WWE NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low PointsFebruary 15, 2021
WWE NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low Points
Love is in the air all across the world to celebrate Valentine's Day, but in WWE, things have taken a more dangerous turn with NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day!
The latest special event for the black-and-gold brand saw three titles on the line and the finals of the two Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournaments to make up a worthwhile card despite how it also felt a bit like a stopgap on The Road to WrestleMania.
Which matches were worth falling in love with, and which segments are stuck in the friend zone? How did the pay-per-view turn out?
Let's look back on NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day and break down the biggest highlights and low points of Sunday night!
Full Match Results
NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day results
- Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez defeated Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart by pinfall to win the women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament.
- Johnny Gargano defeated Kushida by pinfall to retain the NXT North American Championship.
- MSK defeated Grizzled Young Veterans by pinfall to win the men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament.
- Io Shirai defeated Toni Storm and Mercedes Martinez by pinfall to retain the NXT Women's Championship.
- Finn Balor defeated Pete Dunne by pinfall to retain the NXT Championship.
Highlight: Eli Drake Has Joined the WWE Universe
During the pre-show, the broadcast team was interrupted by a new signing to WWE, Eli Drake.
Though he referred to himself by his new ring name, LA Knight, Drake should be no stranger to those following other wrestling promotions over the past decade.
He's a former champion in Impact Wrestling and was part of the National Wrestling Alliance in 2019 until now.
As evidenced by his promo here, one of Knight's strengths is his verbal skills, which many on the NXT roster struggle with. This should help him stand out from the pack.
An influx of talent is always good to keep things fresh, and bringing someone like him into the mix is all that much better.
Middle of the Road: Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final
All four Superstars in the final of the Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament are capable of a much better match, as evidenced by their performances over the past few months and at events like WarGames.
This wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything special, either. It was a bog-standard opening contest that didn't cross over into being either disappointing or memorable.
Arguably the most interesting part of the whole match was Ember Moon struggling to keep Dakota Kai from making a tag, only to foolishly argue with the referee over an unseen tag attempt for a long enough time frame that Kai should have reached Raquel Gonzalez. That spot just felt odd, but it was more interesting than just a series of maneuvers like most of the match was.
By the end, arguably the right call was made with the winners. Kai and Gonzalez are the more experienced duo and would be better-suited to jump up to the main roster if they succeed in winning the Women's Tag Team Championship. Moon and Blackheart were just two singles stars paired together and are better on their own.
Highlight: North American Championship Match
While not the most bombastic match in TakeOver history, Johnny Gargano and Kushida went out and had a rock-solid match.
Given their skills, that was to be expected. If they had done anything less than decent, something would have been off.
It was interesting to start this with Dexter Lumis abducting Austin Theory. Unfortunately, nothing was followed up beyond that point. It may be nitpicking, but a scenario like that would work better for Gargano to have lost and blamed it on the lack of his faction's support ringside, rather than just retaining the title.
At least Kushida put up a good fight. It wasn't incredibly likely he'd walk out of this match champion to begin with, but there were a few near-falls that looked like he could possibly pull it out.
In the end, this wasn't a segment you absolutely need to go back and check out if you missed it, but it was good enough.
Highlight: Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament Final
MSK hasn't been in NXT long, but Nash Carter and Wes Lee are quickly making names for themselves with their enthusiastic and innovative offense.
Grizzled Young Veterans are no slouches, either, so pairing these teams up for the final of the men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic was a great decision. Both pairs had more than enough time to shine and show how they are continuing the legacy of TakeOver events having standout tag team bouts.
The biggest highlight within this match itself was arguably the suicide dive Doomsday Device maneuver executed by James Drake and Zack Gibson. That was among the more impressive spots that didn't involve foreign objects in a long while.
Like other booking decisions this night, it's worth noting the logic behind MSK winning, too. So often on the main roster, outcomes seem chosen arbitrarily or fly in the face of logic in ways that the NXT writing team doesn't suffer from.
In this scenario, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch are heels, so it makes sense for the tag team champions to have babyface challengers going forward. MSK may not win those belts, but with this tournament win, it's already proved it's here to stay.
Highlight: NXT Women's Championship Triple Threat Match
Multi-Superstar matches can often be messy if there isn't an established dynamic, but these three all played distinct parts in making this work.
Io Shirai's specialty of high-flying was no surprise as The Genius of the Sky can glide through the air with ease. This was exhibited with her execution of a moonsault onto no one that could have been incredibly dangerous, but she managed to pull it off without disaster. She also had a highlight moment of jumping off the tall support structure ringside.
Mercedes Martinez played more of a power game. Her strength was on display with the numerous times she slammed Shirai into the barricade with authority.
Toni Storm, meanwhile, was more of the technical wrestler of the bunch. Had this contest stayed primarily in the ring, she might have been victorious.
As Storm failed to win but didn't take the pin, she may have a case to challenge in a singles match down the line. Based on this match, that should be a sight to see.
Highlight: NXT Championship Match
Finn Balor's matches in his second NXT run have been more hard-hitting, and with an opponent like Pete Dunne, who always brings the fight, there were lots of moments that looked very painful.
Between Dunne's signature joint manipulation and Balor working on The Bruiserweight's knee, both looked like they took a massive beating.
Truth be told, though, the bigger story and highlight of this segment actually came after the match's conclusion when The Undisputed Era helped Balor fend off Dunne and his crew, Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan.
After posing together with the impression Balor might even join the faction, Adam Cole superkicked the NXT champion. In a total blind side, he then followed that up with a kick to his teammate, Kyle O'Reilly.
The event ended with a stunned Roderick Strong not knowing what to do as Cole left the ring, giving fans a major angle to be invested in for next Wednesday's episode and the build to the next pay-per-view.
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.