Jump to content
DVDVR Message Board
Sign in to follow this  
The Natural

Best NXT Matches Ever.

Recommended Posts

After the classic Andrade Almas vs. Johnny Gargano match from NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, I like others wondered where it placed among the greatest NXT matches. I enjoyed reading the opinions in the thread for that event. I thought a topic dedicated to the best matches in NXT history was a good idea. Hopefully you'll agree.  Since Almas vs. Gargano, I had a go at putting together a top 20 NXT matches of all time and I finished it today:

20. Scott Dawson/Dash Wilder vs. Jason Jordan/Chad Gable. NXT TakeOver: Dallas 2016.

19. Bayley vs. Asuka. NXT TakeOver: Dallas 2016.

18. Asuka vs. Nikki Cross. NXT TV, 28th June 2017.

17. Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe. NXT TakeOver: Dallas 2016.

16. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode. NXT TakeOver: San Antonio 2017.

15. Antonio Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn. NXT TV, 21st August 2013.

14. Charlotte vs. Natalya. NXT TakeOver 2014.

13. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch. NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable 2015.

12. Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Becky Lynch. NXT TakeOver: Rival 2015.

11. Scott Dawson/Dash Wilder vs. Johnny Gargano/Tomassi Ciampa. NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II 2016.

10. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens. NXT TakeOver: Rival 2015.

9. Asuka vs. Ember Moon. NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III 2017.

8. Antonio Cesaro vs. William Regal. NXT TV, 25th December 2013.

7. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley. NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 2015.

6. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks. NXT TakeOver: Respect 2015.

5. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn. NXT TakeOver: Dallas 2016. *****

4. Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne. NXT TakeOver Chicago 2017. *****

3. Adrian Neville vs. Sami Zayn. NXT TakeOver: R-Evolution 2014. *****

2. Scott Dawson/Dash Wilder vs. Johnny Gargano/Tomassi Ciampa. NXT TakeOver: Toronto 2016. *****

1. Andrade Almas vs. Johnny Gargano. NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia 2018. *****

Says I. What say you?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking back at mine, Johnny Gargano was involved in the two best matches in NXT. Interested in seeing the opinions of others ( you don't have to do a countdown), #1 placements and which of the two Sasha Banks vs. Bayley matches is preferred. I've always rated the Iron Woman Banks vs. Bayley match from NXT TakeOver: Respect 2015 more for the work involved including the use of the gimmick and Sasha Banks heel performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sasha Banks gets bonus points from me for channelling her inner Chuck Taylor in the Ironwoman Match by making Izzy cry. Your list is a pretty good primer, although Bobby Roode has personally never done anything for me. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, cubbymark said:

Sasha Banks gets bonus points from me for channelling her inner Chuck Taylor in the Ironwoman Match by making Izzy cry. Your list is a pretty good primer, although Bobby Roode has personally never done anything for me. 

Cheers mate.

Related image

Bigger versions:

Related image

Image result for sasha banks izzy gifs

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, The Natural said:

Cheers mate.

Related image

 

I love the look on Izzy's dad's face...like he's fighting so hard to hide this "That was fantastic!" grin while he consoles his daughter.

Looking forward to seeing Sasha go back to that. :P

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like I have only seen about half of these matches. I need to do some research. 

'Tis a good problem to have. . .

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-Zayn/Nakamura is sort of a hard match for me to figure. I loved it in the moment, and still find it holds up as really fun, while also getting both guys’ character across in what could be purely an exhibition. That said, it cribs entire sequences from Nak’s Wrestle Kingdom matches against Ibushi and AJ, and I like both of those matches better. Of course wrestlers will use their signature spots, but the escalation of violence leading to slaps to a punch to dueling stomps through the ropes is a narrative middle I saw Nakamura use in a match I already loved. But then, “Shinsuke plays the hits” is a great way to wink at the fans who know you while bringing in those who don’t. So, I don’t know. I enjoy the match a great deal, but I’ve never totally been sure if this is a thing worth criticizing—and if so, how much weight it should get.

-I’d probably find room on my list I won’t make for Black/Dream, and maybe even Black/Itami. The former is a tremendous exercise in getting both guys over, while the latter is... a lot of hard kicking, which I love.

-I also feel like Ohno must have at least one great match I’d choose, but I can’t pick one standout. 

