WWE NXT TakeOver: In Your House Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low Points
NXT TakeOver: In Your House had a fitting name given the COVID-19 pandemic. But beyond capitalizing on that, as well as nostalgia for the 25th anniversary of In Your House and the need for an escape, it also boasted an impressive card.
Velveteen Dream's last chance at Adam Cole's NXT Championship was set for a Backlot Brawl, which upped the intrigue even more.
The Triple Threat for the NXT Women's Championship and Keith Lee vs. Johnny Gargano for the North American title had immense potential to steal the show, as did Karrion Kross's first real match against the vengeance-seeking Tommaso Ciampa.
With that potential for massive success in mind, how did it all play out?
Which segments stood out as the best and worst of the event? What disappointments fell short of the hype, and which matches exceeded expectations?
Presented in order of appearance, here are the highlights and low points from WWE NXT TakeOver: In Your House.
Full Match Results
WWE NXT TakeOver: In Your House 2020 Results
- Six-Woman Tag Team Match: Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez defeated Mia Yim, Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox by pinfall.
- Finn Balor defeated Damian Priest by pinfall.
- Keith Lee defeated Johnny Gargano by pinfall to retain the NXT North American Championship.
- Backlot Brawl: Adam Cole defeated Velveteen Dream by pinfall to retain the NXT Championship.
- Karrion Kross defeated Tommaso Ciampa by submission.
- Triple Threat Match: Io Shirai defeated Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley by pinfall to win the NXT Women's Championship.
Highlight: Todd Pettengill Returns, the Set and Other Nostalgia
Certain members of WWE's broadcast team become synonymous with their eras. Just as Jim Ross was the voice of the Attitude Era and Mauro Ranallo's energy and enthusiasm exemplify NXT these days, Todd Pettengill was intrinsically tied to the New Generation.
In Your House was firmly in his time 20 years ago, so it was great he was brought back, along with the parody of the old WWE intro and the ICOPRO vignette.
Nostalgia is an easy way to warm the heart. If you grew up watching Pettengill's cheesy interviews and over-the-top excitement like I did, his appearance was a nice reminder of simpler times.
The same went for the set for this event. It felt very reminiscent of the classic staging used for previous In Your House events and was a necessity for this to be more than just another empty arena show like we've had for the past few months.
Little touches like that go a long way in making each pay-per-view different and unique.
Highlight: Six-Woman Tag Team Match
The six-woman tag team match that started this show wasn't the most complex story or in-depth feud, but that didn't stop it from being entertaining.
Each of the Superstars involved had some moments to showcase their talents and look good. That's more than what most of these matches have to offer.
One interesting element was how often Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez had communication issues. Is this a sign their partnership is soon to end? If that's the case, their split could be a fun story to track.
It was nice to see Tegan Nox get a bit of revenge on Kai, too, as their feud never had a proper resolution.
Highlight: Finn Balor vs. Damian Priest
At first, it felt odd that WWE was going to pivot away from the already built-up feud between Finn Balor and WALTER. However, with NXT UK talent not being able to travel during the pandemic, something needed to be done with The Prince of NXT in the meantime.
Making Damian Priest his attacker was logical. He's the type of character to try to make a name for himself at Balor's expense, which is what he did here in this match.
Several times, his showboating cost him what could have been the win as this was a rather even affair between the two. Had he stuck to beating down Balor, Priest may have accomplished his goal.
But the veteran Balor had enough wherewithal to escape a Razor's Edge and send Priest back-first into the steel steps, which turned things around and helped him score the victory.
In the end, Priest looked strong despite losing, Balor reasserted his dominance, and this segment was rock solid.
Highlight: NXT North American Championship Match
What's there not to like when two of the best performers in NXT go out and have an energetic, evenly fought match like Keith Lee and Johnny Gargano did here?
While Gargano's best work may be as an underdog babyface, he still does a great job as a heel. He knows how to ham it up—like with his use of keys in this feud.
There was a great false-finish when those keys came back into the mix as the referee was distracted dealing with Mia Yim and Candice LeRae. Had that been the finish, with Gargano attacking Lee's injured eyes, it would have made perfect sense.
Of course, Lee kicking out was even better, as it's indicative of his character to keep fighting and find a way to win.
That he did, ending an impressive match with his Big Bang Catastrophe.
Middle of the Road: NXT Championship Backlot Brawl Match
When William Regal said he would set up a match that was fitting for Adam Cole and Velveteen Dream, the Backlot Brawl certainly wasn't an obvious go-to option.
Neither has a character that works with a bunch of cars in a circle in the Full Sail parking lot, which was one of the cracks in this presentation.
Though some of the action was fun, which saved this from being a low point, none of it seemed natural.
Even the inclusion of Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong was odd. It makes sense they'd interfere and try to help Cole, but they mostly threw chairs in the ring and were run off by Dexter Lumis, who drove away, seemingly stealing their car in the process.
Now that Dream lost, he can no longer challenge for Cole's championship. There's nothing left for him to do on NXT, which we can assume will lead to a trade over to Raw or SmackDown.
What's next with Cole, though? He's fought and beaten everyone who could be a viable contender.
This segment was OK overall, but it wasn't great and sets up some confusing things that will play out down the line.
Highlight: Karrion Kross Goes over Big
The match between Tommaso Ciampa and Karrion Kross was quick enough that it won't go on any list of the best TakeOver matches ever. That's for sure. But the biggest takeaway was how strong Kross looked in his victory.
Ciampa has been at the top of NXT for the past few years. For Kross to come in and effectively squash him before making the soul of the black-and-gold brand pass-out is a definitive statement.
If you weren't sold on Kross yet, this was WWE's message to get on board with him now. He looked more dominant tonight than even the NXT champion.
This is a good sign for his future and the next era of NXT.
Middle of the Road: NXT Women's Championship Match
While it's a positive to see that Io Shirai has ascended the throne and finally become NXT women's champion, it comes with negatives, too.
What was the purpose of Charlotte Flair derailing Rhea Ripley's momentum by beating her at WrestleMania if it was all going to lead to Shirai being the next champion two months down the line?
It's almost as if this was concocted specifically to take Ripley down a peg, as she even took the fall in this, not Flair. How is that not WWE shooting itself in the foot when trying to make a new star?
Ripley was catching on during her surge with WarGames and Survivor Series. Then, she was fully accepted as the successor to Shayna Baszler as the top of the NXT women's division.
But just like with Baszler, everything went downhill after that, which is mind-boggling.
Flair didn't need to be protected, nor did Ripley need to take the pin, nor did Shirai need to win the title here. She could have beaten Flair in their singles match or had a one-on-one against The Queen at this event without Ripley in the mix.
It's good to celebrate a talented Superstar like The Genius of the Sky becoming champion, but this reeks of another misstep in WWE's perception of how to book Flair and Ripley.
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.