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NXT TakeOver: New York Review and Ratings

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Ralph Arvesen

NXT TakeOver: New York

Date: April 5, 2019

Location: Barclays Center, New York City, NY

NXT TakeOver: New York was a wrestling fans dream. During WrestleMania weekend, WWE’s developmental brand may have put on the best show. Perhaps not so coincidentally, the two highest rated matches of the evening were title changes. All five matches on the show were strong, each receiving a minimum of 3.5 Stars of David.

Here’s everything that happened at TakeOver and our Star of David Ratings for each of them.

NXT Tag Team Championship: War Raiders (C) vs. Ricochet and Aleister Black

Hanson and Rowe hit the fallout on Ricochet to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship. After the match, Ricochet and Aleister Black said goodbye to the NXT fans.

Aleister Black and Ricochet have been incredible on the main roster. They even got a spot on the WrestleMania card. So, going into this match, they weren’t expected to win. That didn’t stop them from putting on an incredible match.

Rowe and Hanson showed respect throughout the match through little nods and teases. It was almost as if they were honored to be passed the torch by two of NXT best in 2018.

Ricochet is typically the slam-dunk pick for highlight of the match, but Hanson decided to try and match his athleticism. Hanson tried cartwheeling, backspringing and flipping off the ring post—all of which were jaw-dropping.

The match was great, but the crowd fell into the trap of cheering too hard too early. It didn’t ruin the match by any means, but there seems to be an excitement amongst fans in the venue that doesn’t translate well over television, where most people watch the show. One huge and rather random pop was warranted, though. A light was beaming into the audience for the first few minutes of the show, blinding fans. Fans are right to cheer for being able to see a show they paid tons of money for.

War Raiders def. Aleister Black and Ricochet to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship (4.25 Stars of David)

Piper Niven and Toni Storm were shown in the front row.

NXT North American Championship: Velveteen Dream (C) vs. Matt Riddle

The Velveteen Dream eeked out a win by reversing a bromission attempt into a pin on Matt Riddle.

For most of the match, Riddle looked dominant. A true monster. It was only after multiple kickouts that people began to believe Dream was going to win. Riddle’s facial expressions are so good it’s easy to believe he’s actually distraught Dream kicked out.

Riddle could go to the main roster this week if Vince wants to call him up. Based on the way he put over Dream and blew a kiss to the crowd, the idea isn’t so absurd. He proved in this match that he’s ready for the push. Meanwhile, Dream can go on and have the traditional NXT title reign until he’s called up, possibly around SummerSlam.

The Velveteen Dream def. Matt Riddle to retain the NXT North American Championship (3.75 Stars of David)

Kushida was in the front row. They showed a video of him signing.

WWE UK Championship: Pete Dunne (C) vs. WALTER

WALTER dethroned Pete Dunne as the WWE UK Champion, ending a near two-year title reign.

Dunne has been nothing short of phenomenal since he first won the title. Every time a challenger emerged during his reign, they seemed unworthy of winning the title. Well, until WALTER. The Austrian big man was chopping Pierre Carl Ouellet’s chest purple at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2 only a year ago. Now, he’s the WWE UK Champion.

WALTER’s size and thunderous chops are what’s talked about most, but during this match he showed exactly what makes him so special. He’s a heel through and through. His character forces fans to hate him. And while they may not have wanted Dunne to lost the championship, they certainly understand the shift.

Dunne was no slouch. Both men stretched and bludgeoned one another to the point that legitimate injury was a concern. Dunne fought until the very end, targeting fingers and utilizing more aerial attacks than usual. In the end, WALTER’s brute strength proved to be too much for Dunne.

Dunne can now go off to the main roster, where he belongs, and WALTER should be set to lead NXT UK for the next year or so.

WALTER def. Pete Dunne to become the new NXT UK Champion (4.75 Stars of David)

NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler (C) vs. Kairi Sane vs. Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair

Shayna Baszler submitted Bianca Belair in a fatal four way to keep her second title reign alive.

