The Real Winners and Losers from WWE NXT TakeOver: Portland Match Card

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2020

The Real Winners and Losers from WWE NXT TakeOver: Portland Match Card

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    NXT TakeOver: Portland was the black and gold brand's biggest bump on the road to WrestleMania 36.

    This was the show where momentum was established ahead of TakeOver: Tampa and Superstars could make or break their chance for glory during WrestleMania week.

    Nearly all the titles were on the line and several grudge fights were set to go down, with everyone standing a chance to win.

    In order to have winners, though, there must be losers. Who had great showings and who didn't have luck on their side?

    Let's take a look at what happened at TakeOver: Portland and determine the winners and losers of the night.

Full Match Results

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    WWE NXT TakeOver: Portland 2020 results

    • Keith Lee defeated Dominik Dijakovic by pinfall to retain the North American Championship.
    • Street Fight: Dakota Kai defeated Tegan Nox by pinfall.
    • Finn Balor defeated Johnny Gargano by pinfall.
    • Rhea Ripley defeated Bianca Belair by pinfall to retain the NXT Women's Championship.
    • The BroserWeights defeated The Undisputed Era by pinfall to win the NXT Tag Team Championship.
    • Adam Cole defeated Tommaso Ciampa by pinfall to retain the NXT Championship.

Winners: Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic

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    Even after several amazing matches together previously, Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic outdid themselves Sunday night.

    Somehow, these two keep finding new ways to wow audiences while sharing the spotlight. Each time they tussle, both men walk out looking stronger than they did before, no matter who wins.

    Technically, Lee had a better night after retaining his title, but the post-match respect he showed Dijakovic by helping him up to pose on the turnbuckle proved this was no one-man show.

Winners: Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai, Loser: Raquel Gonzalez

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    The Street Fight between Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai was hard-hitting, thrilling and fueled with passion as the two former best friends set out to end the other's career.

    Like the North American title match, both competitors had their moments on top.

    When Kai smashed a garbage can lid on Nox's head, for instance, the points were in her favor, only for her opponent to turn things around with her own ferocity.

    The conundrum is that the finish of this match switches some of the dynamics.

    Nox had the match won, but her emotions got the better of logic and cost her the victory. By the time she set up a table, Raquel Gonzalez (formerly Reina Gonzalez) entered the fray on Kai's behalf and put Nox through the table—sort of. She actually botched that by not throwing her correctly, causing the Welsh wrestler to only hit the edge.

    Technically, Kai won but not without Gonzalez's interference. Based on the win and her performance, she can't be called a loser, but neither can Nox who also looked strong.

    However, Gonzalez didn't put on a great show prior to her spot. All she did was slightly mess up the one thing she was supposed to do. Not only did it not look as good had Nox fallen through the table correctly, but it was also dangerous.

Loser: Johnny Gargano

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    Over the years, Johnny Gargano has proved he is never truly a loser in the ring, but the picture above tells its own story.

    Johnny Wrestling gave it his all as he went toe-to-toe with Finn Balor, but ultimately it was The Prince who stood tall.

    On any other night, Gargano would have taken that loss in stride and bounced back, but it seems he's gone from carrying the torch to having his flame extinguished.

    Later in the night, Gargano nailed Tommaso Ciampa with the NXT Championship belt.

    We can only assume this was out of frustration at not being top of the division again, which is a show of poor sportsmanship, to say the least.

Winner: Rhea Ripley

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    To no surprise, Bianca Belair proved herself a formidable opponent, but her dream of winning the NXT Women's Championship turned into a nightmare as Rhea Ripley held strong.

    Ripley has been on a roll these past few months, dominating at WarGames and Survivor Series before taking out Shayna Baszler to win the title in December.

    After challenging Charlotte Flair to a match at WrestleMania 36, the only logical outcome for TakeOver: Portland was for Ripley to retain the title.

    Flair attacked Ripley after the match and accepted the challenge, meaning The Nightmare also got confirmation for a major match at The Show of Shows against one of the best in the WWE women's division.

Winners: The BroserWeights

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    You can't get much of a bigger win than beating the preeminent faction in NXT to take their titles.

    When Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne partnered up for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, the oddball pair was far from a seasoned team. Despite that, they clicked enough to win the tournament and get this shot.

    But they were still up against three-time champions and former Classic winners, Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly. Losing at TakeOver: Portland would have been excusable.

    It was a tough fight, but by the end, The BroserWeights were celebrating as the new NXT tag team champions, having overcome the odds and with their strange synergy.

    The future of Riddle and Dunne atop the tag team division looks bright.

Loser: Tommaso Ciampa

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    You don't always have to win to end the night looking strong. Like with Dijakovic, Nox and others, history will say Tommaso Ciampa was a loser, although we all know there is nuance to that.

    Had this been a regular one-on-one affair, he would be champion. Once The Undisputed Era turned it into an impromptu handicap match, the numbers game changed the outlook.

    Even still, The Blackheart was beating the odds and nearly had Goldie back in his grasp, only for Johnny Gargano to nail him with the belt and cost him the match.

    After the long and arduous journey they've been on together, including patching their partnership up, Ciampa and Gargano are back to being adversaries.

    That means The Blackheart not only lost his chance at regaining the title, but he also lost his best friend for the second time.


    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.