WWE NXT Takeover Analysis IV (Thoughts on Dallas) By Brandon Lasher

Welcome to the fourth edition of the NXT Analysis. I have loved writing about NXT for over a year now for TJR Wrestling and wanted to share my occasional thoughts on the best weekly program in pro wrestling. I always planned to write this column more often but life gets in the way. However when I see something like NXT Takeover: Dallas, it is time to write about NXT again.

Things I Learned From NXT Takeover: Dallas


  • Tag team wrestling is better on NXT. American Alpha is by far the best tag team in the entire company and the fact they have only been a team for about nine months shows the tremendous talent of Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. But it takes two to tango and a lot of credit is due to the highly underrated Dash & Dawson. They really do have a great grasp on tag team wrestling and the unique art required to be a tremendous cohesive team. I hope for a long continuation of the feud between these two impressive teams.
  • That wasn’t the best showcase for Austin Aries. I will admit to some ignorance of Aries work in Ring of Honor and TNA but I certainly have heard great things. Since a lot of WWE fans were looking to see a showcase for this star, his match with Corbin shocked me. He got in little offense and basically got beaten down slowly by Corbin for a majority of the match. A fluke roll-up didn’t really do him any favors in showcasing his talent. Hopefully they will give him a better second impression.
  • I get the hype on Shinsuke Nakamura. From his entrance, to his in-ring mannerisms to the match itself, everything about his encounter with Sami Zayn was perfect. It was one of the best technical matches I have ever seen in the WWE and that is saying something. The “fight forever” chant was well earned. I am beyond excited to see every Nakamura match going forward.
  • We need a Bayley-Asuka rematch. One of the few mistakes of the night was placing this anticipated match after the once in a lifetime Zayn-Nakamura match. It seemed to drain the energy of the crowd. It is a shame because both of these competitors are among the best the WWE has to offer. The ending was simply bizarre with Bayley simply passing out. I don’t know if Bayley really needs to be on NXT anymore but it looks like we will be getting Bayley-Asuka II. They deserve another chance to steal the show.
  • Learn how to handle blood. The very solid Balor-Joe II was almost ruined by the stops and starts of their title match. I will admit I was worried about the amount of blood lost by Joe but the constant medical attention ruined the flow of the match. It was a shame because it was another solid main event by these two talented wrestlers.

Those People Are Moving onto the Main Roster?


If you asked me who was moving onto to the Main Roster after Takeover I doubt Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin and the Vaudevillains would be my top picks. I guess of this group I understand the Vaudevillains the best. They really have nothing left to prove in NXT and they have been in developmental a long time. I am worried about them getting lost in the main roster tag team scene but they are talented enough to be successful.

Baron Corbin makes little sense. He is still a very green wrestler who could use more time working with talented veterans like Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura and Austin Aries. He is getting better but still is very awkward and unsure in the ring. I know Vince loves his monster heels and Corbin fits that bill. I am just worried about the concept of too much too soon.

The same goes for Apollo Crews. He did very little on the NXT roster before moving on the main show. There is little denying his raw talent but he didn’t seem comfortable yet in the WWE style. It just seems strange for someone with so little background in NXT to be thrown into the main roster so rapidly.


Where Do They Go From Here?


It is exciting and confusing to figure out where the NXT storylines go from here. They seemed to have lost a lot of their middle card to the main roster going forward. However it seems that Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode and Austin Aries are sticking around NXT. That seems like a solid foundation for the NXT Championship title chase for the coming months.

The Women’s Division is certainly in some flux. Bayley and Asuka can carry the main title for a few more months but they need to develop Nia Jax and other talents going forward. It seems to really be a two-woman division.

The tag division seems to have lost two of its better teams and seems to be down to a few teams. They have caught lightning in a bottle with the team of Jordan & Gable, make it is time to try some of their many developmental talents waiting in the wings. I have a lot of faith that some of the talents we will be talking about in six months that are not on the NXT roster right now.


Final Thoughts

Once again NXT Takeover was better than the main roster. How on earth can WrestleMania be overshadowed by the great work on the so-called developmental roster? It was an amazing night with great matches and logical booking. It doesn’t seem that hard WWE.

I look forward to seeing where NXT goes from here. There seems to be a constant influx of new talent to replace whatever is lost to the main roster. How can you not be excited for the future of NXT when they deliver at every major show?

I know I am more excited to see an upcoming NXT house show in Portland then I was to see a recent Smackdown. What does that say about the current product?


Feel free to contact me at lasher@pacificu.edu. Additionally, I have my Twitter account @WWEBNRL as well. I would love to hear your thoughts on NXT.