NXT TakeOver: Respect takes place tonight at Full Sail University at 8:00 pm EST. The main event will feature NXT Women’s champion Bayley defending her title against previous champion Sasha Banks in a 30 minute iron man match. Meanwhile, we’ll also see the conclusion of the Dustry Rhodes Tag Team Classic, with semifinals on the show being Finn Balor and Samoa Joe taking on Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder, Jason Jordan and Chad Gable against Baron Corbin and Rhyno, and the finals featuring the winners of both semifinals. Asuka will make her in-ring NXT debut taking on Dana Brooke, and Apollo Crews will face off against Tyler Breeze.
We’re looking for your thoughts on tonight’s show so send a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to email@example.com.
DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS: NXT CHAMPION FINN BALOR & SAMOA JOE VS. DASH WILDER & SCOTT DAWSON
Joe & Balor won and advanced in a well-worked match. Joe got the hot tag and set up Wilder for the Muscle Buster. Balor told Joe he wanted to tag in and Joe hit the Muscle Buster, and then Balor used the Coup De Grace on Wilder for the pin. Most of the match saw The Mechanics work over Balor’s knee which he sold after hitting his finisher. Joe & Balor go to the finals with a hint of issues between them and Balor “injured”.
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DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS: JASON JORDAN & CHAD GABLE VS. BARON CORBIN & RHYNO
Rhyno & Corbin advanced when Rhyno hit the gore on Jordan, and Corbin pinned Gable after the End of Days The crowd just loves Gable. He’s got something really special. Jordan & Gable are such a great babyface team that they really made the match, which had super heat, and overcame the fact that Corbin is, at best, passable at this point. There were all kinds of funny chants like “Save the Gable” and the crowd singing Kurt Angle’s music and chanting “Gable” where people used to sing “You Suck”. Jordan has all the ability in the world and has finally started to come out of his shell in this team.
They showed Kevin Nash in the crowd.
ASUKA VS. DANA BROOKE
As a wrestler, Asuka is a level above every woman wrestler in WWE. She looked super here with all her submissions, ring confidence, and total superstar presence. Brooke held her own and didn’t look out of place given this level of competition. The crowd was actually a lot hotter for this than the two tag matches. Asuka did an absolutely sweet flying armbar near the finish. She ended up winning with the Asuka Lock — a chicken wing crossface with a body scissors. After the match, Asuka laid out Brooke with a high kick and then stared down Emma who turned her head like she was backing down. Excellent debut.
We got the same Nia Jax promo we’ve been seeing recently. She’s debuting next week.
APOLLO CREWS VS. TYLER BREEZE
This was another good match that was built around Breeze working over Crews’ back. Breeze really looked good here. He got a great near fall as Crews did the press slam, went for the standing moonsault, but Breeze hooked the leg. Crews then broke free and went for the standing moonsault again, but Breeze got his knees up. Crews came back after absorbing two running elbows from Breeze, charging out at the third attempt and hitting a running kick. He then hit an atomic drop into a power bomb for the pin. They tried to tell the story that Crews is showing how much guts he has as he sold most of the way.
They showed HIdeo Itami and Funaki in the stands.
They are doing a show-long story as to whether Balor will be able to come out for the finals due to his knee.
DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT FINALS: SAMOA JOE & FINN BALOR VS. BARON CORBIN & RHYNO
No angle, but a solid match and the crowd was pretty hot. At one point, Rhyno hit the Gore on Joe, but Balor saved. He went for a second one but Joe kicked him in the face, gave him a Muscle Buster, and Balor used a double foot stomp on Rhyno for the pin.
Cody, Dustin, Michelle (Dusty’s wife) and his two daughters were all in the ring as well as Eden Stiles. Cody did a promo and talked about how Dusty died on the same day as John Wayne but 36 years later. Cody talked about how Dusty was referred to as “the oak of NXT” but to him, he was known as Dad. “Tonight, we are all Rhodes,” he said. They played Rhodes’ music and fans chanted “Thank you Dusty.”
They showed Stephanie McMahon, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Lita at ringside. Stephanie even chanted “women’s wrestling” along with the crowd.
30-MINUTE IRONMAN MATCH: NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPION BAYLEY VS. SASHA BANKS
Baley retained the title with a 3-2 margin by using a Fujiwara armbar at 29:57 to break the tie.
Banks won the first fall with an eye poke and schoolgirl using the trunks, Bayley won the second fall with the Belly To Bayley, while the third fall saw Banks win by ramming Bayley into the LED board, causing Bayley to be counted out. The fourth fall saw Bayley use a roll-up out of nowhere. The last few minutes were really dramatic as Banks used the Bank Statement, but because Bayley had worked over her hand during the match, she didn’t have full power. Bayley tried to reverse out once, failed, but then reversed into the armbar and was stomping on Banks’ head. The tap came right before time ran out.
It was pretty much what it should have been as far as a really good, well built match. Banks was great here, and Bayley was super over with the crowd so you had a great face/heel dynamic. Izzy at ringside was the other star of this match. They couldn’t create someone that good as her at ringside.
After the match, they sent everyone on the roster out on the stage to give a round of applause. HHH and Wlliam Regal gave Banks flowers as the fans chanted “Thank you Sasha” as Stephanie and Sara Amato congratulated her with Bayley cheering for her from the ring. HHH then went into the ring and gave Bayley flowers. They did a good job of making this feel special with the post-match.
This really felt very close to, from an post-match atmosphere and setting, like a G-1 final or Arena Mexico Anniversary match.