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NXT: TakeOver Portland: Results and Review

Predictions Showdown—Who Got It Right?

Another PPV has been and gone and after NXT: TakeOver Portland there’s a very good chance that your friendly neighborhood wrestling writer might just jack it all in and take up another line of work.

To say it didn’t go well for me would be an understatement, but nothing ventured, nothing gained and it’s not a sprint it’s a marathon, etc., etc., cliche, cliche.

So what went down and how did we fare?

Read on to find out.

Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic NXT: TakeOver Portland title card

NXT North American Championship: Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic

I hate to repeat myself, and God forbid I’d ever want to sound like a WWE commentator, but whenever Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic, and Damian Priest step inside the squared circle, they really are redefining what it means to be a big man in wrestling today.

Tonight was no exception.

Lee and Dijakovic tore the house down in the opening match of the night and set the tone for the rest of the show. And even though there were a couple of close calls, I was convinced that Dijakovic was going to drop Lee on the top his head every time he hoisted him on his shoulders. The number of near falls and genuine “Oh My God!” moments made it impossible for me to tear my eyes away from this.

Lee would eventually pick up the win, but Dijakovic came out of this looking like a complete beast of a man.

Winner And Still NXT North American Champion: Keith Lee

Our Predictions: 

The FlackKeith Lee

Andrew Grevas: Keith Lee

Neil Gray: Keith Lee

Conor O’Donnell: Keith Lee

Score So Far: One Point Each.

Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai NXT: TakeOver Portland title card

Street Fight: Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai

I was so into this match that the ending almost ruined the entire PPV.

Now I admit that that might sound a tad dramatic, but it’s the truth and judging by the crowd’s reaction, I wasn’t the only one who blew a gasket when Raquel Gonzalez rushed the ring to ruin this brilliant fight.

It was bad booking of Vince Russo proportions and even had our Evil Overlord Andrew Grevas point out that Kai;

needed to win on her own to really establish her as someone moving up the ladder.”

He wasn’t wrong.

Winner: Dakota Kai

Our Predictions: 

The Flack: Dakota Kai

Andrew Grevas: Dakota Kai

Neil Gray: Tegan Nox

Conor O’Donnell: Dakota Kai

Score So Far:

Flackett, Grevas, and O’Donnell: Two Points

Gray: One Point

Finn Balor vs Johnny Gargano

Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano

This was as close to a NJPW match as you’ll ever see in the WWE and it was glorious.

From the first bell to the last, Balor and Gargano put on a clinic in story-telling and paced the whole bout to perfection.

A slow burn that would eventually break out into a war, this was my Fight of the Night and should be required viewing for anyone who signs on to or already works for the black and yellow brand.

Now for The Prince to move onto the title.

Winner: Finn Balor

Our Predictions: 

The Flack: Finn Balor

Andrew Grevas: Finn Balor

Neil Gray: Finn Balor

Conor O’Donnell: Finn Balor

Score So Far:

Flackett, Grevas, and O’Donnell: Three Points

Gray: Two Points

Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair

NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley vs Bianca Belair

Damn it the brain, why did you convince me that the Wrestlemania bout would become a Triple Threat?

Do you really hate me that much?

Outside the fact that I couldn’t pick my nose without poking myself in the eye, let alone pick the winner of a wrestling match, this was a very good performance by both Ripley and Belair.

It wasn’t going to be easy for anyone having to follow Balor and Gargano, but these two did a hell of a job and managed to leave their mark on NXT: TakeOver Portland.

And Charlotte showing up to nail Ripley after she’d picked up the win, announcing that she would be taking her Wrestlemania challenge, was just the icing on the cake.

Winner And Still NXT Women’s Champion: Rhea Ripley

Our Predictions: 

The Flack: Rhea Ripley

Andrew Grevas: Rhea Ripley

Neil Gray: Bianca Belair

Conor O’Donnell: Rhea Ripley

Score So Far:

Flackett, Grevas, and O’Donnell: Four Points

Gray: Two Points

Undisputed Era vs. The Broserweights

NXT Tag-Team Championship: The Undisputed Era vs. The Broserweights

The action just didn’t stop through-out NXT: TakeOver Portland and this match was no exception.

I love the Undisputed Era and even though I’m not the biggest Matt Riddle fan I can see the attraction to of The Broserweights if you’re willing to switch your brain off and accept Pete Dunne playing a comedy role for a change.

There were a few times I actually thought that O’Reilly and Fish would indeed upset the apple cart and retain, but there seems to be no stopping The Broserweights and they wouldn’t be denied, coming away with the win and becoming the new NXT Tag-Team Champions.

Winners And New NXT Tag-Team Champions: The Broserweights

Our Predictions: 

The Flack: The Broserweights

Andrew Grevas: The Broserweights

Neil Gray: The Broserweights

Conor O’Donnell: The Broserweights

Score So Far:

Flackett, Grevas, and O’Donnell: Five Points

Gray: Three Points

Adam Cole

NXT Championship: Adam Cole vs. Tomasso Ciampa

This match was superb, which is why the ending pissed me off so much.

Nobody needed it, nobody wanted it, and if the idea was to get people crying out “Why Johnny, why?” all they managed to get people to cry out was “This is bullshit.”

Look, we all expected Adam Cole to have help from the Undisputed Era, that’s what factions do, but to have Gargano be the one to screw his friend/enemy/whatever the f*ck they’re supposed to be this week over was just lazy writing.

Cole could’ve won fair and square, well as fair and square as interference from the UE could be, but what actually happened was almost as if the company were admitting that they’d painted themselves into a corner and had no idea how to get themselves out of it.

I fully expect some bullcrap on this week’s NXT where Gargano claims he had some sort of epiphany while he was staring at the lights earlier in the evening and that’s why he turned heel.

It was Bull-Honky of the highest order.

Winner And Still NXT Champion: Adam Cole

Our Predictions: 

The Flack: Adam Cole

Andrew Grevas: Adam Cole

Neil Gray: Tomasso Ciampa

Conor O’Donnell: Tomasso Ciampa

Score So Far:

Flackett and Grevas: Six Points

O’Donnell: Five Points

Gray: Three Points

NXT Happy

Overall Rating: B+

I really wanted to give this show the highest possible mark of A+ but those two dodgy finishes just took the shine off of it for me.

There was no need for either match to end with outside interference in the way they did. Kai would’ve benefited from a straight out victory and Cole could’ve picked up the win without Gargano’s help, but this is the WWE after all and they have to mess with things somewhere or they don’t feel as if they’ve done their job.

Still, bar those two annoyances, NXT: TakeOver Portland was a roaring success and shows why the black and yellow brand is the best show that the company has to offer these days.

RAW and SmackDown should take notes; this is how you put out a product that people really want to see.

As for our own little war we have going on among The Wrestling Cabal, as I said in the introduction of this article, it didn’t go well for me at all.

Both The Flack and The Power Mad Grevas walked away with the win this time around, amassing the maximum six points available, while Professor O’Donnell picked up five and Neil “JOB Squad” Gray could only manage three, leaving the table looking like this;

Andrew Grevas: 11 Points

Conor O’Donnell: 9 Points

Christopher Flackett: 9 Points

Neil Gray: 6 Points

But I have only just begun to fight and with AEW Revolution just around the corner, I will strike like an RKO out of nowhere, or mistime it completely and botch another Showdown.

We shall see.

Written by Neil Gray

The podcast master. The Old Metal Bar-Steward and Weekly Wrestling Ruminations are now available on Spotify and iTunes.

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