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NXT Takeover Respect: A reflection 

NOTE: This article is 6 years old and may not include the most recent information.

Yesterday on October 7th, 2015 the WWE held NXT Takeover Respect live from Full sail university in Orlando Florida. The event was live  and exclusively on the WWE Network. The event was an historic one for many reasons and definitely lived up to its name because by the end of the night you respected not only every single man and woman who stepped foot in the squared circle last night but you also respected wrestling as a whole.

The event kicked off with a semi final match up in the Dusty Rhodes Tag team classic. In the opening match we saw the team of NXT champion Finn Balor and Samoa Joe take on the team of Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson After what was a grueling battle the team of Balor and Joe came out on top but the victory came with a price. Balor banged up his knee throughout the match and would be going into the finals with a huge target.

Up next we had the second semi final match up in the tag team classic. We saw the unlikely pairing of Jason Jordan and Chad Gable take on yet another unlikely paring of Ryno and Barron Corbin. This match was interesting because we saw two different styles of professional wrestling. On one hand we had the technically sound Jordan and Gable and on the other we hand we had the powerhouse in your face style of Corbin and Ryno. In the end the power was to much for the technicians and Ryno and Corbin emerged victorious.

Then we witnessed the NXT debut of legendary Japanise wrestler Auska and her opponent was none other than the total diva Dana Brooke. Throughout the match Brooke proved that she’s not just a pretty face and can carry herself in a match against a more experienced opponent. When all was said and done experience triumphed over the learning and growing  Dana Brooke as Auska scored an impressive submission victory.

Now it came time for Prince Pretty Tyler Breeze to take on who some are already calling the total package Apolo Crews. Both men where very impressive in the match and it truly could’ve gone either way. By the end of it Crews kept his undefeated record intact and Breeze’ losing streak continued.

On to the co main event of the evening. It was the finals of the Dusry Rhodes Tag team Classic. We saw the team of Ryno and Corbin facing off against Finn Balor and Samoa Joe. Even though Balor went into the match with an injury he started it off and it played a physiological effect on the opposing team. This match was an all out brawl and numerous times it was in the favor of either team. After an impressive battle that showed heart and will Balor and Joe got the victory becoming the very first holders of the Dusty Rhodes trophy. Watching this match you couldn’t help but think “the American Dream would’ve been proud”.

Last but certainly not least came what many are already calling the match of the year as NXT Women’s Champion Bayley defended her title for the 1st time against the boss Sasha Banks in a 30 minute Iornman match. If you’re keeping score at home prior to this match there had only been 9 ironman matches in WWE History, making Bayley vs Banks the 10th time this type of match has taken place. Further more this was the first time ever that women have  main evented in a WWE special event. Everything from the entrances to the finish of the match was goosebump worthy. Props to Sasha Banks for channeling her heel character and making Bayley’s #1 fan Izzy cry. Now days the hardcore wrestling fans can pretty much guess how the outcome of the match will go and even though the majority of us watching guessed correctly there were numerous times in the match where you had the feeling of “man I wonder what’s going to happen.” I’m sure I speak for everyone who watched, this match had us all on the edge of our seats. With every pinfall that was scored the feeling of excitement and uncertainty grew. There were two times where challenger Shasha Banks was up by a fall. The first time was when she used the referee as a shield and poked Bayley in the eye to get the pinfall. The 2nd time was a count out victory after she threw Bayley into the LED board at the top of the ramp. Each time though Bayley came back aggressively to tie up the number of falls.  We even saw a different side of Bayley as she used the steal  steps to cause Sasha pain. In fact the steal steps played a factor a few times in the corse of the match. Both competitors were pulling out all the stops even if that meant using each other’s finishing moves. The whole thing was insane in the best way. In the closing moments Banks and Bayley had two falls each and then with about 20 seconds remaining  Bayley reversed the bank statement into a submission of her own causing Sasha to verbally submit. As the match concluded you can tell the 30 mintue had taken a tool on both women. Bayley and Sasha were overcome with emotion as the ramp filled up with the rest of the NXT roster. Then they both were embraced and given flowers by CEO Triple H. There was tears, hugs, and cheers. It truly was a beautiful site to see.

If you watch only one match from NXT takeover respect Bayley vs Sasha Banks should be it.Both women continue to break down barriers. They’re changing the game not only in professional wrestling but they are also changing the world, proving time and time again that the sky is the limit.

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