Belair had things all but won with a double KOD on Io Shirai and Kairi Sane. Then, Baszler ran back into the ring and locked in the kirifuda clutch on her. It was rather shocking to see Baszler retain because the three on one mentality seemed to take her out of the match. Of course, that was the swerve.

Shirai and Sane worked together for most of the match, turning on each other when it was only necessary. Ultimately, it was when they focused on one another that they became most vulnerable. Regardless, both women proved they’re worthy of a main roster spot. A programme between them and the Boss and Hug Connection would get over well.

Obviously, Baszler is staying in NXT, but what will happen to Belair? They could continue this programme, but it’s far more likely she’ll be a top contender for the woman who does take down Baszler.

Shayna Baszler submitted Bianca Belair to retain the NXT Women’s Championship (3.50 Stars of David)

NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole

Johnny Gargano completed his year-long quest to become NXT Champion.

While it was supposed to be Gargano-Ciampa in the main event, Gargano-Cole proved to be more than an okay substitute. The same energy was in the building as if this were the same blood feud. In a way, Cole was the guy taking Gargano’s place with Ciampa injured. But WWE chose to go the same route they would’ve with Ciampa, putting Gargano over.

Cole got the first fall, setting the stage for a dramatic Gargano comeback. He could’ve evened things up with a countout, but in true babyface fashion, Gargano stopped the ref’s count. Things paid off for him as Cole tapped quickly to the Gargano escape, but it looked like a mistake for a moment.

The last fall wasn’t easy. Gargano had to withstand all of Cole’s attacks and fight off the rest of the Undisputed, who came out to help their leader when things were all but hopeless for him. This lead to the ref taking a bump and missing Cole tap out to the Gargano escape.  A run-in earlier would’ve felt cheap, but Gargano emerging victorious over four guys this late in the match drew a huge pop.

Cole, of course, got some intense near falls before getting locked into the Gargano escape again. He tapped out and the crowd embraced Johnny Wrestling as their champion.

After the match, Ciampa crept up behind Gargano to give him a hug and raise his arms in victory. It was supposed to play out differently, but this is the scene everyone wanted to see.

Johnny Gargano def. Adam Cole ina  2-out-of-3 falls match to become NXT Champion (5 Stars of David)

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Secretary of State gives you a way to show team Pride

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The Michigan Secretary of State unveiled Detroit professional sports license plates today.

Now you can show your support with more than just a bumper sticker, and a window decal, and a flag pendant.

The biggest decision facing Detroit-area sports fans is which one to order. No matter which one you choose the proceeds will go to the team charities.

Each plate costs $35 with $25 going to the charity foundation of whichever plate you order.

You can order your plates here. Which one will you choose?

For more great content visit Michigan Sports and Entertainment: News, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Podcasts, Store

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Which wrestlers moved to Raw in WWE’s Superstar Shakeup?

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WWE’s annual Superstar Shakeup is among us, and some significant changes have already been made to the wrestling landscape. After three hours of Raw, several SmackDown members moved over to the red brand. But they weren’t the only ones affected. Some NXT call-ups were made, and 205 Live was in the mix too. We’ll break down all the big moves and what it could mean for the future of WWE.

Superstars headed to Raw

The Miz

Once again, the Miz has switched brands during the shakeup coming to Raw from SmackDown Live! He’s now changed brands during all three Superstar Shakeups. Over the years, the Miz has strived for success regardless of the role he’s given. Expect the Miz to be a featured weekly on Raw and for MizTV to move to the red brand too. Miz will be the continuing his first major babyface run in the company, so the constant brand switching isn’t overdone. Everyone he was unable to feud with as a heel is fair game now that he’s a face. Don’t be surprised if the Miz wins the Universal Championship over the next year.

Viking Experience

The Viking Experience was known as the NXT champion War Raiders. Despite leaping the main roster, it appears the Viking Experience still have their belts. Along with the new tag team name, they received new character names. Instead of being Hanson and Rowe, they are now known as Ivar and Erik. The internet almost exploded with this news, and not in a good way. Even with a goofy name, the Viking Experience has a high upside in a relatively weak tag team division. Hopefully, they don’t wallow and become the next Authors of Pain on the main roster.

