NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia results – Jan. 27, 2018: Gargano battered, broken as Ciampa returns
The first TakeOver of 2018 saw no shortage of shocking developments, from the devastation of Johnny Gargano’s failed quest to dethrone NXT Champion Andrade "Cien" Almas, to a lawless Extreme Rules Match between Aleister Black and Adam Cole.
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NXT Tag Team Champions Undisputed ERA def. The Authors of Pain
PHIALDELPHIA – NXT Tag Team Champions Undisputed ERA navigated the destructive path of The Authors of Pain en route to an impressive and hard-fought title defense at TakeOver: Philadelphia.
This huge title showdown proved to be every bit as brutal as imagined. The combination of Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly’s damaging strikes colliding with Akam & Rezar’s dominating power made this contest one of the hardest-hitting battles in recent memory.
Akam & Rezar wasted no time going on the offensive, knocking the titleholders from the ring before the bell even rang. The Authors of Pain lived up to their name early on, dominating the champions with a devastating ground and pound attack.
The NXT Tag Team Champions seemed overwhelmed by the strength and aggressiveness of their challengers but found an opening after Akam appeared to injure his left knee when he landed off the top rope.
The wily Fish & O’Reilly wasted no time pouncing on the injured AOP member, targeting the weakened limb with a litany of kicks and submission holds.
Akam eventually managed to tag Rezar into the contest as the rested AOP monster proceeded to decimate both Fish & O’Reilly. The numbers advantage would become too much, however, as Undisputed ERA neutralized Rezar to bring the match back to a standoff.
After a furious back-and-forth, Paul Ellering’s monsters seemed destined to become two-time NXT Tag Team Champions as they set up Undisputed ERA for the Super Collider. Rezar delivered a powerbomb to Fish, but Akam’s knee appeared to give out, allowing O’Reilly to hurricanrana him into his tag team partner. O’Reilly instantaneously rolled up Akam to pick up the pinfall.
With Fish & O’Reilly overcoming one of NXT’s most commanding and feared tag teams ever, is there anyone who can stop Undisputed ERA?
Velveteen Dream def. Kassius Ohno
For the second straight TakeOver event, The Velveteen Dream Experience stole the show, but this time the rising young Superstar took home the “W.”
Despite their TakeOver: Philadelphia match being announced just days before the event, the disdain between Dream and Kassius Ohno was clear from the beginning of this contest.
Earlier in the evening, as Dream accepted the 2017 NXT Year-End Award for Rivalry of the Year, the high-flying provocateur predicted a knockout victory within 30 seconds. The crowd at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center made sure Dream lived up to his promise as they loudly counted to 30 to begin the contest. Doing his best Muhammad Ali impersonation, Dream delivered with a right hook that leveled Ohno and brought the NXT Universe into a frenzy.
Instead of going for the pin, Dream jumped for joy as he demanded the referee count to 10. As Dream basked in his greatness, Ohno answered the 10-count and proceeded to level his opponent with a huge right elbow, knocking out the flamboyant Superstar’s mouth guard.
The physical bout went from resembling a boxing fight to a wrestling match soon after Ohno’s vicious elbow, with both competitors trading high-impact maneuvers.
The Knockout Artist seemed like he had victory within his grasp after delivering his trademark Rolling Elbow, but Dream kicked out at two.
The charismatic Dream answered by showing off his immense strength as he picked Ohno up on his shoulders with a rolling Death Valley Driver. Dream climbed to the top rope before actually stepping back on top of the ring post to hit his Purple Rainmaker for the victory.
After withstanding Ohno’s onslaught of jaw-rattling strikes to pick up the momentum-changing victory, Velveteen Dream once-again has the NXT Universe saying his name.
NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon def. Shayna Baszler
Baszler arrived in NXT just weeks ago, but immediately made her commanding presence felt when she attacked Kairi Sane from behind. Since then, Baszler has bullied her way around NXT and her NXT Women’s Title Match against Moon was no different.
Moon landed the first big blow via a head-first dive through the ropes, taking out Baszler outside the ring. The Queen of Spades took control of the contest from there, targeting Moon’s left arm.
The callous Baszler stepped on Moon’s left hand before ruthlessly stomping on the champion’s arm just like Baszler’s assault on Dakota Kai two weeks prior. Baszler proceeded to target Moon’s left arm throughout the match with various submission holds, but The NXT War Goddess would rise above her challenger’s attack.
Standing on the top rope, Moon hit her challenger with the Eclipse, but couldn’t take advantage due to her injured left arm. Medical personnel were called to the ring to check on Moon, who refused to stop the match.
As Moon went to pick Baszler up off the mat, the former MMA fighter locked in a devastating armbar on the champion. Moon somehow managed to get her foot on the rope to break the hold, but Baszler continued to work Moon’s left arm.
Suddenly out of nowhere, as Baszler continued to lock in a submission, Moon used her weight to pin Baszler’s shoulders to the mat and pick up the stunning victory.
