WWE NXT TakeOver Toronto Results: Star Ratings for Cole vs. Gargano, Each Match
No matter what trials and tribulations WWE is going through, one aspect that never seems to fail is NXT since every TakeOver event manages to equal or surpass its predecessors.
TakeOver: Toronto 2019 on Saturday felt like it could be one of the best the black and gold brand has ever put on, as every match had massive potential.
With all the titles up for grabs and a through line of The Undisputed Era's quest to obtain every championship, as well as Shayna Baszler, Mia Yim, Candice LeRae and a heel Io Shirai holding down the fort for the women's division, this would surely be good.
Now that the dust has settled, how did things pan out? Was the potential for greatness capitalized on or wasted?
Let's break down all of the matches to see what parts of the night fell short of expectations and which segments were worth the hype.
Star Ratings Explanation
As with any scale or system that is based on opinion, everything is subjective.
There are several approaches to star ratings. Some hold strict that a five-star rating should only be used in the rarest of cases and should be nearly impossible to obtain. Others throw the term Match of the Year around like it's nothing.
Ratings are also a product of their time. What was a classic decades ago might be boring to some now.
It's important to keep in mind that everything in this review will be based on personal preferences, with as much of a mix of public opinion thrown in as possible. But if you happen to disagree and think a match should be rated higher or lower, you have the power to give your ratings in the comments section.
Here is an explanation of what this scale equates to in terms of its representation and purpose:
- ***** = 10/10. A classic that will be remembered forever.
- ****½ = 9/10. Amazing. Just shy of perfect. A Match of the Year contender.
- **** = 8/10. Great.
- ***½ = 7/10. Very good.
- *** = 6/10. Above average; good.
- **½ = 5/10. Average; just OK.
- ** = 4/10. Below average; bad.
- *½ = 3/10. Very bad.
- * = 2/10. Awful.
- ½* = 1/10. Terrible. Effectively worthless.
- 0 = 0/10. Reserved for rare worst-case scenarios.
Street Profits def. Undisputed Era by Pinfall to Retain the NXT Tag Team Titles
Admittedly, this match didn't live up to the track record of most TakeOver tag team matches, which are normally Match of the Year candidates.
That's not to say this was bad—it certainly wasn't. It just took a while before things heated up and the crowd could sink its teeth into the action.
But it was still a fun match to watch, particularly when seeing Montez Ford gain more height with every jump as if he's practicing for an Olympic record. If his frog splash gets any higher, he might leave the arena!
Surprisingly, The Street Profits retained the tag team titles despite all signs seeming to point toward new champions.
That set a different tone for the night than expected, but it also meant that some bewilderment filled the air during the finish rather than a pure pop.
Io Shirai def. Candice LeRae by Submission
Finally, Candice LeRae was booked on a TakeOver event. It took long enough.
It's also great to see that Shirai has taken her heel turn as more than just a change in music, with all aspects of her character reflecting her change in attitude. She's tweaked her entrance, put on new ring gear and has even altered her wrestling style without sacrificing what makes her fun to watch.
These Superstars made the most out of their rare situation of being a second women's match on the card by giving it their all from start to finish and showing that they deserved a spot.
LeRae took the loss but didn't come off looking weak. Shirai scored the victory, but if the match had gone on another minute or so, she might not have pulled it off.
When a match leaves you wanting a sequel—and not because it was lacking—that's a big thumbs up.
Velveteen Dream def. Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne by Pinfall
To no one's surprise, the North American Championship match was an incredible bash, as all three Superstars involved can be relied upon to put on a great show.
From The Velveteen Dream's Mountie-inspired entrance on, they had the crowd eating out of their hands and chanting "fight forever" with glee.
Some particular highlights were Dream going coast to coast with an elbow drop, Roderick Strong's double Boston Crab and Dream distracting the referee and blocking him from counting a pin for Pete Dunne.
This type of action is exactly what TakeOver events are all about and what separates NXT from the main roster; there wasn't a single moment that was overbooked, boring or meant to do anything but entertain.
NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler def. Mia Yim by Submission
The story being told here was intriguing because it deviated from the norm. Instead of Baszler being the one to focus on a body part and dominate her opponent, it was Yim with the mean streak to start.
Seeing The Blasian Baddie take charge and put Baszler on the ropes forced the champion to fight from underneath to get back on equal footing, which we haven't seen before.
This was slower than the Triple Threat for the North American title, and the crowd didn't seem to appreciate that too much—but the audience was lackluster all night, so it's hard to judge anything based on that.
If anything, it was good that this gave people time to breathe before the main event rather than burning them out.
By the end of this, Yim looked stronger than ever, even in defeat, and Baszler kept her status as the top woman on the brand in tact while showing she can wrestle more than one type of match.
Adam Cole def. Johnny Gargano to Retain the NXT Championship
As great as nearly everyone is on the NXT roster, Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole are in the upper echelon for how they make art out of their performances.
They consistently blend passion with skill and have found the perfect balance of athleticism and psychology to tell their stories in the ring.
That is why a 2-out-of-3 Falls match like this just got better as it went along rather than turning into something that needed to end.
From the onset, they were telling the audience they are equals who know each other well and will do anything to win. Each counter was met with another, and neither man had the advantage for long.
There was also a logical progression from a regular classic wrestling match to a Street Fight and, finally, to chaos in the steel cage.
Once the weapons were brought out, it morphed into the type of fun a kid would have playing around with wrestling figures, as it was so playful in all its destruction.
If this match didn't do it for you, it's hard to know what else you were hoping for.
How many stars would you give the matches from NXT TakeOver: Toronto? Tell us your ratings in the comments below!
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.