-I’m glad to see Becky/Sasha get noticed. It doesn’t have the narrative weight they Bayley matches did, but I think it stands up to them regardless. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) Zayn/Nakamura is the best by a decent stretch in my books. I don't mind them "borrowing" from other matches, as it was the perfect introduction of a (legitimate) superstar to a new fan base. The entrance and entrance music literally gave me goosebumps. The crowd was probably the hottest they've ever been for an NXT match. Sami didn't just play a role, he kept up with Nakamura and his selling was on full display. I'll take Zayn's selling over Gargano's theatrics all day. The violence level was so beautifully built up slowly but surely in that one. I was shocked to see Big Dave only give it 4.5. For me, it was an easy full 5 boy. Looking back on this and then juxtaposing it with the rest of Shinsuke's WWE/NXT run is really depressing. He's beyond hope if he can't tear the house down with AJ at Mania.

2) I'd probably go with Zayn/Neville here because of the narrative and final third of the match. Unreal American style pro-wrestling and Zayn proved that it's not impossible to have an old school babyface work with modern fans (even if he dropped an incredible f-bomb during his moment of truth).

3) Zayn/Cesaro. Sami fighting from underneath is wrestling heaven and Cesaro being the superior athlete and wrestler worked wonderfully.

4) Sasha/Bayley from Brooklyn. The height of the 4 horsewomen, who, imo at least, have been pretty badly exposed in a lot of ways by shitty Vince booking on the main roster. But for this night all was right. There was some sloppiness but the emotions were going in this one.

5) Pete Dunne/Tyler Bate from the May TakeOver. Best WWE produced match of 2017. I should probably watch the December TV match.

6) A Revival tag. I don't know which one I liked the most. The TakeOver match with AA was really special. They had some great matches with DIY, probably the best of the bunch being the 2/3 falls but I really loved the dynamic of the 3-way with AOP. The DIY matches did have a lot of things that irritated me (guys rushing to get in position for spots rather than working towards spots more naturally, overly cutesy timing and scenarios) but were overall amazing. I'd probably run with the 2/3 falls DIY match.

7) Regal/Cesaro would rank very highly. Wonderful psychology, no use of the ropes, just old school mat rasslin with two greats. Cesaro's athleticism, strength, and youth slowly but surely takes over the match. The Regal promos in the build-up were some of the best in recent memory. Soft spoken, underdog babyface Regal is so fucking great, particularly when you keep in mind he played heel 95% of his career. What a beautiful end to a remarkable career.

8) Almas/Gargano 3. I clearly have a negative bias toward Gargano but I won't deny this was anything less than a classic.

9) Lynch/Banks. Really nice change of pace from the women and Becky's best match by quite some distance, right?

10) Revival/AOP/DIY

Defo agree with Beech on Black/Dream. I saw them in Vancouver run a barebones version of the match that really won over the crowd. They added some layers to that structure and took it to the next level. Fantastic match.

Oney Lorcan would probably be in 2 or 3 matches in the bottom half of a top 20 for me. He is a walking flesh sack of intensity. Heal up and kick some more ass, please. He and Itami brutalized each other. The Almas encounter was probably the best of the bunch so far.

The really long Joe/Zayn match was a bit weird but would end up on my list. They really tried to push the limits of Zayn selling and Joe murdering to the point it started to become a little unbelievable that Joe couldn't put him away. It was, in that regard, a similar formula they improved upon for Almas/Gargano III but without losing focus on the heel.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we’re talking top 20, I’ll beat Gregg to the punch by mentioning the Emma/Santino vs Summer/Fandango match.  Obviously a comedy match, so where it would fall is hard to judge, but it’s good.  (Actually that whole episode is kind of a perfect snapshot of early NXT as it also has Ohno’s last match vs Harper, Ascension over Neville/Graves for the titles, and a hype video for Mojo.)

I’ll also toss out Emma vs Asuka, because I love how they played with all the expectations regarding Dana’s interference by having Asuka overcoming them all.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at these lists, the most notable thing is that Finn may have been NXT's biggest draw, but his time on top produced some of the least memorable matches of the Takeover era. It's not even that any of them were bad; NXT has just been an embarrassment of riches when it comes to talent and match presentation. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That’s a good point. It’s also still remarkable to me that Joe and Nakamura didn’t combine to produce consensus top tens.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, (BP) said:

Looking at these lists, the most notable thing is that Finn may have been NXT's biggest draw, but his time on top produced some of the least memorable matches of the Takeover era. It's not even that any of them were bad; NXT has just been an embarrassment of riches when it comes to talent and match presentation. 

