NXT TakeOver: London
|NXT TakeOver: London|
Promotional poster featuring various NXT wrestlers
|Date||December 16, 2015|
|Venue||The SSE Arena|
|Tagline(s)||NXT is Taking Over London for the First Time Ever!|
|WWE Network event chronology|
|NXT TakeOver chronology|
NXT TakeOver: London was a professional wrestling show and WWE Network event in the NXT TakeOver series that took place on December 16, 2015, produced by WWE, showcasing its NXT developmental brand, and was streamed live on the WWE Network. The event took place in The SSE Arena in London, England. This was the first NXT TakeOver broadcast from outside the United States as the finale of the first ever NXT tour of the United Kingdom.
TakeOver is a series of professional wrestling shows that began on May 29, 2014, as the WWE developmental league NXT held their second WWE Network exclusive live broadcast billed as TakeOver. In subsequent months, the "TakeOver" moniker became the brand used by WWE for all of their NXT live specials. London was the eighth NXT TakeOver event and the first to be held outside of the United States.
The card comprised five matches. The matches resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results were predetermined by WWE's writers on the NXT brand, while storylines were produced on their weekly television program, NXT.
After TakeOver: Respect, a battle royal took place to determine the new #1 contender to Finn Bálor's NXT Championship, which was won by Apollo Crews. Bálor and Crews faced each other for the title on the November 4 episode of NXT, with the match ending in disqualification after Baron Corbin interfered and attacked both men with his primary target being Crews. Samoa Joe came to the ring and fended off Corbin before attacking his friend Bálor, turning heel in the process. Feeling betrayed for not getting his title shot despite Bálor wanting to give him a shot, Joe took extreme lengths to get his title match. It was later announced that Bálor will defend the NXT Championship against Samoa Joe at TakeOver: London. Meanwhile, Baron Corbin explained his reason for costing Apollo Crews his title opportunity was because he held a personal grudge against him since after last eliminating him at the battle royal and challenged him to a match at TakeOver: London which Crews later accepted.
After retaining the NXT Women's Championship against Sasha Banks in the first-ever 30-minute Iron Woman Match at TakeOver: Respect, Bayley continued to make successful title defences. During Bayley's title defence against Eva Marie on November 25 episode of NXT, newcomer Nia Jax interfered on Marie's behalf by knocking out the official referee and having Charles Robinson officiate while being towards Marie. Despite this interference, Robinson was soon knocked out and Bayley retained her title by pinning Marie with another referee making the 3-count. After the match, Jax assaulted Bayley with the intention of going after the NXT Women's Championship. After a few confrontations, it was announced that Bayley will defend the NXT Women's Championship against Nia Jax at TakeOver: London.
The broadcast opened with a match between Asuka and Emma (accompanied by Dana Brooke). Asuka had the advantage until a distraction by Brooke allowed Emma to take control. During a comeback by Asuka, Emma countered the first "Asuka Lock" attempt by knocking them into the referee, thus disabling him. Brooke passed Emma a foreign object (a belt) to use, which was snatched by Asuka. While Asuka protested against a possible disqualification to the referee, Emma capitalized with a roll-up for a near-fall and Asuka immediately applied the "Asuka Lock", only for Brooke to distract the referee from seeing Emma submit. Emma attempted to use the belt again, but Asuka executed a spin kick for the win.
The second match saw Dash and Dawson defend the NXT Tag Team Championship against Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady (accompanied by Carmella). Amore and Cassady had a lively start, exemplified by Cassady throwing Amore over the top rope onto Dash and Dawson at ringside. However, the champions regained control by targeting Amore's arm and Cassady's leg, necessitating Amore saving Cassady from receiving a diving knee-breaker. Amore and Cassady combined for a "Rocket Launcher" onto Dash, with Dawson breaking up the pin and then sending Cassady into the ring-post. Dash and Dawson then caught Amore on the top rope, pinning Amore after a "Shatter Machine" to retain.
