiring Power Ranger, wrestling fan, sneakerhead, comic book reader, member of the Grizz Nation, part-time musician/full-time music lover, Grove Street OG, occasional photo/video editor (mostly memes), and protector of Earthrealm.