I'm working my list now by rewatching... so many things, and I think there's a legitimate possibility I won't end up with any Nakamura Title matches on my list, and only one Finn or Joe Title match, and that one won't place high.

I'm honestly curious if any NXT Title Match from those 3 would place in my top 5 NXT Title matches ever... It's an interesting run down so far.

BTW, I don't think it'd make my top 20, but I really enjoyed going through 2013 NXT and finding a really fun Kassius Ohno vs. Luke Harper match.

 

Also, off the top of my head, not nearly enough credit being given to the incredibly smartly worked DIY vs. Revival vs. Authors of Pain match. That was great stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pre-Takeover era, but there’s an excellent Kassius Ohno vs William Regal match I can remember.

Where does Wargames fit into these lists? I was there live and I may be biased, but that match was incredible.

and Velveteen Dream vs Aleister Black has to be up there as well, but I saw that live too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm too lazy to make a real order. My top ten (no order):

  • Almas/Gargano - Takerover Philadelphia 2018
  • Revival/DIY - Takeover Brooklyn II
  • Revival/DIY - Takeover Toronto
  • Banks/Bayley - Takeover Brooklyn
  • Banks/Bayley - Takeover Respect
  • Asuka/Ember - Takeover Brooklyn III
  • Asuka/Cross - NXT 6/28/17
  • Revival vs. DIY vs. AoP - Takeover Orlando
  • Dream/Black - Takeover WarGames
  • AoP/Strong vs. Undispute Era vs. Sanity - Takeover WarGames

If I extended it I would definitely have the Roode/Nakamura and Dunne/Bate matches. Was never as high on the big Zayn matches as others were. I like Joe, but I don't think he has had a match in NXT or the main roster I see as truly great. The stuff with Roman comes the closest. The match where he bleed with Finn is second closest. I don''t really care much for Strong so the Roode matches only did so much for me even being as good as they were. I never saw Regal's NXT matches.

6 minutes ago, Lawful Metal said:

Pre-Takeover era, but there’s an excellent Kassius Ohno vs William Regal match I can remember.

Where does Wargames fit into these lists? I was there live and I may be biased, but that match was incredible.

and Velveteen Dream vs Aleister Black has to be up there as well, but I saw that live too.

Look at my list. Both are easy top ten for me. I kind of wish I went.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What show is the Sasha/Becky one? I am sure I have seen it because last year I watched a bunch of hyped Horsewomen matches. But I forget what show, and I might rewatch. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Captain Kronos said:

What show is the Sasha/Becky one? I am sure I have seen it because last year I watched a bunch of hyped Horsewomen matches. But I forget what show, and I might rewatch. 

Takeover Unstoppable

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a top five I feel pretty damn good about, beyond that... Maybe six

1. DIY/Revival 2/3 Toronto - this is the best, just the perfect blend of a great old school southern tag with modern offense. Has a legitimate claim to being arguably the best WWWF/WWF/WWE match ever.

2. Sasha Banks vs Bayley Iron Man - For thirty minutes they delivered a masterpiece.

3. Drew MacIntyre vs. Bobby Roode Brooklyn III - the best of a run I like more than anyone. Paid off things from every Roode title match.

4. Bayley vs Sasha Banks Brooklyn - The women's division basically spent two years building to this point, where they left no question they were the show stealers

5. Roderick Strong vs Bobby Roode title match - incredible build and Bobby beat him up in front of his family

6. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode Orlando - Nak's best US match to date

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Brian Fowler is the Roode/Styles ironman match from TNA your favourite match? I feel like that's the best Bobby Roode match I've seen and it does a much better job of what his main event NXT matches tried to do. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Favorite? No.

Really really fucking great? Yes.

I wish GWN would add the Spike Impact episodes so I could rewatch it and the rematch back to back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd have to watch all of Roode's NXT matches again to evaluate where he stands with the best NXT performances. He's been a great character since Team Canada, Beer Money had some terrific matches, and he's had consistently  good singles output since around the year he challenged Angle at BFG. I sort of fell off on NXT around the time he came in, so that might be a good place to start a deep dive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If post-match angles count, I'd have to put AOP/DIY from Takeover Chicago in a top 20 list somewhere. I liked the match to start with, and then the Ciampa heel turn put if over the top for me. The Owens/Balor ladder match is worthy of some consideration as well, since I really like how they used the ladders for additional violence, as opposed to most ladder matches which seem to focus on jumping off the ladder for a big pop.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...