NXT Takeover Toronto 2019

Undisputed Era vs. Street Profits (c) – Tag Team Championship Match

So here I was, chillin’ on the sofa on Sunday morning, trying to watch my rasslin’ when all of a sudden I notice the audio is like, 3 full seconds behind what’s happening on screen. So I quit the app, restart it, then reconnect to the Chromecast, and there’s still a weird sound lag, which was only fixed when I watched directly on my phone. Optimize your shit, you carny dweebs! Hyping the fuck out of a shiny new app redesign that doesn’t fucking work properly is among the most preventable forms of incompetence. Anyway, this match seemed pretty sweet and the right team won, but I spent the first few minutes unable to pay attention. Let’s say ****? Montez Ford is The Rock now.

Candace LaRae vs. Io Shirai

If you’re like me, most of the wrestling you watch is from WWE, not because you don’t know any better but because of habit and inertia. As such, you may find yourself, upon reflection, realizing that you assume any and all grudge matches need to have some sort of stipulation attached. Just what particular stipulation is deployed is immaterial – maybe it’s a street fight, or maybe it’s a cage match, or maybe it’s a ladder match – what matters is there’s a tacit assumption that a straight, one-on-one wrestling match can’t bring the hatred and violence. This match was nasty, brutal, and completely fucking awesome, and balled up all such notions before dunking them in the damn trash, and the best women’s match I’ve seen in a long ass time. Watch this match by any means necessary. Heel Io Shirai is my new god (Alignment: Neutral Evil; Domains: Tempest, Death; Holy Symbol: A Decapitated Dove). ****3/4

Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong vs. Velveteen Dream (c) – North American Championship Match

Triple Threat matches – even well laid out and executed ones such as this – are always going to leave me a little cold. Most such matches, of course, are really just a series of one-on-one matches, as a third person will rotate out for a while in order to facilitate a particular pairing off, usually in the clumsiest and most obvious fashion available. This match was still mostly that, even if they put more effort into making sure there were plenty of cool three-man spots, and that the transitions were mostly seamless. the resulting match was, therefore, fun as all hell but still not my thing ,exactly. Extra props to the finish – I’m glad they made Velveteen Dream’s Superior Genre Savvy a character point. ****1/2

Mia Yim vs. Shayna Baszler (c) – Women’s Championship Match

Matches that are just kind of there haven’t been the domain of Takeovers as of late. The worst matches on recent cards have still been pretty damn good, so to have a match that was merely OK feels like a letdown. This match was neither bad nor good. It was fine. Baszler’s selling was superb, although it usually is. There was a concrete, established story that was established early and factored into the finish. The real problem is that nobody in the entire world though Mia Yim was winning this one, and that hurt the match a lot. The crowd was dead, no one was buying any near falls, and we all sort of sat around waiting for the inevitable. **1/4

Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole (c) – 2 out of 3 Falls Match (with Gimmicks), Men’s Championship Match

This match was pretty damn long, so I’m going to keep my thoughts brief. I thought this was one of the best matches I had ever seen until I went on the internet and read a whole bunch of shit about how it was a bloated piece of shit. And you know what? Screw you guys. Most of the wrestling internet needs to sit on top of a litter box, lest they shit on the upholstery. This match ruled, and was a fitting capstone to a stupid awesome series of matches. The bloat was a feature, not a bug (although the climactic bump was dumb and excessively dangerous). *****

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