After the contest, an irate Queen of Spades jumped Moon from behind, locking her in the Kirifuda Clutch. WWE officials tried to pull Baszler off, but the unforgiving Baszler locked the hold on once more before leaving the champion laid out on the entrance ramp.
Aleister Black def. Adam Cole in an Extreme Rules Match
Aleister Black claims to be neither saint nor sinner, but he may just be the most dangerous force in NXT.
The tattooed enigma continued to tear through the competition, but this time, did it under Extreme circumstances against one of the most celebrated competitors in the world.
Adam Cole was the first to go for a weapon in this Extreme Rules Match, but Black dodged Cole’s swinging chair strike, kicking the leader of Undisputed ERA from the ring.
This Extreme Rules clash quickly lived up to its name when Cole superkicked a chair into the face of Black, who then fell from the second rope through two tables outside the ring.
Somehow that wasn’t enough to keep Black down for the three-count, who fought back with his own Extreme assault, slamming Cole on the top of the backs of two chairs.
The NXT Tag Team Champions looked to inflict further damage to Black, but SAnitY arrived looking for retribution. Alexander Wolfe & Eric Young evened the odds before Killian Dain destroyed those odds with a dive through the ropes on top of the NXT Tag Team titleholders and his own SAnitY cohorts.
On the other side of the ring, Black soared above Cole, literally stomping The Panama City Playboy through the announce table.
As both embattled competitors climbed back into the squared circle, Cole delivered a superkick to Black, laying him out cold. Cole then went for the final blow via steel chair strike, but Black out of nowhere sprung up to his feet to nail his Black Mass kick for the pinfall.
With another impactful victory to his name – and over one of the greatest wrestlers in the world to boot – what’s next for Aleister Black?
NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas def. Johnny Gargano
El Idolo and Johnny Wrestling both lived up to their sterling in-ring reputations, putting on an early Match of the Year candidate.
With his family watching at ringside – including his wife and new NXT signee Candice LeRae – Gargano was razor-focused early on. The NXT Champion matched his challenger’s intensity though, as both in-ring technicians used the match’s beginning stages to test the waters.
The pace of this main event clash quickly reached a fevered pace that refused to slow down until the final moment as champion and challenger went back-and-forth, exchanging one spectacular maneuver after another.
The NXT Universe in Philadelphia stood in appreciation, chanting “NXT!” as Almas and Gargano traded an extraordinary exchange of moves that you had to see to believe.
The challenger had momentum on his side and the champion on his heels as the crowd rose to their feet. With Gargano standing in the corner, readying for a potential finishing blow, Zelina Vega reached out and tried to grab Gargano’s foot. The move from Almas’ business manager distracted Gargano long enough for the titleholder to kick him into the turnbuckle.
Almas later delivered a potential knockout blow when he delivered a double foot stomp onto Garagno as the Cleveland native hung from the top turnbuckle outside the ring. Almas doubled and tripled down on his assault, slamming Gargano’s back against the side of the ring. Almas then stormed ahead, hitting his challenger with a double knee strike in the corner. But, alas, it was not enough to keep giant-hearted Gargano down for the three-count.
Both men somehow forged on in this marathon battle, with Johnny Wrestling locking in his Gargano Escape submission move. It looked as though this could be the moment Gargano had been waiting his entire life for, but Vega once again inserted herself into the match by pulling her client’s arm over to the rope. Adding insult to injury, as the referee admonished Vega, the champion raked Gargano’s eyes.
With Gargano putting on his best “Rocky” impression and fighting until he had nothing left, Vega pounced once again, hitting the challenger with a hurricanrana that sent him face-first into the steel steps outside the ring. The NXT Champion then delivered his trademark hammerlock DDT back inside the ring, but somehow Gargano kicked out at two.
Gargano rolled to the outside as Vega raced to level another assault. This time, however, LeRae had seen enough, jumping the barrier to cut Vega off with a takedown to the ground. The NXT Universe roared in approval as LeRae unleashed a fury of punches on Vega who LeRae chased through the crowd. This epic NXT Championship Match had reached complete bedlam.
Back in the ring, Gargano hit a slingshot DDT on Almas, but the champion showed his own jaw-dropping resilience by kicking out. After managing to reach the ropes and break the Gargano Escape submission, Almas went on the offensive once again by hitting his opponent with a double knee strike against the ring post. The referee checked on Gargano as the NXT announce team speculated that the referee may need stop the match.
Almas didn’t wait, hanging Gargano’s legs up on the top rope, hitting his hammerlock DDT back inside the ring for the pinfall. This five-star NXT Championship Match had come to an end with Almas reigning supreme.
Following the heartbreaking loss, Gargano and LeRae stood at the top of the entrance ramp, taking in the crowd’s roaring approval. Just as TakeOver: Philadelphia was about to go off the air, out of nowhere, Tommaso Ciampa nailed his former best friend and #DIY tag team partner with his crutch. As Gargano lay battered and beaten on the ramp, Ciampa stared coldly with a heartless gaze.