Next was the match pitting Apollo Crews against Baron Corbin. Corbin gained the advantage by dropping Crews over the top rope onto the ring steps. Later, Corbin executed "Deep Six" for a near-fall. Crews countered Corbin's "End of Days", then executed an enzuigiri and a standing moonsault for a near-fall. Despite lifting Corbin in preparation for a powerbomb, Corbin grabbed the ropes and escaped, then pinned Crews after the "End of Days" to win the match.
The fourth match featured Bayley defending the NXT Women's Championship against Nia Jax. Jax dominated much of the match, countering all of Bayley's attempts of a guillotine choke into repeated leg drops or Samoan drops, but only for near-falls. After much of this, Bayley forced Jax to tap out to a fourth guillotine choke hold for the win.
In the main event, Finn Bálor defended the NXT Championship against Samoa Joe. During the match, both men performed dives out of the ring on their opponent, with Joe using an elbow suicida and Bálor a running flip over the top rope. Bálor managed to escape Joe's attempts at executing a muscle buster, and also rolled out of Joe's "Coquina Clutch". In the end, Bálor chopped Joe to the mat when both battled on the top rope, and then pinned Joe after a "Coup de Grâce" to retain the title. The event is also notable for the Jack the Ripper inspired entrance that Finn Bálor performed before his match against Samoa Joe. Bálor stated in an interview with Rebellious Noise that the night in London was special for him, and he could not have expected how well the production team would shoot the entrance stating "it was mind blowing".
The show generally received positive feedback from both the critics and the fans. Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer Newsletter rated the Women’s Championship match 3.25 out of 5 stars and the NXT Championship match 4 out of 5 stars, which is the same rating as the Emma vs. Asuka match. The lowest rating was the Apollo Crews vs. Baron Corbin match, which got 2.5 out of 5 stars. History of Wrestling scored the show 89/100.
After defeating Apollo Crews at the event, Baron Corbin declared his intentions of going after Finn Bálor's NXT Championship, proclaiming himself as the No. 1 contender. However Sami Zayn also returned from injury at the event also wanting to have a match for the title. This led to a Triple Threat Match between Zayn, Corbin and Samoa Joe that took place on January 27, 2016 episode of NXT to determine the No. 1 contender to face Bálor for the NXT Championship. The match ended without a winner after Corbin tapped out to both Zayn's Sharpshooter and Joe's crossface at the same time, leaving a shocked William Regal to review the match. Zayn and Joe faced each other in a No. 1 contenders match on the February 17 episode of NXT from CFE Arena in University of Central Florida, which once again ended in no contest after both men's shoulders were pinned.
A women's battle royal took place on the January 13, 2016 episode of NXT to determine the next No. 1 contender to Bayley's NXT Women's Championship. The match was won by Carmella after last eliminating Eva Marie. Bayley successfully retained her title against Carmella on the February 10 episode of NXT from CFE Arena in Orlando, Florida, but afterwards Carmella was attacked by Eva Marie and Nia Jax leading to Bayley coming to Carmella's aid before gaining assistance by Asuka who fending off Marie and Jax. Asuka then confronted Bayley and looked at the NXT Women's title belt, signaling a challenge for the title.
Despite his title opportunity gone, Apollo Crews challenged Finn Bálor to a non-title match as he did not want their bout to end in a disqualification which Bálor later accepted. Bálor defeated Crews on the February 3, 2016 episode of NXT with both men shaking hands in respect afterwards.
|1N||American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan) defeated Blake and Murphy (with Alexa Bliss), The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder) and The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch)||Fatal 4-Way tag team match||N/A|
|2N||Elias Samson defeated Bull Dempsey||Singles match||7:10|
|3N||Sami Zayn defeated Tye Dillinger||Singles match||N/A|
|4||Asuka defeated Emma (with Dana Brooke)||Singles match||14:49|
|5||Dash and Dawson (c) defeated Colin Cassady and Enzo Amore (with Carmella)||Tag team match for the NXT Tag Team Championship||14:57|
|6||Baron Corbin defeated Apollo Crews||Singles match||11:40|
|7||Bayley (c) defeated Nia Jax by submission||Singles match for the NXT Women's Championship||13:17|
|8||Finn Bálor (c) defeated Samoa Joe||Singles match for the NXT Championship||18:22|
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