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WWE NXT TakeOver 25 recap, results and grades: 2 new champions and a MOTY candidate

WWE NXT TakeOver 25 recap
WWE held their 25th NXT TakeOver event and we have the recap. Pic credit: WWE

It seems almost hard to believe, but this is the 25th NXT TakeOver event and the first that takes place on a weekend without a major WWE PPV also taking place.

Five years since the first TakeOver event, here is a look at the WWE NXT TakeOver 25 recap, as well as the grades for the matches and a review of the event.

Roderick Strong vs. Matt Riddle

Representing Undisputed Era, Roderick Strong is out for the first match and he has his hands full in this match. His opponent is former UFC star, Matt Riddle.

I love how NXT blackens the lights over the audience and only lights up the ring. It is so different and keeps us focused on the action in the ring.

Dear God, this match was amazing.

The match started off strangely, with the two hitting each other with realistic looking moves and nothing looked choreographed right, but that made it look very hard hitting.

However, about halfway through, it picked up and these two turned in a match where it looked like either man could win. The reversals and counters were brilliantly done and this was easily Riddle’s best match since he joined NXT.

Riddle hit a Cradle Tombstone Piledriver for the win.

Winner: Matt Riddle (****)

Road Dogg is shown with Shawn Michaels and the announcers explain that they are now both part of the NXT creative team.

NXT Tag Team Championship Ladder Match: Forgotten Sons vs. Undisputed Era vs. Burch and Lorcan vs. Street Profits

The Viking Raiders were the NXT tag team champions and were called up to the main roster, so they gave up their titles. This match will determine the new tag team champions.

This is Street Profits first TakeOver match. They took some time off from NXT to go to Evolve to work on their teamwork. Angelo Dawkins is an NXT original, btw.

The Undisputed Era is the only team in this match to be former tag team champions (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly).

This was a hard-hitting match with all four teams just tearing things up but then Jackson Ryker came down to the ring and just beat the hell out of everyone to help his team, the Forgotten Sons.

However, in a huge crowd-pleasing moment, all three teams just joined forces to destroy Ryker before they went back to fighting each other.

The might be the most violent match I have seen in WWE in a long time.

The ending was very nice. Undisputed Era and Lorcan and Burch were all at the top of the ladder, fighting for position when Forgotten Sons came in and knocked over both ladders.

As the Sons were climbing the ladder, Street Profits came in, took out the Sons, with Montez Ford leaping from the top turnbuckle onto the ladder and then climbing to the top and grabbed the titles to become the new NXT tag team champions.

Ther Street Profits celebrated with fans in the audience.

Winners: Street Profits (***)

North American Championship: Velveteen Dream vs. Tyler Breeze

Tyler Breeze has returned to NXT from the main roster. After years of neglect on the main roster, Breeze is back to where he was a star.

Breeze has to be happy to be back because he was given a chance to show how great he is and deliver a long and fantastic match with Velveteen Dream. How long has it been since fans chanted “this is awesome” in a Tyler Breeze match?

But, as with all Breeze’s old NXT matches, he fell short.

Velveteen Dream was outside the ring and Tyler Breeze couldn’t get him back in. He went in and begged the referee to stop counting Dream out. Then Dream brought int he title, but Breeze grabbed it and gave it to the referee.

This allowed Dream to hit the Death Valley Driver and then the Purple Rainmaker for the win.

Dream used Breeze’s phone to take a selfie after the match and then taunted him after the match. Breeze then took a selfie of them after that, showing respect.

Winner: Velveteen Dream (****)

NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler vs. Io Shirai

Io Shirai was, at one time, called the best wrestler in Japan — man or woman. For this match, Shayna Baszler came to the ring without her Horsewomen companions.

This was like no other Shayna Baszler match and Io Shirai delivered the most competition that anyone has ever given Baszler.

This caused the Horsewomen to run down but Candace LeRae ran down with a kendo stick and saved her friend from the interference.

Io missed a giant moonsault and then Baszler locked in her submission, which Shirai turned into a pinfall attempt but Baszler got it locked in again and knocked out Shirai.

It was a great end as Shirai fought the entire time but Baszler wouldn’t let go and kept Shirai in the ring and away from the ropes.

In an amazing moment, the babyface Io Shirai attacked Shayna Baszler during her celebration and then beat the hell out of her with the kendo stick. She hit the moonsault and then asked for a chair and his a second moonsault from the top with the chair.

For maybe the first time, Baszler was left lying in the ring in pain and LaRae looked very concerned about Shirai’s postmatch breakdown. The fans all chanted “you deserve this” as Baszler was down in the ring.

Winner: Shayna Baszler (****)

NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole

It should be noted that Tomasso Ciampa is in attendance and has been cleared for non-in-ring action.

Adam Cole actually has a guy live rapping a song based on his theme as he walks to the ring.

This match, as is almost all Johnny Gargano matches, was perfect and Adam Cole turned in one of the best matches since he made his NXT debut. This match was easily the best WWE match this year.

Cole hit the Panama Sunrise and then the Last Shot to beat Johnny Gargano and win the NXT Championship cleanly, without needing any help from the Undisputed Era.

Winner: Adam Cole (*****)