Cedric Alexander

Cedric Alexander is the first wrestler to move from 205 Live via the superstar shakeup. Based on the number of four-star matches we’ve rated involving him, Alexander has a high upside. It will be nice to see him have the opportunity to face Raw superstars, like Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn. 205 Live has been jokingly referred to as wrestling purgatory. If Alexander does well, it’s possible Vince McMahon will be more open to smaller guys joining the main roster.

Andrade and Zelina Vega

Andrade is one of the best wrestlers in all of WWE. His move from SmackDown to Raw creates so many new matchups, including Finn Balor who he faced tonight. The WWE was smart to keep the dynamic duo of Andrade and Zelina Vega together. His English isn’t the best, but Vega is a fiery mouthpiece that can supplement and translate his passionate promos. If he’s allowed to move to the upper tiers of Raw, Andrade can be the biggest Hispanic superstars in all of professional wrestling.

Rey Mysterio

Speaking of Hispanic superstars, Rey Mysterio also moved to Raw from SmackDown during the shakeup. Many fans feel like Mysterio’s real home is SmackDown live. Unfortunately for them, he will have to make do with Raw for the next year. At least fans will likely get to see more great matches between Mysterio and Andrade. At this point in Mysterio’s career, he’s here to get younger talent over with the fans. Fans should appreciate everything Mysterio still does in the ring. It’s unbelievable that he can still keep up after decades of work.

The Usos

The Usos joining Raw was perhaps the most obvious move made during the shakeup. After losing the SmackDown tag titles last week, many assumed the brand switch was imminent. Raw has lacked tag team depth for over a year, and the Usos are in the discussion for the best tag team in the world. So, the Usos should really help that depth issue Raw has been having. Hopefully, the Revival stay on Raw, and an Usos-Revival feud can play out.

Naomi

Naomi will be joining her husband, Jimmy Uso. This seems like a nice move on the WWE’s part. Naomi has been on SmackDown live for the past two years. So this should be a good change-up for Naomi, who has faced everyone SmackDown Live has to offer.

The interesting thing about Naomi was her placement on the show. Amid reports that Sasha Banks is unhappy with WWE and threatening to leave the company, Naomi filled in as Bayley’s tag partner. The replacement isn’t final by any means, but it’s still unclear if and when Banks will be back.

Lacey Evans

After months of going back and forth on Raw and SmackDown Live, Lacey Evans is officially on Raw. Her gimmick of walking down the ramp at random moments and then walking backstage was paid off after WrestleMania when she attacked Becky Lynch. WWE sees a high upside in Evans, but many fans are already sour on her. If she can keep improving in the ring, maybe she can live up to their expectations. But then again, isn’t that what NXT is for?

Eric Young

Eric Young was the leader of Sanity. The group got called up last year and got minimal time on SmackDown Live. With them doing nothing, it was probably time to remove one member from the group. Young is the most likely to succeed on his own at this point. So, the WWE likely made the right choice to move Young from the group, instead of splitting up Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe.

“The house that AJ Styles built” is going to have a new owner because Styles is now on Monday Night Raw. Over the past couple years, Styles has done everything imaginable on SmackDown, including a year-long championship reign. Raw will hold a lot of new challenges for Styles, especially when it comes to fresh opponents. Some possible new dream programs are with Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, and Braun Strowman. Fans have been wanting a feud between Styles and Rollins for a long time. A potential WrestleMania 36 match between the two in-ring generals would get fans excited.

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Sports Carnage Episode 21: Final Four Recap, NBA & NHL Playoff Previews, Paul George’s Greatness (Or Not), and Our Worst Takes Relived

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Matt, Dylan, Paul and Ryan recap the Final Four while Paul bathes in righteous glory, finally get to the NBA talk Ryan and Matt have been thirsting after, talk potential upsets early in the NBA and NHL Playoffs, and cop to their worst takes in the past year(ish).

Subscribe: PodBean OR Itunes

Download this episode: PodBean OR Itunes

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